"..surfing is meant to be about soul, about nature, about communing with the secret language of tides and swells. That's one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is as an activity that has the purest addictive properties. It is unbelievably hard to be good at. It is unbelievably hard even to be bad at. As with golf, swimming and running, you suffer so much mental and physical torment as a beginner that you are locked into constant practice to stop slipping back.
..If I can ride a shorter, less embarrassing board. If I can stop hyperventilating with exhaustion and panic in big surf. I never wanted to sit in the beautiful, warm ocean and exalt at the sight of a dolphin. I never wanted to meditate and divine life's secrets. I wanted the next step. Before it was too late. Forget that dying happy business."
I like the way Malcolm Knox articulates the complex nature of deriving pleasure from physical exertion. I may quote him next time I'm asked why I get up so early.
"Credit for discovering MacMaster’s deception goes both to citizen and broadcast media. The Washington Post had been pursuing MacMaster at the same time Electronic Intifiada and Liz Henry did, and their attempts to interview him generated some of the pressure that may have led him to end his hoax. But the sheer effort necessary to debunk the story is going to serve as a caution to all news outlets that seek to use citizen voices to tell stories in the future.
That’s a serious problem. If you’re a whistleblower exposing corporate or government wrongdoing, or an activist in a developing nation, you may need to use a persistent pseudonym to protect your identity.
MacMaster has just made it harder for people who need to write under assumed identities to do so and have their perspectives taken seriously. "
Ethan Zuckerman on Thomas MacMaster's Gay Girl in Damascus blog.
"Flickr has become a shoebox under the bed instead of the door of the refrigerator or workplace bulletin board. And shoeboxes under beds aren't so good for telling stories." Jason Kottke on why the "recent uploads from your friends" page on Flickr is broken.
"The spinal cord is smart," said Harkema's chief collaborator, neurologist Professor V Reggie Edgerton from the David Geffen school of medicine at UCLA.
"The neural networks in the lumbosacral spinal cord are capable of initiating full-weight bearing and relatively coordinated stepping without any input from the brain. This is possible, in part, due to information that is sent back from the legs directly to the spinal cord."
"The internet has altered our lives in ways television never did or could, but mainstream literary novelists – by which I mean writers who specialise in realistic, character-based narratives – have mostly shied away from writing about this, perhaps hoping that, like TV, it could be safely ignored. They've ceded the field to authors of speculative fiction, such as William Gibson and Cory Doctorow, whose hacker and brand-ninja characters exist primarily to explain or propound ideas about bleeding-edge technology, or thriller writers who concoct ingenious but outlandish tales about the potential nightmares lurking in same. ...There have been some gimmicky stunt novels – routine romantic comedies told entirely in emails or status updates or text messages – but more searching depictions of how technology is embedded in the lives of ordinary people have been pretty rare." Nonetheless Laura Miller goes on to discuss some who have. *add to reading list*
"When I first started interviewing teenagers about bullying, they would dismiss my questions. “Bullying is so middle/elementary school,” they’d say. “There’s no bullying problem at my school,” they’d say. And then, as our interview would continue, I’d hear about all sorts of interactions that sounded like bullying. I quickly realized that we were speaking different languages. They’d be talking about “starting drama” or “getting into fights” or “getting into my business” or “being mean.” They didn’t see rumors or gossip as bullying, regardless of whether or not it happened online. And girls didn’t see fighting over boys or ostracizing one another because of boys as bullying. They didn’t even see producing fight videos as bullying." This is excellent and fascinating.
I make work now and each time I do, I try to reach what is at the periphery of my understanding rather than what is at my centre ground.
The periphery is a place of doubt as well as freedom. The freedom is about choosing to find myself in a foreign atmosphere where I can be less tempered by my previous work. I shed the accumulative luggage of earlier explorations and keep only that which is more generative. I think in terms of lightness, not in the light weight sense but so that I might gain more manoeuvrability and open heartedness towards learning.
I make work and of course I doubt what I do. The doubt keeps me explorative and guides me to demand more accuracy of myself. The failures are when I learn the most.
"Post Digital was supposed to be the next exciting phase, not a return to the old order. It's the bit where the Digital people start to engage in the world beyond the screen, not where the old guard reasserts itself." Well quite. Although I can't help feeling that if the old guard came along too that would be nice.