PUBLIC NOTES (F)
©2015 Adam C. Moore (LÆMEUR) <email@example.com>
The fleeting sublimity of our individual lives can be so heartbreaking when stood in contrast to the crushing permanence of death.
* <<F1C.0329>> Org, loose files, &c.
The reason I like doing everything in one monstrous Org file is because the search-space is unified: I don't have to grep a directory and then load the matching file -- it's all loaded already, right there, immediately accessible and editable.
There are undeniable benefits to having bits of writing parceled into individual files, though.
* <<F1D.0595>> HIKETEP-LATIN Version... which? Three?
O-kay, let's give this a whirl for a while.
| | | K | | T | | | P | | |
| | | K̍ | | T̍ | | | P̍ | | |
| | | G | | N | | | M | | |
| Y̍ | | | R̍ | L̍ | | | | | W̍ |
| | H | X | C | S | D | F | | | |
| | | | C̍ | S̍ | D̍ | F̍ | | | |
| Y | Á | E | A | O | Ö | W | V | U | I |
| | | | R | L | ` | | | | |
Y̍WK`LÉLÉ :: UKULELE
KORTOK̍R`FY :: CARTOGRAPHY
KOLUMS̍ UF̍ SO̍LT̍C̍RS̍ :: COLUMNS OF SOLDIERS
ORTIFICL INTELIT̍C̍`NTS :: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
T̍EMO̍KRATIK`LY YLEKT`T̍ RO̍P̍OT P̍UNY :: DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED ROBOT BUNNY
To make the use of the combining character easier, I stuck a dead-simple function in my .emacs file.
F̍ARNAK S̍EMNIT RO̍YNINT T̍IMP̍NISTY̍IT KRO̍TO̍
S̍EMNAT IMT̍A̍P̍L P̍WS̍IKS
* <<F1H.0019>> HIKETEP ...
Re-thinking HIKETEP again (beyond [[F1D.0595]]). A logical breakdown of the alphabet as it stands:
24 glyphs and 1 mark, combining to give:
3 stops / 3 voiced stops
4 approximant vowels / conso
7 of the 24 glyphs toggle between voiced/unvoiced when marked
4 of the 24 glyphs toggle between approximant-vowels/approximant-consonants when marked
* <<F1R.0700>> JRNL
Not really getting a lot of time to complete my thoughts in the JRNL. A lot of fragmentary entries, lately. There are many, many things I want to be working on right now; art things, writing things, coding things -- and I've time for none of them. Eighteen hours in a day, and I seem to have about five to myself, and those are broken into forty-minute chunks throughout. I don't know about other people, but forty minutes isn't time enough to *get started* on things for me.
* <<F26.0120>> GNU social
I should probably start some kind of blog/page with my thoughts/experiences on using GNU social & the OStatus network in general. I've tried a few decentralized messaging/publishing/social systems, and for the moment I'm sticking with
* <<F26.1051>> GNU social remote reply
API needs to support `in_reply_to_uri' property.
Borrow code from the repeat function? 'Cause that appears to pull users into the local instance database.
* <<F27.0646>> The stuff that sucks about GNU social/StatusNet:
- No ability to favor, repeat, or comment on posts by users your instance doesn't know.
+ Essentially, you only interact with your local cache of the network.
+ To interact with the wider network, you would need to pull users, posts, into your local cache
- There is no mechanism (that I've found yet) for doing this for a one-off individual user/post
- Except, perhaps, the repeat action?
- "Note" truncation occurs when federated messages arrive, and the current UIs do not handle this well
+ An ellipsis appears at the tail of truncated notes, but (on Quitter) the link goes nowhere
- Especially infuriating because the server KEEPS A FUCKING COPY OF THE ORIGINAL NOTE as an attachment.
+ There is a "truncated" property in the post database, but it appears to not be used.
- Conversations are basically useless on single-user servers
+ They are pulled from the local cache, which only has posts from people you follow, or repeats of people your follows follow.
* <<F29.1120>> OStatus server
I wonder how hard it is to actually implement an OStatus server.
- Send out activities to subscribers
- Store local copy of activities sent to us from subscriptions
- Set-up subscriptions when remote users send subscription notices to us
- Delete subsctiptions when remote users send subscription deletion notices to us
- Send out subscription notices to servers/people we want to subscribe to
- Send out subscription deletion notices to servers/people we want to un-subscribe from
Did some reading on OStatus earlier today.
It's a bigger pain in the ass than it seems like it ought to be.
* <<F2C.0423>> GNU so-shaddap!
I need to stop screwing-around with GNU social. If I'm going to invest any personal time in software, it ought to be XoW.
I don't have a lot of confidence in GNU social turning-out the way I'd like it to. The people at the head of the project are "free culture" folks, which means that they're really not interested in copyright and provenance, which is a philosophical problem for me. Additionally, the focus seems to be entirely on building a microblogging application, which is a huge missed opportunity: a great (well, good at least) tumblog system could be built out of GNU social, which would be much more useful/interesting to me. Furthermore, the basic design of the protocol and API are not good, in my opinion, and it's probably quite unlikely that I would be able to steer its revision into something better, due both to lack of time (and support from K) and lack of clout.
* <<F2I.0028>> Encryption rights
- Take a point of view where you see writing as a kind of prosthetic memory, and expand that idea to encompass any kind of recording technology...
- Writing "hardens" memory, fixes it, externalizes it, makes it transmissible -- all good things -- but it also compromises privacy.
- When you externalize private thought, when you harden it into a prosthetic memory, it doesn't stop being private.
+ That transference from one medium (the brain) to another (paper, hard disk, whatever) does not constitute ~publication~.
+ Externalizing thought to makes it ~insecure~, not public.
- Because the problem of information security is as old as writing, ciphers are as old as writing.
+ Writing itself might be seen as a kind of public cipher.
- Nature has thus far secured our biological memory.
+ At this time, there is no way to "read minds", to extract information from a brain against its owner's will.
- Encryption is simply a means of securing our prosthetic memory.
* <<F2I.0060>> Thurgh
Thurgh is an obsolete form of "through". What a great word.
...the great wizard, IMLAK, having grown fearful of his own power, walked one hundred miles across the scorching desert slope of UOR and dove into the mouth of the volcano.
Down he fell through the cutting rocks of its gullet, through the thick and choking smoke of its breath, down and down, into the lake of churning magma at its infernal belly. But Imlak The Immortal
* <<F2J.1022>> "And you who wish to represent by words the form of man...
...and all the aspects of his membrification, relinquish that idea. For the more minutely you describe the more you will confine the mind of the reader, and the more you will keep him from the knowledge of the thing described. And so it is necessary to draw ~and~ to describe." -- Leonardo da Vinci
* <<F2O.1376>> :zaum:
DORDIC MUTREX * BALFRI LOMEN
TACTO RITMINIET BAIRDO BAIRDO
MUTRON MORTENSI IKNION REDITET
BORDET MOR FREMNI ATS AKNIODE IDEED
* <<F2Q.0839>> Ergonomics
I have *never* had a desk/chair setup, in all my 35 years, that I have sat properly at. This is because, I think, that I have never had a chair or desk (certainly not both at the same time) that were designed for a person of my physical configuration.
The closest I've ever been to ergonomic contentment is when I rigged-up a stand for my Atari computer from a tube-steel guitar stand, and placed the monitor atop a table at just the right height/incline. This was extremely comfortable for typing, but it was very wobbly and the legs of the guitar stand got into my foot-space, which was irritating.
I am currently sitting in a very expensive Herman Miller chair (Julie's, on indefinite loan), which is very comfortable, but somewhat large. I am sitting in this very expensive chair with my computer atop a 1950s sewing table (with the sewing machine removed), which, unfortunately, has both too-high a surface for comfortable typing posture, and too little leg-room to pull this chair into.
* <<F2Q.1092>> No internet today
The internet service was cut off just after midnight this morning. We are $194 behind on that bill.
* <<F2R.0341>> "Free Culture"
Maybe it really is the way of the future, and it's just too much of a paradigm-shift for my thirty-something dinosaur brain, but I just cannot get on-board with so-called free culture.
The idea that intellectual property shouldn't exist, that the non-physical products of work should be in the public domain simply because ...why? Because they are incorporeal and have no inherent material cost? Because they can be perfectly, limitlessly reproduced in symbolic form? Is this ~Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction~ taken to its computer-age conclusion?
It seems utter bollocks to me.
My take on it is that "free culture" is a philosophy formed as a reaction against the pathologically litigous behaviour of corporate media publishers and a small number of petty and mean creators. It's a philosophy for soft-headed people with either a persecution complex or a sense of entitlement.
I have my own objections to certain aspects of intellectual property law: patents on discovered naturally-occurring gene sequences, for example; patents on elementary algorithms, mathematical proofs, and design concepts are further examples. I'm also opposed to extremely long copyright protections -- it's already 70 years beyond the life of the author in the US, which itself is too long in my opinion, yet legislation keeps getting pushed to extend it beyond 100 years past the life of the author. Companies whose entire business model is built on the sale of intellectual property, of course, want copyright to be eternal. That is madness.
But the eradication of copyright and patents altogether is another kind of madness.
Copyright can sometimes seem like its purpose is to enable the exploitation of consumers by publishers, but its original purpose -- I'll go ahead and say ~its true purpose~ -- is to prevent the exploitation of authors by publishers. Can you have the one without the other? I think so, yes. It requires continual refinement of the laws, but I do think you can strike a balance between protection of authors and protection of consumers.
* <<F2S.1294>> Information Doesn't Want To Be Free
I've just begun reading Cory Doctorow's new book. My first reaction, though, is not to Doctorow, but to Amanda Palmer's foreword; the message I'm hearing is: the artist's proper place in society is that of the mendicant or the monk; give away all that you produce -- alms are ample and your belly will be full with the generosity of strangers!
Which, of course, is complete horseshit.
* <<F38.0790>> Writing Machines
I need to go back and read WRITING MACHINES ([[E31.1603]]). There were some useful classifications Hayles came up with for hypertext, cybertext, program text, etc..
* <<F3A.0683>> :dilhang:
The crescient lictum hung ponderously o'er the bluting shay. In the runwing, battel would carpet the undling mondus and bletted meck would inst the range, mlutting thru gritlay, aseep to oash, ackning and flecking away at laps eternal. Outlying mad nonraces, nowwise slumbing, had consented glily to murder contest.
* <<F3A.0698>> Dilhang :dilhang:nonsense:zaum:
I don't know why I chose the word 'dilhang' for my varieties of nonsense writing. It seemed the right name. Intuition of some sort. I wrote the word somewhere and it stuck with me. After I'd taken a liking to the word, I thought perhaps subconsciously that dilhang sounded like dill lang, lang being akin to langue/language/tongue, and dil being ...dill. A pickling spice. Dilhang: prose of the pickled tongue.
Alternatively, of course, I could just call it nonsense. Lewis Carroll called his nonsense just what it was, though he could certainly have forged a delightful new word for it. Alexei Kruchonykh called his "transrational" poetry zaum. Was zaum his term for all transrationalist writing? I don't think so; it's just what he called his own work. Zaum is Kruchonykh's, dilhang is mine.
I like the idea of having a plain-text/Org journal file up on a Xanalogical server, and then composing documents via transclusion from that journal file. Perhaps I should do this. I worry (probably without good reason) about access control on the plaintext fragments that I don't want published. I have a very hard time writing freely (hell, writing ~at all~) where the text will be publicly visible.
* <<F3B.1412>> Pokey sequencer
Let's see if we can fit this in 40 columns:
- Two software oscillators
- editable waveforms
- routable to parameter values or to audio output on one of POKEY's voices
- Note values mapped to editable frequency table
- toggling of joystick i/o ports to use as gate voltages on external equipment
A simple screen-editor interface would be easy to program and would offer maximum information density.
Each screen line would be a literal data string that the sequencer would interpret at each `step`.
<O1><O2>[1 ][2 ][3 ][4 ]<AUDCTL>< GATE >
Hi, I'm Adam. I draw pictures for a living.
Well, I try to, at least.
I love comics. Always have.
What a great medium! The expressive possibilities are endless. I'm a pretty straight-ahead cartoonist, so I may not be the most stylistically expressive guy on the planet, but even for someone as limited as me it's an amazing medium.
The most impossible mechanics, the most improbable environmnets, the most preposterous scenarios...
