Beyond Metamora

Keep Everywhere Weird

There are income distributions that are incompatible with democracy

pmb:

TL;DR : You can have any two out of this set: {fat-tailed wealth, low social mobility, democracy}. Right now in America we are pretending that we can have all three. This is going to lead to bad places.

Part 1: There are wealth distributions that are incompatible with democracy. For example, if…

mwkelley:

fishingboatproceeds:

Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Rulin’s from January 1st, 1943. Still relevant.
1.    Work More And Better
2.    Work By A Schedule
3.    Wash Teeth If Any
4.    Shave
5.    Take Bath
6.    Eat Good — Fruit — Vegetables — Milk
7.    Drink Very Scant If Any
8.    Write A Song A Day
9.    Wear Clean Clothes 
10.  Shine Shoes
11.  Change Socks
12   Change Bed Clothes Often
13.  Read Lots Good Books
14.  Listen To Radio A Lot
15.  Learn People Better
16.  Keep Rancho Clean
17.  Don’t Get Lonesome
18.  Stay Glad
19.  Keep Hoping Machine Running
20.  Dream Good
21.  Bank All Extra Money
22.  Save Dough
23.  Have Company But Don’t Waste Time
24.  Send Mary And Kids Money
25.  Play And Sing Good
26.  Dance Better
27.  Help Win War — Beat Fascism
28.  Love Mama
29.  Love Papa
30.  Love Pete
31.  Love Everybody
32.  Make Up Your Mind
33.  Wake Up And Fight

THIS. Every year.

mwkelley:

fishingboatproceeds:

Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Rulin’s from January 1st, 1943. Still relevant.

1.    Work More And Better

2.    Work By A Schedule

3.    Wash Teeth If Any

4.    Shave

5.    Take Bath

6.    Eat Good — Fruit — Vegetables — Milk

7.    Drink Very Scant If Any

8.    Write A Song A Day

9.    Wear Clean Clothes 

10.  Shine Shoes

11.  Change Socks

12   Change Bed Clothes Often

13.  Read Lots Good Books

14.  Listen To Radio A Lot

15.  Learn People Better

16.  Keep Rancho Clean

17.  Don’t Get Lonesome

18.  Stay Glad

19.  Keep Hoping Machine Running

20.  Dream Good

21.  Bank All Extra Money

22.  Save Dough

23.  Have Company But Don’t Waste Time

24.  Send Mary And Kids Money

25.  Play And Sing Good

26.  Dance Better

27.  Help Win War — Beat Fascism

28.  Love Mama

29.  Love Papa

30.  Love Pete

31.  Love Everybody

32.  Make Up Your Mind

33.  Wake Up And Fight

THIS. Every year.

iwillnowsellfivecopiesof:

Okay, one more. This is that 1993 mix that I’ve been talking about on and off all year: I’m callin’ it “Hey Man What’s Yr Scene We Got These Questions”.
So last winter there was a slew of “o-m-g these albums are 20 years old! you are old!” articles making the rounds. Maybe people do that every year, idk. It got me thinking about 1993, though, and I proposed making  a 20-years-ago mix as kind of a bonus disc for my annual Spotify playlist.
In 1993 I was eleven years old, and I remember that was the first year I started actively seeking out certain kinds of music instead of just, like, listening to whatever happened to be around me. Oh man. I had this super-long bus ride to get to school every morning (like an hour-plus, if the roads were bad… and in rural MI, the roads are usually bad), and that winter someone (my dad? sister?) gave me a 2nd-hand Sony walkman to pass time on the bus and I vividly remember learning how to use a boombox and high-speeding-dubbing a couple of my sister’s cassettes. The first tape that I totally destroyed from constant repeats was a bootleg of Ace of Bass’s The Sign(!) w/ Side A of Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams on the back(!!). YESS.
And like, because I used a 90min cassette and had no idea what I was doing, I never even heard that awesome Lou Reed cover at the end of Side B. But what the hell, I was twelve. Which is kind of the point, isn’t it?
Annnnnnyway, in 2013 I proposed the idea of going back and trying to make a favorite-albums-of-1993 playlist from a 32-year-old perspective. Decided that as a rule I wanted to try and stay true to the kind of music that I was actually listening to in the ’90s. I don’t think my musical tastes have necessarily changed since then (see previous comments regarding the awesomeness of Eurythmics), they’ve just matured a bit. The idea was to imagine the record collection that 32-year-old me would have in 1993, not some Pitchfork-ified supercool version of myself that only listens to unreleased Dinosaur Jr. bootlegs or whatever. That’s why the core of this thing is Tuesday Night Music Club, August & Everything After, The Cranberries, Nirvana, and Björk.
Also, as a nod to the old school, I decided to make each side exactly 30 minutes long. Which is just as big a pain in the ass as it always was.
1993, Or: Hey Man What’s Yr Scene We Got These Questions
Side A
download [here]
0:00  Nirvana - Serve The Servants
3:46  Bratmobile - Cherry Bomb
5:35  Cracker - Get Off This
9:51  Grant Lee Buffalo - The Shining Hour
13:44 The Lemonheads - Big Gay Heart
18:08 Counting Crows - Omaha
21:46 Sheryl Crow - What I Can Do For You
26:00 Björk - Aeroplane
Side B
download [here]
0:00  The Cranberries - Pretty
2:21  The Breeders - No Aloha
4:28  Unrest - Make Out Club
8:48  Catherine Wheel - The Nude
12:39 The Smashing Pumpkins - Sweet Sweet
14:19 Heavenly - Atta Girl
18:16 Lois - Strumpet
21:11 PJ Harvey - Yuri-G 
24:40 The Flaming Lips - Plastic Jesus
27:03 Liz Phair - Girls! Girls! Girls!
Anyway, this was super fun. Think I’ll do it again next. 
btw, if you liked this one maybe check out my other two year-end mixes, [here] and [here]. later, dudes.
(photo of Björk in rollerskates— because duh, Björk in rollerskates— by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, 1993)

