inquiry

whatever comes to mind

On one side, writing is as compelling a thing as I have in my life: it’s probably the only thing that I don’t know how not to do. But at the same time, its being so fundamental also means that my understanding is disproportional to its influence. I have little clear idea about why I love it the way I do, or really what my ultimate purpose is. For the latter, I sometimes think it’s better to think of writing as a means rather than an end; I write as a way to do other things. This doesn’t always work, though, since a lot of times I write simply to do it.

We breathe fine without understanding how or why.

Perhaps it's like that with writing?

Perhaps writing is a sort of “fingertips breathing”?

I like the idea of people responding to something I’ve done

You mean like this? ;–)

I keep going back and forth on whether or not I prefer interaction. I feel more creative when writing to The Void than to specific others, or even merely having specific others in mind when writing. It's as though the presence of the thought of specific other(s) wishes to constrain the height, depth, and breadth of the thought streams to suit them. And yet feeling utterly alone in this lends it a masturbatory feel that can easily morph “pointless” after all is said and cum.

Beautiful post, by the way.

It's such a prototypically autumn day, here, today: dying leaves being shaken upon branches as though vigorously waving goodbye. Which is rather accurate, I guess. Few are actually breaking free, but I'd not be surprised if that were starting to happen in a bigger way by the weekend.

Oh my gosh.. surely pure coincidence.. but I must admit feeling degrees of at least accidental engagement in seeing an article entitled “Houses of the Holy” a few hours after I belched out a post title that was a mild bastardization of lyrics from a song on that album!

A truly idiotic article title: “We Need a New Capitalism”

Why idiotic?

Because “capitalism” (or any other “ism” seemingly categorizing how a group of people are behaving with and relative to each other) isn't a thing: it's a description.

It's not like people are en masse looking at various socio-economic system options and going, “Oh! Let's do this one!”

Rather, people do what the heck they want, and later people looking at a meta level of collective results imagine seeing patterns, and going “That IS some thing!”

Nope. Totally an emergent property of people individually doing what the heck they want.

So, we don't need a new emergent property as though such could reach back and change emergent interference patterns of millions/billions of people doing as they please.

We need people doing something(s) else, something(s) whose collective interference patterns seem to create a new, more benevolent, less-likely-to-implode emergent meta description.

The aforementioned article title is classic belief a tail could wag the dog.

So let's stop being dogs, then, shall we? ;–)

In case the meaning of the title isn't jumping right out at you, I'm on the treadmill. ;–)

Oh, boy... huge, wondrous email morning – to the point where I can imitate Ringo's “I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!!!” with ease.

(“White Album”, youngsters)

New working definition of “ego” (partially inspired by this wonderful post):

Ego: the ignoring – aka ignorance – of what we are in favor of pretending to be so much less at the mercy of the rest of what we are as though the latter were separate.

Other than that, I'm kind of limping through a three-day work week in the sense I'm feeling less than zero motivation. But it's partly because I'm waiting on answers, and partly became my main project can't be advanced with the nickel-and-dime-grade attention a troublingly mysterious sky-anvil-in-love-with-the-ground bug is demanding.

God, I hate software!

And what a crappy state of affairs, to have slowly descended into a sort of hatred hell of the one thing others might feel I'm worthy of being paid to do....

But I'm sure the impending four day weekend cometh bearing salve – aka ignorance. :–)

It seems my story is that unfinished work perennially. I do not have a place to get to in Can Tho so I sit with cold Saigon Beers and watch the evening set in. I’m spoiled. There’s nothing I don’t have that I want or need. I have some VND in my pocket. Some friends sometimes at arms length but well meaning and a life that has meanders from city to country to continent. Maybe a wanderer with no pot of gold. No one that asks or requires or mandates or tells me.

We'll let your next-of-kin know you wound up in The Good Place, all odds to the contrary notwithstanding. ;–)

But in the end I am a selfish , egotistical and narcissistic SOB and I know it. Those are my good qualities. I don’t provoke an answer. In fact I could give a fuck less.

Shhhh! Don't give the winged, haloed ones in charge reason to revoke your eternal reward!

Tonight it’s the cold Saigon beer that they bring to me. Cheers!

<nods in excruciating envy>

But there was a catch. Osborne did not realize that he was translating a translation. The lyric poem was Milton's Paradise Lost.

Henceforth known as “Translation Found”!

How many times do we translate a translation without realizing it?

Every time the cognitive wherewithal engages – even at less than warp speeds. (<winks in the direction of Hikaru Sulu>)

I cannot help but think of a scenario where a person, not knowing Paradise Lost or Milton, comes across Osborne's translation first. Sounds a bit like navigating the web.

