Managing Silent Mental Evolutions

"Issue": 069

short dispatch

when you work with incredibly intelligent teammates, on highly collaborative, creative, and interlocking design

you have to actively manage the silent moments where the subconscious works on its own,,, and previously agreed upon expressions continue to move beyond the spoken team space

this impact expands when each person goes to make moves, realizing the collective dream

then the edges seem to not line up, you stand around and question how it happened, and have to take out a razor,,, and that’s far less fun

////

this most recent expression of eternal has been, like the other ones, very different

but one of the main things has been a conscious effort to have agreed upon synthesis

i’m not going to share the sauce we think has helped us, because it’ll be misleading, and copying what someone else does doesn’t help you do anything compellingly

i just want to share the code that is the silent movement of a once shared idea —> now a kinetic subconscious moment that i promise you is happening within everyone

once you see it, you won’t stop seeing it, and then you can manage with it — instead of against it


I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.

Thanks so much for giving me your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not… unsubscribing will not hurt my feelings, and will give you back time you literally cannot have back.

Much love.

Live in the light

Instalgia Grain

"Issue": 068

*record scratch*

It’s June 2020. Protest are in full bloom. You open TikTok to a flood of videos of teenagers telling their future grandchildren stories of what they did during the protest x the panini. Creating an instant history of their present actions.

From our sonic environments to our digital (not even sure we need to delineate that anymore) cultural production, we find ourselves in what I call “Instalgia”. An instant creation of nostalgia in present moments.

Dispo makes us nostalgic for yesterday’s moment, forcing me to pause through a familiar analogue interaction. To wake up to the un-rolling of previousness.

An entire wave of music has a grain to it that feels photographic of something I already knew…

You told me it wasn't over and that we'd be together soon
But was this before or after you told me to leave the room?
I used to think we'd make it far, it turned out that we are
It's such a shame that we weren't the same at all

Pain by PinkPantheress

I’m not going to get into my views on nostalgic design / sensations / desire. I just want to point out the very clear cultural pieces that are bringing this to the forefront.

I obviously appreciate and integrate nostalgia to an extent throughout my life. I find deep daily pleasure in nostalgic swaddling. Frank Ocean is incredibly nostalgic. It’s all about past loves and pain and sky. Mid century furniture in vaulted space, every design boi’s dream, is nostalgic.

And it taps into something I’m trying to explore after saying it out loud at dinner: maintaining/curating psycho-space.

It seeps into all routine. All consumption. The malleability that is existing in these bodies… I remember responding to Blake about Instagram’s nostalgic effect here:

Lately I haven’t been in a “yes I will explain this whole thing to you” mood. Either you grok it and feel it too or you don’t.

Listen to the July Playlist. Scroll back in your brain to those TikTok videos from last year. Check out my homies Junior Varsity video below. Think about what an algorithm is built around… the surfacing of the past for present pleasure.

When culture is exploding in every direction and resurface-able more than any other period in time at scale. It’s producing some truly interesting ~reality based communities~.

I think my point in thinking about this, is because I’ve been in a very different consumption / creation space.

I’ve been thinking about how ahead of everything Yeezus was, and how it was legitimately “few” to appreciate what was done through that album. I’ve been thinking about Roden Crater. I’ve been thinking about drawing out every line of the present into tomorrow.

The amount of time it takes to know what everyone will know.

The future of the future is the present.

— Marshall McLuhan

I’m just going to close this newsletter with one of the most important live performances of all time… You can draw a straight line from this performance to Playboi Carti’s WLR virtual show.


I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.

Thanks so much for giving me your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not… unsubscribing will not hurt my feelings, and will give you back time you literally cannot have back.

Much love.

Live in the light

Technological Hypnosis

"Issue": 067

A short Catskills dispatch. Currently, I am seated in the lofted living room. Light soaks in from three separate points of entry. I have a few books and a Kinfolk zine (Rituals) on the table in front me. A black kettle holds dried flowers, my coffee mug steams below it. Although I’m reading, I’m aware of my phone charging next to me… it was charging in the bedroom but that felt too far.

If a technology is introduced either from within or from without a culture, and if it gives new stress or ascendancy to one or another of our senses, the ratio among all of our senses is altered. We no longer feel the same, nor do our eyes and ears and other senses remain the same. The interplay among our senses is perpetual save in conditions of anesthesia. But any sense when stepped up to high intensity can act as an anesthetic for other senses. The dentist can now use “audiac” — induced noice — to remove tactility. Hypnosis depends on the same principle of isolating one sense in order to anesthetize the others. The result is a break in the ratio among the senses, a kind of loss of identity.

Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy

We constantly, willingly, enter daily states of technological hypnosis.

In design, many optimize for it. Whether they would admit it or not.

Twitter stresses two ratios only. The visual text field, and the tactile to draw new visual text field to touch again. It is, 99% of the time, a completely silent app. And so, when operating it, machine like as it forces us to become machine in part… We lose all sense of hearing. Conversation in the room becomes muffled. Snapping out of it. Out of the hole. The Boomers are very right in this sense… complaining at family gatherings. “You’re not here with us”. The same way they lost their own children to the visual heightening of television.

TikTok stresses two ratios only. The visual and the audio. It loops, to create an even deeper hypnosis. Comments abound “why have I watched this ten times already.”

Instagram started with the stress of two ratios. The visual and the tactile. The ability to touch objects of desire freely and permissionlessly. However, as they compete they add more sensory points… and coincidentally we see the confusion build from a disgruntled and less hypnotized user-base. The swinging clock stuttered, and the once invisible hand far too close for comfort.

This continues and will continue. And in this state we are free to do the master’s bidding. We lose our identity in participation… and spend most of this time as a binary legible consumer. Until, like perhaps we are seeing with Instagram, it breaks.

Quickly changing focus to wrap this up…

Far from being a normal mode of human vision, three-dimensional perspective is a conventionally acquired mode of seeing, as much acquired as is the means of recognizing the letters of the alphabet, or of following chronological narrative.

Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy

Many spatial apps are breaking my previous examples of two ratio stress hypnosis.

Here McLuhan mentions 3D perspective as an “acquired mode of seeing”. I wrote this tweet back in 2019

When we think of spatial we are typically combining 3 senses: the visual (what is rendering on screen), the tactile (manipulation and feel of my representation on screen), the audio (real time call audio / in world audio and cues).

The question becomes who-pulls-who? In my opinion, we move towards more sensory rich applications.

Even those that grew to know the internet through two heightened senses at a time… will acquire the ability of 3D perspective and the sensory structure that brings.

Before I go, I want to pause and dispel the notion that hypnosis is categorically negative. There are many healing properties to hypnosis, used in therapy and other sources. Allowing for a release from that which is within. By isolating the senses, we can pull from deeper sources of self. Like closing our eyes during prayer allowing us a focus on the Spirit, pushing us towards speech.

This is why so often online we see the airing of grievances as a primary rallying for community. The isolation of senses releases the inhibition of other forms of expression.

I think most of the critique of these platforms comes from what many perceive to be an unhealthy balance between participation and brain dead consumption… and what that flywheel further produces for consistent producers (creator burnout, etc.)

We are left with a very simple question.

Can we produce better ratios around the universal need of connection?


I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.

Thanks so much for giving me your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not… unsubscribing will not hurt my feelings, and will give you back time you literally cannot have back.

Much love.

Live in the light

Turning 26 Tomorrow

"Issue": 066

I’m sitting in the office with the new Tyler album playing over our Marshall speakers. My shoulders rotate in a cocky manner, as if I wrote this album. I enjoy cosplaying as Tyler a lot. I have the Igor wig, I’ll rock it from time to time. Big shades on. Silent but my motions loud.

There’s something to having aesthetic models that help me unlock more of myself. Tyler is one. Frank is one. I don’t always feel the expressive freedom I desire working within technology as an industry. I struggle with this often.

Across from me, two engineers whiteboard out some designs. Luca is on a creative wave working on -redacted-

There’s money in the bank. The office is clean. The new product is hot. My mind is clear.

Tomorrow I’ll be turning 26 on the 26th. Tomorrow I’ll be driving upstate to the mountains with bae to give myself a much needed break in nature.

I want that fuzzy film feeling. That hop in the whip and say the perfect line feeling. I want that people know I’ve been right on the wave for longer than most feeling.

26 feels heavier than a lot of my other birthdays for some reason. That’s probably why I need to get away for a bit.

I’ve never felt so content and so frustrated simultaneously. So creative and so dull simultaneously. Is this what aging is? Holding more and more at the same time. Crossing the wires, trying to hit the sync right…

Every morning I wake up asking myself, who am I trying to be & what am I trying to do?

