inquiry

whatever comes to mind

I keep wondering why I'm often so borderline panic-stricken, and it occurred to me it might be because – to use an oft used phrase – “I really don't have time for this shit”.

By that I mean I grew up in the age of one (maybe two) main local newspaper(s), a handful of TV stations, and maybe a couple dozen AM/FM radio stations. I occasionally read books and/or magazines. I went to school and/or worked. I socialized with friends. Occasional family gatherings.

And that – well, let's not forget eating and sleeping and thinking about how nice it might be to be one of the others my age actually having sex – pretty much took up all my time.

And in a lot of ways, that didn't change much for years and years.

Well, until “local BBSes”, followed by (for me) “GEnie”, followed by The Glorious Internet.

But, remember, the NOT online stuff already pretty much took up all my time.

So what happened when I was suddenly spending hours online?

Well, something(s) had to give.

And given that some things can't give, well, I started feeling borderline panic-stricken about not keeping up with everything on and off line.

And that's gone on for, oh... over 20 years....?

Thing is, I never really had enough time to truly enjoy all this for being worried I was “missing out” on whatever.

Grant it, along the way people invented cool ways of collecting possible matters of interests in various “one stop shopping” mechanisms, e.g. lists of links, RSS feeds, eventually push notifications.

BUT the volume of people participating merely turned the volume of those mechanisms up well beyond my ability to fit it and my “IRL” stuff into 24 hours.

And, so, here we are.

Do any of us really “have time for this shit”? :–)

Let's say we spend a significant amount of time on blog posts.

What gives given the length of the solar day hasn't?

I'm starting to wonder if we've been kidding ourselves all along.

I mean, maybe someday people born into significant screen time will be able to handle it.

But as for me, evolution seemingly didn't evolve this boy to the point of being able to handle it without varieties of inner consternation.

So, lemme give some examples.

This morning, while working, this'll be my third post of the day, I've received a bunch of work email, I've received four emails from people I'll be performing with Thursday, I've received a couple neighborhood related emails about issues that aren't issues to me, but I sort of don't want to get out of that loop in case something eventually comes up that I am interested in.

Then after some experimentation I concluded that an online place we use at work can create “reports”, and my manager would like for me to integrate aspects of our other systems with that data... except of COURSE the reports generate “xlsx” files (but initiating report creation can only be accomplished manually while logged in.. (see also: ARE YOU BLEEPING KIDDING ME?!??!)), and so we started hoping/dreaming their API might surface the same information.. except that it clearly doesn't for, oh, maybe ten columns of the spreadsheets created through their reporting mechanism.

And of course being able to access their “discussion board” in inquire about that requires creating yet another login/password, but also wanted way more information that I felt I wanted to provide.. so I found a “Help” mechanism that I hope doesn't represent so-called “/dev/null” in their environment....

Oooops... sorry, got a little side-tracked there.

But that's also part of my point, that something that one would think would be simple and straightforward <feel free to oooh/aaah during the reading of the next six words> In These Days Of Unprecedented Technology is going to take waiting on email from their support, probably at least a week of experimentation with their APIs, and of course my work schedule has no room for that.

<waves at his inner pangs of borderline panic-stricken>

And that's just barely scratching the surface of what I could describe pertaining to this.

And I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in said debacle.

I dare say that between the “don't have time for this shit” aspect and the fact too great a percentage of online interactions are basically the digital equivalent of people crapping on each others' faces... what are we really accomplishing with this “web”?

Inquiring minds crying out alone in the blog-derness want to know....

Mike waxed thoughtful on engagement matters that have come up from time to time in these parts:

Since I left Wordpress it has come of a bit of a shock because we get used to wanting “likes” and “comments” and we expect that our likes translate to something but they really don't. Someone clicks the like button because they do it. Not because they really like what you have written or can relate to it. When you leave all that behind for the brave new world of just creating content for its own sake, there are some dizzy moments. We are kind of conditioned to want the pluses and the hearts and the comments. I do like when someone thinks enough to comment on my post. I've felt at least then there is some attraction because someone takes the time to do a bit of creating themselves

It's not what The Cool Write.As Kids dream of how it should work (you know who you are!), but this crazy old tried and true method of responding to inline quotes works like a belovedly clunky charm for this old man.

