Saturday, July 30


The sky's threatening rain
So I hurry home
Wind on my face
Road shivering beneath me
Back to my house of stick and stone
Try to bring some peace to my thoughts
As I build a life of my own
Oh but I miss you
Your moon faced smile, so simple
No apology in your eyes
No complication in your words
I let down all my neurotic
Self defenses
Luxuriate in your sun
Drink in your warmth
Let my love for you radiate out
Touch your face and wonder
How I can preserve the feeling
Even as we watch time fade
Maybe the chance we had is gone
I'd like to think I'll be strong
Move forward to other bits of life
That surely await me
See the future with new eyes
Oh, but I miss you.

Saturday, July 23

On a warm summer night

I totally support what places like Turning Point, an addiction rehabilitation facility in Santa Rosa, are trying to do. I might do things a little differently if I were to run my own place, but they're out there doing it and I'm not, so I give them a lot of credit. So many people get lost on the highway of life. I don't know if the highway actually goes anywhere, but that's not the point. It's much more enjoyable to be traveling along it with the wind in your hair than to be pulled off in a ditch somewhere broken down, worrying about your next meal. To try to teach people to work hard and play hard, and not skip the work part, but to also try to retrain people to have fun together, to remember how to play, to build that sense of community, of trust and accountability - all these are noble goals. It's a hard task to try to accomplish from either end, but it makes both parties feel better for having gotten involved rather than watching and criticizing from the sidelines. Always something to be said for action over words!

Monday, July 18

Going off benzos for good

What's heart-rending is that while I can exist without medication, to a point, I feel so much better when I am on a moderate amount of antianxiety medication. It's not euphoric in an extreme sense. It's not an end destination. But it does bring out a part of me that feels good, so new and strange and wonderfully good, like a truer me released from bondage. I live with fear and uncertainty all the time. But sometimes, I can let go of this and experience the sublime, absorb the details and feel complete. It falls apart if I overdo the inputs, but there is a threshold where I feel liberated. As I've said, free from expectation, neuroses, doubt, excessive rationalization. It's like first mind, direct experience. It's wonderful. It's not over the top, it's not under the radar; it's me, with all my timing and that which makes me who I am intact, and I have conscious control of it. Just pure enjoyment. No thought of harm to others. No timidity. This is my creative sanctuary, but more, it is my release of all pretense and attachment to what the world thinks. It is not evil, or destructive, or chaotic, or wasteful - it is lovely and positive and my heart slows, then jumps; my retinas can recall the hazy, technicolor vividness of reality. Experience is consumed whole. I am lost within the time, I cherish it, and it creates a wistful smile missed by so many but felt like birth or death within me. But these targets grow smaller and move further away and hitting them has become near impossible. It's too easy to overshoot into incoherant stupor. The toll of destruction has begun to mount even as salvation recedes. Utopias always end.

Saturday, July 16

Programming languages: How abstracted?

As far as programming languages, the desirable direction seems to be complete abstraction: from hardware languages like a logic circuit to software-but-hardware-specific languages to object-oriented languages. In the real world, obviously this can be counterproductive, and some needs lend themself to very specific solutions. But as computing power and miniturization increases, abstraction between hardware, low-level software, and high-level software becomes more possible and probably more desirable. I say probably because if this is not done in a careful, open way, it will simply introduce more places where bugs can live and reduce the stability of things in general.

Friday, July 15

Tech's role in setting conceptual standards

The whole spectrum of "technology" covers scales of thought from practical, daily things like scratching out a note, poem, or email to rethinking the whole role of tech in the lives of men. It's hard to know where on this spectrum to jump in, but I'd start by advocating things that feel right, feel unifying rather than divisive. To this end I'd like to see universal rather than proprietary file formats. I don't know how universal you can get; for instance, can you somehow unify text, graphics, and database data within a conceptually larger format without making filesizes unnecessarily larger? I can visualize a future where we basically have two distinctions when it comes to "files": tools and data. Of course this is how it works even in the present, but the reality is that EXE "files" are accompanied by DLLs, registry values, and countless other hangers-on, while date "files" come in a thousand different flavors, very few of which play nice with the others.

Let's have Tools be self-contained and portable, and Data be universally accessed (perhaps with some standards body overseeing backwards-compatible changes to keep up with unforseen progress in Tools). Thus, you wouldn't have a need for filetypes at all; a Data document could contain text, graphics, video, music, or anything else. Tools would operate on Data documents but a user's experience would be Data-centered rather than Tool-centered, as it is now. Apple has tried to introduce this idea in the past with OpenDoc, and Adobe has thrown PDF into the arena. XML (itself a subset of SGML) is the format currently most worthy of the title "universal," but it faces an uncertain future. Probably something that emerges from XML will lay claim to being the first universal format, and the concept will develop from there.

