In their video essay↗︎ on Tunic, Sarah Zedig brings up a really distinction about intertextuality, viz. how media (in this case Tunic) "is not indebted to its predecessors, it is in conversation with them." I think this is a really important line to draw, but how do you go about drawing it? How does one delineate influence versus critique?
This is a note from an old system that I don't want to lose: On "The Aesthetics of Abstraction" ~aa : idea -> regarding the svalbard piql tapes, its precisely at the event when data becomes transcribed to a new medium (abstracted) that it becomes pervue to the political and material considerations of that medium. related to "vaults"
I use Firefox Focus on mobile which keeps me constrained to a single tab, and it seems to align my visual field with my thought process, forcing me to take written notes if I feel something is escaping my working memory. This seems promising in the "don't forget what computer thing I'm doing while at the computer" area.
I wonder if this can be applied to other flows
I am consistently finding myself in these "how do I get the experience of this position/gig/project/residency/etc. if I don't already have prior experience" type-situations. Beginning to feel like there is something wrong with my value system?
It's quite odd to me how the month is almost over. I'm starting to notice that my writing/learning is inversly related, no to the hours I'm working, but to my leve of work stress I'm experiencing, which are often - admittedly - distinct functions.
Just heard about the genre of flatgames, wandering 2D worlds with a paper-like aestehtic, through v buckenham who has developed an engine↗︎ for making flatgames.
Another weird day making the transition between staying at rents and coming back home to set up the studio after power resumed (which was actually the night before). M said that we had a pretty good start to the week but it kinda fell off. And I'd tend to agree, but there's reasons why that makes sense, I guess.
Very odd day yesterday. We lost power at about 4am and I ended up working in a total of three different spots including the local burger joint. Drove through ice/slate. We ended up staying at the rents. Quite disorienting.
Inhabiting Fictional Worlds
I think that Dungeon23 project gets close to something I've been thnking about for a while which is some way to integrate worldbuilding with a daily practice. The ssue is that the ind of worldbuilding that I see in the posts about those projects is definitely not the kind of worldbuilding that I am thinking of. I'm not interested in swords and shields and kobolds and orcs, but mroe so in this idea that I can somehow be immersed - or enclosed - in a space of my own creation,. But I don't necessarily want that world to be dependent on the categories of beleif and being that Wizards f the Coast pay to push on people. I'm not knocking TTRPG, I think it's really cool, but I somehow have the feeling that I like the architecture of innternality, but don't have the need to fill it with the furnititure of fantasy. I find this challenging to articulate. A thought that occured to me last night while making dinner is that I'd ideally like to have something that's more like a gallery space, something I/you can explore and create meaning from. I feel like the modern notion of "play" in so far as it's carried out in RPG is a matter of being told what to do.
I think another aspect of that is that I just like underground spaces in videogames. They have always felt soothing. We are playing Elden Ring right now and just got through a dungeon that was filled with "Jade Imps",and has a ghost at the entrace warning you not to ente, etc.. But it almost felt comfortable? I think I like spaces that I can create a mental model of, or come to understand that onw room or hallway is what forms another. I think this is why I liked Minecraft so much as well. I'm not necessarily into the world as much as I like being able to enclose my own view in a space that I control. I think this is als why I like those video of people making little dugout huts in the woods. It's like warm, or inviting? I don't think it's a death analogy, as much as it's a life analogy. I feel like some part of my head thinks that if I don't take up too much space, then I won't be so uncomfortable. I'm not sure how to describe it any better.
I think I've always had a sort of vendetta against finction. I feel it to be distracting from some larger pursuit. But I know it to be the only medium that capture many intricacies of the human social,emptional, and plitical experience. I overheard M reading Normal People by Sarah Rooney over the past few days (M rated it 5 stars on Goodreads), and it is beautful writing to be sure, but it somehow wreaks of this idea that you need the tea saucer, and the kettle, and school exams, as a way of building up theses about the human condition. I think I find finction uncomfortable because it fails to creates these architectures of internality. It's not just that linearly reading fiction isn't exploring a world, it's that you can't really navigate a world that built on someone elses terms. I always feel uncomfortable sitting on other people's furniture. Fiction is a fascinating form but it's one that I still have deep issues with, and I haven't ever really found the language to articulate why. Maybe I am self-absorbed, or maybe I lack empathy (these are traits I know to be associated with the grab bag).
I think the thing that I do like about TTRPG systems is that many things are accounted for, or atleast, they somehow provide a framework for conducting oneself in the world. The ruleset is where the game bottoms out, in the same way that bytecode is the way in a which a high-level programming language bottoms out. Language serves as the common "ruleset" for fiction, but I almost feel as if that worl is still to open, or vast, to feel like you are walkning on the same path. In general, I kind of hate spoiling any sort of book or movie for myself, which is ironic because I think that that is exactly what I enjoy about philosophy. You can read the wiki ir SEP entry on a figure, get to know their schtick, figure out how a given text fits into that schtick, what they were attempting to do with their project, and get a fell for that project as part of a greater discourse. I don't really read theory blind in the same way that I would want to read a book or watch a film blind.
I think what I'm trying to do is figure out how people can feel comfortable inhabiting worlds that others create.
Is worldbuilding hostile?
Still playing (or trying to play) Elden Ring with M. It's so damn challening. I wanted to go to the town over to get a chair for my office since the last one broke last year. I also wanted to go to the grocery store after. But T called us and asked if we wanted to go on a walk with their dog, which we did. The walk was about 4 miles and tired us out too much, so no store, and no chair.
We're following a couple of Elden Ring walkthroughs and it reminds me of printing out the guide to Golden Sun for GBA to take with me on a vacation. People like to be told what to do, but they also like to inhabit the worlds that others create for them. I recently found out about Athe Dungeon23 challenge which asks game designers to create a new room in a dungeon every day of 2023. This sort of thing is really interesting to me in the sense that you could build a world piece-meal over the course of the year. I think I read that the idea is that each week you end up with a level of your dungeon. I'm not so sure I like the dingy, dirty, dar dungeon as a setting, but I think the point still stands even if you choose another setting. It brings up all sorts of interesting questions of how you would use that world, encode those rooms, and what you would fill them with. I'm not much of a DnD/TTRPG person though. Maybe I could be?
Part of me thinks that it's a little cruel or manipulative to hold people in your worlds. But that's literally requisite one for any sort of experience of viewership? I feel, at times, at odds with the idea that it's worth creating something for someone else to be apart of. I suppose on the one hand, thats the vulnerability inherent in art, but on other, it seems so cruel and selfish to make someone subject to your own thoughts. That's cenrtainly an extreme outlook, but I feel like that is the sort of extremity that can arise from dealing with one's work for so long, and without outside perspective.imes, I'm deeply ecstatic and optimistic about humanity. I guess this is why folks write fuction. They dream up a world in which their worldview can be articulated so readers aren't driven crazy by a writers contant beginning of sentences with 'I think.'
I feel like that's where external feedback can be really useful. It can prevent you from jumping to concludions in your own practice. I don't know if I have trouble empathesizing with and appreciating other people's work, or if no one really cares much about each other's work. There's works that I care so deeply about, and artists and thinkers whom I care so deeply for, but I feel so distant from any dort of commuity, that it feels almost hard to beliece that peole get hyped up about each other's work.
As we were waling, I caught myself saying something like, "a good wya not to make social mistakes is to not go out in public," which of course M took issue with pretty immediately, as we were amongst company (not that that makes it any better if we weren't). But I sometime really do see the whole of the world as a zero-sum game, with not much upside, sometimes.
As a gift to myself (in part because I didn't realize it was something I wanted, and because I for whatever reason never got around to giving M a little wishlist), I received a Boox Leaf 2. It's the lowest end model in the range of Chinese-made e-ink Android devices, which I am writing on now. I quite like it. It doesn't feel at all durable, but somehow feels more robust because it is so limited in terms of technology. I reckon that this is about as low end a processor as they could get Android running on. I used a business card older to prop up the box inside it's lid, which acts as a nice little stand for the device. So far, I've been using DroidEdit and the built-in music app, as VLC can't currently identify the media I've loaded onto internal storage despite enabling permissions.
One of the trickiest things about this tablet is that it doesn't really multi-task as far as I can tell. Most of the first-party apps aren't complex enough to retain state, and most of the third-party apps do it automatically when they're opened. I've been using FoxIt, but am experimenting with a number of different PDF readers (most of my library is PDFs), among them Xodo, Flexcil, ReadEra, and WPS. They all have their pros and cons. The most ideal setup that I've come to for reading on a tablet is PDFExpert on an iPad, but that is a paid app on a $1500 computer. These are free apps on a $200 computer. I would have been so into this sort of thing in high school. Being able to write my papers on a little eReader would have been my jam. I used to do my homework in Evernote on an old HTC keyboard phone, and then print it off at the library before school started. Now paper has died off, and so has the HTC. I wonder how long this little tablet will last.
I think there a good chunk of "tools for thought" writing that's just folks posting whatever comes out of their mouths when testing out text editors or writing software. That sucks. A notable counterexample is Linus Li's blog which is distintcly not in this category. His newsleteer has been running for the last eight years and talks discusses a wide variety of topics that aren't just text-editor babble. That's been one of my favorites recently. I recently gained access to the HyperTalk discord server which is positioning itself to be where the HCI-oriented Twittersphere is migrating since the idiot buyout. There some interesting stuff over there but I feel like a lot of the modern HCI stuff is very web-oriented in a peculiar anti-permacomputing way. I think that's why I like Merveilles so much (among other reasons). It has a bent toward HCI but always with an undertone of permacomputing. I'd like to read more about permacomputing as well, maybe chart a small course for myself.
I've been reading "Rethinking Writing" at just about the limit of my comprehension, which has been an interesting experience. I'm not entirely sure how much of it I'm picking up, but I'm marking paragraphs tocome back to. I think at this point the idea is that those are paragraphs that will eventually get copied over into /highlights. This has been a pretty common practice for me over the last few years, and so this little eReader has been a good opportunity to explore just what is the minimal feature set I need in a PDF reading application. I'm not quite sure I could condense tahtv myself, but I think I do need some way of drawing on the page, if not highlighting text (the OCR on whatever early 90s college library theory scans seems to be atrocious), and some way of saving those changes tot he files itself (for instance, the version of FoxIt that I'm using corrupts PDFs in it's "Recent" directory, which makes it challenging to, you know, read a book in multiple sittings.
I feel like I didn't get a whole lot done today, but that may be because of the level of stress that I have currently. I think one of my coping mechanisms is to procrastinate and then let crunch-time be the on;ly factor in getting things done. I've heard this is a symptom of ADHD, but I'm not necessarily trying to add to the pile of diagnoses. I need to find better ways to keep my overall stress level down as well. Sometimes I feel like taking a day off is my only way to cope, but that ultimately makes things worse. I was also distracted by a quick export that I had to run off, which kind of threw off my whole day. I think I need to be slightly less responsive to emails so I don't give into the tempation tot urn things around immediately. Basically, I'm doing my best to maintain. (sigh...)
Not a bad day all in all. Squeezed in a good chunk of work, still plenty to do this week. M and I had neatloaf (household name for TVP-based meatloaf) and mashed potatoes which was pretty yummy. Storm all of over the region. M is gonna work from home tomorrow which will be fun. I feel like I'm doing a good job of hitting laundry/dishes while still working. I really want to sit down and do some p5, but scrolled instead. That's something that I need to replace. Maybe it's a matter of device? Tasklist seems to be working pretty well even though it's read-only, I kinda dig that. Trying to keep a better handle on the house and on my task list. It's been a decent mid-week. Not sure if we will get to workout class tomorrow with the streets being flooded as they are (or will be by the morning). Our batteries are charging overnight, so here's to hoping we still have power throughout the day so we can work.
We got Elden Ring because it was on sale. We usually have this idea of a "winter game" which is a game we try to occupy ourselves with for a bit over the winter, but the last few years, I've been less interested in gaming. Reading "Tomorrow..." kinda has me more stoked on 'gaming as human nature', I really haven't felt stoked on games since the run of winter games we played while we were in Chicago. The Witness one year and then RDR2 the next. Hard to compete. But it will be fun to try out a From Software game. Maybe M will want to get Sekiro (I loved Tsushima).
Plywood and Screws
I wrote about 24,000*
I split out this site into a half dozen or so pages, from a single file. My original interest in having a single page was portability, but I realize that this method runs counter to my interest in reduced energy consumption. When M and I were on vacation, I ran a bit of napkin math that the site will accrue about a half to a full meg per year. That's an unrealistic amount of data to send via a single request, even at reasonably high speeds (which I certainly don't have access to regularly). There's a balance there that I'm not entirely sure I've struck yet. I'd prefer to serve readers only what they request, but also have found the show/hide tag method an extremely effective way of organizing this site and my schema of its organization.
I didn't effectively capture anything close to a year-review last year. I actually was on hiatus from this system from July of last year to roughly May where this site began its current incarnation. I'd like to do something resembling a year review (perhaps expanding on my last post, "Themes").
Most of this site's structure and format came together in the week following my wedding. We had an extra week off and I made it a priority to assemble something simple enough that I can start to build on top of. Around that same time, I ws also working on the first throes of what would be producing my first podcast. That was an interesting set of challenges to encounter, especially as I was working on a new fee structure that would scale across the colume of content as opposed to the amount of work involved in editing that content. That was a big step for my business and I'm proud of myself for working that out. I've done a good deal to expand, but had some trouble managing my work-related anxiety this year. I often wait to hop on the next period of hyperfixation which isn't very sustainable as a business model. I've got to create healthier routines around work and sleep, and I think those are two good goals to set for next year.
Additionally, I'd like to up my reading and listening game a bit. M asked what my reading goal for next year is. I'd like to get through a good portion of the shortform content I've saved, but I also have several courses of reading that I'd like to persue. This past year, I did manage to do a good chunk of reading about learning, and about reading itself. That is partially in preparation for being comfortable adding content to this site that isn't painful to look back on. I've recently been (fondly) looking back on the Tom Sachs aesthetic and much of that work has a working-in-public vibe, but also a distinct element of "bandaids as canvas." I'm not sure how to articulate this differently, but there's something quite interersting to me about the uniformity of that aesthetic. It's not necessarily that work/art/product/output isn't being produced. It's that the tool-making is a part of the work itself. I can see quite clearly through Devine's work how that approach translates to HCI/computing, but I'm not entirely sure how that translates to writing. I specifically do not think it's about note-taking systems or zettelkasten, etc.. I think it's more about being able to treat concepts (in the D&G sense) as the work at hand. If you want a top-down shot, you build the mount first, and I think that's what I think will be an important part of the process/practice of working on this site. I can only think of corny names for that approach, like "plywriting." The original Ten Bullets video, which looking back is a little full of itself, calls this "working to code" - where the process creates the work. This, on the one hand, produces work that is consistent, and uniform, because what else is there besides materials and protocol. On the other hand, this opens a space to focus on the concepts because everything else is accounted for. I think there's a similarity there between that approach and a good piece of writing. It's why D&G have such a diverse range of concepts, because they have such a coherent system of philosophy, even if that system is so complex, it may take a lifetime of scholarship to understand.
Mostly by virtue of Merveilles and Uxn, I've been quite interested in Forths this year. How simple (almost nonexistent) syntax can make for these beautiful little DSLs and what seem to be enigmatically elegant programs. I don't think that interest comes strictly from the computer science behind Forth, but more so, how the materials are built from the ground up using a simple protocol (the stack), and an interactive interpreter allows the user to see just how you get from the ground to a given level of abstraction. I've heard that Forth is the low-level language for high-level thinkers, and the high-level language for low-level thinkers. I like that alot, and I think that may be a good definition for systems that are amenable to a variety of use cases, though I am unsure where other examples of systems that fit this type of definition. Forth (and Lisp/Scheme), have this beautiful sort of modularity that somehow speaks to something outside of computer science. When looks at as languages qua objects, they jump out of the system. That's a peculiarity that I'd like to explore further next year, and I have some reading about abstraction lined up for when I'm ready, but it proves a distinctly challenging thing to research about, because it may be quitely literally the most abstract and interdisciplinary topic to learn about. I'm as interested in learning Forth as I am about learning Sokoban. It's not about doing math, it's about learning how math is done.
I feel like I'm coming off the heels of a five or so year-long stint with techno (since Chicago, I suppose) and starting to return back to the wider field of electronic music. My most recent musical interest has been in Baile Funk, the Brazilian genre that infuses hip-hop and club music. This is somehow connected to my interest in Gqom, which has a very similar minimalist structure laid atop the historical context of complex regional rhythm. I'm interested in more of these subgenres which revolve around rhythm-laid-bare as cultural pattern. I might dip into the relationship between rhythms and textiles, and how that changes over a geography.
It's been an extremely crazy year, as I addressed in the last post. But it will be crazy next year too. I have trouble figuring out what it crazy, because the base line has just gradually increased since I left the service industry. Parkinson's law: work expands to fill the time alotted to it. But I think that also has a converse: time expands to encapsulate the work alotted to it. Choosing the right level of encapsulation is something I fail to do at such a consistent rate, I'm not sure I've ever really known how much of a bite to chew off. I'm not so much in over my head with work as I am treading with a broken leg, and that broken leg is some effective task management system. I wonder for how long I will struggle with that.
Yesterday, I was pretty explicit with Dad about my mental health (after he prompted a conversation), both the state, and the treatment, which made for a bit of an odd conversation as he comes from the generation that is very much "mind-over-matter", and I made it pretty clear that if I was going to divulge details about the afroemntioned, that he would need to change his angle. I don't think I used the word "neurodivergence", but I touched on a similar definition. I think his way of being empathic is indexing his own lived experience for similar symptoms, which I can't fault him for. I told him there is a genetic component to things that I believe were passed down to me through him, which he sympathesized with, even if I don't think he fully understands the extent to which I was implying that I think he is dealing with the same issues. It's certainly not a conversation that I had anticipated having, but I think I feel comfortable having had it. I think that conversation makes my own treatment somehow more real in the next year, which is a little odd.
I think a big part of reading more is finding a good way of creating highlights in more challenging work. I know I can highlight textbooks for days. But theres lots of typesetting anf formatting cues that make that much easier than a bit of theory. I've created /highlights so I can factor out bits from others out of my word count, but I'm not sure to what extent I actually want to use this site to house highlights. As of now, it's kind of a pain to get them out of a PDF and into plain text, but that might just come from trying a bunch of different processes. I know for sure that I do not want to use the Kindle/Readwise process as I would like everything associated with this site to be more or less subscription/service-free.
One approach may be to jsut keep a text editor open for the duration of my life, like now where *. That feel a bit daunting. When I was a kid, Dad would tell me (in reference to baseball), "if you want to be the best at something, you have to give it every minute you've got." There's a myriad reason why that's quite problematic, and has given me a very skewed value system around work and productivity, but I do know that there is some truth to that. On the hand, there are things that I want to do that aren't writing, like making music, and making art with code. /routines will help me with that to an extent, but I also know of the inherent trade-offs that come from a multidisplinary practice.
Maybe the point is to document the process along the way so that the byproduct is the writing, but not the end in itself. I've recently been reading thesephist's blog/newsletter. And he has some really fantastic points about human-computer interaction, and he is a pretty decent writer, but it's really clear that the point isn't the writing, or the good points about HCI, it's the software, and to less|greater extent, the systems.
If I had captured what last year's review would have looked like, it would probably strikingly similar to this one. I'd like to /do/ things, but also have the writing that captures that moments where I've done them. I need to stay in this, but I also need to stay present. I think the trick is finding a way for one means to achieve both ends. Part of that is market-oriented. The other is relational/social. This is why welfare states create more art, and why artists are privileged. I'm not going to delude myself about identities. I just want to throw a thousand words into an editor before I start the day. Again, how?
Originally posted to a thread on yearly themes on Merveilles Forum:
This has been a massive year personally. I got married, started therapy after an extended hiatus, and completed my first full year self-employed. All massively positive changes. But there’s a few ways in which my partner and I are still recovering from the exhaustion of the wedding. As the haze starts to clear, I’m quite interested in pursuing - balance - as a theme for next year. This year, I steadily built up my work projects, but often at the expense of household management. I got a handle on my writing practice, but often at the expense of sleep hygiene. I feel like my task and wiki systems stabilized this year which has been awesome, but I’d like to augment these with stable routines (solid meals, regular exercise, etc.). I have a tendency to hyper-fixate, often because I rationalize that fixation creates deep understanding, and skill. But for the sake of my mental health, I need to develop a better sense that the fruits of those labors can’t be enjoyed if I’m too tired to do so.
