Kicks Condor

Hypertext%20%20

My part of the cross-wiki chat with chameleon, h0p3 and sphygmus as the new year approaches.

(h0p3: Apologies I don’t have a response yet.)

Sphygmus:
Kicks, do you ever deal with information overload? Like, you’re browsing and surfing and discovering personal websites and interesting articles and now you’ve got 10, 15, 20 tabs (tb: 100s?!i??!) open and they all seem like cool rabbit holes and you’re not quite sure where to go next? Or what it all means anymore? (maybe that’s just me.)

I have experienced this in the past - and I still experience this with books. Although I’m not sure it’s the same. What I experience is gah, I’m not spending enough time reading all the things I want to read, finding all the things I want to discover, given how much there is!! And I assume that’s what people mean when they say ‘information overload’. (Your image of so many tabs.)

Is it actually ‘overload’? Or is it that there is infinite information (and there was even a century ago) and you’re feeling some inability to approach it? Which, in my case, has usually been about losing my discipline for a time span.

But I am spending the right amount of time reading online right now - and I have a very long list to work through that is in a sensible order. (I no longer have tabs open - I do have a link list, so that has helped.) I am not spending enough time reading books. If I spend enough hours each week, I feel like I am at least methodically working through the infinite mass and I feel healthy.

If yes, what do you do with that feeling? Does curation help? Like you’re specifically looking for cool people doing cool things in obscurity and you want to let us folks in your corner of the world – so does the endless array of cool people doing cool things feel overwhelming or invigorating or? (I get the sense it might be the opposite, that you feel like it’s hard to find cool people doing cool things. correct me here!)

It’s so cool to me that you care to ask me a question like this! That, alone, makes me feel like there are plenty of ‘cool people doing cool things’. Even if it was just you and me - that would be enough.

No, I feel like there are many more cool people than I can possibly be aware of. I worry sometimes that I have no sensibility. I honestly find something amazing in almost everyone I discover. If they are working in hypertext, it feels like I can count on it. And yeah – it’s invigorating.

I do wish I was aware of more black writers. I know there is a tendency to do this out of guilt or political activism. But I simply feel like black writers have an unusual angle. I think this is why black artists are popular in mainstream culture - subconsciously we know that they are outliers and can show us what it means to be human in a totally unexpected way. I mean I am definitely interested in anyone out there, regardless of their race - but among Americans, I think black artists have shown that they are always on the avant garde of cultural movements.

So, at the same time, it is difficult to find certain subcultures that you may want to find. (I would also love to find a really sweet fitness goth blog. Especially if it was a .onion site.)

When I do find someone that I really really REAALLY connect with - then I greedily spam that link wherever I can - in my notes, into Fraidycat, I recite it in my mind. I am so afraid of losing it. And it means that I begin to visit that site very frequently, to try to read everything that I can. When I found Ton’s blog, it was like that. And I was very appreciative that I could tell which posts were ephemeral and which were polished, finalized essays.

This is also what helped get me into h0p3 (and you and chamy, because you follow the same conventions): because you clearly mark dated, temporary notes vs longer, central nodes or essays. So it is very easy to know where to ‘start’. Which is appreciated when I am discovering someone and want to move from the polished stuff down to the day-to-day stuff.

(Thinking more about your other questions…)

Chameleon:
The subtitle is “things chameleon knows” and I feel like that encapsulates it. To me this is a website to throw my ideas to the wall and see what sticks. It’s obviously not every last thing I know, but it covers a broad spectrum of my interests and ideas.

Yes, this seems like ‘self-modeling’. Keep going. Why do it publicly?

3 Dec 2019

Open question: while we’re all here - what do you personally want to talk about? Like do you have any topics you want to pitch?

sphygmus:
Perhaps it’s about feeling — when the wind is warm but just a little sharp, and blows that feeling of longing straight through your bones — if one empathizes with that feeling, resonates with it, then perhaps they’ll resonate with my work as well.

(First off - great quotes! The low-key Nadia quote is unexpected, but very refreshing.)

I actually think your wiki is an ‘artist statement’ without needing to explicitly state that - and I think that’s why h0p3 could capture your essence so clearly. Maybe he inferred it from all the pieces?

With h0p3, I think I am more curious about the ‘self-modeling’ part of the phrase - but with you I definitely wonder more about the ‘public’ part. And you kind of answer that here. It sounds like you’re looking for kindred spirits. But you also keep a lot of things private - and you do explain this from a curatorial angle:

Perhaps it’s confusing to stumble upon a website where everything is mashed together — the mundane details of what I ate yesterday right alongside finished letters, notes on projects, and my drafting of this response.

How do you decide what to reveal and what to make public? (I ask because I haven’t resolved this for myself either - whereas I think h0p3 has made this line very easy for himself.)[1]

h0p3:
I take it that you don’t see yourself as a PSM, kicks. Is that fair to say?

