the digital garden
it ain't much, but it's honest work

Sit back and watch the garden of my thoughts grow!

Use your browser's search function (Ctrl+F) to find related thoughts:

#art #social #neocities #quote #question #observation #philosophy #me #web-design #etc

01/02/2021

Welcome to my digital garden!

This is a place for growth, casual exploration, and sharing about thoughts that I think would be helpful to others.

I had the idea to create a writing website where a single page would perpetually grow in size as you added more articles. I was thinking that the articles were formatted with boxes laid in a mosaic layout, sort of like how a newspaper is laid out. But then I had this idea along with the concept of a digital garden, put two and two together, and now this page exists as a result.

This is definitely not going to be a daily thing. There are seasons where plants may not grow, and there are times when plants thrive and I have a lot of thoughts to share. Some thoughts may grow big and strong; some may wilt away, never to be seen again, or they may serve as fertilizer for the next thought that may take its place. Some thoughts may even grow to the point where they'll get their own separate page in the writings section.

The mentality of this section is essentially "I post whatever I want, whenever I want". It may be an interesting space, it may not. Heck, this section could shut down at any time if I think it has lost its purpose. We shall see. Time will tell.

06/15/2022 #observation

Boxing People In

People can get unbelievably upset at you when you don't align with their conception of who you are, instead of who you actually are.

But is it your fault when people just make blatant assumptions? No one is obligated to follow anyone's conception of anyone. It's also rather aggravating as it's easier to put people in a box when you don't know them very well.

06/16/2022 #social #philosophy

Flattery

People may flatter you, but it's best not to hear it. Because when they start dissing you and insulting you, there's an implicit assumption that you want their approval to begin with. If you are attached to their compliments, then there's a natural aversion to their disapproval.

But if you don't care for their validation, what do their insults mean to you? It's just as worthless as their praise. Like how fire is hot, and how gravity will pull you down, it's almost like a law of physics. It happens like a distant event, wholly irrelevant to you.

If you don't care about praise, then insults mean nothing, because these two things are based on favour. And if you don't care about gaining the favour of this person, then how can any amount of approval or disapproval from them coax you to do anything that you don't want to do?

How much more then, being aware of approval or disapproval from everyone? Almost like being jerked around like a miserable puppet. The approval of one leads to the disapproval of another, and vice versa. You never win.

To be obedient to everyone isn't to love them. It's more like having multiple masters; in essence, you're prostituting yourself.

06/15/2022 #observation

That painful realization that even though you may have plenty of things in common with this person, your connection with them can be extremely lacking, if not nonexistent.

06/15/2022 #observation

It seems that being abandoned is more painful than never being cared for.

One presumes a reality and it is shattered and defaced. The other accepts that it's just how reality is.

Painful all the same.

05/31/2022 #me #question

A Question To Myself:

Who will care that you're good at ____ when everything else in your life is in complete and utter shambles?

06/01/2022 #social #philosophy

Lame Prosecutors

If people insult you, or accuse you of being a bad person, know that they expose their own ignorance, for if they knew more about you, then they would have said more. But they didn't.

It's on them for being a bad prosecutor, a terrible judge. No one wants a lawyer that is ignorant about the person they're examining. If people are going to say something foul, they should at least do their due diligence. Not only are they insufferable, they also fail at insulting people.

05/31/2022 #social

Influencers

I can’t help but think that influencers are essentially walking and breathing mediums of advertisement.

Also, what is with the title “influencer”? It’s entirely superfluous. It makes just as much sense to call parents as “influencers” to their children, or any human as an “influencer” for that manner, because what person doesn’t influence the people who are around them?

And turning it into an occupational title just makes things worse. “Influencer” sounds like a sterile name for salesperson, marketer, or organic billboard, with the caveat that they seem more candid than those roles, when in actuality they’re practically the same thing.

05/29/2022 #observation

Accessibility vs. Relevancy

What is popular with the masses has to stoop down to their level.

Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. To be esoteric for the sake of being esoteric is its own problem.

But I suppose there's a difference between accessibility and relevancy. It's good to make work accessible to many people, but it doesn't mean that it's going to be relevant to them.

It's like owning a very clear instruction manual for an item that I don't even own: accessible, but irrelevant. Not necessarily bad or good. It just is. Some people may find things irrelevant, but I cannot judge the work purely on its relevancy alone.

05/27/2022 #me #neocities

It honestly still weirds me out to see people emulate my site in some way or another, or even just linking to my website on their own website.