And I can't help but think it doesn't matter at all except relative to a belief something going one way is necessarily better than it going another.

Just this past weekend (forgive me if I already bored y'all with this) the timing of a $100 video poker machine loss was soon enough followed by a “chance” intersection of my walking home with a (then merely) acquaintance pulling out of a parking lot. He rolled his window down, we chatted, and then I spent some three hours at his house (never been there before) drinking Heinekens and whiskey amidst an occasional smoke, and the conversation was astoundingly deep and personal.

Did my $100 loss cause my possibly having acquired a new really good friend? The loss certainly sucked at the time (especially for having been up $40 at one point). (The words “What a fucking idiot!” came to mind many more than a few times.) And yet it's easy to imagine the latter having never occurred were it not for the exquisite – yet hidden – timing of the former.

My (current) take is it's almost always rash to imagine the way something has gone is necessarily a lesser thing in the long haul. The potential of the fractalized wave interference of our interactions laughs to the point of teary-eyed breathlessness at dice outcomes.

How can something be a scam if it is free? Well, because they (the college) are promising something that does not pay off in the end. An Associates degree and now, in 2019, even a BA/BS degree is nothing more than a job hunting license. It doesn't promise a bright and better future. It doesn't mean you will earn “X” amount of dollars more than someone who doesn't have a degree. These (bias) stats are worn out from the 1970's playbook of college being a “ticket to prosperity” (at which point it certainly was).

So it's basically like life in general?

Got it.

The Benefits of Ignorance

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it” – Upton Sinclair ... Another version:

“Does my voluntary ignorance in this situation afford me something that I would lose if I faced reality?”

It perhaps depends on what “me” being referred to. Ego is essentially the purest form of ignorance, so lesser forms are likely to be to its benefit in a “peas of a pod” sense. (That's not to say lesser forms necessarily make ego feel better, but put more “woe is isolated/separate me” wind in its ignorant sails, i.e. feed it.)

But what of a deeper “me” apparent/obvious only when the thick cobwebs of ignorance are blown away – said ignorance fundamentally being the ignoring of said deeper “me”?

So, as always, context.

I don't know why I wrote a blog post about this

I suspect those are often the best kind, less based in contrivance, in gaming expectations of the ways in which they might be taken: simply pouring others a big tall glass of me straight up, quite possibly shaken and stirred....

So, how do we find that close friend who we can be vulnerable with?

By posting our vulnerability in interactionless places?

(Yes, that was definitely sarcasm given the mostly interactionless nature of this space...)

How do you find friends? There's lots of things written on the internet on this topic. I think the first step is to not isolate so much and be social. This is where I am at. This is the thing I can do at this moment. Before I go, thank you for reading this. I appreciate your encouragement and comments. Maybe we're friends?

It's possible.

But in my experience highly unlikely.

I've been at various forms of this for decades, and landed all of three friends at the very most. And that's quite the generous valuation of the situation, given one drifted off to incommunicado land, and another is kind of in the process of doing that – not “ghosting” per se, but just growing apart and/or life becoming too busy for lesser relationships.

It's a pretty solid reason to be wary of the value of all this screentilation.

Anyway, I'm going to attempt to post this via Matt's “writeas” line command. I messed with it a bit last night – although I became a bit confused by its “help” on the “posts” subcommand (not Matt's fault.. mine for not being able to read for shit, apparently):

NAME:
   posts - List all of your posts

USAGE:
   writeas posts [command options] [arguments...]

DESCRIPTION:
   This will list only local posts.

OPTIONS:
   --id           Show list with post IDs (default)
   --md           Use with --url to return URLs with Markdown enabled
   --tor, -t      Get posts via Tor hidden service, if authenticated
   --url          Show list with URLs
   --verbose, -v  Show verbose post listing, including Edit Tokens

I somehow missed the “This will list only local posts” part, and thus was temporarily confounded/frustrated that I wasn't getting a list of my non-local posts, even authenticated.

Uh, duh inquiry!!!

But, well, I don't really have time to debug the “new” subcommand possibly not working how I'm hoping/expecting it to.

I think the documentation is telling me that (perhaps with the options in a different place/order):

writeas -b inquiry --md --font sans new

will lead to an editor session (“vim” in my environment) whose results will be posted as though I posted the way I usually do when going to “write.as” in the browser.

I think. :–)

Anyway, I'm going to try that now while hoping for the best.

<a bit later>

Um, nope. No go a la:

XXX@localhost:~$ writeas -b inquiry --md --font sans new

Error posting: Unable to post: net/http: request canceled (Client.Timeout exceeded while reading body)
To retry this post, run:
  cat /tmp/WApost078583877.txt | writeas

I see the temporary file, so no idea how reading its body could have timed out....

