Kicks Condor

LEECHING AND LINKING IN THE HYPERTEXT KINGDOM

I FIRST DISCOVERED
THE 【TECHS-MECHS】WHO
ARE A CLAN OF SOUTH
OF THE BORDER GUNDAM
BREAKING DOWN
IMMIGRATION FENCES
WITH THEIR
IMPRESSIVE MANOS
MECANICAS

PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

This page is also 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.

indieseek blog, bumped into brad somehow and we crosstalk a ton about the web.

linkport by joe jenett---blogs at i.webthings.

an eye on: ᛝ ᛝ ᛝ — lucid. jacky.wtf, humdrum.life, j.greg, box vox, whimsy.space, caesar naples.

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

nostalgia: geocities.institute, bad cmd.

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.

HOW TO READ THIS SITE

🌵 Start (perhaps at the three links below, perhaps anywhere) and then stop once you are annoyed or listless. Or if you have a pressing World of Warcraft raid or if a major controversy erupts on /r/fitness—leave straightway. You have no duties here—to this non-vital word spillage. Are you annoyed or listless? This is a blog after all. Here are the three links:

I cover unique personal blogs and websites. I am online Mondays and Thursdays.

09 Apr 2019

Memory of the World

Makeshift librarians in the wild.

Some fantastic links littered the floor during yesterday’s discussion about the Web[1]—there is just always more to see, isn’t there? This blog catalogs various public library projects—including its own Library (136 kilobooks in size).

What’s fascinating is that their library is just one peer in a network of book-sharing peers. (It’s with great fanfare that I now affix my ‘leeching’ tag to this post!) Yes, you can use their let’s share books project to host your own lovely library of electronic books. (See the dropdown that says 20 librarians online on the right-hand side.)

Let's Share Books

The blog has a wealth of interesting posts, including a tutorial on How to Be(come) an Amateur Librarian. As h0p3 has said, quoting Francis Bacon: knowledge is power[2].


  1. From HN. ↩︎

  2. For real. ↩︎

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08 Apr 2019
  1. @kicks Interesting discussion. There seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction with Google results and very few rabid Google defenders jumping in like you see on other forums. Some interesting responses in favor of directories, which surprised me.

    Kicks, you old link dropper you, thanks for the mentions!

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04 Apr 2019

The Roundups of SHACKLESHOTGUN

‘You need a human behind it.’

I was trying to explain how blogs could possibly still be relevant to a very young friend—and I was not convincing him.

At some point, though, it clicked—and he cried out, “SHACKLESHOTGUN!” And thereby I was introduced to the extensively researched and annotated link roundups on destinyroundup.com. I’m not a Destiny player—forgive my ignorance—still, I instantly could see that this crafty researcher’s work was intrepid and gifted. And then: wow, she made some time to talk to me!

kicks: Among gamers, Reddit has become a major hub for detailed discussion. I can see your round-ups existing on Reddit—why post them to a blog instead? Especially because Reddit subs are usually hostile to re-posting of blog posts.

shackleshotgun: My roundups existing (solely) on Reddit would go against one of the reasons the site was created in the first place. One purpose of it is being a tool for those who don’t like using Reddit, Twitter, or the official Bungie forums, something for people who want to see all info in one place. People don’t have time nor energy to rummage through three different social medias with awful user experience practices to see if an issue has been addressed by the developers.

Some people either can’t access the sites or don’t want to visit those sites, they just want to have a one stop shop.

Furthermore, info on Reddit and Twitter gets lost very easily because at their foundation those sites are very shoddily structured. Search bar doesn’t work on Twitter majority of the time (it omits results for unknown reasons), and on Reddit the search feature doesn’t look through comments (which is where majority of info is posted by the community managers and developers). Things on my site are archived, and not only that, they site focuses on one thing. You don’t need to dig through a lot of irrelevant info to find out if the developers have said something about a bug.

In order to retain my enjoyment of video games, I stay away from gaming communities. Reddit is quite the offender when it comes to toxicity and harbors content that doesn’t improve my day in the slightest so I don’t post at all on there for that very reason. I follow a very small circle of gaming people on Twitter, and that’s enough for me. People are free to link to my site on Reddit, though.[1]

kicks: Oh, for sure—those constant mobs in uproar.

But tell me—I wonder if you miss having access to Reddit comments on your posts. I would think that with your round-ups, most people would be very appreciative. Though perhaps some change to the game that week could spark tremendous arguments.

It looks like you prefer attaching a Twitter conversation to your posts. Was it a deliberate decision to have a blog without comments?

shackleshotgun: I don’t miss Reddit comments on my roundups because I never had them (as far as I know). If people have feedback for the site they are free to reach out to me either via DMs or email or mentioning me on Twitter.

It was a very deliberate choice to not have a comment section on the site. I didn’t see having a comment section as a productive thing for my site, and moderating it would be too time consuming. I don’t want people to stop visiting the site because of the comment section. Twitter makes for the best “comment section” because there the commenters can tag the developers/community managers with their thoughts on what was said.

kicks: Krikey. Comments as a liability! I have been lucky so far to have such good participation in my comments—but you clearly offer a perfectly useful read without them. I wonder if Twitter-just-for-comments is just a good way to treat Twitter in general.

The research you do on your round-ups is quite extensive—you must have fifty links you’re citing each week. Do you collect all of this on your own? Or do you take submissions through Twitter, Discord, Reddit and so on?

shackleshotgun: I do it all on my own. I have a system and a list of people to check in on each day. Once in a while people send me things I missed. I work very quickly so each summary takes max 30 mins out of my day. Having people submit things through avenues you’ve mentioned would take too long and make it a lot more arduous than it needs to be.

kicks: In a way, you operate kind of like a bot that is filtering through everything (from what I understand, you also try to snatch news out of podcast interviews) to distill it down to a summary. Our society has become accustomed to an algorithm doing this kind of job for us. However, your posts are written to be succinct and are very well-organized and laid out—with you writing and curating the heap of information.

shackleshotgun: I know that there have been some attempts to write bots for this kind of thing, but the developers often tweet/comment about things not related to the game. If you want to have a stream of info with only relevant things, you need a human behind it to filter it out.

kicks: This is a theme I keep seeing more and more. Humans as researchers and librarians on the Web, rather than just leaning back to let the bots passively feed us. I hope you enjoy doing the work—it might not be for everyone.

Did you have writing or research skills going into this project? Or did you just develop them as you went?

shackleshotgun: I didn’t have any related skills going into it. I studied programming and computer science for most of my life but had to go separate ways with that. When I started doing the roundups I was a Twitch streamer so I had a tiny audience on Twitter, and retweets from that audience helped lift the whole thing off. It’s been a fun learning experience.

kicks: Is it difficult for players out there to discover what you’re up to? In fact—any idea how most people find your blog?

shackleshotgun: Most people find me either via retweets of my summaries on Twitter, or YouTubers who have used my site for their videos shouting me out, or numerous podcasts I’ve been on.[2]

kicks: You started in a Google Doc—but moved to the blog last year. Was it difficult (technically) for you to start the blog? (Like: to get the design right, the layout and the organization.)

shackleshotgun: It was a relief to start the website, to be honest. By the time I started the website the google doc was a nightmare to use due to its size. There were some struggles with the site that are still ongoing.