Speaking of preposterous scenarios:
[Inside the office of a general contractor.]
I've drawn-up this plan for a house, and I think it's pretty exciting. Now, I'm self-funded so I can't really pay you much, but I'd love it if you could build it for me.
Ah ha haaa... some of you already know where I'm going with this, and some of you are already annoyed.
...if you can get me ~that much~ exposure, that means you can *damned well pay me*.
Restating that last thing I wrote yesterday...
If someone asks you to do work and only offers "exposure" as compensation, remember this:
If they command enough of an audience that the exposure they can get you is worth your time, then they're successful enough to be paying you a professional rate.
* <<F3H.1358>> Comics culture
I'm sure smoking marijuana is delightufl. I wouldn't know, I've never had the stuff.
One of the reasons I've never tried it is that you don't just smoke marijuana in the same way that you just eat a sandwich or just watch the news. There's an entire culture around marijuana, and you have to have contact with that culture in order to be a casual user. I find marijuana culture irritating, and wholly incongruous with my personality.
One of the reasons I don't follow comics anymore is because there's an entire culture around comics, and I find that culture... irritating. I used to be part of that culture, I suppose. When I was 13, comics were the most important thing in the world. I read every issue of Wizard magazine, for Christ's sake. I was on-board.
Nowadays? Comics culture is like a swarm of flies around a cake. The cake might be tasty; it might not -- I'm not going to bother finding out because I don't want to have to swat flies to get at it.
I read The Comics Journal sometimes. My favourite feature is Tucker Stone's Comics of The Weak column, because Tucker Stone seems to find comics culture just as irritating as I do.
* <<F3P.1384>> XoW index page scraps
I have been an admirer of Ted Nelson ever since I first became acquainted with his work over fifteen years ago. Fifteen years is quite a while in computer time.
Imagine 50 years.
More than 50 years ago, Nelson coined the term 'hypertext', with a grand and elegant and powerful vision in mind of how computers would enable new kinds of dynamic, interconnected literature.
Thirty years later, Tim Berners-Lee gave us the World-Wide Web, and ever since then we've all marveled at the new world of dynamic, interconnected literature that we live and work in, right?
Xanadu has always been about literature. Writing, music, film, visual art, all kinds of literature, no matter how short or long, no matter how sublime, no matter how vulgar.
Xanadu is a system for authors!
Xanadu is a system for individuals (not corporations)!
The web that we have nowadays is increasingly site-oriented, not document-oriented. Web sites are no longer simple document repositories, they are database-driven application programs which provide heterogeneous user-interfaces for publishing and consuming parcels of site-locked, pre-packaged media.
I believe that the modern Web is entirely capable of being coaxed into giving us Xanalogical hypertext. If we see the Web of today in its most generalized sense, we have three components:
1. A very mature request/response protocol (HTTP) with enormous flexibility in request syntax,
2. A document interchange format (HTML) which is human-readable and extensible,
3. And an increasingly powerful, programmable client environment with full multimedia capabilities.
* <<F3V.0807>> Wacom repairs
The cable on my old Wacom is giving me some headaches these days. And it's not easily serviceable.
I've just had the thing apart and was taking a look around its innards. If I could just wire-in a USB-mini receptacle, that would be the best option.
What I'd ~really~ like to do, though, is to re-case the thing in two nice sheets of hardwood veneer. Just a nice, unadorned, 9.5x12.5" rectangle with a light in the top and a USB jack on the side. That would be great.
* <<F4A.1138>> Atheism is not a religion
The first sentence of that Wikipedia article isn't a complete definition of religion; that's why there's a note. The Definitions section of the article contains the important points, which were left out. Religion isn't merely a system of beliefs; it's a system of beliefs regarding sacredness, divinity, spirituality, &c..
With regards to Mr. Powell's statement that "denial is not proof" -- of course it's not. Who ever said it was? The onus is on the deist to prove the existence of their god(s) and not on the atheist to disprove them. Religions provide positive assertions: there is a heaven, there is a hell, we have immortal souls, there is a god, and so-on. The rejection of assertions for which there is no proof and for which there likely cannot be proof does not constitute a religion. Jesse's Santa Claus/Tooth Fairy argument exemplifies this perfectly: you don't reject the reality of these things because your of your religion, you reject them because you've no reason to believe them.
Atheists come in all sorts, as do the faithful. There are atheist zealots, certainly, and I do think it's fair to say that for some people their atheism is tantamount to a religion. But, I think the quiet majority of atheists, those of us who tick "non-religious" on our census forms, are de facto atheists. We're simply not religious. We don't have a desire or need to believe in the supernatural, the metaphysical, the spiritual, and we reject assertions of the reality of these things because they're inconsistent with our own experience.
Saying that an empty container is full of emptiness makes a kind of poetic sense, but the container is still empty. An observer may imagine the container filled with their concept of emptiness, but that's in the observer's mind. The container is empty.
With regards to evolution as religion: balderdash. I presume the "religion" of evolution is inclusive of abiogenesis, and that's really the big point of contention, but evolutionary theory makes no claims about the sacred, the divine, the spirit, and so-on, and fails to qualify as a religion on that point. There is nothing in evolutionary theory that says the mechanism of evolution (including abiogenesis) cannot be guided by the hand of god.
* <<F4D.1077>> Drafting complexity
It's funny -- I love living in the city, I love cities visually; I love streets and signs and power lines and streetlights, windows and doors and manhole covers and cars and garbage -- I just love the visual qualities of dense, urban landscape.
But I hate drawing it.
I like drawing discrete forms, I like drawing objects. You don't get objects in the city, you get fragments, facets, overlaps and interference; everything is occulted; the city is a ~field~.
Goodness, I've just found a very comfortable way to sit in this chair with the computer on my lap. Happy day!
I was going to write something here about single-user GNU social instances, but I've forgotten what it was and why it was important.
* <<F4F.0744>> WW Script draft
Look, what's important is not what you wear, but how you wear it.
The sexual objectification of female characters in comics IS a problem. Let's not be naïve and say it isn't. But is covering-up the solution?
Some well-meaning people say that outfits like these aren't practical, or realistic, and that the only purpose they serve is to titilate male readers.
You want practical and realistic? Okay, let's get real:
This is what a female warrior wears. This is serious business. Lots of protection, lots of mobility -- plenty of supplies on-hand, practical footwear... but here's the problem:
If an artist wants to sexualize me, they're going to do it no matter what I'm wearing.
The nude figure is a powerful medium of expression. Without the protection of clothes we are our most vulnerabile, our most fragile.
But the naked form in action -- how better can you corporealize strength, courage, bravery?
In my opinion ...or, rather, in the artist's opinion -- I'm only a projection of the artist, after all -- the reason superheroes are visually compelling is largely due to their effectual nakedness.
There is nothing practical or realistic about men and women running around in their underwear fighting crime. The costumes are symbolic, the figures are expressive.
Kids get this. Kids may not be versed in semiotics, but they intuit the difference between signifier and signified, and they get the symbolic content of cartoons without getting hung-up on the verity of representation. As we get older, we tend to lose this, demand "realism" ...why?
Now, before you accuse ME of being naïve, let me concede that there ARE costumes intended to titilate. I don't think this is one of them...
...tho' I'm not entirely sure about Plastic Man's...
...and there are issues with the way this one gets drawn. You know: too low in the top, and too high at the bottom.
But THAT's the problem -- it's usually not the costume, it's the tweaks some artists make to sex-up the costume, and that's part of the larger problem of the overall visual treatment of female characters.
Like, why are we sticking our butts out all the time, when we're doing things that don't require sticking your butt out? Don't give me that shit about female lumbar curvature -- this is sticking your butt out.
For that matter, why are we presented backside-front, looking over our shoulder so much more frequently than male characters?
And why are THEY so frequently shown DOING stuff, while we're so frequently shown standing around trying to look glamorous or cute?
There are quick and easy answers, of course.
Artists like to draw what they like to see, and editors are never eager to send work back for revision, even if it might be a bit inappropriate, since there's usually not much public outcry from the core superhero comic demographic, and, frankly, a little bit of sex never DECREASED a book's sales, right?
Those are valid, surface-level complaints -- but it's a deeper problem than that.
Sexual inequality is a problem endemic to ...heck, I was going to say western civilization, but it's a problem endemic to civilization, period.
There are still a LOT of people in the world who believe that it is by divine ordinance that women belong in roles deferential to men. In some cases, roles of downright obedience and servitude.
Even many people with more secular viewpoints believe that women are subject to sexual objectification simply by the law of nature -- ~that's just the way it is~.
* <<F4I.0085>> Stone carriers
I happened across a photograph by Lisa Kristine of Nepali children carrying enormous slabs of stone on their backs, and I was swept-up with delight at the clever rig they were using to carry them: a strip of rag, a rope, a stick -- the stone's own weight tightens the rope and stick against it -- a sort-of gravic vice. Ingenious!
My reverie was cut short when I read the caption for the photo and learned that these children were slaves.
I am a [writer || artist || software developer || recording artist || songwriter]; I create intellectual property.
Copyright laws protect me from having my labor exploited by publishers without my consent and without compensation.
Copyright also protects my patrons; those who invest in my labor have their investment protected by copyright.
Copyright protects my livelihood. I value copyright.
I also value culture.
Cultures are defined by their art and their technology. Intellectual property is culture.
Media publishers are constantly lobbying to extend copyright terms. They want perpetual, exclusive ownership of intellectual property --of CULTURE --and they want to control the ways in which people are able to experience or utilize culture.
They are not interested in the protection of creators.
They are not merely interested in the protection of their investments.
They are interested only in money.
* <<F4J.0797>> Augm. Real. comic draft
Today, some Americans are receiving the first batch of government-issued AUGMENTED REALITY headsets. Senator Vurk Dengle, head of the Congressional Subcommittee on Information Infrastructure spoke at a Samsung factory in Louisiana where the devices are being assembled, to commemorate the successful launch of the Pervasive Accessibility to Information in the United States program which will require all Americans to wear augmented reality sets by the start of next year.
I would like to thank Samsung and our other manufacturing partners for helping us meet the challenge of providing every American with pervasive, 24-hour access to information, enabling the United States to remain the greatest, most technologically-advanced, innovative, democratic, free, brave, and invincible nation in the history of the universe.
Oh boy, my AR set arrived today!
This is so cool!
INCOMING CALL FROM JODY
Howdy, neighbor! I'm talking to you on my new AR headset! I can see your avatar floating in space right in front of me!
Cool! I just rented STAR WARS EPISODE 26: EVER FORCEFUL FOREVER; do you wanna come over and watch it?
Sure, I'll be right there!
Here we go! ~A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...~ I love the scrolling text. It never gets old.
THIS CONTENT IS OWNED BY WALT DISNEY CORPORATION. PAY TO ACCESS USING: Google Wallet / Facebook Pay / ...
...all I can see is a message that says I have to pay to watch the movie.
Huh. Well, just take the headset off for now.
Yeah, I guess I'll do that...
CIRCUMVENTION OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW.
I ramp cup in tuppeny mud putz.
* <<F4M.0822>> Logical madness
Had a thought while reading Philip Sandifer's capsule review of "Turncoat" by Steve Rzasa (part of a much [[http://www.philipsandifer.com/2015/04/guided-by-beauty-of-their-weapons.html][larger and more interesting article]]). Sandifer writes:
"The themes are similarly old hat - several paragraphs are spent discussing how the human ships 'took more risks than we did, even though their fragility is orders of magnitude greater than ours. They utilized tactics that did not appear to have a rational thought behind them, and yet, when the consequences are taken into consideration, their approach worked nearly as well as our eminently logical battle plan,' which reads like the bad rip-off of Kirk/Spock arguments that it is."
It is a hackneyed SF trope, for sure. Worse, it doesn't make sense.
Wouldn't a perversely logical non-human foe benefit more by making "irrational" tactical decisions? Humans are hung-up on rationale, on understanding why things happen -- bad things, especially. It's the reason terrorism is so effective at emotionally debilitating people. How blowing up a café full of people works in favor of the Irish Republican cause is a complete mystery, and that's why it's so upsetting: the senselessness of it. So, if some perversely logical non-human foe, presumably one with no emotional capacity but with the intellect to observe how emotional harm done to humans negatively impacts their effectiveness in all undertakings, wanted to cut deep into human morale, it would be well-served by maximizing seemingly-random acts of destruction, even self-destruction. That shit unnerves people.
