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21 July 2000
today's secret word
shop-uplifting. See what I mean at CafePress. (courtesy track Geegaw, who tracked it at calamondin, but where? Never Mind, any link into that site is worth following, esp. since Judith will be moving abroad, sort of, which is a critical operation, always—so go see what'll be calamonding with Bay Area backdrops).

What was I saying? Geegaw doubts the CafePress advantage. A quick scan teaches me that this is 2cool2Btrue, BUT limited to 'Cmugs and beefyTs', the American 'pump up the volume' way-of-life in a nutshell. What about my personalized silver snail forks, and lobster cutlery, or other more sophisticated quality items? Again: the digital ease of the operation is très just-in-time 21C à la MP3, now all we have to do is wait till someone does a real good job on the idea and make it sound all around, beyond QBDPCE quick-buck-democratization of placemat cultural expression. Far out. Hold your breath for, and our infamous Post-Memetic Liberté Egalité DNA/fight natural selection BeefyT.

20 July 2000
the gentle art of redirection
- It is not the accumulation of extraneous knowledge, but the realization of the self within, that constitutes true progress.
(Kakuzo Okakura)

20000720 links
Bruno Munari begot Ju Jitsu begot Jigoro Kano begot Kakuzo Okakura begot Origami begot Strength begot 10 Bulls and begot Little Gidding which begot T.S. Eliot's Tradition and the Individual Talent (via the library in the Petit Salon). Exit.

- No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead. I mean this as a principle of aesthetic, not merely historical, criticism. The necessity that he shall conform, that he shall cohere, is not one-sided; what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it.
(T.S. Eliot)

in Ann Cline's 'A Hut of One's Own', I come across Okakura again:

- As happens often in my life, the right book came my way just when I needed it: Kakuzo Okakura's The Book of Tea. Okakura's description of a tea hut—'an ephemeral structure built to house a poetic impulse... devoid of ornamentation except what may be placed in it to satisfy some aesthetic need of the moment... purposely leaving something unfinished for the play of imagination to complete' (...) Okakura proposed a vast game of objects in a small space, a space seperated from weather and season by the merest membrane: a small dwelling intensely inhabited and occasionally shared.

ju, jitsu
'Ju' can mean: soft, gentle, pliant, flexible, yielding. 'Jitsu' means art. Thus, Ju-Jitsu means 'The Gentle Art'. 'Ju' is a principle thought of in many different ways: use reason before reacting, to avoid a violent situation; maintain control of your emotions; don't use force against force, control and redirect the energy coming toward you.

de:tour, re:direct
Don't use force against force... Since 1993 in new media we have seen directions taken as a result of new technologies' 'inherent' qualities or affordances, which are in no way fulfilling its bold promises so far. Even with a glass half-full, it is only half-full. There's no 'self within' politics and markets—them popular unities by which too often new technologies and media are measured, for meaning and momentum. Over and again, they force history's 'true progress' into commodification, devaluating it to fit their own causes. Even if it would proof to be true that they drive developments, they do not necessarily guide them best (err, quite an understatement), since evening out is their true inspiration. To redirect consensus' culture's levelling actions, we might seduce the two principles we saw above:

'what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it' (Eliot)

'purposely leaving something unfinished for the play of imagination to complete' (Okakura)

We trust no progress for progress' sake: all revolutions happen in the rearview mirror. We'll leave them unfinished and will not pursuit their gains. The powers which drive the new media market shouldn't finish their workings in commodified culture. History is tomorrow. (or soon enough, for you and me: witness this, courtesy TBTF, 'what if smart people wrote computer viruses?' and follow its links for a try).

At the end of Kazuko Okakura's 'The Book of Tea' (also to be found at the Project Gutenberg, like Eliot) we witness true progress' inevitability :

- The ceremony is over; the guests with difficulty restraining their tears, take their last farewell and leave the room. One only, the nearest and dearest, is requested to remain and witness the end. Rikiu then removes his tea-gown and carefully folds it upon the mat, thereby disclosing the immaculate white death robe which it had hitherto concealed. Tenderly he gazes on the shining blade of the fatal dagger, and in exquisite verse thus addresses it:

'Welcome to thee,/ O sword of eternity!/ Through Buddha/ And through Daruma alike/ Thou hast cleft thy way.'

With a smile upon his face Rikiu passed forth into the unknown.

