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robertogreco : rodmclaren   5

Life in the Walking City - rodcorp
"Excerpt from a testimony found inside the back cover of a book misfiled in the Rodcorporate library:

My home is a living pod that's embedded, for the moment, in a frame in a tube in one of the masts that support and move the hull of the city.

The city moves slowly enough that there is little noticeable lateral movement in the masts, but they are often pitched at an angle for long periods of time whilst the other masts move in turn. And they often telescope quite quickly to span a mountain range or find anchor in a valley, which makes some visitors ill. We're proud to be able to live and work in these conditions - the simps in the passencore could never manage it - though if we're honest we look forward to joining them and retiring to the wide-open of the bridge levels.

These days, most walker masts have gyroscopic decks that self-level, but ours doesn't - it's one of the eaters - so we often work and live on a pronounced slope. (We have stories that in premobile times men would traverse the seas in vessels pushed across the surface of the water by the wind - these ancestors also lived for weeks at a similar angle, the wind making the vessel lean over.)

The eater masts support the city, like the many walker masts, but also grab the rock and organic material that help supply the city. My work is to keep the eaters' tubes (which convey the material up to the city, processing and rendering it on the way) and the gastropod (the parts that do the eating) clean and in good working order. We grow new chitin plates for the gastro's radulae; we fit guards and cutting filaments around the gastro so it won't get fouled in the rock, marsh, forest and other Belowmatter. I have been very close to the Below. Most people can't stand its look, smell and stillness - but you get used to it. After a while I could see that the Below is not so different: it changes like the city moves, just slower.

When I'm not working, I go outside and rope-climb the wall in the wind on the cratered weather side, or in the mosses and aquaface of the leeward side. Or I climb the tube to the hull and walk through the city's districts. Barbaropolis and Velicity are settled and stratified but they're always changing as new parts are replaced - even the plug-in frameworks themselves. However, out beyond them, some areas of the city have many old streets and districts: Times Square, the Bab al-Luq, Westworld, Cruzeiro... They were parts of the premobile urban settlements that were absorbed into the city when it was first built, and are falling apart because even though they were originally designed to be temporary they aren't pluggable. You can't get feeds or change things, so people avoid them - they're mostly deserted now.

Often I imagine what it would be like to live in one place that doesn't move. To pick a point - "this is the place" - on the Below and fix my pod there, to look out from my porthole every day at the same view, and to move only when I moved myself. You would need to take your pod apart to move across the Below, or even leave it behind! I can't explain why I like the idea. I know there are others that feel the same way, but we don't discuss it. It is of course forbidden: the city must never stop moving."
cities  future  rodmclaren  walkingcity  archigram  2004  sciencefiction  science  movement  travel  movingcities 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Multiple - rodcorp
"I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis this year, an auto-immune condition that scars the nervous system. It's a story of messages repeated, interrupted, lost, echoed, divided, shadowed. This message has been a year in the posting, well, two and half years. Let me quickly tell you how I joined the brotherhood and sisterhood of the janked neuron. Bear with me.

My family is a golden net that gathers and holds me up. Julie sews the net so I don't fall through it, she holds both ends safely. The girls are too young to know, but they radiate energy and love, which I feed on. We talk about careers, family, money, the future. The range of possible futures is wide: at one end infrequent relapse and a normal life, and at the other Secondary Progressive MS in perhaps decade and a gradual decline. Symptoms today are uncertain signals for the future: I can’t look ahead and see what my graph looks like.

I tire more easily now and must pace myself. I throw my knee back to lock the knee so that my leg feels more stable, making me limp with a seaman’s roll. My balance is often unsteady. I cannot run. Heat unmans me, so showers and soups are lukewarm. My vision sometimes bleaches out, or ripples and jumps with dazzle patterns. Symptoms come and go. MS is about reserves, timing and range. Measuring what's happening, what I can do. Chop work up into careful chunks and it goes just fine. The frequency and amplitude of injections, side effects, calendar appointments, fatigue and recovery time, blood tests and medical meetings, relapses, remissions, how far I can walk, the period before I tell the world. My body not doing what I want it to. A sense of dividing, or multiplying: I, you are plural, a collection of many systems that all do their thing. Sometimes it takes a while for them to agree and co-ordinate, and sometime they refuse. Many activities have become more conscious and deliberate - come on, let's not fall over now, ok let's piss now. An organic negotiation that I can feel. Being, in between, OK/not OK, it's fine. MS calls for a stoic temperament. MS is chronic, like diabetes. There always with me. Fold it, interleave it into my life. Set a different course to the same destinations. Work goes on. Life continues. Find a way. Learn new ways. My lucky life. My beloved family. My beloved disease. Patient. Patience. We are multiple. I am multiple. Now you know."
rodmclaren  multiplesclerosis  2013  life  living  illness  disease  change  health 
december 2013 by robertogreco
A list of writing tools is a displacement activity - rodcorp
"Writing, focussing, assembling, editing, collaborating, feeding back, researching, structuring, outputting and publishing.