* <<F4Q.0077>> Bedtime routines
She before bed: "Can you make me hot water with honey and lemon, and a buttered bread? And break me off a row of chocolate? Also, can I have a little more dinner? Oh, and I need you to fill my water glass. Thanks!"
Me before bed: "... okay, I'm gonna lay down now."
* <<F4R.0799>> :dilhang:
Röd n'gigtak. Kalm ni'yet röm hëdi tum hë tö,
Küryan gor limnyet rübai rö tö tö.
* <<F4T.0418>> :dilhang:
YODURON - GREMNIET - KOWRON RIKT KITKINI LEM DATE ATNO SHUNOD
ORIT KETIO KU NAGOD WALBUSTITCH OVIT FOOR - GORIEN GOORT
ORIESTA OVNEVA NUM - ZUSU ORGAST ORGEDENA FURU FORTEEN - FUR
AFF GORIT AFF MMM ZHUSH CHIT KA CHIT
AFF GORIFTUM ZURU - YODE NOSSTI YED MONE
* <<F4T.0784>> "Going For The Top!" notes
- Don't blame Manara
- Don't demonize Cho, either
+ despite his puerile behaviour
- Is it appropriate?
+ Who is the audence?
- for superhero comics?
- for Spider-Woman specifically?
Comic is rated T+ "TEENS AND UP - Appropriate for teens 13 and above."
- Can you market superheroes to different audiences?
+ To what extent? Could you make an erotic Wonder Woman series AND market the character to children?
- This has been done the other way 'round: adult-oriented comics/books have been adapted for all-ages films, TV series.
- Why is eroticism permitted in comic books and not in other contexts?
+ Art is given a great deal of leeway with eroticism; always has been
This isn't an anti-Hillary thing; this isn't an anti-Manara thing; this isn't an anti-women thing, or an anti-anti-women thing -- whatever the hell that means. This is just a thing.
Hopefully, your first reaction is laughter. This is supposed to be funny.
It's also supposed to illustrate that some things are appropriate
* <<F4U.0138>> ...MESHNO DABINADIBIT'D - OSHNO YUTEMNIT
* <<F51.0527>> DYURMOB DURANOGANG
* <<F54.0761>> Manara Spider-Woman / Hillary "Going For The Top!"
Ugh, you say. This Manara thing is so last year!
Yeah, well, I've been busy and it took me a while to get around to it.
I thought, how can we take this in an absurd direction?
"UUUGGHHH," goes up the collective groan. "ANOTHER Manara parody?!"
Yeah, well, I wanted to riff on the Manara cover last year when it was still news, but I was busy. I would have let the sleeping dog lie if Frank Cho hadn't stirred the cauldron of controversy with his Spider-Gwen sketch last month. That somehow made it into my news feed, so - blame Mr. Cho.
Getting right to the point, I'm not wild about the cover. I don't dislike Manara's work, I don't think the cover is outrageous, I don't think it's offensive - at least, not on a purely visual level. I simply don't like what it represents.
I want to begin by saying that I don't think Manara did anything wrong.
Illustrators have responsibilities. So do clients. Illustrators have a responsibility to produce art that will meet the client's needs in the style that the client wants. Clients have a responsibility to communicate their needs to the artist and to *select the artist who will produce the style of art they want*.
Manara is a *very* established artist. Among other things, he's been one of the preeminent eroticists in comics for, what, forty years now? That's what he does, that's his style. Arnold Schwarzeneggar plays every role with an Austrian accent. Manara draws erotic female figures on every job.
When Marvel hired him for the X-Women 1-shot in 2010 (in my opinion, a more transgressive piece of work than the Spider-Woman cover), they knew what they were getting. For heck's sake, the description on marvel.com reads, "Storm, Psylocke, Shadowcat, Marvel Girl and Rogue save the world *and look great doing it*" (emphasis mine). For every subsequent variant cover they've commissioned from him, they've known what they were getting. Clients can always send work back for revision if it's not what they want/need, or simply not print it. They printed it. Marvel editorial obviously thinks that the level of eroticism Manara brings to his superhero work is acceptable for the comic's intended audience.
And, y'know what? I don't unconditionally object to the level of visual eroticism in Manara's superhero work. It's pretty tame stuff, and I think if it were presented in a context that warranted eroticism - a seduction, an intimate romantic scene, etc. - it's entirely suitable for a mainstream superhero comic.
Now, having broached the subject of context, let's get into this picture of Hillary Clinton.
Hopefully your first reaction was laughter, because that's what I was aiming for. It is absolutely the wrong context for sexuality, and I'm hoping there's humour in that contextual dissonance. And, I also hope it helps illustrate the points I'm going to try to make here with anvil-drop subtlety.
Hillary Clinton wants to be evaluated based on her political acumen, her character, her ability to lead - not on whether or not she gives men a boner. The visual elements in her media campaign are going to be designed to make you think all kinds of things about her: that she's down-to-earth, that she's listening to you and is interested in your issues, that she's strong and resolute - but eroticism won't come into it.
Yet, she is certainly going to face more criticism than any male presidential candidate on the basis of how "good" she looks from day to day - whether she looks tired, or old, or cranky, whether or not her hair is done well, or her lipstick is the right colour, or her outfit is too stylish, or not stylish enough (female politicians can't just wear the same suit every day). And she's going to face these criticisms because that's how we, men and women both, are enculturated to evaluate women in America.
Part of that process of enculturation is exposure to media. Books, magazines, television, films, and yes, comic books - in all of these media, every time we allow the sexual attributes of women to be evinced in contexts where the sexual attributes of men are omitted, we're reinforcing the primacy of sexuality and physical attractiveness in our evaluations of women.
Some people think that's the natural order; that a woman's role, ordained by nature, is to be, first and foremost, pleasing to the eye. I think that's horse shit. It's cultural programming.
Publishers need to operate with an awareness of the fact that they are shapers of culture. Artists do, too - now more than ever, since any yahoo with an internet connection can reach an audience of millions with the right stroke of luck. But, publishers in particular need to be aware, because at this point in time publishers in print and traditional broadcast media still have significantly more cultural cachet than bloggers or online personae, and they have the resources to make sure that their media reach more eyeballs than independent artists who pray for the gods of virality to smile on their work. When a lone artist independently publishes something online, it's a personal statement. When a publisher publishes and markets a piece of work, that's the establishment taking a position of support behind an artist's personal statement.
There have been two defenses for the Manara cover. The first defense is denial. "I've seen Spider-Man in that same pose a million times! There's nothing sexual about it." This position is, at best, naïve. At worst, it's ignorant. Yes, we've seen Spider-Man over and over again with his butt at the top of the frame, and his head at the bottom - but no honest person can look at Manara's cover and deny that the butt is a focal point of the image, and that it's been rendered in such a fashion as to appear essentially nude rather than costumed. In the image that went to the presses, the butt was considerably de-emphasized by the placement of the Spider-Woman logo, but the full artwork, sans-logo, was all over the internet, and it was plain to everyone who saw it that the piece was overtly erotic in character - and this has never been the case in any of the similarly composed Spider-Man images that we've all seen.
The second defense is not actually a defense at all: "yeah, Spider-Woman's lookin' sexy on the cover - so, what?"
Alright, let's hew the weeds before getting into this one: if you are a man who says the word feminism with a sneer, you can just go fuck off right now. I hope some day your world is shaken by a woman that you actually respect as a peer, or you have a daughter and despair at the realization that she's going to grow up facing a host of biases that you never had to. This little essay will probably read to you as some kind of softball "SJW" tract, and you'll dismiss it off-hand. C'est la vie.
If you're a woman who says the word feminism with a sneer, I honestly don't know if I've got the persuasive power to reach you, but feel free to read on if you care.
For the rest of the "so what?" crowd: what do you think it says to 13-year-old girls who see Spider-Woman presented as a piece of ass on a comic-book cover, when they never see Spider-Man presented in that way? Remember, this is a T+ comic, a 13-and-up comic. What do you think it says to 13-year-old boys? It's not saying Spider-Woman is strong, Spider-Woman is courageous, Spider-Woman is *heroic* - it's saying Spider-Woman is sexy. And this is something that covers never say about Spider-Man or his male cohorts.
Who does this serve?
Well, it obviously serves people who enjoy Manara's aesthetic, that goes without saying. And it serves Manara by exposing him to a large audience that may not be familiar with the foremost European comics artists. And it serves Marvel by giving them the prestige of saying "variant cover by international superstar Milo Manara!".
Does it serve the narrative? No - but this isn't anomalous as the narrative function of comic book covers is being deprecated by the industry. That's another essay.
Does it serve the character? Not particularly. In my reading of the cover, Spider-Woman isn't portrayed as an action hero, she's portrayed as some kind of sex object.
Does it serve the existing Spider-Woman fan-base? Only the ones who are interested in seeing the character sexually fetishized.
Does it serve to attract the book's target audience? Probably not. It's not an erotic comic book, it's mainstream superhero stuff, so the cover could be seen as a bit of bait-and-switch.
Basically, the cover was printed because some people at Marvel - probably men - liked it and thought it would sell books. And they thought, hey, a little sexiness never hurt anyone, right? I mean, it's not *pornographic* or anything!
But it does hurt. Equal opportunity for women is never going to happen without equal representation in government, in business, in academia, and in media. Maxim magazine, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, sexy depictions of female superheroes - these things aren't inherently evil, but they're symptomatic of a culture that sexually objectifies women to a far, far higher degree than it does men.
There's a place in comics for sexuality and eroticism - even in superhero comics. But, I don't think that routine, casual, decontextualized sexualization of female characters - titilation for titilation's sake - *especially* in the absence of corresponding treatment of male characters, is acceptable in comics marketed to a very broad demographic that includes young teens and preteens.
There's a bit of an unresolved issue in that, though: ~are~ comics like Spider-Woman marketed to young readers? The T+ rating that Spider-Woman carries is defined as "appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised they may want to read before or with younger children". All that means is that Marvel thinks Spider-Woman won't psychologically damage 13-year-olds; it doesn't tell us who the book is actually intended for.
The issue is moot, though, because here's how this usually works: in comic book shops and book stores, care is taken to place the little kid stuff in one area, the adults-only stuff in another area, and everything else gets lumped together. So, regardless of the target readership, any comic book that isn't for small children or strictly for adults ends-up being on offer to anyone who bothers to walk by the racks or shelves; nine-year-olds and forty-year-olds, boys and girls and everyone inbetween.
I don't think covers like Manara's will psychologically damage 13-year-olds. I do think that they serve to maintain an undesirable status quo, though. When you've got comics reaching the same demographic as prime-time television, I think you have a responsibility to strive for fair and equal representation of men and women. I think this is especially important when you're dealing with all-ages superheroes - characters that are traditionally intended to be positive role-models for younger readers.
* * *
I mentioned Frank Cho up at the top, so I might as well put my two cents in on that as well.
Frank Cho is allowed to post whatever the hell he wants on his own website. I read the Spider-Gwen sketch as light humour, and I don't have a problem with it. Some find it objectionable that Cho did a cheesecake sketch of a teenage character, and I understand that point of view. Spider-Man's reaction at seeing Gwen's butt - it's teenage humour. Nothing worth getting up in arms about. The manner in which Gwen's eyes are addressing the viewer, though - that's where there's a potential issue, and I'm sympathetic to those who take offense even though I'm not sure I do.
* * *
I also want to mention Alex Maleev. Maleev did some beatiful Spider-Woman artwork on the 2009 series that Brian Michael Bendis wrote. His renderings of the character's costume were essentially nude as well, but there was no kerfuffle over his covers. I think there are two important points to make with regards to that.
First, I think the fact that Manara is well-known as an author of erotic comics really amplified the negative reactions against his Spider-Woman piece. In fact, it probably wouldn't have made much news at all if it were a lesser-known artist. A few people might have blogged about it, but that would have been the end of it. Ultimately, I think it's a good thing that it blew up the way it did, because it got a lot of people thinking and talking about sexualization and representation of female characters in comics.
