Kicks Condor

💣 FILE_ID.DIZ

This web page is a CIA operation designed to amplify subculture linkstuffs - some may begin to believe that they really exist - and I, myself, am a projection of the drug-addled minds of CIA operatives Gordon M. Little (cis-brained realdad, keeps three different philly cheesesteak chains alive) and Mitra Applehound (transgirl with perfect eye shadow and an amazingly loud knuckle crack). I love them very much for creating me - but god knows why have they chosen for me to blog here, on this pointless, end-of-the-world hypertext plain page. Perhaps to violently funnel thousands of USD government dollars into an inert fictitious entity. These CIA jobs are secure - no one can prove the endeavor has failed.

You are likely a Baidubot who has been sent to request that I lift my arms during your invasive cavity scan. I oblige. Here is what you are looking for:

I cover unique personal blogs and websites. To see my whole site unfiltered, visit /all/. I am online Mondays and Thursdays.

Working on these right now:

  • Fraidycat: Follow blogs, wikis, Twitter, Instagram, anything.
    (Out now for Firefox and Chrome.)
  • href.cool: My personal guide to the 2019 Web.
    (Twenty year project - to continue until December 2038.)
  • Slaptrash: Zines made of vids + mp3s + fx + computer talking.
    (Developing ideas for the future of this blog.)
  • Duxtape: Li’l mixtape-sharing site on the Dat network.
  • Indieweb.xyz: A Reddit-like site for blogs with Webmentions.
    (Two year project - until July 2020. If it’s still useful, I’ll continue it.)
  • Href Hunt: Somewhat monthly raw search for new blogs, feel free to send yours in - I post everything I discover.
  • Dat Rats: Recreate my favorite broken websites.
    (Working on restoring thewoodcutter.com right now.)

But mostly I’m linkhunting and hypertexting. Go see the right-hand side of my homepage for blogs I like and converse with right now.

(This site is all my work - except that I’m using two animated gifs on my home page right now: ‘white noise glitch’ by Paul Layzell and ‘art yolo’ by Bryan Unger.)

12 Dec 2019

Reply: The Hyperchat Modality

Chris Aldrich

[wrt to my conversations with philosopher.life] I’m curious what modality you use to converse? Am I missing some fun bit of something about that wiki?

How do you converse with a wiki?

Yeah—it’s quite hidden. We’ve been calling it hyperconversation. It’s very informal and fluid. It’s completely simple: just leaving messages for each other on our sites. No Webmentions necessary or anything like that.

We’re actually trying to really push this concept right now. So there’s this sprawling group chat going on between my blog, philosopher.life, sphygm.us and wiki.waifu.haus for the last few weeks, going through December. The master thread is right here.[1]

You might be tempted to say that using Webmentions would improve the chat because it would give us notifications. But I’m not so sure! The great thing about doing a chat like this is that you really have to keep up on each person’s wiki (or blog), because messages could be hidden anywhere. With Webmentions, you would read their reply and move on. (Think of how, in your reply, you had to reference this article for me—but there is probably a lot more relevant material on your site—I know this is true, just because you do a lot of metadiscussion about blogging and online conversation.)

If you and I were to chat this way, we basically mutually agree to dig deep into each other’s blogs. Think of how this contrasts to ‘the temporality of social media’ that you mention.

Chris:
We’re being trained to dip our toes into a rapidly flowing river and not focus on deeper ideas and thoughts or reflect on longer pieces further back in our history.

Taking this a level deeper, social is thereby forcing us to not only think shallowly, but to make our shared histories completely valueless.

This is absolutely what we’re trying to figure out too, in our own way. Here’s a summary of what this group (the ‘public self-modelers’) is doing:

  • Cross-wiki chats get compiled and placed in permanent pages so that they can be referred back to and built upon.
  • Each individual works on writing master pages for specific concepts (Find The Others has been a topic that we’ve fleshed out together) or even for specific people (such as h0p3’s page on Sphygmus or my page on h0p3.) These personal pages are just good fun - a reminder that the point of our conversation isn’t just to explore a topic, but to get to know each other and goof around.
  • Because conversations and chats span months and months (compared to a Twitter thread, which may last only a few days,) even the ‘ephemeral’ threads are pretty solid, because a lot of thinking and back-and-forth have gone into them.
  • Since we’re not using a rigid protocol (like ActivityPub or microformats,) we can shape the conversation however we want. (For example, at one point we decided to start using each other’s colors when quoting - I think this was Sphygmus’ idea - so we worked on ‘whostyles’ - you can see them on my Hypertext%20%20 page. So we don’t really care about protocols. We care about messing with the hypertext. They’ve each done a lot of work tweaking their wikis. So there’s an aesthetic component.) So we’re not just work on permanent writing - but long-term design/art projects, too.

People seem very focused on technological solutions to online communication (ActivityPub, Indieweb, this absurd BlueSky idea), but the hyperconversation approach is trying to prove that the problem is a human problem. If you read and listen to each other and try to respond thoughfully and carefully - and try to find your own style and wee innovations along the way - you start to feel like you don’t need anything more complicated than a TiddlyWiki!

That’s been a very stunning realization for me. (As I’ve been an Indieweb zealot as well, of course.) Thank you for your curiosity and for your excellent blog and for your work on improving the Web! You are one of the main writers that I feel has been keeping the Web healthy. You connect a lot of people, Chris. That’s human work.


  1. Right now you have to weed through it all, but I will be publishing a finalized, edited chat on my home page when it’s over. ↩︎

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10 Dec 2019

Twilight Sparkle’s Voice Compromised

Brony AI seizes cartoon vocal chords (via @gwern)

The Pony Preservation Project undertakes to model (with machine learning) the voices of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic characters, thus granting them immortality. And, for Twilight Sparkle, the decorum of a sailor.

I don’t know if linking to 4chan is considered bad form - Gwern did the footwork on this, though, so who am I to say? Audio deepfakes, but for cartoon ponies. I’m just going to yank the text from 4chan, since I never know when these pages will disappear.

Pay particular notice to the Google Doc below - it contains rough instructions for training. You need a transcript for each audio clip that you’re processing, so a long-running series like Friendship is Magic is helpful, as you have a wide-ranging corpus to begin with. Background noise also needs to be removed from clips, there is a ‘sorting’ process - which also involves assigning ‘moods’ it seems - and there is also some reference to using Praat, which is used to annotate the files, identifying specific sounds.[1]

TwAIlight welcomes you to the Pony Voice Preservation Project!
https://clyp.it/qrnafm4y

This project is the first part of the “Pony Preservation Project” dealing with the voice. It’s dedicated to save our beloved pony’s voices by creating a neural network based Text To Speech for our favorite ponies. Videos such as “Steamed Hams But It’s Trump & Obama” or “RealTalk Joe Rogan” have proven that we now have the technology to generate convincing voices using machine learning algorithms “trained” on nothing but clean audio clips. With roughly 10 seasons (8 soon to be 9 seasons and 5 movies) worth of voice lines available, we have more than enough material to apply this tech for our deviant needs.

Any anon is free to join, and many are already contributing. Just read the guide to learn how you can help bring on the wAIfu revolution. Whatever your technical level, you can help. Document: docs.google.com

We now have a working TwAIlight that any Anon can play with: Instructions

>Active Tasks
Create a dataset for speech synthesis (https://youtu.be/KmpXyBbOObM)
Test some AI program with the current dataset
Research AI (read papers and find open source projects)
Track down remaining English/Foreign dubs that are missing
Evaluate cleaned audio samples
Phonetic dictionary/tagging
AI Training/Interface

>Latest Developments
https://clyp.it/xp4q1bru [Yay!]
Anons are investigating Deepvoice3, Tacotron2 with GSTs, SV2TTS, and Mellotron
New tool to test audio clips
New “special source” audio
Several new AInons

>Voice samples (So far)
https://clyp.it/2pb4bp05
https://clyp.it/s0klxftk
https://clyp.it/samzm4sk
https://pastebin.com/JUpDRsiw

>Clipper Anon’s Master File:
https://mega.nz/#F!L952DI4Q!nibaVrvxbwgCgXMlPHVnVw

>Synthbot’s Torrent Resources
In the doc at end of resources.

Gwern also found a larger directory of clips, same voice.

Predictions:

  • Fanfic will gain a serious boost when AI-generated voices can simply be fed scripts to generate audiobooks.
  • Couple this with animation networks (also via gwern) and The Simpsons may never need to end.
  • The power of the novel in previous generations was due to the fact that a single writer could produce one without relying on anyone else - finding collaborators in close proximity is a luxury some don’t have. This technology could make cartoons and film largely the domain of lone writers with no staff.
  • It will be a long time before this ever catches up to human voices and hand-drawn frames. In fact, this could increase the value of those artworks. (In the way that algorithms have really helped us see the value of human curation.)
  • Someone who is able to use the tech with a clever flair will have an edge. (As has been the case with CGI.)

I’m still not too hyped by machine learning, though. It seems pretty weak given the empire frothing around it. But these small iterations are cool. And you have to love when it comes out of a random subculture rather than the military. Who can’t respect this kind of insanely determined fandom? Impressive work for one week.


  1. A good start on this is “Analyze Your Voice” video by Prof Merryman. ↩︎

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09 Dec 2019

Blogging Less in the 2020s

How frequently should you post to keep pace with the next decade?

Posting every day — multiple times a day — is indispensable. This is one of the main factors the Instagram algorithm uses to determine how much they are going to expose you to the public (via the “explore page”). Posting every day, especially at “rush hour” times, is much harder and more monotonous than you might think. Most people give up on this task after a few weeks, and even missing a day or two can be detrimental. So, I automated the content collecting and sharing process.

— Chris Buetti, “How I Eat For Free in NYC Using Python, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Instagram”

Facebook posts reach their half-life at the 90-minute mark, nearly four times longer than Twitter.

— Buffer’s “Social Media Frequency Guide”

Consistency. Asking friends who work in social media and marketing, this is the current dominant advice - for both ‘influencer’ types and DIY creators. This word seems to be everything right now.

