inquiry

whatever comes to mind

“Now blogging faith is the substance of posts hoped for, the evidence of blogs not seen.” – Write.as 11:1

As some may have noticed, “Bix” is one of my favorite bloggers showing up in the read.write.as feed.

Bix is clearly a fine writer, enough so that I wish they'd share lengthier explorations more often. I've plenty of the craft to learn from Bix.

But I think a lion's share aspect of my moth-like textural fascino-hover-spell is I so wish I could be more like Bix in terms of having and expressing lots of short-but-sweet opinions on things – to (more fundamentally) seemingly be so sure.

To – as just one super innocuous example – be so certain of my assessment of another in the course of less than a handful of interactions with them that I could confidently ignore and never interact with them again forever.

Somehow, this here mind can't trust its own conclusions that thoroughly, decisively, and adamantly – especially suspecting “conclusions” are mostly – if not entirely – words about other(s') words in some mind context.

I suppose a more blogosphere-religiously-minded one might model the difference as between the kind of blogging faith that moves blogging mountains, and the kind that just kind of simmers in its own entropic lack of certainty escape velocity?

I loved this Entropy as Disorder: History of a Misconception article.

But it got me thinking more about a meta-matter than the topic at textural hand, what might be referred to as “Is splitting hairs ever about much more than wrangling about word meaning nuances?”.

The article does a fine job of pointing out the word 'entropy' is not necessarily always a drop-in replacement for the word 'disorder'.

But as I pondered the argument(s), I couldn't help but think (realize?) the hullabaloo was more (if not entirely) about the meanings of words than so-called reality itself.

Which, well, multiply that by ascii gazillions, and you've got the textural sub-context/domain of the internet.

“<word> means <this>!”

Or (worse yet):

“<word> IS <this>!”

followed by what is essentially either:

“No it doesn't/isn't!”

“Yes it does/is!”

...

or

“No it doesn't/isn't!”

“Yes it does/is!”

...

“Oh, wait a second.. after a bit more thought, yes it does/is!”

But in such purely conceptual drama of ego clash is whatever reality the words reference completely unaffected by all that huffery puffery.

Ain't da online life just da bomb(s going off)?

On a different matter, I'm so looking forward to experiencing this video linked to by mikka luster's “How long...” post.

Why am I waiting?

Well, it's a little complicated. Let's just say my partner is milling about my writing space, and I have to know in advance that content capable of escaping the screen (e.g. audio) isn't going to be NSFP (Not Safe For Partner), e.g. has a high probability of provoking questioning whose answering could possibly lead to a future “piecing together” of my otherwise mostly clandestine online activities.

And we can't have that happening.

Yeah, I realize that probably sounds pathetic – probably because it is. (Or – in the context of some of the above – “is”...)

But, well, enough of my life has run aground of others opinions of what I should be doing with my life to the point of their actually becoming upset about such, that such precautions still feel embarrassingly necessary.

Although I tried as best I could to imagine positive negativity with respect to mikka luster's eloquent expression in In Defense of Positive Negativity, I just plain found myself agreeing with everything Mikka wrote.

But, to me, no matter how well positive and/or negative comments might lead to mutual sharpenings such that a given idea set moves forward, I still value the interactions themselves higher than whatever outcomes, essentially highlighting points in time – aka “now” – when mini emergent ripples of The One Great Attention meet and dance.

So even if/when I vehemently disagree with someone, any and all interaction with them is far closer to “all the world's a stage” than any possibilities of advancing some potential “truth” with respect to a given topic.

And the stage, well, that's simply where it's at!

Moving right along, a happy good morning/day/evening to you, too, mso!

I appreciate your having-had-to-work-for-it-to-find-it mention in “Engaging with posts on fediverse” – with emphasis on that dash-mediated-phrase because, well, in reference to this:

So anyway, as I saw I was mentioned I realized that 1) it's very cool and 2) there's 99% chances I could've missed that if I didn't happen to read that particular post at that particular time. Now, I'm very new to even the concept of blog federation (fediverse, mastodon?), but do these systems allow you to know you've been mentioned so that you can keep an engaging discussion going?

the last thing I want is some machine learning and/or other automation making things what I want to call “unfulfillingly easy”. I want to feel the joy of making the investigative effort to see if anything I wrote was sufficiently worth attention/consideration to interact with – especially in cleverly cloaked ways – with some nifty unintended consequences of becoming familiar with more articles and authors along the way. Had some notification done that work for me, I'd likely have missed out on a lot.

