we are experiencing technical difficulties...

(10 comments)
January 28, 2007

As many of you have noticed, I've been having some technical difficulties with the site. (I knew I was taunting Murphy by entitling a recent entry "THE END. EVERYONE BOWS, ETC.", even if it was the close of that play.)

Yesterday the site was mysteriously down for most of the afternoon and evening. It was back last night, but apparently the fix involved some kind of change in the calculation of my disk usage quota... as in, suddenly it decided I was many megabytes over the limit. As I tried to diagnose the problem, the quota issue caused me to accidentally zero-out the script that glues together the front page. Oops!

There was a silver lining to it all... a guy (an Australian police officer, actually) wrote me wondering if my mortality guide had been relocated. Later he mentioned that he had been Googled on dealing with mortality and found the (then broken) link. That was heartening for two reasons... 1. that people will Google for those keywords, and 2. when they do, my page on it is the first match.

Video of the Moment

--An austic woman shares her "native language", and then offers a translation, or at least an explanation... for the first part it seems like an odd, almost shamanic performance piece, but then around 3:20 the explanation, typed by the artist and read by a computer voice, kicks in, and it's really something.
"My language is not about designing words or even visual symbols for people to interpret. It is about being in a constant conversation with every aspect of my environment, reacting physically to all parts of my surroundings."
The thing is, even that makes could read like the "author's note" on an art piece, but this woman has a much more serious agenda, the way our culture hands out the label of "non-person" (or at least less of a person) and in general is fairly restricted in its view of communication and thought.

I have to fight the urge to use my rationalistic brain to "argue" with some of her points, try and explain why the communication "NT"s (Neurological Typicals) employ is probably more useful, that there are reasons why we feel compelled to define personhood in terms of certain modes of thought etc... I think it's good exercise in being human for me to just listen, and accept, and also to appreciate how fluent and eloquent this woman is in a written language she doesn't consider her native tongue.

The Metafilter piece I got this from has some further thoughts, and her personal website is worth checking out as well.