What’s the Time?

As a teenager I maintained that I didn’t need to wear a watch as if I wanted to know the time I always had my phone with me.

8 minutes

I’ve been sick again. On thursday night I came over really tired and woke up Friday morning with aching muscles, and extreme fatigue. I was supposed to be at my friend Dan’s stag doo in Wales and I missed it – gutted. I did hear that they played Enya in my honour though which was a nice thing to hear from my sick bed.

What’s the Time?

I bought a new watch this week! It arrived on Saturday.

At the time of writing I’ve been wearing it for about 24hs or so.

I’m not sure what Casio model it actually is as I got it for less than 10 quid on ebay. It’s plastic where as the A168WA-1WDF is made from stainless steel.

I bought a super cheap one to begin with as I haven’t worn a watch since about 2001. lol. As a teenager I maintained that I didn’t need to wear a watch ever as I always had my phone with me.

But 23 years later I realise the folly in my line of thinking. A phone in 2024 is a slab of dark glass full of demons clawing for my attention. I reckon that 10% of my average 78ish phone unlocks a day are a result of checking the time and then diving in to check a notification or whatever.

5/6 times already I’ve looked at my watch rather than pulling my phone out. The most recent/conscious memory of doing so being in the queue at the supermarket earlier today. I wondered what the time was, became aware of my phone in my pocket, but then also of the strap around my wrist at the same time. I think I’m going to need to practice what the Alexander Technique calls ‘Conscious Awareness‘ for a bit to retrain my habits around ‘where the time is‘.

I’m going to give myself a month before I start fully falling down the watch rabbit hole as need to give wearing one some time to bed in physically. But to be quite honest, I’ve been down this hole for a while. I’m already thinking I’d like a real A168WA-1WDF. And for about a year I’ve been drooling over mid 1970’s LCD watches on US ebay – which aren’t all that expensive – as LCD watches aren’t very collectable right now. I’d also quite like the stealth modded Casio F-91W with a nylon NATO strap I’ve seen on etsy as a fashion piece.

There’s a part of me that feels very silly that he’s bought a watch. That said i’m sure there’s plenty of you reading right now who have always worn one? Like I said earlier I was so dead set against even the need for wearing a watch in my formative years. Now I have one I feel like … I dunno. An old man? An adult?

Ultimately, buying a watch (lol) is just another action in my years long battle to reclaim a sense of sovereignty over my own attention. I’m hoping that its physical presence (I can see it in my peripheral vision right now as I type) is going to act as an aide-memoire or mnemonic to keep me on track.

Two Short Things!

Open Croissant

I’m speaking at ‘Open Croissant‘ this Friday in London. A blockchain gaming conference organised by the London AW Floating Croissant Chaos Agents telegram group I’m a member of. I’m going to be reprising my talk from istanbul on Myth-making Mechanisms in Autonomous World Design but the last 1/4 of the talk will focus in a bit more depth on their importance to the design of Moddable Worlds in preparation for the AA conference/hackerton in Lisbon later this spring (which is till haven’t decided if I’m attending or not). The conference is also the launch of Issue 1 of Floating Worlds zine that I edited and did the layout for.

Sunday Sessions

The good Dougald Hine is starting a new live conversation series called Sunday Sessions’.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been planning something new, a way to share some more of the conversations and friendships that animate my own work, and a context to create some new conversations that I’ve been wanting to have.

So I’d like to invite you to the Sunday Sessions, a season of β€œoverheard conversations”, open to paid subscribers to this Substack. Starting on 10 March, once a fortnight, on a Sunday evening (Swedish time), you’re welcome to join me and a guest whose work gets me thinking. Sometimes it will be a friend who I talk with regularly, other times someone whose projects or writing I’m excited about.

I’m honoured to have been asked to take part as guest during Season 1. I’ll be speaking on the 21st April.

If you are a zine subscriber email me and would like to watch live and participate in the chat I can sort out the zoom link – email me.

Forest Bed

My ‘post-country bandplayed a gig at Leo’s in Sydenham recently here’s some videos from the set:

The track Light Begins to Fade is on our Placeholders EP but the new live version above has more of a groove and is less ‘slow and sad‘. lol.


Photo 365

062/365/2024

The Ministry Of My Own Labour

Due to being sick this week I’m behind again. And time is runnign out to get all the things I wanted to do done before 301 restarts at the end of the month.

  • The floating worlds zine went off to print – after much export strees. PDFs are basically rocket science.
  • Had a very lively call with Warhammer historian Jordan Sorcery
  • Had a great call with Ross from Impossible Object
  • Moved one step further to worldrunning.guide clicking over to version 2
  • Spreadsheets for Novara are all done now. Now i’m investigating Google Looker which I understand

Terminal Access

Gordon has started a new series on Animism over on his youtube channel, separate from the Runesoup Podcast. Supported by material in his own book ani.mystic G travels to Lake Mungo – “a dried-up ice age lake bed filled with thousands of powerful Aboriginal artefacts that changed the course of the planet’s history.” Great stuff.

Dipping the Stacks

The Intellectual Obesity Crisis – by Gurwinder – The Prism

Unable to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant, you become concerned by trivialities and outraged by fiction. These concerns and outrages push you to consume even more, and all the time that you’re consuming, you’re prevented from doing anything else: learning, focusing, even thinking.

Culture of Criticism – by Peter N Limberg – Less Foolish

Cultivate offline friends of virtue who are not shy about disagreeing and are lovingly critical of character and proposition.

The First and Best Writing Advice I Ever Received

β€œFinish things.” This is the best writing advice I was given but also more or less the first writing advice I ever received.

The Information Environment: Toward a Deeper Enshittification Thesis

Print was a perfected technology, an unsurpassable way of sharing information and ideas and stories β€” and we are all in the process of throwing it away for something we know is worse,

The Power Of Abstract Thinking In The Unseen Mind

People with aphantasia are more likely to work in scientific and mathematical industries than in creative sectors. This suggests that the absence of specific tokens may, paradoxically, enhance the ability for abstract conceptualization, enabling unique contributions to fields that thrive on β€˜type’ thinking.

Reading

I started and finished reading the final version a novel by Andrew Dana Hudson. He sent me an unfinished draft way back during the pandemic. The seed of the idea that became this novel. It’s super pace-y and a real page turner. I like how the short chapters are. They propel the story forward. I really hope he sells it soon!

This week I also inhaled Angron the Red Angel by David Guymer. It’s Warhammer 40k nonsense, lots of explosions and genetically enhanced super soldiers shouting and being angry. Love it.

Music

Ki moun ou ye – Nathalie Joachim

Until this week I hadn’t heard of Grammy-nominated Nathalie Joachim. But I have now.

Nathalie Joachim is a Brooklyn born Haitian-American flutist, composer, and vocalist known for creating β€œa unique blend of… classical music, hip-hop, electronic programming and soulful vocals…

The album is incredible. Such a unique voice. The drum programming is out of this world. The rhythmic attitude underpin the album and form the foundation for the vocals as the main melodic instrument. Wonderful album.

Remember Kids:

A great musician once told me that one should never play a single note without hearing it, feeling that it is true, thinking it beautiful.

If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland

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One response to “What’s the Time?”

  1. […] month ago, for the first time in my adult life, I bought a watch and I was wearing it at a wedding over the weekend. As the evening reception wore on, I found […]

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