Kicks Condor

LEECHING AND LINKING IN THE HYPERTEXT KINGDOM

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

PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

This page is also on dat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

nostalgia: geocities.institute, bad cmd.

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

chips: zeptobars, scargill, 41j.

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

neil c very famous but should be a world icon.

the world or cate le bon you pick.

sammyclassicsonicfan the original teen rage adventure.

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

and opinionated gamers for non-chudyk game analysis.

my twitter. my github. minor things.

'ALL'/'EVERYTHING'

Many replies, notes and subtle edits are left off the home page---I try to limit the attention required in order to follow this blog. However, I am also finding myself in more conversations all the time. I provide this complete list of activity---so as not to hide it all, but to sate any curiosity.

19 Apr 2019

Reply: Young Coder

Matthew MacDonald

Hey! I’m a coder and tech writer who runs a small publication on Medium about teaching kids to code. I’m mostly interested in alternate perspectives (less glitzy coding playgrounds, more getting creative) and I’ve been thinking about trying out Twine with my daughters.

Yeah, Twine is the real deal—to me, third to sixth is the ideal group for this tool. They’ve got down how to write, but may not yet see how useful writing can be. There’s a lot of negativity (in my experience) among this age group (in 2019) concerning writing—especially with video becoming so prevalent.

So I see Twine as a writing platform with coding playing a support role. This is awesome—because often kids will look at it as a ‘coding’ platform and not realize how much writing they are doing. I think this dual nature makes it incredibly powerful.

Sure, feel free to cite or syndicate anything here. I’m just glad you’re having the conversation. I’m definitely keeping an eye on your blog. Let’s be friends!

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18 Apr 2019

HrefHunt! for April

A new dump of personal website links, discovered in the last month.

Don’t know if personal websites are catching on again or if it’s all about finding the right vein—I am getting more and more impressed with what I find, what people are up to. I’m also finding more and more that are already all hooked up to the IndieWeb.

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09 Apr 2019

Memory of the World

Makeshift librarians in the wild.

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

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

Let's Share Books

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


  1. From HN. ↩︎

  2. For real. ↩︎

  1. https://emit.nitinkhanna.com/2019/04/a-bunch-of-amateur-librarians/
    🔖

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08 Apr 2019

Reply: Not Google’s Fault

revvx

It’s not Google’s fault this time.

The problem is that Blogspam is now a (legitimate) industry much bigger than Google can manage.

Google Search became a playground for marketing firms to dump content made by low-paid freelancers with algorithmically chosen keywords, links and headers. It’s SEO on large scale. Everything is monitored via analytics and automatically posted to Wordpress. Every time Google tweaks its algorithm to catch it, they’re able to A-B test and then change thousands of texts all at once.

Personal blogs can’t even dream about competing with that.

In fact, those companies are actively competing with personal blogs by themselves: via tools like SEMRush and social media monitoring, they know which blogs are trending and use their tools to produce copycat content re-written by freelancers and powered by their SEO machine.

I know a startup that is churning 10 thousand blogposts per day on clients blogs, each costing from 2 to 5 dollars for a freelancer to write according to algorithmically defined parameters.

Just wait until they get posts written via OpenAI-style machine learning: the quality will be even lower.

Not only that: there’s no need for black hat SEO anymore. Blogposts from random clients have links to others clients blogs, and it is algorithmically generated in order to maximize views and satisfy Google’s algorithm. They have a gigantic pool of seemingly unconnected blogs to link to, so why not use it.

The irony is that companies buy this kind of blogspam to skip paying AdSense. Why pay when you can get organic search results? So not only they’re damaging the usefulness of the SERP, they’re directly eating Google’s bottom line. These blogs also have ZERO paid advertising inside them, since they’re advertising themselves.

That’s the reason Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yandex still have “old web” results.

That puts Google in a very difficult position and IMO they’re not wrong to fight it.

Well, I disagree. (Though I think your record of things is correct!) Certainly if you look at this as a bot war then Google’s actions make sense: we need our bots to outsmart the ‘bots’ (human bots even!) that are writing blogs.

