Consumer inertia

I’m not the brightest spark.

I decided to bypass Amazon and buy a Terror House ebook direct from their store. I had to get instructions from Matt on how to get it onto my Kindle.

At first he thought I was joking but then, when I insisted that I was serious, he gave me the steps with palpable embarrassment.

Turns out it’s easy: download the file, send it to your Kindle email address (they all have one), perhaps fiddle with one last thing if required, and there it is.

I always bought ebooks via Amazon because that’s all I knew. Go to the Kindle store, search, press the ‘buy’ button.

In fact, I didn’t even know that you could read non-Amazon books on Kindle. I’d wondered about it but never actually tried it. You can read anything on those. If a mate sends you a manuscript as a Word doc, you can forward it to the Kindle to read there – much easier on the eyes. You can copy and paste long articles from the onlines, too.

Of course, Amazon could still reach into your device while the WiFi’s connected and delete anything they find objectionable but I’m not too worried about that at the moment and can’t physically obtain or store paper books right now anyway. I know others are building paper libraries and that’s a good idea.

Probably all this has not taught my reader anything he didn’t already know, but the anecdote may illustrate something interesting: consumer inertia.

Choices take energy. With far too many options to deal with in the modern world, we often fall into habits to reduce the mental load. Stick with the same brand of tuna, the same beer, a familiar make of computer or operating system. It’s much easier than trying to figure out which is the very best every single time or experimenting with something new. If a product is good enough, we can just go with that and save our limited mental resources for figuring out how to politely refuse Aunt Judy’s carrot cake.

While living in Osaka, I fell into the habit of always going to the same supermarket, the same restaurant and the same dive bar over and over. With tens of thousands of options, it was easier to not think about it and live like I was in a remote mountain village.

A lot of the time, this is fair enough. However, it’s causing serious problems in the dissident ecosphere.

Take Turd Flinging Monkey, who’s had most of his material banned from YouTube. You may or may not find his material to your taste but that’s not the point here.

TFM once had a giant audience on YouTube. When he was relegated to BitChute, however, only a fraction of his viewers followed him there. I can’t remember the figure, think it was 10% or something.

Another example is Stefan Molyneux. He had one of the biggest non-mainstream audiences (and incomes, I’d imagine) on YouTube. When he got banned and relegated to his own site, few of his viewers followed. They seemed to forget about him after having once been big fans. It was too much trouble to click a few extra buttons.

It’s possible to embed BitChute videos here but there are too many extra steps

People are so used to YouTube that they never watch anything else. As dissident content producers are gradually banned from the platform, it’s as though they disappear.

Don’t believe it? Even Chief Morality Officer Ellen Pao says that censorship from major platforms works as overall views (including on alternative platforms) are thereby reduced:

NOTE LOGARITHMIC SCALE! Eg. MGTOW 101 goes from around 200,000 to 2,000 views. Also lol at some of the ‘hateful’ accounts included here. MGTOW Expat? Dave Aurini?

There’s no point having the freedom of alternative platforms if we’re not using them.

I was guilty of this. I tried BitChute a couple of times and was irritated that the controls are slightly different and that it sometimes freezes or has other bugs.

Finally I bit the bullet and decided: anyone who has a BitChute mirror, I’ll watch them there. I only use YouTube when the videos are nowhere else.

It still drags sometimes but works well enough, especially when you consider that YouTube enjoys all the resources of Google while BitChute is just a guy hammering away in his shed on a Commodore 64.

Having successfully made the jump to BitChute, I decided to make a concerted effort to do all those things I long thought I should but was too inert to get done.

I switched from Firefox to Brave. I assumed this would be another example of buggy but passable alt-tech like BitChute but was surprised to find that it is not. Brave is vastly superior to Firefox in most respects, especially its speed and its blocking of various pop-ups and snooping programs. If you’re willing to spend a couple of days getting used to it, you’ll never look back.

I was surprised to find out (showing all my ignorance today) that the guy behind Brave is the same founder who got cancelled from Firefox for donating to an anti-gay marriage group. No wonder it’s good. This is the man who invented JavaScript.

Next I got a VPN. It’s not exactly a case of consumer inertia but was one of those things I’d been putting off for too long. I won’t make a recommendation because I just went with the one that is compatible with my ancient computer.

I’d already switched from Goolag to Duck Duck Go. It usually works fine and when it doesn’t you can just go back to Google for vanilla searches or when you need Boolean tools. Ensure you’re logged out if you have an account.

The one step still to go is to switch from Gmail to ProtonMail. The trouble is, I have too many email addresses floating around already and don’t want one more. I think I still have a hotmail account from 1972. Plus I need Gmail for professional purposes (long story). I’m careful to log out whenever I’m not using it.

[Update: in this regards, several changes are afoot at the People’s Blog that will become apparent next year.]

Now that most of these steps are complete, I wonder why I was so hesitant. It was easy. For any of my readers even further behind than me, be reassured that you could make all these changes in a couple of hours.

