The Pitch For My Vision of A Twitter Replacement

by Shelt Garner

They key thing to remember is there is a window of opportunity for a startup to come up with a replacement for Twitter that embraces and extends its existing UX. I propose that a startup cherrypicks the best UX elements of Usenet so you give users what they don’t even realize what they want.

One issue is, instead of little banner ads, you could have very specific full-page ads woven into a thread on a subject where users could buy goods and services without going to a new Website. That’s where you would make your money and that’s what would make the whole thing worthwhile.

A use case would be that a user creates a very-specific Group devoted to, say their favorite TV show — maybe The Last of Us.

It would be one of many other similar Groups devoted to the show. But through data mining, you would know what people in that Group were interested in and you would place a full page ad in such a way that it would be unavoidable as people were going through the thread.

Remember, because the basic building block of this proposed service would be full page Posts with in-lining editing, that really expands what you could do with ads.

Could A Writer’s Strike Prompt Hollywood Studios To Experiment With AI Written Scripts?

by Shelt Garner

I was so busy thinking about how a recession might cause the widespread adoption of AI that I totally missed a scenario whereby a Hollywood writers’ strike was the thing that caused it to happen.

The Robots of Hollywood.

So, the thinking goes, should there be a major, long-term Hollywood writers’ strike, the studios might, out of desperation, begin to experiment with AI-generated TV and movie scripts. This sounds pretty dystopian and hysterical, but it’s exactly a shock to the system like a strike that might cause the adoption of AI to write scripts.

And, remember, the issue is — new technology just has to be good enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough.

It will be curious to see how things work out. It could be that AI just isn’t developed enough for my fears to become a reality. And, yet, I suspect if a writers’ strike lasts long enough that someone, somewhere is going to at least try to see if they can avoid using human writers altogether.

Examining The Crucial UX Elements Of My Proposed Twitter Replacement

by Shelt Garner

I’ve finally concluded that I’m totally and completely wasting my time to think about this idea anymore, and, yet I have gotten at least one ping in my Webstats related to this, so, lulz, let’s waste some MORE time.

A sample of my vision for the UX of a Twitter replacement.

Also, it definitely seems as though there is a very, very narrow window of opportunity for someone to actually implement this idea. I’m a dreamer and a writer so, as such, it’s better if I just stick to working on my novel(s) rather than spending years learning how to code something that will ultimately be replaced by a combination of the metaverse and chatbots.

Ok, the key selling point of this concept is is brings back some really cool UX concepts that we somehow lost when Usenet finally succumbed to porn and spam and porn spam. The cool thing about Usenet was you had a full page Posts that were robustly threaded in the context of Groups. What’s more, you had in-line editing.


Now, obviously, some of this sums up modern-day Reddit and that would be the thing most people would initially compare the service to because no one remembers Usenet except for weirdos like me. And, in real terms Reddit is the closest approximation to Usenet that exists.

But the implementation is really ham-handed, at least in my view.

Imagine if everyone when they went through on-boarding was forced to created both public and private groups devoted to not just grouping their friends, but also creating the equivalent of really robust Facebook Groups combined with Twitter Lists.

And there would be a lot of innate redundancy in the system, to the point that Groups would be seen as disposable. This would, in turn, reduce the likelihood of not only a Group growing too large, but also the sort of in-ward looking thinking that alienates people who just want to discuss a topic without having to lurk for weeks while they read the Group’s FAQ.

That’s a key element of Twitter — there is almost no learning curve. One can just jump in and start tweeting. The downside to this is, of course, this makes it far easier for trolls and bots to flood the service.

Anyway, if you establish a service where you have a full page Post with in-line editing and robust threading, I think it would be instantly popular. After, of course, people stopped trying to figure out why you had just re-created Reddit (which you hadn’t.)

There are so many cool things you could do with the UX of this service. You could push entire pre-formated Webpages into the service that Users could pick apart via in-ling editing. You could have some sort of profit sharing agreement with content providers whereby they push into the service complete Webpages with their ads already in the pages.