iwillnowsellfivecopiesof:

Okay, one more. This is that 1993 mix that I’ve been talking about on and off all year: I’m callin’ it “Hey Man What’s Yr Scene We Got These Questions”.

So last winter there was a slew of “o-m-g these albums are 20 years old! you are old!” articles making the rounds. Maybe people do that every year, idk. It got me thinking about 1993, though, and I proposed making  a 20-years-ago mix as kind of a bonus disc for my annual Spotify playlist.

In 1993 I was eleven years old, and I remember that was the first year I started actively seeking out certain kinds of music instead of just, like, listening to whatever happened to be around me. Oh man. I had this super-long bus ride to get to school every morning (like an hour-plus, if the roads were bad… and in rural MI, the roads are usually bad), and that winter someone (my dad? sister?) gave me a 2nd-hand Sony walkman to pass time on the bus and I vividly remember learning how to use a boombox and high-speeding-dubbing a couple of my sister’s cassettes. The first tape that I totally destroyed from constant repeats was a bootleg of Ace of Bass’s The Sign(!) w/ Side A of Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams on the back(!!). YESS.

And like, because I used a 90min cassette and had no idea what I was doing, I never even heard that awesome Lou Reed cover at the end of Side B. But what the hell, I was twelve. Which is kind of the point, isn’t it?

Annnnnnyway, in 2013 I proposed the idea of going back and trying to make a favorite-albums-of-1993 playlist from a 32-year-old perspective. Decided that as a rule I wanted to try and stay true to the kind of music that I was actually listening to in the ’90s. I don’t think my musical tastes have necessarily changed since then (see previous comments regarding the awesomeness of Eurythmics), they’ve just matured a bit. The idea was to imagine the record collection that 32-year-old me would have in 1993, not some Pitchfork-ified supercool version of myself that only listens to unreleased Dinosaur Jr. bootlegs or whatever. That’s why the core of this thing is Tuesday Night Music Club, August & Everything After, The Cranberries, Nirvana, and Björk.

Also, as a nod to the old school, I decided to make each side exactly 30 minutes long. Which is just as big a pain in the ass as it always was.

1993, Or: Hey Man What’s Yr Scene We Got These Questions

Side A

download [here]

  • 0:00  Nirvana - Serve The Servants
  • 3:46  Bratmobile - Cherry Bomb
  • 5:35  Cracker - Get Off This
  • 9:51  Grant Lee Buffalo - The Shining Hour
  • 13:44 The Lemonheads - Big Gay Heart
  • 18:08 Counting Crows - Omaha
  • 21:46 Sheryl Crow - What I Can Do For You
  • 26:00 Björk - Aeroplane

Side B

download [here]

  • 0:00  The Cranberries - Pretty
  • 2:21  The Breeders - No Aloha
  • 4:28  Unrest - Make Out Club
  • 8:48  Catherine Wheel - The Nude
  • 12:39 The Smashing Pumpkins - Sweet Sweet
  • 14:19 Heavenly - Atta Girl
  • 18:16 Lois - Strumpet
  • 21:11 PJ Harvey - Yuri-G 
  • 24:40 The Flaming Lips - Plastic Jesus
  • 27:03 Liz Phair - Girls! Girls! Girls!

