On serindipity

Twitter, as we all are aware, is a dumpster fire deserving of a firing squad for its principal owners more than funding. As such, a good chunk of people ahead of the curve jumped ship, in one form or another, to Mastodon, a federated social network twitter-alike. It certainly isn’t without its problems… to be honest, if you don’t have an “in” to an existing Mastodon network flavor, you’re probably going to be confused and ultimately flame out of your attempt. Fortunately, my local city happened to have a locally-flavored Mastodon instance, and a person I had followed on Twitter way back in 2007 happened to a) post the Mastodon instance link, and b) invite their followers over.

The person in question, for me, was an enigmatic technological something-or-other, a grognard of the highest order, a proper nerd, a good egg. I had followed him on Twitter, in fact, way back in 2007, in order to keep abreast of local technological things around me while I was in college and desperately trying to network. I even went to a few lunch-and-meets organized by them, but ultimately fell away when it was clear that where I was in my professional/personal life was not anywhere near what the original intent of the lunch-and-meet was. But still, I kept in touch via Twitter.

So when Mastodon came up post Elon, I used him as a social network springboard.

I’ve always been an annoying early adopter when it comes to the internet. Thankfully for the vast majority of my tendency I haven’t gotten anyone into too much trouble; I did not tell my friends to invest in Bitcoin, or to short Tesla, or to buy Gamestop after the short squeeze. But i was on Twitter Before It Was Cool, to my eternal shame, and so were they.

Anyway, thanks to this person, my Mastodon experience has been one of nostalgia and extreme enjoyment. My “local” Mastodon instance is populated with nerds of THE HIGHEST order; ham radio afeccionados, musicians, people who scan magazines from the 1920s into archives, urban planning hobbyists, perennial startup dorks, bicycle fetishists, programmers, and the like. A rogues gallery of dorks and geeks, people I gravitate towards and for whatever reason desperately crave the approval of.


Today, because I am me, I decided to try to focus on my latest obsession, that of modular synthesis, specifically of the VCVRack flavor, by going down to one of the newer local watering holes. To be honest, as I sit here and type, the place is kind of sterile. White walls, white lighting, white glass gleaming. Not a comfortable thing in sight. Yet the joint is busy most weekends and appears to be an anchor for the neighborhood, so I decided to try it out. I needed a change of pace for the modular synthesis learning, becuase otherwise I would get very easily distracted playing video games, programming, or doing any of a dozen other things on my “home” PC, none of which would help me learn modular synthesis.

An hour into my noodling, minding my own business, I post on Mastodon that I have settled into such place and that it is a good place to learn. Not 30 minutes later i get a tap on my shoulder and… it’s The Person! That who I followed from Twitter to Mastodon, and haven’t seen in person in 15 years easy. Turns out we are essentially neighbors, and the place I chose to park at happened to be within walking distance of their place.

2 hours later, we have caught up, expounded on our lives, talked about many interesting things, and set up future endeavors.

Did I learn a lot of modular synthesis today? Certainly not. In fact, the best I have is a series of screeches suitable for scaring birds away. But it was still worth it, because I was able to reconnect with this person, an Internet Person.

Life is rad.