Ack... I just can't resist:

            this old man
            he posts too
         he posts blog posts
            just for you
          with a click hack
            chatty smack
        live in the blog zone
            this old man
           avoiding chrome

But then October kicks in and the road opens up and I leave the edge for a long time. Time in Taiwan and Philippines and the US. Then on to the Middle East. My take is I must do the things. So much to see in different corners of the world that I have not. Now I have the moments to do it. I have all the flights and hotels booked up through landing back in Phnom Penh in June 2020 and I even have another airbnb booked for then. After that, I know not.

I don't even care for traveling off the street I live on, but all the more power too ya connecting big global dots, Mike!

I have not had someone in my life for 10 years.

I can't say I'm free of envy.

I do know that what I want from blogging and writing and creating content is not tied any longer to whether someone likes or promotes or even reads this puny attempt. I would not know now if someone nodded or shook their head. It’s like someone waved the magic wand at blogging like I waved the wand to leave two years ago. I just decided. And I waited. Perhaps suffered a bit. But then the future lit up and became today. So did blogging. It has lit up to today. A brave new world where it all matters again. No instagrams stories here. No twitter fame. No pins. Only the words lining up. And I like it so much.

I still can't say I'm used it seeming to words what being under water is to audio.

I’m even writing this post offline in IAwriter on my iPhone 11. There is a future. Just don’t wait for it to do the things. It will be too late.

It'll always be too late for something for there not being enough time for everything, so probably the best strategy is to accept it will be too late for lots of things, while grateful for what there was time for.

Sadly, there's no room today for something that needs time to find an audience. There's no room for experimenting in public.

It shouldn't be that way.

It doesn't have to be. One must simply be accept the fact it tends to mean being intentionally avoided.

But isn't it better to be rejected for what one truly is than to be accepted for what one carefully presents, but isn't?

(see also: age old questions)

I don't see why you can't perform your experiments in public.

Excellent! Let's do it, Doctor Write.as.nstein!

There are dozens, if not more, tools out there that can help you manage your ever-expanding task list. If you want to manage your tasks like a techie, or just feel like going back to basics, the best way to do that is to turn to the command line.

I love going back to command line basics.

But I've yet to find a todo list manager that satisfied more than keeping items in a list whose elements begins with '–', and then overtyping that '–' with an 'x' when the item is done.

Now we're talking simple....

Productivity is only productive if you go outside your tool.

I dare say the same goes of for reproductivity! >_<

But that's actually hard.

<clears throat>

My partner won big on the craps last night, which is nice because I nose dove the opposite direction, and she was kind enough to share to offset my losses. So between that and free meals, it was a pretty fun night – even if questionably responsible for a Monday evening.

How cool <wink in the direction of miso's cool avatar> when text from elsewhere aligns with engagement here:

LP: Until the middle of the 19th century, writing in books was not considered defacement. Now you wouldn’t want to be seen writing in a library book any more than you would want to be seen putting your feet up on the library desk. But in Milton’s time, writing in a book was not considered damaging it; it was considered enriching. If you were a schoolchild who didn’t write in your book, that would have been seen as somewhat lazy, a sign you were not really engaging.

Leave it to miso to repurpose a little chill as discussion kindling:

It's not quite october yet but it's already getting cold in there. Summer went by so fast. It's fine though, I like cold. And what's better than reading what other people have been up to when it's cold outside and you are comfortably seated inside?

Oh, how I do love getting situated for discovery!

That's it. Slowing down. I think this is what makes engaging a great experience. Taking the time. Doesn't mean we need to engage with a lot of people if we can take time to engage in a meaningful way once. Slowing down brings quiet, we're not racing for endless notifications. It's slow but it isn't shallow. It also allows us to focus and not be reactionary.

