Kicks Condor

💦 ‘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.

This page has its own raw unfiltered feed.

07 Jan 2020

Reply to syxanash

You have a really great collection, syx! And your website is fantastic too. I so appreciate your email - I have much to dig into here. (You should also look at Nathalie Lawhead’s Electric Zine Maker or her games, if you haven’t already.)

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Reply: Paperclypse

Shawn Kilburn

@kicks a link to my blog: paperclypse.com I like to think of it as probably the oldest, least read weblog. 😄

Ok wow - impressive that you’ve kept it all collected for so long and persevered through the dark ages of blogging. It looks like it landed at paperclyse.com in the mid-2010s. Have you been on Wordpress for a long time? I’m curious what kind of effort it has taken to blog continuously from 2001 to now. And thankyou for saying ‘hi’.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

From “Worker-in-the-loop Retrospective”:

Still, the most common question investors asked us while developing a worker-in-the-loop scheduling service was “how long until the humans are gone?”

This sucks. There is no concept of the value of a human perspective. There is no sense of human skill. Humans are seen as just low-quality fuel.

This makes me wonder if it’s best to treat investors as unshackled AI that already threaten humanity. Their behavior seems to match up with soulless robotic resource acquisition.

It’s wild to me that even the writer (who is trying to advocate the value of a human worker in the algorithmic process) doesn’t ever cite the benefits of human intellegence! It’s as if there are none.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Hypertext%20%20

My part of the cross-wiki chat with chameleon, h0p3 and sphygmus as the new year approaches.

I’d like to propose this question as our next point of conversation: “what on this massive highly-interlinked website might I want to start reading?”

Yeah, ok - let’s get into this. What has really inspired me about all of your wikis - and some of the newer personal websites I’ve run into - is this layering of the hypertext. h0p3 has the ‘about’ page, people might have a timeline or a ‘now’ page on their site, even Twitter with its ‘pinned post’ - you don’t just have to have a blog that drops you into chronological posts.

But it goes much deeper that this. I’m starting to think of it as funneling, having layers of hypertext that become progressively more personal, or which become more detailed, or perhaps even more (or less) ephemeral as you go through the layers.

I think part of this is an evolution of the fragmentation that has happened in social networks. People may use Twitter for a certain self-image or community, then Facebook or a blog for another mode, and people have become very accustomed to using each network as a separate outlet. And there’s a nice advantage to this - because you can address groups differently and not expose certain groups to overly personal material or control the image you project in each network.

In a similar way, I see this with Nadia Eghbal’s site - she has a newsletter for offering a monthly summary of her work, or there is the blog where you can read essays when they are published, and then she has a raw notes page that isn’t tied to any notification system (like RSS even), so you have to go out of your way to visit the page to catch anything new. So rather than having separate networks, there are different avenues to how you can approach her work.

Your wikis accomplish these layers using titling conventions. Usually ephemeral stuff is marked with a date, letters marked with ‘@’, permanent content is plainly titled. But this is also related to your front page material - you all know where to hide on your wikis the more personal material that you post and how to surface the things that are more central to your dialogue with the rest of us. (Sphygmus’ page coloring is a very interesting approach here.)

So I think of this as a kind of inverted funnel - where you have these entry points to your wiki - might be an ‘about’ page or it might be one of your sidebar directories or some intermediate topical page - and pages are situated somewhere in this conical area, perhaps you are even aware of how far a page might be from the doorway when you post it. Or which series of doorways reach it.

(I’m wondering what you think about this concept - what I’ve got wrong or if I’m characterizing your process correctly.)

kicks, I think you already address this in your FILE_ID pop-up - would you say more about how you thought about what to put there?

Well, that file is kind of my personal website, but it’s hidden inside of a little square. I like my site to be disorienting to happen upon, because I think it demands a bit of curiosity as an admission fee. (I think you do this too with your KEEP OUT notebook. It has lips on it, which soften the sting.)

But I’m so big on directories - it occured to me that I could evolve the ‘pinned post’ into something like a mini-directory. h0p3’s ‘root’ page is much more detailed - it’s five pages in one - and each page is terrifically long. I just tried to think about what a mini-directory or cover page would look like.

I also like to hide it because talking about myself is very uncomfortable. I feel very insignificant - but I like it that way - to have to feel that my own ideas or personality or opinions are very valuable - that would be too much to handle. I’d rather have little ideas and wrong ideas of my own - and just be a random person living life and no need to size up what I’m saying against the great ideas of history - no need to establish some track record of being right or upstanding.[1]

So sometimes I think about getting rid of it - it seems like an advertisement for myself. But I hold out hope that I can make it a mini-directory and eliminate the self-promotional aspects. (On the other hand, I want to encourage other people to self-promote, so I don’t know why I see it as so shameful to write that way - when I like for other people to do it.)

I think the biggest discovery that I’ve made with ‘funneling’ is to have my /all unfiltered page and then to have a main page. To describe it in TiddlyWiki terms, it’s as if I’ve taken my ‘recent’ sidebar and curated it on the home page. And, rather than using titling conventions to do it, I use metadata - so that some entries are marked ‘hidden’ or ‘draft’ and that keeps them off the home page.

Are there things us wikis could be doing to better serve readers? Is it important for us to attempt to provide something like this for readers? Should it look like Gwern’s index, or is there a more wiki-native solution that might be more ideal?

I don’t know - the thing I’ve really enjoyed about your public wikis is that I’ve had to learn your conventions before getting into them. I think you require something from your readers - and I think that sets up a really healthy relationship that the rest of the Internet has struggled with. It’s not their place; it’s yours. And that’s abundantly clear. But when I became comfortable in your wiki, you may have trusted that I had done sufficient work to be worth interacting with.

But then again, I like funneling and there would be no cone without the point. Yours is a static image - but it’s also the colored tags to the side. I think you set the right mood for what it is you’re doing. Sometimes I wish I was structured more like a wiki - but stylistically I’m trying to evoke a turn of the century blog - and aesthetic is important to me, because it surrounds everything else. It accomplishes something that can’t be expressed or done any other way.

