The First Potatoes Have Shipped

Yesterday, I visited the Los Feliz USPS station and, with the help of Alma, shipped the first 29 Mail-Order Seed Potato Death Clocks to early-adopter corpse customers. While the bill was appreciable and the receipt was long, I am confident that various dates of death on their way around Los Angeles and that the corporation does not know what is happening right beneath its nose.

It remains to be seen what kind of investment will arrive, but for the time being I am pleased to have engaged so many kind folks in this prolonged transaction; now, we will see if the corpse market is viable.

Big Launch!

I successfully completed the public launch of disIncorporated last night as a part of USC’s iMAPpenning 2019 event. I hope to have footage shortly, but the gist: a 30-minute presentation of my company’s position and my anxieties concerning working and dying and the corporation and the corpse, followed by an elaborate point-of-sale booth where I became friends with at least ten customers (whose Mail-Order Seed Potato Death Clocks I will be shipping in a number of hours).

The corporation may now become aware of us, given this large public pronouncement of our intentions, but I believe that the apparent sales of my product will keep the corporation placated during these initial maneuvers.

I believe that I have 18,290 days left to live and I’m feeling fine.

Non-Mail-Order Seed Potato Death Clocks

For a theatrical performance that I have written, I required the procurement of a large number of russet seed potatoes upon which to inscribe semi-arbitrary dates of death; I needed enough potatoes to fill my acoustic guitar case, which amounted to roughly 30lbs/37 russet potatoes.

With the assistance of my wife (a data scientist and master of algorithms), I generated 37 prospective death dates and used a black Sharpie marker to affix the dates to their potatoes.

These potatoes will soon be made available to those who attend my performance, a truncated version of a play called “The Last PowerPoint”; I wonder how these Seed Potato Death Clocks will be received (especially given that they are not going to be received via mail)?

Business Cards and T-Shirt

I placed an order for my official disInc. business cards and a disInc.-branded t-shirt (to wear for performances of the business); both orders arrived yesterday and I am mostly satisfied.

The cards, prepared by Moo, accurately portray the disInc. colors (#558ed5, #fcd5b5, #ffffff, and #e46c0a); the t-shirt, however (prepared by Custom Ink), only approximates the colors. The t-shirt is also extremely uncomfortable, both stiff and abrasive, though this may help to motivate greater embodiment while I perform.

Overall, I would assign the following ratings:

Business Cards: 9/10

T-Shirt: 5/10

Total Satisfaction: 14/20

Quasi-Arbitrary Death Clock Generator

Before my pilot product, Mail-Order Seed Potato Death Clock, goes live on April 23rd, I will need a way to rapidly generate death clocks (dates on which I ask customers to believe that they will die). In order the protect the privacy of disInc. customers, I don’t want to base the death clocks on extensive personal information; the premise of the death clock, after all, is intended to adhere to the speculative logic of late capitalism (ie, one may or may not die on the given date, but it is the leveraging of belief in the future that matters).

Therefore, I would like to generate an ‘algorithm’ that will spit out death clocks with the push of a button; I intend to publish the details of this algorithm openly to avoid any suggestion of obfuscation. It will likely be derived from some statistical analysis of current national age and life expectancy, which is by no means an accurate determinant of a given corpse’s particular circumstances, but should serve for the purposes of addressing the indoctrinated capitalist’s speculative logic systems.

I will consult with the experts and report my findings.

My Wife is a PhDoctor

My wife successfully defended her neuroscience dissertation two days ago, making her the first PhDoctor in our family unit (pending the processing of paperwork).

I was able to be present for her public defense, which was 30 minutes of excellent scientific commentary on human olfaction; I particularly appreciated her use of the “cloud” PowerPoint basic shape to represent scents.

She is now looking to join the “industry” by attending a data scientist accelerator program in The Big Apple, which means we will live apart for the first time in our 10+ years together (as I live in Los Angeles, pursuing my own PhDoctor).

Thankfully, our ability to teleconference via Skype will allow us to maintain visual contact, though I am worried that I might kill all of her plants while she is gone.

I am very proud of her and feel great ambivalence about my excitement concerning the earnings her future work may generate, given the aims of disIncorporated.

My Dog Doesn't Work

My dog, Pilaf, is primarily concerned with how to get comfortable. He doesn’t work, but he certainly labors.

He has a plastic bone that he likes to chew on and, if you try to take it, he will turn around so that you can’t get to it.

When he gets his food, he must first pick up individual pieces of kibble, drop them on the floor, then wipe his face on the rug over and over for at least 3 minutes before he will actually begin to eat.

