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WebAuthn; A better alternative for securing our sensitive information online

I’ve mixed feelings about this — but tbh, I am not in the lease qualified to opine one way or the other. That being said, I’m really digging the .guide TLD.

Video of a Japanese Space Probe Touching Down on an Asteroid

While I was struggling get some react and an API to cooperate other people were landing a probe on an asteroid.

Grainy image of the probe’s landing zone

The Geography of America’s Mobile and Stuck,’ Mapped

The United States is facing a new class distinction: those who are mobile across state lines, and those who are stuck.

I catch myself (panicked) thinking about this a lot in the context of climate change, wondering where we should live if we are going to be stuck there.

Technical communication is particularly hard for newcomers

One of the key components to good technical communication is the right amount of context.

Cache-Control for Civilians

One of the most common and effective ways to manage the caching of your assets is via the Cache-Control HTTP header. This header applies to individual assets, meaning everything on our pages can have a very bespoke and granular cache policy. The amount of control we’re granted makes for very intricate and powerful caching strategies.

Handy dandy skip to point link

The Growing Complexity Of Developing Websites and the Growing Ease Of Using Site Builders

Developers like to develop. They like code and development tools and they’re bringing more of those things to the design and development of websites. Instead of writing HTML and CSS directly, now we’re told to write both inside Javascript.

Continuing,

The downside of this change is that it’s becoming more difficult for someone new (particular on the design side) to enter the field. The barrier for entry is increasing as the requirements are growing more complex.

I think this is spot on — something that I believe is missing from this conversation, however, is that raising the barrier for entry also runs the risk of making the community even more homogenous.

The Great Divide

Very much in-line with the previous entry:

The divide is between people who self-identify as a (or have the job title of) front-end developer, yet have divergent skill sets.

This article is nice in that it spells out a solution, and offers some guidance for how best to talk about the work of front-end development…and points out that front-end development can mean a lot of different things to a different people.

An exercise in progressive enhancement

A recent project I’ve been tinkering with was a good use case for me to familiarise myself with the actual implementation of a site that works without Javascript, but is enhanced by Javascript when it is available.

Making Things Better: Redefining the Technical Possibilities of CSS by Rachel Andrew

A CSS tech-talk liveblog,

CSS tries to avoid data loss.

Writing in Emacs

A nice little assortment of packages for writing words inside of emacs. I’ll also take this as an opportunity to plug my homespun config that I’m still really digging: tilde.el

Code hidden in Stone Age art may be the root of human writing

🤯

Climate crisis and a betrayed generation

Leading to ⤵️

The Servant Economy

West Marches: Running Your Own

Zelda Breath of the Wild meets table top gaming! An open world, sandbox style RP is something I’ve always wanted to try…maybe set on the high seas! 🏴‍☠️

Check out all these historical Jolly Roger flags from wikipedia

Shout out to the best from the collection, Jacquotte Delahaye’s Back From the Dead Red” flag

Shout out to this, the greatest flag — a lady pirate dancing with a very jolly looking skeleton holding a spear.

Link logging

Explaining Code using ASCII Art

People tend to be visual: we use pictures to understand problems. Mainstream programming languages, on the other hand, operate in an almost completely different kind of abstract space, leaving a big gap between programs and pictures.

Cyberfeminism ~1990s - present, Cyberfeminist Index by Mindy Seu

I’m currently working on a printed publication, a la the Whole Earth Catalog and the New Woman’s Survival Catalog, that will provide an overview of cyberfeminism and its evolution into networked feminism (like social media activism), xenofeminism (gender-abolition), and posthumanism/bio-hacktivism. It will be a resource guide: a sampling of books, essays, collectives, online communities, hackerspaces, etc.”

This article does a bonkers good job laying out how quickly and how much China’s urban and suburban areas are growing.

Networking - 🚂 Choo Documentation

I’ve been exploring alternatives to React lately, and keep coming back to Choo. I very much like this bit from its documentation:

A fun way to think about browsers, is as a standardized Virtual Machine (VM) that includes high-level APIs to do networking, sandboxed code execution and disk access. It runs on almost every platform, behaves similarly everywhere, and is always kept backwards compatible.

What if JavaScript Wins?

Technology has always existed in a social context, and evaluations of the risk or reliability of a tech platform have always relied on social indicators. But the acceleration of these patterns, and the extending of the social networks around code to include the majority of working coders, means that institutional indicators (like which company funds its development?”) now come second to community-based signals.

Similarly, top-down indications of technical maturity like documentation (often an artifact of outside investment in making a technology accessible to a new audience) are complemented, or even eclipsed, by bottoms-up indicators like how many people have bookmarked a framework, or how many people answer comments about a toolkit.

