it must be... but what?
"I should not like my writing to spare other people the trouble of thinking. But, if possible, to stimulate someone to thoughts of his own."
—Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
"Whenever I feel reluctant to throw out some work, I recall that life is pointless, and nothing we do even exists if the power goes out." —David Gilbertson
"The key to modern life is to be, in a word, unborable."—David Foster Wallace
(a wildflower meadow i was introducing at home in oregon, before the wildfire... successive waves of plants would come in each season)
planning for the far future... it is a good thought, and at times it may come to pass along reasonably predictable lines. but there is more before one, by far, than ever one may know... so i treasure the present, and keep an eye to the closer possible futures.
having a foundation for living and loving well... what might that look like? and how might one continually increase self-awareness?
one definition of a good life... the most interesting story possible.
But then, even in the most insignificant details of our daily life, none of us can be said to constitute a material whole, which is identical for everyone, and need only be turned up like a page in an account-book or the record of a will; our social personality is a creation of the thoughts of other people. Even the simple act which we describe as "seeing someone we know" is to some extent an intellectual process. We pack the physical outline of the person we see with all the notions we have already formed about him, and in the total picture of him which we compose in our minds those notions have certainly the principal place. In the end they come to fill out so completely the curve of his cheeks, to follow so exactly the line of his nose, they blend so harmoniously in the sound of his voice as if it were no more than a transparent envelope, that each time we see the face or hear the voice it is these notions which we recognise and to which we listen.
—Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
The Intelligent Plant, by Michael Pollan for The New Yorker
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohleben (papery object or digital equivalent)
How Your Cat is Making You Crazy, on Jaroslav Flegr for The Atlantic
I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong (papery object or digital equivalent)
#ambiguity #digital #art
#lowfidelity #bandon #oregon
points of salience
orchid bees... you simply must see them if you never have
looking upon this site hitherto (scroll down), i'm struck afresh by the warmth of my early recollections of technology.
but as comforting as it can be to gaze upon long-gone technologies, let me call out two i don't miss: internet explorer 6, and netscape navigator 4.
i almost think that anyone who shares close acquaintance with creating websites for those browsers shares something, perhaps akin to that which one might come to have in common with someone with whom one shared a room at an old-school mental asylum.
battalions of spider plants
a picture held us captive
—Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
(one in 7.7 billion)
i am many, as it were, even to myself, and most certainly over time. you may know me by some of these slices. not all slices are internally consistent, nor do they cohere with other slices necessarily. and yet i am nothing if i am not, or have not been at one time, all of these things.
maintain an area where you can drop pieces cut from your current writing. you may or may not ever come back to these, but simply having a 'safe' place in which to place them frees your mind to make bold cuts and to pursue all the thoughts... in this way, writing becomes the vehicle of thought, rather than simply a transcription of half-thoughts or even preconceptions.
speaking of maybe, or maybe not, coming back to things, i was reminded of an odd habit of mine long back. i often failed to develop the photographs i'd taken (you know, from rolls of film, that kind of long ago). i would defend this oddity by suggesting it was the act of photography itself that had the value, the photographs themselves being neither here nor there, or more precisely, not requiring physical instantiation.
a small strap wrench is essential in life. i never travel far without mine.
i have a story about eels to share. i'm now in need of an eel simply to get access to a button refusing eels.
how did i get here? is this the shape of software support these days? i feel like rather than address problems and causes, i'm frequently cajoled with some semblance of humor into accepting exactly that which i was most avidly attempting to avoid when i began the process.
in this particular case (i won't name names), they're even resorting to bribery... they're offering me $20 in eel credits.
i remember hypercard. i built my first game with it. i wish i still had it (both the game, and hypercard itself! why don't things like these get saved? digital formats are not the forever they once were promised to be. and some apps—and services, for that matter—once gone, leave forever a marked lack in one's life).
i was somewhere at or over the age of 10 at the time... when i began playing with hypercard, that is. playing hypercard games. stringing together elements, seemingly effortlessly. i remember creating my game, fragments thereof at least: a magic potion, with a vapor above it that i vaguely recall agonizing over.
the sheer delight, coupled with simplicity—the relatively effortless new ability to create potion vapor animations in my own choose-your-own-adventure game (cards in stacks... an apt visual metaphor)—left the warmest of impressions on me, and set a tone that would be continued as i dabbled in the internet of those days (my college years, fall '95 to spring '99... cyberspace, brightly colored, pixelated, blinking, animated, wild and free).
that was a time when you might actually draw pixel by pixel... i remember doing so, constructing elaborate illustrations. one, a swallowtail butterfly based on a photo (a modest first project). another, a bright pink and blue-hued serpent twisted around a sword. the others? lost, i fear, to unrecognizable formats (once again, data is fleeting).
no antialiasing back then... semi-transparent pixels were such a dream
relatively much later, i remember making this on a powerbook 1400cs (at the time, the latest in a chain of macs... though i'd begun with an apple IIe). i remember photoshop overheating my laptop at times (causing unplanned shutdowns). so i'd have to save often, and preventatively turn the machine off for 15 minutes or so (cuing off whether my legs really were burning dangerously so). was that photoshop v4, i wonder? yes, it was, i just looked it up. code name: big electric cat, released november 1996.
#apple #system6 #hypercard #resedit #photoshop4 #telnet
greetings 2019, i see you here. a marker in time. occasionally beers have marked years for me, so that i can say, for example, that blue moon tastes like 2010, or leffe, 2002. i wonder if 2019 will taste of leinenkugel sunset wheat?
these fragments begin nowhere in particular, and similarly go on in that fashion.
to be perused idly, as a collection of meandering interludes, like life.