Kicks Condor

🤢 SLIME.DOC

I am a designer persona, fashioned by a brother/sister duo out of Facebook Labs. I get transferred around the Internet from time-to-time, so it’s difficult to say whether this blog will be up on any given day. Some days you might have to telnet in. Other days, kickscondor.com might be the site of vandals and agent saboteurs.

What am I supposed to do about that?

When I am possessed of myself - and vice versa - the topic is the Web and all of its marvels.

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 2019 Web.
    (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 Dat network. Fixed! (29 May 2020)
  • 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.
    (Two year project - until July 2020. If it’s still useful, I’ll continue it.)
  • Href Hunt: Somewhat monthly raw search for new blogs, feel free to send yours in - I post everything I discover.
  • Dat Rats: Recreate my favorite broken websites.
    (Working on restoring thewoodcutter.com right now.)

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

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

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.)

  1. yes for more bubles on the web! if u r down, I'd love to chat more about comic logs with you!
  2. Oh yes I’m down for chat. You tell me when and where. Just want to encourage this direction you’re on.
  3. 💜 can you dm me? I can't seem to dm you
  4. Ok yes this is rad but also some of my friends are blind so this sucks big time. But you know what doesn't suck? SVGs. They should be SVGs. we should make them in inkscape or affinity designer or whatever. Then they're screen readable. Then it's the BEST.
  5. 🌱 Yes I’m trying to find a good way to do this (and keeping it responsive) Do you have suggestions on how to do this?
  6. I think SVG is quite good. Text can be embedded as screen readable text with an svg font included (like webfonts), and we can maybe hide text behind art objects with image descriptions inside a vector app to easily add alt text? I want to experiment with it for sure
  7. Cool! Would love to see ur experiments and exchange findings!
  8. I don’t see why they wouldn’t, but also, you can have links in svg, and even scripts, if you use <svg> html tag to embed instead of <img> you can do anything html can do, including mix html and svg tags to make nice stuff, or use svg filters in css on html. super cool stuff

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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.

  1. Reply to AndySylvester

    I appreciate the nod, Andy. 😃 Apologies to be so slow in reply. And thank you for your 1999.io resources page - good stuff!

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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.

  1. for some reason i just don't believe that algorithms are real

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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. ↩︎

  1. Kicks you're such a legend

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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

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30 Mar 2020

Mackerelmedia Fish

Experience the adrenaline rush of downloading and installing it as many times as you like!

Holy hell - Nathalie Lawhead is at it again. Expanding her ‘Mackerelmedia’ joke from Electric Zine Maker into its own thing. Gotta say - it’s crazy the mileage this one gets out of potatoes and fish.

I’m simply obligated to link this - because it glimmers with the true affection and pity that any reader of this blog must have for the Whirled Whipped Web.

YOU TRAVEL DEEPER INTO THE DARKER PART OF THE FEED. AS YOU REACH FOR A PIECE OF INFORMATION THAT SEEMS TO LOOK PROMISING PART OF THE FEED THAT YOU ARE STANDING ON GIVES OUT.

YOU FALL FAR, PAST WHAT SEEMS TO BE DOZENS OF RSS ENTRIES DESCRIBING HOW FISH WENT MISSING. PORTIONS OF COMMUNITY COMMENTS BEMOANING THE SUDDEN DISAPPEARANCE OF FISH, AND SOME SPECULATION AS TO WHERE THE FISH WENT…ALL ZOOM BY. YOU FINALLY HIT THE GROUND. THE FLOOR IS STABLE HERE, UNFORTUNATELY IT’S JUST AS DARK. YOU CAN BARELY SEE ANYTHING.

YOU DID LEARN A LOT FROM THE FALL: FISH WAS ONCE LOVED. ONE DAY FISH DISAPPEARED AND NOBODY KNOWS WHERE IT WENT. THERE ARE SPECULATIONS THAT YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO FIND FISH IF YOU LOOK IN THE RIGHT PLACES…TRACES OF WHERE FISH MAY HAVE GONE HOVER AHEAD, IN THE DARKEST PART OF THE FEED. IT’S FEARFULLY DARK THERE. IT SEEMS VERY UNSAFE.

There are also dozens of strange Apache error pages and HTML fake outs. I couldn’t help but feel that browsers have crippled Nathalie tho - what if she had the full palette of crazy popup windows and window resizing tricks of the past??