Still feeling quite scattered since coming back from the trip. I've been interested in graphics programming, GLSL shaders, Processing, etc. And I've been evaluating environments for doing some live coding. I found out about Visor, which wraps Processing in a Ruby API + live coding environment, which works okay, but it's electron-based so meh. I also found out about Lua2SC which looks awesome, but I can't get it to work. Hmm...
With the first paragraph in mind, I did mention to M how I'd like to work towards a more well-rounded daily routine. But I'm not sure how to get there. My mind just feels so off some days that I have a hard time getting anything done at all. Other days, it seems that my mind doesn't really wake up until 8 hours after I've gotten out of bed. I'm sure lots of folks experience this, but I'm not sure what it's called or how to remedy it. Is the sum of life just one big exercise in doing? I'm not sure my mind is cut out for something like that. I feel incomprehensibly tired.
I tried doing a pretty strict daily routine a few months ago and I had trouble keeping up with it, specifically because our landlord forced some renovations on us, and so we stayed with relatives for a week, which totally threw off my routine due to an unfamiliar environment. Unsure how to proceed.
Here at Seatac waiting to get on our flight which has been delayed an hour and a half. It looks like we will be at the airport for around four hours before we can board. We won’t be home until 2 or 3am which is a drag, but we sort of knew this going in. The immenseness of the airport food court that we’re in is quite vast. I think there’s a sense in which I dislike spaces that are too open, but once they get past a certain threshold, they become quite nice again. Maybe I just like large indoor spaces in general. It’s interesting to be able to see the structural supports of a space, to be able to view from the inside how the windows are constrained to points and folds of those supports.
Kind of a crappy day of travel.
Feel pretty overwhelmed about the impending year. Not really feeling like I'm in a position to do a review of the last*
Ports and Chocolates
On the ferry from San Juan Island to Orcas. It’s a nice little island, and a whole helluva lot more built out than Orcas is, but I think we like Orcas a bit more - for that reason exactly. Quite oddly, I ran into Mark, an old acquaintance from Redlands. His wife is working at the school, so he is manning the local coffee shop. San Juan somehow feels more like a town than Orcas, which feels more like an approximation of a village. It’s the difference between Angels and Murphys. We went to. Wonderful little chocolate and port shop called Cin Cin Goods. We had a port and chocolate tasting consisting of three pairings. They were all so good. I chatted up one of the two owners (it was a couple)about how they made their way out there and what it’s like to be around our age and decide to settle into a smaller community. Afterwards, I reflected on the fact that I’m halfway decent (perhaps more so) at the sort of conversations one engages in when you’re getting to know someone, and I can make a decent first impression. But that I only ever do so under the pretense of being a customer… We got a bottle of port.
I think I have trouble developing deep relationships because I don’t really know how to try to get past that introductory casual conversation. This is perhaps one of my biggest pain points at the current moment. Yesterday was thanksgiving. We hiked around the Cascade Falls Trail in Moran State Park on Orcas. It’s a beautiful park and a beautiful trail. Afterwards, we made our way to Mt. Constitution, where a fort tops the summit, overlooking Mount Baker, Bellingham, and I believe some little crests of Canada. Some of the best views I’ve ever seen. When we came back to our cabin, we started up on the charcuterie and cocktails. M and I started downing these Gin/Lemon/Cran/Mint, and M had the excellent idea to top those with a champagne float. We’re not frequent drinkers, but I think we both like to partake when on vacation. In the past, I’ve felt very uncomfortable driving with even a drop of liquor in my system, but I’ve been testing the waters of having a single cocktail with dinner (and lots of water) and seeing how I’m feeling. I sure as hell never would have done a Port tasting and then gotten on the road, but now I feel like I”m able to be a bit more realistic about a) how much alch I’m actually consuming, and b) what my tolerance. I feel comfortable. I think it’s probably a rule thing to not allow myself to have a drink with dinner.It’s easier to follow a hardline rule than it is to embed myself in a gray area. I like rules. I hate gray areas.
With our charcuterie, we had instant mashed potatoes (M had a craving, which ended up being a great call), with garlic butter. It’s a bit of an unorthodox thanksgiving, but I think it’s the modification we wanted (because actually celebrating is awful), and I think it gave us the slack we needed (because we typically do thanksgiving with M’s mom’s extended family - who I enjoy). It felt sort of “adult” to get outta Dodge for a bit in lieu of family commitments - it feels like we are putting ourselves first, in a healthy way. I’m incredibly in love, and it feels nice to test the bounds of that love with novel and sometimes overwhelming situations. It’s also nice to do so in a domestic environment. We are both interested in international travel, and expressed wanting to do so with each other but see know we do want to test the waters before we get that far, as I - especially, am done to overwhelm at the slightest of triggers. It’s difficult to document those triggers as they pop up, but perhaps it’s something I would like to do as I get more comfortable with making them explicit.
We got drunk and watched a movie, but both got impatient with it after the first few scenes and decided to watch cartoons instead. This suits my fancy just fine, but I do have a feeling like M’s attention span is starting to get shorter the more we consume TikTok, and I am certainly not immune, but I’ve been trying to lay off it. We both decided we were gonna delete it for the trip but M has kept it on her phone as she likes to watch when she gets ready for the day, etc..I don’t really care in the short-term, but I feel like it could have larger ramifications in the long-term. There was a point at which I felt like I needed to post everyday to try and build clout on the platform but that’s very difficult to keep up with and I think that’s how they getcha. I’m most curious at the moment about this project I ran into on GitHub called love2d-forth, which does what it says on the tin, allows the user to write forth against the Love2D library with no additional libraries or binaries included. This is, in many ways, exactly what I am looking for, but again, I feel like it may be too tricky of an environment to learn on my own because there’s literally no documentation except for the readme.
M just bought a coffee because she is starting to fall asleep. I’m here typing. We got her a nice Patagonia puffer. I feel quite anti-Patagonia because I feel like it signals class in a really quite detrimental way, but here we are: she got a puffer, and I got a bag. This is the culture industry, it sucks you up before you’ve realize you’ve been sucked. The ferry is taking a moment to switch crews and M asked if “this is a liminal space?” I responded in the affirmative. I’m not actually sure if it is. There’s a sense in which the patina and sparkle of plasticized Formica-styled tables and floors, something that was new at one point, but is in an eternal state of ‘not-newness’, isn’t exactly a liminal space (by implication) but more so that the these surfaces and textures create a new category of linkage to 90s material engineers, boat interior designers, and industrial construction agencies. That linkage certainly has an aesthetic, and it may be that it induces liminality by virtue of the fact that this is the last ferry of the day from San Juan to Orcas, but that linkage creates it’s own sort of space - like a courthouse waiting room, or a diner whose owners moved out of state.
At the moment, I’m quite fascinated by the idea of creating extremely opinionated UIs for writing. I’m wondering about what one or two basic features would turn a piece of software that feels like a text editor into a planner. I feel like text files and documents are conflated in such a way that we think structure user experiences around the primacy of text, as opposed to around spatial relationships, layout, or any other number of characteristics. I just watched Jack Rusher’s Stop Making Dead Programs talk at Strangeloop which is all about how programming experiences that don’t prioritize interactivity and pragmatics (borrowing the term from linguistics), and don’t leverage the fact that we are no longer confined to the text-base 80-column interfaces of the teletype days are really missing an opportunity to educate /and/ to provide modern developers with tools that allow for better introspection. It was basically a critique of compiled software and a plea for more interactive runtimes that can be live-coded. Akkartic’s work with Love2D, and Devine’s work with drifblim’s life reloading feature are great examples of the work (outside of the closure oriented space that Jack highlights) that is being done in this area.
I have some very basic notion of what a UX would be where you could live-code things as you go, but I have absolutely no idea how to implement something like that.
S wants me to start a “dissociation log” where we can start to develop some data around the time when I “teleport”. While I had COVID, I felt it didn’t make sense to do so because I wasn’t at a baseline, but i think it’s manageable to do so when we get back from our trip. For now, this was a nice middle day.
I think that the world will tell me when I'm not meant to be doing something (re: aspirations, careers). The odds are it already has. I just haven't been listening.
Below should probably be a page of features that I like. Coming off the heels of Bret Victor's Twitter deepdive.
On the ferry back from Orcas to Anacortes. We had a great time on the trip. We spent most of yesterday lounging around the cabin, drinking gin and cran with champagne, snacking. M played this tile placing game on the switch but I think she got burnt out on it by the end of the trip. I did a bit of work on the little forth interpreter I’ve been hacking away on. Still very little idea of what I’m doing. We had some fantastic cheeses.
On Saturday, we went to a little art class at the local art center. The workshop was on block printing, which I had never done, though M is quite experienced as a large part of her degree involved printmaking. I made a little scene of waves and trees, with a little orca fin sticking out, and an inscription of the Uxntal alphabet. M made a little scene of the forest with a “Happy Holidays” message. We made cards for friends, and parents. The whole thing was a bit chaotic as I think the art center let more folks enroll than the teacher was anticipating. It was her first time doing that sort of thing. She is a local math teacher. Afterwards, M and I got some supplies and coffee and went on a little drive to an area called Olga, and figured out the location of the dinner reservation we had made several days prior,while it was still light out. Doe Bay (in Olga) is a bit more foreboding place, clearly not the tourist attraction that Eastsound is, but actively under residential development. Our drive through Westsound also gives me the impression that this place is actively growing, if on quite a slow timescale.
It was a little stressful to clean everything up to get out of there, but we are it out relatively on time. We drove around Westsound, which gets a different sort of light than Eastsound, and has a bunch of pretty boats to look at. I think M and I enjoyed our time enough to come back to this area at some point, but I think we’ve had our fill for the time being.
I just read a really interesting thread on the slow death of corporate librarians and the lack of engineer-historians on modern development teams. I still have no idea what it’s like to be a part of a team that makes software, but I think it would be a cool experience to have. I’m really curious about what it would be like to be a technical writer. But I equally lack any sort of clue about how to get into that scene as well.
M and I made an effort to “dream” a little bit. M sometimes uses the word “future-casting”, which is also a good way to put it. We did a little “lovemap” exercise which tests how well we know each other as partners. It struck me as the sort of thing that people do much earlier on in our relationships. It’s funny to know a person as well as we do. I know it’s common, but in the scope of my won experience, it’s quite unique. It’s quite clear that M would like to make art her living, but isn’t sure how to do so, or under what circumstances that can be possible. Neither am I, to be honest, but I’d like to support her in every way I can. We spoke very briefly about the possibility of me going back to school, which is something I occasionally indicate an interest in doing. I told her that I think there is a big difference being learning and being taught, and I can learn on my own all I want, but being taught is something I’m not sure if I would enjoy, or even if it’s something we can afford. The thing that I didn’t make explicit is that there is many questions I want to ask of the world, and I’m not sure which ones are valuable enough to ask under the pursuit of a degree. I told her that the cost-benefit would have to match up in order for me to feel comfortable going back, but I’m not sure if I exactly agree with that sentiment. I’m not sure that going back to school can really present a strong enough upside other than a commitment to, and a fight to, teach. But since M is so attracted to our area, I wouldn’t have the same flexibility to go wherever I’m hired. Also, I don’t think it’s at all likely that we will move for me to go to school, so I’m quite restricted to online programs, which defeats a lot of the networking portions of a program.
What would be more ideal is to write a book, and figure out how to make some income or receive some credit for it. I’d love to write a book, but I don’t have a good reason to do so, nor do I have a good reason to do anything other than work from that perspective. There a sense in which intellectual pursuits are so deeply trivial that they border on frivolity. That sucks.
We have one more day in Bellingham. I’d like to take M out to a nice dinner and drinks. Maybe walk around a bit, but we have to figure out how to get a Ford Escape worth of stuff to fit into two suitcases, a large tote, and a backpack. It’s not looking good, but I’m always game for a little Tetris. That’s the kind of stuff a husband enjoys…
Hitting a wall.
I can't help but get the feeling that I'm really not cut out for programming of any sort. It's not just that a don't have an intuition for it, but that I never seem to get anywhere. It's as if I can't get beyond the first five minutes or head scratching in order to enjoy the next five hours of problem solving. It's always been like this. I jsut wish I could stop trying to do it. I wish the whole process was a bit more intuitive. I like the simplicity of platforms like Uxn, Love 2D, DragonRuby, but I feel like I need to be handheld through each step in order to develop a picture of what's going on. I'd especially like to learn uf, which is a small graphical forth environment for Uxn. It would be awesome to make little games and applications and have a deep understanding of the system, but I can't figure out what are feasible projects to undertake in order to develop that understanding. The issue is that, even for platforms where there is video content, I have a really hard time trying to follow along and read someone else's code. It's like my questions about their code prevent me from developing a big picture understanding of what they are doing.
I've run into similar walls before and the worst of these resulted in an (albeit quite minor) outburst in a public forum where I feel like I lost a bit of respect. My sentiment was something like: "How tf do you learn this stuff?!?" which was met with no reply. But I still feel that same sort of anger and frustration for most contexts. At another juncture with a similar context (in a more mature point in my life), I said something along the lines of, "What is there to implement on a computer besides what is already on it?", and that resulted in one of the more interesting and engaged threads I've started on any forum. You can study programming languages, and that might have something to say about the way we think, and conceive of language, you can develop application that help people solve problems and get things done, or you can make entertainment, through art like music or games, etc.. What else is there? Life with computers is boring. Life without is too.
I'm not blaming anyone for this, I just don't know why I'm having such a hard time with it. The two projects that I've gotten the furthest in is a little surfing game demo in Love 2D, and a little nanoloop clone in JSFX (Reaper). In both of those projects, I hit some limit where my understanding of how to develop higher-order abstractions without breaking anything starts to break down. I have to manage complexity, but can't do so in a way that doesn't break my code. One solution would be to simplify. But sometimes it's quite difficult to actually find the best way to simplify when you already have a given scope in mind. Another solution would be to ask others, but I don't know how to encapsulate my issues into questions that don't directly depend on my code. I find the whole thing really frustrating. Might as well just bury myself in books and give up on computers.
That said, I have made quite a bit of progress on the site, and I'm almost done integrating the last of my legacy notes. It's not like all is lost. But I feel extremely low at the moment. I decided that it would be a good idea to try out a few alts on mastodon as my home instance was feeling a bit constrained/stale. It's just more of the same. Everyone bragging about their publications and awards. M says that jealousy isn't an attractive trait, so I try my best not to let it show. But I feel very angry, and incompetent. The only way I can have enough time to write is to stay up into the early hours of the morning. And that makes wake up time immensely difficult, and it makes me feel selfish when I do so to the detriment of helping M get out the door for work (making lunch, starting the car now that it's winter, etc..).
I'm not actually sure if jealousy is the right word for the emotion I'm experiencing. It's more like an rapid onset anger, I don't know at who or at what, but my whole head and body burns with anger when I hear of other people's successes. I can't possibly be good at the number of things I hear people be good at. It's not even practical to try, but as I approach 30, I have a really hard time narrowing my scope. There's some ethereal concensus that it's okay to be a generalist, but I think that's a toxic viewpoint for people who are unwilling to put in the time. The issue is, is that my time is already limited and growing more and more limited. I could introspect until the cows come home, but I just have a hard time focusing on the things that I do want to do. Keeping #goals has been a useful practice, but only insofar as I realize which milestones are a) entirely infeasible or b) just stupid ideas that never went anywhere. It's not like I'm unsuccessful on the face of it, part of me just feels like I should be in far more structured environments where I can do the whole CV-building hamster wheel. Not sure.
What I find boring, or perhaps disheartening, is the vision of computing that [permacomputing] projects offer. They don't seem to see beyond computing's past or profoundly corporate uses for computation...even while trying to move outside of, or beyond capitalism... I think this is partially because the folks involved in these efforts tend to be computer-y types, hardware nerds, programming experts -- there aren't, at least in the conversations I've lurked on, storytellers, designers, folks dreaming of how a forever computer could be something wholly new...not just a really sturdy PDA with a keyboard and easily serviceable parts... I wanna invite something new; is it even possible? What is a new face for computation?... Whereas the past was constrained by economic goals (design a thing to sell) what is a computing device designed to last forever? What is a computing device divorced from an economy? What is a computing device that can be passed down through a family?... There are, of course, constraints, limits, an environment to respect, but is there space to think of and dream up uses beyond an Apple 2?
This, for me, marks a major inquiry into the crossover between HCI and permacomputing. I think there's lots of room to envision a forever computer that doesn't look like the apple/unix workstation of the 20th century. Seems a lot of the current thought + imagination is predicated on maintaining the practicality of computers as "things you write code on" - of being able to continue legitimizing computing as a science under limited resources. So there's a sort of primacy of the textual that will constrain the possibility space of what those substrates look like, as well as the accessibility of those substrates.
I think I'm starting to realize why I have an issue with "read" lists. I don't think they map on to how I read.
Be conscious while moving through material and recognizing when to skim through. Avoid pedantically reading every word, or the dogmatic approach of "finishing what you started". Adjust your rhythm to match your interest.Rosano↗︎ makes a great point here, and I think that this approach reflects a lot of my own reading behavior, but it skews away from the idea of "having something to show" from my reading. In fact, there's something to be said for a correlation between the amount learned and the amount skipped, but that may be too drastic/equally dogmatic. I feel - at times - hellbent on having a "read" list or having a whole bunch of highlights but those processes often introduce too much friction and can be disincentivizing. I'm not sure I have any good solutions, but I'm starting to identify the problem.
With bird site crumbling, the fediverse has seen an influx of new users and a lot of people complaining/confused, asking "where do I sign up?" I don't necessarily see that as a failing of those users, but more so a failing of the general internet users idea of what a server is, and platforms like Discord have confused that definition even further. Bit of a mess at the moment.
There's a sense in which it's simple to construct a system that makes music, just as it's (relatively) simple to make a nice piece of music. Constructing a system that makes a nice piece of music, on the other hand, seems like quite the challenge.
M and I started working on Cain's Jawbone, a 1930s puzzle novel which was recently reissued. The premise is a book of 100 scrambled pages, and the reader must determine the correct sequence of the pages, and in so doing, determine the various whodunnits therein. It's fun, but quite an undertaking. We aren't even really sure what we are doing, but it's fun to be engaged in that experience together. It's another instance of entering into a system, but not having an understanding of what level of detail to know is important.
I've just gotten into a bit of iOS music making now that we seem to have a flurry of iOS devices floating around the house. The experience is surprisingly clean. An issue I have though is that each environment seems almost impossible to replicate because the file management on iOS devices are so poor. This makes each sitting almost so fleeting that it seems difficult to anything besides create a bunch of stems to carry to a more reliable environment. That said, I think I don have a tendency to overestimate teh degree to which those concerns actually make a difference to the day-to-day. It's more of a looming threat of losing a workflow that I've gotten used to, than it is any sort of real threat to the mechanics of composing on an iOS device. The AUv3 format is quite nice, though I don't think most of the hosts have properly managed how to treat nested interfaces on devices with smaller screen sizes - some to the point where they are actually unusable. The best experience I've had with a host has been AUM, but it's fairly modular and seems like it hides many features from the user that are otherwise quite useful. It still catches me off guard when track types are enforced between audio and MIDI. I've been having fun with the cykle sequencer which allows for polymetric sequence attributes, which creates these really interesting and complex patterns. The early fork of VCV version 1, miRack is quite comfortable to use, even on an iPhone screen and it comes with quite a few usable sets of modules including Bogaudio which is likely my favorite to date. I think that the VCV developer has issues with the existence of the fork, but my understanding is that they can't do anything about it because the licensing at one point allowed for this sort of thing, and I generally think they are a little hostile to their won user community so I've been quite permissive and supportive of efforts to fork/clone the project. I've also just started to use the Lagrange synthesizer as an AUv3 within AUM and it employs a similar system to the Microfreak as a means of packing quite a few timbres into a deceivingly small package. Despite the iPhone UI being all on a single horizontally-scrollable row, it's still quite usable and sounds quite nice. I'm considering getting the Kajita Reverb/Delay combo by the same developer as a means of creating a nice template for compositions. Purchasing those little apps is almost too easy, which can be a bit scary, but everything in moderation. I'm having fun.
