I bow to no one as they used to say when it comes to tekkie progress. I had my home made web site up and running in 1990 something. But when Facebook asked me the name of my fiancée the quaintness of the term fiancée hinted at the FB world-view and got me off that dodgy nag in twenty four hours.
Now it is more complicated. I have to recognise the force however ugly of the gilet jaune mobilisation in France and acknowledge it came about thru a fusion of French sociability and the herding algorithms designed to make life simple for merchants.
French sociability? Yes I’d sooner égalité liberté frivol… er, fraternité than Dieu et mon droit .And thirty years after that first apwb web site but still smartphoneless I am edging into religious sect territory as I don’t twit chat link or fub. People give me the same look I give a Muslim when I say I can respect them as a person but not their beliefs. Like the Quakers of old was it ? who never doffed their hats I stick out sat on a train with my eyes open but not looking at a screen, like an animal it must seem waiting to be fed.
On France Culture this morning they were talking about AI written books fed by the data profile of the consumer so that you could have an infinite variations of plot and characterisation all within the same thematic basket. But, listen up, the whole function of the creative thing in humans is to bring in the outrageous, the outside the ball park ideas the stuff that can’t be inferred from an existing data set. And not just machine dada either. Otherwise why bother? Every individual life is a tiny search bot with inscrutable criteria. I write partly to surprise myself by what I discover, when I finish the text to my standard I remember I’m meant to be fucking so I have to go find a reader. I don’t bust out into the traffic like the guy who offers to wipe your screen at the lights. I stand somewhere the view is good and stick a thumb out just in case someone comes by. I don’t mind the wait, I’m not going anywhere.
Wanting to be poet Philip Larkin’s shit in the shuttered chateau I have become the twat on the terrace a tippling but still most days words come. About which Manchester born writer Glyn Hughes gave me a good crit bursts of vivid static images, no narrative. One can tell you’re a visual artist…
I suppose that is what makes me comfortable about publishing ebooks thru Smashwords. Visual artist you do the thing and it’s there for people to see, they buy or they don’t. They bought quite a bit off me. Of course writing you have to jack your inner edit up way high – it ain’t so natural a part of the process as sloshing paint the right way on. Being a less rattle more troughs man I’ve always felt greasy about marketing but since my rather precious hi-brow texts are unlikely to get a straight deal I have to look at it. Mark Coker the visionary behind Smashwords gives us his tips. I know, since I don’t use social aka herding media that it won’t get me far but I dug something in the Comments. Look at this for a puzzle,
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When I tracked that down I got to this. And no, I’m not sneering, I love broken language – you should hear my French. Even after fifteen years I only speak badly translated English. I fight a single handed battle against gendered nouns and all their grammatical cousins and my tenses are a whirlwind of space/time co-ordinates. I shall have to clean it up if I ever need to take the citizenship test for the Brexit pincers bite tighter – emigré expat exile, who knows what tomorrow.