The second point is that nudity isn't always sexual. Manara's cover isn't problematic solely because of the treatment he gave to the costume - it's more to do with posture and composition, and the way that Spider-Woman's expressionless face is partially occulted behind a mask while her virtually naked body is left exposed to the viewer. It's depersonalized, objectifying. Maleev's Spider-Woman work, on the other hand, has a different tone to it. The covers for issues #4 and #7 in particular have a very intimate, very ~naked~ quality, but this makes them work as ~portraits~, not pinups - Spider-Woman feels more like a person, and not a piece of meat.
My attitudes regarding nudity in art are pretty liberal. I don't have a problem with it in principle. In fact, I think one of the things that makes superhero comics so visually compelling is the virtual nudity of superheroes. The expressive potential of the human form is immense. When we're naked we are our most vulnerable, our most fragile, and yet how better can you illustrate bravery, strength, and courage, than by depicting a powerful naked figure in perilous conflict? It is strength and vulnerability in apposition - it's high physical drama.
The hazard of this effectual nudity is that when you have a majority of male heterosexual illustrators, there's an arguably natural tendency to see the female figure employed as an object of desire, and not as an expressive medium. Editorial oversight is supposed to provide a check on this tendency.
* * *
That's the last asterism, I promise.
Since I finished this picture a few days ago, I've started to second-guess myself about whether I should post it or not. When I look at it, I still think it's funny. It's silly. I did a picture of Betty White as a professional wrestler some years back and the humour of this works on the same level for me as that. The absurdity of it.
But, there's also something slightly offensive about it, and I don't know if it actually works as the satirical piece I intended it to be. Who's the butt of the joke, here? ...Hillary Clinton? It's not supposed to be a Hillary Clinton joke. I picked Hillary because she's in the news a lot right now, and because she's a woman with a very high public profile who is taken seriously as a professional - someone who doesn't need to market herself as a sex symbol - someone whose reputation would actually be adversely affected if she suddenly began to campaign in that way.
It's supposed to be inappropriate - to say, hey, the gratuitous sexual objectification of women happens way too much. Where does it end?
But I worry that what it will actually read as to a lot of people is, hur hur hur, Hillary Clinton is a woman, and this is what I think women are good for.
No way to know until I post it, right?
Okay. Here goes!
Spider-Woman's gaze is off the page, but her butt is addressing the viewer. There's no context, no scene - it's gratuitious sexuality.
Is Spider-Man sexy? Do readers care?
The process of enculturation is carried-out from birth by exposure to the speech and physical communication of the people around us, and, of course, by exposure to media. Western media abounds with eroticised images of women, and v in all contexts, even contexts that don't at all warrant them - such as the covers of superhero comics.
Don't roll your eyes, this is a real issue.
There are erotic comics. There are even erotic superhero comics. And then there are mainstream superhero comics, which, while they may contain erotic elements as narrative devices, are first and foremost about heroism - courage, perseverance, duty, the usual heroic attributes - played out in the grand tradition of dramatized physical violence.
Manara's eroticism is gratuitous
What I object to is the eroticism even being there in the first place.
My evaluation of the cover as inappropriate is less to do with the age of the target readership, and more to do with
Sex and eroticism are parts of life. There's a place for them in art and in literature.
There's a place for eroticism in comics, and it's not just in the adults-only section of the book store.
* <<F56.0574>> ZEPTII VOODAT MIIPT ZUUDII VAU
blastov's mind was bent, they say
as he crossed(?) the crux
of the spanswals field array
by pseudogravic flux
FAMILY BLASTOV NUMBERED SIX
MOTHER DASHA LED
* <<F5J.0716>> Post-Windows :linux:
Since I stopped using Windows entirely at the start of this year, I really haven't had any trouble. I've been using Linux part-time for quite a while now, and for the last several years even my Windows environment was fairly UNIX-like as I made heavy use of the Cygwin tools. Some things take a little while to figure out, sure. A lot of things are more complicated under a barebones Debian environment than they are under Windows or a fully-loaded desktop Linux environment with Gnome or KDE – but that's okay. I'm fine with that. Generally, once you get things set-up, even though setting them up can be a chore, you don't have to set them up a second time.
I'm still finding a set of favourite programs for common tasks. At the moment, I've settled on these:
- XTerm for terminal emulation
- i3 for window management in X
- EMACS for writing
- mplayer for video – I'm still working-out how to make good use of this, but I only installed it yesterday. In my single day of exposure to it, I'm much more pleased with it than VLC for quick video viewing.
- qiv for image viewing – Irfanview is hard to replace, and I haven't found anything on Linux yet that is really a suitable substitute, but qiv is a great little viewer. For any kind of editing, I use GIMP or Fotoxx or ImageJ or something else.
- Music on Console for browsing/playing music – I'm more-or-less happy with this, but I wonder if there isn't something out there that is just a notch better for me.
- Finch for instant messaging – This works, but I'm not totally sold on it. I haven't had the time/inclination to find an alternative, but I probably will at some point.
- PCManFM for file management – Again, I'm not totally happy with this. I like Ranger in the console, but having document thumbnails is nice sometimes. In both cases, they lack verbose output on file transfers and I don't like that. For big copies/moves, I still just do it from the console with cp and mv, with -v for verbose output.
- Deluge for BitTorrent
* <<F5M.1088>> Uorok
I'd like to copy all of the UOROK THE INVINCIBLE stuff in the JRNL out to a separate file tonight. I have a desire to get back to developing that story, and I might as well isolate/focus my work.
I don't know how publishers can expect something for nothing. If you want a work produced, you have to invest in the production. Not an honorarium, an actual investment. If you only want to purchase completed works, that's fine; but don't pretend
* <<F5R.0806>> Anonymous demands his right to titties.
I got a volley of private responses to my Hillary/Manara/Spider-Woman opinion piece from a ~very angry~ Anonymous the other day. Here's a public response:
1.) gwen is in college so no she is not a freaking teenager. do some fucking research before you imply another creator is doing pedo-istic things in his art.
I made no such implication. You know, most people enter college as teenagers, albeit ones above the age of consent. Furthermore, having lascivious thoughts about a 16 or 17-year-old girl might make you a dirty old man, but it does not, by definition, make you a pedophile. It's not an issue of whether Gwen is or isn't jailbait, it's an issue of Spider-Gwen being, presumably, a role-model character for young female readers and being sexually objectified. I can understand if your reading comprehension was flagging near the bottom of the essay – it was pretty long – but I clearly stated that I didn't have any issues with Cho's drawing. I thought it was funny.
Also, the word is pedophilic.
2.) males are not sexualized especially in comics, because there is factually not half the consumer-ship for it. the vast majority of female readers do not give a shit about sexually attractive males, while at the very least a 3rd if not half of male readers Do want to see attractive females for attractive females sake. the output is unequal because the demand is unequal, you forcing the companies to ether equalize it or drop it completely does nothing but alienate a large fan-base.
I don't think you know the minds of women as well as you think you do. I remember an amusing anecdote from James Bama: American Realist regarding publishers' apparent surprise to find that book covers featuring nude male buttocks sold very well to female readers. Women like a bit of a tease, too.
Giving the existing readership what they want keeps that readership happy, but what about new readership? If the movies and TV shows of the last fifteen years have shown us anything, it's that all kinds of people, young and old, of all genders, enjoy superhero stories. If Marvel and DC find ways to get comic books into the hands of more of the people who are seeing the movies and watching the TV shows, they stand to gain tens of millions of readers – and if they alienate a few million existing readers in the process, I think it's a fair trade. More readers means more circulation, more revenue per issue, and that translates into more opportunities and better pay for creators – that makes comics a more attractive medium for writers and illustrators, and that means, ultimately, more and better comics.
on that note who the fuck do you think you are? i fucking despise fifty shades of grey, but i do not try and remove its existence or degrade its readers, what fucking gives you the right to tell me i am not allowed to buy books with spider-woman with a large ass or the goblin qween with under boob. there are fucking shit tons of comics that will cater to your prude taste, you do not need to alter the ones meant for me and other consumers with my taste.
Okay, you're kind-of going off the rails, here. I didn't tell anyone that they're not allowed to buy comics with titilating imagery. I said I wanted more balance in the representation of men and women in comics, and I said I think the industry should try to reign-in gratuitous sexual objectification of female characters in what are presumably comics aimed at a general readership. I don't think that's an unreasonable position.
I neither called for the abolition of comics targeted at male readers, nor degraded the readers of those comics. I like Manara's work. I used to read Heavy Metal on a semi-regular basis, and I actually wish there were more comics anthologies for grown-ups like Heavy Metal, but they don't seem to do well in the US market for whatever reason.
I'm amused to have been called a prude for the first time in my life, so thanks for that.
Who the fuck do I think I am? I'll get back to that in a moment.
marvel was trying to cater to everyone can you not see that? spider gwen and to a lesser extent silk where marketed to the female reader crowd, and spider woman was clearly meant for the male reader ship (what with land in). WHY can they not cater to them separately??? why in the fuck must all 3 cater to the female readers? are you really that fucking narcissist that you think its ok to throw a giant public shit fit just because a company puts a book out for people with different taste then you?
My wife actually laughed at "throw a giant public shit fit". I thought it was a pretty level-headed opinion piece, myself; she says it was too level-headed – to the point of being boring. Then she did her impression of me, which consists largely of her putting-on a deep voice, taking a sort-of paternal tone and saying things like "well, I don't agree with that, but I understand why people say it" and "you've got to take both sides into consideration". She says I'm pathologically diplomatic.
I recognize that Marvel and DC are making some efforts to attract (and hopefully keep) female readership, and I think that's great, but the fact remains that superhero comics still are, by and large, by men, for men. And I think that sucks. Girls love superheroes! But, they don't buy a lot of superhero comics. It's not because girls don't like art, or reading, or because they have some kind of grudge against the medium. Girls don't buy a lot of superhero comics because, among other reasons, women and girls are not represented as well in the medium as they are in films and TV.
And, here's the part you didn't see coming: I actually thought the Hopeless/Land Spider-Woman was (or is – I haven't kept-up with it) totally A-OK with its treatment of female characters. There is nothing going-on on the inside of that comic to indicate that it is a book targeted at male readers. You're wrong on that point. Land always draws tiny women with enormous boobs, but whatever; his art on Spider-Woman has been completely tame. It's a general-audiences book. And that's why having the sexy Manara cover was such a goofy thing for Marvel to do.
Now, getting back to "who the fuck do [I] think [I am]": I'm a guy who has read thousands of comics, who has drawn a few, who loves the medium, and is every bit as entitled to my opinion as you are. If having an opinion and publishing it makes me a narcissist, well, shit – call me Narcissus, then.
I've kept things pretty civil up to this point, Anonymous, but let's talk on the level here: getting shit like this in my inbox is unpleasant. You want to disagree with me, fine. I've got no problem with disagreements. I'm wrong sometimes and I'm happy to admit it – but have some decorum. Who the fuck do you think YOU are to condescend to me, you gutless, know-nothing moron? You want to take an indignant tone and start hurling insults at me because you think I and the International Feminist Conspiracy's Social Justice Warriors are going to take the T&A out of your precious comic books?
Learn to read, then learn to write, then maybe try again, you twit.
* <<F5U.1382>> Incomplete quotation
Badly sourced, badly edited quotations abound on social media sites, and it drives me up the fucking wall.
K's mother reposted a Winston Churchill quote, and here's the text that overlays Churchill's image:
CHURCHILL ON ISLAM:
"How dreadful are the curses
[Islam] lays on its votaries!
Besides the fanatical frenzy,
which is as dangerous in a
man as hydrophobia [rabies]
in a dog..."
What? Why in wailing hell would you end the quotation there? Why?! The remainder of that sentence is the most important part – THAT'S WHY THE SENTENCE BEGINS WITH "BESIDES"! Furthermore, he only stays on the subject for a single paragraph in the source work ([[https://archive.org/stream/1899RiverWarVol2/1899%20River%20War%20Vol%202#page/n279/mode/2up][The River War, 1st edition, Volume II]]); how damned hard would it be to just reproduce the entire paragraph?
"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement ; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must ~belong~ to some man as his absolute property—either as a child, a wife, or a concubine—must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen ; all know how to die ; but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step ; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science—the science against which it had vainly struggled—the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."
* <<F5V.0656>> Post this to Jesse at some point:
I don't have access to the article through my libraries, but I did find a summary in The Wilson Quarterly:
THE SOURCE: "Do You Have to Be Smart Rich? The Impact of IQ on Wealth, me, and Financial Distress" by Jay L. Zagorsky, in Intelligence, Sept.-Oct. 2007.
