inquiry

whatever comes to mind

> mnml asked a good question recently. I remember a time when > a balloon made me happy as a child, but I don't remember > why it made me happy. Nor do I remember what the feeling > was like to be happy with a balloon. That's kinda sad to be > honest. This is one of the sucky things about growing up.

It was simply cookie-cutter “ignorance is bliss” – i.e. ignorance of models (see also: words, thoughts).

You knew neither “what it is” (i.e. the balloon) nor “who/what you are” (maybe not absolutely zero, but lesser than now) – and so of course it was blissfully miraculous.

And you've since slowly traded the bliss of simply being for “knowing what it is”, i.e. endless models of “you” and (all manner of) “not you”.

QUICK QUESTION: Is a magic trick any fun when you know how it's done?

So... so-called “born again” (the “being as a little child” state) is simply the absence of the opacity of the modeling layer covering <can't be said without losing it again>.

Strange as it may seem, being happy requires not knowing what happiness “is”.... <cough>

> I ask myself when my blogging is at it's most fucking > prolific. Only in melancholic moments with undertones of > sexual frustration do I even seem capable of noticing the > crevices and chasms supposedly in my life.

“Melancholy” long seemed closer to “real” to me, to the point that favorite songs were the melancholy inducing kind, e.g. “To Wish Impossible Things” – The Cure.

(Ohmygosh.. I'd completely forgotten about “Melancholy Man” – The Moody Blues)...

But that was longish ago.

These days the feeling is closer to “How could it matter?”, which can go a variety of ways, e.g. “Why bother?”, “Why not?” But the last several months it's felt more like the latter, so it seems like it doesn't take much – e.g. a couple hundred meaningfully arranged pixels – for a chomping bit to magically appear.

> Remove ego from my writing and nothing will be left. Remove > ego from my personality, and still you will have nothing.

Speaking of suddenly at least superficially relevant ancient pop songs: “Nothing From Nothing” – Billy Preston

> Some people have mentioned that blogging these days > sometimes feels like writing into the void. I can tell > you that is not true. The fact that I know people have > mentioned it, means that I read their posts. There's not > much interaction with posts, because there's no comments > system yet. But people are reading your posts, especially > if your posts show up on the Read.Write.As feed. That > I think is one of the benefits of this “writing” > platform.

I occasionally imagine I'd want more interaction, but often enough realize I'd not have time for it anyway – or not time to “do it right”, at any rate.

> I basically decided some years ago, around 2012, that I > would just blog until I die. I know I will write until > I die. That's one of the beautiful things about being a > writer is that it isn't very physically taxing so I don't > have to stop when I am 60 years old, or whatever. But > as long as there is Internet in the developed world – > I'll blog.

Me too – not to mention happy to know I don't have to stop in 1.2684931506849 years.

> When I finally caught myself I was shocked by how > easily I had become distracted. Why did I need a white > background? All the walls in my house are white. I already > had everything I needed to take the photograph for this > essay. In the end I altered the colours two a two tone > orange and purple to further push these demons out of my > head, and individualise the image a little more.

<sarcasm>It's hard to beat the joy of thinking.</sarcasm>

> Quite simply: my brain was craving that little jolt of > endorphins built into each of us when we ‘treat’ > ourselves to something new. It’s time for me to admit, > I’m addicted to newness. Our brains seem wired that > way. I’m living my life moving constantly from one new > thing to the next, quickly tiring of the last great new > thing I bought. What’s worse, it’s getting more and > more difficult to feel excited about new things. That > little jolt becomes more and more difficult to trigger, > requiring a more extravagant purchase each time.

No point sweating what's wired a certain way – unless sweat somehow has the power to alter wiring, of course....

My partner let our coffee supply dwindle to zero, so while she (convinced it's my fault) is off to fetch us some, I'm enjoying some black tea that just this morning I learned she can't have (but she didn't say why, but snapped back at me as though I somehow should have known/remembered).

Oooh, fun: https://notably.cc

> Writing automatically saves to the device you're writing > on and works even with a spotty internet connection, > so you'll always have access to your draft from the same > device and browser that you started it on.

Sweet!

> And I have mentioned this on my blog before (as well as to > people IRL) that I do not use my phone in public, or around > people. If I am oot and aboot, or if there are people I > can socialize with – I am doing just that. Aside from > a quick check of an e-mail or something (at odd times, > randomly), then the phone stays in my pocket.

My phone is about 99% for playing spider solitaire.

link

> And I am a little proud of it. Maybe it was because I was listening to great music while writing it. Maybe it is because I am both well-rested and wired on caffeine – but I definitely took joy in creating this little piece of text.

