Kicks Condor

🤢 SLIME.DOC

Del Monte/Bloomberg Quarterly called me “the most exquisite mind in Grape-Nuts marketing that this generation has seen…” And that was in the late-80’s! Expelliarmus!!

What’s up around here? Here’s a brief tutorial, if you’re new to the Extended Grape-Nuts/National Treasure ]|[ Universe:

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, Chrome and various desktops.)
  • href.cool: My personal guide to the WWW.
    (Twenty year project - to continue until December 2038.)
  • Sneaky Wiki: A little peer-to-peer wiki for Beaker Browser.
  • Duxtape: Li’l mixtape-sharing site on the Hypercore network.
  • Slaptrash: Zines made of vids + mp3s + fx + computer talking.
    (Developing ideas for the future of this blog.)
  • Indieweb.xyz: A Reddit-like site for blogs with Webmentions.
    (Three year project - until July 2021. 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.)

06 Apr 2021

SilvaGunner

Track ripper extraordinaire of the imaginary video game kingdom.

It’s possible that you’re reading this thinking, “Okayyyy, uh Kicks? You can dig up rare TiddlyWikis and out-of-the-way neo-cities, but you’re just discovering SilvaGunner??” Hey, I’m sorry! I don’t know who is reading this or what anyone knows or what’s IMPORTANT OKKKK!!

Let me start by saying that I’ve been asking around in kid circles - and it’s not unlikely that they know SilvaGunner. HOWEVER. They don’t really know SilvaGunner - they often have just heard the video game soundtrack “rips” - high quality rips - posted to the YouTube channel. And they uncritically accept them - videos such as “Horse Race (Extended Mix) - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” - as nothing more than high quality rips.

Of course, if you happen to continue down the SilvaGunner storyline - which is easy to do, since a dozen new videos might appear each day - you can end up at videos like: “Main Theme (Anniversary Edition) - Wii Shop Channel” or “Title Theme & Ending - 7 GRAND DAD”. A “rip” can be a mashup, a remix, a medley, mixed-up sentences - stuff like that.

Of course, the channel has fought through several takedowns over the past six years - since it purports to be unironically infringing copyright and distributing unedited tracks.[1] (A cover story which plays into its “fake out” strategy.)

Anyway, SilvaGunner isn’t a single person. There are about 300 active contributors - more than 900 people having contributed to the catalog.

So this is obviously a deep well to try to dive into with a massive Discord channel and wiki and network of YouTube and Twitter accounts, regular livestreams and ARG events. I think my favorite place to point people is the GilvaSunner Bandcamp page, which regularly releases new compilations assembled by the collective.

There is a wider “high quality rips” scene - like CrystalForce is a great example I recently stumbled into.

If you’re interested in more backstory, look for interviews with Chaze the Chat.


  1. The wiki also says for “misleading content”. It’s a rough time for fiction. ↩︎

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03 Apr 2021

e-worm.club

An 11-person HTML community.

Found this off the creator’s website: anemon.es. Which is also good fun - click on “my old site zzz” as well - good stuff in there too.

But back to e-worm club. It’s basically just a shared directory of files. Some of them are doing twtxt.txt[1] - but many of the pages are .gmi files?? Anyway, just click around on names and files and you’ll find hidden blogs.

Wish more people got to build the little out-of-the-way community that they want to build. This is custom!

This is unrelated sorta - but I didn’t share it at the time, so I’m going to tack it on here as well. One person I met on special.fish some months ago is mikael.

But mikael’s pinboard is the place you want to go. A lot of great links. Furthermore, the homepages tag of mikael’s is fii-urrr. Ugg saying it like that doesn’t help. How do I express enthusiasm here suitably? It’s good. It’s very good.


  1. Which also is a fun website - to just visit domains that are in the listing. ↩︎

  1. Looks like e-worm.club uses Flounder, a gemini hosting software: https://admin.flounder.online/
  2. Reply: Ahh Gemini Right Right

    Mira

    Looks like e-worm.club uses Flounder, a gemini hosting software: https://admin.flounder.online/

    Ok wow - appreciate this insight! Had played with the browsers, but wasn’t familiar with the extension. Sure enough - e-worm.club is browsable with Gemini.

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24 Mar 2021

Emojraw

Draw amazing emoji mosaics - by Shannon Lin

This fantastic art tool is going right into my href.cool Web/Participate collection! Made by Shannon Lin - equally fascinating website at hello-shannon.com - what a sensation to use the fill tool to pour lollipops and little external hard drive icons into circles and squiggle shapes. I’ve recently had some fun with MacPaint - and this stirs up all the same freewheeling spraycan feelings!

My poor rendition of Toulouse-Lautrec is here no here - for some reason the link isn’t working, might be too big of an image.

Kind of a cool facet that the images show up differently on the different platforms.

@s_han_non_lin:
mobile support has been solved!! thanks @bwasti – the animated emojis are still coming … please do hold your breath n stay tuned

Links to canvases can get huge - but glad it’s all there in the query string. Keep a URL shortener close.

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05 Mar 2021

Herb Quine Interviews Herb Quine

The beginning of a new series where readers thoroughly interview themselves.

Some time ago, I had a reader send me a very curious e-mail. It was an interview that they had conducted. In fact, they had interviewed themself!

At first, this was very puzzling.[1] But, on some reflection, I realized what a gift this was! I don’t like my part of the interview very well anyway. This is the answer!

Also I can’t stress to you enough - THIS IS NOT FICTIONAL OR SOME KIND OF HOAX. This is actually an e-mail I received of someone interviewing themselves. Feel free to contribute your own if you want to. I am beyond serious. I’m in some kind of state of eigenseriousness that goes by the street name of CAVE. AGED. CHEDDAR.

> Herb Quine enters the digichat.

Herb Quine: You are invited to a house boat party at Ted Nelson’s place. What do you bring?

Herb Quine: A dozen balloons and a first edition of “Lagos During The 80s - The Birth Of Competitive Knitting In An Era Of Overinsurance” by Lula Drury. Also, a pet hamster in case Werner Herzog shows up.

Herb Quine: Speaking of Werner Herzog, name at least one film missing in his filmography and how to fix this grave mistake with the help of a voucher for 53 free time machines minutes to be used for a single travel to a time before October 1995.

Herb Quine: Easy, the film in question would be the missing biopic of Mike Tyson focusing on his time as a scholar of Medieval Media Studies in the field of Carolingian Reality TV, played by Bruno Schleinstein and filmed entirely in Yiddish. How to use the time machine should be obvious enough.

Herb Quine: More seriously now, why a pet hamster?

Herb Quine: Pet hamsters are the closest thing to miniature grizzly bears, a fact which is of course entirely unrelated to their remarkable characteristics as party animals (the hamsters, not the bears, though they might qualify, too…). The purpose of the hamster at Ted’s party is thus twofold: In the unlikely event that a discussion of Xanadu’s future turns into an attempt to establish the Seasteading Republic Of Hypertext, someone needs to keep the engines chugging along. And secondly, you need a fluent German speaker to reminisce about Wagner with Werner (coincidentally also the title of the longest running radio show in Nigeria’s Yiddish enclave).