Are we modeling fictional characters or not? Does it matter?

h0p3:
We face infinigresses here; in a sense, it can’t be satisfied by us, it can only be sought.

I’m having a very difficult time replying to this (and the remarks that follow it.) Not because it’s not well-written or because I don’t agree - simply because I want to expand on it, but haven’t the language to do it.

But, to begin, I think there is something about ‘now’ which I think is important. We can’t satisfy the modeling of ourselves in a moment (‘now’), but we can’t develop something over time.

Who we are can only be understood through dialectics with others, and at least sometimes that occurs through dialectics with imagined characters. Of course, certainty cannot be achieved, (h:cba. Of course, certainty cannot be achieved, and any time you posit a limit, you posit something beyond it.) and any time you posit a limit, you posit something beyond it. (h:sbi. and what is beyond that limit is sometimes only something which fiction can initially explore.)

Similarly, if I sought after your model, I couldn’t achieve it ‘now’, in an instant. It would become assembled over time, as if it was a gigantic LEGO castle.

But what I wonder is: are the old models relevant to the ‘now’ model? Can I render all models useless in an instant? Perhaps, in modeling, I look back and see the model of me - and suddenly want nothing to do with it. Or perhaps it’s more light-hearted than that - it’s time for a drastic change. Or I’m just embarassed - that seems likely!

I’m not suggesting that the models are flawed - all the people I know who have gone through the death of many family members at once, this model becomes quite precious. For the memories it holds, but also because you don’t want to lose who you are through the process. You rely on the history of yourself to help you not lose yourself to an internally destructive force that wants to kill you.

But then - there are things from ourselves that we can’t take with us always. Ideas become outdated, of course. And then, like losing someone who we’ve had plans with, who suddenly is gone, any of our plans or projects might not survive in the present.

This also relates to the discussion about clarifying ‘wonderful’.

The process of clarifying who we are, including what is valuable to us, (fantastic Socratic anecdote, tyyyy) appears to be at least part of the treadmill of generating our models, and they ought to be. Our brains are constantly modeling the world (including ourselves); there’d be no intentional consciousness without it.

I may think something is wonderful in the ‘now’ but that could change. (I try to resist that, though - and to always be grateful for the things I’ve loved from the past. This helps me to guarantee that I will always love philosopher.life!) But I can’t always nab (in the instant) why I love something. And I feel that even attempting to can be foolhardy. In the moment, I can usually only assemble a tiny LEGO flower of an impression. And it often seems better to hold off and try to assemble something more. Although: flowers are dainty and beautiful in their own right and I can still later surround them with LEGO cabbages and LEGO motorcycles and minotaurs and to build the fine scenery that I mean to.

And I also think that my LEGO flower (in this case) would be the phrase, “I love it because it makes my life worth living.” And to avoid the rational dissection of it is to grant it real life for the moment.

(Of course, I’m not opposed to the conversation with Socrates, I would have it in an instant. “Because drinks are more seasonal to me,” I say to him. “Drinks can’t be more seasonal,” he says, “because they have no seasons.” I say, “Oh yes, they do. They hover right above the liquid…”)

10 Dec 2019

(h0p3: Apologies I don’t have a response yet.)

Sphygmus:
Kicks, do you ever deal with information overload? Like, you’re browsing and surfing and discovering personal websites and interesting articles and now you’ve got 10, 15, 20 tabs (tb: 100s?!i??!) open and they all seem like cool rabbit holes and you’re not quite sure where to go next? Or what it all means anymore? (maybe that’s just me.)

I have experienced this in the past - and I still experience this with books. Although I’m not sure it’s the same. What I experience is gah, I’m not spending enough time reading all the things I want to read, finding all the things I want to discover, given how much there is!! And I assume that’s what people mean when they say ‘information overload’. (Your image of so many tabs.)

Is it actually ‘overload’? Or is it that there is infinite information (and there was even a century ago) and you’re feeling some inability to approach it? Which, in my case, has usually been about losing my discipline for a time span.

But I am spending the right amount of time reading online right now - and I have a very long list to work through that is in a sensible order. (I no longer have tabs open - I do have a link list, so that has helped.) I am not spending enough time reading books. If I spend enough hours each week, I feel like I am at least methodically working through the infinite mass and I feel healthy.

If yes, what do you do with that feeling? Does curation help? Like you’re specifically looking for cool people doing cool things in obscurity and you want to let us folks in your corner of the world – so does the endless array of cool people doing cool things feel overwhelming or invigorating or? (I get the sense it might be the opposite, that you feel like it’s hard to find cool people doing cool things. correct me here!)

It’s so cool to me that you care to ask me a question like this! That, alone, makes me feel like there are plenty of ‘cool people doing cool things’. Even if it was just you and me - that would be enough.

No, I feel like there are many more cool people than I can possibly be aware of. I worry sometimes that I have no sensibility. I honestly find something amazing in almost everyone I discover. If they are working in hypertext, it feels like I can count on it. And yeah – it’s invigorating.

I do wish I was aware of more black writers. I know there is a tendency to do this out of guilt or political activism. But I simply feel like black writers have an unusual angle. I think this is why black artists are popular in mainstream culture - subconsciously we know that they are outliers and can show us what it means to be human in a totally unexpected way. I mean I am definitely interested in anyone out there, regardless of their race - but among Americans, I think black artists have shown that they are always on the avant garde of cultural movements.

So, at the same time, it is difficult to find certain subcultures that you may want to find. (I would also love to find a really sweet fitness goth blog. Especially if it was a .onion site.)

When I do find someone that I really really REAALLY connect with - then I greedily spam that link wherever I can - in my notes, into Fraidycat, I recite it in my mind. I am so afraid of losing it. And it means that I begin to visit that site very frequently, to try to read everything that I can. When I found Ton’s blog, it was like that. And I was very appreciative that I could tell which posts were ephemeral and which were polished, finalized essays.

This is also what helped get me into h0p3 (and you and chamy, because you follow the same conventions): because you clearly mark dated, temporary notes vs longer, central nodes or essays. So it is very easy to know where to ‘start’. Which is appreciated when I am discovering someone and want to move from the polished stuff down to the day-to-day stuff.

