Will the Tech Industry’s Obsession for Disruption End my Blogging

July 31, 2020

UPDATE July 29, 2020

It looks like my regular blogging days are over with my four WordpPress blogs. Taking advice from a comment, I Googled how to get the Classic Editor back from WordPress.

Here is what I found:

WordPress – Change Back To Classic Editor View

  1. Go to Plugins section.
  2. Search for Classic Editor.
  3. Click Install Now.
  4. Click Activate.
  5. When done, locate the plugin and click Settings.
  6. Do whatever changes you want, I want the Classic Editor to be the default editor, to the plugin and click Save Changes.

However, once I found Classic Editor to install it again, WordPress stopped me with: “Upgrade to the Business Plan to install upgrades.” Without paying that price, I wasn’t going to be allowed to “Install Now” and “Activate” the Classic Editor.

That monthly fee was $25 or $300 annually. That is not going to happen. I refuse to pay $300 a year to WordPress to get the Classic Editor back after I was allegedly tricked into clicking a button that replaced the Classic Editor with the Block Editor I did not want. I didn’t see any warning that by clicking that button, I was going to lose the Classic Editor and have to pay $300 annually to get it back. I thought it was a preview, and if I didn’t like it, I could just stay with Classic Editor. I guess that is not how WordPress greed works.

That does not mean I will close my four blogs. I will continue to pay the domain name fees to keep the blogs active on WordPress (unless the fees are increased and end up too costly), but I will not be publishing fresh content using that “FUCKING” Block Editor. That includes the three posts I already wrote in Word to publish during August 2020.

The Original Post Continues from this point.

Last Saturday, July 18, 2020, my blogging was disrupted by WordPress, and my temper, calm for months, exploded.  Before the COVID-19 pandemic I had lunch with friends every week and joined others in group meet ups. Thanks to the virus, I have lived alone since March 13. No one has visited me, and I have visited no one. Zoom, e-mails, phone calls, and WebEx help but cannot replace face-to-face visits.

Back to July 18 when I logged onto my iLookChina.net blog to schedule three new posts for August, my first thought when I saw the new editing page for WordPress was, “What the FUCK!”

I complained to WordPress and the little help they offered did nothing to end the stress from the disruption they caused.

I learned that WordPress was changing the Classic Editor I had been using for a decade to a Block Editor (whatever that is).  From what I saw, I did not like the Block Editor and that feeling has not changed.

I was comfortable using the Classic Editor. I have better thangs to do than be forced to learn something new that stresses me out.

On Sunday, July 19, I wrote an angry letter expressing my frustration to Matthew Charles Mullenweg, the Founder and CEO of WordPress.  When I write an angry letter, I never mail the rough draft. I wait a few days and then revise to filter out the worst of my anger. But that rough draft will never be revised and mailed to Mr. Mullenweg. Instead, that letter has been added to this post.

Matthew Charles Mullenweg, Founder and CEO of WordPress

WordPress Corporate Office Headquarters Automatic, Inc.
60 29th Street #343
San Francisco, California 94110-4929

Dear Mr. Mullenweg:

This morning I attempted to start scheduling the August 2020 posts for my https://ilookchina.com/ blog [806,254 hits/visits], and ran into an “alleged” improvement to the page where bloggers like me create their posts and schedule them.   The changes to the WordPress editing page were so drastic that I couldn’t complete that task.  I did not know what to do. I was lost. All the old menus were gone. I did see how I would upload a photo from one of the files on my desktop. I am not in the mood to learn how to use the new and disruptive Block Editor that is replacing the Classic Editor.

I always write my blog posts offline and copy and paste them into the Classic Editor that I have been using for a decade for all four of my WordPress Blogs.

Here are my other three blogs:

https://lloydlofthouse.org/ [92,621 hits/visits]

https://crazynormaltheclassroomexpose.com/ [121,597 hits/visits]

https://thesoulfulveteran.com/ [238,261 hits/visits]

Why do I want the Classic Editor back?

WordPress just became the flaming straw that set off the fuse to my explosive anger. Somehow I managed to stay calm since March while billions of people around the world (including you) are struggling to avoid dying of COVID-19. Last month, when the electrical circuits in my garage blew out, I still managed to stay calm. Then last week, my HVAC system stopped cooling my house in the middle of a heat wave. That HVAC was a new system installed in 2017 for $18k, but I still did not flip my lid.

