you know you’re a geek when your play is more work than your work.
aphorisms for the digital age
principle: the perfect is the enemy of the good.
– beware feature creep
– heed the 80/20 rule
– dilute! dilute! OK?
– explain how this is particular to the digital age.
the world around,
the day begins,
with boiling water.
ablutions and solutions,
billions wake to their morning fix.
tea, coffee, cigarette, weed, or speed.
pain is a great awakener,
but pleasure too can lift reluctant spirits
to feet and into bodies for another day.
you ask beautiful questions. “what if muses were real?”; “how many people appreciate you?”; “do you have any proof god doesn’t exist?”
you need not worry at seeming arrogant or pompous to one who’s kept handy the working titles “philosopher queen”, “girl genius”, and “the professor herself”…which is so nice in French, “le professeur elle-même”. “Hubris? Why I invented it!” — that’s my favorite self-referencing definition, a happy mirror of form and content. =)
who wired the planet? that i can not say. as an accolyte of Goethean science, my wired planet reference points to nature’s many feedback loops, the sensitive chaos of vortical forms from riparian to alimentary systems. water, constant water, always seeking lower ground, always seeking to be round.
it rained as i walked in but, thanks to the canopy, i was not wet.
according to notches inside the door i was 4’1″ my first summer here.
stowed under this cabin, my old PCs remind me that even when the nearest phone was miles away i’d hike down to jack in.
hanging for hours, looking out over Fallen Leaf Lake,
in a glass phone booth that is no longer there.
i will always love Ma Bell the way i imagine freight hopping bums of old
loved the Union and Central Pacific (for their might and reach.)
what brings me back to ramona after all these years? it’s so different than it was in 1993 when i first moved here.
and different than it was in 1995 which, as you’ll see if you google “webheads on ramona street” and read the rolling stone article, was when ramona’s 15 minutes of fame went down. but my connection here goes far beyond that. it is wired into walls and across roofs..
so it might well be this lovely punchdown block that brings me back
in 1994 a fire gutted this victorian. all the wiring had to be redone, and rick, aka mister 3-D, offered to do the telco wiring for the new owner for free. he put ethernet right in the walls, jacks in every room. ever since the building has been part of the ramona empire. it has been in the family, inhabited, like more than a dozen apartments in the neighborhood, by folks connected to this place through cyborganic. say what you will about cyborganic as a community, we were always proud of our wiring.
perhaps i am drawn back to visit the city by this fridge, by its magnets, poetry and clippings. postcards and new surprises alongside the eternal huey newton. huey has been sitting in that wicker chair, in that photo torn from a newspaper, on this fridge, since humans first returned here after the great fire.
if you look closely you’ll notice a set of square, electricity-themed magnets in pastel colors with such pithy questions as “What is your kilowatt-hour rate?” these were sent around 1997 to educate consumers about the deregulation of california’s electricty markets (ha ha), but might also work as pick-up lines.
maybe it’s the frothy coffee that brings me back, or the note from aunt caroline (visible to the left of huey) which came with the whisker and admonishes: “…don’t shove this in the back of a drawer, foam wildly, foam madly, foam everything.”
of course geeky artifacts of days past also have their draw.
for example, the specimen below, brought by pauline to a party where the price of admission was an item from a failed dotcom, has to be one of the most vacuous paragraphs of marketing jargon ever written. it is reported to be genuine, that is, written in earnest, though i can’t imagine how.
I wish I could tell you about a time before, so long ago that memory, mother of the muses, was herself a maiden.
Long before the art of writing altered time and space.
Back before even poetry, even speech.
Would that we could go back a few seconds before the first expression, just before the big bang that brings the first intellectual property into being.
Does a symphony cease to exist when the only remaining I/O for its data format bleeps its last?
From what I hear, communication runs deep. Our planet was wired for it long before we got here. Our brains since the chordata fork.