(Thinking more about your other questions…)

Chameleon:
The subtitle is “things chameleon knows” and I feel like that encapsulates it. To me this is a website to throw my ideas to the wall and see what sticks. It’s obviously not every last thing I know, but it covers a broad spectrum of my interests and ideas.

Yes, this seems like ‘self-modeling’. Keep going. Why do it publicly?

3 Dec 2019

Open question: while we’re all here - what do you personally want to talk about? Like do you have any topics you want to pitch?

sphygmus:
Perhaps it’s about feeling — when the wind is warm but just a little sharp, and blows that feeling of longing straight through your bones — if one empathizes with that feeling, resonates with it, then perhaps they’ll resonate with my work as well.

(First off - great quotes! The low-key Nadia quote is unexpected, but very refreshing.)

I actually think your wiki is an ‘artist statement’ without needing to explicitly state that - and I think that’s why h0p3 could capture your essence so clearly. Maybe he inferred it from all the pieces?

With h0p3, I think I am more curious about the ‘self-modeling’ part of the phrase - but with you I definitely wonder more about the ‘public’ part. And you kind of answer that here. It sounds like you’re looking for kindred spirits. But you also keep a lot of things private - and you do explain this from a curatorial angle:

Perhaps it’s confusing to stumble upon a website where everything is mashed together — the mundane details of what I ate yesterday right alongside finished letters, notes on projects, and my drafting of this response.

How do you decide what to reveal and what to make public? (I ask because I haven’t resolved this for myself either - whereas I think h0p3 has made this line very easy for himself.)[2]

h0p3:
I take it that you don’t see yourself as a PSM, kicks. Is that fair to say?

Yeah, I see more self as a conduit. I really get into finding people and connecting people (and saying hi to them). I don’t have a desire to preserve myself or to catalog myself. But having the dialetic does make some of that worthwhile. And maybe I do model myself in other ways: in pixels, in code, in colors flickering.

I mean - you’ve all influenced me a lot and I find myself mimicking some of your conventions. This leads me to think that part of PSM-ing helps a human function day-to-day. (Talking through, remembering, clarifying thoughts.)

I wish I understood better whether ‘modeling’ meant a self-‘styling’, self-‘bending’, self-‘constructing’ vs just trying to represent yourself as you are, ‘the plain picture’ in Bob Dylan’s meaning. Maybe it’s all of it, somewhere between, or simply not possible. Are we modeling fictional characters or not? Does it matter?

h0p3:
Why do you have sites like yours on the web, what are they for? What is anything for?

To me, it’s the same - I act as conduit for discovering wonderful things. To me, wonderful things and wonderful people make life worth living. (How do I know if it’s ‘wonderful’? — Because it makes my life worth living.) (To prevent you from asking me to clarify - it ends there - an instinctive feeling of simply ‘this is worth it to me’.)

h0p3:
You have the chance to reason about whether or not I’m trying to do the best I can with my pile of puke.

Hahah! We’re all standing around examining each other’s sick. I like this interpretation. I think that if people could begin with this image, use it as the basis for their consensus, they can admirably proceed with the dialectic. There’s a lot less picking things apart if you cut the whole conversation some slack. (But I’m also glad that you asked me to clarify - and that you dug into the response - sure, why not? It’s all doodoo - but still worth rooting in, on the chance of some swallowed gems…)

h0p3:
[…] my wiki allows me to re-use my data to understand what is salient in the world (including myself).

This is a great point! I forget that you are already employing a lot of self-editing and self-curating. (And what you do with us - making a tiddler for Sphygmus that curates her, in a way.) So this is starting to lead into my next prompt, what you refer to here as ‘the chain’ (but which I also think of as hypertext ‘layers’)… let me think how to articulate this and I’ll get back to you. ‘Soup to nuts’ is one way of putting it, but it’s imprecise, it’s not just a linear progression toward ‘the end’ - or it doesn’t have to be, I guess.

h0p3:
I keep almost mindlessly answering: 42 or 42ness, which is almost vacuously true, but I’m still not showing my work well enough to you.

I think this is probably your most useful analogy to helping me comprehend self-modeling. This goes in the final.

1 Dec 2019

(This steno is something of a scratchpad. I put the latest comments I have that relate to the current point of discussion in the top box - historic stuff is below.)

Sphygmus:
expert public self-modelers, oh my! and is that the first prompt - where to go in the next decade? no gun jumping here, I think it’s all fizzy excitement. mic check at will!

@hypertext-2020 Whoa whoa - how bout let’s back up to ‘public self-modeling’? (Seems like we’ve had an adequate mic check.) For yourself, personally - is this an adequate shorthand? Or do you think of yourself in any other terms that can help someone understand your work?

h0p3:
As a habitual wall-of-texting sprawler, I feel some of the claustrophobifying tweet-syndrome creeping into me here.

Looks like we have a formidable antipleonasmic analysis on our hands here. 😎

h0p3:
Adequate shorthand for what?

An adequate shorthand to describe you, your wiki, your work there. I feel like the phrase was an attempt to wrap all of that up into a shorter name so that you can refer to it briefly - and perhaps so people can understand from a glimpse. Or even so you can understand or remind yourself of what you are doing.

So, my first question is just to look at the phrase again. Seems like a good starting point. Is it that to you? Where does it function today?[3]

h0p3:
I’m giddy+nauseous at the thought of how to maximize a hypertexter’s autonomy and expressivity while still packaging it up for a securely scaled mesh.

You can fully expound - that could be a virtue of this style of chat. You could footnote off into a new tiddler, if you need. Or you can simply link in an old one if it represents your answer still well enough. Carry on. (And on.)

30 Nov 2019

@chameleon @h0p3 Tentative title for the chat: ‘hypertext 2020’ - where is an expert wikier supposed to go in the next decade? But yeah - just rip into what is going to be hot techs and paradigms for expert public self-modelers in this future timeline.