19 July 2000
today's (actually last night's) secret word
Trauerarbeit, grief work, pumping a loss through your system for vigour, rubbing one's loss back into oneself?

We need observations, and a field. We're included in any panorama we view. (Paul Valéry)

family liaisons
Last night my uncle (my mother's brother) Cees Jouwersma was here from Strassbourg, where he has lived over the past 15 years or so, after having moved to France as early as 1961. He's a Jungian analyst, who studied at the Jung Institut in Zürich CH. Actually he and his French friend Brigitte just left, when I'm searching for his 'school' on the net. It struck me how much he begins to resemble his father.

Later, at dinner tonight Cees told about the leçon des choses his daughter Saskia had in primary school (she entered exactly at Rolf's age), 'thing lessons': first introductions into physics at the example of simple tests with household materials. At home I open 'Bruno Munari; Design as Art' by Aldo Tanchis:

- And Munari, as a good Venetian-Milanese Shintoist, believes that there is a soul hidden in things, in machines or in wires, and perhaps he does not believe in death, in the existence of unusable areas of material life. Fundamentally Munari (...) believes that culture does not reside in finished products, but in the act of making them.
(from the introduction by Andrea Branzi).

I think we should dedicate Doors 6 to Munari, to smart lightness, ju-jitsu style, assisting the force of the enemy to fight his momentum. Trickster BM died in Milano, 30 September 1998. Actually Doors 6 should definitely have a martial arts intermezzo.

now playing Spirit, 'Fog', from The Family That Plays Together Stays Together.

18 July 2000
today's secret word
encyclopidiosyncracy, the talent to chew on more than you've bitten off. Let go of that content!

for the record
My notes are getting too long here. Then, they should move where they belong sooner, also to accommodate their anchors, to afford permanent linking. I would want to thread my notes further, to allow for different reads (and help me recognize the patterns in my looping interests—she loves me, not, loves me, not, loves me, not...). Now I become to critical of what belongs where and I will spend my life editing every bit to its final archived state. Ugh.

note to self
I have to learn to take the summer easy and stop longing for the fall. And stop whining.

17 July 2000
Le Moulin du Merle
R's birthday party included much of the same friends he invited last year. Today they are more like his friends than at the time, when they were just French kids, living in the village, going to the same school. Did G and I integrate like R+r did? Let's say we share the same kind of information with our neighbours, as R+r share with the next-village kids: life. Life in this particular part of the world, in this specific age. Of course there's more levels at which you cannot compare these lives, than at which you should compare them. But the everyday links our lives, no matter how many hours a day I spent in spaces our neighbours never tread and have no imagination of.

Erik Besier (Bezier?) came by to pick up an antenna for the portable television which is used by his guests. He asked me what I do. Joining us on birthday pancakes, his dog Sim took over the kids' games in the garden. Erik appeared to be Arnout's brother. Small world indeed.

16 July 2000
what dotcomes around...
The FTF2K critique will be in the Items August Issue. Just finished finetuning its final editor's suggestions and remarks. Wish someone would have it translated. Have to look for a budget. Or DIM, with a little help from my friends. In whose time?

Le Moulin du Merle
Rolf turns 7 tomorrow. Start of a second cycle. It has been announcing itself. Growing lusts.

15 July 2000; moerstaal
maintenance on internal links, feedback addresses

Gawd. The G-pack has been productive while I was away. Scattershot Galore. Blessed are the ones whose wild pattern identity stands unrestrained division of attention. This is Our Time and Age. For sure I'll update soon, on NQPAOFU et al.

- The first time I ever got completely pissed was in Crianlarach, on a Saturday night during a week-end in the hills, with the Glasgow University Mountaineering Club, as a first year medical student. I had imbibed quantities of rum, gin, whiskey, beer, and Guinness, and was now lying face down on a country road, about 11:00pm in slush, snow, vomit all under the stars. To far gone to turn over, or get up. The world is turning. I am suspended from it. I ineffectually try to move my fingers with a view to clutching the ground, to prevent myself falling of. Useless. I'm past it. When I shut my eyes I could be anywhere. In fact there is no 'I' to be found. Just whirling scattered elements. Very very unpleasant; and strangely unstrange. Could I have felt that way before?
(from: R. D. Laing, 'Self-Description', in The Facts of Life, 1976)

King of Adhocism Wannabe, anyone?

