Category Archives: mood

Various moods

There are now two disposable razor blades on the sink, because my son started transitioning two months ago and the testosterone gel is working.

When something uniquely stupid happens in Australian politics, the feeling of relief that comes when I remember that I quit Twitter. This even makes the Clive Palmer billboards easier to handle. It seems clear that Twitter is never going to fix its problems: corporations don’t often change their characters, any more than people do, and Twitter’s personality has always been one of mealy-mouthed neglect. At this stage, harassment and abuse are part of their business model: each time nazis or fans chase someone off their platform, each time the President has another meltdown, it’s more publicity for them. They’ve made the political crisis part of their business model, a way to position themselves in the market. I really miss it but they’re just grifters and they don’t deserve the communities which have formed there, or any more of our trust.

I took on a bit more extracurricular work than I could manage last month but it’s all finished now. I’m still enjoying the feeling of not having to work on code after dinner most nights. I can just tune out or write or watch TV.

Seeing the five naked-eye planets lined up from horizon to horizon. Mercury’s not visible any more but you can still see Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars every clear evening. Both Venus and Mars are spectacular right now.

The flipside, in a way, of Twitter regret, is compulsively checking Mastodon, even though I’ve only made a few and fleeting connections there. Somehow, compulsively checking something which I’m not that invested in seems healthier, more mindless, like worry beads. There was a hashtag going around on it a couple of weeks ago, #WhyIStayOnMastodon: I said because I wanted to see where it went. There isn’t going to be “a new Twitter” because this whole thing is still in a state of constant flux, platforms come and go on this thing we call “the internet” and act like we’re old hands because we’ve seen its first few decades. So many people will tell you all about what it represents but I don’t think we know that yet. Mastodon can seem like the early days of the web, probably because the programmer-to-normie ratio is still very high, but it’s also something new and evolving its own culture. It’s healthy to not know where this particular part of it is going or if it will last.

Also, there are heaps of trans folk there. Most of my irl trans acquaintances are my son’s friends, it does me good to connect with a wider community.

There’s another whole blog post in how I feel about JavaScript right now, in the final stages of a long project where I feel like I’ve spent too much time trying to code in a language which I’ve always defended but which honestly has a lot of flaws. I’ve had moments lately where I worry that my ability to code is going away with age, or, what’s worse, that I’m too old to be learning new things. This is a symptom both of depression and of mild burnout on the stuff I’ve been working on, and I’m trying to wait for it to pass.

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Blogging again

Screenshot 2018-07-04 07.59.22.png

S L I T S C A N S P A C E

I’m going to be posting regularly here again, as a replacement for Twitter. I still miss it but  can’t see myself going back there anytime soon. I’m still persisting with Mastodon but it’s very much its own world.

Two projects and an absence

My entry for NaNoGenMo 2016 is ANNALES, a procedurally-generated chronology of rulers, courtiers, tribes and intrigue:

Being a faithful narration of the history of the realm from the reign of Fobbial Artesia I to the present day

As transcribed by the algorithm annales-exe using the pseudo-random seed 1835917550 1 during the reign of Armey Engine III

“For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground / And tell sad stories of the death of kings”

Reign of Fobbial Artesia I the Unbridgeable.

Fobbial Artesia I, surnamed the Unbridgeable, won the throne by divination.

Fobbial Artesia I espoused Sidentilation with wild channession.

Rumours of morees in Wire Star.

3.FA.I

Fobbial Artesia I the Unbridgeable gave birth to a son, Lavaloman, under the influence of Kabdhilinan.

Rumours of rederes in Vectary Viroth.

The source code is here and I’ll be blogging a bit about the technical details on mikelynch.org when I get around to it.

I also got around to implementing my dumbest Twitter bot idea, @TVisoTropes.

I’ve been away from Twitter proper since the US election: my mental health has been poor this year, so I’ve had a couple of enforced absences, but the way I was reacting late stages of the campaign and Trump’s victory were pretty decisive in showing me that the way I’ve been using social media is really bad for my brain. I miss it a lot but I still don’t know how to return: maybe when my mood improves? Maybe I should start a new account and reset things?

Antisocial August – the home stretch

Twitter, I miss you, but there’ll have to be a brutal follow-purge before I return.

It’s been great not having constant reminders of political news, and I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what the whole process of “paying attention to political news” actually means, in terms of day-to-day emotional life. Along the lines of this analogy, but less glib and simplistic. And informed by Anne Cvetkovich’s Depression: A Public Feelingwhich I just finished based on Yatima‘s recommendation.

Antisocial August

A voluntary break from social media, named by @nerdfish. I’ll be avoiding Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram until September

I am allowing myself a loophole for the upcoming @FSVO series, as that’s more of a weird microblogging persona than a social media presence. In other words, I don’t hang out on it.

Why? I think it will clear my head and improve my mood, especially getting away from Twitter.

Synecdoche, New York

Ever since a particular morning visit to a park with my daughters in St Peters in 2001, when I caught myself contemplating the layer of pine-bark soft-fall in the children’s playground, thinking how awful it was that the bark was just sitting there slowly rotting, and that it would eventually have to be scooped up and thrown away and replaced, and how futile this all was – and, yes, I was already taking antidepressants, they were working just enough for me to be aware of how ridiculous I was being – ever since that moment, pessimistic artists have, for me, been divided into two groups.

On the one hand, there are those artists who seem to be comically or grotesquely unaware of how much their mordant and penetrating vision of the tragic nature of existence is contingent upon their own outlook or personality. Examples include W G Sebald, most of Pynchon, Infinite Jest, the Joy Division of Closer, The The, Michel Houellebecq and H P Lovecraft.

And then there are the ones who I still enjoy: Beckett, Cioran, Kafka, Swift, Flaubert, Ballard, The Crying of Lot 49, most of the rest of David Foster Wallace, the Joy Division of Unknown Pleasures and The Smiths.

Straight after seeing Synecdoche, New York I wasn’t sure whether Charlie Kaufman fell into the first or second categories. I won’t be entirely sure until I’ve seen the film again, but I think he’s one of the good ones. It’s a shame that one of the film’s best jokes seems to have been lifted from an episode of The Simpsons. There’s an elegiac playfulness to the film which reminded me of Barthelme.

The question of how much of the action is actually taking place seems to be answered by the appearance of a zeppelin, following the Hindenburg Uncertainty Principle. In fact, this film made me wonder whether the uncanny and infantile weirdness of airships – at once breastlike and unaggressively phallic, dreamily floating – is why they are only possible in fantasy worlds. If the Hindenburg hadn’t been going to crash it probably would have been sabotaged by guerilla psychoanalysts.

Interruption

My home computer died on Maundy Thursday, just as I took a week off work for the school holidays.

Apart from that, I’m reorganising my life a fair bit at the moment.. Major dissatisfaction with the Day Job has lead to a frenzy of spare-time activity, most of which involves the computer, and taking a break from all that was pretty refreshing. I don’t think I’ll be blogging daily any more, at least for a little while.