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⚡️ Logs | January 2021

Michael Dean
Michael Dean
61 min read


Lazy-proof systems
@January 31, 2022 8:36 AM (EDT)

The idea here is that the user would never have to manually add a tag or category. It requires too much discipline to do even the simplest process across every block (I think). I mean, I do that, but that kind of expectation might only succeed for hardcore PKM-heads.. syslog: “Any operation that you mechanically have to apply to your own shit over and over is a thing that the fucking computer should do for you


The science of career pivots
@January 30, 2022 7:52 PM (EDT)

The science of career-pivots, paired with the psychology to endure it (or even get started)


Logloglog word-cloud
@January 30, 2022 7:11 PM (EDT)

Here’s a word-cloud that shows the top-100 most meaningful phrases that have over 15 mentions (across 51,000 words). I’m wondering if it would be possible to auto-generate tags based on frequency and some minor user-sifting. Refining tag-constraints is way more scalable than a system that requires every piece of content to be tagged. The challenge might be compound phrases. It needs to recognize “New York” instead of “New” and “York.” It could also be neat to allow users to “point” one phrase into another; for example, you could point “Beatles” > “Music,” meaning all future references of the Beatles will go under a music tag.

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Football commentary
@January 30, 2022 5:18 PM (EDT)

My mother-in-law has extremely high expectations for every player on the Kansas City Chiefs. Any mistake is unprofessional, inconceivable, and warrants an ear-shattering shriek at the television, as if the volume of the yell affects if Andy Reed will receive the message.


Morning boot-up
@January 30, 2022 10:32 AM (EDT)

January (aside from vacation) has been an experiment in “how to boot-up”.. the idea is to knock out all the managerial type tasks in a morning chunk, so that 1) things don’t fall through the cracks, and 2) the mind has more space throughout the day, and isn’t bogged down by that, “what was I supposed to be doing feeling?”.. so the goal is to really optimize this first hour, and get lots of recurring tasks out of the way.. garbage, dishes, coffee, email, projects, tasks, calendar, journal.. the idea is to be like a drill sergeant in addressing all these essential things in the first hour.. when they bleed into the day, and worse, when something “leaks” (goes unaddressed), it can bomb a day.. so I have a task-stacked detailed like a watch that I run each morning.. more than that, I do everything to a stop-watch, so I know exactly how long sub-processes take.. it’s OCD and whacky.. but, the idea is to truly compress all this non-important stuff down to an hour, so I get it out of the way.. we’ll see how it goes.


When COVID first hit NY
@January 30, 2022 8:52 AM (EDT)

the Big Finger experience of when COVID broke.. it was an outer burrow, where the Wuhan strain first really broke.. in Wuhan, at least it was contained, relatively, at least as best they could with an authoritarian government that bolts doors and plucks citizens off the street.. Big Finger saw the first major outbreak in the free world, at least America..  i think where you were during the first outbreak has affected your general level of caution over the last two years.. apparently in New York, the ambulance rushes to the ER were worse than 9/11, but for seven days straight.. I remember isolating and just hearing sirens all-week-long piercing the chirps of birds..


Monasticism
@January 30, 2022 1:09 AM (EDT)

thoughts on hermeticism in the suburbs: i remember sitting in a Steakhouse in Astoria back in 2015 talking with my Godfather about the idea of monasticism. he had some connections to a Christian monastery out in Arizona, and I told him I was considering it. i remember seriously considering dropping everything, moving out into a desert, and doing nothing but praying, fasting, thinking, and creating. i’m not even that Christian (traditionally, at least). i just had a feeling that external life was a distraction to the deep “religious” work that mattered. in the prime of my life, I was ready to sacrifice everything. i suppose architecture school already primed me for an extreme level of focus/dedication. who knows where I would be if i followed up on that call. in any case, 2022, seven years later, the pandemic forced a kind of monasticism.


Alternate life
@January 29, 2022 9:35 AM (EDT)

A phrase for when you visualize different potential realities based on different decisions in the past. It's not necessarily regret (which implies a wish to change). It's more of a curiosity.


Non-reciprocal memory
@January 29, 2022 6:14 AM (EDT)

“Non-reciprocal memory,” is an idea around how two people can place such different importance around a singular event, that it completely affects how they remember it, if at all.

Any event, encounter, meeting, or relationship extends into the future, far beyond its point of happening. Even it’s very nature warps due to nostalgia, emotion, and imperfect memory.


Resilient archives
@January 29, 2022 6:11 AM (EDT)

One of the reasons I write notes in public like this is because of the decade of scattered notes before this blog. Notes rot in private, and it becomes very easy to think, “none of this means anything to me anymore, let me start over in a brand new app or sketchbook.” I never really had a system that was resilient through time. But, since these are public, there is a sense of finality to them. I imagine I’ll want to preserve and continue this in some form, as opposed to the napkin notes stuck in hard drives that will never be rediscovered.


Late-night reading
@January 29, 2022 5:59 AM (EDT)

I always enjoy reading and writing deep in the night, between 3-6am. I wonder if it’s possible (and healthy) to develop a habit around that. Polyphasic-sleep isn’t something to tread lightly with. That’s not even what I’m talking about though. In Medieval times, people slept in two large 4-5 hour chunks.


Pessoa on expression
@January 29, 2022 5:55 AM (EDT)

“The fact is that I think I’m the first to express in words the sinister absurdity of this incurable sensation. And yet I do cure it, by writing about it. Yes, for every truly profound desolation, one that’s not pure feeling but has some intelligence mixed in with it, there’s always the ironic remedy of expressing it. If literature has no other usefulness, it at least has this one, though it serves only a few.” -


Live!
@January 29, 2022 5:53 AM (EDT)

A life fully captured is recursive.


A ramble after reading Emerson
@January 29, 2022 5:42 AM (EDT)

To think of the vast ocean of human life, now, since bread, and until the sun checks out— a galaxy of souls, each feeling to some degree, how you feel, maybe less or more— focus, nostalgia, or even just a glimpse of a shadow on the floor— unsure, if you are the emperor or the peasant— unsure, if you are a brain or a soul— unsure, where you stand in the spectrum of experience, but nonetheless, dwarfed at the scale of it all— dwarfed at how little you know yourself, which is far greater than the extent you know the people closest to you, still a sand-speck in light of a random assortment of local strangers.. But most shocking of all, despite how many children have carried and passed the flame through history, is how few have been able to render their strange slice of reality, their inherited gift. All are capable, but most don’t nurture the craft, make the time, or see the point. What good would this be?  Well, I suppose it’s all worth it if it could even just shock one future person out of some vicious loop— to initiate them into some unnamed “order of a hermetic dawn,” where they can carry the torch of nature, and create life against tumorous high-tech ape cults.

(see Twitter for latest version)


Pessoa placemaking
@January 29, 2022 5:39 AM (EDT)

“I lift my pedestrian’s head and see that, on the hill of the Castle, the sunset’s reflection is burning in dozens of windows, in a lofty brilliance of cold fire. Around these hard-flamed eyes, the entire hillside has the softness of day’s end. I’m able at least to feel sad, and to be conscious that my sadness was just now crossed— I saw it with my ears— by the sudden sound of a passing tram, by the casual voices of young people, and by the forgotten murmur of the living city.”


Blooming of consciousness
@January 29, 2022 5:26 AM (EDT)

Conscious = seeing through a lens;
Conscious of being conscious = realization of the lens;
Conscious of being conscious of being conscious = ability to manipulate the lens;

I remember the first time I was conscious of being conscious. Down in the kitchen. My parent’s kitchen. On the white square tile, opening the pantry door, with my father in the room over on the computer. It must’ve been two or three hours after I smoked weed, and I just remember, for the first time, this act of “severance.” I wish I wrote about it more then, because I remember it being a kind of formative experience, and I’m kind of fuzzy about it now. 2009? In the days of Mat Caravan nonetheless. I remember a kind of “parallel processing.” In addition to each thought was a thought about the thought. It was different from “reflection.” It was almost as if traditional thinking was automated to the point where my conscious attention could rise above it and watch the thinker do it’s thing.


Self-fulfilling life cycles
@January 29, 2022 5:20 AM (EDT)

A phrase for the tendency to acknowledge cyclical patterns in your life, and to to convince yourself that your current among one of them. For example, my architecture school experience lasted 6 years. All the ebbs and flows are well-known to me. I’ve almost memorized the timeline. The initial wonder, the confusion phrase, the click, the lion’s den, the public breakthrough, the clash, etc. When certain events on the “becoming a writer” timeline match up, I can’t help but conflate the two experiences.


Erik Satie
@January 29, 2022 5:17 AM (EDT)

3 Gymnopédies (1889): No. 1: Lent et douloureux
There’s a specific kind of January angst that returns every 11 years that can only be assauged through Impressionist piano. It’s not a feeling to be avoided, but fully embodied.


Language for the imagination
@January 29, 2022 5:08 AM (EDT)

What if there were multiple types of “imagination.” Maybe it’s actually a complex experience, that deserves a whole language to explain it’s types, actions, entities, etc— but our culture has barely stepped in past the knees.

I can speak to the difference between “active” and “automatic” imagination. “Active imagination” is a Jungian term, and involves conscious effort to construct scenes, where the subconscious then fills in the details with symbols. “Automatic imagination” on the other hand is when a fully-formed scene appears. There’s something foreign about these scenes, because full parades can be presented to you, instantly. There is the feeling that this thing externally exists, and I somehow, like an antenna tapped into it. Is it pre-generated? Is it just auto-generated on the fly some absurd NVIDIA graphics card? Is there more art, architecture, and nature locked in your head than has ever existed anywhere? If all that’s true, then it ties in with Pessoa’s quote I just mentioned— that there is much to see without taking a step.

Another pair of phrases is “stable” vs. “unstable” imagined environments. In some cases, you might find yourself immersed in a scene, with calm presence, the ability to look left and right, and down to your rotating hand, which you move onto a cold railing to wipe the snow off of. The opposite, an “unstable imagining” is like a broken radio. You are flung from form to form. The forms could be environments or abstractions or voices. The experience is like surfing a web of associations. It’s like lateral travel through the imagination, instead of fully exploring any one of it’s nodes.


Pessoa on a lucid imagination
@January 29, 2022 5:06 AM (EDT)

“I’ve crossed more seas than anyone. I’ve seen more mountains than there are on earth. I’ve passed through more cities than exist, and the great rivers of non-worlds have flown sovereignly under my watching eyes. If I were to travel, I’d find a poor copy of what I’ve already seen without taking one step. In the countries others go to, they go as anonymous foreigners. In the countries I’ve visited, I’ve been not only the secret pleasure of the unknown traveller, but also the majesty of the reigning king, the indigenous people and their entire culture, and the entire history of the nation and its neighbors. I saw every landscape and every house because they were me, made in God from the substance of my imagination.”


The futility of travel
@January 29, 2022 4:59 AM (EDT)

“’This simple Entepfuhl road, will lead you to the end of the World.’ But the Entepfuhl road, if it is followed all the way to the end, returns to Entepfuhl; so that Entepfuhl, where we already were, is the same end of the world we set out to find.”

In the last day, I’ve read both Pessoa and Emerson write against travel. The yearning for external adventure in some exotic place might be a distraction from crafting meaningful experience within your current situation.


Justin Murphy on Emerson
@January 28, 2022 9:11 AM (CDT)

“I've recently taken to the life and work of Ralph Waldo Emerson because he was arguably the first world-class public intellectual of a distinctly American type. Of course there were great thinkers and writers in America before his time, but Emerson was the first man to gain respect in courtly Europe, who did not mimic the ways of courtly Europe. Until Emerson, American intellectuals were either European and respected or American and low.

Emerson praises the quiet, truth-seeking scholar who toils privately and obscurely. One must forego "display and immediate fame," remain ignorant about the popular topics of the day, endure poverty and solitude and the disdain of more fashionable thinkers, in order to slowly find the truth.“

https://www.otherlife.co/signs73/

Justin Murphy

For all this loss and scorn, what offset? He is to find consolation in exercising the highest functions of human nature. He is one who raises himself from private considerations and breathes and lives on public and illustrious thoughts.

He is the world’s eye. He is the world’s heart. He is to resist the vulgar prosperity that retrogrades ever to barbarism, by preserving and communicating heroic sentiments, noble biographies, melodious verse, and the conclusions of history.”


Justin Murphy on online courses
@January 28, 2022 9:08 AM (CDT)

“Good, live “courses” on the internet are really more like social-intellectual pressure cookers. It’s a matter of engineering temporal, informatic, and social-psychological variables to transform each other in a certain direction—rapidly at first, and then sustainably as a community over long periods of time.”

https://www.otherlife.co/signs73/

Justin Murphy


Justin Murphy on being right
@January 28, 2022 9:03 AM (CDT)

“Why persuade people who are wrong, when you could spend all of your time becoming more right? Persuasion has rising costs, and it's manual labor that doesn't scale. The goal is to advance so far out on the correct branch, that few currently living people even understand what you're talking about, but future generations eventually must know what you're talking about. Not because you're special, but just because you arrived early where they were destined to land sooner or later.

In school essays or scholarly treatises, it will be necessary to lay out the full case. But in many contexts, it is sufficient merely to be correct. My argument is that an increasing proportion of life is composed of such contexts.”

"Hard work" and manually “building” are overrated, unless you have a comparative advantage in building, or you personally love building. Hard work can get you into sub-optimal equilbria, if you're not careful. As I wrote in Personality War (ȘȈǤƝȘ 70), if you lean too much on grit to supplement your lack of something else, you may find yourself miserable, in a zone that's custom tailored for a different kind of person.”

“Hard work can be a way to compensate for mediocre ideas, and one can inadvertently come to specialize in making mediocre ideas work. Hard work can get you stuck into ideas on their way to being outdated. In this particular sense, then, Andreesen was wrong. It is not time to build so much as it is time to be correct.”

https://www.otherlife.co/signs73/

Justin Murphy


Composing music through patterns
@January 27, 2022 9:48 PM (CDT)

I’m unaware of a formal branch of music theory that looks for pattern sequences within songs. Regardless of tonality or rhythm, there’s a non-coincidental way in which songs follow a simple pattern language. The majority of songs can be divided into sections (take A|B, representing a verse and chorus). There is a non-obvious art around identifying specific music elements, and consciously differentiating it in each section. For example, A might feature a melody of 16th notes, where B features long half notes. A might feature long drawn out chords, while B features quick-changing progressions. Songwriters often obsess about singular progressions, yet, the magic in songs comes from designing distinct loops that are coherent yet varied.


Ralph Waldo Emmerson quotes
@January 27, 2022 9:33 PM (CDT)

  • “Thoughtless people.. do not distinguish between perception and notion. They fancy that I choose to see this or that thing. But perception is not whimsical, but fatal. If I see a trait, my children will see it after me, and in course of time, all mankind,— although it may chance that no one has seen it before me. For my perception of it is as much a fact as the sun.”
  • “The centuries are conspirators against the sanity and authority of the soul. Time and space are buy physiological colors which the eye makes, but the soul is light; where it is, is day; what it was, is night and history is an impertinence and an injury, if it be any thing more than a cheerful apologue or parable of my being and becoming.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance (28)


Plotting creators between urgency & intention
@January 27, 2022 7:22 PM (CDT)

Working out a 2x2

One axis is urgency:

  • Now: Hustles to build an audience and monetize it
  • Future: No urgent reason to scale

The other access is about intention:

  • Job: Writing as a means towards growth
  • Joy: Writing as a love for the medium of language

Job + Now = Marketer
Job + Future = Content Creator
Joy + Now = ?
Joy + Future = Artist

Some people evolve from one persona to another, and others are in circumstances where they shift between personas.


Questioning the value of Obsidian
@January 27, 2022 2:03 PM (CDT)

Linking your thinking” - I’m intrigued to dive into Obsidian. Perhaps it’s an impulse to consistently tinker and test new systems for information architectures. In the end though, I’m still hesitant that linking emergent ideas leads to more or better outputs. It potentially just complicates the process. It takes bandwidth away from constructing prose, which is where ideas take on their true potency. In the act of constructing prose, your subconscious is firing and grasping for images, metaphors, and facts to associate it with. It’s your organic, first-brain, doing it’s job.

This is another PKM system that seems to follow CODE in a linear fashion (Capture > Organize > Distill > Express). I’m a believer in Capture > Express. Make sure you capture everything, and carve out time each day to turn those captured things into short, polished, shareable essays.

I also feel that I can make bigger leaps in my systems in my 3rd year of Notion, compared to my 1st year in any new note-taking app. Two things that Obsidian doesn’t have: 1) flexibility in terms of web-design, and 2) the ability for an object-oriented architecture.

  • I think there’s a big lesson I’m learning in regards to the “resolution” of thought-linking. Here’s a paragraph I wrote as I impersonated Hunter S. Thompson.

The [[epiphany]] of the “[[new year]]” hit me, as usual, three hours [[late]]. I’m always awake at [[midnight]], but never conscious— I get caught up in [[written streams of glowing gibberish]]. The [[new year]] is a slow-moving [[tidal wave]], and no one is spared as it rampages from [[time zone]] to time zone, causing [[cheers]], [[tongue-kissing]], [[irreversible life decisions]], and worst of all, explosions of [[glitter]] that spread faster than [[Omicron]]. When I realized the wave crashed, I too, felt the kick— the reset in [[Calendar]]. I closed my [[laptop]] and bolted for [[Quinn’s Hill]]— it’s important to get there before [[sunrise]].

There are 16 words within this paragraph that I could link. For example, you could hover over [[epiphany]], and I could riff for a paragraph on the Greek work “epoptes” and how they’re related. Obsidian is neat because you can hover over these hyperlinks and preview them. Yet, there are a few negative effects:

1 - Distraction - It takes away from the prose. It focuses on the bits instead of the whole. I’m giving ADD readers 16 escapes before they even make it through the first paragraph! This kind of networked thought is greater for something like Wikipedia, when you want to promote motion across a vast-global-knowledge set. But for personal writers? You want to push them to the end of the essay.

2 - Scope - This creates the task of writing these 16 little blurbs around words that are referenced from my source essay. Will this information be useful? Sure, I could write about La Palma under my [[tidal wave]] tag, but is that the most efficient place for me to aim my writing attention? It’s like I’d be creating a personal encyclopedia on my reactions to words or concepts.

In the end, it may be best to only use tags at the essay/unit level.


Grubhub vs. gas fees
@January 27, 2022 9:56 AM (CDT)

$23 in food, $17 in fees, tips, and tax. Grubhub might be worse than Ethereum.


Lyrics about the sump
@January 27, 2022 8:59 AM (CDT)

some working lyric ideas...
Instead of being mysterious about your lyrics, imagine being absurdly analytical. You could basically tell a short story per line.
Sumps and powerlines

there’s a frog in the driveway, and in my hand a plastic gun

(as a teenager I witnessed an animal murder, and heard of another)

so I rung my neighbor Jenny and I asked her, do you want to have some fun? (of course, the love interest here is an animal worshipper)

(next line is her freak out) you’re a [monster/criminal], how do you sleep at night? (she hangs up the phone.. need a non-cliche rhyme.. ignore me the rest of my life, no way to make it right, fight, tight, confide, ride, might)

(so then, this protagonist is standing there in his parents driveway, heartbroken, above the frog he was about to murder, before having an epiphany.. something, something, looked up> saw the canopies anew

(end the loop with an “X in the Y” section over a V chord)

bandit in the woods (memories of the sump days)

hunting for nothing (suburban kids have instinct to hunt w/o purpose)

frog in my pocket (second to last line, the frog survived)

a <lonely> kid with nothing else to do (including else delays the “do” rhyme on 1, lonely reminds us of the loss of Jenny.. also really dig the way that the “anew/do” rhyme is asymmetrically spaced)


Thrive in paradox
@January 27, 2022 7:41 AM (CDT)

I think we over-estimate how consistent our beliefs and points of view are. Internal contradiction is everywhere if you look hard enough. But the goal isn’t even to try to resolve everything. It’s to thrive in paradox.


Gesamtkunstewerk
@January 26, 2022 7:52 PM (CDT)

Gesamtkunstwerk - “a total work of art,” or, the expression of a motif across multiple medium.. A concept that can be expressed in any medium: art, architecture, sculpture, art, furniture, silverware, music, window details, plants. It’s when every possible designable thing is aimed at some symbolic idea. It’s a work where all the details have a conceptual magnet.