All I'm seeing is the title twice, and a lightning-bolt-ish symbol. Perhaps some sort of being-logged-in is required?

> To get to a point where I never read the news again.

Amen.

> And here I am today. I've worked as a Sysadmin with no > college degree or certificates for 2 years now. I'm just > now starting in my career path, but I feel like at this > age, it's hard to say that anything is impossible. The > sky is the limit, as long as you don't lose sight. > > Thanks for checking out my post. My next posts are going to > start detailing my current homelab environment, what I'm > currently running and how I'm utilizing that technology > to do what I want.

Looking forward to it!

> Might I say, LinkedIn can k.i.s.s. m.y. a.s.s. They rely > on FAR too much personal information in order to only spam > your inbox with offers from employers who haven't even > bothered to look at your credentials. Another thing (and > this is just me) is that every time I create a LinkedIn > profile, something bad happens to me. Strange thing.

Yeah, I left that obnoxious place years ago – right around the same time I left Facebook and Twitter. It's nice to be able to hear an ASCII pin drop again.

> This is probably a good first post as I have been up all > night and the sun is now up in the air.

Very good first post.

And, oh, how I wish I could stay up all night without feeling as though run over by a train carrying online “news”.

> I, Juan Mirieth Auriel, am now declaring that 432 Hz is > the middle A for many reasons. One of the many reasons > is that 432 Hz is calmer and more clearer, not to mention > that this tone is scientifically proven to heal. The 440 > Hz is not the harmonious A that you are taught in school.

This species might be a lot better off without the word 'is' and its various forms.

> That is one of my main reasons for creating mnml. A way > to focus my thoughts into something productive. From > this point onward I'll be offering my thoughts here on > subjects related to minimalism in my capacity as a writer > and journalist. You're quite welcome to read them! This > is partly therapy for me, and perhaps it will also help > you too.

Perhaps there needing to be a word ('minimalism') for it is too much?

> Modern-day socialism in the United States tends to > take on an entirely different meaning due to right-wing > word-twisting

Inability to see word-twisting on the other “side” screams “far too biased to take seriously” to me.

In fact, what's taking place might be referred to as a word-twisting contest whose most hilarious aspect is that self-nominated members of each “side” are convinced only idiotic self-nominated members of the other “side” are playing.

> Moments turn to memories and experiences. Not a count > of days.

Nice!

> If you need proof of Kanye West's ego, take a look at his > discography. The man released eight albums of hippity > hop full of profanities and sexual content and then > turned around a released a gospel album, God Is King, > and then went on Joel Osteen's show and called himself > “the greatest artist that God has ever created”. If > that ain't ego, I don't know what is.

Ego is the central character in all-mental-is-illness drama, distinguishing it”self” from all else as merely “other” happening around/to/for it.

> I do not think myself egotistical, but make no mistake—I > have ego.

It's a funkily self-referential topic (e.g. What I “has” ego? Is it ego that has ego? But isn't that saying nothing? And yet...).

> Ah yes. The swirling vortex of other people entering and > leaving my life. Now I just don’t watch that much but > their shadows touch the window and the sun lessens with > their passing. I watch others in life. Happy either alone > or with someone. I have only little to offer another. So > little to hold up to see. So I don’t.

Mmmm. Beautiful.

> It’s better to not touch another in some wanton, > vindictive or other way and expect something back. My L > gives me with no expectations back and so I give to her. It > makes a relationship simple and kind and she understands > my needs to walk, vagabond, go. She also wants me back > but no conditions apply.

What planet are we typing about, here, mate? :–)

> Replace subscription with advertising and data > collection. You see that everything is the same about > social media, modern new agencies and TV. So long ago > but very little has changed. Switch off your phones, > clear your heads, take a deep breath and think.

“turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream”

> I suppose it's easy to presume that blogging as I have > known it – as a personal journal posted to the web – > is almost dead. Maybe that's because I've been wandering > along with my eyes shut though – maybe people ARE out > there, sharing their lives – I'm just not looking for > or noticing them. I visit the handful of people I have > followed forever, and read their stories as you might a > favourite book in a comfy old armchair.

There are pockets of it alive and well, but seemingly hard to find – I imagine due to there not being much profit in indexing such. I took a small stab at attempting to do that, but quickly learned how stultifying large the garbage to non-garbage links ratio was – thank you very much, URL naming entropy....

For now, read.write.as seems a Goldilocksian sweet spot to camp near. (He types, looking forward to s'more....)

