Struck a Chord

This one’s doing the rounds, but it struck such a strong chord with me that I want to give it its own post, rather than just linkblogging it.

Brent Simmons, on the relationship between blogs and “social media”:

My blog’s older than Twitter and Facebook, and it will outlive them. It has seen Flickr explode and then fade. It’s seen Google Wave and Google Reader come and go, and it’ll still be here as Google Plus fades. When Medium and Tumblr are gone, my blog will be here.

The things that will last on the internet are not owned. Plain old websites, blogs, RSS, irc, email.

At this point, I’m not 100% on “it will outlive Facebook”, I admit. I do live in the hope that it will outlive the relevance of Facebook, but at this point, I fear that Facebook and Google are IBM-like – they’re only going to fade away when we pass through another major tech boundary that significantly alters the something fundamental about how we use the internet, and even then, it’ll be a fade and a change, not an outright death. I suspect that anything big enough to do that to Facebook will also be big enough to obsolete this little blog.

But that aside: yes. I may be a control-your-own-data crank, but in ten years I’ll still be able to be here, doing this that way I currently am, if I want to be, no matter what decisions are made by some other company. That’s worth a lot to me.

Novel

Just marking the date and time, really.

I always used to say I couldn’t write a novel. That I couldn’t do long-form prose. I might write comics scripts, and role playing games, and all sorts of drivel, but not a novel.

Guess what I just finished writing?

Let’s be clear: it’s a first draft, at best.

I’ve already got loads and loads of notes for things I need to re-write. And even once I’ve done that, I’d be amazed if it were publishable. For right now, it’s going in a box until christmas, in any case. I’ll come back to it in a few months, and see what, if anything, I want to do with it.

I’m aware that “have written an unpublishable novel” is hardly one of the world’s great achievements, and that there are plenty folks I know who’ve enjoyed some modest success by taking the obvious next step.

But honestly, I never thought I’d get to this one.

Next step: start writing second novel. Make it better than this one.

Although possibly not tonight.

Links for Monday June 23rd 2014

  • Maximum Happy Imagination | Magical Nihilism
    This has sort of crystallised something for me. From where we currently stand, we can just about see a "maximum happy imagination" future ahead of us – not a challenge free future, not by any means, but one where basic material needs can be catered for, for everyone, for free – and yet it seems we keep electing people who are ideologically set against taking the steps that would be required to achieve this. It's almost like pre-emptive future shock.