(Now, I could make tenuous exceptions for any notification mechanisms I write for me, because then I'm at least lapping of the joy of coding, and creating something I can bend and twist as needed. But even though I'm already thinking how I could do that with a combination of Curl and Lua starting from the read.write.as URL, again, why would I want to pull the rug of my reading joy out from under me by replacing exhilarating exertion and magical accident with what might be modeled as spoilers?)

And maybe I don't need to know that information. Perhaps it's part of the beauty of it: if you happen to read something you are interested in you can comment on it by writing a post. If the stars align the original author can see it too, but otherwise that's fine.

Perfectly put!

Welcome to the new place” (courtesy of Mikes Thoughts) is soooo a kind of post I hope to chance upon a lot. Perhaps a little commentary thereupon expresses why better than just coming right out and typing it?

The new place is not the same as the old place. Gone are comments and likes from here. This place focuses on creation of ideas and content and not on publicizing or make the blog more or even less worthy by including various links to products, services, or other stuff. From here on out, its about the wandering and the feelings and the real stuff that may actually be fake but you won't now until you go to Lao or Vietnam.

You've got me wondering how those places have the power to unmask “real stuff that may actually be fake”.

I live in Southeast Asia so its grand tapestry of places and I don't really have a home besides a hotel with decent wifi and a few small bags. Today and tomorrow have descended into a pit and so have responsibilities and goals and requirements and milestones.

How descending into a pit leads to having “responsibilities and goals and requirements and milestones” ratcheted up my curiosity even more. What kind of pit? The absence of the details is killing me! (I'm not saying that's a bad thing. Nothing wrong with patiently waiting for the goods.)

Look for some content here on the little things in the places I go and things I see. I left wordpress behind because it did not focus on the little things like content and instead left me paying for a business service at $300 a year which gave me no real thrill. At least with the woman in the bar in Hanoi I was offered boom boom. I respect that offer even if I did not take her up on it.

Okay, I'm all but certain this is the first time I've read of how Wordpress compares/contrasts with some bar women in Hanoi. Glorious!

So there is no show to get on with besides my life and the things which may or may not present themselves. What you see here as far as a blog platform is what you get. I want a platform that focuses down on content and ideas and creation and less on the dubious integrities of the five things to see in Rome or Siem Reap. If you are a travel blogger or want to be or perhaps you desire to be that digital nomad or round the world traveler, I have no tips. Nothing for you here, get along. But if you want some stuff that tends to the smaller, with images from a FujiFilm X-T30 camera or an iPhone 7 plus stay tuned.

I can't wait!

And welcome! This is not the place it was. And I'm glad.

We are federatedly the instruments – and, in the exercise thereof, hope – of MIGA (Making Internet Great Again)!

CJ Eller spoke to something I do a fair amount of – although I had no idea it might be called hyperclipping.

This:

It makes me think about how we embed writing into other writing on the web. A newspaper article clipping is replaced by a hyperlink to take you to said newspaper article. Sure, the tactility is lost, but deep down I wonder what else is.

had me remembering how for years and years a high school buddy and I exchanged fairly large snail mail, sometimes handwritten, often typed, and from time to time with said clippings embedded courtesy of Scotch tape, Elmer's glue, rubber cement, or whatever else was handy.

I rather miss that. The pace was, well, that of escargot, relatively speaking. But how momentous a moment it was when such a tome arrived.

Makes me wonder if those who designed and then coded the internet into place ever wondered if “supply and demand” might come into play in the sense that abundance has a way of devaluing – and rarity, valuing – things to humans? Being able to fire off an email whenever means so much less to me than those works of paper/ink/clippings art did, and ditto on being able to so easily put paragraphs before lots of others simultaneously.

Glad to see mso got back to writing:

I got back to writing recently. I'm not sure exactly why, but I felt like jotting down my thoughts was helping me organise my thoughts and learnings. I like that when you write you create something. That something can be shared, used, interpreted.

The key word being “can”.

But simple attention arithmetic suggests everyone constantly writing means they have proportionally less time for reading.

(Makes me wonder if perhaps an interesting twist on a place like write.as might be a mechanism that promotes/enforces people taking turns so that those whose turn it is not to write can luxuriate in reading?)

It's a simple act but so complex at the same time. Anyway, I first went back to Medium. I love the idea behind it — a platform where writers can connect and share stories — but I got disappointed by the paywall they've set-up. It feels as if the articles you write there belong to Medium. It's also not ideal to share Medium links since at times people already reached their reading limits and can't read what you wrote without paying. Not good, right?