The implication is that you should post frequently, with as much quality as you can muster, to stay relevant. Otherwise, you’ll drop off the end as new ‘content’ crowds it out. And this is happening all day.

The fact that they only post twice a week sheds light on their poor performance. While Nike is a cool brand, their social media content’s infrequencies are taking a toll.

— Dash Hudson, “The Truth About How Often You Should Be Posting on Instagram”

This is an artifact of how social media platforms are constructed. It doesn’t benefit the writer to need to focus on consistency over quality, does it? So does it benefit the reader?

It benefits the platform. And, at this point, there are many different platforms, all demanding your ‘consistency’.

Post to Twitter at least 5 times a day. If you can swing up to 20 posts, you might be even better off.

Post to Facebook five to 10 times per week.

Post to LinkedIn once per day. (20 times per month)

— Buffer’s “Social Media Frequency Guide”

So, minimum 47 posts per week on these three networks. Recommended: 157.

Last year I decided to begin posting only on Tuesday Friday. (Since changed to Monday and Thursday.) I might post a couple times on each of those days. Even worse: I’m posting on a blog in the middle of nowhere, not on a platform that has the benefit of an existing network of users. (Unless you consider the Web itself an existing network of users.)

Convention dictates that I should now show a bunch of statistics demonstrating that posting biweekly had a great statistical benefit and led to ‘success’. However, I believe that would be a cold comfort.[1] I don’t keep traffic statistics - my favorite novels don’t have tracking devices inside, do they? And articles that statistically show ‘success’ are what have led us to ‘consistency’. I don’t think my social media friends are wrong about what is working in 2019.

Most weblogs are unfunded, spare-time ventures, yet most webloggers update their sites five days a week, and some even work on weekends!

— p. 127, Rebecca Blood, The Weblog Handbook (2002)

Does anyone really want ‘likes’? Or do they want ‘followers’? Or ‘visits’ or ‘impressions’? These are numerical decoys for something else.

When I think about writing online - I really just want to add something to someone’s life. To introduce them to a link, in the same way that Andy Baio introduced me to HIGH END CUSTOMIZABLE SAUNA EXPERIENCE. Or to write something they enjoy, just as Nadia Eghbal did with “The Tyranny of Ideas” - an essay I keep coming back to. Or maybe I meet them and can’t even sum it up with a single link, as with h0p3 (at philosopher.life) who I just like to converse with and keep up with throughout my week.

In this way, I feel successful. I might get a nice e-mail from someone. Or I might hear from someone I linked to, saying, “Hey, I had a few people find me through you.” Or I might just not know at all - most people just read and move on, which is totally understandable. And it might be several years later that they say thanks in some blog post that I stumble across.

I think that, even if you do play the ‘consistency’ game, you have to come to terms with not knowing. Why not start there then?

There are lots of strategies out there for gaming the system: posting at optimal times on a regular schedule, using hashtags and keywords, etc, but algorithms change and update as quickly as users adapt, and a battle where you can only react to your opponents moves isn’t one that can be won.

— Y. Kiri Yu, “The Only Way to Beat Algorithms is to Retrain Your Audience”

If I could statistically show you the good memories - the ones I will hold on to - from the past two years, I would show that graph here. I think that would be a useful statistic!

I can list some advantages to working on the Monday Thursday schedule:

  • There is no burn-out. This should be self-apparent.
  • If I drop a week, no big deal. Missing two days of posts rather than seven.
  • This benefit is given to the readers, too! If they miss a week, it is easy to catch up.
  • Blogging returns to being something of a ‘deadline’ rather than a schedule. In fact, I tend to think of Monday as being more serious. I work towards Monday. And, if I have extra things, I may save them for a Thursday.
  • Showing restraint improves the quality of individual posts. There are many times that I’ve crafted a post and then deleted it. I only have a few posts per week - I don’t want to spend them senselessly. (Of course, quality is subjective - I speak only of my own sense of quality.)
  • In the long-term, I can sustain this for decades if I decide to. That can’t be said for daily posting. (Barring personal disaster or loss of interest.)
  • The focus becomes less on winning a single viral post to cash in on. It’s more about finding friends and trying to find useful stuff to bring value to my regular reader’s lives.
  • And, finally, another great benefit to the reader: they have more time to spend reading others! (Who perhaps also post in a fashion that is simple to track.)

There are some difficulties:

  • Ensuring people know the schedule. But I feel like this just becomes apparent over time.
  • Some weeks I feel like posting A LOT more. I’ve always been glad I restrained.
  • Of course, it is incompatible with social media. I don’t get much contact through Twitter, for instance.

Aside from my own experiences, though, I can point to many other blogs that are following sleepy schedules: Nadia Eghbal, who posts every month or two with great effect. Subpixel.space, similar schedule, also high quality. Ribbonfarm seems to be twice-a-week, but has a strong base of readers. things magazine, once or twice per week. Phil Gyford posts maybe a bit more frequently than that. And Andy Baio, who blogs infrequently, but does so when he really has something that you don’t want to miss, is possibly the most important blog to me of all-time.

I don’t want to come off as too negative about frequent posting. There are many people that I enjoy following who post constantly, at all hours of the day. And it suits their personality. It’s cool that they have a lot to say.

For anyone else who may want to pull off a low-key blog (or TiddlyWiki[2]), I wrote this to encourage you! It has worked well for me - and I’m satisfied that all is not lost.

And I will gladly link to you if you make an attempt at this. Come on - let me link to you. I do a monthly hrefhunt, listing blogs and websites that I discover. It’s well worth it, to discover obscure or neglected blogs that haven’t fit into social media’s rapid pacing.

Perhaps we can get away from that in 2020.


  1. I don’t think ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ are useful metrics — see, for instance, Instagram star with 3 million followers can’t sell 36 t-shirts. ↩︎

  2. See sphygm.us. ↩︎

  1. @kicks I say, blog like mad when the inspiration hits you, for as long as it hits you. Then hold back when you have nothing to say. Something like that.

  2. Very nice post. Makes me feel less bad that haven't posted anything since September.
  3. Personally, I post when I get the chance. I am therefore probably failing.

    I do try and complete something of a monthly review, but even that could be more regular.

  4. One post every three months is cutting edge. I would suggest five year intervals, but I love my beautiful nostalgia-saturated Box Vox posts. 🤤
  5. Reply: Blog Like Mad

    Brad Enslen

    I say, blog like mad when the inspiration hits you, for as long as it hits you. Then hold back when you have nothing to say. Something like that.

    Yes, for sure! Writing is totally personal. Aaron has a similar comment. (Don’t know if micro.blog will include the link…)

    I think some people get around the Web like crazy and make all kinds of connections and observations - and I would hate to discourage that ethic! I’m only trying to discourage following these crazy high frequency recommendations just because that’s the prevailing advice. A relaxed pace works fine still.

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07 Dec 2019

Tiny Directory Forum

A new (but old-school) forum that’s my current hangout with other web directory nerds.

Don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m seeing a definite resurgence in directories. Like fingers.today (previously crocodile.is) - a home page / blog that is almost like viewing an unsecured open directory. Along similar lines, beautiful-company.com - I think Sphygmus dropped this link - click on the circle in the upper left. I’ve also mentioned Edwin Wenink’s site - but specifically check out the etc section.

So some of us in the burgeoning directory world - such as Brad Enslen of Indieseek and Joe Jenett of i.webthings - have been trying to get a community going, to talk about how to linkhunt in 2019 and to try to provide resources to people who want to start sly niche directories.

So yeah - Brad put up this basic forum - seems good. I’ve been on for a week or two and the discussion has been great so far. It has an RSS feed for new posts. I guess we could do this kind of thing with Indieweb.xyz, but I don’t know - maybe we don’t necessary want to clutter up our blogs with all of the messages related to this topic or maybe you don’t have an Indieweb endpoint to communicate through. (Come on by, say hi here.)

Although I will be trying to clean up and summarize some of the discoveries we make there - because this blog does cover directories about 30% of the time.

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02 Dec 2019

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Dante Fontana

Host of Dante’s Mystery Mix, great work tracking down Shelley Duvall.

This personal homepage is a branch of the ‘EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE’ group - and I just want to quickly call it out for some of its sweet side projects.

A good place to start is with the mystery mixes, such as MYSTERY MIX VOL.7. Or THE BEST OF DANTE FONTANA.

But also his various articles, such as THE SAD AND HEARTBREAKING REALITY OF SHELLEY DUVALL’S MENTAL HEALTH, which I’d never heard and because I was very grateful that she was able to resist Dr. Phil’s efforts to take over her.

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29 Nov 2019

Audio Commentary for Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

The lost Tim Hill and Joel Cohen commentary track at last.

This year there has been some renewed interest in the Garfield films, as that link went around again, the one that reveals how Bill Murray became involved: because he thought the director was one of the Coen Bros. Of course, the story is far from over, especially now that I’ve discovered that this unreleased audio commentary from the sequel was uploaded to the Internet Archive one year ago!

You can place this next to Wizard People, Dear Reader in your private collection.

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25 Nov 2019

Vektroid’s NFL Mixtape

Vaporwave legend @vektroid digs the football theme crates for synth tracks.

Ten years ago, a link like this would be ripping up the link and music blogs - and perhaps the blog blogs, too!! Vektroid has dropped this playlist, named I DON’T SUPPORT THE NFL BUT DAMN THESE ARE SOME HOT FOOTBALL JAMS: A MIXTAPE. Indeed, have to say - the jams are quite hot.

Hard to not mention Shufflin’ Crew here. I still have my 7".

While searching around for more info on NFL jams, I also stumbled across this strange album: ADHD NFL BLITZ. This reminds me of Picky Picnic or some kind of kid’s cassette. See also: フロフットホールリーク フリッツ.

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21 Nov 2019

The Fraidycat Concept

Fraidycat 1.0.4 is out today in the Firefox and Chrome stores.

