Boxing Time & Losing

Over the course of writing this blog, I’ve come to view writing as an important activity, like meditation. And like meditation, I find my motivation comes in fits and spurts. One thing I found helpful with this site is the “don’t break the chain” method. Simply create the expectation and the space that you will sit down and do something for some period of time. It’s alright if you don’t do it. But, if that thing is say, running, and you know that it’s the time and you have your running shoes on. Chances are, you’ll do it.

The problem is when you have people in your life that want to live schedules that are different than yours, or have no schedule at all. So, in a moment of spontaneity, they’ll say something like: “I’m going to run some errands. Do you want to come with me?” Or, you have children, who when they are around behave in this way. I suspect that is why parents are so eager to put them on a schedule. If you don’t box the time, you’ll have none left for yourself or the things you want to do.

Perhaps the place where this is most insidious is social media. Like having children around, it is always there, an inexhaustible hole in which to dump your attention. With children, we do this because giving them our attention is an act of love. However, even love needs limits. But, what are we doing with social media? What benefits does it offer?

It can be entertaining. It is certainly distracting, so you do not have to focus your attention on the problems at hand. But, I cannot help feel that it is not time well spent. Whereas, time writing comments like this one, feels more like it is helping me gain a better understanding of how the world works and how I want to be within it.

Social media is like dipping into the Overmind of humanity. There’s interesting material there, but it needs to be balanced again incorporating it into our lives in a way that is beneficial. I’m currently failing to do that, as the infrequent posts to this blog serve as evidence. But, I’m working on it. 2022 Year in Review

Top 10 Most Viewed in 2022

Posts That Deserve More Visibility

Reviewing the year, I am happy again with the content. However, I had only 291 posts. I was consistent, posting every day, until June. Then, the wheels feel off. Some months, like September, I hardly posted at all.

Some of this is a function of switching phones in July. I no longer had my newsfeeds set-up correctly, and in the beginning of the year, I had started writing for cryptocurrency projects, which left less time for my blog.

In the coming year, I’ll work to be a bit more consistent. Hopefully, I’ll get back to a daily writing, article referencing practice. Now that I’ve been doing it for six years, there are definitely consistent themes that I think about year in and year out. It’s also obvious, looking at the above, that what other people are more interested in are the technical topics. I mostly write those so, if I have to do it again, I document the process and have an easier time of it next time. It’s nice to know it helps others as well.

Wish you all the best, in the coming year!

Pseudonymity & cafebedouin

“These tensions are igniting an increasingly common desire to explore pseudonymity, shedding irl identity to move across the internet more freely. Importantly, pseudonymity is distinct from anonymity. Platforms like 4chan, where you cannot create a username, are anonymous. Platforms like Reddit, where you post under a consistent moniker, are pseudonymous. A pseudonym can garner history and reputation, but is distinct and separate from the “real” person behind it…

…The promise of pseudonymity is alluring; it’s a chance to shed an irl identity that may be outdated or overcautious for an opportunity to explore unencumbered. Despite the ability for famous pseudonymous profiles to garner popularity and reputation, they are separate from the person behind the account, a form of self-expression that is accelerating as more people experiment with alts and navigate the web unknown…

…Pseudonymity is not an “either or” choice—teenagers have “finstas” alongside their real accounts, while Twitter alts can send personal tweets from a different handle. It’s not a question of whether online pseudonymity will become widespread. My former colleague and the other explorations of obscured identity we’re seeing across the internet show that, in some ways, it already is. Real names might come to be just one in a collection of assumed identities. In some ways, the internet is giving us the tools to formalize what we all already knew: we contain multitudes. Pseudonymity provides an opportunity to express ourselves differently, exploring online spaces and ideas without the weight of maintaining a singular consistent way of being. Pseudonymity may also provide the chance to reshape our lives, separating personal and professional and finding different meanings in these newly separate parts of our lives. It’s possible that by becoming unknown, we become more ourselves.”

-Fadeke Adegbuyi, “Our Pseudonymous Selves
The Past, Present, and Future of Online Identity
.” Cybernaut. December 8, 2021

I think the author misses the point of pseudonymity. When you are young and don’t know who you are, you might want to use pseudonymns online to explore your identity. But, I think most people start using them because they’ve been harassed online or because they have learned from watching online lynch mobs try to destroy people that don’t agree with their point of view.

In my case, it started with a little piece of online trolling, where a group had described themselves in one way, and I wanted to point out some uncomfortable truths that made it look a little different. It still makes me laugh, and there’s something interesting in the fact that the original post I was responding to did not last, scrubbed from the Internet, presumably for lack of relevance.

But, in the years since, I’ve discovered that pseudonymity allows me to make comments on topics like family estrangement, transexuality, arguing for the right of castration, and so forth that are kind of strange and not arguments I would make to most people. Pseudonymity provides a layer of protection, not only for yourself but for others. When you talk about your own life experience, you are talking about the people in your life too.

