Cup of Squid
~musings and folly~

Isolation vs. Solitude

A meditation brought on by mushrooms and a veteran Navy diver I recently found myself isolating at an empty apartment in the south end of Burlington. The isolation was both for practical purposes and for that deep, almost-spiritual need I get to be shrouded in silence. In a way, I guess those reasons could be one and the same: after some time, I cease to function like a human being without being given the chance to pray at the altar of solitude. Read more...

Where do we go from here?

It’s hard to put a question mark at the end of that sentence. It feels more like a statement, a permanent form of being. Often, I find myself actively avoiding the news - and the computer in general - in order to distance myself from the slow burn of everything falling apart. However, it has a way of crawling up into every orifice of your existence to remind you that it’s there, that smell of decay we may love in autumn but not when it carries the hint of what’s to come. Read more...

Radar full of shoes

It’s a war that’s already started. People keep talking about it like it is theoretical, but watching a friend get a dog because white nationalists are stalking them for their abortion rights efforts? Citizens dead at the hands of radicalized gunmen? A global pandemic where people in power favored the economy over the health of its constituents - leading to thousands of preventable deaths? How about - something more close to home for the trans community I’m a part of here in the Northeast - a NH man who said he’d shoot the “next drag queen” who “got near his daughter”? Read more...

On Interfaces

Living with a roommate who got a graduate degree in computer science means we talk a lot about interfaces. I’m a coder; he’s a researcher. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD after years of struggling with basic adulthood functioning; he is a well-adjusted, organized individual where everything in our apartment has its place and tasks get done in a timely manner. You’d think this wouldn’t work. Oftentimes, I wonder why he hasn’t just run away screaming after watching me let the table - which was missing a screw for almost a month before a friend had mercy on me and fixed it - wiggle uncontrollably whenever someone sat at it. Read more...

Organization and hierarchy

Why they are not the same There are a lot of negative opinions of anarchy that I’ve often heard phrased as follows: Anarchists “can’t get anything done.” They don’t organize because “they don’t believe in hierarchy.” They don’t have anyone in charge because everyone is in charge, or there’s no such thing as being in charge, “so there is no direction.” [1] An important takeaway here is the assumption made about organization, about structure: that it is inherently hierarchical. Read more...

On Handling Ideological Differences

A.K.A.: We’re all gonna die, so let’s work together One of the things I’ve noticed in the radical left space is that there are many ways to talk about the same end goal. So far, I haven’t yet come across a radical leftist who is against dismantling capitalism, decolonizing, and giving reparations. We all seem to agree on the fundamentals. Usually, what seems to be the departure is what we do after all is said and done - do we create a temporary State to take over the dismantled mass, do we all go off and live in the woods forever and forsake society, or do we come up with something more organic? Read more...

On Responsibility of Choice

Or, Why Anarchy Currently Isn’t Working Ursula K. Le Guin said the following: What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice. It is deeply related to the Spiderman quote from Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Having choice is itself a power, and becomes near limitless when you decide to adopt anarchy as a societal “structure”. The problem with peers that identify as anarchists, though, is that they deny the responsibility that comes with choice. Read more...

Why Liberalism isn't "Far Enough"

I recently finished The Philosophical Trends in the Feminist Movement, which is a short but power-packed work by Anuradha Ghandy. To call Ghandy just a feminist is an understatement. Her work was centered both on gender and on the Dalit. This small written work explains why she identified as a Maoist as opposed to a “liberal activist” or a “radical feminist”. I’m still trying to grapple with the latter part, since it covers critiques of anarchy that I still need to spend time digesting. Read more...

The Right to Repair

There was a right-to-repair initiative that made the rounds during one of the last voting cycles. While the one I had voted on had been for cars specifically, there are other right-to-repair initiatives for phones, laptops, video game consoles, and pretty much any proprietary item you can think of that has a complex enough set of parts to require “special maintenance”. I think about this with websites and web apps. I am working on three different things right now, all of which have varying levels of difficulty to develop. Read more...

Our role as technologists has changed

what are ur thoughts on cyber defense against big data collecting all of our personal info // defense against profound biases of AI that will eventually be used to enforce a police state The text came in late at night from my friend who had left my apartment only an hour previously. Sensing a larger conversation at hand, I responded with details on my latest project, which would be rooting a Pixel 3a and replacing its OS with CalyxOS. Read more...
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