All that was in mind while pounding out my previous, but – surprise, surprise – it never made it to “print” for my being in such a rush to post what I had. So your reminder of the value of slow seems particularly meaningful.

Also, quite nice to be reminded of the seeming inverse relationship between speed and quality in the meaningfulness department.

In general I should slow down in lots of things I'm doing. It just feels better that way. Why rush all the time? Are we going faster if we don't slow down? Or do we need to slow down if we want to accelerate? So many questions.

I have it on good authority there's something to the slowing down of which you type. :–)

FWIW, an except from a potential spoof thereof:

        you gotta give me little posting
             give me little posting
                     ow!!!
        if you want our threads to last
           ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Scary, isn't it? I never thought emotions could control us so much. Yet it makes sense. It also means that if someone can cater to some emotional input they could manipulate your logical mind in a non-logical way. Yes, definitely scary.

I suddenly want to model emotions as thought flames having been fanned into bonfires.

Which reminds me a little of a computer program. It's a series of statement/expression that get executed, or interpreted. The interpreter reads the program and do stuff. It's unambiguous so two different interpreters will produce the same output. It's also very deterministic.

But take writing now. We write, but we can only hope it will be interpreted the way we intend to by our reader. Maybe if I say “table” you will think of a brown round table although the one in my head is gray and rectangle.

What are you, some kind of a table racist? ;–)

Super fun analogy-assisted comparison!

Maybe we do not need to be alerted every time our posts are mentioned elsewhere. Private messaging, or a function akin to this letter to the editor system, is great for direct one-to-one communication. That is what I should know about – there is a letter in my mailbox by someone who wants to get in touch with me. But maybe having the other part of it be open-ended, mentions and quotations without notifications, leaves room for a sense of renewed discovery on the web.

Even ignoring the important difference in “potential for magic” between discovery and notifications, I thought this species already learned it isn't sufficiently bio-mentally advanced to keep up with notifications from “notificationable spaces” at typical mass-participation scale?

Being possibly obnoxiously bold:

“Magic is to discovery as fatigue is to notifications.” – Inquiry

Read.write.as, then, acts as a little town square of sorts where, as you said, you go about “looking to see what other writer are talking about, seeing if you have been mentioned, seeing if a conversation is progressing.” That to me is a place on the web worth dwelling in. Thanks for contributing to that feeling Miso.

Yes, me so happy 'bout miso too!

Wow....

I mean, you read through the reasons given, and they seem essentially rooted in experiencing others having <cough> “evolved” to the point of being incapable of differentiating between disagreement, and pure, absolute proof one is not worthy of The Most Important Personal Characteristic Of All – i.e. <drum roll> wokeness – and therefore must be banished from all interaction with other fallible human beings, if not worse....

Wow, where can I find a blog where everyone thinks and communicates like this?

The author's closing statements are quite the excellent summary:

By satisfying the mob today, we are sacrificing our future. That’s the real risk.

I'm tired of hideous self-righteous fundamentalism too.

I'm actually even more disturbed by the self-righteous fundamentalism of the so-called “left” than of the age-old insanity to be expected of the so-called “right”, because I thought those on the left were more intelligent, more the adult-in-the-room, more forgiving of wider ranges of behavior (e.g. beyond what something like “the ten commandments” proscribes) – to wit (and in the modern vernacular) more “woke”.

At least, that's what they've seemed to claim my entire life.

Turns out they're similarly pathetic when it comes to needing to signal their righteousness.

But it's even worse than merely that, seemingly clamoring to see – as though perhaps a contest – who can murmur the progressively (haha) most strident judgement, condemnation, etc.

Let me put this another way.

Most of my life I've witnessed “progressives” correctly (to my way of thinking) make fun of “conservatives” for being repressed ninnies. But if I were dropped on this planet without knowing that, I'd think “progressives” were the tribe with bigger and more searing iron sticks up their asses regarding the thoughts/behaviors of others. Their self-righteous signalling stream seems a tsunami of “IF YOU THINK THE SINNER YOU JUST HIGHLIGHTED IS SOMETHING, GET A LOAD OF THE COMPLETE AND TOTAL REPROBATE APOSTATE INFIDEL I JUST SPENT SEVERAL HOURS DIGGING UP DECADE-OLD DIRT ON!!!”