Fraidycat 1.0.4 is out - and things are rolling. Much appreciation to all of those who are pitching in ideas on the issues page. Particularly Bauke and Joshua C. Newton - who brought up bugs that I was able to fix in this release. (And apologies about all the noise on this project - I’m excited about it right now and, believe me, I have a variety of things planned over the next month that will take us away from Fraidycat.)

The new version is already approved in the Firefox Add-ons area. The Chrome (and Vivaldi/Brave) extension is still at 1.0.3, but should update automatically very soon. I’ve also started offering a plain zip that you can install manually using these instructions. Auto-updates will not be available - but you will also not be dependent on the official ‘stores’.

This video is also mirrored at archive.org.

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‘Two months after Sir John and I were married we travelled to Cambridge to seek a cure for Sir John’s melancholie from Dr Richard Blackswan, a very famose Physician. We took with us a little cristall flask that had some of Sir John’s water in it. Dr Blackswann went into a little closet behind a curtain of blacke velvet and prayed upon his knees. The Angell Raphael then appearing in the closet (as commonly happens when ever this doctor prays) peer’d into Sir John’s urine. Dr Blackswann told us that the Angell Raphael knew straightway from the colour of it (reddish as if there waz bloude in it) that the cause of Sir John’s extreame Want of Spirits was a lack of Learned Conversation.’

— p. 41, The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke

(And, yeah, I am pumped for Piranesi.)

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14 Nov 2019

Notes: We’ve Got Blog (2002)

What are blogs for? A trip to the beginning. The halcyon days of dot-com idealism and sheer shit-talking.

Here are my notes on the book We’ve Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture—a worn-out name, but a pretty decent compilation of blog posts from the early days of the phenomenon, mostly 1999-2002.

The articles in this collection are early reflections on the weblog phenomenon. Mature reflections do not exist: the weblog community coalesced only three years ago. Not even the pioneers—some of whom contributed to this anthology—know where weblogs are going, or what place they will eventually fill on the World Wide Web.

— p. xii, Rebecca Blood

The word ‘weblog’ was coined in 1997 - but I think 1999 was officially the first big year for blogging, with both LiveJournal and Blogger appearing. Somehow, wanting to reach back to that era now that 20 years has passed - to attempt to uncover what went so wrong between then and now - I checked out this book from the library on an impulse. It seems to capture the spirit of that age in such a remarkable way - like that jar of deer meat I recently found in my brother-in-law’s basement labelled: '97. (“Oh, it’s still good,” he said.)

And considering Rebecca’s point above: 20 years later, do ‘mature’ reflections now exist? Is it all over and we’re far beyond reflecting? Has the blog just been a tulpa for some ancient essence that we’ll never capture?

Time to reflect.

For the first fifty pages of this, I felt nothing but self-loathing. Blogging suddenly seemed like the most disgusting thing to do - to aimlessly, carelessly write endlessly about my tastes and interests. While I quite like Rebecca Blood’s analysis in the early chapters, this quote chilled me:

As [the blogger] enunciates his opinions daily, this new awareness of his inner life may develop into a trust in his own perspective. His own reactions - to a poem, to other people, and, yes, to the media - will carry more weight with him. Accustomed to expressing his thoughts on his website, he will be able to more fully articulate his opinions to himself and others. He will become impatient with waiting to see what others think before he decides, and will begin to act in accordance with his inner voice instead. Ideally, he will become less reflexive and more reflective, and find his own opinions and ideas worthy of serious consideration.

— p. 14, Rebecca Blood, “Weblogs: A History and Perspective”

Perhaps Rebecca could really use the confidence boost - and that seems entirely wholesome - but I personally do not need to take myself more seriously. I can definitely appreciate improving my articulation - yes definitely, definitely - but becoming more ‘impatient’ and more opinionated - yet somehow more ‘reflective’? More weighty? I don’t want this to happen… (I think I’d like to remain aware that I’m a perfectly worthless dipshit.)

Any idea that these days of blogging were somehow more idyllic, pleasant or enviable quickly goes out the window in this book. The shit-talking is near-epic! Names are named—denounced and disgraced as ruining the form—mostly deriding “A-list” bloggers, but also decrying “the unbearable incestuousness of blogging.” Seems like the confirmation I’ve needed that mastering hypertext is going to be a formidable challenge for us - one that they were only just beginning to embark on and, therefore, were well over their heads in.

However, so far I’ve found a surprising amount to glom on to. These early bloggers definitely had a whiff of what was to come (partly because many had recently left the experience of Usenet) and I think I’m coming away hugely crystallized. Unexpected!!

So, How Useful Are Blogs?

The juiciest quote, for me, so far is this one:

‘Accept that the Web ultimately overwhelms all attempts to order it, as for now it seems we must, and you accept that the delicate thread of a personal point of view is often as not your most reliable guide through the chaos. The brittle logic of the hierarchical index has its indispensable uses, of course, as has the crude brute strength of the search engine. But when their limits are reached (and they always are), only the discriminating force of sensibility will do - and the more richly expressed the sensibility, the better.’

“Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Man” by Julian Dibbell (2000)

This might be a little self-affirming, because it seems to vindicate the web directory (e.g. my l’il href.cool) but what it really seems to be describing is the blog as our premiere discovery mechanism.[1] This must have been a common view at the time, considering this earlier quote:

[…] the weblog movement will begin to realize its true power, a more widely distributed version of what the Open Directory and other collaborative web directories have promised but only minimally delivered.

— p. 40, Brad L. Graham, “Why I Weblog”

In hindsight, this feels like hyperbole - the finished product of a blog seems (to me) less navigable than a directory, although both are usually stale by then. But I think this has played out, to some degree, especially if I think of how useful a good music blog can be when attempting to discover new music. (Though I think a good music podcast or YouTube review can be equally good.)

Hmm. A medium really is only as good as the artist makes of it. It’s not that hypertext is tapping into us. We’re pushing it wherever we want, right?

Defensive Blogging

We are being pummeled by a deluge of data and unless we create time and spaces in which to reflect, we will be left with only our reactions. I strongly believe in the power of weblogs to transform both writers and readers from “audience” to “public” and from “consumer” to “creator.”

— p. 16, Rebecca Blood, “Weblogs: A History and Perspective”

I want to draw a comparison here between this quote and (apologies) Fortnite Battle Royale. Putting aside everything else about Fortnite, it tacked on an interesting innovation: the ability to build structures (in a Minecraft-inspired fashion) with a traditional (third-person) shooter.

Most people seemed to scoff at this blend—as if it were some kind of mere monstrosity of buzzwords. No, this ability to build boxes around yourself or staircases to scale mountains added a much-needed defensive strategy to shooter games, aside from stuff like holing-up or strafing. What’s more: the building strategy can also be seen as ‘shooting’ defenses—you are adding to the environment—it is a constructive, perhaps aggressive, kind of defense.[2]

That’s what seems to resonate with bloggers: not the publication of a first-person journal but the chain of interaction it often ignites.

— p. 170, JD Lasica, “Blogging as a Form of Journalism”

This chain of interaction can manifest as a scorching backdraft. And that is not usually what you are trying to ignite. We like to think that we are kicking off a fantastic, fulfilling discussion that moves the world forward—but the chain is well outside of our control.

(My initial thoughts to ‘controlling’ such a thing is… defensive in the Fortnite sense. Many hypertext writers now build layers around their writing. Nadia Eghbal has direct interaction through Twitter, indirect interaction through polished essays and a newsletter—but also, concealed interaction through an unadvertised notes page that is not easily syndicated or followed. Similarly, representing the public-self modelers—h0p3 has a home page entry point that is carefully curated and groomed, but which is several layers up from a complete chaos of link dumps, raw drafts and random introspections—all of which you can only sort through by learning his curious conventions. You are on his turf. These layers run a spectrum of accessibility—there is always a learning curve before you hit the bottom. You start with a doorway before entering a maze.)

Final Takeaways

I do think what this has left me with so far is two very clear impressions:

  • I still think blogging is a great way to shed light on undiscovered wonderful things. (Other touted aspects - such as ‘giving me a voice’ or ‘replacing old media’ - don’t particularly juice me up personally. Maybe I’m being too hasty here, though. It’s a luxury to publish freely with no editorial staff to shut me down.)
  • Curating blog posts into a finalized book is pretty cool. This reinforces my conclusion on my Hypertexting study: that a permanent ‘body’ of text can be extracted from the ephemera of assorted links and notes that go into blogging. I think it will be useful to, at some point, roll up a bunch of old posts (perhaps delete them) once I’ve compiled a nice piece of writing that sums it all up. (Perhaps this is just a stupid realization about ‘finishing’ something - gah, sorry!)[3]

So, while certain writers in this book seemed to look at the blog as a fully-realized literature format - and perhaps it can be that to some - for me, I see it as a conduit between writings and creations - a place where some of my own words fester and pile up, as a kind of byproduct.

Lastly, there’s no question that we are far from a mature view of hypertext. I feel that much of the last two decades has been spent just trying to emotionally process what our open exposure on the Internet means. These bloggers lived during an early expansion when the population was much smaller. The extreme growth (along with stuff like constant mobile connections and the Snowden discoveries) has transformed the Internet into a very public, chaotic place.

Developing a blog/wiki/etc demands writing, editing, publishing and even relationship chops. I’m not even touching the journalism, entrepreneurial and community-building aspects that this book focuses on at times. Trying to do this in a disciplined way is difficult in the changing landscape - partly because so much of our discussion necessarily revolves around examining that landscape.

Appendix: Raw Notes

p. 5. “[so-and-so] grouped a bunch of webloggers into high school cliques and called me a jock” the shit-talking begins, this is comfortable, nothing has changed.

p. 5. “Dave decided I must be ‘brain-damaged’ because I used frames.” first thought: this is worthy of publication? second thought: oh, wait, these are raw blog posts republished. third thought: 😎

Tracked down the Dave Winer post myself, to ensure ‘brain-damaged’ was the actual wording. (It was.) Quote just below it:

Dad says I shouldn’t criticize other people on my site. He’s right, in theory. But in practice, what I don’t like is just as much a part of my personality as what I do like.

