Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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January 2017 Archives

There are few pages on this personal web site more potentially unsettling than catdick. See? I didn't even link it. You can find it if you like. I'll tell you now, there's not a whole lot posted there about lipstick.

So you can imagine my bemused surprise when I received this note:

In the 1990s, I got comments from other weird people; now I get comments from weird algorithms. This kind of solicitation for "please post a link on your site" is the bulk of email I receive these days in response to these rangy pages I've written! What a wild shift of human attention flows. Twenty years ago I wanted to see more people online; now I have more machine intelligences online probing my internet orifices.

Sometimes I feel antagonized by the impersonality of these solicitations. I reply "unsubscribe" to silence.

Other times I try to play with them, "Sounds great - let's collaborate on more articles like the one you found on my web site! Please review content and suggest how we might work together." Perhaps I'm fantasizing that some understimulated human bot-jockey will see my atypical response and be inspired to collaborate on some wild network poetry. I actually had one person reply "yes!!" and say she would ask her company if they could somehow work with to make weird stuff, but that didn't go anywhere.

Ultimately thus far it's not been so fun to argue with robots - they aren't easily baited beyond their quite-limited scope of profit-seeking. So I just get daily emails akin to this one, with no way to filter, and no sign that any human actually thought catdick might help sell lipstick clicks.

23 years on, before becoming a father

This entry is published on Monday, 23 January 2017. 23 years ago, Sunday 23 January 1994, I created a web page that looked like this and soon called it "Justin's Links from the Underground" as I publicly unearthed moist spots beneath rocks online.

My goal was to mess around with technology and permanence. What does it mean to share something of yourself with the world? Who will see it, interact with it and care about it? Blah blah blah - this is a subject I can't stay away from. I published a 40 minute documentary on these topics in August 2015, looking back at 20 years of personal online publishing: "overshare: the story" available free on the internet.

Two months later, I was scheduled to get married to Ilyse on October 10 2015. On October 3, we discovered that our birth control methodology had not forestalled the advent of a viable embryo. We were about to be married, and about to be parents.

In April 2016 I turned a mobile phone camera on myself as I mused over this situation, and evinced some of my wrestling with pending fatherhood. I have been working to look critically at my motivations for parenthood, so I can adapt my own dadrole desires to respect & support whatever little person emerges from that situation, and to continue to support my partner in this adventure.

The baby was born in June 2016, and it's been pretty quiet around and By January 2017, I'm updating this same 23-year-old web site with some personal content, except I'm a father. I've extended my life into another being. How can I make media about my experience of existence, and responsibly include my children?

Here's one attempt:

"before becoming a father" YouTube

"before becoming a father" Facebook

I filmed this video in one take on April 5 2016. I had on a stained shirt and some sweatpants. I realized how slovenly I looked as I started filming, but I felt committed to the moment so I proceeded to film. Then in January 2017, as my child turned seven months and the new year passed, I felt a strong desire to speak to my early parenthood experience. So I scripted and read-aloud another monologue over a blank FCPx timeline. That wasn't quite compelling, so I started poking through my archives. Found this footage from eight months earlier, sliced it a bit, and here we are.

Special thanks to Switzon S. Wigfall III for posting free VJ loop videos for remixing.

23 years later, I enjoy wrestling with media technology and personal storytelling! Perhaps this site could be seen as a sort of child. But it is not independent, it doesn't have any touch with the world these days save me. Comments are turned off on this weblog; there's not really a handle for participation. is a rock I visit a few times a year with a chisel. Except the rock is as sturdy as toilet paper and perhaps the chisel is my butt.

To upfrequent my updates here, I would consider publishing the scraps and notes and scores of micro-moments I've already inscribed. But I want to keep my focus on video storytelling, so for now, I'm saving my fathery feelings for future oral histories. Thank you for somehow ending up on this old web site! And seeing what one guy had to say, a guy that seems ever-older than the lad who foisted this thing online. What miracles.


Thanks Steve Rhodes - from @tigerbeat on Instagram
June 2012 dancing in the streets of San Francisco with Ilyse Magy, photo thanks Steve Rhodes on instagram!

Hi, I'm Justin Hall and this here is a personal web site I've used to chronicle my time on earth since 1994. The content on the front page is relatively recent; if you search through the archives, you'll find old pieces of Justin. Some folks have indexed my doings on Wikipedia.

Twitter: jah
Facebook: Justinreach

eBooks by Justin Hall

I've published books for sale, somewhere else online! Behold:

Now available for the Kindle: A Story of GameLayers. My experience being CEO of a tech company, 2007-2009:

"A tell-all story of a startup from the very beginning, with lots of info about real-world fundraising. A more intimate look than you'll find in other business reads." says Irene Polnyi in a 5-star review on

A Story of GameLayers, for the Amazon Kindle.