tales from urban dilettantia

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Random Soup

Hey you guys, blogging – what is that? Something I don’t seem to get around to doing at the moment, that’s what. Let’s all enjoy a nice list of random things:

  1. I’m thinking about pragmatic internet activism. My current idea is basically that we create or find a non-profit organisation with a legal defence fund, have it run a bunch of Tor exit nodes and work to mainstream the practice of safely running middle nodes for everyone else. Ideally this would be done with the support of a sympathetic ISP.
  2. I’ve been watching North Africa and the Middle East closely. I’m convinced that what’s happening there, in its various regional manifestations, is a turning point in history. People all over the region are kicking their dictators to the kerb, and I dearly hope that these events lead ultimately to a better life for many, and not to further violence, fear and oppression. As one Egyptian Twitter said the other day, ‘It’s scary, but it’s certainly not sad.’
  3. I’m brewing, gradually, a post about gender, consent, boundaries and geek culture. It’s been simmering for months. These things take time to cook.
  4. This year’s theme is ‘sovereignty‘. I drew a mind map for it, which I’ll post at some point soon.
  5. I’m (finally) discovering the wonders of snorkelling in Perth; it’s awesome. Penguin Island, Mettam’s Pool, Boyinaboat Reef; wonderful fish everywhere! I’m getting my dive licence shortly, and I’m considering buying an underwater camera.
  6. Virtual evolution is fun; check out Boxcar2D.
  7. A couple of days ago, I was thrilled to discover people are still using Gopher! Here’s an HTML gateway.  Digital living fossils excite me, as has been previously demonstrated by my passion for Amiga and C64 emulators.
  8. The most recent mental health news is that I’ve reached a stage where the SSRIs alone clearly aren’t working as intended, and so I’ve added the mood stabiliser and anti-epileptic Lamotrigine. I’m not sure what we’ll do if this doesn’t work, but I’m hopeful. From years of self-testing, I’m confident that my crazy is closely tied to either my progesterone levels, or the ratio of progesterone to estrogen in my system, and among other things, Lamotrigine has a progesterone lowering effect.

That’s all for now. Sufficient random soup has been posted.

Storytelling

This is a weird little story for you, apropos of nothing.

Before beginning, I ought to mention that I think I’ve seen the film.  It begins by setting the scene.  There’s a woman, on leave from her place of work.  She and her best friend spend the days studying, writing, smoking, drinking coffee, reading and talking philosophy.  They are productive, and for the most part, quiet.  It is a bright, clear winter.  I’ve heard the soundtrack; a little post-rock, a little eerie, a suggestion of distance.

And then, a postcard arrives in the mail, not to her house, but to her ex-husband’s address.  The name’s nearly hers – one letter out, and the same as her dead grandmother’s.  It’s written in French, postmarked Paris, and talks about a family gathering at a cafe a short drive down the coast.  She wonders.

This is a weird little true story.  I only know the first part.