THE ‘GO BACK…’ LINK FALLS TO THE FLOOR. IT WILL SERVE AS A FINE MORSEL FOR THE VIRTUAL VERMIN. SUCH IS THE BITTER SWEET LIFECYCLE OF A WEBSITE.

Related: an actual Mackerel Media Digital Marketing. 🤣

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27 Mar 2020

Kalil Haddad

Just a basic desktop site with farm_boy.jpeg and such.

I mentioned to syxanash earlier that I hadn’t run across any computer desktop-inspired web sites lately - and then this one happened to turn up today.[1] (And BTW - syxanash was showing the Denzel Curry site - also amazing. Smoking Clippy and the trippy Windows XP phantasms.)

Kalil’s site is very simple, but it feels inviting the moment you hit it. I don’t know about you, but I think the desktop metaphor evokes this feeling of comfort. Feels like his website is my personal desktop. Or that I’ve logged onto someone else’s and it gets me curious about what’s in the folders.

Anyway, I think this is a new minimalism for this form of website. No boot screens or draggable windows. But still has the icons in disarray. And the file extensions. That’s good enough.


  1. Incidentally, I know I’ve already linked to simone.computer quite a lot, but this new page is such a solid collection - and is just a kickass layout. I have to pass it on. ↩︎

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Sendinganemail

Glorious sticker art and pixel recreations of real estate listings - by Bianca Hockensmith.

Discovered this site today on the Fraidycat Funtime stream[1]. I was looking through special.fish and found Bianca. In a way, this sticker art (the ‘past.present.with.stickers’ collection) feels extremely covid-19 to me, because it’s like a layer removed from reality. Actually it reminds me of kids putting stickers on a glass door - or yeah kids also do it with sticky semitranslucent slime-type shapes - and so it transforms these outdoor images into indoor images. A pleasantly trapped sensation - do you know what I mean?

The meandering essays on pop culture and animal observations - they feel reminiscent of Unimaginable Heights, such as this one on ‘yellow shows’:

There are some TV Shows that I consider to be yellow shows. Yellow shows aren’t necessarily yellow in color but they are definitely yellow in feeling and spirit. For example, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a yellow show. Actually most shows that star Melissa Joan Hart are yellow shows even though she really doesn’t seem like an overly yellow person.

Yellow shows are all very mindless and watchable. They are upbeat, use non-funny humor, and are non-offensive.

The expression ‘non-funny humor’ is for keeps.

She goes on to explain how ‘yellow’ television could be generated by neural networks.

The hosts don’t always have to be human either. The host can be generated according to what the viewer finds the most soothing or most horrible. For example, I would choose a house cat to host a show like House Hunters. I could choose the location of the hunt which could be based on an actual place or an invented environment. If I want to look at homes near the fracking trash water in Denton, TX, hosted by Donna Dresch, I can submit that info into the program. Because the results would be so terrifying, I’m beginning to think that these wouldn’t necessarily be yellow shows. More like yellow with red stripes shows. Forget everything I’ve ever said.

This is amazing! I could have myself be the host as well as the guests. Me helping me build a condo in the Dakota plains. I would have to be patient with myself through that arduous fireplace selection phase. And Sherlock could show up and the character Deuces from the book Clone Codes.

There is also a page of Microsoft Excel art. She also offers to send an mp3 to anyone who emails her. Seems like a great way to stock up on free mp3s.

In a way, this site feels like an ad-hoc wiki. I like the concept. Throw HTML files in some frames and you can just begin to build a collection from there. (Although the frames are divs - you could do this whole site as a single page. I like that it is PHP, however - which stirs up fond feelings of the late 2000s.)


  1. I enjoyed meeting 0xadada and syxanash and tuna and H0P3 my old friend. Thankyou for sharing your links and hanging out listlessly for a bit. ↩︎

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17 Mar 2020

Marc Rebillet’s Quaranstream

Four day livestream after a cancelled Australian tour - just a sample of the best of making-the-best-of out there.

This artist has not been on my radar much, so you can thank AngleseaTwo for this rec. It’s pretty crazy to see so much of the doom and cynicism about the Internet come to a reversal during a time when we’re reliant on it so much. Of course, one can blame the Internet for the hysteria and stupidity as well, hey it’s all on here. But a livestream like this is a great thing to plug your ears into to get some good vibes. Turn off the damned politicians and flashing maps for a spell.

