It’s been a busy week on Mastodon

Any other thoughts that I had to write about this week were pushed back by the news that Elon Musk is closer in his goal to outright buy all of Twitter. That news, unlike any Twitter news over the past five years, has driven more people than ever to Mastodon.

I host two Mastodon instances, which are servers that the free, open source software lives on, maintained and administrated by individuals as opposed to a centralized company. This means that there are thousands of different servers that an average user can join, though most flock to ones that seem larger and more active.

My main instance,, just celebrated our five year anniversary about two weeks ago. This past week has seen almost 700 new user signups, which has been way more than we’ve ever gotten. I scaled up our server once already this week, and had to make some manual adjustments to account for the growth. I am likely to scale it up again, thanks to some tremendously helpful Patreon supporters, which will now be able to cover server costs that I have been paying solo in the past.

A screenshot of the Mastodon instance showing the new post column, home column, notifications column, and local timeline column
Here’s what looks like to me on the web

My hope is that most of these new users give Mastodon a real try, and stick around. I know it’s hard to get on a new platform, especially one that looks a lot like an existing one, but functions fundamentally differently. I have an (out of date) guide up, which I plan on expanding over time, but it’s hard to expect people to fully grasp a new platform as they sign up mainly out of frustrations with their existing network.

There are plenty of people celebrating a Musk takeover of Twitter, but anyone looking at how he has handled companies or criticism in the past has reason to worry. Last week, when he first floated the idea, he then appeared at TED for an interview. Based on his responses, people in the community moderation space grew even more concerned about his apparent lack of knowledge for how hard the problem really is.

I’m not saying that Mastodon is perfect. Far from it. There are the same community moderation issues that exist everywhere, along with the wrinkles that come from working with a decentralized platform managed by people who make calls based on their own standards.

But still, I welcome all of the new users, and hope that a new way to view platforms gives more people ideas on how to build the future of the web.

tweet from @loresjoberg that reads, "Bitcoin and NFTs were invented because of a scarcity of scarcity. Someone decided that there isn't enough scarcity around and decided to make a bunch more scarcity so now we have an abundance of scarcity. A bona fide cornucopia of dearth."


A Lake in Florida Suing to Protect Itself – Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker

If this is what it takes to protect natural resources, it makes sense to do so.

The Danger More Republicans Should Be Talking About – Ibram X. Kendi, The Atlantic

The specter of GamerGate still haunts the internet, politics, and toxic masculinity.

The First Apple Store in the United States Files for Union Election – Lauren Kaori Gurley, Vice

Hell yeah, let’s gooooo

‘When Do I Get to See Mr. Wolf’s Cock?’: Why Some Furries Are Losing It For ‘The Bad Guys’ – EJ Dickson, Rolling Stone

If you aren’t a furry and you think that: guess you are now ๐Ÿ˜‚

But also, dang Rolling Stones, you’re going all in on the clickbait title and I’m here for it

tweet from @yurirando that reads, "when they burned the library of Alexandria the crowd cheered in horrible joy. They understood that there was something older than wisdom, and it was fire, and something truer than words, and it was ashes".

This tweet is quote tweeting about Guitar Center changing their logo, and the original tweet reads, "After 50 years, Guitar Center finally makes the correct decision to stop using a guitar as a 'G' in their logo. Why it took that long is still anyone's guess."


Are You Scared of The Missing?

Are You Scared? is back! Starting with a more inventive story than some previous seasons had.

Transhumanism | Philosophy Tube

We are blessed by a new Philosophy Tube! There are some ideas about transhumanism that I like, but I worry about the other ideas tied to it by the most vocal supporters. I’m glad that Abigail makes it clear that this is a broad topic; an umbrella for a variety of worldviews.

Pronouns: Little Words That Say a Lot | Otherwords

I don’t want to argue about pronouns with people by pointing out that singular they has been around for centuries. That’s not going to change someone’s mind on whether they’ll use them for anyone else.

Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder | Official Teaser

Yeah, I admit, I get into the MCU stuff. This trailer just makes the movie look like it’ll be a lot of fun

If you made it this far, why not share this newsletter with a friend? Or share with me some of the things that you found that you liked this week. Either way, I’m thrilled!