Two big things that come to mind are the issues that come with any site that’s about archiving big quantities of information, and the design. Things are getting constantly patched in the game, which means info on the site becomes old, which in turn leads to a lot of issues in regards to organization. As for the design, I prefer usability and user experience over looks, but at the same time I want the site to look good and I still haven’t found that perfect mix between good design and great user experience.

So to summarize, starting it was very simple. Maintaining it is the actual challenge.


  1. See more in her community focus. ↩︎

  2. Some of her audio interviews can be found on DCP #95 or destinytruthcast #66. ↩︎

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03 Apr 2019

Reply: Flooding the Culture

Soraya Roberts

I read an article this weekend that I didn’t see being shared anywhere. You had to scroll down the Times pretty far to find it; it was in the arts section and it was about a group of black artists who were suddenly being recognized in their 70s and 80s. It was a frustrating read, a sort of too-little-too-late scenario because, sure, it’s always nice to get half a million dollars for your work, but where was the money when you were actually producing the work, while supporting a family and paying a mortgage, with many decades of life ahead of you?

Averting our gaze from mainstream culture—cAN It bE DoNE?

Hahah, wow—it’s funny because I find this article to be a similar kind of frustrating read. A good read—perhaps like the Times article was for her—but very frustrating. I wonder: is acceptance by mainstream culture really seen as the ultimate, final, crucial reward?

(Particularly now that we live in an age where it’s clear that the previous generation of cultural winners—be it Jimi Hendrix or Harper Lee—is rapidly fading away, to be replaced by YouTubers, video game streamers, YA writers, reality stars. Isn’t the mainstream culture going to be very ruthless in its war for canonization?)

I mean I love the author’s ultimate point: here, I won’t summarize it, let’s just get into it.

We need a mass realization that pulls us out of this flooding culture. That is: the acknowledgment by powerful organizations that we do in fact engage more with original stories—it’s a fact, look it up—that lasting conversations do not come out of Twitter trends, and that diversity means diversity—more that is different, not more of the same differences. As one curator told the Times in the piece about older black artists getting their due, “There has been a whole parallel universe that existed that people had not tapped into.” Tap into it.

As h0p3 would say: preach it! Tap into it.

But the author spends the entire piece looking away from the underground—scrutinizing the fucking New York Times to show us the way, looking at the top 20 shows on Netflix, stats on buying habits on Amazon. If the concern is that our culture is spending all of their time on Netflix, Amazon and the Times—well, so is this article.

So when we go to ‘tap into it’—what is it? Where is this ‘parallel universe’ we’re looking for? Where does this culture go to look for it? Is it on Amazon and Twitter somewhere? Are we supposed to continue using Netflix and Google—but somehow spend our time on the back alleys of those services?

Is this a request to leave alone the front page of the New York Times and start with the back page? (So much simpler to turn to the back page of the corporeal printed Times than to do so online.)

Clearly, the article decries the entire makeup of these systems:

Per CJR, these algorithms are “taste-reflectors,” meaning they don’t affect taste the way critics do but simply reinforce your palate; there is little discovery here.

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

Yesss! So go outside those neatly ordered corporate-approved spaces, yeah?

Let’s return to that final tap into it! paragraph. The phrase I want to look at is here: “the acknowledgement by powerful organizations.” Wait—so the tap into it! is meant… for them??

Are you asking the powerful organizations to—go outside themselves? Why? So they can continue to show us what’s legitimate? Because they are the authorities on what shit is actually cool?

I mean, yes, I’m not dense—the ‘powerful organizations’ are a massive pipeline of fame and currency—and this stuff can be gasoline to an artist. (Lord knows I want Boots Riley to keep it up—dammit, give the man what he needs!) But all of us out here, all us commoners, put together—we’re pure fuel, too. There was a time when it seemed that those very organizations were at the mercy of the buying public, earlier in this century when the entire system shook in fear of ‘disruption’.

And so, it feels like the article is just asking the mainstream to open a little wider, to give out a few more awards here and there, in lip service to the world of underappreciated, wonderful, unknown artists. (Black artists, in her case—but also in mine, because I want my mind blown by cool shit as much as any of you.) And, yeah, okay, maybe the ‘corpypastas’ might just throw us a bone.

However, I love the ‘parallel universe’ she refers to—that’s our unruly, unpredictable Web—an extension of the underground scenes, of the avant-garde, the mixtape traders, the world of the only critics that matter: our little group of friends. Those mixtapes blow up out here first. Out in our parallel universe: all of you out on your little blogs and wikis that I tap into each day. This world exists. It’s here, even if it faces its own doom on some days, in the face of resurgent mainstream culture.

Fuck the NYT, fuck Netflix—I’m reading you folks.

  1. @kicks Great piece - “cool shit” - the mainstream is highly overrated, thank you.

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01 Apr 2019

Roundups

This month I’m digging into weekly link roundups.

E-mail newsletters (tinyletter, substack), along with weekly link summaries on Patreon, and podcasts or YouTube intros focused on ‘community news’—these are very popular types of tiny directories that I have been overlooking. Watching people like h0p3, Eli Mellen and Joe Jennett dump these kinds of periodic link collections, I’m convinced that they are a crucial support system for blog/wiki writers (Hypertexting).

Some things I’ve observed while hunting around for link roundups:

  • Some communities are really good at this kind of thing. For example, see the weekly ‘heavy metal preview’ put out by Not Part Of Your Scene. People want to find new songs, bands want their news songs to be heard, and the blogs want to sift through it all and find the gems—this just cuts right to it.

  • The best roundups take the time to organize, add some helpful commentary and just make it all look nice and readable. Eli’s got a good thing or Stephanie Walter’s ‘pixels of the week’. I will cover this more extensively going forward. (Another interesting one: No Time To Play, takes the form of short essays on gaming.)

  • The e-mail newsletter software out there is doing a pretty good job. Take The Go Gazelle, which uses Revue to publish its newsletter. It looks good—and I really appreciate that it embeds Tweets. (Relevant: ‘Tantek liked a post on Twitter’.)

  • Roundups lend themselves to group collaboration. Look at mega-roundups like the one done by Eidolon Classics on their Patreon. Would love to see this kind of weekly superpost on the topics I care about.

These are also incredibly common on micro.blog—is there a roundup of the roundups?

Some interesting ‘forks’/‘variants’ of the roundup:

I have more work to do, discovering innovations out there. But I have some good interviews coming up on the topic and will be doing another Let Me Link to You on the topic.