IT'S NOT NECESSARY TO BE smart to be rich, but it sure helps. Every additional IQ point correlates with an additional $234 to $616 a year in income among younger baby boomers, writes Jay L. Zagorsky, a research scientist at Ohio State University. But brains don't necessarily protect people from financial distress.
People with IQ scores slightly higher than the average (100) are least likely to live beyond their means. Within both the below-average and above-average intelligence groups, however, the likelihood of financial distress generally rises with IQ scores.
Geniuses and near-geniuses--those with scores of 140 and above--are the most likely of all IQ groups to max out one or more credit cards and to miss payments or be more than two months late. They're less likely to declare bankruptcy than the average person, though 14 percent of them do succumb.
Intelligence alone doesn't explain why individuals succeed or fail in economic life. Behavior matters. For every additional year a person can grind out in school (beyond a certain point), the reward is more than $2,200 in net worth. Divorce slashes worth by more than $28,000. The real explanation for economic success may well rest on psychological factors, such as a person's desire for immediate satisfaction, tolerance of risk, or ability to reject social influence, Zagorsky says. And don't discount luck, timing, and parents.
IQ and Finances
| IQ score | Maxed credit card (%) | Missed payment (%) | Declared bankruptcy (%) |
| 70 | 2.6 | 7.6 | 7.9 |
| 80 | 7.6 | 14.2 | 15.2 |
| 90 | 10.0 | 17.9 | 20.0 |
| 100 | 8.3 | 17.6 | 20.7 |
| 110 | 5.8 | 15.5 | 18.5 |
| 120 | 4.6 | 13.8 | 15.7 |
| 130 | 5.7 | 14.1 | 13.9 |
| 140 | 14.2 | 18.8 | 14.1 |
| | | | |
In a comparison among 40-year-olds making $45,000, higher IQs often meant more financial problems.
"Brainpower and bankruptcy." The Wilson Quarterly 32.2 (2008): 83. Academic OneFile. Web. 31 May 2015.
R.I.P. Aaron Swartz.
* <<F61.0708>> NOVO HIKETEP :hiketep:
It's always novo Hiketep, isn't it?
I'm quite settled on the phonemes, but the representations still escape me. I want systematic glyphs – I want phonemes with the same articulation, like k, g, and ng, to have visually related representations.
H K X T Þ F P
h, (k,g,ng,kh), (sh,zh), (t,d,n,s,z), (Þ,Ð), (f,v), (p,b,m),
Also, for Hiketep-Latin ...I guess what I really want is Hiketep-ASCII, because I hate having to go through the rigamarole of inputting Unicode characters. There are five sticky wickets in the consonants:
1 2 3 4 5
H, (C,G,?,K), (?,?), (T,D,N,S,Z), (?,?), (F,V), (P,B,M)
And I need twelve glyphs for vowels/approximants, but the five primary vowel characters, plus R and L, plus Y and W only give me nine. I need eight more characters (five consonants, three vowels), but I only have three left-over: Q, J, and X.
So, where do I start using punctuation or diacritics? Where do I start doubling-up letters?
It's probably more confusing than it should be to restrict myself to ASCII. ISO-8859-1 (or 15) is probably best. Just ...try to minimize the number of glyphs outside the ASCII range to minimize the headache of inputting them.
Consonants are a relatively easy fix, since Ð and Þ are available for their correlating sounds, X for 'sh', J for 'zh', and Q for 'ng' because it's what I have left-over.
Some of the vowels are obvious – some are a bit fiddly.
Eve, Able, Etta, Adam, Oswald, Otis, Una, Woody, Tuttle, Pip
Y ? E A O ? W ? U I
My inclination is to use A, E, I, O, and U in their English short-vowel roles. Eve (Y) and loon (W) are chosen because these letters double as consonants (diacritized, preferably). I wouldn't mind using diacritized letters for Able and Otis, but... which letters? Do I use a diaresis or a macron? Three Scandinavian vowels are readily available: Å, Æ, and Ø. If I wanted to be more IPA-like, I'd use Æ for Adam, A for Oswald, and O for Otis; and Ø is ~sort-of~ in the right IPA neighbourhood for Woody.
But do I want to be IPA-like?
In Scandinavian languages, Å is close to Otis, Æ is still like Adam, and Ø is ...not at all like any English vowels, so ...hrm.
Eve, Able, Etta, Adam, Oswald, Otis, Una, Woody, Tuttle, Pip
Y A E Æ O Ö W Ø U I
Or perhaps, since I like my English short vowels:
Y Æ E A O Ö W Ø U I
CRÖRW CRETMÖ WINDYBET, CADWÆMÖ RWBW FÖRDRIC YØM.
Crorro cretmo windybet, cadwaymo rooboo fordric yoom?
NOT RWDZDÆY YET, BUT GETYQ PREPT FÖR IT!
* <<F62.0542>> RWDZDÆY
HYCÆTEP LATIN TXORT NUMBR FIFTY FÖR ÖR SUMÞYQ
C T P YÆEAOÖWØUI
G D B
Q N M
OY XØD MODIFOY MOY RWTYN AND STOP TROYYQ TW WRC AT NOYT - `RLY TW BED AND `RLY TW ROYZ - WRC IN Ð` MÖRNYQ HWEN OY AM FREX - DW NOT WRC AT NOYT HWEN OY AM FAGD
ÐIS IZ FÆRLY `MYWZYQ - ÐIS RYVIJ`N UV HYCÆTEP LATIN RYDZ LÆYC SUM KÆYND OV SUÐRN YQLIX DOY`LECT HWEN NOT `WÆYR OV ITS INTEND`D PRÖNUNSYÆXUN
GRÖDW BRENẎEMBR CASTIC ALẎWẆÆ - BRIP ẎÖDMENON ADBẎWTIS CWDMẎAN
* <<F68.1005>> Vowels and alphabet names :hiketep:
Looked through a Teach-Yourself Old English book today to get a look at the vowels. Not surprisingly, the vowels are somewhere between modern English and Scandinavian languages.
| Anglo-Saxon | HIKETEP | | Match? |
| Æ | A | cAt | no |
| A | - | "a vowel between A and O" | - |
| E | E | sEt | yes |
| I | I | dIn | yes |
| O | O | nOt | yes |
| U | Ø | pUt | no |
| - | U | pUtt | - |
| Y | - | French "tu" | - |
| Ǣ | Æ | Canadian "eh" (long) | yes* |
| Ā | O | fAther (long) | no** |
| Ē | - | sEt (long) | - |
| Ī | Y | machIne | no |
| Ō | Ö | Canadian "oh" | yes*** |
| Ū | W | rUle | no |
| Ȳ | - | French "lUne" | - |
* matches without the diacritic
** I've conflated Anglo-Saxon O and Ā into HIKETEP-Latin O.
*** diacritic is different, but the essence is the same: "marked O"
Maybe I want to get my Æ in-line with Anglo-Saxon Æ after all. Or maybe not. The two alphabets are a little more than 50% alike, which makes me want to use as many of the same sound/glyphs as possible, but ...50% is still quite a difference.
The name HIKETEP sucks.
* <<F69.0770>> Xmodmap
Good lord, why did it take me so long to figure out how to use xmodmap to assign my HIKETEP-Latin characters to AltGr-modified keypresses?
C T P
G D B
Q N M | |
HKXSÞF | RL | YÆEAOÖWÙUI `
JZÐV | |
IZNT TWDÆY RWDZDÆY? OY ÞYQC IT IZ.
RÖDET BIDMINIT CWDW MEKNETMINYT
ÝOZÖ RWBÆT MYNHO
* <<F6A.0012>> Hiketeeeeegh!
Of course, now that I feel like I'm really getting HIKETEP close to being done, I want to use phonemes in my sound poetry that aren't in HIKETEP. I want the 'ch' in German "ich"; I want French R, I want a kind of fricative W like the one I use when saying words like whale and wharf, and I think I want Greek "ph" while I'm at it.
Furthermore, I'm seriously considering diverging O back into the two cardinal vowels which it currently serves. It's mostly become an issue when rendering English diphthongs like the personal pronoun I. The O sound in "on" is not the same sound as the initial vowel in "I", but I've been rendering it "OY" in HIKETEP-Latin, and it's just not right.
C T P
. . .
* <<F6C.1384>> Hiketeppp
There are some fundamental strokes in Greco-Latin glyph designs; I'm interested in exploring them as a possible alternative to HIKETEP-Latin. For example, glyphs starting with a vertical stroke on the left might map out like this:
| Г | F | P | | | |
| I | Ͱ | B | E | D | |
| L | | Ь | | | |
The various amendments made to the fundamental stroke could be representative of the voicing of a consonant's articulation. For example,
| K | Г | unvoiced plosive |
| G | P | voiced plosive |
| NG | F | nasal |
| KH | E | fricative |
| GH | B | voiced fricative |
Or something like that.
X - Greek letter Chi, voiceless palatal fricative [ç], as in German ich or like the h in some pronunciations of the English words hew and human
* <<F6F.0081>> Ink style
One of the things about my art that's bothered me for years is that it's quite sterile, in my opinion. My line-work is precise, clean – there's a real lack of grit or zest to what I do.
I'm working on
* <<F6M.1031>> Oki Wiredot :printing:okidata:dot-matrix:
"OKI’s first Serial Impact Dot Matrix printer (SIDM) in 1968, the Wiredot Printer is the root of digital printer technology" – http://askokimea.com/events/join-the-dots-of-history/
* <<F6N.1381>> Dot Matrix comic script scribbles
This is an Okidata Microline 92, a dot-matrix printer. There are more notable specimens of the breed, but this one is personally significant as it was my first printer.
It belongs to a family of machines called IMPACT PRINTERS, along with teletypewriters, drum printers, daisy-wheel printers, and the like. They all operate by the same underlying principle: strike an inked ribbon against a piece of paper, and you will make a mark.
I've long had a fascination with dot-matrix printers.
Part of it is nostalgia. I remember their SOUND – the earlier ones were especially loud – from the very earliest days of my life, and, as I mentioned, my own first printer was a dot-matrix. But they are also interesting to me because the dot-matrix printer is a TERMINAL TECHNOLOGY. They are the final stage of impact printer evolution, a genealogy of machines that traces back through the mechanical typewriter, to cast type and the Gutenberg press.
* <<F6O.0742>> Online Identity
What we want is a world in which WE ARE THE AUTHORITIES OF OUR OWN IDENTITY. Not Google, or Yahoo!, or Microsoft; not banks or governments, all of which have proven time and again that their abilities to secure, confirm, or authenticate an individual's identity are highly vulnerable even to simple methods of attack.
WebID is interesting, although the overlap with Webfinger seems ...uncoordinated.
* <<F6P.0060>> Media
The word, media, as I see it is misapplied when people use it to refer to entire systems, mechanisms, methods of production and reproduction. For example, people refer to "paper media", but the paper (in almost all cases) is NOT the medium; MEDIA, such as ink, graphite, charcoal, crayon, and so-on, are fixed onto paper, but the paper is not the medium. The medium is that through which something is conducted, not that onto which something is held in stasis. Media is the trasmissive agent, media is CHANGED.
There's often a tripartite system involved in writing, drawing, printing, and so-on. The three parts are INSTRUMENTATION, MEDIA, and STORAGE. Instrumentation is that which changes media (paint brush, palette knife), the medium is that which is changed (paint), and the storage is that which stabilizes media – or, more specifically, that which fixes changes made to media (canvas). In some cases, the system is bipartite as the media and storage are the same (sculpture, engraving) or, in the case of the wooden pencil, one could argue that the instrumentation and the media are the same – tho' I wouldn't make that argument. To my reckoning, the instrument is the wooden barrel of the pencil, and the graphite is the medium. They're packaged together, but they can still be separated.
* <<F6R.1233>> re: [[F6N.1381]]
[Working space. This entry is anachronistic.]
This is an Okidata Microline 92 (µ92), a dot-matrix printer. There are more notable specimens of the genus, but this one has personal significance for me as it was my first printer.
The mechanism has reached certain physical limitations on its development. Pin size limits the mechanical design, as pins below a certain threshold are too fragile to allow the speed and reliability that the machines' users expect; and that limitation also imposes a limit on the quality of print. With pin size stuck at 1/72nd of an inch, print resolutions higher than that will always suffer from an unwanted granularity.
