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Today was relatively laid back at work so, I thought it would be interesting to spend the day in Acme, Plan9s text editor.

While I absolutely love emacs, I’m absolutely blown away by Acme. The interface is unlike anything else that I’ve ever used, but, at the same time, wicked quick to pick-up. There are a few niceties that other text editors offer that Acme doesn’t…but it is so easily extensible that I bet I could bake in what I want with an afternoon of fiddling.

I am excited to continue exploring Plan9 and Acme, and think I’m going to spend another day in it tomorrow!

Link logging

You all. A week! Maybe a few. They’ve been something else, for good and ill, fun and waaaha!?” A doozy. So, here is a doozy of a link log!

aerc; The world’s best email client

I haven’t given this a go, yet, but it looks pretty solid, and like a great/easier to use alternative to mutt or alpine.

Why I’m still using jQuery in 2019

I use jQuery just about every day, and, you know what…I really like it. 😬

Why You Should Buy Into the Emacs Platform

The title of this post is a we bit deceive-ious, it is more of a list of awesome emacs resources than a manifesto/proclamation on why you should” use emacs.

Welcome to Linux From Scratch!

Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with step-by-step instructions for building your own custom Linux system, entirely from source code.

Why Don’t Americans Use Their Parks At Night?

However cities want to encourage more park use at night, he stresses that they need to consult the community anchors” to ensure that it meets the needs of the entire neighborhood.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will have skin tone customization, gender-neutral hairstyles for Villagers

This piece serves as a great follow up to this previously linked post from Austin Walker, Me, On The Screen: Race in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Instant Pot Baked Potatoes Recipe

How to cook potatoes in an instant pot.

Is Robert’s Rules too Restrictive? Consider Martha’s Rules of Order for Meetings

See also, Martha’s Rules

Borough mayor is knitting to prove men speak too much at meetings

Montgomery said she is unfazed by criticism and will continue knitting until Christmas.

Knitting as both protest, and social signal.

Don’t slow that bus down, we’ve got places to be

But there’s a clear difference between Die Hard and Speed, […] Die Hard is about the individual — the lone wolf John McClaine, shooting his way through the terrorists — but Speed isn’t really about Reeves. It’s about the collective. It’s not just one of Keanu’s best movies; it’s one of the best movies about public transportation. Speed refutes one of the most pervasive myths about metropolitan transit systems in the U.S. — that no one rides the bus in Los Angeles — with its economically and racially diverse ensemble of riders, who must work together and with Jack Traven to keep the bus going until the bomb is dismantled.

Help For Werewolf

Werewolf! is a free-form social roleplaying game (kinda):

Be your own curator. Archivist.

Question: what is to be done with the stuff after it has been cataloged and stored? Are we pinning butterflies for the sake of pinning them, or is there a moment of beholding, and re-use/re-mix down the line?

Save and make? Transform?

I like to think of what I do with these link logs as part curation, part compost.

IBM and the Holocaust — why wasn’t this on my radar?

Juxtaposed: Wayfair workers plan walkout in protest of company’s bed sales to migrant camps.

Slight correction to CNNs title, though — migration camps” should be concentration camps.”

Atlanta’s Food Forest Will Provide Fresh Fruit, Nuts, and Herbs to Forage

Most of the trees in the forest are still too young to bear fruit. But once they become productive, about five years from now, McCord expects literal tons of fruit.”

Before you were here

[…] Needing to build your own website, setting up your own webservers, and using non-user friendly applications to transfer data not only meant that most early users had a better core understanding of the technology and what its future might bring, it also meant that users had a sense of ownership. They were shaping the medium they were consuming.

screenshots of despair

A catalog of little despair.

Fans Are Better Than Tech at Organizing Information Online

The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. I, as exemplified by this very post, have a tagging problem.

Interesting also in the context of digital minimalism,” see Walking Alone: On Digital Minimalism”.

on dat://

@kicks offering the most cogent explanation of what the heck date:// actually is that I’ve found!

