Category Archives: ephemera

Twennyten

So here we are in the future, the year we make contact and all that jazz, and I still don’t have my flying car or my hoverboard. This glaring oversight of the scientific community continues to fill my heart with longing, sorrow, and rage but I suppose phone-computers and wireless recharging mats are sci-fi enough to satiate my cravings for futurity, which is a word I am fairly certain I just created.

I spent New Year’s Eve literally banging on a gong and eating elk while I wore someone else’s fedora and talked about comic books with a man wearing the largest wristwatch in the Northern Hemisphere. I spent the first day of this decade traveling from one end of the country to the other in the fuzzy  headspace of a not-quite hangover combined with only partially adapted-to jet lag. My Amazon Kindle proved itself quite conversation-piece during my time in the wilds of holiday air travel and I spent most of the first flight reading PDFs of David Mamet screenplays, and most of the second flipping between Sun Tzu and a trashy fantasy-noir novel.

Back in San Francisco now; back at work. My hands are on the keyboard once again, ploughing through my student note before it hits the presses in between checking and rechecking my grades from last semester. I started back at work, so even before my final semester of law school begins I find myself staring down the barrel of deadlines and workloads. School starts next week and I still need to hammer out my final schedule, buy books, do reading, etc. That doesn’t include the long-term job search, for which I need to steel my resolve in the face of overwhelming (and overwhelmingly fierce) competition since I am a 3L earning my J.D. in the legal employment apocalypse.

Fortunately, I have serious time management chops and I have perfected the art of focused busts of pure creativity. The workload doesn’t worry me. The soul-crushing existential dread about my future? That might be s different story in the long run. But for now I am content to be back in San Francisco, prepared to wring the last drops out of my academic life. This new year, this 20101 is positively tumescent with promise. I have work to do, yes. But I also have movies and TV shows to watch, comics and books to read, video games to play, blog posts to feel guilty about not writing and maybe eventually writing. I will have visitors come to me. I will visit others. I will make and fail to keep some resolutions while others will change my life. This new year is shiny and great.

Ukranian Wild Women

In the Ukraine, there is a group of women who call themselves the Asgarda living as an Amazon tribe.

Asgarda

The ferocious-looking tribe is “…comprised of 150 women of varying ages, primarily students, led by 30 year-old Katerina Tarnouska. Reviving the tribal traditions of the Scythian Amazons of ancient Greek mythology, the Asgarda train in martial arts, taught by former Soviet karate master, Volodymyr Stepanovytch, and learn life skills and sciences in order to become ideal women.”

Apparently that means learning how to use scythes and other bladed weapons, shaving each others heads, and hanging out by rock formations.

Just so you know.

Haiku of the Quotidian: What’s So Great About Twitter, Anyway?

I’m screwing around with Twitter.

The service was a blip on my radar when it emerged a couple years back, and I promptly discarded it as a pointless waste of time. But its been in the news quite a bit lately, with apparently huge numbers of people migrating to the service. I thought maybe I am missing out on something, so I decided to give Twitter another chance because maybe I missed something. It wouldn’t be the first time. I tend to be something of an early rejecter, discovering trends while they are fresh and cutting edge, then deciding that I want nothing to do with them until a few years when they become popular and I come around. I did it with Myspace, I did it with Facebook.

It seems to me that its a little redundant, offering the status updates of Facebook and nothing else. It seems to me that Twitter doesn’t do anything that you couldn’t accomplish more easily elsewhere. I just don’t get the appeal, and I don’t mean that harshly. I just feel like I must be missing something.

After creating an account, you are prompted to tell Twitter what you are doing. You have 140 characters to respond, and while I appreciate the creativity that such constraints brings out I can’t help but wonder what the point is. Economy of language is good, but maybe 140 characters explaining what I had for breakfast is still 140 characters too many.

Part of the problem is no doubt that I am coming to the service cold. I don’t know anyone on Twitter, so I am approaching it almost purely as a consumer. I picked a few famous-ish people to follow (mostly writers and newsish types) and I get a continual stream of their updates. These hold my interest but I don’t think my life would be diminished if I didn’t read the mini-observations and work updates of these quasi-celebrities. My life doesn’t feel any richer for them. I also randomly picked some people to follow from blogs that I read whose voice I feel like I know. But the majority of the output seems to be half-cocked thoughts and observations, frequently witty but ultimately unsatisfying.

Twitter updates (tweets as the cool kids say) feel like intellectually empty calories.

And those are the good ones. I’m not even getting into the multiple followers I receive that want to tell me about their SEO opportunities or their marketing consulting. I guess there’s nothing wrong with using social media to solicit business, but I really don’t need another place where people are always trying to sell me.

Granted, my experience would be far different if I had a group of friends who were all avid Twitterers. The ability to engage in back-and-forth tweets using @replies seems like one of the coolest features but since I don’t actually know anyone on the service I feel weird interjecting myself into their conversations. I’m never sure what the etiquette is on social media sites, and I hate looking like a jackass.

I’ve only launched a handful of tweets myself. I feel self-conscience enough writing here where I generally try to think my posts out and not write anything here unless I have something to say. Your mileage may vary. Not every post on Semantic Drift is as insightful or deep as I would like, but they do tend to be more substantial than what tends to fly on Twitter. I worry enough about the value of my regular blogging without burdening the world with even more tangential ephemera in microblogging form.

Like any open-minded young person, I don’t mind experimenting. I’ll continue to play with it for a while, but it seems like Twitter and I don’t have very much of a future together. This feels like another web2.0 fizzle.  It will likely turn out to be a brief flirtation like the Digg Affair of Summer 2007 or my abortive fling with last.fm. Or it might turn out to be an internet Friend with Benefits like Del.icio.us.

The jury is still out.

Wikipedia Names My Band

I generally don’t tend to go for internet memes. I figure that the world at large can get along just fine without knowing 25 things about me, or the last time I smiled. That being said, after seeing it on the A.V. Club, I felt an irresistible compulsion to participate in this round of memery:

New meme: here’s a totally random way to make your new random band’s new random album cover. Post one! Go to “Wikipedia.” Hit “random” and the first article you get is the name of your band. Then go to “Random Quotations” and the last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. Then, go to Flickr and click on “Explore the Last Seven Days” and the third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Here’s what I came up with:

wikipediaband1


A Partial Exploration of My Fictional Proclivities

With respect to Johnny Cash, who I’m pretty sure made a similar list in the liner notes of one of his albums although I cannot find it:

I like stories about (in no particular order):
being clever, championing lost causes, defying expectations, quests, samurai, magicians (stage), magicians (occult), soldiers, science, love, sex, death, loss, redemption, initiation, betrayal, teamwork, obsession, abuse, triumph in the face of adversity, defeat in the face of adversity, philosophy, privilege, noblesse oblige, condescension, rebellion, conformity, harrowing escapes, negation, subversion, sarcasm, angels, demons, God (literally), God (figuratively), religion, technology, the Holy Grail, talking animals, getting lost, wearing armor, gadgets, stories, pretension, perversion, myths, attraction (requited), attraction (un-), vigilantes, teenagers, loners, research, words, ideas, pictures, mutants, lawyers, mercenaries, con men, criminals, academics, explorers, cynics, bastards, dreamers, labyrinths and immortality.