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An odd day

It feels like a weird day. I sketched out the game I want to make for my game jam. The theme is "music first", by which they mean music primarily not that you literally have to have written the music first. I was bouncing around a number of ideas before I settled on a tribute to the old DS game electroplankton

Someone showing off the gameplay of this obscure game on YouTube

So my game is going to be a number of small mini-games all creating music in some kind of generative or algorithmic sense, themed together into something kinda coherent. I think it'll be fun and definitely doable in the two weeks of this slow jam.

I also wrote a pretty massive blog post on gemini, the small/slow internet, and summarizing my own problems with the corporate web.

What the internet could be

It's not going to be surprising to anyone here on this space, but it's meant to explain why I'm here and why I want other people to come with me. I hope it's at least somewhat compelling although after I hit publish I realized that there were like five other topics I wish I'd included but it was already 1600 words which is a bit much for a single blog post, y'know?

I think I'll write an addendum, as I'm wont to do, in order to give a "getting started" tutorial on starting to work with gemini. Maybe I'll also plug midnight.pub now that I've got my keys for it.

I just want us to all have the space to be weird, happy, and ourselves. My dark fear, that I don't even mention in the post above, is that I think the corporate web with its stalking ads, recommendation algorithms, and profile building through everpresent cookies is actually pushing us towards a kind of uniformity. It sounds crazy, I think, but it's an uncomfortable gut feeling I have. I don't think it's intentional, mind you, but it's going to happen anyway!

As much as people talk about how we're going to have fully individualized ads and content, I think that misunderstands how the technology works. It's a basic fact of how random attachment builds connected components in networks: you don't get a bunch of small cliques you tend to get one big interconnected thing. It's the world's most photographed barn in White Noise. It doesn't matter who you are YouTube is going to push you towards Joe Rogan and PewDiePie because that's what other people watch. The people who target children with the "elsa fidget spinner pregnant spider-man birthday song" style videos understand this better than anyone else, I think.

The corporate web wants uniformity. Uniformity simplifies advertising. It simplifies content delivery. It simplifies everything. I don't worry about cultural fracturing I worry about a future where everyone listens to one k-pop style mega-corporate boy band because that's what everyone listens to.

Yeah, I know I know I sound tin-foil here. It's not a conspiracy, that's the problem. I think it's the consequence of the accumulation of computational capital and the deployment of algorithmic curation by people who don't really understand what they're doing.

...yikes, this post got a way from me a bit, didn't it?

Anyway, so other than writing, shopping, and trying to come up with game designs I've done little else other than be bleary-eyed and mopey. I don't have reasons to be sad on one level, but I'm overwhelmed with sadness when I read the news and see the grief and hurt of so many people. My career may have been completely derailed but I've gotten off easy in comparison to so many others. I'm not missing rent payments. I'm not in danger of losing access to my healthcare. For a disabled-ish queer I've won the damn lottery.

Anyone who reads this---I'm sorry things have been so hard. It didn't have to be this way and that's what hurts the most.

Take care

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