Monday, December 09, 2019

Into the Earth: A month's social media hibernation

(Image: a poster offering a "Free Will service")

In the Vorrh, by B Catling, there are creatures which like to bury themselves under leaves, down into the cool of the earth. They're very much on my mind at the moment, as we slip into the Dark Month. Based on a ba gua calendar approach, we're now firmly out of Mountain Season (when I tried to hold firm, remain solid, stay rooted) and pressing on into full Yin time.

This year, the solstice is on the 22nd of December - a Sunday two weeks away (yesterday). As part of an ongoing effort to roll more seasonal and cyclical mentality into my daily routine, I've decided to come off Twitter, Mastodon and Gnu/social (because those last 2 have sort of split up now) for 4 weeks, centred on that Sunday. I've uninstalled the apps and will do my best to going to the websites.

On the one hand, it feels like an odd time to do so - firstly there's a massively important election coming up in this week, and secondly Christmas is a time of year for socialising, surely?

But - I don't really enjoy politics on the web these days, especially not the social web with its rapid-fire attention loss, and rampant emoji-fueled tribalism.

And by getting off my apps, I'm hoping to reconnect with people around me in a more 'real' manner - them and their contexts and their reactions and hopes. It's distracting to live within a bubble that feels like it always needs capturing, reporting, publishing, sharing.

(Side effect: The battery on my should last longer, keeping me going with this solar-powered phone experiment.) 

The one thing I've come to appreciate at Christmas is downtime - simple appreciation, hibernation, recovery, reflection, relaxation. It's been a good year, also a busy one, and looking around me, it doesn't feel like anyone in the world is stopping. I really want some time, and - more importantly - headspace to clear things out, and breathe a little.

I'll still be online. But in a more "connected" way. I'm on email (including writing blogs and newsletters), reading the RSS streams, and have been using XMPP for messaging and some newsgroups for discussion recently. And Signal is getting more people, too. All my contact details are here.


[Edited 11th Dec to add link to contact details.]

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Tings bein listened to

For intergalatic soul reasons, I've been budgeting more recently. This means I seem to be spending both more and less in general, at the same time. Not sure what dark forces allow that to happen, but that's economics for you.

As part of that, I've been letting myself drift through the e-music stacks again, trying to limit myself to about a tenner's worth of varied musics. Last month, I returned to and indulged in all the free samples. My 3 picks were:
  • Sonne Und Wasser, by H Takahashi: "sun and water... Tokyo-based artist H.Takahashi links these two essential elements for plant growth across four extended works of pulse minimalism". Seemed like a good solarpunk soundtrack.
  • Cabora EP, by Angelov: Something more along the cyber-parkour / early hours Wipeout grooves.
  • Frozen EP, by Blindsmyth: Not related to the new film sequel release, but three 8+ minute tracks which keep my toe tapping and rhythm going and heart pumping. If I jogged, I'd jog to this.
This month I'm on an alternative-network route for incoming promo. Also seems to coincide with a Bandcamp binge.
  • Old net chum (ok, and real life fellow ex-colleague and troublemaker) Phil emailed me saying he'd released new album Muerck under his Mentufacturer id - must mail him back to say cheers.
  • Old(er) cousin and for-a-while Bitcoin music label conspirator Rupert has released a soundtrack for Dune based on the book - it's been on my radar for ages and finally got a round tuit.
  • New discovery via Mastodon (I posted about intermittent networks, someone suggested Hundred Rabbits, and it went from there to @neauoire and an old album called Children of Bramble which has a cool cover and sounds right up my alley.
And, as always (this year at least), 65days are continuing to rock out their monthly releases. Not caught up with Decomp Sketches yet, but 7over8 is a damn cracker.