  1. Reply: Rex Sorgatz

    tones

    @kicks rex sorgatz’s new newsletter is worth a look.

    Sweet—well taken! I am not into the celebrity news or mainstream papes. But it still looks like 30% of this is lesser known goodshit. The whole layout and vibe is quality. Again, thankyou!

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28 Mar 2019

Reply: Return of the Jwwwedi

api

We tend to overestimate the impact of technologies in the short term and underestimate them in the long term. The Internet visionaries overestimated how rapidly the Internet would change the status quo. Instead the status quo came and colonized the Internet. The night is young though, and we have generations coming up right now that don’t know what one-way broadcast media even is. The printing press took a long time to totally transform society, but transform it it did. Society changes much more slowly than technology.

I personally think we are living through the “Empire Strikes Back” period—a period where the conventional powers (political think tanks, advertisers, ideological and state propagandists, etc.) have learned to attack the Internet using its own systems (social media, forums, memes, etc.) and the Internet hasn’t yet learned how to defend itself. This is probably peaking now with “peak social” and the explosion of hip and effective social media based state and political propaganda. I don’t know what “Return of the Jedi” will look like, but I think it’s likely coming. Some of the problems that need to be solved are technical but many are just a matter of people learning how to mentally filter BS in the new Internet era.

Somewhat agree. I’ve been getting back into blogs and personal websites—some of this is categorized under ‘indieweb’. There is a lot of good work being done out there, great conversations going on, strange and wonderful new hobbyists.

But I don’t know if the Web—or the digital rights movement or Occupy or meme culture or whatever your personal fancy is—will ever be retaken. There’s space for an underground now—which is good enough for me. Perhaps better than trying to fit all of mainstream society in. And maybe social networks can stay—as a kind of fly paper.

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‘Yoshiro sometimes wished that instead of his grandson Tomo were a character in one of his novels. That way there would be no need to get angry, and also much more fun for writer and readers.’

— p. 77, The Emissary by Yoko Tawada

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default filename tv

Personal vids on shuffle (by @everestpipkin).

Noted by Eli here, this new project by @everestpipkin streams videos that are left with the camera-assigned title (i.e. DSC_5090.MOV, IMG_6715.MP4, etc.) and are likely raw, uncut personal footage.

Some videos I encountered while browsing:

This is a good channel.

Turns out there are some related sites: youhole.tv (similar channel of random obscure vids), astronaut.io (vids with zero views), petittube (same), /r/imgxxxx (subreddit of default filename vids).

Interesting comment on Twitter about these zero view channels:

Interesting—and doesn’t it effectively erase a video from its potential library by having 1 person view it?

An effective obscurity algorithm that likely won’t experience spam and can’t be gamed. Very interesting, indeed!

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27 Mar 2019

Fast FVP

The ‘hot and ready’ style of checklisting.

I am not generally interested in time-management or productivity systems—because I enjoy being such a mess—but this is a case where my study of algorithms kicks in. The Fast FVP system—formerly the Final Version Perfected, previously Final Version, née AutoFocus—is an algorithm by Mark Forster for determining what to work on, given a large list of tasks. (However, since none of those names are descriptive, I think of it as the ‘hot and ready’ system, when I explain it to someone.)

It is based on the question: “What do I want to do more than X?”

The algorithm looks like this:

  1. Put a dot next to the first item on the checklist.
    • That item is now X.
  2. Ask: Am I ready to do X now?
    • If so, you’re done: stop and do it.
  3. Ask: What do I want to do more than X?
    • Scan the list until you encounter a subsequent item which is more appealing.
    • Dot the item. It is now X.
    • Go to step 2.

And then, of course, you come back to the list later and cross off a completed item (re-adding it to the bottom of the list if you have remaining work to do on it) and run the algorithm again.

As mentioned, the development of the algorithm has gone through several variations. This reminds me very much of the recent trend to discover better hashing methods[1] and even extending to things like PageRank or YouTube’s curation algorithms.

What I like about Mark Forster’s approach is that he took the existing algorithms (many involving day planners or things like the GTD processing flowchart) and simplified the algorithm down to its bare essentials, never straying from its core emphasis: ‘psychological readiness’.

This is where FVP really enters new dimensions. By using a pre-selection process, the brain is softened up towards the selected tasks. But this isn’t all. The selection process is based on what you want to do. This colours the whole preselected list so that even tasks which seem like chores get affected.

It seems that, once simplified (made primitive?), an algorithm can then be played with, to try to reconfigure its simple pieces to align it closer to the ideals behind it. I make note of this approach so that it can be applied to the algorithms I (or we) are working on curate links or to orchestrate a crawler.

I also like that this is an algorithm designed for human software. While I sometimes use ‘recipes’ or manual processes as an analogy for algorithms, I like that this one is entirely mental/psychological—it seems perhaps unique in that regard. It is designed to be ‘loaded’[2].


  1. Such as recent developments like XXH3 and HighwayHash. ↩︎

  2. In fact, in the link above, the author simplifies Fast FVP down to the phrase: Ready? More? As if it were code. ↩︎

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25 Mar 2019

H3333333K

Poorly rendered architecture.

Ok, I’ve added the flipflop tag to this blog, based on Brian Jones’ comment on the Hand Job Zine. Robin Sloan’s “Dancing the Flip-Flop” essay was dropped—and this link falls in place as a flipflop.

For H3333333K !Mediengruppe Bitnik translate a digital image error, a glitch, onto the façade of the museum House of Electronic Arts Basel (HeK). Applied directly onto the architecture of the building, the glitch misaligns the elements of the façade, bringing disturbance to an otherwise settled structure.

Yeah, check out the video—the glitch was added to an existing building, as if itself had been poorly rendered back to analog.

I’ve also added this group’s RANDOM DARKNET SHOPPER project to href.cool’s Crimes/Simple category. If my flipflop collection gets big enough, I can see it going in the ‘Real/Not Real’ category.

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luming hao

this is a very messy and unstructured inpsiring personal site no actualy it’s more of a collection of txts and links and sometimes it uses html other times it just uses a basoc json file no it’s a blog this person is also on other sites but i’m not going to tell you where becau i have just bought a lettuce form a door to door saleswoman tell me you wouldn’t focus on that if you were it too

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Personal Site Dump

Raw blog/website links to look through.

I’ve stumbled across the link above (a list of personal portfolios compiled by Martin Pitt) and, well, this has been a bit of a recent trend:

I am not going to look through the tech blogs, because I’m not as interested in those. (Except ones like ameyama.com which blends a greater portion of assorted personal thoughts alongside the tech tutorial-type things.)

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22 Mar 2019

Dat Rats

Idea: gang up to cache classic websites.

This is just a zygotic bit of a thought that I’ve been having. A group that would band together to share classic websites (likely on the ‘dat’ network), perhaps as if they were abandonware or out-of-print books. Many of the early net.art sites have been kept up because they have university support; many other sites disappear and simply don’t function on The Internet Archive.

