questioning why this blog is still here

Orbis Quintus was compromised by a disused plugin, leaving it open for malware to be installed. I have it back up for now.

It’s hard to recall whether it’s really been since August 2014 or posts were lost. I don’t know why we keep this blog up anymore. There are some discussions from years ago that we’re exceptionally proud of and a couple of weird little threads in old posts that formed an independent community. I loved this blog and still think of it often. Some of the silence stems from distraction and duties, but a lot of it comes because it feels like Orbis Quintus died a long time ago and this is a museum.

I’m planning to throw a lot of stuff I’ve been posting on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Evernote, ect. on here that has been piling up for the past year. It might take awhile because it’s hard to touch the keyboard or mouse without a toddler pulling my hand away.

I apologize if this junk clogs up the RSS feed of anyone who still has us subscribed and forgot we exist.

internet life in summer of 2014

Most mornings and evenings that I have time to sit in front of the computer, I have a baby balanced on my lap. Browsing and reading stories can be managed but it’s nigh impossible to post anything of substance.

So yeah, I have a decent excuse for not following through on committing to keeping orbis quintus active for once.

Screwing around with Twitter and Reddit has been a pleasant source for news when stuck on a mobile phone, but I might be done with Reddit in the near future. What seemed like a gently moderated megaforum now feels like a soapbox for certain individuals who have figured out how to game the system. While I’ve stumbled across some wonderfully informed people on there, like a gentleman who had some great info on some untranslated Bioy Casares, about the only thing that I can comment on freely seems to be comic books, which isn’t really a subject that I feel that I need to communicate with many people about on a regular basis. Comics are a fun diversion, not a project to learn.

Twitter is far more rewarding for finding firsthand reporting and links to interesting articles, but it’s Twitter for fuck’s sake.  Most of my tweets are retweets of reports of various humanitarian crises, scandals of overreach of government overreach, archaeology/anthropology links, and reviews of books by authors I’m already partial to.  Pretty much the exact same content this blog once promoted regularly, but with the warmth of a bot.

back to the Back to Africa news

This is the reason why I need to use the blog. I was excited this morning to run across this story about the Khoe-San being relatively recent in southern Africa, that they too contain Neandertal heritage. Nifty!

…only to discover that in another thwarted foray into blogging back last fall, that was one of the very few posts I made. Whoops.

At least I have an infant son to blame my absentmindedness on this time, but that doesn’t explain New Scientist‘s.


once more, a half-hearted attempt

It’s difficult to keep a blog these days. The changes in the ways I’ve absorbed, recorded, and shared information has changed so much in the past few years that this blog is somewhat vestigial. If something interests me these days, I email the article to Bill, I retweet or favorite it on Twitter, upvote (and misplace) on Reddit, or I paste it into a Google document in directories that have no organization. The journals that I’ve been keeping for over twenty-five years are fallow as well. The death of Google Reader is still painful.

It’s time to give the blog a try yet again. The only information that stuck in my mind consistently were the stories that I linked in blogs. This morning I stumbled across a news article on something that I’ve been following for years. If it hadn’t been for the blog, it might not have lodged in my brain.

I apologize for the newest interruption

Once I finally give a damn about the blog again, the computer decided to die. It’s now rebuilt, but still temperamental, with some conflicting drivers driving it to suicide, but it can probably be talked down. If OQ goes quiet again, it’s likely technical difficulties again or a currently unscheduled move to the new house, rather than a fit of crippling ennui.


Bill is over on Tumblr

Why not crash his party? He has some excellent links and images over there. I messed around with Tumblr months ago, but couldn’t get my act together there either.

I’m going to smack him for not mentioning Can Xue to me, as he connects her to Kafka and Schulz, while saying she doesn’t truly write like either. That sounds pretty damned good to me! It’s my own fault though, because as soon as i ran some searches, she turned up in a relatively recent Quarterly Conversation review. There is also a mammoth post over on a seemingly inactive blog This Hungry Owl.

a tepid return

I’ve not been reading much at all in recent months. It’s been bad enough that we’ve let the blog lay fallow, but then both school and  work got weird, so reading and writing altogether halted.

The stacks around the house that I’ve been slowly picking at are two books by Raymond Roussel, the new Simon Critchley, and Arreola’s Confabulario, plus about half of what i was reading in August last year.

Pathetic. On the bright side, I started and finished quite a number of things in that time, but it’s still frustrating to see those books lingering around, half-read. Aira’s The Seamstress and the Wind revealed itself hidden between some other books stowed away, and I’ve already read most of it this morning. That needs to be wrapped up today before Varamo can be bought.


The blog is finally upgraded to WordPress 2.7, and I remembered to fix the author ID problem. Unfortunately, all of the old posts by Bill, Stanislav, Collin, and others had their author IDs stripped when the database was rescued from the old host. With over 3,000 posts to sort through, it’s a problem that might not be resolved. Fortunately, their personalities are strong enough and interests peculiar enough to allow their posts to be recognized with minimal effort.