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In reply to: @manton hey! We’re on the same page! As a web comic co-creator, this is something that I thought hard about. When we could finally publish our books in print, it made me feel better, however we haven’t done a book in 5 years. I may do a few print on demand ones for archival purposes though. I’d love to hear your updated thoughts on this topic.

There is a really great conversation unfolding on micro.blog at the moment about what happens to our digital identities after we die. It is a subject that I find fascination, and one that I’d like to do more work with.

So will happen to this when you die?

A few years ago Tova digitized a collection of poems that her great grandfather wrote. She then got the scans printed and bound as a gift for her mother. This evening, at my mother-in-law’s request, I made a little website of those poems. It was a fun project I was able to tackle in about an hour.

First I uploaded the PDF to archive.org and Google Drive, then I used pdf2htmlEX to convert the PDF into a webpage. I then threw together a little wrapper webpage to make pdf2htmlEX’s output a tiny bit prettier, and published the whole kit-and-caboodle using surge.sh.

I was 12 years old on September 11th, 2001. Growing up in the D.C. area I had plenty of friends with parents that worked in the Pentagon — my dad occasionally went to meetings there. I clearly remember the simultaneous panic and somberness of the day. That day was one that helped define my generation, it set a new tone, opened a new chapter.

We thought we knew what it was like to grow up in terror.” We knew nothing. Today, children of the same age have witnessed more violence in America than we did in that single day, by far. And do so on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis.

Terror has decentralized; shifted from that one big generation defining event, to a daily occurrence. My generation was haunted by the fear of what if,“ while today’s children are haunted by a fear of when.”

Haunted not only by the actual terrifying events, but also by their continued simulation in the form of safety drills.“

The American government took decisive (albeit misplaced, in my opinion) and near immediate action in the wake of September 11th. Meanwhile, the American government remains complicit in the face of decentralized terror…

When a bogeybeast, or far-flung monster can’t be pointed to, what then? When no crusade can be called, what then?

But we have a bogeyman. A bogeyman potentially more easily routed than insurgents or foreign agents.

Guns

Don’t get me wrong — shifting American gun culture is a monumental task, but I believe it to be well worth the effort.

What is the point of my writing this?

Mostly catharsis. Mostly fear.

I am terrified to send my son to school. For him to become another of the nearly innumerable casualties of this terror.

What can I do in the face of this terror?

Well, for one, vote.

And vote.

And vote.

I hope this most recent tragedy in Florida is different. I hope it catalyzes more than thoughts and prayers.

I’m hoping to do more than hope. What can I do?

Vote.

And vote.

And vote.

I’m hoping to do more than hope. But what can I do?

Fun fact: our household (2 adults, 1 toddler, and a dog) eats ~52 pounds of cheese, ~18 pounds of sunflower seed butter, and ~575 bananas a year. This data intriguing…and a bit gross. 🧀 🥜 🍌

iTunes Nostalgia

When I was an undergrad I loved iTunes. I loved to sit in the library on campus and browse all the shared music libraries available over the campus network. There were hundreds of libraries. Some were identifiable to individuals, others, not so much

…Banana Cucumber Omelet

I think those may have been the best days for iTunes.

Apple tried to turn iTunes into a social network, but they never realized that the social power of iTunes wasn’t in the network,” per se, but rather in the media. It was a media platform with in-built sharing features. Passive connection, with communal feelings.

When I was an undergrad I loved iTunes until Spotify came around. Spotify changed the game. Spotify delivered on the promise of Groove Shark — the ability to listen to more or less whatever you wanted to without needing to make the monetary commitment of owning a song or album. Without needing to maintain a personal library.

iTunes was for librarians while Spotify was for the hungry. An iTunes library took cultivation and care to maintain. Spotify just required an appetite. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. I still have my iTunes library, but it is neglected and oft ignored. I only catch a few notes of a song now and again when my phone starts to play music from the default library when I connect via bluetooth.

I loved to sit in the library on campus and browser other folks’ music libraries. Now Spotify serves me Discover Weekly and Daily Mix playlists. I discover new and fascinating music to listen to…but it is different. It is catered to my liking, even if unknowingly. Spotify knows me and my tastes better than I can probably articulate. It serves me what it has calculated I’ll like. I don’t necessarily get to sample from the bitter or divergent when Spotify serves me what it thinks I’ll like…well, I mean, I can if I try. But Spotify doesn’t make the recommendation. Does it?

I loved to sit in the library. Mine and others.