If we get Sphygmus on, I’ll do a mic check and then we can start. Hope I’m not jumping the gun - just pitched this idea today…


  1. Although I do get caught up in the allure of cultural commentary and trying to articulate a perspective that, in the moment, might feel ‘right’ - I only hope these are taken as good fun and not as objective truth. ↩︎

  2. This also seems very pertinent to the question of ‘public self-modeling’, since h0p3 begins defining this phrase by exhorting people to ‘deprivatize’ themselves. ↩︎

  3. As additional material - ‘public self-modeling’ is a phrase that chameleon has had fun with and I’m not sure to what extent it is a meme for her or if it is quite serious or what. On the other hand, Sphygmus has said a few months ago (referencing this word) that her wiki is “not an attempt to answer the question of who I am.” So, I guess I also wonder if “self-modeling” is a quest to answer who you are or if it is something else. ↩︎

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

06 Jan 2020

Hypertext 2020: Metachat

Thoughts surrounding group hyperconversations wrt “hypertext 2020”.

I have a bit of time today, so I’m going to work on holding up my end of the chat here—however, I’m gone for a week starting Wednesday, so I’m not going to be great at getting back to anyone until after that. I’m also struggling a bit with motivation to write on this blog in general. I’ve been catching up on reading novels over the holiday and find myself almost entirely happy just doing that. I’ve also been writing some short stories—which is about the most pointless thing a person can do—but I am enjoying it, perhaps because it’s so pointless and carefree.

24 Dec 2019

Ok, never mind the timeframe. I personally feel like the discussion is just getting going. I’m really enjoying this and don’t want to just pour more words onto it. I’m definitely feeling a stupid self-satisfied British feeling (yes, the feeling is ‘chuffed’) at what good chatmates I have here. Everyone adds so much, it’s fucking great.

I hope I’m not sitting on my replies too long. I keep stirring my replies around in my head, unsure how to lay them out. I think that’s been the main thing for me this chat: I don’t want to poorly communicate a response or an idea that could cause the chat to go off into clarifications. But I also really trust you all to have replies that get high marks from me, so it probably doesn’t matter. I probably just want to hold up my end with solid contribs.

10 Dec 2019

One of the surprising parts of the chat so far has been that personal 1-to-1 conversations have emerged and seem to coalesce naturally into the rest of the chat!! I expected that we would throw out prompts and everyone would respond as a group, like you’d see when a band gets interviewed by a magazine, then we would move on to the next batch of prompts.

But this is almost like a forum with a bunch of panelists who field questions, then discuss between each other - except that side conversations can happen simultaneously, which would be impossibly noisy in real life. (This is a real problem: a panel is not only limited by time, but if a certain set of panelists takes the conversation in a new direction, there is often no chance - or desire, probably - to return to the original question with a new set of panelists.)

I’m also very heartened that there is so much longform writing occuring. I wasn’t sure how everyone would feel comfortable responding. And, if the chat is to happen naturally, it shouldn’t be needlessly gimmicky. We don’t want to just use hypertext like we’re pressing vinyl records. It should be used because it is worthwhile. But it’s like a dream - conversing over a broad time span, low-key, exploring each other’s side thoughts, ducking in and out of those newly found corridors - and I feel like I am getting to know everyone better. I’m bracing myself for a downside here.

We should set a end date - like end of December? Earlier?

There should also be a new prompt later this week perhaps. To give the group a central point again. Wondering if it should be a new prompt or a natural next segue? Maybe both - and if one is ignored, we leave it behind.

1 Dec 2019

Many of the ‘features’ of hyperconversations (drafting in public, heavy footnotes, branching discussion, more-is-more) seem to be attempts to break through possible communication problems by providing an excess of communication to draw from or to replicate the kinds of real-life annotations (body language, grunts, pointing at things) that we give in-person conversation. When someone is drafting a letter publicly and recants some words - or an emotional sentence evolves from reflexive disgust or confusion to a sentence of rationality - you catch a peek at the mind, much like you might in the corner of someone’s eye.

So, since hyperconversations continue to push toward an attempt at a ‘transparent’ view of someone’s side of a conversation or an early revelation at their motives[1] - I’m going to lay out some of my intentions for doing this chat and everyone can fix me from there.

One of my main goals from the start is to see what editing and human curation can bring to a chat (or threaded discussion). While formulating Notes: We’ve Got Blog (2002), I noticed that one of the prevailing notions of the book was that blogging improved on journalism (and presumably op-eds) by simply removing editors and publishers from the process and letting the audience decide what is good.

But this reasoning does not hold up - blogging doesn’t simply make everyone’s writing better. (It would be harder, right? New medium?) Sure, it may produce more public writing, with some very high quality at the top end - but someone still has to weed through it all - and that’s a tough job that most people don’t want or know how to do in their spare time![2]

I have a hunch that there could be some remaining value in weeding through a hypertext conversation and polishing it, as a service to readers. I don’t see myself removing any of it - I think the job could be to simply highlight parts of it into a running conversation, moving the rest out of view, but still accessible. I don’t think all readers will appreciate this - some will want (and deserve) the raw text. But I think having an initially truncated version to read can help the reader get into it a bit easier and help them decide if they want the full dump.

This also seems to tap into some design skills - and I think it’s possible that an editor/designer hybrid craft could come out of a project like this.

h0p3:
I’m excited to learn how to write in this format. I’d prefer to think inside this tiddler, but it takes a while for a message to settle sometimes, so please wait until I have a timestamp and ‘draft’ lock is dropped before quoting me.

Just to set you at ease, nothing will be finalized until the chat is over. So I won’t begin wrapping it up until everyone has pulled their stuff out of ‘draft’. Yes, this gives you a chance to edit yourself and mess with old chats - I’m not sure what you all think about the ethic of that - but I’m great with that, we can accomplish more if we trust each other.

As for quoting you while you’re drafting - since we’re all drafting, too, it seems fair game, right? As long as we source YOUR final quotes from YOUR finalized wiki, right? And if certain quotes don’t add up, we’ll footnote it and maybe it’ll add to the fun of the sprawl.


