Thursday, June 26, 2008

clearing my tabs

Teh Internets from Goopymart the mini home

Ben & Alice, topics such as semicolons etc. syncs right up with my new love of grammar. Found via kottke.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why Dave Barry and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block

I believe ‘writer’s block’ is the normal state of writing; that is, you rarely have anything just flow easily from your brain to the keyboard. And if it does, it’s usually pretty bad. Good writing is almost always hard, and what I think sometimes happens is that writers forget how hard it is, or don’t want to do the work anymore, and they call this “writer’s block.” –Dave Barry, The Writer Magazine

When I researched that quote I was staying with a lifelong friend in a boy scout camp that my older brothers had gone to when we were kids. The camp had been turned into a bed and breakfast. Our room was cabin that had once been the poolhouse. I had an article to write before we could break out the wine. So I went through my warm-up to avoid what folks call “writer’s block.”
Preparation: Accessing the Subconscious

To my friend, Nancy, I probably looked like I was in hyperfocus. Actually, I was. I was doing two kinds of things at once. I was preparing a space to work, and I was preparing my brain to write–accessing my subconscious to see what ideas I might have.

What the heck does that mean?

Ever notice that you get ideas when you’re driving . . . or in the shower . . . or doing something other than trying to have one?

I always start my writing with a warm-up that involves some physical activity like ordering my work area, getting my coffee, or taking a walk around the block. Doing that gives the subconscious the room to let those ideas bubble up.

At the cabin I needed a place to work efficiently, so I went through setting up what I think of as an “endangered writing space.” That’s one where writer’s block is not permitted by protected writers species laws.
Checklist for Endangered Writing Spaces

This is the checklist writing spaces I use.

* Select the work area. I picked the table where I would write.
* Remove all things unnecessary. I got rid of all visual distractions and things that might get in the way.
* Check that all tools are there. I didn’t want to stop to find things.
* Place favorite healthful, thinking snacks near the computer. Hunger couldn’t tempt me to lose my train of thought.
* Test to see there are no discomforts to nag me. I tried a test run in the chair and got a pillow to make it higher.
* Lower the cloak of invisibility. I put my headphones on as a sign to myself, and to my friend, that I was no longer in the room. Those headphones meant I would have to physically detach to do something else. I also listen to music when I write..

When my space was ready. So was I.
Fanning the Flame

I didn’t have a whole idea, but I did have a spark. Here’s what I did to fan that spark into a flame. This part went bing, bing, bing, quickly.

* I did a brain dump, writing phrases and words on paper before I started.
* I picked one big idea from the brain dump and narrowed it to the size of an article.
* I visualized article and decided what my main point would be.


* I started in the middle, writing that main point as best I could without stopping.
* When cool ideas popped up, I typed them as phrases at the bottom of the page and kept going.
* When I got stuck, I looked at those phrases for motivation.
* If the phrases didn’t unstick me, I got up, walked outside, looked at the sky for the words I needed, came back in and wrote them down. No other words–talking, reading, listening–interrupted my “break for thinking.” The point was to do something visual, to let the verbal loosen up.
* I wrote the snazzy ending and the grabber beginning last.

That’s what I did that night in the cabin to earn several glasses of my favorite white wine from Italy, Ronco Cucco. Boy, I do like that stuff.
Why Dave and Liz Don’t Get Writer’s Block

We just don’t call it “writer’s block.” We call it writing. Staying stuck is not allowed. So like an actor or a musician who once had stage fright, we do writing warm-ups before we step on stage.

The good news is writing warm-ups work like scales for a musician or stretching for an athlete. They keep you at your best game. If you stick to it, warm-ups for writing actually make the writing get easier. Just like an athlete–a skater–you break through that wall and start skating with more speed and grace.

Imagine yourself writing when you no longer worry about writer’s block.


ALSO: READ THIS: Kill writer's block & turbocharge creativity

Noetic Lightning

blacklight power

Hell yeah:
Though Gutenberg’s printing press represents what Marshall McLuhan referred to as the first assembly line — one of repeatable, linear text — and is what made large-volume printed information a personal, portable phenomenon, the advent of the telegraph brought forth the initial singularity in the evolution of information technology. The telegraph enabled the bifurcation of communication and transportation, and information became a commodity. As Neil Postman put it, “…telegraphy created the idea of context-free information — that is, the idea that the value of information need not be tied to any function it might serve in social and political decision-making and action. The telegraph made information into a commodity, a ‘thing’ that could be bought and sold irrespective of its uses or meaning.”