Focus through constraint:

• iaWriter - "Keep your hands on the keyboard and your mind in the text". Has good reviews.
• Byword - "Simple and efficient text editing". Also has good reviews.
• Writeroom - appears a generation older than iaWriter and Byword.
• Textmate - does text , html and a zillion other developer's things.

Research speed and convenience:

• nvALT - Speeds up that did-I-already-write-about-this? moment, auto-saves, does text files, Markdown. Nice. I'm writing this post in it.
• Pinboard - elegantly executed webpage bookmarking.

Collaborating and community feedback:

• Draft - its drafts are neat version control, has premium "ask a pro".
• Poetica - "Get feedback about your writing from people you trust, wherever they are" - not released yet.
• Google Docs - good at collaboration and export, auto-saves. Has automated versioning but without actual version *control*.

Assembling, structuring, editing and eBook workflow:

• Ulysses 3 - "All your texts. In one place. Always." Not tried, but this review says "the app reimagines the text editor in a way that visually resembles Mail and conceptually sits somewhere between iA Writer and the project-based Scrivener". Which sounds like quite a thing.
• Scrivener - looks a bit of a mess to be honest. They also have Scapple, a mind map/words-on-sticks app.
• LeanPub - "Publish Early, Publish Often - Authors and publishers use Leanpub to publish amazing in-progress and completed books". Costs $0.50 plus 10%.
• Lacuna books - "the best way to write and publish a book". Big on structuring, rendering chapters and ebooks easily.

Formats and outputs:

• Marked, Mou - because between text and html, Markdown is the popular "intermediary" format, and these (and nvALT) are good at simultaneous preview.
• And a simple Google Apps script to convert a Google Drive Document to markdown

Online publishing and attention:

• Medium - "A better place to read and write things that matter" - becoming a centre of gravity for serious writing, per-para commenting interesting
• Wattpad - an ebook platform/store/agora that isn't Kindleland.

Back to it now."
writing  tools  onlinetoolkit  rodmclaren  2013  jawriter  byword  writeroom  textmate  nvalt  pinboard  draft  poetica  googledocs  ulysses3  scrivener  leanpub  lacunabooks  marked  mou  markdown  googleapps  googledrive  medium  wattpad  howwework  howwewrite  webapps  publishing  formatting  ebooks  epub  collaboration  editing  focusing  focus  feedback  researching  epublishing  collaborativewriting  digitalpublishing  epubs 
august 2013 by robertogreco
rodcorp: The file-burning stove
"One technique for managing paperwork that's fairly common in productivity circles is the Noguchi filing system, in which files are always re-filed on the left of a shelf. This results in a gradient of freshness, with old or stale files naturally sorting themselves to the right, whence they can be discarded or permanently archived.
rodmclaren  filing  memory  archiving  discarding  cv  noguchifilinfsystem 
march 2009 by robertogreco
rodcorp: Postmodern is not dead: Altermodern
"So Bourriaud proclaims that the post-modern era has ended, and been replaced by a post- (or is it hyper-?)globalisation, anti-commercial, post-geographic, post-historic ("heterochronic"), rootless, nomadic altermodernism. And this is the bit that confuses me: if the theoretical positioning is an attempt to confidently stake out a new territory and era, doesn't that gesture immediately undermine the claim that the altermodern sweeps aside specificities of space and history? But perhaps I don't understand it - my art-theory synapses are atrophied. Maybe I should read Bourriaud's Relational Aesthetics or his new book Radicant (whose organising metaphor surely a rhizomous echo of D&G?)."
art  postmodernism  altermodern  rodmclaren  rodcorp  nicolasbourriaud 
february 2009 by robertogreco

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