As an example, I’ve seen multiple instances of my digital garden template used on other sites. Not to say that I have any claim on it (people can do whatever they want with it), but it simply feels weird. It feels weird to compel people to do something just because you’ve done it yourself, without any intention of influencing others to do the same.

05/07/2022 #observation

Correlation between Skill and Age

This is a fallacy that I often see: people gauge their skills as if it's equivalent to the amount of time they've lived since they've started.

"How long have you been drawing?" “Well, since I was a kid.” But how does that translate over to their skill in the present? Some people have drawn "all their life" and they still draw the same as when they first started. Meanwhile, it's not uncommon for a person who has only been drawing for "two years" to completely blast them out of the water.

It's such a strange thing. If I made my first drawing at 2 years old, and just sat here doing absolutely nothing until I was 70, why should I expect that I'd be good at it? Though an extreme example, that is what this fallacy is assuming: if you start something at an early age, then by extension the passage of time since your start date should develop your skill. It makes zero sense.

Skill doesn't grow with age. Skill grows with practice. We should determine the time a person has dedicated to their craft by the time they invested, not when they first took up the practice. Age just means that they’ve had more time allotted to them to practice. It doesn’t mean that they’ve used that time to actually practice.

05/05/2022 #observation

The First Plateau

From what I've seen when developing new skills, the first plateau is always the worst plateau.

For once, you start seeing improvement. Enthusiasm goes up, skill rapidly develops, and then you hit a massive brick wall—a brick wall which people don't expect, especially those who have only experienced it for the first time. This is where people often find it hardest to keep going.

If the journey leading up to the first plateau doesn't stop them, it's often the plateau itself that will make them give up. If they don't give up outright, the other outcome is to stagnate indefinitely, which also happens to a lot of people, as it's not far-fetched to see the first plateau as "peaking" in skill.

However, if people keep pushing and reach the second plateau, they acknowledge that plateaus are a thing that exist in reality and the only real way to improve is to keep working until you get to the next one.

It's still difficult to plateau regardless of your skill level, but it's easier knowing that there's an end to it if you keep pushing.

05/05/2022 #social #question

Trends in Body Modifications

I understand body modifications and why it can be appealing to some people, but what I don't understand is trends regarding body modifications.

Trends are transient in nature. Why make something that is fleeting something that is permanent? Why do irreversible change to your body just because people in the present thought it was fashionable? To expect trends to stick is like expecting food to never decompose, but the body will keep the score.

It's only a matter of time before there are so many trends that have come and gone to where a person just becomes an amalgam of various body mod trends that they can't reverse. In that case, their very existence is irreversibly unfashionable. What a way to live.

04/12/2022 #observation

Best-Selling Books

Has anyone really paid that much attention to the "best seller" label that you see on so many books nowadays?

I think that it's so common to see that label to the point where it stops holding meaning altogether. It no longer holds any distinctive quality because every other book that shares the same shelf also has that label. Not to mention, some books intentionally deviate from the standard "New York Times Best Seller" just to gain a leg up.

And plus, many best-selling books are painfully mediocre at best. Best-selling doesn't mean it's a good book. It could just mean that the author is well-known outside of writing (e.g. celebrities) and they marketed their book well. I've read some amazing books that have been barely reviewed, let alone seen.

05/06/2022 #philosophy

Relative vs. Absolute Hierarchy

We often compare ourselves relatively. In a room full of beginners, the amateur looks like a professional. In a room full of professionals, the amateur looks like a beginner. Where we stand relative to others, that's how high we are in the local hierarchy so to speak.

However, that lends itself to often wild overestimations of ability, which often destroys the ego when you inevitably find someone better than you. This typically happens when you think that your position in one hierarchy transfers over to other hierarchies. It often doesn't.

To take the example I previously mentioned: if the amateur in a room full of beginners really thinks that they are a professional, then when they are moved to a room full of professionals, there's dissonance with what they perceived of themselves and what they actually are. But their perception didn't change who they were, i.e. they were still an amateur. It's just that in a relative sense they've been brought back down.

What I have adopted a long time ago is this notion of an absolute hierarchy. Instead of gauging yourself relatively with your peers, you're now gauged by your position compared to infinity in all aspects. And compared to infinity, not only myself, but everyone is incomprehensibly incompetent and ignorant. It doesn't mean that there aren't any people better than me, but we can all share the fact that we know nothing.

Of course, this is rather far-fetched, which means that it almost always reverts back to a relative hierarchy due to lack of practicality. But I posit that there's a lot of practicality in thinking that you're not the best person in any place or time. People may call me smart, but I know how deep my stupidity goes, regardless of the people I'm surrounded by.

