Monday, August 18, 2014

Hiding from Facebook

I resisted Facebook for a long time.  It seemed a superficial means of communication and besides, I hate trendy crap.  But eventually I gave in at least on a limited basis.  I have a minor presence there, one designed mostly to keep in touch with my far flung pals from the archaeology world.

But because I think it would be bad professionally to have patients in the ER waiting room look me up and see me, well, being me, I am using a pseudonym for Facebook.  I am for that purpose a certain Badger Trowelsworthy.

Facebook has sophisticated software that tries to figure you out.  Not that they really care about you they just want to fine tune ads to send your way. You can tell they are zeroing in on your position when they actually get a few things right.  When they for instance suggest sports teams I might want to follow they sometimes come close.

So I keep tweaking my profile to try and confuse them.  At this time Facebook suggests the following things that I might find of interest:

Sports Team:  Fennerbahce Spor Klubu.  This is a soccer (football) team from Istanbul.

Book:  Duck for President.  This is a children's book I had never heard of.  When looking at this I accidentally clicked on "I have read this".  I suppose political poultry content will come streaming towards me now.

Movie:  The Mortal Instruments.  Also never heard of it.  It is a 2013 "German-Canadian" film.

Music:  Shakira.  Well, I have at least heard of her.

I admit to messin' with Facebook a little.  I was not born on January 1st 1910, but if you want to send me birthday greetings it is "close enough" on the date.  I actually have worked as a Carney, and I think "Knight-Errant" is true on some level.  I have not - NSA are you paying attention here? - attended the Pyongyang University of Music and Dance, but given the choreography of North Korean military parades I am sure the curriculum would be impressive.  And no, I don't really live in Greenland.  But this does have the helpful effect of making a high percentage of the ads Facebook sends to me be in Danish.  This renders them all mildly charming but I am disappointed that the Facebots don't realize that the official language of Greenland has been "West Greenlandic" since 2009.

I am enjoying my anonymity.  In fact I am considering posting my own Wikipedia page to further it. Something along these lines:

Badger Trowelsworthy has variously been described as a fugitive financier or a delusional nutter. An emerging consensus suggests that he may be both.

Trowelsworthy was born on a whaling ship in the South Atlantic in 1910.  He attributes his youthful appearance and widely rumored physical prowess to a diet of Hostess Twinkies.  When pressed he will also admit that his birth certificate is an obvious forgery.

The traditional residence of his family, Trowelsworthy Hall, is of uncertain location.  What information there is on the structure comes from consistently negative comments in a variety of architectural journals.  Locations in Dorset, UK, or on a municipal landfill in British Columbia have been claimed, but these are both likely to be misinformation put out to prevent a rogue junior branch of the Trowelsworthy family from taking possession during one of Badger Trowelsworthy's extended holidays or occasional incarcerations.  A more recent report describes it as "a former dental office made of steel shipping containers".

Trowelsworthy Hall in 2012

Very little is known for certain about Mr. Trowelsworthy.  He is said to have  toured the American Midwest in a traveling carnival in the 1920s.  There he met and married his first wife, a hoochie-coochie dancer known only as "Babs". Trowelsworthy was sued in the Turkish equivalent of small claims court in 1957 on charges of offering insufficient bribes to public officials.  The nickname "Al-Baksheeshi" dates from this era.  

BAJIR AL-BAKSHEESHI Date of photo unknown
Although he is technically allowed to style himself "Lord Trowelsworthy" the circumstances under which the British monarchy were persuaded to grant him the unique title of DBE ("Dude of the British Empire") are the subject of much inconclusive speculation.  He uses his knighthood primarily as an excuse to refer to his current wife - a former Miss Iceland from the early 1980s - as Lady Trowelsworthy.

Badger Trowelsworthy currently resides in the tiny Greenlandic community of Arsuk.  Nobody there will admit to recognizing the name Trowelsworthy, but mail and email sent to his alter ego Dagmar Suarez is answered promptly.  If  you mention that name in Arsuk you will be politely but firmly asked to leave at once.

Arsuk is rather lovely at summer solstice


The Old Man said...

I loved this one. I still am not on the Book of Face even though the rest of the family has been on my kiester about joining.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
Barely lucid in e-mail....

Tacitus2 said...

Well good Lord don't skip Facebook and go straight to Twitter. What a metaphor for our ADD twisted social media structure. Next up will be a service that just sends little emoticons, no words at all. Hell, it probably already exists.

Badger Trowelsworthy DBE