miscellany

If I’m not getting anything out of self-tracking that’s worth the set up time, battery draining, and mindfulness of checking up on my data, is it worth it? Of course not. Each of these services I drop is one less piece of mental clutter, more space on my hard drive, and—yes—less data I’m giving up for free to some venture-backed startup company that’s just going to get eaten by Facebook or Google in a year or two. Which is why I stick with tracking stuff that focuses on actionable data. If I know I’m spending two hours a week on Facebook, or Tweetbot is my most used iPhone app, that’s actionable data.

A Few More Thoughts On Self-Tracking - Sanspoint. - Essays on Technology and Culture by Richard J. Anderson

I’ve been mentioning Quantified Self A LOT in recent professional development workshops, but I’m very aware of the fact that it’s hard to get into a deeper conversation about it with people who are new to the notion of self-tracking without a) a relatively easy pathway to collect meaningful data-points and b) a relatively easy way to visualise, correlate and learn from said data.

Yes, I sport a Jawbone UP for physical activity and sleep, and I use Moves on the iPhone primarily to map my movements day to day (with a little bit of added context for categories of movement— walking, running, cycling, driving etc). Moves, through some internet wizardry that I can’t even remember how I set up, sends data to Runkeeper, which loops back to my UP account. But that’s just physical activity. There’s an entire other layer of activity I’d like to be able to report on, but only if I can find the easiest meaningful way to do it…

The thing about life in the real world is, all your hopes and dreams and desires and feelings are trapped inside you. Reality doesn’t care — it’s stiffly, primly indifferent to your inner life. But in a fantasy world, all those feelings can come out. When you cast a spell, you use your desires and emotions to change reality. You reshape the outer world to look more like your inner world. You have demons in your subconscious? In a fantasy world those demons can get out, where you can grapple with them face to face. The story I was telling was impossible, and I believed in it more than I believed in the 10,000 entirely reasonable, plausible things I’d written before. Fantasy is sometimes dismissed as childish, or escapist, but I take what I am doing very, very seriously. For me fantasy isn’t about escaping from reality, it’s about re-encountering the challenges of the real world, but externalized and transformed. It’s an emotionally raw genre — it forces you to lay yourself open on the page. It doesn’t traffic in ironies and caveats. When you cast a spell you can’t be kidding, you have to mean it.

Finding My Voice in Fantasy - NYTimes.com

Mmmm. Throwing fuel on the spark of a desire to experiment with sic-fi poetry and/or short fiction…

so far, it has raised over 10 million dollars… and counting. my mom has spent every single day of her life for the past three decades trying to get this kind of attention and funds for this disease.

i don’t care if it’s a stupid gimmick. i don’t care if people are just doing this because it’s trendy or because they want pats on the back. i don’t care if it’s the new harlem shake. i don’t care if for the rest of my life, when i talk about ALS, i have to say “you know, the ice bucket disease.”

please, everybody, please keep pouring buckets of ice over your heads. please keep donating money. please keep talking about this.

amy phillips: on the ice bucket challenge

I’ve seen a number of posts on the internet speaking out against the ice-bucket thing, and how the challenge has little to do with the disease. And then: this. Go read the whole post for the full story.

Attention is currency.

Freed of my compulsive student ticks, I actually read the poem.

THE POEM: Jack Kerouac’s 11th Chorus of Desolation Blues | B O D Y

And: “…there’s value to playing around and seeing what I can do when I’m not trying to please. And there’s value to knowing that I’m utterly free, free as empty space, and I don’t have to be cautious, don’t have to be serious, don’t ever, ever have to be anybody else’s idea of poetry.”

Despite hand-wringing at each technological turn — radio, the Internet — the future will be much like the past. Artists will sell some things but also give some things away. Change may be troubling for those who crave less ambiguity, but the life of an artist has never been filled with certainty.
Jonathan Lethem, "The Ecstasy of Influence" (via monicawendel)
The REAL to-do list.

While I was travelling (Philadelphia—>NY—>Toronto), I fell into the habit of making diagrammatic journal entries on the iPad, through Paper. I’m currently using a cheap (but much loved) micro-fibre tipped stylus/pen, but if this continues, I might have to spring for one of those bluetooth enabled precision-tip things…

The REAL to-do list.

While I was travelling (Philadelphia—>NY—>Toronto), I fell into the habit of making diagrammatic journal entries on the iPad, through Paper. I’m currently using a cheap (but much loved) micro-fibre tipped stylus/pen, but if this continues, I might have to spring for one of those bluetooth enabled precision-tip things…

I’ve been reminded of Robert Montgomery's work today. (Thanks, Kathleenjoy). Gotta love the way work like this resurfaces through the internet feedback loop; tides of discovery that echo and rebound across the web. You discover something, file it away on your Tumblr blog or in your Pinboard account, and every now and again, someone in your network discovers it, independently, and summons it up again. I’m sure there’s an algorithm or theory that determines the proper amount of distance between nodes that codes for the best manifestation of this principle of echoed discovery. An alternative form of spaced repetition, perhaps?

I’d be really interested in doing something like this. Making poetry tangible; playing with installations, light, photography. Add to the someday/maybe file…

Having attended Nine Worlds this weekend, I should also start experimenting with sci-fi shorts. Do we still call it sci-fi, or is it all just speculative fiction now? Hm. I feel a map of should-dos coming on…

I’ve been reminded of Robert Montgomery's work today. (Thanks, Kathleenjoy). Gotta love the way work like this resurfaces through the internet feedback loop; tides of discovery that echo and rebound across the web. You discover something, file it away on your Tumblr blog or in your Pinboard account, and every now and again, someone in your network discovers it, independently, and summons it up again. I’m sure there’s an algorithm or theory that determines the proper amount of distance between nodes that codes for the best manifestation of this principle of echoed discovery. An alternative form of spaced repetition, perhaps?

I’d be really interested in doing something like this. Making poetry tangible; playing with installations, light, photography. Add to the someday/maybe file…

Having attended Nine Worlds this weekend, I should also start experimenting with sci-fi shorts. Do we still call it sci-fi, or is it all just speculative fiction now? Hm. I feel a map of should-dos coming on…

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