Fougère, Floréal, 228; Ferns and maths

Today we celebrate the fern. I have two ferns which I'm with right now. I will pass on your best wishes on this auspicious day. I don't have any notes lined up today. I've been pouring writing time into the thesis and into a chapter I'm writing with Kristina Andersen. We're writing about machines and imaginations and all the dimensions of that using a very absurd categorisation system. It's due in May 1st (like a lot of things, there must be some statistical analysis about how most 'arbitrary' deadlines are all the same) so we're in the home stretch. It's good, I'm really happy with it.

Apart from that I'm on the thesis. I'm not where I want to be with it really. I got the methodology done which Wes gave very positive feedback on. I'm currently writing up Augury. I want to use some projects I've done and will do as lynch pins of certain sets of ideas. Augury is a lot about the metaphorical languages around inscrutable technologies like machine learning so I'm using it as a kind of vortex for that. The text in that 'chapter' is currently at about 9000 words and I want to bring it down to about 4000 but there's still so much to say. When do you stop? I try and read one thing everyday, a chapter, an essay a paper and that just adds to all the things I want to say.

Anyway, working on that will be the weekend having finished off the chapter with Kristina on Friday.

I've been cycling loads more, taking the opportunity of good weather and quiet roads to get my muscle memory back. Waking up at about six, doing some calisthenics and then going out for about two hours.

Thing on the Internet

Everyone's doing loads of things now (like livestreams, festivals, initiatives and events) and I was reflecting on this this morning next to the problem of taking our entire university online over the last three weeks. That kind of freneticism is exhausting, we'll run out of generosity and then things will get ugly. I'm writing from a position of enormous privilege but is the drive to ramp up activity with this crisis the same logic as that of capitalist exploitation? I don't know. I just worry that yeah, we burn out on generosity and then things get really ugly. I'm going to revisit the salvage stuff more, it makes more sense to me as a crisis response. 

Channel Recommendation

Oh I have loads lined up. YouTube is a goldmine right now. I'm going to re-recommend Numberphile again. Which is just a great maths channel. I now know why adding up all the possible whole numbers gives you -1/12