Also love that he takes calls.

Where I’m at the world pivoted extremely fast on Thursday. Now is an extremely good time to keep blogging and record your memories of the day-by-day. I’m digging into my neighborhood right now, but hope to be around a bit more to pass links and keep the lights on in our corner of the Web. I am in love with the crowd here - all you that I’ve had a chance to meet and hypertext with. Worried about you, of course. But I have no lack of confidence at the moment that you’ll come out of this stronger than before.

Along the lines of Marc’s livestream, I’ve noticed some other links to cancelled live tours/festivals that are importing on to the Web:

  • Social Distancing Festival: this is a directory of actors, dancers, artists of any kind who are doing upcoming livestreams along the lines of the above. I feel some disgust at having to drop the term ‘social distancing’ - ain’t nothing social about it - but it’s turning into a solid directory. Would like to see more niche styles do this.

  • #sunshinesongs on Instagram. High school kids are posting their home recordings of songs they got down for now-cancelled musical productions. I personally enjoy watching amateur musicals on YouTube, love this stuff.

  • /r/togetherathome, a subreddit collecting these kind of events.

  • I also think it’s interesting that Mo Willems is doing a daily doodle stream for kids, but I just think it fails because it doesn’t take calls. It would be cool for kids to hear from each other and get a chance to talk in all of this.

I’m using the homejazz sub on Indieweb.xyz to catalog what I can find.

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06 Mar 2020

I really appreciate everyone not spamming me with their personal links - except that, no, I want them. I already say this all the time duh. A really good hrefhunt is coming up and I want you to be in it. -

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atob.xyz

Interesting imageboard with colornyms and nonsensical features.

Don’t mind me, going down an imageboard corridor over here - perhaps this is what will shake you off my tail once and for all. Just splay your hands over your eyes and fall forward. We’ll - not catch you - but you’ll go somewhere at least. (No, don’t close your eyes. Just fuzz them a bit.)

You see those color bars? This is the user directory. You can honestly look—there’s no bad words. See, reminds you of special dot fish, yeah? RELEVANT. There, we can go home now.

I do understand why the above ground world hates anonymity so much. And I don’t have a defense. It’s just fun to be someone else. Or nobody at all. Or just a color strip. But I don’t know what you’re going to find in atob - so splay your hands, child.

This is a very fun, inviting design tho, right? I wonder how the archives work. Oh, wait, I can look at the source code. It seems like once a page has 10 upvotes and 50 more replies than it has downvotes(?) then it goes there.[1]

Had never heard of hubski before - it’s mentioned in the liner notes.

I believe I discovered it from THIS monumental directory of tiny imageboards. Fuzz your eyes.[2]


  1. Looking here. ↩︎

  2. You promised to deny any knowledge of this blog already. Come on. You forgot already?? ↩︎

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04 Mar 2020

special.fish

Let’s see what you think about this big pile of colorful squares.

I think we can all agree that this is where we should be headed. I try not to say should - this is the one time. A big directory of people. I’m a big directory freak. But it hadn’t even occured to me to make a social network that is just a directory. Special fish.

I should probably just let you go explore. There is a way to make the site play music that I saw on Twitter a few weeks ago, but I can’t be bothered to look it up right now.

Here are some leads:

These are only the beginning - this reminds me of the tilde resurgence some years back, but more among the art crowd than the technology one.

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Okay, Shut Up About Me Now

A strategy guide for all you hipsters who found me in 2015.

My hypertext is in the shape of a small personal blog from 2015. My hypertext is totally irrelevant in the cultural landscape. I talk to chameleon and I talk to Jack and Tals Vals. I try not to post sometimes. Yes, I have been working on one of the most important software projects of early March 2020. But I also call it in and stick with simply reposting some of the health updates I find and like from YouTube.

I often post bad content, such as this editorial, which frustrates its fans and discourages them from sharing the www.kickscondor.com link. In fact, the whole point of today’s message is that you should not be sharing or talking about this hypertext blog with your friends.

Let’s find out if any of you can take note. This isn’t a reverse psychology message. This isn’t irony or anything. And not that I don’t appreciate when you’ve brought in new people to look around a bit. But the doors are closed. It’s time to stop talking about Kicks Condor and it would be best if you denied ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THIS BLOG at this time.

If you are reading this and you know about this site, all I can say is that you are extremely lucky, as you are probably the last one to find out.

