Here lies the weblog "waffle", active from 2003-02-14 and dead from exhaustion (by way of a public meltdown) early 2017. It was written by a guy named Jesper in Sweden. Actually he was named Jesper everywhere, but he lived in Sweden, and if you're groaning at this, imagine a whole fucking weblog like it.

 

What happened?

The world has gone mad. It has been happening for years now, and Orange becoming the new Black on January 20th, 2017 has only very little to do with it. At best it is a symptom.

Here is what I did, every now and then, what my brain did. It would take my estimable careful considerations, my thoughts, build them up into diamond-encrusted insights, and it would say: "Okay. All you need to do now is crystalize this into a digestable form, and the whole world will see how brilliant you are, and everyone will tell you so and pat you on the back." This went on all the time.

I would do this, whipped into temporary frenzy, write it all out, check a few times maybe, then publish it. Read it, again and again. Figuratively look at my watch. Reload. Do something else, uneasily. Spring back to it. Reload. Has anyone commented yet? Bah. And so on, and so forth.

Except every time it happened it would be from scratch. As if the previous times had never happened, as if this particular insight, this time for sure, was going to shock the world by its foundations. No.

The only thing worse than this happening on and off for 13 or so years was occasionally being given glimpses. Some people did read it. Some people did sometimes even link it. Once or twice I even wrote something that was sufficiently current and/or controversial that it was linked widely, where by widely I just mean a handful of times but by someone with an audience.

The two I can remember are the post about the list of things removed from Mac OS X Snow Leopard and that Apple should make a new language, referred to as xlang, that would be basically Objective-C without the C. Stuff like this kept my self image enormously inflated. I thought I was the guy who either accurately predicted or provided som sort of flash of inspiration for Swift, when what I wrote was just one of a hundred posts random people made in response to something John Siracusa wrote, as part of a recurring series about this.

No, it turns out. I was just some nut trying to make lightning strike again, not realizing that the things that made those few posts spread had more to do with luck and slotting into a timely spot where I just got to write some things first.

(Sidenote: I'm also that nut who doesn't want anyone to use his last name. And who has a reasonably unique nickname that he never explains. It's "wootest" and it doesn't mean anything. I was a highly temperamental, unstable member of a ROM hacking forum at the turn of the century, and another guy made a badge called "leetest" and handed them out to some guys. And because one of my flaws is wanting to be like other people, I of course swapped "leet" for "woot" and did the same, and that's why that's my domain. "Waffle" is so named because it means mindless twaddle and because the waffle iron imprint contains a lot of # marks, and # used to denote permalinks on weblogs. Ahem. Back to the rest of this.)

So all of this just means that I wrote a bunch of stuff and thought myself much more important, right and well informed than I was. This is pretty pathetic. This way of being isn't entirely unique, with bubbles forming everywhere, with people pitting themselves against other people, including the people who define "bubbles" forming one big bubble and yelling at everyone outside it. Almost everyone is doing this right now in one way or another. I'm not going to repeat my mistake of thinking this is some sort of insight I just uniquely came to, or that I have some sort of solution for it.

The hard thing for someone fat trying to lose weight and stay there is that if you try to stop smoking, you don't then have to smoke only two or three cigarettes every day for the rest of your life in order to not die. When you have weaned yourself, it is possible to maintain a clean break mentally. "I just don't do that anymore." Now imagine being addicted to thinking, to arguing, to expressing your opinion, in a world where everyone can say anything about everything.

I am an addictive personality. I lose myself in things. I don't stop to think if enough is enough. If I find something I imagine I'm good at, I do what I can to keep doing it, and I rarely really step back to do something about it, to reflect.

Something has to happen for me to change. A few years after Waffle started, I think it was 2005 or 2006, one day I just got extremely fed up with the way I was behaving in a certain community and I just left. I didn't look back. I kept a few people as friends. I think I still may host a few people's web sites unknowingly. When Waffle imploded, it was on the back of the whole world coming to a shared fever pitch, unrest, of negative inevitability, of people doing their best to simply not trust one another. I'm sure what I actually did was a very childish display (I remember something about saying that "I wasn't your monkey anymore"), but I don't regret doing what I did.

On a metaphysical plane, some part of my mind is yelling at me: what about all those permalinks you broke? What about all the high-falutin principles I tried to keep about never deleting anything because it's never gone in the first place and therefore I should be a man about it? It's not wrong. But I shrug, and I do what I do every day and I try not to get suckered in. I am writing this because I keep needing to sum things up mentally, to have some perspective, and of course also in the vain hope of convincing people that I'm not a complete tool (I'm not, but I'm sure I round up to one). I am posting this as a simple text on the ruins of where Waffle used to be so that whoever finds it and is interested can see what the hell was going on. There's no way for someone to reload a feed reader and see this, and that's intentional.

Those people who want to reach me already know how, but I am pretty much done doing this, at least for the forseeable future. It's time to bury this part, to forget this happened. To move on, to work on myself, to have those thoughts and those "brilliant" "insights" and to sit on my hands because the world won't collapse if I can't share all of them, and no, I'm not disgracing those who don't have freedom of speech by not being able to talk about inane stuff.

Here lies manifestation after manifestation of my worst tendencies and flaws. If you really want to read stuff, there's always archive.org, I guess. None of it is particularly insightful, and almost no one cared about it at all. And that's not a bad thing - it's just how it was, and I'll have to go on manifesting my good and bad sides in other ways.

/Jesper, July 15th 2017