But look at it another way: you have lots of humans writing - and it’s all of varying quality. Why not let the humans decide what’s good? The early Web was curated by humans, who kept directories, Smart.com ‘expert’ pages, websites and blogrolls that tried to show where quality could be found. Google’s bot war (and the idea that Google is the sole authority on quality) eliminated these valuable resources as collateral damage.

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

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

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04 Apr 2019

Reply: W0T A C00L SITE

joe jenett

As I enter the site, its style/flavor immediately reminds me of another site I consider to be a classic.

Times like this, it sure pays to have your depth of knowing what’s out there—YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES is definitely a classic. One that you’ve now introduced me to. I finally took the time to browse it. What an inventive take on a blog. (Or on poetry?) Since 1997. My humblest thanks, Joe.

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Reply: This Is An Odd Experience

1uxb0x

Hey kicks! Saw your message, it shows me that you have clearly been looking through my wiki, this is an odd experience for me. I have never had anyone but my family look at my wiki, now that you are I don’t know exactly what to do. I will try to become friends with you though. I don’t know how to respond to your message exactly. (am I repeating myself?) The last thing I have to say is, please excuse my grammar, it’s some of the worst you will have seen.

You writing me back makes me so happy! I just LOVE the way you write. You are still reminding me of Édouard Levé: you write so precisely and plainly and in a way that feels honest to me—I agree that it’s very odd that I’m reading your wiki! But what can we do: you have one reader now.[1]

I have decided on a name, 1uxb0x, interesting story how I got it. I am hard on myself, sometimes. I have few things planed. All those notes pages were me writing down what my dad said. I think I am a literary wiki kid, but not tootytoot. I think I answered everything that needed answering.

😂 Okay, okay! I concede: you are not a tootytoot!

Now I am stunned that you take such extensive notes while your Dad is talking! I am hooked on your ‘Notes’ now—every home philosopher should be so lucky as to have a scribe such as you. You are doing very good work.

I will try not to comment, if it makes you nervous. But if it helps you write more, I will comment. You don’t need to be nervous, though. I am a total loser, my sister will tell you that.[2]


  1. Your response is particularly funny to me because many, many times I’ve tried to convince your father that having an audience changes writing in a variety of unpredictable ways—and I’m not sure he ever believed me. ↩︎

  2. I know your dad has said that he is like Dale Gribble or Raphael (the ninja turtle)—but if you ever watch any movie with Owen Wilson where he plays the most harmless, clueless character in the whole world—that’s me. (You can also tell me what fictional character you are, too—if you have one.) ↩︎

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Reply: Careful Answers

Kevin Kovacs

With that being said, the short answer for a lot of your questions is going to be either a) I’m planning on moving those or b) I haven’t even considered it yet.

Tsss! Ok, well, hey—thank you for the elaborate reply! And let this also act as a test of your Webmentions setup. And welcome to the club of individuals experimenting with hypertext organization and layout—those forking wiki sensibility, I suppose. I’m interested in seeing what you do—in fact, I really like the variety of layouts you use on TIV for the different post types.

I love the look of minimal, white websites, but now everything seems to look like that.

I don’t know about you—my love of the brighter base comes from wanting to mimick books and zines, paper things. (Although I do have a favorite book, self-published by a psychic, that explores the correlation between extraterrestrials, prodigies and ‘vanishing twins’—the whole book is printed on a lavender paper, it’s just wonderful. The cover of the book is darker, almost the exact color of Humdrum Life!)

I have been trying to cook up a darker scheme, but I just can’t seem to settle on a background color. I think it will have to be black. Any other color really forces the palette choices for all the borders and words.

At any rate, I like to see more color on the web and I think you’ve got a nice scheme going.

I’m assuming the link logs you are referring to are the ones tagged reading, usually with “Articles” in the title.

Yes, exactly. This type of post is a major draw for me.

These are essentially to force myself to reflect on what I read. Even if I’m only writing a word or a sentence, it’s been helpful as a reflection practice. On occasion I forget to add things, but it’s supposed to be everything I read that day. Due to that fact, they dont necessarily think it is all worth sharing. I have a podcast log too where I do the same thing for myself.

Worth sharing. Huh, ok, this is a pretty ripe topic still.