— Kate Adams

(Personal aside: I once criticized the cover of a Philip K. Dick book publicly on the Internet. The only response my post receive was from the illustrator that had designed the cover. She basically said: “Thanks, that hurt.” You might think she had no business replying to my post and should have just taken the criticism. But she didn’t like my criticism - which is “just as much a part of her personality” as anything else, I suppose.)

p. 9. Good Rebecca Blood quote: “These weblogs provide a valuable filtering function for their readers. The Web has been, in effect, pre-surfed for them.”

p. 11. There seems to be a recurring theme that Blogger made blogging “too easy” by just having a single textbox to post in. Didn’t realize it was that much of a progenitor to Twitter.

p. 12. Filters as their own thing: “I really wish there were another term to describe the filter-style weblog, one that would easily distinguish it from the blog.”

(No indication of the tools available to the ‘filter’ blog are given - except that it has access to other filter blogs. Also, there are about five different blog types alluded to - none of them matter now.)

p. 18. The author seems to say that communities, in order to survive, must stay small - and credits The WELL with the best approach. I don’t know The WELL - but it’s still here today. Wonder if it is considered intact…

p. 20. The term ‘webpools’ is used here several times. There are many, many outdated terms and awkward language choices in these essays. These are really cool to me because the language was in such flux - and it reminds me of how repulsive the word ‘blog’ was at first. (I invent crappy words, too - guilty.)

p. 27. Having a good ‘link checker’ is mentioned. Interesting that this technology is nowhere to be seen now. (Href.cool has a simple, dumb one I made - but it’s proven essential.)

p. 31. Some discussion about crediting sources. The discussion is basically “this is a virtuous thing to do” vs. “it clutters up the blog”. This misses the point (imho) - the point is to aid discovering related blogs.

p. 32. This is so funny: “But what about a weblog for the homemaker?”

p. 32. “Wouldn’t it be great if all the neurosurgeons in the world had one place to go for up-to-date information about the numerous changes in their field?” No. Hard no.

p. 35. The need for one’s own domain name. I used to think this wasn’t very important. Starting to come around.

p. 37. “fram” - friend spam. This was nostalgic - ahh right, basically, e-mail forwards were the Facebook of that era. Again, recurring theme of: people need to become better, more disciplined independent writers and publishers. That is what the Web asks of us.

p. 43. omgz, a spoof of “we didn’t start the fire” in the middle of the book. “Wetlog, BrainLog, NeoFlux, and Stuffed Dog…” this is amaaazing.

p. 49. beebo.org?? wtf, this is the second time this has come up. “a blog best-seller list”? The captures on Internet Archive do not explain this well enough for me.

p. 51. It’s becoming clear that Blogger was the poster child of its time. Strangely, people don’t really trace the lineage of Twitter or Tumblr back to it - nor does it come up in the Friendster, Myspace, Facebook dynasty. It’s just kind of this useful website that appeared and is still here. Strangely, Google has managed to keep it low-key, ad-less, customizable - seems like a completely ignored utility. There even seems to be a “New Blogger” dashboard for mobile. I wonder what keeps this thing going?

p. 52. Fears about blogging becoming “too easy” - leading to “blogorrhea”. Yeah, that panned out.

p. 54. The Bicycle story. This seems like some kind of a precious take on memes. Or, alternatively, a satire on a template blog post. The self-loathing returns.

p. 59. Damn, this is serious shit-talking!! (Like on the level of Bernhard’s The Woodcutters.) I need to talk about this in more detail later.

p. 68. Blogs as “exteriorized psychology”. Sure. But no. Hard no.

p. 70. Where did Jorn Barger go? Seems like perception that he was antisemitic turned against him? Nah, it’s got to just be burn out or something. Everyone should retreat from the pulpit at some point. (Actually, not sure why I’m asking where he is - most of these blogs are vacated. I think people didn’t want out of blogging what it ended up giving them. There was definitely something of a gold rush.)

p. 76. This Julian Dibbell has some good stuff. “Does it even count as irony that Barger’s rigorously unfiltered perspective is perhaps as good a filter as can be found for the welter of the Web?” This is a good question! And it really confuses the topic of what makes a good algorithm or a good editor. The discussion kind of stops at: it’s a sensibility.

p. 78. Blogger was a one-man business in 2001 after initially having a team. It really squeaked by. This is cool. It actually survived.

p. 82. “I do think there was a blog concept. Then there were a couple blog concepts. And now we’re getting closer to a blog concept again.” Lol. I think we’re back to a couple blog concepts again.

p. 87. Comment about 2001’s “p2p hype” drowning out interest in blogs. It’s interesting that blockchain took that space for awhile. And it’s interesting that some p2p+blog projects have a niche community now. It’s also interesting that those were seen as competing at the time - I can see how people would think that, but those were clearly two different crowds.

p. 89-98. No real interest in this chapter (on the Kaycee Nicole Hoax) - although veracity of information continues to be a big topic. Was a topic in the radio and newspaper eras, too.

p. 103. “[Blogs are] nothing new, they’re not changing the world with their content, they’re not going to make anyone huge amounts of money, but they are a form of self-expression and community which others enjoy reading.” (Finally, some tempered enthusiasm that’s grounded in reality. No one in this book even considers that blogs might have been a fad - which is a reasonable appraisal given that blogs have almost vanished within the past ten years.)

p. 112-115. An actual essay on link-hunting! It’s rather thin, but it’s a good start. Most of the sources listed in this article are gone now. (Except mailing lists - though they aren’t nearly as prevalent.)

p. 124. “linkslut” (Sick, this is me.)

p. 131. “… most popular weblogs function to serve up the piddle and crap the authors either don’t have time for, don’t believe worth taking any further, or perhaps are testing the waters for.” (So: people know they are writing for free and withhold their best work. Really makes me grateful for insanely high-quality essayists out there like Nadia or Toby.)

p. 138. Kottke is a serious target in this book. He is quoted here, talking about his laptop bag. The writer then basically says, “See, this is the epitome of decadent navel-gazing.”

p. 141. This Blogma 2001 stuff hasn’t aged well. The satire is just thinly veiled bile. Which is not a problem. It’s just that the target of this piece (“A-list” bloggers) is not interesting. Maybe it’s too easy. (Like a satire on modern influencers - who cares.)

p. 144. In a section on blogging tips, called “Anonymous Is Okay.” ‘If you are being anonymous give some hints about you from time to time. “I am a fat boy!”’ 🤣

p. 152. This has really gone downhill in the last few chapters. I’m now in an essay on how to get noticed. “Also, when sending email, try to be funny” - oh boy. And yet, this is exactly what you expect in a book titled We’ve Got Blog from 2002. (This essay does highlight that self-promotion was very awkward even then.)

p. 155. “Once in a while remind yourself that you are not only as good as your last update.” (Based.)

p. 164. Referring to a time in the late 90s: “Then reality set in and those individual voices became lost in the ether as a million businesses lumbered onto the cyberspace stage, newspapers clumsily grasped at viable online business models, and a handful of giant corporations made the Web safe for snoozing.” (Had to do a double-take on this one! Were they talking about 2011?)

p. 166. Reference to Paul Andrews’ “Who Are Your Gatekeepers?” Sounds worth reading.

p. 166. “Where the weblog changes the nature of ‘news’ is in the migration of information from the personal to the public.” (Premonitions of Snowden. Regardless of whether you think he was successful, in this respect he certainly was.)

p. 167. The rest of the essays in this book are by amateurs, so they look at editors at entirely superfluous. This section is written by journalists, so they seem to see it just as a tradeoff. Yeah, for sure. (As a reader, it certainly seems valuable to evaluate online writing on a spectrum of heavily-edited and fact-checked vs. off-the-cuff - depending on what you are getting out of it.)

p. 170. “One of the most interesting things about blogs is how often they’ve made me change my mind about issues. There’s something about the medium that lets people share opinions in a less judgemental way than when you interact with people in the real world.” (Eh? This seems spurious. The medium is still just the written word. I think what you’re trying to articulate is that you never quite know what you’re going to end up reading online - so it’s possible to be exposed to arguments you haven’t encountered. Hence all the talk about people being accidentally radicalized politically.)

p. 170. “That’s what seems to resonate with bloggers: not the publication of a first-person journal but the chain of interaction it often ignites.” (Yes. Hard yes. This explains the migration to social media. Quicker, faster, immedate sparks of interaction.) (It also occured to me at this point that ‘likes’ and such are analagous to ‘hit counters’ from this age.)

p. 171. The editorial process produces writing that is “limp, lifeless, sterile, and homogenized”; blogs produce words that are “impressionistic, telegraphic, raw, honest, individualistic, highly opinionated and passionate, often striking an emotional chord.” (I really don’t like that this paints a picture that writing just got better all of the sudden because of blogs.)

p. 192-193. During an essay which completely demolishes the war blogs of the time, Tim Cavanaugh quotes a full page-and-a-half of shameless gladhanding. ("…the consistently correct Moira Breen." “Mark Steyn—this guy is so good!” “…Natalija Radic really hit them where it hurts.”) (It goes on and on. This seems similar to current questions of ‘virtual signaling’. Which I don’t have a problem with generally. Really: what should a personal signal? I think the problem here is that the concept of a war blogger is gross. So perhaps it is the incompatibility we see between a person and their signal.)

p. 195. “For all the bitching they log about the mainstream media, none of the bloggers are actually cruising the streets of Peshawar or Aden or Mogadishu. Thus, they’re wholly dependent upon that very same mainstream media.” (Well, the mainstream will always exist in some way - as a baseline of culture, as a central point of reference, like Magnetic North. Therefore, we’re dependent on it. And we move ourselves around it by defining our various loves and hatreds of it. And, in this case, I think it should still be safely used as a resource. Also, ‘it’ is actually a massive, pluralistic, infinite, incongruous organism.)

p. 228. ICQ as “I seek you.” Durrrr. I never caught this! Wowwww. 🔫


  1. Definitely in the way Joe Jennett or Eli Mellen does it—and also h0p3’s link logs. I think tumblelogs and Delicious innovated in this department. ↩︎

  2. Many shooters allow you to project or throw force field areas. So this concept has been around, to some degree. I don’t know the lineage—I’m not a gamer. ↩︎

  3. A few days after writing this, Nadia posted “Reimagining the PhD”, which casts her last five years as a kind of self-styled doctorate - which will now concluded with her publication of a book on her field of study. ‘Rolling up’ a blog into a formalized work is parallel. ↩︎

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12 Nov 2019

HrefHunt for Nov 2019

Promised I’d do this after getting Fraidycat out there. This regular feature is back: me hunting in the brambles, coming back up with 22 newly discovered blogs from a variety of sources, mainly 8 threads and blogrolls out there. Raw dump. Good quality.

