Honestly, I read your stuff because (despite all your attempts to throw people like me off the scent) you reliably say interesting and important things.

Medium wants to serve me 1,000 copies of the same "I just read Stephen King's On Writing and let me summarize it for you under a stock photo" post. I also read On Writing, and I understood it better than these folks do, despite not identifying as a "writer" -- because it turns out that to write, you have to have something to say. Identity simply doesn't have enough meat on it for me to connect to.

But, when I see a Gutbloom by-line, I think to myself: that guy's a smart cookie, and even though the title is something like "Please Don't Read This Crappy Essay" or "That Time The Pigs Behind Sally's Trailer Ate An Engine Block" or "Ten Things Neither Of Us Know About Soup", he will have something important and incisive to say about Medium's UX, or the craft of writing, or just life in general.

Is that social? I'm not sure. You project some kind of character I don't fully understand, and I imagine that I understand your real personality and situation even less, and I'm not sure that I want to lose that mystery. I am engaging with this ghostly half-occlusion that is also half-joke.

This is how much of my online life goes.

I spent a lot of my time on twitter, where I have deep conversations with people whose names are things like "ultimate ape", "j. g. ballard themed prestige dildo collection", and "devilman crybaby ate my buick". We have a lot of shared interests. Some of them do things that I find cool, like training AI image generators on ancient grimoires, or converting 1982 vintage Sinclair Spectrums into wearable computers complete with chest mounted audio cassette drives.

I have comparable connections on Discord, where I am writing new discordian holy scripture with a group of people. We have two book clubs -- one that is studying an armenian cult leader who died 50 years ago, and one that is studying the work of a pair of french potheads who wanted to get rid of their organs. On friday nights we watch horror movies together.

This kind of thing is great. I get most of the benefits of being actual friends without the downsides. Though, as Rushkoff says (or maybe it was Jason Pargin?), none of these people are gonna help me move a sofa. Some of them are in Australia.

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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