Then I let my subconscious handle the weight of that question. If I actively answer it, I know it’ll be the same answer I always have… and so I must let my becoming happen. I have to allow it to happen while making it happen, something I learned during my turmoils in competitive golf.

Everyday I recognize my blessings. I think about the chain from my abuela leaving the Dominican Republic to me meeting Luca in LA. I see supreme divinity to all of it.

I recognize I control everything. I recognize that I am destined and it has all been set. I recognize it is all path discovery.

Everyday I pray I’m becoming who I’m supposed to be. To myself, to everyone.


I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.

Thanks so much for giving me your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not… unsubscribing will not hurt my feelings, and will give you back time you literally cannot have back.

Much love.

Live in the light

It would always end this way...

"issue": 065

Lately we’ve been seeing a string of pay-per-view fights featuring social media celebrities. The most recent being Bryce Hall and Austin McBroom. Where Bryce got the corn knocked out of him.

And it’s so obvious to me, like excruciatingly so. I have an old note that states “all status games end in e-commerce”. A simple understanding that the digital will always reverse back into physical manifestations once it’s big enough. The reality that the cap on the digital status arena must turn into a putting on by the audience… an ever more measurable continuation of the game.

Today I’d amend that previous statement to “all status games end in e-commerce or war”. This is at the root of every conflict ever.

Chatting with Luca about this probe, he called out how the influencer soccer and basketball games don’t hit the same because it’s team based. We need to see the 1:1 action, for the emergence of the title holder. Very Finite & Infinite Games… aka the cheat codes.

A little more literally — if TikTok is a social royale on a continuous loop towards FYP dominance, those titles are ever fleeting. It’s simply too fast of an environment, with little control. This truth has pushed performative identity to the absolute edge. And the most edge environment for competition is evergreen: blood-sport.

I’M BIGGER / NO I’M BIGGER / SQUARE UP MY GUY / LOVE ME ADDISONNNNN

It’s the most human thing, and the best part is that you can hate watch it. While still generating pleasure for all involved.

I’m not going to give too much of my moral opinion here. Other than this is a direct continuation of the values set into the status seeking competition first laid out in the system’s design.

Copying Chinese Consumer Tech

In my twitter drafts I have this thing I’ve said for a while:

If you’re trying to copy/paste things over from Chinese consumer tech

You literally just don’t understand the nature of cultural progression and it’s relationship to technology

I don’t know how much I want to expand on this point. To me it’s evolutionary. We have an entire country that has a technological culture that bunny-hopped (in terms of personal computing at scale) straight to mobile. What this does just from an HCI point of view and the ramifications on mass interactive psychology is staggering.

To believe that the answer to American consumer progress, is adopting Chinese cultural output is both intellectually lazy and culturally uninspiring.

Sonic Peaks

This past weekend was properly absurd in the city.

I’ve been in an early 50 Cent wave, and I kept trying to imagine what it was like at parties during “peak 50”. I have very clear memories of the vibe during peak Drake runs.

I don’t think we are currently in a peak anything right now, it’s too soon post-covid vibes. Everyone is just horny to be out and could care less.

Reading “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, she depicts my neighborhood of Clinton Hill so precisely during her time. It was the summer of Love, of Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, of xyz.

Our cultural environment and production is so explosive and egalitarian in some ways… today you can’t say anything of a unified culture. The only thing we share is that it is the summer of coming out of Covid. All shared realities end there.

It is the summer of anything I can pull up to show you as the summer… and you just have to accept that as reality.

While finishing up this newsletter, Luca was telling me about early Disney cartoons with characters smoking. And the scene editing they’ve done since the cultural attitude around smoking has shifted.

And it started a very classic chat between us on how the cultural values of the time are most crystalized by what we believe is permissible to show to our children.

This model, where content production took serious labor and capital to create and distribute… we have a very top down approach of what is permissible. But today, that is a very different story.

Where the media environment is one where interface can compress and remix Backyardigans’ audio to a video joking about sex… yeah I don’t know where that leaves us — other than a hyper sense of loaded agency in determining our values actively during consumption. Or to let the format overtake us… idk


I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.

Thanks so much for giving me your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not… unsubscribing will not hurt my feelings, and will give you back time you literally cannot have back.

Much love.

Live in the light

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