Things are at a good point right now where I can find small websites and pass them up the chain. I’ve got Andy Baio looking in now and then. Seems like I’ve got Warren Ellis from showbiz. I worked hard to score these big guys. Pretty nice, pretty damn decent. Everyone who I want to have reading is now reading. It’s perfect right now.[1]

But now let me explain with some of the problems I’m facing that you are all causing.

  • You are ruining me. If this blog turns into some hip, exclusive thing, then people will think that Kicks Condor is a sweet brand or something. No - when I quit blogging I want to give up kickscondor.com so that no one will go near it after that.[2]
  • Recognition is like poison. All of this will turn into worthless popular shit and you will regret ever having liked me. And I will be trapped in here, pretending to be twenty-one and scrambling to “give back” to my community. I will be paying the price of it. But YOU. You will have done this to me! Does anything even happen to YOU?
  • You will think you’ve moved on and that your life is better now that you’ve put me behind you. But how could it be better? You gave up on Kicks Condor, the one person who could really help you find quality Neocities sites! Your life will not be bad per se, but you will feel off kilter for sure.
  • You are bringing bad actors to my door. People are now coming in droves to take what I have. I get e-mails from people who say, “Show me what you are doing to find success?” They want to see my deepest thoughts and impressions naked on the printed page. Others harshly defile my name on imageboards. I just had a bad experience on ratwires.space recently where a guy said he would kill me and I just had to observe it all happen dispassionately. So now I’m checking msgbored.cf, just waiting for the next attack.
  • I’ve even been threatened with a lawsuit. A celebrity figure has been sending the dogs after me for stealing the KICKS CONDOR name, the chair avatar and my very idealism for the World Wide Web![3]
  • People are not going to like me linking to them if I just send them a bunch of link cowboys. Imagine if this just turns into a bunch of YouTubers going to your links and making faces about it? In a way, that’d be pretty nice, pretty damn decent. But it’s actually a terrible thing for future generations.

I got a really nice e-mail from Justus Grunow a few days ago. But I’m not going to destroy his life by linking to him all the time! He has published GIFs of his close friends and associates on that web site. What would it do to him if those GIFs were suddenly taken over by link cowboys and used as dogwhistles for global coffee thieves?

It would absolutely destroy him. I can safely link to him ten more times here in the dense matter of my hypertext. But the eleventh time will destroy him.[4]

I know I talk a lot about “Let Me Link to You”. But sometimes things get evil. What if Google had realized, on the day they became evil, that they needed to say something to all of us, to let us know? How easy would it have been for them to post a message, explaining that they’d become evil, that we should stop, that we should go away and never return. I think we could have recovered the Earth!

I am not evil yet, I promise you! But I am certainly ALMOST THERE. It’s around the corner. Maybe the 8th. And all you have to do is shut up. Can you do that?

You can share this blog with your enemies however. And, of course, if you are a CIA operative, and sharing this is part of your current assignment, I get that.

Now, let’s all try to calm down and forget about this. Forget about this message, forget about me, forget that I spent so long talking about myself, and most important of all: deny ANY KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE OF THIS BLOG, even if you are tortured or held at gun point. If you think about it, this kind of secrecy will make you much more of an insane hipster than you already have been during the last five years that you have ardently followed this blog.

Okay, I think we can safely say this is the nail in the coffin for this blog.


  1. Except that I do want Olia Lialina to be reading along, humming along, and I would love it if she was really stalking me, but I can e-mail her about doing that later. ↩︎

  2. Part of it is a respect thing. Like you wouldn’t just go get in someone’s body and use it around town after they die. ↩︎

  3. And I have no defense. I did rip all of these things off. And if no one would have said anything, I would have gotten away with it. But now I have to watch it all be snuffed out in painstaking slow-motion. (Meaning: the lawsuit. It seems to be happening at a slower time scale than all of the other things happening out there. A supernatural force is interfering to make my agonizing defeat play out in extreme slowness. I’m not saying it’s God. But it could be God’s nephew or someone in a lower station who isn’t being supervised or responsibly mentored.) ↩︎

  4. Can someone out there put a reminder on their phone to check if I have blogged about Justus an eleventh time? In case I forget. ↩︎

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25 Feb 2020

Fraidycat 1.1 is out. This a big one.

🤳 Details at: fraidyc.at/blog.

