Being able to sleep at night is important. What we do, and whatever happens to us, it’s crucial that at the end of the day, we can justify it enough to sleep. So why couldn’t I sleep tonight?
There isn’t one single thing, and that’s the problem. It’s becoming too much, not for me, but for everyone, and I’d rather not sit around while it continues, so I’ve decided to take myself seriously—maybe too seriously by your standards—and say exactly what I’m thinking for once.
I’m honestly not sure if I’m quitting Tumblr outright and I wouldn’t want to commit myself to saying something and reneging on it. I’m most definitely taking a much-needed break, though, closing the outward trappings of my site, and spending a while not thinking about any of this. As a few of you know, I’ve thought about it for weeks now, and this is why:
For one thing, we take all of this too seriously, myself included. I’ve called many of you out for being codependent, but having a blog is, in itself, a rather adolescent emotional thing, no matter how you use it. We are all expressing ourselves, and the community I’ve talked about is just another layer of just how much in need of attention and validation we all are. I love the drama that goes on in my dashboard because these are real lives we’re talking about. So many of you are self-destructive or caricatural and it bleeds so clearly through your posts. God I’m glad I’m not one of you… unless I am. It’s better than TV, but at what cost to our self-respect? We’ve cultivated our little society and injected our egos into it, and for what? So that when David finally gets off his ass and monetizes Tumblr we’ll all flock to pay him $5 a month? That’s a pretty pathetic prospect.
I’m guilty of idolizing the earlier days of the Tumblr community, but let’s face it: The foundation of this community is in arrogant, rich, New York nerds, none of whom are attractive, interesting, or clever enough to be at all famous in the real world, so they’ve recessed into the adulating womb of Tumblr, Gawker, and the like. Look at who you’ve made really famous here and ask yourself if these people represent any attributes that you should respect. Whatever you want to say negatively about them just reflects back on all of us. We’re all shills to juice cleanses, fameballing, and being lecherously vain and shallow towards our fellow humans.
We’re just tearing down some representatives as we build up others. You only need to look as far as Stupidgate. Yes, it’s hilarious. Yes, StupidinBoston was an arrogant fool who probably deserved to have those photos leaked if he was stupid enough to send them to people, but look at what’s actually happening. All the people in his group of buddies—all the people he gave hundreds of followers to—are the ones trumpeting his humiliation. They not only jumped ship on his “it’s all hugs and happiness” ride, but took that anger they had at themselves for being a part of it and directed it at him. It’s most clearly a pecking party and looking past whatever personal dislike I’ve had for the guy, it still makes me sick.
Another interesting byproduct of Stupidgate is the recent assault on me that has taken place on one or two blogs. I don’t even know the people who seem to dislike me so much, but they continue to make pretty strong accusations about me, like one guy, who I guess reads way too much into pictures of my cats and girlfriend, who said I was a psychopath. I think I would be more insulted if criticisms were more warranted, and I’m sure there are things that could be said, but between saying I’m a psychopath, misreading a self-deprecating post, and one even claiming that my girlfriend affects a fake British accent (!), I can’t help but laugh. The recent anger directed my way by a couple post-Stupid users is due to externalized self-hatred at the recent events proving what I and others have been saying all along, that there’s a growing number of relatively popular Tumblr users who would be much better suited to AOL chatrooms, Myspace bulletins, and Youtube comments. I figure if these types of people aren’t angry at me over one thing or another, I’m doing something wrong. As much as they might be happy to see me leave, I’m equally happy to not have to see the entirety of Tumblr fall prey to their insidious idiocy.
Coincidentally, I’ve been seeing a few unrelated things lately that have prompted me more toward questioning why I bother with Tumblr. Michael Arrington, as many of you know, is a popular internet villain, and he recently wrote a very powerful post about just how bad things can get when unstable, unthinking people are enabled by the relationships we all have with the internet. Similarly, the owner of T-Shirt Hell, an offensive t-shirt company, wrote a letter stating how he was shutting his business down because he just didn’t want to deal with any more idiots. One of the many new followers the recent attacks on me have yielded posted a video of a debate between Christopher Hitchens and Al Sharpton. I remember one of the first times I hit the Tumblr Radar (before being blacklisted) was with a post defending Hitchens. It dawned on me that I was becoming a sort of Hitchens in the Tumblr eye, recently, and that’s not something I want. That’s because for no matter how intelligent, persuasive, and daring Hitchens is, he’s always marred by characterizations from people who would rather not listen to the substance of what he says but by what they’re afraid of. My humility won’t let me claim to have Hitchen’s positive attributes to whatever extent will let me continue to sound humble, but those unfounded characterizations do seem to be erupting from a few loud, if not blithering voices.