Evil never has been.

It feels to me like write.as is medium done right. The idea of a network of people writing good content, discovering good stories. It seems like it's done with the right mindset and I'm looking forward to use it more, and share some of my uninteresting thoughts here now!

Excellent!

Elsewhere:

In response to Tobias Van Schneider's love letter to personal websites, in which he is right that they are the “place where we can express, on our terms, who we are and what we offer” but a bit annoying in how he focuses on how it's about presenting your work to the world, Eric L. Barnes correctly observes that “social media keeps winning because it’s easy and we are all lazy”, except that if there's one thing I've learned from being diagnosed as autistic it's that sometimes what conventional wisdom would have as laziness in fact is a kind of cognitive inertia (in the mental health realm, often the result of executive function issues), and it's why as we try to motivate people to find their own opportunities to switch gears back to things like blogging, we need to push social media platforms to introduce friction.

Whatever it is, it's no match for “we are all lazy”.

So it looks like we have to change ourselves first and – surprise, surprise – discover even plain text is pretty gosh-danged wonderful – if not exciting – when those wielding it have more than half a lazily inert brain in their head.

Honestly. It's been the same story over and over: people making it easy for literally any idiot to participate, and then wondering how that keeps leading to falling far short of the lofty mark.

We simply don’t know if anything qualifies anymore as a “game changer.” For crying out loud, the Russians helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton! Robert Mueller spent two years investigating. He came up with 10 different ways Trump broke the law. Yet the Republican Party said all that was jim-dandy. So tell me: Why wouldn’t the president ask for foreign help a second time, and why would the second time change anything?

The reason “we simply don't know if anything qualifies anymore” is that's what happens when boys, girls, and whatever other genders cry wolf incessantly to the point of endlessly. There's not a single claim in that paragraph that isn't mostly – if not entirely – based upon the gossipy facts-changing-along-the-way murmuring of haters of a particular individual. Even if the man is a complete psychopath, in my view his haters are even worse for carrying on as they have while insisting they're the woke adults in the room – including the one that considered all of one exchange to be sufficient reason to shun another 'til the end of eternity.

yourintrinsicself asks:

Where might you be able to start leading from stillness?

Well, obviously not here.... ;–)

An oscillation between being and identification with a conceptual being narrative seems what it's come to.

It's hard to say “I” am in control of it, given “I” is one of the concepts in the narrative, thus arguably emergent, mere phenomenon, hardly in a position to reach outside the domain of its emergence to affect the domain from whence its domain emerges.

There seems to be a deeper “I”, but it's not the one associated with “me” and the rest of the me/<name> narrative.

The oscillation isn't unlike movie scene transitions, dream transitions, etc.

Which makes sense given what life is but.

And then the internet goes down.

Or some piece of it between y'all and I.

Gosh, the uselessness of language, sometimes.

Much many lots of times.

A quick look at headlines:

Trump administration reaches deal to send asylum seekers to El Salvador in an effort to deter migrants from entering the United States – The Washington Post

Any wild guesses on whether and how that article is likely to be biased?

Wrote some fun javascript wrapping the ways I like doing SQL-ishness.

But I'm mostly waiting out the day 'til the weekend has me wetly embraced.

        above average hungry
          fidgety attention
         distant train horns
                  
          the growing sense
            "open source"
          is euphemism for
        "haste making waste"
                  
        whereas last night I
        understood everything
        by morning I's roots
            stank roundup
                  
                 so
               scratch
              and claw
             back to the
            discomforting
          me world illusion

Earth was fantastic!

And then a bunch of morons showed up.

The United States of America was fantastic!

And then a bunch of morons showed up.

Local BBSes were fantastic!

And then a bunch of morons showed up.

USENET was fantastic!

And then a bunch of morons showed up.

Social media was fantastic!

And then a bunch of morons showed up.

Anyone else noticing a pattern here?

So... the solution is... changing Earth and/or Country and/or BBSes and/or USENET and/or social media and/or etc., etc.?

Clearly not.

The solution is ceasing and desisting from creating more morons, while subtly excluding those already gunking up such otherwise fantastic places/systems.

From this on kind words:

So I'm formally inviting you to send out some letters. Let others give you some encouragement, and try your hand at encouraging others as well. If there's one thing we need, heading into 2020, it's more Kind Words.

Fun!