I’ve been half-jokingly calling this transition the “Alf moment.” When the televison show Alf became popular in the mid-to-late 80s, no one wondered what was making Alf move or talk. Growing up with Jim Henson’s alternate universe of Muppets had stripped the “magic” out of the medium. We were left free to enjoy the hi-jinks of this puppeted, cat-eating alien.

Mobile TV is supposedly reaching its “Alf moment,” but, as has always been the case with communication technology, the most enthusiastic prophecies come from those with stakes in the bottom line. According to BBC News, this year’s World Cup is its time. “TV is a medium that everyone understands, and so is mobile,” said Dave McQueen, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media, “Combining the two in the imagination of consumers is not as great a challenge as it is for other forms of mobile entertainment.” I’m not one to believe that technological mediation is inherently a bad thing, for technology holds the potential to augment our experiences as much as it does to obstruct them, but as each advance becomes “forgotten” as a part of our media lexicon, we should be mindful of what we’ve potentially lost.

“Technology is fairly good at controlling external reality to promote real biological fitness,” writes Evolutionary Psychologist Geoffrey Miller, “but it’s even better at delivering fake fitness-subjective cues of survival and reproduction without the real-world effects.” Fitness-faking is the extreme effect of technological mediation, and according to Miller, it’s out-pacing us: “Fitness-faking technology tends to evolve much faster than our psychological resistance to it. With the invention of the printing press, people read more and have fewer kids. (Only a few curmudgeons lament this.) With the invention of Xbox 360, people would rather play a high-resolution virtual ape in Peter Jackson’s King Kong than be a perfect-resolution real human.” Communication theorists call fake relationships with TV characters “parasocial relationships,” and as Miller puts it, “Having real friends is so much more effort than watching Friends.” Again, mediation isn’t inherently bad, but I think sometimes we have to take a step back — maybe even a step away — from all of this stuff.

Do you ever find that your most emotional moments are during or after movies? Do you sometimes feel like you go through more experiences vicariously that you do directly? Miller’s “fitness-faking” concept is an idea that scares me more than most anything else. It not only brings the dangers of mediation into sharp focus, but also begs the question of what is to be done about it. Here is one of my favorite passages on the latter. This is a quote from writer Nina Simons, and she says it better than I ever could:

It’s important that we gather ourselves to participate more fully in the stories of our time and our lives. There’s a serious threat of couch-potatoism in our culture, and we need to make a conscious effort to avoid it and to recognize the enormous energy that comes from participation. It’s easy to get bogged down in the circumstantial and mundane, but if we connect to our passion, that in itself will be regenerative; we won’t have to wait for the energy, it will be there. But how do we connect to that passion? One of my favorite phrases, which a friend taught me, is that we need to pay ‘exquisite attention’ to our responses to things — noticing what makes our flame glow brighter. If we pay attention to those things, we’ll be able to catch the flame and feed it.

Get out of your routine. Get out of your pattern. Talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to. Change jobs. Move away. Gather up some friends, go outside, and play football, instead of playing Madden NFL 06. Take it upon yourself to change something about your day. Anything. Even if you have a bad experience, you will have had an experience. You will have learned something that you can take with you next time. And if you have a good experience, remember what gave you the feeling and do it again. Soon.

Technological mediation isn’t going to go away. In fact, it’s only going to become more pervasive. Let’s all just try and be more mindful of the metaphors.

“Dreams don’t come from staring at screens. Dreams come from doing things.” — Echo Miranda

[This post is an excerpt from my thinking through a project-in-progress entitled The Medium is the Metaphor]

along those lines - thinking of
this again.

{STRUCK by Noetic Lightning}

Google is not god.

Google is not god.

Blinded by technology.

WOW! Truth is hidden.

also see the echo chamber's reaction to the "is google making us stupid" story and suggestions of google as government.

STFU! moar later

Word To THe Word OF Teh Day

Words Of tHe Day:


15th century

1capitalized : a follower of Aristotle or adherent of Aristotelianism2: pedestrian, itinerant3plural : movement or journeys hither and thither

Idyllic is also great.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

so awesome

bonus round

Lots of weird dreams last night. I can't even begin. Nothing epic, but interesting. 32nd birthday was yesterday. Good times with family and friends. Oh, but why that one thing. That part of the dream - that shit was weird and out of the blue. Wonderful and horrible at the same time. I can only take it as meaning something.

This whole thang is interesting. ftw. what am i talking about here?

Why would that be established if not to send a sign? There really is no precedent you know? Communications are just not like that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 dope.
also dope.

cartoon bubble generator at wigflip and image macro maker too. online image editing roolz.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


just got really angry for a minute. like vision blurring, shaking on the inside, could feel it welling up - but the weird tension in my solar plexus is gone. huh?

