“Temptation is just the feeling that you’re the most independent person on planet Earth.” – Kendrick Lamar

I found myself screaming in the hotel room the day the explosions went off. There were three explosions, and none of them were anywhere near me. They were near others. Human beings were lying dead in the street saying goodbye to loved ones who shrugged over them, and I was still the only one screaming. Or maybe I wasn’t the only one screaming. It’s not like it mattered either way. When Lucy took control of people’s emotional center, the only way to resist was through closing up our ears to the noise. If Lucy’s song couldn’t pierce through my 1st Gen R1G5 Headphones, then someone screaming next to me certainly wouldn’t. Shoot, I could barely hear myself. Barely. That would all change when I could finally get my hands on the 2nd Gen. Alan scribbled hurriedly on a piece of paper the first time he saw someone wearing a 2nd Gen set. It was down on Market Street, which we…

“To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

This blog post is existential and talks about death. When I was a teenager, I wrapped the words of Eowyn, and therefore the words of Tolkien, around myself like a blanket. “What do you fear, lady?” [Aragorn] asked.”A cage,” [Éowyn] said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King This I still fear. I write in my journal regularly, and the topic almost always comes back to “impact”. Can I have an impact on the world? What kind of impact will I have on the world? How should I go about having a greater impact on the world? There’s only one answer to these questions I can ever give, “I don’t know, but I’ll sure as hell try.” Tonight I’m not so sure of some things. There are still questions that I ask, but tonight they…

Sometimes we walk away from the things we were passionate about doing as kids, but that passion never leaves.

Deep inside you can feel the weight of the pit.You’re hacking up your lungs while terrified. You’re trying to spit,but you cannot forget.And you want to but you cannot repentor turn away from all the thoughts and trials you represent. What we believe about ourselves right now is going to serveto read the past aloud but sanctified if you’ve got the nerve.So every wordyou’ve ever uttered, even absurd,goes from your mouth to the people’s. A delightful hors d’oeuvre. Might not be much but the people gather, ready for feasting.They’ll devour your life from childhood while always increasing.They’ll never be ceasing,and even worse, they’ll never be piecingall the clues that point to your built up habits of self-policing. When you were a kid you had some issues, no one denies,but what they ignore is all the good behind all the lies.Good burger with fries.You grew up hoping to impact the livesof those you love, and maybe those you will. But you’re…

Twitter might not be shutting down any time soon, but it will never be the same again.

There’s very little that can be said about the last few weeks on social media that hasn’t already been said in countless angry tweets. Twitter was bought by Elon Musk, the work force was shuttered, policies have been changed, services launched, changed, removed, relaunched, and removed again, and now Trump is reinstated thanks to an easily botted poll. Why give my views, and therefore more ad revenue, to a platform that is determined to be the new Gab? Why contribute any amount of my energy to a place that flies fundamentally against what I stand for? This isn’t even about “conservative” vs “liberal” values. There is a major difference between a place where the public masses can be balanced so that no “side” gets a direct benefit, where the left, right, or in-betweeners can co-exist and argue and flame and block each other, and a place where there is a culture of sarcasm, untruths, and misinformation boldly promoted to benefit…

Human beings have a special knack for misunderstanding each other. Is there any hope for fixing that?

Sometimes it can be a real challenge to know what to say. We know what we mean to share, but we don’t know how to say it in a way that makes us understood in precisely the manner we want to be. Why? Is the problem intelligence? Bad habits created by our abuse of social media trends and SMS? Lack of understanding the perspective of our audience? One of the things that’s always frustrated me about social media is that it’s so easy to be misunderstood and to misunderstand others. Is there a way to avoid that problem? “None of us read the same book.” That’s something a teacher told me years ago, and it makes me think there is no avoiding the problem of misunderstandings. If you speak too succinctly, you might lose some of the nuance of your point, but if you speak at too much length, you might leave a lot of room for onlookers to add…

Why does it seem like we can’t create anything of value if we aren’t doing it for some return on investment?

