#022: dating apps • Brian Lovin's portfolio • So Good

Welcome to the twenty-second edition of Ephemerata: reflections, observations, and life at the edge.


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.


  1. Dating apps
  2. Brian Lovin’s portfolio
  3. Events
  4. Asides
  5. Music


Writing about my first experience using apps to meet people:

For most of my life, I have not been so open to the idea of using technology to find romantic relationships. Coming from a culturally conservative background, dating itself could only happen under…


His personal portfolio has some affordances to make it interactive like a web app, and participatory like a social network: people can ask anything, comment on writing or bookmarks, say which apps they use. There are also some ‘evergreen’ resources like this digital security checklist and app dissection blog.

Demonstrates that we can construct spaces for community within a context that’s often highly individual, and without asking people to create accounts (sign in with Twitter, data stored on Firebase); like a purpose-built room with specific and relevant activities.

Hosting one’s own ‘Ask me Anything’ reminds me of Pat Metheny’s Question and Answer.

Would be nice to have RSS feeds for each ‘type’ as opposed to for writing only. The list presentation is unfortunately Designed to disappear.

See the source code for how it’s made.

(via @julianlehr)


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I usually don’t find good musical metaphors for people coming together to do things, but I love this one: (via Friendships, Scenes, and Growth salon)

a good scene provides the rhythm within which people can improvise and find their own melody
Bird of Play

Notes from a mystic:

[Seek and you will not find, because seeking strengthens the ego.]
[When you’re hollow like bamboo and the divine lips are on you, you become a flute and the song starts.]
[A child who holds their father’s hand neither trusts not doubts: they are undivided, not missing anything.]

Listening to Justin Jackson’s Indie Bites interview on Bootstrapping Transistor.fm made me realize the importance of balancing your resources with the trajectory you pursue. It changed a perspective I’ve maintained for a while of “avoiding things that are overly commercial because there’s something superficial about that”; I’m still not so motivated by money, but feel more inclined to follow a path that isn’t purely about ‘the idea’. I found it provocative to think that “[it should be easy to become financially successful as an indie hacker]” and make sustainability a priority. Also important to take into account the mental health cost of taking risks over a longer period: better to pick opportunities that can have some kind of return within a year or two—any longer and you’ll need more material resources and likely a strong support network to keep your mind in balance.

[It’s uncommon for successful entrepreneurs to ‘start from zero’: they likely have experience, connections, skills, or a financial runway that provides the conditions to take risks.]
[If it takes longer to get to a sustainable income than you have runway, the market fundamentals might not keep you afloat.]
[A mental health balance is an important part of your runway when taking on something as stressful as indie hacking.]


All the following items can be accessed as a one-click playlist via Joybox without accounts or sign up—just open and play.


So Good

Kidi Band: So Good (2021). Has lots of cool things that I like in jazz and indigenous music, but as if an indie rock band did it. There are stereo effects, hocket-like devices, odd meters, and highly rhythmic singing throughout. So many tracks with an individual charm: the polyphonic ending of Mary (Merry) with crunchy harmonies; Burn It Up‘s intricate interlocking rhythms in multiple voices with wild vocal bending, all in a five-meter polyrhythmic time feel; Man of Endless Motion‘s heavy head-banger groove, again in five-meter, with cascading interlocking vocal interjections; the incessant intense rhythmic vocals in Free Will; Ingomar is like a complex Rube Goldberg machine that sings in seven; Go On has a wicked African three-against-two time feel; Across the Sea lilting triplet feel, pleasant yet precise. (via @natehn@merveilles.town)


Pat Metheny Group: Secret Story (2007). Eclectic sonic materials throughout that resemble the album cover’s collage, yet it all seems to belong together. There’s always emotion and sentiment despite compositional complexity. Generally enjoyed the cinematic moments, mood of the 1970s, and the mixing of orchestra with electronic sounds. My favourite moments: an interesting vocal texture to start the album in Above the Treetops; the sound of a sitar played like a guitar in Facing West; the raw earthy vocal scatting and hard sever-meter groove in Finding and Believing; the high-energy vortex soloing environment, abundance of lush harmonies (typical of Metheny’s music) in See the World. (via Sushma)


Little Simz feat. Obongjayar: Point And Kill from Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (2021). Makes body move, and if your eyes are open, the visuals are sublime. Words and rhythm fit like a glove. Feeling an unapologetic artistry through fashion and music. Concludes with a sudden change to African instruments but with the same time feel. (via Elena)

El Masreyeen (المصريين): Bahebek La (بحبك لا) from بحبك لا
(1977). The warmth in this funky disco gem from Egypt goes straight to your shoulders. A simple composition with slight contrast between sections, yet it stays interesting throughout. “I love you, no; I need you, yes.” (via Debora Ipekel)


Sam Gendel: Cold Duck Time from Satin Doll (2020). space hyper jazz bebop swing squeal sax glitch loop vibe. The rest of the album is comprised of quirky interpretations of jazz standards.

(I heart music)

I always love receiving music. Send me recommendations anytime, anywhere!


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

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