Against the Pop Culture Nostalgia

I mean, the stuff that’s going on right now is insane, and we need people to be responding to it. If I can’t hear the present or the future in culture, I feel like we’re doomed to repeat the past forever. We’re not opening up that kind of mental space we need to move forward. It’s like that Mark Fisher idea of capitalism—it’s easier to imagine death than life after capitalism. That’s how I feel when I just see things like Stranger Things on repeat all the time. I get it, that stuff is fun to watch, and I also like ’80s movies, you know what I mean? There’s a time and a place for that. But when all of culture feels like that, it makes me nervous.

Holly Herndon – On collaborating with machines and humans

This from Holly Herndon is on point. Maybe I can’t fully get this because I was out of that loop in sense of both time and geography but similar things happening around here creates the same reactions from me too. Something about all this nostalgic stuff feels problematic to me and I think Holly clearly explains it why.

It feels escapist. Instead of dealing with what we have right now, all of this is an attempt to return so-called better times. Which, if you push it too hard, can easily turn into a mindset which wants to make stuff great again. And we all know nothing was ever great before and it’s just a shortcut for many reactionary stuff. We all know who are the poster boys of this pop culture reactionary movements *ahem Gamergate ahem* and what they actually want. And how far they can go for their desires to recreate those “great times.”

I don’t know. Maybe I’m overthinking this and it’s all just simple fun. But, like Holly says above, when you start to see it everywhere something feels off.

The Average Reader

My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell.

An Interview with David Simon – Nick Hornby

Warren Ellis shared this quote on his newsletter Orbital Operations, I think, couple weeks ago and it’s on my mind ever since. Wanted to post it here to save it as a reminder for myself.

Cogito 92 – Türkiyeli Kadın Felsefeciler

Sanırım Türkçe dergiler arasında en sevdiğim yayın Cogito. Ancak bir süredir takip edemediğim için “Türkiyeli Kadın Felsefeciler” sayısından yeni haberim oldu. Görür görmez de sipariş verdim. Böyle özel bir sayı çıkarttıkları için Cogito ekibine teşekkür ederim.

Sayının linki için sitelerine bakarken son birkaç sayının da tam benlik olduğunu fark etmek açıkcası hiç iyi olmadı. Bu kadar sevdiğim bir dergiyi böyle uzaktan takip etmemem lazım. Sonra böyle birikiyor hepsi bir anda.

Alan Moore’s Dodgem Logic

When I read Alan Moore is retiring from comics, first thing that popped into my mind was his experimental magazine Dodgem Logic. I accidentally found the first issue at a comic book store in İstanbul and bought every issue when it’s arrived.

I’m obsessed with magazines and I think Dodgem Logic is one of the main reasons of this, other being the recommendations Warren Ellis shared online through the years. I think magazines has a special potential for creativity. To me, magazines feel like an autonomous zone for the creator which they can do whatever they want. And Dodgem Logic is a great example of it.

Not sure if you can find the issues of it (I checked Amazon and someone was selling the first issue for $223 and another selling #8 for $465 😱) but if you can (within a reasonable price range), grab it without thinking.

Since Moore won’t be doing comics anymore, maybe he’ll restart Dodgem Logic?

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 4

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Rethinking the Internet

Do you ever feel tired just by using internet, mostly the social media platforms?

Not sure when it started but I’m feeling tired every time I check social media in the way they designed. With algorithmic timeline, not filtered, filled with “personalized recommendations” and advertisement. Still not sure which part contributes that tiredness the most but when I check from the lists I’ve created or use my private accounts to see what people are up to, I can stay online more. In the first case, feeling of giving up everything related to internet comes fast.

I guess one of the main reason of this can be seen from this quote by Robin Sloan,

No reasonable human needs more than 10,000 other humans to read their words within twenty minutes of writing them.

Robin Sloan – platforms.fyi

Everything is too much on social media. Because that’s how they make money. You have to be bombarded with information you can’t really control all the time and you have to react to that information quickly. Otherwise no one will see you on these platforms. Algorithm starts to hate you and hides you under more and more ads. It doesn’t matter if your friend wants to hear from you, you have to please the algorithm first.

To please it, you have to be fast. You have to play by its rules and be prepared to react whatever it gives you. Otherwise, you’ll get buried.

And I think I want to be buried by the algorithm for a while. To rest and work slowly, not rushing to react all the stuff. Instead of feeling tired just because I want to hear from people I really want to, I prefer to be buried by it. Will be using those platforms lesser for a while, focusing my energy to the streams which I can control the speed of it. I’ll be watching and stopping by time to time, of course.

But if you really want to hear from me or talk to me, places like here or the secret channels will be your best shot.

Books of 14.06.2019

Most of my readings are happening on my Kindle because it makes easy for me to reach English books and saves me from dealing with the Turkish postal service. Plus English books are expensive in dead-tree, so ebooks helps me save money too, especially on the shipping.

But every once in a while, we need some Turkish books in the house and we buy dead tree books. Today was one of those days.

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 3

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Rethinking the Internet

One thing I think bothers me most about all those social media platforms and its usage is the fact that it turned many people obsessed with numbers and they started to think about almost everything based on those meaningless analytics data.

For example, one of the Turkish musicians which I like recently did something really stupid and called out a random people basically saying “You have only 31 followers. Who cares what you think?” The dude was only saying that he gave another chance to his latest song and actually liked it this time. There wasn’t even anything remotely bad in that tweet or anything.

Another thing I’ve been seeing and still trying to wrap my head around is that some people trying to run their personal accounts like it’s a brand account. They’re checking analytics data, scheduling their most normal tweets based on that and bunch of other stuff. I think I shouldn’t be surprised about this considering years of online talks about “personal brand”. But this doesn’t change the fact that even thinking about it makes me sick.

