Hello dear readers. It is time to close the doors on my blog.
My first post on this blog was on June 6, 2010, almost 12 years ago. I have written more than 200 episodes, mostly about the construction of our shipping container house. And some of my favorite posts have been stories about living here in Panama. Our expat experience has created some of the most cherished memories of our lives, memories that don’t depend on written text to be remembered. This blog has been quite the diary, but now construction is done, and there is not much more to say that is relevant.
The long pauses between recent posts, and the fewer and fewer shipping container-specific posts, has driven reader statistics to about as low as they can go. The average time someone views my blog now is less than one minute; the bounce rate (the rate at which people click away from the site) is in the 90+ percent range within seconds.
Plus, it is coming up time to renew the PanamaShippingContainerHouse.com URL, plus the various plugins that I use to maintain the site and keep the site safe from spam and hackers. It’s a chunk of money every year.
There is one more thing. I am very, very disturbed by the amount of censorship on YouTube and social media these days. It hasn’t affected my YouTube channel, however there are truths about the pandemic and other newsy items that have been heavily censored. Some channels have been demonetized or put in YouTube jail for periods of time.
One is “Darkhorse Podcast”, a podcast by two evolutionary biologists. They normally talk about evolutionary topics, but seeing inconsistencies during the pandemic, they dug deep into government policies and the mega-pharmaceutical companies striving for profits at all costs. This podcast is still on YouTube, but was demonetized and is subjected to censorship. It can also be found, without the censorship, on Odysee.com.
Another is “Dr. John Campbell”. He has posted nearly every day during the pandemic. Sound scientific and medical knowledge and evidence, but outside of the parameters of the narrative you will see on the nightly news (ask your doctor if the nightly news is right for you). He also has to be careful of what words he uses or he will be sanctioned by YouTube.
Another example is the “FLCCC.net” (Front Line Critical Care Covid Alliance), a group of international doctors and scientists who have developed highly-successful protocols for the treatment of Covid. I have seen these protocols work first hand, but they are against the narrative of governments, corporations, and media, including social media. Our chronically-ill housekeeper was hours from being hospitalized with Covid, only for a lack of a bed, but her critically-ill suffering was reversed overnight by human-grade, over-the-counter Ivermectin purchased at a local pharmacy, for pennies. Cynthia and I, well within the highest mortality age bracket, have followed the FLCCC protocols and have not had so much as a sneeze these past few years. The FLCCC can be found, uncensored, at FLCCC.net and on Odysee.com. Ivermectin is off patent and wouldn’t make billions upon billions for Pfiser and others. When the evening news is heavily sponsored by drug companies, the conflict of interest screams in your face. Don’t fall for the “horse paste” false narrative!
Yet more are the many independent YouTubers who day-after-day covered first hand the Canadian truckers convoy. They were on the ground, interviewing truckers and giving honest coverage of the protest. But they did not fit the government, corporate news and social media narrative and were demonetized and highly censored. Mainstream media gave an opposite narrative on the nightly news, however almost none of these news outlets had feet on the ground nor cameras in hands.
It’s not just YouTube that is censorious. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; I have closed all my accounts for the same reason.
Not related to social media, but what about Amazon Alexa and Siri and the like? They listen and send every word and conversation within earshot to their data centers. This isn’t paranoia. The facts are known. Cynthia and I were starting to speak in code, as if there was a young child in the room. What are they doing with this knowledge? All to know you better my dear, and sell and market you and your data, of course. I don’t want Big Tech to know my every thought. I trust them as far as I can throw a piano. I told Alexa to clean out her desk and leave the property. I had security show her the door (a gentle persuasion with a sledge hammer was involved).
Add to all of this, Apple, Google, and you name it track our every geographic move, our every social media post, our every purchase, search every photo for where we are and who we associate with (facial recognition for our convenience, of course, they say). They can and do do this to us, to the media we view, and what our religious and political beliefs are. All this data is sliced and diced, shared with government three-letter agencies, and sold to the highest bidder, all the better to sell us stuff we don’t need and don’t want. We all now have a tracking device on our person at almost all times. All of this is marketed as convenience. That is a lie.
I just bought a new phone and will soon deGoogle it. It is more work, but the game they are playing is convenience (with tracking for their profit) verses our privacy. Convenience is a trap. I’m opting for privacy.
Knowledge is power. Any entity that has this much knowledge of us can control us. They can and do control what we see on the Internet and even control what we think by feeding us what they want us to consume. The YouTuber “Rob Braxman Tech” is a good one to cut your teeth on when it comes to online and cell phone privacy. No, I don’t have anything to hide from these entities, but I don’t have anything that I want to share with them either.
Like a hobby, I’ve pretty much kept up with the growth of tech. But now I am rethinking it. Big Tech has divided us into smaller and smaller groups, pitting family member against family member and friend against friend. Social media causes envy and depression, significantly in girls. All this division and diversion has a purpose — to turn us into obedient consumers and citizens with digital IDs and social credit scores, all in the name of convenience. The internet and social media is still young. I shudder at what is to come. A good way to think about it is, if we don’t pay for it (Facebook, etc.), then we are the product. Time to reread 1984.
I am old enough to remember that social media meant running into someone at the post office, or having the landline phone ring on the telephone table in the front hall. Now we are being told that we can’t live without all this convenience, all of it at the expense of our privacy. I’m not okay with that.
Because of this censorship, which I consider the equivalent of book burning, plus theft of our personal data, plus other social media ills, I am protesting against YouTube and etc. in my small way, joining a growing movement, and will soon delete my YouTube channel (it has some 200+videos on it). And without the embedded YouTube videos on my blog, the blog will not be the same. If I have anything to video in the future, I’ll post it to Odysee.com.
I still have all the photos and videos from our projects triple backed up, and Cynthia and I enjoy going down memory lane from time to time. But we rarely go back and read my verbose text on this site.
I’ll push the delete button on this blog on or about the end of May, 2022. It will vaporize into digital nothingness. I set this date to give you time to read this so that you don’t wonder if I fell off a cliff. No. I jumped.
To those of you who have subscribed and followed our wonderful folly over these years, thank you very much. I have enjoyed writing this blog as my diary, knowing that you were reading over my shoulder. I enjoyed reading and responding to each and every one of your comments.
I wish you all well. Hasta luego. Fred.