The thing is, quality of writing is inversely proportional to the friendliness and transparency of the “user interface” through which the writing is recorded. For example, in my own case:
Writing on Paper = Great Stuff
Typewriter = Pretty Good Stuff
Old Computers = Reasonable Stuff
New, Modern, Shiny Computers = Shite
Or maybe it’s just that I’m getting to old to write. Or something.
But no, I really think it has something to do with the degree to which one feels as though one is interfacing with, or even becoming, a commodity. It has a definite chilling effect to have perfect commodities that are fully transparent vs. imperfect self-assembled tools that one knows inside and out because one has to.
What can you give a big dog with crazy chops to chew, apart from rawhide? I don’t like giving him rawhide, it’s a bit too much like crackers for his jowls. Crunch, crunch, and it’s a hundred little shards, which he then inhales. This can’t be safe.
But then nothing that’s “digestible” is ever very hard, and the harder stuff isn’t “digestible,” which matters because there is (so far) nothing so hard that he can’t chew it to bits. The only thing we haven’t tried is a nice cast iron bone, but I suspect he’d turn that into iron filings.
I put a bed of smooth stones on the side of my desk to try to create a subconscious awareness of unexposed crevices right in front of me. A kind of material assertion of the existence of the subconscious, or maybe in my case even its embodiment, since I have been beginning to feel as though I no longer have one.
That is, in fact, perhaps the scariest thing that can happen to a person: the sensation (or is it the suspicion) that one is actually becoming completely transparent to the world and to oneself, with no remaining mysteries or secrets—that one is so eroded and trained by life itself and the relentless stench of time that nothing unexpected can any longer issue forth, as though one has become just another hand tool or household utility.
I want to write again. I have the writing bug again. No, not blogs. Books.
B o o k s .
It is time to pitch an idea. To pitch an idea, of course, I must have an idea. I feel it, though. I feel the need for a project, a project outside of the “Ph.D. project,” which was very fulfilling while I was taking courses and finding a way to pay for them without starving, but which has become less clearly ordering in nature at is core in recent days.
I need something to order my consciousness, or something around which to order my consciousness.
I don’t want to write technology anymore, though—at least not on the scale of books, and at least not pure technology. Something social in nature. I don’t need to go so far as to say sociological—after all, I’m not a bigwig yet—but something closer to stuffy than to step-by-step.
I gotta run.