online: 13 may 2003
modified: 14 may 2003, 25 march 2004, 11 january, 15 february 2005, 26 april 2007

13 may 2003 bird's eye view

* = the latest parts, 11 january, 10 february 2005

dear visitor, welcome to softopia!

This website, my public writing place, is becoming quite large (3 megabytes of text, or 150,000 words, the length of a longish book) so I am writing this letter to give an idea of what it contains.

The homepage consists of an alphabetical list of very diverse names, some familiar, some invented, from afternatureand anarkiato websites I likeand words.

* The latest parts (taking form in the last days of 2004 and the early days of 2005) are called the yielding self and atlas of connective pages.

The yielding self is a connective fiction of how our future selves could gradually change form as post-industrial life becomes... becomes... something else as the splits between body and soul, nature and culture, the one and the many, are gradually or suddenly healed by experiencing and recognising that people are both spirits and animals! though still in the shadows ...

The largest topics are digital diary, symposium of Utopia, daffodil, found poem, websites I like, and others to do with my earlier life. Here are brief descriptions of each:

I write the digital diaryon my handheld computer several times a week - often when walking in a city forest... thoughts provoked by sights and sounds of both nature and of the city, our ancient/modern life, such as it is and as it might become... So far there are about 250 entries, accessible in date order at archive of diary. The recent ones can be seen at what's new.

The symposium of Utopiais a non-realist fiction, inspired by the symposium of Plato, and intended to explore the possibilities of post-industrial living. I write it with no idea what is coming next except that the characters (Utopia, Numeroso and Unesco, together with you the reader and me the writer) are supposed to be reviving the idea of 'experimental city' which the three of them began to explore in the 1980s. The symposium is an attempt to connect and to re-animate past writings and ideas that have yet to become accepted parts of the world. This, and the digital diary, have been my main occupations in recent months...

...the symposium's now ended: its participants went to sleep dreaming of collective action and awoke to the revival of the electric book- which may now become the place where most of softopia can become connected in an integrative fiction...

...connective moments in softopia is another place from which to seek connectiveness and fiction.

Daffodilis an email news letter telling of what's new? at softopia. I send it out to subscribers once a month - with my thoughts about the newest crop of entries. I don't send it unsolicited (you have to subscribe - but it is free). I hope to add an archive of past daffodils later.

Found poemis a version of the vast index to my recent book 'the internet and everyone' - treated as a visual poem (it was formatted by Ted Warnell, a visual poet in Canada). Each time you look it shows different words.

A topic I particularly enjoy is websites I like- a growing set of brief descriptions of, and links to, imaginative websites. It is the most diverse and the most visual part of softopia. I find that few of the subscribers I meet seem to know of this section - it is I think the most interesting!

I started this website intending that it should not be a cv but a place at which to publish my thoughts immediately, as they happen. However, if you wish to know something of my earlier life you can find it in archive(a bibliography compiled by Tom and Claire Mitchell), chronology 1927 - 1946 and collective cv(in which I have tried to remember all the people with whom I have worked and by whom I've been encouraged)... and now (october 2004) I can add in the early days of the future, a review of how I began to study design methods as a way to improve industrial living - and I still hold to that purpose!

At the end of the alphabetical list there is a set of epigraphs - quotations from writers whose books I've read while writing softopia...

...The epigraphs so far are from the writings of

John Cowper Powys
E H Carr
Johan Wolfgang von Goethe
Edwin Schlossberg
Gertrude Stein
Marcel Proust.

I'm sure that is quite enough about the larger parts of this website - I hope it helps you to explore it with some idea of what I'm up to (which I barely know myself when I'm writing it!)

And I hope that some visitors will be inspired to start 'public writing places' themselves - for this is a new political liberty. Anyone can now write in public without commercial investment or censorship - and become a public presence. The division between 'us' and 'them' can be a thing of the past, an obselete dualism...Once it's digitised it's public!...

...But it does need a more active kind of reading, or curiosity - it is not written for passive consumption but for the sharing of thoughts and the remaking of culture.

good wishes

john chris

what's new


digital diary archive

© 2003 john chris jones

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