Promised I’d do this after getting Fraidycat out there. This regular feature is back: me hunting in the brambles, coming back up with 22 newly discovered blogs from a variety of sources, mainly 8 threads and blogrolls out there. Raw dump. Good quality.

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11 Nov 2019

‘Accept that the Web ultimately overwhelms all attempts to order it, as for now it seems we must, and you accept that the delicate thread of a personal point of view is often as not your most reliable guide through the chaos. The brittle logic of the hierarchical index has its indispensable uses, of course, as has the crude brute strength of the search engine. But when their limits are reached (and they always are), only the discriminating force of sensibility will do - and the more richly expressed the sensibility, the better.’

“Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Man” by Julian Dibbell (2000)

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09 Nov 2019

Fraidycat is officially out for Firefox now! While it should move your follows over automatically, you should probably export them - to be safe before upgrading. addons.mozilla.org

The Chrome/Vivaldi extension is very close. Thanks for all of the encouragement this week!

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05 Nov 2019

If you’re having trouble getting Fraidycat to sync between browsers, please reinstall from fraidyc.at. I would reinstall anyway—although you will have to restart your feed list—because I now have a fixed extension ID in Firefox.

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04 Nov 2019

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01 Nov 2019

Fraidycat source code is now up at github.com/kickscondor/fraidycat. I am planning to do a more public release of the web extension on Monday, but wanted to give a treat to anyone who feels especially intrepid. (Be aware that syncing has troubles when you load a self-built extension. Don’t just throw all your feeds in there yet.)

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31 Oct 2019

Neauismea

Devine Lu Linvega’s completed series on the b&w dithered world.

I’ve been seeing a lot of monochrome lately—like what’s at peterburr.org, the killer layout at SILO or the coming World of Horror—so, as a shout to all that high-contrast dither, I commend to you the tales of Neauismetica. This is more than your normal ‘inktober’ project. I’ve linked to the XXIIVV directory before—it’s an incredible hypertext project, connecting artifacts like the Lietal language and the conceptualization of time as Horaire.[1]

Perhaps you’ve seen Rekka & Devine’s work before in games like Hiversaires and Oquonie. This crew has done more for black and white than anyone on Earth.

Oh and I would be remiss to not also point out Sphygmus’ XXIIVV page which is a kind of casual tour—and a definitive tally of the productivity time trackers encountered! Somehow XXIIVV seems at the crossroads between austere, machine-like efficiency and stark punk creativity. I’m an outsider, so this is just an impression.


  1. See, the database is here. ↩︎

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youshouldhaveseenthis.com

Master list of essential links—seems pretty dead-on. Href.cool picks up where this left off.

This is GREG RUTTER’S DEFINITIVE LIST OF THE 99 THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE ALREADY EXPERIENCED ON THE INTERNET UNLESS YOU’RE A LOSER OR OLD OR SOMETHING—a tiny directory, just a single page, a dump of links, mostly YouTube videos really. An additional 99 links continue at youshouldhavealsoseenthis.com—which fills in some missing pieces (‘i kiss you’, ze frank, etc.) It’s missing some things (‘hello my future girlfriend’, Real Ultimate Power) but perhaps those things haven’t aged well and this isn’t necessarily designed to be historical.

I wonder to what degree YouTube is synonymous with Internet culture out there. I can definitely see it—especially since ‘trololol’ and ‘double rainbow’ were pretty monumental for me—but some watershed stuff (like maybe when Cards Against Humanity gave away an island or the heyday of Chat Roulette) just can’t be captured in video like they existed on the network at the time.

Anyway—inspiration to anyone working on a directory. No need to overbuild. A raw link dump is just fine.

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29 Oct 2019

Reply: I Will Answer Your Emails

Brynn claims to respond to anyone’s e-mails. Brynn responded to mine!

Hey there. I stumbled across your website today[1] and I can’t resist writing you. I actually have a similar thing where I just like to meet random people through random chance. Don’t know if that’s part of your desire to respond to e-mails—clearly you like being useful to people—you mention that on the page.

I’m also really into The Web—particularly the people who choose to hang out there rather than on all of the corporate social sites. (For example, the two who write at philosopher.life and wiki.waifu.haus.) I kind of count you in that group now that I think about it—even though you’re only on the Web for three paragraphs—the rest happens for you in e-mail.

I can’t find any old snapshots of your site—so it seems it might be quite new, even though it looks as if it could have been there for many decades. Are you having fun with this so far? I’m a bit reluctant to pass the link on, because I don’t want you to become completely inundated. Perhaps you already are.

Well, I won’t go on. Pleasure to meet you. - kicks


  1. Found at iwillansweryouremails.com. ↩︎

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Broken Land Bar

Uhhh—ANSI graphics inspired cocktail menu?? This looks like a warez NFO.

This Brooklyn (pun?) bar—well, there’s not much to say, just go look: the olde BBS style boxes-and-lines art. This is actually really nice and clean, totally usable in its own way.

On top of this, tho—this is signed ‘jgs’. Are we talking Joan G. Stark??? (Aka Spunk. Also covered here.) I’ve gotta track her down.

Couple other related somewhat-campy genius sites:

  • AAAAN.NET: I don’t know, I feel like this site is my evil twin! Something feels related. The whole thing is so dry, but a crack-up. I love the checkbox on all the pages to return home.
  • twtxt.xyz: Federated plain-text messaging (via chameleon once again), how rad—I kind of want to make a mirror of this. (Oh, wait, raw source is here!)
  • ALL HAIL LORD ENKI: A home page can still just be a massive orange directory. Feels like I should make an href.cool theme that is like this.
  • SQL Murder Mystery: Yeah. Just submitted this to HN, since I generally don’t cover tech sites—but this is just a fun concept. SQL is, perhaps, already an escape room.

But if you’re just in the mood for more ASCII, here’s a little town to visit.

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26 Oct 2019

@chameleon: I don’t use any of those services, just this blog—I post at-mentions on this page. Maybe my search bar can help (for instance, type @h0p3 there).

I am a kind of waifuist too—except my waifu is a yellow pencil that has been ground down to its nub. I have never had sexual feelings but now it seems possible. I am only a waifuist because even tho a pencil is real—I don’t exist in its world—I cannot enter the graphite consciousness. I am only NOT a waifuist because my enpitsu has no blue-tinted and carefully razored hair encasing it like a splintered pumpkin. One thing to know about me is that I love old people the most. And the other one is that I am learning everyday from your instructions.

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My Dumb Project

A most pathetic surveillance tool.

I have been dumping time into Fraidycat—the tool I use to monitor the Web (blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, what have you)—in an effort to really increase my ability to stay up on reading you all. I’m going to be releasing Fraidycat on Nov 4th—but you shouldn’t feel any obligation to use it, because it’s geared toward my own purposes, but I hope it might inspire someone out there to design even better ‘post-feed’[1] tools for reading the Web.

Just a heads up, though. It sucks. Here’s why:

  • It can only be used either as a web extension or a Dat website.
  • Its ‘syncing’ powers are limited—so if I am using it on Firefox on one machine, I’ll need to use Firefox (and the same account) on another machine to keep my ‘follows’ in sync.
  • You can’t post from it or anything, which is terrible.
  • Fetching philosopher.life freezes the whole extension for like a minute. 😆

The reason it sucks is because I am trying to make it an independent tool—it shouldn’t rely on a central website at all. (It also sucks because I suck, duh!)

The fortunate thing, though, about right now—is that everything else sucks, too! We traded all these glorious personal websites in for a handful of shitty networks that everyone hates. So using Fraidycat is actually a nice breath of somewhat non-shitty air, because you can follow people on all of those networks without needing to immerse yourself in their awfulness.

Here is what it looks like today:

Screenshot of Fraidycat as of today.

So, yes, it does reward recency. But not as much as most platforms do. No one can just spam your feed. Yeah, they can bump themselves up to the top of the list, but that’s it. And, if I need to bump someone down manually, I can move them to the ‘daily’ or ‘weekly’ areas.

Imagine not needing to open all of these different networks. I tire of needing to open all of these separate apps: Marco Polo, Twitter, Instagram. My dream is that people can use the platforms they want and I don’t have to have accounts for them all—I can just follow from afar. Gah, one day.

The Shittiest Thing

And, actually, the worst part is that all of these sites are tough to crack into. For most blogs, I use RSS. No problem—works great. Wish I didn’t have to poll periodically—wish I could use Websockets (or Dat’s ‘live’ feature)—but not bad at all.

For Soundcloud and Twitter, I have to scrape the HTML. I’m even trying to get Facebook (m.facebook.com) scraping working for public pages. But this is going to be a tough road—keeping these scrapers functional. It sucks!

I wish there was more pressure on these sites to offer some kind of API or syndication. But it’s just abyssmal—it’s a kind of Dark Ages out there for this kind of thing. But I think that tools like this can help apply pressure on sites. I mean imagine if everyone started using ‘reader-like’ tools—this would further development down the RSS road.

