Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   instead of a dissonant beep
Monday, January 22 2001
Imagine if you were stuck in the middle of rural western Virginia in the mid-80s and wanted to expose yourself to something other than the stuff being played on the radio. If you had a functional car, perhaps you could drive out to the nearest K-Mart (there were no Walmarts then) and peruse their selection of carefully screened and pre-censored regionally-popular tapes and albums. But if you wanted to truly explore the obscure early stuff of some your favorite bands, you simply couldn't. When I was in my Pink Floyd phase (we're not exactly talking about an obscure band here) and I suddenly wanted to collect all the early Syd Barrett stuff, I couldn't. I had to wait until I got to college. They didn't even have record stores in Staunton until the late 80s. Years passed as I waited to unearth the rest of the certain something that was exposed in one song, "See Emily Play," which I'd heard on a late-night Pink Floyd retrospective. Such was life in the pre-networked age, when, if you wanted information, you had to drive somewhere to get it and you also needed to bring money if you hoped to take it home with you. Now anything that can be reduced to pure information can be freely downloaded. This has plenty of consequences outside the purview being discussed, but one of the most important upshots of this is that one's musical experience is no longer held hostage by the music manager at a Walmart regional headquarters. I think everyone can objectively see this as a good thing, even if it means that some people use Napster to get all their music for free and occasionally unsupervised thirteen year olds hear the word "fuck" instead of a dissonant beep, cluing them in that sometimes grown-ups resort to bad words (and all the damage that their having this knowledge causes in our society).
For me, of course, Napster arrived fairly late in the formation of my musical interests. I think it's difficult to have much of a sense of wonder exploring the nooks and crannies of the known musical universe when you're in your 30s. And Napster isn't really very good at doing anything other than allowing a person to download music they already know about or the unknown songs of bands they know about. But it's frightfully good at those two things, and this is a feature I would have considered a dream come true back in 1984. Now, of course, I use it to spelunk the bands I know, hoping to unearth nuggets I can still remember from long-lost mix tapes. One song I'm really enjoying of late is entirely new to me, though, "Fountain Of Youth" from Forever Since Breakfast (1986) by Guided by Voices. The way it lurches between musical styles (the Who, Blue Oyster Cult and REM) would be comic in the hands of anyone with less conviction, but instead it's a powerfully sincere rumination on the brevity of life.

I stayed at work until 8pm tonight, and I worked hard for much of this time. I always feel best when I come home after a day of hard work. I think that effective and visible application of one's skills is important for the maintenance of social status (in other words, natural base-level serotonin). I'm delighted whenever I find my mood improving without the use of drugs.

In other news, according to the old formula that used to calculate its market cap, is now a million dollar company! That's right, with 461 registered users, each of them worth something over two thousand dollars, I'm all set to start issuing shares of public stock. True, many of those users are actually trolls, but the same was also true of Best of all, though may not be making any money, it isn't losing any either. It pays no money for salaries, advertising, legal expenses or hosting fees. Indeed, we're shooting for profitability in Q2!

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