I can’t help but feel that this goes in with the modern view that we must be “content creators”—writing original essays and gathering unique data to share. And that a pile of links is not worthy. Am I way off? Can you explain further—you later refer to things being “worthy to share with ‘the world’”—is this tied into RSS, like what sort of significance must a bit of hypertext have in order to justify making all the smartphones go ding?

I’m increasingly against RSS. I don’t know that anything I’m writing should fire off notifications. I’d be much happier if I could just fill up a blog without being accused of dinging the bell too many times. (This is an issue with all the social media platforms—there’s a threshold you cross when you become the one who overshares. So you have to pace yourself against the group’s pacing.)

But back on whether link lists are worthy. I mean—that’s the goodstuff for me. That’s the draw! Personally, I’m looking more for a tangled web of thoughts and chains of ideas, following link to link, to get a sense of what is happening out there. Exploring, discovering.

I think many people think they can’t or don’t care to write a blog, because then they’ll have to come up with ideas for tutorials or articles—“content” again—when I think that’s kind of rooted in a ‘performer’/‘audience’ relationship. I think what has appealed to me about h0p3’s work is that you can write out in the open, for your own purposes, and just pile up hypertext there—and if it’s organized sensibly enough, then those who want to correspond with you will find what they need. (It particularly interesting/innovative to me that he works on drafts of his letters in public—and that it works so well in practice.)

On the other side, TIV link posts are more considered.

I think I have felt this way, at times too, like I won’t post something to my home page if it’s just a little ‘thumbs up’ type of comment. But, more and more, I find myself writing detailed and considered entries that don’t get broadcast.

Can you relate to that? Is ‘more considered’ really the line between TIV and Humdrum? You just wrote me a lengthy reply that seems very well-considered. Could the difference be something else? Is it tonal?

It might even be that ‘public’ blogging has traditionally been directed toward an audience and now that the Web has changed (there is less of an audience)—then it doesn’t need to be that way. (I say this as someone who also blogs at some imaginary audience—tho I’m not sure I like doing it that way.)

I kind of view TIV as a digital publication […] I like to think of it as a digital newspaper. It’s text based and more professional. Am not a reporter in any sense though, so the metaphor starts to fall apart of you really think about it.

Ok, so, then a zine or something. But whatever: a newspaper, surely you’re safe to use that term.

Yeah, I can relate to that! I think one benefit of the ‘publisher’/‘audience’ type relationship is the pressing desire to draw someone in and not to waste their time, but to benefit them and serve them. And to take your craft seriously, too, I guess.

I’ve done a few album reviews, which are more fully formed; I think these should stay on TIV. The top ten lists I view in the same way Rolling Stone or SPIN would publish a top ten list, so I feel like their home is still TIV.

This is such a motivating, creative thing to be play-acting in homage to magazines and fully-staffed writing houses. It provides vision for your work and a kind of high aspiration.

It really makes me wonder what the future holds for the lone blogger. Now that I can look back a decade at so many of the blogs I’ve enjoyed, I can see that they often either went away or became real magazines themselves.

I feel some longing for those days when all these personal websites wondered to themselves, Is there anyone out there? But it’s also very much like that now! And I wonder if something new might spring up—outside of newspapers, magazines, blogs and anything else we know.

[On the ‘now’ page:] This is for me/novelty, but mostly just an exercise in learning Siri Shortcuts.

This section of your letter was very enlightening and I think I’ve gleaned a better understanding of this phenomenon. I imagine much of it is certainly prompted by a desire to play with integrations just like you’re talking about—whereas some of it is linked to Public Self-Modeling and basic journaling.

I think it’s very useful for you to discuss your methods and the software details of how you work. TiddlyWiki isn’t for everyone—neither is Ceasar Bautista’s Encyclopedia project—so options like yours could be very useful to other microbloggers and Mastodon users who want to start building a permanent file.

I’m going to leave off the discussion about URLs, because I have to leave now and wanted to get this letter off—but I think there is much to talk about there as well. I just thank you for fielding my questions! I feel so lucky to have had this chance encounter with you. Looking forward to your work on TIV and Humdrum.

