Often, when I notice that such-and-such an old blog post in the archives of Antipodes seems to receive numerous visits, I'm tempted to explore the reasons for its apparent popularity. For example, over three years ago, I wrote a rambling article entitled Professional bias[display], and I now discover that it is accessed quite frequently. Here's why:
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I've always been intrigued by manifestations of an everyday concept that can only be called relativity… although it has nothing to do with Einstein. I'm talking of the fact that an individual X might consider such-and-such a thing as important, whereas an individual Y might consider the same thing as trivial. That's to say, the thing is, or is not, important/trivial depending on the identity of its respective viewers. And that's why I suggest (rightly or wrongly, at a language level) that it's a case of relativity.
Ever since the inception of my Antipodes blog in December 2006 [display], its spirit has evolved constantly around the concept of an upside-down world in which certain folk seem to be walking on their heads… when viewed, that is, by folk on the other side of our conceptual planet.
I'm amazed whenever the ordinary universe reveals itself (above all, in the domain of quantum physics and cosmology) as extraordinary. Inversely, I'm amused when I see that dull phenomena (such as tourism in my native land) can be interpreted by their beholders as objects of planetary contemplation. I ask myself constantly: Why can't we all agree about what's important (and what's trivial), what's amazing (and what's run-of-the-mill), what's beautiful (and what's dull), what's precious (and what's cheap), etc.
Today, I'm convinced that this theme of everyday relativity is all-important, because it determines whether or not we're talking on the same wavelength, or even talking about the same issues. Back in 2006 in Sydney, I shall never forget the experience of describing with enthusiasm, to my uncle Peter and his wife Nancy Walker, the reasons why it was so fundamentally important for me to make this pilgrimage from France, back to Australia, to visit our ancestral Braidwood. After listening to my profound explanations, Peter said to me: "William, you must realize that nobody gives a screw about all that you've just been saying." I remember, above all, the term "screw", an euphemism for "fuck" (since Peter never used bad language). He was right, in his tiny narrow-minded way. But, in most ways, Peter was utterly wrong, for he had sadly misjudged (underestimated) what makes the world go round. In a nutshell: Our constant challenge of evaluating what went wrong in the past, and trying to improve things for the future. That, my dear ignorant uncle Peter, is what people have been giving countless literal fucks about for the last few billion years.
Sadly, I never saw Braidwood, because there was simply nobody to take me there. For me, this was a gigantic disappointment... which accounts for much of the distaste I now express for that silly sunburnt country and its people that I used to love.
This relativity theme is so huge that I've lost steam (in criticizing my uncle) before I even got started. I'll get back to it in later blog posts...
I've been talking on about anything and everything for years, in this Antipodes blog, designed to evoke interesting responses from those around me, particularly my genetic relatives. Well, in all that time, I continue to find it utterly amazing that this blog has never recorded a single instance of a significant reaction from any individuals in that "genetic relatives" category. It's as if they all signed off as soon as they saw the first words of Antipodes. In fact, I don't give a screw.
Ever since I started the Antipodes blog, on 9 December 2006, I've been aware that it's not necessarily easy to find an old post on such-and-such a topic. One might say that this is a non-problem, in that a blog is essentially a vibrant entity geared to the present, like a daily newspaper. Readers shouldn't normally be too concerned about past posts. For me, though, as a blog author, the question of past posts is primordial, for the simple reason that I would like my current posts to conform, more or less, with what I said on similar themes in the past. So, I've been constantly interested in the question of being able to look up easily my past posts.
Today, I'm happy to release a software tool named Accessor that lets you find old Antipodes posts by means of author-provided keywords.
In other words, it's me, William Skyvington, author of the Antipodes blog, who provides readers with keywords (referred to as keys) enabling you to access rapidly the posts that concern you.
As of today, I think my new system works OK, but there might still be technical bugs or operational things that should be improved. To meet up with the Accessor tool, you can click on either the above graphic or the logo in the righthand sidebar of the Antipodes blog.
Please be patient. The Accessor device will only function ideally when I've found time to index (manually, as it were) all my past Antipodes posts... and this will take a week or so.
Imagine a skilled cabinetmaker who has always considered that the only way of installing good furniture in a new kitchen is to build each cupboard and table from scratch.
Intrigued by new kinds of hinges and drawers available in big hardware stores, he tries to incorporate them into his constructions, but something seems to have gone wrong. His cupboard doors no longer close correctly, and his drawers get stuck, because the woodworker is incapable of correctly integrating these new elements into his old-fashioned construction procedures. Then, one day, a friend invites the cabinetmaker along to an Ikea store, enabling him to discover a revolutionary approach to the installation of kitchens.
Today, concerning my operations as a Flash website developer [links], I'm very much in the same situation as the old-fashioned cabinetmaker. Since 2001, when I started to use Macromedia Flash, I've become quite proficient in the construction, from scratch, of websites based upon this approach. Meanwhile, the Flash tool has become considerably more complex. When I attempt to patch up certain aspects of my old websites, they refuse to function correctly in the new Flash environment. So, I tend to leave them alone, in their old operational state. Fortunately, today, there's an "Ikea solution" to problems of this kind. Instead of trying to patch up one of my antiquated tailor-made website elements, I can simply replace it by an off-the-shelf Flash component.
The reason I'm writing about this technical hitch [a non-problem, thanks to the concept of components] is that I've been held up recently, through bugs of the above-mentioned kind, in my preparation of two Flash websites that should interest Antipodes readers:
— One is an interface that will make it easier to access the Antipodes archives in a user-friendly fashion.
— The other will consist of free online access to my novel All the Earth is Mine, whose 16 chapters will be released on a weekly basis.
I'll provide precise details of these two services as soon as I've got them up and running.