gokigen

texts, systems, experiences

Long time. I don’t write much – hard to lose myself in the writing, lately. Self-repetition is boring, and new input is a tad lacking. Translating stuff is much more immersive – I may not be pleased with the results, but the process of looking up words, comparing their character, feel and context feels endless – and endlessly enjoyable. Nostalgic time of the year – it’s getting cold and pleasant to dress thick and move quick. Reflecting on the past odd jobs and behavior I noticed that having a lot of things to do can be a good thing. Being a free-roaming sysadmin slash derivéing photographer felt like a flow, exploration, nearsighted in a good way. Not sure if these things still attract me, but music and texts with flexible rules do seem worthwhile. Finally having some amount of saved money month-over-month, so I became able to stash, invest and generously donate some of it. Not the life savings, but something. Loving discounters. Second wave is upon Moscow now. New restrictions en route, causing doubt about moving to the hometown – getting stuck in there would be far from optimal. That’s a rational conclusion, but frankly this realization of the danger that does not translate into primal fear or even secondary anxiousness worries me. Probably that is one of psyche’s basic defense mechanisms, yet still feels strange. Another strange thing is half-year – there are so many white spaces between events, with only digital paper trail (countless reports and drafts in archives, mail, recycle bins) and receipts marking different days. I never really had any mcguffin or carrot dangling before me, beckoning forward. Prolonged crisis to me is an occurrence when it’s better to find one – so far my goals still are to survive, finish degree and enroll in Japan in a horizon of a year or two. Aim for the crescent.

Discovered Zettlr – very nice and customizable, many rough corners (as of version 1.7.5). Disabled markdown tables to avoid data loss, now busy reminiscenting and sorting films I've watched over last years. Potentially useful for research in tandem with Zotero.

Not so much stuff happening now, right? Still, some things do change: – There is a new astonishing Inkscape release! I haven’t been in touch with my inner vector savage but this seems like a good reason for reunion. – I’ve broken my Manjaro installation and after some attempts to fix it gave it up and switched to Fedora 32. Overall it’s the best fedora release I’ve used but: – rpmfusion is still a thing (if you want any media in your Firefox) – no full-disk encryption, hello old-fashion boot partition – at the same time, LUKS2 support in Anaconda installer – both dnscrypt-proxy and systemd-resolved are broken for me – system updates require you to reboot and decrypt disks twice – I’m puzzled to as why. – default japanese IME is Ibus-kkc and apparently it hates non-english layouts. Miss additional dictionaries for fcitx and mozc – Gnome-software doesn’t make me want to uninstall it – I couldn’t even imagine it would be so nice to use! Installing multiple apps is still a torture though. – flatpakked qt apps are in a weird shape, some unusable – I’ve embraced Adwaita. I loved Manjaro’s Maia compact more than anything… but by some reason Adwaita’s neutral color beats it. Also, most of the unofficial Gnome themes’ have the same issue – weak color contrast makes window titles unreadable for me.

  • Practicing guitar once again made my fingertips ironclad and improved typing speed on the left hand. Luckily I had all the tools I needed to fix stock going awry due to weather change.

  • My groundwork for thesis is 80% complete. Currently struggling in finishing last chapter of the draft. Advice: If you’re going to translate light novels for your thesis, try to read it beforehand – otherwise you’re up for surprises and possibly some embarrassment.

  • Now I use posteo.de as main personal mail provider and can recommend it to you!

  • I now have most guitar effects I’ve ever wanted – still wishing I’ve bought some line selector and of course the Space Echo, but otherwise my humble collection now has everything except fuzz. A pity they’re now hard to exchange with the lockdown and all.

  • No More Heroes is hilarious and good in both world-building and in game design. No idea what gears are turning in Suda Goichi’s head, but his games makes never disappoint.

  • Another time-killer I absolutely love is Deep Strange Journey which manages to encompass all I love in SMT series and at the same time it it abundant with content and comes in a modern design. Really what I needed for my vocabulary practice.

  • My ISP finally agreed to cut the internet-television I never used: “...oh but wouldn’t you like to watch television when you’re outside with family on vacation or maybe out in the country?” “Gross! TV is against my religion, lady” “Oh…”

  • Fun fact: many ISPs in Russia promised to continue providing internet access until pandemic is over, even for customers in debt and to boost connection speeds when possible. P2P networks should be thriving now.

