protect delusionYou were born in a place on a planet. Where this happened defines your nationality, for better or worse.

This does not mean you should not travel to other parts of the world outside of the resorts and tourist destinations to meet people around the world.

You were born into a culture which shaped how you think. A religion was passed down to you; before you could speak you were surrounded by that culture and religion.

This does not mean it’s the right culture for you, or it’s the right religion for you. This is not even a factory default setting in a human. You are free to choose others, or free to choose none.

You were born into a socioeconomic situation. This will either give you opportunities that those without will call privilege, or will keep you from opportunities through your lack of privilege. There are myths and legends of hard work making you a financial success – and then there’s the story of Sisyphus.

It’s better not to be Sisyphus.

Oh, and you were born a particular shade of humanity – but that too doesn’t define you.

These are some common delusions we propagate from generation to generation.

It’s time to stop. Think. Choose.

Axing the Writer’s Block

storytellingI found a way around writer’s block for the site.

It’s, a site that generates random memes. It comes up with some brilliant ones (and a lot of really bad ones), but on the days when I can’t think of anything to write about, I’ll be using it.

Meanwhile, I’ve started writing a new book that is fun and interesting to write. It might even be fun and interesting to read, though I figure it will not be a stunning commercial success.

I mean, I’m a writer that has a blog of two flies having sex that somehow incorporates storytelling and randomness. That can be read a lot of ways when you think about it.

Stay Up To Date.

technology is good for youHello. We’re the people selling the stuff that makes you stand in lines to get the latest one.

Our technology is good for you. Don’t think about the time you spend getting it to work, or getting it if you can. Don’t think about how many hours of work it will take for you to afford the new thing that is pretty much like the old thing with some humble improvements. Those humble improvements are going to make you more efficient and more happy.

Don’t worry about all your old stuff going to landfills. Why should you worry about the water table? We’ll make an app for that.

Use technology. It’s good for you. It will make your life so much better. It’s not that it will make you more attractive; it’s that if you don’t have it you won’t fit in. Stay up to date.

We care about you. We’ll gather your information and tell you things about yourself you might want to know – but we definitely want so that we can sell you more stuff. We’ll even map your house for you and sell it to people. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your house.

We’ll even sell your fear and outrage.

Technology is good for you.

Drink deep. We know what we’re doing – and our investors truly care about your money, which is why we make things that last just long enough to get you to a newer version.

You’re saving the world.


Not yours.


Do You Want to Fall in Love She AskedA strange thing, time. It’s our way of explaining things, of looking at the past and the future. It connects us and disconnects us.

The concept of time varies by culture.

We don’t think enough about something that has such control over the way we deal with our lives – and how ‘time’ varies with people we interact with in a global community.

They say that time heals, but if time heals it’s by transporting us to somewhere else – sometime else – where things are different. It’s not time that changed, it’s our environment – internal and external – that changes, and we mark it in our own versions of time.

And if we remove time altogether, we flatten our lives into a summary of all the interactions we’ve had and how we’ve interacted with it.

The living call this death.


Stay On the PathThe trouble with society and it’s war of narratives is that it’s all on a defined path. Some people are happy keeping their hands and feet inside their moving lives, content to watch as they meet waypoints on the path. They judge themselves and others by what society determines is a right path and a wrong path. What many fail to acknowledge is that these paths don’t work for everyone and that the paths were decided long ago and may not even be relevant anymore.

The human species is amazingly boring that way. It’s sort of like watching a colony of ants; everyone has their place and does what they need to do to sustain the colony. Where this falters in mankind is the concept of individuality. Where we tell children and later adults that they can do anything. That if they work really hard and follow the dictates of society, they will prosper. It’s plain to see that this is not working out very well for a majority of people around the world who, not unlike drones, go off searching for food for queens.

Are we no more than that?

It would seem so.

But then there are those who find other paths.

The Mirror.

mirror_universeI don’t really like mirrors – I never have for whatever reason – yet now and then I use them to make sure I don’t look like someone who hates mirrors. Those people are relatively easy to spot, and they stand out a bit too much to be able to disappear into the background and observe effectively.

And every now and then I stare into the mirror and look at myself. I look at what is there. I think about what used to be there. As we grow older, we start with grey hair, we start with wrinkles – lines that tell us what facial expressions we wear the most. We see the scars and remember their stories.

We remember what used to be there, the younger versions of us that would become what is there now. We become the maps of our lives, a physical story of the changes made by ourselves.

And then I pull away and move on – not because I don’t like what I see, liking it or disliking it is of no value. It’s the same reason I’ve always hated mirrors.

They can only tell you what is there and you can only see what has happened between stops at the mirror.

What you cannot see is the future.

Solitude: Meaning

existence_solitudeI’ve been fiddling around with because, randomly, it comes up with images like the one on the right.

When you rip away the narratives, the fictions and get to the core of it you’ll find that solitude. Some call it a meditation. That the image involved someone writing seemed somewhat appropriate as well – that’s my mode, laying pen to paper. And solitude is not a bad thing; most people confuse it with loneliness. The two are mutually exclusive.