Herb Quine: You walk down to the shore to buy a new edition of “Learning Perl”, as you do every Thursday. But when you reach the ice cube factory, you suddenly realize that Unicode is pointless. Sure, you can play quite a few nice little language games with all these emojis they keep adding, but the burrow only goes so far. And then you hit the parking lot of the Consortium’s reserved committee parking spaces and tumble head first onto the seat of a convertible. Which makes sense, I guess, until you realize that the wonderful weather of the bay area is no bueno for rhizomes and others of their ilk. They need constant watering, don’t they?

Herb Quine: Sorry, was there a question?

Herb Quine: Yeah, all right, enough with the rambling. Let’s get down to business. What’s your affiliation with the FBI and are you or have you ever been an agent engaged in any work of endeavor related to printables, convertibles, mazes or any combination thereof?

Herb Quine: I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the information sought. Also, classical logic is overrated and all these lying Cretan hipsters are not nearly as interesting as they think. If you ask me, and you just did, they are just lazy bums who came up with this lying-business as an excuse to get out of the real work of building tremendously beautiful walls like real Cretans do. These kids nowadays, let me tell you…

Herb Quine: Dat / Hypercore / Beaker sure look very interesting, but aren’t they a technical solution to a problem of the medium? One great aspect of Fraidycat is that it doesn’t care how established or indie your chosen medium is, in a way it feels as if Fraidycat is rerouting and connecting existing media to extend and create new media. It doesn’t care if you’re Kylie Jenner or Ted Nelson, it doesn’t (much) care about the underlying technology, because it changes the topology of the existing pieces while not denying that centralized sub-parts of the network still exist. Is a more foundational project like Dat / Hypercore / Beaker orthogonal to that idea?

Herb Quine: I know I’m mostly answering rhetorical questions at this point, but this is one that I’m really not sure how to answer. I do love the spirit of Dat / Hypercore / Beaker, I am just a bit suspicious of any attempts to revive the good parts of the personal web without paying attention to why it became less important as a medium (the non-app-web, that is), because I would be hesitant to point to technical reasons. To me, IPFS and SSB in particular often look like solutions that fix all the underlying tech in a very admirable way, without really changing the medium that they are producing or favoring. A decentralized Facebook will still result in a medium very much like Facebook, just at a disadvantage because the technical forces can never be fully aligned with the forces of the medium.[2] I do think that Dat / Hypercore / Beaker are not as susceptible in this regard and I really hope that they do not end up emulating existing media too much. But really, I don’t know, what do you think?

Herb Quine: Is the treasure hunt over? What are we supposed to do now? Wait for National Treasure III? IS THIS REALLY IT? What about CGI Youngface and all the hard shell kayaks that are still lying around in undiscovered places on the globe? What about annie dark?

Herb Quine: Yeah, I don’t think I’m equipped to answer this one. But damn, it was an amazing ride so far.


  1. In an attempt to shed some light on what is going on here, this person DOES preface the interview with a note to me which reads: “I am writing you this electronic letter to defuse the somewhat bizarre situation of having sent you an unsolicited printable maze that perhaps put you in an awkward position. After all, how are you supposed to react to such a strange and perhaps unexpected offering from a stranger on the internet? Well, since the printable maze in question has already escaped into the tubular ether, there is no going back and we might as well get to know each other a little better, what do you say?” (That other e-mail is reprinted in A Verbal History of the Infinitely Printable Maze, for completeness’ sake.) ↩︎

  2. Fine, fine, I’ll cut in here. Can’t you lot just interview yourselves and gotdamn leave me out of it??

    I feel what you saying so acutely - making a distributed web is actually a minor change on the surface - who would notice? (And I’m levels down: not a zealot - I just think it’s fun.) But I think there are cascading effects. When the app and the data and the whole thing is on Facebook’s servers, that has implications. And when the app and the data and the whole are on home computers, that has implications.

    For me, Beaker DOES pay attention to the original good part: view source. It brings view source to the modern ‘ye-app-web’ relevant part you speak of. That’s all. ↩︎

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Bitconnect But It’s

This meme will not die for me - here’s a compilation.

I don’t imagine this meme has had longevity outside my personal skeleton - it’s been three years now. I put this meme on my best of 2010s list and thought I was done with it. But I just keep coming back to it via stuff like this.[1]

This vid is a collection of my favorite set of a certain subset of Bitconnect meme vids: the “…but it’s Bitconnect” vids. (X-Files but it’s Bitconnect, Universal Studios but it’s Bitconnect,…) I already loved the sensations I was feeling in other Bitconnect videos - uncovering a whole subgenre within the wider Carlos Matos movement was quite thrilling!

However, I think this video is very useful.

  • Show off your new 4K projector sound set with this video. It has the full range!
  • One day when a larger “…but it’s…” feature film comes out, documenting the saga, this can be a special feature on the disc. (I would release this vid direct to theatres - but COVID.)
  • The next step is for bands, visual artists and essayists to rally around this subgenre and build a scene. The obvious “band of Bitconnect samples” is open as of now - it’s crazy! Get in.
  • I think there’s a real opportunity here for Marvel to cash in with Vision “Hey Hey Hey” and Vision “I LOOOOVE” merch.

I am doing really good on this post for once.


  1. Oh and the LIVING ROOM DINETTES thing came back recently (for me) here! ↩︎

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09 Feb 2021

The Multiverse Diary

@glitchyowl and I have a new project coming up - based on ‘whostyling’, scrapchats and Hypertext 2020.

I’m basically a Bilbo, content to stay at this corner of Bag End, being a layabout, munching wiki squares and playing all of Soundcloud chronologically in the background. (They were right about this ‘cozy web’ thing!)

Now glitchyowl has snatched my coat collar and dragged me into the woods on adventures. My pipe is still spinning in the air.

This is the tale of purple desert designs, silent HTML livestreams, MacPaint toolbars, Mario Kart-inspired JavaScript and disgustingly gaudy drop shadows.

We’re starting to draw the curtain on Multiverse - our combination of a new ‘blog’/‘wiki’ aesthetic, paired with some Indieweb sprinkles.

Also - we’re doing this diary at Futureland, which is really great. If you’re looking for a (somewhat minimalist) hideaway to blog at - but with much more style that the pastebins and a nice community - give it a go.

Of course there’s not the autonomy of a self-hosted customized TiddlyWiki or Neocities site - but it’s a community. Think of it as a replacement for the old message boards.

  1. do you happen to know if there's an rss feed for the multiverse diary? would love to keep up in my feed reader, but i can't find an rss link anywhere...

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23 Jan 2021

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Squiddo’s Podcasts

Anything can happen.

Episode one of this podcast is a rereading of the ‘Cars 1’ movie script. Episode two is Squiddo and sister explaining every character in the Danganronpa universe. (Doesn’t matter if you know anything about that - 1. they will teach you from the ground up and 2. they mostly talk about restaraunts.)

Most of the time you can’t hear what’s being said bc the mic is too far away. This is a recently discovered podcast recording technique that is the FINAL discovery unlocked in our planet’s World Technology story line. Squiddo is ‘known’ for the Secret Memes Vault playlist.[1]

So yes this kind of podcast is like something you’d find on a cassette tape at a thrift shop. That these recordings are now available to the general public is a boon and an artifact. The world thanks me for finding the courage to unearth these.

It’s my honor to link to something this lowbrow. No one else offer this kind of comprehensive package.


