Come Up You Fearful Jesuit

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Year: 2010

Theme-Monkeying and Amateurism

Posted on November 29, 2010 in Computrons Culture

Okay, so things look normal again. There were a bunch of non-cosmetic changes which were good in that they made things cleaner (I think I managed to cut six or seven divs without changing how anything looks, which ought to tell you a lot), but also kind of stupid inasmuch as many changes were to expose functionality that I have no intention of using, and which very few people would miss if it weren’t there.

The reason for this latter aspect of the change was that I thought it might be fun to bundle this theme and make it available at the WordPress theme repository. I don’t want to be a dick about this, but the experience was sort of disheartening. So I’m not a PHP dev, but the whole point of frameworks like WordPress is that you shouldn’t fucking have to be in order to participate. Really, a unique stylesheet should be all a submitter has to present in order to get a theme accepted, but this is not the case. In fact, there are default behaviors in WordPress that mean a theme must be submitted with a custom functions.php file. Shit like this is basically what’s killing the internet. People are moving to siloed, closed, tightly-controlled places like Facebook because the effort required to maintain your own stuff is too great for most people.

When Geocities limped off into the sunset last year, responses tended to be pretty glib. By this point, we’re all expected to love the shiny, AJAXy feel of web 2.0, and people are already scrambling to find excuses to call their bullshit shovelware web 3.0 (it uses Ruby to generate the annoying Javascript! It’s brand new!) We love it so much that we kvetch about how ugly Craig’s List is, and how it needs a makeover. So when you go to make your own damn site, you know nobody will be interested unless you’re willing to spend hours making it go, or you just throw up your hands and put it on Facebook (or similar) and have done.

El Reg recently had an article highlighting Tim Berners-Lee (OBE)’s complaints about Facbook/iTunes and similar’s threats to the “universality” of the web. Berners-Lee, who is about as technical as a person can be, doesn’t seem to understand that people flee to places like Facebook in large part because putting your stuff up has become so intimidating. You can’t just upload your marginally-formatted text documents like you did in the olden days. You’ve got to get all that shit right.

So yeah, it’s kind of too bad that the internet has lost the taste for amateurism that allowed a thousand Timecubes to bloom, and it’s even worse that we didn’t get anything worthwhile for it. Instead, we get a bunch of “services” that duplicate existing functionality under kind of retarded terms. Like real world democracy, I guess it was good while it lasted.

Announcement:

Posted on November 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

Don’t worry, I am not keeping this theme. Things will be back to normal soon and I’ll do some complaining about the state of the internets.

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What is Best in Life?

Posted on October 27, 2010 in Culture

To crush your enemies

To see them driven before you

And to see the whole thing represented with lead miniatures

gnollexit

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Where the Watermelons Grow

Posted on October 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

So I’m down in San Francisco kind of soaking in the ambience. And also the rain. Went to the Trieste, and Vesuvio’s this afternoon, so I guess I’ve totally covered the authentic North Beach experience. As you know, I am all about the authentic experience.

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Rounded

Posted on October 12, 2010 in Reality As Such

So in my new incarnation as the sort of person who owns a mouth-guard I went to Vancouver Washington for an honest-to-goodness Kung Fu tournament. I had sort of hoped to take pictures, but I spent a lot of time keeping scores, and it’s also hard to get photos when you are, you know, fighting. I got second place out of three, which is a paradigm case for f(x) = glass is half x, but I was pretty pleased. As it was my first tournament the goal that I had set for myself was to fight twice (i.e.: to not lose my only match), so that was a success.

Today, in my incarnation as the sort of person who takes classes in the hopes of improving upon his career I went and bought a Texas Instruments graphing calculator. It was one-hundred and fifty dollars, and the fucking screen doesn’t have a backlight!

So there’s the range of activities.

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Eww

Posted on October 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

Back when I worked at Betelnut I used to think that our loathsome chicken mincer was one of the grossest things that I had ever seen. I used to take new employees to visit it as it performed its vile task.

Apparently, I didn’t know the half of it.

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Lingering in the Chambers of the Sea

Posted on August 23, 2010 in Reality As Such

As noted elsewhere, I went to the beach for a while. It was lovely. C and I periodically discuss moving out to the coast when we’re older, and it’s definitely appealing. Portland sometimes seems like an unhappy medium to me between a dramatic urban environment like New York and a dramatic natural environment like you find along the Pacific here or in the ancestral homeland.

Unsurprisingly, my aspiration to get through The Past Regained in short order trailed off pretty dramatically. I have gotten to the crux of the biscuit (cookie/whatever) as discussed in “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire,” and it’s pretty cool. In another Proust/Benjamin connection that I hadn’t been aware of before, one section of reflection concludes “the task of the writer is the task of the translator.” He also mounts what is, as far as I know, history’s first attack on hipsters, wherein he bitches about people who listen to music primarily to gush about how much they love it in an attempt to appear sensitive and artistic.

I have been doing a lot of writing. Some of this has been your standard hand-on-forehead diary fare, but I’ve also been trying to do a better job of keeping my random thoughts in some kind of repository, mostly so I can see if any of their threads intersect or if I’m going through certain topics at an interval cycle that prevents new instances from building on old ones. I’d say that this latter project is too new to know if it’s effective, but it does seem as if it’s clearing internal clutter, which is always nice.

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Trepidation

Posted on August 6, 2010 in Culture

The plot summary for the film adaptation of Never Let Me Go (one of the two best novels of the current millennium) provided here is either designed to avoid spoiling the hook, or an indicator that the film will be a colossal fuckup. Cross your fingers.

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Wah Wah

Posted on August 3, 2010 in Identity

When I left Hampshire and skittered off to London, I packed a bunch of things into boxes to ship to my mother. As is basically inevitable when one does anything besides languish in the bosom of one’s family immediately after college, I never saw most of the contents of those boxes ever again.

One of things things that went into those boxes was my copy of the James album Wah Wah. I was heavy into Pulp at the time (I had finished my div 3 with no coffee and very little booze by basically listening to This Is Hardcore 7 or 8 times per day), and I think that I may have considered James to not have enough “fourths and ninths,” my glib way to describe the haute-pop style of Jarvis and co. I didn’t want that kind of space-cadetery any more.

After periodically being made aware of the absence and deciding it would be too much of a pain to get in the cardboard packaging over the years, I finally got a new copy in the mail today. It’s pretty heady stuff. The kind of thing that you get from miles of tape and a deck of oblique strategies. Glad to have it back.

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Some Things

Posted on August 2, 2010 in Reality As Such

A lonesome cone on a rooftop.

roof

A cool sign from the inner Southeast.

spike

I sent pictures to Temboo for a staff bio page. They chose another one, but this one was the coolest.

card

Some cool clouds from the back yard last night.

twotone1

twotone2

And here is the latest addition to the list of things I never thought I would own.

toofs

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