Weekly Notes #3 / Digital gardening

Some stirrings here and there lately, for anyone paying attention. As I mentioned two weeks ago I’ve been keeping a separate blog of “startup explorations,” which I’ve now decided to merge with this site, so that it might benefit somehow from proximity to everything else that interests me. This is an experiment.

I’ve been thinking more of this space as a “digital garden,” a space in which to pursue multiple streams of thought (“blogchains”), and discover points at which they might intersect. A digital garden might take the form of a personal wiki, or a loose collection of networked pages, folders, and files, which may or may not be organized by publication date. For my current purposes, the reverse-chronological blog stream works well enough—a particular disadvantage of it is that older posts are necessarily left to decay in favor of newer ones, although this is exactly what I want, until I change my mind.

I rather detest the idea of specializing in any one thing, and have always looked up to polymaths, multi-hyphenates, and many-hat-wearers. But surely even these people must be able to synthesize all their competencies into a a singular purpose or other, if only out of convenience? My aim here is to discover if I can—if nothing else, a great excuse to write.

Weekly Notes #2

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on a new piece (an art song…?) for baritone voice, violin, and cello, which I began writing in December but had been neglecting since the new year. It’s short, not quite 5 minutes long, and rather weird. The text is by me; I won’t vouch for it at all. But I’m honored to be in a program with some great New York-based talent—you can read the press release here.

I contributed an earlier song to the same project in its first iteration in 2019, but this time I chose to replace it with a completely different piece. The project’s theme is immigration: funny, because I’m in my home country for the foreseeable future. But “it is part of morality not to be at home in one’s home,” as Adorno said. At any rate, I’m happy this is done and look forward to a long break from composing.

*

Naturally the bulk of my time is devoted to my new job, exploring ideas for a new project in the creator economy space. I wrote three posts about it this week—fewer than I would have liked. I forget how difficult simply thinking can be—and expressing thoughts without filters, even more so. Hopefully as I get used to writing more frequently, my internal filters won’t be as strong. Above all, I can’t wait to start building.

Weekly Notes #1

I’m going to start these weekly notes at the end of every week as a way to pump a little more life into this site. While I have many amateur writing projects in the back burner that I’d like to dump here, it’s just not a priority right now—but I can at least try to post a little more consistently. No high literary ambitions here, etc., etc.

Two weeks ago I started a new job with a venture/startup studio based in Singapore, which I’m doing all from the comfort of home. The business model is fascinating to me: a company that builds other companies in succession. Officially I’m a mobile app developer, but I’m also getting a crash course in business and entrepreneurship. I’m writing a blog about what I’m doing—I’ll be spending much more time over there than here in the coming months.

*

Recent news out of the US has got me thinking about a few different things—not really the events themselves, but the unnatural extent to which I’m constantly bombarded with American media while I’m all the way out here. And then there is the dirty business of forming opinions based on the news, coupled with a disturbing tendency toward totalizing (and in my opinion, unearned) moral language that seems to be becoming more in vogue… Maybe a post for another day.

*

I’ve decided that my resolution for 2021 is focus. Between my new job, having to learn many new things on the fly, coding in the evenings, writing these blogs posts, music (right now the least of my concerns), I feel as if I’m committed to too many things. But this is a “pandemic pivot,” a period of discovery—my goal in the next few months is to uncover the things that are truly important, and free myself of the rest.