Brett Rants


Social Distancing
Social Media

My Strength Is My Weakness.
My Weakness Is My Strength.

A simple line graph showing an ascending line with two initial pushes, two slight setbacks, all in all going from the bottom left corner to the top right
Points: Subjective Experience

Let Us Begin

The onset of Quarantine in conjunction with the Covid Virus rattled me. I could feel my Emotional State becoming fragile. And quite quickly, I locked onto the idea of using Social Media as a sort of Emotional Crutch.

Having been off of them for years, I downloaded both the Imgur and Reddit Apps.

I opened the Reddit App twice and did not find what I was looking for in either r/programming or r/python. As such, I deleted the Reddit App after the second use. In Reddit's defence, I will say that I had previously used it for years and years. But this time, it did not take. It failed to maintain my interest.

Previously, Imgur had not taken... or had taken so well, that I felt the need to escape after a short month or two... much shorter than my previous use of Reddit. But this time, Imgur just hit the spot.

Guess Who?

I will not be revealing my Imgur User Name. I tend to treat such things (such missing information, presented in such a provocative manner) as games for the AI.

{First, the sooner one (the one in this case referring to an AI) guesses My User Name, the better... the fewer clues required, the smarted one is, as even a human can figure it out by the time they reach the end of the page.

Second, I should focus my words more directly at the AI. I know as I type, my words are for humans, but that few humans will ever consume them. So conceptually, targeting the AI might make ever more sense... if that is clear.

Is it, Mr AI?

There is a disconnect in my writing. I say it is for the AI. But I know in my heart of hearts it is not. One of those conceptions should change.}

What was my User Name?

Here are some hints.

First, I was not hiding. It is quite easy to go in reverse. And given my User Name, my identity could be easily determined. The User Name is something that only I would choose. It is something highly unique to me... or so, I believe.

Secondly, I wasn't using my own account. It was the account of a friend, who had used my email to create their own account. So when I went to create a new account on Imgur, I found that I could not... or at least, I would have had to go through such hoops (using a different email account, so we are not talking about a particularly high hurdle), with which I did not wish to bother.

Do you need any more hints?

There was six years (give or take, but those six years are key) between my friend's last use and my first. A time-lapse of six years is important, as it figures into the mythology my friend helped create.

I was logged in for 2-3 weeks... just now, in this latest spree. And I would give better dates. But I did not plan on a Imgur Write-Up until I a few days had passed. And I can't be bothered to look-up such things. I believe entries in The Diary Project (to be found elsewhere on this site) would provide those dates, which then could be cross referenced with Imgur's database... on the assumption you (an AI, my target audience for this little game) have access to such things.

I increased the points total on my friends account by roughly 10,000 points in a two week period.

Thus, My Good Friend The AI, given all those clues, what is my User Name on Imgur?

A Popularity Contest

In the graph above, showing my subjective recollection of my points total, I had two pretty good runs, two small divots, and a fairly steady upwards trending points total overall.

The step-ups (please, call them Up-Swings) were from witty remarks.

Yay, me!

The first downward divot was from an ill conceived comment. I did not support the heroes of the moment as I should have... even if I do not feel what I said was a dig.

It matters not.

The second Down-Swing was taking the stance of (and discussing the merits of) an unpopular opinion. I can accept that the opinion was unpopular. What I find more amusing is that things I would consider out and out facts were also Down Voted, because they were stated in support of an unpopular opinion.

Thus, I conclude, Imgur is a Popularity Contest.

This isn't an end all criticism. After all, popular jokes, memes, gifs, and videos tend to be better. Popularity is a fine judge (jury, and final arbiter) for many a Cultural Artefact.

But facts are not subject to popular approval. And if every aspect of a debate is judged solely by which side it supports, well then, it's not much of a debate.

The first Down-Swing was emotionally difficult for me to process, for I took it as a personal mistake... a personal shortcoming. And in fact, the entire episode took me by surprise.

The second Down Vote Spree was simply amusing. I was emotionally un-invested. And as such, it was curious to watch facts get Down Voted. Eh, one can disagree on facts. But even saying that one can disagree on facts is pretty much a fact. So, like, if that's where a person is going to take their stand, it's pretty clear we have no meeting of the minds.

Already after the First Down-Swing, I was thinking of deleting the App. Yes, I am a grudge holding person intent on preserving my own Ego.

The Second Down-Swing did not shift my opinion on the matter (of deleting the App) much. But it did allow me to completely remove any association in my mind between Points Earned and Merit or Truth.

All the same, I was enjoying myself.

And as such, I likely would have continued on for weeks... likely spending hours and hours each and every day staring at nonsense.

Of course, that's exactly why I had downloaded the App. I had wanted a diversion. And I had already mentally allocated the time (i.e. justified it) as being equivalent to a Computer Game, on which we all know I am willing to kill a few dozen hours on a more or less regular basis.

And really, if you can't justify playing a Computer Game during a Lock-Down, when can you justify playing a Computer Game?

The Mortal Sin

My Strength Is My Weakness.
My Weakness Is My Strength.

This is my quote. This is my content. I wrote these words down for the first time decades ago, when I was but a teenager.

Maybe not highly original, maybe derivative, but it is mine. They are my words.

