It’s been nearly a year since i posted here and the funny thing is the last post #017 was literally being a round up for 2014.
I haven’t ever been one for blogging because in part my dyslexia but also my general hatred of writing. I started this blog years ago with the intention of writing once a week. That lasted about 3 weeks… and then it turned into a place to dump the occasional post of things i’ve been up too. One of the main problems is that i haven’t ever figured out what this space is ‘for’ web diary it shouldn’t be.
What are Blogs for? Brings me onto a major current of discussion that has been running in back channels and freely over beers this year. That discussion of the state of social media and, feelings towards it and how does one engage with it.
In 2015: Some friends have gone ‘write only’, others read only, Some have repurposed seizable personal accounts towards publishing ventures and others have gone full sekret account and time warped back to 2008 twitter. I’ve been toying with the idea of moving over to tumblr and publishing everything out to twitter ‘write only’ style too but i’m still not sure.
Warren Ellis posted ‘Throwing Yourself Down A Memory Hole’ over at morning.computer in early December:
I’m tempted to delete every tweet I’ve ever posted. Leaving the account live, but scrubbing it of life. On the one hand, that is doing violence to the public record. But that is egotistical. I remember stories of people executing “mass scribbles” on the Well, back in prehistoric times, and people apparently being terribly upset about it. But the net was very small back then. On the other hand, you see — who’s going to care? When I got on the web, there were still jokes about being able to read to the end of it. Now it’s massive and loud and sprawling and the absence of any one person’s social media posts is less than meaningless to the public record. There are already people who use services to delete their own tweets after a week. Self-destructing conversational atoms. Treating the whole thing with the ephemerality it probably deserves.
We all had a lot to say about the idea of a global conversation, but it turned out that most of us were at the back, muttering to ourselves, or, on occasion, finding ourselves talking to a chair.
Today I remain undecided. How about you?
Ahmet A. Sabancı (@ahmetasabanci) followed up with a thoughtful response
I was trying to find a way to build myself a “calmer internet” for some time, because of the very similar reasons. Most of the things we call internet today is a total mess and they’re doing everything possible to turn these into something more useless. While we need more stuff to curate the information flowing, we get more stuff makes all these more impossible to control. Because, let’s make it clear, advertisers wants it that way.
What should we do now? When I’ve started using internet, what I fall in love with it was conversation and the limitless information I can consume whenever I want, however I want. But we somehow let this controlled by Google, Facebook, Twitter and others. While they did a lot good at first, they’re now letting the control to the advertisers and governments. And that’s why I can’t leave my blog and other sites I’ve build. I prefer having this conversation from blog to blog and at the comments instead of Twitter. I know that it won’t reach a lot of people but same goes for tweets and Facebook posts too. And I prefer writing a blog post instead of 20-of-234 style Twitter rants.
Others this year have written or spoke on podcasts about using social media more ephemerally, (you should all listen to http://mindfulcyborgs.com/ if you arn’t already) and i’m inclined to agree.
Gordon (runesoup.com) also wrote this month:
In the between space of what blogs were and what they are becoming -in person discussion, comments, social posts, actual blog posts and lived personal experience
All this combined makes me think that 2016 should be devoted to more in person conversations, more dinners, attending more meetups & days spent talking and hanging out with friends in person. As for my own approach to social media that is TBD, maybe i’ll just try and blog more, tweet less and generally spend less time there.
I met with Ben in early Dec on a Sunday for brunch. The day generated 8-10 pages of notes, we drank beers and i paid well over the odds for Egg and Soldiers. However it was one my favourite days in the latter half of this year. Other memorable things that have happened this winter have included: A burger disaster in a hawaiian restaurant with Jay Owens, and having lunch with communist friends in between discussing the state of the Mainstream media’s coverage of the Corbyn leadership and screwing around an Occulus.
With that in mind looking back on the last 12 or so months it has been a less eventual in terms of ‘Stuff’ and more eventual in terms of ‘life’. So instead of posting general links to things i’ve written or content i’ve produced this year i thought i might write some brief notes month by month that stick out in my memory for 2015. This list is an non exhaustive list obviously [EDIT: Looks like a lot of the things i mentioned are IRL interactions so 2016 might just be the year of ‘experience’]
Talk on Egregore’s, consciousness, and ‘corporations as people’ at a birthday unconference and either alienated or angered the entire audience which was pretty awesome. Went to the Whitechapel bell foundry with my friend Arthur.
Transmediale was fun if exhausting, i ran a workshop with Tobias Revell and Erica Scourti on the subject of ‘Mobilizing Infrastucure Space’ – the notes from the workshop can be found towards the end of this archived hack pad here. Missed Eve’s birthday.
Zed Books ‘The Coming Insurrection in Publishing: self-management, digital networks and social change’. It was a good event and i enjoyed the conversations afterward.
Marrakech festival of magic with Eve, cold and rain, week long project management accelerator – refreshing to attend a thing on project management and gantt charts weren’t mentioned once.
Friends Birthdays and Friends Weddings, Spring days and walks along the Thames. Events felt like a struggle to attend but i’m glad i did once i got there, the company of good friends.
Recruiter contacted me about a seeing a man about a dog. Played a SHIT LOAD of Wasteland 2, Drinks in the sun by the river.
More birthdays, A boozy night out in soho with mailing list co-conspirators meeting irl for the first time. Jack Parsons day, and the INFRA_SPECTION residency cycle at the white building coming to an end. Ending with the great ‘INFRA_SPECTION – A [ Mini ] Summit’, more phone calls and interviews about that dog, Freud’s house adventure with Eve.
Jupiter return ended, my 30th birthday, Accepted a job offer, drinking with magicians. I remember the sun setting over london from the garden on the roof of the Google / King Studios St Giles building. All change pls.
Unemployment, adventures in Oxford with Eve, stayed in a prison, daily pub garden ‘meetings’ with other interstitially employed friends, folk festival ciders with old friends and Eve.
Byzantine mosaics in Venice with Eve and her Fam, more birthdays, Q4 kick off, hard work.
More hard work, went full wyrdo, comics signings, weird day at the dentist, more birthdays, noro virus courtesy of Eve, autumn fog on the Thames path.
Social calendar apocalypse, office parties, friends from out of town, finished all the hard work, realised i need to learn the basics of accounting, introspection and reflection
This year has also been the year of newsletters, in the spirit of this post you can probably tell i have enjoyed the return to the long form, it’s a more personal form of communication from friends and acquaintances and internet strangers. The list below is stolen from Damien Williams’ (@wolven) Technoccult’s round up that i have added to, to make up my current subscription list:
- Ales Kot
- Chris Novus
- Emily Dare
- Geoffrey D Wessel
- Ingrid Burrington
- Deb Chachra
- Jay Owens has one starting soon
- Eleanor Saitta has a Pateron that has produced some fantastic essays
- Spencer Beacock – Spaceports
- Adam Rothstein
- Strange Transmissions
- Cat Vincent
- Warren Ellis
And a few others I have either forgotten or aren’t for the public web.
You got a newsletter? Let me know
New Beginnings 2016
- New year’s resolutions include sorting out: Thought Menu, QQuietly, Family of Giants
- Finishing both the looooong writing projects i’ve been working on half assedly in 2015
- Fix my bike (it is STILL very poorly after having bits wrenched/stolen from it in August) and get riding again
- Finish the Audio project i’ve been working on
- Play a gig with my the new band
- Read the massive pile of books i didn’t read in 2016
- Blog more
So 2016 looks like a year spent finishing up all the things i didn’t do in 2015. That’s ok, it makes it all the more achievable…..