  1. I’ve gotten this sense during some of my hyper-Cs that we all lay our cards down face-up on the table (as best you can I guess) and then work backwards from there. ↩︎

  2. It’s also terribly ironic to me that, given the constant lauding of blogging as ascendant in We’ve Got Blog, they still chose to edit and curate an anthology of blogposts. ↩︎

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

26 Dec 2019

Notes: The Weblog Handbook (2002)

Quotes and marginalia from my 2019 reading of Rebecca Blood’s blogging advice.

(This is a draft. I am still in the process of reading this book, currently on page 149.)

After putting together Notes: We’ve Got Blog (2002), I checked out this book through the interlibrary loan, on the strength of Rebecca Blood’s quotes in that book. This book is not quite as rich at that one - the subtitle here is “Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog” - so there are sections on how to choose a host, how to decide the name, blog conventions - and this is all geared toward an absolute newb, and much of what I’m looking for is outside of that.

None of that is criticism, I just mention that to explain why I might be skipping large sections in my notes.

p. 9. “Webloggers understand that people will regularly visit any website that reliably provides them with worthwhile content, even when that content is on another site. As counterintuitive as it may seem from an old-media perspective, weblogs attract regular readers precisely because they regularly point readers away.” (This is one way that I feel blogs have returned to an ‘old-media’ perspective - people are much less likely to link externally in 2019. Most Medium posts or recipe blogs or coding tutorial posts - you don’t see so many links any longer. I think this a combination of a lot of things - links now have a decent monetary value due to affiliate linking and they also became a liability due to SEO rules. (See Linkfarmville.) As a result, I don’t think we can call this an ‘old-media’ perspective any longer. I think you could even safely call it the ‘new-media’ perspective! 😂)

p. 11. “The new information space includes a website devoted to the adoration of Converse’s popular ‘Chuck Taylor All-Star’ sneaker, a site detailing the exploits of two friends who photograph each other attempting to match the appearance of strangers they happen to see, and one that seeks to elucidate an artist’s curious obsession with young women holding celery.” Okay, had to track these links down! They are: The Chucks Connection (still up), Dean & Nigel Blend In (defunct), and The Art of Frahm (also, still there, just as it was!) It’s interesting to me though, that the conceit of these websites would probably still work in 2019 - so though the ethic of ‘new-media’ in the 2000s has died, the creative concepts haven’t. In fact, I’m sure that they’ve cannibalized the ‘old-media’ creative concepts.)

p. 12. “For everyone, the great task of the future will not be to gain access to more information, but to develop avenues to information that genuinely enhances our understanding, and to screen out the rest.” (Yes, ok, here we go. I think we can all agree with this. And this makes me think of the ‘layers’ I mentioned in Notes: We’ve Got Blog (2002) - layers of reading, layers of writing. Social media is too raw - it’s all random snippets of text, no summaries. I need high-level views of the information, then the ability to zoom into the details. A ‘layer’ is a level of detail - and it includes both a measure of polish and quality, as well as a measure of intimacy with the topic or person.)

p. 12. “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.” (Ok, here we see the value of directories when compared to a search engine. Even ‘awesome’ directories are this way - you start to wonder, “What else is in here?” I think that even social media and Reddit give you this adjacency exposure - but perhaps it’s too random. The underlying assumption of this analogy is that the man values the newspaper as a whole.)

p. 12. “Read a good filter-style weblog for even a few days, and you will never doubt the value of an astute human editor. Because he evaluates content rather than keywords, a human editor provides his readers with more relevant information than the most sophisticated news aggregator ever can.” (This has definitely been my experience with Andy Baio. He has plugged me into better links over the years than any algorithm has. I mean algorithms have done some good work, too, but I think that they owe a lot to human editors downstream who initially bring some attention to a link that then gets picked up by an algorithm. So the algorithm relies on Andy Baio, too!)

p. 17. “With the addition of a comment system, many weblogs actively solicit ideas and opinions from their readers.” (This is one line that really struck me as being in stark contrast to today. Blog comments are seen as being synonymous with ‘cesspools’. I have not personally had that experience - but I have never had many readers and I am not a target for some reason. Large websites are obviously a target because they give a random commenter a large audience. Nevertheless, there is no question that people want feedback. For some, I think they would be happy with just measuring ‘likes’. But I think this is what the Indieweb gets soooo right - there are no ‘comments’, only blog posts interacting with each other. However, it’s clear that there are ‘readers’ who just want to send an e-mail, rather than having to write, edit and publish a blog online.)

p. 18. “I would go so far as to say that if you are not linking to your primary material when you refer to it—especially when in disagreement—no matter what the format or update frequency of your website, you are not keeping a weblog.” (What a prescient, clear-headed sentiment! This is something we still need to integrate into our ethic today.)

p. 29. “Writing short is hard—and very good for you. Seeking to distill your thoughts to the fewest words, you will find out what you really think, and you’ll work even harder to find the precise term to express your meaning. Paradoxically, writing short also spurred me to write longer pieces. Finding that I sometimes had more to say than I could comfortably fit in a weblog entry, it was natural to turn my comments into an essay. Rather than distill my thoughts, this longer form required that I flesh out my ideas and more fully support my conclusions.”

p. 30. “The weblogger is privy to the entries she posts and those that she does not: I think I’ll blog that! followed a moment layer by No. . . . Acutely aware of what she does not type, the weblogger more clearly defines her own boundaries. Reviewing what she has written, she catches glimpses of her less-conscious self.”

p. 40. She doesn’t mention how to set up any specific services, saying, “Even if I had a favorite, software of this type comes and goes.” It makes me very grateful that she wrote this book, despite the trouble with keeping it current.

p. 48. “When I look at an unfamiliar weblog, I always take note of the names listed in the sidebar. The first question I ask (still) is ‘Am I listed?’ Pathetic, isn’t it? I don’t think you ever outgrow it.” 😉

p. 56. “I knew of one weblogger who told no one he knew about his site. His audience developed when the sites he linked found him and linked back.” It’s interesting to see my blog explained in two sentences. It’s cool that this still works twenty years later. (This section of the book focuses on the value of using a psuedonym. Kind of like with blog comments, I think people have rested on making generic claims (i.e. the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory) and dismissed the valuable tradeoff that they offer.)