At any rate, the convergence of technology into open standards, if it happens, will if nothing else ensure that "progress" is subject to a more democratic ratification process than if it were simply left to the corporation with the most resources. This latter situation, equivalent to a technological monarchy, has been the default situation since private industry subverted the populist aims of the founding fathers and surpassed government in its control of our daily experiences. That this happened is only natural, as any student of Darwin would attest. However, if we are to achieve a post-darwinian societal enlightenment, an engineered happiness free from "fitness struggles" (and this is by no means a certainty), then we will have to retake the high ground from the elites. As simple as it may sound, universal data structuring is an important step in that direction.

Saturday, July 9

Dreaming my life away

Had another incredibly vivid dream. This time off for a semester in Britain, but a kind of alternate-reality Britain, more of a small never-never land - not supernatural, but still a bit fanciful, simplified, innocent. I remember being housed with the boys, but 'lessons' consisted of meeting up with your opposite-sex buddy and entering one of the two great balloon auditoriums. There we would sit together and try to concentrate to lift the balloon into the sky and keep it aloft, preferably above the competing balloon. It wasn't really a competition, though, as long as you kept it airborne, so most of us sort of slacked off once we were in the sky, and got to chatting softly or watching the sights.

My buddy was a girl named Jackie, and I grew to be really enamored of her. She was cute in a tomboyish way, with beautiful blonde hair, and was always a bit put-off, exhasperated, or negative, but in a way with a sweetness underneath it that you knew it was a put-on. She tried to act like it all didn't matter, and was a bit roguish and coy, and was not given to saying much, but she was always polite to me, and even acted a little pleased when I held her hand going to lessons or, later in my stay, braved a quick peck on her cheek. During our last lesson, before the final social gathering and soccer match with the Americans, she told me "if you come up to me with a wedding proposal or something, I'll never speak to you again." She let me know that she thought my crush on her was "quite silly," but at the same time she never refused to hold my hand or to hang out with me during the odd moment, and in her simple dress with her stubborn, slightly freckled cheeks she was even cuter to me. I asked about her one evening after the lesson but she'd gone back to the girls' cluster of residences, and I was not allowed.

Just before semester let out, some of the guys and I were able to walk through the hills just beyond and emerge in Chino, California for some reason. There I was surprised at the roughness of the street speech (we'd not been allowed to curse at all, nor had anyone really given it much thought for that matter) and the lackadaisical culture. But we met up with a group of guys who wanted to play street soccer in the parking lot of a gas station, and they turned out to be pretty cool. They knew we were from somewhere else obviously but they didn't really inquire too much about it. We couldn't tell them how we'd gotten there or they'd never have believed us. I remember on the way back through the hills seeing Saturn almost filling the sky, huge and bright in the crisp air with stars crackling all about it. I was sad that I might not see Jackie again. I knew it was silly to propose marriage but I didn't want to let her go. I meant to ask her if we could date or something, but I couldn't find her that night, although I was told by another of the females that she'd asked where I was earlier. This made me feel rotten but when I got back home, I pulled Heath aside to tell him all about my adventures, about my girlfriend and about the amazing things I'd seen and done. It was all so real. I woke up with a real sense of loss.

Friday, July 8

The stuff of dreams

Wow, this Remeron pill that my doctor put me on is some serious stuff. It's been impersonating a young Mike Tyson the last couple of nights and each time I've hit the canvas I've gone on to have some of the most vivid dream marathons I can recall. It's like my days now pale compared to my nights. I spend the day clicking on things or walking somewhere, just sort of passing time in vague anxiety and wondering where the meaning is. Then at night I'm traveling back through the roots of reggae music and culture, from rock steady and ska to Rastafarian mythological origins. Or I'm spending a week or two with Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny shooting the X-Files and palling around in the evenings having dinner, going for drives, and discussing the difference between living in England and the US (for some reason, they're both English and the show is based in Old Blighty). Or I'm hanging out in a Chevy S-10 pickup with Morrissey talking about our best friends growing up, alienation, drugs, and the ineffable sense of loss that surrounds cemeteries and ruins.

Tuesday, July 5

Glibbity blog

I've held off making a blog now for some time. People blog for many reasons. Some serve as daily journals replete with photos, some are semi-static family sites giving us all updates of how the kids' soccer teams are faring. Some consist of product or film reviews, some are meant to be seen by prospective employers.

None of these specific foci interests me, but I do like the idea of having a forum for my thoughts. I'd guess most posts will be bits of philosophy, art, musings, and reviews, mixed with a dash of dry humor. More to the point, it's a means of sparing friends and family my long email diatribes.

Archived Posts

Search The Meta-Plane