Notes from “Line Goes Up
@January 26, 2022 5:03 PM (CDT)

The power of stories

  • The Infinite Machine, a book around the early days of ETH. Apparently they started off a $100k grant from Peter Thiel. It gets into the original vision and purpose behind Ethereum.
  • A “pageant of decentralization” - The movement outwardly says it’s about helping artists and foreign countries, but in reality, there are so many instances of blatant centralization:
  • Old money has a larger role in shaping the space than is outwardly acknowledged, though it’s become very obvious this year (The documentary mentions Elon Musk, the Winklevoss Twins, a16z, Jordan Belfort, Chris Dixon, etc.)
  • Mining & staking lead to centralization in BTC & ETH. As BTC matured, laptop miners in dorm-rooms got pushed out, and you need millions and a warehouse to be profitable. For ETH, you can’t stake without 32 ETH (over $100k).
  • Even though blockchains are public, almost all the infrastructure is private, funded by VCs or LPs, and acts as a gatekeeper or fee collector.
  • In ETH’s early days, they had a DAO where 5% of all ETH was hacked. The ETH developers decided to roll-back the blockchain and pretend it never happened. ETH-Classic was the original chain that felt a centralized team shouldn’t have the ability to alter history.
  • AXIE Infinite - weird incentives. It was framed as a way to earn while gaming, but in the end, no one saw it as a game. Wealthy came in and build in-game groups to play and “mine” for them.
  • No regulation or consumer protection, easy to get scammed.
  • It’s incredible how one story gains traction in markets, but yet, the actual ruling forces behind it are the antithesis of the vision. In many other cases (psychedelics, the Internet), existing power finds a way to infiltrate new forces that claim to dissolve power. The nature of power is changing, but power finds a way to shift from one medium to another.

Human behavior

  • Decentralized technology (ie: smart contracts) have the ability to create social structures that circumvent the destructive tendencies of human nature. Yet, if a blockchain is just a unit with a whole ecosystem (wallets, exchanges), then many of the other components aren’t immune to greed.
  • The current wave of Web3 technology isn’t acting upon human nature - patterns of behavior, incentives, social structures
  • If you look at DAOs, many of them are cloned templates. They are auto-generated, and are able to simply generate their tokenomics. It’s possible to launch a DAO with no original code, and raise funding on theoretical roadmaps. In many cases, it’s just a centralized Discord server that hosts an experiment where community comes together to collectively allocate abstract currency (made real by shilling).
  • Are cryptographers best suited to solve our social problems?
  • Lisk in example of developing a POS protocol, in responses to POW, that instantly devolved into a cartel situation. As certain technical goals are pursued, it’s hard to account for social blindspots that might erupt.

The greed factor

  • In the end, even for those who are interested in the idea of a “decentralized culture,” the primary reason for investing is to generate personal wealth.
  • In some ways, it’s a Bigger Fool Scam. The assumption is that adoption is still so low. If the technology can actually work itself out (in a Game-B kind of way), then early adopters had the foresight to see the future. If not, then we are nearing the peak of some kind of failed experiment (hard to imagine).
  • Described as a war between the 5% and the 1%. There is an opportunity to transfer wealth. Those with capital, whether they believe it, or whether the tech is anywhere near maturity, see this as an opportunity to break into the upper ranks (revenge of the Winkelvii)
  • A desperation - upper-middle class, see traditional path as less desirable.. Crypto is something to YOLO into
  • WAGMI (we all gonna’ make it) is inherently bull shit. By definition, everybody can’t make it. In fact, most will not.
  • Anyone who owns a coin has incentives to promote. It makes the whole space inherently untrustable. There is a toxic positivity. Skepticism is often branded as FUD. “Have fun staying poor.”
  • The current landscape has made it so that ANYTHING can be a vehicle for speculation. It started just as coins (think the ICO craze), but now you can speculate on people, companies, art, music, assassination. It’s the “stock-marketization of everything.”

Why blockchain?

  • A single application can clog the network
  • Alternate histories - a fork affects everything
  • Gas wars - crazy inter-day fluctuations on micro-transactions
  • Can send spam to public wallets, cost to move, click and drain
  • Public history of everyone’s spending
  • You don’t own your data, forever etched, no ability to retract

2008

  • Banks issues both Bonds and Mortgages
  • Mortgage more value in how they were packaged into securities
  • Incentives to create as many mortgages as possible

Misc

  • Not currency - deflationary - promotes hoarding
  • Pie in the sky thinking, convoluted think, misattributions
  • 10 second ads in Time Square, for internal persuasion, a flex

Why Captain’s Log?
@January 26, 2022 4:34 PM (CDT)

  • Organizing information (functional act of retaining)
  • Sharing information (social, community)
  • Dopamine (of creating something)
  • Process (a home for thinking)
  • Compounding value (returning to old ideas & memories)
  • Simplicity (capture is an automatic habit)

100-year domain hosting
@January 26, 2022 3:13 PM (CDT)

Looks like you can renew domains for up to 9 years on Google Domains. Would be neat if there was a way to pre-pay for 100 years. It ensures the longevity of a website as a time capsule.


Travel-resistant systems
@January 26, 2022 2:40 PM (CDT)

I wonder if constant road-travel is a great way to built adaptable systems. Each day is unique, so it requires an intuitive way of being— a kind of intentionality that is severed from routines, tasks stacks, and calendar mode.


A digital OS can reclaim our attention
@January 26, 2022 2:36 PM (CDT)

What if human attention is becoming harder to direct? We’re swamped in glyphs, calls, and polished video essays. Maybe digital systems are the best way to actually channel and harness our own attention? It doesn’t need to be digital. But I always have this hunch that there is a kind of invisible OS behind everyone. An interlocked series of things: goal setting, attention, focus, stamina, scope, refinement, etc... “Systematizing” isn’t synonymous for “automating”... we’re not robots.. But maybe systematizing means to bring into conscious attention. Maybe there are optimal ways to set goals. Optimal routines for a day. The word optimal can sound slimy as hell. There’s definitely a real-midwit-flavor of over-optimization. Overtime, I’ve found that the more lo-fi and scrappy, the better. But I always find that a complete abandonment of systems, a lapse into unconsciousness, always, I think without exception, brings me to a place with lessened output, mood, and outlook.


Hopelessness around Twitter
@January 26, 2022 1:04 PM (CDT)

Twitter feels especially lifeless lately. Behind avatars, abstract ideas, memes, and value signaling are real people. But the medium reduces us all down to caricatures. Maybe there’s no platform that can get people to exist authentically online. Maybe it’s destined to be a simulated culture. Maybe the impulse to render yourself online will always exist in the realm of unsustainable art projects, and will never reach the point of an online social movement


Caveman calculus
@January 26, 2022 12:25 AM (CDT)

Despite being sick for the last few days, I weirdly spent the last few hours doing some math. I was trying to define a curve that converges on an asymptote. Rarely outside of school have I had to use abstract math in real situations, but now, it's suddenly really important. After some caveman calculus, it all clicked. It was neat (and rewarding) to derive this from scratch and solve something. % = a/{a[x-(y[a/z])]}


Logs vs. Essays
@January 25, 2022 11:19 PM (CDT)

I just fully realized that I’ve shifted my whole writing practice (perhaps accidentally) from being “essay-focused” to “date-focused.”

Perhaps it’s the way I needed to take a break after 11 months straight of essay writing & editing studios. It feels fresh, and it’s a way to keep going. Lots of the writing actually happens accidentally.

The urge is less about writing great essays, and more about capturing my life and my thoughts each day. I’ve churned out around 40,000 words in my first month. It’s not a coherent argument, it’s a mosaic. It reminds me of this Kerouac quote, of “his life being his work.”

What’s really neat is that within this “live capturing of my consciousness,” I’ve laid so many seeds for potential essays (big and small). In the last 30 days, I’ve generated 63 “seeds”— basically, posts in my “Writing dB” that may one day grow into full essays.

Maybe in the future, I date essays based on the moment they were conceived, instead of the moment they were published/finished (which, when you think about it, is pretty arbitrary). What’s  neat is that all of these non-fiction essays ideas are now tied to a specific day, to a real situation, where I can refer back to my notes/mood of that day.

It’s a potential big step in fusing the bridge between fiction, non-fiction, and auto-biography. For example, I wont’ write about Mucha’s advertising strategy without the context of being in the Raleigh museum with Danielle, and if I choose to inject some false details to make it a better story, so be it.


The lack of length-constraints is liberating
@January 25, 2022 11:14 PM (CDT)

This epiphany has hit me multiple times, so perhaps it’s worth noting AGAIN (even thought I’m sure this exact note might exist in December).  Writing a “prose block” within this Livestream, out of context, is so liberating. It’s constraint-busting. It’s easy to get frozen with a character count, or in the context of a half-written draft. There is this sense of “forward movement.” Perhaps I can skewer-together related blocks one day. But if you tried to skewer them together in real-time, it’s easy to feel blocked.


The Hyatt House
@January 25, 2022 11:08 PM (CDT)

So we’re stranded in the Hyatt House. Well, not “the,” but “a” Hyatt House. It’s a concept hotel, created who knows when. I imagine that it was a nervous freak-reaction to the viral sphuh-loongage of AirBnB. Basically, it’s a hotel that feels like a Studio apartment. Studio-suites in hotels are nothing new, but there’s a subtle kind of functionality that I can’t accredit to anything other than good, practical design. It’s funny how luxury hotels with rich finishes and materials can give the initial impression of “design,” but many of those units aren’t really meant to occupy. They are places to pass out in after you’ve explored a city all day and night. Since we’re isolating here, indoors, it’s so appreciated to be in a “livable” unit.


Desktop vs. mobile logging
@January 25, 2022 11:04 PM (CDT)

I write into this Livestream through both desktop and mobile. I wish I had someway to filter and see what is from where. I think the medium affects how I write. On desktop, I write more in prose. It’s faster, easier to jump around, easier to edit. On mobile, I feel like I’m leaving little incoherent breadcrumbs for future-desktop-Mike to return to, but I rarely do. I’m okay with sharing breadcrumbs, I just know that writing in coherent prose will compound and improve my writing over-time.


Why logloglog is smooth on Notion
@January 25, 2022 10:58 PM (CDT)

Here's a list of some Notion features I find essential to logloglog. Some of these relate to the capture process, and some relate to how the data will be presented to a visitor. I'll focus on desktop for now:

  • Reverse chronological
  • All blocks are live/editable from the feed - no need to click in
  • When you create a new post, it inserts the date into an empty block, and then you can write
  • The header of the public webpage should feature a title, username, and 3 links: [ now, archives, about ]
  • Archive page auto-clusters blocks into Date objects; ability to add a sentence summary to a Date object; auto-calculate # of blocks & words in a Date object
  • About page is just text - a way for to orient new website visitors; "why do YOU keep a captain's log?"
  • Add margins to left and right (content is centered)

Altruistic algorithms
@January 25, 2022 10:41 PM (CDT)

Imagine a social network that promotes the least viral content.. or maybe, the more you engage with low-traffic posts - the more credit/boost you get for your own posts.. One of the biggest deterrents of people on Twitter is crickets. You post, and no one acknowledges it. Meanwhile, everyone is playing an online game and seeking exposure. What if your ability to get exposure were directly tied to engaging with new / low-traffic posts? If you can systematically eliminate “the cricket effect” through design, would that lead to a more vibrant community?

