It’s high time I shared a bit of what I’ve been doing over the last several months.
My ASL music video career revived, then ended
In May 2014, I performed a coming-out-of-retirement show in Poznań, Poland. Exhilarated, I began producing new videos, this time with fan support through Patreon. A short time later, the Deaf community called me out for being unskilled and culturally offensive. So I bowed out.
I joined EFF-Austin
After connecting with Maggie Duval (for whom I produced a cyberpunk exhibit during SXSW 2014), she introduced me to Jon Lebkowsky, and I began attending the EFF-Austin meetups. In September 2014 they invited me to join the board as Meetup Coordinator. Over the past several months we’ve covered some fascinating subjects affecting civil liberties on the electronic frontier.
For instance, we recently explored the legal implications of Blockchain technology with local sci-fi writer and lawyer Christopher Brown.
If you’re in Austin, come join us.
I’ve been reading more, longer books
- Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
- Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
- One-Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
- Homeland, Cory Doctorow (in progress)
- The Pale King, David Foster Wallace (in progress)
- The Twelve Tomorrows Series, MIT Technology Review
- Hieroglyph: Stories & Visions for a Better Future, Edited by Neal Stephenson
- The Circle, Dave Eggers
- Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty (in progress)
- Debt: The First 5,000 Years, David Graeber
- The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist (in progress)
- 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, Jonathan Crary
…and probably some more I’ve forgotten. Most of these books greatly affected me. Watch as they creep into my essays and tweets.
I’ve become leerier of Network Culture
This bears writing down in longer form, but thanks to CITIZENFOUR, James Bridle’s work, Black Mirror, and The Circle (among many, many other things), I’ve become much more watchful in my tech practices. I run a VPN for all my devices, I’ve moved away from Facebook, and I prefer to use end-to-end encrypted communications with others whenever possible.
This isn’t just paranoia. I am coming to understand the emergence of ubiquitous surveillance, increased personal vulnerability to digital threats, and our growing inability to effectively respond to these developments as symptoms of a broader evolution, perhaps the greatest in the history of our species. Bridle calls this force “The Network” and Bruce Sterling speaks of it as Network Culture. I’m still mulling and ruminating, but it’s already moved me significantly.
I am no longer quantifying myself
In light of the previous section, you can imagine how I started feeling about all that wearable stuff I was really into for a while. Even stopped journalling almost entirely. There’s a longer post here maybe, but suffice it to say I’m taking an indefinite break from the manic self-tracking.
Ironically, I did receive both my Memoto/Narrative and Myo armbands in 2014, much later than their expected ship dates, and somewhat unexpected. Not that the makers meant any harm by it, but these were unsettling reminders of a recent, different me that I’d rather move on from.
In any case, if your morals differ and you’re looking to buy some extremely lightly-used wearables, you know where to find me.
I wrote some other stuff
- That Silly Fear
- Weekly Roundup: Bald Eagles, Mount Bonnell, and More
- Weekly Roundup: Coffee Cupping, QS Philosophy, Kiwi Move
- Weekly Roundup: Snowpocalypse and More
- Starbucks on 3rd
- What is this Dreadful Complexity?
- On the Ethics of “My” Art
Oh yeah, and I’m looking for my next Thing
Peace and Long Life. -ST