In an absolute hierarchy, there is a place beyond the best. I'd rather aim for an unattainable ideal than settle for being only better than the people around me relatively. It keeps my ego in check, and it facilitates discovery beyond what is already known.

05/01/2022 #me #etc

Zoo Exhibit

Maintaining my website makes me feel like one of those animals in the zoo.
I do my own thing while people watch.
People give me random snacks sometimes,
but I don’t attract attention.

05/01/2022 #social #philosophy

On Public Reading Logs

Many times, I've considered having a reading log on my website so that I can leverage accountability. But I've repeatedly stopped myself from doing so, not without reason of course.

I feel that those places where you can see what people are reading can lead to people reading for all of the wrong reasons. Sometimes people read certain books just to say that they've read them. Sometimes, they simply want to inflate the number of books they read in a given year, not because they want to actually read, but because it allows them to show off how well-read or "intelligent" they are. Of course, that's not everyone's intentions, but I have a hunch that some people track their reading publically for these reasons.

In making my reading log private, I cannot say that I'm reading books to make myself look more knowledgeable, or to look "cultured", whatever that even means. I read what I want to read. I don't want to read books only for their reputation or for possible implications of my character when I do read them.

Let the things that you've read spill over into the things that you say or write (in proper contexts), instead of merely saying "look what I've read!", because that means nothing to me. What does mean something to me is if what you read leads to an interesting idea, a positive impact in your life, etc. If that makes people upset, then they're tracking their reading for the wrong reasons; they're reading to make themselves look better, instead of actually making themselves better or enjoying themselves.

04/12/2022 #me

Enjoying Obscurity

I found that for me, obscurity is the perfect sweetspot for attention. Complete isolation feels meaningless, and being too popular is like trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose.

In a way, obscurity also feels more intimate. You feel more closer to an audience when it is small compared to when it is large. After a certain point you end up processing people as simply statistics and not as individuals.

It's funny, because I've had nightmares of accidentally getting popular and having to deal with the aftermath. I've learned to trust my gut and I've stopped searching for attention at any sort of capacity.

04/30/2022 #observation #art

I find it rather interesting just how differently experienced and unexperienced artists do their process.

When an experienced artist works, it’s hard to tell what step they’re in. For a large majority of their process, it’s not clear what they’re doing. Sometimes people keep pestering them with questions, asking what they’re doing—sometimes even in a mocking way, because what they’re drawing looks nothing like what they’re trying to replicate.

Then the artist finishes and people find a solid representation of their reference.

Meanwhile, there's no need to guess what an unexperienced artist is drawing while they're drawing it. Those two lines? They’re drawing the base of a tree. The circle on top? Those are the leaves. They’re drawing a person. Now they’re drawing a house. It’s easy to tell what line or shape is supposed to be representing what.

But their final result looks nothing like what they were trying to draw.

It seems that people naturally gravitate to use drawing as a method of communication first before training finally allows them to draw accurately. Either that, or it's hard to shake off the worry that their drawing will be misunderstood than to portray what they see accurately, not regarding the steps taken to get there.

03/31/2022 #neocities

The Dumping Grounds

To be honest, I don’t know why I’ve been feeling so timid about writing stuff for this site these days.

In reality, not very many people want to have a huge text dump unloaded onto them in typical online conversations. Really, this is the only place where I could unload all of that garbage without feeling like I’m forcing people to read it.

And I think that’s what I should’ve realized earlier: even if I post stuff, no one is obliged to read it. That’s a good thing. I don’t have to worry about whether I wasted someone’s time, because they probably wouldn’t have read it anyway.

Interacting with a website is entirely optional. The fact of the matter is that I should post more here, regardless if people engage with it or not. If people don’t want to see it, then they don’t have to. It’s that simple. I get to post what I want, people don’t have to see it if they don’t want to, it’s a win-win in my book.

02/15/2022 #observation

The Cost of Proficiency

Isn’t it weird that we sometimes interpret the cost of things only through how long the person took to create/do it? I suppose this is a result of taking hourly wages a bit too literally.

Like, as an example, if I hired a mechanic to fix something substantial in my car, and they did the job in 10 minutes and charged me a ton of money for it, it would feel kind of weird. Almost like they didn’t put effort and expect a large payout. But really, we should see this speed as a marker of proficiency. If it took another mechanic 4 hours to do the same job, then it feels like they’ve put in more “effort” but in reality they’re just not as proficient.

