Nate Dickson Thinks...

Small Thoughts for a Quiet World.

I've been on Twitter for a long time, but today I finally closed my account.

This wasn't a decision I made easily. I've learned a lot of good things on Twitter. I've had some good connections start through twitter. A few part time gigs I did back in the day started as Twitter DMs.

But lately I've been doing a little experiment. Every time I let myself look on twitter, I stop when I'm done, and ask myself, “do I feel better or worse than I did when I opened this site?” The answer has been uniformly negative for a long time now.

I've tried to change that. I've stopped following a lot of accounts that were mainly negative, even if the person or entity was one I liked. I've muted just so many accounts, mostly ones that were followed by people I follow, who were harmful to my mental health. I set my “home” to Japan, because I can't read Japanese, thus stopping twitter from showing me news that would further stress me out.

But it's not enough, and in the end I decided it will never be enough. I don't think Twitter can be saved, at least not for me.

Instead I'm focusing on actual people with whom I have actual connections, and on small, intentional online communities.

Thoughts? Tell me about them!
on Mastodon | on Twitter

These are the things that have been occupying my mind lately. Which is a change, because for most of my life I haven't really thought about them at all. They've just been part of life. But suddenly I'm facing them and thinking about them, and, in between moments of panic and stress, learning to appreciate them.


So, no more sugar, far fewer carbs for me, at least for a while, until I can get my relationship with food under control. Which isn't fun. But there's not a good reason to keep looking back, that's just a good way to be discontent.

So it's time to start looking for new better things. Things I can eat and like.


I have a routine now, more than ever, and out of necessity.

For years my motto has been:

Such power there is in clear-eyed self restraint —James Russell Lowell

But honestly, I've been less “powerful” than I could be because my self restraint has been just enough to keep going.


Music is the thin, vibrating line between me and insanity, many days. Being able to channel my emotions into something, anything, has been a requisite activity. Anyway, on with the post.

I learned that Plex has the ability to create “Smart Playlistsa la iTunes back in the day when we all used iTunes. I never used that feature to the fullest, but I did enjoy it.


For a choice to have meaning It must also have cost: There must be something selected And something else lost. —Nate Dickson

Listening to music on streaming services gives us the fatigue of having everything, but not being able to decide what we want out of the mess.


When writing the Jala Jones stories, I came up with two different ways to do faster-than-light travel in Jala's universe.

These both played a part in Chapter 4 until they were cut almost entirely. But they were fun to write and I didn't want to waste them. So here you go!


David Tennant's logo

David Tennant Does a Podcast With... has a charmingly simple premise: David Tennant interviews someone on his podcast. They chat for about an hour. There are so many podcasts like that, of course. The magic in this one is David Tennant.


Shaving your face (should that be a thing you need/choose to do) is one of those perfect activities to ritualize, because the criteria for success are so simple:

  1. Have less hair on your face than when you started
  2. Don't bleed too much or for too long.

That's it! Success is defined solely by those two metrics. No matter how well or poorly you do the job, you're going to do it again before too long. So you can safely obsess about all the various methods and accouterments, safe in the knowledge that they make very, very little difference.

So I'm going to!


Might And Magic Heroes VII Cover Art

I've played every Heroes of Might and Magic game, and loved all of them except for Might and Magic: Heroes VI, UbiSoft's terrible mauling of the entire game in the service of their horrible Uplay network. So when they released Might and Magic: Heroes VII I basically ignored it. I figured it was probably more of the same.


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