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Link logging

How to land on the Moon

Diagrams. Many great diagrams. Even more switches. The quality of older NASA imagery is gorgeous. I’m always surprised by how non-clinical and how artful the compositions are.

BeepBox

For any lovers of nanoloop out there, this will be a nice little toy to play with.

For other fun game dev tools: Game Dev Tools for Raspberry Pi

(🎶 Here is a very tiny loop I made 👩‍🎤)

Tokyo became a megacity by reinventing itself

If you agree with Harvard economist Edward Glaeser that cities are humanity’s greatest invention, then Tokyo is perhaps our greatest example: a stunning metropolis, home to more than 37 million people and one of the world’s wealthiest, safest, most creative urban centers.

Even if you’re not particularly interested in how megacities shape human behavior, Tokyo is unavoidable—it has already changed your life. The city is the ultimate social influencer, the node through which the world connects to Japanese culture.

Seeking the Productive Life: Some Details of My Personal Infrastructure

…this is included for a single terrifying phone wallpaper. Scroll until you find it. It cannot be missed.

A play in a few acts:

  1. Colonialism is alive in the exploited tech work force
  2. The economics of package management
  3. ASDF, the version manager for all your languages
  4. Terry Pratchett Warns Of Online Fake News In 1995 Interview, Bill Gates Shoots Him Down
  5. Open gardens
  6. A highly opinionated guide to learning about ActivityPub
  7. Pleroma Hosting on Raspberry Pi
  8. Electric Zine Maker (early beta, be gentle, hug it often)

The cutting-edge of cutting: How Japanese scissors have evolved

I know of plenty of folks who like fancy stationary, pens, and pencils, but scissors seems much more up my alley, tbh.

The Invisible City Beneath Paris

I am a sucker for any sort of urban exploration stuff.

The Convivial Society, No. 17: Arduous Interfaces

And @kicks’ response, Reply: Arduous Interfaces. From the response:

We’ve long had some equivalent of Robert’s Rules of Order—now we see codes of conduct or forum guidelines. When we think of running an online group, we think of moderating’ it. Policing the conversations, cleaning up spam and so on. And this is fine: probably necessary and I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea of how to do it.

But I think we also need a librarian ethic somewhere among these groups. Maybe there are moderators out there who have this kind of commission. You are dealing with a community of writers, who are all filling the community up with their verbose output—this is all data that needs to be grappled with.

So, think of a librarian at work: putting books back under the proper heading, referring readers to specific titles, borrowing books from the outside—in fact, I wish communities were better about knowing what other communities are in the topical vicinity—to help everyone find themselves a home. (I do see this, though, in the Indieweb community—a person might be told to check out micro.blog or maybe TiddlyWiki. However, I think we’re lucky to be a meta-community.)

Toward the next generation of programming tools

I’ve long thought that the real next-generation programming language won’t be a rehash of LISP, C, or Smalltalk syntax. It won’t be character based at all: it will be visual. Rather than typing, we’ll draw what we want.

The Pizza Lab: Foolproof Pan Pizza

Make thee a pizza.

Black and white and RSS; Photos you can only see in a feed

Fans of RSS, unite!

Link logging

Spring break is winding down, and all familial travel for at least a few weeks is done. I am excited to find my way back into the regular” routine.

Work this week has been pretty busy, and I’ve been writing a bit of css. This week’s log features some css tidbits.

How to make a great anime adaptation

I think the article’s sub-headline pretty much sums it up:

First, get earnest. Second, get expressionist. Finally, get corny.

Set up a live static personal web site in seconds with Indie Web Server 8.0.0

I’ve been using Netlify for all my static sites, lately, but this project looks like a neat alternative for those who don’t mind a wee bit of server administration.

Art Direction For The Web Using CSS Shapes

Bending text, and the web to one’s (design) will.

fyi: [hidden] is a lie

In summary:

The solution is tragic and it’s to either not use hidden (because it’s a lie), or to pepper your apps with

[hidden] { display: none !important }

and they both suck, so have fun!

