World Building Game

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I wrote sort of a poetry world building engine.

The site… The repo.

I messed up my neck or I messed up my head. I stood in wu ji to become the open vessel.

Outside my window I saw a rock. A sturdy rock. How lucky was I to see this beautiful rock! I am this rock… smooth and sturdy and solid and so old.

As it turns out I was contorted

My body settled into its unconscious posture

my line of sight changed

and NOW I see a branch

it twists with a white belly

it sprouts asymmetrical protrusions

A big twig really

I want my rock!

Desire

Web3 and the Future of Routing

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I have been playing around with content and crypto. I am calling this idea Route3. (like web3)

I connected my super secret mere coin with different pages on my website.

https://msrobot0.github.io/route3/

This made me think about the future of URL mapping.

When ORMs became popular with Ruby on Rails and Django we had the notion of mapping URL endpoints to functions. The functions would handle authentication and data (sometimes middleware would handle authentication etc).

With web3 we can connect smart contracts with URL endpoints – what does this mean and why is it important.

we are moving from URL endpoint to smart contract or token as the point of entry.

Instead of having a URL endpoint – rest like – I just have a token

I connect actions with the token, maybe the balance of the token, or some smart contract function or variable on the token.

Why is this important, what changes does this create?

REST endpoints were useful for storing and retrieving data. It centers around data objects and communicates with data and objects.

If we have smart contract controlled end points – we are now centering around access and authentication not data.

I don’t necessarily have to create the token in order to create a site based on access.

Here I have created a simple website based on having 1 USDC coin in your wallet – this is a stable coin pegged to the us dollar: https://etherscan.io/token/0xa0b86991c6218b36c1d19d4a2e9eb0ce3606eb48.

I did not create USDC. I don’t even have any USDC – so I can’t even use this site.

These are just beginning thoughts – but I imagine creating an ERC20 (or other protocol) routing token that users can generate to map to states.

If people are interested in learning more and in playing with these ideas please reach out.

What does it mean to be a leader?

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As a child I felt really alone and misunderstood. As I grew up I gravitated to those things that let me work alone. I never understood the managers or leaders or coaches. I considered these people totally useless, and perhaps even worse – like parasites.

All these people did was get in my way. They did not DO anything. I never wanted to be a leader or a manager or a coach, just leave me alone to do my thing. I was actually able to do things.

This shifted for me in my last job in consulting. I worked at a really fantastic although completely homogenous consulting company – I was one of two or three women out of 150 consultants – not to mention race, gender and sexual orientation diversity. However, most of the people there were incredibly intelligent and accomplished. They like me, after a career of running things, they just wanted to just be left alone to do their thing.

I had a midlife crisis (I may still be having one). I did not want to run anything – I just wanted to be alone and do my technical thing. In the software world -we call this an individual contributor/IC. So I did that – at this wonderful consulting company.

What I found was that I could sit there and do my technical thing BUT SADLY the overall project would be a dumpster fire. This was bad for me in two respects:

  1. if my projects kept failing then no one would hire the company and I would be out of a job
  2. it was unpleasant for me personally to work on projects that were failing

Why were there dumpster fires? I noticed that the technical directors I worked with were:

  1. unable to pick the correct items to work on
  2. stay focused and make progress on those items
  3. have their team contributing meaningfully to forward progress
  4. communicate that progress to the client

I did not want to work on any more dumpster fire projects – so I decided to go back into management. I am really good at this.I think my secret skill is that I know what is important to work on.

How do you develop this skill? I think it is a type of wisdom. Through practice and intention. Your intention has to be – I want to build something that people happily use. Believe it or not this is often not the intention when working on technical projects (even for myself).

When I was technical directing projects – it felt really good. It felt good to see this progress, to see that clients understood this progress.

What is management vs leadership? I read an HBR article that said management is the ability to manage complexity and leadership is the ability to manage change. I was engaged in a management role – I was managing complexity.