Anyway, this was super fun. Think I’ll do it again next. 

btw, if you liked this one maybe check out my other two year-end mixes, [here] and [here]. later, dudes.

(photo of Björk in rollerskates— because duh, Björk in rollerskates— by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, 1993)

So, here are the haps, my friends…

The bad news is: my plan to go back to Whatcom Community College this fall is a bust. The good news is: my plan to transfer into Western Washington University next fall is still on-track.

The longer version of that is this: I did an academic planning session with the counselors at Whatcom, and what we ended up deciding is that I’m basically don’t belong there. I already have the qualifications to be a junior at Western right now. There are a few holes in my transcript that I could fill by taking classes at WCC— e.g. 200-level Economics and Accounting classes— but there aren’t enough of them to fill out a full-time, 16-20 credit-hour schedule. I could go part-time and squeeze a class or two into my existing 40-hr work schedule if I really wanted to (I don’t). Also, that might even be a bad idea, because having too many excess credits on my transcript could end up reducing my financial aid, and costing me more in the long run. So all I really need to do now is apply to WWU as a transfer student and get accepted (which I’ve done before, w/ no difficulty) and then assemble enough student loans to pay for tuition, housing & basic needs for 2.5 years of higher education.

That’s all fine. But it’s like… okay, the f**k do I do now? Bare minimum I could apply to WWU and begin taking classes in April 2014. More realistically, I could apply now and get everything lined up for Summer quarter in June (if I’m feeling ambitious/impatient) or Fall 2014. That’s a 6-12 month hole in my life that I’m going to have to fill with something.

I guess I just keep doing what I doing? Stay in Lynden and continue durdling around at my boring dead-end job? Blerrrrrrrgh. The thing is, I’m massively frustrated with what I’m doing now, that’s why I’m going through all this trouble to finish the college plan that I started a decade ago and level-up my life here.

One alternative, which I’ve been giving a serious amount of consideration lately, is to pack up my life for a few months and go hang-out with my family in Florida for the winter. I know most of you are hearing about that for the first time right now. But just a few weeks ago, when my aunts from Fort Myers were in-town for a visit, I was talking up that plan so definitively that it seemed like a great idea to me (and to them). Now….

I just. I don’t know. Staying here in Lynden for another 6 months or a year seems bad. I’ll be grouchy and isolated and feel like I’m wasting 95% of my time on this planet. Going to Florida for 6 months or a year seems great! But it probably also means that I’ll be pretty broke, even if I manage to land a seasonal job for the winter.

And I’ll have to buy a car again. And I’ll miss my friends here in the PNW pretty bad. But the most frightening part is that it could mess up my Washington state residency in the eyes of the college’s admissions office. That doesn’t sound so bad until I tell you that in-state tuition at WWU is $10,000/yr while out-of-state tuition is more like $23,000/yr. So that 6 months in Florida might end up costing me something like $30,000 in extra student loans.

When I put it that way, 6 more months in Lynden is starting to sound like the saner, more adult thing to do, if only by comparison. It won’t be so bad. I’ll get through it.

I miss my family sooo much, though. Next year— starting in January— I’ll have two weeks of paid vacation time from work to use. I wasn’t planning on actually being around to use it, but now I guess that’s the direction I’m headed so… yay? I could stack all of that time into two weeks in late winter, when the weather in WA is really depressing, and take that cross-country trip to Florida that I’ve been hoping for. I wouldn’t even need to fly there, I could take the train. That’d be great.

Okay, this is starting to sound like a plan. I’ll go with that, for now. Thanks for reading, guys. ‘Til next time…

Okay, it’s been way too long since I posted an update to this timeline. Here we go:

fall 2013 (only a 27 days away!): Back to Whatcom CC, study accounting

winter 2014: cross-country trip to FL & back

spring: more Whatcom

summer: cross-country trip to MI & back

fall: transer to Western

winter 2015: another trip to FL

spring: more WWU

summer: another trip to MI, month-long hiking trip in WA

fall: senior year at Western

winter 2016: now-totally-annual trip to FL

spring: finish degree at WWU

summer: graduate, totally-annual-no-backsies trip to MI, another hiking trip

fall: get a comfortable accounting job in the PNW with a salary somewhere above the median

2016-2019: do good work, take trips, visit people, pay debts, play games, save money

2020 (age 38): leave accounting company, start a successful sustainable food production/processing business

2030-2050: run business; weather the global shocks of peak oil, climate change, and freaky technology; safeguard the health & safety of my family & community.

