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My first post should probably be what's most important to me.

Building a nice little wall on the website. I should've thought of this earlier.

I haven't decided yet how best to make it interactive, but I've decided I'd rather have deeper interactions with few than superficial interactions with many. Social media used to provide that. I wish it still did.

Emails to this effect will be going out shortly.

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As part of my desire to do things differently, I am completely rearranging my online presence. My social media time is going to be cut way back. My art + fiction blog, Curiomancy, is going to be retired completely.

I'm starting a new project on Substack, The End of the World Almanac, which will be a kind of home base where I work through the sense and nonsense of life in the future.

Rick Wayne boosted

Or is it just me? Have you made any changes? Are you going to? Not just with social media, or a new job, but big things. Or are you happy to pick up again after the blip?

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Five years ago it felt like I was really making friends. If I mentioned I was traveling to a town, I would immediately get invitations from the people living there. Now, it feels like one big church potluck. We trade polite nothings because empty promises are better than no promises at all. I can like a picture of someone's dinner while I'm half-watching TV and feel less alone for it.

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I don't expect it will ultimately be positive, in the way that the changes wrought by 9/11 weren't either. But I'm struggling with what to do.

Social media has to figure in there somewhere. It's become the pitch on which all our passions are played, and I can't shake the feeling that it's a net negative, although all my accounting sums up differently.

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Unlike most people -- or so it seems -- I'm not in a post-pandemic race to return to "normal." I don't want to slip back into the easy comfort of what I was doing before.

I think the world has changed, in the same way it changed after 9/11. It's not that most of us did anything differently on 9/30/01 than we did on 9/10/01. But a course has shifted that will take some time to realize.

They say that owners eventually start to look like their pets, but this is ridiculous!

(Art) The Imaginary Critters of Alexander Ostrowski

I enjoy the creature art of Alexander Ostrowski because he approaches his subjects similar to how I approach my novels, by imbuing the fantastic with a heavy dose of realism such that you can easily believe such things might actually exist.

As always, more on the blog:

I appreciate this review for its honesty.

(Part of the reason I don't think you can "social media" your way to success is because people seem to assume that if they are connected to you in any way, then you can't be legit. "Real" authors live in some vaulted ivory tower on 5th Avenue, so if I am not there, I must not be a real author. That's not a knock against Roger. Just the opposite, in fact, since he took the plunge. But it's a very real psychological hurdle.)

It's Friday. Time for another round of "What does it do?"

art: Ivan Tansiura

Fatal accidents are very common. Someone dies in an automobile once every 12 minutes, just in the US. But seeing one is still horrific. (We all assumed it would go down during lockdown, but fatalities jumped 8% last year.)

Similarly, I know very well that people want to be entertained under the guise of being informed, but it's still chilling to witness, especially among ostensibly educated persons.

The Nautilus paper at the link is probably the most important essay on science I have read in the last ten or so years. It’s also wonderfully short and worth reading in its entirety.

Mastodon doesn't give me space for long-form thoughts, so you all have to go without.

Might have some pics from Yellowstone one of these days, just as soon as my family figure out Dropbox.

It was a good trip. We saw two brown bears, one black, lots of pronghorn, a group of bighorn, elk, mule deer, a wolf (with binoculars), a fox (running in the lane next to the car), and more bison that you can count, including the herd that stopped traffic for almost four hours.

art: Iwo Widulinski

Indeed, the tide actually powers such momentary reversals (as water is pulled over a submerged obstruction, for example).

In the flow of time, such eddies would appear as paradoxes, where causality would seem to be reversed. But of course, figuring that out from inside the flow would not be easy.

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But the odds of a localized reversal will necessarily be smaller. You can think of it like a tide. As the ocean retreats from the shore, the great volume of water is moving out to sea. It would very, very unlikely for it to act against the force of gravity.

And yet, inside that mass are small, temporary eddies, where water actually moves against the flow of the tide.

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