  1. https://humdrum.life/2019/02/06/to%20%20kickscondor%20-%20a%20worthy%20performance
    🔖

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Reply: Decentralizing Culture

h0p3

What do you think decentralizing power really means? We have to empathically give a shit about each other’s stories. […] My point of contention is not with the preservation of the underground (which I applaud) but a world in which the centralization of power is maintained through automation and dark UX so profound we can’t escape it.

You’re always asking me to clear up my terms—and I never do—but I’ll ask anyway: what do you mean by ‘power’? And what do you mean by ‘decentralizing power’? Because my first stab is that you’re talking about getting us back to local governments, tribes or something. The term ‘power’ gets bandied about—it’s the person with the money to hire, the person who radios the tanks when to roll in and when to back out, it’s the person with the megaphone.

I’m not really keyed in on ‘power’—I don’t see it as a kind of natural element. Seems more like it gets used to say: this, this is evil.

How to decentralize power? In a world of billions? Answering these questions is way beyond me. My wavelength is watching ‘humanity’—are we holding on to the transcendent ‘divinity’/‘shittiness’ of being human? Can we see this humanity in each other and at least allow the recognition of another human being to dawn on our faces?

I like to think of it as an ‘antimisanthrophic’ effort to at least establish a baseline sympathy or pity or some kind of comfort with our other peoples. Being a person is rough—we have no idea what’s going on here. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? (Perhaps I don’t take ‘power’ seriously enough. If none of us did—would it still be ‘power’?)

I will continue to argue for radical decentralization and worldclass p2p filtering. That is the only out, and the window may be closing. It can’t just be done by hand. We go down if the masses do.

Gah, I’m not convinced that technology has any answers! We can’t make some elaborate mousetrap that will enforce the life we want to live.

Of course, I’m not sure humans have any answers either! But I will say that talking to you and your family is the best technology I’ve encountered in a decade. Sure, I’m reliant on a sturdy free-enough technology that gets our words passed around. And those words are our plain humanity on the wire.

I am worried about some perhaps difficult to justify originality+authenticity moves, but the underground is not more real to me conceptually (though it can be more valid or valuable in the dialectic). I only care about “making it your own” insofar as it is justified to the particulars of your context. The Beautiful is not the overriding reason, but insofar as all other obligations are met, it is the last deciding force. The necessity of preserving freespeech and decentralizing power (including memetic distribution) comes long before The Beautiful though.

You’re not being cryptic—I just think sometimes your compression level is turned up on thoughts like these. I also have to add that I DO appreciate pop culture—I actually think it’s one of the most promising religions or symbolic systems we’ve ever developed. (And it’s REALLY tempting to demonize it, because it’s backup by capitalism—though I think that most people can appreciate the value of the engine—most people seem to agree that artists should be paid.)

Anyway, I don’t think mainstream culture is necessarily any less original or authentic than the underground. I just think that mainstream culture has become imbalanced—it has really captivated everyone this time, and fewer people seem to know how to escape it—which is the purpose of an ‘underground’, to me, and, of course, this is all just my perception.

I think—I think what happened was that, in the previous decade, the Internet gave the underground a tremendous breath of air. You basically had a network that was all underground—and I don’t just mean some kind of hip, stylized underground—I mean that, before the corporations figured out how to milk it, you would search for ‘donuts’ and be at someone’s uncle’s website.

There was no hunting around for rare vinyl or out-of-print Borges novels any more—the whole ‘underground’ world had doorways now. The underground became the mainstream culture and, yeah, we lost an actual underground. And I think there was a kind of crisis of overwhelm that mainstream culture had become so wide—like, “we need robots to sift through all of this.” There was a time when Twitter first came out that people were joking that it was just a bunch of people posting updates that they’re shitting right now. And now we just post those updates, no shame.

What, you want I should call you a selfish nihilist, a brainwashed individualist, an all-too-convenient emotivist, a shallow aesthete, a vapid internalist, a dark-triadic relativist, a deflecting anti-realist, a gas-lighting interlocutor, an actual waste of potential, and a gutless, wallowing, purposely purposeless sissy who hatlessly lacks the integrity to take the existential risk of committing themselves to an identity: i.e., the shadow of my enemy?