CSS masonry with flexbox, :nth-child(), and order

Confession: I once spent well over a week attempting to accomplish this exact thing in plain ol’ css without any luck. I had to resort to using — *shutters* — javascript.

Link logging

Bulletin Butter and Jelly

If I set up a BBS would you want in? What would you want to BBS about?”

Texting Means Never Having to Say Goodbye

I thought about the last time I’d actually typed ttfn. I imagine it was at least 18 years ago, on my family’s Gateway desktop during the era of dial-up AOL. And then I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I said g2g,” or even bye,” in an online conversation.

The medium is the message, and the message is nearly always deliverable. So easy to be alone when you can’t ever be apart. Never say good bye,” but are you then always alone?

Go! Make a game — play a game.

Report on Anthem’s development woes draws terse response from BioWare

Also see Jack de Quidt on this.

here’s the wild thing that it feels almost impossible to say in the games industry: the game doesn’t mean shit! it’s lights and colours! it’s nice to play one and it’s nice to make a good one, sure

but — and i mean this very sincerely — if the production of the object ruins the lives and health of the people making it, the object doesn’t mean shit! what — you shipped a fun mech game? or a good cowboy game? great. who’s taking medical leave?

All games are a mess

I love that strange homemade games like The Frogs Of War and Legacy Of The Golden Hammer exist, these unpolished mishmashes of ideas and design as a form of creative expression. Enjoying these games is a way to enjoy all games, to accept that everything is from the same cloth, a different flawed piece of creativity, a different glimpse into what can be created.

On Flooding: Drowning the Culture in Sameness

And how much discovery can there be, really, with the same critics occupying the same space?

Hard left turn to allow me to insert a different conversation/question at this point on algorithmic curation.

Does algorithmic curation cutout the human element in what would elsewise be an artistic effort of mixing, or does it simply push the person a little further away — algorithm programmer as space builder, and us the viewing audience” as participant in a shared effort of consumptive curation…

So, you know, Derrida?

\_(ツ)_/

The Roundups of SHACKLESHOTGUN

Also see @kicks on roundups. (Thanks for the link-love, btw! (I enjoy collecting things, and this exercise is a good way of scratching that itch. My favorite part of collecting is making the collage at the end — by putting disparate things in proximity to one another making a new thing. These posts are my trying to do that. If you are interested in the unfiltered stream oh-links that are eventually paired down to become this, check out my profile on reading.am))

Why there is so little left of the early internet

Sometimes the sites that are lost echo even more seismic changes; the deaths and births of nations themselves. It happened with Yugoslavia; .yu was the top-level domain for Yugoslavia, and that ended when it collapsed. There’s a researcher who is trying to rebuild what was there before the break-up,” she says.

Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System

Parameters are dead last on my list of powerful interventions. Diddling with the details, arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Probably 90, no 95, no 99 percent of our attention goes to parameters, but there’s not a lot of leverage in them.

Can we truly think about climate change at all?

Object Oriented Ontology says no. Enter the Hyperobjects.”

Make it hard to screw up driven development

This is the request web dev resources link.

ttfn

Link logging

I got older last weekend so took a week off from assembling the link log. Gonna do a bit of ketchup here between playing levels of Baba is You.

Brace yourself!

Academics: it’s time to get behind decolonising the curriculum

Many advocates of decolonisation don’t want to abolish the canon; they want to interrogate its assumptions and broaden our intellectual vision to include a wider range of perspectives. While decolonising the curriculum can mean different things, it includes a fundamental reconsideration of who is teaching, what the subject matter is and how it’s being taught.

Elsewhere in the article,

When we offer white male-dominated reading lists we also teach students the wrong lessons about who is an intellectual authority and deserves our attention.

Privacy’s not an abstraction

Privacy for marginalized populations has never been, and will never be an abstract. Being surveilled, whether by private actors, or the state, is often the gateway to very tangible harms–violence in the form of police brutality, incarceration, or deportation. And there can be more subliminal, insidious impacts, too.

