time makes no sense right now

about this time we find ourselves in

my life story doesn’t make a lot of sense these days, and that’s hard. I thought I was really coming out of a (long!) depressive spell around feb/mar, really getting some mental/emotional stuff together and moving on and life was going to be noticeably better. but then these last few months have been the hardest in a while. days blend together, I’m not sure what’s to look forward to, it’s hard to feel connected to people when I rarely see any of them, work feels hard though it should be objectively easyish, focusing is difficult, and I can’t really start anything new. It’s like being in stasis, and because it’s so rare, I didn’t appreciate how hard that’d be. so as not to highschoolishly vaguebook, I want to say it could be worse, I mean, I’m doing ok; I’ve got food and shelter and love, and that’s more than a lot of people can say right now. just, this blog is in some ways a diary and I’d be remiss not to mention my current notable mood!

about neural network art

I would like more of this! some artists I’ve been particularly drawn to are Refik Anadol (Machine Hallucinations - Nature Dreams, some landscapes from MH - ND) and Helena Sarin (A blue wave, make it double; De Chirico, De Vaguely; Chameleons, reptilians, GANCommedians: the sanctuary).  (I have no idea if those are all titles, but I’ve got to have some text to put the link on.)

Things drawing me to this are:

- gosh, like, MH - ND just feels rejuvenating to look at, in the same way that nature does. it naturally draws your eye. that’s weird and cool.

- it feels like… conceptually new? like I can’t quite describe it. that feels good. it kind of connects with other things I like (cosmic horror, maximalist art) in that it’s incompressible.

- given the “conservation of difficulty” principle, I feel like I’m closer to ever making it. (like, if any unit of art of goodness N will take 100 difficulty units… well, picking up a pencil takes 1 difficulty so 99 of the difficulty is in doing it well. if “running a GAN” takes 30 difficulty itself, well, if I can do that then I’m a little bit closer here! I don’t mean to be reductionistic or to imply that GAN artists only need to try 70% while pencil artists need to try 99% - I guess just, because people have been drawing for ages, they’ve sorta mined the field of “what’s to be drawn” more than people have mined the field of “what’s to be GANned.” this is all a hypothesis.) but then, should I just do art in a certain medium because I’m already doing it? (honestly, maybe. doing anything is one step towards doing good things.)

about food and drinks

I’ve been cooking a lot and making fancy drinks. (this and this are recent favorites.) Some of this is just necessary. But some of it feels like a coping mechanism: you do some (totally manageable) effort, and then one part of your day seems a little bit special. Plus, you have complete control over it and can perfectly master it. I think there’s some psychological need being served here.

(granted, being a little careful especially with making drinks; most hobbies don’t involve addictive drugs that ruin your life if you do them too much! still, even despite the ongoing wider-world difficulty, it’s not problematic.)

about social networks

I’m back on Twitter after trying giving it up for a week. here’s what I tweeted about it:

- I really do miss the bits of ephemeral connection, especially now
- yes it leads to the “bored for 10 seconds at work” loop, but that loop always happens, just with worse and worse sites. (found myself on orange site once! 😱)

- there’s ppl I love/find interesting, but I can’t deal with the outrage they post. time for a cleaning and re-listing.

- I wish twitter didn’t notify ppl what list they’re on - I mean no judgment if I put you on “anger generator” list but the name kinda implies it :-/ (later note: I think you can avoid it by making a private list! ok.)

but also I wish all my friends were on Mastodon, because it’s great, I just don’t know enough people there. Related: Darius Kazemi about friend.camp and runyourown.social. I totally love his vision. The problem is with the spidery topology of my social network. This has been a problem forever since I left school: I know person A, B, and C, but they don’t know each other. I would love to have a “all my friends” discord, but why would anyone join an “all dan’s friends” discord? (not pity-mining, it’s just a hard thing. what if all your friends start a discord, then you’re joining all of them?)

about housing, again, I guess

Community lashes out at new building proposed for 22nd and Mission, the site of a deadly 2015 fire: saving this for my eventual “why I’m leaving San Francisco” email. I went to this meeting. (the proposed building is next to where I live, on a vacant lot since 2015.) It was like … I dunno, 20% support, 60% opposition, 20% unrelated/other. Doesn’t matter, it’s not a vote. This is tougher than the typical “Sunset/Noe/Bernal/PacHeights/etc rich white people oppose housing”, because it’s not rich white people, so anything I say risks coming off as “rich white person tells less-rich less-white group he knows best”, so I don’t know, but… isn’t 28 affordable units + 120 market-rate units + no cars + some retail space better than a fenced-off empty lot? Gentrification’s happening anyway, the janky 2br next door to you rents for $5000; ongoing shortage just means it rents for $5500 next year instead of $4500.

about the largest city in each 10-degree-by-10-degree bucket

this rules. I bet if you set out to visit as many of these as possible, you’d have a pretty interesting time. (I’ve been to 20, depending on how you count!)

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