The part that actually got me here is the ‘shallow aesthete’ because it’s dead on—I think that I am on the prowl for this guy, but he’s out all the time, spray painting little soap bubbles on people’s suitcases.

I don’t think the point of a personal website is so much to design something pretty and ‘authentic’ (wtf?) or even ‘cool’. I think of it just as having a ‘home’—which seems eminently human to me—as opposed to ‘mechanical’ or ‘hive-minded’, such as being another tweet, lost in the feed.

While I hope for technologies like Dat (and have always loved peer-to-peer since the days of Freenet and Gnutella), the technology is so far from being adequate as to seem impossible at times. So, I’m quite happy getting anyone I can back into personal websites and wikis. Lately I’ve been thinking that ensuring a myriad of ISPs is a lot more important than peer-to-peer.

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The Roundups of SHACKLESHOTGUN

‘You need a human behind it.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  1. See more in her community focus. ↩︎

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

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03 Apr 2019

Reply: Losing Sites Not a Biggie

Nitin Khanna

So while yeah, it would suck if these cool/weird/fun sites disappear, and if YouTube one day loses all content from a period of time. But how much would it be a loss for civilization? The ideas would have been absorbed by the people of the time and the most important ones move on with artists and consumers in different ways.

A loss for civilization? Well, yeah, if you put it that way—civilization is going to roll on, regardless. I suppose you could say my effort is misplaced: perhaps better to work on helping our civilization survive, to live on, rather than trying to look to the past.

But, put another way: do I want to preserve a civilization that doesn’t embody any of the ideas that I care about? You’re probably right with your last line there—maybe I consider myself one who has ‘absorbed’ the ideas of my time and wants to ‘move on’ with those ideas in different ways. I can probably do this just fine without ready access to the source material—but I am glad that I was able to show Dont Look Back (1967) to a friend recently, rather than needing to just recount my recollection of it.

Definitely don’t want to save everything. Just some essential bits. And I shouldn’t try to be noble about it—just seems fun.

(And hey—kind of you to write up your thoughts, NK.)

  1. Agreed that it seems fun and thus, for fun, it’s worth pursuing 🙂

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Reply: Flooding the Culture

Soraya Roberts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  2. Flooding the Culture
    I love the ‘parallel universe’ she refers to—that’s our unruly, unpredictable Web—an extension of the underground scenes, of the avant-garde, the mixtape traders, the world of the only critics that matter: our little group of friends.

    I love how Kick’s Condor urges us to look beyond the digital Main Street of our times. Every city has it’s Main Street, with the Big Name Brand Stores and shoppingmalls. The place where the tourists go but where any local only wants to go when s/he really needs to. Or at least doesn’t go there when you know it’s overcrowded.

    Every city has their own back alleys. The little streets with mom-and-pop shops, with young entrepeneurs doing wild and exciting stuff with new products and services. You can find local entrepeneurs around town, using local goods and even offer you to pay with local city-bound currencies. Around town there are crative hubs with new bars, new forms of entertainment and new ideas how companies should and could cooperate with each other.

    Every time I visit the latter sort of shops and streets I get excited about the possibilities, diversity and the future of the city as a whole.

    Should I still make the analogy here with the Corporate Web as we know it, the social silo’s we can’t seem to leave and the importance of an open, liberated and freely accessible web? I guess not….

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02 Apr 2019

Reply: Rex Sorgatz

tones

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

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

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Reply: Apologies.xyz

Jacky Alciné

I finally did it. Koype’s first theme.

Doing good work. Koype looks sick. ✊

Spent some time sorting out why your posts weren’t coming through Indieweb.xyz. For some reason, Ruby’s Net::HTTP module (which my crawler uses) was timing out when connecting to your web server. I’ve moved to a curl-based lib and, yeah, that’s doin fine now. I’ll keep an eye on it.

  1. That might be on my end; tbh. I’m playing around a lot with DNS and IPv6 support. Hopefully before it goes 1.0.0, I’ll have a ‘sane’ server.