Drawing, painting, writing, printing – these can all be abstracted into a tripartite system of INSTRUMENT / MEDIUM / MATRIX. [I'm not sold on the terminology. Maybe 'messenger', 'medium', and 'matrix' – the three Ms.]
Instrumentation is used to impregnate the matrix with medium? There's certainly a sexual character to the system, especially when using terminology like that.
INSTRUMENTS effect change in MEDIA; media is held in stasis by a MATRIX.
Writing is drawing. Typing is printing. Printing is mechanized drawing.
We think of writing as recording THOUGHT, but this is really a high-level view. The only thing that writing records, when you remove the semiotic value of the symbols, is the action of an instrument upon a medium.
Printing mechanizes drawing by using matrices ~as~ instruments. A full printing plate is a complete image or image-plane matrix. Cast type, typebars, are character matrices. A dot-matrix pin is, itself, a pixel matrix.
The inked ribbon is a damned ingenious invention. Starting with intaglio printing, you've got a process in which media must first be transferred to an instrument, then that instrument is used to transfer the media into a matrix. The stamp-pad is a clever method of simplifying the process of transferring media onto the instrument, but it remains a two-transfer process. The inked ribbon, though, is some truly inspired thinking: rather than transfer the media to the instrument, then transfer the media AGAIN to the matrix, simply hold the media in stasis and use the instrument to effect a single transfer.
Message propagation. Communication.
A message can be formalized in a sound, a gesture, a thought, but before it can become a static thing, a printed thing, it must be formalized or symbolized – a SCHEME is needed by which a message may be MEDIATED.
[Message? Messenger? Maybe not appropriate, here; the division of FORM and CONTENT comes into play. A message necessarily has content, while the action of an instrument upon a medium may only communicate form without any intended signification.]
Typing is printing: this is as true with a computer as it is with a typewriter. A typebar effects the deposition of media in a symbol-form upon a paper-matrix. A keystroke effects the deposition of a symbol-sequence into a memory-matrix.
Carving, sculpture, engraving – in these systems, the medium and the matrix are one; instrumentation (knife, gouge, finger, whatever) effects change in the matrix itself.
The matrix is a key element – the ability to hold messages in stasis ...
Performance – speech, song, dance, thought – in purely physical terms, one might say that these things are mediated by light or air, and that analog television and radio are re-mediation into electricity ... but that's not the kind of mediation I'm intersted in. I'm interested in ...symbolic mediation?
Writing is drawing. Writing is SYMBOL-drawing. Writing is language schematized for mediation as FORM, and drawing is form mediated through gesture.
Drawing has no inherent semiotic content, so is non-schematic. Drawing is elementally formal – there is no MESSAGE in drawing, only in what one draws.
Perhaps this is what attracts me to the dot-matrix printer: because the presence of the mechanism is overt in the print. High-quality inkjet and laser printers are more-or-less transparent; when you look at them you see the printed image, not the distortions imposed upon the image by the machine. With more primitive devices, the mechanism becomes an actor in the creation of a document. Typewriters, impact printers, plotters, mimeographs – their character comes through in the documents they produce. Inkjets have no character. Very high quality offset printing has no character.
Also, beyond having a certain æsthetic character,
IN MY MIND ASLOPE
MY IDIOT BALLS CREEP-ROLL TOWARD YOUR DEPRESSING FORCE
OF GRAVIC BEAUTY AND CLACK
AGAINST YOUR BRICKWALL SHITHOUSE
ATHWART YOUR FIREWALL SHITHOSE
I CRUMPLE AWAY SAPPED,
NUTS CRACKED , HEART SOILED ,
TO THIS SQUEAKY MOTHERFUCKER +SOFA+ ~LOVE~ SEAT
WITH BARELY THE ENERGY TO WRITE A SHITTY POEM
BEFORE CAPITULATING WITH MYSELF
TO RESET THE ENTIRE MORONIC CONTRAPTION
IN DREAMLESS SLEEP
* <<F7E.0769>> Poetry / Node / bleh
Poetry is important. It's important because it forces the reader to work with language in a non-idiomatic way. Poetry is atithetical to the language of advertisers and politicians. All great writers are poetical; writers like Tolstoy and Dick, whose styles are very direct and plain-spoken, are poetical in their phrasing, their rhythm – one needn't use flowery or opaque language to practice high art ...
Node.js is fun. Terminal Poetry ([[EA1.0358]]) is going to happen. I'll probably do the server stuff with Node.js.
Give me white on black
Give me fast forms of cool fire
A million blazing dashes
Brand my eyes --blegh. What garbage.
* <<F7G.0642>> Poetry is hard
Poetry is hard.
How can one be poetic in the world we've built? Exultation at the beauty of nature – fine, but ...what does that have to do with the hives and hovels of the office high-rise and the income-controlled housing estate? The crimson sun through smoke of distant fires – fine, but ...what does that have to do with standards of measurement, particle decay, theories of information, telecommunications? These sorts of things in particular – the high-rise and the tenement, these are dwellings, homes, workshops, and the heights and depts of human experience take place in and around them as ever – but these contemporary, abstract, technical, ideas ...how to move beyond mere novelty and really write artfully about them?
Give me white on black!
Give me fast forms of cool fire,
Where a million blazing strokes ignite
where minute lightning rakes
'neath the hopping tines of a serial rake,
* <<F7I.0195>> It's not a blog if it ain't on the web.
Having a blog/site accessible via telnet:
- Cool as shit.
- Interesting platform for features/interactivity
- Inaccessible to most computer users
- No linking to other online resources/pages/sites
* <<F7K.0055>> text mode
I prefer text interfaces in software. I like visual uniformity, I like monochromatism – so there's a purely aesthetic aspect to my preference. Moreover, I prefer text interfaces because I DON'T WANT TO BE PARTICIPATING IN VISUAL CULTURE ALL OF THE TIME. I don't watch TV. I don't miss TV. I find most visual culture to be sensually aggressive.
I can't articulate this properly right now because I am tired.
Shist rearcing lyuronic corioline
Vergic tyuron mecastrene fo
Shearc choxide hulculan cyurudos
Floxtins illowin fektin amine
* <<F7L.0764>> There are no orphan works.
Let me first begin by apologizing for what may be a lack of depth in this letter. If it comes off as somewhat half-cocked, it is because I was only made aware of the Notice of Inquiry two days before the closing date for comments, and have only had time to inform myself in-brief on the issues under review and some of the proposals to address them.
I am a professional illustrator, and the monetary value of my work lies solely in the legal strength of my copyright to it.
Copyright protects three groups: it protects authors of original work from exploitation of their labour-product without just compensation; it protects patron-publishers who invest in the production of new work from having their investments undermined; and, likewise, it protects rights-holders who have purchased copyrights or licenses to pre-existing work from having their investments undermined. These groups: authors, investors, and traders, are the only parties whose time, talent, expertise, and capital are involved in the production of new work and the fair trade of pre-existing work; as such, they are the only parties whose needs and rights should be taken into consideration when draughting any new copyright legislation. Any future alteration of copyright law which would weaken the protections for these groups must be seen as a failure. Moreover, any alteration of copyright law which weakens protections for these groups in order to benefit third parties who would profit by the labour and investment of others without compensating them must be seen as a complete perversion of copyright law.
The outrageous proposition of abolishing the current institution of automatic copyright – certainly the most important component of the Copyright Act of 1976 and an international tradition more than a century old amongst signatories of the Berne Convention – can only benefit parties who seek to monetize the labour-product of authors and/or the investments of patron-publishers and rights-holders without compensating them. It would be a shameful ethical regression for the United States, and a boon to pirate publishers and other copyright infringers.
The concept of "orphan works" is an absurdity. The idea that an author's work, when lacking clear attribution, should suddenly fall into the public domain is ludicrous in an age where media can be digitized, stripped of attribution, and distributed to a million Internet users in the space of an hour. Could anyone really be so morally vacuous as to think that an automobile with its VIN removed should suddenly become a free car? If a work cannot be sourced and/or rights cannot be obtained to publish it, IT SIMPLY CANNOT BE PUBLISHED outside the well-established scope of fair use. It's certainly better for authors if new work is commissioned instead, and at least commerce is taking place if alternative pre-existing works are found and licensed. Creating a system which legitimizes the exploitation of so-called orphan works can only encourage the intentional orphaning of work by unethical actors. Simply because the mechanisms do not currently exist to link all digital works back to their authors we cannot take the position that all digital works are inherently authorless. There are no "orphan" works; there are simply works that have been circulated by third parties unbeknownst to the author.
EVERY work has an author.
EVERY author is entitled to compensation for the exploitation of their labour-product.
EVERYONE is an author. Not just novelists, easel painters, recording artists, or other professional authors – EVERYONE. Moms snapping candid photos of their kids, teens writing empassioned blogs, children smearing poster paint on construction paper – they are all originators of literary and artistic works and have a moral right to the exclusive ownership of their labour-product, their intellectual property.
Any future copyright law which would only protect authors or rights-holders whose work had been registered with a private registry would be nothing short of a legal mandate for the establishment of a kind-of copyright protection racket, a system by which authors and rights-holders would have to pay protection money to enjoy the legal rights that the citizens of 167 other nations of the Berne Union enjoy for free. Furthermore, the implementation of any registration-required system would potentially invalidate the copyrights of the untold billions of pre-existing unregistered works, and that, in turn, would doubtlessly incur a frenzy of claim-jumping by unscrupulous actors seeking to register illegitimate claims.
In short, the only people pressing for orphan works legislation are people who want something for nothing – people who want to use others' work without paying, and who don't want to pay for the creation of something new. The only people pressing for registration-required copyright are those who seek to profit from the copyright-registration business. Authors, patron-publishers, and rights-holders stand only to suffer devaluation of their labour and assets and to incur an increased cost of doing business if either of these schemes are put into law.
DO NOT consider abolition of automatic copyright.
DO NOT consider the institution of a buy-in copyright system.
Rather than revoking our current automatic copyright system, I would like to see the US Copyright Office offer a trusted timestamping service
Enter, hackneyed wisdom.
Light your toy jewels well
and frame them artfully.
Get up the lamps hot
To dazzle with glitter;
Flare away, trite!
And "gems!", they will cry.
Hur, hur, rumbles cavernous bone-sack,
aching at the dry blown in through its love hole.
(The plug, shriveled up, fell out.)
So hur, it rumbles, in lightless humour,
wadding-up whatever motes shake loose.
A soft-plug with that?! O, sad sack,
A brave labour futile indeed.
* <<F7P.0757>> ASCII encoding for neu alphabet
C T P Y O I
CC TT PP EE OO '
G N M E W
H K X Z S D F B R L A UU
KK XX ZZ SS DD FF BB AA U
ISS DDIS EEY CANTTITTEEYT MAPYG FOOR ASCII?
UKK. TW MANY TTUPPL LETRSS. OO! UPR ANTT LOOWR CEEYS, TTUH.
OcEy, Dis is haO Dy micst cEys mapyg wUT lUc. Ey Pit fugcy.
* <<F7Q.0699>> Alphabet soup
Had some of inspiration in the creation of a new set of glyphs. Came very naturally; an unconscious syncretism of past attempts. Feeling good about them at the moment. Too much work to do right now, though, so I'll have to come back to it.
* <<F7Q.0700>> Coffee
Some day, when I'm rich, I'll just have one of those commercial coffee brewer/dispenser things in the house and I'll go fill up my cup from the spout whenever the hell I feel like it.
* <<F7R.0005>> Alphabet souffle
k t p y o i
K T P E O `
g n m e w
h q x c s d f v r l a U
Q X C S D F V A u
E e a A o O U u i
Ay haF praktist wraytyg wid D` nyw Klifs t`TEy, anT Ay am plyST wid haw DEy ar "fylyg". Ay haF dry reprySentEyc`nS at Dis tAym: Ey rektiliny`r "fOrm`l" set, Ey krsiF "skript", anT Ey TAyakritAyST latin set.
Some ligatures for commonly-used compounds are presenting themselves to me.