Ok, so how does Dat work exactly? It is simply a unique address attached to a folder of files (kind of like a ZIP file.) You then share that folder on the network and others can sync it to their system when they visit the unique address.

SwiftUI, Privacy, macOS, and the Web

A long, but worthwhile read.

The Future of Interaction, Part II

The most important part of this announcement is the abstraction they’re working with, not the view surface being used for rendering.

Wherein the abstraction becomes a tool for focusing on interaction, rather than specific implementation.

Adversarial Interoperability: Reviving an Elegant Weapon From a More Civilized Age to Slay Today’s Monopolies

What made iWork a success—and helped re-launch Apple—was the fact that Pages could open and save most Word files […]

[…] Apple didn’t just make an interoperable” product that worked with an existing product in the market: they made an adversarially interoperable product whose compatibility was wrested from the incumbent, through diligent reverse-engineering and reimplementation.

The New Wilderness

The need to regulate online privacy is a truth so universally acknowledged that even Facebook and Google have joined the chorus of voices crying for change […] No two companies have done more to drag private life into the algorithmic eye than Google and Facebook.

So why have the gravediggers of online privacy suddenly grown so worried about the health of the patient?

Part of the answer is a defect in the language we use to talk about privacy. That language, especially as it is codified in law, is not adequate for the new reality of ubiquitous, mechanized surveillance.

Continuing later,

The question we need to ask is not whether our data is safe, but why there is suddenly so much of it that needs protecting. The problem with the dragon, after all, is not its stockpile stewardship, but its appetite.

That Web Dev Thing Where Everybody Says Something Clever Involving Toast

Twitter is designed to escalate responses and keep people engaged. This has the effect of polarising discussions online which in turn has, in my mind, made it completely useless as a venue for discussing web development issues.

airtext

A decentralized blogging…thing…platform…service?

And just like that, I’m back to being all in on org-mode.

Link logging

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

Tokyo Neapolitan: The New Wave of Japanese Pizza

If you are gonna do a thing, you might as well do that thing as well as you can. 🍕

The Famous Photo of Chernobyl’s Most Dangerous Radioactive Material Was a Selfie

…I looked through all the other captions of photos similar photos of the destroyed core, and they were all taken by Korneyev, so it’s likely this photo was an old-school timed selfie. The shutter speed was probably a little slower than for the other photos in order for him to get into position, which explains why he seems to be moving and why the glow from his flashlight looks like a lightning flash. The graininess of the photo, though, is likely due to the radiation.

Living Systems | James Grier Miller | 1978

Confession — I haven’t dug into this yet. As someone with 2 degrees in Human Ecology (e.g. the interdisciplinary study of people and our environment) I feel obligated to read this.

A bit more background on rights for nature.

Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future

What do I mean by the open Web”? I mean the World Wide Web as created by Tim Berners-Lee and extended by later coders. The open Web is effectively a set of protocols that allows the creating, sharing, and experiencing of text, sounds, and images on any computer that is connected to the Internet and has installed on it a browser that can interpret information encoded in conformity with these protocols.

In their simplicity, those protocols are relentlessly generative, producing a heterogeneous mass of material for which the most common descriptor is simply content.” It took a while for that state of affairs to come about, especially since early Internet service providers like CompuServe and AOL tried to offer proprietary content that couldn’t be found elsewhere, after the model of newspapers or magazines. This model might have worked for a longer period if the Web had been a place of consumption only, but it was also a place of creation, and people wanted what they created to be experienced by the greatest number of people possible. (As advertising made its way onto the Web, this was true of businesses as well as individuals.) And so the open Web, the digital commons, triumphed over those first attempts to keep content enclosed.

Autism from the inside

Reframing,

When I come across instances of this folk understanding of autism, I am reminded of Edward Said’s 1978 description of the orientalist gaze, in which the exoticised subjects endure a kind of fascinated scrutiny, and are then rendered without depth, in swollen detail’.