Pilaf will almost always find his way underneath the couch, where he waits like some kind of cave creature for someone to do something interesting.

He is a very worthwhile drain on our finances.

A poem about my body, pt. 1

my left shoulder is causing me pain

when I don't let it hang down from its joint

I was run over by a large man

from behind on the soccer field

this also reaggravated a porous scrape beneath my right knee

which had been bleeding the day before

and bled profusely then, when I was run over by the large man

it is presently healing through a brownish-gray fluid

my right pelvis is a disaster

but that is nothing new

I have a scar on the back of my left leg where my dermatologist biopsied a mole

It ended up not being cancerous, which is a good thing

I am tired but I have work to do

I have work to do but I will sleep soon

Benjamin NicholsonComment
I have an iPad now

After Amazon refunded the purchase value of the initial iPad I ordered (that apparently does not exist), I ordered another for the same value and had it delivered to an “Amazon Locker” so that there would be no confusion concerning its delivery.

The delivery was a complete success and I have an iPad now, fulfilled by Amazon, purchased using a Chase credit card. I do not feel totally well.

Benjamin NicholsonComment
My iPad was stolen before I ever owned it

I ordered an iPad through Amazon to use as part of a teleprompter apparatus (which is vital for disInc.’s official launch event), as well as to use for note taking and disInc. point-of-sale experiences.

However, though other items I ordered along with the iPad arrived perfectly intact, the iPad itself was missing from the delivery. I stayed home all day on the day that was specified for delivery, watching the porch as I played Horizon: Zero Dawn on my couch, but the only package that arrived contained a light stand (to hold up the teleprompter) and a stylus for the iPad.

I contacted Amazon and they reimbursed me; I then contacted UPS and let them know I think that one of their employees stole an iPad. I don’t think either company really cared.

I now have a stylus that has no way to inscribe and a teleprompter that cannot prompt. I am building up the courage to order another iPad with my reimbursement money.

Benjamin NicholsonComment
My feet are cold

As I sit in my home on Presidents Day, I am reminded by my feet that they are cold. I do not have socks on, but imagine that putting socks on now would not immediately solve the problem of having cold feet; it would take some time for the limited heat they are radiating to turn into a (sole-ful, haha) conflagration.

Instead, I believe I will put my feet into warm bathwater while I read The Mattering of Matter , Documents from the Archive of the International Necronautical Society, by Tom McCarthy, Simon Critchley, and et al.

This text asks us to consider “death [a]s a type of space, which we intend to map, enter, colonize, and, eventually, inhabit” (53).

I’m starting to feel some sensation in my toes just thinking about this.

Benjamin NicholsonComment
My Identity: A Theft

I discovered yesterday, when looking at my bank statement, that a $472.95 purchase had been made with my credit card to pay an electrical contractor, Taylor Electric, in Connecticut on February 3rd, 2019.

Not only was I not in Connecticut on that day, but I also have not recently paid $472.95 for any electrical contract work.

I called Bank of America and informed them I would like to dispute the purchase as a fraud; they told me that it appeared someone had entered my card info manually and that they would credit my account, that they would investigate, that I should destroy my credit card and that they would send me a new one.

While I am relieved to have avoided payment for $472.95 of electrical contract work, I now have a new concern: there has been a theft, and its object was my identity.

If a person, unknown to me, can make purchases in my name, is it possible that someday, this same insidious presence, let’s call them “Chris”, could do-business-as, DBA, disIncorporated? Is it possible that not only I am disInc. and disInc. is me, but also disInc. is Chris and, by the transitive property of equality, Chris is me?

Would you, dear reader, know the difference?

Benjamin NicholsonComment
A PowerPoint

I am now beginning the process of drafting a PowerPoint presentation for the public launch of disInc.

There is much I need to accomplish in this presentation, not the least of which is to present my self as a self worth knowing, worth engaging with. I worry that I alienate others with a lack of displayed vulnerability. I worry that my attempts to convey competence are received as smugness or arrogance. I worry about my ability to commune.

Therefore, I hope to make some admissions of my flaws and my weaknesses in my company rollout. I hope to demonstrate where my concerns and anxieties intersect with my confidence and optimism. I hope effect affect and to feel it within my self.

PowerPoint is the perfect vehicle for these hopes.

Benjamin NicholsonComment
Two movies

My wife is out of town so I fell asleep at roughly 9PM. When I woke up at 1AM, there was little for me to do other than watch movies on the internet.

I watched A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Swiss Army Man, neither of which I had seen before.