So, anyway, in fact this was posted the usual way.

I sit in a rather miraculous room, full of magical toys both arranged and strewn about in geological strata-ish layers, the accretion of objects representing hopes and dreams of some thing or another Finally Being It, i.e. finally producing ongoing – if not everlasting – happiness.

A junk heap, basically.

And I'd throw it all away like I wish I could unforget porn URLs, yet know ignorant cravings will make their inevitable rounds, no doubt leading to the repurchase of what was already purchased and discarded. So, may as well leave the heap undisturbed in the interests of economy.

I suppose write.as is technically such an object relative to other online “places” that were “it” for a season.

But it too shall pass into my digital memories heap as representing yet another crave-bordering hope for satisfying interaction that leadth unto mutual enlightenment.

(Something within – and I kid you not – just silently shouted “Silly boy!”)

Work is, well.. (let's just burrow a tired phrase, shall we?) “the cat's away”.

Right?

And so is the kitten of this house.

So one might say this mouse is doubly ecstatic. Cheese fun-due, peoples!

Now, how to become interested in work? How to – given we're talking software – become interested in tracking down code paths whose execution fails to align with hopes/expectations, and then no doubt walk the harrowing tightrope of refactoring over a body of foul water teeming with the crocodiles of fucking shit up irrevocably from a “how does this shit even work at all?” point of view regardless one's due versioning diligence?

Even Fear and Loathing count their lucky stars and fall to the ground in fits of thankful gratitude relative to that nightmare!

You know.

Y'all being pinnacle grade bloggers means I was probably the last to know, but here goes anyway.

The next 7 months will be like this. Wandering around the world basically but skipping Europe pretty much. I cannot wait though for Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and Dubai. But that gets me ahead of myself. Now it’s my favorite place to be right now. Manic and crazy Saigon. I love it completely.

Love the reports, Mike!

Sex?

Well.... o-kay.

Let's write about sex and let's try to be candid. It might be difficult, because it's a subject lined in both taboo and dirty excitement. This is not pornography. This is my struggle.

It's funny. There was a time when I really ate up erotica, seemingly couldn't get enough of it.

But then some combination of saturation and aging put the kibosh on that appetite.

Oh, wait, there was another factor: after a while the stories all seem to become fundamentally the same, which implies they invoke what I want to call “familiarity spoilers”, meaning one really doesn't have to read the material to know how they're going to transpire and end.

The girl before was plain dirty but also a dirty liar. She would share my pleasure and could suck me off for an hour. A few times she told me she came three times. I didn't know whether to believe. I found comfort in the fact that the number must be at least one else she was really selling herself short.

Oh. You're reminding me of another “erotica effectiveness mitigator”, namely knowing the characters of a story are people, which would be fine if people were other than as they are, but given what they are we know there's going to be misunderstanding preceding heartache and misery, if not biologically driven negative emotions (e.g. jealousy – more implicit spoilers, really).

I am sitting here and thinking about how I am not/ cannot / will not get tattoos anymore. I had this reoccurring discussion with a friend of mine from Florida where we discussed the discomfort of getting a tattoo. Not just the pain in-and-of itself when the needle was going into the skin, that part is fine. But the way tattoo artists all (oddly) act the same. And they all act like condescending dickheads. ALL of them. Literally not a single exception in my experience of getting tattooed numerous times since 2008.

Huh. Wow. This is honestly the first time I've read such. Interesting to know, even though there's no chance I'd be ever heading that direction anyway, mainly because it just plain never comes to mind due to the inertia of decades of the absence of such thoughts.

To do these things you need fuck-you money, and you don't get to Gates' heights of fuck-you money without having said fuck-you to a few people and the drive to step on them. Pretending that Gates' capacity to help tackle these big issues is all about how smart and uniquely talented Bill happens to be is disingenuous. His intelligence and drive help when pushing against apathy and inertia and corruption, I'm sure, but also do his uncountable piles of money. And to get there, you need to have behaved in a very particular way.

I appreciate this heads-up on the documentary!

Of course, the likes of DOS and Windows are sufficient motivation for my never bother learning much about the man. What a fucking mis-direct on the possibilities of computing environments, which I think single-handedly did more to keep people tech stupid than anything else (and I'm starting to think browsers run a close second).

But the sun is shining in a blue sky, it's a three day work week for me, and lots and lots of other reasons to be grateful to be perpetually mis-modeling The Ineffable Reality... <cough>

I can't tell you how much I despise Microsoft Windows.

