Don’t Reject rejectomorph

31 05 2007

(First published Aug 21, ’05)
rejectomorph is the baby of one ‘flying_blind’ (otherwise known as ‘Joe’). A personal journal-type blog, rejectomorph is all but free of posts about politics or world events or sports, but it also doesn’t descend to the all-too-common depths of ‘I got up this morning and had eggs for breakfast’ personal blogging that clogs a reader’s arteries as surely as the writer is clogging his/her own. When he wants to, Joe has a wicked sense of humor expressed in a laid-back, ‘I’m having fun with this and I don’t care who knows it’ way that can be absolutely charming. Witness his info page, wherein he explains what his journal is about and why the identity of the person who used to have it (Joe’s alter-ego, ‘Sluggo’) is still active.

Bio: Well look at this. I’ve had the new computer for several months, and I still haven’t gotten around to getting rid of Sluggo’s message here. Now that it comes down to it, I’m reluctant to make it go away. Sluggo himself hasn’t gone away, either. He’s still over there in his corner. I fire him up once in a while, when it’s cold enough. True, he may be the most evil of computers, but I still have hope for his redemption. If I replace his overheating AMD CPU, he might still be a serviceable backup machine. Besides, if I have him destroyed, his ghost might return from the digital beyond and haunt me. I think I’ll let both Sluggo and his rude words stay for a while:

Hello. I’m Sluggo “Crasher” Frankenclone, the computer assigned to destroy the bio-unit known variously as “flying_blind,” “rejectomorph,” or “Joe.” (Hah! Like that last one is a real name!) So far, I’d say I’m doing a pretty good job. I have increased his blood pressure at least 30%, caused him to lose a great deal of sleep, which makes his judgement even poorer that it was before I arrived, and I’m pretty sure he is developing ulcers.

If all goes well (and how could it not, given my natural superiority,) he will soon be losing his hair (disgusting stuff,) developing carpel tunnel syndrome from his vain attempts to control me through my keyboard, suffer diminished eyesight from staring at my screen, and endure frequent hallucinations which, eventually, will drive him to indulge in self-destructive behavior. Yes, all is going according to the great plan.

Hail Gates!

-Sluggo.

My reply:

Slug! Why don’t you just get your own damned journal?

Sorry. I’ve tried and tried, but I simply can’t control this infernal machine. But my name is indeed Joe, Sluggo’s skepticism notwithstanding. Most of this journal is public, since I have no shame nothing to hide, other than the occasional rant to myself. (You aren’t missing anything, I can assure you.) There is a whole bunch of weather in my posts, mainly because weather is almost the only thing interesting that ever happens where I live. If you like reading about weather, feel free to add me to your friends list. But keep in mind that, if you do so, not only will I then be able to read your friends-only posts, but so will Sluggo! I strongly suspect that he is capable of almost anything, and, though I have no conclusive proof, I also suspect that he is an agent of Bill Gates an evil alien life form which shall remain nameless, but which wishes to take over our world. I, of course, will always be the soul of discretion. But don’t blame me if Sluggo rats you out to Microsoft the brain-eating zombies!

Not bad for off-the-cuff.

In a recent post, he put a bunch of academic links together simply because they amused him.

Links for leisurely Saturday morning web surfing

Link the first: CSCS

“The Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS) is a broadly interdisciplinary program at the University of Michigan designed to encourage and facilitate research and education in the general area of nonlinear, dynamical and adaptive systems.”

Say what? Well, if you’ve just never gotten enough of that sort of complex academic language, here’s the place to attempt satiation. I couldn’t understand much of it, but there must be something to be said for a site that hosts a web log called “Three-Toed Sloth.”

Link the second: Three-Toed Sloth

“Cosma Shalizi
Postdoc, CSCS
Research interests: statistical inference for nonlinear dynamical systems, including spatial systems; quantitative measures of self-organization and complexity; synchrony and distributed information in biological computation; unsupervised learning and non-Bayesian statistical inference; learning theory for models of statistical causation; “social organization” in machine learning, especially the implications of agent diversity; cellular automaton models of pattern formation; collective cognition and cultural evolution.”

Postdoc (as I like to say) Shalizi subtitles this weblog “Slow Takes from the Canopy of the Reality-Based Community (and occasional stochastic filtering)” I include this information here because I suspect that this is very funny to people who know what the hell it means. Though I am not among that number, I enjoy the inkling that I’m missing out on some great joke, and I’m not one of the sort who would deny a chuckle (or even a guffaw) to those whose arcane discussions are beyond my poor powers of understanding. Good for the brilliant, I say! Enjoy!

But there is another side to Joe, a poetic side. He wasn’t kidding about his preoccupation with the weather but it may not be exactly what you expected.

The moonlight has a curious blue cast to it tonight. It must be a result of the thin haze hanging in the air. The moon itself shows its usual pale face. It’s going to be bright out there again. It would be a good night for spotting nocturnal beasts, but they’ve been scarce recently. The deer have already stripped most of the local rose bushes of their flowers, and nobody planted any pansies for them to munch this year, so I guess they have crossed this block off their list of places to browse. I don’t expect the deer to visit too often anyway, but the absence of raccoons is puzzling. In summer they are usually abundant, but this year I’ve seen very few of them. I’ve smelled skunks nearby a few times, but I’ve only spotted one. Maybe the animals know something I don’t.

Maybe, but I doubt it.

You have the feeling that there’s a real poet inside Joe struggling to get out but that he doesn’t quite know how to get it loose. Reading rejectomorph is like peeking over his shoulder while he’s trying to figure it out.

For a while, small clouds joined the moon and softened its light, silvering the dark sky and bringing stately motion to the stillness of night. Then the clouds scattered northward, and the moon was alone again. The south wind remained at altitude, while a northern breeze began stirring the pines and sent a few early-dried leaves along the pavement, bringing a premonitory autumnal sound. Though summer persists, I am swept by the mood that sound suggests. Elegy days draw closer, when the early sinking fire of the sun will have less power to warm and the tattering trees will shed color to brocade the gray streets. Nostalgia will appear, like an old dog emerging from a thicket with some piece of long dead prey in its jaws. I’ll sigh in resignation and welcome its return.

The ‘old dog’ metaphor is a beaut; the sentence before that isn’t exactly clumsy but it doesn’t exactly flow, either. And there you have Joe in a nutshell. When he tries too hard, he doesn’t fall flat but neither does he fly; when he lets go, he has a unique voice and a talent for expressing a whole world in a single sentence that comes within a hair of soaring.

I like watching a good writer grow into a better one and Joe has everything he needs to be a great one. What he has to do now is stop pushing and trust his instincts more. He’s better than what he’s reaching for. Let’s face it: if you can write ‘the early sinking fire of the sun will have less power to warm and the tattering trees will shed color to brocade the gray streets’ and not only get away with it but almost pull it off, you’re potentially a force to be reckoned with.

This is a blog to track. It will only improve.

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2 responses

10 06 2007
Catching Up 2 - The Journals « LitBlogs

[…] in the first category Joe’s rejectomorph (original review here), which is still at LiveJournal, though he’s threatening to move it. Joe hasn’t come […]

26 07 2007
Writer, Rejected

Ahh…trusting the old instincts. A hard one. Nice to think that people read blogs and think of the potential growth of the blogger. It’s redeeming in a way publishing ceases to be.

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