I'm just astounded the “woke” generally disfavor capital punishment, yet have no problem at all – yea, it actually seems to be a way of increasing one's stature in said tribe – essentially ending the lives of known-in-advance-to-be imperfect beings....

I was given 90 days from August 6th, 2019 to address my court case. I was picked up and transported to the Oshawa police station on September 3, 2019. I have been accused of missing a court date that I was not informed of on August 6, 2019.

<sarcasm-observation-mix> Sheesh.. and here I've had my undies in a bundle over trivia like the absence of blogging engagement.

But isn't that just exactly the way life is: that while one person is meeting the other person of their dreams, someone else is learning they have cancer?

It's like whoever invented this world ought to be crucified 'n shit! </sarcasm-observation-mix>

It's coincidentally interesting that miso should be Acknowledging feelings in a similar time frame that I've been mulling over an article on Gurdjieffian self-observation.

So, like:

miso:

Here's another week starting. Goal is to observe and start putting things into order. I will try to detach myself from resisting my feelings and see if I can at least acknowledge them. Hey feelings, I know you are there. Let's be friend. This week my work schedule is incredibly busy. Let's take it as a challenge, as a game. I kind of want to embrace it.

The article (note the emphasis on feelings/emotions):

Those of us who undertake this work of self-sensing in a serious way will eventually see that the real key to both self-knowledge and self-transformation lies in our feelings and emotions. Gurdjieff makes clear that our feelings and emotions are the horses that drive the carriage of our body. And it is our feelings and emotions that most clearly shape and reflect our relationship, our attitudes, to ourselves and the world. As we continue the work of self-sensing, for example, we will see that certain kinds of feelings open us, allowing our awareness to move freely throughout our organism, while other kinds close us, locking awareness and impressions out. We will also become convinced that the real observation and study of emotions is not a mental or psychological process, but rather a physical one.

Then miso continued:

I won't take life changing decisions or force anything this week. I want to see how things progress when I'm not resisting against my past and future. I've been ignoring them for so long that now it comes back at me in the most weird way. I know it's the beginning of a journey with myself. I don't think it's going to be an easy one, but at least at this instant, right now, I'm motivated by it.

Beats the heck out of waiting impatiently for a new post to hit read.write.as!

Am I going to keep at it? Or will all that be shattered when I receive a message from my ex-girlfriend-which-is-still-my-girlfriend-but-i-dont-know? Let me observe and see. At least I'm finding comfort in analyzing it and posting it here. Who needs a therapy when you can blog!

Some might argue there's no better indication of needing therapy than perpetually needing to blog.

But I know what you mean.

Relationship woe in this sector too, come to think of it.

It's all pretty standard miscommunication stuff, though.

But my impatience therein, well, that seems to be on the rise, and I can't help but wonder if the internet/web has “haired my trigger”?

Theorizing a bit on that:

Here, I can get things as close to how I want them as I like in an editor, and then after posting keep telling myself that the two people that might skim it will somehow magically understand it exactly how I did while staring at it in the editor buffer, and so there's this sense that communication is working as it ought.

But IRL/T (tack a “time” on the end of the well-ridden acronym) there's sort of a buffer, e.g. thinking in silence before blurting, but there's not much time to work with its contents, especially if the other person can't, well, “STFU” long enough such that they're already yammering about something else while one is still trying to get one's previous thought ducks in line to be blurt-worthy.. and so there's this rush.. and invariably the buffer wasn't really ready, especially in the sense of likely being rife with ambiguity that “Murphy” guarantees will be taken in ways as far from the intended (originally typed 'indented', oh my) meaning as possible....

