Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for January 27 2023 – More Money In The Weepy Stuff

In this episode, I play a song by the Dolly Varden; “You Make Loving Fun” has a weird structure; whisper is making me organize myself; I realized that Linode machines can do my transcribing; as many television shows we have access to, we can’t find shows to watch; I hate reality shows for the formula of it; Love It or List It is being endured in this house; the only thing I like about the show is figuring out what city they are in; Slow Horses, Reservation Dogs and Dark Winds are the best shows I have watched in the last year; the movie “Dog” with Channing Tatum is bleh but we love troubled dog redemption stories; pipewire continues winning the war; big tech companies laying off workers is exactly what I have been talking about in the world of work; human misery is a bad tool for policy; Mastodon and the Fediverse can’t fix the giant hole in me that seeks approval; I am finally learning how to handle third parties on social media; there is a pointlessness to the umbrage filled replies.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, January 27 2023.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for January 20 2023 – Heaven Has More Slow Deaths

In this episode, I play a song by the Crane Wives; I am using Whisper as part of my podcast production pipeline; Mastodon experiments continue; I am now on Bookwyrm; the problems I have with social media occur even without a company’s algorithm shoving it down my throat; being the semi-benevolent dictator of decisions sucks; use the hash tag for nerds in our region; identifying bottlenecks in stalled projects is hard but necessary; I have stopped procrastinating on long procrastinated projects; I’m not sure I believe “Mastodon So White”; look at the hashtag for “BlackMastodon”; Dying Kindness podcast is useful; there are multiple approaches to the end of your life; the late life conversion topic really loses me.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, January 20 2023.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for January 12 2023 – I Was the Dormancy

In this episode, I play a song by JD Pinkus; this WordPress site is kind of a Mastodon instance; is using Mastodon restarting bad habits?; Apple announced AI audiobooks and Mastodon got fussy; I don’t like acccents in audiobooks; back in the day there were stores of audiobooks on cassettes; the innovator’s dilemma is working on industries and people when jobs change; the MMT job guarantee could reduce anxiety about industry disruption; I had the wrong feed for Rudy Rucker’s podcast; I am now all in on Zigbee; Sonoff Zigbee stuff is cheap and pretty good; Wiz light bulbs get confused by mesh wifi; having lots of Zigbee devices is better than one or two; I did not get my wish list of to-do items done over a very long holiday break; make the hard decisions on what to do with your items before you die so others don’t have to.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, January 12 2023.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Mastodon So White


This is longer than a standard toot by about 12X. Since it is originating from WordPress I have no idea what it will look like on Mastodon clients so … sorry, I guess? Using excerpt in the template gives you “Show More” and strips all links so f it.

I acknowledge there is a debate about quote tweets in Mastodon. I’m too dumb to really understand the arguments for or against, and I don’t know if what I’m doing here is effectively the same. So, if you don’t like it – I’m dumb, not a dick.

That said.

This morning, I saw this toot boosted by someone I follow. There is a thread and much discussion but the first sentence of the first toot is this:
“TLDR: Mastodon is very white, male, status quo, global north, and designed in a way to limit its potential for use in social movements.”

I don’t know Naunihal at all. His experience is his experience, and mine does not negate his. However, I do find this statement perplexing. I mean, I am white, male, global north and the status quo is pretty friendly to me, sure. My interpretation of his points is that he thinks Mastodon is a pretty closed-loop, echo-chambering system. He finds discovery of topics and people difficult. He refers to this episode of On the Media (which I ain’t planning on listening to) with one Mastodon community member basically as canonical of the Mastodon mindset against virality and for niche interests. That is his experience.

Here is mine, cis white male middle-aged uppper-middle-class dude that I am. I joined Mastodon two months ago really out of an anti-Twitter impulse with no real plans. I barely used it until the holiday break. Before late December, I was following fewer than 10 accounts (and two were the same guy.) Over the break, I played with it more.

I did not dump much effort into replicating my network. I followed a few people I found and as I tooted here:
“Early in the Mastodon journey. I am bootstrapping my experience by following a few interesting people and hoping like hell they @ reply and boost other interesting people. I don’t have the energy to hunt the Mastodon world for people I already know.”
That is literally what I did. As I saw boosts and @ replies I would follow. In some places they were people I already know and recognized. In some cases they were completely new strangers that I knew only by the content of their toots. The network built.

