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I’m glad to remember an internet that didn’t feel like it was trying to drain my attention all the time. Growing up in small towns and being unschooled, the net was both a portal for seeing the world and contributing to it. I talked about it briefly in my last entry—an introduction. I’ve always enjoyed building things with whatever material is around. Back then it was a hand-me-down Compaq and dialup. I didn’t have like, hand tools to build a treehouse, but a machine with a connection. Not really decision making—“I want to make sites!”—more environmental.

So it was disappointing to watch this thing I was so into become more and more adversarial over time. During my teens seeing big tech displace big oil felt pretty Virilio-ish. The story is familiar, yeah? Not a unique experience; it’s broadly personal.

As someone compelled to build, this creates a lot of tension. Honestly, the difficulty in reasoning about compromise is paralyzing at times. Over the past few years it felt like building meant deciding to contribute to the mess, however indirectly.

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Jon-Kyle starter pack
Jon-Kyle starter pack

I’m excited to have joined up with Graeme and Denis to create Mirror, where I’m responsible for all things design, interface, interaction, front-end, and all that. With this being my first entry on Mirror I figure it can serve as an introduction to help provide context for future entries. What follows are a few personal anecdotes and speculation on things like cultural protocols, social(ish) interfaces, absolutely devouring fresh pizza in the mountains and possibilities for sustaining creative practices. Elaborations on prior work and thinking to set up both why Mirror and what might it be?

With some patience, and since everything connects, let’s go into the weeds (a little.) I’m not suggesting any of it’s interesting, or to imply singular solutions to complex issues, but as a form of personal sense-making for myself and those who care enough (or just have the time) to continue reading.

This will be a small series, and this is part one ✌️