June 20, 2019

Time to begin notetaking once again.

I'm creating a presentation for Light Grey Art Lab. It's about chaos. Suddenly, I see chaos everywhere. And my presentation is an attempt to wrangle chaos. But I don't want to work on it yet. So let's start by wrangling this mess.

I've started and stopped blogs about a hundred times in my life. They're infrequent catalogs of interests and feelings at a moment in time. Usually, when I rediscover old blogs, it's like reading the diary entry of a much perkier, much angstier, much stupider version of myself. It's hard not to resent who you once were. But there is a section on this website—my interview section—that reads as if I had written it yesterday. I wrote it in September of 2017.

2008 to 2012 were my halcyon high school years. Just kidding, it was trash. But I changed so much in those four years—back then, it almsot felt like I was changing and growing every summer. 2012 to 2016 were my college years. Still a significant amount of change, but I recieved many answers to lifelong soul-searches. Now, three years post-college, approaching 2020—how have I changed in this four-year chunk? And what do I have to show for my growth as an artist and as a person?

I guess I'm a little nicer now. Less selfish. People tell me I seem carefree, which is, honestly, a huge departure from my own self-identity, which is rooted in selfish, angsty, youthful behavior. I'm a harder worker, but only in an office environment. I'm less inspired. More boring. My interests are a lot more mainstream, and I don't really care about being different or unique anymore. I'm starting to get into shows and theater, both as a viewer and...a participant. Oh my! My sentences are shorter, because now I'm used to writing for video. I have more money now, at least.

Just read Robin Sloan's Fish essay. I'm inspired to slow down, as I do periodically, and sink my teeth into the things I love on the internet (and outside the internet, too!). So, the first thing: two mobile games. The first is BTS world. And the second is Wizards, Unite. Great games. Greater music. My phone is a prison.

The onwards march of time is relentless indeed! Goodbye for now.

September 5, 2018

the state of the web

I've recently joined a handful of private Facebook groups with extremely meme-y names. A non-comprehensive list: I'm telling God, quick question what the fuck, wait a minute this is not flavortown where the heck am i, and so on.

This in itself isn't remarkable—I'm utterly desensitized to the meme-y and grotesque if viewed through a screen—but what I'm shocked by is that Facebook has somehow become a major contender for where I obtain my freshest memes!

And it's not just meme-mber counts number into the several thousand. And I have to wonder: am I late to the party? How (and when) did Facebook turn into The Place for quality shitposting instead of a dead zone comprised of stale, deep fried, recycled minion JPGs?

The untameable Internet is tending towards homogenization, thanks (in part) to Facebook. 4Chan has long held claim to being the birthplace of most (dark) internet phenomena, and Reddit often complains about Buzzfeed & co. appropriating their grassroots, long-form content into listicle digests, so I think with the streamlining of news and entertainment (as Facebook did with the News Feed and as they are aiming to do with Facebook Watch), there inevitably comes the streamlining of meme culture.

I can understand why Facebook groups have been a great format for memeing. Unlike Reddit and other forums, Facebook is easy to navigate, streamlined through the feed, and visual content takes center stage. Comments are easily accessible, unlike Reddit where one must click on a link and open an entire new window in order to join a community. And Facebook has managed to create a semi-public, semi-private space where strangers can interact earnestly with strangers, which is one of the most rewarding aspects of Reddit, of the internet as a whole.

But Reddit is a rich tapestry of human life, both immediate and archival, full of lore and meta-humor, and I've spent many nights exploring weird links, hoping to stumble on a trove. I often do. Facebook moves too fast—it's not a playground, and there's no motivation to discover. It's a well-oiled machine of production. We consume and move on.

Reddit is a lot like thrift shopping: it can be enjoyed superficially, and you'll probably find a cool bowl or weird cat painting, but if you are prepared to hunt, you will be rewarded with lush vintage patterns and handmade wares containing evidence of life. Facebook, conversely, is more like Costco: easily accessible, fast-moving, products take center stage, and it's all there, in one convenient location.

The two can co-exist, but one will always live in fear of being overrun by the other.

It's interesting that Facebook's private communities are flourishing—maybe Facebook realizes that anonymity is a cherished tenet of internet culture, and they want to foster a coexistence of public and private. And, like fungus, gossip flourishes at the intersection of public and private. And gossip, like memes, spring without want, are infinitely in production so long as there is something to react to.

I am curious to see whether there is a meme-drain from the internet at large into Facebook, much like how there is a current meme-drain from Tumblr into Twitter. For now, I'm enjoying these weird meme groups, and if I happen to tag a friend, so be it.

This was copy-pasted from my now-defunct-but-also-never-running newsletter, Late Nitez With Lizard! I had a very high fever when I wrote this. Can you tell?

January 28, 2018

Naked mole rats hold the key to immortality. An unlikely creature — not only to contain the fountain of youth but ALSO to merely exist — but nevertheless we, humanity as a collective, must size our egos down to their level and realize that the future is contained within these tiny, testicular mammals.

How do they do it? How do naked mole rats accomplish this? Prior to current events in the news my only understanding of naked mole rats was through the mildly-literate and verbally-communicative pet of Ron from Kim Possible. Certainly this character must be a highlight in the canon of naked mole rat-related media. So how have they since come so far?

Goodbye for now!