Continuing later,

…there is a valuable lesson here–just not the one that was intended. The idea that surveillance would be used as an assignment on those with no options for consent speaks to how broken our ideas about consent have become, trivializing what to many people is a life and death matter of their lived existence.

To loop back to decolonizing for a moment: this is why I think that decolonization” isn’t enough — I think we need to go the step further and queer the curriculum (well, I think we need to queer a lot of things, tbh). Queer thought is powerful for a plethora of reasons, none of which I’m qualified to talk about, but I do know that it offers am appropriate framework for including consent, even prioritizing it. So, yes decolonization. Yes queering.

Dream Askew/Dream Apart

Dream Askew

Queer strife amid the collapse. Collaboratively generate an apocalyptic setting. For 3-6 players across 3-4 hours. By Avery Alder

Dream Apart

Jewish fantasy of the shtetl. Immerse yourself in a fantastical version of history. For 3-6 players across 3-4 hours. By Benjamin Rosenbaum

Dream Askew and Dream Apart are two games of belonging outside belonging.

They run on the same system: no dice, no masters, a structured freeform game with shared worldbuilding.

(See also: These Games Prove That Not Every Tabletop RPG Needs a 300 Page Manual, Jack de Quidt writing for Waypoint)

How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger

The power of kindness and patience for a parent. I’ve been trying to take this to heart. And to slow down…remind myself that the schedule” usually, rarely, really doesn’t matter that much.

You Should Organize a Study Group/Book Club/Online Group/Event! Tips on How to Do It

I’ve tried to start many groups, and have failed most times. This blog post is a good reference for starting something. (Anyone wanna start a thing? Do a thing?)

Tilde.Town : The Hidden e-Village

I’ve been a resident of tilde.town for a while, and since then have explored a couple other tilde servers. I am smitten.

Making books to build communities, building communities to make books.

The power of the web (for better or worse!) might be distilled into two fundamental characteristics:

  1. the ability to transmit and receive information instantaneously and cheaply
  2. the ability to gather and harness communities (loosely joined ones like Facebook friends with shared cultural interests, and tightly joined ones like work colleagues collaborating on a project)

(…very tangentially related: iOS versus” JavaScript: How to Learn From Other Programming Communities)

And some game dev resources

Link logging

Me, On The Screen: Race in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

I am a big fan of Austin Walker — I love his writing, and the way he GMs games on Friends at the Table. In this piece from 2013 he explores and contextualizes the importance of inclusive representation in games and play through the lens of Animal Crossing. Seeing this is even cooler being familiar with the hundreds of hours of actual-play he has coordinated and helped to produce since it almost all highlights the importance and power of representation.

Other people’s weeknotes

A list of people’s weeknotes. Weeknotes may be peak-blog. I adore them.

10 Nonhumans That Are Legally Humans

A list of things that are legally recognized as humans but that aren’t actual humans.

The ultimate guide to DuckDuckGo

A list of all the things DuckDuckGo can do for you.

Application Holotypes: A Guide to Architecture Decisions

A list of holotypes which help to form the basis of a taxonomy for web applications.


These next two items go hand-in-hand and absolutely fascinate me. Things like this make me want to go for a PhD just because I’d love the time to write thousands of words about what it takes to bring the physical to the digital…and exploring what it then takes to physically maintain the digital” replication of the physical object.

Hand Job Zine and Mass Digitization Files

A collection of zines exploring the labor of digitization (and who does that labor).

Dancing the flip-flop

flip-flop (n.) the process of pushing a work of art or craft from the physical world to the digital world and back, often more than once.

That’s pretty abstract. Here’s an example recipe:

  1. Carve a statue out of stone. PHYSICAL
  2. Digitize your statue with a 3D scanner. DIGITAL
  3. Make some edits. Shrink it down. Add wings. STILL DIGITAL
  4. Print the edited sculpture in plastic with a 3D printer. PHYSICAL AGAIN

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.