  • I’ve gotten some furniture (a SHELF and a DESK with a CHAIR, no less!) and now life is a constant struggle of arrangement stuff. I discovered my hate for monitor stands – thank dog I only have one. Designed special shelf for monitor, audio interface, consoles, keyboard and plan to talk woodworking friend into a deal once his workshop reopens. Maybe the cheaper option would be finding more ergonomic keyboard, but my ThinkPad’s keys are too nice to abandon.

  • Headphones’ jack seems to be broken from constant use. Solder times await.

  • Really enjoying changing 3DS’ cartridges. But loose-by-design screen hinge is still killing me sometimes.

  • Working out almost everyday and have cut food intake – not really as means to survive in upcoming fighting over supplies, just for the feel of it. Constant confinement really puts stress on psyche and posture which are really important to keep in shape.

  • Glad it’s finally getting warm outside! And the weather is feral – wind speed up to 20 m/s. I haven’t seen downpours like these since typhoon autumn in Japan. Good smell of blooming trees makes me reminiscent of childhood – but so do empty streets.

Took me much longer to write it, as expected. Staying confined is hard – especially for those with a lot of work on their hands and neurotical or depressed people. Wishing you all the best, folks!

'one week later'

As everyone in the capital was wholeheartedly warned to not leave their homes unless necessary there are now police cars with loudspeakers, social transport cards are disabled, and apparently in a couple of days harsh fees and punishments are going to be mandated. An in the first official quarantine week we’re going to be lab rats for pin-pointing already functioning mass surveillance (in Moscow, that's public transport face surveillance + transport card tracking + glonass/GPS 'emergency system' mandatory for all modern cars + phone location mapping in the whole Federate District ...why did i bother to write all that in a parenthesis gosh) to suppress and punish basically anyone having no business at home (or any officially established home at all). That makes me a probable suspect bound to be arrested if I go to my parents or to my irregular job – which is ironic since I’ve got to attend interviews this week. Regrettably, this disaster occurred in the middle of my prospective job project, now suspended furniture delivery, me buying bike to outspeed law enforcement footmen so I’m grounded to my desk-free room with no options except to break the law (yeah!), squeeze money out of the internet and make music. Not that bad actually, just boring. And gotta smuggle them drums into the city somehow

To the newspoints: * (finally) liberated phone with lineageos * finally changed mail to posteo * preparing room for renewal * revived tablet that slept for 9 months, removed unfree packages via adb * donated last dollars to individual foss developers * updated to Gnome 3.36 and feel as happy as when the 4.0 kernel got released * started teaching my singing teacher japanese * most of the delivery services are discounted/free, quite nice if you happened to have money * moscow’s air is probably at it’s cleanest since 1941 * all national mail offices are suspended * i'm probably not returning to the uni until autumn

While the world is somewhere between the first and the last stage of a new pandemic, most interesting effects are societal response and economical significance. While I do not care much for China’s manufacturing ability and personally out of the 90% trash produced I will miss really just a few. To be frank, I really do want to see a world where cheap plastic goods will disappear, much to the philistine consumer’s shock. No bags at the supermarket, sugar drinks and gum recede as supplies begin to run low. Maybe large part of smartphone and TV products will also become rare goods — that would feel like the Fifties all over again.

Maybe that recess of production and international transit will bring us back to that golden age our parents and grandparents striven for — which we could never before reach, because of all affluence and layers of unavoidable technical overcomplications. New 80s will give way to the 50s and someday to new 60s. We will have a chance to throw our boulders at the uniformed people. Many will realize that pillar holding our society has crumbled beyond any repair, and taking loan after a loan to insure it will not save us in the end game.

Maybe new virus can hasten the disruption already seeded by discovery of electricity — energy that does not necessarily destroy its origin. As the oil demand will plummet, it will have only one application left — that is, the original — being the fuel of war. But will future oil wars have any meaning? When oil and power will stop equating, what will the militarymen do? And what warlords will do, when their only treasure becomes obsolete, valueless artifact? I have no idea, but I think we will move to the next era once the dollar and oil barrels become obsolete and find their rest on the graveyard of the things past. My prayers are, weapons, soldiers, clergyman and propagandists will also follow suit after the loss of their true blood.

Back from the fantasy land — hopefully this recession will change re-distribution of wealth. People raised in affluent societies may faint at the notion of recession, yet halted factories and at least temporal decline of corporative growth is just what the humankind and the earth require. In that case, all the panic will be for the best.

Does that mean that in the future, we’ll see new make-believe pandemics, made up by individuals who think like I do, made unverifiable by the global-wide resonating of unintelligent propaganda machines? Sure hope we do! Until then, take care — and produce good wealth out of what you have at hand.