Or something. Something like that.

The point is — none of this is going to happen. While there IS a very narrow window of opportunity because of the current Elon Musk-generated instability at Twitter…no one listens to me.

I, For One, Look Forward To A New Chatbot Media Overlords

by Shelt Garner

It has occured to me I am looking forward to a future where all media is design and personalized for us all on a individual basis. I struggle — and I mean STRUGGLE — to watch ANYTHING on Netflix. I just can’t find anything at all that interests me that I haven’t already seen.

I think, of course, that some of that comes from how difficult is for me to consume media as opposed to produce it. I find myself producing a great deal of writing every day — not that any of it is usable relative to my personal expectations.


It would be nice sit down in front of a TV, have the set scan my face to figure out what my exact mood at that very moment is and then sit down to watch a two hour movie with Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin in it, or whomever. I would have access to thousands of actor’s body scans that my digital personal assistant could use to pump out very specific entertainment that I might actually watch.

But that’s probably a decade or so from now. We’re going to have to wade through a civil war / WW3 before we get cool stuff like that. Hopefully, we won’t bomb ourselves into oblivion to the point that we never get to enjoy such “cool stuff” once the Fourth Turning / Great Reset is over

‘Let the Stars Shine’ — #lyrics to a #pop #rock Song

Let the Stars Shine
lyrics by @sheltgarner
Please give credit if you produce or perform

don’t you fret
the best is yet
to come I swear
give me a chance
let me lance your fears
the worst is behind us
no more to worry about
’cause the stars shine

let the stars shine
way above us
let the stars shine
way above us
let the stars shine
way above us

people want us to fear
what we hold dear
but I know for a fact
that they don’t know
or mean
give me a hug
or maybe a tug
’cause just you wait and see
you’l be safe with me

let the stars shine
way above us
let the stars shine
way above us
let the stars shine
way above us

it’s dark under the clouds
nothing to see but doubt
but throw off the covers
of despair
let’s get down
’cause we’re not

let the stars shine
way above us
let the stars shine
way above us
let the stars shine
way above us

This Is 50

by Shelt Garner

So, this is 50. It’s a time of reflection and a moment to figure out what the fuck is going to happen next in my life. I’m having a very, very uneventful 50th. I had all these grand plans of going to New York City…but I just wasn’t able to save up the money.

Instead, here I am getting drunk, listening to sexxxy music and writing.

But I still have a dream of somehow, someway finding myself doing something interesting soon (by the summer of 2024) involving maybe going to New York City, LA or even Asia for an extended amount of time.

And, yet, I’ve reached an age — and have done so little with my life in real terms — that I beginning to fear that the window of opportunity has finally, at last closed. Even if I magically became some sort of success at some point in the future, the context will be totally different than I imagined.

Instead of starting a career, settling down and having kids I’m going to be so old that that, unto itself, will be the only thing anyone will want to talk about.

“What’s it like finding success later in life,” everyone will say.

I suppose it’s better to find SOME success later in life than NO success, EVER. But I think the key issue is all of this snuck up on me. I just did not really expect this to happen to me. It’s not like I can fix this particular situation, even if, in a sense, fix it.

I just can’t change how old I am.

Everything from here on out will be done in the context of me being 20 to 30 years older than the way it’s “supposed” to be done. It’s kind of tearing me up inside, I have to day.

Because, even if I somehow magically found myself in LA for an extended amount of time….I’m old. All the personality in the world isn’t going to help me change how fucking old I am or what I look like as An Old.

There’s just no fixing how old I am, no matter what else I may do with my life. It’s all very deep and disheartening. But, I suppose, it is also incentive to double down and try — try — to finish my first novel. My writing and storytelling ability has gotten much, much, much better since I started working on my first novel, to the point that I feel pretty comfortable spending some of my time working on a second, backup novel.


