And Now For Something Completely Different

Susan is beautiful and lovely. Just thought I’d start with that.

I haven’t written on a blog since June of last year. There are many reasons for that, but there are (conveniently) three big ones: I became scared of spouting stupid opinions, I got busy with work, and I split my personality.

Stupid opinions

I didn’t realize this fully until recently, but I got so tired and worn down by reading stupid things written by other people. Maybe listening, as well. See, I navigate reality by brute force and self-correction. I don’t have many trained guides for how I should act, so I constantly assess my behavior, and after years of exploring the internet I lost a sense of discretion in my own writing. Well, really talking about anything in any context. In trying to be less argumentative, I’ve lost a lot of my assertiveness.

Realizing this, and having gone from one extreme to the other, I now endeavor balance. So here come all my semi-stupid opinions!

Workin' hard

I’ve been working pretty hard for the last couple of years. In that time I’ve rarely slept more than four hours at a time, and my working hours have been near total waking hours. Not a great place to be in for any amount of time. But I am slowing down.

Prior to this stretch I had never really made an effort to further my career, but becoming a parent changed a lot of gears in me. But my inexperience also gave me no points of reference, so I hadn’t realized how much I’d grown in that time. I wouldn’t say I am financially comfortable, but we did pay off our debt, and I’ve become a practical expert in various interesting and useful fields. Such serious business!

Recently I finished a stint as a CIO for a startup, and will be focusing more on webcraft, the art and science of making the web. I am looking forward to slowing down the processes I already have, and do more education and training. And of course writing a whole bunch more about it!

Like a banana, or horcruxes

During the aforementioned “serious business” episode, I started splitting off my personality/blog into separate sites that had specific functions. I’d link to them, but they will be gone within the month, so no need to populate this post with dead links. I had this idea that I needed to focus on specific topics, because that is good for social media marketing, and because I became less assertive and more business, I had the idea that I wanted to play that game. Ha! See how bad it got?!

So I will combining the site I used to talk serious business (and invoice from) with the blog I wanted to be vulnerable on, with the site where I geek out on technology, and finally with the place I get to be creative in non-apparent ways. And once the planets align, the reuniting of these elements will bring upon the golden age of… oh, wait, I am leaving one tangent aside, and that is pop culture/gaming stuff. The reason for it is that I essentially live-blog in long form when I play a game or watch something, and I feel that would dilute the frankly more important things I have to say here. So that will live on elsewhere (and I will link to it in a future post, as soon as I have it in a form that doesn’t embarrass me! ^_^).

standing alone in complexity

I am keeping the title of the site, as I feel it represents what I am doing here on the site, and here on the planet, more than ever. It comes from the idea behind the subtitle of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. A simplified explanation would be that we are individuals, stand alone people, arriving to the same conclusion and actions without apparent connection. Not a coincidence, but rather a tacit, subconscious connection that drives us collectively toward our future. We are each standing alone in complexity.

Hi! It’s been five months now. How are you doing? Have you slowed (slown? …slo…slaughn? slaught?) down as much as you had wanted to? Is the recombination of the banana-except-the-pop-n-games stuff going well?

I just linked a friend to a blog post I made in 2008 about a Chinese song. I had broken (broked? broak? brekk?) the lyrics down into mangled pinyin, translating line by line, character by character. In some ways, I have not changed at all. I realized that 2008 was eight years ago. Then I thought about the posts I have in there from 2001. In some ways, I’ve changed a lot. I also continue to say really dumb things. But other times I say some okay things probably. But I guess it’s been mostly for me, that blog, so… if eight-year-older Judy thinks that some of my stupid opinions are funny, I’ll have succeeded (succode? succeeden? succsed?), I guess.


Well, I tried to split once more, to have a place I could be uncluttered, but it isn’t working out very well. It is hard to blog in multiple places!

I am toying with the idea of keeping an offline or otherwise not public journal, for my weird inner thoughts, and just throwing myself into keeping a public record of my thoughts. If we talk about branding, mine is how I think and express opinions based on my experiences. I am okay with that!

I think my biggest hangup is that I can’t find a design I like for my site, and I haven’t made time to create informative pages to section it off, so it still looks like a blog, and that just bugs me; I want to point to my site as a place to contact me professionally, but it doesn’t represent what I can do. So I need to redo the design, or at the very least get project portfolio up.

But in general, I am blogging more, writing more, and keeping on top of my info flow. :slight_smile:

I’ve been trying this for the last couple months. I end up not really writing much.

I just realized something. I have no real interest writing my weird inner thoughts unless I can share them with friends (like you @maiki !) but not seen by the public, unless I want to.

I… I kind of want a private webring.

How would that work? I think of the LiveJournal model, with finely tuned permissions on each piece of content. Otherwise you run into this issue I’ve been working on for years: how does one’s private network expand and stay protected?

