I played PUBG with Jeremy last night. It’s been 142 days since I last played. 1) where does the time go? 2) Shows you how much of a gamer I am!???? I like games, but always feel guilty if i whittle away hours playing them. In my head, I keep thinking how many pages I could have read in those hours I spent playing? I know games are important too, but it’s hard to shake the notion that games, while pleasant to play, are time wasting activity.

Which brings me to Monday morning and thinking how can I be ridiculously productive today?

A couple of responses I got back from the crowd:


and

and

Over the weekend, I worked through the question of how to be as close to the open web as possible, and by that I mean how to extract myself from the walled gardens like Facebook and Twitter and all the rest, and use open sourced software and play in places whose business model isn’t driven by algorithms that exploit my personal data?

Micro.blog is one solution. I have a presence there. Also @TheEinarkist recommended Riot (which I’ve yet to sign up for) and PeerTube and Mastodon. I’ll explore all of these at some point. I have set up a micro.blog account if you want to check that out. The community there have been very welcoming so far.

All of this is closely related to my return to personal blogging versus blogging as a content marketing channel for business. The reason I started blogging in the first place was a channel for self-expression. Then the idea that you could make money from blogging kept oozing in through the seams as marketers began to dominate the social web bent on convincing people that even the Average Joe or Jane could quit their jobs and become full-time bloggers. I’ve always been more about readership than money (although a couple of pennies would be nice to pay for hosting and stuff, so click on those darn amazon affiliate links when I post them!). The hook that I always bit on the marketing line was “if you niche they will come.” Not fully realising until now that as a personal blogger, my niche is me!

Personal blogging is blogging about the things you care about and find interesting. And maybe along the way, you’ll bump into people who care about the same things. So that is where I’m at now with all this blogging stuff – writing about the stuff that interests me and connecting with other bloggers who are into the same thing.

Which brings me back to the open web. I’m on a hunt to find other bloggers and such who are outsiders like me. Drop me a link to your blog in the comments.

My mother belongs to the fear I was needing, interlocking arms with white bags. Today has everything I need – wet clothes, pillowcases, liquor, eyelashes, and chemicals. Excuse the scars. Ducking, jumping, terrible things I was mid-air like a heavy meal. You save people too scared to fall from the sky. I need them to fall to feel better. I wept twice. My favourite emotion, a mix of happiness and sadness. No visible shame just a panicked indifference.

Admiral McRaven has put into words what has been on mind and spirit for the past three and butt years. America has lost its way because the leaders of the country have lost their way and have lost sight of America’s values and what we stand for as a Nation. I spent 11 years in the service of something higher than myself. I was proud of the country I served.

When you serve something greater than yourself, you understand:

…the awesome responsibility that the nation had placed on their shoulders. They understood that they had an obligation to serve their soldiers and their soldiers’ families. They believed in the American values for which they had been fighting for the past three decades. They had faith that these values were worth sacrificing everything for — including, if necessary, their lives.

I believe Admiral McRaven is right:

It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great. We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council. We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.

And if our current government leaders can’t understand that, then as Admiral McRaven says, it’s time for them to step aside.

I finally watched El Camino last night, and seeing how Breaking Bad was one of my all time favourite TV series, I had high hopes for the movie. You can probably guess from my intro that it fell short of what I was expecting. Instead of a movie, we got an extended last episode to the series, one that we could arguably have done without.

I don’t want to get too much into the spoiler game, but basically, we catch up with the story at the end of the last episode of Season 5 with Jesse Pinkman speeding off into night in psycho Todd’s El Camino. The 2 hours that follow drift along at a slow pace as Jesse encounters some of his old crew, both in real time and flashbacks.  He does have a problem to solve before he can ride off into the sunset like the High Plains Drifter. I guess the movie brings closure to the show, if you need such things, but I think we would have been better off leaving Jesse’s endgame to our individual imaginations.

Switching gears…

Jeff Noon’s Cobralingus came yesterday. I was a little reluctant to pay £25 quid for a book sight unseen (there was no preview available on Amazon). I had to go on the strength of the reviews alone. I’m glad I went for it though because so far it has not disappointed me. And in fact, I cranked out my first tiny poem using one of the techniques from the book. Real quick, Jeff Noon is a really big language dude (he’s famous for writing in the cyberpunk genre with hits like Vurt, Pollen, and Automated Alice). He’s also into his music. He wanted to do what DJ’s do with music to literature, i.e. taking source texts and running it through a series of noise gates and filters to produce something totally different from the original text.

I used a couple of random tweets, exploded them

 

and then mixed it with this tweet:

to finally arrive at:

satan got the whole team reading dark material like your heart.