Then along came WordPress with its NEW Block Editor.

Why change something that was working? Why not set up an easy to find button where we are allowed to keep the old design over the new one? What is wrong with you guys? Keep it simple. Do not change the old so drastically that it becomes stressful to deal with.

In the short term, stress can leave us anxious, tearful and struggling to sleep. But over time, continuously feeling frazzled could trigger heart attacks, strokes, and even suicidal thoughts. “In short, yes, stress can kill you,” – The American Institute of Stress

In case you don’t know it, change is not always good.

Sincerely (not really, I’m too angry to feel sincere),
Lloyd Lofthouse


High levels of cortisol caused by stress over a long period of time wreak havoc on your brain.

A few days after writing the letter to Matthew Charles Mullenweg, I read a piece from The San Francisco Chronicle. There’s a name for tech’s attitude problem: toxic positivity, Silicon Valley’s obsession with disruption and destruction of the existing order and evangelical embrace of the new. It’s better on the other side of the river, we promise … in recent years, that’s become its own kind of orthodoxy, where the only appropriate response to new technology, according to the insiders of Silicon Valley, is cheerleading. Criticism of technology isn’t viewed as rational skepticism by those for whom innovation has become a religion; it’s heresy.”

Forbes also published a piece on this topic. “The Myths of Disruption: How Should You Really Respond to Emerging Technologies? Disruption may be the most overused term in the business lexicon today. Every startup wants to disrupt the established order. Every incumbent is scared of being disrupted. Disruption is a rallying cry or a bogeyman, depending on where you sit. And no one is immune: if an executive dares to suggest that their industry is free from the threat of disruption, they are accused of being short-sighted or in denial, and heading the way of the Titanic or the T-Rex. I find this obsession with disruption a little disturbing. “

Years ago, I started rebelling against technology’s forced disruption.

I bought two Kindle e-readers. Then a couple of years later, I returned to reading books printed on paper and my kindles have been gathering dust ever since. Old fashioned books do not have batteries that need to be recharged and do not have software to update. This is ironic since the novels I have published have sold more than 60,000 e-books through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other bookselling sites.

The new should always be easier to use than the old.

I had a smartphone once, and after a couple of years I turned it in for a dumb phone. I do not text. I do not run around taking smartphone videos and photographs of myself. My dumb phone gets used about five-minutes a month. That smartphone was a fucking pain in the ass, always demanding attention to keep working.

Fuck that shit! If you want to replace something old with something new, keep it simple!

When I bought my first tablet computer, it lasted a day before I returned it, because it wasn’t easy to set up and use.

I have an HP laptop locked in a safe. I update the laptop once a month. If my desktop gets hijacked again by ransomware, that laptop will be my backup while the desktop is in the shop being unhacked.

The last two times I bought new cars, I refused to sign the contract unless the dealers replaced the satellite-linked, streaming radio with the fancy touch screen with a CD player that was easier to use. The only new shit I liked was the backup camera and the chirping thing that warns me when another car is in one of my blind spots.

I plan to do the same thing with the next car I buy.  If the dealer wants my money, they have to replace the irritating new crap with a CD player, or I will start looking for an older, used car that predates the annoying disruptive tech.  If I can afford to buy a new car every few years, I can afford to rebuild an old one when it wears out and even have someone add batteries and turn it into a plugin hybrid. I’ve read about people that have done that on their own.

I have news for disrupters like WordPress, Microsoft, Apple, and all the others tech geniuses. I do not want you disputing my life. I do that just find by myself, and when it comes to learning new things, I want to make that decision and not have it forced on me.

This might be my last post for all of four of my blogs if I cannot get the Classical WordPress Editor back. There is enough stress in this world without Donald Trump and Silicon Valley companies like WordPress generating disruption.

Will this be my last blog post? I do not know. I have been blogging for a decade. I have written and published 2,455 posts for iLookChina, 614 for LloydLofthouse.com, 1.444 for Crazy Normal, the classroom exposé, and 269 for The Soulful Veteran. That is a lot of writing, research, and reading. Those posts have generated more than a million reads or visits.

Ω

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat vet living with PTSD. He went to college on the GI Bill and earned a BA in journalism followed by an MFA in writing.