For instance, say I created a private list/category here on talkgroup. We invite our group of peeps that each of us feels comfortable with. But over time it becomes difficult to keep that roster static. We form new relationships, and some may sour. If I want to add someone, how do I vet them against everyone else in the group? How do I breach the subject without giving away the existence of the group in the first place?

This is the practical problem I have with private social networks; it doesn’t scale in a way I’ve seen human act. We keep out private lives much smaller than our public, and we use one-to-one communications for that, or face-to-face interactions that are recorded into a fixed medium (and therefore not as exploitable).

And then there are the relative meanings of “weird inner thoughts”. For me, I don’t like talking about religion and politics. Religion, because while I believe in the freedom of religion, I believe it is either cult behavior or LARPing, and that puts folks off, and I still like and want to interact with the sane parts of religious folks. Politics, because I have a lot of knee-jerk reactions and feelings, but they contribute to the current scenario with have with Trump, and I don’t want to fuel that particular fire but signing up to be an “other” to hate and despise.

On the other hand, there are very few things I consider perverted, and am fine talking about sex online and in public. I tend to avoid it on my blog because that is where I send people for work, but I just make sure to pad it out so it isn’t the first thing they read about me. :slight_smile:

So while I would normally jump on something like this, I just don’t see a clear way to handle semi-private journaling. I mean, if we had some kind of journalcloud…

I loved livejournal (as you know) for the community I had on it. We left each other long comments and talked about everything late teens would talk about… but the inner circle showed me things I thought were out of my experience, like a slightly older friend’s experience with fertility.

Maybe part of what helped livejournal work was the ability to create custom groups. Some of my posts would only be seen by certain friends. Actually, there’s something: I chose each of my own groups. People who didn’t know each other could both see my posts, and have the potential to interact via comments on one of my posts, but they wouldn’t have to interact with each other outside of that (and remain invisible to each other unless they comment on my posts). Perhaps that’s the crux of it – rather than a network, it’s access-control / subscription. And I could add or remove people from circles whenever I wanted to. I guess they didn’t have control about me adding them? I can’t remember if being friends to begin with had to be reciprocal. I think it did? So they could unfriend me and use that as a blunt tool to get out of one of my groups I guess. That helps solve the sour problem, and the vet against other people problem (all groups are only one-way). But… many people making their own stream is different from several people contributing to a single shared stream.

I’ve been using Day One, but that’s because I hang out in a closed system xD

I’ve also been using Pacifica for its mood tracking and CBT-influenced “thought journal.” You can write down your negative thought, tap on parts and label them with the appropriate cognitive distortion(s), then go back and replace the negative parts with something less distorted. I’ve liked it. I don’t use it as much as I … want to, though. And I don’t use the features for tracking other body-mind things (sleep, social time, eating, exercise… etc) because manual tracking is too tedious. I start out trying to track everything and then track nothing. The intended use is to be able to see if your mood correlates with other things like how well you’re sleeping/eating/exercising and so on. With these apps, I kind of stop using them before I even really start, because while I see the value in such insights for my own life, I don’t keep up the discipline of entering everything so I don’t end up generating any insights. xP

I’ve been working on side projects that address a lot of what we’ve discussed here.

As a follow-up to a call for advice on where to keep notes, I’ve been experimenting with two things:

  1. Simplenote. I hate that the server is closed and my notes are kept elsewhere, but it has been really easy to sync notes on my devices in a way that makes my phone my go to for notes rather than a notebook. Also, there is a promise to free the server from a person I kinda trust.
  2. A thorough write-up will be done, but I created a Hugo-based git repo thing where I write in markdown text files and it syncs up to WordPress. For experiment’s sake, you can mess around with it too: repo and published site.

My thinking is that I will gather my thoughts in Simplenote and when they are complete I can copy them into a text files and push them to a repo, and then they get published from there. It is a neat way to thing of WordPress as a publishing platform separate from content creation, in a way that is more diverged than anything I’d thought of before.

Concerning privacy and networks, I am still trying out some things. As you folks know, I am working on making the jabber server as functional as possible. And there are other systems/sites/ideas I am initiating, but not to solve big problems with big projects. I don’t think we need to solve networking and communication for folks; rather, I think we need to ensure there are free and open tools that allow folks to build the networks that best suit their needs.

WordPress is obviously a big component of that, and I’ve recently been inspired by it as a toolkit for building things that help folks stay in touch.

I’ve been quiet for a while about social networking, in part because I am tired of the Cassandra routine. But I will point out that folks don’t have to accept something like Facebook or Twitter because it is the primary source of their connections to others. That doesn’t mean it is as valuable as those connections, it just means it is one of many tools. It is our capacity that dictates how we value a tool, especially when the results appear without tangible results or metrics.

Blah, just some random notes there. I am dealing with a multi-site migration right now, but in the future I have two kinda serious projects that are social network-y in nature. You folks might enjoy them. And it may be “something completely different” from what I’ve done in the past. :slight_smile: