Hey there, I hope you're doing well despite 2020 continuing to 2020. Allow me to distract you, I guess? No new project installments yet, but I've got some interesting links that are basically unrelated to current events.

Newsletter soundtrack: "The music of To Setto Setto is a cypher cloud jam induced by popcorn chewing threads in obscure chat-rooms."

First, a few quick notes for members:

  • The digital version of Encounters with a Siren is up. Be warned that the image files are gigantic and may take a second to load.
  • The next zine, Existential Detritus, will be in the mail on Thursday.
  • I was ahead of schedule for once, then the USPS kerfuffle emerged 😑 and now frankly I don't know how much more delay to expect. It may vary regionally. We'll see.
  • Regardless, your print copy of Encounters with a Siren should have reached you earlier this month. Please let me know if it didn't!

Recently Brendan Schlagel and I delved into the "indie creative web" scene that we've both had fun exploring:

Brendan's current venture is Hyperlink Academy, which has a roster of niche creative courses designed for small, friendly cohorts. His own is called Unlocking the Commons 🤗

Speaking of community endeavors, Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito debuted an anonymish one:

Club P. is essentially an anonymous discussion forum but with important differences compared to traditional imageboards. Most significantly, you have to be a member to post, and membership costs $2 per month. That's a modest amount that after hosting and service fees should leave me no profit, but it will be a barrier to entry that I hope will screen in earnest folks. Membership means that, unlike completely anonymous forums, users do have to create an account, which will help with moderation.

Shea Levy wants to understand the process of understanding:

The Texture of Understanding
What does it feel like to really get something? How does that feeling develop and change as you learn? What role does that experience play in gaining and applying understanding to practical ends?

@suspendedreason unwinds the signaling spirals:

Alternate titles:

  • The Public-Private Information Gap Rules Everything Around Me
  • Baudrillard's Simulacra, Steelmanned
  • "Have your cake and eating it too"
  • The Precarity of Prestige Economies
  • "Goodhart's is just a subset, mannn."
  • "Costly signals are just a subset, mannn."
  • The Tragedy of Appearances
  • On Truth & Lies in a Nonmoral Sense

In the beginning there was defection.

existentialpervert69 (@pervexists69) addresses the delights and hazards of navigating the world with a fresh gaze:

Re-Enchanting the City: Some Notes and Exercises
The following is provided for entertainment purposes only, none of these activities are recommended, please act within the boundaries of the law and do not do anything which might endanger your personal safety. A Guide to Re-Enchanting the City This is a guide to seeing the city with new eyes. This …

That post led me to a searing exegesis of the postindustrial landscape:

So, as I sat under the bridge while trucks rumbled down Box Street I imagined that the slippery flesh of my ignorance, raw and painful, was mixing with a seemingly endless ocean of my own warm sticky blood, rich in iron: my desire; and my rattling bones, still moist and full of rich marrow: my hatred. I mixed these together and offered it in a vast torma vessel — my own skull. I offered this to the local gods, the local protectors, to the particular trolls that inhabit the Pulaski Bridge, as well as my own trolls. This ambrosial nectar, the very last remnants of my body, I offered to this particular place — this polluted earth, forgotten and ignored by many who speed by, is the same earth that supported the Buddha. Somewhere underneath that thick toxic sludge is the same earth that the Buddha touched, similarly, within ourselves is the same Buddha. The ability to recognize "the lama-as-appearance" is always part of us.

@milkbutcher meditates on purity, power, and prestige:

three types of artifice — type studies
All of life appears to possess a similar set of attractor-like imperatives for perpetuation, but some have taken on novel dimensionality through humanity’s self-domestication.

Lisa Neigut has published some intriguingly ominous / ominously intriguing fiction lately:

Ward 77 was the Ward of Death. Ward 77 was the Ward of Life.

Yuki paused her linen cart, making the rounds for her graveyard shift. She did the laundry for the Ward, special dispensation from the the commissory at Hong Kong’s largest detention center. Ten years had passed since the summer of smoke, the summer of love, the summer of self-determination.

Simon Sarris on choosing a place to call home:

Where to Live
Dear friends, I am a provincial person. I have lived in New Hampshire for almost my whole life, a few thousand feet from the hospital where I was born. Sometimes I tell people I have never been to America, for I’ve never seen Chicago, or LA, or Houston, or anywhere outside of New England really. I h…

Lastly, I've been enjoying Tarot newsletter Compound Eye a lot in general.

Until next time ✌️ Hang in there, friends. We're all gonna make it.