page.layout: post
page.title: monolith.xml 2021-10-13 00:00:00 +0000
page.url ⛓️: /2021/10/13/1-monolith-dot-xml/
page.content_id: 20 Tyler
page.type: Autofiction
page.ascii: ÷
page.x: 1
page.y: 21
page.class: psycholetariat
page.attributes: monolith, alien, architecture, volcano, mushroom

“I’ll be here when you wake up,” the moon said, “… to see a chlorophyll dawn.”

Fighting for fragments of dreams, I felt the warm ocean water at my ankles. The garbage tide was receding. Dusk. Or twilight. Or midnight solar flare.

The dream became frayed, faded, fizzed.

Chlorophyll is what allows plants to absorb sunlight, to be green.

How could the dawn be green?

Determination is what allows me to press on, to be gold.


Semester’s End

Map Corps semesters are variable length. Sometimes you show up in The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (Pepsi atoll) and can’t go home for years. But this semester was only a few days. In some ways I felt cheated. As if I was participating in a clinical trial for a time travel drug but got a placebo instead.

The professors would already be on their myriad of means home. Back to their arcologies and labs and studios and caves.

Our final project, the State of the Corps was met with general approval and good marks.

There are whispers of pirate radio towers being constructed an ocean away.

When will the next semester begin?

Only you know.

My Dreams of Sleeping in a Think Tank

So what is monolith.xml? It is a response to born out of feedback from the TT Discord’s workshoping of the idea. Konstantine, as usual, had some excellent points. Instead of cherry-picking I will share them in their entirety:

“I wholeheartedly agree with this approach when it comes to art creation, but I’m not sure I agree with the sentiment for coding in a multi-stakes production environment. Dismissing well advised unit testing as “gatekeeping” or suggesting not having the humility (or empathy for that matter) to consider edge cases in the sake of some individual “progress” or search for “creativity” isn’t exactly good advice in my most humble opinion. When making art the result is highly idiosyncratic and personal. All the more courage to you if you stick to your instinct and don’t adhere to whatever authority decides to have an opinion (especially if that authority is that part of your brain which doesn’t shut up and let you do things; from personal experience 😅 ). When writing product code, well, there’s too much at stake to allow for more ego in the equation. Less ego is better. A users-first approach (re: adherence to a good design-oriented way of thinking and user focus) seems like a far better way of working while staying creative. (How can I make people’s life easier? Who am I making this for? Am I solving the right problem? etc). It opens up everyday work for questioning, not sticking to a specific way of working just because it’s how we do things, but with the best of others in mind instead of some personal quest to break shackles. I’m all for questioning authority, as long as we spend some time first questioning our own reasons for questioning authority.”

This got me thinking. Especially:

It opens up everyday work for questioning, not sticking to a specific way of working just because it’s how we do things, but with the best of others in mind instead of some personal quest to break shackles.



As the tide pulled out, the monoliths rose. This garbage-floodplain was miles wide and aeons deep. A mercury mist slithered in great streams overhead. Somewhere, leagues away, a clustering wil-o’-the-wisp.

It was time to go home.

Walking, walking. Deeper into the chasmic reverie. Walking, walking. The monoliths towering overhead like World Trade Centers, funeral-shrouded in plastic bag ghillie suits. Walking, walking. Lonely campfires burned in some scattered windows. Signs of life. Or ghosts.

“Hello again, artist!” a voice called out.

My Demon of Lucid Endings sat upon a partially sunken container labeled MAER--.

“Hello, old friend,” I said. (One should always make friends with their demons.)

“Where to now? Your home is gone.”

“This is my home now.”

“And what shall you do tomorrow when the tide returns!”

“Let tomorrow worry about itself.”

He laughed again. A dry, death-rattle of a weeze with notes of lung cancer.

Another midnight flare shifted us into shadow. I realized my toes were turning blue from the abyssal cold, black from the oil spills.

Off among the Horizons of Charon, a campfire chose me:

Sixteen tropics in RGB,
encircle my dead weight.

I watched the hole in the ozone layer,

I saw second impact,
with seminal eyes.

When the reefs ossified,
I couldn't sea.

For the Andrean Pyrocumulus,
was still burning.

One day,
you'll hear my peal.

One night,
you'll see my dark side.

Until then,
lost child of ages gone:

I'll be here when you wake up,
... to see a chlorophyll dawn.

The campfire flickered in red, green, and blue.

A cartographer’s fire.

Burning on the moon.

I chose that fire.

And I walked.

Map Corps