> I find reaching out stressful. I find writing the first > comment on a blog I have just discovered incredibly > difficult. Clicking a follow or like button – knowing > the author will receive a notification – only increases > the stress. Suddenly their gaze might fall on you, and you > panic in anticipation – checking that your profile or > about page isn't too horrendous – that your last post > isn't overly dramatic, depressing, or idiotic.

Really? And here I've been shooting for all three.... ;–)

Fairly calm day in progress, here. Trying – but failing – to become interested in work. Mostly just want to eat and drink coffee whilst discovering enjoyable posts.

> Day One. Again.

Always.

> After 245 days, I relapsed.

At the risk of sounding callous, so did the sunshine.

> Just once, and once again I am promising never again.

If you think about it, the best possible life is when every day is the beginning of a new life.

> This sucks.

It's probably not as bad as you (can) think. New day. New life.

> But I've got a lot of new tools in my toolbelt. If I can > make it 245 days I can make it 365 days next time.

The universe doesn't even know what a “day” is, so how could any given amount thereof matter?

> So, here's to next time. It starts now.

Excellent!

> you held me like sand cupped in your palms until a careless > breath scattered me > > into the wind > > left me to pick up the pieces without ever being taught > the things we keep and the things we leave behind

Kinda reminds me of Things We Said Today.

> The shoes of life

Ah... no wonder some say we have a sole.... <cough>

Had me some fun (NOT) attempting to make an Amazon purchase with a couple prepaid cards I thought covered the entire purchase... but first I learned I couldn't use multiple prepaid cards for the same order.. (the hard way.. by mistakenly submitting an order whilst imagining the payment system would do something sensible like check initial card value, then ask for additional payment options... NOPERS!!! It simply charged full not-what-I-hoped-to-accomplish ahead with the order, and failed when noting the single payment method couldn't cover it..) then I learned I could send myself Amazon gift cards purchased with said prepaid cards.. then I learned BOTH cards had somehow lost value ($9 lost on one, $10 lost on the other) to the point of no longer being able to cover the purchase.. (the hard way yet again by typing in what I thought a prepaid card was worth (in exchange for a gift card), placing the order, seeing that fail, then checking card balances due to a sneaking suspicion that maybe I somehow mistyped the card balances after their last use (I never make those kinds of mistakes).. and that's when I'd learned they weren't worth as much as I thought they were (the equivalent of being kicked while down)..).. after which point I learned I could input more than one gift card number against the purchase while using my usual credit card for the balance....

And yet people are somehow still impressed with modern online so-called technology? I could have friggin' boiled a blogging ocean in that time, for godssakes....

But am I surprised developers and their white-washing marketing bre/sis-thren accomplices would be less than completely honest about the likes of “one click shopping”?

No. It was probably thousands of clicks and/or keystrokes... including canceling botched orders, deleting email confirmations and notifications of failures, needing to provide a code sent to my phone once during the process, providing the Amazon password and solving whatever captchas several times, the calling of the prepaid card lines and grinding in the card and “secret code” numbers (and wouldn't you know it? only one card per call instead of cycling back through a menu with a different card number.. so hang up, do it all again...).

I also imagine having exercised Amazon 666 ways to Sunday like that will be leading to lots more junk/spam/useless-informational email.

So... what have we accomplished, here? And how much CO2 did it produce? Is it really that much better than a trip to brick and mortar – where at least one might chance upon above-average members of the (for me) opposite gender?

Ay yi yi....

Then again, maybe I'm just an idiot.

<imagines all 15 “fediverse” followers vigorously nodding in agreement>

> Overwhelming evidence

The notion of “evidence” has been all but utterly ruined by all the boys and girls who've cried “Evidence!”, when in fact what they were referring to was nothing more than what they wanted/needed to believe.

> These delusions are one reason it takes overwhelming > evidence to see clearly. It's the hope that the evidence > cuts through the cacophonous noise, making it easier to > see the obvious more clearly.

Unfortunately, that hope is delusional, because of how good/effective delusion is.... ;–)

Wish I could understand why I'd say something like 30% to 40% of the time when I go to “https://write.as/", it assumes (what I imagine to be courtesy of some of the page's javascript logic) I want to post as “anonymous” instead of “inquiry”. I mean, the page still thinks I'm logged in, as the pulldown quickly reveals “inquiry”. But having to go through that extra effort to post as “inquiry” is a wee bit annoying.

Man... I really miss some past authors, here.

(“ConZervative” and “Paradise” quickly come to mind.)

I tend to prefer the personal stuff to the informative stuff. While the latter rarely addresses anything I need to understand better, the former draw me into human contexts I can feel literally in proportional to writing skills.