It’s like how professional artists will charge a lot for a sketch that may not have taken them even 30 minutes to do, because you’re not paying them based on how long they took, but for the amount of time it took to master their craft to the point where they can do it that fast with great results.

More time spent doesn’t necessarily mean greater value. Give a beginner artist 100 hours to create a painting and a professional artist only 1 hour and it wouldn’t even be a fair comparison. It’s because the professional invested thousands of hours behind that one hour to do that painting, so technically you could say that the professional had thousands of hours + 1 hour to do that painting. A competition that was one-sided before the results even came in.

I guess proficiency is a good parallel to expedited shipping: the faster you are, the more expensive it gets.

02/04/2022 #neocities

The Neocities "Community"

The usage of the word "community" to describe Neocities I find to be rather weird, to be honest. I feel like Neocities is more of a microcosm of the Internet, with different subcultures nesting inside a larger set. So to describe Neocities as a community I think doesn't really fit.

I mean, it's like calling the Internet a "community". It's too broad to be called that. Some people host their databases on here, some their portfolios, some blogs, and whatever else. I don't commune, interact, or share common interests with everyone in the sphere of Neocities, so using that term makes it lose meaning altogether.

03/12/2022 #me #web-design

JavaScript

I used to be in the camp where I hated JavaScript. Probably as a result of having to deal with bloated sites that use it too much, and also having to make my own site before that uses it extensively, seeing how unoptimized they are.

Nowadays, I’m more in the camp where I accept JavaScript for what it is, but I really dislike it when it’s used excessively, and when it’s used despite the fact that HTML and CSS by itself work fine. If I don’t have to use JavaScript to do something, then I won’t.

There are some uses for JavaScript that make it pretty handy. However, if your entire site explodes just because I’ve disabled all scripts from running on the browser, then I don’t think that’s good.

04/12/2022 #me #neocities

Culling the Follows List

I've been unfollowing a lot of people on Neocities over the past few months, not because I have beef with anyone in particular, but simply because I've lost interest.

People move on. It's a simple fact of life. And with me approaching my second year on Neocities (as of writing this), I've become rather jaded. I've seen plenty of sites come and go, many being abandoned, very little grow. A large majority of people who I used to follow became inactive. Most of the time I would wonder why I was still following some of them.

I followed some of them out of social reciprocation. It felt rude not to follow them back after they followed me first. But of course, after a while I lost all incentive to keep myself binded to arbitrary social etiquette.

I've also felt like people followed me out of social reciprocation when I follow them first, which keeps us both in a bind. In unfollowing people, I implicitly break the mutual agreement, which means that they too can unfollow me without any guilt. It's good for both of us.

Isn't it weird how we can make such a big deal over two people clicking the same button on each other's profile? That's what it really is, boiled down to its essence. Something as trivial as that shouldn't be taken personally.

03/09/2022 #philosophy

Those who are strong are not those who never feel like giving up (for that hinges a lot on naivety), but those who keep going even when they don't want to.

Of course, it depends on the thing that one is giving up on. There's a difference between tolerating something that is unnecessary or harmful and tolerating something that is for your own good. Considering all of this, it is good to know when to stop being persistent.

01/13/2022 #art #observation

Opposite Preference Phenomenon in Art

There's this thing that I've seen always happens when I share my art (whether on social media or elsewhere): the pieces which people like the most are the ones that are literal dumpster fires of terrible. Like, sometimes what I made took no effort and it looks irretrievably awful, and yet it gains a lot of engagement. Meanwhile, the pieces which I'm actually happy about get absolutely nothing. Zilch. No one cares.

It's not just me, but practically every artist I've seen has experienced this one time or another. And it's not like we're just conjuring this up in our minds, it could probably be proven to be a statistical pattern. It's not compliment-fishing, either. You could literally have no description posted and the same outcome will result. I'll never understand why this happens.

I've definitely have reached the point where the moment I like the result of my own piece of work, I immediately assume no one will care. Just assume the worst. I've made the conclusion myself so I don't have to worry about it going forward.

It's almost as if people are playing some sort of sick joke that we artists are not in on. It's like the world is telling us to stop caring about such inane nonsense.

01/01/2022 #observation

Superficial Causes of Skill

I find it odd that some people attribute a person’s skill to superficial things. And the fact that I can’t tell whether it’s a rhetorical statement or not doesn’t help.

With musicians as an example, some people say when they see them play “I wish I had their hands”. As if these people didn’t have any hands of their own that they could use. You could surgically replace your hands with theirs and you would be just as incompetent with the instrument.

