Here it is: a post after more than a year. What possible explanation could there be? There was a pandemic, then Donald Trump, a fake leader who completely mishandled a pandemic. This unfortunate situation might have been bad enough, but there was something more, something that made things even worse: deluded Trump supporters.
Sure, it may seem harsh to call some Trump supporters deluded, but these people are out there. Some portion of the American populace got completely fooled when they elected Trump, believing even his sloppily crafted mythos. Next, a smaller portion of those same people got fooled (again) by some random person who self-applied the handle “QAnon.”
The internet has always been good at spreading nonsense. The World Wide Web (See fake, but oddly prescient, history here), which added pictures and graphics, accelerated the whole thing, even when people were using dial-up connections at home. On the other hand, America Online might have slowed things down a bit. You had to pay for it . . .
But then eventually everybody got broadband, or super-fast dial-up without dialing up. Amazon! You can buy things online! Later, Facebook appeared, or America Online without having to pay. The business model became “engagement,” which in turn could get you to buy things. What price engagement? Thanks to some technological vision, computers, or what used to be called “cell phones,” got small enough you could fit them in your hand.
That was it; all the necessary parts assembled. The super-charged nonsence train left the station on a collision course with, well, whatever democracy we had left.
We’ve been into this World Wide Web thing for a while now. That’s right — it’s really been over 20 years, despite what certain fictional histories might lead you to believe. Despite that, you still hear many people in various forms of communication misread web addresses like this:
“Find more information at so-de-so blah-de-blah backslash something else.”
Nope — it ain’t a backslash. Take this web address:
Those slashes above aren’t backslashes, sisters and brothers. Nope, those are forward slashes.
Why do people suffer from this misapprehension? Well, it may come from the legacy of a computer that (once-upon-a-time, when people saw it nearly every day) featured a little prompt that looked a little sumthin’ like this:
That prompt contained a backslash, but web addresses do not. Note that the problem became rampant enough that many web browsers actually convert back slashes to forward slashes if people try to type them in.
Over time, people have realized the error and have begun to read web addresses: “Find more information at so-de-so blah-de-blah forwardslash something else.” There’s no need to do this either. Just say “slash,” everybody.
To clear up another misapprehension, if you’ve (unfortunately) got the Facebook, you do have the internet:
Trombonist Paul Nowell seems to exist in the weird intersection of trombone playing, education, clowning, employing a large stuffed banana as a sidekick, and constantly repeating a joke about tuna fish, tuning, or something like that.
Possibly the most edifying of Nowell’s various forays on the internet is his recurring YouTube show called Bone Masters, in which he plays host to the trombone-famous. Through the magic of green screen, Bone Masters is often set against a pleasant tropical or nature scene, the pleasantness of which is possibly destroyed by all the tromboning (of course, that’s a matter of opinion). While the guests relate important playing techniques and insights, Paul asks the pertinent questions. Below is a sampling of some of the episodes. You can see them all at Paul’s YouTube channel.