…In this anaerobic environment, the qualities routinely assigned to autistic people — lack of empathy, unworldliness, humourlessness, the inability to love — are the exact inverse of the qualities that a neurotypical society most prizes.

For a moment, let’s flip things over. To an autistic viewer like me, neurotypical life can seem astonishingly unemotional. I’m so overwhelmed by the sensory onslaught of a busy room that I’m almost tearful, while neurotypical folk appear to wade through clouds of sound, light and odour, entirely oblivious. It’s hard to resist the impression that they’re numb, or unreal somehow. They are certainly displaying a lack of affect in the face of extreme provocation. Where I am in constant movement; they are somehow still.

The incredible nature of Abstract Art and how it can change the way you think about everything.

The point of the art wasn’t what you saw on the original painting, but what it left behind after you had looked at it. The experienced stayed and lingered with you. I thought this was incredible, and beautiful and amazing.

Variations On A Utilitarian Theme

Read along, if you will, as I tell a little story of sorts through a series of excerpts. It is essentially a story about the links among prevalent trends involving surveillance, data, security, self-documentation, and happiness.

The Ones Who Walk Away From…Facebook

How I lost my legs and gained… you want me to say something inspiring here

Don’t miss the author’s sneaker reviews.

Component frameworks and web standards

This post has three parts: in the first, I look at what I like about the web standards stance” or a vanilla approach”. In the second, I share what I liked when I used a JavaScript component framework. In the last part, I look at whether these two approaches are actually different: maybe I assumed a false dichotomy?

How to master advanced TypeScript patterns

This Medium post sneaks in a pretty solid overview of currying (as I understand it, at least).

We Need Chrome No More

The dominance of Chrome has a major detrimental effect on the Web as an open platform: developers are increasingly shunning other browsers in their testing and bug-fixing routines. If it works as intended on Chrome, it’s ready to ship. This in turn results in more users flocking to the browser as their favorite Web sites and apps no longer work elsewhere, making developers less likely to spend time testing on other browsers. A vicious cycle that, if not broken, will result in most other browsers disappearing in the oblivion of irrelevance. And that’s exactly how you suffocate the open Web.

Flashback to the last week’s link log, from Choo’s 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.

The Super Tiny Compiler

Learn about compilers by reading through a very tiny one.

Dynamicland

Our mission is to incubate a humane dynamic medium whose full power is accessible to all people.

Field Guide to Bash Terminals

A bit shorter than the bash man page. Good, basic, info.

A Beginner’s Guide To Dragon Ball

The biggest lie you’ll ever hear about Dragon Ball from both fans and critics alike is that there are long stretches of episodes full of attacks charging and nothing else. It was something I had always heard about the show and was warned about when I decided to check it out. I waited and waited for these fabled episodes and by the end of DBZ, I realized they don’t exist

Once upon a time I watched a ton of Dragon Ball and One Piece…in French. They use the imperative tense a lot. I’d like to re-watch some of each in English one day.

  • David: plays a secret chord
  • Lord: Emacs can do that!?”

A joke, certainly stolen.

Quiet week. Server migration almost complete. Linode is purdy. As is Mosh! I’ve never used anything but ssh, but think I’m smitten with mosh.

I’ve been back filling tags on old posts. Things should be becoming more…connected? Increasing the edge and surface area through which folks can make entrance into posts of all sorts.