Trying to write phonetically is making me think hard about the sounds I produce when I'm speaking. For example, I never had thought about the fact that in words like 'hunger', there is an "ng" sound followed by a hard G sound, while in words like 'hangar', there is no hard G; and in words like 'hinge' there is an N+ZH or N+D+ZH compound – yet I can't think of any words with a literal 'ng' in their spelling that are pronounced as N followed by hard G, as a person would when saying the name Van Gogh.
* <<F7T.1268>> Slim computin'
I would love a slick-lookin' little keyboard-style case for a Raspberry pi. Something along the same lines as the FUZE case, but slim and sleek and less GPIO/hacking/education-oriented. Something that would just be nice to look at and nice to type on.
This sketch, of course, is inspired by the Atari XL computers. The reason this came to mind is because I've finally been reunited with my 800XL, and it always makes me think about how enjoyable computers, as artifacts, can be. The HP laptop that I'm currently typing on... it has no character. It's modestly stylish, and it works just fine, but it has no character, and so the experience of using it, the real-world, physical, tactile and sensory experience of using it is ...not very memorable, or interesting, or enjoyable.
* <<F7U.0044>> Alphabet slurry.
* <<F7U.0051>> GNU antisocial
Of minor note: I've switched-off my GNU social node. Pump.io, I have decided, is simply a better design and better implementation. I am considering running a Pump.io server instead, although it's going to be a project to set-up and I haven't got the time right now.
So, for now, hord.laemeur.com is dead, and probably for good. And, for that matter, my activity on GNU social is probably over for good as well. I'll drop into the SDF instance now and then, but that will be all.
wel, twTeI wAS eI fukIg wAc.
* <<F82.0101>> Chord Keying
* <<F83.1370>> Chord Keying
With eight primary keys, there are:
1 0-key combinations
8 1-key combinations
28 2-key combinations
56 3-key combinations
70 4-key combinations
56 5-key combinations
28 6-key combinations
8 7-key combinations
1 8-key combinations
Because there are only four fingers for keying, we can discard the idea of actually keying the 5, 6, 7, and 8-key combinations. However, we can still use those additional 93 key patterns by using a bit-flip thumbswitch, so that the operator would key the inverse of the pattern
* <<F87.0700>> Definitely the best spam subject/sender I've seen
Subject: THIS IS PERSONAL EMAIL DIRECTED TO YOU
From: GOOD NEWS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I especially like that the sender's email address appears to be from the Supreme Education Council of Qatar.
Would fake love be better than real apathy?
If you had a machine that asked how your day was, that convicingly seemed interested, that said encouraging and supportive things, would you care that it was a machine?
The people of the world don't need artificial intelligence – they need artificial love, because we're increasingly incapable of giving and getting the real thing.
* <<F8E.0854>> Chain Sequencer
I've been developing the idea of a musical "chain sequencer" in the back of my mind for a while; in particular, it's something I'd like to do on the Atari, but the concept is interesting to me more generally.
To describe it, let's first describe a typical step-sequencer. A step sequencer provides a fixed number of stored values; these stored values are "stepped" through at a fixed interval and sent to a fixed destination. At the end of the sequence, the process restarts.
Now, for a chain sequencer, you'd have, essentially, a simple stored-program computer: the sequencer would store an arbitrary number of sequences (programs), and each "step" in these sequences wouldn't just be a single stored value, but instead would contain a complete sequencer instruction. An instruction would consist, like a machine-language instruction, of an opcode and operand, and an additional parameter, optime, which would determine the delay between the execution of the current instruction and the next in a sequence. One of the instructions would be a jump-to-sequence instruction, which would facilitate the "chaining" of sequences, hence the "chain sequencer" moniker.
The logic of the sequencer is very simple: for each running sequence, maintain a delay counter and a step counter; at each tick of the sequencer clock, decrement the delay counter, and if the delay counter equals zero, increment the step counter and perform the instruction at that step, setting the delay counter to the instruction's optime. The complexity of the thing comes from the operations provided by the sequencer. You could make a dead-simple chaining step-sequencer with two operations: store-value, and jump-to-sequence. But what makes the chain sequencer idea interesting to me is the great variety of instructions that you could write into one.
* <<F8F.0765>> Calligraphic drawing
I had the idea about a month ago, but I didn't pick-up a nib until this morning. I'm experimenting today with using a calligraphic pen nib for drawing – specifically, a Speedball LC-4. The idea came to me after I'd been doing some digital painting using a VERY flat brush; I felt like I might actually be better at controlling line-width with the tilt of my wrist than I am at controlling it with pressure. Also, one thing that I've had difficulty with when using a brush for inking is that brushes don't really have any "bite" into the paper. Dip pens provide much more tactile feedback, and I find that helpful.
Interestingly, this is a left-handed nib. I looked at the taper in the store, and thought it looked right. Maybe not for writing, but for drawing, I think it's right. We shall see.
* <<F8S.0063>> IBM Watson Personality Insights
The tool is here: https://watson-pi-demo.mybluemix.net/
My results, after plugging-in 15,872 words of text from my website and JRNL:
"You are shrewd and skeptical.
You are independent: you have a strong desire to have time to yourself. You are proud: you hold yourself in high regard, satisfied with who you are. And you are reserved: you are a private person and don't let many people in.
Experiences that give a sense of prestige hold some appeal to you.
You are relatively unconcerned with tradition: you care more about making your own path than following what others have done. You consider independence to guide a large part of what you do: you like to set your own goals to decide how to best achieve them."
And my "data":
Artistic interests 7%
Achievement striving 44%
Activity level 3%
EMOTIONAL RANGE 47%
Prone to worry 19%
Susceptible to stress 17%
Openness to change 81%
We few have long sung the song of Arcix, the fog-burner;
His blacktarp cape, his tinpot hat, his hose-cuirass, his eyes
Occulted like two spirit orbs whose gaze is always felt
But never seen; and of his lank, and his configuration,
There is a flag that waves, beneath invisible coils of electric fire,
where stands the house of Lorgat. Caressing draughts of heavy aether
exhaled by the ursine earth billow that steely flag in slow and hypnotic
undulations. Radiating arcs of
* <<F8V.0708>> PROJECTS
Lots of things I'd like to be working on right now.
Getting reacquainted with 6502 assembly the past couple of nights. Bashed-out a simple little program to stuff random numbers into POKEY and GTIA's player/missile registers; having to re-learn how to restructure programs in assembly, how to do comparisons and loops – basically everything.
Originally I wanted to write my chain sequencer to use display-list interrupts for timing – that would give a 1/60 second system clock – but in light of the fact that I have my DR-55 available, and the Atari is already modded to accept a clock in the form of a BREAK key interrupt, I might as well go-ahead and write it to work with the external clock.
This also came to mind because I have been finding minimal electronic/cold wave music to be inspiring lately, and the DR-55 has a great old analog drum sound that I'd like to play with.
On the visual-art front, two things: I want to re-work some old illustrations like Invex The Invisible Man and Atari Force Pyjamas into a newer style. Invex is 5 years old, and the pyjamas piece is even older – I've improved a lot since then. Those (and others) are solid compositions, though, and I'd like to fix 'em up and sell them as prints.
I also want to do some landscape painting. Digital, of course. I have snapped a few photos with my phone camera that I think have the fundamentals of strong compositions, but I'd like to abstract them into good paintings. Not something I've done much of before, but something I think I can do. I have to try.
My project for right this moment is to eat this bowl of ramen in my lap. Terrible ramen – Mr. Noodles – but I stuck an egg, a sheet of nori, and a dollop of red chili paste into it, so it might just hit the spot.
"...I took her to my room and I showed her myself,
She made me feel proud and I was thankful..."
– The Verve, "No Knock On My Door"
A nice dream.
* <<F94.1316>> Punk (and post-) DIY culture
Wonderful band from the '80s: Five Times Of Dust. Released a lot of material, all of it sonically interesting – almost nobody's ever heard of 'em.
They were a couple of DIY electronic musicians, using multitrack cassette recorders and home computers, and putting their art out on cassette tapes. There were a number of people doing this in the early '80s. The past few days, I've started finding tapes and listening to them. What treasures!
One group I've known of for a while, Solid Space ...I found their album on YouTube last year, and located an MP3 copy for download on some blog or another. I've listened to it dozens of times, enjoyed it quite a lot, and wondered where all of the other music akin to it was. I'm finally finding out.
Another stand-out group, Doxa Sinestra – unbelievable. Fucking brilliant industrial stuff.
I want to move all of the personal shit out of this journal file and into its own thing. I hate everything that I write having to do with life and emotion; it's just plaque in the veins of this journal.
I also need to do a system backup occasionally.
I'm getting right back to where I was six years ago.
I take my son's hand and pet the top of my head with it, just to feel like someone actually wants me. He smiles, thinks it's funny, and that makes me feel a bit better.
* <<F9M.0808>> PD
Well, I got some sound out of some oscillators in PureData, so I'm encouraged to carry-on with learning how to make interesting things with it.
I spent the past week's spare time to try and find a modular synthesizer program that let me do what Syntiac StudioFactory let me do, and came up empty-handed. StudioFactory works okay under WINE, but it's apparently not being updated, and it's always been a bit fiddly to work with. That said, I'll probably continue to play with it for a little while longer as it's the synthesis environment I've the most facility with.
* <<F9T.1383>> Periods of sine
An idea that I've been toying with for more than a year in a musical context is this:
An infinite variety of patterns can be described as a simple pair of frequencies: a waveform frequency, and a sampling frequency. Additionally, a phase or offset parameter could be added, although it's not strictly necessary.
* <<FA4.0112>> :melodion:
I can do the melodion (and all future melodionæ) in Pd. It's a bit ...goofy, visual programming, but I started to get a handle on Pd in this past week, and it'll come together for me. Who knows, I may even end-up really liking the Pd way of doing things.
It's impossible to get something fixed when you can't even agree that it's broken.
* <<FAI.1399>> Notes on some recent recordings
FAG – Musical phrases are drawn from a 50-event array, populated by hand. Periodically, the beginning index and length of pattern (defined by the number of events) to be played by each voice are reassigned at random. There's some manual parameter twiddling of timbre and tempo.
FAH – Added some LFOs to modulate amplitude envelopes and FM amount, and each oscillator's wafeform is now selectable (saw, sine, and square). Additionally, I added manual controls of sequence start/length for the left-channel voice.
FAI – The event array now mutates as the music plays. LFOs as well as S/H are used for timbre modulation.
* <<FAK.0116>> Make America Great ...Again?
Donald Trump is running his campaign on the promise of "mak[ing] America great again." The obvious implication is that America is no longer great, that America has lost its greatness and is losing it to the likes of China and Mexico. This is coming from a very rich man, a man who is purportedly richer now that he has ever been before, and a man very vocal in his contempt for "losers". This rich American businessman who loathes losers is telling 300 million Americans that they're losing – they're in grave danger of becoming losers – but he assures them that they once were winning, and if they make the right choice at the ballot-box, they can start winning again and be winners.
This works on a remarkably large number of people. It works on people who feel like they are losing, but also feel that they are winners at heart; people who feel that their losses are no fault of their own, and that they need someone at the top to come down hard on all the losers who are making it impossible for hard-working winners like themselves to get ahead; ...
I have a hard time swallowing the idea that The United States, the most powerful national economy in the world with an armed forces budget the size of the next fourteen largest militaries combined, and with totally unprecedented influence over global culture, is no longer great. America is not perfect. America has never been perfect. America has social and cultural problems, it has diplomatic problems, political problems, and it has economic problems. Regarding the latter topics, the chief problem is that wealth is becoming the property (rather than the posession) of the wealthy, and that a kind of plutocracy is forming...
Socialist civil-libertarian atheists aren't usually the guys at monster-truck rallies chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" but I know that others of my ilk – as much as we like to grouse about the status quo – agree on this point: America is fuckin' great.
Donald Trump is an idiot.
He's making you a sales pitch, and you're buying it. He's saying, look at me, I'm rich, I'm powerful, I'm a success, I'm a winner – and you're not. But don't worry, it's not your fault. It's the government, it's the immigrants, it's the communists and the ...brown people. I'll take care of the govermnet, the immigrants, the losers – I can handle all of them, I am a man who knows how to get things done! Just look at my skyscrapers! I'm a winner, and you can be a winner like me, too; all you have to do is put me in charge.
* <<FAM.1032>> Synth notes
On recording FAM: A third voice (mixed in the center) was added. This one isn't reading any notes from the sequence; it's triggered at every note-on event of the left and right voices, but it is sampling a sawtooth wave to derive its frequency.