Artists tend to get the same deal. I find it very funny that some people, when they watch Kim Jung Gi draw using his brush pen, say “I wish I had this dude’s pen”. My man, he could probably draw better than 99% of artists with ketchup and a toothpick regardless if we had his pen or not.

But then this question would arise: what brand of ketchup is he using? Because of course it would.

01/01/2022 #social #philosophy

I realize it's ridiculous to try and appeal to people who are beyond your interests, especially with something like the Internet where people will seek for the things that interest them. Why appeal to people whose interests don't even interest you? Sounds like a great way to make yourself someone that you’re not.

If they lose interest, so be it. If they change, so be it. If they weren't even interested to begin with, so be it. It's not within your power to withhold or enact any change towards a human being outside of their will to co-operate.

02/04/2022 #philosophy

Compensation

I am a failure in many ways, but I try to compensate by being good at certain things.

But running away isn’t going to solve the issue. A good thing ceases to be good when it starts taking away from things that are of greater importance.

01/01/2022 #social

Social Media Outcasts

I think it’s rather interesting that Neocities is filled with a lot of people (myself included) that are simply bitter with social media, whether because of the impact it has on mental health, or because we didn’t want to play their game.

We’re all of the people whose interests or creations weren’t popular. We’re like the uncool people in high school who are basically social outcasts. And somehow, we all managed to find a place where we can be at home.

01/01/2022 #art

I’ve never understood why some people would think that digital art consists of the computer doing all of the work. If you frame it in different contexts this assumption is ridiculous.

Does the computer write a novel for me just because digital text editors exist? Do “real” writers only use pen and paper?

Does the computer code programs for me because of the existence of IDEs, and compilers? Do “real” programmers use only punch cards?

Digital software is a tool. Just because more optimized and convenient tools exist doesn’t mean that they do all of the work for you. It’s like assuming that the creation of modern power tools means that the tools themselves will build the house for you. It’s stupid.

02/11/2022 #philosophy

The issue we face now in the present world regarding knowledge is not a lack of access, but finding its relevancy in our life.

06/07/2021 #art #question

Perfect Hue

I'm very curious if there's an ability in art that is an equivalent to music's "perfect pitch", where you can identify a note only by hearing it.

One obvious ability that would benefit an artist is photographic memory, but it isn't really a parallel to perfect pitch.

Is there such a thing as "perfect hue" or "perfect value", where an artist can immediately mix a colour with 100% accuracy when they see it? Or they identify a value of a shade correctly first try? I mean, artists already build this ability when they start training, so maybe. Not sure if there is a person that's born with it, though.

10/13/2021 #observation #social

Distant Cultures

It's interesting to note that culture is becoming less and less bound by the place that you were born in, and is now largely influenced by the places that you frequent in the Internet.

Being able to choose the places that you frequent and the people that you hear from on a daily basis makes you start fitting into places that are far beyond where you live, which is something that has only really happened until recently. This also means that cultures of very niche interests start to form, which is something that may not have occurred before the Internet.

I also wonder if this may cause heightened feelings of alienation and isolation for individuals who cannot seem to fit with the people in their immediate surroundings when they disconnect from the Internet.

12/24/2021 #social #art

You know artists have it rough when one of the main platforms for sharing art is Twitter. Twitter. Really?

I don't know, I think that art is treated as well as the environment it's displayed in. It's why gallery walls are white to ensure that all of the attention goes to the artwork. If the walls were just a hodgepodge of random colours, it will detract from the artwork it's supposed to display.

With Twitter, it's clear that art isn't elevating the platform, it's just degrading the art.

09/11/2021 #me

Sometimes what I write feels so obvious that it almost feels shameful to share it.

Applies to everything, really. It feels like everyone has known about this "thing" except for me and it's only now that I'm realizing it. It sometimes demotivates me from sharing stuff.

12/24/2021 #philosophy

Remembered Contributions

People always seem to want to make a name for themselves, wanting to be remembered by their name. But that's what all of their actions aim towards: to be recognized and remembered.

How about being remembered for our contributions instead? It often comes with a price, however: you don't get remembered by your name, but through your contribution instead. You make a greater impact in the world, but you don't get remembered.

People may know popular celebrities for X, Y, and Z, but how about those who invented/discovered things that lead to modern technology? Who are the people who invented the first transistor that led to the creation of modern processors? Who invented the microwave? These people's contributions have lasted way past their lifetime, and yet if you pose that question to the average person they'll likely won't know who these people are. And could you really blame them?

We remember more about people who only aim to be remembered than those who have made long-lasting contributions to the modern age. If that isn't completely backwards, I don't know what is.