  1. Insofar as it is possible for one to be known for their playlists. ↩︎

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16 Jan 2021

dioramas.space

And assorted other peaceful, vibrant websites by Elisabeth Nicula.

I originally first stumbled across Dioramas by way of Elisabeth’s other photo blog Abject Sublime. I can recommend all of it. And more links to other designs and essays at this website.

Of all of it, so far I really get into Dioramas the most. Elisabeth does some clever things with GIFs - but the full-window experiments at Dioramas are beautiful and thought-provoking. It reminds me of early hypertext experiments, in the best way.

Some are GIF landscapes with a halftone touch. Others are caught in a wave. Sometimes you are reading fragments over a feather flitting over the hand.

Pretty neat. See what you find.

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06 Jan 2021

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tray

Elegant mini-directories - “lost tapes, shower thoughts, cool links.”

Here we go: more surprising news in the personal directory front. Who woulda thought. Perfect tiny directories - you all are always asking me about this.

Tray[1] is much like other link page / one-page tools (linktree, carrd, about.me) which lets add you add links and notes to build a rudimentary web page. But it adds a key element: subpages. When you add a subpage, it is linked from the page you added it to. And you can add more inside that new page.

Add a page

So we’re looking at kind of barebones wiki here. Ingenious.

This also feels more freeform and ‘fresh’/‘clean’ than those others.

From @bgdotjpg:

i’m just a normal person, who doesn’t want to write a blog or start a newsletter.

I think this is one of the things that killed blogging - you basically had to be an essayist to do it. (In the perceptions of Internet travellers.) So people jumped ship for these other mediums that weren’t so exhausting.

i’ve tried a lot of site builders. none of them have felt quite right. i don’t want a splashy, highly customized landing page. i’m not an influencer.

i’ve got some cool links though, and some half-formed ideas.

This vibe was actually a big part of the olden Web - all the Geocities pages were like this - a smattering of links, a gif collection, some construction cones. “Hi, this is my page!” And I like to see this mood live on.

Related tweet from @valstals:

i swear neocities is getting really good


  1. Oh, please note: I had some trouble with tray and Chrome. Give Safari a go. Works well on iOS as well. ↩︎

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04 Jan 2021

to: shea

A personal mixtape on Glitch.

Spotted this mixtape on Gossip’s Web: not just an mp3 entitled “A Walk to Remember”, but a really cool page of floating paper wads, apparently done for a Secret Santa exchange.

It’s a good feeling, examining the paper scraps and wondering who is behind them.

something fun to say in German is
nebeneinander
which means : next to eachother / sidebyside

You can find a number of similar uses of Glitch on Gossip’s Web.

On the New Year’s Scrappychat (pdf), tinyfluff mentioned wanting to use Glitch for other things:

I desire a nice glitch friendly indieweb blog that supports all the nonsense like webmentions that anyone can start up as easily as a tumblr, so we can get back to a nice place where people had feeds that were just stuff they follow, and people could make stuff accessible to those feedreads very easily, instead of this weird nightmare zone of trying to scrape instagram or whatever. instagram-private-api is pretty nice but I shouldn’t have to emulate a chinese android phone to be able to include content from my friends in my feeds

I think a good start is just to see people continue to use Glitch and Neocities for whatever ideas pop into their heads! It’s the tultywits thing. Webmentions and feeds are nice - but they don’t fill with amazing things on their own.

I mean: is there a way to do this right now without needing to build something elaborate? Like…

  • Make pages on Glitch or Neocities (or Github Pages).
  • Setup an account on Webmention.io and include the HTML snippet on the home page on all of your pages. (I do this on href.cool.)
  • Then, submit your page to a tag on Indieweb.xyz. (Can be done here.)

That tag could then act as the ‘feed’ for your pages. (Or even for a group of people sharing their pages.)

And webmention.io has feeds for incoming messages you get.

I don’t disagree with tinyfluff’s wish at all. But I think that understanding how to cobble together your own little thing - like above - could both help someone put together a tool - and would help anyone wanting to dabble with hypertext in this way.

I also think Gossip’s Web is showing that you may not need a feed for everything. If you can submit to a little directory, then you have a doorway to others as well.

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28 Dec 2020

SPECIAL GREENLAND NEW YEAR SCRAPCHATTING. 9 PM EST on Dec 31st. Weiwei Hsu will be joining us from the year 2021. Peep into the future. We will countdown to Greenlandic midnight, calling on its restorative powers. twitch.tv/kickscondor

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11 Dec 2020

Meat Computer

You don’t have to like this bc I already do.

One thing I love about Meat Computer - every single song has the same “I like this new generation of music” sample. 😆 But really - this is just the same thing I am always posting - very slapshod, goofy and overlooked little bits of whatever.

these fangs
r 4 u
only

death threats
@ my head
jus 4 bein me
super creatine
ya
fck my chrons disease

drinking kratom
like it’s fucking lean
now im sleepin
in my mommas jeans

Of course, you can barely make any of this out, because the vocals are so perfectly rushed and faint in the far upper reach of falsetto octaves.

Soundcloud page is here. Another great track is ‘nowhere fast’.

I don’t know what covid has done to turn this all into a music blog… but I swear that there are a variety of interesting things coming up once I get my act together. Pray that these HTMLs will manifest themselves to us.

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02 Dec 2020

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22 Nov 2020

THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Is this stunning human / computer musical collaboration really as unknown as it appears to be???

I am having a very hard time believing that these albums (by human Eryk Salvaggio and computer counterpart Francois Harddisk) have been overlooked. But it’s the same story week after week - who can find anything in the mess of the Internet anymore - with absolutely abyssmal search engines and recommendation engines getting in the way.[1]

Oh and I daresay - the above link is a very thorough, very juicy tracklist.doc of how the creative effort was seeded.

I asked Jukebox to produce new samples from libraries that created music in the style of Francois Hardy, but in the genre of Experimental Hip-Hop, which from what I can tell means a music model trained on Death Grips records. I took these generated pieces (which were maxed out at 1:20 seconds long), cut them up and reassembled them - the same way old records might be sampled for any other hip-hop record. This would form the basis of a handful of these tracks, though in some cases the generated samples were removed from the final product after serving as stems from which the rest of the song would be built.

But this goes even further beyond that! Lyrics are generated by tools such as GPT-2, then fed through a speech synthesizer to produce the singing. The “Oligarchic Ganglions” vid also has a neat bit of “deep fake” ancient history to it.[2]

This is also reminiscent of Robin Sloan’s recent Brian, the Angel of History EP. (Also very good imho!)

Now, please, if you link to THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE - and, you can’t see it, but I am shamelessly begging you to do just that - do not link to my flimsy post here, but link straight to the original essay. No one should be an extra click removed from such a wonder.


  1. I only found this by listening to song after song on random Soundcloud playlists. The musical equivalent to a link dump. ↩︎

  2. Like I said - impressive! To think that this could languish in obscurity is heartbreaking… ↩︎

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20 Nov 2020

Directory Uprising

More directories are popping up, many citing Marijn’s Cabinet.

