rashbre central: Our Tragic Universe

Sunday 27 November 2022

Our Tragic Universe

I originally trialled mastodon back in 2018. It was much more of a DIY project back in those days and I even tried setting up a home made decentralised server. I did my usual thing of setting up a test userid, but now I can't find it. Like those bitcoins I left on a server that I eventually scrapped. 

C'est la vie. 

This time I followed a message from Scarlett Thomas, which took me into the world of Mastodon. Thomas has been a positive influence on my attempts at novel writing and also the appreciation of the artifact of a book. A couple of her marvellous black-edged paper novels continue to inspire - The End of Mr Y and Our Tragic Universe. 

Mr Y freaked me out with ideas of homeopathy in a parallel univese and Tragic Universe plays big with these ideas, blending cosmology, physics, tarot and foxy narrative theory, Our heroine(s) in both books wend their way through asking many questions including whether they are a superbeing. I realise that my own novel The Watcher must have been subconsciously influenced by these ideas. 

And at the prosaic end of fun, Tragic Universe also - even after ten years -  has a particular new-book inky-aroma from the pages, which works well if you open it slightly and dive in nose first. 

Penhaligons, take note:  'He's got his nose in a good book' etc. 

And back to Mastodon, and its 7 million subscribers. A subtlety is its distributed nature. Instead of big central servers, the architecture of Mastoden requires the servers to be spread around. Add to that the inconsistencies of the User Experience, different on a web browser from within a smartphone App. 

I can't help think there will be a tipping point when the Signal to Noise tragically increases to the level of other well-known social platforms. I'm following an experimentally curated set of users to see the way that things change. 

Or not.

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