Discover his award winning books:

My Splendid Concubine

Crazy is Normal: a classroom exposé

Running with the Enemy

The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova


Interpreting Humor

July 29, 2020

Before I write about Chinese humor, I want to point out the difference between Chinese and Western thinking. Europeans and Americans tend to have a linear-thinking pattern compared to most Chinese that start with the specific and move to the abstract creating thought metaphors.

While metaphors exist in English and Chinese, they are seen differently. For instance, the Academic Exchange Quarterly says the Chinese people consider themselves descendants of dragons. These metaphorical expressions always carry positive meanings and attitudes. Although dragons can be found in English literature, they are often described as evil monsters. If someone is referred to as a dragon in English, it is always associated with the derogatory connotation, meaning “a fierce person”.

The FluentU Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture Blog offers “5 things You Need to know about Chinese Humor.”

“Comedy is a tricky thing!” FluentU continues, “What is funny in English may not be funny in Chinese. In fact, a lot of things we find humorous in our culture can be downright offensive in Chinese culture. Don’t worry—it’s actually not that hard to get a grasp on comedy in Mandarin. It just takes a little studying on the subject of faux pas in Chinese interactions to understand what’s funny and what’s not.”

 


Chinese Humor from a Western point of View

 

Why is this important?

Because understanding what a culture finds funny is important when making friends from other cultures. Humor is a very precise thing among cultures. For instance, FluentU says that depressing irony is kind of hilarious in Chinese culture.  This form of comedy is often dark, sarcastic, and very ironic. This may be funny to some Westerners, but it may come off as too dark to most.

Lacking facial expressions is pretty funny to Chinese people, too. Western comedians are quite expressive, both in their faces and bodies. In China, a lack of facial expressions while delivering witty one-liners is considered much more entertaining.

If you want to learn more about what works and what to avoid when it comes to Chinese humor, I urge you to visit FluentU.com.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

My Splendid Concubine is now available to read through Kindle Unlimited.

About iLook China


It takes Great Effort to save what remains of China’s Great Wall

July 22, 2020

The Great Wall of China was built slowly over 1,800 years by more than one dynasty. Kid’s Connect.com says, “The construction of The Great wall started in the Spring and Autumn Period (BC 770 – 476) and went on until the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD)… Its building involved some 20 states and dynasties.”

The reason the Great Wall was built in the first place was to protect Chinese civilization from the primitive northern nomadic tribes like the Mongolians, and Manchus. Other invaders were the Huns during the Qin (BC 221 – 206) and Han Dynasties (BC 206 – 220 AD), the Turks in the Sui Dynasty (581 – 618 AD), the Khitan in the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD), and the Tatar, Oirat, and Jurchen during the Ming Dynasty.

“Unfortunately, most of the Great Wall sections built before the Ming Dynasty have almost disappeared,” China Highlights reports, and only a few sections of the Ming Dynasty wall are still in good condition. The following video shows how challenging and dangerous it is to save just one small section of what remains of The Great Wall.

“As the Great Wall was built on mountains or across deserts, it was quite hard for the Chinese people to protect every inch of it, especially those parts of the Great Wall that were built in rural areas.

“Also, the earlier Great Wall sections were made with earth, lime, and even branches, which didn’t make it solid enough to withstand the yearly rains, storms, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.”

The Guardian reported in 2004 that “Only one-third of China’s Great Wall still stands as tourists take their toll. Two-thirds of the Great Wall of China has been destroyed by sightseers, developers, and erosion, Beijing’s state-run media reported yesterday a warning that the world heritage site is crumbling out of existence.”

It wasn’t until 2006, that the CCP enacted regulations to protect what was left of the wall. The most popular rebuilt sections of the Great Wall are at Badaling (7.5 miles), Mutianyu (1.5 miles), and Juyongguan (located in a mountain pass) where tourists will find 1,700 steps to climb to reach the top of the mountain from the west wall.

UNESCO says, “In 220 B.C., under Qin Shi Huang (China’s first Emperor), sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defense system against invasions from the north. Construction continued up to the Ming dynasty when the Great Wall became the world’s largest military structure. Its historic and strategic importance is matched only by its architectural significance.”

If all of the sections of The Great Wall were rebuilt, they would run for more than 13,000 miles. – History Answers

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

My Splendid Concubine is now available to read through Kindle Unlimited.

About iLook China


The Little Known History of Racism in the United States against the Chinese

July 15, 2020

Thirty-six years before the 1921 Greenwood Massacre of African Americans in Oklahoma, there was a similar incident in Wyoming but the victims were Chinese.

