I went yesterday over to Carillon House fully intending to rent one of the two apartments I discussed in this post—back when the three apartments available on the seventh floor of the building looked like this on the interactive site map:
The problem is that by the time I got to the building, the interactive site map had changed. It looked like this instead:
Note that both of these apartments face south, which is to say away from the embassy, whereas two of the three apartments in the earlier image face north.
My plan, I realized, has been foiled—at least for now.
But I am not deterred. The apartments in this building tend to turn over pretty quickly, so I will bide my time. But #SpecialMilitaryOperation: Housing is apparently going to take a little longer than I expected when I moseyed on over to see the two ghost apartments.
In the meantime, however, you guys have answered one of the big questions about #SpecialMilitaryOperation: Housing—which was whether I could possibly afford it. The answer, thanks to you all, is that, yes, I can. We have, through new subscriptions alone, raised $18,000 of the $25,000 this operation will cost. So whenever an apartment becomes available, I am now in a position to pounce on it.
If you haven’t yet subscribed, the special discounts still apply.
As I noted the other day, I will spend 100 percent of this money on some combination of housing for spotlights and housing for refugees.
The Ukrainians are finally going to get some F16s!
This is very good news.
This is not very good news.
Another major compliance mess at the FBI with respect to Section 702, revealed in a declassified FISA Court decision.
I will discuss this at length on Lawfare after I’ve had a chance to read the document in question.
A social media update.
Since my banning from Twitter, I have kicked into high gear the search for my new short-form social media home. I am currently using on a regular basis Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Spoutible, Post, Substack Notes, and Bluesky—to which I cannot yet link.
I confess that none of them is yet blowing me away, though Bluesky and Post are both impressive in different ways, and each has its uses. Herein my tentative thoughts on each as a platform for writers and thinkers who are working on news-related events:
Facebook has all the technology to dominate. People are on it, at least passively. It can handle all kinds of content. And it works really well. And yet it doesn’t work well at all for this purpose. The trouble is that that because people don’t use it for news, people don’t use it for news. So engagement on a post can be very sluggish. And the technology is not well configured for sharing things with strangers or followers, as opposed to with friends and family. Facebook could dominate this field if it chose to with a few minor modifications to the platform, but it has not chosen to, for whatever reason. And it thus remains over-featured and badly configured for news sharing and commentary.
Instagram sucks, and I hate it. It’s not a good platform for sharing anything but images and videos. I use it only for sharing images from #SpecialMilitaryOperations.
Mastodon is a lovely community, and the federated system is neat. It’s a good place for discussions with individuals. But it’s still clunky, and some of the design choices are unfortunate. This will limit its growth, I suspect, and unless and until all of the journalists are on it, its value as a platform for news and commentary is going to remain limited.
Spoutible is a nice system, but people aren’t on it yet. The technology is strong and genuinely militates against trolling and nastiness. It’s far less clunky than Mastodon and I think has real growth potential. But it’s still a very bespoke community, and my stuff gets less engagement there than elsewhere.
Post is similar. The platform is impressive technically and the system’s privileging of news accounts is very smart. I see a lot of potential for growth here. And the ability to exchange “points” that are cashable as money is interesting. But again, it’s just not all that populated yet.
Substack Notes is lovely, but because of the degree of its bolting to Substack, it seems designed more as a writer’s tool than as a flat social media space. It will grow exactly as much as Subtack does, but I’m not sure I see it catching on as a platform beyond that.
Blueksy is the platform that seems most likely to dethrone Twitter. The user interface is very strong. A lot of people are there already in the beta version. And there seems to be a lot of excitement about it. Whether and how easily it can scale remains to be seen, but it’s a smart system that feels a great deal like old Twitter.
I remain platform agnostic. I will use the system or systems most useful for my purposes and don’t have prior commitments or antagonisms to any of them. For now, I am using them all in an effort to establish presence on whichever one takes off.
Mostly, however, I am here.
I didn’t know this beast event existed. Thanks to John P. Friel, Ph.D., however, I now do know about the Jellynose fish, and I hereby proclaim it the #BeastOfTheDay:
I don’t think the Jellynose fish was put together correctly. They should’ve read the instructions.
Is there a risk that people reading this, and friendly with the Russian Embassy, might wish to occupy the apartments?