We leave for our honeymoon on the San Juan Islands in a week. Still lots to do about the house, but we are both very excited for some much needed time off, with the added bonus of being able to skip the usual Thanksgiving festivities which are simultaneously politically deaf, and socially daunting. I hope that celebration dies out with our parents' generation. My parents would usually do a Thanksgiving trip because it was one of the few times of year where it made sense for my dad to take some time off work, so M and I told them that we are "continuing the tradition" which was pretty funny. That weren't as offended as I thought they would be because we usually celebrate with M's extended family anyways. This is the first "Get Up and Go" type trip that we've done in our six years together. Everything else has been a sort of long-weekend or getting everything ready for the weddings. It'll be nice to get away.
There's many ways in which I've grown as an individual this year. Many of which have pulled me away from adding to this site. Everything is a trade-off I suppose. In the short term, I'd like to figure out which trade-offs are worth making. There's a few thigns which have generally jaded me from posting. One of which is I began a sort of habit tracker which made me feel pretty awful when I didn't stick with it, and generally discouraged me from posting. Another is I've begun some treatments for various ailments that require very intense periods of introspection, which kind of deplete my introspection meter more quickly and for longer periods than I had originally anticipated.
I've already beat out the amount of work I've done last year. And I essentially have a choice as to whether or not I want that to be an x margin or a 2x margin over last year as I close in to the last six weeks of the year. That's a huge positive, and I'm no where near topping out that limit, but I wonder how sustainable current growth is given my limited time. Several clients I've secured this year halved their long-term release frequency relative to what they had originally intended, mostly because of the internal staff labor overhead involved in the production process. Understandable, but still challenging to reckon with in a number of ways which I'm not sure I'm able to enumerate at the current moment.
With support of M, I've also begun treatment for several mental challenges that effect my health, my work, and my immediate relationships. I'm not sure I want to go into a large amount of detail in this venue but that re-entry into those processes for the first time since moving back to California has been a huge step towards maintaining my mental health. I am currently encountering the challenge between identifying positive benefit outside of the therapeutic context, and not sure I'm seeing results, but it's an important reminder to be patient with myself in a context requires an abnormally high amount of patience from all involved parties.
I've also started posting short-form video content to TikTok, which is a platform I despise, but ultimately serves as a decent experiment in developing a small amount video content where I offer a more or less expert opinion on music production education, and music technology. It's nice to be able to put together something thats relatively coherent and watchable in a short amount of time. I feel like the pricess of making these videos are vastly different from writing in the sense that it takes probably 3x-4x as long to make the same points in writing than it does when I turn the camera on myself. That said, the level of polish is almost immediate and requires very little change when it comes to writing than with video, where I can record the same very basic 10 second shot a dozen times and still not have a usable take. I recently got a very basic set of video equipment that compliments my phone as a video camera which I'm excited to put into use for slightly more evergreen video content in the future. Unfortunately, the mroe content I produce, the more I realize just how fleeting and impermanent making content related to music technology is. It ages terribly because the whole market moves so fast. Everything is almost instantly out of date, and there is very little appreciation on the consumer side for taking content on slightly out of date platforms, and applying the same methods to updated platforms. If it's not the latest version of Ableton/FL/Logic/Reaper/etc., how could it possibly be applicable? seems to be the dominant mindset. Toxic.
Spent the weekend away in Mendocino with M and friends for one of M's co-workers weddings. Beautiful venue. I like that area very much. Unfortunately, M got food poisoning on our way back and has been in bed the last day or so. I've been pon a big Burial kick all weekend and trying to find more info on the illustrious question of not whether they made Untrue with Sound Forge (I don't doubt it), but what version was actually being used. Sound Forge 7.0 had no multitrack capability and I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that they weren't bounding the whole thing to half a stereo pair. The Wire interview where they make the Sound Forge claim (I think it's the original) came out in 2012, which was contemporary to Sound Forge 10 (2011?).
One of the most challenging things about developing a skill, is knowing what's worth documenting as you develop it. I wonder how much of "mastery" (yuck), is just a matter of developing intuition for the obvious.
Pretty miserable day yesterday as I had to bust through some work. Today was a bit better, though less balanced than I would have liked for it to have been. I ran into a bit of a wormhole with checking out gacha games and CCGs. I ended up playing a bit of Shadowverse. It seems cool, like Hearthstone with some added mechanics. It's been around a while and seems prety stable. I have issues with needed to excel quickly and this is a domain where that would be impossible, but it would allow me to switchmy brian off for a little bit, which could be beneficial.
I think I'm gonna start marking days where I feel totally sick as days where it isn't possible to workout. I like the idea of compressing different types of information into #routines, so I don't overload the table with all these binaries.
Sort of a mixed day. Woke up with a headache, not feeling well at all. Was able to rest up enough to go to see Christian Lee Hutson at Cafe D'Nord in SF. Took a Dayquil a few hours before we left which got me through. I always forget about the no alchohol+dayquil thing. Woops. The show was pretty good. Nice crwod, didn't feel too packed. The opener, Jodi, had this amazing pedal steel player (Zack) who blew me away. Christian was great. Probably one of my favorite musicians. He played a mix of stuff from Beginners and Quitters. I got a signed wax copy of Beginners. Still, I'm feeling less and less comfrotable at shows as we now step into our second pandemic. Water heater is messed up and the landlord refused to fix it which is infuriating so I have to take an ice cold shower before bed. In PJs at least, ready for a new day. Prospect call and catch-up form today... tomorrow.
On the way to a show.
In the back of the car on the way to go see a show…
Spent most of the week sort of reckoning with all these memories in light of this new trash story towards treatment. The treatment hasn’t even begun yet so I guess I’m just spinning my wheels for nothing, but it really does feel like every few hours I remember something, especially from college (the period I feel like I was the most mentally active) and then all of a sudden it has this odd recontextualization and I feel like I am somehow at fault for most of my memories. Especially social memories. I feel like its even a little bit odd to try and remember what I was thinking about a oven time, hence the lack of journaling, hence this log. I definitely would like to keep track of the things that I’m thinking of and working on over time. But I often feel embarrassed or annoyed by the things I enjoyed learning about or thinking about over the last 12 - 14 years. I’m still pretty fascinated by Forth and the concatenative paradigm in general. I’ve been working on a little toy interpreter in Lua, but that’s mostly pasted in from another repo. I think it’s incredible how functions can be built up so easily. And I think the idea of stack machines is a really interesting model. It feels like you are programming “against” something, instead of just a vague list of variables. That said, I’m mostly just playing around in a repo. I don’t what it’s like to design an actual application. I’m not sure if I’d like to. Computing is so complicated. There are so any languages and tech stacks out there and so many attempts to start a new. Part of me wants to never have heard of computers because something about them captures much of my thought but I a) can’t seem to figure out what that thing is and b) can’t seem to stay focused enough to learn enough to pinpoint the issue with (a). The finicky news of computing prevents me from feeling comfortable learning about something that seems so insignificant to questions of nature. On the other hand, maybe there is something about computing that captures something important about humans. If the dear reader knows of any texts that deal with questions of meaning, humanity, language, and computing, I’d love to hear about them.
I have a big list of texts that prime a reader on programming language theory. That could be a cool route to explore, but then I’d have an understanding of what? Compiler design? Threading? Do those things have anything to say about how humans construct meaning? Maybe I’m better off in semantics, but does that mean I’ll end up down some structuralist wormhole? Or maybe both of those are flawed in their fleeting mechanical temporality and over-formalization, and continental philosophy is the way to go, which begs questions in the humanities and politics. There is no right answer here. I feel like I am a freshman trying to pick their major. The real answer is just to start reading and see what comes of it. I’d like to do reading that illicit more writing. I’ve been reading books about learning to try and seek out the obvious tricks of putting together a process for reading lots of material. I have future courses planned on focus and attention, and another on more formal reading strategies, though some of that literature is based on ESL readers, so I’ll have to figure out how to avoid those works. Most of this material is pretty straightforward s another reason why I am doing working through this content is to develop a workflow for working through large bits of content. Some people in the note-taking space all this “processing” which is a bit of an oddly clinical way to address the act of reading. There’s no replacement for reading than actually just doing it, and there’s no replacement for finding out more about a thing than doing the actual reading. I have plenty of lists, but not enough time.
I wonder if there’s a way to put myself into a position where I have more time to read?
These posts are quite stream of consciousness but something else that I’d like to start doing more of is facing my rhetoric away from own process and towards subjects, but it’s difficult.
Pretty bad day all around. Board games are excessively triggering. Hunter x Hunter is really dragging on in the arc, but it was one of the redeeming parts of my day today. I feel very behind, expecially because I'm sort of framing weekends as also being for "workhours". I know that I sometime need to be easier on myself, but I also know that there is no excuses for not meeting my own expectations. I do notice that when I'm stressed, my reading speed goes way down. So it's at least a nice byproduct of feeling on top of work if I can be freed up to read more whn I do have the time. I'm still getting a little bit confused by what should go here and what shouldn't. I also have some thoughts about why having a million little notecards on a hundred thousand subjects may not be it. But those are thoughts for another day. I promised M I would be in bed 240 seconds ago.
First therapy appointment in a long while. It's been years. New therapist. Seems nice enough. Pursuing a given diagnosis is really forcing me to recontextualize bascially my entire life up until now. I get that that's the point - that that's part of the "healing." But, I suppose at this point, I'm more frustrated with my past support network (parents, educators) for not recognizing the signs of disability (still not entirely into that language). Had someone been able to help me seek help earlier, I would have had that much more time to develop coping skills and mechanisms. Broke down a few times today. The more I research, the more I hear about that things that help describe my experience better than I could. M joined me for part of the appointment which I thought was awesome. I feel really lucky to have her support. I know it will be hard in the future, but I do feel a bit of relief that the process has begun.
Searching people on LinkedIn whose names are "Millions" and "Billions" cause that's where the money's at.
The mortality of art.
I've been enjoying digging into the Trash Taste podcast lately. Not sure I will do a comprehensive listen as the model is sort of "crack open a beer," but they definitely can hold my attention for an hour or two at a time. I look forward to this new chapter in their output where they are ahving on more guests. So much of it is derived from content creators that I don't know how relatable it is though. I've also been enjoying First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing, hosted by Mitzi Rapkin. Many of the guests are creative fiction writers, which I'm less into, but I like how they describe their process. Why is it so hard to figure out how an industry works from the outside? Trying to do so seems to me like trying to develop an understanding of chemistry by observing how paints mix.
Listening to that Deafheaven record everyone loved when we were in school. It's cool so far, but I'm not sure I "get it"? I've always been critical of this idea of whether or not there is something to get in a given piece. I used to feel more strongly about that when I was younger. Not, I feel a little more ambivalent about that stance. To reduce the experience of a piece to a compact binary of understanding not only fails to capture the complexities of that experience, but also implies that there is something to capture in the first place. I'm not sure I'm convinced that taking in a work is like fishing, that there should always be something to leave with, but more so that, to take in a work is more to let it flow through you. There are good drugs and bad drugs. Don't do the bad ones, take enough of the good ones to get through the day (metaphor). I think it's the consensus that there isn't much of an objective to be gleaned, but that doesn't indicate to me that nothing has meaning that folks can collectively derive from a piece. That said, context has lots of influence, almost to an overwhelming degree. And I have this feeling like I need a sufficient level of context in order to even encounter some|many works. But that's impossible. For every text, there's a half-dozen that could support a good reading. Not enough time in the day
In general, I think that there must be a middle ground between the clinical act of "processing media" and the intuitive act of "savouring a text like a fine wine". I'm curious to explore that middle ground because time may be a limited but that time should also be enjoyed. There's something about art that feels very mortal. In my day-to-day liven experience, there's lots I do to obscure my own mortality, but some works puncture through that. That, if anything, is the sort of objective contained within works is their unifying reminder, "I'm a viewer, a particpant in this process."
I did some sound design for a client yesterday which was a blast (simple little project though). I really enjoyed it and would like to do more of that in the future.
I had a terrible day yesterday, I think I sabotaged myself by working so long over the weekend. I sometimes have a hard time spreading things out. I feel a little behind on the house as well.
Taking into account opportunity costs is something that would only occur to you if you've been told about opprtunity costs. It's not an intuitive concept.
Just learned that Beaker Browser died, like almost a year ago. That sucks. Some promising tech there. Maybe time to explore IPFS as it's being implemented in some other browsers. It's obvious but also sad that the news of a new platform's launch is 100x easier to find than the news of a platform's demise. A good reminder that the web is much more graveyard than fertile soil.
Juggling and Jitter.
Having a bit of trouble with household management - balancing against work. It's weird to be home all the time. I'm still not used to it, even after a few years. We are really trained to habitate our workplaces or work in our habitations(?). I'm starting to go stir-crazy a little more easily now. Hoping to stave that off with a bit more exercise, which I don't get nearly enough of. Spoke with M at length about file organization methods. I really like that stuff. It would be cool to make a living doing that. It's difficult to constantly hve to justify everything through the lens of the probability of turning something into a career. I think that's why visual art gives be the buzz it does. I can't really picture - nor would I like to - having a career doing little video projects and sketches, etc.. I was fascinated with industrial design in high school, but I actively has more concrete capitalist aspirations then (applied to lots of "business" schools). I really like the aesthetic and method of that style of sketching, but I'm having trouble finding how to do that aesthetic in a manner that isn't actively trying to promote a product. More architectural drawing would be one direction, but then that gets caught up in a whol other set of concerns. Every aesthetic has it's baggage though.
I'm trying to figure out the degree to which I'm confortable speaking about politics in this venue. Not sure. It seems easier to speak quite vaguely about my views than it does to offer my opinion on actual issues.
I watched a very interesting talk↗︎ today by Peter Ledermann about the mechanics of the groove-stylus interface. I don't really care about vinyl much, and I have no intention of going down that rabbit hole, but it's still very interesting to think about how transduction works in the context of audio, and that knowledge is important for mastering, to an extent. His basic premise is that "All Analog is Digital" in that the mechanical systems in a cartridge have inherent jitter as the stylus bounces away from the groove walls and is actually doing a sort of 'sampling' of the actual groove. He used the analogy of tires on a cobblestone road which is helpful. I've never thought about it this way, and it's interesting to think, in general, of jitter as a sort of momentary lack of information.
Researching DSD technology, never heard it before but some say it sounds better than high-rate PCM. Hearing the divide between Paul McGowan (amp designer) and Michael Fremer (writer) is interesting. Fremer tells an interesting anecdote about the beginning of the direct-to-disk process - where an act is run through a minimal number of mics into a mixer and then directly into the lathe - the price of high-end tube mics shot up because all of the recording engineers needed a way to impart saturation to the signal because listeners claimed that DTD recordings that had tube satch sounded "more real."
Reading LJ Miranda's thoughts on analog notes-taking:
I find writing a conscious effort. There’s physical exertion in each stroke: my muscles tense, my fingers guide the pen, and I feel the friction as it interacts with the paper. One thing that I appreciate when writing on paper is that I feel more present. It signals my brain that this activity is not just typing or writing, but thinking.
Sure, there are tradeoffs; sometimes, I think faster than I write, but I see this as a feature: it forces me to write down the salient aspects of my thinking. On the other hand, it’s pretty easy to fall into mindless writing when using a keyboard. It’s even easier to fall into the temptation of copy-pasting from the source material. The influx of information, coupled with the convenience of note-taking apps, makes it easier to collect rather than synthesize.
Well-put, succinct framing of what is becoming an overly-asked question, or is it?
It occurs to me that it may be cool to link my listening into the micro log, though I’m not sure if that would muddle the category model I have running in my head of what goes where. It's probably best to have one destination for each type of information/note, but that siloes those categories and diminishes the chances to see how activity in one category influences another. This page seems like a good space to experiemtn with some of that integration.
I think it’s easy to forget that no one is preventing me from putting together a portfolio in literally anything I want. It’s just a matter of spending the time to get to a point where that portfolio speaks to its own context. The same could be said for really any skill.
Everyone's got a blog. In the darkened reflection of my phone, I'm starting to look like David Crosby (in a not good way). I started routines with an interest in keeping a sort of minimalist anti-data-oriented habit tracker, inspired by the GitHub contribution log. I'd like to use something other than emoji if possible, but it will work to prototype for now. Really one of the few interactive elements of the website I would like is the ability to reorder divs on a page in such a manner that those inside the anchored div are the only ones that render. I've not found a good way to do this so far, but I'd be willing to sacrifice the inherently static nature of the site for this functionality as it would allow me to build a basic sort of spaced repetition system. An alternative to this would be to use something like Mochi, which is a great app, but I feel uncomfrtable investing time in an Electron app building decks.
Dealing with two compulsions at the moment: saving too many articles to read later, and looking up the fees of masters programs.
Really enjoyed this↗︎ piece. Points out that everyone acts stressed out as a means of signaling to others their worthiness of a comfortable life. Really appreciate the observations that, "it becomes obvious how unrealistic it is to live in a fantasy world of individualism, of being solely responsible for our own success, when in reality, there is some kind of collective effort everywhere you look, which should be celebrated." Interesting to think about how the appearance of stress is signaling some sort of warped notion of individualism where people can disproportionately be responsible for their own wins.
Stress is not a badge of honour — if anything, peaceful happiness should be. Vlad says that the quest for merit should be abondoned, and I'd tend to agree. Will have to think on this one.
I'm really liking the concept of Beaker Browser the more I think about it. I want the neocities folk to catch on to DAT. That would be fun.
One of the only redeeming things about Github is that contribution tracker interface. Love that thing.
I read a whole bunch this weekend, and I feel like I am on the verge of a reading process that (somewhat) integrates SRS, and interleaving, but I'm not sure if it's sustainable to work thorugh content at this rate.
Towards a reading process.
This weekend, I "read" 12 books. The quotes here are critical because I rushed through each text as quickly as I could, only marking chunks that would be valuable to read a single time again. They were extrmely straightforward bits of text with obvious structural delineations. Most of them even had chapter recaps that would suffice enough for notes. My idea is that I too often get into a sort of highlighting paralysis where my reading speed slows to a crawl. I think this is because I don't yet have an idea of the relational importance of the text that is the most local to my current reading position. But if I turn the first pass of a text into only attempting to find the relational importance of text, then my second pass should be much quicker because I'm already past that initial heuristic of "should I be reading this?"
So with the first pass process, I was able to get through about 2500 pages this weekend. I am operating under the assumption that this process will require three passes, and I intend to use them (more or less) as a sort of basic spaced reptition system. So I'll run the first pass on a big chunk of texts, and then run back through that same chunk of texts with the second pass, etc.. For context, the first pass is largely just a binary of what paragraphs are worth coming back to. This is the step at which I am cutting the fluff from the text. At this point, I am eliminating supporting elements that look like that are either implied, obvious, or can be embedded in notes on the paragraphs worth keeping. The second pass is going to be the point at which I step down to the sentence level and actually start highlighting text from within those previously marked paragraphs. The third pass is going to be the actual process of converting those highlights from the second pass into some sort of usable notes. I 'm not sure what that process is going to look like, mostly because I'm not sure what the notes themselves will look like. In the past, I've done a sort of mass import of highlights (_____ example), but I don't think this is the best idea because a) that would throw off the size of this site dramatically and b) I wouldn't be doing any critical thinking or active processing of those points between the second and third passes. So I think it would be the most beneficial if I do a further reduction from those highlights down to a sort of "key points"-type document.
One of the things I find a bit daunting is that I feel like the second pass should still contain enough text to make the highlights stand alone/speak for themselves. But this is a challenge if I want to pare down those first pass paragraphs as much as possible. One of the things that mitigates that challenge is if, at the beginning of the first pass, I do a quick scan of each chapter to evaluate if there are any repeat points, which I may not need to integrate into my second pass. I suppose I could do this by either erasing the first pass highlights of those duplicate points, or otherwise marking them in some way to exclude them from the second pass process.
100th post! It only took 23 months. That's about a post every week on average. It's a good thing I left six digits for each post IDs (/s). If I bumped it up to a post every day, I'd still have enough ID space for the next 400 years. Lucky me!
I kinda like coconut-flavored seltzer, tastes like an almond joy.
One of the challenges of integrating the microlog is that I will have to have some sort of heuristic for deciding what goes here vs. what becomes a post. I have been keeping track of a word count there, and I've already plunked down a page in the last hour, does that count? Does it even matter?
I feel like when truly the sickest parts of taking down these little fleeting thoughts emerges... that's to say - Optimal flow in the microlog exists not when I can tap into a long stream of thoughts themselves, but when I can tap into a long period of identifying the start and end of thoughts.
That said, it would be nice for this to also be a sort of space where I could troll a little bit and not feel like it somehow negatively impacts me. I have clients on all my socials... why else would I use socials?
