Category Archives: Communication

History of My Blog (formerly named Mados)

Mados is a species of fish, a virtual name inherited from when I created the blog years ago planning to use it to share underwater photos from snorkelling. I still love water, but my blog is not at all about fish*.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mados/2224567228/in/set-72157600576497278/player/
The stripey fellas are mados, stalking Bluey (the blue groper) around like a sticky underwater cloud

 
 
After its failed underwater photography mission, my blog went through different phases: workplace sociology, virtual freelance work skills development, entrepreneurship. Most were brief fads because I wasn’t genuinely interested in them, but invented them as utility justifications for writing a blog, when I really felt I ought to adult up and spend my time more usefully, like: find a job or freelance work.

More than anything, I’ve tried to use it as a tool to obtain skills or knowledge which I could be useful to try to solve my chronic employment/income problems. For a long time its purpose was to motivate myself to learn and practice skills that would empower me to work freelance online, such as:

 

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I display it as an image to avoid attracting crawlers to the S-words.

 
(I’ve long ago deleted the few posts I managed to write about the above shown types of topics, because I felt they sounded stilted and fake. Same with some of my early general business posts)

It was not a bad strategy. I did learn things about freelance work, improved my English writing skills (I think) and cured myself of Telephobia, but didn’t manage to build the fundament for succeeding as self-employed: motivation for writing product marketing content, superficial bulk articles, and other sellable freelancer services. Utility just isn’t a powerful enough engine for me.

Initially when I wrote about self-employment, I carefully filtered out my mental challenges. I either didn’t write anything personal at all, or I kept it superficial, jovial, mentioning only aspects that I thought were “business relevant”. My mental situation peaked out indirectly through my general employment situation and the challenges I was trying to work on (the reason I needed the utility focus), but otherwise my mental reality was largely muted in my writing; too weird to name, to nameless to describe.
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What’s in a Name: History of Bad Parties

movin-out

 
First: welcome to my new blog domain! This is essentially the blog “Mados” in a new neighbourhood.

I’m have moved from WordPress.com to this my own domain because:

  • I wanted freer hands to play with the layout and features
  • and get rid of the annoying ads
  • be allowed to use cool plug-ins that are disallowed on WordPress.com
  • be more in control of traffic from search engines, selectively blocking search engines from some posts but not others

It also runs much smoother and faster now, at least for me, but I didn’t know it would…

Those were the rational reasons. The heavier weighing reasons are emotional and harder to explain, but they work. I wanted to feel that my blog is my place, my own estate on the Internet.

Most importantly, I wanted a name that means something: which conveys the essence of what my blog is about.

 
What’s in a name: History of bad Parties

I have renamed my blog after the post History of Bad Parties, because I feel that post is a bit like an intersection that touches some of the core aspects of my life and the blog, such as:

There is more to this blog of course, but if there is a core essence inside it, then that is it.

I also like the name because I find it slightly comical (it is almost taboo for a human to have a history of failing at parties, so it sounds like a joke).

I like the word “History”: it sounds stable, relatable and familiar. It reminds of “story”, which is one of my favourite words – the way it sounds, its meaning (related to both history and imagination), and my personal memories with it.

I also like the name’s negative tone: it sounds honest and unpretentious.
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Vectors of Autism – Laura Nagel

This is a quick recommendation of the documentary “Vectors of Autism” about 57-year old Laura Nagel and her life as an undiagnosed autistic adult, now self-diagnosed aspie. Here is the trailer:

 

 
The whole movie can currently be watched for free! on Culture Unplugged: Vectors of Autism.

The film is directed by John Schaffer, produced by Susan Marks and co-produced by Leah Kelley. Cinematographer Matt Nelson.

I saw it not long ago, and really like it. I’m not sure if I can explain what I like about it, but it is an honest, balanced and entertaining portrait of what it means for one individual to live with autism.

The beginning paragraph of the book Songs of the Gorilla Nation comes to mind, where the author states that “This is a book about autism. Specifically, it is about my autism, which is both like and unlike other peoples’ autism”.

Same with Laura’s autism… she is unique, yet characteristic of Asperger’s. The movie conveys that point beautifully through its alternation between Laura’s subjective perspective, her surroundings (places) and life circumstances, and the surrounding people/community’s view on Laura (I got the impression she is well accepted in her local community), and through a balanced focus on her strengths and difficulties.

Additional things I like about the movie: its pleasant creative & musical side and smooth transitions between perspectives with Laura’s own artwork (specifically: drawings of buildings et.c.), which is both relevant, good looking and visually entertaining.

I also like that the film doesn’t try to tell the viewer what to think; there is a lot of talk since most of the film consist of interviews, but a lot of the story takes place outside the words – in the way Laura walks and moves, the way she laughs, the way she thinks, the way she lives, her opportunities and limitations, and so on. While people if they wanted to could describe her as more or less normal based on some quantitative criteria – she wouldn’t fool anyone for long in regard to these soft, subtle social aspects: people may not be able to pigeon hole her as autistic if they are not familiar with Asperger’s Syndrome, but they would definitely be able to single her out as “different”, “one of a kind”, and “odd-ball”, or something similar.

Read more: there has been some live tweeting of the movie going on today here (perhaps still is). I’m also under the impression that Sam of Postcards from the edge of the Spectrum is going to put a review up here: Vectors of Autism later, and he has already put up a brief description and links to related websites, so that is probably a good place to go for more information.

 
 

drawing of head-machine combi, "selfportrait" by laura nagel

Illustration from cultureunplugged.com