If you're reading this, you probably have a basic understanding of what it means for something to circulate person to person, in what would be called "word of mouth" fashion offline. Yet I think almost everyone online, including me, misunderestimates just how much the process has changed. I won't drag you into a long conversation about memetic or information theory. It would be too long and, honestly, that word "theory" scares me. Still, so much of what we consume is now a part of this tangled gestalt, a bunch of wires wrapped around Earth and us, constantly bombarding us from orbit with ephemeral motes of data. I myself have, in recent years, started, unconsciously but viscerally, viewing working memory as some kind of burden, to the point of physical pain at times, that I need to relieve at the nearest digital terminal. My messages to friends are terrible: random videos, articles, harebrained schemes, half-baked revelations of the least thoughtful nature. Insofar as "the medium is the message," our messages to our friends are 10% message and 90% funhouse mirrors in space.
Now, I'd be loath to project my situation onto others without considering that it may be unique. But I have considered it, and from everything I can tell, the phenomena I'm referring to emerge from structural factors that are affecting most people. I'm not aiming for this page to devolve into some kind of manifesto before I even get to the actual links you would expect to be here. I'm just trying to make a case for this page's existence, the necessity of those links, like I have for every page which value isn't immediately obvious. That's another thing, though: why is it obvious that I would want to share what I've created, like writings and pictures, but not what others have created? Why can I entertain the delusion of somehow generating an audience ex nihilo when there are islands of signal out there, wavering, struggling to penetrate the noise blanketing our atmosphere?
I don't know. Maybe that one can be excused as my fault. I raised the question, after all, by writing this whole preface, and more fundamentally by feeling the need to "justify" the existence of this page. Did I really just want to expel some of the thoughts swirling about like oil spilled into the once-pristine lake of my mind, on which swans used to dance, but those swans having been ushered away to star in soap commercials now bubbles with the atavistic soup of life? Would that life be called my "brainchild"?
I don't know. Maybe the whole thing can be excused as my fault. I raised the question, after all, by thinking vainly that I could plumb the depths of my mind, and the collective mind, of a lobotomized sort, that is the noosphere-in-the-making, our Internet, an agglomeration of everything human and everything so much less than human, not imperfect fragments of experience but shrieking shards of sensory sudo-significance. Must they not be subdued and subjected for them to be measured? Must the silicon yardstick not traverse the lengths of each metadatum, surround it, encircle it, before assimilating it?
I don't know. Maybe it's pointless. I want to elevate others' voices, but what if I'm elevating echoes, dying echoes bounced on the copper-lined cave walls that stretch across the ocean, out of the speakers of some machine, within the folds of a three-pound flesh computer, against the walls of the software garden simulated by that flesh computer that stretches infinite yet is powerless to block out these echoes, their imprints fine yet indelible, like the grooves tracked on a microprocessor by a trillion firings, quanta tunneling across their own kind of ocean, infected with the virus of otherness—the blossoming flower of doubt that we're not special, that our limitation to one perspective is a bug, rather than a feature—the nagging fear that when we die, that's it. Gone for good.
Sometimes I feel like things just happen without much say from anyone involved. You can call it incentive structure, self-fulfilling prophecy, hyperstition, human nature, sacred geometry, the cycle of death and rebirth. Or you can not call it any of those things; it doesn't really matter, is the point. So that would make an attempt to influence the world in a more active way—as active a way as is possible within the confines of a static site that can't represent itself with any kind of agency, and has to circumlocute to beg people to just check out the stuff linked on the links page, please—seem futile. The rest of the site could be justified as an exercise in self-creation (emphasis on self). This page by its nature is a call for you, the person reading this, to be changed and to make change. It is a call to a world sometimes I feel isn't listening. Hence my reticence. (By reticence I mean massive wall of text before the actual and only reason you came to this page).
Whether I can jiu-jitsu myself out of this viewpoint doesn't make much difference. If it's true, then who cares if I don't believe it? That just makes me wrong. If it's false, then this whole screed can be taken as a fun joke. The difference is made by YOU. Beyond the confines of my mind-garden you have your own of equally infinite size. So that said, bear in mind: I don't mean anything personal by not including something here. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to be added to this page, but this page is more intended to introduce readers to new perspectives, as embodied by creators in intersection with their work, that will help broaden their own perspectives. A lot of the time that will mean stuffy things like high-level abstract concepts. Experiences are just as valuable as anything else in this perspective-broadening process, but experience is personal, and I wouldn't act nearly so arrogant as to pretend like I know how to engineer a meaningful moment for someone. Besides, the beauty of experience is that it can be had anywhere, and it is! Whereas these resources offer something that someone could live their life without coming upon.