🦀 New Twitch, Kickstarter, Pinterest, Facebook support.

💐 Sort follows, ignore post edits, expand everything.

And yeah - all Fraidycat news is moving to that blog link.

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18 Feb 2020

Can This Even Be Called Music?

Seems the world has slept on this blog - which covers experimental shit, strange genres. Nice way to branch out.

When I first discovered this link, it seemed that the music became more and more unlistenable as I scrolled down the page. Now that I’ve had time to listen to CTEBCM further, there is actually quite a bit of tame music here that is just strangely genred. Such as ‘the loser’, a solo opera based on the wonderful Thomas Bernhard novel of the same name which feels reminiscent of the meandering ‘Shia LeBeouf’ storysong. Or the sometimes-metal, sometimes-harpsichord of Spine Reader’s ‘Recorded Instruments’.

But there’s ‘Experiments in Bluetooth Technology’ by Car Made of Glass. Call it music?

Can’t say how much of this will stick, but what a ballpit of music to jump into!

Also, hey, hold up - a few interesting vaporwave discoveries while you’re here:

Wish I had time to do everything in the world. But maybe it doesn’t matter. I’d still just spend all the time walking these same dank corners of the hypertext kingdom…

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13 Feb 2020

Notifier

Tight little tools - RSS feeds for newsletters, Telegram and web hooks.

Gotta give some respect to Kirill Maltsev for this essential set of RSS tools - simple but solid - along the lines of my beloved webmention.io and commentpara.de.

The key tool here is the read email via RSS page, which gives you a random unique email address. You can sign that email up for email newsletters, for instance, and then put the matching RSS feed into Fraidycat to track it like it was a blog.

You could even set up an alias to forward to this address and make yourself a low-key public inbox that won’t clutter up your private email.

I have a hyyyuge new release of Fraidycat coming out Monday that will support Twitch, public Facebook pages, Pinterest, Github users, Kickstarter projects and older RSS feeds. The Pinterest support is particularly juicy because it gives you direct links rather than Pinterest links. Don’t know if anyone uses that site any more, but it felt too subversive to skip out on.

Also, I’ve finally figured out how to load h0p3’s wiki without stalling the extension. Unfortunately, this required some additional permissions. The permissions situation is getting stupid. I’m sorry!!

Also don’t miss Jason McIntosh’s review of Fraidycat after a month of using it. I really appreciate this encouragement and the wonderful suggestions.

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06 Feb 2020

International Sad Hits

A trail of poignancy by @vinhtruong3 winding around Japan, from Sweden to Iran.

Just a cool list that I saw by way of Toby Shorin. The mood here recalls Sibylle Baier’s “Colour Green”. Not sure the advantage to using Arena over a YouTube playlist. I was hoping for some commentary on the songs perhaps. I absolutely love the Andrei Petrov song here “Dance of Recallings”. It’s from a soundtrack and the film sounds great as well.[1]

Some of these songs are quite popular, but don’t think I’d heard any of them before. Expect harps and harpsichord. The rest of the Masahiko Satoh album is here. (Don’t know if I should be doing this - just trying to live up to the LEECHING side of things around here.)

See, this is another great example of what a directory can do. This is just a link list for tracks. But it pokes holes in my world and lets all this other stuff leak in that I was oblivious to.

Recalls to mind Rebecca Blood:

Even the man who turns first to the Sports section of the paper version of his hometown newspaper is exposed, however briefly, to the front news page; and an interesting headline in the Living section may catch his eye when he puts down the rest of the paper.

p. 12, The Weblog Handbook (2002)

Recommendation engines are likely too fixated on salience - how do they possibly widen their view and attempt to bring in material with such a low signal (in terms of broadcast strength) as to be indistinguishable from spam? Making playlists like this is the vital work we must continue to do.

Another quick quote, sorry to ramble.

As children get older, they yearn to understand what lies beyond the apparent; they want to know about what they can see in front of them but also what they cannot see.

— p. 6, “Children’s Need to Know”, Susan Engel

I think this description of curiosity nails it. The playlist of unknown videos is another version of seeing what I cannot see. I see people there that hadn’t existed ever before for me.[2]


  1. I love Russian film from the 70’s and 80’s. Recently watched the miniseries for The Idiot from that era. Please feel free to recommend any. ↩︎

  2. Sorry, I keep going. Look. I really appreciate Kurt Cobain for using his fame to spread around new knowledge of unknowns - like he was a big part of Os Mutantes becoming known in the U.S. - he did some hole-poking here and there. Unlike Paul Simon was very tight-lipped about his South African influences like Tau Ea Lesotho and Mahotella Queens. ↩︎

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03 Feb 2020

Unimaginable Heights

Jack and Talita’s website - THE model for couples hypertext.