Let’s Play Pretend & Speculate Wildly As To Why People Searched For Me On LinkedIn

by Shelt Garner

I’m a total rando in the middle of nowhere at the moment, so anyone being interested in me for any reason, is something of note in my personal life. Hence, my obsession with the Webstats of this lonely old blog. But let’s turn our attention to something else — people who have searched for my name on LinkedIn.

Who, me (right) paranoid?

Here is what I know:

Founder  37.5%
This could be anybody, but maybe it’s someone connected to Crooked Media because I’ve pointed out that it’s odd how much Jon Lovett hasn’t been showing up for work — even his signature show Lovett or Leave It? Who knows, it could be pretty much anyone.

Executive Director  25%
Sounds like some sort of non-profit. Or not. Could be anyone with that title for any reason.

Salesperson  12.5%
I’m at a loss on this one.

Lawyer  12.5%
This one is, on the face of it, ominous. Why would a lawyer care about anything I have to say? Note to self — stop being so paranoid.

Government Policy Specialist  12.5%
This one is interesting. It could be anything from someone who is a listener to Crooked Media podcasts being curious as to who I am because of me mulling Jon Lovett’s fate to someone who works at some sort of thinktank who saw one of my spicy hot takes.

Who knows?

So Very Strange

by Shelt Garner

A few days ago, I thought really hard about the time many moons ago when I slept overnight at a hostel. Well, would you believe that I got pushed a Tik-Tok just now about that VERY SAME THING — someone worried about sleeping at a hostel.

Because that was the memory I thought about — how unhappy I was as an Old sleeping at a hostel. And there it was, a video of a young woman looking very concerned about the risks associated with sleeping at a hostel.

I know — know — it’s not possible that Tik-Tok is actively rooting around in my mind.

But…it is very eerie. I didn’t tell anyone about this memory. I didn’t tweet or blog about it. Only *I* specifically knew that I was even aware of such a situation in the first place.

‘Knock At The Door’ — A Short Story About The Beginning Of The Second American Civil War In Late 2024

Knock At The Door

A short story by Shelt Garner

December, 2024 

When the knock at the door finally came, I was expecting it. I eyed my bug out bag in the corner. The wealthiest, most powerful democracy in human history was tearing itself apart and I was filled with dread as to the inevitable. 

Just a glance at Twitter was enough to give me all the information I needed. My timeline was filled with video clips of America’s last death spasms before the National Divorce we had all heard about finally occurred. Most of the dramatic footage was of a mad rush at airports as people fled states that did not fit their political leanings. 

All of this was happening as Blue State governors were having an extended summit to decide what to do now that it was clear that the MAGA state legislatures of swing states that Biden had won would never let his election be certified. 

As such, at the moment, no one knew who the next president was going to be. While there were rumblings of the U.S. Military stepping in to keep the country together, no one took these comments seriously.

This was because of how even the U.S. Military was beginning to collapse as the educated officer corp aligned itself with the center-Left, which was beginning to call itself Antifa without any shame. Meanwhile, MAGA leaning enlisted were beginning to demand the military side with Trump, no matter what. 

I finally got up from my desk and walked to the front door, psyching myself up for the confrontation that was about to occur.

The door opened to the sight of three armed men wearing the Lion badge of MAGA partisans. I stared at the three men — whom I knew well — while each side waited for the other to say something.

“Jake, I’m sorry, but it’s time for you to go,” one of the men finally said to me.

I leaned on the door, my head down in grief. It had finally come to this. I was on the cusp of becoming a domestic political refugee. My Left-leaning politics were well known within my rural county and, as such, I was facing a moment of truth. 

“Man, what am I going to do about my dad? You know he’s in a nursing home. I can’t just leave him. The man is nearly 100 years old.”

“I’m afraid you’re going to have to make that decision on your own. You’re a groomer and it’s time for you to go live with your woke communist groomer friends — or else.”

“What the hell are you talking about, dude? Have you lost your mind? I’m no ‘groomer,’ whatever the hell that means. I’ve done a lot for this community in the last few days as things started to get tense. You can at least give me 24 hours before I have to leave.”

