Archive for the 'About This Blog' Category

Deprecated

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

For a while, Budaeli was actively updated. It became the place for my most polished thoughts.

Then I started to lose interest, and slowly let my writing skills atrophy.

To ad insult to injury, Budaeli was hacked from someone in Russia to show porn ads. So I took it offline. And then kept putting off fixing the code so you weren’t bombarded with solicitations for hot teen ass.

But I’ve begun writing again, and have a renewed interest in sharing my thoughts. But Budaeli is no longer the place to post them.  If you enjoyed my writing, thank you, and I hope you still want to read what I have to say. But new ideas won’t be presented here anymore.

Consider Budaeli deprecated as of right now.

So long and thanks for all the bits.

This post has been done before

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
- Ecclesiastes 1:9

There’s a vague point when a human has learned enough about the world that they often begin to despair. We are a species capable of horrific acts, nothing we make will last forever, that even beyond the inevitability of death we all live on a tiny rock in an uncaring universe capable of destroying everything we know.

But there’s the solace of creating something new and brightening the lives of others, right? Yet one of the biggest motivators for creativity is the hope of making something new is negated by all the other inventions, works of art, buildings, and discoveries made by those before us. Not only has that great idea that came to you this morning been thought by someone else, but there’s a 95%* chance it’s already been tried. And if it’s an actionable idea, it’s probably been done better already. Want to tell a story explaining a universal truth of the human existence? Shakespeare’s already covered it and with more style and tact than you could muster. Okay, that’s not exactly a reasonable statement because you’re hampered by the existence of Shakespeare’s work, whereas he didn’t have anyone (in english) to have already covered his ground, even if he stole his plots from other writers.

Even worse, all the ideas with low barriers to success have been plucked. You don’t have to be a technology expert to see that it’s an almost insurmountable task to design and sell a tablet computer now that Apple’s iPad has been out for a year, has tremendous momentum, and has been done with a high degree of style and engineering.

Even the phrase, “Nothing is new under the sun.” has been done multiple times and with eloquent style.  The phrase in English comes from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, which was written about 2,300 years ago and was already an old expression. I’m not even going to try to compose something better. The concept works on several levels: whatever thoughts you’re having aren’t original, whatever you made has probably been done, people act the same way they have for thousands and thousands of years, and make the same mistakes.

The one way that’s historically helped those wishing to make something new: forgetting the past. Take the curse of trying to create literature to express the human condition when we’ve already got Shakespeare. He wasn’t the first person to write about teenage love or insanity or murder or thinking too much – but he was the first one to write in English and get wide exposure. It’s important to remember that he took most of his stories from lessor works before him. His gift was to take those nuggets and polish them until they shone with brilliant language.

Sure, this advice only really works for art. You’d be dumb to forget what we already know about scientific principles, math concepts, and productive technology. But maybe it takes accidental ignorance to make a leap – perhaps forgetting that the iPad is so great so that instead of trying to catch up you make a different device that’s equal or greater in quality is all that’s needed.

It shouldn’t be too hard to see that this post is really about writer’s block. I’ve been trying to get back to writing regularly for Budaeli, and I’ve been struggling to come up with something compelling to discuss. Topics I usually enjoy talking about have already been done, and what ideas I’ve had for new posts don’t fit the style I’ve developed. There are a few essays I’m working out but otherwise I’ve been stuck.

So I’m inventing a new rule: everyone is allowed to publicly publish one writer’s/painter’s/sculptor’s/designer’s block work. And I’m using mine up now.

Yeah, yeah, it’s not a new rule. But I did a quick Google search and didn’t find any mention of a writer’s block rule, so I’m claiming it as my own.


* I totally made up that statistic.

Actions > Description

Monday, June 7th, 2010

I’m aware of the low value of  discussing things which could or should be done. Shutting up and doing what you’ve been thinking about doing is far better than merely talking about it. You may have come up with the greatest sci-fi story of all time, but if you never write it down and share it with another human, that story is worth nothing.

But I’m going to do it anyway.

Over the next several days I’ll be posting a series of articles on ideas I’ve been having about what we all should be doing right now. What kinds of ideas? Well there’s some economics, some art and culture, maybe more (though that’s almost the extent of what I can competently talk about). They may be wrong at times and it may turn out I’ve had my head up my ass the whole time. But if they spur someone, anyone into action, it’ll be worth it. That action could even be a troll-worthy, point-by-point dissection of why I’m full of shit.