14 July 2000
Quatorze Juillet: we'll be roaming the countryside.

U2T, after a short scan we return to enjoy the place. Nine days of absence boosted my appetite for it. So I lit a fire in the library and napped on the couch in its glow. Later we joined the village people at the bourg of St. Germain des Bois for the jeux and collation, a 'light snack', usually bread and merguez, or paté de foie...

4 July 2000
Some hours ago, around midnight, when we were closing the house, and again just now, starting around 5:15am we had two violent thunder rains. Genuine downpours. Just before I was going to sit down at NQPAOFU, to write this leaving note, the electricity was down for a few seconds. I'll <save> frequently. When I opened the front door to look at dawn and lightning, Pootjes came running up the stairs, to sit close to me, all wet, his coat full of burs. We have two couples camping out in the garden. Honorine's parents who stay in their 30 year old 'travel sleeper' (folding caravan), before taking overe the house later, and Rob and Marianne and their 4 year old son Aldo in a rented, fully equipped and priceless Mercedes camper, off to Paris today. Honorine's mother just enters the house to use its facilities, it is 6:15 in the meanwhile. She says they survive well. For four weeks they have camped out in Ireland, where they suffered considerable showers and re:waterproofed the canvas. She leaves with two tea jugs. Her generation is imperturbable.

I'll be making me some tea too. In a few more hours we are off to NL for visits and acquisitions. NQPAOFU will be on hold for some ten days. Too bad.

start the engine
Silly attempt to sound real time. In ten days (can't get my fingers off the darn keys anymore, mndrgl...)

3 July 2000
I can vividly imagine to grow dis-attached to the net, 'giving it up' MOL, very much in a way like I did give up smoking over a year ago, just because I'd lost the taste for it, out of disinterest—just like that, suddenly, without a warning. In the case of the net I wouldn't stop 'using' it, but it would cease to be a prime concern. Already it attained a different meaning in my life and work, since I migrated from ADSL to ISDN, from the Randstad Holland to Nièvre France. A shift in my consumption/production ratio. I can imagine it to become more of a tool than a commodity, for my own expression. Return to the studio. To splendid isolation. OTOH this complaint could be the effect of some sort of 7 year itch.

1 July 2000
00 knowledge

00 coming down
onto 2001, have we not already forgotten all and everything about the 2K-Market, the Millennium Market; did it not soon after January 1, actually in the new-born's first night, in the first 24 hours, prove to be a spectacular Media Hoax to start with, 00 multiplication: the industrial production of some good and a lot of Bad news, all of it appearing to be No News, 00 outcome after all—and a lot of commodities that wouldn't make it to 2001—no way José. Did not all of us believe some of it? Did we not all reckon with hamok and buy an extra bottle or two of water, or packets of biscuits, or whatever? Where were you at midnight, expecting what? Did not so much ado about nothing twice, double Zero, affect us a tiny bit, certainly more than we are now willing to remember. Did our expectations come true? Why not, why none, why double zilch 00...

What if this is exemplary for 99 (double Nine) percent of the ongoing media and technology hype? What if indeed nothing but a more perverse entertainment market develops from it? With more power and capital allocated to the usual suspects and more dumbing down for the masses? A refined control system, with all happy controlled and some happy controlling? Not that the do-goods have lost it, but they should have done so much better and been so much smarter and more militant to begin countering global mind control. All the positive egalitarian information issues appear so naive when compared to the market opportunity to chain people to inferior products and knowledge and politics and life. And lifetime information serving.

how do we find out about disaster (before it strikes): it's already IYBY, stupid!
I'm a 1 hundred proof sucker for one relativism myself, too much a sceptic for any belief system to start with, no faith ever in any messianism, or messianism critique for that matter—but, an idealist pur sang. I'm self-possessed to a degree at which I think that all that's 'good' for me is 'good' for them, or anybody else. And I know a lot of you who are like me, ultimately we're all the same, in our appreciation of progress of good and bad. We are clairvoyant: disaster is within us before it strikes the global markets. It's always the peers who screw up. That's how we find out about disaster. IOBY before anywhere else.

00 disaster: 00 came of it. Not the nuclear power plants, not the world 2000 food stock rotting away in 1900 warehouses, no looting, no rioting, only computer experts hiding out there in the bush, waiting for the worst to happen. Who wants to know where they are now? Did anyone tell them the war's over, and they lost it? Millenniarism: just another mistaken ideal—a traditional mistake of all you believers out there? 00's yet to come. The only double or nothing disaster is our everyday 00 State of the art imagination of an information age and its too x00 ambition. No better world ever came from any doctrine, or infatuation. Believe it and nod.


now playing: Spiritualized.