(To illustrate how even a major art piece can go down, Pharrell’s 24 Hours of Happy interactive music video—yeah. that link is broken. You can see kind of see it on YouTube, but… the hypertext enthusiast in me wants to see it live on in its original form.)

Some sites that I really need to reconstruct:

  • Room of 1,000 Snakes. This game hasn’t been playable for a year or two now. I promised a friend I would work on this. (This is an issue with Unity Web Player going defunct.)

  • The Woodcutter. Careful, redirects. This site was a huge deal for me when I was younger. When I started href.cool, it was fine—and had been fine for like fifteen years!—and then it suddenly broke. I think it can be reconstructed from The Internet Archive.

  • Fly Guy. Moved to the App Store??

  • SARDINE MAGOZINE. Charlie is gone now—so I’ve already started doing this.

  • SMASH TV. This suddenly disappeared recently, but I think it’s been restored to YouTube now—I need my copies.

Sites I need to back up; feels like their day is nigh:

  • 1080plus. I’ve already been through losing this once.

  • Bear Stearns Bravo. Yeah, I think so. (This Is My Milwaukee could be recreated too.)

  • “Like a Rolling Stone.” Similar story to “24 Hours of Happy”—this kind of disappears for months at a time, but seems to work as of March 2019.

  • Frog Fractions. This one is probably too adored to disappear—still.

  • Everything in my Real/Person category. These personal pages can easily float away suddenly.

Of course, I’d love to get the point where I have a cached copy of everything at href.cool—there are several Tumblrs in there and Blogspots. I’m not as worried with those, because The Internet Archive does a fine job of keeping them relatively intact. But if a YouTube channel disappears, it’s gone to us.

Along similar lines, I have been trying to message the creators of the Byte app—not the hyped Vine 2, but the original Byte that was basically like an underground vaporwave social network from 2014-2016. I want to secure a dump of the public Bytes from that era. It was sick.

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21 Mar 2019

Internet K-Hole

Not the most obscure link—but I’ve not run across it before, despite it being around on Blogspot from 2010-2014, then on Tumblr until a couple months ago (“since tumblr is full of narcs now”) when it moved to the link above. The pic thief behind the blog is “Babs”—who did an interview with Vice in 2015. I collect these kinds of candid photodumps on my Visuals/Images page. This one mostly focuses on white trash photos dating from about the 1970s.

Relevant comment (to all my fellow hyperlinkers) from the article:

Has it been become more difficult to maintain the same level of quality and find compelling images and videos over the five years you’ve been doing this?

Yeah I feel like it’s harder to find photos actually. I have a bunch of tricks I use to find photos on the Internet and now so many photos I’ve already used come up which can be frustrating. I’ve gotten more submissions lately, which is so awesome because a lot of them send in photos of themselves/their own friends in the 80s/90s, and they’re not already on the Internet.

It’s still strange to think that the early Internet seemed like it was filling up with photos and writings and ringtones—it seemed that it would just be an avalanche from then on. And it is, but it’s all become mostly unreachable, much harder to find. I wonder how much of it is deliberate and how much is the nature of the platforms.

Since zines are also in my wheelhouse, I also want to point out some of the links found in the vicinity of Internet K-Hole, such as:

  • HAMBURGER EYES ZINE. Thirty-seven issues of just photography—in the vein of good, great, jarring photos, based out of the SF Mission.

  • Angel Dust Chicago (short-lived?) junk store. This seems related to some of the tiny museums I’ve linked in the past. Video interview with the creators. (Also see my interview with The Zymoglyphic Museum.)

  • Vermillion and One found photo blog. More of an emphasis on campy art and fashion. I like the kid’s fashion pics—seems like that could be its own genre.

Ok, have your fun.

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I remarked to a friend that alien conspiracies seem to have died down in recent years, while other conspiracies have grown. He said that he felt this was because 20th Century technology was analog—film and tapes could be smudged and warped incidentally, which possibly led to misleading recordings. If there’s anything to this notion, I need to remember to return to it…

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12 Mar 2019

Hand Job Zine

Seven issues total in this zine—I’m counting the gorgeous ‘FP’ complementary issues—which brings together scans of human hands caught in the Google Books scanning process. There is another zine out there of the same name; this is the one by Aliza Elkin—who also fashions animated GIFs from her findings. (Some background on this Twitter thread.)

She also points to this cool book from 1977: Unforgettable Fire: Pictures Drawn By Atomic Bomb Survivors. This is all very eye opening. Some of the better high concept zines that I’ve seen!

  1. @kicks this is amazing. Things like this make me want to go for a PhD, just becuase I'd love the time to write thousands of pages about what it takes to bring the physical to the digital...and exploring what it then taks to physically maintain the "digital" replication of the physical object. This is a great find!

  2. @kicks This is really cool. Thanks. And @eli, your take on it reminds me very much of Robin Sloan’s notion of the “flip flop.”

  3. @kicks this seems tangentially related to Hand Job Zine.

    default filename tv finds and plays youtube videos that were uploaded from the camera without edits to the filename.

    defaultfile.name

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11 Mar 2019

Wyrd Britain

I don’t know what it is—but this blog has stuck with me. I can’t even trace the links I went through to get here. (I think I started at either Nannygoat Hill or jill/txt—which are also very interesting blogs that I’m still trying to sort out.) I originally started at the post where a guest author talks about seeing Cocteau Twins for the first time—and then I just started occasionally stopping in to read back. There are some really cool video shorts linked throughout this blog.

I don’t know what you call it when you were nostalgic for times and places that you never experienced—sometimes I can feel this the minute I start some old Russian sci-fi flick or whatever Iranian ‘slice of life’-type footage I happen upon. But this blog has that kind of sensation. (I’m also wondering why I’m just linking to blogs and Tumblrs like these rather than commenting on them and trying to strike up a chat. I’m short on time lately—I need to remedy this.)

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Reply: Supposedly Unreadable Tripe

k0sh3k

I am one of the few people who read everything h0p3 writes. It’s a good thing I read fast. Also, we talk a lot. We started this whole thing by walking and talking and disagreeing on the definitions of ethical and moral and I guess we’ll keep doing this until he realizes I’m right and he’s wrong about the entire nature of the universe.

It might take a while.

h0p3’s wife does a mic check.

(This is sooo cool—to get a response from h0p3’s wife on her own personal wiki. I just can’t believe we’re having these conversations. This was not what I intended to do on this blog. I actually didn’t have any intentions really—I just wanted to mess with hypertext again—which I guess opened me up to reading random TiddlyWikis and having these delightful, possibly pointless, just-for-funsies conversations. It’s better than anything that I could have intended to do.)

k0sh3k! First off, I love ILL, too. I am a massive cheapskate and I try to avoid clutter—but mostly I just like the weird editions that show up. And I like to see where the books come from. (I give a shoutout to this in my Stories/Novels page.)

