#020: wetware of writing and doing • memex method • danny boy

Welcome to the twentieth edition of Ephemerata, a weekly-ish digest of ideas, learnings, links, and sounds.


I'm doing this to stimulate discussion around what I find interesting, and also to share things before they disappear into the void of my journal.


This is a presentation I gave at Tools For Thought Rocks on how I use my apps to make things happen. The video and slides are available and there is also an expanded text version for anyone who wants to read. Here is an excerpt:

I talk often about my apps and their features, but rarely about how I use them day-to-day—partially to leave space for people to imagine their own workflows, but also because I didn't think it wouldn't be of interest to share mine. This changed after a conversation with pvh, who remarked that after reading the website for Launchlet and trying to play with the compose interface, it wasn't clear how all the parts came together until watching my tutorial videos—I found that interesting coming from someone who has plenty of experience with computer programming and its paradigms. It made me realize 1) that interfaces clearly communicating 'features' doesn't mean people appropriate them, 2) the importance of good affordances to help people go beyond merely 'using the app' to extending themselves in the process. The larger question to address here is: how can the environment better transmit what is possible so that those within it can take fuller advantage? It will likely take some time for me to find my own answers and implement them in projects, so for now, I feel motivated to do what is knowable and share more about how I use my apps to illuminate the wetware. What I find myself 'doing' most of the time involves […]


[Every conversation has an arc.]
[Focus on how their brain is working.]
[You can't listen in anticipation of what you're expecting.]
[People tend to be close-minded about what they truly believe.]


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[To feel unrestricted by what comes from outside without being isolated from what comes from outside.]
[Bitterness has its own life and doesn't let us be lightweight.]
[Indifference is love transformed, anger too. Self-love transforms into shame. Reactive emotions come from wounded love.]


  • November 1—7, 2021: ✈️ Visiting Vancouver (reach out if you're around 👋🏼)
  • November 10, 2021: Hosting remoteStorage monthly hangout
  • November 20, 2021: Co-hosting Improvisation, spontaneity, and oneness with Vivek Thyagarajan
  • November 24, 2021: Co-hosting Zero Data Swap #4: Hello World with Noel De Martin (looking for someone to make an easy example of remoteStorage or Fission's webnative)


Cory Doctorow's The Memex Method gave me much food for thought about writing, capturing, publishing. In relation to sharing (like what I'm doing right here) I notice my tendency to describe 'what it is' as opposed to 'the importance to me'—will try to work on that more.

[It's neither my last word nor a repetition of what I have to say.]
it represents the synthesis of recent events with a long run of earlier events, interventions, scandals and actions. Further, it represents the evolution of my ability to convey these complex and thorny ideas, based on the reception earlier pieces on the same subject received.
[If writing is about clarifying your thoughts, your older work will naturally make you cringe. But systematically reviewing older work to observe what you got wrong and right makes it easier to avoid your own pitfalls. The structure can even be a public recap of what happened 5, 10, and 15 years ago on this day.]

Jacob Collier improvises versions of 'Danny Boy' on the piano to never before seen index cards with names of emotions that become increasingly complex, while transitioning as smoothly as possible between one card to the next. I felt initially that this would be kind of a gimmick, but hearing his analysis after each set gives you a sense of how intertwined his improvisational process is with compositional thinking. I appreciate his 'handedness' with tonalities, modulations between keys, decorative devices. I'm always a fan of "giving people who aren't familiar with free improvisation a way into the concept".

This Global Clock uses letters of the alphabet to 'spell' time the same way across zones; I imagine that once you get used to the letters, you would not need to convert as much. Here's the best meeting time between Vancouver, New York, and Paris. (via @cinnamon@merveilles.town)

The idea is to have a unified time zone that works for all locations on earth by using the same time system we all know (24 hours, 60 minutes, 60 seconds) and adding on top of it a rotating UTC layer as the global time. This layer is presented in alphabet. The reason for that is to distinguish the local time in numbers from the global one in letters.

John O'Nolan from Ghost speaks on the Indie Hackers podcast about building Internet businesses with non-capitalist organizational structures.

[Blogging used to be writing about your experiences.]
[Use a paywall to give yourself space.]
[Enable an ecosystem of businesses to thrive around what you build.]

That's all folks!

Feel free to reply and share any reflections you might have, or just say hello. Have a great week 🙂.

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