• Tag Archives internet
  • Collecting

    Imbolc                                                                       Valentine Moon

    Tumblr.  Addictive in a sense I don’t fully understand yet.  I’ve selected bloggers on Tumblr, largely where folks post images of one sort or another, who present art.  Over 100 of them at last count.  At any one time only a handful might be posting, so keeping up, or at least staying roughly abreast is doable.  The range of images that folks select is wide, one of  the charms of Tumblr for me, a chance to both get inside people’s heads as they choose images to post and an opportunity to see art that I wouldn’t have found on my own.  In that sense it’s a very eclectic museum.

    (folder: architecture)

    The addictive part for me is that I’m saving images, image after image, in those files I talked about reorganizing a while back.  Many, many art folders:  art contemporary, art Russia, art Symbolist, artist Blake, artist Matisse.  Cinema and television.  Natural world.  Cities.  War.  Travel.  So on.

    Like a squirrel delighted with finding an abundance of acorns, I pluck these images up in my digital cheeks and carry them over to the small holes I’ve dug in my hard drives memory to cache them.  The folders have begun to grow fat with image after image.  Perhaps a hundred images or more in some instances.

    (folder, art photography.  the pope’s apartment the night before his announcement about his retirement.)

    My question is, why am I doing this?  Part of it is a desire to see again striking images or historically significant images or funny images or moving images.  That’s true, but mostly, like the squirrel, I dig the hole, then go on to dig another hole, often forgetting the one I dug before.  This is what oak trees count on.  How oak forests grow.  Of course, I know where all my folders are and I can open them whenever I want, but my point is that I’m more engaged in stuffing them full than utilizing them.

    Utilizing them for what?  My first approach to answering this question will come on Thursday when I start reading the catalog for the Pre-Raphaelite show at the National Gallery.  I have a folder filled with Pre-Raphaelite art and will find images, I imagine, of most of the pieces in the show.  Perhaps I’ll curate them myself, re-organize them in different ways, trying to emphasize different aspects of this 19c phenomenon.  Perhaps I’ll use the images for comparison, for tracing the history of certain themes and techniques.  Or, I might just open the folder and look at them, one after the other, taking in their color, their subject matter.

    (folder History England.  a 1920 poster for the tube.)

    This is an activity only possible with the internet and large hard drives.  And a lot of time.  It feels important; that’s why I’m writing about it.  But why?  No idea.

  • Rigel and the Fallen Tree

    Lughnasa                                                        New (Back to School) Moon

    The DEW line here has no flaws.  The Distant Early Warning system, also called Rigel, found the tree that fell over the fence during the winds of today.  She walked on and crossed the road.  The Perlich’s brought her home not once, but twice.

    No electric fence is good enough to counter a fallen tree.  I don’t have time (light) enough now to get out and take care of it.  That’ll have to come tomorrow, even ahead of the final bee run before leaving for Georgia.

    Not to mention that all the electrical off and on bungled up the internet again and I spent another couple of hours reestablishing connection. It’s not a trivial matter since Kate’s work life requires internet access while she’s home.  My day finds me in the front of the computer, on the internet several times, and it has become a fixture in my regular routine.  Still, it’s fixed.

    Problem solving on the estate.

  • Forgiving. Not Being Able to Forget.

    Summer                                        Full Grandchildren Moon

    Over the last year, with seeming increased speed in the last three months, the nattering nabobs of negativism (thank you, Spiro), have problems with the internet.  The Web Means the End of Forgetting in this week’s NYT magazine recounts the many issues that self-revelation and innuendo can raise in an environment of perfect memory.  The issue of privacy in an age of electronic elephants has many folks concerned.  A second area of concern involves reading, attention spans and even our ability to think deep thoughts.  The rapid pace of information dissemination and consumption on the Web, the theory goes, makes us unable to read long books, think in arguments that have more than two moves.

    Paul Revere has lots of company.  Endless memory is coming.  Endless memory is coming.  Loss of focus is coming.  Loss of focus is coming.  Balderdash.

    I use the web with frequency.  I just finished, for example, a 2,340 page book, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.  I regularly write essay length pieces for Unitarian-Universalist congregations.  The quality of my arguments you may question, but their length and number of  moves you may not.  Also, Steve Pinker, whom I respect as a neurologist and psychologist said all this is silly.

    In my brief life as a blogger, a bit over 6 years if you count my regular posts during the year the Woolly’s had a pilgrimage theme, I’ve had three difficult incidents as a result of the Web’s reach.  The first was with material I wrote about my sister.  Material I regretted, but there it was.  Out there.  And she found it while I was in Southeast Asia. I found out in Bangkok in a China town internet cafe.  An unpleasant incident which still has reverberations.