My favorite was when Denton Welch’s Maiden Voyage came in. It was an ancient hardback from the 1950s. (It was the first book I read by him—I love him now.) As I read, I began to realize that this edition had been published right after he died (at age 33) and it really transported me to that age. I had a hard time giving that one back.

I actually should read The Educated Mind again before I recommend it. I went back and read my review—and some of my perspectives have changed since then. A lot has happened in four years. I still think I would love that the book bows before the visage of Socrates… (I am not a fast reader.)

My favorite poet is e.e. cummings, and if you haven’t read his work, you should.

I loved him in high school—I guess I have forgotten so much about him. I think I liked him at the time for gimmicky reasons. I know I saw past the mere shape of his poems. I thought he was funny. But to hear about ‘anti-industrialist poems’—you shouldn’t have lost that paper.

You’ll have to excuse the place - I only started keeping this to make h0p3 happy and to be a good example to the kiddos, although I’ve started keeping things here just for fun, too.

I am not nearly as good at keeping a wiki as h0p3 is; I haven’t gotten much better on any of this web stuff since the early days of chat rooms.

I think it’s charming. Your worries about organization or curating—sure, it’s fun to spend time on that stuff—but you’ve put a lot of work into what you’ve got already and it’s already very amusing and interesting to idly search and click around. I like that it’s informal. I like that it’s off-the-cuff.

I feel I should apologize for reading. It feels voyeuristic. Or like a robot eating up feelings. (CAN DESPISING AYN RAND REALLY FEEL THIS GOOD.) And maybe I am just scoping up anecdotes and recommendations in slapdash—this is just my own librarian way. It is shameful, it is noble—it is just a way to pass the time.

I think education, across the board, including college level, has hit a rough patch. It’s no longer about helping individuals become good, ethical human beings; it’s about shaping individuals into efficient little workers and consumers. I’m glad we have the chance to raise our kiddos to be good persons, and to recognize the systemic evils that use others as mere means for wealth accumulation.

Most of the teachers I’ve met and worked with are aware of this and frustrated by it, too. It’s strange to me that this awareness has been around since at least the 1970s—yet it’s only gotten worse, I’d hazard.

There was a conversation between Seymour Papert and Paulo Freire back then that really—well, it might have gone too far in places, but I think it’s mostly right on:

Now there comes a time when the infant is seeing a wider world than can be touched and felt. So the questions in the child’s mind aren’t only about this and this and this that I can see, but about something I heard, saw a picture of, or imagined. And I think here the child enters into a precarious and dangerous situation because not necessarily, but, I think, in point of fact in our societies, there is now a shift from experiential learning—learning by exploring—to another kind of learning, which is learning by being told: you have to find adults who will tell you things. And this stage reaches its climax in school.

And I think it’s an exaggeration, but that there’s a lot of truth in saying that when you go to school, the trauma is that you must stop learning and you must now accept being taught. That is stage two: it’s school, it’s learning by being taught, it’s receiving deposits of knowledge. I think many children are destroyed by that, strangled. Some, of course, survive it, and all of us survived it, and that’s one reason it’s often dangerous discussing these questions among intellectual people. In spite of the school what happened to us was that in the course of this stage two we learned certain skills. We learned to read, for example; we learned to use libraries; we learned how to explore directly a much wider world.

Now I think that there’s an important sense in which stage three is going back to stage one for those who’ve survived stage two—creative people in any field, whether in a laboratory or in philosophy—whether artists, businessmen, journalists—all the people in the world who are able, despite all the restrictions, to find a way of living creatively. We are very much like the baby again. We explore; it’s driven from inside; it’s experiential; it’s not so verbal; it’s not about being told.

To me, I agree that the scaffolding is important—but I think we tend to make the whole thing about scaffolding and public school tends to be all scaffolding all the time. But I think of scaffolding as being rough-shod. You hammer together a few planks and then get back to the building itself. The scaffolding goes away with time. You forget it was ever there.

(In case this is too vague—I tend to make ‘scaffolding’ synonymous with ‘adult assistance’, Vygotsky’s meaning, rather than the other meanings that float about from time to time.)

Of course, I think the above goes wrong a bit because I view reading as experiential and driven from inside—and I think even “telling” can be this way. Teaching can be very immersive and very improvisational. It’s difficult to know if it can ever be prescribed. (I don’t often watch television, but I think this is one thing that has kept me watching The Good Place—the main character is provided with a personal philosopher, a man who finds himself given an Herculean chore to try to prescribe his wisdom to her, even though it all is completely applicable. It simply cannot be told I think.)

Thank you for all the books and links—I will always be on the lookout for more and I am glad to know you and your family. While I’m interesting in the pioneering work you all are doing with wikis and such, I think it’s eclipsed by the effort you make among your two children. These words might be, at their height, a ‘model’ of us.

But they are only artifacts compared to the humans behind them. This j3d1h and kokonut seem like great additions to our reality. (Just from things they pop off with in h0p3’s writings.)

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Fill Crawlers

Some notes on how I am using crawlers as I’m collecting links.

I’ve started dabbling in crawlers with two simple prototypes—these may not even be considered crawlers, but simple web fetchers or something like that—but I think of them as being (or becoming) fill crawlers. Most crawlers are out exploring the Web, discovering material and often categorizing them, given some kind of algorithm that determines relevancy. Here, I’m the one discovering and categorizing; the fill crawler only does the work of watching those pages, keeping me aware of other possibly relevant sites and notifying me when I need to update that link.

So, these crawlers are filling in the blanks for certain links. Filling in missing parts that aren’t editorial. This isn’t a crawler that is feeding the site’s visitors—it’s there for my utility.


For href.cool, the crawler isn’t really a crawler, given that it doesn’t do any exploring yet. It just updates screenshots, lets me know when links are broken and tracks changes over time. Eventually, I hope that it will keep snapshots of some of those pages and help me find neighboring links.

Anyway, I’ve had that crawler since the beginning and it will stay rather limited since it’s for personal use.


For indieweb.xyz, I’ve started a crawler that’s also for keeping the links updated. Yeah, I want to know when something is 404 and keep the comment counts updated. But I also want to get better comment counts by spidering out to see the links that are in the chain. This crawler allows indieweb.xyz to stay updated even if Webmentions don’t continue to come in from that link.

I think the thing that excites me the most about this crawler is that I’d like it to start understanding hypertext beyond the Indieweb. I’m hoping it can begin to index TiddlyWikis or dat:// links, so that they can participate. I’d really like TiddlyWiki users to have more options to broadcast that doesn’t require plugins or much effort—they should remain focused on writing.

Both of these projects are focused on trying to help the remaining denizens of straight-up Web hypertext find each other, without it functioning like another social network that becomes the center of attention. To me, rather than giving the crawler the power to filter and sort all these writings, it simply acts as a voracious reader that looks for key signifier that all of normal readers/linkers are looking for anyway. (Such as links in a comment chain or tags that reveal categories.)