12/21/2021 #question

I wonder how differently we would perceive the world if we never saw what we looked like to ourselves. Without a mirror, reflection, photo, or even the possibility of seeing a portrait/bust of ourselves.

Would we become less self-absorbed and more selfless? Would we be more concerned with our actions rather than our appearance? Would we be more suspicious with how other people describe our appearance to ourselves? Will the idea of self-image disappear?

Or in not knowing what we look like, we obsess over it even more?

12/21/2021 #philosophy

Unconditional love facilitates growth in the most authentic way possible.

Those who think that love can only be earned through works or favours or bribery won’t grow as individuals, but instead will bear the image molded by the people whose validation they seek.

12/21/2021 #neocities

Dead Sites

It's quite bittersweet to realize that there will be a point in time where a person will update their site/blog one final time before (knowingly or unknowingly) abandoning it for good.

For some, they'll update their site until the day they die, and for others they've long since abandoned their site already, with no sign of returning. Eitherway, browsing the site of a literal (or figuratively) dead person is a very strange feeling.

12/29/2021 #philosophy

To be in the history books doesn’t mean you’ll be remembered; your existence is just archived.

To sit as some text on paper in a dusty corner that no one will ever read is one sad way to get immortalized. Is that something even worth pursuing?

Which is more wretched: accepting that one's relevancy in the world is but a mere blot in time, or trying to immortalize yourself and still being forgotten? The end result is the same, so why bother?

Just do the work that you're given to do in the time which you were allotted.

10/13/2021 #me

Articles That Quote Itself

I honestly don't like it when people quote themselves in their own articles. Something akin to this:

Like, they put some random sentence in their own article in a quote box, and then have buttons under it that make it easier to share that quote on social media. The fact that you've emphasized a passage in that manner doesn't mean that it's suddenly quotable or noteworthy.

10/13/2021 #philosophy

A person who self-proclaims to be a "thinker" or "intellectual" doesn't prove to me that said person is in fact intelligent.

If anything, it only tells me that their identity revolves too much around the mere belief that they are smart.

09/14/2021 #art #quote

comment source

09/10/2021 #etc

Our School Mascot

Our university is perpetually under construction. In fact, the construction workers often surprise students by suddenly putting a high traffic area under construction, creating massive congestion and causing hundreds of students to be late for class.

It got so out of hand one semester that the students unofficially made the construction workers as the school mascot. To be honest, the construction workers represented the university far better than the official mascot ever did.

08/27/2021 #philosophy

Exposing Ignorance

To share one's knowledge exposes one's own ignorance.

It's a humbling thing to write about anything, whether it be for myself or the site, because no matter what I write about, I simply cannot account for every single viewpoint, and every single fact. In sharing what I know, I also implicitly share what I don't know.

Why should I then boast about knowledge? For if I boast about all of what I know, then what I don't boast about is what I don't know. This means that in my boasting I'm also declaring myself to know nothing: a fact which holds regardless if I share my knowledge or not.

And the ironic thing about flaunting one's knowledge: if you share it, then the people you've shared it to are no longer ignorant. Why in the world should I boast about knowledge when boasting about it removes the reason to boast in the first place?

A somewhat relevant example from Epictetus:

"Whenever someone prides himself on being able to understand and comment on Chrysippus' books, think to yourself, 'If Chrysippus had written more clearly, this person would have nothing to be proud of.'"

Enchiridion, Chapter 49

It essentially says that if knowledge were more accessible to more people, then people with knowledge would have nothing to boast about. And if people boast about their knowledge by sharing it, they make it more accessible by making people aware of it, and now suddenly they have lost all purpose to boast.

Funny how that works.

08/13/2021 #social

Short-term Influence

I think that the general liking system that is an integral part of online social communications has really warped our sense of what's going to stick around and what's going to be swept away.

People often look to the likes counter to see the "performance" of their work over a few days at most before they move on to the next piece of work. However, that is such a small window of time to judge how much influence a piece of work will do over the long-term.

There are many pieces of work which did not have a large initial reception, only for it to snowball into something greater months, years, or even decades later.

The culture nowadays focuses way too much on the short-term influence that their work brings, being easily discouraged by how much their work "performed" in the short-term rather than in the grand scheme of things. Present-day relevancy isn't indicative of the impact it'll have in the future.

08/03/2021 #philosophy

Contempt

Would you say to a possession that is worthless "you are useless!" over and over again? No, because no matter what you say to the object, it'll still occupy space in the house. To constantly voice your contempt for something is to still care about it.