Link logging

Whoops! This post is a wee bit longer than previous link-logging posts. I’ve broken it up into a few sections to make it more easily skim-able. Granted, all barriers and edges are illusory at a certain point, so I recommend looking for connections rather than demarkation and separation. Do not tare along the dotted line. Personal pizzas are best when shared. 🍕

Creativity and capitalism

On Godzilla and the Nature and Conditions of Cultural Success; or, Shedding the Skin

I’ve got a quick confession: I love Godzilla. This post encompasses all the things I like about Godzilla. You’ve got some cultural production stuff, you’ve got climate and ecology stuff, with a smattering of socio-political stuff all wrapped up in a rubber dino-monster suit. What isn’t to like!? Also, this picture…

Just the legs of Godzilla

It could be that Godzilla is successful in 1950s Japan and in 2010s USA because it happened to fit two very different but very specific cultural niches — the trauma of defeat culminating in nuclear war, on the one hand; and (to make something up) a compulsive desire for re-enactments of 9/11 on the other hand. But explaining wide-spread success by a series of particular fits falters as we consider all the many other social contexts in which Godzilla has been popular. Maybe it happened, by chance, to appeal narrowly to one new context, but two? three? ten?

An alternative is that Godzilla has managed to spread because it appeals to tastes which are not very context-specific, but on the contrary very widely distributed, if not necessarily constant and universal. In the case of Godzilla, we have a monster who breaks big things and breathes fire: an object of thought, in other words, enduringly relevant to crude interests in predators, in destruction, and in fire. Since those interests are very common across all social contexts, something which appeals to them has a very good source of pull”.

What’s inside a brand?

… When your customers are active partners in making” and managing” the brand, policing who is allowed to shop at your store is, weirdly enough, a hiring decision like any other. We’re used to thinking of production and consuming as separate activities, but, as Jefferies shows, in modern branding, they are one and the same. Making sure the right” person consumes your clothes is a way to enhance a brand’s value. Like it or not, then, modern life gives you little choice but to work” for a brand, putting all of our social lives in the service of capital. What branding offers is belonging (for a price).

This entire article walks right up to the edge of likening brand based marketing to fiction, but doesn’t bridge the gap. This isn’t my faulting the piece by any means…I think it is a stretch, or at least a stretch in the context of the article, but I couldn’t stop noticing how similar the discussion of self-policing brands looks to the discussion about fandom, and who is or isn’t a fan of some particular thing. Who gets entrance into the narrative, be it Apple’s or Star Trek.

Ursula K. Le Guin Was a Creator of Worlds

Traveling to an unfamiliar place often has ethical implications in Le Guin’s fiction

She also resisted the approach to writing that emphasized that fiction must have a hero, a conflict, a storyline.

Civic

Washington Will Decriminalize Fare Evasion. Better Idea: Free Transit

The idea of free public transportation isn’t as crazy as it may sound. Prompted by concerns over congestion and pollution, the European countries of Estonia and Luxembourg already offer it, and Germany is considering it. Removing fares clearly makes transit more desirable; when Talinn, Estonia’s capital, adopted free public transportation in 2013, ridership immediately spiked 10 percent. Such ridership gains would certainly be welcome in the United States, where 31 of the 35 largest transit agencies saw passenger counts dip in 2017. Unlike most goods, transit gets better with heavier usage because more frequent bus and train service will reduce wait times.

Journalism should be free

This is a depressing moment for… well, everything, but also journalism. Watching talented reporters get laid off is heartbreaking, infuriating, and despair-inducing. Out of the ashes, new ideas for sustainable, impactful journalism are bound to emerge. The best ones will acknowledge that journalism should be free.

How to Design Playgrounds for the World’s Most Vulnerable Kids

Designing systems (specifically public systems) with children not just in mind, but at the forefront pretty much always seems like a very good idea.

Math and astronomy

How a Strange Grid Reveals Hidden Connections Between Simple Numbers

Sharing this piece specifically because I think it does a really solid job explaining something that is rather complicated (at least for me) in a clear way that also doesn’t come off as being dumbed down.

Far side of the Moon photographed by amateurs

Moon Minute Monday

Learn something new about our Moon every Monday.

Webby techy stuff

A new interview with Manton Reece of Micro.blog for 2019

I enjoy participating in the micro.blog community, and appreciate Manton’s persistence in going it slow, making intentional design choices. While the source code of micro.blog itself isn’t open source, it is refreshing that Manton’s process is, through posts and interviews like this one. Manton is practicing a different sort of Calm Technology with micro.blog.