Kendrick Lamar's ELEMENT may be one of my top-ten beats of all time. Not only is it a bop, but it contains probably my favorite use of Melodyne I've ever heard. It does the quiet emotional thing pretty well. Video is cool as well. There's a lot to be said about it, but I wonder what the other nine in the top ten would be?
I’ve done quite a bit of work in the way of organizing log. Last night, I had a curiosity about the DAT protocol and I rashly created a hyperdrive containing this site. It was at that point, with read link in hand, that I encountered all of the questions surrounding privacy that one does(should?) when they encounter a new platform. Can I be sure this directory doesn’t contain any sensitive information? Am I correctly riding the line between “working in public” (as they say) and… not giving away any info that I don’t want to. It doesn’t, and I am, but it did steer me towards reorganizing log in such a way that the next time I create a hyperdrive, I can confidently exclude all files except this index and the associated images and know that whatever I have just appended to whoever’s blockchain is relatively harmless.
Part of this reorganization project also came with the alphabetization of a few crucial, oft-used indexes, which increases a) user navigability and b) my own navigation through this text which should ease some friction that comes from the growing length of this file. As I am still in the process of importing legacy notes into this document, I just pulled in one of the larger bits from the previous iteration of my notes system: a set of shortform thoughts - something akin to a “microblog”, in this case, I’m calling it a “microlog”. It was the original meaning behind the word “log”, but the meaning has now been expanded to contain a whole variety of information outside of the sorts of silliness that one may find on their favorite animal-mascoted social network (is eggbug an animal?). I would like to return to this sort of recording of shortform thought over the course of the day though, I addressed some of the things I like about this type of writing therein. But one of the things I didn’t address previously is that I feel in those shortform thoughts, there is almost more meaning to be contained in the cracks, leaks, and associations, between each note than there is in the sum of their inner contents.
I do like the DAT/hyper protocol in that I can host my own content. It would be awesome to be able to easily serve folks this site without having to admin my own server, but it still gives me all the same shivers that come with any blockchain-related. It’s always odd to encounter a platform whose docs don’t contain any mention of “delete” or “remove”, but that’s because I don’t (or at least haven’t in decades) spent enough time with p2p protocols so as to be familiar with the idea of it going off the network when all of it’s seeders stop doing so. It’s an odd sensation, not quite having a clue of where my files are. I feel the same sort of way about the iPhone. Making adjustments, I suppose.
This system has come a long way since I've last posted in this space. I've simplified my thoughts about what a "system" is, how I think about leveraging hypertext as a means of cataloguing information, buying into HTML canon a bit more, and I think switching implementations at least a few times in the last (checks "watch"), 384 days, 6 hours, and 57 minutes. It's kinda daunting to think about the amount that has happened between now and then. I think I'd like to keep this space for shortform thoughts and trolling. I started a cohost which I have just been writting to myself on until the platform gets to a critical mass of users. I'm not sure I'll stick with cohost, but I'll certainly stick with writing vague, self-reflective plain HTML!
I have problems with self-help
Is there anything special about the experience of reading and writing, or is it just a process of assimilation to a sort of normative stream of thoughts? Jumping in the lazy river of self-help. I’m not really sure about self-help thing. On the one hand, it makes me feel like I’m learning and becoming a better person. On the other hand, it’s… bull. Almost none of the precepts apply with the same level of generality that they’re served up with. The most popular self-help books are written and published by disproportionately white cis men with graduate level education who are often using the book as a means of promoting their own brand.
I think there are valuable “hacks” to be gleaned from self-help books, but these texts have a tendency to be a sort of loose grouping of tenets that are only tied together by the author’s experience. On the other end of the spectrum, the authors do find some semblance of a theme and then turn what should have been a series of brief blog posts into a 200 page book. Or worse, the initial release presents a catchy pneumonic for outsourcing and is now a sequel about cooking because the brand is recognizable. Much of the simplest and most poignant self-help prose drowns in a puddle quota-fluff that hits you over the head with the point that was made in the first sentence of the second paragraph. That said, the failing of self-help isn’t all due to the prose itself. It’s often the case that self-help readers are hunting and pecking for specific principles from a graduate math professor to help them finally start that vegetable garden.
I find myself guilty of this very thing - searching for abstractions to pull from these texts like bubble gum off the bottom of Diamond Jim’s loafers. One of the issues of breaking up a text into all these little morsels is that we lose half of the context of the narrative component and the rest rots away over time. But often the more useful thing to take away is the context, the time the author acted, the flavor of the situation that sparked the solution - not the solution itself. I’d like for there to be a more coherent way to note all of those surrounding details behind the morsels. It’s challenging to capture the value of the narrative put forth when there isn’t a soundbite.
I think that’s one of the most prominent issues of reading self-help; it’s probably the genre that is read with the most “what can I get out of this?”-type perspective. Readers who identify as readers pride themselves on this perspective. Readers who actually read and appreciate the art of spending time with a book just let the text do its thing. The same can be said for most media. Good critics let a piece sit in the glass, swirl it, and don’t try to make it last longer than it should.
If I examine the critics and thinkers that I really admire, I realize that they don’t try to stretch the work to satisfy expectations they have. They know that the wave comes from the nuances between works over the course of a career, from the idiosyncratic connections made over the course of the fleeting chapters read over the course of the day from entirely disparate books, from the understanding that you don’t have to have an encyclopedic knowledge of each element in order to enjoy and appreciate and bring critical depth to the field. There’s a big quest for more-more-more (which I am just as guilty of as the next). More sources, more notes, more tools, more insight, more engagement. It’s just not the route I want to go down. But in order to avoid it, I need to undo a lot of my biases and assumptions around what makes a fruitful learning practice.
How do artists evolve?
Just listened to Kendrick's entire discography. It's interesting to see a vocalist and lyricist evolve. It's not an experience I give myself much opportunity to perceive, though I do so a whole lot on the electronic musician side of things. I'm pretty anti-teleology in art (and philosophy) because it tends to constrain works toward some pre-conceived structure that exists apriori, but it's interesting to think about the ways in which the 'development' of an artist's (metaphorical) voice provides the critic with a narrative foothold over an oeuvre. I think this is trash, but I don't know of another way to talk about two different pieces from an artist. It's certainly something wirth looking into. One of the albums that I like the most from Kendrick is the 2017 "DAMN." which is sonically really engaging, but also puts forth a really conflicted and contradictory character. It's aggressive in a really nice way. That said, it exists in the shadow of the 2015 "To Pimp A Butterfly" which is acclaimed as the best rap album of the decade, and I think the singles from DAMN. really color my perspective|reception. How do I factor out these variables? Is that even possible? These are questions I'd like to encounter more head-on as I continue listening.
Hardware is classist.
Been a minute. Got an iPhone - sort of to my own chagrin. For context, this is the first Apple device I've owned. If I could, I'd probably prefer to work a hands-on job, not having anything to do with computers, use an old Nokia, and send snail mail to friends detailing our adventures. But that just isn't realistic. The expected standard of response rate, both with clients, and with family demands that I stay on top of a few inboxes pretty much during all waking hours. This is reasonable with my wife, but less so with people who aren't my wife (or parents). Over the past ten years, I've had a sort of rough relationship with using a phone. My second year of undergrad, I took a socioogy course that was based on all these little one-week experiments: vow of silence, only eat in groups, walk to class with a stranger, etc.. One such experiment was to go without a phone for a week. And that one really stuck with me. I'm not sure what I enjoyed about not using a phone, but after that week, I really only used a cell phone sparingly during weekends for the rest of college. One of the best things about it was that if a friend needed something, or wanted to hang out, I just created the expectation that I'll either be in my dorm, or I'll be out with friends and it may be worth trying one of the common spaces. Now that all those people are states or countries apart, and that most of my communication is with family or clients, things are a little different. I can't expect people to wait to find me in person, and I can't just let my physical world dictate my locus of focus at a given moment. I find this approach extremely distracting, and basically feel like I have to occupy the storefront of my text and email inbox for large chunks of the day, which often takes up a lot of mental bandwidth. I've not found many good approaches to mitigating this other than some days, I'm really on, and some days I'm pretty unreachable.
At one point, I thought Discord would be the answer, so I worked to have most of my loved ones setup accounts and learn Discord in hopes that the little pings from Discord could be a centralized place to gather inquiries in my personal life at least during my working hours. I think the main issue with this approach was that I also used Discord as a means of taking in information from various interest groups and niche communities on a variety of subjects. Eventually, the number of joined servers exceeded the number I could reasonably check in a reasonable period of time. Worse, this constant stream of notifications obscured the direct messages which really mattered.
So the new phone is really a means of bumping up the degree to which I stay in touch with people. I'm not sure I'm pleased with the expectation that I'm always at the whim of my inbox, but the hardware is nice, and I've taken a liking to iOS in mobile and lightweight use cases. Growing up, my dad was a pretty strict Anti-Apple guy, mostly because his business was based on repairing PC hardware and troubleshooting Windows-based software. I get it. When I had to borrow his credentials to add this device to the plan (yes, normalize family plans into adulthood), he said I've "turned to the dark side." I told him I'm fond of the legacy that Woz created, not the empire Jobs built on the backs of good designers. He got a kick out of that.
I was "in the city" getting the windshield replaced (in this economy?), and left myself with just the iPhone, a pair of earbuds, and a bluetooth keyboard, and it was enough to clear out some little administrative tasks, listen to music, and have a glorified Game Boy to keep me company while I waited the nearly six horus it took to get the job done. I think I'm quite impressed with both the hardware and the software. It's odd the feeling. I quite like Apple Notes, but it doesn't feel permanent enough to build a system on. I like the hardware, but I don't exist in spaces where I could do any real work on it (unless I switched industries). I like the wireless "MagSafe" charging, but it's kind of a pain to have to unplug the magnetic stand when the battery is full in order to keep the phone mounted but not to over-charge the battery (I think that's how lithium-ion works, the hour I spent youtubing it yesterday didn't leaev me with any feeling like the myths in my head were "busted", just walked away with the impression that 'heat-bad, fast-charge okay').
The hardware itself is both so prohibitively expensive, but so pervasive that the mobile industry has basically bent itself around getting iPhones into the hands of people from all means as cheaply as possible. Can't tell if it's a good or bad thing. It feels bad that the hardware is made to be disposable, and that that is helped along by potentially shady software maintenance practices. It feels good that they are basically computers, and that kids can make professional resumes with Canva, and apply to jobs with Indeed. It feels bad that one of my first thoughts about a computer is, "wow, this will be great for capitalism." It feels good that Apple prides itself on design and user experience. It feels bad that all computers are so bloody complicated that we need abstract concepts like "design" to make them usable. I guess I'm still just frustrated at how classist it feels to own or like Apple products. I don't want to like expensive things.
I can get down with the Apple ethos. Why would I need a text editing "environment" if the Notes app allows me to edit text? Why would I need a development environment if Xcode gives me a performant IDE for my current deployment platform? What could possibly exist in other video-editing software that I don't have access to in Final Cut? I think a lot of startups have sort of taken up a similar ethos but don't have the cultural cache to earn user's buy-in. I'm sure there is a technical term for this. The other end of this spectrum is a the linux-y "customize everything." I don't really have a judgement on which is better, but I know I certainly am willing to cut more slack to tools that don't touch the audio. I'd like to explore this idea further - there's a sort of idea of sampler vs rompler here, but not sure how to unpack that.
Reading this back, I don't really address that it isn't necessary to spend $1,300 to send emails and texts, but it is becoming increasingly expensive to do so on a processor that can actually handle it. Mobile developers don't give a damn about your five-year-old Snapdragon (which is what I came from). The cost of doing business is inflated via ignorance for legacy hardware. Lots of folks have put this far more eloquently, I'm sure.
Use a pencil.
Someone on Mastodon recently posted a page from the Vattu webcomic, created by Evan Dahm. He does a behinds the scenes video essay that is quite a detailed look of his process and principles on creating this over ten year, thousand page plus book. He provides a great perspective on the things that do and don't arise organically from working on a project for so long - on the spots where you have to make a choice, or need a plan, or where one isn't needed at all. There a bunch of great insight that's applicable not just to independent graphic novel publishing, but also on creating/working in public in general. One of my biggest takeaways so far to use a pencil. There's this tendency in music production to sort out the deatils of one piece at a time until that element is perfect. Not only is that not how comics are put together, it's also impossible to implement that type of workflow in the context of illustration. I don't think I think in borad general strokes when starting a composition. He also deals quite a bit with worldbuilding, about how the preface with a voiceover and text describing the cosmology of the narrative - about how readers should be taught, not explained at. And I wonder how worldbuilding operates in music, especially non-lyrical music. Like with an opera, I get it, but with something like Objekt's Flatland, there is quite clearly a world that is developed and it seems cohesive outside of the purely aesthetic dimension. Not quite sure how to unpack that.
With Vattu, for instance, Dahm filled eleven notebooks of skethces, planning, and narrative details before starting the first actual page. This sort of forethought is pretty incredible. Dahm says, "I love working with invented settings and I will continue to forever. I think it's a really incredible bit of literary technology, to have a story set in s aplce that's fully consistent and unfamiliar, being dropped into it as a reader and figuring out how it works."
This is also just an explicit reminder to expand on what "using a pencil" would actually look like when making music. It's not necessarily sitting down at a piano with a pencil, but it also isn't not that.
Busy. SD Laika.
Been away for a minute, quite busy with work, M and I are COVID symptomatic but testing negative, so quaratined. Been listening to some really excellent music, especially Klein's work. I think Klein's work deserves a more longform piece of writing. It's all very thought-provoking. I was originally looking for artists similar to SD Laika, who unfortunately, hasn't released any new material since 2018, but their debut album, That's Harakiri is one of my top ten records of all time. Looking into a bit of info online, it seems he may be using the aliases: "Latent Fish", "Strawdog" & "Chocolate". Though soundcloud comments are to be taken with a grain of salt. Apparently, he had a correspondence with an artists released by Honest Jon's under the name, "Diptera". It seems like they may have had a falling out. SD is very cryptic online it would seem, and that's their right. But damn, SD's music is so good. Thick basses that are reverbed out, under moisey percussive elements that don't sound like drum samples, grimey. There's a similar sort of fog/cloud/haze (but not mud) to the masters that give them a certain confusion, in a pleasantly overwhelming way, without being overly complex from a compositional standpoint. I find this also to be characteristic of Actress. A areviewer mentions SD's interpretation of Wiley's aesthetic and I think I'll have to dig in further to be able to understand what they are getting at.
I can sometimes feel experiences slip away from memory. Bit tragic I reckon. Writing here is a partial means to counteract that tendency. Despite being left with a nice record (if I can keep it up), I think it's still a little futile. It's interesting. After having seens so many close friends just two weeks ago for the wedding, I almost feel a bit of social withdrawals. I feel lonelier than I remember feeling before the wedding now that everyone is gone. This occured to me while I was doing dishes with the remnants of the beer and booze just a few feet away in our entryway. We're gonna sell what's left to J/J for theirs. Coming up soon! Being a human is quite lonely. I wonder if some books can keep me company. A couple of interactions on Merveilles are nice every once in a while, but so shallow. I really miss my friends, and I'm of the ilk who tends toward self-isolation. A dangerous habit, and one I have to be intentional about breaking. Outside of the friends I made almost ten years ago since school, I haven't done much in the friend department save for a half dozen or so people I worked with. It's especially tricky out here given that I live in an area with an extremely limited population.
I think it would be cool to write some sort of extended guide for music production, but the choice of platform (which I discussed this past weekend) is quite tricky as well. I think this topic would be interesting to explore further. Asking the question: How do you outfit an electronix music classroom?
Forgot it was a holiday. Going with the flow.
One of the things that I think this website (as a writing, reading, and listening project) is sort of predicated on is the ability to access on-demand media and know its source. This sort of rules out 20c streams of material like broadcast radio and cable television, but I don't think those aren't worthwhile mediums, they are just difficult to develop more comprehensive reads of. The pleasnt side-effect of directing toward on-demand content is that the amount of advertising I consume is greatly reduced. I revisited Soundcloud for the first time in quite a while and I was very surprised at the amount of advertisement that had infiltrated the platform.
Ended up having a bit of a busier day than I has anticipated. A consequence of working from home is that it isn't always easy to remember when the county office is closed due to a federal holiday. In that way, running one's one operation can be a bit isolating. It's a Monday, why wouldn't I work? Since I was already out that way, I turned the outing into a grocery trip. Got green salsa for the first time in a while. If I have a choice between red or green, I'm gonna go green every time. I'm enjoying the surplus grocer, mostly because I can get out of there with a cart full of groceries for a reasonable price. Usually, when I get home after going grocery shopping, I scroll through my phone for a bit. Since I had earbuds in, I watched a talk at the '22 APL conference. Not sure I gleaned anything, but the culture of the APL community is kinda funny. It's like the person who wears a wacky tie to work and then waits for someone to notice. On the other hand, had APL taken off in industry or web a bit earlier, it would be a neat world to live in.
I'm not sure whether or not I should do a weekly update. It makes sense to provide a spot to post the links from the week, and then link to a single spot form the log RSS feed. Another advantage of a weekly review is that I can abstract away from the events and better perceive trends in mood, work, etc.. Not sure how exactly I would lump together events. Hmm...
This was a bit of a sluggish week. Lost a prospect, but furthered a conversation with another. Getting to the point where I can sort of feel the impending recession. Palpable. It's weird to have a client just ghost? This is why I usually require a production schedule. But you can only make that request so many times before it becomes clear they just don't care. No worries. Happy to ride the wave for now. I think this past week, I had a bit of a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I back things up pretty regularly, but I'm doing a bit of larger scale backup project at the moment. My connection is so slow, I have to time uploading with being able to actually use my network, which means for uploads that take longer than 12 hours, I have to time the pauses correctly. Luckily, most of the editing work can be done offline.
The wedding seems like it's starting to fade into the background/past. Which is both nice in terms of stress level and not nice because I feel like I've been telling myself that "post-wedding" represents a new path for the studio. But I don't know how that works, or what that looks like exactly. I know that I'm curious about the idea of remote-residency and small arts grants, but I'm not quite sure where to begin prospecting. Ideally, I can just get a few out there by the end of the year. I'd also like to do a creative project with one of my collaborators. They mentioned wanting to do a sculptural work that may have a sound component, which seems really fascinating. I've never done sculpture in the context of my sound practice, but I think I have some ideas. Excited to put my new planner to the test, get into some real work. I also want to watch some more Disney+ stuff this week if M has time afer work.
Listened to a lot of bass music this week, and looking to dig a bit further into Call Super's work. Blown away by what I've heard so far. Really quite intentional electronic music. May be worth seeing what language the critics used, but maybe I don't actually care. Not sure... I also heard Visible Cloaks 'Bamboo' mix, and I'll definitely watn to check out the second volume in the series. I really like this sort of curatorial mix. It isn't trying to turn the club up, so it instead comes from folks who are just trying to present a scene in a very honest, earnest, and sharp manner.
A friend gifted us a Disney+ subscription because they knew I've been interested in watching some of the new wave of animated movies. We started with Turning Red, and it's alright. It seems like a bit of a missed opportunity to claim a "cure" to the "allegory", and a bit of an odd conflation between cultural lore and coming of age. The animation is really well done and there are some subtle nods to some more traditional or canonical styles (though I'm certainly no expert). I can't tell the difference between a stylistic trope being used that may be to the detriment of a people because a production team wants to use it versus them using because they are being told to use it. I don't quite know how the result of that difference would change my read, or why my read even matters. Movies turn narratives into commodities and when those narratives are about people, the whole thing gets complicated. I'm being intentionally vague so as not to go full postco, but maybe I should at some point. Maybe my perspective will develop as I watch more of these.
Commonplace books. Redirection.
I'm growing tired of messing with CSS. The structure and workflow of the site has been established, now I just need to figure out how to read a book, and write a few thousand words every day. Not sure how I'm gonna go about that, let alone make the time, but I may be able to figure it out. I did this sort of stream of consciousness, more commonplace book-oriented post yesterday. Ended up yielding quite a bit of thought but I now need to figure put how to talk about stuff. I think one of the keys to "having takes" (for as much as I sort of find that problematic) is having an orientation with respect to the crux of an issue, and knowing why a given perspective matters. One of the things I dislike about people having takes, is that they can risk quickly becoming self-help/prescriptivist of the human experience (work out more, eat better, make more money, etc..) and I hate that.
Scrolling through bird for "commonplace book" as a means of getting ideas. I'm not sure these ideas exist, and if they do, would they be helpful? Came across Richard MacManus' ReadWriteWeb archives and it's a pretty interesting snapshot of early blog technologies and the various considerations behind them.