That’s all I have to say at the moment. I mostly put this out here so that people out there will know how these sites work—and to connect with other people (like Brad Enslen and Joe Jennett) who are doing cataloging work, to keep that discussion going.

  1. Reply: Allo

    nitinkhanna

    href.cool is cool 😃

    Hey thanks for piping up. Your blog is neat—I liked the article on treating your blog like a Moleskine. I think this is why I always have used those dreary, cheap composition books. I can make them a mess.

    Your Twitter bio: “I tweet seriously, but mostly for fun.” This is chill. An example to us all.

  2. @kicks thanks! :) I love how random and pretty your site is! And the way the comments are presented as sort of part of the flow of the writing is pretty neat... :)

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Normal Horoscopes

Weekly horoscopes that are genuinely invigorating and now I know what to do with my powdered nun corpses.

This feels related to some of the surrealist links that I’m beginning to explore—this is a Tumblr of imaginative horoscopes that has totally drawn me in. Half of what I link to are personal blogs that are confessional or kind of, I don’t know, internally exploratory; some of you might think that a blog like this isn’t very personal—it’s just humor, or maybe even could be thought of as externally exploratory.

However, I view this as a kind of prism into the author’s internal life and can be quite personal as you dig in. The author here is CARETAKER—Dane Asmund, who has a number of interesting projects—such as the Cosmic Mirror Games RPG and DOGS the gaem.

Scorpio: Nothing will ever be the same, the march of time is impossible to stop and boy is that a bummer.

Capricorn: Nobody likes crowds, so that tear gas grenade was for everyones benefit.

Cancer: Careful not to become consumed by the things you struggle with, it is easy to mistake the work for the reward.

Anyway, this has me on the prowl for more zodiac blogs—and for intriguing Tumblrs, to some extent—such as The Creature’s Cookbook, where an anthropophagic cryptid goes to blog.

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02 Mar 2019

So, as a result of the work Chris has been doing in Wordpress, making it easier to post to Indieweb.xyz, I’ve started “rolling up” all the posts by each user on the home page. I’m just trying this to see how it feels. I’m going to try quite a lot of things over the next few months. Let me know what works for you.

  1. I really liked this change – it alleviates some of the anxiety that came with posting a bunch of links and appearing to “flood” the front page. Now I’m only listed once, so don’t have to worry that I’m pushing out other people. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next for XYZ!

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09 Feb 2019

Going through the recent Hacker News thread and Twitter, scanning for new personal blogs and websites—excavating some great stuff: HrefHunt! I really dig christine.website. It’s a good day.

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Mek, Citizen of the World

Heyo—‘My purpose is to curate a living map of the world’s knowledge.’

I’m fresh into this link—so I don’t quite have a clear picture of this fellow (Michael E. Karpeles)—but I see a kind of h0p3-like thing going on here. A huge, straight-up link directory that is definitely in the public self-modeling vein.

Related project: fromscrat.ch done in the same fashion. This is a rabbithole, no doubt about it. See what you can find.

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05 Feb 2019

Humdrum Life

Thoughts blog that uses the Blot software to mimick something like h0p3’s wiki.

This is Kevin Kovacs’ personal thoughts collection—along the lines of h0p3’s wiki—with daily plans and reviews of the day, link logs. There’s an enclave of others doing this kind of thing with TiddlyWiki—this is an example of how to branch outside of that.

I also think it’s interesting that Kevin has a separate (presumably ‘public’) site at The Independent Variable. It seems that part of the point is to syndicate the ‘public’ site and keep the ‘personal’ site separate—“because of the frequency and mundaneness of posts.” This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been messing with, too—except that I have a home page for broadcasts and an unfiltered page for the raw dump.

Couple things I need to ask Kevin—maybe he’ll see this by way of Webmention, we’ll see:

  • Any reason that ‘humdrum’ has a dark theme and ‘tiv’ a bright theme? I wonder if there’s an internal/external symbolism here. But it also seems like dark and light themes appeal to different crowds.

  • Can’t help but wonder why link logs get posted to the ‘personal’ site, while movie reviews and top ten lists hit the main blog. I think I might do the opposite. How do you know what does where? (Intrigued at the stark division between two sites, one author.)

  • As someone with a ‘now’ page—is it a novelty? Or does it serve a function for you? Or perhaps the function is for someone else— us??

  • Interesting that URL schemes are different for the two sites. Wonder why.

Cool to see more Hypertexting—in the sense of ephemeral stuff piling up into a single body of work. I just keep seeing this.

  1. https://humdrum.life/2019/02/05/to%20%20kickscondor
    🔖

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22 Jan 2019

'The splinter group on the other hand, the Agama Expedition, is more eclectic as it combines surrealist games and creativity (and a group exhibition) with anarchist activism, makes a brief plunge into Romanticism, considers situationist theory; and it takes part in another part of the surrealist movement, the “dissident networks” flourishing this decade, thereby eventually merging with the “Dunganon” activity in Skåne, before fading out together.`

— p.2, EXPERIENCE.pdf, 2010

  1. http://a08d5081.ngrok.io/the-experience-of-stockholm-surrealism/
    🔖

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Box Vox

Where does one put company blogs?

I confess to having many sour feelings for capitalism—so I don’t ever link to company blogs, out of a kind of disgust. But I am trying to do better: I can’t let those feelings turn into yet another kind of misanthropy. Here I’ve found a splendid blog about packaging design that has been running since 2007, authored by Randy Ludacer.

It’s difficult to gauge the obscurity of a blog, but this one seems to have few comments and few incoming links, given its age. Perhaps it is quite prestigious in some circle out of sight—well deserved, if so. It is a trove of exquisite shapes and diagrams. The author has a true passion for the crafting of cans and boxes. The age of this blog has also paid off—many of its posts go several levels deep with an investigation.

Nearly every post has something good. A sampling to start with:

FURTHERMORE: Randy has an album of Songs About Packaging? This is above and beyond, mate.

This 7 song CD is part of larger project, partly funded by COAHSI-(Council on the Arts & Humanities on Staten Island)-including a live performance at the former Staten Island landfill, now Freshkills Park.

My god—I think Charlie McAlister would get a kick out this! Freshkills Park!

  1. @kicks I wonder whether the preppers have triggered a run on Dehydrated Water?

  2. Reply: Obtaining Dehydrated Water

    Ron

    I wonder whether the preppers have triggered a run on Dehydrated Water?

    I hope not—I would very much like some myself…

    (Also, to anyone who is enjoying Box Vox, the author got in contact via Twitter.)

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18 Jan 2019

2019.01.19: Href.Cool Updates

Some poems, some surrealists, some nicer margins, who cares.

Quite a few new links and poems added today:

I’ve also been improving the themes—trying to get them as nice as possible on all the various browsers and devices out there.

