It’s been a while since I did one of these. luna-puella asked me these questions:
1. You have picked up a lot of hobbies over the years. Which was your favourite?
I will have to go with tabletop RPGs here, because it’s the most long-lived and thus seems to be the best fit for me. I have been playing ttrpgs for 35 years now, and there are no signs of slowing down. My tastes have changed (a lot!) but that’s what keeps it fresh.
2. What do you think is the keyIf behind a successful marriage?
Ultimately, I think it is respect. It is in the many, very mundane, ways you can make your partner’s life better by cooperating with them. What that looks like depends on you, but for us it’s doing our share of chores, working around (or with!) our respective neuroses and supporting each other.
Of course, love is a prerequisite — but respect makes marriages last.
3. What’s your pet peeve in the design of social media sites?
I was going to protest that I haven’t really used all that many social media sites, but then I realized that I have been using systems that would be considered social media today, even before the term ‘social media’ existed…
If we’re talking about interface design, then my requirements are simple: I want the content I am interested in, delivered in a constant stream. So I want smooth scrolling by keyboard, something that the web interface of Mastodon has a bit of trouble with, for instance. If you interact with a toot (favouriting or boosting, for instance), then that toot is ‘selected’ and the arrow down selects the next one. Which is fine, but on my little 10″ laptop not every toot fits on the screen in one go, and it is annoying to have to click outside of the list of toots in order to be able to scroll with the arrow keys again.
If we’re talking about the algorithmic design (which content the site is delivering), then I think it is safe to say that corporate-owned social media is a blight upon mankind and must be completely eradicated. It was a very bad idea to leave our public discourse in the hands of a privately-owned company.
4. If you were absolute king for a day (not encumbered by democratic legislative processes), what law would you push through?
Universal Basic Income. I can’t think of a single thing that would improve the lives of… basically everyone more than UBI.
Maybe a 100% tax on anything over 1 billion (or maybe even 100 million) could be a part of that? There’s enough money, it’s just not distributed in a way that maximizes its effects.
5. If you could pass on one recommendation (book, movie, life lesson), what would it be?
World Peace Is Possible.
There’s nothing magical about world peace: if everyone stopped fighting, we could achieve world peace within an hour! The trick is, then, to create the circumstances in which people do not fight, and everyone, every day, can make choices that bring us closer to world peace. But for that to happen, people need to realise that world peace is achievable and desirable — and now you know, so now you can start making those choices.
(Example: I work in Enterprise Content Management, in order to bring world peace closer. Because things like agreements and contracts are written down and stored in ECM systems, and having that information available and trackable reduces the number of conflicts people have about whatever was agreed upon — thereby reducing the number of reasons for people to fight. Is it a stretch? Perhaps. But it’s true, if you think about it. And everyone can make choices like that, every day.)
Thank you for the thoughtful questions, luna-puella! And if any of you want to play too, comment and I’ll give you five questions to answer!