It's both an interesting reminder of the idea that we haven't made much progress in writing on the web in the last two decades, but also invokes the question of where we would go with writing on the web if things were to look different. Perhaps they do and I'm not giving it enough to credit? It seems like the major changes (that occur to me, in passing), are the move towards CMSs like Wordpress, the advent of Medium (which killed itself with ads), and the coming of Substack (which is fine, but eh). I'm sure there's lots more nuance there, but it's late and I'm not sure I care enough. The bottom line is that it's really interesting to dig back through these archives to the very first posts of a blog and see that much of the intentions and standpoints look a lot like the last week of writing I've done. Again, I look forward to talking about "stuff."
There's something that bothers me so intensely about sentences that end with quotation marks. I know the quote goes on the outside of the period, but it just seems absurd from a informational structure standpoint. I think the British may have developed some exception to the rule but who wants to follow rules made by the Brits?
Apparently, Benjamin kept a commonplace book and has a few interesting quotes about it. I hear that Nietzsche did as well. I don't aspire to be thinkers of this stature, most of them were independently wealthy, so they could walk around all day taking notes.
A commonplace book is a sort of scrapbook of thoughts, a staging ground for loose ideas, quotes, and notes as one meanders through their day. The M.O. seems to be that instead of breaking up the stream of ideas based on topic or category, the ideas form one long continuous chain as the writer hops from one experience to the next. I like this type of workflow and I'm wondering how I can integrate some of the tenets of this process into a more atomic workflow. I don't have any good ideas besides regularly linking ot the atomic notes in the margin of posts like these. Another idea to is to pull bits out of each of these posts to form their own notes, but then I run into a weird sort of "where did that piece of information exist most recently?"-type issue.
I've had a passing interest in Library and Information Sciences but I don't think an MLIS would make sense for me given that there's no large libraries anywhere near me as I'm in a pretty rural area. The closest thing is a local two-year whose staff is so small, it wouldn't be realistic to pursue with no fallback options. That said, it's probably the curriculum that my interests seem to align the most closely with, as I'm into digital humanities, textual studies, critical theory, and HCI - and all of those find some contact points with information studies. Shame I don't have an extra $30k lying around to blow on grad school. I just wanna learn. No one's stopping me from doing that though. It's free.
Design. Planners. Sharing.
I've been consuming some Matuschak content recently and the really prevalent thing that stands out to me is like... where are the other people who do this type of work? Are there in the academy, or in industry, or in the "Zettelkasten" youtube scene? I have an inkling that they aren't in the most latter. I re-listened to his episode on the Muse Podcast and he mentions IDEO (founded by David Kelley), who I hadn't heard of. They are a design firm who popularized the idea of "human-centered design" which seems to be at least related to a whole series of "designy" movements over the last twenty year, and what strikes me as the reason why so much of the curricula that I was receiving during my time taking business classes seemed to be centered on concepts surrounding "design thinking." I place all these in hyphens because they seem to be somehow less tangible than normal words, perhaps because of my lack of familiarity with these concepts.
In that same episode of the Muse Podcast, the hosts mention that they attended an HCI conference where there was about 2000 people there as well. This caught me off guard. It's not that I can't imagine that many people into HCI, but that I had no clue that that many people show up to academic conferences. I've never been to an academic conference before but it's probably the kind of thing I'd like, at least in some fashions. The things that gets me about academia is that it seems attractive, and then the academic tell you how tired they are with all the things you think you'd be into about it, and how all the things that you would be interested in doing are overrated. But I feel like the space outside the academy feels just as bad? It's just people a) talk about it less because they are accustomed to speaking less about their experiences? or b) they talk about it just as much except I'm not really seeking out "steel worker bird" or anything like that.
I've been making a little HTML form that fits on a single screen and operates a bit like a planner, sometime called a "spread" by the bullet journal folks. The advantage is that I can enter in text and then just save it from the browser and retain those notes. Right now it looks a bit like an agenda with a box for each day. The issue is, I've never really planned like this. I always just operate with a running list of open loops, essentially with things that have to get done as soon as possible, and those that don't require such urgency. A little bit ago, I was looking for something like "A History of Calendar Software" but I don't think I was using the right search terms, I just got a bunch of sponsored content for Asana, Notion, and whatever the latest iPhone productivity app is. What I'd really like to find is how information can be structures on a two-dimensional surface, and the various ways in which different structures can help people organize their to-dos. I'm not looking to imply that there is some "ultimate layout", but to just to get ideas for what is out there besides what Stephen Covey has in their catalog, or maybe including what Stephen Covey has to offer.
I think in general, I'm having trouble getting explorations of a given topic at a satisfactory level of detail. It's like I need a linear ramp up to an intermediate level, to get an idea of the terms used and their meaning and then to use those terms to grok the outstanding problems in a given field. As a matter of fact (or not?), some conversations on Mastodon have led me to believe that experts in their field don't even really know what the open problems are in their field, nor do they care. This leaves me feeling like I am sort of lost with a colloquial veneer of what it means to do academic research, and that I am so distant from discourses in which scientific, discursive, incremental knowledge is procured among a distributed network of thousands of academics and hundreds of thousands of volunteers, that I actually just have no idea how research is done. But I don't need to do "research" in order to "learn" so maybe learning is my goal. I don't what the difference is. Worth exploring?
I'm not really interested in being a category theory bird stan, but I do like some of the shapes and stuff that they post. That seems like a tough field to get into (and to what avail), but I did find a guide by prathyvush via github (search). One of the things that's tricky about math (somewhat in relation to the above) is that not only is it tricky to see the application of a given high-level finding if you aren't familiar with the discourse in which a given finding operates, but also that if you are an outsider, it's difficult to know what areas are and aren't related to each other. Abstract math is a bit messed, but the diagrams look cool. I reckon it a tricky thing to get into because when you're at a high level, knowing how to get there is trivial, but when you're at an intro, there's no clear graph between where you are at now and way up there. (I am really not sure how to describe that any better, but it may be worth trying again at some point.)
Watching a lecture by Nielsen at Google. They get all the neat people in their lunch room. I just have quesadillas and lawnmower noises. The lawnmower noises drive me up a wall. It's interesting that blogs created by academics are starting to get a similar weight to papers (at least on the outside). He discusses Gowers' Polymath Project, a long blog comment section where a whole bunch of people chimed in, wrote 100k+ words, and got a few papers published out of it. I feel like that feels odd, cool! but odd in the sense that it feels like the folks who participated there didn't get a leg up. On what? I'm not sure.
I feel a bit of a tension between the appreciation of the open source and open science movement and the idea that a closed corpora published all at once could somehow become a key to the proverbial intellectual city. Both of those sort of strike me as lies developed by Big Tech to make you feel crappy (that's a bit of a hermit's straw man, but I'll take it for the time being). If it isn't clear already in this post, I'm fascinated with learning but I feel scared by intellectual culture. I'm alienated from the academy, but don't know where to start with doing "open" work. I do feel like the bird thing is probably not it. Or at least, I haven't been versed enough in a discipline to either publish or have something of value to say besides the vague dreams of a simple HCI gesture, tagging one of my favorite bird HCI people. I don't really know how to interact with other people (besides chatting on Merveilles) when I feel like I have something useful to contribute. I think I need to set out a project for myself and publish those results, and see what people have to say. I've never really done that outside of a bit of music production in school.
That's another trouble with working on this set of notes is that it doesn't really have an end, but I don't suppose that's exclusive with posting my progress on a series of notes as I go. Working in public is tricky when you do go in public very often.
Nielsen advocates for treating expertise as a scarce resource and figuring out how to make sure those resources are directed towards the 'right' problem. He also addresses some shortcomings with previous efforts to do this sort of thing. In the case of a "research-level wiki" on the topic of quantum computing, Nielsen addresses the issue that many of the academics who were the most excited for this sort of thing don't actually contribute because they don't perceive that they have the time (I couldn't tell whether or not he was implying this is true or false). In the case of a number of "social networks for scientists", they just don't get the type of critical user level that could really cause them to take off. N. states that if you are a young scientist, you wanna get a job doing what you love, and this means working 80 hours/wk and not having time to contribute to things like the wiki because tenure committees don't really care about these projects compared to something like "mediocre" journals. What are the reward structures at play, and what are the incentives? How can we change the culture so that people are incentivized to engage with these sorts of platforms?
I suppose I'm interested in learning only in so far as it gets me to the point where I can speak one of these languages, but the paradox that I have in the back of my head is that you don't get to the point where you can speak the language if you do a bunch of reading on language learning. One doesn't transfer to another. They are in some sense silos of work where one has a very slight leak, but not much area of common efficiency (there's gotta be a better word for that) in terms of time-input. The other issue is that engaging with this set of notes has a very angsty "gotta learn a bunch before I die!" vibe that feels yucky, like being high on dayquil.
Something happened in the last year or two where I no longer identify with the people in the background of the Boiler Room or Dekmantel videos I watch on YouTube. They all look young, awkward, and uncomfortably high. I have very little interest in the third, afraid there's not much I can do about the second, and slowly losing my grip on the first. Being married also factors in somehow, but I still like my old sweatshirts from school. Life is a mixed bag.
Nielsen talks about the idea of sending a cipher encoding a discovery to a group of colleagues to verify the date of that discovery. That's interesting. I feel like I filter a lot of facts through my own person. In some ways, I feel as if I learn by identifying with a given piece of content.
I'd like to find ways of radically reducing my general outlook on the world and reorienting towards a more optimistic prognosis of life as we know it. I'm just not brian that abandoning caution will be productive in the short run. There's a sense in which I feel like being scared of the future helps fuel my productivity in the short term. Kind of a crap way to feel.
RSS. Read Later.
Been getting (back?) into RSS lately, both on the consumption and production side of things. It's a really fascinating format and I can see why people ar einto it. One of the things that gets me about it is that it's a very simple way for transmitting a feed of data between platforms. Working with podcasts, I figure its of ancillary benefit that I have some understanding of how it works on the production/creation side. I didn't like feedreader much fro reading, but feedly seems to be working just fine. That said, I've completely overwhelemed myself in feeds, and what's worse, is it has a "Rea Later" function that I've been abusing. I usually save things to my Raindrop account but the UI on the iPad for Feedly is a bit easier that Raidrop. Ideally, I'd like to manage my Read Later just as another page on the site, but I'm not sure of the best way to go about that without introducing linkrot. One solution that I've experimented with in the past is to save a copy of the webpage as a PDF to Dropbox and then to link from there, but that is just about as awful as stepping through the File dialogue on the iPad to save files to Raindrop. Ideally, there ould be a browser extension or something that just emailed PDF of a given webpage directly to me and then I could setup filters in my email client to deal with compartmentalizing those saved pages. I like Instapaper in that it saves an offline copy, and I've heard good things about Pinboard (and I like Maciej as a person from the talks he's given), but the exporting features for Instapaper are pretty awful.
Didn't write for the last few day. Trying to make it a daily habit, but it's a little tough to get the energy, especially after getting back into the swing of work after wedding vacation. That said, I've certainly been making time for the RSS thing, and I accidentally took a day off to help a friend with their resume and cover letter. It's reassuring that I can take a pretty foreign piece of writing and turn into something that's a bit more elegant. The goal there would just be to do so without losing any of its coherence, but if there isn't much there to begin with, then even better!
Added a few pages, including a bit of a reading list for myself of learning. My intention there is to just build a little bit of foundation in habit forming, information processing, spaced repetition, and retrieval practice. I use the word "colloquial" to refer to this list because I don't want to go full learning science - I have other topics I would like to focus on like the Continental Philosophy reading list.
I'd also like to integrate some more shortform reading (hence the RSS feed), except I now feel totally inundated with read later articles. I asked on Merveilles how people keep up with their folders and a neighbor mentioned they just delete stuff when they feel like it's too much, and I really respect that. Tricky for me to drag stuff to the trash often. In general, I have a tendency to hold onto things for too long though.
Names. Word Count. Feeling the Fourth Wall.
Bit late to be writing. Still surveying the bird for some form of reading inspiration, golden egg bull that's probably already in my reading inbox to begin with. I'm once again just sort of hitting a brick wall with knowing what the thing is called, when really, it doesn't matter what it's called, it's just the thing and there's a 95% chance it's already buried in my collection of resources to begin with. I know that I rally like the way people encode information, store information, and use information to externalize their thoughts, experiences, philosophies, and politics - and I think that the former two have a deep influence on the third. But I'm not sure in what discipline lie more ideas along that trajectory. I think to some extent that's "information science", but there's also a grammatology component, a formal systems component (in what systems is knowledge stored), and maybe even a digital humanities component (how do corpora of stored knowledge survive over time).
I'm considering adding word counts to each of these posts as a means of tracking how much I write over time. I don't think exactly that quantity is the goal, but more so poignancy. To the same end though, it's not like I'm writing haiku and I get the feeling like there must be some correlation between the amount of "ink" I put on the page and the degree to which I can express the nuance of the world around me (is that the goal even? not sure). I think there is an extent to which hitting a word count goal over time could be a motivated force, but I play video games on easy mode, and I'm not sure how to properly set that pace to keep myself motivated. If I want to write 100,000 words in a year, for instance, that's 273 words per day. That's about a page every moon. A million? That would be ten pages per day, right? To me, the biggest distinction between writing a page a day versus ten pages a day is that the former, you can get by just recounting the day. The latter? That requires some dilligent reading practice and some ability to record nuance in that material and develop connections as you go (I'm speaking largely in the context of non-fiction/rough-draft/colloquially-academic writing). At the worst extreme of that level of quantity, you are just going the magazine route and trying to fill the void with drivel. 500 words per day may be a solid goal which would leave me with a few hundred thousand at the end of the year. And I know I can certainly attain that level with about a half hour of writing per day. If I want to hit a half million words per year, then I'll have to do about an hour of writing (give or take) per day, which seems similarly feasible. That said, I'm just coming off a vacation where free-time has felt abundant. In fact, 500 words feels about perfect for a recap of the day, despite this posts saying literally nothing about my day so far.
M is about midway (or more) through Bioshock 2 at the moment (she is playing as I type). You play a "Big Daddy", a sort of mech-suit type hero protecting "Little Sisters" as they harvest a genetic drug called "Adam" from dead addicts called "Splicers" in an underwater, mid-twentieth century, capitalist fallen utopia called "Rapture". Usually, the Splicers are so ravenous for their drug, they are detached from reality and immediately attack. But there's a moment on the "Dionysus Park" level where the player-character stumbles upon a couple of the Splicers slow-dancing quite closely to a soft jazz music playing in the background. The player-character has no choice but to attack first, disrupting the moment of intimacy, catching the Splicers off-guard to gain the upper hand. As they are so close together, they both take on the brunt of the attack, but only the male Splicer is hit, leading him to fall to the floor. While on the floor, his female partner begins to cry over his body. This behavior is uncharacteristic, and has a humanizing effect. Given the position the player-character is in, it only makes sens to follow through and bring the mourning Splcier to their mutual death. It's only after looting the area and looking for an exit, that the player-character realizes that clearing the room was entirely optional.
Moments like these are "game-designy" in the same way that a good traveling shot feels "cinematography-ee". It's cool and you get the feeling that the thing is "art" in some fashion, but it's difficult to fully appreciate because you realize that a trick is being played on you. This is a moment I rarely experience reading because I never feel like a trick is being played, and a moment I rarely experience listening to music because I feel like the trick is (mostly) always being done well enough that I just find myself enjoying the smoke and mirrors for what they are, or on the other hand, I can appreciate the trick as a sort of "tip-of-the-hat" between magicians. Unfortunately, the more the hat is tipped, the less I remember to enjoy the show. Across all these media, there's an odd "oh, I see what you did there" vibe that doesn't consistently land and I'm not sure why.
I feel as if this is vaguely related to the idea of defamiliarization which, in the context of media, is a device/technique where familiar objects are made to look different, foreign, other. The treatment of defamiliarization that first exposed me to the versatility of the concept is alex weird's video essay↗︎ on Fancy Lad Skateboard Company. It's a great look at taking a familiar landscape and developing layers of meaning and activity, almost in topographical fashion. This is an idea I'm interested in exploring further as I think it's at the crux of... something. There's a passage from GEB that's helpful here but I have to look it up.
Video Game Honeymoon. Media induces Teleportation. Spinning gestural and linguistic webs are still interesting endeavors.
In lieu of being able to afford an actual honeymoon after our primarily DIY wedding, we've opted for a "video game honeymoon" as an alternate until we can make our planned trip to the San Juan Islands finacially and logistically feasible. We had a bunch of cheese and crackers, and way too much Diet Coke (and Pepsi, because I was indecisive when ordering), and decided to take on as much of The Bioshock Collection as we could get through. I'm quite fond of the Bioshock games. I really enjoyed playing them when I was in undergrad, and Bioshock Infinite came out during that period and I remember it to be one the final times I played a game with a whole room of people from front to back right after launch, only taking breaks to attend class and restock on Plaza food (our local quick deli/pizza joint).
At that point, I was less into the gameplay and more into the politics of the narratives - themes of capitalist hegemony, socialist utopia, religious brainwashing - all the stuff that a budding critical theory student is into. Now that I am almost a decade out of school, the gameplay is a nice break from the capitalist day job drudgery (thought that is mitigated to some extent by running my own business), the far-off dreams of some sort of universal healthcare, and the absolutely horrendous ramifications of a recently leaked Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the impending national(global?) recession of 2022 (or whatever year they choose to attribute this one to). I enjoy the narratives still, but I think I feel a little less blown away at the writers' ability to integrate political themes, and a little more blown away that games can create experiences that have such strong associations to particular memories. If Bioshock wasn't replayable, I wouldn't be enjoying the opportunity to revisit some of those memories from college with my spouse. Media has that neat effect of tricking the brain into thinking it's elsewhere (there's some Psych 101 stuff on conditioning here, but hell if I know). I look forward to replaying The Witness with M and looking back on our first apartment, perhaps when we own a home of our own (if ever).
Part of me thinks that writing about games falls into that writing about music trap, but I think it's important to be selective about the media-based experiences we choose to dwell on, and to record our thoughts when doing so. I don't think it needs to be the totalizing nightmare that I have attempted to engage in on several occasions, but it can be fruitful to point to the inner experience created by art as a means of making connections across mental, social, and political states. I think from here on out, I will be experiencing less and less diverse experiences, so in some ways media becomes the range of things with which I have to make connections. But I think the same can be said for anyone in any field (not to say I would like to make a living from writing about media, though I've certainly considered it). There's a foliding-into-solipsism that can come from media writing that is both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, in that one can produce their own language to describe fascia, but unsettling as that language then becomes the fascia itself.
Honestly, I think it's a totally worthwhile endeavor to dance about architecture, I just want to do so with the conviction of a Merce, not the apprehension of a me, ten years ago. The analogy is starting to lose even me. I've long been fascinated with the question of how you can make statements in one discipline about statements in, or products of - another discipline.
County fair. Iteration.
M and I went to the local county fair today with C and had a pretty good time. I had a couple of margs and I think something about the wedding has converted me on the agave spirits. I used to not like tequila as of... like, a week ago. M is stoked that I like tequila now which is odd because I don't think I often see her drink it? Usual fair deal: smells like manure, overpriced food, amateur photography. I dig it though. We are going back for the destruction derby, which will be my first one besides the tail end of one I saw down in Irwindale with Dad. That one led into a sprint car race which is basically like glorified dirt drifting.
I'd like to start importing some of my notes from the previous system iteration into this one, ubt one of the tricky things about that is that I don't have very good timestamps on the legacy notes, whereas these I do. I may just end up taking what makes sense to import and providing those notes with a new timestamp. Some of these logistical and informational issues are what have increasingly frsutrated me over time. And what's worse is I don't even have that many notes to begin with that it would even be worth spending thought on these nagging details. At one extreme, I was tracking every minute I spent contributing to the system, on the other end, I was just emailing myself miscellanous links and such. I'd like to land somewhere in the middle, where I have some idea of the chronological ordering of notes, and maybe a vague idea of the amount of time I'm putting in, but time tracking down to the pomodoro, etc., had me feeling like I never had enough time to put into the system in the first place which was demotivating, and took up so much time itself, I would have to devote entire pomodoros just to logging what I had done in the previous few hours. As it stands, I basically copy and paste some boilerplate html to format the "slip" correctly and insert links in the chronological and tag pages. For pages with any more than two tags, this is getting a bit cumbersome, but it's simple enough to maintain that I prefer it some of the more hefty metadata oriented solutions that I've implemented in the past.
