supernaut updates supernaut

Last night I noticed the dilapidated state of my sidebar links. “Who uses them anyway?”, I thought, before answering myself with, “Me!”

In order of finding new blogs, the first and most common is from someone I already read who mentions another writer who may take my attention long enough to click through to their site. Getting from there to the ‘New Additions” folder in my RSS Reader (now using the quite beautiful yet assuredly beta Reeder), is a rarity, and from there to my sidebar is … well there’s scant connection really, it’s a rare thing when I go through all the links and add/subtract, and even then, with 300 or so in my news feed, my sidebar is only a few I like a lot.

So I added and subtracted. As usual, some blogs I loved very much have withered and passed the deadline of no longer updated (around 3 months before promotion to my ‘Dinasaurs’ folder), others have moved. Many new ones have arrived.

Excitement! I’ll not list all the new ones here, but there are a few, notably in ‘Art and Theatre Blogs’, as well as in ‘Asia and Central Asia Blogs’ and in the sciences categories. As for the ones that vanished …

I removed two sections. One for design as this stuff has moved mostly to my other blog (thingswithbits.info) and I don’t really get so enthusiastic about design as I do about, say, Central Asia or Kepler objects. The other to go, which is little more difficult to explain is the category for Trans* Queer Feminism stuff.

Without going into too much detail, there are still blogs I read in this field, but I find what turns up on these blogs is either irrelevant to me (e.g. cat blogging), the quality of writing does not have a level of rigorousness I find in other blogs I admire, or too often they are simply too American-centric. I’m also not so interested in spending a day in the echo-chamber finding the rare blog I would read.

So, for those who suffer distress when I blog infrequently, the sidebar should now assist you in feeling as I do most mornings: inspired by brilliant and passionate writers.

blog stuff

I shouldn’t be on my laptop today; I am bad. Working around 12 and sometimes up to 16 hours a day since the start of February without a day off is stupid. It’s a habit of mine and ends with me burning out and getting sick. Which I did a little over a week ago, and struggled through work last week by coming home and going to bed around 9pm. And there is always as much work as hours I will give.

So I said no computer work this weekend, and spent a beautiful, warm and sunny day in Kreuzberg yesterday cycling about, lying am Engelbecken after ballet with D (who is not Daniel, but I am always uncertain when or if to introduce someone new on my blog…), and home later at dusk, my windows open full all day and some cheese and bread and a rather irresistible Ayurvedic tea that reminds me I like mountains and cold places… sleep…

Instead, I decided over breakfast to redo my blogroll. As usual since last time some have come, some have gone, some I’ve lost interest in… Some new categories, as always imprecise needed to be made, splitting Science & Humanities into Anthropology, Astronomy, Language as well, somehow reflecting more closely my news feeds (which you can download here).

New arrivals, many I’ve been reading for some time whom I am rather fond of (and whom are being added as I write because I keep remembering, ‘oh, I forgot blah!’)… enjoy the reading.

FLESH WORLD read while listening to sunn 0))).
guerilla semiotics, who used to be someone else and is still one of the most interesting theatre culture writers around.
My Big Backyard queer farm life in the sub-sub-tropics.
Buck Angel”s Blog! possible one of my favourites right now, for his Porno for Pyros video if nothing else.
Sugarbutch Chronicles butch trans* dyke porn-lit.
Let them eat pro-sm feminist safe spaces BDSM critical theory (for wont of a better description).
Shenzhen Noted who used to be Shenzhen Fieldnotes.
tang dynasty times, one of my utter all-round favourite blogs these days.
an imperfect pen, more China/Asia anthropology.
Paper Republic contemporary Chinese literature and translation.
Shanghai Scrap fascinating for me documenting of China’s scrap industry.
earlyTibet, almost a pair with tang dynasty times.
Hazaristan Times, one of the few Afghanistan blogs not COIN.
Cabinet of Wonders mmm blogging on the Age of Enlightenment.
Material World visual culture anthropology.
Neuroanthropology a field I seem to be reading a lot in during the last year.
HiBlog: HiRISE Team Blog from the satellite mission, beautiful.
Mars and Me a daily blog of one of the Mars rover drivers from the mission start five years ago.
Philosophy’s Other current philosophy stuff.
Feminist Philosophers a philosophy blog I’m fond of.
The Oyster’s Garter Oceanography, my new fascintation (along with volcanoes again, but have yet to find many blogs on that.)

