As for spam coming in through the transom offering to redesign my web site or improve SEO (usually with a mouthful of abbreviations suggesting that A Honey of an Anklet can appear on Google’s first page of search results) (what are these slimies up to? do they just want steal my credentials so that they can take over this blog?), usually I just toss the e-mail in the bin. But for this message, apparently from an outlook.com address, there was something about the high ratio of dysfluency to text that called out to me.


I am Peter, an experienced web designer. I was analyzing your website and found that your website design is quite complicated from the user’s perspective. Your users are finding your website it difficult to use your website.

You need to work on your UI/UX and make it simplistic and intuitive. And I believe, along with my team of designers and developers, I can help you in making your website attractive and engaging.

We offer a wide array of services:

• Website design and development

• Landing page design

• Website marketing

Website content creation services

• Web application development

• Mobile application development

• Digital marketing

If you are interested, then let me know your requirement, so I can assist you with best solution.



“… make [your UI/UX] simplistic…”—melts my crabby little heart.

Not once have I seen one of these stinkers offer a portfolio of their work. I am so tempted to engage, to ask for references, to pretend to do due diligence. Or at the very least to send the message back, copy edited. And then I come to my senses.

Time shift

Jenny Odell explains why I kept scrolling through the bird site, like a laboratory pigeon hitting the lever to get a food pellet, even when every fifth pellet was an ad and most of the others were repeats.

Entrainment, a term that originated in biology and then spread to the social sciences, refers to the alignment of an organism’s physiology or behavior with a cycle; the most familiar example would be our circadian rhythm. The signal driving entrainment, in this case light and dark, is called a “zeitgeber” (German for “time giver”)….

Something like entrainment seems to be at work in our relationship to Twitter and other forms of social media. The rate of updates and notifications provides a powerful zeitgeber — one that can even override our circadian rhythm, as any nighttime scroller knows.

Sad but probably true

Kevin Roose on the Twitter acquisition:

… Musk seemed to intuitively grasp what Twitter actually was — a high-stakes popularity contest that, if won, could get you almost anything you wanted, from a higher stock price to a Saturday Night Live hosting gig.

I am weighing my options—considering taking a pause. The original reason I joined has long become moot, one of the purposes I put Twitter to is fading, and I can get news directly from the source.

My year in books, 2021

I’ll go ahead and link to my Goodreads list now, even though I’ll probably finish A Thousand Acres before the of the year. Top marks for