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01 Apr 2019

Roundups

This month I’m digging into weekly link roundups.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Reply: Rex Sorgatz

    tones

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

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

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28 Mar 2019

Reply: Return of the Jwwwedi

api

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

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

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

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

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Reply: Beyond Readers?

ladyhope

Rss readers have some of the same features as email clients, but I’d rather have all my subscribed sites in a different place than my inbox. As it is I’m already subscribed to too many discussion lists with high traffic. The best ones have bookmarklets or extensions that will let you subscribe to a feed extremely easily. Inoreader also has the feature where you can create feeds for pages without them, I think. I don’t use it so I’m not sure.

Could we use RSS for more?

I’m wondering lately if there’s a better way to do ‘readers’. Like you say, once you are monitoring 100s of sites, it’s disgusting to log in each day and see 100s of unread posts. I’m wondering if there’s something that could give me an overview of all the activity that’s going on out there, so I can then decide what to read. No ‘unread’ counts, no notifications. And, rather than having a big feed of recent activity, have a list of all the ‘bloggers’/‘writers’ so I can see who’s active—maybe with a little graph of how much is going on with them, maybe a list of recent post titles or something…

Makes me think of the Peach social network, where the ‘inbox’ was names of people who had updated—you could then go in and view their stuff. It was never presented as a big newsfeed or a big inbox of individual posts.

  1. @kicks i started using a feed reader the other day, and already I don't like opening it to find a stack of unread posts. so i'm sticking with having blogs of interest saved on my pinboard, and just checking in on them when I feel like it. some I read daily, others weekly, still others, whenever... works for me.

  2. @tones That’s the sensible way to do it. I find a number of unread posts in a feed annoying too. There's nothing wrong with just going to a website to read content.

  3. @martinfeld plus i like looking at peoples blog designs too, so an added bonus there.

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Reply: One Year for Brad

(Ok—going to try commenting on the micro.blog ‘Conversation’ link rather than on Brad’s blog directly…)

Congratulations on this! As I was pushing some updates to href.cool today, I was thinking how wild it is to have our little group of directories up and going. That happened pretty quickly! Now we’re just doing the work of filling them in, digging up the web. Takes time.

Anyway, I’ve had a good time following you.

  1. @kicks I've been slacking on the directory front. The weather has finally warmed enough that I can sit on my porch in a coat and read, so I've been taking advantage of that. Once my taxes get filed I'll get back to the hunt. Thanks again.

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

— p. 77, The Emissary by Yoko Tawada

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How to Make a Complete Map of Every Thought You Think

I am not linking to this so that you can make a complete map of every thought you think necessarily. I think this is an inspiring personal infobio or something. ✤ h0p3 has some news on this fellow!

This is a 100-or-so pages about how to put everything in your head into notebooks—this is an old link I have been searching out for a few years—its link changed and I couldn’t remember the name of it.

Anyway, the author has a very peculiar (remarkable?) system here that requires those four-color ballpoint pens that you can click to get different colors. In fact, he says to buy three of them.

You need one to carry with you, you need one for backup, placed in a trusted place, and you need one to be a backup to the backup. YES, you really need this. If you are wasting time looking for a pen that you lost, you are just wasting time. The pen will come back. In the mean time, you need to write, so you’ve got to fetch your backup. You have a backup to the backup. If you have ready access to a store, you need to buy another pen, should you not find your first pen by then.

It seems like you also don’t want to store the three pens together, because you REALLY cannot lose them all in one go. It seems like you really might need ten—one in your car/bike, one in your desk, no, two in your desk, one under the front mat, one in the junk drawer, one in the pen cup, one on the nightstand for sure, I had eight more places, what were they.

This is also a document that kind of sits in an interesting place wrt Indieweb, wikis—it mentions Ted Nelson’s Xanadu as inspiration, which has become an important namedrop in redecentralized web convos. What’s more he makes a very salient point related to web directories, library work—all the things I dabble in also—

Thinking about Information Architecture will be EXTREMELY important to society in the future. All these programmers wondering, ”Why aren’t we reusing each others components?” Yes, very significantly, our languages and practices are limiting us. Quite severly. But even if we had the best reuse languages mechanisms and what not, we STILL need it to be easier to figure out what other people have written. The RETRIEVAL problem is MASSIVE.