I moved into a new position at a different company about 6 months ago. I offered my skills at managing complexity and optimizing systems but people did not care really about this. I wondered what was I going to do? Change… organizations these days are constantly changing. I think this is what it means to be post modern. You can never be the same as you were yesterday, your organization cannot be the same as it was yesterday.

How do you manage this change? You lead.

What does it mean to lead? You collect yourself in integrity and start steering the ship. It can be a small dingy of one or a massive ocean liner. But the leader is just looking into the wind not back at the passengers.

Algorithmic Midi Music

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There are a lot of things I Want to write about today

First I have been making algorithmic music – I take a midi file and then I process it a number of times. It’s not a genetic algorithm really, but it is evolutionary. There are three elements that change, the notes, the tempo, and the force the note is played (velocity). I can take these notes individually or in segments (bars for example), or chords (as another example). I can fix or two elements and let the third float. What room is there for randomness. John Cage used the IChing. I am reading about Olson and projective verse. What is poetry but the breath between two words.

i

Tools for Personal Metaphysics

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I wrote before tools for personal mythology -but now I am talking about metaphysics. What is mythology? Stories with symbolic (multilayered/infinite meaning) that ground meaning – ie explain the world.

What is metaphysics? It describes or posits the nature of reality – of the world. Metaphysics is theoretical. Theory comes from the greek word for view. So there is something about metaphysics that is about a point of view. We are empiricists or realists – these are different metaphysical theories.

What is mythology? Mythology for me is concrete. It a story to describe the way things are the way things are. It can be interpreted in different ways. Mythology comes from the world mythos – the greek word for speech. So there is something about mythology that is about communication and about utterance.

Metaphysics is about sight, Mythology is about sound. A mythology can produce multiple metaphysics. A metaphysic can provide an impetus to create a mythology.

I go back to what does the spleen produce, what does the heart? Or even the olfactory sense? Here we have ears and eyes. I just imagined Titus Andronicus. Lavinia’s hands and tongue is removed… but she communicates eventually by holding a stick in her hand and drawing in the dirt.

Is mythology about talking or listening?

In tools for my personal metaphysics – I am thinking about the point of view, I am thinking about the structure of the thing, the scaffolding. How to bring things to life… so this is what I am doing as I compile my book of X of the past year.

  1. reflection: photographing parts of my journals
  2. reading: screenshots of pdfs / readings from the past year
  3. music (download spotify played songs)
  4. film (kino, amzn, netflix, youtube, vimeo)
  5. relationships (zoom converstions, discord conversations, emails, signal, telegraph, calendar)

As I write this I think of all the things left out, puzzles with kids, dishes made, intentions unrealized, fleeting moments, feelings, emotions, weather, plants, laying on the beach with a friend holding hands waving good bye to summer. But I am sure this is still there… The medium of a book imposes its own parameters.

Vessel Metaphysics

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I am not a dancer. Many years ago, at summer camp, if your bunk was the last to sign up for an elective you got stuck with Dance. One of my bunk mates really developed a love of Dance and learned dance moves and choreographed dances and eventually started selecting Dance even when we could pick fun things like water skiing.

I never understood it.

Mysteriously, I have been interested in Dance as of late. I am capitalizing Dance and that is intentional. Over the years I have tried to understand what is going on in dance. I would watch Youtube videos of Agon and then watch explainer videos.

I recently read Yvonne Rainer’s autobiography feelings are facts, because I am so interested in feelings these days. This led me to watch a lot of Trio A on youtube. This is not Trio A – but I saw I on vimeo and it is from 2020 – people wearing masks. I was watching it with one of my kids, who was not enthralled but liked snuggling with mama, so I’ll take it.

Somewhere Rainer said that you cant learn her dances from watching a video. That is a problem when you want to teach a particular dance (especially if the choreographer dies). Although now with some fangled new dance notation this may be less of an issue. I am finding a connection with dance more and more via my practice of tai chi, which is all about these subtle movements and focus of attention that impact your larger more obvious movement.