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The Indieweb.xyz Translations Project

Matthias Pfefferle asked for a German edition of Indieweb.xyz and it is ready now.

Since Indieweb.xyz seems to be useful to some of you, I’m working through a list of updates that will clean it up and make it more versatile.

The first major change is to add another language, German, at the request of Matthias Pfefferle. (The German edition is at indieweb.xyz/de.) The Github project that I am linking here is where new languages and translated text can be submitted.

I’ve also hidden the hottubs sub from the home page. This will allow you to test the system without broadcasting to everyone.

These are all the changes for today, but I wanted to let you all know out there that I have got my hands in the code again, in case you have any requests you want to call out.

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14 Jan 2019

‘Everyone knows that dragons don’t exist. But while this simplistic formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suffice for the scientific mind. The School of Higher Neantical Nillity is in fact wholly unconcerned with what does exist. Indeed, the banality of existence has been so amply demonstrated, there is no need for us to discuss it any further here. The brilliant Cerebron, attacking the problem analytically, discovered three distinct kinds of dragon: the mythical, the chimerical, and the purely hypothetical. They were all, one might say, nonexistent, but each nonexisted in an entirely different way.’

— p. 85, The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem

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12 Jan 2019

2019.01: Href.Cool Updates

Webmentions and five new links.

Okay, so I’ve added outgoing Webmentions to Href.cool. This means that sites will be notified if they are linked in any of my categories.

Incidentally, the directory itself has also has Webmentions. So, if you have an Indieweb blog and you want to recommend a link to the directory: make a post containing the link you want to submit and a link to the category page you think it belongs on and I will get the message. I may also choose to list submitted links at the bottom of the page. Or, yeah, you tell me if this is useful to you.

A few new links have been added:

I also linked to notepin.co as a possible blogging option.

  1. @kicks Thanks ‘The Accidental Room’ sounds amazing. Huffduffed for commute.

  2. Reply: Huffduffed

    John Johnston

    Thanks ‘The Accidental Room’ sounds amazing. Huffduffed for commute.

    Huffduffed? Wild!

    What happens to the links after they get huffduffed? Do they materialize into ad-hoc minotaurs? The mind reels.

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22 Dec 2018

Href.cool

My new directory.

Krikey—I’ve been working on this directory for five months! I am not quite happy with all of it. But it functions mostly like I want it to. And the links are fine, as a start.

I will discuss it more over the next few weeks—mostly I just want to get it started so that I can start connecting with Joe, Brad and the rest of the world. Hope you find something you like!

  1. @kicks Holy... ! I'll say more tomorrow but straight off: 1. it's beautiful, 2. it's cool. Great job this is obviously lovingly crafted.

  2. @kicks Very neat! Will definitely explore it more in the days to come. Thank you!

  3. Reply: Href.cool

    @bradenslen @jenett Thank you for the encouragement! I’m happy to now join the little directory club we’ve got going. I can’t believe this actually exists. So peculiar!

    @vasta I appreciate you checking it out. I’m very grateful for notes like yours. Your ‘end of 2018’ list is on my ‘list of lists’ to review.

  4. @kicks I hope you tell us more about it, both technical stuff and what was on your mind when you designed it.

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18 Dec 2018

My Url Is Jgregorymcverry.com

“Be your own social network.”

Very good podcast with Greg McVerry. Off the bat:

The idea of blogging on my own domain and switching was part of my own growth. Whereas I think I—you know, you start on—everybody starts on some kind of scaffolded platform. Very few people just jump into HTML or build a, you know, CMS. They start on some kind of shared host. And that used to be blogging.

I have also been thinking that a domain gives you some resiliency against impersonation. If a Twitter user has a name close enough to mine and uses my same avatar, they can really come off as me. But mimicking my own domain and styling is a steeper barrier.

I also like the term ‘scaffolded platform’—which rings of Vygotsky rather than marketspeak—and I think it is far more interesting to think of innovating our scaffolded platforms rather than our social networks.

He also has some comments about how his online community, that of educators talking to and writing to each other, started trying to build things with RSS and blogs—but that it was a struggle until Known[1] spread, and Wordpress with Indieweb support spread, among his group.

He touches on RSS later in the discussion:

I think ‘mass follow’ feeds have like: it leaves a problem, it’s like, I just literally deleted my entire RSS feed after, what, like fifteen years I’ve been using it. Just because it got so broken with copying this OPML file and this file and this blog going like—I never groomed it. I’m a bad tagger, categorizer. I’m not good at, like, putting things away.

Greg goes on with an idea of a ‘reader’ which catalogs any blog that he makes a ‘follow’ post about. And it just adds them to his ‘network’.

I feel similar pain—I want to keep track of a lot more blogs and wikis than I actually have time for. I just wish I had a kind of dashboard that would show me an overview of what all the sites I read have been up to—and it would prioritize those sites that I am keeping a very close eye on—and it would just give me direct links to those blogs so that I could get around my network easier. I just don’t care for RSS—I like what it’s trying to do, but it’s not doing it for me.

Near the end, he also points out the friction between privacy and the Indieweb[2]:

Private groups: that is, like, the—that is—that’s the cash cow—I won’t say ‘cash cow’ as in ‘moneymaker’—but like, that’s always been the long-term goal. I don’t know if you’ve read Hertling’s Kill Process, but that idea of the Indieweb needing private posting—like the semi-private posting […] there’s something there.

It’s weird, but I really agree with this! I say ‘weird’ because part of me just wants to give up on privacy on the Web—maybe we just have to accept that everything is private. But this sucks—there are many private thoughts and nascent ideas that I want to store here, to collaborate on in the shadows. If the ‘blog’/‘wiki’ can be a ‘home’—then it needs its hiding places, its private gathering rooms. (And it does have these—just not on blogs, generally.)

I’ve been thinking about taking a stab at this with Indieweb.xyz. Greg mentions using h-cards to accomplish this. And his idea can certainly work and I would like to see it happen. But I may not want my whole blog to go private—I also envision myself posting some things to private groups, some things to public groups, some things that are general public musings. And I think Indieweb.xyz works well for this—you add the link to your post and that post goes to that group.

What I think I will add is encryption. So, basically, you could create a ‘sub’ that is a whitelist—you add blogs or wikis to the ‘sub’ individually. If the ‘sub’ is marked private, those blogs or wikis will need to login with IndieAuth to get a key to read the posts. The hard part would be encrypting the post on the blog itself—you’d need an extension or a separate tool for that.

The nice thing is that a static blog could suddenly support private groups without much trouble. (And, in fact, the static blog software could store the unencrypted posts locally—much like an e-mail reader keeps a local database of fetched e-mail—so that the posts could be backed up for the author, in case the key ever got lost.)


  1. Known, a blogging platform which connects with the Indieweb. ↩︎

  2. Another sore spot in the Wars of Conflicting Webs. ↩︎

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14 Dec 2018

Unlisted Videos

Huh: search engine that peeks through the cracks.