[edit…]

Oh, and one more in a category I read a lot but never seem to mention much:

i love typography mmm… fonts and design…

blog…

A notably slow Sunday, cleaning, washing dishes, reading The Subject of Gender that I am already certain will be on my list of best books of 2008 – she quotes Judith Butler in the context of mother-daughter gender relations in urban China… mmm makes me want to be an anthropologist. And so I decided to do some recoding of my blog.

Notice the bit to the right that used to list some blog awards I’d won or been nominated for has gone, replaced by the abstract concept of future but currently deferred gratification. Which is to say, the way to make me happy, hold vast influence and sway over me, ensure – if not lifelong, then a sustained sense of love and adoration from me of you, is to furnish me with the pummeled and thrashed corpses of trees laced with ink. Books. mmm…

I have a pile I seek to covet that would see me not leave the comfort of my bed for many weeks were all to arrive at once, and despite having just returned to university to do a degree in Asian Studies and International Politics, my interests lately seem to have returned firmly to Central Asia, the ~stans, Iran also, and bits of western China that make more sense to be considered in this geographic and conceptual region.

So I updated again my blog roll.

In keeping with the Central Asia thing, I’ve added several blogs I read from there I’m currently quite enjoying. Also as usual, many blogs have dwindled or I’ve lost interest or other things, so have vanished from both my daily feeds and of course from here.

But. Some new blogs in all the categories, some categories – Politics – gone, merged into others, and… I realised the difficulty when reading some of the intelligent, lucid, eloquent, passionate blogs from Central Asia or in Science the difficulty in finding really good blogs in certain areas, notably art and transgender.

Which isn’t to say they aren’t there, rather my normal method of discovering new blogs, following links in posts, or on occasion when bored trawling blogrolls works better for certain fields. Art and performance tends to come predominantly from reviewers rather than artists, or tends to focus on a very narrow spread, either geographically or by art form.

Trans blogs tend to fulfill multiple categories of partiality, except for in rare instances being highly single issue, bound by both language and culture to the noise swamping the blogosphere from the United States, often largely self-indulgent in that they are personal transition diaries, and if none of this then rarely having a grasp of feminism. Also the lack of crossover between trans women and trans men blogs is quite apparent. My favourite two tranny blogs stopped posting a while ago and it’s been difficult to find intelligent and funny replacements.

Collectively amidst all the blogs I read, I’ve noticed a need to make a conscious effort to find blogs that are written by women, especially in some spheres such as China and Central Asia. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to suppose that 2/3rds or more of the blogs I read are written by males, and I do notice the blogs written by women have a markedly different emphasis. Also to find blogs that do not emanate from United States, and consequently do not suffer from the universalising tendencies of bloggers from there, most noticably in transgender and feminist blogs, though also in other categories, especially China and Central Asia. To find blogs that speak more than one language, and so act as a conduit to blogs, ideas, cultures, experiences, people that otherwise go unheard.

In realising the influence blogs have on me in terms of my education and understanding, the degree they contribute to my intellectual loves, I think I need to be a lot more considered in the blogs I’m reading and spend some time finding blogs or other news sources that contribute to a little more diversity than I currently have. But oh blogs are good, no? Thank you everyone who blogs for entertaining me, provoking me, making me think.

more feeds and things … and blogrolls

A little bit preoccupied today and doing busywork (yes, is a word), and somehow stumbled upon several rather cool blogs on geology, palaeontology, and archaeology and so did a bit of re-ordering of my NetNewsWire feeds and some shuffling of groups and things, adding, subtracting, sorting, the usual obsessive-compulsive behaviour that leads to nightmare kitchen cleaning bouts …

So…

I’ve updated my blogroll a bit. Mostly just stripping out the old blogs that are no longer posting, some I don’t really read so much as I used to, some I have removed from my feeds altogether (it’s a disconcerting thing when a blog I kinda liked turned out to be quite rabidly pro-life, that is to say in non-Orwell-speak, anti-abortion no matter what suffering is incurred … made me feel a tiny bit ill)… ummm…

(A surprising number of China and Asia blogs have either died or are slumbering, but in their place, some quite nice new ones, and the specialisation over the last couple of years is really noticeable, not so much all generic China anymore, plenty of geographically distinct and special issue ones too.)