If you truly think it to be useless, throw it into the garbage and give it no more thought. The same goes with fame, attention, and externals. To treat something with contempt is not to lament about its existence, but to treat it as non-existent.

Throw it out and forget about it. Declutter.

08/03/2021 #observation

Thankless Work

The work with garners the least amount of thanks are also those jobs which are met with the most complaint when they are never done.

That's quite sad, seeing as that is probably the greatest evidence for its necessity.

02/11/2022 #observation #social

You can make anyone hate almost anything if you get them to associate said thing to something disagreeable.

You don't even have to convince people that this "thing" in particular is bad. Only tell them that it's related to something bad, even when it's so distantly related that associating it makes no sense whatsoever.

08/03/2021 #observation

Unconventional Losses

We often take a loss more badly if unconventional behaviour leads to a bad outcome. We'd rather fail conventionally than unconventionally, because we can blame social convention rather than ourselves.

08/27/2021 #philosophy

Those who use their time trying to prove to others that they are smart are not using their life in a smart way.

01/25/2021 #art #quote

"To all viewers but yourself, what matters is the product: the finished artwork. To you, and you alone, what matters is the process: the experience of shaping that artwork. The viewers' concerns are not your concerns (although it's dangerously easy to adopt their attitudes.) Their job is whatever it is: to be moved by art, to be entertained by it, to make a killing off it, whatever. Your job is to learn to work on your work."

Art & Fear

08/03/2021 #philosophy

Synonymity

I think that people correlate certain things that aren't necessarily correlated way too often.

Being popular isn't synonymous with making good work. And creating good work isn't synonymous with being popular either.

To do something unique isn't synonymous with getting distinction. The fact that it hasn't been done before doesn't mean it wasn't ever conceived, but because it's probably not appealing to a large amount of people.

Being worried about what other people think of you isn't synonymous with being valuable to others, and treating others as they should be treated.

Taking care of yourself isn't synonymous with being selfish.

07/30/2021 #philosophy #quote

"If your silence is taken for ignorance, but it doesn't upset you—well, that's the real sign that you have begun to be a philosopher."

Enchiridion, Chapter 46

07/29/2021 #social

Norms in Social Platforms

I've realized that despite having been away from the art community in social media, I've still been affected by the norms in those platforms.

Worrying about views, likes, validation, style, whatever, a bunch of that carried over. It's weird, because where I am right now these things don't matter at all. And after realizing that I'm basically carrying a burden that was handed to me from a different platform, it dawned on me how fickle these things are.

The interesting thing, too, is that people who come to Neocities from all sorts of platforms have carried with them these social norms as well. It's often obvious from a glance of a person's website whether they came from 4chan, Twitter, IG, Tumblr, and etc. They treat their site as if they were still using those platforms, with the same expectations and such.

The good thing about Neocities not really being a platform and moreso an index is that I don't have to care about any of this nonsense.

07/30/2021 #quote

"Without great solitude no serious work is possible."

~ Pablo Picasso

12/16/2021 #philosophy

The maximum is not the average, so stop expecting it every single time you're doing something and being disappointed when you don't reach it.

07/29/2021 #neocities

Respectful Visits

I think it's nice that the people who browse Neocities sites are at least respectful of the spaces that they visit.

Comments made via guestbook or whatever often fit with the site's vibes. If the site exudes a lot of banter, the comments are often filled with banter as well. If the site is more on the wholesome side, then the comments left behind by individuals also reflect that. Of course, it doesn't happen all of the time, but it's nice that people put in the effort to respect the space.

Except for spambots. All my homies hate spambots.

07/17/2021 #web-design

Under Construction

You know what I've never understood? The under construction thing in websites.

I guess it makes sense if you've only just started and are working on things as you go along. But when doing a redesign, I don't see a need to pull off all of the things on your website just because you're doing a redesign.

Why not wait until you're done redesigning everything before overwriting your site? I simply don't see a need to slap an "under construction" thing when you already have things on the site to occupy people until you're done.

I suppose it's because of the use of the Neocities' built-in editor, where it updates the site every time you save.

Personally, though, I think it's better to locally edit your website on your machine, and update everything when it's all done. Hiding your entire site from the public until the redesign is complete is wholly unnecessary.

07/17/2021 #me

Sarcasm

If you had met me 4-5 years ago, you would have found that my humour was entirely composed of sarcasm. But it wasn't long before I realized that it wasn't good in the slightest.