I am barely keeping this site together - particularly since my creators have left me alone now.[1] I suppose they can go on with their lives, off into fortunes, while I have to stay back and do all the work![2]

Ah, well. @glitchyowl is keeping company.[3] And, now in 2020, I present to you a fine, fine, optifine list of directories appearing, without fanfare, but with placid, reverent gratitude gushing through the Internet pipes. Almost all of these give praise to Marijn’s Link Cabinet - which is really exciting for the linkbrarian Mx. van Hoorn!

Gossip’s Web 🡵

A very potent set of links from Elliott Cost, sea king of the special fish. Introduced me to things like Sunday Sites and to the sweet little blog of tiana.computer and to the completely-achievable lists of Doable Lists.

$1 to participate.

Jacob Hall’s Links 🡵

Just a big list of categorized links. I love linking to many of the things on here as well! (Another way to do this is to keep pages for each category, such like Maya does here under ‘ye timeless content’.)

A cheap way to do this kind of thing is to use Listography. You can go into extreme detail (highresness) or petite like (daisy.)

Terra 🡵

‘Cool sites, straight from earth.’ A very nice directory with tags. The source code is on Gitlab.

Some great material, unknown to me: The Bus Stop anonymous message temp space and Spitalfields Life anonyblog. This person knows the Web - a staple in my link trove now.

Failure Tolerated 🡵

A blog by Sean McCoy - here’s the links. Just starting - hoping a link back will encourage more. This makes me think I should start to catalog newsletters in href.cool.

The Lilac Lynx 🡵

Oh, wait - the links page is here. Categories like ‘Soundscapes’, ‘Other worlds’, ‘Tasty things’ - there are some really interesting YouTube channel links in here. Seri! Pixel Biologist?

I also love seeing links to personal things - like the tea companies linked to - which are a window into the life of The Lynx. I’m trying to do more of this as well - such as linking to headache vids in href.cool.

distinctly.pink 🡵

Looks good! I love when static text is part of the directory - such as the list of words here. (Incidentally, there was a list in Gossip’s Web as well.)

Electric Trash Dot Com 🡵

Internet trash. Literally.

This looks like an unassuming list - but there are a lot of things here that I realized I left out of href.cool for reasons of pure negligence.

The Web is so awesome!


  1. They are off doing press junkets? ↩︎

  2. At least Last Days of Disco taught me how sexy Scrooge McDuck can be. ↩︎

  3. Tonight. 11 PM Eastern. On twitch with whatever scraps we have. ↩︎

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11 Nov 2020

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09 Nov 2020

Browseulator

Overlooked Paul Ford project - a suitable 19th Century Twitter substitute.

Ftrain captain and Classic Internet uncle Paul Ford dropped this charming little bit of code back in August that throws up random Internet Archive images.

@ftrain:
I’ve replaced Twitter on my phone with a tiny web app that selects page images randomly from a few hundred thousand old books, plus some museum images, and it’s…basically the same mess of America being problematic, goofy memes, and women dunking on men.

Sample images

It’s good fortune that this is such a mix of random photographs, scientific diagrams, magazine covers and such. So it’s a rather cool corpus - compared to Google Books, for instance - which might just turn up legions of dry bricks of out-of-date text. This done with Gutenberg might fare better, who knows.

I mean these random samplings are a nice feeling for an archive. There’s definitely some boring things - a scan of a giant page of identical stamps, a ledger of unreadable faint cursive - but you can’t beat the speed of hopping from image to image until.

This is also a microcosm of rare linkhunting. Scroll and scroll and scroll, then stop. And pay attention to where you stop. That’s the drill. This is the minigame.

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05 Nov 2020

2020.11: What’s New to Href.Cool?

Nearing 10% completion of my twenty year directory project.

New link in Bodies/Adventure:

  • North Pacific Logbook Article 1h
    Sailing from Japan to Canada in 51 days. By Hundred Rabbits, who have a few other entries in this directory. But I’ll let you find those.

Added to Bodies/Human:

  • Gary Crowley’s Headache Vids Video 10m
    I risk losing you here - cause this might seem spammy or something. But I think a good librarian is going to hang on to something sweet, regardless of the optics.

    If you have headaches, give this trilogy of short vids a shot. I’ve recommended these to so many people with positive results. A low-effort victory. I’ll take it.

To Bodies/Inanimate:

  • Ei Wada Page 10m
    Expert at wielding electric fans, scanning striped t-shirts with barcode readers and slapping TV screens. Also part of ELECTRONICOS FANTASTICOS.
  • Love Hultén Video 1m
    Cool, imaginary (but real) devices.

Updated the link to “Ain’t Got No, I’ve Got Life”. The previous vid was removed from YouTube.

To Stories/Poems:

  • "THE NARRATION" (2020) Video 1m

    Wild livers, yes, the neighbors of the lungs, people sleep on livers, I prefer mines in brown gravy, drenched over a bed of white rice.

    More of these @dayne_n_simple.

To Tapes/Classic:

New in Tapes/Infinite:

  • Novas Page 1w
    Not strictly ‘infinite’ - this is like a 10-hour mixtape that has accompanying narrative blog posts to read, telling the story of synthetic humans, driven by images that fall out of the soundtrack. It’s cool what can be done with a simple blog, yeah?

Corrected “Mouth Trilogy” to “Mouth Tetralogy” now that Mouth Dreams is out.

To Tapes/Vaporwave:

Added within Web/Meta:

  • "My Instagram" (2020) Article 10m

    She rolled her eyes at me. “Yeah,” she said, “because everyone knows images are totally uncomplicated and true and exactly what they announce themselves to be.”

Expanded the file transfer entry in Web/Participate:

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29 Oct 2020

I have joined the UnderWater Web! It’s lovely bobbing along. If only these words could be read by a warbly text-to-speech.

Also, the Hypertext 2020 project is complete, nearly one year later: kickscondor.com/HT2020.

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28 Oct 2020

Weiwei Hsu

From @glitchyowl, first site on the bubble web, the sensation of comic logs.

This site is my community. I say what we do is - all put little Javascript bubbles on our pages and start a new Web and you HAVE to HAVE bubbles on the page to be respected at all. If you can’t put bubbles on your page then you’re not underwater like the rest of us.

But not only is this the first site on the bubble web, but it’s the site to innovate the ‘comic log’ - Weiwei’s frame-essay with a kind of webzine feel to it.

Comic log.

These comic logs are just giant images. But that doesn’t diminish the effect on the page. It flows like a nicely constructed web page. (What I’m saying is - you can make these much easier than you might think.)

I can envision this form spreading - much like tumblelogs played into Tumblr - so I’m glad to see she’s continuing with it. I can picture richer interactive comic logs coming into play. (This also feels adjacent to Neil Mather’s recent foray into Powerpoint-like Weeknotes.)

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20 Oct 2020

Garfield Vibing to Blue Monday

Every day is the same, every cat and dance is the same, this is the timeline.

Not another Garfield thing. Well - interesting to look back and watch this account (started at the turn of 2020) transform from a benign, sterile cartoon into a hellscape - literally without missing a beat. I think this transcends a mere meme by being an excellent chronology of the year.

Sweet tonal shifts from vid to vid. I can’t quite put my finger on what’s going on here. Part of it is the juxtaposition of Garfield’s bawdy revelling against the horrors - layoffs skyrocketing, strife in the streets, fire. Maybe it’s an “eat, drink and be merry” motif. But it feels like a propaganda satire, too. I don’t know. It’s also… earnest. (See the link in the profile.)