I did that over lunch. I’m looking forward to using the different filters and gates on some longer source texts.

So blogging turned 25 this week:

Last Monday was a significant anniversary in the evolution of the web. It was 25 years to the day since the first serious blog appeared. It was called Scripting News and the url was (and remains) at scripting.com. Its author is a software wizard named Dave Winer, who’s updated it every day since 1994. And despite its wide readership, it has never run ads.

I’m amazed that Dave Winer has managed to blog every single day since 1994! That’s lot of blogging. I like the writer’s suggestion that blogging is still important despite the infilitration of social media:

He’s also a reminder of the importance of blogging, a phenomenon that has been overshadowed as social media exploded and sucked much of the oxygen out of our information environment. When Winer started, blogging was an elite activity: you had to know how to set up a website and publish to it. But when Blogger and LiveJournal launched in 1999 followed by WordPress and TypePad in 2003, the barrier to entry became vanishingly low; in effect, if you could type and had an internet connection you could become a blogger. And so for a time blogging became the predominant form of user-generated content on the web.

And finally, I agree:

The blogosphere continues to be one of our greatest information resources. So why not log off social media, get yourself an RSS reader and wise up?

And here’s my RSS Feed so you can add me to your RSS reader.

Musical Interlude

I’ve been digging Cake this week. Particularly this version of I Will Survive:

I often wonder
about nothing;
Sometimes I wonder
about something, but
mostly i just wonder
about Hell

and my place in it
or on it if Hell is Earth
and other people

Worlds within worlds
within worlds. Worlds
come and go.

Four births happen
each second of every
day and nearly two
people die each second.

One of these seconds has
my name on it, I know,
we all know, but we carry
on doing what we do until
the second that has our
name on it comes.

Not the kind of thoughts
you want to be having
driving down the road
at speed with

one hand on the steering
wheel and the other hand
flipping through Spotify to
find just the right track to
suit my mood.

For some reason
I like to dance around
the edges of the abyss
comfort i guess,
keeps me loitering on edge.

America’s digital goddess has been around since the beginning of the personal computer revolution. Her she is in 1990s explaining what a computer is. I know, hard to imagine a time without a computer!

By the way America’s digital goddess aka Kim Kamando is still at. She host a radio show about tech. She has some classic lines in this video:

“What happens when you press the wrong button? Does it blow up?”

“That’s how simple DOS is. It’s like house cleaning”

“This is called pointing. There’s also click”

“We’re going to use the clock program now”

“It’s not tough to use a computer. And nothing even blew up!”

Gotta love it.

h/t @gizmodo 

Giving Aphrodite a run for her rubies would have been easy for you, you are, after all, a postmodern sex goddess. I tried to penetrate the day, but the hours skipped ahead somehow removed from where we sat watching reruns of the Real World.

I thought about Puck. Where did he go after the show? Falling through the darkness, I am terrified of my own crucifixion, which had already begun the day I left my bike on your front porch.

Crushed by love and by war, I miss the stories we used to tell each other at night. I felt ashamed when you said yes. The old man died. You smiled.

“Bitter glory runs in our family,” you said.

There was something I wanted from you – a poor boy’s pale arm – or something like that, I can’t remember.

Do I smell ginger drifting down from the front line?

Internet porn makes life more reasonable when you realise it’s the sub context we think things through, at least for the upwardly mobile anyway, who think it’s erotic to see the source of our modern souls play acted on blackened screens.

“Who would you like to see naked?” I ask her, mildly amusing myself.

“I’d like to see Carl Jung naked while he’s explaining the concept of the collective unconscious and the connection between darkness and vampires and Internet porn that focuses on anuses and amateurs and overweight little freakish Italian men in high heels.”

Sometimes when she talks to me that way, I wish I was a werewolf slayer, like Buffy only buffer.

Why is she here lap dancing me to tears of delight and reverie? I recognise her whore’s eyes now – eyes that attract and dominate and devour time and the handful of people strolling through the garden in the early morning. I listen to her laughter. Boulders roll and chime beneath the current of music whispered to the dead. Like Bruce, I’m on fire. I pray to her in anger hoping she’ll cool my desire. Secretly, I know she will.

She’s a benevolent demon, my petulant little postmodern sex goddess.

“The most important thing in life is not happiness but meaning.”

— John M. Hull, Notes on Blindness

1

Fun. I like the word fun. Who’s having fun today? Are you having fun today? Do you have enough fun in your life or could you use a little more? I could use a little more…just a little. Everybody is acting so serious. Who around you is having fun right now? Is it you? If not, why not have some fun.