I mean, I like a good bit of sarcasm every now and again when used sparingly, with some decent comedic timing. But if it's literally the basis of all of one's humour, I found that it sets up one's self for the "boy who cried wolf" situation. Like, if all I made were sarcastic comments, then how can people even tell when I'm trying to be serious? It would just be assumed as sarcasm at that point.

Not to mention sarcasm in text becomes very difficult to even discern, because a lot of the social cues for sarcasm are in one's vocal tone and inflection. Take that away, and it all just becomes a huge mess. Cue the obnoxious r/woosh comments that you see in Reddit, and now YouTube out of all places.

I realized that it was just wasting my time, and wasting other people's time, so I've given up on using it as much as I did. I think that the use of humour certainly has more impact than people think, seeing how the humour nowadays turns people on each other. Whether or not it's because of a lack of tolerance, or people's taste in humour has gotten worse is up to you to decide. It's probably both, if anything.

07/06/2021 #philosophy

Insecurity

There's always something to jostle your own sense of worth, given enough effort on your part.

If you think you are an accomplished individual, know that:

Seek for insecurity, and you will surely find it.

01/18/2021 #philosophy

Attempting to bend time to your will leads only to frustration. Try to slow down time, and it only speeds up. Try to speed up time, and our perception of it will slow down to a crawl.

Live in the present.

07/06/2021 #philosophy

Positive Vision

If I can't imagine a life where I finally stop doing bad habit X, or finally start doing Y, how could I ever expect it to happen in reality?

That's like driving forward looking at the rear-view mirror: vision and reality are completely inverted, and it's likely that reality will win.

At the very least increase the chances of not crashing into something by looking forward. It may still happen, but at least you have some sense of control when circumstances arise.

07/06/2021 #me

Logic, Emotions, and Revelations

Something which I've observed for a long time is how people frame their conclusions about certain beliefs or stumblings.

Some people preface their conclusion with "I think that...", others with "I feel that...", but interestingly enough I preface a large majority of my thoughts with "I realize that..."

It's as if I was blind to something obvious until it was shown to me, rather than logically or emotionally deduced.

Whether or not there are greater implications to these use of terms, I'm not entirely sure. It's interesting nonetheless.

06/24/2021 #observation

Dialogue

If we had to read the words we say inside of a novel, we would agitate ourselves with how much filler we say on a daily basis.

07/06/2021 #me

Hospitality

I've begun to realize that most of the stuff that I create for the website isn't even for others, but solely for myself.

And it's not even in a selfish way, nor is it something that is negative. The philosophy that's beginning to crop up for this website is what I've called the "hospitality" model of sharing.

I basically treat this website as if it is was my own home. I decorate it however I want, I fill the space with articles, artworks, whatever. If people are coming over to visit then I let them hang around the house. They can read whatever they want from the shelves, look at the artwork on the walls, etc. They're not obligated to visit all of the time, and they're not obligated to give anything back either.

Sharing in this manner is more intrinsically motivating since there's no real gain from all of this. I don't decorate my house the way that I do for the visitors, but for myself, since I'm the one who's going to be looking at it the most. The same way goes for the things within the house: they detail history, rather than something to be admired. If people aren't drawn to it, they're free to leave.

Now the other model, which is applied to more things than it ought to be, is the "business" model of sharing. "Sharing" in this case should really be redefined to "exchange", because it often becomes a business transaction rather than sharing. People consume my "content", I get views, attention, ad revenue, clout, influence, followers, whatever. I give the people what they want, but they better give something in return.

There's a time and place for that, but a personal website such as this shouldn't have to conform to such a thing if it doesn't need to. Imagine if you get invited to someone's house for dinner and they give you the bill for the expenses of your meal. That's less hospitality and moreso malicious business tactics.

06/23/2021 #art

Jigsaw Puzzles

I recently realized that doing studies of photos/artwork is almost like a jigsaw puzzle.

You see the solution that you're supposed to get (the work that you're studying), and now all you have to do is piece it all together. However, the problem is that you don't have discrete chunks that make up the solution; instead, you have to manually create the whole thing from scratch, with a pencil, paint, or the tool of your choosing. It's basically a jigsaw puzzle but on steroids.

The emphasis of the puzzle can also vary, depending on one's focus. It could be exaggerating colour, proportions, or values; done with only line or only shapes; monochromatic or off-the-wall palettes. A single image can have a variety of ways that it can be studied, which enhances "replayability" to put it into gamer language.

Framing artistic studies this way sounds way more fun. It's like something that I'd do as a chill pastime rather than something I'm obligated to carry out to better my skills.

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