Would love to see these stitched together at the end of the year. This is an accurate journal, in a way.

Oh and same song, another take: Orkestra Obsolete plays on 1930s instruments. Well-suited to the theremin and harmonium.

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17 Oct 2020

Whimsy.space V2

The zine is back for season two.

God, it’s weird writing on this blog - it doesn’t feel the same. Something has happened to it. I can’t seem to get this post to get through. (I also keep getting e-mail that’s like, “Why can’t I connect to kickscondor.com any more?” But I just fixed it!)

Meanwhile, I’m trying to get word out on Whimsy.Space Volume II, Episode II: Thinking Machines // Fever Dreams.

You dive deep into the crevice and consult the chuds living deep underground. You find a small cave system, filled with chuds. You tell them what happened, and they say that you should be able to escape back home

This remarkable ZineOS continues to be a wondrous source of esoteric Notepad text files. The Spongebob mashup is good. (Also love this one.) This issue also seems to have some AI Dungeon transcripts.

The “Snow” story appears to be a dream of the author’s.

The neighbor lady said she was very disappointed that had I disappeared, because she had been a little bored waiting for me. She had used a piping bag and royal icing to make full-sized furniture and a ropes course while I was gone. I climbed up on the ropes for a little bit, but then they collapsed into a daybed. She had a bunch of other big sculptures and installations. There was a little stuffed animal in the corner, and the neighbor lady said I could eat it. However, when I took a bite out of one of the legs and started to chew it up, I realized that it was super sad to eat this very cute little stuffed animal and so I spit out the leg and apologized. I could tell she hadn’t really wanted me to eat it, even though she was the one to suggested it. I offered to fix it by stitching the leg back on, but she said that she would be happy to do it because she liked that sort of thing. She looked for a needle and I helped her.

I love Whimsy.space because it envisions the zine as a small Hypercard-like application. So while the most common format is a small booklet, I imagine there are endless other shells for the zine concept - a linked series of videos, perhaps even a handful of audio files, an e-commerce store as a zine, a hacked website as a zine, a map or diagram that can be zoomed into, and so on.

Oh and - see also Danielx on Whimsy.Space - an interview from two years ago.

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15 Oct 2020

‘But as I stood, casting my net into the Waters of the Lower Staircase, an image rose up before me. I saw a black scribble against a grey Sky and a flicker of bright red; words drifted towards me - white words on a black background. At the same time, there was a sudden blare of noise and a metallic taste on my tongue.’

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

(This book is pure vaporwave. A few monks, but mostly vaporwave.)

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Parametric TikTok

Snappy thread by Jon-Kyle on platforms shaping their interactions.

Okayyy, not sure what’s going on, but everyone needs to stop messing with my blog. There are files everywhere in these folders!! I don’t know who all you cops and lawyers are, but I am prepared to FIGHT. I am going through the artifacts and random e-mails (fabricated? people have been sending?) and try to sort out how to respond - maybe I’ve lost you already… I feel so hosed.

I’m just going to get back to it. From the linked blog:

What’s interesting is the feedback loop between how parametric the whole thing is and the TikTok algorithm — itself a parametrically weighted system.

We think of these algorithms as using us. They watch what we’re watching, dissecting every microsecond. Constantly crunching our taps and touches.

So - when people start crunching their own inputs and outputs through the algorithm like this - does this legitimize it? I mean, hey, if it can be used like a tool, it’s a tool. I’ve been skeptical of algorithms being so opaque that you can’t really leverage them. But, hey, would be glad to see that trend reverse course.

Hear me out; this shit is profound. He takes the aggregate behavior of 100,000 Youtubers and performs it in one go. Call it The “User is Present” or whatever.

I am totally onboard for this. This is very insightful. (Author can’t say this of himself - so says “profound”.)

I feel like this confirms my feelings about human curation. If you look at all these types of “content” - the numeric nature, the dense titles, the layers of imagery - they resemble computer outputs (Jon-Kyle’s point) blended humorously with human energy - from slamming a dance out to slouching lobotomized in a chair.

Perhaps another way of putting this is: an algorithm’s fingerprints are all over its library. Because the same is true of humans. You could count on John Peel for a certain spectrum from shoegaze to garage, right?

I think, in the past, we’ve thought of algorithms in this way - can we recreate John Peel in software? But maybe it’s the other way around. TikTok is its own kind of video jockey now.

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18 Jun 2020
11 Jun 2020

DREAM WIKI

ASCII-slathered wiki, single-player dungeon of thoughts, good links too.

I know wikis are already text - but this is an actual wiki of just text. Colors and links and text I should say. And it’s insane and more of a poetic wiki, if that’s still a beautiful attribute. So, yes, truly an original aesthetic. A pretty thing. You can copy any page completely into your clipboard. That’s not a big deal. Maybe having a page on BATTERIES is?

Actually, highlighting does help me read the darker pages. Mmmnn, ok - I’m going to copy out of my clipboard anyway:

#@£=~¨¨¨¨¨                                          ¨¨¨¨¨~=£@#
@@=\.....¨                                          ¨.....\=@@
@@@=~¨¨¨¨¨                                          ¨¨¨¨¨~=@@@
##@@£=\~.¨                                          ¨.~\=£@@##
##@@£=\~.¨                                          ¨.~\=£@@##
@£££==\~.¨                                          ¨.~\==£££@
##@@£=\~.¨                   ####                   ¨.~\=£@@##
#@=\~~~.¨¨               ††††    ††††               ¨¨.~~~\=@#
###@£=\~.¨           ####            ####           ¨.~\=£@###
@££££=\~.¨       ††††                    ††††       ¨.~\=££££@
@@=~¨¨¨¨¨¨   ####          CREATURE          ####   ¨¨¨¨¨¨~=@@
@@£=~~¨¨¨¨       ††††                    ††††       ¨¨¨¨~~=£@@
#@£=~.¨¨¨¨           ####            ####           ¨¨¨¨.~=£@#
#@@@£=\~.¨               ††††    ††††               ¨.~\=£@@@#
@@@=~.¨¨¨¨                   ####                   ¨¨¨¨.~=@@@
#@@@£=\~.¨                                          ¨.~\=£@@@#
##@@£=\~.¨ A  BEAUTIFUL  ANIMAL  IN  THE  NEON RAIN ¨.~\=£@@##
@£\\\.¨¨¨¨            A PURPOSEFUL BODY             ¨¨¨¨.\\\£@
#@@@£=\~.¨ A COSMIC  PARTNER.  IN  CRIME  AND  LOVE ¨.~\=£@@@#
###@@=\~.¨                                          ¨.~\=@@###
#@@££=\~.¨ I AM DRUNK ON  MY VIRTUAL TEARS  - THERE ¨.~\=££@@#
@@=~~¨¨¨¨¨ IS    A   FUTILITY    IN   BEING    REAL ¨¨¨¨¨~~=@@
@£=\~~.¨¨¨                                          ¨¨¨.~~\=£@
@=~~~~~~.¨ SO    IM   ACTING   LIKE   I   AM   NOT. ¨.~~~~~~=@
###@@=\~.¨                                          ¨.~\=@@###
##@@£=\~.¨                                          ¨.~\=£@@##
@£=~.¨¨¨¨¨                                          ¨¨¨¨¨.~=£@
###@£=\~.¨                                          ¨.~\=£@###
@££\~~~~.¨                                          ¨.~~~~\££@

The rest of the sixey.es site is really good. The music page is hells of fun. I feel awful though because I spent all my time trying to figure out if this was related to 9-eyes. And what to write about that. And this is all I came up with.