30 June 2000
les douze princesses
R. and his friends at school performed Les Douze Princesses tonight. 45' puppet theatre from behind a curtain at the Courcelles Salle Polyvalente. How to keep 26 children aged 6-12 behind a curtain for that long, swinging their marionettes? They did. Before the spectacle, Roemer and his class sung (and mimicked) 'Bubu Le Clown' (pronounced cloon) and other traditionals. Afterwards we had Kir and home baked gateaux.

29 June 2000
Le Moulin du Merle
Un bon travail. Rolf a su s'adapter avec aisance à notre langue et à nos coutumes. Admis au CE1. Signed by Madame Valet, R's teacher. R+r have done very well, which fills us with hapiness and occasional pride, of course. What's most important: they thrive, as we can tell from their comportement. We aren't doing too bad ourselves either. There's a phase shift going on. Spaces are opening up. I'm already looking forward for the fall, just when summer installed itself not as much in the weather, but in the landscape. The warmth and the smell and the atmosphere of summer permeates the fields with all that lives in it. Gorgeous.

Kitchen Think, Thunk, Thunk
Self, Personality, Character, virtues all—when (and why!) did we start to worry about Identity? God didn't require any. It's a media thang, political, bureaucratic, consensus. It stinks of representation. Show some character and give up on id. 'To a lot of people I know, and some I don't, most of whom I like, and some I don't, but acquaintances or strangers, friends or scoundrels, I must confess I am indebted to them all.' (dedication in George A. Kelly, 'A Theory of Personality')

28 June 2000

Liberté, Egalité, DNA work for Animal Farm finished
I'm really taken by the idea of adding the domain to the land and buildings, as an official acquisition of the SCI Moulin du Merle, entering it in the notarial ownership deeds.

We are getting ready to leave to NL next week. Accidently we found the parents of Honorine (who is another Dutch we recently met, living as much as possible at 25km from the moulin in their sturdy farm, with her friend Derk-Jan, both young designers. Honorine does childrens' educational activity programs in some major Dutch museums and Derk-Jan has Mobylette spare parts... and we share Mac reboots) to add another week to their stay and guard the house and feed the cat and the duck and the cock. R+r have three more days at school and then a looong holiday: 9 weeks off. I'll take them camping.

27 June 2000
At the Châtel-Censoir market, over the Mobylette we had met two fellow Dutch. They just bought a house 30km south. Today we had lunch and checked NL relations. See where the networks overlap, as they always do, 6 degrees kind of...

All my other time was spent curriculing for a commission for the new Haarlem Court. They explicitely invite artists who use language in their work. moerstaal. Joke sent me the ad last week.

26 June 2000
This day was over before it started. Upon seeing Alamut, a very quick correspondence of back and forth mails, early with Paul, on NDE, and the promise of looking into it. Then I overhauled the studio looking for some administration I need, browsed the dust this threw up and found exotic documentation of projects past. Later the Mobylette (elle est belle) arrived with Laurent Valette who offered to put it in his truck at yesterday's vide greniers. Tonight I burned some personal papers in the library fireplace. G. and I are getting into living this place in a different way than we did over the past 16 months. Ownership grows.

25 June 2000
Le Moulin du Merle
Yesterday I worshipped St. Jean all day. We had to wait until 2pm before the straw arrived to build the bonfire up from. Before then, we cleaned the salle des fêtes' kitchen and cabin, unpacked the food and drinks, installed the sound installation and had a Kir or two before lunch. The weather stayed unreliable all day and night, with no more pouring, fortunately. The fire was huge and the games were fun. The first thing small communities are good at. It makes a difference to be part of the organization: hosting the party, instead of visiting it. Then the guests from out of town beat you at table tennis and, from Bourges bring you the recipe for a great Kir variation, instead of dry white wine use a light red wine eg. a Chablis, with Crême de Mûre (blackberry liqueur) instead of the Cassis: a 'Berrichon' (meaning 'from the Berry region'; actually as another example of link global, drink local, a red wine with cassis, in Bourgogone is called a 'Bourguignon').

micro tourism
today got us in Châtel-Censoir, for another classic vide greniers. We had more than a handful of trouvailles, and heavy ones too, when I bought this 50 year old 'Mobylette' moped, in the original lead grey color, in mint-minus condition, at 80FF ($12). I can't wait to hear its 50cc motor running (there was no spark plug). In the 1960s these babies, when enhanced, drove at 70-80km/hour. I'll leave that to R+r to find out in a few years.