“On September 2, 1885, 150 white miners in Rock Springs, Wyoming, brutally attack their Chinese coworkers, killing 28, wounding 15 others, and driving several hundred more out of town,” History.com reported.

“The Rock Springs massacre was symptomatic of the anti-Chinese feelings shared by many Americans at that time. The Chinese had been victims of prejudice and violence ever since they first began to come to the West in the mid-nineteenth century, fleeing famine and political upheaval (the Christian led Taiping Rebellion and the English and French led Opium Wars). Widely blamed for all sorts of social ills, the Chinese were also singled-out for attack by some national politicians who popularized strident slogans like ‘The Chinese Must Go.’”

The Rock Springs massacre wasn’t the only incident of racism against Chinese immigrants in the United States.

 

The Chinese Exclusion Act, a United States federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, ended all immigration of Chinese laborers.  The African American Policy Forum says, “The Chinese Exclusion Act was an immigration law passed in 1882 that prevented Chinese laborers from immigrating to the United States. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first immigration law that excluded an entire ethnic group. It also excluded Chinese nationals from eligibility for United States citizenship.”

“During their first few decades in the United States,” The Library of Congress informs, “they (Chinese immigrants to the United States) endured an epidemic of violent racist attacks, a campaign of persecution and murder that today seems shocking. From Seattle to Los Angeles, from Wyoming to the small towns of California, immigrants from China were forced out of business, run out of town, beaten, tortured, lynched, and massacred, usually with little hope of help from the law. Racial hatred, an uncertain economy, and weak government in the new territories all contributed to this climate of terror and bloodshed. The perpetrators of these crimes, which included Americans from many segments of society, largely went unpunished.”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

My Splendid Concubine is now available to read through Kindle Unlimited.

About iLook China


What came first, Paper for Printing or for the Toilet?

July 8, 2020

Since COVID-19 struck like a venomous cobra killing thousand daily, toilet paper has become a very popular item in the United States and from what I am learning, the world.

March through May, I didn’t see much Costco toilet paper at the store where I shop. That started to change in June, and on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, I saw more of Costco’s Kirkland brand toilet paper in one place than I have ever seen before.

The Costco I shop at added more storage at the back of the store for toilet paper on the heavy metal shelves the chain uses that soar 30 feet from the floor to the ceiling.  At the checkout stand, I asked the clerk if that mountain of toilet paper was enough to satisfy demand, and she said, those shelves had to be filled three times a day to keep up.

The pandemic is in its fourth month and demand for toilet paper doesn’t seem to be ending. What are shoppers doing with all the toilet paper they are buying, insulating their houses with it?

On the way home, I thought about the history of toilet paper. I already knew that China invented paper just like they did the printing press centuries before they both showed up in Europe, but what about TP.

History.com says, “Although paper originated in China in the second century B.C., the first recorded use of paper for cleansing is from the 6th century in medieval China, discovered in the texts of scholar Yen Chih-Thui. In 589 A.D, he wrote, ‘Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes.’

“By the early 14th century, the Chinese were manufacturing toilet paper at the rate of 10 million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets annually. In 1393, thousands of perfumed paper sheets were also produced for the Hongwu Emperor’s imperial family.

“Paper became widely available in the 15th century, but in the Western world, modern commercially available toilet paper didn’t originate until 1857, when Joseph Gayetty of New York marketed a ‘Medicated Paper, for the Water-Closet,’ sold in packages of 500 sheets for 50 cents. Before his product hit the market, Americans improvised in clever ways (don’t ask).”

Why did it take more than five hundred years for toilet paper to reach Europe and the United States from China?

I wonder if China had a toilet paper shortage like we did in the U.S. after the Chinese learned about COVID-19, and first warned the world on December 31, 2019. I found one answer dated in February from the South China Morning Post reporting that in Hong Kong there was a fear driven rush to buy all the toilet paper one could drag home.  Guo Yukuan, a senior researcher with the China Society of Economic Reform, a state-backed think tank, said the panic buying was irrational. “This is purely driven by panic and stress,” Guo said. “China’s production capacity [for toilet paper] can supply not just Hong Kong but the whole world.”

Next time, before you flush, thank the Chinese for inventing toilet paper.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

My Splendid Concubine is now available to read through Kindle Unlimited.

About iLook China