    Not long after that I went after a job in a small UU congregation.  I posted only that I had had an interview, but the search committee viewed that as a serious breach of trust, definitely not the kind of impact you hope to have when hoping to become someone’s minister.   Result:  no job.  Finally, and the least serious of the three, but still significant; I wrote my reactions to a political event I attended.  It was an insider’s deal, at least as the convener’s saw it, and I got a mild reprimand through the channels of an organization for which I volunteer.

    Even with these situations in my recent past I still say, “Geez, folks.  Get over yourselves.  We are who we are regardless of our capacity to hide it.”  If more of our selves becomes subject to scrutiny, why shouldn’t we be held accountable?  Yes, I know the argument about slander and unintentional posting of that silly photo from Spring Break.  Even so, I think the larger question is, can we as a human community accept people as they are, not only as the carefully edited version of them we may get at work or in the bowling league or at church or at the bar?

    We are an inconsistent, irrational, exuberant species with so much behavior to think about, wouldn’t it be easier if we all got our undies unbunched and realized the flawed creatures we all are?  It’s a thought.

  • Do you linger?

    Beltane                     Waxing Dyan Moon

    Lingering, an interesting article from the blog N+1, asks the question, is life richer with the internet?  The author answers in a mild positive, noting that the web satisfies curiosity and provides a platform for otherwise missing voices, but he also bemoans its time wasting nature, the fact that there is no such thing as sending one e-mail because one internet encounter leads to another and another.

    My own experience is similar.  Anyone with curiosity finds this and that, then a bit more with the news and blogs and video clips.  I know the path people take is not the same because friends locate items I would never find, some of them interesting, some of them not, but it does show that others wander the web from time to time.

    Quite a while ago, maybe as long ago as 15 years, I knew a sociologist from Macalester College who had done a study of time wasted on the computer.  This was before the internet was as big a phenomenon as it is now.  His results suggested that computer use in and of itself lured users into acts extraneous to their original purpose, acts such as reading an e-mail from a friend or sending on something interesting, perhaps checking the calendar or writing a brief note about this or that.

    It may be that some web users are like me, my main outlet for manual dexterity is typing.  A secondary outlet is chopsticks.  The opportunity to type, in and of itself, draws me to the computer and sometimes keeps me there.

  • Captain Picard Would Approve

    64  bar steady 29.74 10mph NNE dewpoint 31  Beltane

                  Waxing Crescent Hare Moon

    The internet continues to amaze me.  A woman from Alabama finds this website and writes to tell of her journey with her son, Tristan, 2 years old and also diagnosed with hemophilia.  In the world BWWW, before the World Wide Web, the probability of our connecting would have been infinitesimal, now it happens within hours of my post about Gabe coming home.  This is a world changing aspect of the cyber-universe, creating links with people, real connections, that were not possible in a less connected world.   It’s the upside of the samed connectedness, of course, that brings our friends the          %$#@ hackers into our lives, but, like most of life, blessing and curse travel together, often on the same road and often arrive through the same door.

    The guys from NOW fitness installed the new Landice. Whoa.  I hadn’t seen it, since their only remaining one of this model was in a box.  Geez, this thing is big.  It has a control panel Captain Picard would love, though it still won’t do the exercising for you.  The only problem is that the TV will have to go up about 2 feet or so in the air because the dashboard of this thing is big enough to serve as a small desk.  I went from the treadmill stoneage to the bleeding edge in one day. 

    I’m glad it’s here.  Not having the aerobics aspect of my workout leaves me feeling guilty and my day unfinished.  Now, I can get back to it.  In fact, I’m going to do that right now.

  • Traveling by Electron

    32  60%  37%  4mph  windroseNNE  bar steady  dewpoint19  First Quarter of the Snow Moon      Holiseason

    Traveling is not the same in the age of the internet.  It’s way better.  We’re going to Hawai’i in February.  I’ve handled all of our arrangements over the internet, including dinner reservations on February 14th at Mama’s Fish House on Maui.  My 61st birthday.

    Mark Odegard, living in Shanghai, e-mailed me today and recommended a place to stay on Kauai, the Fish Shack, right on the ocean.  Just e-mailed them to see if it’s available for the time I’ll be on Kauai by myself.

    Now travelers abroad are not cutoff from their support networks or from ways of gaining information about the cities and countries through which they travel.  Both are as close as the nearest internet cafe or wireless connection if you have your own laptop along.

    Likewise, I’m in frequent contact with my sister in Singapore and my brother in Pnomh Penh.  By e-mail.  Also, any travel with an interest in my life can read this blog and find out a little bit about me and Minnesota.

    Off to the magical mythical tour.  Another form of travel.