Euro2000 soccer
Around the corner from Alamut, the Netherlands trashed Yugoslavia 6-1, which gets us the Italians in the semi-finals. France had a hard time with the Spanish (and the referee, they'll claim), but the 2-1 victory got them into the other semi-finals, against Portugal. In case of a Netherlands-France final you are all invited to the Thurigny salle des fêtes for the competition's apotheosis.

24 June 2000
(no DNS yet, suppose it'll be over the week-end, also at Network Solutions. So much for the 24/7 economy; on a Sunday morning, the Net is quiet like any metropolis)

Le Moulin du Merle
It just started raining, while I am expected at the salle des fêtes in 10' to help pile up the junipers we cut the other day. It rained at last year's St. Jean, but right now it pours.

23 June 2000
(did a first upload, the opening screen, you know... soon to be public, I mean, the HTML is on the server, and my credit information in their secure server, so any moment, really... we popped one of the last champagne bottles of the stock we had from our leaving party, in Amsterdam, March 27 last year. Today the moulin got a new wing, so let's fly the old house...)

On my (almost) daily detour above Cuncy les Varzy, if I'm lucky I realize how sensual my natural environment is. How much do I forget, even at the moulin, where there is abundant nature in my own back yard, but always the shadow of maintenance, a household, my control. When I stop the car in the right turn of the road after having climbed from La Pouge, on the hill that overlooks the East (Beuvron) valley, I open the window and lean out to hear the leaves in the young walnut tree on the left talk to me. They do. Sometimes I get out of the car to look at it from 50 steps away, to wonder at its appearance above the corn.

Moving subject/moved object: different observational positions: I am learning to pause at the scenes again.

Smart Ass
(on such days) Serendipity Comes As No Surprise. Searching online for a decent image of a 'donkey' with AltaVista's image search engine, I hit upon Common Errors in English. Bookmarked for a rainy day. The donkey I need for the Feu de St. Jean for the kids to pinpoint a tail at... 'ezeltje prik', whatever that is called in E.

Le Moulin du Merle, WEIN
I did my first painting in at least 15 years: the donkey for tomorrow's Feu games. It felt so good to squeeze that paint from tubes, after it had been in the dark for so long. I was brushing it in the horse stable with swallows flying in and out over the adhoc easel, to feed the young. The donkey's came out cute, too. Wish my Mavica didn't do that disk error.

22 June 2000
Le Moulin du Merle
...bonne plantation is what they wish you, to inspire growth and flowering and fructification in the garden. So far this has worked (in all different stages of development) for tomatoes, cucumber, rhubarb, lettuce, arugola, leek, ladies' fingers, radish, different cabbages, egg plant, carrot, fennel, salsify, beet, chard, onnion, different potatoes, diffent beans and peas, including soy, corn, pumpkin, celery, turnip, zucchini, paksoy, and different herbs (just added verveine (verbena) this morning, from the Varzy Thursday market) and fruits.

In the evening I joined some of St. Germain des Bois' comité des fêtes to cut junipers for St. John's bonfire, next Saturday night. Last year we were honored to light it, being the newly arrived. It was the first time we met the entire community.

21 June 2000
now playing: Mekons

for the record

So tonight in the Amsterdam Arena we beat the (world champion) froggies 2-3 (Euro2000 soccer championships, France-Pays Bas)... I actually saw the whole match and now imagine the Leidseplein. Glad I'm here. Amazing how opportunistic the French commentary is. But it was a good match. And they lost it. Otherwise a day without too many obstructions. Some crashes. Long shopping for basics. Happy to talk to Paul. Looking forward to the Zonnemaire Festival. Spoke to my high school friend and farmer since 20 years, organiser Jaap Verseput last night. He said he is 'handig' and will help me get the work up. Great. Join us there if you can. And cheerio from the un-academy.

