A few months ago, I stumbled into the little cottage industry of media manipulation. I weaseled my way into international publication, collected accolades left and right, then moonwalked out. I wish I could credit all of it to cunning, but this is just another story of an idiot hero. It’s a convoluted story, so best to start at the very beginning.
There are three ways to cut something in half: front and back, top and bottom, left and right.
Front and Back
My wrists have been aching. The pain is nothing to be concerned about, only my body occasionally barking at me for years of misuse. Things have improved since taking the usual precautions: slowing down, working less, stretching, taking breaks. I also threw money at pain and bought an ergonomic keyboard and ditched the Apple mouse that gives me claw hand. And, perhaps most importantly, I set up reminders for myself to assume better posture in my chair.
Out of all of these measures, posture is the most pure and difficult challenge. There is no outside influence to help or blame; it boils down to mindfulness and strength.
To answer your question, I haven’t much felt like it. I’ve been quiet, because there hasn’t been much to say, and I haven’t been looking for things to say. Of course, Twitter is a megaphone, so there is a small temptation to say something into it, even if it is just braying to hear your own voice loud, so…</p>
Whenever I log in to Twitter, I think, “Where did all my friends go?” Now, my feed is mostly the strangers talking. That’s fine: my friends and I find other ways to keep in touch. Although, I do miss having that bizarre, constant contact a feed gives you. Maybe too intense. Maybe unhealthy. Not sure. Having a Twitter account with a decent number of followers is a high-maintainence relationship. I can’t blame my friends for clamming up. I remember last year catching myself: I was composing a tweet in my head while eating breakfast. I felt sick to my stomach and couldn’t finish. Since then, I’ve clammed up, too.
On May 14, 2014 I spoke at the School of Visual Art’s Thesis Festival presented by the Masters in Interaction Design program. The day’s theme was “open,” and I tried my best to finish the day without closing anything. Thanks to Liz Danzico for inviting me to speak, and congratulations to the students for finishing their degree.
Sometimes a rose can grow out of bullshit.
Donald Rumsfeld, as terrible as he is, said one good thing in his life. Of course, he used this one good thing to obfuscate the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but we’ll offer him a momentary pass for providing a concise framework of knowledge.
You’re not supposed to hear these sorts of things from these sorts of people. Things have gone well for those chosen to speak at conferences like XOXO: credibility, attention, success—whatever brass ring a person might want to reach for—they’ve got it. They are them, and they are great, so why the hang ups?
After several talks, an unstated theme began to emerge, providing fuel for many of the stories and ideas expressed throughout the two days. It was often hinted upon, but only directly stated in Christina Xu’s talk. It came out as bright and searing as magnified daylight: “Independence is lonely.”