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.”

Link logging

CSS: From Zero to Hero

The crashiest crash course for all things CSS. Covers all the basics — you won’t be ready to tackle all the things, but you’ll be good to go for most things.

How Many .com Domain Names Are Unused?

Some key features:

There are currently 137 million .com domain names registered.1 Of these, roughly 1/3 are in use (businesses, personal websites, email, etc.), another 1/3 appear to be unused, and the last 1/3 are used for a variety of speculative purposes.

My take away, as always, is that the internet is REALLY big…but only a little itty bit of it sees a meaningful amount of traffic. Leading us to…

Why isn’t the internet more fun and weird?

Three things MySpace got right

  1. To make a page on MySpace, all it took was text in a textbox.
  2. The text could be words or code.
  3. Anyone could read the words and see the code.

Continuing, later:

The internet is the great equalizer (1996). People used to believe that. Today, it sounds sarcastic.

We — the programmers, designers, product people — collectively decided that users don’t deserve the right to code in everyday products. Users are too stupid. They’d break stuff. Coding is too complicated for ordinary people. Besides, we can just do the coding…so why does it matter?

I’m all for making the internet weird again. It is something I’m trying to get more cozy doing here, on my personal website.

And if you want to do that (make the internet weird again) we should preserve folks’ ability to get their feet wet, and their hands dirty on the web!

HTML, CSS and our vanishing industry entry points

However, when it comes to frameworks and approaches which build complexity around writing HTML and CSS, there is something deeper and more worrying than a company having to throw away a couple of years of work and rebuild because they can’t support a poorly chosen framework.

When we talk about HTML and CSS these discussions impact the entry point into this profession. Whether front or backend, many of us without a computer science background are here because of the ease of starting to write HTML and CSS. The magic of seeing our code do stuff on a real live webpage! We have already lost many of the entry points that we had. We don’t have the forums of parents teaching each other HTML and CSS, in order to make a family album. Those people now use Facebook, or perhaps run a blog on wordpress.com or SquareSpace with a standard template. We don’t have people customising their MySpace profile, or learning HTML via Neopets. We don’t have the people, usually women, entering the industry because they needed to learn HTML during that period when an organisation’s website was deemed part of the duties of the administrator.

Neopets forever.

Also, read this thread, then read it again…and then maybe a 3rd time.

Decentralization is Not Enough

This (medium) post does a great job spelling out the pitfalls of a lot of the new wave of web tech that is purported to be saving” the web, or whatever. It is groovy if you a nerd…but essentially this new tech is just helping to build a walled garden for nerds. Sure anyone” can join…but very often you must be this nerd to enter. I think this is a very real issue for the IndieWeb community, too.

Leaving the web-punditry-zone now.

A few early marketing thoughts

I’ve been re-assessing my freelance work, and found this post from Julia Evans to be wicked timely.

I’m not really certain if I should be doing any marketing, to be honest, and if I should be doing any, I’m not sure what kind I ought to be doing.

The 26,000-Year Astronomical Monument Hidden in Plain Sight

On the western flank of the Hoover Dam stands a little-understood monument, commissioned by the US Bureau of Reclamation when construction of the dam began in 01931. The most noticeable parts of this corner of the dam, now known as Monument Plaza, are the massive winged bronze sculptures and central flagpole which are often photographed by visitors. The most amazing feature of this plaza, however, is under their feet as they take those pictures.

The plaza’s terrazzo floor is actually a celestial map that marks the time of the dam’s creation based on the 25,772-year axial precession of the earth.

I’m hooked. Also, are they gonna make a 3rd National Treasure movie? I’m ready for it.

Link Logging

The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging

Like many eventual household names in tech, LiveJournal started as a one-man project on a lark, driven by a techy teenager with too much time on his hands.

