A story of MeWe and the bad actors who now call it home.

The world of social media is only about 17 years old. If we set the clock rolling with MySpace, which broke ground in 2003, we’re looking at a system of global communication that’s still an adolescent. And, like any late-teen looking to figure out life, social media is encountering some unpleasant truths about the world.

MeWe is considered one of the “newcomers” to the social media sphere, founded in 2012 as “Sgrouples” (a name they did right in abandoning). They’re privacy-focused social networking and messaging service, ostensibly trying to provide the same (or better) features as Facebook, but without the…

The whole thing started when an inventor named Joe Woodland sketched Morse Code in the sandy shore of a beach

It’s a point of incredible curiosity how similar inventions can be created by different people who have never met, and it’s incredible how different approaches to the same problem build upon each other to create some better and ore unique than any of the individual parts. Both of these processes can be found at work in the history of the barcode.

It’s such a common part of modern life that it’s easy to forget that the bar code only took off in the 1980s. But the whole thing started when an inventor named Joe Woodland sketched Morse Code in the…

A good YouTube alternative is hard to find.

Datamining is the practice by which almost all so-called “free services” operate, and plenty of paid services like Amazon amass such an indescribable amount of information about its users as to be nearly unthinkable. But what can be done to return control of users’ data to the people?

In the last few months I’ve been on a consistent hunt for the sort of projects that offer an alternative. There are few good contenders with Amazon, unfortunately, given their total monopoly over certain aspects of the commerce net. I can’t go to many other online retailers and find (A) the breadth…

A home improvement crafting project: The perfect DIY upgrade for an old and janky kitchen.

Our apartment is pretty janky, and that’s actually being somewhat kind — my understanding is that it was built in the 90s but it feels as if it were a monster from the 70s school of crummy architecture. As such, there are numerous problems with it (not the least being the micro-cracks that appear in the walls every time there’s a small earthquake nearby), but we’ve found ways to make it all work.

Living in our county, one of the most expensive in the world, is not easy, so finding ways to make the situation we have work out as…

As Explored Through J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien considered the creation of his fantasy geography to be of utmost importance, not merely an accompaniment to the creation of deep fictional linguistic traditions, social histories, and mythology but tied to those elements so that each informs the other. For Tolkien, the creation of a detailed geography informed the very societies of his story; the interplay of society and geography created the depth of his world. …

How we got here and were we are going

During my undergraduate degree, I asked Professor Noam Chomsky if he thought that the Internet might prove to be an inherently anarchist community, to which he replied with the following:

“It was designed that way and functioned that way as long as it was within the public sector (first Pentagon, then National Science Foundation) (much of it in the lab at MIT where I was working). Since it was privatized 20 years ago, that has been less and less true, in many ways.”

Whatever the temporally-local political implications of the Internet, however, there can be absolutely no doubt that its…

So why is this most effective transportation technology not used more in the United States?

The first locomotive powered by steam was invented in 1804 and forever changed the way human beings would relate to distance. Distant cities would become reachable in days or even hours, and the rail was affordable enough to allow even the poorer classes to travel extensively and find better prospects for work or better locations to settle (a before perilous and extremely difficult task). Before the steam train, the fastest mode of overland transportation was the mail coach, pulled by a team of fresh horses, which could reach the breathtaking pace of 7 miles per hour. When steam locomotion entered…

How can we experience the numinous in a world like ours?

Does Joseph Campbell’s advice to “follow your bliss” apply in a capitalistic world? That phrase arose from Campbell’s study of the ancient mythologies of the world. As he dove deep into the religions and folktales of our species, he discovered a core focus on self-betterment and internal growth, as well as a sense of direction and focus, in life, that came from seeing ourselves as part of a story.

There are many stories at work today; it’s easy to become immersed in “content” in a wide variety of genres, just as it’s easy to reinvent yourself within the confines of…

Featuring an important update to our submissions process.

Welcome to our first newsletter!

Read on for news, important updates, and links to some of our favorite recent articles!

Socrates Café on Medium (SCM) has grown marvelously during the last year and we’re really excited to see all the incredible talent displayed by our writers, and all the insightful comments made by readers. As an organization affiliated with the Socrates Cafe non-profit organization, our goal is to foment dialogue and interconnection in society… this last year, despite all that’s been occurring (or perhaps because of it) we feel like that mission is thriving.

Submissions change!

This is a big one if you submit work to us…

Noam Chomsky is one of the most cited scholars alive today and his work has played a vital role in linguistic, cognitive sciences, philosophy, and politics

In the cult 2016 film Captain Fantastic lead character Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) lifts the mood when he celebrates “Noam Chomsky Day” early with his children. “Uncle Noam it’s the day of your birth!” the children sing; a rousing and hilarious chorus followed by cake.

The thing is, Noam Chomsky should be celebrated, and in an age of anti-intellectualism, this celebration becomes all the more important.

Why has this one man been awarded honorary doctorates from over a dozen universities internationally, had his name used as the eponym for a species of bee, and been voted the “world’s leading public…

Odin Halvorson

Odin Halvorson is a poet and published short-story author seeking to make the world a better place by beginning with himself.

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