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de-woot, Redone

I went to bed shortly after the previous post, looking forward to waking up in the morning. I sometimes envision sleep as a one-way tunnel that requires unconsciousness to enter. Waking puts one on sleep's other side, rejuvenated and altered. Last night's journey to now popped me into 5:45 am with thoughts about my dissatisfaction with what once captivated me on the web.

This is a trough in the oscillations of my cybernetic enthusiasm. I lethargically | reluctantly | mindlessly summon a pseudo-article on whether OS X 10.5 will virtualize Windows, replicate its application programming interface, or simply refer to a bootable partition. I scan replies to an article about the price of a low-end Dell being substantially lower than the cost of assembling from parts a comparably specced computer. I find myself growing numb, disinterested. I'm not learning anymore. The oscillation wave reverses direction, the slope of its curve shifting from negative to zero to positive, as I learn something I hadn't before: that bonjour advertises and discovers ssh and http connections; Parallels is an impressive implementation of a compatibility layer for Windows in OS X. But the upticks come infrequently, the wave having nearly been completely dampened over several cycles, flatlined. There's nothing more for me to learn that I want to learn.

The only direction to go is to learn a programming language like Objective-C, or C++, but my familiarity with higher-level (with respect to the hardware and the abstraction layers operating systems use to interface with that hardware) programming languages leads me reject this idea. I would not enjoy being mired in the intricate details of programming for very long. The art is still primitive, if complex and, at times, elegant.

So my perspective turns unavoidably to the art that started me, the more or less ductile strands of language which constitute poetic and expository writing, the space I'm in now.

Certainly, part of my drive to learn more about this digital medium—the cybernetic domain where automation becomes not only a tool but a means of generating material (as opposed to mere data)—is part of a larger desire to address issues of culture, art, politics, and spirituality in media other than print. The salient points of an analysis of a film, for example, can be more immediate to an audience if the printed material they read is accompanied by video excerpts from that film or, even better, if that analysis is conducted in the medium of film.

However, the drive to digitalization to which I have granted virtually unrestricted easement through my own critical and artistic domains ends up becoming noisome traffic.

For me now, writing productivity is impeded by the technology which enables it. No small trick of writing by longhand will help me overcome this “writer's block.” It's not actually writer's block I'm dealing with because, as this is evidence, writing happens. The problem is a question of medium and of audience and where these two coincide.

Scholarly and philosophically oriented material in many ways self-present as of narrow interest. The potential audience for such material seems in many ways not the same audience among whom one might find technological sophisticates or media pioneers. Who blogs and reads deeply? Are there many people who have interest in the ramifications of encrypted communications and poetic genre? What does visual rhyming have to do with redundancy in information streams? These questions suggest in a very clumsy (and misleading) way the shape of the issues that trouble my critical writing. They are the source for much of my present technological dissatisfaction, my cybernetic anomie. end of article