fireside, frenetic group conversational mix of comedy and doom. a proposal emerged:

the most important post-collapse skill is friendship


reckoning: three scenes from the barn

  1. bound. forty foot ladder. you think you need to, but once getting that high you question why. it's impossible to move around. borrowed from a friend who says oh you hold onto it, because they don't want to move it either. a cursed object. somebody probably wants it, for some reason, but it's also too hard to find that person. so it just takes up space. luckily this one doesn't deteriorate. but others in their same situation do. many you didn't even ask for, but were bestowed into your perpetual care. in a way these objects might be a metaphor, but in this case you actually are really stuck with a ladder.

  2. seen. things you stored, for historical value and anti-obsolesense, too much forgotten technology. a black cable appears to have some grey something on it. on closer inspection it is actually a grey cable covered in black. this object was stored for over a decade without humidity control and assuredly dusted multiple times with bird shit. for some reason it was brought into a previously clean part of the barn, which now has what the victorians would have called "bad air." every object and surface is now suspicious.

  3. unseen. after a protracted vinegar-fueled reclamation of space from advancing mold, you eye a pile of forlorn rugs and army blankets which have moved rarely over the years. their smell is known before approaching. bagging begins, fully masked and gloved, but a different adversary emerges. a burning in your arm, explosive buzzing, instinctively you perform the timeless way of fleeing from the invisible. the hornet bites cause your hand and arm to swell to unrecognizability, everyone finds this hilarious.



universal question diagram. recreated drawing from the age of alchemy. possibilities and interconnectedness. screen from 2015.


"As they say, with the rising tide lifting; there’s no liberation in isolation.

I want us to be a part of the ocean, not the boat."



so we made a new thing
but really an old thing
from over a decade ago
and so there was this impulse that we had to
somehow make the new thing actually new
with a fancy new application or something
but i guess we decided not to do that
this light pattern is an experiment we made a few months ago
with a demoscene-era plasma technique
the important stuff all happens in one line of code
which we wanted to mention simply to spread the concept of
permacomputing and also
despite the grid fundamentally being interactive
sometimes a visual or sound can powerfully stand on its own
like when nine inch nails had this same new thing on stage
just visualizing and hell they are still cooler than us
but really the point is
the grid hasn't meaningfully changed for two decades
still doing nothing yet
containing endless horizons to explore new instrument design
a vehicle for new skills and
perhaps making new friends
but we guess everyone knows that by now
so it's new and it's the same
and that's mostly why there's not really a new killer app
lesser reasons include
us opening an art store and
still tending a farm and finding time to make music
such as this forthcoming softbits cut you're hearing now
but we are glad to be building these again
and look forward to seeing what comes next


moondog - theme and variations (1953)
james holden - in the end you'll know (2023)
dead can dance - how fortunate the man with none (1993)

[mp3] - 18:16




we were in college, the father of a friend visiting, telling us that the world is covered in a fine layer of shit

didn't really take this seriously despite him being a doctor, the delivery made it sound like a joke

this remains one of the more profound truths i missed at first pass


returned from elsewhere
lamenting that the city only had three birdkind
and sensing disapproval of my using the term "streetbirds"
reflexively way too loud
"i fucking love seagulls!"


"Permacomputing is a nascent concept and a community of practice centred around design principles that embrace limits and constraints as a positive thing in computational culture, and on creativity with scarce computational resources."




"how'd your gig go??? did anyone cry? haha that's why my one friend used to always ask... how was the show? did you make anyone cry? that was his metric for how a show went. i always used to say that at least i cried. and i had a super serious talk with him once where i tried to explain in all sincerity that maybe its not everyone's intention to have the audience cry at a performance. and he in all honesty just couldn't relate to that idea at all."



apocalypse glow, borrowed studio
preparing sounds and ways of being
to share with those who might listen



seeing different light, with friends


attempting to improve my capability to identify and estimate distances of one hundred feet, which is evidently the standard unit of water tube and electrical extension cord, which we string across the fields in a suddenly-eternal-feeling drought mitigation battle



however, the spruce seem to think everything is fine




during the Q&A i congratulated myself on not having said the word 'capitalism' during the entire talk, and the audience suddenly applauded. (whereupon we then proceeded to discuss capitalism for the remainder of the session.)



smoke travels two thousand miles, coloring moonlight
no rain, fire warnings, freeze alerts, all together
interspecies anxiety, dawn breaks again


"We are stuck with the problem of living despite economic and ecological ruination. Neither tales of progress nor of ruin tell us how to think about collaborative survival. It is time to pay attention to mushroom picking. Not that this will save us—­but it might open our imaginations."

(attempting to revive forgotten pathways as i've lost my notes)


woo - when you find your love (1990)
laurie spiegel - the unquestioned answer (1980)
jessy lanza - going somewhere (2016)

[mp3] - 14:48


"The claim that better technology will necessarily improve people’s standard of living is no longer credible."


ólöf arnalds - ævagömul orkuþula (2006)
a silver mt. zion - 13 angels standing guard 'round the side of your bed (2000)
broken social scene - anthems for a seventeen year-old girl (2003)

[mp3] - 13:30



enlisted an older drawing for our friend's music project tshirt. [web]


for a long moment, kitten lost within interior structure of walls and interconnected betweens of old building, physically near but practically a different dimension, despite all previous attempts to close gates, and somehow there may always be yet another entry point


mushy boundaries. have tasks in two languages that differ in a way that has me questioning basic reality in somewhat boring ways (and i am here to tell you about it i am so sorry).

zero-based numbering [web] is a certain way of thinking about arrays (tables of numbers): the first element is zero, not one. this makes sense for various reasons we will not explore.

every morning i grind coffee for what i imagined to be thirty seconds. granted the tempo slides all over the place and i usually lose count and estimate but i absolutely positively always START at 1 and triumphantly END at 30. if i actually believed thirty seconds elapsed, with perfect timing, i'd still be wrong.

it'd only be 29, because i'm starting at one, not zero. i'm counting the intervals between announcing each boundary, and as such come up one short if one is the start.

granted, counting is often not about precise time, but maybe if we knew to start at zero we'd be less angry on reaching 10, or our friends might find better hiding places.


suse millemann - patterns (1988)
jean-luc ponty - computer incantations for world peace (1983)
eye to eye - nice girls (1982)

[mp3] - 13:51


"... how people become products themselves, deriving a reliable form of recognition when other kinds of social practice have been undermined. If you strive to be the product, you can believe that you are for sale on your own terms, that you’re evading exploitation, that you’re not being deceived. It feels necessary for survival, as when people used to insist that having accounts on all the platforms wasn’t optional if you didn’t want to be left behind, if you wanted to be employable, if you wanted to come across as a normal person. But it remains a form of collusion with the forces of reification rather than a form of resistance or counter-cooptation."

"Social media offered sociality for a society without solidarity."


peonies, barn swallows, japanese larch
arrival of spring makes
computers even less compelling





imagine, rather than accepting the doubling of processing speed, we celebrated the halving of power consumption as progress.

that we understood "fast enough" and took great pride in optimized code.

where we knew what came before and remembered and carefully considered new propositions.

and we worked together.


luke abbott - brazil (2011)
boards of canada - dandelion (2002)
roy and the ravers - emotinium (2015)

[mp3] - 17:38



how to bind a book:

thanks burgess! [web]