I’ve decided to exclude this from my directory for now, but I think this search engine raises some interesting questions. It indexes any video that is public, but not listed in YouTube’s searches. I’m not going to comment on whether these should be indexed—but I think this is a valuable tool in a surfer’s kit. (Continuation of the Searching the Creative Internet thread from the other day.)

Take this. Take Pinboard search. Take Million Short, Wiby.me, maybe take /r/InternetIsBeautiful—these start to give a good picture of the web we’re a part of. Oh, snarfed’s Indieweb search, perhaps.

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LOGO as LEGOs

Building three-dimensional voxel-type pottery and maps with Python.

Need to investigate this further for my students—a language for writing LEGO-building algorithms, perhaps inspired by LOGO. There is a real need for more modern tiny languages (and One-Line Languages) that give children a taste of novel, playful creation. (Not the impractical abominations that code.org and such have given us.)

Seems like a dozen fascinating project could spring from this one. Are there similar projects that produce Paint 3D-style output?

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‘I recognize her. She was on the school advisory board a few years ago, an ardent mother, heavy-hipped, quarrelsome, rarely pleased. I recognize her, because a field trip I’d organized had roused her indignation, on the grounds that the museum we visited housed several photographs of mingled fleshes, white, cold thighs, blue-veined feet pressing on white, cold buttocks.’

— p 18, My Heart Hemmed In by Marie NDaiye

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Reply: Don’s Zatoichi Sketch

His Wordpress blog gets Webmentions.

This is mostly a test comment. Mostly just saying hello!

But I also need to watch some of these films. I put off watching Beat Takeshi, instead going for the films of Katsuhito Ishii and stuff like Happiness of the Katakuris and Survive Style 5+. Need to at least watch this one, though.

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Reply: The Web Finally Feels New Again

Joe Jenett

I recently came across a Pinboard user’s note on a bookmark: “Overly commercial tone but looks useful.” That simple note made me think about the web and linking and what it all means to me.

(Joe’s full article is here.)

Yes, here we are again—I think what you’re saying is that even a single-line annotation of a link, even just a few words of human curation do wonders when you’re out discovering the world. (Perhaps even more than book recommendations—where we know that at least we can rely on certain publishers and editors to vet their publications—I’m a big fan of the Dalkey Archive[1], for instance—but we have no idea the quality of writings out on the Internet at large and are desperately reliant on these annotations in the field.)

Pinboard is doing everything right in that regard—of course, it cribs from Delicious before it—giving hyperlinkers an appropriate amount of meta-dressing to put around their link: tags, description, search tools. However, it misses out on the kind of visual styling and layouts that you, Joe, get to enjoy. (I really like how you batch up links for the day, similar to how h0p3 does it.)

I think another of my lingering questions is: what are we really doing here? When I look at h0p3’s links, he’s trying to catalog his discoveries for the day completely—at least, I don’t think he edits this list. You also mention in your essay that you ‘curate links for my own ongoing use’. Whereas I tend to ‘advertise’ links more, to bring attention to the parts of the web that I want to survive.

So it’s more natural for me to work towards a final directory of links, a hub of all the nodes that I want to see connected. I want these individuals to be aware of each other. I see your Linkport as being a type of directory; I wonder to what extent you are doing this as well—and I wonder what kinds of collaborations we could get going between our directories. You do say that ‘people finding me and finding some of my links enjoyable’ is a secondary goal. I guess another angle I keep alluding to is the benefit you give to the authors behind the links you’re publishing—this type of work is a tremendous gift to them.

Along these lines: I see link duplication as being an interesting thing—clearly we don’t all just want the same links, but I think it will be interesting to see how much overlap there is. I also really like, for example, when David Crawshaw’s article last week got linked by h0p3, Brad, Eli, other microbloggers—it made me feel like we were trying to send some kind of concentrated transmission to the author—linking as a greeting, links as an invitation.

With time, many personal sites and blogs disappeared from the web as people flocked to the big silos where their content became a heavily monitized commodity. To me, the web had lost much of its soul as people gathered in just a few, huge noise chambers. […]

Current trends and a rebirth of personal blogging certainly make the type of curation I do much easier, thank you. Had it not been for that stimulating conversation, I probably would not have been writing this.

It’s interesting to me that the corpypastas (or CorpASAs) had this kind of effect. Because they actually eased publishing and participation for so many people. Facebook is a type of gated community—so I see why it had this kind of effect. But it’s interesting that Twitter and Instagram also dampened the growth of the web. I hazard that perhaps this was simply because their game was best played by their rules—an external link to Twitter wouldn’t show up in your ‘likes’ whereas a like from another tweet was fully realized by the author and the… err… liker.

And I don’t want to chalk this up to mere ego—the author and the liker could see each other from across the Internet. And that is valuable. This is also what micro.blog is assisting us with—we have our blogs, but it is a useful capsule pipeline, so that we can get to each other clearly. (This is why I’m not just linking to your blog post and waiting for you to notice somehow—this communication structure that we’re using here is very useful to us, even if I can almost guarantee that this post is going to be flattened into a massive paragraph by micro.blog. No problemo—I’m just glad to have a direct line to you, Joe!)

Regarding another thing Kicks asked about: Aside from evolving html, accessibility, and design standards and practices, I’m really not sure if linking, in general, has changed over the years. I’ve been doing it the same since day one. But that’s just me.

For me, I do find that Webmentions are really enhancing linking—by offering a type of bidirectional hyperlink. I think if they could see widespread use, we’d see a Renaissance of blogging on the Web. Webmentions are just so versatile—you can use them to commment, you an form ad-hoc directories with them, you can identify yourself to a wider community. I really feel like they are a useful modernization.

But I like that you are true to the linking you’ve always done. It still works. It’s an ideal that we fell away from I guess.


  1. The Third Policeman, of course! But also: Heartsnatcher by Boris Vian (just my kind of meandering, vexing thing), Writers by Antoine Volodine. And soon I will get into Impressions of Africa by Raymond Roussel. ↩︎

  1. I was hoping our conversation would continue. I agree with you about webmentions being a great modernization. I thought the old pings and trackbacks we used to use were great until spam killed 'em and webmentions at least have some mechanisms for dealing with that. If you sent me a webmention, I never saw it. Oddly enough it was good 'ol RSS that led me to your post. As before, you've given me a few new things to think about before responding. In the meantime, I appreciate your reading my post (and obviously understanding much of what I said). Later.
  2. 🔖

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Endless Jingling

brokenrecord.elf

This link is a few years old, but I get the sense that it never saw much traction. An elf troubadour, rambling through an endless, senseless disaster of Christmas strumming. For some background on this project, see here.

From 2014, but feels very much like the 90’s web. I think this is a fun take on the hyperactive, head-spinning 24/7 side of Christmas. See also: EVERY CHRISTMAS SONG PLAYED AT THE SAME TIME.

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