INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 73: Networking opportunities.


INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 73: Networking opportunities.

We're Using Substack Notes Now

THE INTERNET WAS always dying out from under everyone, but it used to be that new and engaging alternatives were killing the old ones. Now it just feels like a deoxygenated zone, with everything suffocating and rotting at once. Google announced today that it has built a new AI overlay on its search software, which will answer queries by giving users a robot-written paragraph of guesswork and fabulation, rather than by showing them an index of links to information that human beings have posted about the subject on the World Wide Web. Twitter, meanwhile, is—just, wow. Mostly, what Twitter is these days is a sort of hypertext Afterschool Special telling the story of how Nazis recruit vulnerable losers into joining them as Nazis, by first flattering them and making them feel special, and then by using that to get them to nod along with bigoted messages. Only instead of some lonesome 13-year-old, the loser in question is the second-richest person in the world, and he's going full Nazi because the Nazis are the ones who are eagerly telling him he is awesome and clever at making posts, and are making a show of laughing at his jokes, when everyone else has correctly told him he's sweaty and awful, and refuses to engage with his posts except to make fun of them.

Wiser people than me long ago made the comprehensive case that Twitter under Musk was guaranteed to become a Nazi cesspit, and that to linger there meant soaking in raw sewage with Nazis, and the argument was never the least bit unpersuasive, let alone wrong. Inertia and perversity and the spectacle of Thomas Chatterton Williams walking into a woodchipper have kept me from leaving Twitter so far, but it's wrong to be there. This morning, Elizabeth Spiers pointed to the responses she'd gotten after tweeting a link to an op-ed she wrote for the New York Times, in which she'd encouraged everyone to carry the emergency medication Narcan to rescue people who overdose on drugs in public. It was a wall of people clambering over each other like the orcs at Helm's Deep to declare that actually everyone who overdoses should be left to die, that saving their lives is just a drain on society, that some people are too worthless to be allowed to keep on breathing. It was horrible at face value, of course, but it was also clear that these people were all talking about themselves—that Elon Musk has built a community of miserable souls ruined by shame and disgrace, in desperate flight from the consciousness of sin, who hate themselves and want to die and are trying to cope with that by turning it into abusive bravado.

Where else can you go to share information, see what people are talking about, and maybe make jokes about it all? There's Mastodon, which is slightly hampered as a social network by the fact that it's designed to be impossible to find other people on. I finally got someone to send me an invitation to the closed beta of Bluesky Social, which is Jack Dorsey's rebuilt version of Twitter for people who couldn't stand Twitter anymore—the mood there feels nice, like the mood in a movie when people are cracking weary jokes as their escape ship blasts off and heads for hyperspace, where surely nothing more will go wrong for them—but it's a closed beta, you can't really go there yet, or bring other people along, and even inasmuch as it works it's just Twitter again.

And then, within the world of Substack, where this newsletter resides, there's a new thing called Substack Notes, which allows people to post commentary and also, or primarily, to share around Substack newsletters like Indignity. I'm not counting on it to achieve the rollicking critical mass of open-ended discourse and disputation that Twitter once seemed capable of, but it seems pretty good at recirculating Substack posts to Substack readers, and possibly even bringing about more Substack subscriptions, which is helpful because, speaking of social networks and their purposes, LinkedIn is not exactly coming through with employment opportunities right now, whew. Someone had a listing for an unpaid "editor" job posting content about Elon Musk? So Indignity is giving Substack Notes a try, to see where it goes. Have a look!

Also if you need anything edited, written, or designed for print, Joe and I are available for side gigs. Thank you for reading, and please encourage your friends—real life or parasocial!—to subscribe.


New York City, May 9, 2023

★★★★ The sun and breeze had struck a new and better balance. A smell of grilling drifted over Columbus Avenue. There were enough clouds to diffuse the sun a little, with plenty of blue still showing. A thick, fishy smell rose from the Pool. A turtle plopped off its rock into the water, then it or another one climbed wet and shining back up onto it. The birdsong app screen filled up with prospective species, and a northern parula materialized from the list onto a branch nearby, showing off its rusty necklace and gold bib. Back up the slope, a mangy squirrel cringed its way along the path. A crowd with big lenses gathered looking for the flitting form of a Wilson's warbler; a blue jay flew just overhead with a brilliant flash of color, unnoticed. Where the water met the mud, a score of turtles gathered in a reef. In Morningside Park, petals of different sizes came blowing down onto the path, from big twisting dogwood ones down to little white specks. The egret stood on a rock on the near side of the pond, where the people were. This time, when it struck, it came away with a vivid orange goldfish. It flapped to the other shore, with the orange sticking out both sides of its beak, and gulped it down. Wind ruffled the downtown end of the water and sent the scum and floating litter to collect in the uptown end. Two children stooped to return a tiny turtle, barely more than coin-sized, to the water from the path where it had somehow wandered. The afternoon sky grew grayer—just enough to make the sun that much more welcome when it came back.


Indignity Morning Podcast No. 64: Kinda boring.

Tom Scocca • May 10, 2023

Listen now (5 min) | The Indignity Morning Podcast is also available via the Apple and Spotify platforms.

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The Brooklyn Boosters Club

More consciousness at Instagram.


WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of sandwiches from More Recipes for Fifty, by Frances Lowe Smith, published in 1921, found in the public domain and available at for the delectation of all.


1. Spread bread with butter mixed with parsley. Put sliced, hard-boiled eggs, sprinkled generously with salt and pepper, between slices.
2. Spread one slice of bread with butter, the other with Mayonnaise. Put together with lettuce and slices of hard-boiled egg. Sprinkle egg with salt and pepper.
3. Mix finely chopped eggs with Mayonnaise or Boiled Dressing to moisten well. Put between slices of buttered bread.
4. Mix finely chopped eggs and stuffed olives with Boiled or Mayonnaise Dressing. Put between slices of buttered bread.
5. Mix finely chopped ham and eggs, moisten with salad dressing of any kind; add a little minced mustard pickle or prepared mustard. Put between slices of buttered or unbuttered bread.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, kindly send a picture to us at

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