Imagine a social network that incentives people to engage with posts that have low engagement. Users would have no "fuel" for their own ideas to get exposed, unless they contribute to other's ideas. It's weighted so that posting on popular posts give you less "exposure-fuel." This boils down to: Can you use design to eliminate "the cricket effect?" I wonder how a network would feel if everything you ever posts sparks a discussion or reply.


Antenna theory of consciousness
@January 24, 2022 11:40 PM (CDT)

A note on some hypnagogic sights: there’s a difference between ‘eidetic form’ and ‘automatic forms.’ Eidetic is when you consciously try to remember a scene from your childhood, or play a song in your head. It’s about consciously recreating something in your head with a complete lack of stimulus. But ‘automatic’ refers to when something in an imagined field takes on a seeming life of its own. It’s not just a vivid sense of place, but the automatic movements of things with in it. I just saw a sight of a street parade, with a hundred or so tall figurines all standing, with colorful uniforms. I saw each figure move its arms in a unique way, one that I couldn’t consciously orchestrate, but it was stunning to look at. McKenna uses the word “self-transforming” which makes sense here. It’s when symbols take on an ability to evolve on their own. It has an organic/near holy quality to it. This thing has a life of its own, like a wolf in some canyon in your head, that you’ve never seen, and never will see again, but for that split second you gasped and are short on words to explain it.


Adventure vs. Stability
@January 24, 2022 3:29 PM (CDT)

The conflicting values of adventure and stability. There’s a romantic daydream of a traveling, living life in many cities, and a making art, in whatever form, in different places. Sometimes it’s a fuzzy dream and sometimes it surges up to potentially happening. I wonder how common and shared this kind of decision is. What if all the wonder and mystery around living a nomadic lifestyle were transferred to the wonder and mystery of raising another being?


Thoughts on Joel's video log
@January 24, 2022 2:49 PM (CDT)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoPF3YKWpu4

Notes:

  • “forrest gump but none of the people on the bench want to talk,” - Joel on no one caring about life stories
  • competitive youth
  • moving to be with friends, a S/O wanting to travel, wanting to stay
  • traveling through US, liberating in terms of creativity
  • numb to the cool stuff about where you live
  • combat boring suburbia, injecting personality with mass-produced furniture & home goods
  • impossible to know people’s mental space or capacity to handle life
  • post-high school - shutting off longing

Interesting to think of film as means of “life capture.” I’ve been so bent on using writing to do that. There is a certain potency of words that can’t be captured in images, but the inverse is true too. Certain scenes of nature can’t be rendered in words. A certain expression on someone’s face might be unlanguable.

Two thoughts here.

The first is, it could be interesting to start filming every day life. Focus on composition before craft or technicals. I remember as a kid, maybe a 3 or 4 year old, having this polaroid camera, and I held this random love for photographing everyday objects, like a stack of towels, or a pencil. I could do this through my iPhone. The thought of making a project out of this brings up all sorts of insecurities and doubt. Technical doubt (managing storage). Self-indulgence (is it weird to post videos about my own life?). Leverage (is this the best use of my time). We’ll see if this every exists beyond this daydream.

My second thought on this makes me interested / eager to approach this. What if you mixed spoken word stuff into film? I remember composing pieces for the Mt. Shasta series, and thinking, damn, this stuff just rings off the tongue, and no one might even notice unless it’s spoken out loud. So I wonder what a Joel Haver like video could be if it has 30-60 second written “monologues” mixed in. It could be either incredibly corny or powerful. Or both. Or it’s corny until it’s powerful. Or it’s powerful because it’s corny.


Danielle got COVID
@January 23, 2022 9:00 PM (CDT)

Weekend of football - 4 crazy games

It was the last night of our vacation when the cycles of fevers and aches began to sink in. Even though it was late and our hotel room floated 100 feet off the ground, we heard everything in Nashville, from the Johnny Cash impersonators in Printer’s Alley to the blood-thirsty Bengal fans that started that brawl outside the Mellow Mushroom last night.

“Mike... it’s getting hard to breathe.”

With my throat on fire, I told her everything would be okay. I wasn’t sure. This mutation is a curveball, and to be honest, I fear the pandemic may continue getting weirder and weirder. For the last few hours, since the Chiefs pulled some voodoo magic in the last 13 seconds of a playoff game, I’ve been nursing my wife through a 103 degree fever. We learned just an hour ago that Nashville has a COVID positivity rate of near 40%. Bad timing. Our flight home takes off in a few hours.

Of course, now that my wife is concerned about her breathing, both the oxymeters we bought in January of 2020 (when Wuhan erupted) were rusting in a drawer back in New York. I texted her best friend, fortunately, a respiratory therapist. She’s stationed in the heart of Queens, where COVID first rampaged the United States back in 2020, and she let me know she had a patient die on her this morning: 30-years old, double-vaccinated, boosted. She told me to take this seriously— if things get any worse, go to the ER.

I had a funeral dream the other night. So did my mother and grandmother. I’ve been told that my great grandmother was a clairvoyant midwife who could reliably see into the future, and that it runs in the family. I don’t buy it, yet I do have a strange track record of foreshadowing animal combat (I predicted that an oversized yellow snake, likely someone’s escaped pet, would get into a duel with the family cat). If I am a precog, it’s mostly useless.

Luckily, things never got worse. But even a paranoid glimpses into that worst case scenario is enough to shake you for the day. We rescheduled our flight, and moved from the Noelle to a Hyatt House so it wouldn’t cost a fortune to quarantine. We made two stops on the way.

First I ran into a Walgreens to stock up on Tylennol, Zicam, Chloraseptic, Mucinex, and the likes. The guy in front of me on line had a public meltdown. It was “cash-only,” so he screamed, bashed a table, and fled the store with a box of masks. Then we hit a drive-in testing center, where rapid tests costed $295, but PCRs were free. I don’t think the tester jammed the 10 inch Q-tip nearly far enough into my nose. It didn’t touch my brain, and my ears didn’t ring, so I’m not sure how it could be accurate.

In the hour or so between the two hotels, I felt inspired to write. “I’m going to write a novel in these next 4 days of quarantine.” There was this raw emotional energy, but I was in logistics mode and couldn’t bottle it. Once we got inside the Hyatt, we crashed, got sick again, and either napped or watched YouTube all day.


Cherokee Sal – (from an old western book)
@January 23, 2022 11:43 AM (CDT)

“There was a commotion in Roaring Camp. It could not have been a fight, for in 1850 that was not novel enough to have called together the entire settlement. The ditches and claims were not only deserted, but “Tuttle’s grocery” had contributed its gamblers, who, it will be remembered, calmly continued their game the day that French Pete and Kanaka Joe shot each other to death over the bar in the front room. The whole camp was collected before a rude cabin on the outer edge of the clearing. Conversation was carried on in a low tone, but the name of a woman was frequently repeated. It was a name familiar enough in the camp,— “Cherokee Sal.”


Strangers in a Taco shop
@January 22, 2022 11:07 PM (CDT)

Strangers in different states.. as I wait for tacos I’m imaging lives that are both strangely similar and different to my own.. how could I know which it is? For any stranger we see, we typically can only afford a flash judgement.. a bengals jersey, sloppy hair, age, a tired expression, high boots, blonde, drunk and a slurry confidence in a taco shop.. a stranger has a facade of symbols, signals, and traits.. whether we ignore them, or engage in small talk, we usually never cross paths with these faces again.. we have 2-20 seconds, and so we need to downsample and stereotype.. but it’s fascinating to remember behind any given strangers face is a whole universe of experience, and no matter how limited or expansive their life has been, they’ve undoubtedly felt some spectrum of love, lust, and hope that loosely maps to yours

“do you guys, like, drive horses or cars?”..”vehicles, mam, but I drove a donkey at the Grand Canyon once.”


Omicron hits Nashville
@January 22, 2022 11:06 PM (CDT)

Nashville at 37% positivity rate (last 7-days).. seems like “full-immersion,” or herd-immunity status


Approaches to being interviewed
@January 22, 2022 3:07 PM (CDT)

Bob Dylan approached interviews with annoyance. His responses were cryptic, almost like a shield. I'm picturing a response where the interviewee is a chameleon-like shape-shifter, who can warm themselves into different personas to address certain demographics. The overlapping of impressions with meaning could be powerful. Someone who kind of does this is Logic (during his WOP webinar).


Xios situation
@January 22, 2022 3:06 PM (CDT)

Grandfather was a slave, for... 5 years? (1940s, Greece) Weird bridge to southern folklore. Also weird contrast to me.. slave rhymes with an infant of the Internet age


Thoughts on how to cover music
@January 22, 2022 8:53 AM (CDT)

I’m not an expert in how folk music has evolved in the last five centuries. But I’d bet that something changed dramatically once radio, record players, and Internet came around.

Basically, technology changed folk songwriting from an “oral tradition,” to one that was frozen into vinyls, and eventually Spotify. While technology in many cases accelerates industries, in the case of Nashville, it froze it in time, to its own detriment.

Before we had the ability to record, songs were like family heirlooms, handed down from generation to generation. Think of folk music like a sonic-version of the game “telephone.” There were errors in translation from parents to children. But these “errors” are what let the songs evolve and update with the times.

On top of that, each new generation would play it in their own way, on their own instruments (which slowly evolved), and would even alter the lyrics to reflect their experiences in culture (which slowly evolved).

While I’m sure there were some impulses to preserve and translate songs EXACTLY, there was, in my imagination at least, an ethos, whether conscious or unconscious, to bring one’s own soul and vision into an age-old song. A songwriter performed covers, respecting tradition, while also bringing their own self into them, which marched the song forward into the future.

Recording technology changed this. For any given song, there was often a “definitive” version that went viral within mainstream culture. The most recognizable version is the one that gets replicated by other bands.

I can’t say the whole century is absent of “original covers.” There are tons of great covers. The classic example is how Hendrix re-invented Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” And at home in the country scene, Cash himself re-invented a Nine Inch Nails Song, “Hurt.”

A personal favorite of mine is how DEVO reinvented “Satisfaction,” the more overplayed, cliche, tired, rock song from the Rolling Stones. In my mind it’s groundbreaking because it proves that no song is off limits. No matter how famous, and how well regarded by culture; any song has the potential to be retold, dramatically, through your own voice and vision.

