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Becoming social

Following xkcd #918, I have joined google+. What's google+? To paraphrase that brilliant webcomic, "it's like facebook, but it's not facebook".

That's an important distinction if you have any privacy, moral, or pragmatic concerns. Facebook is a bad company. Their "walled garden" approach -- in terms of users' private data, as well as applications and casual browsing -- does actual harm to the idea of a global internet. Even if you have no romantic or philosophical notions of the "flow of information", such walled gardens are simply harmful on a practical level. When (not if) something unquestionably better than facebook comes around, you'll lose a lot of data if you use facebook.

(why am I certain that something better than facebook will arrive? That's simply the history of computing. Every software project is supplanted eventually; thinking that software XYZ is the pinnacle of human-computer interaction is the sheerest folly. Something better than facebook, something better than google+, something better than mutt or vim or python, is always bound to happen. Maybe not in 5 years or 10 or 20 years, but it will happen)

Anyway, you can "plus me" (if that's the verb we're going to use) here. Invitations available for people I know who want to join.