His name for it is: Public Field Technologies. But I can find no other reference to it.

UPDATE: h0p3 found the guy!

It’s interesting—I have been very wtf about h0p3’s ‘Gentle Clearnet Doxxing’ policy, where he posts the ‘private’ details of a person—their address, phone number and so on. But, this is quite incredible—he SMS’d Lion Kimbro and got a call back:

h0p3: Hey. I read your book recently. I was blown away by it. I’ve been working on my wiki (https://philosopher.life/) for a couple years. I was hoping to have the chance to learn about how you think about the problem and what you practice these many years later.

kimbro: What a creative and itneresting idea– a Groundhog’s Day Dungeons and Dragons adventure …!

I look forward to talking with you. Can we make a time?

h0p3: Yes! anytime is good for me

Instantly called me. Cool.


We talked a bit on the phone. He told me about his adventures into the world, traveling to understand visionary communities. I’ve seen some of those breadcrumbs while looking into him. He’s definitely searching for community. He’s not a luddite, but he has moved offline (although, he clearly still uses the internet…he’s just building something else). He did not want to be associated with contemplative living. Honestly, he’s got that cultic charisma, no doubt.

This strategy is connecting people. It’s triggering a major rethink. Crontab of the mind LOADED UP.

  1. @kicks Interesting concept. But I'm really replying to say I love your site. That is one unique looking set up you're using. Completely against the current minimalist ethos, but I like it!

  2. Reply: Against the Ethos

    What an encouraging thing to say—thankyou for taking the time to say it. I am definitely trying to go against minimalism (and mutedness)! However, I also feel like I’m exercising a lot of restraint—this still feels quite tame. (Also looking forward to Halloween—the world’s transformation.)

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Caesar Naples Wiki Social Media Website

I created Caesar Naples so I could have an influence in social media sites. The name is part of my personal brand of writing that only I can write. Over the past 3 years, I’ve been gathering influence on different popular social media sites, and I’m almost to a point where I can give control of the brand over to an organization of writers all aligned to the same purpose. He’s like an action figure, when he is friendly, fun, and inviting. But the information he delivers to people is often very uncomfortable for them to accept.

I think I am prepared for Caesar Naples to have an influence on me. I don’t know if you all will see it, but this ‘wiki’/‘book’/‘presence’ is at the crossroads of a lot of things that seem to be going on around here.

I see faint threads to Lion Kimbro’s serious and informationally whimsical work in Caesar’s Social Media Marketing Book, excerpt:

  1. Do you make odd faces when you’re thinking? This is know as tardive diskinesia and is a sign that you’re being controlled by a drug user.

  2. Do you make hand gestures at weird times? You’re basically lost at this point; it’s a satanic method of marking their territory.

  3. Does your mood shift greatly depending on your behaviors? It’s not that you’re learning how to control your emotions; it’s that an Illuminati controller is.

(From the section titled “Manchurian Candidates: The wild-card in your campaign.”)

There are echoes of zine culture in this—Charlie McAlister would love this, I think. The author is active on /r/conspiracy and seems to be forming a group there to write under this and other personas—though it’s difficult to tell whether it’s all made up—don’t think I care, I think it’s very exciting.

I see h0p3 in there too: in the Caesar Naples Wiki, there is reference to autism as a horcrux—this seems uncanny, given Sphygmus’ recent usage of the horcrux as a metaphor… What is going on??

Unlike h0p3, his writing is scattered everywhere, laced together with a bunch of Google sites—the copypastapublishing one is a good place to start, with the story Publishing Company 2002 and the To OK Gov piece. More are here. Some of the stories appear to be based on Markov chain generated text, others are quite lucid.

(Ah, I am not familiar with the ‘copypasta’ thing—this is my first exposure to it—it seems to want to take conspiracy-sounding or overserious rants out of context? I don’t know if it is a political thing—I am naive about all of that. There is a prolific person under this. I also am starting to see that people likely suspect my own self of being fradulent, of being h0p3, of being alt-right, of being an ARG, of being Brad Enslen, of being a schizophrenic, of being a radical leftist, of being a greatest showman—I am fine with all of these explanations and I think it would be a fortunate thing to even be thought of by someone somewhere.)