20 June 2000
the industry
now playing: Captain Beefheart, 'London (June 9, at the Theatre Royal) 1974', Abba Zabba
now open for browsing: Iain Chambers' Migrancy, Culture, Identity, 1994, page 82; Søren Kierkegaard's Stadia op de levensweg, page 390; Wolfgang Iser's The Act of Reading—a Theory of Aesthetic Response, page 11

new connection (was: new skills)

Probably unrelated to last week's coffee break, this morning (i)MacEncore lost access to itself. Again I found myself troubleshooting instead of content hooting. When I finally thought I had it together, a mortal combination of the material disorganization of the studio (where is that CD again?), a virgin system (I saved my old preferences, but yet) and an ISDN connection gone occupied for no reason at all, except France Telecom not being able to deliver a sound signal, cracked me up. So where do I post from? MacEncore's built-in 56k modem is connected via our analogue line, I'm siting in the library, not too comfortable yet, but up and serving. These kind of things make one needy. For the next box.

the hardware
should be portable and pluggable, with enough computational power to perform information up and download, searching, filtering and authoring
the software
should be customizable to be automated (and un-automated!) to a high degree, performing the computational tasks above
the network
should be accessible and sizeable to any particular distribution: home, street, town, shop, transport, library etc.
the computation
should be anonymous, natural, clean, programmable, open, shared and real time

...say, what about, before next Xmas?

19 June 2000

for the record
Rolf's allergic crisis when he got stung in his foot by a bee last week, when going to bed. He had removed the sting himself and I treated the spot with some vinegar to ease the burn. A few minutes after, when he started coughing and clearly suffered respiration problems, I suspected an allergic reaction and Gil phoned a friend who phoned her doctor, who was going to be our doctor, but we had never met. It was the week-end and he was off duty. We had to go either to the Clamecy hospital emergency (which seemed like overdoing it, but, well) or address 20kms SE for diagnosis, with the Corbigny replacement doctor. Rolf quickly got completely covered with small lumps, or vesicles, and looked miserable, swollen, also in his face. Even when he calmed down a bit during my call with the doctor, the latter advised me to take him down, so we got him in the car and I left to check with Mr. Taupenot, who prescribed a syrup (Primalan Mequitazine) and pills (20mgs. Solupred prednisolone). Rolf looked sleepy but better from his blanket when we arrived at the medical center, the lumps had gone but he was all red and his foot was swollen. At home, around 10.30pm he threw up all over G. when he took the pill in water. The next morning he said he was 100% and refused to take the second pill.

Three days later Roemer took a sting and had exactly the same reactions... except we did not wait for them, like with Rolf. I immediately fed him the syrup and phoned the doctor to know whether we could give him a pill, which was ok. Next morning he tiptoed to avoid pressure on the spot, but otherwise felt ok.

Though they both have been stung several times last summer and showed no special reaction, I remembered the venom accumulates and allergy can hit with any next sting. Things that change the body so fast are frightening, but you learn quick. Now we have to look into the possibilities of their desensibilisation.

Le Moulin du Merle
We water the gardens, which takes an hour and a half every night. We set up our camping gear to test/taste this summer's possibilities.

17-19 June 2000
extended aesthetics
Le Moulin du Merle
(Forced labor. Good times. No keys. NewKeys. Go Kierkegaard, Go! Soon on moerstaal. Later. Spinning.)


...the Artist, (s)he nothing affirmeth
(after Sir Philip Sidney, 1554-1586, 'Defence of Poesie': 'the Poet, he nothing affirmeth') is in the reader that the text comes to life, and this is true even when the 'meaning' has become so historical that it is no longer relevant to us. In reading we are able to experience things that no longer exist and to understand things that are totally unfamiliar to us...
(from: Wolfgang Iser, 'The Act of Reading', 1978)

Nostalgia: a progressive strive for a radical past. What is and what is no longer relevant to us, shows no forward linearity (that's post-Modernity to me, it is only the 'end of history' in the sense that nothing becomes 'historical' anymore, ever, in the permanence of media presence). What a tremendous increase of freedom it means not to be 'forced' to aim forward only. We do not battle for a release from history, but for the right to pick its fruits, with disregard of why and at whom they have been thrown, for reasons indeed: unfamiliar, yet possibly relevant, always, to us.

In everyday habit, even the smallest aesthetic or functional change can provide for enough contrast to attract our attention: information is added, the experience altered—at least for as long as the change is recognized as 'the new stage/state'. Habituation differs individually (presumably also depending on whether the change is judged to be for the better, or not). Then if distinct (micro) changes dissolve into complex patterns of change, they might turn 'invisible', and a new stage/state goes more or less unnoticed, can't be traced back to its original stimuli/forces. 'Continual' change is in 'live' experience: a happening, a flow. It loses some of its qualities of change, when the information between subsequent stages turns too small to be noticed (measured? with the aid of what?). Depending on the observer/observing technology, contrast needs scale. Open your eyes.