Around new years I found this article on Techdirt with some migration tools. I used Movetodon to find Mastodon accounts of people I followed on Twitter one single time. I went through FollowGraph a few times, which shows the Mastodon accounts most commonly followed by the people you follow. I did this multiple times but quickly got into diminishing returns as the top of the list became filled with well known personalities in whom I am not interested. All of this was around New Years, and I haven’t touched any other tools. I have no plans to touch any again.

Given what Naunihal thinks, I should have a pretty white bread tech bro feed. I scrolled down enough Tusky pages to see around 75 accounts and did a rough headcount. Take none of this to the bank, it’s an estimation of a sample.

Roughly 1/3 were institutional type accounts or had no discernible demography. Roughly 1/3 were male and 1/3 female. A number of these accounts are strangers to me. Of the ones with identifiable characteristics, about 40% were non-white and about 10% were trans, nonbinary or flew some sort of non cis-het flag. The interesting thing about this is at no point did I every make any effort to find BIPOC people to follow, or trans people or anything. I looked for my friends and then let it sort from there, following anyone that ran across my radar and posted interesting stuff.

Earlier today I was having a conversation about using Zigbee on Home Assistant with @TprevoJr and @emily@hackaday.social  . I did not know either of these people before yesterday. We were organized around the #homeassistant tag and started chatting about our setups. From what I can glean from profiles, T is an African American man and Emily is a trans woman. We are just three strangers who now mutually follow each other nerding out about home automation. I will share what I can with them and hope to learn what I can from them.

This seems to be what Naunihal is saying doesn’t happen, or at least hasn’t happened for him. Again, I haven’t done anything but seed some basic data and watch the content flow by. Everything else is organic. My experience is quite different than his and frankly far better than I expected. @evoterra indicated to me early that he figured that Mastodon would make me “a cranky mo’ fo’ ” (verbatim quote), which knowing me as he does was a reasonable prediction. Hell, it was my prediction as well. I hated the day 0 experience, especially having to pick an instance as the first thing you do when the reasons for the decision are kind of impenetrable. I picked an LGBTQ+ friendly one because in my experience they throw the best parties. Had I had Paul Stamatiou’s Mastodon Primer available back then I would have been much less grumpy about even that decision.

My summation is that the Mastodon experience, early as I am in it, is more inclusive, more positive and more fun that I would have predicted and absolutely better than Twitter ever was for me – even in the early days. It remains to be seen if this is a side-effect of the relatively low users compared to other sites or a permanent and durable aspect of this medium. I’m prepared for the former, hoping for the latter and riding it out either way.

Feel free to follow me at @geniodiabolico for my main account. This blog/podcast is followable via @dave as long as the WordPress ActivityHub plugin stays operational. Laissez les bon temps rouler.

#mastodon #dayZeroSucks

Archive Mode on Podcast Addict

I recently started using a feature on Podcast Addict and immediately wished I had learned about it years ago. That is archive mode. The immediate impetus was the posting schedule for the podcast version of Cartoonist Kayfabe. I believe they space out the posting of YouTube videos to one or two a day but they drop the audio podcasts in batches. I love them, but I don’t want to listen to 15 episodes of their show in a row (true story.) Thus, I learned how to use this mode out of self-defense of my own ear sanity.

I would imagine that all mature podcatchers on Android and iOS have something like this. Podcast Addict is the only one I use, so the only one I know how to work like this.

First, for the podcast you want to configure you need to open it up from the main list of podcasts. If there are no unplayed episodes, you will need to click the eye icon to make it show. Click the gear in the upper right to go into the settings menu.

Once in this menu, scroll down. There are two different sets of options you will need to override (unless you want to do this at the global level for literally everything you listen to.)

The first is “Download”. Toggle on the option to override global settings, then click the line under that to set options. You will want to have Automatic Download and Archive Mode enabled. You probably want “Download older first” enabled unless for some reason you want to listen to this front to back. I set “Batch download limit” to the same as the number of episodes I will want to keep. In most cases that is 1.

Back out of that menu and look down a few options to “Automatic cleanup”. Again, override and click into the set of options. This is what makes the heart of this work. Paired with the options above, this will keep one and only one (or whatever you choose) available in your playlist. Set “Keep at most” to one or the number you like. If you are starting this up at a time the number is greater than this, you will see no immediate effect. Once you get below this number, you will then see the behavior of downloading another episode once one is finished.

In practice for me, I will finish an episode of Cartoonist Kayfabe and then the playlist will jump to the next available podcast. This will be immediate. Even with the fastest internet, it will take a few seconds to download another episode. Unless a new show comes down with a higher priority (such as I set timely news shows and a few favorite programs) effectively ever other episode played will be one of these. It does work out pretty nice. I don’t want to listen to a whole bunch in a row, but I don’t mind a strict alternation with the rest of my playlist.