I’ve been doing a bit of reading into the trends of blogging in 2022, and it may come as no surprise that most blogging experts say that aimless writing servers no purpose. The author gains nothing, the audience gains nothing. There’s no money to be made, no audience to grow, and no lessons to be learned. Whatever. I don’t care. Why does everything in 2022 have to have some ultimate goal? Why does every bit of effort that someone puts forth have to result in a return of financial or social success? Why can’t I just write a blog post, or make a song, or play a video game just because it brings me joy? No. In 2022, people are pushing for video games to add NFTs so people can make money from what used to be entertainment. Every person who creates something needs to have a Patreon so that they can reap the benefits of the work they put…

Maybe this makes me old, or slow, or judgemental, but I don’t want to start something that doesn’t have an end.

I like my books like I like my operating systems. Hmm… maybe that’s a weird way to put it. Let me try again. When I’m choosing which book to read, movie to watch, or series to start, I don’t want to have to faff about using another computer to download wifi drivers so I can find FOSS alternatives to mainstream programs that actually work. Better, but still not really all that clear. If I had to choose between Windows, macOS, or some derivative of Linux, I’m definitely going with Frank Herbert’s original Dune from 1965, and not the extended universe by Brian Herbert which he began publishing in 1999. Look, what I’m trying to get at is, fear is the mind killer. Or time killer. Or both? I recently finished reading the original Dune book. It was slow, but complete. Beautifully written, engaging, and imaginative. After 23 years of believing it was overhyped drivel that my adopted mom’s husband really…

If there’s one prediction I can make about the next decade of the Internet, it’s that blogging is going to be fiercely popular again very soon.

Blogging is set to return with a ferocity that may have never been seen before in the history of the Internet. Social media has failed us miserably. People are tired, and angry, and they’re angry at being angry. No matter what side of any debate you find yourself on, there is no doubt in my mind that you have felt this pain just as severely as anyone else. We’re tired of massive social media corporations manipulating the algorithms to subtly utilize their free services more and more and more and more… all while their real customers and beneficiaries make big bank off our suffering. We want control again. We can’t simply ignore the tired trends of social media, though. Look at how the most viral threads, posts, and micro-videos catch on: They are longer than a few years ago, thriving when accumulated as a series rather than a one-off comment, with more links to external sources, and more visual and…

This week’s update is all about being creative. With new textures and a Creative Flatworld Server, I hope you’ll find some inspiration to get started and tell stories!

Minecraft is all about being creative and imaginative, so lately I’ve been working on adding more creative features to the mineha.us network. Providing new features that both spark imaginative ideas and allow players to act on those ideas is important to the creative process, so that’s what today’s update is all about. I’m not a big fan of doing the same thing as every other server, though, so I’m approaching these new features with a plan to keep simplicity in mind while still being unique. I want to get out of the way of players and give them freedom to explore their ideas, and then I’ll make other updates in the future to match their desires. As with the previous updates, this one all about laying strong foundations. New (Old) Textures, Items, and Recipes Back in the day when I ran the Villagered SMP and TreeCrafters servers, we had a number of different items and custom recipes to make life…

In my efforts to continue to keep my content minimal, I’ve also been launching projects that are small in scope. Is this a good thing?

If you’ve read my blog before, you may have noticed a past article I published about how I’ve been reworking my online presence with minimalism in mind. So far, that effort has been paying off well! And I’m glad to share some lessons I’m learning along the way. When it comes to minimalism, it’s easy to take the wrong approach and believe that means putting in low effort or thinking small in scale, but neither of those could be further from the truth. Minimalism isn’t about reducing the quality of the efforts you put into your work – it’s about maximizing the impact those efforts have in bite-sized pieces. Lately, I’ve been playing around more with releasing content publicly that I promote very little (or not at all) through my main “brand”. This has allowed me to experiment with some unique, small ideas, and the results have been eye-opening for me. Rather than trying to create massive projects with a…