And that's really another thing about online that spoils us (well, me...), that one can engage with blurts one at a time, in full (assuming one can assume a writer was truly complete in their thoughts) as opposed to how in real time conversation people might have important points swirling about in mind yet to be enunciated, such that if you respond now, in their mind you sound like a complete idiot (or at least a right impatient bloke) for not having taken into account what they've not yet enunciated.. but you just couldn't wait to respond for not being able to imagine there could possibly be more key points.. and... and....

I'm genuinely curious what the future for the web will look like. I'm more and more scared about privacy — it seems it's a topic where we slowly move in the right direction. Who knows though, things change so fast.

I'm with Murphy on the outcomes, because it'll still be people pushing whatever the latest buttons are, turning its knobs, etc. Thieving minds will continue to perfect their privacy invading ways.

There seems to be an aspect of reality guaranteeing a creation ultimately can't out-fox and/or change its creator. So either we change, or it's going to be shitstorm++ no matter the colors and/or shapes of the buttons/knobs.

I'm actually looking for a non-fiction book to read! I might give this one a go. Let me roll the die to see if I should. Keeping you posted.

May the numbered cube die be with you!

But then it gets scary. If you don't have too many distractions, you are left with yourself.

Next step sees one's self as just one of the too many distractions.

From?

<can't be said (because all sayings of it obscure it in for being ridiculously over-simplified re-presentations) despite being all that is and isn't said>

Am I friends with myself? Would I be able to bear being with just me? Can I befriend myself? Can I introspect and open all those weird little boxes that are shut within my memory? I don't know. But it's something worth experiencing. If I can be at peace with my mind and myself, I think I'd be worth it. Or maybe I'd simply go crazy. Yeah that's a real possibility.

If only “mind” and “peace” weren't seemingly mutually exclusive.

Why is discontentment so prevalent today? Has it always been this way, or am I just now taking notice?

The web echo chamber amplifies it.

Why must validation of my existence come from such a vapid culture and why doesn't anybody try to defeat it? I suppose they are happy with the way things are in the world, or maybe they're simply too distracted or apathetic to the plight.

You don't have to take it/them seriously.

We cry out for more but aren't willing to hear the sacrifices that must be made for a better way.

I think “it's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham” describes the situation adequately.

I'm a contemplative person, but nobody sees me. In fact, I'm the one who seeks validation from this vast, empty world. The more I seek, the empty I become.

Well, guess what? I saw at least the above much of you. I like your writing. And I believe there are nooks and crannies away from the same old murmury automatonic behaviors of the less than half-brained individuals comprising the masses. Yes, the words “far and few between” apply. You wouldn't believe how amazing the web was before said hoards arrived to rape, pillage, and crap on what had so much potential in the hands of the relatively few worthy of it.

Oh well.

It's not unlike a landfill, now. Dig. Find. Shower (often while shaking uncontrollably. Repeat. Hard work given the size and composition of the fill. It's arguably becoming no longer worth it. Now one is not even sure one has dug up something real, but is most likely covered in invisible cookies crumbles that report back to whoever threw whatever away (they actually placed it in the fill very carefully to make it look to be there less than intentionally), letting them know you've found it, and as much about them as those cookies will crumble.

But, my gosh it looks beautiful! Have you ever seen such fonts, colors, effects, and modal popups in your life? The smoothness of the scrolling? Ho, my! And it's doing asynchronous AJAX, skirting the edges of cross-domain access, hoping to get something on your hard drive – especially in a powerful system place. And so much other whatever that honestly has nothing to do with quality of interaction, but sure as heck givens the impression quality interaction at least ought to be happening.

And it seems like one can have either a social network experience with some feed that can't even be forced to be chronological (or can it/they/some now? I've not been there in quite some time..), saving and analyzing everything you post to maximize advertising revenue, or a pure blogging platform where almost everyone posts mostly with utter unawareness (or is it disregard?) of others posts. There might be a feed that maybe sorta kinda ties the posts together, but not really, becoming mostly a timeline of bursts of loneliness doing their best fireworks show imitation.

Aw, crap, I just got jaded about the web again.....