Tbh, I wasn’t all that interested in this pieces discussion of the pros and cons of JavaScript, but the author, Anil Dash of Glitch does an excellent job articulating the squishier side of why this and such system prevails over that and which thing-a-ma-bob that may be technically” better.

The piece reminds me of something I recently heard John Siracusa talk about on a podcast — he speculated that software may be the most complicated non-biological thing that humans have ever built. At first I thought it was hubris, but then, as he continued to make his point and draw a line from software to hardware to physics and the physicality of computing I was swayed.

What we often think of as being ethereal and digital” is, at the end of the day, still in meatspace…

See also Being Popular” by Paul Graham.

Why I Write CSS in JavaScript

I’m skeptical of CSS in JS for a few reasons, but this article softened my views. I still don’t love it, but my reasons for not loving it aren’t technical, really.

Pragmatic rules of web accessibility that will stick to your mind

Good high-level intro. I could see this being valuable for someone trying to convince management” of accessibilities value.”

Time to Panic. The planet is getting warmer in catastrophic ways. And fear may be the only thing that saves us.

Our little brown rat’: first climate change-caused mammal extinction

RIP. Expecting more news of this sort in the coming years is terrifying, but also, hopefully, key to catalyzing change.

A Journey Into the Animal Mind

Crows are among the most sophisticated avian technologists.

That is a solid sentence. I read it allowed to myself a few times when I came across it.

Cisco Trash Map, On railroads, oil rigs, uranium mines, 7-11 pizzas, Thelma and Louise, ruination, salvage, and the limits of the garbage gaze.

…I absorbed the common critique of ruin porn — that it tends to erase history and inspire myth. It’s true that as a high schooler I had a pretty vague sense of the politics that made Milwaukee’s ruins. But mythmaking has always shaped the U.S. landscape…

…Ruins are the idealized structures of a vaguely defined past; rubble is the aftermath of specific events that people live in, reuse, and form material relationships to…

Medieval trade networks v.4

A map of ancient trade networks

A detailed map of medieval trade routes. I always find this sort of thing fascinating and, in my experience lacking from contemporary historical education in the U.S. History is often presented as vignettes, as specific narratives, that are disjointed from a large context. I love how a map like this helps to contextualize the ecology, or maybe society? of history.

Five Lessons From Seven Years of Research Into Buttons

The first point is interesting, and click bait-y 1. Buttons Aren’t Actually Easy to Use”

I think it may be better presented as buttons require context.”

Or, perhaps The value of a good label.”

With all this talk of the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Agreement, it felt apt to repost this ramblly-post about the personal climate essay as an emerging new genre

On the personal climate essay

I’d never stopped to think about the degree to which weather shaped my consciousness until I moved somewhere without much of it.

From This Was The Winter When It Rained In LA,” by Doree Shafrir

I think this essay is fascinating. In a recent issue of his fantastic 5it news letter, Alexis Madrigal described this essay as a personal climate essay.”

I’m a total nerd for established climate fiction, and emerging climate genres. 💯 nerd.

In response to Frankenstein (perhaps the first piece of climate fiction?) the question was posed: How do you write about the psychological impacts of climate change on an individual and on a society?”

I think the personal climate essay is a good way of doing just that!

Timothy Morton describes climate change as a hyperobject.” In 140 characters or less:

  • A hyperobject is a phenomenon or object that is so massively distributed in time and space that we struggle to perceive it.

…which is maybe the reason some folks struggle to understand the urgency of our global climate situation. Climate change is REALLY REALLY big. Mind boggelingly big. HUGE. Bigger than huge. The climate has, historically, gone about its business at a fairly geologic-pace. Come the dawn of the industrial revolution, however, things started to change. The pace started to quicken. We’re reaching a point where the climate is getting ready to lap us, and leave us in the dust. We need to act. 😱 😰 😵

None of this is news. I’m just panicking now. Back to the topic at hand. Personal climate essays.

I think the personal climate essay is a powerful tool in combating climate change because it offers individual entrance to, perspective on, and articulation of a hyperobject.

Some folks don’t have the luxury of needing literary articulation of a hyperobject. A climate refugee’s lived experience is articulation enough. Nonetheless, I’m glad to see this excellent piece of writing published online because we probably need all the perspective we can muster.

Woof, post got a little heavier then I anticipated it would! 😳


Follow up item: Buzzfeed is knocking it out of the park! Here is an intimate (as opposed to personal?) medical essay, this one contextualizes the importance of affordable healthcare.

Who should pay for Evan Karr’s heart?”, by Anne Helen Petersen.