Is Using Two Phones Goofy?

My Pixel 2XL just got the last update it will receive, and I saw a deal for a $49 Moto G Power, so I grabbed it. It seems fine. The Moto is a little bit worse than my 3 year old phone in every way except the screen and battery are bigger. And it has a headphone jack!

I booted up the Moto G Power without syncing my apps and whatnot…and then I started deleting Google Drive, Google Sheets, etc. It felt really nice without years of clutter.

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De-Googling My Brain

I saw this post shared on twitter today called “Time to Say Goodbye to Google Fonts“, which shows that there is no reason to use Google’s CDN for Google fonts (unless you’re lazy, like I’ve been), and you should set up self hosting your fonts for speed (something I’m going to have to figure out for this site once I pick fonts).

It made me think about how I’m not using Google Analytics on this site, and maybe I shouldn’t start.

Also, I’m going to avoid embedding Youtube videos.

I might get a Vimeo account for embeds, and I will of course link to Youtube videos, and you can go watch them on Youtube, if you choose to. I just don’t really want to subject my readers / viewers / myself to Google’s recommendation engine, if it’s not necessary. And it’s not. I can make “content” without Youtube embeds.

I don’t think any of these things are necessarily harmful, either. And in fact, they make life easier. This feels like the right choice, though. I don’t think we should let a few companies just have their claws on every part of the web.

Changing Habits – Firefox.

In pandemic lockdown 1.0, I got my email boxes down to “inbox zero”, and now I can clean out my emails in less than 20 minutes, give or take like ~10 emails that I will have to take action on.

It took several slogging days to get to that state. I just got into a trance, and worked through it, not knowing if it was important or worth the effort.

I had to think of and implement organizational systems. Make judgements about delete vs archive criteria. Unsubscribe from things. Make filter rules for things.

For my brain it was worth it. Even when I fall behind on my email now, I just have to put my head down and clean it up. Today, I just got it down to 5 emails, while writing this. I had to stop and clean it up. I felt like a hypocrite leaving it unchecked over black friday and whatnot.

This year, I also took a few stabs at trying to get my Notion workflow right, and although I’m not there yet, there is a huge difference between the content in Notion that got a full effort from me, and that which is just link dumps. I should “adopt a page” every day and just keep making it better. Today I had to do set up something in git and I wanted to make sure I did it right, and low and behold, I had every step beautifully laid out in Notion already. Much better than typing something into google…

Anyway, it’s Lockdown 2.0. Yay…

Right now in December 2020, I’m trying to operate under some new principles (this is my first first-draft):

  • Leave as little fingerprint as possible.
  • Stay away from algorithmic, programmatic, or “trending” content recommendations. Be deliberate about my consumption.
  • Try to build things with these in mind.

Changing my Browser Habits

Firefox sells itself as a privacy browser, and I decided to embrace that. If I need “less security”, I can open up something else (I have Firefox Dev Edition for website work, and Chromium). I don’t have a VPN service yet (someone send me a free lifetime vpn account and maybe i’ll set up an affiliate account and monetize).

Without the VPN, I’m trying to get the following things set up right in Firefox:

  • Set up the Preferences and Plugins in Firefox to be as secure and private as I can without breaking too much (and not just adblocking and robbing content creators of their cut).
  • Set up my Bookmarks so I can browse deliberately and avoid recommendations or google’s search engine unless necessary.
  • Follow a system of opening tabs in Containers to prevent cookie and tracking malarky from site to site.
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