Somewhere Inside The Network

The idea is fully expressed somewhere inside the network of links and discussions between people. Not anywhere in particular.

10 minutes

Been a really long week. Lots of trips to central London, calls, and discussion. Ending this week brimming with ideas and things to chase down. Which is nice.

I have nothing to say about the UK election. It’s a thing that’s happened. Lets see what happens next.


Somewhere Inside The Network

Warren and Pete posted some thoughts on my recent show about ‘Surface Flatness‘. Both of them had some great points, and I, like they, said in various variations have some ‘half baked thoughts’.

Warren I think agreed with the diagnosis but rejected the prescription(?). Instead of my call for activist RVTRN to creating hypermedia, he brought in the idea of the flΓ’neur:

The flΓ’neur concept is not limited to someone committing the physical act of a peripatetic stroll in the Baudelairian sense, but can also include a “complete philosophical way of living and thinking”, and a process of navigating erudition as described by Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s essay “Why I Do All This Walking, or How Systems Become Fragile”.[31] Taleb further set this term with a positive connotation referring to anyone pursuing open, flexible plans, in opposition to the negative “touristification”, which he defines as the pursuit of an overly orderly plan.

And (I think) suggests that rather than making hypertexts we should embrace and enjoy ourselves exploring. Making unplanned horizontal journeys across the web. Which is sort of where we were in 2019 the last time there was some Inter-Isle blog dialogue on a similar subject – waldenpoding. I’m with him 100% on the gogglebox analogy though. We can just leave the walled gardens of platforms to the sort of people who enjoy themselves at theme parks.

Leave ’em to it. Network tv isn’t all of broadcast culture, just as the big platforms aren’t all of internet culture, and all that shit is still hyperlinked. Leave the platforms to it. Go for a walk and report your notes.

Pete on the other hand, influenced by his recent 90’s zine archiving project, came at the flatness from a different angle:

I was really struck when going through my 1990s zines at the diversity of style and content compared with the homogeneity of whatever we might define as online culture, and I think this comes from a comparative paucity of interconnectivity and shared language across all zines. You’d see tropes evolve in pockets but nothing on the scale of memes like the Wojak characters. The internet is like water – it flows along the fastest route and wants to become an ocean, which is maybe antithetical to sustaining weird edgelands culture.

I need to think about all this further to be honest. ‘Blogging’ despite the uptick in the medium and hobby post web 2.0 social media meltdown is basically still dead. All the energy: the return to long form thoughts in public, comments, ‘writing’ etc could be happening on the open web. Instead it’s happening inside of the walled garden of Substack. A platform that has ‘bottled up blogging’ and platformitized it with two important features regular blogging doesn’t do very well: Recommendations/discoverability and number go up subscriber mechanics.

My initial attempt to connect both Warren and Petes responses however goes something like this.

Let us imagine our internet flΓ’neur upon logging on is like a drop of water falling from the sky. We hit the ground at our starting point, and our journey across the web is the route the water flows. If left to our own devices in the current landscape we will reach the ocean and the flatness as quickly as possible

One of the big memes about water in Permaculture isslow it, spread it, sink it. Meaning you want to slow the decent of water across a landscape as much as possible, spread it out, sink as much as you can before it leaves your land. Keyline design is all about slowing and moving water from the valleys back out the ridges – hydrating and enriching the whole ecosystem.

Perhaps this is what blogs are about? The more generous you are with links to other peoples ideas, the more you engage in dialogue with others, the more embedded the post becomes within the vast hyper structure we ‘call the web’. You provide an opportunities to further the length of other peoples journey. If you’re lucky you can add 2/3/4 more hops across the web, before you hit the ocean.

Which between all of us (bloggers and writers on the open web in general), we provide a calmer pond, and create an slower moving eddys around ideas and communities. Enriching the ecosystem due to the slower movement.


Coming back to this after a break AFK I’m now thinking that there is something important about the circulation of ideas themselves – not just people – in a hyperstucture made with hypertext. On social media thoughts / memes / funny quips / hot takes are made important by their acceleration towards the ocean as quickly as possible. More RT’s and shares = more better.

But on the open web, and to a lesser extent on Substack, creating stable hyper dimensional networks, sculptures, and lattices of thought, are more important.

I’m reminded of Tensegrity

Tensegrity, tensional integrity or floating compression is a structural principle based on a system of isolated components under compression inside a network of continuous tension, and arranged in such a way that the compressed members (usually bars or struts) do not touch each other while the prestressed tensioned members (usually cables or tendons) delineate the system spatially
By Cmglee - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
By Cmglee – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The idea is fully expressed somewhere inside the network of links and discussions between people. Not anywhere in particular.

