This is a subpage to my lengthy About page. I also have subpages on my photo gear, workflow, and themes, my career in IT (IS, MIS), and my educational background.
I no longer wear my heart (politics, religion, etc.) on my sleeve, either figuratively or literally. The narrative that follows is an exception.
During my urban rambles, I often see signs [photo], murals [photo] and public art [photo] with direct or indirect political messages. When I think these messages represent current views, I sometimes capture them.
My photos don’t necessarily reflect my political views or endorsements, unless I explicitly say so in the photo caption, description [photo], or a comment.
I don’t do memes, but occasionally I’ll use a juxtaposition [photo] to express a perspective. I respect photo journalists who do this subtly and successfully.
I try to stay informed about public interest subjects. I maintain a curated list of sources in Apple News+, Apple Podcasts and substack.
Currently, my primary regional news sources include The Oregonian, Willamette Week, and a few local newsletters and blogs. I don't subscribe to newsletters or blogs if I know that I'll be tracked.
When needed, I tap into scholarly resources (academic libraries) and not-so-scholarly resources (Wikipedia).
Living in rural and urban communities in Alaska, Louisiana, and Oregon has shaped my political views.
I consider myself a centrist and am a registered independent voter in Oregon. Currently, I’m not affiliated with a party.
I would like Oregon to adopt open primaries and ranked-choice voting, such as Alaska did in 2021. At this time (1/2022), I think the two-party system in the USA is failing. And I'm concerned.
I’m proud of Oregon’s tradition of open, accessible and fair elections and our ability to vote-by-mail.
I think voting is a right that every eligible USA citizen deserves. As citizens, I also think we should exercise this right. To walk my talk, I've never missed an election since 1974 and never plan to, even if my wife and I become expats.
My Social Media, Digital Privacy
I'm only posting public photos on Flickr and my website now. For many years, I posted photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I enjoyed interacting with family and friends, real and virtual. However, I grew weary of the misinformation, disinformation, data breaches, narcissism, vitriol, generalizations, labeling, doxing, snark, signaling, and performative [insert word]. I've probably missed some terms…
I think Google's privacy practices are intrusive, so I now use DuckDuckGo for web searches.
Several years ago, I also became increasingly alarmed by the manipulative practices I saw on many social media platforms. Those practices that leverage negative emotions, such as anger, fear, jealousy, and shame, are especially troubling.
I understand why folks want to be 'Liked' and have many Followers. It's human nature. However, when the dopamine hits become the primary reason for being Extremely Online, it can become an addiction. There is a large body of behavioral health research on this subject. Frankly, I also don't understand how folks with 1000s of Followers, regardless of the social media platform, can genuinely keep up with their engagement.
My professional work experience and education also led to my decision to unplug from most social media. During my career in IT, data management and information management were my specialized domains. In my University of Oregon MS grad program, information design and information architecture were core focus areas.
In my work and my graduate studies, I saw the coupling of big data, artificial intelligence, mobile computing, and the Internet of Things leading to a state now recognized by some scholars as surveillance capitalism. To my knowledge, none of my former employers ever exploited the data or metadata of individuals (patients, customers, consumers, citizens) in this manner.
While the USA has industry-specific and state-level data privacy and security laws, such as FISMA, HIPAA, SOX, and CCPA, I think we should also enact legislation similar to the European Unions General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). I'm pleased that the USA is finally addressing this important matter.
I will not “sell” my DNA data.
With all that said, in 2019 I decided to limit my active engagement on social media to Flickr and LinkedIn. In October 2021, I cut my cord to LinkedIn. I still have shell accounts on a few platforms for reading/viewing-only purposes. I channel Facebook through my wife when I need to catch up on family events.
Last updated: 1/5/2022