Friday, July 25, 2014

Filterlessness

These are all just underrepresented ideas beaming from my brainspace onto my pagespace. They don’t have anything to do with one another, save that I’m linking them right now. So I guess they’ve got a lot to do with one another, insofar as they are intricately and intimately assembled in my head like a jigsaw puzzle of insanity. Any crazy old thing that rattles around up there, I take it and I throw it down on the page and then you read it and judge it.

That’s how these things work, got it? You can’t back out. We signed a social contract when you started reading. You tell me if I’m good or bad. Lie if you have to, but lie the right way. I don’t want to make trouble for you, but I will if I have to, goddammit.

Just little crazy ideas. They’re here for you, lined up and calling you, like children trying to impress mother. I can do a backflip. I can do a somersault. I can do a run on sentence, see see see how good my run ons are?! You could put them in a book about the best run ons in the whole, wide world they’re so good like daisies in a field of clover that are like a boulder on a gravel driveway they stand out, they really do!

But this is going to be short, and sweet, and lackadaisical. Because I’m tired, and love you, and don’t pay any attention to the things I do. So good bye to all you who are still looking for meaning trapped here. I’ll warn you, upon trying to grasp the insubstantial, you’ll open your hand to no more than air. Hot air. My breath. My life. In distilled subsense. In arcing postintellect. Forget academia. Fucking forget it. This doesn’t matter. This doesn’t have mass, only volume. I’ve turned it all the way up. These go to [insignificant].

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tech Generations

I was looking at this kickstarter called Technophemera and thinking about the archaeology of modern technology in terms of how the high turnover rate of tech seems to be creating these nichier and nichier generations. I'm not talking about more niches, though there is that aspect as well, I'm talking about entire generations that are their own little niche.

I've got a brother, he's four years younger than I am. We have completely different memories of entertainment. I grew up and no one had a computer when we were kids, it was Nintendo Entertainment Systems as far as the eye could see. He grew up and everyone was on AOL Instant Messenger in middle school. I grew up, we had to call house phones (or beepers, eugh). He grew up, everyone was getting cells. I grew up with death trap cars. He grew up and everyone was getting airbags and standard anti-lock brakes. I grew up on Super Mario Bros. and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I'm happy to say that some things are timeless.

Anyway, that's four years. The kids growing up are in a whole different world. Why the hell would they ever go outside and play. Their computer can simulate the outside better than nature. The speed with which technology has taken over everything in our lives is insane. I have a magic fucking wand in my pocket. Abra cadabra, bring me a goddamn library. But not just any library. Bring me a library that I can search instantaneously and also it has the entire knowledge of the world in it. Also let that library take pictures and store my personal information and send squiggly lines that make up letters that make up words over any distance on earth. Oh and also if I could make phone calls with that magic pocket library, that'd be keen.

This generation growing up now, feels like it's part of the 6th or 7th big tech boom (or bust) since I've been around. That's 6 or 7 generations in 30 years. Didn't used to be that way. But it seems to be the way things are.

Booms/Busts that greatly impacted the tech world since 1980 (some of these were concurrent, hence part of the same generation):
- Console gaming boom (and every few years when a new console generation emerges there is another mini boom)
- Rise of the PC
- The Internet Wars (AOL, Netscape, IE)
- The People vs. The Man (Napster, file sharing in general)
- The Internet bubble bust (both of them, really)
- The rise of the Cell phone
- The end of the digital wild wild west, aka Social Media's explosion
- Emergence of Streaming media
- The rise of the Smart phone
- Welcome to tablet land
- Cloud storage becoming a necessity instead of a curiosity

This is completely unfinished as far as essays/op-eds go, but I must keep moving and I want to have these thoughts available any time. So up they go.

Friday, June 27, 2014

What is the Next Internet?

What is the next Internet?

Pre-Internet Boom: The dawn of a fully connected human experience. We looked across the globe as if the other side perhaps knew a true answer that would make things fun again, real again, whole again. That's a lie. That's retrospect. It was a time of booming hope. Also a lie. Most people didn't know what the hell it was. Governments, as they always are, were slow to understand and quick to weaponize. We, the people, viewed our perceived limitless freedom as an inalienable right. Kind of like freedom. Were we right to see it that way? Were we naive to believe it was true? Obviously. But what else was there?

The doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou became cheaper and faster and finally, got cats, so everyone jumped on. We created sprawling. uncultivated displays of just how vulgar human beings could be. People joined message boards and ranted about whatever was on their mind. No one knew who they were. Trolls were born and died. The Internet gave rise to the brief generation. We TL;DRed our way through adolescence, only really gloming on to those things that were both succinct and sensational. The Internet was a meritocracy, and yes, good work was (and still is) recognized, but only after and far behind brevity. A new digital age made instant recognizability a skill to be learned. Brandliness became next to godliness.

Now we've gone back into our shells. We've tucked into our little social networks. We look over the wall from time to time and the trolls still roam the Earth, but they've had to adapt. They live on comments boards now, terrorizing our celebrity tabloids and poorly written local news. One of their last great sanctuaries, YouTube, provides food and shelter for today's modern troll. But here, on the inside, we roll up in a soft blanket made of posts and instagrams and tweets and know that we have police. There is no more wild, wild west of the Internet. Of course there are still overgrown wild places. But we let them be so that from time to time, we can venture out and imagine we are free once again. They were the Internet before. Now we've made safe houses. Now we've made towns. The cops patrol, and take peeks inside to make sure we're asleep and not doing what we shouldn't. And sometimes, of course, they need to make an example of someone, but for the most part, they leave us be, to decorate our little digital homes as we see fit.

But what are the trail blazers doing these days? The hackers, the phreakers, the flamers of old? What comes next? (And please don't say "wearables". I don't even care if that is the next thing. Of course it's wearable, it's a shirt. Just because it has an Internet connection doesn't make it more wearable.) What is the next thing that will revolutionize the global community. Because now that we have it (the global community, that is), it isn't going away. Hopefully what started at the Internet, or, really, what started at the first human language, will be a launch pad for a more human conversation. We need to start seeing each other as more alike than anyone ever imagined before. The idea of the other is strong and terrifying. Being completely unable to identify with another person makes them automatically dangerous to us. They feel the exact same way. The one common thing I learn about everyone I meet is that, for better or for worse, the longer I know them, the more I see myself in them. We can and will continue to be able to communicate with a broad and expanding audience. And as we do, we should also remember that we are their audience as well. Even though, as I type, I feel as though I am ranting off into space, this is just part of a conversation. This is just part of our grand discussion, the one that includes the whole world. All I'm doing is waiting for the whole world to answer. Where do we go from here?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Serious Business

Keeping a blog... It's serious business. I keep on imagining myself spinning beautiful stories out into the world through this blog, but then I turn around and it's been months since anything was posted and I end up looking down the business end of a new post form, thinking to myself that everything looks somehow blanker than it was 15 minutes ago when I opened the damn thing up. At least when I opened it, that blank page was full of promise, but after all that time has passed, and the white background has soaked up all of my latent excitement, it's all that I can do to throw a bunch of words onto the page and pretend that they were what I've been thinking about all damn week.

That's right, you're witnessing extemporaneous blogging at its finest. It's not the way to go, you know? People who are much better than me spend time thinking about what they're going to write. They feel ways about stuff. And they prove it! To be fair, I feel ways too, but anytime I sit down and try to write about them I get off onto a string of bullshit. Some sanctimonious drivel. Some self serving tangent. Some fucking giant rant that when I sit down to read it later, I realize that it was only ever a vehicle for my big boy vocabulary. And I love those vehicles. They're fun. They let me stretch my legs. But they don't say anything. Those vehicles are for the private compound.

I don't ask the important questions. I can't even figure out what they are. Importance eludes me like Ali eluded jabs. I can't get it. What is the point of writing if you can't figure out what you're even writing ABOUT half the time?

What's with all this directed brilliance out there? Aren't blogs supposed to be about 15 year old girls and what they did on summer vacation or some shit? Who decided to make this serious business, anyway? Probably Neil Gaiman.

Fuck it, I'm going to sleep.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Published!: A New Life

My short story, A New Life, was just accepted and published at 50-Word Stories!

That being said: Hi anyone who's coming over from that site. I'm sorry I've left my space in a state of such sorry disrepair, I'm working on it. Really. I will have new content soon, but in the meantime, please feel free to peruse some of my short fiction, which can be found just to your right.

Also, here is a totally boss rodeo clown. I was wrong, somebody must love this guy.