Note: entertainment, to entertain <fr. (entretenir), 'entreteneur', he who maintains a mistress; 'femme entretenue', woman who is financially supported by her lover.

consumer experience from entertainment to interaction: re:victimization

Since the hallmark of full consumer experience (experience as a commodity, instead of object of research, or its predecessor, fate) would be its immersiveness, allowing for 'helpless' undergoing it, being its victim, without having to be confronted with, or distracted by, its 'making' (to some more perverted brows, experiencing the making of an experience is a valuable experience by itself... etc., what's the meta with you?) (eg. drugs: you're not experiencing the drug, but its high—users do not demand of their consumer realities to be exposed in their artificiality, rather not, don't break the spell...). Some designers don't like the doped consumer, not being able to make out the clever construction of an experience, like authors do not like drunk readers that are fazed out by the personages' fairytale existences and unlikely desires, later accusing the author of being (like) his mind children.

consumer experience: the experience you love to hate

strawberry keys forever
I can dance!... The newly arrived bright and brandless extended-strawberry 99062F-ish keyboard is the next intervention with the balanced scheme I had planned for the studio, but it rocks and sounds like it: cheap clickety clickety clackety clack. As far as its change of the soundscape, the only difference with the typewriter is the missing 'ching' at the end of a line, announcing a return to be made: vade retro! What a nice thing that thin ching was, recalling the other sound alert, when the adult scene was over—a wake up call for the obedient to be welcomed back to the movie. I can think of not too many examples of other-sensorial feedback (than vision or sound), but the smell of burnt cappuccino milk if I walk away from the stove to check my mail and lose myself replying, or editing a post to this site. Exotic sensorial feedback often means the house is on fire or the bear broke loose. Anyway we could be more imaginative, when pretending to design 'experiences', to feedback the digital into the atomic. I guess the best is yet to come in connecting the two. Think things that think and data that act? Providing 'tangible' insight into how we (and which processes and interests) move our bits is not a luxury either.

This keyboard doesn't walk away from under my frantic pounding: another pro. Immediately, even now, I am lured by the promise of a tool, technology, of a better product (try world) to be constructed with it. It's a forceful illusion, driving all markets: be a carpenter!, make your own bread!, no more broken finger nails!, unlimited orgasms!, use one, freeze one!, go figure! Spam, all.

16 June 2000
limited functionality
Where there's a will, there's several ways. Any creative production is dependent of routine, skill, and ritual. When the large keypuccino killed my iMac's clavier yesterday morning, the ritual of large bowls of coffee with fluffy milk foam and sugar, to warm up to the weblog, killed the comfortable routine of using the iMac's silly keyboard and pulse twisting mouse, the software residing on it, displaying routine fonts, and my toggling habit—in one generous gush. Check mail and Generosity, check some updated sites, open a new day in the portal or in the weblog, or in both, try to remember what I thought this was going to be about today, or just following the trail of thoughts that developed since wake-up, the entire perspective was destroyed in one bold move. Routines, ritual, skill: conditions to any production. Too bad. My coffee break left me cursing and panicking. I turned the keyboard upside down on a pile of kleenex, patting it gently on the back. Then I turned it around and fired the hair dryer at it for a while. Reconnecting it was a disaster resulting in 78 new 'untitled' folders on the desktop before I pulled the plug. The ghost in the machine sure had gotten angry. I ripped off some keys and removed and dried more sticky fluid. Repeated the process, routine developing under my hands. Like with an old piano, some keys got stuck. I opened Eudora and returned to my mail to Generosity. When I started finishing the paragraph >>>>>>>>>> ran amok. Unplugging. Repeat process. Back in Eudora, 'no good' appeared 'ooodf'... 'weblog' came as 'xm<rzalo', and again: xw<rzlo, I kid you not... but there's a pattern here. Having just gotten used to AZERTY, coming from QWERTY, I am not too ambitious to learn yet another routine. Check the 'keyboard' representation: I can see which letters are triggered under which keys. This is not gonna work. Returning to the mouse and point and click and copy and paste skills, I succeed in fetching Gil's email. Mine is password protected and passwords don't copy and paste very well. Have to wait until the old 'backspace' is back with me. So far it generates random amounts of 's.