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10 Jun 2020

Admiring the Quotebacks Strategy

The new extension by @tobyshorin and @tomcritchlow is textbook. Hypertextbook.

You might think that the Quotebacks extension - for being a piece of rather simple tech - is being talked about enough already. But I think we need to slow down and look at this closer. (Are we few? Those remaining Web devotees…)

And, yes, the website says that Quotebacks does three things. But I’m just going to talk about it as if it did one thing: gives people a common format for embedding quoted stuff.

Looks like this:

Fuck that. I'm more of an editor than a developer any day, but I'll be damned if I'm going to cede that territory. I dont want to pour my words into a box, the parameters of which someone else decides (and obscures). I want to make the box, too. And remake it. And, hell, break it from time to time. It's mine to break.

Select the text. Copy it into the extension. And it’ll give you embed tags. (Much like YouTube does for embedding videos or Twitter does for embedding tweets.)

So. This is a cool extension - but also very sneaky and strategic. Something like this can actually draw people back to the Web. A bit of stylistic appeal paired with some subconscious luring.

The primary advocacy strategy on the Web for the last ten years seems to have been to write a blog post saying, “Hey, stop what you’re doing and write blog posts!” Unfortunately that offers nothing appealing to offset the risk of blogging on a seemingly empty Web. Especially for people who tried blogging already. (“Come on - I swear - people are still out here!!”)

Think of the appeal of ‘likes’ on social media. There was a lot of excitement around this kind of participation. Hey, likes - I could do that! I could get some likes! At the very least, I could give out a few - and I might get some back. Great!

A quoteback is a like, too, actually. It’s just a full paragraph one.

Likes are the most atomic way - the most basic way - of participating in social media. And perhaps the quoteback is the most atomic form of participation on the Web.

This suggests that people are quoting each other a lot on the Web.[1] This suggests that you will be quoting others and they will be quoting you.[2] There is an automatic action implied - a subconscious luring - that one should begin by reading. By finding quotes to quote.

And I think this is an excellent mindset to be in.[3]

Furthermore, this positions the Web as a container. The Web has already become a place to embed other network content. You don’t embed social networks into each other - you embed into HTML. This makes the Web a wrapper for every other kind of network. And the glue between networks.

Quotebacks can fabricate an image for social networks. Check it out.

Image of Nadia quote.

An acute reminder of hypertext sterilization on those Webs.

So, sure, go to the social networks to do detail work and messaging. But come back out to the Web to assemble it all into more encompassing creations. Essays, guides, journals and such.

The novel styling of quotebacks is not immaterial. The elegant formatting - and even the slight hover effect - creates desire to be quoted. Just as reading a book with gorgeous typesetting and paper aroma alone fills one with desire to write. (“This book sucks - but I can almost picture the book that might live up to a binding of this quality…”) The styling gives the Web texture and physical appeal that it is distinctly lacking.

If the Web is going to be treated as a place to drop embeds, this extension embraces that. Here are some more good-lookin’ embeds for ya.

And I actually hope that quotebacks become a more general thing. Imagine if you could snip video or podcast segments and spit out a block that is also recognizable as a quoteback. The Web contains and wraps those fragments, seeds in its garden.

Now, of course, I’m raving about something that is truly quite simple.

Am I dense? I'm still at such a loss on the https://quotebacks.net thing that I feel like I must be missing something. I don't feel like "blockquotes don't have a fancy, common-design embed like tweets and grams do" is some sort of pressing obstacle for blogging?

Isn’t this just a quotation or citation? Haven’t these been around for centuries? Can’t I just use the blockquote?

Absolutely. I, personally, am sticking to the blockquote - because I already have a convention going for myself.

But it’s still appealing. This is inviting me to do something that I’m already doing. In a way, the fact that this is such a slight change - so simple and familiar - just tweak your copy-and-paste to get some slight advantage - almost guarantees that it will do well.

Anyway - I applaud this strategy. Creating new protocols for the Web is cool - but it implies more work for everyone. If you can help modernize the existing Web by adding tools that enhance it as a container, that encourage reading and which perhaps offer a way of understanding what it means to participate here - seems exquisite, right?


  1. Or, specifically, in blogging or expert wiki-ing or ‘networked writing’ as Critchlow puts it. ↩︎

  2. Which is already somewhat the format of e-mails, though it’s unnatural to quote different sources there. ↩︎

  3. With so many networks focused on tool for creation - here are the ways you can use videos, use stickers, filter yourself, sprinkle yourself with three-dimensional face dust, lower your pitch, tag yourself - I think it’s a smart counter-strategy to swing the other direction - here is something you can do with what someome else has said. Begin by reading, not by pressing REC. ↩︎

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01 Jun 2020

Escapetheinter.net

Trippy game’n’song evokes early Web - more at wearesuperorganism.com.

Not an incredibly deep game by any means - but I have to link to it. This is what you expect me to do. I’m just doing exactly what I’m supposed to.

Perhaps Superorganism’s website is even more of a callback - with spinning GIFs, a guestbook on the home page, and my favorite touch is that all of their vids have a Windows Media Player frame around them.

Of course, this website was not built entirely by the band, but was executed by Björn Flóki[1], who appears to be a very popular designer with musicians. So, in a way, it’s deceptive. This was funded to look like a Neocities website - it’s a simulacrum of the personal.

There is a recent trend to bang on this note in pop culture - like with the Captain Marvel website or the feature story on the Space Jam website in Rolling Stone. I can’t help but relish this turn, because these sites show that even mainstream artists feel the allure of leaving behind the rigidity of the corpypastas. Even during the height of blog abandonment, you had Bob Dylan’s tremendous interactive ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ multivid and Pharrell’s (now defunct) 24 Hours of Happy website, both in 2013.

The trouble is that most of these artsy sites are ultimately marketing stunts that reduce the Web to a little interactive trinket, rather than the unrivaled platform that you can find exhibited on websites like Glitch or Twine. Or, further out, in Beaker’s neighborhood. I don’t mean to say that these artists have some obligation to unlock the Web[2] - actually I’m saying quite the opposite, they have absolutely no reason to. To them, the Web is another stop on the tour.

I think it shows the surprising amount of novelty that is still under the surface of the Web which is yet to be plumbed.


  1. While the game linked above was done by Matthew Govaere. ↩︎

  2. Although it would be very interesting to see mainstream artists to mess around with the Indieweb or, again, PLEASE, for the Stranger Things cast to suddenly take up public Tiddlywikis. ↩︎

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30 May 2020

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29 May 2020

Beaker: Easy Forks

The hidden magic in simple personal forks.

Just taking this chance to pass on a discovery I found in the new Beaker Browser. Notes and checkboxes by Kinopio.club - which would also be splendid to somehow bring to the Hyperdrive Network.

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21 May 2020

Tishoumaren

“We’ve been forty years in the desert crafting ancient licks - what have you done?”