For me, what’s important is the ideas, not the gossip. You don’t need to know who I am or who I am talking about because most of the time, I’m making a larger point that has nothing to do with either. Identity, in many circumstances, not only limits what you are willing to say, but the details of who you are get in the way of what you are saying.

For example, if I were castrated in some kind of freak accident, then the argument for castration would read very differently. If I were a rogue doctor performing castration surgeries, this would make it different still. I’m none of those things, but the point is that they are irrelevant to the argument. Trying to figure out who I am and why I might be making it means you are trying to engage with something other than the argument being made.

Figuring out who someone is often isn’t that hard. The question pseudonymity raises is whether identity matters as much as we commonly think it does. It’s clear on reflection that who we are often gets in the way of whether we can be heard. Maybe if we get away from who we are, people will be more interested in hearing what we have to say. Or at least, judge it by the merit of its content. 2021 Year in Review

Top 10 Most Viewed in 2021

Posts That Deserve More Visibility

Reviewing the posts I wrote this year, I’m pretty happy with a lot of what I’ve written. I think the post Write: More Frequently, Less Long is a good thing to keep in mind for the coming year. I posted about the same as last year, 408 rather than 418 in 2019. However, the word count for the year went up to 89,691 from 58,705. It may be better to be briefer.

In the main, you can probably expect more of the same in the coming year.

Programming Note: WordPress Scheduling

The secret to publishing something good every day is to get ahead, find more interesting stuff and stack it ahead of schedule. This way you don’t feel like you have to post every day, because you don’t. On the other hand, WordPress has a bit of a janky scheduling function that likes to default back to today half the time you use it. So, occasionally, I’ll try to get ahead a bit, or take a week off, or whatever, and you’ll see something briefly on the main page and then see it again several days later. That’s what’s going on my friends. Now, with the next week or so queued up, I’m taking off.

The next few days, and previous few now that I think on it, are heavily indebted to a backlog of WebCurios emails, which is excellent although maybe with the front image you should check it out when you aren’t at work. 2020 Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021

In 2020, I posted 418 entries with a total of 58,670 words (most of which are quotes of someone else). There were +8750 views by +6,400 visitors to Most of the views are concentrated either on the main page or the most popular posts, these had 100 views or more:

My favorite posts of the year:

In 2020, I posted once a day, which seems like the right amount. It encourages me to write or find something new to think about every day.

As I wrote last year, “I still would like to move to a format where half the posts are in a Foucault hupomnemata-style, i.e., ‘to capture the already-said, to collect what one has managed to hear or read, and for a purpose that is nothing less than the shaping of the self.’ It strikes me that the Zettelkasten Method is essentially the same thing.

Perhaps the evolution here is to use the WordPress format and write short commentary posts on a daily or weekly basis to capture ideas, and then try to thread them together into a more formal page that incorporate these bits into a monthly essay. Anyway, I think this is the direction I’m going to explore in the coming year. 2019 Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2020

In 2019, I posted 931 entries, all post views were up to +14,000 views by +9,000 visitors to, roughly three times the level of last year. Most of the views are concentrated either on the main page or the most popular posts:

My favorite posts of the year:

In 2019, I went for a twice a day posting schedule that expanded to three times a day mid-year as I incorporated a review of my photo archive. Frankly, this is a brutal posting schedule. I could probably do twice a day comfortably, but I think I’m going to focus a bit more on quality and only commit to doing a single post a day and maybe do something original once a week in the coming year.

I still would like to move to a format where half the posts are in a Foucault hupomnemata-style, i.e., “to capture the already-said, to collect what one has managed to hear or read, and for a purpose that is nothing less than the shaping of the self.” And I think some of the sources I have mentioned last year are still worth exploring:

  • I have been collecting rules and maxims for life over the last 1.5 years or so, and there are now over 400 of them. I could do a year just using these as writing prompts.
  • I still haven’t included very much material from the commonplace book I kept for years before starting Adding in material from it with some reflection now that it has been several years might be interesting.
  • Open-ended stream-of-consciousness writing. However, it probably won’t be much fun to read. I beg your pardon.

Offline, I did Postcard Friday, on more of a monthly basis this year. And I think this was both good and something to do more of, perhaps with tie-in to the blog. Still thinking through how this might work, so maybe something for next year?

In short, expect some changes and fewer posts in the coming year.

Labor Day Break

Labor Day seems like a good day to start a break from I’m thinking two weeks, maybe less. In the interim, pictures will continue to post every day because I scheduled them through September 15th already. Also, there’s a scheduled post for September 10th.

Enjoy the day with you and yours. If you have any suggestions on what you would like to see more of, please feel free to leave a comment. I recently crossed a thousand posts, and views are near 10,000 for the year, which is already three times last year. Frankly, it seems crazy. It seems like a good time to think a little deeper about what I’m up to on this site.