I order an extended USB keyboard in Paris. Pink, as this color happens to be in stock. It'll arrive here Saturday, or Monday. I rest the iMac's keyboard on the studio balcony for it to be exposed to gentle winds and natural warmth. It'll recover. In the evening I reconnect it and follow some routines. It's a bit better. I attach (copy and paste) two letters to an untitled email to Gil's brother. Send, and off it goes. Good old point and click. Good old GUI. This post was written on the other (stand alone) machine, floppied, copied and pasted, and sent by FTP point and click and all passwords remembered. Not a single key touched. But it is cumbersome. More importantly: too heroic. I know you can do without NQPAOFU, but I can't, which is the awful truth of the story. Other true content will have to wait for the pink device from Paris, however. I return to therapeutic gardening for another day or two.

ever seen an HR NOSHADE this size? keep returning

14 June 2000
blank at CET 1:02, added the logo at 9:36, changed the underlining at 14:29, made and added the issue number image at 14:39, some re:formulations at 17:12, end of first day different look and feel at CET 00:00 and somewhat after (somewhat? it's flippin' 1:32 soon, for another upload and Generosity's waiting...)
NQPAOFU, the 'portal'
After archiving the last of the old NQPAOFUs, #29 (go see it), I start with the portal as the index.html for (1) the weblog, (2) Le Moulin du Merle and (3) Innovation and Design for Information Empowerment. Portal notes are archived with the weblog (some Moulin du Merle postings will go over to What you've read here over the past weeks is now with NQPAOFU#29: an irresponsibly heavy load. Next issues will be def much shorter.

With the portal in place as the index.html I can start virgin issues of the weblog whenever I feel the need. In the vestibule, repeat visitors and new readers alike will find the changes at the weblog, at Le Moulin du Merle and at advertized—daily. Meanwhile... I get to experiment the weblog's format, hope to add more visuals and make the whole operation a bit more flexible, both in content as in design. But as repeat visitors know: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

The (vegetable) garden had my priority attention. Another long day of care. Then on such days I keep returning to NQPAOFU, sneaking into the bureau/studio and staring at it, as if it were a painting on the easel. Check, do some HTML, save, un:do, browse, scroll, re:touche, ...paint a picture.

Now, of course today's caption only approximates what went on. It's 0:04 (June Fifteen) and while finishing Hugo's Dimple I sit here and stare once more at the screen, with G. typing away next to me on the other machine, in what seems to be a letter to her sister. Very untypical situation. Have another one: I watched Italy beat the Belges at 2-0 in the Euro2000 football (soccer) match tonight—quite unusual thing for me to do. And I'm sunburnt. That's odd, I know. So I switch between the portal and the blog, which happens to be the 30st in line since March 22:1998. It's interesting I've been numbering these things (nobody else does AFAIK), opening a fresh one whenever the load became tooo heavy, rather than doing a new one every 'month' or so, like most(?) blogs go. I've been under the impression that the only reason to open a fresh blog would be the size of the old file. Wrong? Something more conceptually profound, like a calendar. Why stay attached to dead periodicities? Yawn, another 30 bytes of rubbish went by. Ha! It's not the Dimple, not that simple...

So I've read Judith's poke post (not on her site but on Generosity) dangling in thin air and no one so far replying to it, to its relevant Qs. Maybe later, if I ave the ennagy. Gil's off to bed at 0:13 and I need a refill to spell check. Not tonight, tonight's boogie night. King Tut's Wahwah Hut re:visited, in spirit. A propos Generosity, it occurs to me that the *brilliance* is in the personal blogs, and the Bar is very much like a singles bar, not really up to major courting yet (which is a reply to Judith's, in essence). 'Go home you lone wolves/wolvesses and keep spitting the HTML..' we're closing in 10 minutes... no more assumptions in a minute... major redecorating tomorrow, new gigs to be expected soon...

I wander around this big ol' house in the middle of a Burgundy near full moon night, wondering what else to do with it, squeezing the Dimple bottle. Invite the Generosity few for a party would be my best bet. To meet some of the real world friends from around the valley. What to take after D? A dose of QMS, 'Bears'. Pride of Man. Soon, later, more like this. I WOULD hope so.

BTW: the spell check gives 'floppin' for 'flippin': that's what I call euphemism... I love a good turn.