Saturday, July 2, 2016

Me at 7:56 a.m.

Most people at this time of day are wrestling with the traffic as they struggle toward work. I am finishing a last cup of coffee from the work night before lying in my bed to read a little before drifting off to sleep.

I will sleep until one or two in the afternoon, then begin another day. The first round of computing and coffee concerns itself with bookkeeping. Yesterday I had recorded the spoken part of the first podcast, with a good chunk left over for the second and third. I had even edited out the gaps, the digressions, and a cough, when Audacity, the editing software, froze on me. I hadn't saved the work as I should have, so it was all lost. So today I start again on Square One.

(It's now 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning) However, when I sat down to work this afternoon, I fired up Audacity, and the first thing the software said was, "Would you like for me to recover that work you thought you lost last night?" It turns out that last night's work was more verbose than I want, but I will mine it—there's enough there for four five-minute shows—to see if I can use some of it for modules that aren't time-dependent.

Today's chief accomplishment lies in creating the first podcast, setting up distribution channels, and uploading the finished product. This is a whole new ballgame, so I'm not going to get bent out of shape if it doesn't go perfectly the first time. I also think that what took several hours today, I'll be able to do in under an hour eventually. After all, this podcast, which is about television, is only a five-second slice of radio. I've designed some modularity into the show, so that time-dependent pieces can be merged with less ephemeral bits. I don't know the system well enough yet to tell you how to find my podcast. If I set everything up correctly, then whatever social network that brought you to this blog should also be able to bring you to the podcast. If you go to the blog's Web site, then you should find a brief announcement in the blog of the new podcast at around 4 pm US Central time (2100 GMT).

I apparently have one self-appointed censor who has been watching and waiting for me to make a false move of which he could disapprove. I had a lot to do today, and I could not take time out to humor someone's content rage.

Today I got the Kindle edition of Alamut, Vladimir Bartol's novel set in 11th-century Persia, but the novel actually served as an allegory about the rise of Mussolini. (I keep wanting to write the title as Al-Alamut.) Today, though, it's read more for its accounting of Hassan-i Sabbah and the Hashshashin. It also contains the maxim, "Nothing is an absolute reality, all is permitted," though this is more often quoted as "Nothing is true, everything is permitted." William S Burrough's novel, Naked Lunch, makes many allusions to the book, and David Cronenberg's 1991 film of Burrough's novel opens with the quote as an epigraph. (I note that the Blu-Ray edition of Cronenberg's movie is part of the Criterion Collection: I wonder if that means it's on Hulu because they make available most of that collection, and it's wonderful stuff too.)

Alamut also provides the milieu and plot underlying the Assassin's Creed console game franchise.

My feelings of disenfranchisement and detachment from the society around me make me eager to read a countercultural novel like this—but where I'll find the time is a mystery. For me, of course, the paramilitary discipline of the assassins and parkour artists are only metaphorical. What's real, though, is that my detachment makes it very easy for me to travel for years on end. It's probably some sign of sociopathy.

Short blog today, but it's refreshing to do a summary of the day. Have a great day, everyone!  :)
Drinking coffee at 8 a.m. just before bed. The topsy-turvy world of vampires.

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