Some Changes


My Portal News

I think you can expect to see some changes on some of the websites and Blogs I run in the very near future, including the website this Blog is associated with. Kevin’s Portal has become something of a frustration with me, as I have been unable to update any pages for a while. Indeed, the books page will not update and has even been deleted, without me having any ability to fix the problem – so it is likely that I will be changing hosts very soon. This will also mean a change in URL. So please keep an eye out for that as I won’t be able to change things on the website as it currently stands – i.e. keep an eye on this Blog.

Another big change – at least for me – will be the way I do Blog posts right across the board. I have a…

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Pointless Unplugging


The link below is to an article which provides some further commentary on the sort of thing I was writing about in my previous post really. The article linked to below explores the pointlessness of unplugging in a digital age, to which I agree by the way. Perhaps we need to find a better balance in a digital world.

For more visit:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2014/03/the-pointlessness-of-unplugging.html

Far Removed Friendships


The Internet. The Internet has proven a blessing in many ways, providing the means for acquiring information that simply were not available before, the possibilities of mass communication that have previously been non-existent and so on. However, with blessing has come much that is not – indeed, the curse of the Internet. The curse of the Internet is a many-headed beast, including the ease of access to pornography to all and sundry, cyber-bullying and the like, troll behaviour across the board, etc. The Internet of course is not alone in this seeming dichotomy of blessing and curse, for everything seems to have the ability to both bless and curse, so why should the Internet be any different – it all comes down to how we use it and how we prepare ourselves for what we will inevitably by bombarded with once we enter the World Wide Web. That both exist should not surprise.

In my younger days I seemed to be a far more sociable being – or perhaps more accurately, my sociability and friendship was closer in real terms than it is now. I used to spend quality time with people, whether that was in one-on-one encounters, or as part of a meaningful group of friends interacting with one another during a social outing, while enjoying a meal together, or in one of a myriad of ways. Today things are far different and the Internet may well have been the means for accomplishing this rather less than brilliant array of social norms. It has not been the only catalyst for a changed socio-environment, but it has perhaps been the most aggressive counter to what were the social norms of my younger days.

Friendship had been one of the most important aspects on my life and something I both guarded and cultivated with great jealousy. As I look back on those days I now ask myself ‘what happened?’ Now the people I once counted dear and who’s friendship I cherished are no longer to be seen in my life to the same extent as they once were. Sure, people move on and circumstances change, so you expect some to no longer be there – but you would expect them to be replaced by others, at least that was how life used to be. Not anymore. They have gone and there have been none to replace them in the same way – now I have far removed friendships, friendships with people I have never physically met via the World Wide Web. These are not the same. Sure, they can be regarded as important and greatly valued, but they are not the same and the previous form of friendships that I valued so greatly are missed and mourned as the great loss that they are, especially with people who have been and continue to be, people of importance to me, though there is now little or no contact with them – certainly not in the same quality or even quantity as before.

Today is the day of far removed friendships and I am lesser for them.

Normal Stuff


‘Wow… time sure gets away from ya just doing normal stuff doesn’t it?’

Hmmm, that’s life for me at the moment. Time just passes me by so quickly these days. A little ‘life blink’ and weeks have passed. Where, oh where, does the time go? I wish I knew the answer to that. I am so thankful that I no longer live in the big smoke – not that I’m all that far into the bush or anything like that, but I definitely live in a place with a much slower pace. It would be great if work was like that also, but alas it is not.

I have been working on a couple of websites I run, plus a large number of Blogs also. The work on the websites takes a lot of time. The two sites I have been trying to get back up and working properly for some time now are these two listed below.

Still have plenty of work to do and having terrible Internet connectivity doesn’t help.

An Age of Knockers


Why is it that the Internet has bred an age of knockers? You see it all of the time on Twitter, which seems especially to be a form of media that attracts the trolls and other types that seem unable to communicate anything positive. Message Boards and comments after articles is another breeding ground for this sort of thing. 

Here in Australia we have the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome,’ which is essentially the same sort of thing, but pre-dates the Internet, so perhaps the desire to knock people all of the time has always been there, but now has a medium in which it seems to flourish. 

Being a knocker has been a particular character flaw of mine since I can remember and it has also been one that I have continually fought against since I can remember, being one of those ‘darling’ sins that I need to be continually seeking to mortify by the grace of God. So I find it to be something personally offensive and sickening.

I do however find that the knocker in people seems to be becoming more pronounced since the advent of the Internet as a popular mode of communication and social networking. It has become more vicious and most certainly has lost its more ‘digging’ nature that was perhaps not so bad. When it is just light-hearted fun, light-hearted digging – that is not so bad. These days it is far more sinister.

The link below is to a recent article I came across and is an example of the very sort of thing I am talking about. It is not just in the article itself that this sort of thing can be found, but also within the comments that follow (though there are some supportive comments also).

In my own circle of friends and people I know, I am increasingly surprised at the many, many, examples of it I have stumbled across in recent times and that from those who also profess to be Christians. It has not just been criticism, which I don’t have a problem with, but something with a lot of personal malicious intent about it. It seems that there is a fair amount of bullying involved in it as well I think, yet some of these people doing the attacking and knocking are very vocal when it comes to bullying and the like. 

Any thoughts?

For an example visit:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/26/taylor-swift-losing-face-grammys_n_4671397.html

Music


I love Spotify, however the amount of bandwidth it uses is incredible – even when you have the music saved locally. So as a consequence I don’t use it as much as I would like to – perhaps I should use the Bigpond service for music as I don’t think that counts towards downloads. I do like Spotify though and would like to continue to support the service.

Just recently I have been on an Ebay splurge, buying up cheap CDs of music I liked from the 80s especially. Yeah, I’m an 80s type of music guy – nothing too heavy though. Well, there is the odd bit of heavier music I don’t mind, but that is a very rare thing. Really I’m a ballad guy – love ballads, good ballads. Maybe I’m a romantic at heart, I don’t know. If I am it hasn’t done me a lot of good over the years. I’ve always wanted to be able to play the piano – to play ballads. I can’t, I never really learnt how to play it. Still, it is part of that romantic image I have of myself – lol.

So yeah, I have been buying a bit of stuff on Ebay in the last couple of weeks. ‘Why pay full price when you don’t have to?’ – I always say. You can pick up good CDs for a few bucks on Ebay and that will do me just OK thank you very much. Sure, I might not get everything I might buy at a dedicated music store, but I get more than enough to keep me happy. I can also buy stuff I normally wouldn’t – because it is so cheap. I do have some music that I wouldn’t buy in a pink fit at Sanity or the like, stuff that I bought on Ebay to see what it was really like. I suppose I could put Janet Jackson into that category, though sadly I have become immune to it and actually like the odd song. Did I just say that – it does get worse, but I don’t know you all that well so I’m not prepared to put it all out there.

Internet Speed


Towards the end of each month I have to struggle with my Internet connectivity. This is why I so often find myself unable to post to my various Blogs and why my readers and visitors are deprived of fresh content. I am unable to access the Internet in any modern, speedy manner other than wireless, which allows me a lesser amount of bandwidth. After I use my monthly allowance I get stuck on a slowed connection. However, when it is holiday season here (this is a tourist town on the coast) access to the net becomes even slower and can be likened to a crawl. It is almost impossible to access the Internet at such times. I am really struggling with access at the moment and it is truly frustrating me. I have much that I want to do, but no ability to get it done.