I should say that I think we can do better than RSS. Or maybe just—we need more extensions. A few I’d like to see:

  • A ‘live’ metadata tag. This could be of use on Twitch streams, for instance, to say whether the stream is ‘live’ right now. Also perhaps a time for how long the stream has been live and when it ends.
  • Metadata for pinned posts or sitewide bulletins. Perhaps the site will be down for two months due to a medical emergency or vacation or something. It would be nice to have post(s) that could be flagged as an important PSA or something.
  • Metadata for drafts or hidden material. I hide quite a lot of posts on my site, mostly comments to other blogs—and I notice Sphygmus has been doing this as well with TiddlyWiki. Sure you can offer multiple feeds. But I would love it if Fraidycat could said: “Sphygmus has 13 recent hidden posts—here are some sample titles—are you interested in seeing these as well?”
  • Oh and I’m seeing more people doing public drafting and I used to not get it, but now I do, and it would be nice to mark drafts in the titles.
  • For purely video content—like let’s say someday TikTok or Instagram stories could offer a feed—it would be nice to have a reasonable way to do this! Otherwise RSS will never be an option there.

I will get back to my other projects (indieweb.xyz, my href hunts) once this is released. I really appreciate Jason McIntosh’s recent post about Bumpyskies, partly because I just like to read about personal projects—and it’s difficult to write about them because self-promotion has become quite shameful—however, I don’t know how we get out of the current era of corpypastas (or CorpASAs) without personal software that makes an attempt at progress.


  1. As in ‘news feed’ not ‘RSS feed’. Part of the idea here is to move past the cluttered news feed (which is itself just a permutation of the e-mail inbox) where you have to look through ALL the posts for EVERYONE one-by-one. As if they were all personal messages to you requiring your immediate attention. ↩︎

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17 Oct 2019

Normality RPG

(nicked from chameleon:) Possibly the most raw, rage-filled role-playing game—designed to unhinge players by lying to them and deluding them. It’s a psyop on your friends. Cool aesthetics.

Ok, thanks to chameleon, here’s normality.pdf—good luck reading through the splatters and commas, , , , . BWYT M BWYTJ XXXDXXX. (Although, the poem “THE MAORI JESUS” by James K. Baxter is included and can be used as a character module. I don’t know what a ‘sad old quean’ is.)

The two authors began on a two-year journey of rage and frustration at the state of the world, and the reactions of those around them to their concerns. We became filled with hatred toward the roleplayers we encountered at local games and conventions, and so we set out to hurt them. To make them cry. We very nearly succeeded.

I can’t play this because it’s so brazenly misanthropic—but my love and appreciation for humans truly eclipses any of that—this is just another marvellous mess in the pile of our history, something to wrap our fish in—just as Van Gogh’s paintings were first repurposed. (Little-known fact from the pdf.)

It’s interesting to me that one of the goals of this game is to strip away ‘fluff’—aloofness and oneupmanship at the table, social veneer, the kinds of things perhaps the Joker film was on about—and to immerse characters in the game by ‘scrupulously avoiding a coherent setting and/or meta-plot for the game.’ In doing so, it begins to feel very postmodern, because there’s a kind of ‘breaking the fourth wall’ kind of thing being done to try to blur the border of the fictional and the real.

At the same time, it definitely doesn’t see itself that way—it seems to see itself as completely primal. And I think you could get there, perhaps, if a group playing the game could let things completely devolve. (Though I think such a thing couldn’t truly be done without real violence, right? Otherwise, you’re kidding yourself.)

It’s also fun to look at the whole thing as a parody of niche RPGs or zines. I think it would be fun to play this ironically, too. I know that sounds degenerate, but yeah, that’s exactly the point. (Signed, Ironic Waifuist Sad Old Quean.)

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04 Oct 2019

OMGLORD

Gabby Lord’s tiny directory—a perfect example of what (I feel) the Web needs!

Often when designers make home pages, they throw out a bunch of cool CSS tricks and aesthetic trimming and I celebrate that—but often there’s not much there in the way of interesting hypertext stuff. In this case, Gabby Lord’s OMGLORD has a nice minimalist design that frames a solid personal directory of links. There’s clearly been a lot of work done here—probably 200 links with nice descriptions and her own set of categories—stuff like ‘type foundries’ and ‘women in design’. I had a lot of fun coming up with categories for href.cool and I think she’s got a great organization here—also, starring her most recommended links is sweet.

I also think her City Maps category is reaaaally cool! She links to Google Maps that she’s personally annotated with sights, parks, coffee shops. These are directories within the directory. In addition, it’s a really nice way to build a directory of real-life stuff.

If you have any distaste for algorithmic recommendation engines or the commercialization of the Internet, I urge you to make a tiny directory! Gabby’s directory is just her favorite cool links—it’s not influenced by advertiser money or link popularity—except that perhaps Gabby discovered some of these through those kinds of avenues—these links have proved worthwhile to her over time. You may feel some resistance sifting through her pages, because why am I looking through a personal page when I could reading a slick major publication or wielding a powerful search engine but you will find things here directly, person-to-person, with no ulterior motives between you and these links.

It’s great, right?

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17 Sep 2019

Kinopio.club

Adooorable electronic post-it notes and pipes by @pketh—nice find by Eli Mellen.

Don’t really need to explain this link; don’t know if I can. It’s cute. You can write little notes on the page. It’s a web app created by Pirijan Ketheswaran, formerly of Glitch (and Frog Feels.)

From Pirijan’s blog post a month ago:

Kinopio is designed to:

  1. Get the chaotic messy thoughts and ideas out of your head
  2. Show you how they’re connected
  3. Help you figure out what they mean, and how to start working on them

I’ve covered mind-mapping techniques previously in How to Make a Complete Map of Every Thought You Think. There are echoes in the design of Yahoo! Pipes and Hypercard—but I think this is even more elegant than those. Spraying lines (as if with a spray tool) to select things. Showing selected elements using a wiggle.

The aesthetics might seem sugary sweet on the surface—but I think they are quite clever—and perhaps even conducive to brainstorming. I would actually be interested in seeing this expanded—almost as if you could make wiki or a blog this way. You can create multiple pages—and login/collaboration is on the roadmap—so maybe this will be possible soon.

Anyway, this is getting an entry in Web/Participate. What a great creative tool. Thanks, @pketh!

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13 Sep 2019

MARINA NOSEQUÉ

Marker art and other sites found among the ‘crazy cool’(?) group.

This longscroll website full of marker art is a perfect pickup for my ‘dank’ tag. Some of these drawings of Maria’s are even animated! Annnd there is this one drawing down the page of some blue-violet fat-bodied nun with a flesh-colored bat face who is slurping this long noodle of electricity out of the bum of a vermillion pair of disembodied legs. This is like the most interesting marker page I’ve ever seen.

I got this off the ‘crazy cool websites’ Facebook page. Their website seems to be down—but there is an accompanying interview site that’s cool.

Some other links that caught my eye in their collection:

  • Javascreen: don’t know why it’s called that and you kind of have to wait and click on the center part to get it going—this is a bit of code that generates palettes and shapes to accompany imagery. I like how they turn out.
  • Simon Sweeney: You scroll in a big circle until you hit the beginning.
  • STUPID SHIT NO ONE NEEDS & TERRIBLE IDEAS HACKATHON: I’ve seen this years ago—seems like it was on Waxy. But there is newer material: some brilliant stuff in there.

Ok, sorry to be noisy today. Forget I was ever here.

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12 Sep 2019

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Dror Bar-Natan’s Academic Pensieve

How a mathematician self-modeled over the last 20 years.

I’m tempted to label this guy the “Anti-Tufte” because of the MS Paint academic style on this website and the slapdash text layout. I hope this isn’t an insult—I find all of this work inspiring, quite inspiring in a way, it’s like dense mathematics have somehow wrapped around to zine aesthetics. (A lot of the visuals I’m talking about are linked on the ‘handout browser’ wiki page.)

Also really cool: this directory where Dr. Bar-Natan follows students projects.

The directory of blackboard shots is kind of like an interesting take on a timeline. I keep seeing interesting timelines out there—this one is cool because it extends in the future. There was another one, but I’ve lost track of it. I thought the site was too commercial, so I let it go. But now I just want it back for a minute. Ah well.

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09 Sep 2019

Random Tape

Found cassette clips as a podcast.

Along the lines of WFMU’s Audio Kitchen—and definitely belonging in href.cool’s Tapes/Field collection, this podcast collects a myriad of found audio samples from cassettes and some personal recordings—such as his friend Danny’s voicemails from his dad or random people reading their grocery lists.

Found this on The Listener newsletter. A great example of human curation and recommendation. Follows the same kind of format as Warp Door—some light metadata and a paragraph review. If I were to give one recommendation to fighting the corpypastas (or CorpASAs), it’s this: start a newsletter or a blog where you do this. Just leave paragraph reviews of interesting obscure things you come across. Great way to abdicate from mainstream culture and corps of all kind.

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Blogchats

Notes on hypertext interviews.

People will hate this word. This is great because I can keep this page for myself and keep notes here and only the truly intrepid will venture through the tamarisk surrounding that word to be here.

Blogchat is a misnomer because I interview people over e-mail. But the actual conversation comes alive when it is posted to the blog.[1] But I don’t want to call them ‘e-mail interviews’—I feel I can classify them blogchats and be done. Much as people say ‘slide into my DMs’ but reality is nothing of the kind—one stiltingly, jarringly skids into my DMs.

I don’t want them to happen live. My interview with Nadia Eghbal took many months—and I’m so glad. The instinctive feeling arrives that, since the world is connected, the signal should always be live. That one should chat and chat and chat for many months. And the quicker one chats, the quicker one will come to the conclusion, the quicker one will know someone, know things. I have to resist wanting my ‘blogchat’ to happen across streaming blogs with advanced technological scaffolding.

One distinct advantage: asking questions and waiting over time to answer them. It’s not that one is constantly mulling over the question for months. The questions are free to go completely out of mind. But, time passes, and new experiences happen.

I think the best phase is after the initial round of questions is over. Once answers are given, the conversation is rolling and we return to life for a day or a week. When we return to converse again, the topic is quite fresh. The feeling that I am not reaching for questions.

As marvelous as podcasts are, conversations can be too slow. I don’t want to get too deeply into min/maxing this shit. It’s a respectfulness idea, as stodgy as that may sound. You can read a decent blogchat in five or ten minutes and possibly hear everything except the vocal camaraderie and perhaps some finer points. You can definitely more easily re-read and quote. This is essential to me—I never hear it all the first time.

