ASCII by Jason Scott

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2023-01-24 08:00:15

Carcinization is the tendency of reality to keep making things into Crabs or Crab-like creatures. (De-Carcinization is when it goes the other way, and in fact there’s evidence of oscillation between the two states.) It’s the sort of thing that sounds fantastically interesting, the shallow end of the thinking pool, but then leaves you confused as to what to do with that information – you can’t fully stop it, and there’s no reason you might specifically want to. And whatever crab-making is happening now doesn’t really affect you in the short or even long-term – it’s just happening.

What I discovered, this late in life, is I turn everything into an inbox. Again, I’m not sure this is going to change your existence or opinion in any way, but here we are.

In the dim mists of decades ago, I appear to have launched into a serialization of projects that I’ve never recovered from, making piles of to-dos and tasks and then attacking them, often at the expense of all else, for hours and hours. The earliest efforts of what became TEXTFILES.COM was me gathering textfiles from all sorts of bulletin board systems, logging in to grab copies and take text-based snapshots of what was there, then dragging it home into piles of floppy disks, with the goal of…. well, something. I started calling the disks “The Works, Disk _____” as I visualized, at 13, that I would one day have a BBS called The Works and these disks would be the starting seed vault that it would grow from. The fact this happened is quite remarkable to me, but it happened. The Works BBS under Jason became the Works BBS under David and then Matt and then Others, and I then took the textfiles of The Works BBS and it became a site, itself a collection of descriptions that came because I created a second Inbox, one of describing roughly 50,000 files by myself.

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