Things that are so simple in Linux tend to be horrific, poorly documented nightmares complete with unimaginable silent failures at – per Murphy – the least expected times, in the least anticipate-able ways.

So on Linux: cron.. boom!

Similar on Windows?

Well, I guess there is attempting to wrap one's code in way that Windows treats it as a service, but I've never seen a description of how to accomplish that successfully that didn't look like attempting to boil all the oceans at once – and maybe a couple continents thrown in there for sadist good measure.

Then there's scheduling tasks. Okay, much simpler. Or seemingly simpler.

But my task uses “winscp” at one point (a usage kludge compared to “sftp/scp”), and that was quietly failing for a while that – after some painful (for not knowing what keywords to use) search online, eventually leading me to changing:

open sftp://MYID:MYPW#@MYIP:MYPORT

to:

open sftp://MYID:MYPW#@MYIP:MYPORT -hostkey”ssh-dss 1024 <SHA-256 of the remote host>“

(see what I added on the end?)

because, otherwise, despite telling the scheduler to run as ME, something about winscp apparently didn't think it was me, because the answer to a one-time question I had to answer the first time I ran it against that host manually (months ago) apparently wasn't to be found when run by the scheduler, so winscp was stopping to ask the question as though the scheduler were a person able to type a one-character answer and hit <enter>, which of course it couldn't do, so it just sat there, and eventually winscp timed out for not receiving the answer it needed...

Well, okay, so I fixed that put the above change... but now something about attempting to access MS SQL Server databases is silently not working – I imagine for the scheduler not seeming to be me despite having told it to pretend to be me. So now I'm going to have to add lotsa painful debug code, lotsa timestamped print statements, and, of course, hope that tells me something the first time, otherwise I'll need to add more.. and yadda yadda until the issue is obvious...

And of course cycling through that is going to take much time. And, in the meantime, customers need for this to be working, so I'll have to be running the same manually while logged in so Windows (<bleep> you very much, Bill Gates) doesn't <bleep> things up for its scheduler being either deficient, or not working as advertised...

Or – very possible – perhaps I'm simply an idiotic clown....?

I've some code that scrapes read.write.as, and lately it's been seeing odd results in the sense that some urls in anchor elements pointing to individual posts occasionally fail, but then change a little while later to urls that work.

For example, last night a “Poseur to Composer” post was associated with this link:

https://write.as/poseur-to-composer/i-remember-the-first-sunday-i-went-back-to-church-after-15-plus-years-of

which didn't work a la:

This page is missing.

Are you sure it was ever here?

But then just a few minutes later, the same scraping code turned up this url for the same post:

https://write.as/poseur-to-composer/power-of-hymns

and it works fine.

No idea why that might be. At first I imagined maybe the author changed the post title. But my recollection of doing that was that it doesn't lead to the url changing.

So, hmmm.

It is at once an individual library and a public library. And perhaps that is what the web is in a nutshell.

I suspect individual minds have all kinds of ideas about what it is to the model of the self in the same mind space.

But how that maps to some alleged objective (i.e. not merely mind stuff) reality is another matter altogether.

When I first found minimalism, I realized I had kind of been doing it ever since I was a kid. My family home had a lot of junk in it, and I think I intuitively found order by culling possessions and organizing my bedroom meticulously. That later transitioned into lightening my online presence and getting rid of social media. I eventually experimented with getting rid of my smartphone, and found that, for me, it was better to have one and find ways to manage usage (Forest).

The only minimalism that really matters is minimalism of taking thoughts to be some sort of objective reality.

Be the joke you want to hear

We already are, as there's no greater joke than taking oneself to be the shallow clownish mind model re-presenting ineffable depth.

And if you see a clown, try saying hello. Could be there's a joke brewing!

Hey Ya! ;–)

(Indeed, that was a reference to that wonderful Outkast song from what is suddenly seeming like a long time ago....)

Time to move it move it. No longer is my home in Cambodia. I have no home. And that’s how I like it. For the next 7 months I wander. All I have in a 45 liter backpack and daypack. Possessions almost none. Joy and wonder great. First to Vietnam. Then onward.

Best of luck, Mike!

Where are you telling yourself context stories with strong undertones? How might awareness of those undertones give you space to create a new story?

If there is a reality, it surely isn't stories about it (including the story about it about to appear after the right parenthesis and comma coming in three, two..), but that by which stories about it are possible.

This is going to be difficult to parse, but: stories, regardless their contextual details, are mind-stuff masking im-mediate (i.e. not mediated by mind-stuff/stories/whatever-you-want-to-call-it) realization of that namelessness by which mind-stuff is possible.