2051 (age 69): a.i. singularity and/or global collapse of the military-industrial complex and/or everything is basically okay and I just get to go hiking a lot. hang-out with surviving friends, family.

2052-2132: haven’t really decided yet. pretty keen on visiting Mars though, once they get that colony set up.

2133 (age 151): pay-off student loans, maybe start going into work somewhat less.

2134-…


Lynden, a set on Flickr.
(new photos)
mostly snaps from Lynden’s Lynde 500 pushkart derby last fall.
New haircutwinnahfieroLynde 500, 2012

Lynden, a set on Flickr.

(new photos)

mostly snaps from Lynden’s Lynde 500 pushkart derby last fall.

iwillnowsellfivecopiesof:

Tonight’s album: We Shall All Be Healed by the Mountain Goats (2004)
mwkelley [on Twitter]: @mountain_goats it’s unfair to tell you this, but we played your song “Up The Wolves” at our friend’s memorial and it was a powerful uplift.
mwkelley: @mountain_goats Matthew [@wurmouroboros] was a critical part of several Portland scenes, a fan & follower of yours, and a great friend.
mwkelley: @mountain_goats There are some more details here, if you’re curious: http://rememberingmatthew.com
mwkelley: @mountain_goats Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for your music & stuff. That’s it.
icicle: @mwkelley @mountain_goats Among other things, we regularly hosted hootenannies w/ songbooks he curated.
icicle: @mwkelley @mountain_goats Songs included “No Children” and “Denton,” both his suggestions.
mountain_goats [about 15 mins later]: @mwkelley not unfair: a real honor. What year did he graduate Pomona? I lived in Claremont for years.
Kpele: @mountain_goats @mwkelley he graduated from Pomona in 1995
icicle [a moment later]: @Kpele @mountain_goats @mwkelley He graduated Pomona in 1995, major was music composition
mwkelley: @Kpele @mountain_goats Yes, 1995. He studied chamber music composition. I didn’t know him until after he moved to Portland, though.
mwkelley: @mountain_goats The first mix-cd Matthew gave me had “Pigs That Ran” (namechecking Claremont) as the lead-in track. Makes perfect sense.
mountain_goats: @icicle @Kpele @mwkelley wow. That’s the year I graduated. I played open mic at Pitzer from ‘91 to I think ‘93? Our paths must have crossed.
Kpele: @mountain_goats @icicle @mwkelley on the way to the memorial Saturday I said “oh crap we forgot to invite JD”… guess we should have
mwkelley: @mountain_goats Yeah, this week we’ve been discovering a lot of unexpected crossed-paths. It’s rad to learn you were connected that way.

iwillnowsellfivecopiesof:

Tonight’s album: We Shall All Be Healed by the Mountain Goats (2004)

mwkelley [on Twitter]@mountain_goats it’s unfair to tell you this, but we played your song “Up The Wolves” at our friend’s memorial and it was a powerful uplift.

mwkelley@mountain_goats Matthew [@wurmouroboros] was a critical part of several Portland scenes, a fan & follower of yours, and a great friend.

mwkelley@mountain_goats There are some more details here, if you’re curious: http://rememberingmatthew.com

mwkelley@mountain_goats Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for your music & stuff. That’s it.

icicle@mwkelley @mountain_goats Among other things, we regularly hosted hootenannies w/ songbooks he curated.

icicle@mwkelley @mountain_goats Songs included “No Children” and “Denton,” both his suggestions.

mountain_goats [about 15 mins later]: @mwkelley not unfair: a real honor. What year did he graduate Pomona? I lived in Claremont for years.

Kpele@mountain_goats @mwkelley he graduated from Pomona in 1995

icicle [a moment later]: @Kpele @mountain_goats @mwkelley He graduated Pomona in 1995, major was music composition

mwkelley@Kpele @mountain_goats Yes, 1995. He studied chamber music composition. I didn’t know him until after he moved to Portland, though.

mwkelley: @mountain_goats The first mix-cd Matthew gave me had “Pigs That Ran” (namechecking Claremont) as the lead-in track. Makes perfect sense.

mountain_goats@icicle @Kpele @mwkelley wow. That’s the year I graduated. I played open mic at Pitzer from ‘91 to I think ‘93? Our paths must have crossed.

Kpele@mountain_goats @icicle @mwkelley on the way to the memorial Saturday I said “oh crap we forgot to invite JD”… guess we should have

mwkelley@mountain_goats Yeah, this week we’ve been discovering a lot of unexpected crossed-paths. It’s rad to learn you were connected that way.

Transfer… complete.