I also see that people are also trying to do all that analytics, timing and other things on podcasting too. Like, it’s basically an RSS feed for sound files. People gets subscribed and listen whenever they want. But no, they have to put analytics and numbers into that too. And then find bunch of meaningless data.

Like I’m writing this post around 22 in Tuesday night and will post it when it’s done. Because it’s a blog and I’m doing this just because I wanted to. I shouldn’t be thinking about when I should publish this. But according to an important number of people only, I’m being stupid by doing this.


I’m really not sure about what to do in all of this. Like I said on the previous post, there are many people I like and care about what they’re sharing is in those places but other than that, it’s hard to find enough justification to stay in there with this madness. I’m not even talking about the toxicity part (at least not in this post).

I believe there will be many more in this series.

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 2

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Rethinking the Internet

There are many things that drives me away from social media, especially from Twitter. One of those is the fact that, from my perspective, social media kills conversation and replaces it with stats (likes, RTs…). This tweet from Jay (her account is one of my favorites on Twitter btw) made me think about this more.

(Conversations happening under this one is quite informative, you should read those too.)

One thing that made internet special for me was the fact that I was having conversations with people all over the world, from the beginning. Most of my real life friendships, most of the people who influenced my work and my perspective were and are from internet. Hell, most of my friends are still from here. And seeing more people thinking in a similar way makes me think that I’m not crazy.

(You should read the whole thread btw.)

More and more, whenever I look at Twitter or any other social media platform, I feel like I’m missing this part. And this is the part actually matters to me the most. I think that’s why I’m thinking about retreating to places like my blog or the newsletter, because those still gives me the feeling of conversation. A more intimate way to connect with people online. Yet, I see tweets like the ones above and receive a mention from a friend and start to think that there’s still hope.

Or maybe I’m just a guy who thinks way too emotional about a simple communication tool and gives too much importance to it. If that’s the case, I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

Medyapod Podcast Summit 2019

Türkiye’nin ilk podcast ağlarından birisi olan ve benim de Tuhaf Gelecek Podcast ile bir parçası olduğum Medyapod, Türkiye’deki podcast üretenleri ve dinleyenleri bir araya getirecek bir Summit düzenliyor. Bu etkinlikte birçok tanıdık ismin katılacağı paneller ve atölyeler olacak ve podcast üreten ve dinleyen herkes bir araya gelme şansı bulacak.

Ben de 6 Mayıs’ta ShortCAST‘ten Emre Saklıca ile birlikte “Podcastin Anatomisi” başlığı altında bir atölye gerçekleştiriyor olacağım. Atölye podcaste ve podcast üretimine giriş niteliğinde olacak ve özellikle kendi çabalarıyla podcast üretmek isteyenler için faydalı olmasını amaçlıyoruz.

6-7 Mayıs’ta İstanbul’da, Kadir Has Üniversitesi’nde gerçekleşecek etkinliğe katılım ücretsiz, fakat kayıt olmanız gerekiyor. Hem programı incelemek hem de kayıt olmak için etkinliğin web sayfasını ziyaret edebilirsiniz: http://medyapod.com/summit/

Podcast Summit’te görüşmek üzere.

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 1

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Rethinking the Internet

This is not one of those “I hate social media” stuff. I actually owe a lot to social media and will continue using it. But not in a way that will consume all my energy and turn me into an angry beast, which means my old way of using it. Don’t know why but I’ve always been quite invested in stuff happening online. (Actually I know why but I really don’t want to explain it right now, so please go along with it. We’ll talk about it later.) But for a while, this attitude of mine was making things worse for me. I know because things got really bad, at least in a personal and psychological sense. So I had to do something about it.

And this is me, doing something about it. From now on, I’ll not be as active as I used to be on my public social media profiles. At least for a while. Of course I’m going to share stuff about me or things I’ve created and my blog posts will go there too but other than that I won’t be following it like I used to do. Even though that means I’ll be missing some stuff from people who shares really good stuff but I really need this. I really need to re-align my focus and energy.

But this also means that I’ll be more online in the places where I can share more half baked thoughts — as Warren Ellis put it. Because more and more, I feel like the way people sharing stuff or having conversations on Twitter is not the way I’m enjoying it. Shouting matches, political snark and burns gets quite boring and exhausting quickly. And my brain really doesn’t want more of these things. Instead, I want to write more of my half baked thoughts, have a conversation with people about those and use this tool called internet in a way which works better for me.

So that’s why I’m starting this experiment. Starting from today, I’ll be working on re-adjusting my internet usage, probably analyzing every bit of it and deciding what works for me and what doesn’t. Right now my plan is to focus on places where I can write longer and share the stuff I want to share the way I want. Like my blog, my newsletter and Patreon. Instead of ranting on Twitter, I’m going to put it on my blog, if it’s worth putting here. Because whenever I want to write something here, I think about it more than I think about a tweet. And this makes a good personal filter.

I’m going to keep using Twitter, Instagram etc. too. But Twitter will be much more limited and I’ll probably read only the stuff I put on my private lists. Instagram still gets a pass because I’m using only a private account which is highly curated and instead of giving me anxiety, it does the exact opposite. Maybe I need something similar on Twitter too.

So, that’s pretty much it. Starting today, this place (alongside with newsletter) will be my main places online, alongside with the secret channels. If you want to get in touch with me, I’ll be still online but less. Most of the people who’s going to read this knows how to reach me in those channels, if you don’t drop me a line.

Let’s see how this one is going to play out.

(The title is numbered because I’m going to experiment with something called “blogchain”. If you never heard of it, this is a good start.)