Loneliness is a yearning to not be alone; solitude is a state of being where I can control what comes in and can pay appropriate respect to the information I have observed. I started doing it long ago as a way to get to sleep – going over the day’s events in my mind, replaying words spoken, watching facial expressions, re-experiencing moments from the safe solitude of my mind.

In a world that craves being shared, being connected to, solitude is rare – but worth every moment for critical thought, for seeing things apart from the narratives of others and the fictions of society and even ourselves.

Deep Narrative Writing

Renamed to ‘Deep Narrative Writing’ from ‘Deep Writing’ on April 19th, 2020, because some people thought the ‘deep learning’ tag needed help.

DepthWhat I did in my last post, the Narrative Wars, was use depth through hyperlinks. It’s a form of modern writing on the Internet that has since been bastardized by SEO – where linking to similar pages affects page rank, and thus people have a tendency to link laterally rather than in a hierarchical sense. The lateral linking allows for other perspectives on the same topics, and it definitely has it’s uses, but the depth is better served by building on pre-existing works. An example of that sort of work is Wikipedia.

Speaking for myself, I like to build on a topic – particularly when I’m not sure that the audience (of whom you are one, gentle reader) understands – and it allows me to use my posts as bricks. This highly unused way of writing on blogs and media is not a new idea – it isn’t always a great idea, either – but it stems from an old article in Byte Magazine, in the 1980s, where Apple was very excited about the use of hypertext for this sort of writing – particularly in the context of an encyclopedia.

What would have happened had some of the great writers in the past done this? I don’t know, but I like to think about it now and then. Rather than rewriting something that they or someone else had written about in a way that they wished to convey, imagine them being able to simply link to it and move on. With tabbed browsing on PCs and that ilk of technology, it becomes even easier for someone to follow.

On phones and tablets, not so much.

It’s probably one of the gaps reintroduced that needs to be removed again. It allows building of things beyond stringing things together, building on other things easily.

And really, it seems wasted on people who lack the curiosity to ask, “He means something by this – what does he mean?” – and clicking the link.

The Narrative War

Nodal NetworkWe have our fictions – we think of these interpretations of our world as facts – and then we have our narratives. And our narratives are another level of fictions; derived fictions based on how we connect what we ‘know’.

Narratives are presented to us every day in media. Alternative narratives show up as conspiracy theories when they aren’t presented by the media, when people start questioning things. There was a time when people believed that the Earth was flat because we didn’t know enough about our universe, and there is a time now where people don’t know enough to know that and believe that the world is flat. It’s all very derivative. Some people think that vaccinations cause autism. Some people don’t.

These are narratives, woven together from what we believe we know as individuals. A person who doesn’t understand that we are limited in how we perceive the world, in our perceptions, is limited to that which is tangible to them even when others recognize these limitations. That’s the crux of most problems we have as a society. It’s a matter of how we string the information we have together; it’s a matter of what information we have. It’s a matter of what we question and what we accept.

Have you ever seen an atom? The odds are good that you haven’t. I choose to believe that atoms exist because it fits my narrative; it fits what I know about the world we live in, right down to those pesky electrons flowing all over. It fits what I’ve seen. It fits what I understand.

This is not the narrative of everyone else, though. Some are happy with their narratives.

Some are not. They sit happily building their narratives with what they believe they know, defending it against any new information.

And then some are always looking for more information because they want to improve their narratives. They’re open to new information. They seek it out.

This ideological war has been happening throughout recorded history. Battles are won, they are lost.

Slowly, improved narratives win. History shows that.


DematerializationAll too often, we don’t recognize how limited we are. We, who would expand our canvases beyond our simple neural inputs, we who would try to do good, are limited to our own fictions as we pull together the information we take in.

It used to be simpler, when it was all just sound. Then we figured out how to scribble things, and things became more complicated. The recorded and transmitted sound captured our ears, where ‘The War of the Worlds’ scared people into thinking that there was an actual alien invasion.

Television came along, first in black and white, then in color – and then in an escalation of realism that makes fictions all the more immersive. While that was happening, we learned to record things – and artists, with all these new canvases, pushed the limits beyond what we collectively thought possible.

Fictions rivaled reality, but reality has always been our fiction – individually and collectively. The world is not as we experience it; the world is as it is and we only experience it through some rudimentary inputs. Science and technology have allowed us different perspectives, launching us into new fictions about the universe around us. They drive us out of both fear and wonder.

Yet the most dangerous fictions are what we tell each other. as we increasingly master how to tell each other things. We make our points by appealing to emotion more than intellect, largely through the study of marketing. We are more impressed by a politician on the news than the people actually effecting change, and we have become more impressed as they are marketed toward us.

Our fictions are dangerous in that we create our own fictions by dehumanizing others to take from them that which we would have. They are dangerous in that we believe them to the point of not questioning them, not even daring to imagine outside of them. Conversations aren’t to be had; they are narrated by those who profit from them – not as the conspiracy theorists might say, but by what sells advertising.

Enter the Internet, where we can now share these fictions easily and in such volume that if they were things of worth they would be valuable – but they are not of worth, largely. They are simply the conversations already narrated, with few capable of having the presence of mind to question.

Society’s fictions have to be mastered, not by those who tell them, but by those that consume them.

Critical thought would be a welcome addition to our society.