(update: was surfing time magazines top 50 websites and although there were a few picks I liked, i was just overwhelmed with all the technononsense pick your baby name, social media for everything - lets get off the computers just a little bit. i love technology, but we're over doing it. neo ludditte in full effect - i was also having a mini argument with X on im)

let the anger out? is that the lesson? thoughtform/energy stuck? hm

oh man

I'm scouring time's top 50 websites for my job. Google it, if i link to it i may get linked back and f that. but anyway is at the same time making me sick, and a little jealous of that bullshit happily married nice new furniture lifestyle, but lol wut the fuk is that all about.

im having trend block here at work, where nothing seems good enough to write about.

getting livid at the the whole world.

need to calm down

all raw poetry, all the god damn time. we can't afford an editor.

all raw poetry, all the god damn time. we can't afford an editor.

i feel like i don't belong anywhere. not here. maybe there. some places sometime and other when the mood suits. seriuosly everything is not clicking for me right now, but there are signs everywhere of something good just around the bend. just wish it wasn't so hidden and traps wern't splayed out hidden underneth the wooden floor everywhere.

where i am right now, i write fast. get it out, get it out. it's nice sometimes but seems futile. drinking the ocean and spitting it out at lightning speed. i need to explain the big picture.

its actually very rare that im happy these days. what the fuck is up with that? there are moments. i dont wanna work. i think a normal full time job would do me in. im only meant for the life of artist, poet, pirate, madman, magician, adventurer, billionaire anything less real and romantic is not worth the living, except maybe a very simple but rich life somewhere exquisite, a small adventure in itself.

Seth Godin Is A Poet

Seth Godin is even more on fire lately. He's turning into a poet, synthesizing complexity into these perfectly crafted posts.

I take so much for granted. Perhaps you do as well. To be here, in this moment, with these resources. To have not just our health but the knowledge and the tools and the infrastructure. What a waste.

If I hadn’t had those breaks, if there weren’t all those people who had sacrificed or helped or just stayed out of my way... what then? Would I even have had a shot at this?

What if this were my last post? Would this post be worthy?

The object isn’t to be perfect. The goal isn’t to hold back until you’ve created something beyond reproach. I believe the opposite is true. Our birthright is to fail and to fail often, but to fail in search of something bigger than we can imagine. To do anything else is to waste it all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Project: Speeding up my computer Part 2

this also worked well for me. it deletes bullshit factory preloaded programs. (they are usually hidden, and hard to delete.

Project: Speeding up my computer

In this post, I'll update my experiences in cleaning up and optimizing my laptop. Stay tuned! was helpful

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Surfing and deep diving the info v2


Everyone loves to complain about the accelerated pace of modern life. Remember the good old days, they say, when life was leisurely, commerce was more genteel, and everyone watched the same television and read the same newspaper?

Lest we get too nostalgic, keep in mind the upside of a sped-up world:

President Bush put steel tariffs in place in March 2002. Less than two years later, in December 2003, he rescinded them. This is something most politicians don't do. But because the tariffs caused such a sharp rise in the price of steel, small and mid-size businesses complained loudly. The unintended consequences became visible to most American's very quickly.

100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Kind of Learner from the awesomely named College @ Home

Randomly surfing news channels yesterday, I saw an economic analyst from a leading investment bank talk about his thoughts on surging oil prices.

Like a detective he pulled apart pieces of the story. He believed US demand for oil is in decline because people are cutting back on car usage. His theory for the continued rise in prices of crude was demand from China who he believed were stock piling supplies ahead of the Olympics, a process that would soon be over which would lead to a reduction in the price of crude.

His advice to those looking for more direction on this; try and monitor oil tanker movements in Asia.

It isn't Account Planning or detective work, but it's close.

Looking at numerous inputs and trying to work out the "Big Why?" is just the same.

If you are interested in tanker movements because you want to play the oil futures market, or are just care about when the price of your daily commute is going to come down, there's a specialist who provides this data, for a fee.


Eat this 2 b healthy: HEALTHY SNAX

Oh man...

Final Countdown for Large Hadron Collider Activation, Prepare Your Escape Pods

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Need moar

fuck fuck fuck. 2 new, unreleased Stevie Wonder songs. Only 45 second clips. These have to be let out the bag. Read Quest Love's comments too. Word that. FUACK. MOAR!! NEED SAUCE!!

The long lost DISCO HANDBOOK. Dig. [via Boing Boing]

Innovation Teams 2.0

wait, wait, don’t tell me...