candle's website

this is candle's website you've been warned fellas

speculation jam

another february, another writing jam from emilie reed. as usual the premise was immediately inspiring and i had a lot of fun coming up with ideas and putting them together.

this jam seemed like a good time to pour all my longing for a low tech future (the namesake of this webring!) and imaging what my personal domain of technology and creativity might be like in such a future. go ahead and read VIDEO GAMES IN A LOW←TECH FUTURE if you’re interested.

this is the first writing jam where i actually took to writing more than bullet points. up until this point the manifesto jam was my favourite writing jam: the ability to just spit out bullet points of flippantly declared facts was very appealing to me. i get a lot of ideas at once and it’s hard to hold onto them long enough to string them into reasoned arguments, let alone structured essays.

i started with my manifesto jam staple of typing bullet points into a text file. i was making simple arguments based on premises i read in low tech magazine: e.g electricity will be less available and reliable, the internet uses 10% of all electricity, so the internet will be less available and reliable–neither a flawness argument, nor original. but the point was to plot a course through some possible truths to arrive at details that couldn’t possibly be accurate anyway, so whatever. each argument lead to a number of questions that were either left open or ready to be the subject of speculation in other files. i made several such text files, speculating about the internet, computers, lifestyle, video games in a low tech future.

i found this a much more frustrating format than i expected. i found i did actually want to write full sentences and paragraphs (which usually don’t work well for me). so i wrote some small texts on if video games even have a future and why are they worth thinking about at all.

in the previous writing jams i was able to compile my bullet point thoughts into nicely designed slides and export this to pdf–this is probably my favourite way of distributing writing. but since i had written full text, it wasn’t really going to be possible to use my usual style. so i looked to low tech magazine, drew from my experience of making this blog html here, and made a little webpage to collate all the thoughts in a readable format. i was even able to come up with a pleasing format for all the fragmented bullet points i had come up with.

i had fun writing from the perspective of a future game maker, describing game making tools that might exist in the future, how to distribute your game to a worldwide audience, and even a technical reference on how to encode bitsy games on paper.

the frustrations in the jam lead me back to frustrations i also encountered when try to make this blog something i’d actually want to update: i want to build a collage of thoughts as and when they come, and allow a bigger picture to form. i don’t want to sit and percolate until a blog post is ready to come out. so i’ve been prototyping a tool i’m calling domino. domino because the act of trying to arrange thoughts so that similar ideas are next to each other reminded me of putting matching domino sides together.

it’s going surprisingly well–i already had some nice css from the spec jam entry, javascript experience from creating flicksy, and clear ideas about how i want it to work based on my immediate frustrations from the jam.

i’m hoping to replace this blog / website with pages made in domino sometime in the future. until then, adios