About This Site…

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Welcome to fəxlüz, an experimental website conceived as a hybrid blend of travel zine, discussion forum, portfolio, and half-assed manifesto.

Regarding the publishing schedule, well… that’s an issue at the moment.  I had planned to begin writing in earnest once 2018 rolled around, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way.  I returned to working full-time after nearly four years of bumming around, for starters.

When I really get going (early 2019, per current plans) I plan to cover a variety of topics, although the blog will trend toward writing on travel and my own projects.  But that could change.

Concept

fəxlüz was founded as a vehicle to promote and disseminate my own humble creative work, which has tended toward travel writing and multimedia essays that try to reconcile philosophical concerns with history or science in a holistic and accessible way.

I also enjoyed imagining this site as something of an open forum for intelligent discussion inspired by original writing, but it hasn’t worked out that way just yet.  Forums are hard to start without well-defined topics, it seems.  Perhaps a bit more “original writing” is needed to get this process catalyzed.

Community

Going forward, I hope to cultivate and sustain discussion within a unique and diverse community, hopefully drawing on people who, like me, are troubled by the disposable and push-button assumptions that seem to underpin “modern living” most everywhere, and who have become quite tired of the increasingly shrill and uncompromising tone of much recent public discourse.

I’m also hopeful that I can to some degree re-connect with several communities that I’ve regrettably lost track of (or failed to properly engage with) over the last ten or so years, particularly the old YD Forum crowd as well as fans of my Pale Blue Dot and other video projects.  Several of the initial posts here will, in part, be directed towards these communities.

Philosophy

Another reason fəxlüz was created was to serve as a concrete expression of my own personal philosophy, both in the content of the site and the manner in which it was built, configured, and deployed (a detailed and rather dull subject for another time).

For what it’s worth, this philosophy is not a rigorously argued claim or stance on specific issues, nor is it a complicated creed concocted in the vain hope of “living up to” it (or convincing others to follow).  It’s not any kind of “ism” and it doesn’t have a name.

In fact, at this point it’s mostly hard-wired and involuntary; experienced rather than performed or executed.  One can get a rough sense of what this philosophy entails if you consider a dozen or so simple aphorisms:

  • your personal standards run your life (get them under control);
  • know when you’ve got enough (and quit while you’re ahead);
  • deserving something, and being able to simply afford it, are not in any way the same thing;
  • excessive convenience is toxic
  • patience and endurance are mighty allies
  • if you can do it, do it yourself; if you can’t, learn
  • cynicism dulls sensitivity; sensitivity underlies both intuition and intelligence
  • people who behave as though “the rules” don’t apply to them may be onto something
  • few should be believed straightaway; fewer are worth following for very long 
  • invoking fear, authority, or math when explaining just means you don’t really understand what you claim
  • getting along with people is important unless it costs you your authenticity
  • a kind word that’s also true costs you nothing to say and more than pays for itself
  • forgiveness, appreciation, and gratefulness are nourishing and necessary
  • satisfying the body’s appetites is all the “convincing” most people need
  • don’t be too picky about food; (corollary: everything is delicious after a 40km hike)
  • yes is the answer, and you know that for sure

So, there they are.

Abbreviated Bio

This site was created and is maintained by me,  John Ebert, a.k.a. “Hushashi”, a.k.a “Kasranov”, a.k.a. J.H. Andreason, f.k.a. “Kawama” (and probably two or three others handles that I’ve either forgotten or am too embarrassed to remember or cop to). I’m a 46 year old (at the time of this writing) semi-retired sluggard and part-time farmer, long distance walker, and unpublished author.  I make my home in the “rubanity” of Ibaraki, Japan, where I live with my wife and our many cats.

Now is probably an appropriate time to mention that I’ve lived with both an ADD type condition and a species of Aspergian spectrum “disorder” my entire life (with a whimsically intractable perfectionist streak thrown in for good measure).  These “conditions” have certainly made things interesting for me over the years, though they were never important part of my awareness or any part of my vocabulary until about 2006, when (almost by accident) I ended up taking both the RAADSR assessment (scoring a 118, yowza!) and a Myers-Briggs personality assessment (INTJ, baby!) as ancillarily employment “benefits”.

I don’t take test results like these overly seriously, but they do make plain and give a name to a set of circumstances that I’d simply come to regard as natural and normal.  That this self knowledge came to me just as I was starting to get my act together anyway, has made it all the more enlightening and interesting.

All this thinking and soul searching led to one inescapable conclusion: I really did need to blog under my own name and not hide behind the the quasi-anonymity of the internet.  To go through all the trouble of setting this place up, only to then hide behind a handle, seemed like a pretty cowardly move.

On the other hand, I have grown rather fond of the “Hushashi” handle I’ve been using for over a decade (it was, for example, my “stage name” during a short but  enjoyable stint as a VJ in Tokyo’s psytrance scene).  So as a compromise I plan to keep on using it here, but by dint of this page, I will not technically be doing so anonymously.

That should about do it for now.  Thanks for visiting, and feel free to drop me a line for any reason via the Contact page.