Ooopsie! Looks like either something's wrong with whatever serves up the write.as api, or the api behavior changed, or more stringent creds are needed, or it's been changed to work only for those with a higher subscription plan, (or ???,) as all of a sudden this is happening:

$ curl -k -s -L -o- https://write.as/api/posts/un71wxwyc8ccutzs
$ echo $?
7

$ man curl
...
EXIT CODES
  There  are a bunch of different error codes and their
  corresponding error messages that may appear during
  bad conditions. At the time of this writing, the exit
  codes are:
...
       7      Failed to connect to host.

(NOTE: Article ids (e.g. 'un71wxwyc8ccutzs') obtained by scraping the output of “curl -k -s -L -o- https://inquiry.writeas.com".)

Did my opening my big fat keyboard mouth lead to a bit of, um, “api hardening”?

Please tell me that honesty wasn't the best policy once again on this planet....

Of course, it could also be a temporary-ish blip.

Or the internet's tendency to feature-bait, hook, then demand moolah for what was free.

Or the internet's tendency to “improve” things in ways that somehow feel a lot more like retrograde motion.

Anyway, it's just one of those days where it feels a lot easier to assume the worst.

Oh... wait a second... IT STARTED TO WORK AGAIN! There IS a benevolent deity in write.as after all!

<falls prostrate with tears streaming down his face>

(FWIW, this installment is being live-typed from a treadmill walk.)

> Warning: If you fail to do any or all of these tasks, this > will result in your undoing. Your undoing can be ridicule, > degradation, torture, imprisonment, downfall, or death.

Sheesh... sounds like what happens if/when someone openly disagrees with most of mainstream media and/or its fundamentalist believers/adherents....

> There is no reason to gamble in order to be rich…

I'm trying to think of something that isn't gambling...

... oh, right: death and taxes.

> Finally, just to compound matters, men can tell > when certain women are aroused. Yes. Arousal has its > own smell. The resulting essence is unique to each > woman. It’s caused by a pheromone, a kind of chemical > signal that men can pick up, often without realizing > it. And a woman may not even be aware that she’s sending > out these signals. Chew on that for a while.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn it's far more often caused by imagination.

Kind of an out of sorts day.

Some progress at work.

Feels good to be walking instead of sitting.

Mostly just want to eat, but somehow managing to hold that in check (with the assistance of the memory of eating-related maladies).

Glanced at the New York Times front page to discover basically the same old “schtuff”: conjecture, leading, suggesting, careful use of quotation marks that save writer asses whilst teasing readers to swallow big bowls of hyperbole whole.

Glanced at front pages of newspapers in two cities I've lived in and/or around to discover they're both owned by the “USA TODAY NETWORK”, and thus are formatted nearly identically (and I wouldn't be surprised if conceptually slanted identically as well).

And my eyes have that “the morning after serious consumption” look and feel.

But the treadmill restoreth what the bottle taketh away, right?

Well... sorta kinda maybe. Seems a bit more like one step backward, 0.99 steps forward.

And then we die.

I caught a huge break last night what with not getting arrested for PUI (Posting Under the Influence)!

That's not to say I got off “Scott Free”. I do vaguely remember cursing after seeing my “markdown” behaving more like “meltdown” in my first attempt to include code containing angle brackets within <pre></pre> tags.

Having vaguely remembered never finding any definitive documentation on “markdown” (giving me the impression it's more a multiply-implemented “loose notion” than a standard), I didn't want to spend half of forever trying to figure out why most of the code was flat out missing in the published-for-browser version (I think it came to a visual grinding halt on the first '<'), I took a drunken wild guess that replacing <'s with:

<

and >'s with:

>

might rectify the situation.

But of course I botched the change by typing '^' instead of '&' when I did the global replacements. And now I'm too lazy and/or disinterested to fight with trying to make things right. So if you're crazy enough to try this stuff, keep in mind that all instances of '^lt;' should be '<', and all instances of '^gt;' should be '>'....

(And of course I'm braced (haha) to see something in what I just ground out come out of the write.as markdown grinder other than as intended....)

Let's see... what else did I texturally “accomplish” while barking at the moon...?

Oh yeah, that long and winding pseudo job and/or computing history post... yikes....

<clears throat>

> Where could you create more space for relationships that > enrich your life?

Wild guess: in the huge swaths of time I spend doing this?

ADDENDUM: I give up. The whatever-they're-called codes for angle brackets get interpreted inside pre tags no matter what I try, so it obviously doesn't look right, above, and now I'm pissed off and really don't have time to be dicking around with trying to figure out seemingly nonsensical escape sequences....

<throws hands in the air>