This may not be new to anyone who comes across this - some of these bands are quite popular - so this is more just turning the page corner down for myself. This blog post has taken me down a rabbithole of backstory on the Tishoumaren music genre - Tuareg music, North Africa. (This is dumb - but I’m a big fan of the two-player game Targi. Anyway - it brought Tuareg culture into view for me.)

Love the image of the band in the desert with their axes. Name of the group is Tinariwen - they appear to be pretty popular on YouTube at least. The blog post’s stories and tracks from Bombino are cool, too - didn’t know him either.

However, what I’m really enjoying is the discovery of Super Onze de Gao, who run their desert lutes through distortion. Gah this party makes me so jealous:

A bunch of albums are here. The Takamba music doesn’t seem to have achieved the same level of Western notoriety as Tishoumaren, but who cares - don’t know why I even said that. Love this stuff. It’s definitely going in href.cool’s Tapes/Africa collection.

Totally different topic, but I only discovered this because I was wondering who Head Medicine was - happened to be on their Museum of International Comics. So that’s a link. Links links links. Blogspot.

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20 May 2020

'Those of us who stood close by, who saw the watch’s finer details, reported: it had no hands. Just numbers in a circle, that’s all it was. And that’s what the harpist was checking, it seemed. He was confirming that there was no time, that the numbers arranged in a circle didn’t count for anything. Yes, he nodded, his lizard lips playing with the toothpick a little, yes, right on schedule. Nothing o’clock.

‘That’s what time it always is at the bend in the frozen river.’

— p. 14, “The Tormentors” by Nathan Grover, Thrice Fiction, No. 26

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Desperate Pleas for Nothing

If you don’t ever want to hear from me ever again, turn away from the screen and begin walking as far as you can.

I have a pile of silly things I am wrapping up - hypertext projects, GIF ideas and unfinished interviews. But one side project that I have been unable to land is a type of ‘inverse interview’. I get halfway into it - and the first half should be the hard part, by the way - and then the whole thing disappears!

How the interview works is - someone e-mails me a desperate plea to contribute to my blog - in a voice that almost reads like an automated marketing e-mail.

I then reply that, no, they are not desperate - I am the desperate one. I truly want to interview them![1] And I attach my questions right there - to make it easy for them.

At that point, inexplicably, I never hear from them again.

Here is a recent e-mail from ‘Ginny’. I’m hoping that, if I publish the exchange here, then you out there can help me figure out how to fix this.

From: Ginny <redacted@redacted.red>
To: kicks@kickscondor.com
Subject: ✌️ I’d love to contribute a guest post
Date: Thursday, May 07, 2020 1:04 PM

Hello,

I would love to contribute a guest post. May I pitch you some ideas?

p.s. let me know if you want to see samples of my writing or anything else to help you make the decision 😃

BR,

Ginny, Content Strategist @ storytelling.delivery

The CAN-SPAM act of 2003 compliance:
Address: 525 3rd Street N. Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250
If you don’t want to hear from me ever again, reply with “no” or follow the link:

Her wish is my command.

From: Kicks Condor <kicks@kickscondor.com>
To: Ginny <redacted@redacted.red>
Subject: Re: ✌️ I’d love to contribute a guest post
Date: Thursday, May 07, 2020 4:09 PM

Ginny -

I would love for you to contribute a guest post. Go ahead and send it! As part of your post, I also would like your answers to the following questions.

  • Your website is storytelling.delivery. I love this idea! What sort of delivery options do you have for your stories?

  • You are a content strategist. Is doing guest posts one of your strategies? Or is it just a fun thing that you like to do?

  • Have you had any supernatural experiences in your life?

  • At the end of your e-mails, the final line is “If you don’t want to hear from me ever again, reply with ‘no’ or follow the link.” It was very jarring to read this at the end - the thought hadn’t occurred to me that perhaps I should shut you down and banish you and your e-mails to some faraway quadrant. It made me feel awful to read. But perhaps I don’t quite understand the tone of this sentence. Are you saying it in a humble, grateful way? Or is this sentence supposed to sound bitter and harsh, so as to make me feel inhuman if I click the link?

Good to hear from you!
- kicks c

After this - silence.

On the other hand, it’s only been 13 days. She could still be crafting something very wonderful and surprising.

Here’s one that I’ve been working on for eight months now.

From: Watchideas <julian@redacted.red>
To: kicks@kickscondor.com
Subject: Great Article About Wristwatches!
Date: Friday, August 23, 2019 12:02 PM

Hi real quick message for you,

It’s Julian here from Watchideas, a site dedicated to wristwatches.

I noticed that in your article https://www.kickscondor.com/ you referenced http://507movements.com/ who were talking about Watch Movements. I actually wrote a very similar article recently with tons of research and great information that I thought might be useful to your readers, and wondered if you would be interested in linking to it at all?[2]

You can check it out here https://www.watchideas.com/watch-movements-differences-between-mechanical-quartz/

I’d love to hear your feedback!

Thanks,

Julian

Julian B.
Watchideas.com
Your Trusted Source for Wrist Watches

Just click here if you don’t want any more emails from me.

Julian then presses me again, before I can reply.

From: Watchideas <julian@redacted.red>
To: kicks@kickscondor.com
Subject: Re: Great Article About Wristwatches!
Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:31 PM

Hey me again,

Checking in super quick.

Did you get the chance to check this out?

I’d love to work with you on this. If you’re not interested then perhaps we could collaborate in a different way, I could even write a guest post or something for you if you like?

Thanks,

Julian

Julian B.
Watchideas.com
Your Trusted Source for Wrist Watches

Just click here if you don’t want any more emails from me.

Ok ok! Yes, Julian. Yes, I will take some. I will take some watch ideas.

From: Kicks Condor <kicks@kickscondor.com>
To: Watchideas <julian@redacted.red>
Subject: Re: Great Article About Wristwatches!
Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 1:07 AM

Hi - hey Julian B. Sorry to just now reply. My site is just a personal blog - and, unfortunately, I have no interest in wristwatches or product sales.

However, since you are so eager, I would love to interview you, if that would be cool. If you’re interested, please reply to these questions, and we can continue the conversation from there.

  • I’m afraid I don’t like watches, so what else do you think we could discover that we have in common?

  • As a watch enthusiast, what is your favorite time of day?

  • Do you believe in ghosts?

  • At the end of your e-mails, the final line is “Just click here if you don’t want any more emails from me.” It was very jarring to read this at the end - the thought hadn’t occurred to me that perhaps I should shut you down and banish you and your e-mails to some faraway quadrant. But perhaps I don’t quite understand the tone of this sentence. Are you saying it in a humble, grateful way? Or is this sentence supposed to sound bitter and harsh, so as to make me feel inhuman if I click the link?

That is ok for now. Thank you and nice to meet you!
- kicks

Since he followed up with me, I felt to extend the same courtesy.

From: Kicks Condor <kicks@kickscondor.com>
To: Watchideas <julian@redacted.red>
Subject: Re: Great Article About Wristwatches!
Date: Monday, November 11, 2019 12:09 PM

Julian -

Hey, I’m quite surprised I didn’t hear back from you. You seemed very eager to collaborate. Do you think I’m toying with you or something? Because I’m quite serious about interviewing you.

I understand if you don’t trust me or are somehow intimidated. We just don’t know each other at all.