p. 68. “Write some linktext or a personal entry in the voice of another weblogger, using your own material. Then try using that technique once a day for a week or two to whether it suits you.” (I’m unsure as to whether this suggestion is a kind of A/B testing or if it is merely a game. I’m noticing in these next sections that there are some sales and marketing type strategies discussed. This fits inline with the idea that bloggers had to adopt the roles of editor and publisher. And promoter I guess. While I feel like there is discussion of ‘old-media’ vs ‘new-media’ writing approaches - but not so much ‘old-media’ vs ‘new-media’ publishing and promoting (whatever that may be.))

p. 69. “The audience of one is the single most important principle behind creating a website—or anything—that is fresh, interesting, and compelling. Consult your own taste, and then consult your audience—but only in regard to your presentation of the material.” (This seems a misnomer to me. I would think this would be ‘a creator of one’ rather than ‘an audience’. Look: this book, these notes I’m writing, every blog, every thread comment on the Internet, is written to the audience of humans out there. So I don’t think it’s useful to say that your audience is just yourself - if so, it would change the voice of the writing. For instance, you wouldn’t feel a need to explain anything. You wouldn’t take the time to write out your background on a topic. Even h0p3 sometimes writes in an explanatory voice and other times in a shorthand - like in link logs, where there are often short, cryptic comments in bulleted lists. Perhaps these varieties of voices also play into hypertext ‘layering’ - need a better name for it…)

p. 70. “Take your time. Think as you write, and be willing to rewrite until each sentence of each entry says exactly what you want it to.”

p. 72. “You will most enjoy writing your weblog if you approach it as your private sandbox. If, after writing and rewriting an entry, you can’t quite articulate your objection to current foreign policy, post it anyway. You’ll have another chance to try tomorrow or next week or next month.” (Again this is where ‘layering’ - ‘hypertiering’, ‘tearing’, ‘funneling’ - gaaa I don’t know what to call it - this is where it comes in. Having parts of your site that are less accessible and more personal and rough, alongside more public surface material.)

p. 74. “I would encourage you to embrace all the elements at your disposal. Experiment with different forms of linktext, different lengths of entries, much commentary, no commentary. Write short. Write long. If you are so inclined, play with the design of your site. If you love to code, your site can be a project that expands as your skills grow; if you don’t know anything about coding, your site may become a fantastic impetus to learn a little bit about HTML or cascading style sheets. Add photographs. Write essays. Hone your Web searching skills and publish the results. Tell stories. Be willing to experiment. Play.” (This is a photograph of the feeling towards one’s blog in 2002. This seems very basic now. However, most people have lost access to this freedom I think.)

p. 75. Linked article: “Adding value to your links.” This is still a solid bit of advice for writing directory entries.

p. 80. “GLBT bloggers…” (Didn’t realize this acronym had some shuffling occur. Good to see the lesbians prevail. Makes sense to me.)

p. 85. “You may choose to follow and participate in only one or two threads a day or week; you may find that you gain more from the community by lurking than by actively posting; and you must always remember that your words are the only measure other members have of you.” (There is good advice in the etiquette section here, but I am sure that anyone who needs the advice won’t take it.)

p. 87. “Some webloggers regularly provide coding tips, free postcards, or desktop wallpaper. If you feel that you are an expert user of a particular weblog tool or other commonly used software, consider offering tutorials on your site or providing advice in user forums.” (We’re past this, right? I think we’ve moved past this.)

p. 90. “[Linking to others] is probably the single most effective strategy for politely announcing your presence as a new member of the community.” (It’s interesting how this has changed subtly with @-mentions becoming the primary way on social media sites. I like how Webmentions have cleaned up this ‘strategy’ and allowed mentioning to become more nuanced. I wonder if ‘likes’ are a good way to announce your presence. Like I wonder if people generally check their likes for ‘others’.)

p. 92. (wrt to ‘cross-blog socializing’) “Be aware that if your weblog largely consists of comments to other webloggers—even two or three a day—you will severely limit your potential audience.” (Again, funneling.)

p. 95. “Every experienced weblog reader knows that the best way to find good weblogs is to follow the links from the sidebar of their favorites.” (The lost art that ‘friending’ killed!)

p. 102. “Weblog clusters emerged as webloggers converted their sidebars from more general lists of ‘other weblogs’ to ‘other weblogs like mine.’” (I don’t connect with this portrayal of the blogroll sidebar AT ALL! To me, it’s a chance to advertise my favorites - the tultywits. Admitting this is terrible - because it may hurt someone’s feelings that they’re not on my list. That’s the hard part of the tradeoff. But what can I do - I need these on my list to survive. Go focus on your list, make it good - and just don’t put me on there, I’m fine.)

p. 103. (wrt the word ‘attack’) “I don’t mean a respectful disagreement with her opinion on U.S. foreign policy; I’m talking about outright attacks that seem grounded in a personal dislike for the victim.” (Is an ‘attack’ an ad hominem argument? Is it using a derogative name? To accuse someone of an ‘attack’ - is that also an ‘attack’? It’s strange to live in a society where now I hear all the time in personal conversations with friends or neighbors: ‘[Person] attacked me on social media.’ Part of the trouble is knowing whether I can affix those intentions of ‘personal dislike’ to the other person. I get that this is unsolvable - part of my point is that we’re too wrapped up in conflict. People seem to collect it, categorize it and make rules around it, as if it were the loveliest game in the whole world.)

p. 104. “Again, I’m not counseling against thoughtful criticism of another weblogger’s political opinions or her editorial stance on the proliferation of trees with fuzzy pink flowers in her part of town. A public site invites scrutiny. Most people who offer opinions about current events are interested in, or at least not offended by, a respectful dissenting view.” (This is a perfectly rational view. But I try to stay away from criticizing someone publicly. I hope none of my thoughts here are perceived as looking down on Rebecca Blood or rejecting her work. I think this is a fantastic book - that’s why I’m talking about it. These are rough notes where I’m just using her statements as a springboard. I am probably wrong, up and down, left and right.)