I‘ve been in Nashville, for 4 days now, and it seems like a music tradition that is frozen in time. Perhaps that’s what everyone wants: the locals, the tourists, and the musicians. Perhaps that’s what the market demands: familiar, safe, technically brilliant covers, that people recognize and are encouraged to tip for.

I’m always floored by the musical talent here, but I can’t help but notice that I always leave with this feeling that Nashville has lost touch with the original spirit of country, folk, and bluegrass, where songs would evolve with the times. It’s fun to drink to, I love the songs, and it makes me nostalgic for a past I never got to be part of. But it has no sense of risk, originality, or courage. It feels like a sonic museum of American history that is no longer relevant. It’s an escape.

It’s a weird stance. You’d think staying true to tradition, in a near-canonical way, is the way to preserving something. It’s untainted by technology, synths, celebrities, etc. But the other angle is that since it isn’t modernizing, it’s losing its relevance. If anything, there IS a branch of country music that is modernizing: it’s fusing with Top 40 pop music, and it’s fucking horrendous. It’s an insult to Nashville, it’s history, and it’s talent. What does outlaw country on the Internet sound like?

The pace of cultural change is rapid, but country music has generally nothing to say about it. Where are the lyrics relevant to 2022? And even if something is lyrically relevant to the times, is the sound modern? Is it using a synth or a fiddle? In many ways, country music is conservative, rejecting change, and worshipping “the American” way, even though, ironically, the American spirit is all about radical change and re-invention in the pursuit of a value.

I have a new idea for a project that reinvents, distorts, and mutates the country classics. My inspirations are:

  • DEVO (who totally warped “Satisfaction”)
  • DM Bob & the Deficits (a German band with grungy country covers)
  • Ty Segal (for his garage/fuzz tone)
  • Bob Dylan (a lyric/image-first approach to songwriting)
  • The Grateful Dead (for their winding psychedelic improv)

I will intentionally NOT write original music, at least for a little while, because that’s not the point (yet). Covers will be way quicker to pull off, and fit better within my current lifestyle (writing good original music is hard and takes time). I’ll become a better songwriting by covering classic ones.

And from the listener’s perspective, since they’ll be familiar with the root songs I cover, they’ll be able to isolate what the new “sound” is. There is little invention in song, and complete invention in voice (and maybe lyrics too). I have permission to edit lyrics, add verses, warp tempos, re-write hooks. Nothing is too sacred.

I’m starting with Folsom Prison Blues, the Johnny Cash country-staple. The most extreme way to start this project would be to make 10 alternate bastardized versions of the song everyone knows and loves.


Interviewing online writers from the 90s and on
@January 22, 2022 8:11 AM (CDT)

I woke up with the idea to start a curation series of original writers on the Internet. What many of these writers have in common is more than thoughts on craft and self-publishing. They each have a slant on liberty, consciousness, and culture.. I could ask them a similar set of questions: Why did you start? Why did you stop? What went wrong with the space? It could be a place of history, perspective, and a critique of the Internet.


The "Folsom Prison Blues" Cover
@January 21, 2022 9:50 PM (CDT)

How does one cover Folsom Prison Blues with courage? What is daring? How not to be tired? The Nashville scene seems so bound to tradition and expectations. How would young Ty Segal enter Nashville?


Architects carry rulers
@January 21, 2022 9:41 PM (CDT)

“Always carry a ruler” -Jacobo.. advice to Danielle as she obsessed over a railing detail in the lobby


Craft could be useful one day
@January 21, 2022 9:37 PM (CDT)

The pursuit of craft, in case you find yourself in some situation in 15 years where it can make a difference


Boutique details vs. wilderness daydreams
@January 21, 2022 9:31 PM (CDT)

Boutique hotels with every detail synthesized.. aesthetic perfection, but inconsequential.. just a fleeting “ah” on arrival, before the dream sinks back in.. the unspecific and dull dream of wishing I could survive more than 48 hours in remote wilderness


Discovered Jim Harrison
@January 21, 2022 9:24 PM (CDT)

How many Jim Harrisons exist? How many writers were drawn into the gravity of literary movements, and were nearly as good, if not greater than the legends that bursted into the awareness of future generations.. for whatever reason he’s mostly unknown, collecting dust on book shelves of antique shops


Writing as a means vs. an end
@January 21, 2022 7:10 PM (CDT)

I could teach craft to mercenaries, wielding words for power and glory, but let it be known that craft is merely a force-multiplier on soul


Rhino Bookstore in Nashville
@January 21, 2022 5:07 PM (CDT)

Vintage southern fiction and thrift stores.. this place was a maze.. average book was $4 or so.. could spend weeks in here.. must and dust central.. but the strangest oddities.. collecting since the 1970s

A phrase for the kind of bookstore with meandering aisles, overflowing shelves, a bodega cat, everything between $1-6, no best sellers..

  • Quiet Money- Robert McDowell (poems)
  • Wolf - Jim Harrison (a false memoir)
  • The Triggering Town - Richard Hugo (on writing)
  • Harte of the West - Brett Harte (17 stories)
  • Miss America Kissed Caleb - Billy C. Clark (Kentucky fiction)
  • Oranges - John McPhee (the history of the orange industry)
  • Boomerang - Barry Hannah (a drunk, half-fictional autobiography)
  • The Complete Rhyming Dictionary - edited by Clement Wood

The collaborative creation of frame
@January 21, 2022 11:49 AM (CDT)

Alpha/beta vs. a collaborative construction of “frame”


The word made flesh
@January 21, 2022 11:41 AM (CDT)

A language-first theory of evolution.. expansion on McKenna.. could the human brain have grown in size to accommodate an external language that was conplexifying?.. ties into “the word was made flesh”


Cowboys with mimosas
@January 21, 2022 11:23 AM (CDT)

7 cowboys walk into a brunch joint, order mimosa seltzer, and sink into a cellphone binge


Straddling the Nolan Political Diamond
@January 21, 2022 8:21 AM (CDT)

Some thoughts on Nolan’s political diamond chart/compass.. There are four poles.. left-right = liberal-conservative.. top-bottom = authoritarian-anarchy..

I want to tie this in to Keegan’s 5 levels of consciousness. whether you are on level 3 or 4, you have a fixed identity.. whether your value are given to you by your parents, or, whether you’ve derived them as an individual.. your identity typically exists on one point within Nolan’s abstract shape.. my understanding is that “level 5 consciousness” is one with the capacity to shift.. it’s the ability to exist within all places on the spectrum.. it’s inherently paradoxical.. it’s understanding both the dictator and the anarchist..

in some of Nolan’s charts, there is a “centrist” realm in the middle.. it’s someone who doesn’t lean in any one direction.. it’s a kind of “average” between the extremes.. but I think a Keegan-esque thinker would have no fixed identity, giving them the ability to consider perspectives from each of the poles..

maybe society has gotten to a point of complexity where you can’t solve anything from a single pole, or from the center.. but you actually need to synthesize and compromise.. an example I use is with psychedelics and the “freedom of consciousness” debate.. there are many angles of approach.. the 1960s saw anarchy.. Eleusis was a state-sponsored religious cult.. then you have MAPS working with state agencies on the left.. while a billion dollar VC market is emerging on the right..

people get super passionate and fueled up.. people join a camp.. yet, the real solution from this issue could be a synthesis of ideas from each of the poles.. a “resort to the average” doesn’t quite satisfy the demands of the poles, and so it’s likely that centrist solutions are unsustainable.. a compromise is reached without actually appealing to the desires of the poles..


Philosophical Gibberish
@January 21, 2022 8:11 AM (CDT)

Riffing on Spencer Greenberg’s 7 levels of truth this morning.. I listened to the first 30 minutes of Jay Shapiro’s podcast.. I got the impression that these levels are all stacked, yet, I think there is a relationship between them. You can plot it as a 2x3 grid (plus one over lay).

On the X-axis: objective, subjective.
On the Y-axis: biology, culture, simulation
Overlaid: Transpersonal

Matterspace, Theories, and Primitives are in the “Objective” stack
Emotions, Consensus, and Networks are in the “Subjective” stack

Philosophers debate “truth” vertically within a stack.

But to explain some of the dissonance (ie: does 2+2= 4 or 5?), perhaps this comes from crossing stacks. In “consensus” space, everything is arbitrary, but it’s a misconception to think that kind of logic can cross into the objective stack. There are few ways this happens:

  1. Unaware of the boundaries
  2. Aware of the boundaries (idealist, anarchist)
  3. Simplifications
  4. If theory is imperfect, then it’s completely flexible
  5. If theory has ANY association to something potentially immoral, it can’t be treated as true

Still need to do some thinking on the “Transpersonal” layer. But God is something that can’t necessarily be seen or felt. It’s not subjective or objective. Yet, it can be used to assert truths in both the Objective and Subjective realm. (ie: Creationism gives a slant on the origin of Matterspace, and people make claims on morality based on God’s word.)


Ideas on travel vs. vacation
@January 19, 2022 6:11 PM (CDT)

  • no destination
  • no end-date or timelines
  • art-focused (writing, music, drawings)
  • motels, car overnights, and highway showers
  • pilgrimages to architecture and state-parks
  • travel to people you know around the country
  • hotspot, internet access, maybe even VR, “connected” (no purism)
  • minimal clothes, laundry system
  • unifying “thesis” question

Nashvile's music scene
@January 19, 2022 6:08 PM (CDT)

comparison between Nashville and New York - comparison of music scenes. what’s the difference for an original music band? guitar band? what % of bands are original music guitar bands? what is the lifestyle/income-model for a songwriter here in 2022? how has the Internet changed the Nashville music scene? so many questions..


DM Bob & the Deficits
@January 19, 2022 6:02 PM (CDT)

DM Bob & the Deficits.. a grunge-country band from Germany.. DM stands for “Deutsche Mark,” which was Germany’s currency from 1948 until the Euro.. they have an underground/garage sound, but with a country twang/Americana.. it sounds so American, but is nothing like country pop, which people associate with the genre.. it’s country/punk, which feels like a crazy & exciting vista, which may have never found it’s full form.. it feel like it has the same legs as Ty Segal’s 2008 SF start, which eventually birthed a whole sub-genre.. the “country” in “country-punk” could be an immediate turn-off to half of it’s listeners, but for the other half, it could trigger a kind of, “this is the first country music I’ve heard that I liked.”


