Data Smog

picked up a book today from the used book shop - “data smog” by david shenk and in spite of it being delightfully quaint (from the late 90s) on the nature of the internet, etc. it is also very prescient. which is sad mostly because of the whole “the warnings were there” aspect of things.

as for being interesting…it is…but it’s mostly just interesting in one of those surreal ways where someone picks up a future world speculation in the heady days before the dotcom burst and september 11.

it all makes me nostalgic for hope and bright skies.

regardless, the irony of reading about information glut and then cranking out information isn’t lost on me. at least i’m limiting it to this site where it’s semi-contained and unlikely to spread.

computing

at night i can hear the cars on the highway with a clarity that is impossible during the day.

it’s like that with most signals though and it’s the main reason i can’t stand it.

as a child i would lie awake for hours and stare into the darkness of my room wondering if i was dead, if my family was dead, how my grandparents were doing and, almost more important than all of that, how many more hours until day and we had to repeat this whole cycle.

the bed was a torture chamber where i logged way too many hours being sick–living in books and dreams while watching the kids outside. to this day i can’t sleep in a bedroom with a closed door–it’s too much like being shut away, separated from the world.

and right now, at night, the room i’m in is silent with the following exceptions: my typing, 3 clocks ticking away, the occasional train, and the constant sound of the highway. in my weaker moments i start to imagine what’s going on in those cars. where are they going? can i come?

but no. i am here, in this room, alone and listening to the above sounds.

somewhere in my late teens it occurred to me that night was the biggest declaration of humanity’s defeat. that after going through the daily cycle we just pack it in and give up until we have to do it over. that we lost one more day of our lives and are just trying to not think about it.

so night became a desperate battleground for me in my 20s until my nerves went and what was left of my body came crashing in around itself.

it was all so much foolish romanticism.