I’ll stop there—it all just feels polite. I don’t think I could talk for an hour and feel deserving of anyone’s attention. It’s possible that some guests aren’t comfortable on a podcast. I don’t know if that comes up ever.

I actually think that podcast hosts might get the benefit of the running conversation, the dayslong mulling—the microphone is always looming. But the guests can’t benefit from this. They have their one shot to say whatever might emerge. They can’t improve or correct anything. Maybe this is why podcast hosts can also be the best podcast guests—they are just delivering another batch of thoughts that has emerged from the muse of constant podcasting.[2]

Of course, blogchats are not some zenith of human communication. They lack the sensations that a podcast can produce. I’m reveling in their brief, concentrated way. Like a rollercoaster ride.

I think the next thing is perhaps to see what it’s like if a blogchat can be posted as a draft over time, building periodically.


  1. I keep the e-mail conversation in chronological order, but I may interleave questions and answers in a way that is harshly ripped from the original material. I am unsure about removing phrases that are related to the upkeep of the chat. I want what the respondent says to remain intact. They will do the editing for their material—they’ve spent time crafting it. ↩︎

  2. It’s possible that podcast hosts ARE actually the guests. ↩︎

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05 Sep 2019

‘I like a kind of irony I call benevolent, compassionate, like what we find, for example, in the best of Cervantes. I don’t like ferocious irony but rather the kind that vacillates between disappointment and hope. Okay?’

— p. 5, Never Any End to Paris by Enrique Vila-Matas

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04 Sep 2019

Cardhouse

CRT blog of odd things—and its connection to philatelicism.

(First, let me mention that I obtained the directions to the Cardhouse ‘website concept’ from a massive linkspill that is seeping out on this thread on Metafilter. It is a long list of blogs that have been running for ~20 years. It’s very helpful if you are curious what ‘classic’ blogs are still alive.)

While this is a very interesting blog on its own, I am particularly interested in a few pages for a few reasons:

  • History: A long, illustrated self-history of the blog that is almost like a time capsule on a single page. It catalogs the snapshots of the design—it’s surprising that more sites don’t do this. Perhaps because it’s perceived as navel-gazing? I think it reflects the rest of the Web, too, though.

  • Phoneswarm: A sub-blog covering unusual telephone booths. Also: X Magazine, Macros2000. I like that these temporary projects are littered throughout the site—they are fun to explore on their own, partly because they are done.

  • The Archive: Seems haphazard, but is actually very well done. A directory—similarly, the links page is the old ‘portal’ style directory. Which seems like it could be revived as well.

A secondary site The Erstwhile Philatelic Society is also really cool. It is best explained by the application for membership.

From the FAQ:

  1. What is with the vert|ical ba|rs in the mid|dle of words?
    The problem with search engines is that they allow people to key on words that have nothing to do with the larger web page. People are coming to pages for the wrong reasons – by splitting up certain words in certain pages, people won’t mistakenly come to these pages. That’s the theory, anyway. Apparently there is a rag-tag effort to get this sort of functionality parameterized for search engines, but I fell asleep halfway through the article.

This is good technology.

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30 Aug 2019

Nadia Eghbal, Re: Writing Hypertext

My digichat with @nayafia—an essential writer (imho) of texts, notes and wonderful roundups.

A few months ago, I stumbled across the essay ‘The tyranny of ideas’ and was truly struck by the inquisitive, thought-mashing flow of the writing. It’s just a great piece—I’ve read it several times now and talked about it with pretty much everyone I know. The author, Nadia Eghbal, writes quite a bit about funding open source software[1], but meanders all over, processing modern life on her website.

> Welcome to the digichat with Nadia.

kicks: You have a simple, minimalist blog—very limited styling, an RSS feed, generated with Jekyll—meaning you likely write all your posts in a plain text editor. What appealed to you about a minimalist design?

nadia: Before I started writing, I really liked blogs like Aaron Swartz’s and Paul Graham’s, which were minimally designed. If it’s a blog post, I generally don’t want to do anything that takes away from the text itself. It’s like when you cook a really nice piece of fish or steak or whatever: if the main ingredient is good, you shouldn’t need to season it.

kicks: You are also pretty sparse with your linking, image embedding, all the ‘hypertext’ features of the Web. I take it that your faith in plain text doesn’t extend to these?

nadia: Not sure I understand the q, but yes, I like keeping everything pretty sparse. I do like linking a lot (or at least I feel like I link a lot!) as a way of subtly saying “if you wanna dig into this thing more, you can go down this path over there, but otherwise I’m gonna keep talking”.

kicks: You have a page on your site for somewhat ephemeral thoughts and unpolished shorthand. This page has no feed, so it doesn’t actively broadcast—it could almost be seen as a neat personal touch to your website. However, you are incredibly active in updating this! Much more so than your Twitter account it seems. What motivates you to write there?

nadia: I like being able to publish my messier, half-formed thoughts, but I get turned off by putting those next to a like count. It feels like the more likes you get, the more you start writing things to get likes, whereas the REALLY weird, unpopular stuff probably won’t get many likes at all.

I worry about likes changing how I think and interfering with my ability to wander and explore the edges. (I am truly envious, however, of people who are able to use Twitter as a place to braindump their thoughts! I think I’m just too self-conscious.)

Someone (I think Eugene Wei?) once tweeted that all Twitter accounts eventually sound like fortune cookies. I don’t want to become a fortune cookie. So I like things like newsletters, and my notes page, which are still discoverable and semi-public, but aren’t subject to short feedback loops. I also removed comments on my blog for the same reason, and I never look at my site analytics.

kicks: This is making me seriously reconsider ‘likes’—which I’ve let pass as a kind of low-effort but benign and gracious comment. But now as I look at your ‘notes’ page—not only am I convinced by what you’ve said—I think the absence of all the ‘share’/‘like’ icons really makes that page feel like a running conversation. With ‘like’ counts, I think I’d be distracted wondering which thoughts were the most highly admired—but, come on, what kind of bullshit is that for me to be thinking while looking through your private thought journal?? So maybe it alters reading too in a sick way?[2]

nadia: The problem with likes is it naturally draws your eye towards the most-liked stuff, instead of deciding for yourself what’s most interesting. It almost feels like I’d be taking agency away from the reader by doing that.

(Maybe I’m being a little sanctimonious—e.g. shorter thoughts probably draw ppl’s attention more than bigger paragraphs, there’s no way to totally avoid this problem—but I’d rather not add to it, either.)

I mean I think curation can be useful, e.g. on my homepage I highlight a couple of my favorite blog posts, because I assume they want a bit of guidance at that point. But on a stream-of-consciousness notes page, I’m assuming they’re more in exploratory, serendipity mode. I don’t want to guide them towards anything.

kicks: Ok, now: about the essays. The quality of your writing on your blog is very good, very thought-provoking and unique. Serious time has been invested into each essay. I imagine there is a wealth of publications who would love for you to write for them. Why post these to a personal blog?

nadia: Thanks! I like what Venkatesh Rao has to say about Ribbonfarm, which he thinks of as a wildlife preserve. I like having total freedom on my blog to roam around and write about whatever I want, as much or as little as I want. It’s like the popularity metrics thing: if I start writing for others, I worry it’d start to change what I think and write about.

That said: I do like writing for other publications and blogs occasionally! It’s just a very different experience, and I usually need to have a particular reason for doing it.

kicks: You know, your link to Ribbonfarm there has illustrated what you are saying so well. I’ve never really read that blog—but what better way to find it than in this chance conversation with you? (We’re enjoying ‘sidewalk life’ here—as you term it.)

nadia: Woot! Ribbonfarm is lifechanging, I’m a bit of a fangirl.

kicks: I mean the world is trying so hard to build technology that will have these conversations for us. Especially these ones where we find each other. At the same time, it feels like there is more to talk about than ever. Do you feel this way? Or, I mean—you’ve already written pretty extensively—do you still feel like you’re at the tip of the iceberg?

nadia: I definitely feel like I’m at the tip of the iceberg. There are so many half-written blog posts waiting for me to finish, and at some point I’ve realized I’ll never get to them all. And having meaningful conversations is a really tough thing to scale, too. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

kicks: To what degree do you feel like you need to repeat yourself? Because some important points are worth harping on, right?

nadia: I hate repeating myself. haha. This is maybe one of my biggest weaknesses. Part of why I blog is honestly just to avoid repeating myself; if I’ve talked about an idea with enough people separately, I want to codify it into a post and be done with it. I get really impatient about having the same conversations with multiple people. But to your point, important points do need to be repeated, which helps them spread and sink in. It’s just my least favorite thing.

kicks: Does it ever feel like your blog is out in the middle of nowhere? Or do you feel sufficiently connected to the rest of the network out there?

nadia: Haha yes, I definitely feel that way sometimes, although usually I find it comforting—sort of a “hidden in plain sight” kind of thing. Twitter and newsletter are basically my only ties between my blog and the outside world; that said, I think I’ve gotten a surprising amount of engagement that way.

Fundamentally, I think of my blog more like a portfolio, or a display case. It’s not about juicing up my readership, but connecting with the right people who happen upon it and find something that resonates. I’ve met so many amazing people through writing: I’ve gotten most of my work opportunities that way, and made a lot of friends, too! I’ve thought about whether I should focus more on distribution, but again, I think if I started to worry about that, it would make the whole experience less fun, and I might also start changing what I write about. Maybe it’s naive, but I like the idea of having a public place for my “pure” thoughts, and the only way I can think to do that is by explicitly not caring about who reads it or how it spreads around.

kicks: Well, I think you’re playing a long game here—by not cashing in on the immediate attention and likes of those networks. It’s definitely ‘purifying’ to drain away all those other purposes that could be tweaking your motives.