One of the things that frustrates me the most is getting bogged down in the implementation details of a note-taking system. Sure, it's cool to observe techniques and integrate, but at the end of the day, it's a box of cards. Who cares what color highlighter you use or how you nunmber them? I'm gonna try and prevent myself from going down that road too often here. Matuschak has a note about how people who write about note-taking don't work in "serious" contexts. Can't vouch from experience, but it seems correct.
Intellectual turning points are critical and exciting moments. The sediment has been kicked up.
When I was in undergrad, I was in a few independent studies, which in my program meant a small group of 2-5 students who designed a small course based on a project proposal that was sponsored by one or more faculty who would hopefully have some related expertise to the course content, or at least interest in the subject area. The independent studies I happened to be undertaking were all related to music and music production. In one of those sessions, amongst friends/co-learners and a few faculty from the School of Music, as my friends were demoing their projects of the week and describing things like “intention”, and “emotion”, and “statement”, I came to a critical realization: that my interest in music was in the development and understanding of its technological methods and practice, not in expressing my own voice as an artist. Over time, this realization became more oriented towards training as a mixing and mastering engineer. I consider that realization to be one of the critical turning points in my education, and to some extent, my life.
I feel like I’m on the precipice of another of these events, though I lack the domain understanding to properly articulate it. I feel like it has to do with the idea that I’m less interested in math, and more interested in formal systems, less interested in programming, and more interested in theoretical computer science, less interested in the philosophy of language and more interested in theories surrounding “cognitive grammars”. Though in all those domains, I’m don’t quite have the words to describe the various type of inquiries that excite me. It’s as if, I haven’t yet force myself to me submerged in the literature of those fields so I can’t yet come up to the surface with some idea of my bearings. With music, and to a bit of a lesser extent with philosophy, I’ve at least been immersed long enough to know the folks and lines of thought that I do and don’t enjoy. Even more recently, my ideas in philosophy are started to shift towards perspectives that really only fit into the ”history of ideas”, whatever that means (I’m not ignorant, just skeptical of the generality of the term).
These realizations are really nice as they allow me to both limit the vocabulary I need to define the ineffable loose ends of my thought, but also to deepen - and multiply - the types of inquiries I can make over time. There’s this cyclical movement between the narrowing of the scope, and the deepening of the inquiry, whose flywheel I feel like is just information processing. I think lots of my thoughts can be reduced to “read more, ask new questions, repeat…”, but without a way of properly articulating the small, minute, changes to my thought process over time, I feel as if the whole thing is for naught because at this point, it’s as if the trajectory is almost as valuable to me as is the finalized understanding.
I had a small set of readings put together on abstraction, which I may take up once again in the short term. These readings have to with the process of abstracting various percepts in a given field, in an attempt to understand if a pattern can be derived from that process and carried back and forth across the disciplines. One of the things that I feel like interdisciplinary scholarship takes for granted is how exactly interdisciplinary thought occurs, not with respect to the details, but in terms of the structure or the aesthetics of abstraction. I have a feeling that the theorists of architecture, and systems thinkers are probably the closest to the level of generality required for this line of thought, but I kinda hate both o those disciplines right now? Or at least, I haven’t yet taken the time to fins the beauty in them.
Lots of people talk about “frames” in reference to debate and rhetoric. I’m not even sure what mine are at the moment, either because I don’t have opposing views to people I’m conversing with very often, or because I embed my views into my rhetoric, that I’m not sure what they are if I had to make them explicit. I think this is due in some part to the idea that the folks I learned to be in dialogue with weren’t dry interested in more formal logics, but into sort of mutually synthesizing an opinion. The goal wasn’t “winning” an argument, but “creating” an agreement in some way, which is why it still feels a bit foreign when folks speak about honing the “methods of applied rationality”. Getting better at arguing with fellow humans seems a pitiful way to spend one’s lived experience. But maybe I’m missing something.
I'll leave a little note for myself and for those who manage to make their way to this page:
Between the post below and the post above, I quit my job, started a business, got married to my wonderful partner. In lieu of the say, thousand, words I would have written here during that period, here is a nice magazine image of the Akai MPC60 and ASQ10...
I think a lot about my reading process. I always have. I probably think about my reading practive just as much as I read. I don't know why exactly. I keep a relatively extensive "anti-library" that helps to pique my curiosity. I'd like to roll that reading process more into a regular writing process, but I'm not sure how exactly. I came across David Blue's use of the bookmarking service raindrop.io, which is quite an interesting application, he just embeds a list on his site. This is really cool. I like how stramlined that is from a back-end perspective, what I dislike about that is how dependent it is on that service. I suppose an alternative would be to host copies of my readings, but that runs into some legal and logistical/hosting issues. I think systems like ipfs are interesting, but I'm not quite savvy enough to understand them, and I'm definitely not savvy enough with web stuff to know why it may be poorly implemented.
I just interviewed for a administrative assistant gig for a local non-profit. They recognized that I have a background in fundraising and it looks like they might expand the contract to include some consulting with the board which could be nice. I have to remind myself not discount my wn experience. It seems odd to be developing a specialty in something that I hadn't realized I've been working on. I think there's also some inflationary discourse at play as well. I brought home smoothies for M and I. The register at the smoothie shop was broken so I had to leave a bit bigger tip than I had anticipated, but that's fine. I like that little spot. I'm there quite regularly.On the way home, I listened to Dan Smith discussing Deleuze's seminars. I should make a note to dig into those a little further. I think there's something to be said for the air in a room. I think that this is an equally intoxicating high as enjoying particular conversations. Sometimes when I want to dig into some theory, what I actually want is just a particular air in the room. Awefully difficult to replicate, but I think the "mood" of open thought and intense discourse is something I don't often com into contact with in daily life, and it's something I'm attracted to on both an intellectual, and admittedly, aesthetically front. I just listened to a bit of a conversation between Thomas Metsinger and Ray Brassier (who I can't tell if I like or hate, but he's definitely really smart), and there's something about the air in that particular room that feels very, hmm - like the feeling of "the pump" while working out (though I don't do that much). There's an intense and invigorating sensation that comes from concentrating on a subject with or through others. It's something I miss about being in a classroom. That analogy feels very masculine, and I don't really identify with that sort of emtion, but I'm not sure how to better articulate that feeling.
I've been enjoying learning more about EA this year, but some of it's ideas make me feel like there's nothing you can do if you aren't working in tech, government, or academia at the highest levels. Lots of content directed to Oxbridge/Ivy graduates about how they can do more good in their workplaces and careers. It's isolating to feel like you are ruled out of helping because you have a different background or aren't in a position to cap your own salary.
There's also a particular fascination by the EA and Rationalist community with describing a social, political, or cultural phenomenon "from first principles" as if all phenomena can somehow be reduced to set of a logical proofs. I find this quite odd because it assumes that a) a narrow set of tools can possibly apply to the entirety of lived experience, and that b) folks using this method are under the impression they are in a subjective to position to know where to apply their tools. A "first principles" approach implies that the root cause of a given landscape can be traced or tracked down. I'm not so sure. I don't know what this approach is called, but I'd like to try to find out.
Bit of a stretch, but in my mind, this type of thought is akin to the music producer/synthesist who claims, "I can make any sound possible out of any sound possible." Who cares? It somehow mistakes the idea that having the tools to do something is th same as actually doing it.
I’ve not been public with my work in a considerable amount of time, but I suppose this is a fine time to do so. I may wait until just after the wedding because a) that should be the priority and b) I’d like to squeeze in a few practice rounds of producing public content before I actually set something to be released. This is mostly due to the fact that I can’t tell whether or not steady-stream or all-at-once method of release will be better for ... eh, for what? Is it a business, or a CV, or a sample of work, or a course? Not sure yet. But I have a hunch that I need to start the thing before I actually know what it is. I’ve been quite curious about human-computer interaction, creative tools, software education, sound studies, music production, and electronic music education. Additionally, I’m interested in continuing my practice as a sound artist, further exploring visual mediums, and “keeping the writing muscle limber.” I’ve sort of switched writing platforms several times over the course of the last few years, and I have every confidence that this will continue to be the case into the new year. That said, I might like to write just a bit less on the how and bit more about the what and maybe provide some morsels about the why. I’ve sort of always despised the term “object-level”, but it may serve as a useful framing for the sort of writing I’d like to focus on going forward. I all too quickly get steeped in the nuances of met-level concerns. I can reduce that to a simple guideline: when you want to talk about tools, talk about other’s people’s tools instead of your own.
I have a whole bunch of these sorts of guidelines or caveats that I have been trying to keep in my head as I start to gather resources for the next round of study. Among them, “know thy enemy” which has something to do with the idea that I will sometimes want to understand an opposing argument without feeling like I’m identifying it, or even making explicit my distance from sympathy with a given subject (I’m thinking if Land and Lacan, for instance). I assume that one of my intentions will be to build up a set of these guidelines/caveats so that I can have a piece of this system that helps me to sort of “stay in my lane” so to speak. I think this practice will also serve as a means to help me not spin myself in circles when it actually comes time to write. I have a tendency to a) go meta, b) make comparisons without making points, and c) pull out-of-context research into writing without properly developing an interdisciplinary grounding in the connection between two given sources. This may be purely a matter of style, and I think in the case of (c), it’s something I’ve been doing for as long as I’ve been writing, but these are all aspects of my writing that I would like to keep in check at least.
Outside of the content and writing, I’d also like to start reading quite heavily. I’ve laid out a bit of a reading list for myself in the field of human-computer interaction which is based quite heavily off of a picture that HCI researcher Geoffrey Litt posted to Twitter of a bookshelf containing some of his favorites. I’m a bit of a sucker for bookposts and I have a decent hunch that stalking someones Twitter likes will give me a decent idea of what they are reading (though I certainly don’t mean to provide any pretense that what one reads is any reflection of who they are). I’ve also been wanted to dig back into early modern and early 20th c continental work, but I all too often get the feeling that that work is in vein. TBD. While I do a hell of a lot of reading, it’s mostly interspersed through many different social media posts and short-form articles. I’ve never really pictured myself as a reader, but I hear from a few people close to me that they always see me reading this or that. I’d like to start consolidating some of that time and effort into gaining some background understanding in several of these fields that pique my interest (above).
One of my goals of 2022 is to write as often as possible. As of now, we are just about four hours into the new year, and I am already writing. I don’t know if goals are promises to ourselves, but if they are, I am already making good on that promise. I suppose that’s a nice start to what will be a very busy year.
I think portability may be my top priority when it comes to knowledge management (gross term). This implies the need for a local-first long-term oriented workflow. It's easy to get caught up in the latest shiny new tool (I'm literally drafting this post in a new tool) that promises compatibility with x and y, offline backup, or fancy backlinks. All of these are great and I encourage everyone to figure out what works for them on a personal basis. I think I'm beginning to understand that I am more motivated to invest time into a method than a tool, especially when that tool is proprietary. As in my artistic practice, I absolutely cannot stand to lose time on importing and exporting and switching between formats. In the past, this has even manifested as a hindrance to getting started on the work itself. I think I'm coming to the realization that in order to have a clear enough mind to dig in, I need to have stable footing in my tooling. I'm not entirely sure how to break this down, but if I had to start, I would probably say that this means: a) open format b) fast environment d) clear mental image of data model
I think the advantage of this sort of “stable footing” is that it sets me up to account for the only uncertainty being the next content-oriented maneuver. If I want to focus on the product (yuck), I need the tool to sort of float away, in a similar fashion to the sense in which a woodturner doesn't focus on the revolutions of the lathe but on the threshold of the surface with respect to the blank. It's always fun to try out new tools, but I think trying out new methods is equally as engaging and informative over one's own practice. I'm trying to think of how to systematically compare tools against methods, but I'm having trouble doing so at the moment. There's something to be said for tooling that disappears. I think there's a lot of rally interesting HCI to get into here, about whether or not that's actually a good thing. Quite clearly, in the previous point, I make the case that having some awareness of the tool is actually important from a longevity standpoint, but that's a meta-level concern. It's as if the tool should float away only when the work is being done – that the proper level of concerns is in focus at the right time. That's the ideal working environment. Part of this comes from the ability to customize the tools at hand, another part comes from using the correct tool for the job ("friction" is a good word here).
Now to figure out how to export this post out of this damn proprietary app.
I've been thinking a lot about how things are constructed, about where the line falls between pre-production, and production, and how modularity impacts how people design and use systems. About why production is probably not a great lens through which to view the type of what seems like process thought or systems theory or all of the above (Whitehead and Weiner be damned). That's pretty vague, I'm not sure where to start to unpack that. When I was a kid, my parents used to drive around looking at real estate and they would refer to "modulars" as a sort of colloquialism for a prefabricated home often set on a lot with other similarly built homes. I think this was the first time I heard the term that has now become synonymous in my mind with a type of sound synthesis where sound designers can do away with pre-determined electronic instrument architectures and instead layout their own designs ad hoc. I'm not sure how this type of modularity relates to the other kinds, other than the obvious, you know - parts put together - but I think there's something underlying all these different uses that might be interesting.
One potential source of understanding the incentives and benefits is the Modular Building Construction industry. The National Association of Home Builder Modular Building Systems Council states that: "A modular home is the culmination of a type of building system. Modular homes are constructed in segments (called modules) in a climate-controlled factory by craftsman using precise machinery and methods. When these modules come together on a building site and the final finishing touches are completed by a local builder and their subcontractors, those modules become a home"1. Modular construction gained popularity with Sears Roebuck Company in the early 20th century. Homebuyers would put a dollar down with their mail catalog order and receive two boxcars of 30,000 pieces, not including the approx. 1,100 cement blocks required for basement walls and foundation. While demand for modular pre-fabs slowed during the Depression, they grew massively after the WWII when returning American soldiers were looking for strater homes2. This type of building system can reduce on-site complexity and front-load many of the design and building decisions to organizations who have experience and specialization in prefabrication, allowing the local builders to focus on the safe transport, speed, and operational fluidity of the assembly3. Prefabrication also ensures that scale will reduce the per-module construction cost, offering cost benefits to the buyer. The actual design limitation becomes the transportation regulations of moving oversize hauls. Most designers can pack quite a bit into the 16 foot width and 13.5 foot height restrictions. But the greater the size of the building, the less flexibility those modules have as they are packed in their pre-assembled form. As it turns out, the largest contributing factor to cost is the height of the resulting structure which require supporting elements built into the modules which limit their transportation density5. As many developers in the hospitality sector are seeking solutions to cope with building costs of large-scale structures, modular construction offers an opportunity to "reduce the architecture to numerical parameters and engineering"4.
Frankly, I could care less about the financial implication, but more so the actual process benefits to parties involved. This may just be a colloquial dead end or I haven't given it enough thought. Another example that I've come across is in network theory, where "a network may be reduced to a community-based representation which retains the fundamental structural and dynamical features of the original network. [And comparing] the modular structure of networks... is key to, for example, understanding differences in brain function in two neural networks, or understanding how partisanship has changed over time in the United States Congress"6. (I can't tell if this is some sort of radical interdisciplinarity or just out-of-context nonsense, I've always written like this) This also becomes a useful lens (?) (I don't dig the primacy of the visual though I have a hard time denying it's validity) through which to view the above context where various parts can be switched out and yet the "structural and dynamical" features of the systems generally look the same. Think about switching out one VCF for another, it's might sound a little different, but it's still generally the same synth voice. That said, I think one of possible avenue for exploration is thinking about the point at which it in fact, stops being the same synth voice. Where switching out one bathroom wall for another, fundamentally changes the home, or where switching out one Forth dictionary for another turns the resulting language into something other than Forth.
1) Cameron et al. 1998, 10
2) Ibid, 7-9
3) Wozniak-Szpakiewicz et al. 2018, 45 - 46
5) Cameron et al. 1998, 30 - 31
6) Straulino et al. 2021, 2
I generally just don’t like over-coding the experience of writing on the web. I have lots of ideas for posts and would like to get back into a sort of regular writing practice (etc. etc.). I’ve been into the forth programming language (Chuck Moore, 1970) for the last few weeks, which is a quite simple dynamic interpreted language. The thing that stands out to me about forth is that it’s a concatenative language where programs are built up from function definitions, called “words”, which are merely substitutions for concatenated strings of formerly defined words. The creator’s idea underpinning the development of forth was that programs should be built specific to problem domains, so opposed to using massive, general purpose languages to try and solve very specific problems. The other thing I like about forth is that most of the interpreters out there have a means of printing all of the currently available keywords to stdout. Some systems (I’m thinking of Kotlinski’s Durex Forth) even allow code listings for primitives to be printed through the interpreter. I don’t quite understand the specifics of the next point, but I do know that given forth is a stack-based language, it’s vm can be implemented in hardware making it exceptionally fast. Using forth a little bit has been fun, but I’m more interested in what it has to say about cognitive grammar. I have no idea how to unpack that, mostly because I don’t have enough understanding of the field of cognitive linguistics, but I think there’s something to say about the relationship between how systems are built up from these concatenative definitions in a computational context and how they are built up in other contexts.
That said, I don’t think meaning is the thing built up in these systems. In the same way that users can ask the Durex Forth interpreter for the disassembled function definition, as Derrida pointed out, definitions are always in a constant process of deferral. Computer science though sort of bottoms out at some semblence of a result, but I can’t tell where that same point would occur in other contexts. Materialism? I’m not sure. Wikis also apply here, etc.. There’s been a funny fascination (myself included to an extent) with a mid-20c German sociologists note-taking system called “zettelkasten” (eng: “slipbox”), but I think in some ways this just perpetuates the above phenomena. Lots of cross-referenced notes don’t actually do anything.
I want solo RPG and philosophy to co-exist in the same system with notecards as an interface. I want learning about/reading philosophy to feel more like a game, and RPG to feel more abstract. Like doodling.
I just watched this↗︎ video last night, and I wasn't familiar with the concept of hard vs. soft worldbuilding, but its strikes as a very similar situation to what's occured in philosophy over the last century. I sometimes have a hard time articulating why analytic is difficult for me to get into other than the usual positivist overcoded dissemination of logic into language and thought. But if I take the angle of worldbuilding as described in this video, the idea that analytic philosophy requires its entrants to engage with the lore (axioms) in order to understand the narrative that's built atop helps me frame why the element of Hegelian/Miyazakian spirituality is missing from the analytic side of things. One of the authors of that video essay puts forth the case that hard worldbuilding consists of making the world as grounded and believeable as possible, whereas soft worldbuilding prioritizes different narrative aspects. I think this prioritization may help frame (for me, at least) 20th century continental work not as less rigorous (which is an easily dismissed critique), but as crucially prioritizing different aspects of philosophical work. Especially in Deleuze, Guattari, and Derrida (which is where I spend most of my time), it often seems that the reader is provided with a set of linguistic sigils which then must be related to each other by the reader, which may match the phenomena of having to put together the pieces of soft worldbuilt literature, or let those pieces wash over oneself in a more holistic read. This may be especially explicit in Derrida where it could be argued that he is trying to "unground" the whole of philosophy and claim its world is softer than is typically put forth. Those are some ideas thrown against the wall at least.
I just heard about the idea of hard vs. soft worldbuilding in fiction, and I don't think I've heard of a better way of framing the analytic/continental divide.
I read Atomic Habits and Deep Work a few months ago. I didn't bother to take notes because they both struck me as texts that are less applicable that I haad thought they were based on the level of recommendations they come with, especially Deep Work. I bet Cal Newport is a smart dude, but Deep Work felt less like a book about focus and more about how only spaces of institutional privilege are deserving of concern about focus. There were definitely abstractions that could be developed from Newport, but it seemed like taking note of those given the foundation of elitism on which they were developed would be somehow ill-advised. I think one of the major flaw with Deep Work was that the examples it provides are of white male dominated contexts where those "deep workers" can use their positions to do things like, "work with the door closed" or "check email once a day", etc.. Not sure, the whole thing struck me as an artefact of privilege, not a scheme for doing better work. As far as Atomic Habits goes, the whole thing sort of washed over me, though there were some good points, for sure. The intro was a huge turn off though. Basic points were:
- Habits are the compund interest of self-improvement
- Better results don't come from goals, they come from the system
- Change doesn't come from focusing on achievement, but on who you want to become (trash)
- Four Laws of Behavior Change: 1) make it obvious, 2) make it attractive, 3) make it easy, 4) make it satisfying
- Environment is the invisible hand (yuck) that shapes behavior
This is a bit of an experiement of inlining reading notes into the log. I don't think I like it much.
