Sometimes.

Sometimes I see what Meta does and think that I will never use one of its platforms again. Therefore I tell myself that I will never write this short again, or write any text at all where I try to (somewhat) control the form--the font, the space between the letters, the space between the lines.

Because there is no place to put such text, I tell myself, I think, I believe. Because where would I ever upload text-as-image type of writings ever again? Sure, I could put them in the Vault, but why would I. It's not like there's this great need to trap the words in a set form. Much of the power and beauty of words is that they don't need to be in any specific font or color. Words don't even have to be printed. They can be narrated.

Heck, isn't there some AI somewhere that converts music into paintings, or paintings into music, or something like that?

I feel like I read that somewhere. Could be me imagining stuff in my typical SF way, though.

At any rate, the point being:

Pretty soon, AIs could convert written words into not only audio through narrations, but also into paintings and music.

It would be like smelling sound and tasting touch.

So stuff is becoming more and more shapeless and formless anyway. Hence where would I put words trapped in specific looks? No, more importantly, wherefore?

It would be senseless, if not for the constraints of specific platforms that also serve as tools. (As much as Meta sucks, it does have a function as the town square.) If I create the constraints myself, then they aren't constraints. It's no fun.

Which was why I played in Meta's stadium for a while. I guess it was the storyteller equivalent of a person agreeing to play soccer...?

As in, what would be the fun of soccer if someone suddenly said "But we have hands. We should use hands!" and wrote their own rules? No fun, is the answer. If you want to use your hands you can go play basketball somewhere else, you can even make up a whole new sport with your own set of rules, and that would be fabulous in and of itself, but it wouldn't be soccer, would it be? More importantly, if you make all the rules, surprisingly, sometimes it's just no fun--especially if you know you can always return to the place where you can make your own rules.

So I played in Meta. For a while.

It was pretty fun, with "Oh gosh darn, I can only upload up to 10 pics in one post" and "Oh gosh darn, must cut this story" or "must make this two posts." Sometimes I returned to my old self and just uploaded text, as part of the caption, but even then there were constraints. (No links + character limits.)

The rules of this platform seemed random; it could have been 9 pics or 11 pics in one post, for example. And that was kinda the point of playing by these rules. I hadn't been the one who made up the rules.

If not making up your own rules defines your entire life, then that sucks. But remember, I had the Vault. I could do whatever I wanted there. I wanted a nerdy-writer-kind-of game where I could use the random rules to inspire me.

Yes, constraints can be inspiring. I told stories that I wouldn't have told just to make them fit in the random-seeming box that was given to me. I enjoyed it. So I kept playing the game...

...until Meta did the equivalent of the soccer league owners shitting all over the players, as if they were gods.

Is there such a thing as league ownership? Can people own something as large as an entire league for a whole sport? I have no idea. My soccer analogy ends here. But if people can do it, then that sounds dangerous.

Anyway. Meta seemed too pretend-god-ish, so I left.

Didn't think I would write shorter stuff again. Focused on what I usually do: write long. Definitely longer than this. And I knew I could choose the font on my Vault theme, so I didn't change it from the default. I didn't change anything much except when I thought it was necessary for functional purposes. Meaning: it wasn't a game, it was for practical reasons. Not for fun. Not not-fun, but not fun either.

But then this. I made a Pixelfed account months ago, but wasn't using it. Tonight I come here, and it's changed so much, and it's pretty, and it's simple, and...

...it's a similar game!

It's a similar fucking game!

Now my brain is storming again, considering all the short stuff I might write, and will probably split into two parts. I will probably share snippets from the longer stuff in the Vault, but most definitely, write new stuff just because now I have this game where I can follow the platform's rules.

Only, this time, there's no way the platform can ever act like some fake-gods. So my game is likely safe.

I will still upload all this to the Vault, because... well, because the Vault is my internet home. But unlike other stuff in the Vault, this stuff will be the result of playing by rules that I didn't set myself. Therefore the results will be even more random than usual, and I LOVE THAT.

Okay, that's it. Just wanted to share this writerly excitement. Bye.

-Ithaka-


© 2022 Ithaka O. All rights reserved.
This was originally published on my Pixelfed account. It's likely that I won't have that account anymore in the future.