Either way, good luck.
- kicks

Ginny, Julian - I am serious. I would like to interview you. I am concerned that my e-mails somehow came off as condescending or something. I agree that they are flippant - but that is just for fun. I still want to have a conversation with you.

I also believe that their initial requests were sincere. There are touches of personality in those e-mails that I have fallen for. I don’t believe that this is spam, even though it may have been sent through automated e-mail software of some kind. (Thus the “if you never want to hear from me again” jargon - but even that evokes some humanity. Oh the pity those words stir within me.)

But perhaps I am merely attempting to will these people, their replies and their watch ideas into existence…

One thing is for sure though. I not going to click some link to make you go away forever. 😭


  1. It’s the perfect match. ↩︎

  2. This is true. I know for sure that I have linked to 507movements.com in the Bodies/Primitive category on href.cool. ↩︎

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11 May 2020

18th Century Classical Beats

Our nation was founded on Thomas Jefferson type beats.

This isn’t just a playlist of great beats from the colonial era - there’s also a “Kids TV show type beat” and a basic “Vivaldi type trap beat” here. This is also one of those cases where the YouTube comments seem to know exactly what to do.

Thomas Jefferson YouTube

And - this is totally unrelated - except that these tracks were all part of a 48 hour bender down dank holes of SoundCloud playlists - I need to keep a link alive to this tight remake of the old Mii Channel theme. Makes me want to customize some digital eyebrows.

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30 Apr 2020

Novas

Portal to an alternate 1982 made from obscure YouTube playlists.

All credit to chameleon for this discovery. Novas is a cyberpunk rock opera by Nate Cull, all planned out in hypertext - and perfect for the quarantined audience - there is no theatre for us to go to. But this circumvents that, staging the scenes directly in your mind. You queue up the playlists in the background and then return to the text to read the storyline.

I’m not going to say much more about the story - if you’re really curious, you should go head straight over.

It just sort of came out of my subconscious, because most of this music is what I heard in the 1980s as a kid, and it always seemed like there must be some kind of backstory to all these strange people dressing like scientists and singing about nuclear war, space, and living inside computers. When I rediscovered this music in the mid-2010s, somehow the suspicion grew on me that I could write a story out of all these found components. And so this is that story, for that kid in the 1980s.

Novas (so far) spans around twenty playlists and accompanying blog posts. The whole thing is a great reminder of what can be done to make Wordpress into a wiki-like system.[1] (I love the layout of Nate’s home page.)

Logic System - 'XY'

This project happened on Wordpress (and YouTube). And I’m not sure there’s anything that millions of lines of code in our ‘modern’ platforms could do to augment it. I could definitely see this happening on Reddit - maybe Twitter, in some limited fashion - but definitely not on Facebook or Instagram. But, in many ways, these systems do the opposite - they would constrain the experience of this.

I struggle to sort out why we’ve pushed ourselves further away from hypertext, particularly since browsers continue to give the form more power. Novas is an example of the creativity that can emerge simply by using tools to form connections - to link audio and text together in a new fashion.

This feels somewhere between interactive fiction, mp3 blogging and nostalgic fanfic. (I might as well call it a directory of links while I’m here!) If anyone out there has had aspirations to dabble with making fun hypertext, there is a lot to spring off from here.


  1. I’m also an instant Martha and the Muffins fan. ‘Echo Beach’ is a sick track! ↩︎

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27 Apr 2020

Print-and-Play Board Game Dump (a COVID-19 response)

Prime example of using a group directory as a kind of conversation/movement.

I’m seeing a ton of ad-hoc directories springing up in response to COVID-19. Some are directly related - such as Alicia Neptune’s pandemic page or this mask page and this page.[1] But, in this case, you have a situation where the board game printing pipeline is backed up - and people are also stuck at home - so these groups are reaching out to each other by building a giant directory of free games that can be printed out.[2]

There are a few extraordinary properties of this particular directory here though:

  • Since anyone can alter it, you actually get exposed to the raw data, sorted chronologically. Large publishers’ offerings are right next to homebrew stuff. And I don’t get the sense that anyone is bothered by that.[3]
  • Because a raw directory has become the central link of the movement (as opposed to a blog post or a summary page), it is just as natural to sumbit to the list as it is to read it. Everyone is equally attached to the main conduit of hypertext input/output.
  • Unlike a wiki page, where you have to sort out fitting your entry on the page and how to format it - you have to weave your content comfortably into a wiki page - here we have a giant append-only log. This seems to be an ideal format for this kind of sudden event. Makes me wonder what other append-only hypertext formats might be viable.[4]

I also got into going through some of the lesser-known designers in this list and found myself in some unexpected places.

  • This list of games previously printed in Tabletop Gaming Magazine - many by Anna Blackwell - were pretty interesting. I think there is a neat idea in The New Gods of Babel, a Jenga/Minecraft hybrid by Brian Molina.
  • Juegos Roll & Write - many of these print-and-play games are ‘roll & write’ games - in the vein of Yahtzee.[5] This colorful collection by Sergi Sanchez Labrador is just fun to look through.
  • Rolling Realms is by a very popular publisher (Stonemaier Games of Scythe and Wingspan fame) but this game was designed just as something to do during the pandemic and it’s been a group effort with their fans - see the comments on that page.
  • Cat Sudoku LIVE by Ta-Te Wu.
  • Also branched off into this directory, particularly the games of Douglas Ramsey, such as 30 Rails and Birdsong.

Truly nothing beats directories when it comes to discovery. You can find yourself tunneling all around the Internet. The most important part is to have contributors who are in a variety of places across the graph - and to find ways to shape it that are able to highlight all the starting points without allowing any of them to take over.


  1. I’m not endorsing these links, I’m not able to evaluate them - I’m just presenting a small sampling of the different types of directories that are everywhere right now. ↩︎

  2. This might seem like a terribly paltry and pointless response to a deadly pandemic, but I think people are trying to do whatever it is that they can do. And providing people with a group effort to put their energies is something. ↩︎

  3. Not only is there no algorithm here, there is only very light human editing to weed out spam. So the only whiff of human curation are the comments of those who report back on games they’ve played. ↩︎

  4. For example, if you used Webmentions to notify an append-only log that your page should be attached to this running stream of hypertext. ↩︎

  5. These types of games are also very practical for video call gaming. Usually you can have one person roll and everyone else can mark up their own printed sheets. ↩︎

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02 Apr 2020

PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

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

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

glitchyowl, whose hands hold our future.

jack & tals, hipster bait analysts.

hypertext 2020 pals: h0p3 level 99 madman + ᛝ ᛝ ᛝ — lucid highly classified scribbles + consummate waifuist chameleon.

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

waxy is back at it!

surfpals: dang, robin sloan, marijn, nadia eghbal, elliott dot computer, laurel schwulst, subpixel.space (toby), things by j, gyford, also joe jenett (of linkport), brad enslen (of indieseek), 'web curios' defunct :(.

fond friends: jacky.wtf, fogknife, eli, tiv.today, j.greg, box vox, whimsy.space, caesar naples.

indieweb: .xyz, c.rwr, boffosocko.

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

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

chips: zeptobars, scargill, 41j.

neil c. "some..."

the world or cate le bon you pick.

all my other links are now at href.cool.