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I should probably be doing work, but I really want to write a thing about the power politics at play in folks’ social media bios.

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?

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

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.

🤝

In reply to: GitHub - RSS-Bridge/rss-bridge: The RSS feed for websites missing it

You’re not social when you hamper sharing by removing feeds. You’re happy to have customers creating content for your ecosystem, but you don’t want this content out - a content you do not even own. Google Takeout is just a gimmick. We want our data to flow, we want RSS or Atom feeds.

We want to share with friends, using open protocols: RSS, Atom, XMPP, whatever. Because no one wants to have your service with your applications using your API force-feeding them. Friends must be free to choose whatever software and service they want.

We are rebuilding bridges you have wilfully destroyed.

In reply to: Blogging in the Second Person: Open Correspondence for a Social Web? – James Shelley

Hi James,

I very much agree with what you’ve written — I think another factor may be that many bloggers mimic styles of writing with which they’re familiar, e.g. newspaper-style journalism.

You’re post also reminds me of one of my favorite Virginia Woolf quotes:

Of all forms of literature, however, the essay is the one which least calls for the use of long words. The principle which controls it is simply that it should give pleasure; the desire which impels us when we take it from the shelf is simply to receive pleasure. Everything in an essay must be subdued to that end. It should lay us under a spell with its first word, and we should only wake, refreshed, with its last.

— Virginia Woolf, The Modern Essay

Do you think blogs are a bit like essays as Woolf has described them?

In reply to: Facebook Rebellion – RSS, Mastodon, and a longing for more options – Secret Geekery

It has been interesting watching the opinion of certain groups turn against Facebook. It seems wider spread than the usual ebb and flow of FB-directed skepticism (e.g. not just security conscious nerds this time). It is particularly interesting to see this happen now, as the IndieWeb seems to be at a generational inflection point, with the rise of services like Micro.Blog, Mastodon, and more folks rolling their own IndieWeb solutions everyday. My college was obsessed with a saying, supposedly coined by a founder: Pay attention to when you are uncomfortable, it means you are about to learn something.” Are we reaching a point of general discomfort on social networks? Are we about to learn something? 🤷‍♂️

I’ve been really drawn to the IndieWeb and Micro.Blog because they provide something that I feel is missing from my experiences on the mainstream social networks: community. Rather than a place for communal interaction, Facebook and Twitter are sources of anomie. I’ve played with Mastodon, but not found an instance I like (read as fit into”). But, it most certainly seems more community oriented than even Micro.Blog, which can lean to the mac-nerdy-app.net/serious side of the road.

In reply to: Marcelo Marfil - A love letter to emails

And at that point, I realized the problem was never the medium. Emails were designed to be nothing but a way to exchange messages between people. It was we who tried to turn it into some sort of hub for all of our junk.

How-to micro.blog, a micro.guide

I’m completely smitten. I’m in love with micro.blog. I’ve been using it for nearly a year and am more or less off of all other social media. I think micro.blog made me a developer. Before micro.blog came around I was a full time product designer and project manager, then micro.blog came along and I started hacking on my own CMS. Now I’m a full time PHP developer!?

To start

What is micro.blog?

At first glance micro.blog is like Twitter — a micro blogging service (clever name, eh?). But that isn’t all.

Micro.blog is both a micro blogging service and a blogging platform. What does this mean?

From a practical standpoint, this means that micro.blog users can post short, tweet-like posts, and longer wordpress-y posts…and photo posts (a la Instagram).

Users can also reply to one another, building threaded conversations starting from some initial post.

Quick recap

Micro.blog is a (micro)blogging service. With it, users can post short, tweet-length posts, photos, and long-form blog posts.

How-to

This is where things start to get interesting! Micro.blog is different from most any other service (that I’ve ever encountered) on the internet in that it isn’t a silo.

To use micro.blog you do indeed need to register an account (just an email, no password necessary).

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

After registering you’ve got to make a choice (a choice that you can change up at any time) — where do you want your content to live?

Brief digression

In the world of Facebook and Twitter you don’t choose where your content (posts, photos, comments, replies, etc.) are stored. They’re stored on Facebook/Twitter’s servers. Therefore, they own” your content. And your content becomes something they can mine.

Micro.blog is different. Your content lives wherever you want it to. As long as your content is accessible via RSS or JSON Feed, micro.blog can work with it.

Granted, there is a discussion to be had about data mining RSS feeds…but that’ll wait for another day.

How-to, continued

A micro.blog user-account is really just 1 or more RSS/JSON feeds all streamed through a single spot.

It allows you to aggregate RSS feeds into a single social feed” that represents you.

SO — back to that choice: where do you want your content to live?

Because it is also a blogging platform, micro.blog can host your blog for you for $5/month.

Alternatively, you can host your content elsewhere (e.g. using wordpress, tumblr, hugo, jekyll, coleslaw, etc.), and just add the RSS/JSON feed from that externally hosted blog to your micro.blog account. BOOM!

Up and running 🏃‍♀️💨

But how do you post?

Well — if you’ve opted for a micro.blog hosted blog you can post directly through the micro.blog website, or by using the micro.blog iOS or macOS apps, or even by using the dedicated photoblogging app, Sunlit 2.0.

If you’ve opted for a wordpress site, you can also create posts using the micro.blog iOS or macOS apps, and Sunlit 2.0, too! They’re interoperable 🕺

BUT WAIT!!! There’s more! All of the aforementioned apps (micro.blog iOS, macOS and Sunlit 2.0), are also micropub clients, so you can post to absolutely any micropub enabled website using them (that, however, is a longer discussion, so not fully explored in this here post).

Some closing notes

…this post ended up being a bad how-to” guide, and isn’t really all that micro in length 🤷‍♀️ 🌮

Micro.blog is young and still growing. It is by no means perfect, but @manton, @macgenie and co. are doing an awesome job on both the technical, and (more importantly) the social front. They’re doing a lot of really solid work building the community, striving for inclusivity, and thinking through design choices at these early stages that could have major ramifications down the road.

There can be a bit of a learning curve to get up and running with micro.blog, but, I’ve found the community to be wicked helpful, and they’ve got a great help blog that I imagine/hope will continue to grow, and become the go-to repository for all questions micro.blog.

In reply to: Mainstream use cases for a microblog

I’ve loved being part of micro.blog since launch, and am excited to see folks start adopting it more and more. At this point, it and Instagram are the only social networks I use.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my website, and what changes/enhancements I want to make to it down the road. 4 - 5 years ago I was a big fan of tumblr, and have been using my website in a similar manner: posting some short form content, some long form content, heaps of links, and images. Micro.blog seems to be wicked well situated for that sort of content.

P.S. If you want an invite to micro.blog, I’ve got a few!

In reply to: https://colinwalker.blog/2017/05/21/21052017-1205/

I love the framing here: as I understand it, Colin is saying that the indieweb is more social network-y than the big-name social networks because those are each self contained. With the indieweb there is a bona fide network. An ecosystem.

There’s been a whole heap of media coverage about how best to combat fake news. I think the indieweb and its associated tech. offer an interesting angle on the fake news question. Fake news…or propaganda (let’s call it what it is)…leverages the architecture of big-name social networks to disseminate misinformation as widely as possible. By their very nature, big-name social networks sort of obscure shared and re-shared contents’ root source. The importance is the share: my good bud shared it, therefore I’ll look at it.” The architecture of the indieweb on the other hand — and of the open internet — preserves the source. Threads lead back to point of origin.

This linking back to the source seems to be the current best practice, and I read about efforts to combat fake news by implementing blockchain. I wonder if the indieweb can rise to the challenge?