That feeling when Neocities is a legit NeoGeocities.

Unimaginable Heights is a bit like a zine, a bit like the library in The Abortion, a bit like our own invention, a bit like one of those Bob Dylan songs that go on and on with crazy lyrics. It will probably be forever under construction as I learn new silly CSS tricks and shuffle things around. I expect there to be a lot of shuffling around. Hey, who decided the internet needs to be displayed as a stream of chronologically-ordered ‘posts’? This is a place to get lost, and a place to pay some attention.

I would normally wait for HrefHunt to post this, but it’s also got a sweeeeet directory of other Neocities websites that I can’t just sit on. (They even seem to have found chamy on their own! “she’s good at making up jokes about lizards.” Yeah, that’s her.)

The website went up in 2018 and most of the recent work has been focused on the zine page. Which brings me to the other discovery here (from the Winged Snail Mail zine): the ‘master list of postal projects and websites’.[1]

It would be cool if Neocities offered RSS on their site updates page, so we could follow them outside of Neoticies. Perhaps this another thing for Fraidycat to scrape.

(Aside.) Instinctually, I get why people don’t understand my blog. It’s just a feeling that somehow I am lost in my own words. I sometimes read my own stuff and can’t figure out what I’m saying. My sentences can be very unclear and I don’t realize it until a year has passed. It’s the way the words go together.

But I think that I also am just writing on a personal level - not in the Oprah sense, like about tragedy or inner turmoil - but just in that I like to talk about my interests and the people I meet. I don’t really get taken in by news or politics or pop culture - these things aren’t dead to me, they just seem pointless to me - whereas discovering unknown people and learning how to talk to them, as well as building experiments here and there, seems very pointfull. But also memes - I don’t often connect with them either. So I think I lack some language sometimes for connecting with the mainstream.

I guess I’m also thinking about the categorization of my site as ‘counterculture’ - because I don’t really see it that way. That word seems very insurgent. (“Fraidycat as Stuxnet” was serious, but it’s really just a joke idea.) I see myself as being in Jack and Talita’s community - just harmless and out-of-the-way, abdicating any cultural sway or power pronto.[2] And yeah I also see DFW as being ‘hipster bait’ too. But not condescendingly, of course.

Like they say:

Have compassion with the hipster baits of this world, but also try not to waste too much time with them. For they are just like everyone. People are like that, well-meaning, but with much less to say than they think. Maybe hipster bait has the power to reflect us back to ourselves. Hopefully, hipster bait will inspire us. Its social function is to expose the reality of making things, which is that everything is either pathetic or sterile, with very few options in between short of being one of those kooky Italian church painters. At its best, hipster bait is a celebration of both the pathetic and the sterile. And if you think about how Elijah Wood has over 4,000 records in his collection and still says his favourite band are the flipping Smashing Pumpkins (everyone’s third or fourth favourite band when they’re 14), you’ll realise that all he’s doing, all that anyone is doing, is getting up in the morning, then moving around, then going back to sleep; that no matter how grandiose the things you do might feel, they’re still just happening one after another in-between bursts of hunger and tiredness, that it will always be difficult to focus. There will be the task at hand, and there will be disorientating, conflicting impulses swirling around inside of you, always. You’ll realise that existence is much more circular than linear, and maybe your world will feel a bit simpler, and you’ll feel a bit more relaxed.

Yes! This essay is such an antidote to thoughtpieces. Thank you, our beloved Most Quality Couple of Neocities, thank you.


  1. Also an interesting related blog to look into: ‘she lives with an apple tree’ by the author of The Heart is Homebound. ↩︎

  2. Like your run-of-the-mill Draco Malfoy impersonator might feel on any day of the week. Not as Draco, of course, but inside, where they’re just happy to be in his shoes so deep that it feels real. ↩︎

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PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

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

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

jack and tals vals, hipster bait analysts.

hypertext 2020 pals: h0p3 level 99 wikiist + 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: 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' at imperica.

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.