Thoughts on 2015 and Beyond
Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 9:45 AM
Bradtastic in 2015, 2016, Personal, blogging, news, politics, writing

Another year flew by.

I keep thinking about what to say about 2015, but can’t think of anything honestly positive and pithy. Was it a great year? It was definitely a roller coaster year, individually and collectively.

Personally, I started doing a lot of different little things; online poker (No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games and some tournaments), Hearthstone, more consulting… of course there’s still design work. I’ve settled into Reno, NV and have developed a sort of a routine here. I’ve been thinking about streaming and talking about games a bit more, I’ve been a bit more involved in magic. I’ve been working on a lot of new projects.

Collectively, 2015 was a mixed year. Donald Trump took over US politics like a WWE Superstar and started bitchslapping everyone. I’m not a supporter, but politics has never been more entertaining. SpaceX did what was seemingly impossible. Islamic terrorists killed a bunch of people and the media took notice. Sort of. (Boko Haram is still operating under the radar, enslaving, raping and killing people in Africa.)

The world feels more intolerant than ever. I get that the world tends to always get better while people always think that things are getting worse, but I’ve never felt more disconnected from people with opposing views. It’s as if, worldwide, the culture has shifted toward outrage and extremism and discussion has become anathema.

I don’t see a lot of two-way communication between opposing ideologies. Unless it’s mudslinging and character attacks. Everything is a soundbite or a YouTube clip. Facebook is just an echo chamber, with unfriending and unfollowing occurring over “micro aggressions” and statements perceived as “intolerant.” We’re teaching younger people about “trigger warnings” and we’re communicating with emojis more frequently than words. I don’t like the censorship — especially self-censorship.

I get that people don’t want to feel offended when interacting online, but it seems like people are being offended too frequently… and frankly, that’s offensive!

As a society, we’re asking people to apologize for every flippant or off-color (wait, is that a microagression or racist?) remark. I wish people would stop it. Stop asking, and stop apologizing. Deal with it.

Also, I don’t believe that people are as offended as they say they are — I think people just want something to be angry about. It makes me want to say more “offensive” things more often, and I know I’m not the only one. Thus, the divide increases…

Really, I’m not sure what to write about here anymore. I haven’t been particularly interested in technology. Though I wrote about it quite a bit, this was never really a politics blog. There have been a few new apps that I think are pretty cool, so I could share those, but I haven’t found myself inspired to write about tech. It doesn’t seem fun. I’m not sure what Says Brad is anymore.

However, I am interested in relaunching bradtastic.com because although tech products haven’t really excited me, some things on the web have. There are a lot of little things that I find that I think others would like to see, too. So I’m working on that.

I want the site to look modern, so I’ve been sorting through a bunch of video clips that I can use for a background and have been collecting interesting links to share, I’ve been writing little articles about things that I like (and why). And, I think I can distill everything down to five or six categories.

Frankly, I’m tired of just posting everything at facebook. I’d rather have my own dedicated spot. And without a website that I feel really compelled to update, I forget about things like Pinterest. Once I have a site that looks and feels good, I’ll probably want to chime in about tech again, too.

All that said, I think 2016 is going to be a great year.

I’ll finally be able to share some of the projects that I’ve been working on for months, and new stuff keeps springing to life. We’re amidst a new political cycle and everyone is going to crank up the speakers and stoke the flames.

To end on a tech note, if you have a Mac, get Ulysses if you don’t already have it. It’s an indispensable app, and likely the best writing app ever made.

Article originally appeared on Says Brad: Life, Technology and Design by @bradtastic (http://saysbrad.com/).
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