It’s odd to see how conspiracy fantasies, suspect sources, disinformation and deliberate emotionally provocative or even antagonistic wording are on the rise on my LinkedIn timeline.

I first encountered a QAnon account in a comments section last August, but that person was still many steps away in my network. Now I see things popping up from direct connections and their connections. I had assumed that LinkedIn being tied to your professional reputation would go a long way to prevent such things, but apparently not any longer. In some instances, it’s almost as if people don’t realise they’re doing it, a boiling-a-frog effect of sorts.

One person being called out for some under-informed reactionary content by pointing out that their employer has the capabilities and resources to prove them wrong even responded “leave my employer out of it”. That’s not really possible though, as your employer is in your by-line and accompanies your avatar with every post and comment you make. Seven months after first encountering something like that on my LinkedIn timeline it is now a daily part of my timeline, and all coming from my Dutch network and their connections.

LinkedIn is starting to feel as icky as Facebook did three years ago. Makes me wonder how long LinkedIn will remain a viable tool. I don’t think I will be spending much or any attention on my timeline moving forward, until the moment LinkedIn is as much a failed social platform as others and it’s time to let go of it completely. That doesn’t mean disengaging with the people in my network obviously, but it is not at all my responsibility to help LinkedIn reach a certain level of quality of discourse by trying to counteract the muck. I was an early user of LinkedIn (nr. 8730, look at the source of your profile page and search it for ‘member:’ to find your number) in the spring of 2003, I know there’s already a trickle of people leaving the platform, and I wonder when (not if) I’ll fully join them.

Dat is tof! E wint de korte verhalenwedstrijd van de bibliotheek Eemland. Een verhaal over de menselijke drang naar duidelijke verklaringen voor indrukwekkende gebeurtenissen, zoals de epxlosie en brand in Amersfoort in 1787, gebaseerd op de eigen ervaringen in Enschede tijdens de vuurwerkramp en in New York na 9/11.


Explosie in de kerk van Amersfoort, 1787, Reinier Vinkeles (I), naar Jacobus Buys, 1787 – 1795, public domain image

Though primary schools are re-opening today, Y’s school didn’t. While I was hoping to be able to get some work done today, I’m spending the day playing in the snow with Y. E is in video calls all day so we can’t share the time. Hopefully Y can go to school tomorrow, as she’s been looking forward to it enormously, and was rather disappointed this morning. Just before 7am she came to me (I usually start working at 6) all fired up ‘I’m going to school’, and then I had to tell her a late night e-mail came explaining that the school would still be closed today.

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I usually get up an hour or more before E and Y do. When Y wakes up she assumes I’m in my office, comes in and climbs on my lap. While I’m typing she sometimes asks to edit her website together, or grabs a post-it and draws something. This one she attached to one of my screens as a gift yesterday morning.

The pandemic causes a variety of social ‘firsts’ for me, to take place online. Today it was a farewell party for a colleague at Frysklab who is retiring. On the plus side doing it remote means it’s easier to attend, but it is also harder for everyone to ‘mingle’.