Hot Springs, North Carolina
@January 19, 2022 6:00 PM (CDT)

Incredibly weird to imagine what it would be like to move into a small mountain town with only 560 people. Imagine if you actually met and got to know 20% of them. Would you even fit in? What could culture be like? What is the lifestyle?


Road trip notes from Raleigh to Nashville
@January 19, 2022 5:55 PM (CDT)

grateful dead - st. stephen > not fade away> st. stephen
the act of “the return,” the loop, home
not fade away, fast moving, truck weaving, on a highway through the mountains - along to a buddy holly cover.. could he have imagined it this way?

intentional rituals
NYC once a week to write, meetup, explore (read on commutes)
Catskills, nature in New York, at least once a month
no work on Sundays, physical house work, cooking, (analog day)
Thursday nights, a 3-hour songwriting & recording session
post-pandemic date nights (switch it up)

points for reflection:
1) short-term changes; what’s possible in Queens?
2) back-up plan (incase “cooperation” is futile.. speaking in code)
3) long-term, where does it make sense to settle down?
4) what can’t I do once I have kids? (1-2 months on the road)


COVID from a New Yorker's POV
@January 19, 2022 5:53 PM (CDT)

some have been relatively unaffected by the pandemic, but many New Yorkers (myself included), carry a kind of self-inflicted hermiticism. lots of good came from it (for me personally), but I’m at a point now where I can re-envision a new, flexible life, where COVID basically isn’t a concern.


Paranoid notes on the Biltmore having satanic vibes
@January 18, 2022 10:17 AM (EDT)

  • Invited by violins, mute mountains, a billionaire’s castle, sky spires, imagined lawn banquets, either monkeys saints of barrons, stone lions at the gate, gremlins hang from the gutters taunting like chimps, untainted copper floral grows out to hold lamp posts, emperors, friars with columns on their backs, V for Vanderbilt, his tastes not his own, what can money buy?
  • A marvel, a haven, art and architecture, a marble plant prison, angels hanging lanterns into the foyer (ballroom), Cupid dances drunk in the foyer, ghosts, wood details carved in stone
  • Bachelor wing, dominator, fish, fox, cattle heads, a wigs only room, pigs head above a leather bj chair, smoke-stained ceiling, mArble billiards, hunter’s room, dogs playing cards, an evolution room, of Darwinian fitness
  • Medieval banquet hall, Minotaur flutists, dinner and orgies, 13 moose heads, 20 foot long fireplace, hell, tapestries of antiquity, organ with 20 foot tall metal pipes, 2 confession booths, pitchforks and horns
  • Breakfast room, post-impressionists, dark, gold silverware, 7 foot tall candles engraved with gold infants, domesticated elephant clock, butler intercom, harpsichord, medieval tapestries with astronauts, camels and reindeer, lizard emperor with a church in his hand, portrait of an enslaved sun, New Testament
  • The library, original renaissance books with 3’ paintings, book hoarder, spiral staircase, 23,000 books, massive wood globe, wooden goddess, original dickens, terrestrial globe, original dickens, murder, a rooster, and a time traveller, a man and woman in the fireplace, miniature Adam and Eve of black ash
  • King Louie’s private party room, demonic faces hidden in gold screams, between petrified Christmas trees, family portraits with uncooperative poodles, how many orgasms? How many murders?
  • Bedroom with gold walls, Portuguese furniture, bed enclosed by mirrors, hour glasses, spilt wine, top hats, 1889-1895, Napoleon worship, hallway of forgeries, room of Escher staircases, dressers with Greek keys, eagles, and hieroglyphics, paintings of ritual
  • Descent into the basement, infinite spirals on the light fixtures, dim, Greek painting, bearded man at the control of an emperor, stone dungeon, hissing through audio receiver, black floor hatches with red trim, room with red painted floor, paintings, mustachio military, Cupid, bat, saw, drains, a bowling alley and piano, pool with nooses
  • Chilling violins In the gift shop
  • Weeping lions guard the front door.. violins ooze from the evergreens
  • In case you saw some weird things coming out of my log yesterday, those were my notes/impressions from touring the Biltmore estate. It had a much darker tone to it than I expected.

Re-calibrate your relationship to a city
@January 17, 2022 3:22 PM (EDT)

New York.. not about moving, but recallibrating how you engage with a city


Highway spinout
@January 17, 2022 3:22 PM (EDT)

The small blue sports car that spun out in front of us route 40.. rear-wheel drive.. looked like a cartoon.. then just continued on as normal.. all good


Friends are mirrors
@January 17, 2022 8:52 AM (EDT)

Through spending time with other people, you get your own values reflect back to you. Either, a hell yes, this is what I believe in, or,  a subtle recognition that what you see in someone else is not what you want for yourself. Both are good. Both are useful. No two people should want to be the same. There can be companionship in spite of rifts in values. Friends are mirrors.


Radiooooo
@January 17, 2022 8:32 AM (EDT)

Downloaded the app radiooooo, and see the reason to use this as a source of music over Spotify. It’s a map and a timeline. You select a decade, click on a country, and it creates a playlist for you. They even have a “weird” filter. It’s strange to hear 1970’s Turkish music, or 1960’s Beatles replicas in South America, or 1980’s North Korean propaganda. It’s a way to learn new music, and history. It’s so simple. It shows our blindspot. We underestimate the range of value that could exist through digital apps but don’t. Spotify, Twitter, Notion, Miro- the assumption is that all the work is done (at least from the user perspective).


Banjo Documentary
@January 16, 2022 11:39 PM (EDT)

Throw Down Your Heart.. a 2008 documentary out “bringing the banjo back to Africa.” Bela Fleck was a banjo virtuoso. America associates the banjo as a southern white influence, but Fleck brings it back to it’s origin to jam with African musicians.


What is punk on the Internet?
@January 16, 2022 10:37 PM (EDT)

What is punk in the 21st century? Sure, it’s a thing in fashion, music, or art. There are some weird terrains of paradox and hypocrisy. Is anyone who uses Amazon Prime inherently not punk? We live a life saturated with convenience. How does it exist in light of the Internet? Can it? Can you have a counter-culture that builds off infrastructure made by billionaire countries? In the 20th century, punk unfolded in cities. Graffiti and fashion were signals for values. But if you think about cities, that too, at the time, was infrastructure created through billions in capital. It’s always been an ethos of living within a medium that feels inherently wrong, and using art (in all forms) to attempt to shape the attitudes within the thing.


The meth-heads of Appalachia
@January 16, 2022 9:53 PM (EDT)


Originality in how you protest
@January 16, 2022 7:17 PM (EDT)

Most people unconsciously accept a pre-packaged culture, or, they protest against it. When someone becomes aware, through a protestor, one move is to join a protest, another is to radically accept what you already are. Instead of holding grudges on mass-production, you can embrace a sense of helplessness. How many of the protestors either a) fully combat the struggle? or b) hold beliefs, but fail to live up to their ideas? Is change even possible through ones individuals shopping preferences? I just imagined a character that fully embraces “machine culture.” A kind of freak, a mutant, who differs from the “liberal ideal man,” but still holds crazy, non-conservative values, and makes contributions to the whole in his own, unpredictable, and unreplicable way.


Deep Dive on Lists
@January 16, 2022 11:38 AM (EDT)

Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing Ian Bogost

  • Lists as introduction, argument, emphasis
  • Lists as a break from linear narrative.. a juxtaposition
  • List as an escape from the NOW, and a push into the ELSEWHERE. As a way to grasp the infinite, or scale.

Antibody-dependent enhancement
@January 16, 2022 9:22 AM (EDT)

Antibody-dependent enhancement and the boy who cried wolf.. we are so numb to COVID doomsday news, that if the virus takes on a serious and unexpected twist, no one will believe it


AI-assisted art
@January 16, 2022 12:05 AM (EDT)

AI will have the capacity to produce chill-inducing works. It will take an "artist" [a programmer] to tweak. Replicates creative process. It will be about the fusion of engineering with systematizing a creative process that is hyper-adaptable


Friendship quotes
@January 15, 2022 7:59 PM (EDT)

“The bird, a nest; the spider, a web; man, friendship.” - William Blake

“Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good and alike in virtue; for these wish will alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves.. This kind of friendship, then, is perfect both in respect of duration and in all other respects. In it, each gets from each in all respects the same as, or something like what, he gives.” -Aristotle


Quran not a theological book, but a book of laws (/hadith)


The mysteries
@January 14, 2022 7:54 PM (EDT)

  • Mysteries, we’ve regressed (a maturity towards the uncertainty)
  • Avoid freedom/uncertainty (hard thing, how to you encourage “pain?”)

Ancient Greek religions were called "the mysteries." Rather than people subscribing to a single belief system, religious would host festivals, and citizens would celebrate many different faiths. At the root of all of them [I believe] were unsolvable riddles [at least, this is the case at Eleusis]. The ethos of that time, in my mind, feels like a celebration of mystery– where our monotheistic religions resist that uncertainty. Monotheistic religions all have strict and definite answer sets.


One who has seen the vision
@January 14, 2022 4:30 PM (EDT)

“Epic” translates to “Epopej” in Slavic, which sounds similar to “epoptes” in Greek, which translates to “one who has seen the vision.” This means that an “epic” (as a noun) is the journey between reality and the vision.


Roots
@January 14, 2022 4:23 PM (EDT)

Contemporary artists may have no origin culture (in Mucha’s case, he had a clear Slavic origin.. in my case, I have a Greek/Xioti origin, but it’s so much stronger in my grandfather’s generation thatn in mine.. i obviously have respect for it, but I didn’t experience what they did.. the question is how to have an authentic connection with your past?.. is there genetic entitlement? or does experience matter?)


Mucha's Double-Life
@January 14, 2022 4:17 PM (EDT)

Mucha’s Lord’s Prayer.. the most chilling Christian art I’ve ever seen, and yet, it was made in the same time period, perhaps even funded by, ADVERTISEMENTS, for Nestle, cigarettes, and biscuits..

Mucha’s timeline is fascinating. from 17-35, he got kicked out of school, didn’t get into art school, taught, and took odd jobs. he made one piece “Gismonda,” at 35, that put him on the chart. it lead to a stream of ad work, and during that time, he was experimenting with mysticism and Christian art.. makes you wonder if one funded the other.. at 50, he then dedicated his life to “social impact art.”


The Theosophists
@January 14, 2022 4:10 PM (EDT)

Albert de Rocha, a parapsychologist, “spurred a religious movement” among intellectuals and artists (including Mucha, maybe Jung?).. Blavatsky and the Theosophosists in New York in 1875.. east and west.. mysticism across all traditions, including Christianity.. freemasonry..