Yeah, I see more self as a conduit. I really get into finding people and connecting people (and saying hi to them). I don’t have a desire to preserve myself or to catalog myself. But having the dialetic does make some of that worthwhile. And maybe I do model myself in other ways: in pixels, in code, in colors flickering.

I mean - you’ve all influenced me a lot and I find myself mimicking some of your conventions. This leads me to think that part of PSM-ing helps a human function day-to-day. (Talking through, remembering, clarifying thoughts.)

I wish I understood better whether ‘modeling’ meant a self-‘styling’, self-‘bending’, self-‘constructing’ vs just trying to represent yourself as you are, ‘the plain picture’ in Bob Dylan’s meaning. Maybe it’s all of it, somewhere between, or simply not possible. Are we modeling fictional characters or not? Does it matter?

h0p3:
Why do you have sites like yours on the web, what are they for? What is anything for?

To me, it’s the same - I act as conduit for discovering wonderful things. To me, wonderful things and wonderful people make life worth living. (How do I know if it’s ‘wonderful’? — Because it makes my life worth living.) (To prevent you from asking me to clarify - it ends there - an instinctive feeling of simply ‘this is worth it to me’.)

h0p3:
You have the chance to reason about whether or not I’m trying to do the best I can with my pile of puke.

Hahah! We’re all standing around examining each other’s sick. I like this interpretation. I think that if people could begin with this image, use it as the basis for their consensus, they can admirably proceed with the dialectic. There’s a lot less picking things apart if you cut the whole conversation some slack. (But I’m also glad that you asked me to clarify - and that you dug into the response - sure, why not? It’s all doodoo - but still worth rooting in, on the chance of some swallowed gems…)

h0p3:
[…] my wiki allows me to re-use my data to understand what is salient in the world (including myself).

This is a great point! I forget that you are already employing a lot of self-editing and self-curating. (And what you do with us - making a tiddler for Sphygmus that curates her, in a way.) So this is starting to lead into my next prompt, what you refer to here as ‘the chain’ (but which I also think of as hypertext ‘layers’)… let me think how to articulate this and I’ll get back to you. ‘Soup to nuts’ is one way of putting it, but it’s imprecise, it’s not just a linear progression toward ‘the end’ - or it doesn’t have to be, I guess.

h0p3:
I keep almost mindlessly answering: 42 or 42ness, which is almost vacuously true, but I’m still not showing my work well enough to you.

I think this is probably your most useful analogy to helping me comprehend self-modeling. This goes in the final.

1 Dec 2019

(This steno is something of a scratchpad. I put the latest comments I have that relate to the current point of discussion in the top box - historic stuff is below.)

Sphygmus:
expert public self-modelers, oh my! and is that the first prompt - where to go in the next decade? no gun jumping here, I think it’s all fizzy excitement. mic check at will!

@hypertext-2020 Whoa whoa - how bout let’s back up to ‘public self-modeling’? (Seems like we’ve had an adequate mic check.) For yourself, personally - is this an adequate shorthand? Or do you think of yourself in any other terms that can help someone understand your work?

h0p3:
As a habitual wall-of-texting sprawler, I feel some of the claustrophobifying tweet-syndrome creeping into me here.

Looks like we have a formidable antipleonasmic analysis on our hands here. 😎

h0p3:
Adequate shorthand for what?

An adequate shorthand to describe you, your wiki, your work there. I feel like the phrase was an attempt to wrap all of that up into a shorter name so that you can refer to it briefly - and perhaps so people can understand from a glimpse. Or even so you can understand or remind yourself of what you are doing.

So, my first question is just to look at the phrase again. Seems like a good starting point. Is it that to you? Where does it function today?[2]

h0p3:
I’m giddy+nauseous at the thought of how to maximize a hypertexter’s autonomy and expressivity while still packaging it up for a securely scaled mesh.

You can fully expound - that could be a virtue of this style of chat. You could footnote off into a new tiddler, if you need. Or you can simply link in an old one if it represents your answer still well enough. Carry on. (And on.)

30 Nov 2019

@chameleon @h0p3 Tentative title for the chat: ‘hypertext 2020’ - where is an expert wikier supposed to go in the next decade? But yeah - just rip into what is going to be hot techs and paradigms for expert public self-modelers in this future timeline.

If we get Sphygmus on, I’ll do a mic check and then we can start. Hope I’m not jumping the gun - just pitched this idea today…


  1. This also seems very pertinent to the question of ‘public self-modeling’, since h0p3 begins defining this phrase by exhorting people to ‘deprivatize’ themselves. ↩︎

  2. As additional material - ‘public self-modeling’ is a phrase that chameleon has had fun with and I’m not sure to what extent it is a meme for her or if it is quite serious or what. On the other hand, Sphygmus has said a few months ago (referencing this word) that her wiki is “not an attempt to answer the question of who I am.” So, I guess I also wonder if “self-modeling” is a quest to answer who you are or if it is something else. ↩︎

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