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Town Hall #15: Artifacts

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Most of my essay/project ideas are stored in a file called ideas.txt. It's 897KB of plain-text.

101,721 words of cryptic nonsense like this:

water under the fridge
"todo bankrupty"
finishing list of favorite things
extremely low-effort children's books
pocket gods
common ways to waste your life
"microwaves are for cowards"
death requires no prep; there's nothing you can do
"the view from inside my skull"
“stuff that happens to other people": death, theft, pain, addiction, victory
"metaphysics was invented by papyrus manufacturerers to sell more scrolls"
a guide to giving trinkets to strangers
exploring the word warriors underused word lists
moon's haunted
rootin' tootin' pollutants

Each concept makes complete sense to me.

I see microwaves are for cowards and think "Oh yeah, Tyler Cowen and my cousin Brooke both oppose microwave ovens for different reasons. Are their reasons sound? Are there other people like this? That reminds me of people who brag about not owning televisions. Do I act like one of those people, even though I own a televison? How did stereotypes of television and microwave owners evolve over time?"

And so starts a search for secret artifacts. Hunt. Dig for truth. Filter noise. Appraise opinions. Label, organize, and collect dust.

My brain feels like 31 seasons of Hoarders. Thousands of jars of fermenting thoughts line my skull's walls. Some ideas spoiled long ago, but it's hard to tell kimchi from poison until I pop a lid.

To clear mountains of curios from my mind, I mix them into essays, stories, software, songs, dolls, carvings, etc.

Distillation is difficult. My compression process is lossy and full of artifacts. Sometimes I'm ashamed of the artifacts; sometimes it's the whole point. Fermentation funk is weird.

I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm happy doing lots of it.

New Writings






You can also scour my entire history of book reviews, album ratings, and active podcasts. You may also want to read about my rating system.


review ★★★☆☆ Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell :: Susanna Clarke
review ★★★★☆ Piranesi :: Susanna Clarke
review ★★★★☆ All The Birds In The Sky :: Charlie Jane Anders
review ★★★★☆ No One Is Talking About This :: Patricia Lockwood
review ★★★★★ East of Eden :: John Steinbeck
review ★★★☆☆ The Structure of Scientific Revolutions :: Thomas S. Kuhn
review ★★☆☆☆ The Body :: Bill Bryson


★★★★★ Björk :: Selmasongs (Music from the Motion Picture "Dancer in the Dark")
★★★★☆ August Burns Red :: Messengers
★★★★☆ I See Stars :: 3-D
★★★★☆ Marvin Gaye :: What's Going On
★★★★☆ Purity Ring :: Another Eternity
★★★★☆ Tigran Hamasyan :: Mockroot
★★★★☆ death's dynamic shroud :: Faith In Persona
★★★☆☆ Burden of a Day :: Blessed Be Our Ever After
★★★☆☆ DJ Kuroneko :: The End - EP
★★★☆☆ Hannah Diamond :: Perfect Picture
★★★☆☆ The Beach Boys :: All Summer Long
★★★☆☆ Wayne Shorter :: Native Dancer
★★★☆☆ umru :: Search Result - EP
★★☆☆☆ (T-T)b :: Good Talk
★★☆☆☆ A Rocket to the Moon :: On Your Side
★★☆☆☆ Anthony Braxton :: Town Hall 1972 - EP
★★☆☆☆ Helen Love :: Love and Glitter, Hot Days and Musik
★★☆☆☆ Kara's Walk Home :: I Don't Want to Look at the Stars
★★☆☆☆ Nicolas Jaar :: Space Is Only Noise
★★☆☆☆ Porches :: Pool
★★☆☆☆ Sexy-Synthesizer :: Sexy-Synthesizer Presents Funky-Bit
★★☆☆☆ TEMPLIME & Hoshimiya Toto :: Escapism - EP
★★☆☆☆ The Fiery Furnaces :: EP
★★☆☆☆ The Soft Machine :: The Soft Machine
★★☆☆☆ Tom Carter :: Long Time Underground
★★☆☆☆ Underoath :: Cries of the Past
★★☆☆☆ Various Artists :: Hohokum (Original Game Soundtrack)
★★☆☆☆ WagakkiBand :: 四季彩-shikisai-
★★☆☆☆ Weyes Blood :: And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow
★★☆☆☆ bôa :: Twilight
★★☆☆☆ tide/edit :: Lightfoot
★☆☆☆☆ Bossfight :: Next Wave
★☆☆☆☆ Coheed and Cambria :: Year Of The Black Rainbow
★☆☆☆☆ gum.mp3 :: Neurogenesis


If you're into surrealist devlogs about cellular automata, you'll love binging TodePond videos from my friend, Lu Wilson!