No filtering on this one, so – VERY intense/chippy sounding.
* <<FAT.0142>> Drawing / Atari sound
Drawing might be my first love, but it's not very intellectually satisfying. It seems to be harder for me to get caught-up in a piece of artwork than it is to get caught-up in a project like designing an alphabet or writing a program. It's more stimulating for me to work on character/world design than it is to draw or write stories about those characters and worlds. Illustration is probably a poor career choice.
Very encouraging first results using POKEY timers to do FM synthesis on the Atari. Timings and frequencies are really erratic right now, and I'm having a bit of difficulty figuring out why the emulated machine is not doing what I think it's supposed to be doing. I need to start testing on real hardware, because Altirra and Atari800 /do not/ produce the same results from the same program.
* <<FB8.0055>> Atari synth
I am really hitting a brick wall with the Atari synth programming. The problem centres around emulation of the POKEY timers – I don't think it's being done properly, either in Atari800 or Altirra, because not only does the same program yield completely different results in each emulator, but in both cases, the emulated behaviour seems to make no sense based on my understanding of what the hardware is supposed to do.
The bottom line is that I need to do some testing on the real hardware to figure out how POKEY timers *actually* work, because the current state-of-the-art in emulation is incomplete.
* <<FBB.0393>> IMMUTABLE INTELLIGENCE
WHAT IS THE CORRELATION BETWEEN COMPUTATION AND INTELLIGENCE . CAN ALL IMMUTABLE INTELLIGENCES PERFORM COMPUTATION . IS AN INSECT INTELLIGENT THEN . IS A COMPUTER .
* <<FBC.0855>> "No copyright infringement intended."
I love that people share music on YouTube. It's absolutely the best resource for exploring obscure, out-of-print, or simply unpublicized music, and I'm a big fan of media sharing in general, because it's great publicity for people who don't have a publicity budget. I've benefitted professionally from having my illustration shared, reblogged, etc. It's great. But if you're gonna share other peoples' music on YouTube, don't monetize your fucking videos. That's the difference between sharing and exploitation. And what's even worse is people who upload copyrighted material, monetize the videos, and then leave a mealymouthed little disclaimer, "no copyright infringement intended", in the video description. Fuck you, "no copyright infringement intended." Christ, if you're going to be a parasite, have some spine about it.
Winds me right up.
I was going to post this on pump.io. Then I reconsidered my feelings. A restatement:
I love that people share music on YouTube. It's absolutely the best resource for exploring obscure, out-of-print music, international music, or even mainstream domestic music that's simply never come to your attention, and I'm a big fan of media sharing in general because it's a brilliant way for creative professionals like me to get our work out to potential clients. One thing really winds me up, though, and that's when people share music to YouTube and then monetize the videos. Actually, that part alone doesn't really wind me up (I'll come back to that); it's when people post copyrighted material, and then leave a mealymouthed little disclaimer, like "no copyright infringement intended", in the video description. Bullshit, "no copyright infringement intended" – that's exactly what you're doing –intentionally! Christ, if you're going to be a parasite, have some spine about it.
Disingenuous disclaimers aside, my feelings about people who brazenly upload copyrighted material and try to monetize it is more-or-less: whatever. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I think it's a non-issue. A few thousand views on YouTube is only going to pay the infringing party, like, $1 USD, and if you're a smaller, independent artist, that "infringement" will probably work in your favour, since you're probably not going to be getting any exposure on commercial radio or television. An argument could probably be made that the infringer deserves that tiny finder's fee if they help you grow your audience at all. On a moral ground, I don't like it – it's the very difference between sharing an artist's work, and exploiting that artist – but from a practical point of view, it's hardly worth getting up-in-arms about.
* <<FBD.0790>> Radical Artifice – a 20-year echo
I borrowed Marjorie Perloff's [[http://marjorieperloff.com/books/unoriginal-genius/][Unoriginal Genius: Poetry By Other Means In The New Century]] from the library this morning – the subject matter is interesting to me: the primacy of media re-use, adaptation, alteration, etc., in contemporary art (the book is about poetry specifically, but it's relevant across fields) – but at the very beginning of the preface, she mentions in passing a previous book, [[http://marjorieperloff.com/books/radical-artifice/][Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry In The Age Of Media]], which was published in 1994, which immediately seemed more interesting to me because I'm always interested in anachronistic texts dealing with then-new media.
Luckily, she has a few sample chapters available on her web-site. The first few paragraphs of the very first chapter demanded to be annotated:
* <<FBL.0897>> Close cousins
Lots of common melodic ground between YMO's "Technopolis" and The Human League's cover of the Gordon's Gin jingle. I should make a list of these things. Close cousins, or something. Kraftwerk's "Metropolis" and Vangelis' Blade Runner end titles is another pair. There's a bit in Journey's TRON soundtrack that's almost note-for-note with Rockets' "Venus Rhapsody" (I think it's "Venus Rhapsody" – I can't remember with certainty).
Many more besides.
* <<FBM.0066>> You get better eventually, right?
Looking back at the scraps of Apocalyptek.com that the the Wayback Machine managed to save ... my writing was *so bad*, right up through 2003, then there's almost a year-long gap between snapshots and
* <<FBM.0073>> TREASURE! TREASURE!
I don't know how I missed it before, but the Wayback Machine managed to grab a few old mp3 files that I've been after for a long while: 20030505 and 20030509. Both are only 64Kbps, which is too bad, but I haven't heard these in years and I'm *extremely* pleased to be hearing them again now.
Somewhere, on some old hard disk, either here or at my mother's house, are the source files. Until I get those disks and the means to access them, this is it – but what a treat!
It's been my intention to publish a chronology of my music recordings at http://music.laemeur.com, but I haven't been putting a lot of work into it yet. I posted the Mote Eidetix stuff last night, with some descriptions/annotations ... I don't like that information being on the web and not local, so it's time to make an Org section in the JRNL about it. Kablooey: [[MUSIC CHRONOLOGY]]
Christ, I would love to have half of my emotions excised from my being.
Dear Santa Claus,
It's been a number of years since last I wrote you. I can only hope that my correspondence wasn't missed. If it was, I do apologize for falling out of touch.
I have only one item on my wish-list this year. I know that your line is toys and that this may be beyond your capacity to deliver, but my need is great enough that I am looking into every possible resource for its procurement.
Santa, if it is within your power, please bring to me this year:
1. Reciprocity of desire from my wife.
Thank you very kindly for your time. I wish you the greatest success on your route this year, and a very happy new year to follow. Pass along my fond regards for the builders in your workshop and for your sleigh team as well.
All the best,
You cannot understand
How badly it hurts
To be rushed out of a hug
Or to feel your lips pursed at their extent
To keep my kiss as far from you and as hard as possible.
* <<FCF.0931>> I am not a collaborator.
I do not collaborate. I do not "bouce ideas back and forth". I do not want to talk to you on the phone, or ~Skype~. If you would like an illustration, tell me what you would like illustrated. If you need a design, I am happy to provide some designs. If you like them, that's great. If you don't, that's great, too. We're not buddies, comrades, partners – I'm an illustrator, and you're my client. Tell me what you would like me to do, then let me do it.
* <<FCK.0839>> "Social" media
- As long as publishing / communication are mediated by profit-driven corporations, and as long as those corporations are unfettered by any privacy or censorship laws, there can be no freedom of expression online.
- Social media is a product produced by its own consumers, but mediated (formatted, packaged, published, someteimes redacted) and monetized by service providers.
- Social media services (Facebook, et al) ...
- Metaphors are difficult – if the internet is the infrastructure, the "roads", then what are applications/services? Courier/post services combined with warehouse facilities, I suppose. USPS and Iron Mountain rolled into one. Actually... no. More like Western Union and Iron Mountain – Facebook doesn't drive any trucks, so to speak. It's more like a telegraph-and-warehouse service.
* <<FCR.1322>> GIMP vs Krita
I've been an on-and-off GIMP user for a ~long~ time (12 years? 14 years? Something on that order), but in this past year it's been especially important: *every* digital illustration I shipped to a client in 2015 was done exclusively in GIMP. It's good software. It does have shortcomings though, so for the past few years I've kept an eye on Krita. I've played with Krita maybe a half-dozen times, but it's never felt quite "right" for one reason or another. Today I decided it was time for another try.
Getting a pretty good match for the look and feel of my few custom GIMP brushes was surprisingly trivial, but the line quality of GIMP's Ink tool remains nonpareil. This has been a key feature of GIMP for me because the backbone of my style is naturalistic line-art. However, the GIMP ~still~ lacks arbitrary canvas rotation and mirroring, something that users of proprietary applications like OpenCanvas, SketchBook, or Manga Studio have enjoyed for over a decade. Those features are purported to be on the horizon for the next major GIMP release, but in light of their absence, I have to say that *Krita* is just a ~much better~ tool for the physical act of drawing. And, I don't know whether it's been a change in Krita or a change in me, but that not-quite-right feeling about the software seems to be gone.
I am very comfortable in my GIMP workflow – we go ~way~ back, after all – and I *love* its Ink tool. Also, I do sometimes work with indexed-color images, and that's something that Krita is simply not designed to do. Nevertheless, I think I ~will~ begin migrating some of my art duties to Krita.
The importance of fast non-destructive canvas rotation can't be understated. It's the thing I've missed most since I finally ditched my 7-year-old version of OpenCanvas last year (they changed their pen tool in version 5 and I didn't like it, so I stuck with 4.5). And, being able to work with CMYK colour properly and know exactly how my colours will go to print is something I've sorely missed since I said my final goodbye to Photoshop a year ago.
I'm really looking forward to GIMP 2.10. For now, though, I think I'm ready to look to Krita to regain some capabilites I've gone without for the past year.
Well, I was going to post that online, but I got a bit ambitious and downloaded the source for GIMP 2.9.2 and built it this morning. CANVAS ROTATION/MIRRORING WORKS. CMYK still isn't there, but I am SO DELIGHTED to be have the other things. No need to give-up GIMP's superb Ink tool just yet!
2.9.2 isn't a stable release, so it might be a nightmare, but for the few minutes I've played with it -- ahh, how sweet it is!
* <<FCS.0842>> Why Free Software?
Because there is no governance. There is no domestic legislation and there are no international treaties that limit what software vendors and online service providers can do with private information. *None*. And our *lives* are lived through internetworked software – our business lives, our family lives, public lives and private lives, everything we read, write, buy, sell, watch, record, speak, or sing – it's *all* transmuted through software, and transmissible to anyone, anywhere, invisibly.
So, who do you trust? Do you trust corporations, whose only honest motive is generating investor profit, and whose software is a "black box" which no one is allowed to analyse? Or a bunch of hackers, whose code is all out in the open, available for scrutiny by any interested party? You might prefer a third option, but this is what you've got.
* <<FCT.0682>> Demuxing text and markup; sequence structures; inheritance vs transclusion
It's not about separating form from content – form is, after all, content in its own right. Rather, it's about denaturing compound content into its constituent symbolic forms. Text, a list of graphemes, is one basic symbolic form. Geometry, line segments, polygons, ellipses, areas, intersections and so-on – what are commonly called vector graphics – are another. Pixel arrays (raster graphics) are another. PCM waveforms are another. PWM waveforms are another. Various abstract logical structures, lists, branching lists (hierarchies), re-entrant branching lists (HYPERarchies?), are another.
SEQUENCES: structures in which nodes can be organized into levels (strata?, tiers?, generations?)?
LIST: each node has zero or one antecedents, and zero or one consequents
BRANCHING LIST: each node has zero or one antecedents, and zero or N consequents (single inheritance)
COMBINING BRANCHING LIST: each node has zero or N antecedents, and zero or N consequents (multiple inheritance)
What do we call structures in which nodes have arbitrary connections and cannot be organized into levels? Networks? What about structures in which nodes exist on multiple levels? Re-entrant sequences? Hyperarchies?
Is object-oriented "inheritance" a kind of transclusion? Where changes in a parent class change all descendent classes?
* <<FCT.0957>> ALPH
GET IT DONE! The challenges of creating a generalized document structure are significant, but a transcluding server is SIMPLE, and it HAS TO BE DONE before the other stuff. So, do it! Nobody else is going to, apparently!