Many” seems like a stretch, here. I think the modern cultural myth of the boy genius starting a big Internet thing is exactly that…a myth. Like most myths there is a glimmer or incipit bit of truth at the heart of it, but a myth does not define a pattern.

Canon Is An Abyss

On poop, wizards, authorial intent, the canon, the bible, and the abyss.

Complications arise, however, when authors write what amounts to fan fiction about their own works: aftermarket pieces which extend or challenge their previous output and what was assumed, perhaps incorrectly, to be the foundation they set. For better and worse a premium is placed upon authorial intent, and a creator issuing aftermarket canon is not unlike a contractor arriving at your house with a single brick and a mandate from the city, explaining You don’t necessarily need this, but we think the place would be better if we added it.”

And later on,

All fictional canon is abyssal. The difference between canons is how deep we are encouraged to look, and by what method that encouragement is delivered. Pottermore tweets are one kind of encouragement to stare into the abyss of Harry Potter; but some works are designed as deeply abyssal. Doctor Who, soap operas, Star Wars, many long running comic series and the Dark Souls games allow their audience to become like Crowley’s magician: to sacrifice themselves to the depths of canon, become lost in the infinite void of often paradoxical possibility. These works do not unknowingly or only occasionally beckon their audience into the abyss of canon but take it as their ongoing structural mandate.

Mystery still surrounds hack of PHP PEAR website

A compromised package manager seems pretty much like a worse case scenario situation. Throwback to the recent npm bruhaha.

Privacy Is Not Dying, We’re Killing It

Why hello-there provocative title! 👋

So we say we value privacy, but we hardly understand what we mean by it. Privacy flourishes in the attention economy to the same degree that contentment flourishes in the consumer economy, which is to say not at all. Quietly and without acknowledging as much, we’ve turned the old virtue into a vice.

Privacy in the digital-age” is such an interesting concept, rife with issue for sure, but also…intriguing. It seems like, maybe, privacy is something that is a) more valuable than it used to be, b) a creative act. If we desire to interact online, we have to construct our privacy intentionally. Set it aside, tend to it.

Why Paper Maps Still Matter in the Digital Age

With the proliferation of smartphones, it’s easy to assume that the era of the paper map is over…research reveals that the paper map still thrives in the digital era, and there are distinct advantages to using print maps.

🗺

Digital interfaces are good for acquiring surface knowledge.

📱

Print maps help you acquire deep knowledge faster and more efficiently.

🏃‍♀️💨

Ultimately, I don’t think it should be a competition between physical and digital. In the future, people will continue to need both kinds of maps. Instead of arguing whether paper or digital is a better map interface, people should consider what map is the right tool for the task.

🤝

Link logging

Magnet Fingers

I have magnets implanted in my hands

A person with magnets in 2 of their fingers. Why, how, and some more.

In China, the smiley face emoji does not mean what you think it means

WeChat has its own emoji vernacular.

Children Are Using Emoji for Digital-Age Language Learning

I wanted to find out not only whether kids were texting emoji but which emoji, and why? How do they organize emoji into sequences and ideas, and how do these early ramblings shift as kids learn to read?

Skipping to the conclusion

Kids still get picture books read to them. But now that we all communicate in writing so much more often, kids also are read text messages. For a kid to get a text message written directly for them, and read directly to them, which they can reply to in some fashion, it teaches them something powerful about the written word—that it can be used to connect with people you care about.

Privacy Is Not Dying, We’re Killing It

… Privacy may not be dead but it’s morphing, and it is doing so in part because of how we habitually conduct ourselves and how our tools mediate our perception.

So we say we value privacy, but we hardly understand what we mean by it. Privacy flourishes in the attention economy to the same degree that contentment flourishes in the consumer economy, which is to say not at all. Quietly and without acknowledging as much, we’ve turned the old virtue into a vice.

Packaging as Content | Box Vox

This is a weirdly fascinating and specific blog about packaging design. Keep an eye out for the series of posts all about Polyhedral Milk Cartons.