A Total Write Off

December was supposed to be dedicated to working on/finishing up personal projects and putting out some things I’m sick of seeing in my drafts.

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I was so please to have finished up episode 40 of Permanently Moved last week. December was supposed to be dedicated to working on/finishing up personal projects and putting out some things I’m sick of seeing in my drafts. I wanted to clear the decks before Thailand in January.

But… on Monday I got sick.

The whole week was a total write off. The test said it wasn’t Covid, but it was old, and I only did one one of them. I can tell you all that it most definitely was Covid – it was almost exactly like the last time I had it. Splitting sinus pain and 5 days of zero energy. I spent the whole week in bed feeling really sorry for myself. I also had to deal with some bullshit that I’ll blog about once it’s resolved.

I completed Boltgun on hard mode though and it was actually quite hard! Then I moved on to playing Two Point Hospital on the switch and ended up having fever dreams that upon waking felt like wheels within wheels and the frantic spinning of plates.

I’m just recovering today, yesterday I had some energy but I’m behind on where I wanted to be at this point in the month. Oh well. It is what it is. One does the best one can, with the time, resources, and energy that they have available.

Having had social media and the news blocked for most of the day, for most of the year, I haven’t actually missed the Internet all that much. Yesterday, when I logged into my RSS feed reader, I had nearly 2000 unread articles. I nuked it all back to zero and checked some of my favourite blogs and newsletters directly and felt up-to-date.

I don’t think I would have felt this way a few years ago if I hadn’t been on the Internet for a week. So, all in all, I suppose this was a win that feels like personal growth of a sort. A positive reframing on the absolutely hellish week I’ve just had.

Experience.Computer

Things are progressing with the show though! I found the energy yesterday to sort out the trailer for my new interview show Experience.Computer.

You can listen to the trailer below, subscribe on Substack or search ‘Experience.Computer‘ wherever you get your podcasts.

Experience.Computer – Trailer Experience.Computer

In 2022 writer and host Jay Springett discovered he had aphantasia – the inability to voluntarily create mental images in one's mind. For 36 years he thought 'picture this' was a metaphor. Experience.Computer is slow radio about high tech. Exploring perception, experience and expression. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit experience.computer

First two episodes will be dropping soon – before Christmas and then monthly from January for the first 5 episode season. If anyone would like to sponsor the show get in touch – I’m open to covering my costs at this point.


Photo 365

photo-a-day 30/356/2023

The Ministry Of My Own Labour

  • Been sick. Got the trailer done tho βœ”οΈ

Terminal Access

Matt Webb posted a little note on “The subjective experience of coding in different programming languages”

When I’m deep in multiple nested parentheses in a C-like language, even Python, I feel precarious, like I’m walking a high wire or balancing things in my hands and picking my way down steep stairs. It’s a relief to close the braces.

Like if I’m trying to cover all the conditions in a complicated state machine or a conditional, I’m high up. I often hold my breath.

Functional languages are the opposite.

This is so cool! The whole post is very Abstract Objects in vibe which I wrote back in 2020. The ending lines were:

Now, I know I’ve been conflating both coding software and using software. But one is the creation of an abstract transcendental object. The other, the experience of interacting with them. 

Does this sort of somatic software enquiry chime in with anyone out there? Does it even make sense to you? I see so many hints of it at the edges of UX design and software development.

Its nice to see some writing about how other people experience software.

My 2019 Sonar+D talk was on ‘How does software make you feel?’. A key part of any future software design, and is very pertinent to how I think about code-spaces and world running in general – See also Slack as open plan office. And cultivating ‘machine touch

Dipping the Stacks

Social Media Broke Up With News. So Did Readers. – The Atlantic

Big Tech’s relationship with journalism is much more complicated than it appears

Unbundling AI

If that wasn’t what you wanted, you go back to the prompt and try again, or tell the black box to do something to the third paragraph or change the tree in the image, press GO, and see what happens now. This can feel like Battleship as a user interface – you plug stuff into the prompt and wait to find out what you hit.

Patreon’s Struggle with Subscriptions

However, the economics of pure subscriptions just don’t make sense at this point. Patreon raised hundreds of millions of dollars with no clear path forward toward an IPO, especially considering the relative flops of recent efforts and declining engagement from users.

100 years of gaming predictions: Which were on target and which were hilariously wrong?

If you believed the anxious parents and journalists of the 1980s and 1990s, video games were going to ruin our lives.

Nerd culture is murdering intellectuals – by Erik Hoel

Now I’m one of the adults and suddenly everyone is a nerd. In fact, nerdom is one of our last uniting cultural forces. Thinking back to some of the last big unifying moments of American pop culture things spring to mind

Reading

I’m still reading a few pages of Venkatesh Rao’s The Art of Gig every night before bed. I wish I’d read this years ago.

Whilst sick in bed I listened to the whole of the newest Warhammer 40k Dawn Of Fire book: Sea of Souls by Chris Wraight. The book is a fantastic side-quest away from the main story, some wonderful characterisation of what it’s like to serve on a gigantic void ship. The whole plot was hella Grimdark.

Music

Shone a Rainbow Light On – Setting

Paul from my band recommended this at band practice 2 weeks ago after we chatted about the new Daniel Bachman album.

Setting are somewhat of a super group, and together have created something super special.

The opening track We Center is a sprawling 13min drone-ish-track with wonderful hypnotic qualities. The middle two tracks on the album are less drone and more repeated rhythmic melodic patterns. Think Philip Glass but make it rock folk. Zoetropics (below) is very much my Jam.

The next track A Sun Harp consists of shimmering piano and dulcimer(?) over a soft, free and, expressive Jazz drum beat. It’s wonderful.

The EP is bookended by another lush drone track. The whole record sounds like early December.

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One response to “A Total Write Off”

  1. Jay avatar

    The year is definitely coming to a close – projects are wrapping up and things are being ticked off the list of things to do.

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