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.
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.
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.
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:
- Get a VPN. I don’t know how legit these reviews are, just linked the first site I found.
- Make sure you have anti-virus software while you’re at it. I like Avast. None of these are affiliate links. [UPDATE – Avast has been stealing and selling customer data, whoops.]
- 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.
- 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. [UPDATE – yup, issues there, too. Try the Brave search engine.]
- 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.
- Sign up for ProtonMail (and get one step ahead of your host). Bookmark the log in page on Brave.
- 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?