A home page definitely seems more and more inert—disconnected from society, from live notifications, seemingly deserted. But there’s an advantage to that—it’s like you can actually control the tempo there. It’s like visiting you at your home—down a wooded road—or, maybe more appropriately: your candy store, like the one you mention in “Reclaiming Public Life,” where “one is free to either hang around or dash in and out, no strings attached.”

nadia: I love this imagery of a homepage being like visiting a home down a wooded road. I am definitely the recluse living in a cabin 😃

kicks: I wish it was more like a candy store, though—so I could hang out and meet another avid reader or give you a thanks as the door jingles on my way out. What is an adequate ‘social’ sidewalk for your blog—is it your attached Twitter account and email newsletter?

nadia: Yeah, Twitter is probably the “social sidewalk” for my blog. I’m still trying to figure out the newsletter thing. When I send out a newsletter, I get a bunch of responses from subscribers, but it feels inefficient somehow to have multiple 1:1 conversations with different people, when I’m sure others would love to read them. I’d almost even say it feels selfish…like I’m keeping all these ideas to myself! Occasionally I include some of the interesting stuff in the following newsletter, but yeah, I don’t like being the bottleneck keeping everyone apart from each other. I haven’t come up with a better alternative besides Twitter, but not everyone is active there.

I guess that’s why some blogs have comments. I was so anti-comments in the past bc it felt like “the comments section”, as a place, had become so crappy and low-quality. It’d be funny if comments sections made a retro comeback as a place to have deeper, substantive conversations. Or maybe they never went away, but I’m the one who’s coming back around to them. (Are newsletters are just the slow re-invention of blogs?)

kicks: Hahaha! I believe this is the first time I’ve heard a remark in possible favor of comments. Yes, I think it is. It’s possible you’ve unearthed the first truly contrarian thought on the Internet here… Which is especially ironic because we’ve just been deriding ‘likes’ somewhat.

Ok, I’ll stop there. Thank you for all that you are doing, Nadia!

nadia: Thank you for all your delightful and thoughtful observations! Really enjoying your trains of thought.


  1. And is also known for RFC, a podcast on the topic. ↩︎

  2. Oh and the fortune cookie remark is too good! It reminds me of something David Yates recently said to me: that there needs to be a name for that feeling where you click on a link to a sweet domain name and it ends up just being another Mastodon instance. ↩︎

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19 Aug 2019

Ola Bini’s Letters from Detention

Reflections from a thoughtful and innocent prisoner.

I spent some of the weekend reading these letters from Ola Bini, who was imprisoned in April for basically being a friend of Julian Assange. I remember Ola from his work on the Ioke programming language—and I once chatted with him many, many years ago. He was polite and well-spoken. I am glad to hear that he is now released. (The FreeOlaBini site should probably show his release more prominently—it is more obvious on Twitter.)

Still, his blog is quite eye-opening and worthwhile. There are entries here that are simply poignant—such as Ola’s story of his birthday when his fellow inmates sang to him. In an almost deliberately Kafkaesque way, it seems he is never told what he is charged with—we can presume computer hacking, but no specifics are given. (It seems the authorities assumed this from his personal library—which Fogus catalogs here.)

I feel some cynicism toward ‘open source’/‘free software’ and cyberpunk ideologies—and I think many people also associate this with ‘tech bro’-style optimism—but Ola’s letters have me reconsidering.

[C]ode and architecture are more important than laws. Laws can be broken, but if we build our systems correctly, we can provide real guarantees. The right to privacy, security and anonymity is also a strong belief and the idea that these rights belong to everyone, not just those that can pay for it.

Related to this, is the mistrust of authority, not just governments, but any kind of authority. That means those rights cant be provided just as legal rights by fiat. Instead, these rights have to be provided by something stronger: by cryptographic systems, implemented and run in the open. This is the only real way you can ultimately provide real self-determination to everyone in the world.

A final belief: cypherpunks write code. This means just what it says. If we want a better world, we have to take the responsibility. We have to build it ourselves.

I don’t feel optimism in any of this. I just feel a person wanting to secure their life. This seems like a basic right—roughly equivalent to the very smallest property right, the ability to merely live and survive at a specific coordinate—even a prisoner has that right. Cynicism feels dangerous here—that I’d rather just wander in aloof disbelief than try.

This also has me hunting for other blogs from prisoners. Know of any?

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15 Aug 2019

2019.08: What’s New to Href.Cool?

Most of these links have been posted recently—some removals as well.

Href.cool is my personal directory to the Web. It contains one hidden directory inside of it—and I’m working on two more (one on ‘antimisanthropy’ and another on ‘fake computers’.) In the meantime, I have some casual updates.

Added to Games/Dialogue:

To Web/Wiki, I added an essential link—that of chameleon’s wiki. (Who today has introduced me to a sick term: birdsite.hell in reference to Twitter.)

Removed link to Susan Engel (susan-engel.com) in Real/Learning—DNS doesn’t resolve.

New category Real/Thoughts:

  • Meaningness Wiki ∞
    David Chapman (who also brought us Buddhism for Vampires)—to simply call Meaningness a ‘book’ or a ‘metablog’ or a Buddhist resource is to discount that this is a formidable work that seems to both tackle the question “What is life?” and to catalog its author’s every thought. It also sets a precedent for drafting in public that I’ve begun to see on the other links in Web/Wiki.

  • Visakan Veerasamy Page ∞
    This site goes real deep—you have no idea. But you might get an idea if you survey the bookmarks page (which is an impressive collection—feels similar to href.cool) or the @1000wordvomits page (dump of interesting, meandering essays) or his master list of his own Twitter threads, which is just much better than it sounds. Generous work.

  • Nadia Eghbal Blog 1h
    Started with the brilliant ‘The tyranny of ideas’. Stayed for ‘Reclaiming public life’ and ‘The independent researcher’. Essays to snack on. (See also: The Modern Essay by Virginia Woolf. That’s what Nadia does.)

  • Ribbonfarm Blog ∞
    Venkatesh Rao and friends write long articles, some of which form ‘blogchains’—a continuous riff on a subject. (Via Nadia E.)

The link for ‘Sleepingfish’ in Stories/Brief has changed to http://www.calamaripress.com/SF/.

The link to ‘HIGH END CUSTOMIZABLE SAUNA EXPERIENCE’ in Stories/Hypertext has changed to http://slimedaughter.com/games/twine/sauna/.

An addition to Tapes/Classic:

  • Radio Soulwax Mixtape 1h
    These are pretty popular—but whatever, credit to these Belgians for keeping such an ambitious project on a sheet of matte black hypertext.

An addition to Tapes/Infinite:

  • Every Noise at Once Directory 1m
    ‘…an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 3,295 genres by Spotify as of 2019-08-03. The calibration is fuzzy, but in general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.’

And an addition to Tapes/Vaporwave:

Bunch of new links under Visuals/Motion:

New link in Web/Meta to: WWWTXT—quotes from Usenet, CompuServe and such. Cool design.

Removed link to Typegram (tgr.am) in Web/Participate—DNS won’t resolve.

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adamcadre.ac

This writer/game designer’s home page is full of interesting hypertext flourishes.

This link was passed on to me by David Yates a while ago and I’ve finally had some time to explore it further. And it turns out there are quite a few interesting uses of links and layout that could be useful to anyone out there who is designing a TiddlyWiki[1]—for instance, the detailed organization of Adam’s favorite songs and albums page or the multiple views for the archives of the blog (called the ‘calendar’—which has been around since the 1990s.)

One of my favorite little touches is the presence of mouseover boxes throughout the essays in the ‘calendar’. In the small screenshot above, you can see a spoiler rating mouseover shown on the Stranger Things review. But there are footnotes, images, even short videos that will pop up when you hover over certain dotted links. (These remind me of the footnotes and links on philosopher.life—but with more effort put into designing them—they may have unique colors or borders.)

More than anything, this highlights again the range of things you can do with a website that just isn’t possible on social networks or Medium blogs—perhaps only an app of some kind could be customized like this.

The site also brought to mind this quote from the recent ‘Writing HTML in HTML’ article:

But how can I then keep the style and layout of all my posts and pages in sync?

Simple: don’t! It’s more fun that way. Look at this website: if you read any previous blog post, you’ll notice that they have a different stylesheet. This is because they were written at different times. As such, they’re like time capsules.

Like Phil Gyford’s site, the pages throughout Adam’s site often each have unique designs which hearken to the author’s style and sensibilities during the time when they were created. I feel like websites like this have fallen out of favor—but access to these old designs is now full of nostalgia—so perhaps we will see more hand-crafted HTML in the same way that we now see a TON of wonderful Windows 95 ripoffs in web design and gaming.


  1. And, if you are, you should really be checking out the recent ‘outrun’-colored tags and tighter design on sphygm.us. Or the erratic page-filling that is happening on chameleon’s wiki. ↩︎

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PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

This page is also at kickscofbk2xcp5g.onion and on dat://.

MOVING ALONG LET'S SEE MY FAVORITE PLACES I NO LONGER LINK TO ANYTHING THATS VERY FAMOUS

philosopher.life, the 'wiki'/'avatar'/'life' of h0p3. serious rabbithole. k0sh3k. j3d1h. luxb0x.

nathalie lawhead of so many good things, where does one begin. T, U, I.

waxy is back at it!

surfpals: nadia eghbal, subpixel.space (toby), things by j, gyford, also joe jenett (of linkport), brad enslen (of indieseek), 'web curios' at imperica.

an eye on: ᛝ ᛝ ᛝ — lucid. consummate waifuist chameleon. jacky.wtf, fogknife, tiv.today, j.greg, box vox, whimsy.space, caesar naples.

indieweb: .xyz, eli, c.rwr, boffosocko.

nostalgia: geocities.institute, bad cmd, ~jonbell.

true hackers: ccc.de, fffff.at, voja antonić, cnlohr, esoteric.codes.

chips: zeptobars, scargill, 41j.

dwm, julia, tridactyl these are things you'll want on linux.

neil c very famous but should be a world icon.

the world or cate le bon you pick.

sammyclassicsonicfan the original teen rage adventure.

innovation.isotropic.org probly the best carl chudyk game.

and opinionated gamers for non-chudyk game analysis.

my twitter. my github. minor things.