A.I. was notable particularly for the final 30 minutes, which, through exposition, we are told take place 2,000 years after the preceding events. Aliens find the frozen body of Haley Joel Osment, who is only 8 days younger than me, and give him one final night with the reanimated corpse of his adoptive mother. I believe they both fall asleep and die and then the movie is over. Apparently, several of those involved in the film were frustrated that viewers thought that the creatures at the end were aliens as they were supposed to be seen as advanced, autonomous terrestrial robots.

Swiss Army Man was notable in its depiction of the many uses of a human corpse. This movie is scientifically inaccurate and ends when the words “The End” appear onscreen. I intend to write more about Swiss Army Man but at another time.

I am now sitting in my room preparing to go for a run. I weigh 162 pounds today and am currently thought to be overweight by my doctor. Online BMI calculators agree; that is to say, there is too much of me.

Benjamin NicholsonComment
Ubuntu Mono

My wife helped me select Ubunto Mono as the font for the disInc. logo.

I am pleased with the lowercase letter ‘i’, which looks like a little fella.

According to Google Fonts, Ubunto Mono pairs well with Roboto, Google’s default font for Android (though this seems somewhat self-serving on Google’s part).

I am ambivalent about Roboto, but it would feel hypocritical to reject it as I generate this blog entry through Google’s Chrome browser.

Ubunto Mono, on the other hand, will require further study due to its ambiguous copyright/copyleft status.

For the time being, I feel sufficiently at rest with the fonts that will be affiliated with the disInc. brand; I wonder if they will be pleasing to corpses.

Benjamin NicholsonComment
Body Panic

Due to ongoing anxieties concerning outstanding work, my body has decided to panic today. My chest feels tight, my head feels loose, and it is raining outside.

If I can complete one meaningful task, my body may allow me to experience comfort.

Perhaps I can select a font for the dinInc. logo?

My wife will not allow me to use Courier New, which is my default font of choice.

Benjamin NicholsonComment
Resistive Sleeping

Yesterday, after waking up at 7AM, I went on to sleep from 11:15AM until 1:00PM. At first, I felt some anxiety about sleeping during the middle of the day; I had many outstanding tasks to complete, most of which are still outstanding as of this writing. Yet I also realized something important: I was tired.

When I woke up, I felt better. I decided not to feel guilty and to not regret my behavior. I didn’t hurt anyone, after all.

Benjamin NicholsonComment
What electronic mail did I miss (apologies to Microsoft)?

When I purchased my web domain, ‘disincorporated.me’, I was given the option to setup an electronic mail account using that domain. I chose ‘ben@disincorporated.me’ as my electronic mail address. I then found out that this mail service was facilitated by Microsoft with their Outlook product. I went through the various steps to login to my new electronic mail account through Microsoft and set it up to both forward electronic mail to my personal Gmail account, and to allow my personal Gmail account to send messages as though they are coming from ben@disincorporated.me. Until January 27th, 2019, everything was working as expected.

It took until January 31st before I realized something had gone wrong.

While I was trying to setup payments for my donation page on disincorporated.me, I created new PayPal and Stripe accounts to link to the Chase Business Checking account I had set up for disIncorporated. When I tried to validate these new accounts, however, I was told that I had been sent an electronic mail (to ‘ben@disincorporated.me’) that had a verification link.

I never received these emails (and still have not to this day).

After logging in directly to my Microsoft Outlook account, I discovered that I could send email from the account, but I could not receive any email. I became furious with Microsoft, wondering how such a large company could produce a product that I believed, unquestioningly, that I could rely upon, only to find that important electronic mails were never making their way to my inbox.

What electronic mail had I missed? Was there an important financial notice that was lost in the ether? Would this ongoing outage delay all of my plans?

This certainly reminded me that I was going to die someday.

Ultimately, after negotiating with Microsoft’s Admin Center help tool, I found out that the issue was not Microsoft’s, but GoDaddy’s: they manage the DNS settings of the electronic mail accounts they provide. I went to my GoDaddy account and, after performing a DNS check, was told that my electronic mail account was not ready to receive electronic mail until I clicked a button, after which it could take up to 48 hours to start functioning.

I clicked the button and, some 15 minutes later, I started to receive electronic mail again.

There are two great mysteries to emerge from this set of circumstances: where are the electronic mails I never received?; why did GoDaddy allow me to receive electronic mail for a time, only to change its mind later?

I suppose I will never know the answer to either of these questions, but I offer my apologies to Microsoft for my misplaced fury.

If you would like to help me, ‘Prospective’ Ben, confirm that my electronic mail is working, feel free to reach out any time:

ben@disincorporated.me

Benjamin NicholsonComment