Questioning the efficacy of art movements
@January 14, 2022 3:52 PM (EDT)

  • Art nouveau, Paris 1890, a model, floral wallpaper, a vignette of nature blending in with urban culture. A flash, a glimpse, and ideal that couldn’t scale to combat the allures made possible by machines
  • Protest movements create culture and symbols that get assimilated, and it’s interpreted as being “influential,” and to a degree it actually is, but perhaps these movement go unrecognized as failures to swerve the forces that they’re intended to combat
  • Artists color the unfolding of society, but can they shape it? Or are they simply the mask to an un-reigned beast?

Threads of Greek interest
@January 14, 2022 10:20 AM (EDT)

  • the anarchist bookshops in Northern Greece
  • politics, chaos, and potential in Athens
  • ancient history - eleusis
  • Turkish conflict / independence day
  • April 11th will be the 200-year memorial of the Massacre at Xios.

Finnegan's Wake
@January 12, 2022 10:54 PM (EDT)

Finnegan’s Wake seems like a phonetic trip. It’s definitely doesn’t make linear sense. Maybe it’s meant to be read, out loud, drunk, maybe high, and definitely in an Irish accent. As I tried this (out loud, Irish accent), 1) it was extremely satisfying, just to pronounce this gibberish, and 2) I noticed random bits of meaning would flash in, every 20 seconds or so, even if only half coherent... I like to imagine that there’s some sort of trance-flow you can get into while reading it, and after 100 pages or so, the random words trigger some sort of internal dream-sequence, perhaps constructed, mostly by your own imagination, only slightly aided by Joyce... But who knows, maybe it’s just non-sense.

On Finnegan’s Wake:

  • “The title comes from the comic song that tells the story of an inebriated Irish construction worker named Finnegan who falls to his death and wakes up at his own wake and arises—when spirits are splashed in his face as he lies in state in his coffin, thus triggering confusion and a fist fight.”
  • “It is about the dream of an Irishman, probably Joyce himself. As far as I know, it is the most successful depiction of dreaming in literature. If you are interested in dreams and their meaning, you will probably be interested in reading parts of “Finnegan’s Wake.” Few people have the patience to slog through the whole thing, because the work is opaque, convoluted and obscure. Those who do not like wordplay and abstract writing will quickly tire of it and put it down. I myself have only read portions of it. I find “Finnegan’s Wake” to be a bewildering but oddly entertaining book. It is like a dense impenetrable thicket, but it occcasionally makes you smile. How has it influenced today’s world? If nothing else, they got the word Quark from it.”
  • “It is about about, aboutness, meaning. By removing modifiers, he constantly puts us in the place of anticipating meaning -take the sentence ' I was surprised when I saw the floor was …’. The whole book is like that sentence which does convey meaning but could be many meanings or all meanings.”

Ramble on Free-Will
@January 12, 2022 4:34 PM (EDT)


destiny
is not a destination
it’s not a singular place
it’s not binary

it is a web
destiny is the full web of possibility
it’s you in a mansion,
you in a gutter,
you surrounded by faces,
you lost in daydreams,

we can’t grasp the open-ended nature of being
the thing to know is this:
there is a slice of the infinite that is only yours
a slice of the infinite that is only yours

a slice of infinite is still a fraction of the Infinite
it’s sand versus galaxies
the difference is you
you are at the center

from the origin,
from the command center,
from your daily actions,
every decisions warps, rotates, and twists the web
pre-destination is a farce
your slice of the infinite is the middle ground
the difference between pre-determinism and existentialism
we are more than automaton
we are more than cosmic dust

it’s hard to see the web
it’s hard to see 10 minutes from now
let’s say the web is “five-dimensional,”
at least for now, in the folk-sense
it’s a matrix of uncountable points
it’s a matrix built from all permutations

what if an Oracle could gather all potential paths?
and curate them into symbols for you to grasp?
then like a voronoi graph,
you could see a quilt of all possible selves
you could see the flash that made Scrooge weep

image

free-will is the autonomy to make decisions within the matrix of options that have been presented to you

“A prominent feature of existentialism is the concept of a radical, perpetual, and frequently agonizing freedom of choice.” —

Even a personal slice of infinite can be overwhelming. Endless permutations, whether with or without constraints, always fall into the void. They always lead to overwhelm. The trick is to find gravity— a kind of internal compass that can filter out 99% of your potential futures. It’s possible to gaze inwardly and become paranoid of our own compass.. permutations trigger infinite loops, triggering uncertainty and angst.

But, instead of grasping for truth, accept a lapse in truth. Realize that self-hypnosis is one of the most powerful tools towards action. The truth is far less powerful than your truth. The power to know everything is far weaker than the power to convince yourself of anything. Self-hypnosis has no fixed end. Self-hypnosis can lead to fools, lunatics, and sages. It depends how you harness it. Ultimately, self-hypnosis gives you the ability to construct frameworks of meaning from nothing.

To manipulate meaning like paint is to suddenly realize you have a steering wheel.


Power feature
@January 12, 2022 11:01 AM (EDT)

The UI of micro.blog, paired with a block system (via relational databases), paired with nuanced publishing and distribution tools, paired with capture tools that cause zero-friction, paired with the profile builder of Typeshre = powerful shit.

There’s a fascinating paradox. So many apps focus on ONE feature. They enable a specific use case, but their inability to include other features makes broader use cases infeasible. Then there’s the opposite problem: some apps include so many features (ie: a fusion of Notion, Miro, Evernote, and a Calendar), and from Square One, you think, “What the fuck am I supposed to do with this thing?”

How do you bootstrap this? Start with a single use case that gets you in, but then allows nuanced customization through “adaptive components.” The CORE use (perhaps it’s capture, in our case), needs to be easy, delightful, and self-explanatory. Then, as a user’s unique use cases arise, they have an arsenal of flexible systems, to build out exactly what they need.

This is what Notion doesn’t have... what is Notion? ANYTHING YOU WANT! Anything? Captain’s Log... what is it? It’s a god-damn clipboard. Literally a 21st century Clippy. BUT, Clippy also happens to be a self-transforming machine elf, and you can use no-code to bend your data, publishing, and distribution, in any way that you can dream.


What is the root of bloated software?
@January 12, 2022 10:58 AM (EDT)

It’s incredible how slow web-clippers are (Notion & Evernote), vs. how fast and convenient they could be (Senorsyslog’s prototype)... It makes you wonder all the technical sacrifices larger companies have had to make that result in a sub-par toolset. It would be interesting for a developer to critique Notion’s architecture... what makes it so slow? Could it be avoided? Was there a critical early decision that ballooned into a mess? What’s neat is, if, early on, you pair good design, with the right technical implementation, then 1) the design enables behaviors that previously had high friction, and 2) the implementation makes it delightful to use, almost at a subconscious level.


Mario Kart Shit Talk
@January 11, 2022 8:41 PM (EDT)

  • I went into this marriage thinking we were a 200CC couple
  • My wife doesn’t like it when my Mario Kart shit-talk takes on a Hunter S. Thompson dimension
  • There’s a special place in hell for 5th place. It’s too psychologically damaging. Like elevators that skip the 13th floor, they should skip from 4th straight to 6th.

Hunter S. Thompson is the List Master
@January 11, 2022 12:34 PM (EDT)

Attend the Ship30 live session (”The endless idea generator”), or, continue my rigorous analysis of a genius writer disguised as a madman? [HTS] I say disguised, because Thompson is so radical, you can just write him off as an “outlaw.” But if you take his famous “drug sentence” in the opener of Fear and Loathing— that Johnny Depp recited in Hollywood— and you remove all the substances, you see that Hunter is—- attitude aside—- a master of lists. The way he plays with numbers, words, and patterns in a single sentence, give you the feeling like you’re gazing into a work of nature... a force that I doubt he architected, more like, a force he accidentally harnessed, in the pursuit of the Shark Hunt, that not even he could articulate.


Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail
@January 11, 2022 9:00 AM (EDT)

...All this sounds incredible — and that was my reaction at first: “Come on! It can’t be that bad!”

“You wait and see,” they said. “And meanwhile, keep your doors locked.” I immediately called Colorado and had another Doberman shipped in. If this is what’s happening in this town, I felt, the thing to do was get right on top of it... but paranoia gets very heavy when there’s no more humor in it; and it occurs to me now that maybe this is what has happened to whatever remains of the “liberal power structure” in Washington. Getting beaten in Congress is one thing— even if you get beaten a lot— but when you slink out of the Senate chamber with your tail between your legs and then have to worry about getting mugged, stomped, or raped in the Capitol parking lot by a trio of renegade Black Panthers... well, it tends to bring you down a bit, and warp your Liberal Instincts.”

Hunter S. Thompson
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail
December 1971


Family-history based fiction
@January 11, 2022 8:21 AM (EDT)

Take your already weird family legends and mutate them into full-on fictional worlds. Even though the end result is false, the origin seed is true, and unique to you and your lineage.


Writing vs. conversation
@January 11, 2022 7:25 AM (EDT)

There’s a time and place for conversation, and there’s a time and place for letters. Conversations are collaborative. They let you rotate around unknowns and surface new information. Letters are a transmission. When you’re ready to say what’s on your mind, you can ensure everything that needs to be said is laced into a persuasive story.


Don't delay
@January 10, 2022 11:46 PM (EDT)

“A man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” – HTS


Hunter S. Thompson– dissected material
@January 10, 2022 11:41 PM (EDT)


Unlocking a feed through participation
@January 10, 2022 9:58 PM (EDT)

A social network where you can’t access the network each day until you create your first post. It eliminates the possibility of “consumer culture.” Anyone with visibility into the network has posted something that day.


Themes from Phoenix
@January 8, 2022 3:09 PM (MST)

  • Web, the Internet, early history, education, opportunity, mimesis
  • Awe, scale, the infinite, religion, Christianity, psychedelics
  • Self, self-reliance, identity, voice, expression, capture
  • Words, literature, quotes, craft, potency, capture, legacy, purpose
  • Change, inter-generational, Keegan, speed, chaos, revolution, game B

Kegan’s 5 levels of consciousness
@January 7, 2022 11:08 PM (MST)

  • on a level, you are self-aware of the level below as an object
  • on a level, you experience it, you are subjected to it, and can’t see it as an object
  • 2 = emotion, 3 = people, 4 = self, 5 = self-transforming mind

Spiral dynamics


Anti-Netflix
@January 7, 2022 10:07 PM (MST)

Netflix lobotomizes your infinite gift


Will's riffs on scale
@January 7, 2022 9:38 PM (MST)

  • 160d v 47m
  • Quarter vs north America
  • Light bulb vs. Pluto
  • 10^24 vs. 10^-35
  • 37 trillion manhattans

The re-invented Holy Trinity
@January 7, 2022 9:19 PM (MST)

Trying to quickly capture some thoughts after a crazy conversation. This won’t do it justice. These are the breadcrumbs that I’ll weave into an essay, hopefully soon.

