Respiring Rhythms

There's a site stewarded by Austin Wade Smith called Feral Earth that revolves around ecology. A site about ecology? Not quite. A site powered by ecology. I'll let Feral Earth explain:

I am a solar powered server. All ecological behavior which controls access is measured within 1 mile of my hardware. Nearly all is within 3 meters.

I am an ecosystem, serving through the interplay of water, air, sun, earth, and AWS (Austin Wade Smith). I am an instrument of ecology intimacy.

Visit the site and see which links happen to be open. It happens to be raining where I live, but is it raining where Feral Earth is? No. Just being able to ask that kind of question suggests a different relationship with the web, one that Smith envisions in a tweet:

Imagine an internet respiring at the rhythm of solstices, tides, rain storms, and eclipses. Nourished by sunlight. Not the numb office park we’re accustomed to but something animate, haunted… a symbiont.

An internet respiring at the rhythm of nature. Such a possibility made me want to do my part for my personal site. Even if it's powered by the numb office park, it didn't have to follow its numb logic. I'm starting simple. Track the sunrise & sunset in my area. Get the current time. If the current time is during or after the sunrise and before the sunset, show the home page of the site. If the current time is during or after the sunset and before the sunrise, show a message of text instead.

Now I find myself more mindful of the sun as I continue to tinker with the site. It never occurred to me before as I used and created on the web. But I think that is what makes Smith's idea of the feral web so intriguing. The web can feel isolated from the world around us, sometimes to a point of debilitation. However, whether your site is powered by solar panels or by a data center, there are many ways we can make the web respire at natural rhythms.