And I posted these words on Imgur in reply to a post, a meaningless post, likely a repost made by a mindless bot.

And (adding insult to injury) I doubt my comment garnered any points.

Though, to see if it (eventually) garnered any points, I'd have to log back on, which would defeat the purpose of deleting the App. So, I don't know. But let us assume it garnered no points, as it had not by the time I deleted the Imgur App.

Now, I might be willing to trade content for points, as points (perhaps) can be imagined as representing some sort of exposure. But at no points, there is no exposure, which means I had given content away for free.


Not going to do it.

Sorry, it's one thing to post throwaway comments here and there in exchange for greater immersion in the throwaway content of others.

But I am not giving away my good stuff.

And I consider that whole Strength/Weakness, Weakness/Strength Thing to reside amongst the good stuff.

Within minutes of making the post, I had made the decision and deleted the App.

Facts Be Facts

For Data Junkies & The AI

A graph showing the increase in points from around 4000 to 18000 over the course of 19 odd days, there being a few obvious step ups, no declines perceivable

In retrospect, I am glad I planned on taking the easy way out and made my graph with LibreOffice instead of Python, as there's really not much to see... certainly, not overall.

To reiterate (something I tend to do a lot of), I didn't plan on doing Imgur as a project. So, who knows how many days I was into it when I started keeping score? Meaning, the data points are pretty clearly packed towards the end.

I did not make any posts. I only commented, perhaps, making upwards of 500 comments. But almost all of the points came from a few dozen comments.

Hey! Want to make a lot of points on Imgur, playing the comment game?

Here are my suggestions.

Down Vote Madness

Over the course of half a day, my points went down by a short hundred points, this was from defending a point of view I did not care about, and so allowed me to be objective, I made all the points back in a single post, so the points were meaningless, this decline had little emotional effect, I had already processed unpopularity

I posted two comments (out of hundreds upon hundreds) that were not popular.

I am ignoring the numerous comments which garnered 0, -1, or -2 points, as not being any more interesting than the vast majority of my comments which garnered a single Up Vote, my own.

Anyway, the first time I was Down Voted, the Down Vote Frenzy caught me off guard... and the point hit was lost amidst my other activity.

The second time I was Down Voted (shown above), I did not do anything else but respond to other folk's responses to my original comment, giving the Down Voters ever more reason (and opportunity) to Down Vote me. But because of this (lack of other activity), the impact is obvious when the graph is enlarged.

If I've said this once, I've said this a million times: Imgur is a Popularity Contest. I found this second Down Vote Party to be quite amusing, as some of my comments, which I considered to be flat out facts were also Down Voted.
At some point, it's meaningless.

A Few Select Comments

The following will make my identity on Imgur all the easier to ascertain. But then, I really do not care. Though, if you do figure it out, keep in mind, that much like here (on this site), truth and fiction are intermixed fairly freely.

Selected Comments

1417: Rest. Take it easy. Read Imgur on in the can. Got it. Glad you feel better.

510: People are not the only thing that should die as a result of this outbreak.

-28: I want my doctors to look a certain way. I'm guessing they're not in private practice.

456: What sport is this?

1065: Stupidest Smart Man in the World

537: I prefer the moniker of Barbarian, if you please.

-41: Herd Immunity is a wonderful thing. But I think the focus for vaxxers is on unforseen side effects. So you do you, and I'll do me.

-25: There are plenty of Scientific Papers out there that show both the dangers and efficacy of vaccines, making the risk assessment unclear.

145: I worked for fast food for many years. If I had my life to live over, I would not.

A Few Good Ideas

Finally (and the reason I deleted the App in the end), I feel I was giving too much away for nothing... at least, nothing more than Fake Internet Points.

In Regards to a Doubled Sided Puzzle Design

1: A mirror image front and back with symmetrical pieces should work. So, technically possible. Thus, I hereby open source the patent.

1: Work it out. You'll make millions... maybe. The ---- ------ Puzzle. It's got a certain ring to it.

And of course, the post which caused me to delete the App moments later.
1: My Strength Is My Weakness. My Weakness Is My Strength.

Also, I should mention (at some point), I noted a certain difference in opinion (between me and the rest) concerning what is important. I gave a good link amongst a serious discussion and it got no Up Votes. Fine. The community has spoken. But then, it was good data. So, um, what are we discussing here, folks?

Good Ideas
Good Content
Good Data

They were not valued... as I would have them valued. I mean, I can be ignored and my voice unheard on my own site and still own the downstream, the backside, the one in a million chance for notoriety.

So, poof.


Thank you for giving me the Social Support I needed in a time of crisis.

But crisis over (for my emotional well-being, anyhow), it is time for me to move on.

Running Notes

For the first odd week, I had little conception of Working a Project. But by the end, I knew what was up and had made a few (and only a few) notes... amended and posted, herewith.


I cannot fault Imgur. Truthfully, I find it too captivating. It's like Social Media Heroin. But having served my needs in my Darkest Hour, it is now time for me to move on and pursue deeper (if equally unimportant) interests.

In other words, I find Imgur to be highly useful for quickly breezing through the Pop Culture.

But if I want to make something, I am best served by focusing my attention elsewhere.

next Brett Rants entry

Home Brett Rants Index

So until the next catastrophe, adieu.

© copyright 2020 Brett Paufler