Skip to content

Category: In English

My Interview in “Speaking Freely”

Here it is.

This is probably one of the most important interviews I did for several reasons. First one is definitely the group of people I’m in. Most of them are people I’ve been following and admiring their work for a long time. That’s why you should definitely read all of them and thank Jillian C. York for starting a series like this one.

Second reason is the fact that I’ve not been thinking about many of these stuff for a long time. Of course I’ve been reading, writing and doing things related to the issues but not really thinking about it or thinking in a self-reflective way. This interview also gave me that chance. And made me realize how things and I have changed since I’ve started dealing with these issues.

There are other reasons too. Like having a chance to remember Özgür Uçkan and talking about these issues with Jillian. It’s something really special for me and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it too.

STATUS – 29.02.2020

Reporting from #1000mphClub.

That was quite a 24-hour run. One live radio show plus two extra episodes recorded me as a guest yesterday evening. Today gave two trainings at NLTR Academy from 9:30 to 17:00. Now headed back home. There’s still a NewsLabTurkey newsletter to be finished tonight. Now taking couple notes for my personal newsletter —which I’ve been neglecting for a while— before taking a short nap on the bus.

PS: testing to see if I can post from the WordPress Mobile app. Sorry if it looks weird on the website.

From the Mail – 31.01.2020

Surprise book from the mail. Recently supported the crowdfunding project by Teyit and this was one of the gifts for the support. Arrival of new books always makes me happy.

Teyit is a great fact-checking organization from Turkey and their crowdfunding project was a special series of reporting on anti-vaxxers and other bullshit/conspiracy theories on health. In case you want to check out what else they’re doing, here’s their work in English. They also have an English Twitter account too.

When A City Changes A Song

After leaving the airport and jumping on the train to actually go London, I was looking for something to listen and remembered Burial albums saved on my phone. After that realization I haven’t listened anything else for the half of the week. Maybe it’s my overstatement but listening Burial on London made me appreciate his music on a different level. Like I said to Jay, I feel like the music makes a different sense now. 

And now I’m wondering if there’s actually such thing. Music somehow connected with a special place and gives you a different experience when you listen there. Do any of you have a story like that? Or is it just my weirdness?

Related: Burial’s Untrue: The making of a masterpiece


This post was first published on my newsletter. You can read and subscribe here.

New Books in the Library – 26.11.2019

Bottom two, K-Punk and State Machines, are from the early November London trip. K-Punk is one of those books which you’ll read and re-read dozens of times over the years.

Rest came in yesterday. I was only planning to buy Teknopolis, because it seemed interesting but ended up ordering five books. I’m also excited to read Colson Whitehead‘s novels. I’m always a bit cautious about reading translation novels but the publisher is a trusted one.

On Traveling: 1

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series On Traveling

I think a lot about traveling, being able to go somewhere else for any reason and the action itself. There are many reasons behind this.

I think the first one is related to how I grew up. Being almost exclusively in one city for 18 years, while being connected with rest of the world through other means probably put leaving that city and going as many places as possible on top of my priorities. Even so that when I was making plans for university, my main target was going İstanbul, not a specific university.

A lot changed since then. Now I’m traveling a lot and to many different places. Even writing this one in an airport, waiting for a flight. And honestly, sometimes I think about how I ended up in this place. Just some guy who saw lots of stuff on the internet while he was a teenager and decided to do something with that and ended up here. Although I’m not that famous and making tons of money from what I’m doing, it still feels too much for me.

Anyway, that’s one of the reasons why I decided to start a blogchain on traveling and what type of stuff I’m thinking about traveling and/or while I’m traveling. I wanted to write and talk about it, so that maybe I can manage to turn all of those half-baked ideas in my head into something else.

Let’s see what this blogchain will take me.

The hypersane are among us

Found this article thanks to Arikia:

Many ‘normal’ people suffer from not being hypersane: they have a restricted worldview, confused priorities, and are wracked by stress, anxiety and self-deception. As a result, they sometimes do dangerous things, and become fanatics or fascists or otherwise destructive (or not constructive) people. In contrast, hypersane people are calm, contained and constructive. It is not just that the ‘sane’ are irrational but that they lack scope and range, as though they’ve grown into the prisoners of their arbitrary lives, locked up in their own dark and narrow subjectivity. Unable to take leave of their selves, they hardly look around them, barely see beauty and possibility, rarely contemplate the bigger picture – and all, ultimately, for fear of losing their selves, of breaking down, of going mad, using one form of extreme subjectivity to defend against another, as life – mysterious, magical life – slips through their fingers.

The hypersane are among us, if only we are prepared to look – Neel Burton

This is an interesting term, “hypersanity“. Came across first time with this article and to be honest, it fills many holes about some of things I’ve been thinking about.

One thing that connected directly in my head with hypersanity is how people are always looking for normal, sane and ordinary. So they can feel safe. To do that, they even attack what is not normal and sane enough for them without thinking. But when you’re going through the mad times, normal and sane is the most useless thing. You have to be something more than sane. I think that’s where hypersanity can come into play.

This is going to be something I’ll dive deep into researching at some point. But I’m just putting a note here for now. Feel free to jump in and turn this into a conversation.

Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan

Tim Maughan’s Infinite Detail was published in March and since then it was sitting on my Kindle for reasons. Finally got my hand around it and finished the book today. And I have to say that this book is amazing.

The smile grows into a self-deprecating chuckle; and she’s strangely embarrassed that part of her had imagined walking out into some huge abandoned space: a bourgeois science-fictional fantasy of a long-lost civilization where she’s the special one, the only survivor that could see past the crass commercialism of the masses and got out in time, the intrepid, educated explorer unearthing this forgotten, archaic relic of barbaric capitalism, an empty cave filled with unfamiliar, alien branding.

The topic and how Tim handles it is just brilliant. Although Infinite Detail is a near future speculative fiction, you can easily see that all of it can happen next week. The politics of technology and the current situation of capitalism is analyzed in a mind opening way for anyone who isn’t already familiar with it and while the story shows you how messed up it is, it also shows you why just getting rid of it is not enough.

What’s different is that the massive inhuman artificial intelligence wasn’t enslaving us with nuclear bombs or turning us into batteries (how WOULD that work?) or crushing our feeble human skulls with its metal feet, but by finding the best ways to sell us stuff. SkyNet is real, and it wants to sell you shoes made by child slaves.

Tim’s storytelling is also strong. Going back between before and after, you can easily feel the change between those two timelines. The story pulls you inside its world and at some point, you can feel that those two timelines are about to merge and you get nervous and anxious just like the characters you’re reading. Although Tim has a unique way of telling his story, this feeling also reminded me Gibson’s The Peripheral, and I’m saying this as a huge compliment.

In short, in my opinion Infinite Detail is a must read book. Not just because it’s a great story but also this is the type of speculative/science fiction we need more today.

Until you can dismantle them, he tells himself, always use the oppressors’ tools against them.

Start Select Reset Zine #001: Your Attention is Sovereign

Jay (previously) has a new digital zine out, which includes his writings and podcast transcriptions about the internet, social media and attention economy. He talks about many things such as multitasking, how we’re using our devices, productivity and how he changed his social media use and more. I’ve finished it in one sitting and already waiting for the new issues.

I am also deeply suspicious of the term productivity in general. It has its origins on slave plantations and the British Empire, and it makes me uneasy how management consultants and the wider business world just throw the term around.

SSRZ – 001 – Your Attention Is Sovereign

On a related note: This format —PDF collections of writings either as a zine or a book— is something I’ve been thinking about lately. Seeing good examples like this one motivates me more to experiment with it. Maybe not right now but definitely in the near future.