2019-05-24 Remix: The Remix

This site is the re-re-rebuilding of something. Like all creative endeavors, the process to a finished dream is messy and confusing.

I once had a difficult time with serials. You’re probably familiar with them even if you haven’t used the label. Some of the most popular serials are soap operas, comic books, and long-running video game franchises.

The best way to tell a serial is that it’s one story of many you’re dropped into with no hand-holding about backstory. You’re exposed to Skateman or the Doctor with a smattering of introduction and forced to make your conclusions from that character’s immediate behaviors.

Unlike a one-story intellectual property that unfolds the character along the writer’s controlled lines, serials unfold the character as the fans unravel the backstory, relationships, and idiosyncrasies in each separate serial to form a complete whole.

Lord of the Rings fans can point to a 3-part book series that the author was psychotic enough to try releasing at one book before WWII stopped him, but true Batman fans can’t convey their fandom because Batman has so many source materials to draw from. Beyond the brooding modern one, we have the one that brought bat-shark-repellant and everything in between.

I used to hate them for one simple reason: the consumers of the property didn’t really share a kindred passion for the letter of the story as much as the spirit of it. Two Whovians in the same room could swap stories and experiences they both didn’t know while fans of Breaking Bad could only identify the same experience to the extent they had the stomach and patience to handle the series.

I was trying to create the Ultimate Answer Of All Self-Help Information. It wasn’t sensible and, I must admit, was driven by such an obsession that it verged on insanity.

A few days ago my website exploded. The Philosopher Accountant is back up and running, but it forced me to realize something.

In the past, Plato and Socrates (Platocrates) always resonated with me much more than Aristotle. Platocrates’ endeavor was always a quest for “the one thing”, the unifying answer of everything in one neat, tidy self-contained box.

By contrast, I couldn’t stand Aristotle. While Platonic thinking is trying to ziptie all of existence into one bundle, Aristotelian thought went through the accounting of all things in existence, turning the entire exercise of abstract thought into a game of attrition of discovering “all the things”.

I preferred Platonic thinking because it was simpler, at least in theory. Unfortunately, philosophers tend to speak of their ideas as this handed-down-from-the-gods immaculate disembodied voice.

When I decided to explore the Aristotelian way of thought (as much as I could endure) I realized two things:

  1. Neither side is particularly better because they’re both merely slicing the data in a separate way to make a new kind of sense out of it.
  2. Both of them have merit for certain contexts.

These two made me realize my efforts to be “the Philosopher Accountant” were profoundly shortsighted. I was so devoted to turning everything I thought into a rigidly defined system that I forgot that I’m a human with imperfect ideas, stupid presumptions, missing some logical premises, and probably not fit to be a husband.

All of this has given me a new respect for the creation as a separate work from its creator. Most of those Zen-isms (e.g., “to understand you must know nothing”) are merely forcing someone out of that childish dichotomy into a more sensible way of seeing things.

Why does this matter, you likely ask? Why do you keep going on so much, you speculate? What benefit does all of this lead to, you express vengefully?

The answer, my nonexistent audience, is that I have been turning my artistry into its own religion. It is nothing as grand as that. It is merely a creation, though I wouldn’t be the first or last person to worship a self-created thing!

I was trying to create a one-story story out of my site. It was supposed to encompass all things, supposed to be immaculate, supposed to be full of everything I ever wanted to create. In effect, I was trying to create perfection without a standard.

Here’s the bottom line. I’m creating, but you will see that my expressions and ideas are quite serialized. As much as I hated it, as long as I’m a changing human traveling in time I’m afraid I’ll never be free of the constraints of narrative and bias.

I will build the following:

  1. I intend to create a new fixed home for all my how-to guides. It’ll be a different site with no updates and I’ll link to it from here.
  2. I plan on turning that pile of jokes and miscellaneous fun things into its own site. Tentative plans at best.
  3. I’ve also got a few other odds and ends.
  4. This site will be the source for updates for absolutely everything. I once managed multiple blogs, but this is now “the one feed to guide them all”

So, without further adieuee, I’ll let you get back to whatever you were doing.