Elsewhere:

U.S. Forest Service fire lookout Philip Connors is right that “[e]very culture should have a couple of outsiders bringing a message from outside of the dominant culture” but I'm not sure an old white guy sitting atop a tower in a forest is really outside the dominant culture.

That not all “old white guy” are remotely culturally the same reveals the phrase “old white guy” to simultaneously be an ageist, racist, and sexist statement/belief.

From this node:

I have been in my Uxbridge, Ontario apartment for 4 consecutive days now. I do not exit the building or walk around the urban areas. My mother has made up excuses to block my number and my dad and brother ignore my calls. I have –$27 in my bank account and a headache. I am disabled and rely on ODSP income support.

How sad that the great and powerful internet – and its incomparable participants – have come to the point where I no longer believe a single, goddamned thing said therein.

Mmmm to the following statement from here:

Artificial Intelligence is still hard it seems but sometimes they nail Artificial Stupidity.

Richard MacManus, of ReadWriteWeb fame, has an interesting analysis of email newsletter subscribers that gets into the question of whether or not people are willing to pony up for paid subscriptions, and if so to what are those willing customers subscribing, exactly. He talks a bit about the idea of “subscription fatigue” and as I've wondered before if “you could subscribe to all of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Medium for $17/month” why would you instead spend more than that to subscribe, for example, to just five SubStack newsletters? You've got to have a lot of casual cash sitting around to subscribe to anything more than a couple.

It's all opinion, all “facts” carefully curated to attain a desired bias vector, and there's still plenty of that available for free elsewhere online.

At read.write.as, for example.

In this here post, for example.

That anyone ever got someone else to pay them for their opinions – especially when the latter are already getting paid by advertisers (who generally seem to have a say in the aforementioned “vectors”) – remains hallmark evidence this species mostly has shit for brains.

The more I think about it, opinions really are mind's primary waste product. It's no wonder we often refer to its outbursts as “dumping”.

ETA: I got so carried away with the above that I forgot to reiterate something I've said before a number of times now: “Do away with likes in favor of highlighting. Do away with retweets in favor of commenting. Interaction over indication. Expression over excitation.”

How does it matter whether an ignoramus like me “highlights” instead of “likes” something you post? Either way, you don't want to know about it for having so efficiently settled my ignoramus status.

How do we attain justice when we are deciding to throw up our hands and wait for the president to “self-impeach?” These women know that, while Pelosi’s wealth and Whiteness

So... wealth and skin color determine being/behavior?

can act as her shield against Trump’s most egregious executive orders and policy maneuvers, they and their constituents don’t have that luxury nor do they have the time. When asked what, if anything, the Speaker was going to do about the recent allegations of rape made by author E. Jean Carroll against the president, her response was “what can Congress do?” This is not only outrageous but unacceptable.

The fact that people lie (especially in the vicinity of potential profit) is also outrageously unacceptable, yet it seems these days people are willing to pretend that couldn't possibly be the case for some narratives.

I definitely feel enoch's Linux pain.

My solution was to strive to care less about bells and whistles (read: fonts and formatting) than textural content, and thus leverage terminal/line-command tools for such whenever possible. Then I'm good in more vanilla Linux, in whatever Linux underlies MacOS, in the Linux accessible on a Chromebook, and in “cygwin” on Windows.

Grant it, sometimes emphasis is lost (e.g. the “elinks” terminal browser can't display italics), there are occasional SSL issues requiring browser intervention, etc. But for the most part it feels like an extremely sanely stable environment, not to mention one that provides much motivation to create one's own clever solutions to online information and/or interactions.

This love letter to personal websites echoed stuff I've read on read.write.as. Makes a lot of sense.

For those who've risen above “sheeple” status, that is.

I have a couple, but they're covered in digital cobwebs and dust because too many I love wouldn't understand.

This strikes me as a classic example of rampant, fundamentalism in using another's imperfections as opportunity for attention to one's own self-righteousness.

That it lives in “Medium” makes perfectly good sense.

Then again, I've been wrong before.

But I'm just so tired of gleeful zealousness for punishment seemingly far exceeding gleeful zealousness for mutual understanding and/or acceptance.

I'm starting to believe that calling people out publicly without having first attempted to interact with and possibly more fully understand them is just so much Verbal Great And Powerful Oz masking rather typical – and, thus, pathetic – curtain-limited egos.

I find this statement particularly sadly hilarious:

The answer is that we should be proactive instead of reactive.

because that article represents the pinnacle of being reactive (public shaming) instead of proactive (actually interacting with the person one wishes to publicly flay).