Coded green.

Tuesday 13 January 2004

Screenshot Morrowind

Pic of the day: Eydis Fire-Eye. Actually it looks more like Ice-eye to me, but that's beside the point.

Just say something

"Say something or move on!" I've heard that expression quite a few times ... in Morrowind, the massive single-player RPG. Eydis Fire-Eye uses to say that, the gruff but helpful boss of Balmora's fighter guild. I haven't found the time to play that game lately, but the expression still rang in my ears as I moved from my mailbox to my journal.

The mailbox was as usual full of spam. Dozens of spam, but they are not like they used to be. There is a new breed. Actually there are at least two new breeds. But I'm thinking of the truly pointless ones. Until sometime last year, late in the year too I think, all spam seemed to have a point. The point was almost uniformly bad: A link to some porn site or an attempt to sell medication. (Yeah, buy your drugs from people you've never seen and the only thing you know about them is they're lawbreakers, that really makes sense.) And of course the viruses, with some short and sweet words to make you click on the attachment with the virus in it. But at least there was a point, even if it was evil.

Lately I get a lot of spam that seems to be made by picking random words from a dictionary. In all fairness, it has a larger active vocabulary than most people I have met on the Net. But there is no grammar, and no meaning. Just strings of words. Most confusing, there is no link to click and no attachment. The mail seems to have no function except to fill up our inboxes.

I hope this journal never degrades quite that far. But as you have noticed, there are tides in my writing life. Sometimes ideas just jostle to get on the screen; other times they drag their feet like a prisoner on death row rising from his last meal. And sometimes the ideas are related to fact, other times to fiction. But sometimes it's dry as your kitchen sink when you come home from vacation.

***

While establishing my tentative Norwegian online journal, I also looked into the Norwegian Net diarist central, nettdagbok.no. I still consider trying to insert my journal there, in order to get it noticed in the first place. (Of course, somewhere around a third of my Chaos Node readers are Norwegian, judging from the ISP list on my stats page. I don't collect any more personal information than that, so I have no idea who you are, and you're not exactly the most talkative lot yourself.)

Comparing my journal to the random sample of Norwegian diaries, I realize there's so much difference, I wonder if I'd fit in at all. But they are a lot like the Chaos Node was when it started. Short, rambling, and personal. And once again I wonder: Have I moved too far in the other direction? I write the way I want to read. But if I go so far that I no longer want to write, then it is all in vain. If I keep writing just to say something, then perhaps I will have to move on.

But it won't be anytime soon, I think. I'll just scale down a bit. I should do that anyway.

***

By synchronicity or God's will, I recently found in a drawer an old leaflet by Elias Aslaksen, "the use of the tongue". Before you get any bad ideas (this has happened before), it is about talking. And especially about not talking too much. As the Bible says: "Where there are many words, there is no lack of sin."

By further synchronicity, I unexpectedly get the book I ordered from Amazon, several days before I had expected it. It's an old classic a few months older than me actually : "The Way of Zen" by Alan Watts. As I understand, a central tenet in Zen is that words don't really describe the world correctly; you have to get past them to see the truth. I hold the word in higher esteem than that, but perhaps the book could serve as a correction or adjustment.

I'd love to say more with fewer words, but that takes a lot of work. "First in the limitation does the master show himself" to quote Goethe. I'm not a master, much as I'd enjoy believing that. But I guess I am a disciple of sorts.


Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Excuses
Two years ago: Exiled from Camelot
Three years ago: Old paths
Four years ago: Worries & Werewolves
Five years ago: Magiciens sans frontieres

Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.


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