p. 105. “My policy on dealing with weblog flamewars is simple: Ignore them.” (I get this. But this often feels like high-horsing. It feels arrogant to just ignore something completely. I think it’s fine to just say: ‘This hurts my feelings’ or ‘I’m not in a good state to reply to this’. People also seem to demand apologies and have become experts at dissecting apologies, as if you can get to the truth of something so subjective and surface-level. So silence doesn’t really cut it in many situations anyway.)

p. 134. “I focus my weblog on the ideas I find interesting, not on myself.” (Wonder about the PSM take on this.)

p. 144. “I don’t know if the ex-webloggers miss their weblogs. I don’t know if they ever wish they still had their little spot on the Web, a place to share stories, tell a few jokes, learn a little HTML. I think that I would miss those things, but I wonder if that might someday change.” (Would be interesting to ask Rebecca about this.)

p. 148. “Those first webloggers soon discovered a community of parallel sites that called themselves E/N pages (for ‘everything/nothing,’ a description of their subject mater). Though they used the same format (dated entries, newest at the top), their focus and sensibility was completely divergent from that of the emerging weblog community. Members of both communities agreed that though the format was identical, the sites, some how, were different.” (Hah, wow!! I missed this one. See here. Then here. I love how low the ratings are on these. I do think this is closer to what the Web has turned into, rather than blogging. Really appreciate that Rebecca pointed this out!)

Study of E/N pages also led me to Scott Rosenberg’s Say Everything book. Here is an essay with some of the basics. To review later I suppose.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

25 Dec 2019

Reply: An Uncanny Lurker

Anonymous

The lack of a meaningful directory to access the vast wonders that the internet possesses is a travesty.

A directory fan? How long I have travelled to find one such as you, Anon! You should join the few of us gathered here: The Tiny Directory Forum.

If you like to continue lurking, I understand the comfort of those shadows and I’m sure I will happily join you there one day when I can hang up my hat and return to just reading. Thankyou for your ‘hi’ - thankyou for taking the time.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Reply: Piranesi and His Prisons

Vega

I suppose Clarke is the only author out there who’d conceivably write a whole novel about Piranesi and his Prisons. I look forward to reading it!

Oh wow - didn’t realize the backstory on this! Thank you for taking the time to fill us in and sharing your essay/portrait. This amps up my (already considerable) excitement. And now I have something to read before Piranesi hits!

I’m not a fantasy reader at all - I have a difficult time connecting with the genre - I can’t seem to make it through Lord of the Rings even. (I enjoyed The Chronicles of Amber when I was a child.) But I actually view Jonathan Strange as literary fiction. It feels more like a pastiche of Dickens, Austen and other 19th Century literary fiction (probably Henry James, too) rather than fantasy. (I’m also a big fan of Don Quixote and J.L. Borges - so perhaps I am a fantasy fan in a way.)

Anyway, this comment of yours gets my hopes up that she has another pastiche in store, because she has to be one of the most talented stylers of this rare art that the world has ever encountered. (I guess it’s funny that I should say this off the strength of only one book - but it’s a mighty long book and one of the few that is entitled to such thickness.)

  1. I think you hit on it: Clarke’s fantasy is more literary than genre.

    These days, my taste for fantasy/speculative fiction has become more refined; straight-up, empty-calorie genre fantasy no longer satisfies. I find spec-fic authors like M. John Harrison and Gene Wolfe (if the spec-fic/SF genre can lay claim to a “literary” label, Wolfe has certainly claimed it) much more engaging to the mind. If Clarke is anything like them, then I think my reading taste has now matured enough to appreciate her.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

24 Dec 2019

Y. Kiri Yu 余依笛

A blog can be both lovely carcass art and marker reviews.

Blogs are piling up everywhere. I need to do another HrefHunt. (If you have a blog, let me link to you.) In the meantime, I don’t want to sit on this one. A Wordpress blog that is very clean and colorful.

While much of it is art (and art supplies), there are also some good essays about blogging, such as “The Only Way to Beat Algorithms is to Retrain Your Audience”. I appreciate articles like this because it has become very common to litter criticism everywhere without any concept of a way forward. I really don’t think an RSS resurgence is going to happen with the mainstream - but it could continue to happen down here in the wilds - and we can definitely benefit from the mindset of bringing your node on the network back under your control.

Anyway, I think Wordpress is still an excellent way to participate. So it’s good to see blogs that use it well.

  1. @kicks a link to my blog: paperclypse.com

    I like to think of it as probably the oldest, least read weblog. :D

  2. Reply: Paperclypse

    Shawn Kilburn

    @kicks a link to my blog: paperclypse.com I like to think of it as probably the oldest, least read weblog. 😄

    Ok wow - impressive that you’ve kept it all collected for so long and persevered through the dark ages of blogging. It looks like it landed at paperclyse.com in the mid-2010s. Have you been on Wordpress for a long time? I’m curious what kind of effort it has taken to blog continuously from 2001 to now. And thankyou for saying ‘hi’.

  3. @kicks Let's see... I think I started on Blogger (or maybe something even more obscure and gone) and then moved to MovableType and then moved to Wordpress. I had a brief stint on Squarespace but realized I preferred having my own thing.

    It hasn't taken much effort. :D I go through long periods of "loving neglect". I'm thrilled to see what seems like a reviving interest in blogging (a word I've always hated, btw hahaahha).

    Also, weirdly, "paperclypse" came to me in a dream.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Fraidycat as Stuxnet

Fraidycat 1.0.7 is out (in the browser and on desktop), major performance improvements.

My appreciation to all of you out there who have been helping with Fraidycat - this last week has been very busy. There are now releases for Mac, Windows and Linux. These don’t sync between computers yet - but I have spent quite a lot of time polishing them up, to prepare for that. The web extension has been running kind of heavy, so I have now made some major improvements to its performance.

If you use Fraidycat in Firefox, the update is already available. I don’t think the Chrome extension will make it through their store until the end of the week.

