Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly — Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
Thursday my heart stopped beating. I had left my comfortable position in front of the computer at the kitchen table to check what Uno was up to. When I enter the connecting room I see Uno standing. It took me by surprise and left me in awe. The little boy standing there on his own, without any support. Bravo, Uno.
This week the first letters arrived at the members of Penpal Café. With 29 people on the waiting list, I plan to open the café for a short second season in late June in time for summer vacation postcards. But before that, I am going to publish Codename WL.
Caroline Mappes has a strong eye for aesthetics and hands for crafts. She is a master researcher who weaves and likes the waves. She is very much a family person and currently lives in Potsdam.
K: What stones do you carry in your bag?
Caroline: These days I carry literal stones in the form of sand from the sandboxes I play in with my daughter who turns two in August. It spreads everywhere and can be found in the pockets of my pants, her pants, shoes, bags, our beds, floors, every nook and cranny. Having sand permanently stuck to my bare feet at home makes me smile sometimes thinking this must be quite a universal experience at this time of parenthood and how beautiful it is that there must be many experiences and feelings similar to this one which unite us as a species despite our obvious differences.
K: What is progress to you?
Caroline: Yesterday my mother in law sent me a picture from 7 years ago and I was in awe realising how I looked like I was still wet behind the ears and what a long way I’ve come since. I usually don’t feel like huge progress is made and I’d even say I always stay pretty much the same. But whenever I’m faced with memories like these, it suddenly hits me that it’s not at all true and that I’m involved in constant change and progress even if it’s sometimes so subtle that I mostly only notice in hindsight.
K: What webs are you woven into?
Caroline: Always have been a family person and always will be. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up with my grandparents, many aunts and uncles around as they’re all living in the same city in the Black Forest and I think it’s really beautiful to have that proverbial village around to raise a child. Today I am still close with my family and also have pretty amazing in-laws that I am very grateful for.
K: What is the strangest being you have encountered while surfing?
Caroline: I don’t know if strange is really fair to say but definitely memorable and the first person that popped into my head: Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltanecan, a princess of the Qajar Dynasty. She was living quite an extraordinary life as a feminist and women’s rights activist in Persia in the 19th century. This is her:
K: What was your first internet handle? Where did you use it?
Caroline: Okay, I feel a little embarrassed to tell but the first name I used for myself online was iKuh86 (sounds like iQ but takes the German word for cow instead of the Q). Don’t know what I was thinking! Probably not much since I was maybe 15 years old and actually driving an hour to my fathers office by bus to be able to go online not really knowing what I even wanted to do once logged in (didn’t even know google back then). But I was instantly fascinated by this new thing called internet. I then started to use ICQ (one of the first chat services) to write with strangers and schoolmates. Anyone else remembers the sound it made when you had a new message?
K: What is the deepest ocean you went diving in?
Caroline: In the physical world definitely the birth of my daughter which was an almost transcendental experience. In the www I must say that I miss tumblr. I always loved to get lost in the world of pictures while listening to music and search for inspiration but since it can’t be used anymore as it could be a few years ago (which I totally get), I haven’t really found a good replacement and Pinterest isn’t really doing the same for me. Maybe you or one of your readers has a recommendation for me?
K: How would you start a letter to a frog?
Caroline: Dear frog, where I am from we tell each other the tale of two frogs falling into a pot of milk...
How do you show unconditional love online? The kind of love that is not reduced to double-tapping and 24x24 pixel colourful hearts. Love that is not earned, but present. Fei lie offers her reflections.
What is the colour of the internet? Maybe this is a question I should add to the next wave of reader interviews. In this post, artist and internet poet Laurel Schwulst evaluates the colours of the last internet decade.
I remember talking with the people at Twitter about their ideas of becoming the digital town square. It was around the same time when Mark Zuckerberg spoke about Facebook as the digital living room. Maybe two-three years ago. To some extent, both companies succeeded in becoming more cozy and familiar. But did we lose the notion of vastness?
“Hello world! I want to share with you a device I made, its name is "Yayagram", a machine that helps our beloved elders to keep communicating with their grandchildren.” — Manu
If you have a review of Naive Weekly or a message to the other readers, please leave it in my garden. Messages will be included in future newsletters.
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly — Observations from the Internet Wilderness.
Last week this letter was sent to 761 people. Thirtythree are crazy enough to chip in every month/year to support me making time to write. Logo by Studio Hollywood. Print by Luka. Photograph by Ana Santl.