I do have a few shows where N is more than 1. For the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast I have it set to 2 episodes. That’s a bit moot because I have never gotten that low since I set this up. I went from automatically downloading episodes that I seldom listen to (mostly when I’m reading) to putting it in to archive mode to only have a few episodes at a time. It keeps the playlist from getting so redonkulously large while having the same net effect.

That’s how I do this. Let me know if this helps for you or if you have some other tips and tricks I don’t know about. Happy listening!

Bring Back Blogging

As part of my startup with Mastodon I happened to run across a link to this Bring Back Blogging project. The goals are modest. In the month of January make three posts on your blog, syndicated via RSS with all the standard stuff. I’m not counting this point nor all the Mastodon test posts. I am sitting down to right substantial post #1 right now, as it is one I’ve owed some people for some time.

This is the kind of thing I thought was worth doing for some time, but I haven’t had the tiny little nudge it would take to do it. Randomly finding the link to that page was just enough nudge, so I am nudged.

Mastodon Test 2

My first test I configured literally nothing, so that was out of the box ActivityPub plugin formatting. There is the ability to adjust it some so I am trying that with this post. Eventually the bulk of these posts will be my podcast episodes so I am trying to find something that will work with that.

My first inclination was to set it up with hashtags, link to the blog post and an excerpt. I realize that I was still thinking in autopost/push type mindset. As I (barely) understand the protocol, the character limits in toots is defined by the instance. I’ve seen people posting about how to raise it per instance. Since WordPress is the “server” it probably isn’t limiting my characters so let’s just show the whole damn thing. I’m now excited to publish the next episode so I can see what the formatting looks like on Mastodon. I tried to push the last episode but updating doesn’t seem to do it, only new posts.

One thing that seems to be missing from this templating language is the ability to put in the “Show More” break. I can add it from the Tusky Android app but not here. If that existed, my template would probably become:
Title
Hash tags
Shortlink
Show More
Full text of the post

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for January 1 2023 – Quiet Quitting

In this episode, I play a song by Nick Miller; I am still fighting the pipewire transition; I have joined Mastodon; the day zero experience kind of sucks; I have no idea how important the choice of a Mastodon instance is; I miss Usenet and GEnie SFRT; my NetNewsWatcher filters were finely tuned; rec.arts.sf.written was great and also where I learned to hate gatekeepers; quiet quitting is another way to refer to healthy work-life balance; not needing your job makes it much more fun; spare me your think pieces on the nature of work; I watched The Keep and Cafe Express for the Video Archives podcast.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, January 1 2023.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for December 24, 2022 – Declining City Gentleman

In this episode, I play the other of our traditional holiday songs by American Heartbreak; truncated due to illness I tell an anecdote and wish everyone the best.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, December 24 2022.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for Dec 18 2022 – The Rube Goldberg Machine of my Life

In this episode, I play one of our traditional holiday songs by Jill Sobule; Feedback episode! Many missives from Reed Knight with some from Jeff Dangel, Darren Griffith, Metal Dan, Nutty Nuchtchas and others; we discuss redaction, journaling, music ad lots of cool stuff.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, December 18 2022.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for December 8 2022 – I Hate His Fat Voice

In this episode, I play a song by Domenico + 2; I just realized the Garrison Keillor influence on this very podcast; the sandwich generation is wearing on us; I have no interest in true crime anything; have I completely lost the taste for cringey comedy?; I did send letters to voters via Vote Forward; am I individually on the hook for taking free and legal options?; I hearken back to Allan Havey’s Night after Night; I don’t know who Ben Shapiro is or what the Podcast Movement controversy; I have a narrow window of acceptable self-regard; there was something in the air in the mid-2000s maker culture; decluttering is full of overwhelming decisions; Scoble melted down over a timetable;

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, December 8 2022.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for December 3 2022 – This Light is my Lassie

In this episode, I play a song by Corb Lund; I am becoming a 1/3 assed woodworker; I have built peg boards and shelves; my Braves junk from the 1990s is staring me in the face; my mom had a decoupage phase; I am purging old family stuff; I am completely over most of the fall/winter holidays; cheap WiZ brand iot light bulbs from Walmart helped me out; I am dumping Wemo switches and all off the wall brands; my media lockdown continues; I’m done with the political parties available to me; does my withdrawal from politics grant a win to my enemies?; all hail the speed square.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, December 3 2022.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.