More importantly, I’m also writing these for myself. By sharing these ideas with others, they become more real.

In fact, the point of this post is to make it harder for me to renege on the writing.

The price of my content

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Budaeli used to have ads. There was a Google Adwords strip and a selection of products from Amazon.com along the side of every page. Then I read a rant by someone (who I doubt even knows I exist, let along been to this site) about personal blogs having ads. His argument was along the lines of “if you’re maintaining the site for your own enjoyment, and not for some business, don’t insult your visitors by showing them ads.” I don’t agree with the argument entirely: sometimes you need ads to help pay for maintaining the site (never mind that there are plenty of free hosting services available now that offer advanced features). But that was when I decided to pull ads off my site, without thinking about it much. I wasn’t making anywhere near enough from the ads to even warrant a payment from either Google or Amazon.com, so the loss in revenue wasn’t equal to the increase in aesthetics gained by their absence.

This means I’m giving away my content. For free. On top of that, I’m not too concerned about being compensated for what I’ve published. The copyright to my words is still mine, but I won’t be too alarmed if someone copies my work (with attribution, of course) or creates any derivative works (say they take my Culture Engines idea and make it into something else). Part of it is because I don’t want to spend the time enforcing a restrictive copyright, and part of it is because my thoughts are mostly derivative.

The reason I’m publishing my work online for free is because it would cost me too much to make readers pay.

What I mean by that is my audience would shrink to a statistical zero if I made people pay to read this site. Unless I reblog the content elsewhere, the cost to read is only visiting this site or reading the RSS feed.

I would love to be able to charge more for my content, because it would give me a greater incentive to write. As it stands now, I only write when I feel like it, and just accept that the value of my work is nothing more than the pieces of my thoughts that end up stuck in my reader’s thoughts. It’s an inefficiency that I hope someone solves soon. The current methods of incentives for writers have been made outdated by the web’s method of publishing, and there’s no guarantee that they will survive long enough for a replacement.

So, thanks for reading, whoever you may be.

(Inspired by “Please Excuse Our Inefficiently High-Quality Blogging”)

Housecleaning Note: Short Stories and Budaeli Fiction

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I’ve decided to shut down Budaeli Fiction as a separate site and publish all my short stories on this blog. There is no reason to maintain two sites when most people only stumble upon this one.

If you’re affected by this change, that must mean you’ve read my short stories, therefore you rock! Also, comments, all one of them, have been moved too.

Here are the new links to the three published short stories:

As the number of stories increases I’ll create a separate archives page to separate the stories by genre and subject matter.

About The Title

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The few (by few, meaning less than five) people I’ve mentioned this site to have all had trouble with the title, Budaeli; in the sense of pronouncing the word and why in the hell would someone pick a title as obtuse as that.

…Explaining how to pronounce the title will be a little easier than answering the latter question.

Budaeli is pronounced “boo-DAH-LEE” with emphasis on the last two syllables. It’s a blend of the words Buddha, Daedalus, and literature. It was the best I could do at the time and now I like the result, so it stays. Besides I like the way those three words sound, so why not mash them all together? Creating the word made the process of registering a domain name much easier (of course, I own my own namesake domain, which redirects to Budaeli, but that’s more than a little boring for a domain name).

For those of you who wouldn’t accept that I came up with the name one cold day in December when playing with words: here’s why those specific three words are blended together.

Buddha is a word that represents my belief in mindfulness, living in the moment, and clarity of life. I don’t claim for a moment that I embody these ideas in my own life; only that they are a noble attainment.

Daedalus is not referring to the father of Icarus but rather the dedicated creator of the labyrinth and inventor of images. And an artist intensely jealous of rivals.

Literature – the simple addition to Budaeli. It refers to one of my two most deeply ingrained interests*. It’s part in the name of this blog will be more apt in a few days.

Please refer to this post when confused about the name and all that embodies. “kthx.”

*my other deeply ingrained interest is music.

Renaissance

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Budaeli.com is in a renaissance in the traditional sense: a rebirth. The original set up of Budaeli was poorly planned and even less well executed.

It may look vaguely familiar to the original design, but this is a wholly new site. New purpose, new goals, totally different content. New content will arrive on Monday.