Another company will appear that learns from Parler and Twitter, right? Right???

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Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash

Ok, to save from the angry internet rants, I have to caveat this post first. I don’t know the right answer. I’m writing this because I have a thought and, after a year of social distancing (and several years of… this) I’m craving a good, civic discussion. I want someone smarter than me (shouldn’t be too hard to find) to read this and then post their own counter-argument so I can learn.

Alright, that being said, here’s the thesis:

Here’s what I mean. When Twitter bans a political figure (justified or not), a subset of the population gets angry, claiming…


On Decentralizing Technology

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Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

There’s a joke that goes like this:

Two guys are sitting at a bar. Guy One asks Guy Two, “If a man from three hundred years ago was suddenly teleported to right here, right now in front of us, what is the one thing you would tell him that would completely blow his mind?”

Guy Two thinks for a little bit before giving his answer, “I would pull out my phone and tell him that the majority of humans around the world have a device that gives me immediate access to all the known knowledge and history of mankind, a…


…In one sentence or less

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Photo by Olga Serjantu on Unsplash

You’re on vacation, but it’s a downpour of rain outside.

Just your luck. What was supposed to be a relaxing morning enjoying the outdoors is now a…well, what now? Your fellow vacationers are content to stay in, but you didn’t spend the past year of financial discipline saving up your trip fund just to sit around.

Looking for something to do, you find an art museum downtown. Sure, why not? Not normally your thing, but traveling is about trying new things, right?

You warm up and dry off wandering through the wide halls of the pristine museum. There’s just…so much…


A Shorter Story

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Photo by Liam Brodentel

Long ago, there was a fisherman in Shanghai who never went to sea without a full bottle of wine. Whenever the wine ran empty, he rowed to shore, no matter how many or how few fish he caught.

Most days, he never caught a thing.

Each morning, he departed a fisherman with focus. But, as the sun got higher, the bottle got lighter, until his eyes would rest on the village across the waves and his mind would drift to the lives of the people within. Each evening, he returned a philosopher unnoticed.

One day, he stopped thinking of fish…


100 Years in 1,000(ish) words

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Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Hello.

Is that how you start a diar- a journal? This is dumb. This is the worst birthday gift. I am seven years old I should have gotten a baseball mitt like Joe did. Pops got me this journal instead. I think this is a sissy thing. But Pops says that if I get real good at using this, I can be a writer and then I won’t hafta go to war like he did. But how am I ‘sposed to write in this thing every day? What do I say? And what if I want to be a soldier…


Have hope, will travel

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Painting by Kayliénne Brodentel. (Comment and help me convince her to get on Social Media so she can share her wonderful art!)

“It’s exactly what you think it is,” she tells you with a quick smile, “you’re just not thinking wide enough.”

You furrow your brows, concentrating hard on the small painting in front of you. It’s a sardine sticking out of a container with a confusing label on it — and you’re hopelessly lost on what it’s supposed to be.

The young woman’s booth is full of paintings like this one. …


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Image by Liam Brodentel

“Be brave, and don’t hunt the goats…”

The campfire roared and crackled as the three kids huddled around. They stared with wide, excited eyes, wondering at the magic of the dancing flames.

“Alright, listen up, runtmuffins,” Uncle Eli clapped his hands together and sat down on a large stump. The old, burly mountain man commanded the kids’ full and immediate attention. Uncle Eli always sounded tough, but they adored him and knew that, deep down, he was just like them.

“What is it, Uncle?” Macie asked. …


Daunting, though, the distance seems ‘tween each soul, the darkness breathes

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Photo by Liam Brodentel

Seven billion specks of light
Scattered o’er a thousand nights
complex order, intertwined
dance to rules beyond our minds

Seven billion sky bound beings
Float, ephemerous, at sea
Daunting, though, the distance seems ‘tween each soul, the darkness breathes

Seven billion, clockwork neat
Spheres that move in perfect sync
Stars and planets, galaxies
People, friends, and family

Follow laws that none can see

Chasing states that none can be
Arcs and tracks run endlessly
Riding waves of gravity

Star, alone, with no system
Drifts alone and wayward, dim
Burning bright as dark creeps in
Waiting for a companion

Interstellar trav’ler…


She threw me a one-on-one bachelor party and taught me a life lesson on authentic travel.

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Photo by Ian Froome on Unsplash

“Well, the summer after high school, I went to Europe for a weekend to attend my friend’s wedding and all I packed were pajamas and my bridesmaid dress,” she told me as we walked along the forest trail.

I thought I had a grasp on reality and life.

I thought I knew what true adventure and spontaneity looked like.

I thought my skepticism for what modern travel had become was justified…

“It was only supposed to be two days, but I loved it there so much that I skipped my flight home and stayed for seven years. …


A Short Travel Fiction

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Photo by Liam Brodentel

“What about that one over there?” She pointed, “I’ll bet it’s headed to China.”

I turned my gaze to the ship in question, forging a steady path away from us and towards the open sea.

“China,” she repeated, “maybe Shanghai.”

“India,” I responded.

“What?” She threw her head back, “No way. What makes you say that?”

“I just felt like disagreeing with you.”

She smiled, shook her head, and looked for the next ship.

Portland. No, not the Oregon one — she would have to tell people over and over on the phone and in emails — the Maine one.

Liam Brodentel

Stories, research, travel, booze, not always in that order. www.lostballooncafe.com

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