I think the term "knowledge management" might be trash a little bit. I think I have missed up until now that its a term which applies the logic of capitalism and command of labor to that of the learning process.
Bo Burnham's Inside special on Netflix has definitely been on repeat the past week. Very much enjoying it. I mentioned to Dad that it strikes me as the first "post-woke" piece of media. That may be overstating its importance, but it certainly opens up the need to define what exactly "post-woke" denotes. I think it has something to do with post-Trump American fatalism, but I'm not sure how to better articulate that. It's not so much the statemenmt that we are well into late-stage capitalism, but that late-stage capitalism then becomes the instrument through which dude makes his melody. Hmm...
I've been super inspired by Devine's work with Uxn. Not that I have any development prowess myself, but Uxn certainly begs the question as to why computing is such a mess. Similar questions have been raised in many other venues, like the forth based Collapse OS, and Fabrice's work with CP/M on modern microprocessors. What exactly does it mean that computing is a "mess"? There's lots of answers. Throwing my own hat in the ring, I think it has to do with not just the obvious element of complexity, but the idea that computers just kind of suck. I'm not sure how to unpack this any further at the moment. I think one of the things that sticks out to me about CP/M is that it somehow feels slightly more low-level and simple, but its age makes it borderline inaccessible to the newcomer in 2020. P/M may be simpler than a modern unix-like in principle, but is no simpler to develop for or modify as far as I'm concerned.
It strikes me that there's a Stalker reference in S1E9 of Hunter x Hunter that involves trying to keep a candle lit. I wonder what the value is of reading one text into another, or even of reading any piece of media that isn't literature as literature. I guess that's Derrida to some extent. I think that's there's something to be said for the notion of the reader as the spark of additive extensibility of the text at hand.
I hope to write enough here that thoughts get lost over time. That I can read the past anew. I think the excitement of revisiting a record of this nature lies in two aspects: a) there's enough material to bury members in the set and b) that enough new media is consumed that fruitful members can be added to the set.
I started Hunter x Hunter again. Not sure how far I'll get into it, but I've been watching some videos on Youtube and it brought back memories. Figure I'd try it out again. I may try some other series as well. It does provide a nice tune-out between work and time spent reading. The issue is getting back to the reading in a timely manner. I've been working through "The Psychoanalytic Movement" by Ernest Gellner. I'm interested in doing more reading about Psychoanalysis in a know thy enemy sense. I even feel like I need a caveat that I can post on the site whenever I feel like I need to say something like, "these readings aren't to be representative of my own values", but isn't that sort of implied? I feel like I definitely have this need to immediately identify with the thing I'm doing. This makes it sometime difficult to get through particular tasks. I think this is pretty typical of a lot of folks, if not to some degree, present in all people.
So now that I've gone full-time freelance (audio editing and mix engineering), the people around me say that I look lighter and freer in terms of affect. But that doesn't quite translate to my own perception. I feel like I have a bit more time to focus on active income, but I only feel freer in the sense that I've been launched off a ramp and have a "don't look down" sort of feeling. It's disorienting, but in a refreshing/adrenaline-inducing sort of way. Recently, I've been looking at some lectures on Godel's incompleteness theorems↗︎. Really interesting stuff. I'm still continually having to pull myself away from programming as it doesn't seem fruitful enough in the short-term. Sorting the library a bit more. I feel like I just want to read a bunch, and work a bunch.
The thing that I dislike about Obsidian is that it's pitched as an application that promotes portability, but I don't really see it that way. First, I think it's problematic that they haven't made the jump to a portable installer. Second, the css themeing is clunky. I shouldn't have to edit CSS just to increase the font size (that might just come down to my mood in a given day). I suppose if your PKM system was already markdown oriented, it would make sense to switch to Obsidian and adopt their syntax, but at this point, it doesn't make sense for me to switch. It's a not a full featured enough editor to go all-in in Obsidian.
I just started using Notepad2, just as a quick editor. Applications should stay out of the way. One of the things I like a lot about Notepad2 is that it allows the user to customize the syntax highlighting through a hierarchical GUI schema, which I haven't come across yet. Pretty neat.
*up all night editing podcasts* oh no, I think I might like royalty-free acoustic guitar music now.
I've had a couple of moments in the last half dozen or so years of mixing where a non-visualized parametric EQ really does the trick for me, but I reckon I can exponentially increase those moments by actually using non-visualized parametric EQs.
Grew up playing baseball. When someone says "hit their strike zone" as if it's conciliatory or accomodative, it frustrates me, because I always see the hitter-pitcher relationship as adversarial, not a matter of compromise.
Tape noise, marriage, old friends.
I’ve always been quite curious about the particular processes as at play in the composition of artists like Actress (especially), and to some extent, Call Super and Objekt. I’m not sure how to better describe this class of musics is other than “left-field electronic music”, but I think it should suffice for the time being. I think one of the more straightforward patterns in this type of music is in the idea of a quite organic twisting of textures by using slow LFOs quantized (more or less) to the one, two, and four bars. In doing so, each codependent part becomes a slowly rhythmic part of a type of call and response that is quite nice. Further, when one or both of each of these parts contains some procedural/algorithmic sequencing component, every time it comes back in via LFO, the prominent features of the part are just slightly different. This leads to this beautiful both evolving and reverting type of composition that I really enjoy. Additionally, there’s such heavy amounts of band-passed noise all over Actress’ work, that it’s actually a bit difficult as a listener to cue in on just how extensively noise is used on each track. To the point where when the noise is sequenced or sidechained to other elements, it becomes it’s own sort of driving texture. Some of this can also be seen on Actress’ alt, Levantis.
M and I just got married over the weekend. Everything went very well, saw lots of folks we haven’t seen in years. Got plenty of time to hang with everyone who came out and the whole thing ended up being so beautiful and so pleasant and stress-free that we are honestly in disbelief in how wonderful our wedding weekend was. The toasts were incredible (we asked our wedding party to give speeches as opposed to standing with us in the ceremony as the schoolhouse porch we were married on was too small to fit everyone), the food was from M’s favorite thai spot, the music was a great blend of radio hits, the type of stuff that M likes, and a few techno bangers sprinkled in, we ended up with enough Costco booze that our entryway is currently filled with cases of Cooks, Pepsi, and Pacifico, everyone got home safe, and it seems like everyone enjoyed themselves. I discussed life as an adult, finding ways to identify the place where I want to “settle down”, if “settling down” even makes sense in the current global landscape (we are currently leaving(?) a pandemic and entering the Ukraine-Russia war), finding and holding onto love, the tribulations of starting a small creative business, balancing said business with creative pursuits and a creative practice, and myriad other topics. I have issues with he use of the word “myriad”, which I’m sure I will discuss in the future. There were some awkward moments in the weekend, but those stem from my own decreasing ability to pick up on nonverbal cues, and less on the “cringe” of any given interaction. I was worried that the weekend would implode in an instant. Alas, it did not, and I feel very fortunate to have left a weekend of positive notes on such a positive note (dinner with Frankie at The Watering Hole, asian salad and taco seasoned fries with BBQ/Ranch).
M and I are very much in love, and we are ecstatic with how the weekend went, and even more excited with the new temporal and mental space that has been occupied with DIY ending planning for the past 18 months. For reference, we were engaged in November of 2020, and only just got around to the actual wedding in may of 2022, so I quite bit of time to wait to promise yourself to your partner! One of the challenging things was the pandemic whose bounds were unclear in Nov 2020, and I’m unsure we’ve gained any additional clarity since then, though vaccination in the states seems to be pretty widespread and reduced mask usage, for better or worse, has been feeling more comfortable of late. The only external things we really relied on were the local restaurant for the food, a few national retailers for her dress, and my suit, and the little 150 year old schoolhouse right down the road from us. The rest was pretty DIY, including the $1000 of flowers that our vendor left out of the order, forcing M to all but beg our landlord for trimming from their acre-wide English garden. They were happy to help, and we were relieved to have it. The wedding party showed up a day early to help set up the venue, and I was surprised by how quickly things were put together - when you have a few dozen people helping out, every task on the list only takes a matter of minutes. We did hire the best photographer in town and judging by the initial looks, they did an amazing job. They also joked that their partner and their friends “are also nerds” so she said she will make he social connection which I appreciated at the time, but I’m still hesitant to admit I lack local friends. All good, I feel an abundance of close friends despite their geographic distance. Even work colleagues at the wedding mentioned to M and I “what a great village we had”, and I’m not sure I would have framed that previously. A great village and a great gathering indeed.
It being my first wedding, I look forward to attending weddings in the future that don’t have me in them. I look forward to being an observer and celebrating the love of those around me in the same way my loved ones did with me. I’m absolutely enamored with M, and I can’t wait for our future together.
Daily experience seems very low signal-to-noise. Not enjoying a whole lot these days. I just wake up angry at not making enough, and embarrassed I'm not in grad school.
Been away for a minute. just incredibly busy.
One of the things that I think has been a super innovative piece of technology over the past few years is the idea that has been employed by nanoloop and elektron with their sequencers where the step contains all the relevant information for a given voice, and takes control of that voice until the next step with a trigger present. I can't quite explicate why, but I feel like as opposed to sending patterns to instruments as is common with most DAWs and trackers, in cases where the step IS the instrument, the writing and sequencing process are more intertwined, and make for a more fluid experience.
Been away for a very long time. Currently working three jobs. Hardly have time to think. Write-ups on sound art method could be cool. Would love to work from home full-time. etc etc etc
I'm interested in learning more about why the human condition isn't configured to make humans feel like they are doing of good job of existing in it. Taking the negative dispositon as an assumption, and looking for places in which it may be grounded or explicated. Like not so much, "it's broken", but more so, "it wasn't meant to work."
So I've been working in Processing for the last few days, and I've been having a great deal of fun. I love new mediums (not media). While doing some household management today, I thought I would watch some video content on color theory, as I am not at all well-versed in visual or graphic design. I've just learned about the HSB color model, but I'm not sure how it actualized into design. I was surprised to find out that most of the content about color theory on YouTube is in the context of either marketing or web/UI design. Why are particular fields which have nothing to do with capitalism, so vested with a capitalist context soemtimes? A bit odd.
I just got set up with Processing for the umpteenth time. I;s like to start dong a small visual exercise each day, akin to a sort of sketchbook, not only to enact the programmatic thinking processes as a warm-up for the day, but to play with a medium where I have no idea what it is I am doing.
Reading McCarthy's work on AI makes Lisp feel ever more clever, like he started with hypothesis on how to create a machine-representation of the world, and Lisp became the syntax for expressing those models. So neat.
The other day I was having a conversation with my dad (a hippy turned sys admin) and we were discussing the ladder of abstraction and how I've had an interest in retro computing. I was saying how complex the modern experience has become and how current human-computer interaction has become emblematic of that. I told him how I've had an interest in emulating CP/M on an Altair (this is 2021), and he said something that really struck me: that my desire to get closer to the bare metal in attempts for a simpler computing experience is actually just a spiritual longing for something more meaningful or less abstract about life, and that I probably won't find it by using a computer. This was a really excellent reminder that my dad and I use technology as a means of discussing life (we both love analogies), and that I think as humans, we sort of continually implement analogies when communciating about meaning.
I have no take on cancel culture, and I'm not entirely sure what it is if I had to lay down a definition, but I think I know when it should and shouldn't be used. That said, I think it makes the assumption that humans are infalliable. Yeah, people who do messed up stuff should get a pay cut (or worse in some cases), but why pay any more attention? I think the whole point is to overturn power dynamics and create a new standard of behavior (which is great), but if it is always done in relation to the hegemony, what's going to be accomplished?
The more citations that I pull into my notes, the more I am realizing that I need some sort of quick acronym or something that I can refer to in order to convey to the reader that I don't condone the views of an author despite their work being noted, annotated, or cited. I was thinking something along the lines of K.T.E. for "know thy enemy" but that kind of sounds a bit too adversarial.
I'm now finding out that the ISO has decided↗︎ to make their "Publications and National Adoptions" private. What?
Members are advised to "contact [their] national ISO member with a view to be informed on how and where you may freely consult ISO standards in your country." Digging a bit deeper, it seems that members of the public have never had access to standards? What is this?
I'm quite surprised by this. I always assumed that ISO was a public document, how odd? This kind of makes me curious about what the political agenda of standards organizations are in general. Are standards oppressive? Interesting writing idea, I guess. I always liked running into to random ISO pdfs and scrolling through the elaborate technicality. Is elaborate technicality just a front for political exclusion? On one hand, yes of course it is, but part of me always felt as if the descriptor has a liberatory value in so far as it communicates the mechanisms of the subject matter. The descriptor as obfuscatory tool is clear, but I think its potentially less intuitive to describe its exact nature. Maybe Simondon would have something to say here?
Further notes here
Feeling motivated, I made a routine page that outlines an ideal morning routine. I then went back to my goals page, and cros-referenced the two and was surprised to find that almost none of things I could imagine doing ona daily basis matched up with the goals that short-term goals I had set for myself 6(ish) months ago. I did end up adjusting some of those goals, viz. I think I'm more interested in learning Scheme than C at the moment. It seems like my desire to learn C is not so much to do systems programming but just to have an straightforward interface to a graphics library, but I'm more excited by the concepts in Scheme, and I'm pretty sure there are SDL bindings (or something else) out there that I can find. One of the things that I noticed was that I wrote something like "one sketch per day for 15 minutes" but I've really never thought about sketching on a regular basis. I think I wrote this because part of my idea with having a more regular routine is that I can enact different parts of the brain (though I don't really view things strictly neurobiologically like that) and have a small collection of a small task that either gets more defined over time or points to something singular that I'm trying to articulate over time. But everything comes at an opportunity cost. The question is a matter of value: breadth or depth? This is probably an instance of overthought, like most of these posts.
I've been meessing around with DOSBox quite a bit recently and I've really been enjoying the user experience for a number of reasons (keep in mind, I'm not an experienced programmer so some of this could be misguided):
- portability => the whole thing is portable across machines which is really nice
- the storage interface => mounting folders in the host as virtual drives is simple
- self-containment => it all feels really compact, and I like the idea of assembling/collecting a computing environment that doesn't have any dependencies
Really though I think I am just fooling myself into thinking that this is in any way a sustainable form of working. Pipes to DOS's pager create non-temp file so editing existing directories isn't easy, oh and tutorials/resources on thirty software is pretty much non-existant. I think the thing that's attractive about emulation is not so much that it's convenient, but that I can learn as much of the stack as I want, provided I spend the time, whereas on linux/windows, it's just impossible. The aformentioned feel like fire-escape ladders, there are rungs of abstraction that just don't exist at a cetain point.
I've also been watching a bunch of lectures on Scheme and I just found out that many universities make their archive of computer science technical reports open to the public(?), so that's another exciting source of information.
I just worked my way through Hamming's famous lecture at the Naval Postgraduate Center, "You and Your Research". He talks at length about the notino that in order to be an important person, you have to do important work, and in order to do important work, you have to be at the frontier of your field. In order to be at the frontier of your field, you have to know what the most important questions are (he uses the analogy of working with your door open -> these questions have come to be known as "Hamming Problems." He goes on to say that you can't be successful on luck or hard work alone, you need both. "You have to work on the right question at the right time", etc.. I think this is a neat idea (besides it's obvious discrimination), but I'm not sure that that "importance", of self or of the work, is the goal. One of the things I really like is his bluntness about how "you have to demonstrate your ability to do something beofre you will be free to do it."
Exploring digital gardens as a "reader" feels different than approaching them as a "website visitor". I don't think I've ever spent more than an hour browsing a garden and felt like I've gotten more than I would have from an hour with a book. I fully support gardens/wikis/graphs etc., but I feel like it's easy to get disoriented on sites that don't provide some option of a chronology or index of some sort.
I've been scrolling though the Merveilles webring and I came across hex22's post on silence?↗︎ and a quote stuck out to me: "Writing is the activity of the present, a very accurate perspective on the present and writing about the past is always just writing about some past through the perspective of the present... Throughout the last 2 years my focus has shifted from chasing my output on the external world to following my internal clock, the internal flows and currents of focus. And my internal clock is long-term, very long-term. Most of the projects I work on, including albums, poetry, product ideas, are planned out on a long-term scale. I don't hold back any of these projects, just never force working on them. Long-term means 'anytime from the next year to the next 40'. Therefore I stay in silence and plant thoughts, ideas and plans in my internal garden, and as soon as you start doing this, writing about the present becomes much less important. I have the feeling that all my ideas will develop further and I cannot share them until they feel (at least in that certain moment) finalized."
I was really struck by this notion that allowing the external world's timescale to effect or corrupt your internal "project clock" is a disservice to the self. Hunor really puts this concept into such stark relief. their blog post is about the nature of silence - how it is something to be relished, not fought. I mentioned to a friend that I have been accruing a backlog of articles that has reached somewhere around 2000 articles (just in the year 2020!) and I immediately felt a sense of guilt. It's an odd feeling becUse the Instapaper button doesn't make me feel any guilt, but somehow the idea that someone else knows about my feed-hoarding, its way worse. I would like to develop some sort of practice that allows for me to (ahem...) productively tread through this collection of data ins cut a manner that still contextually feeds the graph. As I have been pulling more of the wiki into the publicaite, I've have been increasingly feeling as if the past years notes are a little lack-lister. Some of them feel like they are too productivity/capitalist, others feel too dependent on psychology, a branch of science I have deep reservations against (not because Iama mid century cheap science fiction fan). It's odd b3cause I feel like yet another format switch is not only foracing me to re-evaluate the structure of the system but also it's content. It's as if zk feel like I will be judged based on my reading notes, despite my desitrre to make them public. It does feel at this point as of each small page in the graph requires some sort of index of prefaces and caveats that express my considerations of representation and association with varying types of content, this has also sort of pushed me further towards reading full texts as opposed to shorter pieces. a critical logistical question to the aforementioned practice would be a question of how to properly cite (fell asleep)
I've added a currently unlinked portion of the site where I am just listing general topics that I would like to learn the internals of, specifically for the purpose of critique (i.e. American healthcare). I find that every once in a while, I occupy this frame of mind where I am hellbent on learning the complexity of negatives, and I would like a place to channel that when that time comes aroound next. Since being unemployed, I have kept my disposable income expenditure pretty close to zero, but I have been GASing for a OLKB Planck lately, they are so beautiful!
I need to start working through my backlog of saved articles from last year, but I am not totally sure how to quickly cite sources or organize a whole heap of notes that I take in one fell swoop. Hmm...
I have just created quite a few pages on the site, the most notable of which is the first page where I have published direct highlights from a reading. For a while now, I have had this idea to make my reading notes public, but I haven't actually done so until now. I am under no pretense that these notes will be useful or legible to any one besides myself, but this is a very prilimainary sort of prooof-of-concept for replicable research in the humanities. So often, I find it difficult to track down the source of a particular understanding, and I want to explore the development of a system that reckons with that difficulty. In addition to the first public reading note, I have created several topics-oriented pages that are quite sparse, but with which I intent to build out in due time. I found out about Joost Rekveld who, along with Hans Kulk and Hainbach, is carrying the torch of analog computing within the context of electronic art. Joost has a really great essay?↗︎ on the history of analog computers which has been a great resource in trying to find out more about the history of analog computing. Through his lecture, I found out that Bob Moog attributes the idea for modular analog synthesizers to Harold Bode and was familiar with analog computing through his work with op-amps, as he studied at Columbia University under John R. Ragazzini, the creator of the an operational amplifier with an explicit non-inverting input.
I am slowly making more of the private wiki suitable for public viewing. A nice side-effect of this process is that it sort of forces me to decide whether or not a given source is something I want to be associated with. I expect that as this particular heuristic horizon shifts further into the future, reading with public note consumption in mind will probably produce a distributed increase in the quality and credibility of source across various domains. That said, there is a sort of itch in the back of my mind about destructuring institutional discourses on "media literacy" that of course historically marginalize minority voices that lacked platforms, etc.. I can still cut out the wiki entry re: dude talking about a "dopamine detox" on YouTube cause that sounds like some redpill mularkey.
I try to be relatively concerned with the size of the pages I deliver on this site. But serving images that are relevant to wiki entries does create some engagement on both the production and consumption side of things. In the past hour, I have added three images to the site on various pages with about 50kb increase in size of the site. One of the things that concerns me though is storage size now. Tricky...
Here's some initial questions I had while thinking about a "critical hypertext theory" that I wanted to pull in from another community:
How does a reader talk about and reflect on their unique experiences? What does it mean as an author "to decorate rooms" no one may ever visit? How does a reader define "success" and how would an author influence them towards it? What changes about user goals when the temporal scope is a few hours, instead of 6 months?