Perhaps it’s the Puritan in us – an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and all of that. We feel guilty if we’re having too much fun, unless we’re on our “own” non-work time or on holiday, then you’re expected to have fun.

2

I wonder what kind of porn Ika Schwander is watching that it scares her.

3

Have you ever considered the long-term effects of vice-versa? Especially if you live your life from the outside in. I have a couple of projects i want to kick off today, one of which is to visit and rate all of the non-chain cafe and coffee houses in Leamington Spa. I’m currently writing this from Fat Birds Cafe. It’s a family owned joint on the main drag. I’ve been here before, but they didn’t  Wifi and a brother can’t be dealing with a cafe with no WiFi. Good WiFi is an expected part of our culture nowadays.

The only reason I’m here is I had it on good authority that the caf now has good WiFi (and they do). The coffee is ok. The cakes are nice (i had the coffee, carmel, and pecan cake). The atmosphere is decent, it’s well lit and plenty of space upstairs and downstairs. I do have to make this one complaint though (and this goes for probably all independent coffee shops) and that is the price of the coffee in comparison to the “evil empire” chain joints. Fat Birds only have one size coffee on offer and it’s £2.35 a pop. If I was bringing someone here for a meeting, fine. But for a working session, it’s not good when I can go across the street to the ‘Bucks and pay £1.35 for a black filter coffee and get free refills for as long as i’m on the premises. The economics are in favour the ‘Bucks.

The other project I’m starting today is a snapshot project. I’m using an app called Reporter to randomly ping me through out the day. When I get the ping, I’ll take a snapshot of whatever is around me at the time. So far:

4

I think I’ll follow Roberto Bazlen’s lead: “I think it’s no longer possible to write books,” he wrote in one of his notebooks. “That’s why I don’t write books. Almost all books are footnotes, inflated into volumes. I write only footnotes.” And me, I write only fragmented blog post entries and the occasional scrap of verse. Sometimes I curate my favourite scraps and collate them into (e)book form and pimped them on Amazon. (Link to poetry book). In fact, I’m in the process of collating a new book together now.

1

The route to Hell is a well-lived life.

I dreamt I was throwing a fish fry. As I prepped for the fish fry, there was a shadowy female presence helping me out.

A Shadow in a dream can represent something unknown or unseen about yourself, a sort of a personal blind spot. Carl Jung called the Shadow the dark side of the ego, which often reveals itself in dreams as a shadowy character.

I wonder what the dark side of my ego wants with a fish fry?

Facing into it,

the Shadow is a gateway into the unconscious, a source of creativity. But the relationship has to be strong.

Maybe that’s why my Shadow self has chosen the female form this time around. I have been neglectful of my inner self these past few months. Choosing not to see or hear or feel the signs.

The Shadow knows…

2

Matthew 11:15 He who has ears, let him hear.

When my Shadow self reaches out to me in dreams, perhaps it’s time to listen up and hear what’s being said. I consult the Cards. They’re usually a pretty good mirror to the soul. I have half a dozen Tarot decks on my shelf, but today I am feeling Rider-Waite.

I draw…

The Sun

“Once we recognise what it is we are feeling, once we recognise we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy.”Audre Lorde

Fun, warmth, success, positivity, vitality

The Sun is an image of optimism and fulfillment, the dawn that follows the darkest night. As the source of all life on Earth, the Sun represents the source of life itself. The child playing in the foreground represents the happiness of our inner sprint when we are in tune with our truest self. He is naked, having nothing to hide.

The Star

“If you follow your star, you cannot fail of glorious heaven.”Dante

Hope, spirituality, renewal, inspiration, serenity

The Star card shows a naked woman kneeling at the edge of a small pool. The woman holds two containers of water. She pours the water out to nourish the earth and to continue the cycle of fertility, represented by the lush greenery around her. The other container pours water onto dry land in the five rivulets, representing the five senses. The woman has one foot on the ground, representing her practical abilities and good common sense, and the other foot in the water, representing her intuition and inner resources and listening to her inner voice.

The Star brings renewed hope and faith and a sense that you are truly blessed by the Universe at this time. Courage, fulfillment, and inspiration are in your life.

Temperance

“Everything in moderation.”Aristotle

Balance, moderation, patience, purpose, meaning

On the Temperance card stands a winged angel. The angel is a hermaphrodite, showing a balance between genders. The angel has one foot on dry land, representative of the material world, and one foot in the water, representative of the subconscious. In this position, she also represents the need to test the waters before jumping headfirst into unknown circumstances. Here she tempers the whimsical flight of the Fool who jumps without giving a second thought.