As I meditated on all this – I realized – dance is a space. That we can learn or transform by participating in these more specialized spaces, dance, games, theater. I always thought there was something reductive about games and rules – that I was able to focus less, or shut off part of my brain – but perhaps it trains us in participating in spaces through dance, through theater, through ritual- what do these different modalities offer us. Is it pedagogical or transformational/

Then – as I am writing this – in real time – I think of Huizinga and games and ritual and maybe Artaud. His name is floating through me. I am thinking about spaces and containers as spaces and containers for all types of things. Everything is a space of some sort. This is sort of like a metaphysics of the vessel. Maybe I’ll finish reading finite and infinite games.

Tools for Personal Mythology

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I am looking through things I have written drawn read collected entertained etc over the past year to understand where I have been and where I am going…

I drew some pretty crazy maps that I don’t have with me so I cannot post them.

I imagine this exercise as creating a personal mythology.

At first this felt onerous … however this should be fun.

I am creating a book – I call it “The Book of Meredith” … even though it is only from about Nov 2019 to Nov 2021. And although I am calling the process creating a personal mythology what I really imagine myself is redaction – preparing something for publication

Whenever something feels like too much work with this experiment, I change what I am doing and I do easy…

What is the smallest action I can take …

I want to ask questions at the margins … Why does something feel like too much- how can we shift that…

I originally thought that maybe I wanted to do this ‘Book of Meredith’ with other people. We could make and exchange our books with one another. But this felt like a pain to organize. I am sort of more interested in discussing personal mythology and redaction and making a syllabus … if other people want to make books and then we can share books – that would be cool too.

Edges

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We are going to have a new moon in scorpio on the 4th. I was reading an astrologer friend say that scorpio is called the edge walker.

Edges are very interesting.

In games of chance you always want to find an edge. (probably in any game really)

In modernist paintings we talk about the picture plane, color, and edges,

When one of my kids were young they would play with trains a lot and always ask what is an edge (with regard to a train track).

There are other places I could go with this – but I wont (edging) ok maybe i will

In graph theory you have verticies and edges.

Also you can edge towards someone – slowly approach them – how is this like an edge.

I read yesterday in a book on Freud that systems are made so that there is an inside and an outside -I don’t agree with this -but boundaries are also edges.

  1. A thin, sharpened side, as of the blade of a cutting instrument.
  2. The degree of sharpness of a cutting blade.
  3. A penetrating, incisive quality.
  4. A slight but noticeable sharpness, harshness, or discomforting quality.
  5. Keenness, as of desire or enjoyment; zest.
  6. The line or area farthest away from the middle: synonym: border.
  7. The line of intersection of two surfaces.

From the online dictionary

I am reading a lot of Owen Barfield at the moment – and apparently the word Focus originally meant hearth.

What does the word edge originally mean -well from old English – sword.

But from Greek we have

…akros “at the end, at the top, outermost; consummate, excellent,” akis “sharp point,” akros “at the farthest point, highest, outermost,” akantha “thorn,” akme “summit, edge,” oxys “sharp, bitter;” Sanskrit acri- “corner, edge,” acani- “point of an arrow,” asrih “edge;” Oscan akrid (ablative singular) “sharply;” Latin acer (fem. acris) “sharp to the senses, pungent, bitter, eager, fierce,” acutus “sharp, pointed,” acuere “to sharpen,” acerbus “harsh, bitter,” acere “be sharp, be bitter,” acus “a needle, pin,” ocris “jagged mountain;” Lithuanian ašmuo “sharpness,” akstis “sharp stick;” Old Lithuanian aštras, Lithuanian aštrus “sharp;” Old Church Slavonic ostru, Russian óstryj “sharp;” Old Irish er “high;” Welsh ochr “edge, corner, border;” Old Norse eggja “goad;” Old English ecg “sword;” German Eck “corner.””

Steve Jobs was always talking about rounded rects -that is sort of an edge – a corner