Had a pretty rough day yesterday. I screwed up dinner again and used cucumber in a recipe instead of zucchini (yikes!). It ended up being pretty gross, but it was a casserole, so I will probably end up eating some more of it. My partner said I was in a rush and that I need to slow down. I didn't feel like I was experiencing any sort of cognitive impairment, but my anxiety was a little heightened last night. Who knows. I probably should slow down a bit. The light bulb in the fridge blew out and while I am prefectly confident that the refridgerator still works, every time I open the fridge, something in the back of my mind is skeptical. It's odd the associations of functionality and order that arise only when disorder appears.
I think it would be interesting to develop a synthesis curricula that starts with a concept of motion. Oscillators (at any rate) generate repeating motion. Envelopes generate non-repeating motion. Low pass filter slow motion. Does this put high-pass filters in the same category as waveshapers, viz. those that make motion more complex? What is it that a high pass does in this framing? Interesting.
In education, the most value lies on demonstrating understanding, and very little in embodying understanding. I reckon in the context of application, it's just the opposite.
I've been trying to find an approximation of an analog computing setup using VCV Rack. The Stalys and Submarine modules seem to be invaluable for this kind of approach. I also recently discovered that the Stoermelder modules are pretty incredible for usability of VCV Rack in general (features like labeling, clickable macro learning, etc.). I would like a bit more of a precise oscilloscope but I'm sure that either one exists and I haven'y come across it, or one will come out shortly enough. Something that has been on my mind recently is what "low-level" actually means in the context of this tyoe of programming, and also, what exactly this paradigm is? If it's using an analog approach but a digital implementation, is is analog/hybrid or just digital with analog as an interface (more likely the case but that's no fun to theorize, is it?)? I could be talking out of my ass or in a don't know what I don't know type situation. It's really hard to find curricula on analog computing, mostly because its a dead technology. I can see the modular synth community taking a liking to the test equipment vibe, but I can only hope that that translates into a more computational approach to modular synthesis. It would be cool to see some content being made in this space.
I've been wanting to go back to school really bad lately. I just found out about this institution called the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht and it seems really neat. I found it charmingly out of touch when one of the faculty (in a video) were raving about their custom "voltage controllable function generators". It seems like a really interesting program. think to a partial extent, however, a masters degree in yak cosmetology may not help anything. You can't get paid to shave a yak, but you can get paid to talk about how to properly shave a yak. Been doing a lot of instant pot cooking lately which has been fun. I screwed up tonight's quinoa though, so I made burgers instead. I'm putting together track feedback on a couple of cuts for a friend and I find myself having have to restrain from going into too much detail. I don't want to overwhelm the artist, but I also want to make sure they actually get something constructibe out of the feedback. Talking to people about their own art is one of the skills I failed to develop in college because all of my musical/engineering curriculum was all done through independent study. It would have been nice to have been in some more conversational contexts while I was still around lots of people. Now that I'm in a fairly isolated spot, I don't know anyone in meatspace besides my partner who makes art. Go figure.
Need to find a servicable CDN solution for the site. Would be nice for audio examples like on Attack Mag articles.
I've been watching a video series called La Synthèse Humaine from Guy Hobsbawm (formerly Gunnar Haslam) about Serge patching, Marxism, cybernetics, and feedback system and it is a treasure trove not only of patching techniques but also in treating the modular synthesizer not just as musical instrument but a more generalized tool for conveying notions of system and structure. I really like this blending of modular synth as programmable analog computer where music is not so much a side-effect, but one of many types of output. Need to unpack this more. On patching techniques alone, they are rife with valuable moments, but they have an element of multidisciplinarity which attempts to relate the Serge model to ideas from the discourses of Cybernetics and Marxism. It serves as a great reminder that many of the successful cross-disciplinary investigations don't apply one concept to another, but instead seek to explore a serviceable abstraction between concepts that exists in some more generalized space. For instance, where it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to say that there are a dialectics between each side of the dual slope generator, Guy employs a concept like /feedback/ to explore the way in which cybernetics may contain a "kernel" of meaning within the complex feedback systems explored through the Serge system. Really cool stuff.
I've also just come across Denis Chevalier's Stalys Pack of VCV Modules which implement a lot of the Serge-style sub-module functionality. Pretty good timing.
Took quite a break from both the public logging and the wiki development, but I've been doing a bit of private journaling and a lot of production/engineering related work. The lack of full-time employment has destablized the emotional landscape. Not dire, but has certainly had a perceivable effect to myself and those around me. I've begun mapping out a bunch of different synthesis and production techniques which has been fun. I'm not trying to develop some grand theory, but instead to provide myself and others with a bit of a survey of topics for consideration when assembling educational materials. At this point, I don't currently intend for a simple diagram to be expanded very much.
One of the things I'm kind of bummed about is that for the past month, I have almost entirely stopped logging blocks with very little recourse to working through my work over the past month. This is due in part to the fact that I do not record time spent applying for work which has been my massive preoccupation for the past few months, but I've certainly dabbled in a few areas. I had a brief stint researching the CP/M operating system, the MSX system standard, and the potential of practicing some commercial sound design. I also spent quite a while implementing a little Hewlett-Packard word generator clone in JSFX, which has been a great deal of fun, but I hit a roadblock when it began to make more sense to separate the sequencing from the actial filtering/synth voice elements using midi as a communication protocol between the two instances of JSFX. Unfortunately, I haven't quite wrapped my head around how to handle midi in JSFX. I am now looking into the VCV Prototype platform (likely using Lua), but I don't want to dig too far in as it has a amuch lower ceiling for creating polished applications than does JSFX, albeit in a likely much more usable environment than JSFX currently allows for.
Additionally, my reading and listening has totally gone down the tube in the month of January. Time to get back to it.
Starting doing a little bit of webcam recording of a monologues in a similar format to the way I've been recording voicelog in the car, but now that I am working remote again (COVID cases per day are alarming), I am lacking that particular context. Time to substitute the tool in order to maintain the practice. This is sort of how I feel about all the various knowledge management systems out there. If you factor out the conversational threshold (which is a concept I need to
After taking a week off from things, I feel ready to jump back in. I had several quite fruitful audio sessions after getting back from vacation. It's interesting to track a composition as an entity in the same way that I would a wiki entry, or something of that nature. I find it very hard to fend off thoughts off changing my setup or set of preferred plugins, but I think I am doing well in that respect. It's difficult to not sit down and start with a kick immediately. I was gifted a kalimba from loved ones which I very much look forward to sitting down with at some point soon. Already, I'm thinking of miking it up and running it through an effects chain. I journaled quite a bit over the vacation and I found it meditative to simply recall the details of a given day - places, sites, meals, etc.. I think I will do more of this sort of writing in the future. I brought a kindle with me but got virtually no reading done. The trip was great and I feel rested. I think in addition to sorting through my digital library by the end of the year, I intend to at least partially convert /graph to a structured data format, but that format has to be so simple, it can basically fit in a sentence and be memorized.
Oh, and I missed the deadline for the jam, but intend to turn that concept into a single pager cause I don't want the fun to stop.
My partner and I got engaged this past week. Whole thing feels very surreal. I adore her and am very excited for what's ahead.
I've been working on an entry in the Micro Fiction Games Jam↗︎ and I'm really enjoying the process. A couple of things are occuring to me:
a) That there's a whole history of ideas-esque discipline in tabletop gaming that would be very interesting to explore
b) I'm finding myself much mroe interested in abstract games, and despite them being a little less than fitting for this jam, I am submitting what seems to be a number puzzle with a kludged-on theme. I may end up doing another, though, I am currently enthralled with this process and have been spending the majority of my chunks the last few days on this.
c) I'm quite interested in mechanics that are simple yet emergent. I've yet to find one in this exercise that achieves either, but I am having fun trying nonethless.
d) As I playtest more and more (it's a solo game), I am finding it difficult to distinguish finding it lacking difficulty and/or just getting better at it. Fun process though. I like some of the design challenges in this domain.
e) As this particular example is a number puzzle, I would be interested in reading more about the math behind these types of figures but I have absolutely no clue what starting search terms would be. That's either the fault of my research skills or the fault of the discoverability of the discipline.
f) I am interested in the math because given the current ruleset, I have no idea if it is possible to generate an-unsolvable game. Tough.
In attempting to identify reasons why my post frequency has decreased in the last little while, I think it can be chalked up to the fact that I have switched to vim and have not quite taken the time to learn yank+pasting. That, and I've started to fiddle with the idea of changing my css template, which means having to re-write this HTML. Yikes.
Still trying to keep up this habit. I think the election has kinda made me wonky. Looks like it will be alright though. I've been designing a board game (it's a number puzzle really) for the first time and I am really enjoying the process, thought I still don't quite identify as the kind of person who plays games. Though, theres probably some capitalist forces at play there. It's interesting to think about user experiences outside of the textual for a bit. Thinking about questions like, "What is engagement?" or "What is fun?". I'm doing a bit of research and it looks like there were these old microgames in the 70s that game shops sold for 2.95 and the whole concept was that the only thing that is included is a paper board and a ruleset. Manufacturers assumed that the player(s) had everything else, and could thus keep the cost of production down. I wonder if there is any analogues to that concept (all app ecosystems --> phone, homeownership --> credit history, etc.).
I continually xonvince myself that I have taken a five year break from intellectual exercise since graduating and I am both very done with perpetuating that reasoning and done with the break. Election is tomorrow. Quite worried.
The power has been off the last few days so I've been doing a lot of reading. I think that approx. 50 pages a day is possible if I really push it which puts me at around 300 per week if I give myself a day to have a headache. The blocks are accruing nicely, I would like to see a slight bump in the growth of notes in graph, but all around solid work this week. I just read Kakuzo's The Book of Tea and I did a bit of searching around and found out abotu "tea classics". Seems like a very interesting line of inquiry, but part of me wonders what cultural forces were at play in bringing a text like this to modern readers?
As I am just rounding up my first weeks doing some genuine time tracking, a couple of things occur to me: a) Time spent listening to podcasts should be tracked because not only is it a learning exercise from a content perspective, it's also time spent understanding how thought can be conveyed and how tone effects meaning. b) I need a really solid format for tracking blocks and I need to start evaluating third-party markup formats to do this. c) On the idea of "a compression friendly way of life" (from VGA@Merveilles), I think I'm starting to conceive of not just the time tracking, but of the actual work as something that is easily parsed, which in turn becomes work that is broken down easily, and thus started easily. It's this odd feedback loop between thinking about a data model for the work and actually getting it done. of course, there's always a balance to be struck, but I am liking the direction that this process is headed in. d) To exclude podcast listening would be to enact a prejudice on medium which is antithetical to the notion of an informed approach to reading. Instead of excluding a medium entirely, I have to be intentional about excluding the various forms of content within a particular medium. ==>> In short, I have to use my best judgement.
So now I am at the point where I think most of my wiki would work quite well in YAML. I need to sus this out. Maybe hold off for a few weeks and run some tests or think on it.
It's interesting when you acquire a new tool, there's this tendency to perceive the power of that tool as your own, but I don't think power(user-power) is something you acquire, I think a mmore fitting image of human-computer interaction is one in which theres flows and intensities and moments in which the conversation happens to be particularly good.
So, for instance, if I listen to a podcast (as I did this morning) about the nature of literary biography and the concerns of the field, is that tracked time? Does what is essentially reading the news, count as a block? I'm not entirely sure of the answer here. On the one hand, I am sort of overestimating the time invested, but on the other, whats to say that that time isn't benficially invested, and thus the subject of recording?
Began my first foray into learning French in the car and holy cow, this is a whole other tooling wormhole to go down. Fun though. Probably need to get my hands on a paid program. Maybe?
I've been learning vim and building a neovim config lately, and the more I do so, the engaged I feel with the site log? It's like the questioning of my own reading context makes me question the public venue I want to put my work into? That's complex. I just kind of have plain text posts building up here without doing any HTML formatting. So now I have this backlog of posts that I need to format so this page doesn't break, but that's a pain. Hmm...
It's funny listening back to voicelogs (--> B004) because its like a podcast that is highly customized to my existing thought process. Kinda cool actually. I sort of feel like the hseen of building the site has worn and now I'm stuck with the logistics of creating legible content that is also web-ready. A challenge to be sure. Would prefer not to use a static site gen though.
Today, I learned that the odds of being hit by a meteorite are 1 in 17 billion, which not only strike me as higher than I had previously expected, but that I don't think I have a great mental model of evaluating probabilities.
I'm so tired of editing config files. I've been focusing more on the format and ID syntax for a timetracking system. Idelly, I would like to make some arrangmenets in the system for some notion that a "node" and an "edge" are both cases of "objects" that must belong to "blocks" of time working. I'm having trouble figuring out how I can implement that in practice. Still lots of public/private wiki internal debate. At all costs, I want to avoid having to do anything twice as that will be a huge time suck.
I'm thinking about a sort of measurement system that works off a primitve base of five where the divsions and grouping scale so that I know a given amount of work has been done when I reach a certain scale of the primitive. Seems difficult to find the right primitive, and so long as I'm working with square, 5 (minutes, groups of 25 minutes, sessions of 125 minutes) seems to be the only one that really fits into a reasonable span of available alotted time.
Working on a time tracking system and a couple of things occur to me as useful strategies:
- that time is divided into blocks and productive time spent on various projects is tracked by logging these blocks
- that the actual timestamps and durations of these blocks are kept in a separate file so that the recording of these various blocks represent their gradual accrual as opposed to being reduced to a representation of the gaps between worked time.
Intensely busy right now and still can't help but feel like the work just doesn't matter. Not to say that it wouldn't have some sort of impact, but more so that any given set of actions will not really have a noticeable impact on progress towards declared goals. So odd.
On labor-competitons and fatalism...
Strikes me that Marxist history has a depth that one could spend a lifetime analyzing. I think its interesting to listen to some of the more revolutionary podcasts and hear an anti-poststructuralist sentiment that I feel a gut opposition to, but I don't identify with any particular field or set of premises? Odd to think through instinctual reactions like that.
I think there's something to be said for finding novel ways of slowing flows of information, or referring to a despository of saved references when wanting something new to read, of developing routines for working through acquired bodies of data. The challenge then becomes how to slow the acquisition process. I think my current thought on the matter is to acquire and process in two independent phases, although in practice that never really works. I think this is because I hop on social media and rss feeds instead of referring to the back catalogue of links. Tricky to balance staying up/engaging in social fulfillment with working through epistems at a sufficient pace.
It occurs to me that a fun course of reading may be to focus on duos, i.e. Deleuze and Guattari, Hardt and Negri, Adorno and Horkheimer, I wonder what some other fun ones might be?
It strikes me that there is such an abundance of bookstore talks by critical theorists on youtube that one could develop a fairly nuanced understanding of the field on those alone.
I think that writing in a public forum actually helps crystalize thought in a really useful way. This to say that I feel the most "thought propulsion" on on the bird even though its a pretty awful place to interact. I wonder how people are patient enough with manuscripts to actually bring them to market. Is bringing a book to market the incorrect way to view the goal?
I partially feel as if I have entirely replaced my private journal with this log. Not sure what the takeaway is there. I've been reading quite a few #100daystooffload articles and they are pretty interesting. I feel less inclined to do longform informal writing however. I'd like to save that particular format for more meaningful writing. That said, if I don't actually end of with any writing in that form, what's the point of reserving it? I have asked myself a similar question in regards to UIDs in the wiki.
Thinking that given my limited css skills and my intention to minimize customizing/nitpicking behaviors, I am rethinking my site layout to inline marginalia. Otherwise, find a satisfactory means to dynamically layout content.
I wonder how many occupations have no effect on the micro scale, but some effect on the macro scale? I know this isn't a novel thought (crap jobs, etc.), but it did just occur to me that if I just didn't engage with any of my work for a month and no internal parties were aware, there probably would not be an effect. However, if I didn't do a year's worth of work. People would notice. This sort of points to the notion of a boundary of "effect" or the necessity of a concept of "effect".
Saw some discussion on the bird about the idea of livestreaming thought work, a la Matuschak↗︎. Seems like an interesting direction, not sure how useful it would be to lump everything together by sci/tech like Twitch does. Domain specificity/categorization would helpful here.
Still very confused on the issue of whether or not to place a thought object in public micro-blog (more or less out of context), or in private wiki (some chance of gaining more context). This especially becomes an issue where I would like to essentially have public objects with private properties. No elegant way to do this as long as I am using plain HTML for the public side of things. Hmm..
I think I should probably look a bit more into dotfiles. I spend an unnecessary amount of time modifying themes/fonts etc.. Seems like everytime I spin a fresh installation, I immidiately miss the forest for the trees.
I'm thinking about doing something along the lines of #100DaysToOffload↗︎ as a means of generating some content for the site, but I feel as if it may prioritize output over quality, but that is explicity the point --> to "Just Write"
One of the things that I have observed over the last few weeks is that while I do tend to have a little bit more spare time on the weekends, my project-time actually goes down. I should have some way to keep track of this relationship, because 20 minutes spent where there is only an hour is almost more important that 20 spent where there is two hours available.
Watching some b-movie from 1957, the acting is pretty bad, but it comes off as providing a more authentic picture of that period. Bad makeup and bad performances are more transparent. I suppose we are in some way conditioned as viewers to correlate opacity with quality.
I have more raw voice recordings than I have the time to transcribe at the moment, so I'm thinking of reducing the thoughts in those to more terse points vs. full transcriptions. I'm not sure what is better, having the the full recording in text format or getting the gist of the recording in a more malleable/modular piece.
Not sure in what regard, but I feel like the zettelkasten method and CRUD methods are connected somehow. They provide a basic object-orientation around which data can be manipulated. It's interesting to think about what sort of "methods" would apply to a Zettelkasten.
Some things I have passing interests in but have yet to dive into:
I feel like both of these have something to do with abstraction in some way? Not sure how.
There's some link between the "manual labor" of tabletop role-playing systems and writing plain HTML. --> The precarity/flexibility of self-imposed structure. Something along those lines.
Now that have a stable format for these logs, I am really trying to resist the urge to import my personal knowledge management system over here. Should the whole thing just be a single page? Probably not.
Starting to unerstand genealogical method (though I do need to go to Nietzsche) as a pointing|reference to the cross-association of effecting forces as actual contituting forces. Viz., 'those two apparatuses operate on the same plane'. Now I'm trying to think of examples.
Starting to get pretty stoked on how the listening log is turning out.
I've been using a relatively high-quality set of wireless earbuds at work for about the last 8 months and have just now realized how much they accelerate fatigue. Gnarly.
If an entry is recorded before the journal exists, did it really happen? It's challenging to reckon with the development of a recording process over time. Feels like continually starting over.
I wonder what the link between Berlin School and modern techno is? Is there a geneology from Tangerine Dream to Blawan, or are they separate traditions?
What to call it though? How to develop more meaningful processes without using capitalist language?
It's definitely interesting to think about how developing a log like this forces a certain continuity on work. I wonder to what extent that continuity is artificial. neauoire↗︎ says "taxonomy is unsolvable" which is useful to keep in mind
Just got this micro-log section up on running and filled in with some personal notes. I think the next step is to develop a way to reference other posts in this stream.
2) see also: regularity in Bravais Lattices
3) MacKay - De Nive Quinquangula
4) Schechtmans work on Al6Mn
Sometimes I think about how futile doing anything at all is... this applies especially to the act of reading philosophy, but also to things such as a) waking up, b) going to work, etc..
I really want to go to EGS but I think it would probably suck actually.
They have lots of videos though, which is nice. I don't know where the differences would be between watching these videos and actually be in the classroom. It's not like I would be able to ask questions. Students definitely ask questions in the lectures. Do EGS students write midterms? I know practically nothing about graduate education.
It occurs to me that some of the times in whch I feel the loneliest are the times in which I search for pictures of people I know but havent spoken with in too long. What an odd behavior. I do the same with philosophers, but I suppose the difference is one of standpoint.
One of the things I find odd is that there's seems to be a natural repellent between intense study and community. I think this is a falsehood. At least I hope it is.
"Burnout isn’t a personal problem - it’s a societal and structural one." - Anne Helen Petersen from Can't Even: How Millenials Became the Burnout Generation... kinda interesting to me how we ascribe aesthetics and modes of production onto 25 year spans of the population. I believe it to be counterproductive (not quite sure in what way).
It's weird to me that people (myself very much included) are afraid to say that they don't understand why someone is problematic (i.e. Lacan, Pinker, etc.). If you don't know, you don't know...