The three men looked at each other before their leader nodded.

“No. Sorry. You have to leave now.

I nodded my head in agreement and shut the door. I rushed over to my bug out bag and slung it over my shoulder. Thankfully, it was still daylight. The moment I started heading towards the main north-south road near my home, I stood stunned for a moment at what I saw.

A massive horde of people filled the depression where the road was. The sight was the type one might see in vintage WW2 footage of people fleeing the Soviets in 1945. But, here I was, seeing such a sight in rural virginia in 2024. 

I started walking towards the massive crowd of moving bodies, looking for a place to squeeze myself into. I finally found a place and began to walk north towards what I hoped was safety. 

And, yet, I also had some business to attend to. I looked around the others walking north and saw the fear in their eyes. I wondered if they saw the same thing with me. 

I dwelled on what might happen next. 

The last news reports I saw on Twitter indicated that the entire post-WW2 liberal order was on the cusp of collapsing, along with the United States. Specifically, it seemed as though China was about to invade Taiwan and the DPRK was set to invade South Korea at any moment.

I stopped cold, thinking about what might happen if the DPRK decided to begin lobbing H-bombs on the USA once the Second American Civil War began in earnest. 

After about two miles of walking and brooding with the mob, I was able to push my way through to my immediate destination — the nursing home where my father currently lived.

For a moment, the chaos surrounding me faded. Once inside the nursing home, everything seemed to snap back into place. It felt like summer 2024, before the chaos that began on Election Night happened.

I found my father, as always, asleep in bed.

I shut my eyes, trying to hold back tears as the cold, hard facts of the moment began to sink in. There was nothing I could do but hope that somehow, someway, my father would be safe once the looming Second American Civil War began. 

For a second, I thought of trying to take him with me as I headed towards the rebellious Blue States north of Virginia. Then I remembered that Virginia itself was on the cusp of descending into a intercine battle of intra-state warfare. 

I decided to stay by my father’s side as long as I could. I knew, however, that that would not be forever.

Is Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer Ron DeSantis In It To Win It?

by Shelt Garner

I’m beginning to hear some chatter that unfrozen caveman lawyer Ron DeSantis is beginning to pick up some momentum within Republican ranks. But there are some problems — chief amongst them being malignant ding-dong Trump.

Ron DeSantis

There are two ways the potential epic battle between Trump and DeSantis ends — either Trump totally folds and vanished into thin air out of the shame and embarrassment of losing the nomination, OR, he bounces from the Republican Party for something like the Patriot Party.

Remember, just because the monied Establishment likes the “idea” of Ron DeSantis, doesn’t mean the people who vote in primaries will be willing to vote for him And there are some obvious practical problems with DeSantis:

  1. His voice.
    The more I hear DeSantis’ voice, the more grating it is on my nerves. I just can’t imagine having to listen to him be our autocrat for the next 20 odd years. But, here we are, about 40% of the population wants autocracy so bad that they’re willing to overlook that.
  2. His height.
    While DeSantis’ height is something of a mystery, I THINK I have discovered his height. He’s just too fucking short to be POTUS (as a man.) And I think Trump is at least 6′ 1″ or 6′ 2″.

At the moment, I honestly can’t tell you which way things are going to go with DeSantis and Trump. It’s all very much up in the air. And, remember, things aren’t great on the Democratic side, either — Biden IS VERY OLD. That introduces a level of uncertainty that I just don’t like having to think about. Remember, the period between Election Day and Certification Day is when our democracy is at its weakest and, if, God forbid, something happens to Biden…oh boy.

I just don’t want to think about that. The last time it happened was with Horace Greenly. To quote Wikipedia:

His death came before the Electoral College balloted. His 66 electoral votes were divided among four others, principally Indiana governor-elect Thomas A. Hendricks and Greeley’s vice presidential running mate, Benjamin Gratz Brown.[122]

Let that marinate in your mind for the next 18 months.