My self-censorship is the final nail in the coffin. This has been used against me, for whatever reason, in the past, so I’ll oblige and generalize to make it apply to all of you. It’s not a clear case of me holding my tongue for future employers. It’s what all of us do. We have an intended audience and we’re trying to sell ourselves. We’re not writing in top secret journals here. Michelle keeps trying to convince us her life is whatever she’s made it up to be in her head, Julia wants us to think she’s inspiring and famous, Molls wants us to think that she’s somehow funny, Tyler wants us to think he’s a writer, and the list goes on. We are who we pretend to be, and from what I’ve seen, I’m not sure why any of us keep pretending. I’d rather say nothing than have to watch my step. Even if I had never associated my name with my blog, I would still be needing to maintain an image. That’s not fun, that’s work. You might like to think you’re above that, but I’m not sure who you’re kidding.
So what should we do? Should we laugh it all off, disassociate ourselves from or attack anything that makes us uncomfortable with our good times? I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. I have everything I want, and the fun I’ve had with Tumblr was an extra in my life. A bonus. Free.
Well, it’s time I looked a gift horse in the mouth and say I’d rather keep my feet on the ground.
I’ve met a lot of very clever, funny, and interesting people through Tumblr, and I’m grateful for that. I’ve probably met more people I like here than in my real life, and I’m forlorn at the prospect of losing touch with you or missing out on my opportunities to start a correspondence with those I haven’t. You can always reach me via email.
Who knows, maybe I’ll eat all my words and crawl back, or maybe I won’t find the need and you’ll see me one day at a party, dancing with my shirt off.
I temporize way too much in conversation. Things that anyone else would say as fact, I will still throw a “probably” or “perhaps” on, because I know there could always be that one edge case where a meteor strikes my neighborhood and I wouldn’t after all be able to make it out that day to Thanksgiving dinner.
Check out the later pages, too.
I throw my important documents into a shoebox instead of sorting them. I figure that I so rarely read from that cache compared to how often I write to it that it’s overall cheaper to have expensive reads and really fast writes.
My favorite Stack Overflow thread so far.
Is it WRONG that so many of those relate to me as well?
# tinyp2p.py 1.0 (documentation at http://freedom-to-tinker.com/tinyp2p.html) import sys, os, SimpleXMLRPCServer, xmlrpclib, re, hmac # (C) 2004, E.W. Felten ar,pw,res = (sys.argv,lambda u:hmac.new(sys.argv,u).hexdigest(),re.search) pxy,xs = (xmlrpclib.ServerProxy,SimpleXMLRPCServer.SimpleXMLRPCServer) def ls(p=""):return filter(lambda n:(p=="")or res(p,n),os.listdir(os.getcwd())) if ar!="client": # license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0 myU,prs,srv = ("http://"+ar+":"+ar, ar[5:],lambda x:x.serve_forever()) def pr(x=): return ([(y in prs) or prs.append(y) for y in x] or 1) and prs def c(n): return ((lambda f: (f.read(), f.close()))(file(n))) f=lambda p,n,a:(p==pw(myU))and(((n==0)and pr(a))or((n==1)and [ls(a)])or c(a)) def aug(u): return ((u==myU) and pr()) or pr(pxy(u).f(pw(u),0,pr([myU]))) pr() and [aug(s) for s in aug(pr())] (lambda sv:sv.register_function(f,"f") or srv(sv))(xs((ar,int(ar)))) for url in pxy(ar).f(pw(ar),0,): for fn in filter(lambda n:not n in ls(), (pxy(url).f(pw(url),1,ar))): (lambda fi:fi.write(pxy(url).f(pw(url),2,fn)) or fi.close())(file(fn,"wc"))
I installed Oblivion again, partly at the urging of an old university friend of mine who reminded me that trotting around the beautiful ancient forests is quite relaxing. I spent a long while this evening tracking down a bunch of mods that I used to use, and while I haven’t found all of them, I have a fair few that are doing the job.
“Sort of like SUVs and bluetooth headsets on mid level execs in Starbucks, I get the feeling that it’s easy for a game to become a high def, 60 fps penis extension device.”—Kyle Gabler, from Indie Developers Showcase, Day 5: World of Goo (The Escapist).
The term zero-player game commonly refers to games that have no human players, but also to games that have no players at all.
The computer game N has a level type called DDA, or Don’t Do Anything. They consist of an elaborate track that the ninja travels along from start to finish with no player input, relying solely on the eccentricities of the game’s engine, including its enemies, its items, and its physics.
Something called sector targeting came up on today’s episode of Hustle. (The episode is still available on iPlayer for Brits.) In the most basic terms, it’s a method for getting an edge (not cheating, quite) in Roulette whereby you calculate the speed of the wheel’s spinning, the ball’s speed, and how quickly they were both decelerating, which would give you a rough idea of where the ball would land. Apparently, it cuts the odds down to around 1 in 38 10.
Anyway, this news story was the first result when googling, and it’s quite interesting. These two guys built a device that made the necessary calculations to use sector targeting in roulette (since the necessary calculations are too complex to perform mentally for most people) and used it to cheat the Ritz casino out of £1.3 million. Best bit is they got away with it, according to a follow up article from 2 years later, with all their winnings.
Hustle is awesome. This, too, is awesome. Though I have the feeling the manufacturer was very quietly bought off or something. No way casinos would let this continue.