1. As winter approached, the temperatures dropped and the greens gave way to a kaleidoscopic wash of orange, yellows, purple, and brown. The beauty made the cold forgivable. 2. In the world beyond the park, everyone was seething. 3. I kept thinking about the internet from ten years ago, which in many ways was no less angry but -- at least in retrospect -- seemed to offer more nuance. 4. Corporations hadn't yet figured out how to corral us behind their walls. It was not only an age before FB and Twitter but also before 'Tiny Letters,' which I have come to think about as 'Tiny Conspiracies.' What happened to being transparent? 5. I don't want to overstate it. George W. Bush was still presiding over a bellicose, corporate feeding frenzy that was the necessary antecedent to the bellicose, corporate feeding frenzy of today. 6. But the blogosphere felt more 'democratic.' There may or may not be data to back up this assertion, but I don't think it's a coincidence that Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 (or that Trump was elected in 2016, following eight years of increasing constraints on the internet). 7. And when I say 'constraints' I don't just mean the legal kind. Obviously, there's no law against blogging (and, again, I lack the data to back any of this up), but my sense is that a lot of time and energy that used to be spent on blogging is now devoted to Twitter and Facebook and other 'social media venues.' Which I understand; it's easier to join a 'community' -- even a gated one -- than to be a flickering light in an infinite universe. The validation we (sometimes) receive is easier and more rewarding (and more addictive), which is why we rush into these corporate fortresses. 8. But the validation, when it's not forthcoming, is also very sad. 9. When I post to Twitter or Facebook, I feel like a junkie in a crackhouse looking for a fix. 10. If I get it, I feel the rush; if I don't, I wallow in self-loathing. 11. And then I think about the park, which offers a completely different kind of validation. 12. And contains the symbols of every change that's yet to come.