P.S. only buy used

After first 7.57 hours of non-stop sweatshop I must say I’m impressed with both my stamina and affluent economy. My motivation to do manual labor is a strive for “authentic foreigner experience” (also romantically called gastarbeiter in gallant german) because it is quite open for anybody and doesn’t set false expectations. Also, I love it when the job I’m applying can be started next morning ...or next moment. And meanwhile it pays well — I can see how people here live doing two (or more) part-time jobs without resorting to full-time employment (of course the difference can often be ephemeral). Another dream goal is job at the construction site — who knows, maybe I’ll even get to swing flashing batons while standing in the middle of road connecting two nowhere cities! To add some salt to industry I’ll also note that hourly rate is better than entry-level IT jobs I’ve done and it’s free schedule allows going full stoic and receive middle-class salary when needed. And that job also doesn’t make world nor a better nor a different place — so here it’s even.

By the end of next month I’m going to leave Japan for an unknown while and I’m quite nostalgic — all days of this month are crossed out and marked as either sweatshop or exams. Next month would be the time to meet everyone happy to see me and then shed some farewell tears. And petty stuff like souvenirs documents mail parcels of stuff and oh so much more melancholic stuff I’m not thinking about it now.

For anyone expecting frequent updates (for reasons unbeknownst) – don’t get your hopes high! — until I will be ready to write in retrospect from the noisy comfort of my old home. I have a pocketful of drafts waiting to be drafted (pun included) but I can’t like them just now to edit fill-up and send off unto the internet.

I dislike self-censorship both as an author and as a reader, but I respect individual right to filter the unwanted content. Therefore, I write this paragraph as a disclaimer: what goes below is the essay on the dream about sex. Be careful. There would be no graphic or textual representation of the sleep itself — in fact, the word “sex” can be interchanged for any other word for intimate or just friendly interpersonal activity without considerable impact on the ideas and conclusions of the essay. Besides, publicly discussing someone’s intimacy is by a lot of reasons considered improper, if not rude — but is it an intimacy, when it’s inside a dream? Are we all not inside a dream? Be aware that these questions would not be answered below.

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After a good-one-month postponement I’ve picked up the “Undoing Yourself” book and tried this meditative practice out. It’s pretty good! It is easier to get into than classic (aka poor man’s) mindfulness meditation where you’re supposed to sit and concentrate on breathing struggling to think nothing — and maybe being catered to the western neurotic-type mindset it deals with stress better. To no surprise – it’s author is an expert on body-oriented psychotherapy used here together with a light form of holotropic breathing. Wish I’d known it a couple of years back — so I gladly provide it here for the interested readers.

Preface: While the original book is easy to find and pretty fun to read, it’s language and mindset can be easily interpreted as aggressive to skeptical readers who probably won’t get far — personally I enjoy ‘quack scientist’-styled prose, especially when both illustrations and grammar are naive and touching, be that made on purpose or on occasion, but It’s the kind that is really not popular when you recommend it to people. But it’s methods are great — please do try them out for yourself.

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Today was a good day for me. I’ve finished basic phonetic course with a results just as good as I boldly expected – and performed in a performance I was nervous about. Don’t quite know how well, but surely not disastrous and that is a confidence booster. Later on I’ve encountered a lot of new and once-met people and discovered that I’m more popular than I’ve expected – and I’ve encountered them on a friendly and lively concert and that feels almost magickal, like an awakening. To complete that combo my cold is dying and I’m already close to the able-to-sing condition! Now all that’s left is a new book a lot of practice (and sleep).

Ночь пройдет пройдет пора ненастная, солнце взойдет

Oh, what a mess!

I’ve found myself at the point when I’m uncomfortable with english in casual conversations. Worries about grammar and proper sentences aside, language just stopped being second-in-line for thinking something up or grasping for similar words. I’m much more comfortable expanding simple questions in Japanese than with getting to the point with English — maybe that's snobbish, or maybe enthusiastic toward my new second main language. To be fair the situation reverses when it comes to written correspondence and texts, but this is always -uncharted-territory- less emotional and more logical — or formal (i.e. ritualistic).

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Today I’ve finally finished reading very hard book and finally overcame and survived a two-day feverish cold. It feels good to finally turn the page over — and start reading something else, so I’ve started two books — “Undoing yourself...” by S. Hyatt and “Пути познания Востока и Запада” (“Ways of knowledge in East and West”) by Evgeny Torchinov. I’m still reading Radov and some manga before I go to sleep and in the meantime, so all my language slots are occupied and I hope that’ll help to keep all languages in check.

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