This person also has an understanding of community dynamic, another topic that is bubbling up lately.

I let my Caesar Naples act pour mercilessly into my communication with the writers of this community. There were personal details I shared that would make anybody uncomfortable related to my schizophrenia. I would host imaginary games where I pretended the chat room was a group of survivors in the apocalypse. I also made some very unreasonable claims and tried my damnest to justify them - all part of the Caesar Naples act. Eventually, I was kicked from two communities that I very much wanted to be part of, because they represented my instant recovery from exile.

Now that I’m no longer a part of those communities, I try my hardest to balance the wild, incredible parts of Caesar Naples with something more human.

Posts can be found under ‘CaesarNaples2’ on Reddit.

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Meaningness

A hypertext book underway for ten years.

No idea if this link has already made it around many times over. Seems relevant to the TiddlyWiki crowd. It’s a ‘book’/‘wiki’/‘whatever’.

Couple things;

  • Drafts are clearly marked with a nice pickaxe icon. And the whole article is flocked in gray. (See above.)

  • Cool hierarchy at the bottom of the page. Explains the book and gets you around. Kind of like this stuff being at the bottom so the article can take up the top.

  • Comments on each page are hidden.

Found this by way of the article on the death of subcultures. Don’t know about anyone else here but I’ve wondered about this for the past several years. I still consider myself a ‘mod’. And I mean there are still ‘hipsters’ and insane clown posses around—doesn’t feel the same.

See also: giant chart that explains everything. I’m really starting to collect these. Peace out there, my clan.

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Href.cool

My new directory.

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

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

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

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

  3. Reply: Href.cool

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

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

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

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James Somers’ Home Page

A self-catalog—tho this format could fly as an outgoing directory.

I mostly cover obscure writers. James is a widely published author (The Atlantic, Playboy, Aeon) but this is a neat personal directory to his writing—very homespun and lightly annotated, with asterisks and highlighting used to nice effect.

Articles such as How I Reverse Engineered Google Docs To Play Back Any Document’s Keystrokes are a festive hybrid of code, anecdote and sundry links—found in paragraphs festooned with blue underlines that act like surprising miniature directories nested in the article. (This is an approach that I feel I need to cover in Foundations of a Tiny Directory.)

I also think it’s interesting that he catalogs all of his individual blog entries. This whole page very much fits in with my definition of Hypertexting—these scattered essays and posts become a body of work here. And the quality is excellent: generally well-considered and well-executed.

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Linkport

Joe Jenett’s link collection—been going strong for decades.

Oh boy, the micro.blog surf club is really coming together: Joe Jenett has said ‘hello’ by dropping a link to this directory of fantastic obscure blogs and things. (I think he and Brad Enslen met through Pinbard? Does that happen??)

Linkport goes back to 2000. But Joe has been collecting links since 1997:

I thought of pulling the plug (on the daily pointers) for the same reasons but decided to keep it going with a combination of new links and repeat links to sites with recent updates, along with working hard to keep it clean of bad links. Yes, it all takes a lot of time but fortunately, I enjoy doing it - it’s in my blood.

Even the oldest links in the directory still seem to work. I bow in humble deference.

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Mek, Citizen of the World

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

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

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

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default filename tv

Personal vids on shuffle (by @everestpipkin).

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

Some videos I encountered while browsing:

This is a good channel.

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

Interesting comment on Twitter about these zero view channels:

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

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

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Humdrum Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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27 Mar 2019

Fast FVP

The ‘hot and ready’ style of checklisting.

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

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

The algorithm looks like this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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25 Mar 2019

Hand Job Zine

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

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

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

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

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

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

    defaultfile.name

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H3333333K

Poorly rendered architecture.

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

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

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

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

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luming hao

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

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Personal Site Dump

Raw blog/website links to look through.

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

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

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22 Mar 2019

Dat Rats

Idea: gang up to cache classic websites.

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

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

Some sites that I really need to reconstruct:

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

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

  • Fly Guy. Moved to the App Store??

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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21 Mar 2019

Internet K-Hole

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ok, have your fun.

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