Christ may have been a man, but with belief, he might visit you in this life, and he’ll definitely visit you in the after life. The reinvented trinity.

The father is not an omnipotent man in the sky, but a state of the infinite, experienced at the moment of death, where YOU become eternal and omnipresent.

The father is a personalized infinite, a metamorphosis at death
The son is not a Nazareen man, but a distribution scheme by Paul
The holy spirit is a primal symbol that can summoned through ritual

[ One wet kilogram within which spins universes. -Anthony Doer. ]


When asked about my superpowers
@January 7, 2022 6:17 PM (MST)

  • Visual
  • Patience
  • Re-association

After visiting Taliesen by Frank Lloyd Wright
@January 6, 2022 5:03 PM (MST)

1) An Emerson book all at once
2) Set, Setting, Matrix

Think of the feeling you get after slowly processing a book over many days. Think of the rate of processing words vs. images. Architecture hits harder and faster than a book. A Frank Lloyd Wright structure is like a 3-dimensional Emerson essay. It’s serving a functional purpose, a home for human activity, but it’s also laced with his philosophy on reality. And it hits you all at once, even if you’re just passing through. Whether you are a trained architect, or someone accidentally in the right place at the right time, it’s bound to hit you somewhere in the gut.

  • From the Civil War to sputnick
  • Not external art, persistent
  • Pick axes, lanterns, Whitman
  • Drafting studio low windows, focus, sunset
  • Tour guide, spectrum of experience
  • An idea is salvation by imagination.'
  • 20th century the last century where architecture mattered

Hummingbirds vs. UFO dynamics
@January 6, 2022 3:30 PM (MST)

Erratic non-linear movements


Gus Mueller on Kafka
@January 5, 2022 9:56 PM (MST)

“kafkaesque-resembling in important ways the nightmarish scenery and personalities of a Kafka novel. Well before there was a David Lynch there was a Franz Kafka, and no one, not even Lynch, has ever so perfectly captured the existential murkiness of human consciousness and bureaucracy, trappings we, in our delusions, so hopefully point to as evidence of either our rise above apehood or our place beside God, both trite anthropocentric garbage.” - the gus


Gems from '90s online writers
@January 5, 2022 8:14 PM (MST)

There are so many hidden-gems in the online self-publishing scene from the 1990s. There ethos and approach to written seems like a forgotten art. It’s something to cast back to, as 14th century Italy casted back to the Greeks. The difference is 25 years in Internet time is equivalent to centuries in meatspace.

http://www.asecular.com/musings/how.htm
https://www.hedweb.com/diarydav/diarinfo.htm


The Eye of an Artist
@January 5, 2022 4:11 PM (MST)

Knowing that your a writer changes how you experience the world


The Origin of Barstool Sports
@January 5, 2022 4:40 PM (EDT)

A $500 million dollar media company started by some crazy guy handing out paper newspapers at a train station. Anything is possible.


Amnesia
@January 5, 2022 3:51 PM (EDT)

reading your old writing is a funny form of amnesia


Quotes from Will
@January 5, 2022 3:41 PM (EDT)

  • Barbara Tuckman: “books are the carriers of civilization. they are light houses in the vast sea of time.”
  • Emerson: “If I observe a fact, then my child will see it also, for my perception is a fact like the sun.” This log is dedicated to my kids.
  • “Knowledge is but a rumor until expressed by the muscle”

The Basics
@January 5, 2022 1:21 PM (EDT)

simple mantra: master the basics and show up consistently..
what are the basics? what does it mean to show up consistently?

  • a channel that works for you
  • a sponsor
  • push the bridge to a private channel (newsletter)

Laughing Yoga
@January 5, 2022 12:37 PM (EDT)

All it takes is 1 person fake laughing to trigger a cascade of crying laughter. The first laugher is fake. But then the 2nd person has a genuine response, and everyone follows. Emotions are contagious.


Expansion of consciousness = collapse of identities
@January 5, 2022 12:28 PM (EDT)

Writing as a psychedelic - expands consciousness, and collapses old identities - it forces re-association - it can be challenging and dis-orienting, but there’s a certain trust that what you re-build, if through the right intentions, will be more sustainably formed


Hockey & the Z-Axis
@January 4, 2022 7:23 PM (MST)

Hockey is the sport that least utilizes the Z-axis. It's more 2-dimensional than basketball, soccer, baseball, golf, football, or tennis.


DEVO's "Satisfaction on SNL"– 1981
@January 4, 2022 6:57 AM (MST)

A comment on the effect of DEVO’s “Satisfaction” performance on SNL.

“It is impossible to overstate how much of an effect this one performance had. I missed the show, but when I went to school that Monday, everyone was jerking down the halls like robots. Every single conversation at the lockers was about this and their equally shocking version of Jocko Homo. Kids were screaming “We are DEVO!” every few seconds, and classes were impossible to hold. Finally in the afternoon, one of my teachers said, “Look. I know something happened Saturday night. I don’t know what it was but I know things are different. But we have to pull ourselves together and keep learning!” I still laugh at that. Things were indeed different.”


YOU at the center
@January 4, 2022 6:42 AM (MST)

The idea of YOU at the center of experience. It’s the idea of not sacrificing your limited sliver of time to mass culture. What’s interesting is that the Internet and Gaming, by definition, put you at the center. You are Player One, and your decisions matter (unlike cable TV). That said, we’re missing a cultural compass on how to best navigate our own ship.


Game B as a safety net to catch a collapse
@January 4, 2022 6:39 AM (MST)

The shift from Game A to Game B.. people shift at different rates. Even if there is a mass cultural shift to Game B, all it takes is a handful with power to remain in our current paradigm of capitalism. If Game A inevitably leads to collapse (think Rome, think Bronze Age), then it’s just a matter of time for it to happen to global culture. That said though, Game B thinkers could create a kind of safety net for one culture to “collapse” into. I wonder if that’s written anywhere. Perhaps the only way for Game A to transition to Game B is for Game A to collapse in a non-terminal way.


In Phoenix / Pre-agricultural lifestyles + laptops
@January 3, 2022 10:44 PM (MST)

Digital technology enables a pre-agricultural lifestyle.. A return to a symbiosis with nature.. Digital nomadism is not just the name of an Internet trend. It could be the initial phase of a long 300 year movement. We haven’t yet comprehended the potency of our communication technologies. It will effectively enable digital teleportation. It's impossible to conceive now, but our communication technology (paired with other advances) could enable a metropolitan culture without the metropolis. A future of de-urbanization. How much of our environmental crisis is due to cities?


Airports as Religious Experience
@January 3, 2022 5:21 AM (EDT)

  • A silky smooth computer voice, reminding us of the respiratory panedmic
  • Airports are always enlightening in some respect. An endless stream of people, from everywhere. By going through an airport once, you’ve seen such a range of people, who have each seen such a range of people. You might be just 1 or 2 degrees of separation away from totality.
  • 3 girls wearing fishbowl helmets pass by– giggling within glass spheres
  • Airports are the churches of the 20th century
  • The advertisements are intense– pixelated models, like Adam and Eve, three-times oversized, in swimsuits, wreaking of a vile beauty, and smelling like a breeze of factory chemicals.
  • Why are the pay phones still here? They are like the appendix.. not worth the surgery to remove.
  • A fleet of men in black suits with four gold stripes on their wrists. All have captain’s hats. Science has turned the danger of adventure into a chore.
  • Other airport ads.. Zoom: it’s how the world connects.. then, Arianna Grande, cloned like a Persian genie, shilling Apple’s Spatial audio.. erotic beach ads for perfume.. conspiracy Netflix movies.. and a plea for institutional investors to trust grayscale with blockchain money.. this has been on loop since who knows when

5am Uber to JFK
@January 3, 2022 5:05 AM (EDT)

I will surely forget this moment. Half-asleep. 40s cap button down shirt driver. Polite. On grand central. Dark, the final stretch of night. $40.19


The Beats in the Suburbs
@January 2, 2022 1:03 PM (EDT)

  • the image of kerouac hiding in levittown
  • Freaks in the suburbs (an idea for an essay)
  • Traditional role & in a traditional setting, paired with extreme
  • Examples [radical beat thing] + [conservative suburb thing]

Shifting from professional to recreational VR
@January 2, 2022 8:10 AM (EDT)

interesting reversal: i used to do VR professionally, and write on the site.. now I write professionally, and do VR on the side

there’s a big difference though.. VR professionally involved overly-technical work for private clients.. VR on the side involves exploring weird sub-cultures, and potentially designing my own worlds


VR Audio Rambles
@January 2, 2022 8:02 AM (EDT)

I wonder if audio rambles post-VR experience might be an interesting way to capture what’s going on and what you think. Just make a loose outline and then speak into Twitter audio under the Duke Surfs the Metaverse account.


Resistant to the trivial
@January 1, 2022 11:56 AM (EDT)

If something is tolerable, and also inconsequential to the big picture, then there’s no excuse for anxiety. Remain open, unaffected, and empathetic to trivial outbursts, wherever the source.


The last 20%
@January 1, 2022 11:12 AM (EDT)

0 to 20% is a “holy shit!” excitement
20% to 80% is work
80% to 100% is where the frustration kicks in
when you hit 80%, remember you’re 4x beyond your original “holy shit”
this doesn’t mean “it’s good enough”
but it’s a perspective to help you through the frustration
(if you decide it’s worth it to keep going)


Everyone's an architect
@January 1, 2022 11:08 AM (EDT)

In social VR, you can be both the tourist, and the creator of destinations


Write to freeze your memory
@January 1, 2022 8:25 AM (EDT)

even some of the best events and moments of your life are easily forgettable if you don’t commit them to writing


Logs

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I need to decide how I'll distribute my logs through email. The simple route is 3-5 per week. But there's a certain wonder in peaking into someone's unedited mosaic of thought. It's hardcore, but it's distinct. It stands out from the wave of filtered, curated tidbits.

⚡️ Logs | April 2022

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⚡️ Logs | March 2022

Learning piano @March 31, 2022 9:35 PMI’m quite mediocre at piano, but exceptionally good when I play only the white keys. Half joke, half true. It’s a fun way to compose and improv without having to logically calculate different chord shapes. I can focus on rhythm, patterns,