Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nothing original under the sun (stolen from Shakespeare)

Anyway - as I was saying - funny times right now.

I have to know about most internet things as part of my job - so although I run my own life on Gmail, Blogger, WordPress, PayPal and the home space that came from my service provider (even though they changed hands in the last few years) - I try everything out, so I have Yahoo and Hotmail accounts, YouTube, MySpace, etc.

When I joined Facebook I broke some kind of written (or unwritten - I skimmed through the Terms and Conditions - as you do) rule about using your 'real name'. Although I always performed under my 'real name' in a business where people often make them up, or simply work under them so long they become acceptable - 'know as' - and you can even open bank accounts without 'legally changing' your name.

So anyway, I open and kill Yahoo accounts all the time, just to get 3 days free trial of the magnificent XM Radio. No doubt, many Americans listen to one of the dozens of channels while driving. I can only get it on the internet (no satellite signal) and can't subscribe (I asked and no-one replied) so I have to keep inventing new Yahoo addresses just to get another trial period.
I don't want to sound mean about Yahoo's service, but at least I found one good use for them.

But I digress (quite often). I joined Facebook for an exploration, as Sid Scribe. Now Sid has a history. In the early days of email I got several addresses of varying degrees of privacy (to avoid spam) and one I used simply for activities that might generate or attract junk mail - or simply endless newsletters that I had subscribed to. So to subscribe I had an email address of - just so I'd know the kind of stuff.TJ - from Nine Characters in Search of an Author - in MQ He became Sid Scribe when 'filling in personal details' and emerged. In Facebook I gave him TJ's avatar, but TJ 'is' someone else again, (ermerging from some collaborative writing by the Maybe crew) so I've added a 'real' pic.

Confusingly, once people 'knew Sid was me' (I wish I'd spelled it Syd, now) through the friendship chains - people kept greeting me on my rare visits to Facebook, poking me, inviting me to games - I dunno. I still really only go there as part of my job...

I have had connections with the 'other' Toby Philpott before, and he seems like a nice guy (we have chatted occasionally, as people still sometimes get confused. For a while he had a link to 'The Star Wars Toby Philpott' on his blog, as I had "The Liberal Legend - Toby Philpott" on mine. Now I find at least two more in Facebook! So, stuck with my cover story, Sid Scribe has now invited the three other Toby Philpott members as friends. Hail Eris! I actually had more fun in MySpace, but that's another sub-personality and another alias. That bogus guy has videos at YouTube, as well, and has written most of OM (Only Maybe) for over three years. With fantastic visual from Bobby, and others.

So, let's face it - I stole Language Is A Virus, and added those arch inverted commas for the E-Prime freaks who know the connection to Korzybski and then Burroughs...but poets don't own words, right? And I have used the damned title since 2001, so I got attached to it (After the other blogs, Spooking the Herd, and Thinking Allowed - up to 9/11 - or as the Brits should think of it, 11/9).

I thought it didn't effect me, but I decided to start blogging fresh. Find myself still here, seven years later.

The website with this title has some word scramblers for NaNoWriMo Writers' Block - which amused me, as I consider that kind of November. The whole site seems filled with treasures, but I have no idea what names or buzz words might make you click that link - Hakim Bey, OuLiPo, Nin, Burroughs, software to play with, articles, even NaNoWriMo widgets and logos, etc.

Oh and I saw Laurie Anderson live once - I loved that mix - it resembled the fringe theatre of the 70s, with all and any elements of theatre and performance art mingled. I loved it.

You have to play to learn.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wandering into the autumn

Just about caught up on my sleep now. The Norway trip, followed by a working week, really knocked me out. Oh, and the late nights with 'probably the worst hangover in the world' (with apologies to Carlsberg), etc.

Of course, the sun has come out now that I have returned to my windowless office...

Anyway - I don't suppose anyone is actually reading the damned book, but at least I managed to complete the process. The hard copy of our online magazine does appear to finally be on its way to distribution - which is fun - especially as we seem to have let the online version lapse now. I still haven't decided whether it would prove reckless to try to write another 50,000 words in November (and if so, whether to do a bit of pre-planning this time!)


The collapse of capitalism really does seem imminent now, after 40 years of hippie anarchist warnings. I don't say that with glee (because finding myself proved right does not help with the inevitable distress to many folks) - just with a resigned shrug.


I have returned to online study with Sheffield College - their Net-Trainers course (a new course starting soon, if it interests you). I have found it interesting, time-consuming, rewarding and sometimes fun, too. Whether it would ever generate freelance work I have no idea, but I hope to combine Council work on staff training (using Learning Pool modules and a Moodle delivery system) with these general studies - as they seem eminently compatible.


In spite of staying in touch with my Maybe buddies I feel far less involved with the Academy (don't have time or money to take Erik Wagner's course, for instance, though I would love to).

I keep having a look backstage at Joomla, to see if I can contribute to the online magazine a new way - but deadlines loom, and I don't think I will make it for the Equinox - which seems like a shame because I had put the material together - just can't handle the new delivery system.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In the blink of an eye

I have been alternately exhausted and exhilarated for over a week now. This time last week I was in Norway with my great friend Stein and his family - attending a fantastic music event - Punkt 08. I was there and back in what seemed like a øyeblikk. You can see a day-by-day review at All About Jazz.

I enjoyed most of what I saw and heard (there were talks as well as concerts, sessions and live remixes). Brian Eno's 7 Million Paintings Eno and Hassell with audio-visual aids
were installed in the art gallery - and he and Jon Hassell did a great 'double act' talk. Amusingly enough (given the previous post about POD) they discussed the two books they were working on, or possibly a combined effort...
Eno talked about the spectrum from Surrender (his title) to Control - whereas Jon Hassell used the metaphor of the North and the South of You (intellect, emotions or head and heart, or brain and body, or thought and passion, etc)

My favourite band may have been Nik Bärtsch's Ronin - a self-professed zen funk band (a pretty good description of what they produce).
It was also fun to finally meet Stein's family, Heidi, Milli and Malin - and put faces to names (Stein and I have been online students in a forum for about four years now - and we met up for the first time in Paris in July).

Long journey home, back to work, social life, and not enough sleep - a fairly jet-lagged week. Then last night I went up to Brecon to finally catch this year's show from NoFit State, and it was truly excellent! The skills levels have gone up a notch again - and as well as the 'arty' aspect it now has muscle and humour and dynamics to balance the ethereal floating aspect of aerial shows. But I can hardly see straight with fatigue. Although I am let off dog-walking routines when Julie and Dandy are away at the cottage - I just stay up later on the computer, etc - so still don't get enough rest and relaxation. Hey ho.
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