I swear someone like Rebecca Blood wrote about this 25 years ago in her book The Weblog Handbook. But skimming my kindle, I don’t seem to find it.

IRL

My friend Anna Bingham has a current show at 1 Paved Court in Richmond, London.

She is showing her current ceramic work and paintings, as part of the galleries White Noise Take Over. We went to the private view during the week.

I love seeing my friends work on show:


Permanently Moved

The Origins of Modern Bureaucracy

Where did modern bureaucracy come from? Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, the Father of the Military Academy, or the β€˜man who made West Point’. 

Full Show Notes: https://www.thejaymo.net/2024/07/07/2414-the-origins-of-modern-bureaucracy/

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Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded by @thejaymo

Photo 365

180/365/2024

The Ministry Of My Own Labour

  • Lunch with Cade from NDC
  • Spent all day with @_deepfates … plotting
  • Election running around
  • Writing
  • Had a brief, but very useful conversation with Paul Czege
  • Surprise brthday dinner for/with Scheme Boy!
  • Approached some folks about doing some work but no dice πŸ™

Terminal Access

I was on AgitatorPod recently talking to Kelby about Hit Parade of Tears, the second Izumi Suziki anthology from Verso. It was a great chat. Kelby is really holding the fort whilst co-host JDO is away on summer break.

Dipping the Stacks

Who are we talking to when we talk to these bots? | by Colin Fraser | Medium

But digging deeper, one encounters some nagging follow-up questions about ChatGPT’s account of itself. A language model is a very specific thing: a probability distribution over sequences of words. So we’re talking to a probability distribution? That’s like saying we’re talking to a parabola. Who is actually on the other side of the chat?

Folksong is the art of hard labour, not of environmentalism | Aeon Essays

Folk songs are workers’ songs, and if you look at human history our work has been to chop, dig, scour, subjugate, hunt, harness, seize and plunder. It’s the work of innumerable human hands and, as we’ve gone about this work, in the woods, in the hills, on the open sea, folk music has been our soundtrack.

Can I have your attention please? – time spent offline

It’s not up to you to decide if psychic energy is used, it is used, but, and this is the best part, the most freeing, life-affirming, delightful fact, it is up to you to decide, to choose, how your attention is used. You can choose, daily, moment to moment, what you pay attention to and in the process create the reality you desire: A world mostly good; People mostly delightful; You, too, like most people, mostly wonderful.

Your choice, your reality.

Coming of Age in the 21st Century – by Tomas Pueyo

Neither the biological nor the intellectual rites of passage into adulthood prepare children for the technological world. If the Church is so adamant about warning against temptation, how does it not help children deal with the technological temptations of doomscrolling, fake news, or cyberbullying?

Death of the Blockbuster or Birth of a New Hollywood?

When TikTok is banned, Hollywood will need to meet the emerging youth with something smart and relevant. It must learn how to stop worrying and love the mind. It seems to have already stopped worrying and love the bomb.

Reading

I finished Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the β€˜Weird Cult’ by David S. Wills. Its a super in depth biography and shows just how deep its influence had on his life and work. The cut up method directly falls out of his interest in scientology. I also love little anecdotes like ‘during the same time this essay was being written Burroughs was engaged in a magical war to curse his local coffee shop’

I finished Extremely Online by Taylor Lorenz. Unlike Chayka’s Filterworld Lorenz focuses on the people and personalities of social media and its development. A couple of take aways include: Paris Hilton GOAT, Twitter has always been fucking it at every single turn, bloggers did it all first. The hangover from the idea of ‘Selling out’ into the 00’s did weird things to people’s brains on the early on. Just as Joanne’s book’s subtile is How a Person Became a User I sort of feel somewhere in Extremely Online is another book How a Friend Became a Follower.

Still reading  Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up by James Hollis. Dear lord what a book.

I have been reading a mountain of non-fiction recently so cleansed the pallet with some Warhammer. I’m reading the Horus Heresy Anthology Tallarn. Once I’m done with it I’ll be starting my re-read of Gibson’s the Blueant Trilogy for discussion on Wolf Podcast.

Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window – Cole Pulice & Fire-Toolz

Never in a million years would I thought that Cole Pulice and Fire-Toolz would make a collabo track – but here we are. This track is wild. Its not the wall to wall noise you would usually find on a Fire-toolz track. Instead we hear strange emo vocals over distorted guitar, and very laid back melodic electro pop. Then Pulice arrives on the track with a blistering sax solo. Great stuff. Can’t wait for the new album!

Who cares about mainstream pop music when you can listen to stuff like this?

Remember Kids:

Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organised.

Terry Pratchett – Interesting Times: The Play

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