I have not vanished, nor been “disappeared.”
Buried, briefly; blanketed in the warm earth,
I am not dead. I have dreamed of dead things;
I am not one of them. They sustain me,
Push me, whispering, “Rise. Awake.”
Sunlight touches, warms me, draws me up,
Solitude, the exhalation of a pent-up breath,
Released to birdsong, squirrel-scoldings,
And the breezy buzz of honeybees
In clover. Purple sage, pink lavender —
Old, lazy bones clatter —
But I am not dead. Not yet. I open
My lips, drink deep of the rain.
Remembering the intoxicating scent Of petrichor in summer…
There are a few "off-Medium social media channels" where such things are actively discussed and discouraged, but it would be great if Medium, itself, offered a forum for serious writers to openly discuss ethical ways to use the platform and promote themselves and one another.
It's sad to see the new writers fall prey to unscrupulous practices, and it will be sadder still to watch Medium implode like so many of its predecessors (Themestream comes to mind, and Red Paper - glorious experiments that ended up exploited and gamed to death, through the same sorts of practices you mention here).
…lapping for each other’s stories and writing self-congratulatory articles, tagging each other, etc. Newbies are then encouraged to participate in off-Medium social media channels where they get coached up in the dark arts of churning views in non-writing ways.
After I wrote my previous story, I realized that I had glossed over an important point, and the question started coming in: “Yes, but how do we find these thieves? How can we even know when our content has been stolen?”
I’d addressed only the “what can I do to stop them?” but not “how do I even know they’re out there?” part of the equation. I was responding to the frustration of writers who already knew who was ripping them off.
So, today’s story deals with how to find the copyright infringers in the first place.
First, bookmark this…
Bookmark this story, and stop letting thieves profit more from your writing than you do
Scrapers, article spinners, and willful plagiarists are the sworn enemies of all serious writers. Yes, sometimes the fight feels futile and time-wasting; it is tempting to simply let it go.
There is some wisdom in that — by ignoring them, they may well fall into an abyss of anonymity and disappear into the sucking black hole of abandoned websites, while giving them more visits (in order to determine what’s been stolen from us) may encourage them to keep doing it.
It’s the principle of the…
Or will AI lead to even more charges of bias and unsafe social media platforms?
There are plenty of stories out there claiming that Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are biased or promoting certain social agendas over others. I’m not here to debate whether that’s accurate, legal, or morally right for them to do if they are. In my opinion, a private individual can choose what they allow in their living room; likewise, a privately-owned company (or a publicly-traded commercial corporation, at the behest of their Board of Directors), can do whatever the Constitution and law allow them to do. We…
I met Alex Baia on a ten-day Meditation & Mindfulness cruise in 2020. We were both doing the Norovirus Yoga Pose, hanging over the balconies of our adjacent rooms, attempting to vomit silently. Silence is one of the most important tenets of any meditation and mindfulness retreat;;;;; there are no exceptions. This was part of the appeal, my main reason for booking the cruise, if truth be told. I just hadn’t realized how challenging it could be to maintain silence while ralphing into the Pacific Ocean.
Misplaced empathy teaches wisdom with sharp lessons
Empathy is a cruel bird with sharp talons.
I almost relented.
I saw your note, this morning.
The one where you channeled your Dr. Jeckyll self —
That pale reflection of the outer you
That’s almost gracious, unassuming,
Giving gratitude and credit where it’s due —
Not that Mr. Hyde that shines behind your eyes
Who drives both friends and family to block the door,
Quietly erasing traces of themselves and hoping
“Out of sight” is “out of mind.”
I don’t know you.
You don’t scare me.
What could I say that would…
First, if you haven’t read Reading Rhombus, lately, you’re missing out! This morning’s story is from David Majister, where you will discover some of the finest poets on Medium. (He’s graciously included me, too — but the writing is excellent and the “bribe” hardly needed!)
Second, a writing prompt — I posed this question on Facebook, after first asking, “If I were an inanimate object, what do you think I’d be?” That led to a lively conversation, so this morning, I wrote, “I am decorating the Christmas tree. Every ornament is unique and special — some are new, some are…
“Santa isn’t real, is he?” I was ten. I felt very grown-up, very in-the-know, now.
“Are you sure?” asked my parents.
“Yes,” I said. “I’m sure.” I was worldly wise and unafraid. I understood that the jolly fat man and his eight tiny reindeer were an idea, and ideas are solid things. Other Christmas traditions would not vanish like the steam rising from my hot chocolate.
Christmas Eve came. We baked and decorated cookies “for Santa” and put out milk, and carrots for his reindeer. I felt no guilt, though, in stealing a cookie or three, while they were still…