3
Everything is about sex except sex. Sex is about power, at least according to Robert Michels. If that is the case, then I have no power. I’m powerless. Even sex with myself is a result of biological urges. When my little head says pump, I say how hard?

4
Something I learned today, something I always knew deep down inside, we’re as fucked up as each other. Deny it if you must, but it is the human condition. We’d rather believe the illusion though that somewhere over the rainbow things will be better. If only we can get there, by guru or pimp.

Life goes on.

1

I’ve been in a kind of holding pattern over the last several days as I process all the words I’ve been reading about content curation and blogging and the state of blogging in general. I’m gearing up of course for another crack at this blogging thing as a central point of contact on the social web. There’s a retraction happening away from newsfeeds on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, Facebook itself is moving away from the feed and re-routing people’s attention toward groups and communities. WhatsApp, another Facebook-owned product, is on the rise as more people are starting WhatsApp groups and using the group as the social space to connect with friends and like-minded people. Public newsfeeds have become toxic, filled with political strife, hate, and just general nonsense (that’s an extreme generalisation, I personally spend a lot of time on Twitter, not so much Facebook, scrolling my various newsfeeds…my theory is this, the quality of your newsfeed is directly proportional to the quality of the updates you find in your feed. if you don’t like what someone is posting, unfollow them!)

What dominates the web and what does that say about us as a collective species. A quick scan down the list of the top 50 blogs and you’ll find that it’s dominated by fashion and beauty, politics, celebrity gossip and entertainment, tech, gaming, travel, and marketing-oriented blogs. What about the rest of the human experience? Yes, if you look in the right places and search with intent, you can find blogs on all sorts of things, but they fall out of centre mass and therefore not “popular.”

Enter Facebook, which seems to be the homepage of the Internet these days, much like AOL was back in the day. According to the stats, Facebook has enough people on it that if it was a country, it would be like the 4th or 5th largest country in the world! That’s a lot of people.

In our time-strapped, busy lives, Facebook seemingly makes things easy. You can just go there and news and information comes to you (served up by Facebook’s algorithms of course, which feeds you more and more of what Facebook says you like, and occasionally for sinister purposes of its own, what Facebook wants you to see!)

I don’t really like Facebook. I’m there out of FOMO. I’m mean 5 billion people are there, something must be going on, right?!

But for finding interesting things to read, watch, and listen too, I use other sources mainly Twitter, Feedly, Start me, Flipbook, my own listening engine set-up, and LinkedIn. I post a lot, i.e. add to the noise on Facebook, but I don’t source my reading material there.

How’s this for strap-line for the blog:

a non-niched, hypertext adventure blog

So here we are in our modern culture where experience is always secondhand, planned and described by someone else in advance. Occasionally, we have an authentic experience, but even then it’s tainted by our self-consciousness and the stuff that’s been shoveled in from birth. We are doomed to an imitation of life, caught in Baudrillard’s  Sumulcra and Simulation.

2

Poor man, he had no fate. 

3

I do sometimes feel like my life is a caricature of what a real-life could be. These kinds of conversations don’t usually go down well in the middle of the afternoon while you’re choking down a turkey pretzel sandwich. Thank god for the coffee though. Coffee makes life bearable, most of the time. Of course, I’m exaggerating here, but that happens when you’re riding a train of lies you can’t jump off of. If you believe art is truth, you’d be wrong; art is a lie that enables you to recognise the truth. Whenever I try to go for the truth straight, I inevitably miss the mark. I have to rely on this blog of half-truths to get me by. Good thing I’m not attached to my identity, that would be a recipe for disaster.

“Life is like a dream and, although we appear to be separate individuals in the life-dream, in reality, there is one awareness dreaming itself to be everyone and everything, and meeting itself in all its various forms. “

They’ll burn you at the stake if you believe that. For sure as shit, the one thing unconscious people hate, it’s being told they are unconscious.

4

Trump is definitely not playing with a full deck, but then we knew that already.  It’s beyond scary some of the things he’s been up to lately. But you know, from down here in the mud, he’s not alone in history as a mentally deranged ruler with the power of life and death at his fingertips. History is filled with them. Or maybe the guy is just misunderstood and he’s thinking:

“All right, they think I’m the bad kid. I’ll show them how bad I can be. “

5

Maharaj’s questioner asked: if on all sides I hear that freedom from desire and inclinations is the first condition of self-realisation, does it mean I should abstain from doing anything? After all ignorance of oneself causes desires and desires perpetuate ignorance. A circle you cannot help but get caught up in, and almost impossible to escape.

M’s answer: you cannot! What goes on must go on. if you stop suddenly, you will crash.

I seem to crash like every other month.

The crash last until I remember it’s not worth yearning to live in a world you already live in.