The Ethics of Web Performance

Poor performance can, and does, lead to exclusion

And comes at a higher environmental cost.

Web Browsers and Privacy in 2019

Google Chrome, destroyer of worlds? Defo eater of RAM. See also Browser diversity starts with us.

You are in a maze of deeply nested maps, all alike [TALK]

All be honest. I was into this mostly for its title. It sounds like a line straight out of a Robbe-Grillet story.

Also, shout out to Eric Normand for almost always including a transcript alongside video and audio content.

Literate Programming against REST APIs

Starts with a tl;dr:

TL;DR Other HTTP Clients aren’t that great. Here we use Emacs and restclient, with public APIs, to identify plants and share on Twitter. Emacs and restclient offer a great user experience and workflow when documenting and exploring APIs.

I’ve got a soft spot for literate programming. I haven’t done much of it, but as I gain confidence writing LISP, I think a little side project may invite it. 🤷‍♂️

The big DNS Privacy Debate at FOSDEM

You all. DNS is baffling. I’ve been migrating some client sites and I set up (again) a pi-hole and, while I feel cozy with the basics of DNS config, the underlying architecture is both fascinating and…terrifying? Maybe the wrong word. Obtuse.

Hacker tools

A neat resource. I dipped right into the lesson about Virtual Machines and Containers.

Saving time with Emacs, or not.

Yes. I love emacs. I agree with Jack: Emacs does not typically save me time.

Last night I decided to explore other task management solutions. I migrated all my todos from TodoTxt to Notion. After playing with Notion for a bit I then migrated all my tasks to Microsoft’s todo thingy-app…not wanting to break my streak I then migrated my tasks to my self-hosted trello clone. After playing around with that for a bit I figured why not just use emacs” and then re-formatted all of my TodoTxt tasks into Org-mode…so now I have all my tasks across a whole heap of platforms and I feel obligated to maintain them across all of them until I make a choice. WHAT HAVE I DONE!?

No description provided. I will be better about this in the future!

I don’t care if you think I’m a monster. I love leaving menu-bar-mode enabled in emacs.

beorg by Apps On The Move just got a gnarly update! 💃

All thing org can be synced using iCloud Drive, now, and the app has a heap of enhanced filtering options.

Keeping it org mode

Starting a new job seemed like a good reason to re-evaluate my task management set up, partially because my old workflow was built around some internal tools from my old job, and partially because it is heaps fun to re-work productivity workflow stuff.

Requirements

  • Manage tasks and sub-tasks from iOS, macOS and Linux
  • Support for tasks and sub-tasks
  • Support for due dates and reminder notifications
  • Support for recurring events (e.g. things I need to do on a weekly basis and I would like to nag myself to complete)
  • Fully searchable archive of past tasks

The new system

The new system is heaps boring, but I’m wicked pleased with it. I toyed with a number of apps, including Things, Reminders, Microsoft’s Todo (made by the Wunderlist folks), Todoist, Kanboard, and Omnifocus but ultimately settled on keeping it simple.

  • Recurring tasks are just repeating events in my calendar
  • Everything else lives in org mode
  • BOOM!

I have an .org file for personal tasks (stuff like Schedule a vet appointment”), and an .org file for worky things — right now each project I’m involved with has its own top-level heading, but I may break projects into their own .org files if one big file becomes unwieldy.

The secret sauce to my mostly org mode life is beorg, an iOS app that lets me org on the go…AND supports push notifications. I generally keep push notifications turned off for just about everything, but sometimes I need a gentle reminder to get stuff done — beorg works perfectly for this.

Question for the spacemacs folks out there. In my .vimrc I have :W mapped to :w, so when I goof and hold shift a wee bit longer than I mean to I still write the buffer to a file. Is there a way to do the same thing in emacs?

Spacemacs forever!