Adding new ones!!!

So many new, amazingly well-written blogs on everything I can ever think of, and the cool thing is so many of them written by intelligent, articulate, educated and forthright women.

I’ve tried to keep the list not so overwhelming. I tend to find new blogs from other blogs and a long and unsorted blogroll just causes instant eye-glaze. Also I tend to find new blogs from links in posts more often anyway, so the list here is mostly blogs I really enjoy reading as often as they post.

And … a newly updated RSS subscription list for all of you who went and got your free NetNewsWire reader in the last couple of weeks.

feeds and things …

Every so often someone asks, “How do you read so much stuff every day?” and rather than shatter their illusions of me with the truth that I am an artful manipulator and far too lazy to read when I could be a) sleeping or b) eating, I tell them, “Oh, I just have a news reader with all of the RSS feeds of the 200 or so blogs I read, I just refresh it every so often it updates automatically all the new posts”, and like with astrophysics, people hear, “bluurrbluurrbluurr”, and I think, “Waah! I really wish I could explain things so people would go, ‘Totally bodacious, dude!!!’, how good would that be?”.

So…

Instead of opening all those blogs in separate windows in Safari and seeing if there’s anything new and experiencing disappointment, I started using NetNewsWire, quite a while ago, even deciding to pay for it (no!!! really??!?!), and have all my feeds from my favourite blogs, yes even yours, arranged into groups (I am, as you know prone to compulsive orderliness). I’ve also had my entire NetNewsWire subsciptions available for download from the bottom of my blogroll, so you can just download it from that link I conveniently provided, and import it into your favourite news reader, and enjoy my reading habits, including porn, and so spawn your own collection of blogs.

I never seemed to entice people into the seductive world of blog feeds, but ever since my recent success in getting a large number of friends completely addicted to and utterly in the thrall of Skype, and since the makers of NetNewsWire have just decided to offer that and the rest of their software for free, I thought the time is ripe.

Download NetNewsWire install it on your lovely Mac (delete all the unnecessary feeds that come as default, they’re kinda like the default bookmarks in Safari no one uses), download my rss feeds, import them into NetNewsWire (in the File menu), hit refresh (apple-shift-r), (be horrified at what smut appears and vow never to speak to me again)…

Fall in love with the joy of reading all over again.

link whoring

There isn’t an even semi-adequate system for sorting all my links to other blogs, and on top of that failure, I haven’t updated the list for months despite a great wash of new blogs who are adding to my inability to find a lucrative job. So, I’ve just spent a couple of hours going through my NetNewsWire feeds, stripping out blogs that no longer exist, haven’t updated in the last month, or just don’t hold my interest, and then slipping my favourites onto something that approximates my daily blog reading.

To varying degrees, all of these highly opinionated blogs entertain, inspire, educate, annoy me and frequently are transcendentally beautiful to read.

The new blog list, meaninglessly divided and bludgeoned for your satisfaction into a bunch of approximate and disingenuous groups exist there at all because of one salient attribute: they all have an rss feed (well, one doesn’t but meh, wtf…), and getting really basic about the whole expecting me to read a blog thing, if you don’t have a feed I’m not going to read or link to you.

And yeah, I’ve probably forgotten several blogs that should be here, so email me if you feel slighted. And yeah also there’s the whole tranny sub-category I am remiss in not including, blame it on internalised self-loathing or something, I’ll get around to that one when I actually work out what tranny blogs I actually like (besides Miss K who somehow has scored big time and is top of the whole blog roll, fuckin’ a, like).

And if you really, really want to know what I read each and every day you can download my NetNewsWire feeds, which are in the generic opml (that’s outline processor markup language to you) format and import them into whatever aggregator you like (geek note: NetNewsWire doesn’t export opml in UTF-8 though, which means any non-standard characters, like blogs that have names with Chinese characters come up as ????? yeah, I thought it was dumb too).