This would be the logical order:

  1. Get a VPN. I don’t know how legit these reviews are, just linked the first site I found.
  2. Make sure you have anti-virus software while you’re at it. I like Avast. None of these are affiliate links.
  3. Install Brave on all devices. Transfer bookmarks etc. from Firefox if you need to, then uninstall it. Note that in the top right-hand corner of Brave you can choose New Private Window for more secure browsing. There’s also a Tor browser but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Spend a few minutes here choosing your privacy settings, bookmarking the main pages you use and, if it’s your thing, entering your passwords for Brave to record. The first time you log in to a site in a normal window, Brave will ask if you want it to save the password. You might want to avoid this for things like online banking but it’s fine for those million unimportant sites for which you’ve set the password as PA55W0RD123. Saving hard passwords on your browser is safer than memorizing a ridiculously easy one that you use over multiple sites.
  4. Set Duck Duck Go as your default search engine and, if you like, your homepage. Some people have cast doubt upon this search engine and have suggested others – hit the comments if that’s you.
  5. To find specific Bitchute channels, it’s easier to use Duck Duck Go than to use Bitchute’s own, buggy search engine. For example, to find RamZPaul’s channel, type ‘ramz bitchute’ into Duck Duck Go and it comes right up. This one step makes BitChute much more usable.
  6. Sign up for ProtonMail (and get one step ahead of your host). Bookmark the log in page on Brave.
  7. In general, try to avoid using Google products. If you need them for work, i.e. Google Docs and that sort of thing, make sure you log out before doing other stuff. One dissident got doxxed by clicking on a link to such a file while he was still logged in, making his ID obvious.

There are more advanced steps but those are the basics. You are now a Cyber Dissident protecting your data and able to hear forbidden speech. You’re basically Julian Assange ripping off the franger and going for it. Or maybe that simile works better in reverse.

Wasn’t that hard, hey?

Don’t go nuts and spout online threats to leave a burning bag of poo on the Whitehouse lawn or that sort of thing because alt tech is not that secure and anyway, good manners cost nothing. These steps will only increase your protection against Woke mobs, Russian hackers and corporate Karens, not the NSA.

Got more tips for a person of my level of technical prowess? Any other examples of consumer inertia?


This link goes straight to Terror House Press rather than Amazon. Take the direct purchase challenge: are you smarter than Nikolai?

6 to 6 e-book

24 comments

  1. Wolf · August 25

    The dropoff in viewership was so massive that they had to use a logarithmic scale.

    What do you use to replace Google Docs? Microsoft is pushing mass surveillance now as well. Are LibreOffice spreadsheets good enough? Then what cloud service to back them up to?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nikolai Vladivostok · August 25

      I missed the logarithmic scale. Will edit to draw attention.
      I reckon for now sheets of paper and in-person conversations are the best replacement for Google Docs if you’re being sneaky. They’ve been known to delete dissident content.

      Like

  2. luisman · August 25

    I found Bitchute to be a dud for longer videos. And with a 45Mbit/s fiber connection, I think buffering videos should be a thing of yesteryears. I’m using Odysee more often now. Molyneux, who often had 10k+ viewers on TheirTube in a day after a release, has to deal with around 500 views in a day there.

    I also found YouTube to be overeager to put you into a bubble. Watching e.g. one home improvement video, the next day half of my suggestions are more home improvement videos.

    You actually need DuckDuckGo now, if you really want to find what you’re looking for. Even Bing is censoring a lot of search now – not as bad as Google, but noticeable.

    If you’re using Windows 10, you should probably not use additional anti-virus software. It just slows down your computer and the built in Win10 filters are usually better. Download Malwarebytes as a backup. And Kapersky’s Tdsskiller if someone really fucks with your computer.

    I use OpenOffice for around 15 years now and don’t miss MicrosoftOffice one bit. I never use cloud services if I can help it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nikolai Vladivostok · August 25

      Cheers, I just found Thoughty2 on Odysee.

      Anyone ever tried to self-publish an ebook straight from OpenOffice’s word processor?

      Like

    • oldfossil · August 25

      A few years ago YouTube offered the ability to X a channel or topic if that wasn’t your thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ede Wolf · August 25

        There is a Chrome extension (Brave compatible) “De-Mainstream YouTube” that filters out the usual suspects…

        Liked by 1 person

      • luisman · August 25

        I do that. But the effects seem to last about as long as the alledged protection of the vaccines 😀

        Like

  3. Ede Wolf · August 25

    I start my morning routine now on Odysee, not with Youtube.

    All the people I’m interested in are there, and they are able to speak freely, for now at least.

    Their iPhone app is better than Youtubes, for it allows background play without paying for it.