Okay. So, that’s done. I just finished transferring my 2 domains— [beyondmetamora.net], which (I assume) you are reading here & [beyondmetamora.com], which simply forwards to the .net— to a new, SOPA-unfriendly registrar called [Hover.com] and jettisoned my old WordPress blog and its associated webspace.

I’ve been nervous about transferring this blog onto a free service like Tumblr. What did I just lose?

Well, I lose complete control over the technical nuts & bolts of the site. Which is fine. My old WordPress was falling apart because I was neglecting to maintain the underlying software components. Tumblr will handle all of that on their end now. I don’t have any creative desire to radically redesign my site anymore. These days I just want a blaaawwwg, an arbitrary place to store some media and text, and Tumblr is just a better functioning (and better looking) blogging platform straight-out-of-the-box than my WordPress site ever was.

More importantly, when I was on a paid hosting service I had a small but quantifiable stake— to the tune of $6 bucks per month— in the company’s business. The host has bills to pay, and I helped pay them— it was all a very traditional, capitalist relationship. Tumblr’s business model is a lot more nebulous. I “add value” to Tumblr by using the service, and then they figure out ways to turn that “value” into hard currency, in order to pay the bills. Right now, Tumblr does this by selling certain luxury features, such as snazzier-looking web design “themes” and site-wide promotion via the “Radar” box. Does that actually work? Will Tumblr be in business next month? Nobody knows.

The way to mitigate this weirdness— which I practice but only haphazardly— is to backup often. Free services are like a party; they’re inherently unstable. If the whole thing could collapse tomorrow, you’d be wise to make & store local copies of everything that you upload. Backup your Gmail, backup your Flickr sets, backup your Tumblr posts, and backup your Twitter. Basically, if there’s anything out there on the Internet that you put time & energy into, then back it up. There is software available that automates each of those tasks for you. It’s just a matter of doing it. One of my minor projects this summer: get more organized about my backup schedule.

Okay, so less control and more frequent backups. But then: What do I gain?

Well, I gain the $6 a month that I don’t spend on hosting anymore. That’s not nothing.

And as I mentioned up top, my previous registrar & web-host— GoDaddy— was a SOPA supporter. [SOPA], the Stop Online Privacy Act, was a proposed US bill of laws that was meant to stop copyright violation but would have seriously compromised our freedom of speech on the web. My current host, Hover (a subsidiary of the Tucows company), was a SOPA opponent. I feel a lot more comfortable giving them my money.

And lastly, I just like Tumblr. It feels more connected to the rest of the web ecosystem. I like the absolutely dead-simple layout and the small interface touches. (Just one example: when you go into the compose mode— like I am right now— it dims out all of the distracting UI components around the periphery of the box, so that you can focus on the thing you’re actually doing.) I like that Re-blogs and Hearts are the standard feedback currency on Tumblr, not comments. It’s a generally more pleasant place to log into every day, and I’m hoping that’ll inspire me to update this site more regularly.

And blah blah blah. This post is already way more verbose than the Tumblr norm. You can probably expect a lot of that, at least until I make an inevitable slide into cultural assimilation here. That’s just how I do. A new host might change my habits, but only slowly.

About 90% synchronized

I was going to spend today burning some mix CDs to mail out, but it turns out I didn’t have enough discs on the spool and the local computer shop is closed on Sundays. So, instead, I took a stab at finishing the blog-import project here that I started a few months ago.

I have all of my text entries ported over— aside from those the dozen LiveJournal entries that I accidentally nuked— and all of my Flickr sets too. The last stage is to download the rest of the data out of my hosted webspace, nuke that WordPress site from orbit, and redirect my DNS record to here. Probably about an hour more of work, but I’m hitting blog fatigue here.

Still, not bad for an afternoon’s tinkering. I think it’s lookin’ good. Thanks for your patience here. Reading back through these entries has reminded me how much personal satisfaction I take away from blogging— even when it feels hard and unrewarding in the moment.

import/export business

So, I’m moving ye olde blogge— BeyondMetamora.net— to Tumblr, so that I can cancel my hosting bill and also have a lightweight platform that doesn’t distract & paralyze me with web-admin tasks whenever I just want to sit down and write a thing. Mostly that second part, although saving 4 bucks a month is nice (it was soon to increase to $6/mon), as is not giving GoDaddy any more of my money.

There are probably various automated tools to do that out there, but a quick Google turned up nothing that was press-this-button simple. I think I’d rather just carry each entry over by hand. It’ll give me a chance to read, edit, and reflect on these entries as I put ‘em up.

When it’s all said and done, I’ll just redirect BeyondMetamora.net to here, nix my Wordpress, and make this my new primary cyberhub of cyberwebnet junk.