    There is a Chrome extension “Watch on Odysee” that switches automatically to Odysee for any Youtube video that is mirrored there. Makes the transition even easier…

    I was supporting Bitchute financially, and still do, but I think they have dropped the ball. The site looks and handles like the first day it went live, while Odysee has arrived just this year, and now even has live streaming and super chats.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Parker Bensen · August 25

    trovo.live is pretty good if you liked the golden age of livestreaming on YouTube (2015-19). Well designed and functional. Not woke or anal about copyrighted material, so it has that cool Wild West vibe about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dickycone · August 25

    Another step, but one that you will NOT be able to complete in a few hours: move to Linux. I’m in IT and still had to dual boot for a few years before I got comfortable enough to completely ditch Windows. However, this was well over a decade ago and Linux has gotten much easier to use since then. Still not entirely easy when you’re used to a proprietary OS, but worth it. I’d say Linux vs. Windows or OSX is the operating system equivalent of Brave vs. Firefox, but even more dramatic of a difference. After over a decade of freedom from Windows the mere thought of having Microsoft (or Apple) products in my house is just icky.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ede Wolf · August 26

      But if I want to play games?

      Like

    • Wolf · August 26

      Unfortunately if it took you a person in IT a few years to switch completely, there isn’t much hope for the rest of us. But good to get your kid started on Linux.

      One cool move of Putin’s was switching all government computers over to Linux. Not sure how successful he was with that. What does the Chinese govt use as their operating system?

      Like

      • Nikolai Vladivostok · August 26

        I’m thinking the same thing. Do you reckon a bloke who struggled to download a book would ever figure out Linux?

        Like

        • User · August 26

          I used linux for years at work (and home) but switched to Mac OS X to better support users of said OS. Pre OS X it was pretty clunky (showing my age) but OS X is pretty nice. It’s basically a very nice linux (it’s BSD based) and you can install all kinds of useful tools via various methods (I use homebrew) but that’s mostly for nerds.

          For a home user I’d recommend Ubuntu – you can live boot a USB and just play around, no need to install. I haven’t used it for years but the default windowmanager was KDE which was a bit heavy for older machines but there’s probably a completely different one now. They used to barf hard on video cards 10 years ago anyway, but unless it’s completely bleeding edge you won’t have any issues.

          With the advent of USB3 the performance of a live distro would probably be as good or better than an old, slow mechanical SATA install. There are completely USB based distros for the uber paranoid.

          Like

    • dickycone · August 30

      To everyone above yes, you can figure out Linux, but it will take you a while. As near as I can tell, there have been huge advances in making it usable for non-IT pros in the last decade or so. You don’t have to do crap like figure out how install a “wrapper” around a Windows driver to get your wifi to work anymore. GUI utilities exist for things like setting up network shares and partitioning disks, so I think overall you can almost avoid the command line now. Not that you should. You are all above average IQ and could easily figure out how to use a bash shell on a basic level with a little effort.
      I imagine overall it still takes more effort than Windows, but I’m not even sure about that. I have to use Windows 10 for work, and I feel like the Indian-made quality really shows through in the weird glitches and bugs that make it a torture to use. Not that Windows was that great when it was still made by Americans.

      Like

  6. Peter Schreiner · August 26

    I have ProtonMail, the free version. But I pay for Fastmail for no other reason than I like their layout better. For what that’s worth.

    Like

  7. urbando1 · August 26

    I use Startpage for my search engine and Opera as my browser. I also use Opera’s VPN, though I gather it’s not as good as those you pay for. ProtonMail for secure email. I still have a Godaddy email account but they just replaced their email app with Office 365 (Outlook et al) and I’m not happy about that. Bitchute seems fine but I only watch a few channels. I watch youtube but I have never signed up for an account.

    Like

  8. Hesse Kassel · August 26

    Brave has a (beta) search engine. I set my phone to use it as default a while back. It works well enough that I forgot about it until I read this article.

    I mostly download books for my kindle from pirate bay, though it is not very useful for non mainstream titles. That seems to work fairly well. At first the Kindle seemed to delete many of them, but eventually I realised that it doesn’t delete the books, it merely hides them. They still show up if you search for the title directly. Also there is a setting to turn off the hiding function.

    After the 2020 US election I decided to largely ignore politics and just focus on information that is personally relevant. That is surrender in a way, I guess. It is a lot more serene though.

    If you think blocking out the agenda is personally hard, try having children. The only real defence then is to not give them access to a phone, a tablet, a tv or a computer, then home school them. Too hard for me.

    Like

    • Nikolai Vladivostok · August 26

      You didn’t get my book from Pirate Bay, did you? If anyone downloads it illegally and thereby gets rich, your money will be cursed.
      Kindle also tries to hide books I got legit. Seems to detect non-Amazon content.

      Like

    • Wolf · August 27

      Brave must have recently launched the search engine. Switched to that one.
      Duckduckgo was given nice treatment on NPR so you know they must be rotten.

      Like

  9. Kentucky Gent · August 28

    I’ll do it later.

    Liked by 1 person

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