I haven’t spent much time trying to spread the word on Fraidycat just yet. I am still clawing along until I can reach a quality that I am happy with. I am close. I think I just want to improve the appearance a bit over the next week and see if I can offer something a little less bland.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

23 Dec 2019

Anna Malina

These GIFs seem pretty haunted to me. Pretty much the opposite of ‘cinemagraphs’.

Don’t know that I’ve seen many GIFs using collage, paint and such in this way. (Also, I guess they are part of this mini-site—at cargo.site, which is a very interesting directory of artists. I’m finding some good things there!)

Anna also has a channel of short films on YouTube. Discovered her on Warren Ellis’ list of feeds (the “Blog Diet”.)

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

12 Dec 2019

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Reply: Blog Like Mad

Brad Enslen

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

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

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

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Reply to poeticStupid

Oh wow and you’re on Neocities too, correct? Do you have a page that explains how you edit and publish? Also very interesting that you use DuckDuckGo for your search.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Reply: The Hyperchat Modality

Chris Aldrich

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

How do you converse with a wiki?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

11 Dec 2019

Twilight Sparkle’s Voice Compromised

Brony AI seizes cartoon vocal chords (via @gwern)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Predictions:

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

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


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

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

10 Dec 2019

Blogging Less in the 2020s

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

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

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

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

— Buffer’s “Social Media Frequency Guide”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post to Facebook five to 10 times per week.

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

— Buffer’s “Social Media Frequency Guide”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are some difficulties:

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

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

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

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

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

Perhaps we can get away from that in 2020.


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

  2. See sphygm.us. ↩︎

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

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

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

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

    Brad Enslen

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

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

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

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

09 Dec 2019

Omniscience and Indexing

(Draft.)

I don’t know if I can explain this quite right - but I’m feeling as if “omniscience” has an indexing problem - and that is the source of quite a bit of amusement. It’s also somewhat tied in with our memories.

This thought occured when we were out of cheese at my place - and someone said, “I wish we could call up how many blocks of cheese we’ve used.” And we all guessed at what the number would be.

But if you think about a computer passively monitoring you 24/7 - XKeyscore, for instance - I can’t help but wonder how it could productively sense each new cheese entering the house (via grocery shopping) and leaving (via shitting).

Omniscience comes up quite regularly. People speak of “their life flashing before their eyes” when they die - or the ability to rewind and call up memories in some post-death review. But there are also characters such as “Janet” from The Good Place or the precogs from Minority Report, who are aware of everything and can be queried like a database. The concept of “The Singularity” often is meant to refer to a superintellegence that approaches omniscience.

So, could I ask an omniscient source: “Bring up all my conversations where Nicholas Cage is mentioned?” Given that sometimes I may be referring to National Treasure or other times I may be mentioning “Nouveau Shamanic” acting with him in mind. The index needs to include references to my conversation history, my context for understanding Nicholas Cage, and a many-to-many join between them.

To what degree does that query return every conversation I have? Am I constantly alluding to Nicholas Cage?

If humans have difficulty agreeing on an exact weight for a racist tweet or extracting the true meaning of any given pull-quote from the Mueller Report, how does an omniscient source ultimately mine all possible meanings from a given conversation? Couldn’t it become stuck on one sentence, infinitely paralyzed during indexing?

It seems an insurmountable problem that an omniscience could track everything as time continues. This makes me wonder if the inate desire of an omniscience would be to slow or stop time, rather than to accelerate it out of some voracious appetite.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

07 Dec 2019

Tiny Directory Forum

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

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

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

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

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

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

02 Dec 2019

Bwahhahaha - h0p3’s 2020 links are like philosopher.life/%202020%20… I think this thing needs to be renamed ‘hypertext%20%20’ - space space.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Dante Fontana

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

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

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

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

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

01 Dec 2019

.plan

Undignified aspirations from here on out.

(I guess this isn’t really a .plan file - since those ended up being more like a journal. But I always thought that viewing a .plan would reveal someone’s whole vision of the future - x-ray glasses, as it were, of that person’s motives.)

I confess to having aspirations, however faint, and that I have no idea what to do with them. I’m fine with these not happening because they’re ridiculous. Part of my goal with writing them out is to try to identify the urge behind them so I can find a better way of playing them out or desizzling them. Kschhhh.

1) In Charge of Apple Inc

It would actually be hell to run Apple - because a) it’s stupid, past its prime b) it’s a corporation, who knows what monumental effect it has on the world, for good and ill, running it has got to be paralyzing c) it has shareholders, which is stupid, and d) if NeXT or BeOS or Amiga was still around, I’d be talking about them instead.

So what I actually mean is running Apple as if it was SimCity or something. Like if I didn’t have to constantly brace myself about Foxconn employees jumping, I’d love to just chill and design computers, tablets, operating systems, programming languages and the whole ecosystem. In a way, I think I do all of my design with this goal in sight. I need to interview Nathalie Lawhead and ask her about this, because I feel like she’s this way - probably a lot more than I am, of course.

Realistically, this isn’t possible - I never went to school for it and haven’t been through the ropes. If someone offered me a job I wouldn’t take it because of (a)-(d). Building my own company like this - well, I’m not much of an entrepreneur.

I think I’ve figured this one out tho - I need to continue with my designs and projects along this line and post them here - much like h0p3 does with his p2p designs - and that would be the SimCity-like approach. And maybe some things will become realized - like Fraidycat is beginning to.

2) Run a Puppet Theatre In My Neighborhood

I admire little-known but amazing neighborhood attractions - like the Zymoglyphic Museum or neighborhood junk houses and esoteric museums. The marionette theatre in the Jardin du Luxembourg is just the kind of thing I would want to do if I live to be retired. It’s great - they bring in novel stuff like costumes that change themselves and smoke bombs. I think this kind of thing makes your ‘home’ even more of ‘home’ for you and the people around you. It begins your burial in that place, so that you are woven into the very grass.

It might be that putting this here dooms the aspiration - because this seems like the kind of thing that you should keep secret and avoid talking about because it could be quashed by outside negativity about its preciousness or by your own oversharing about it - at the same time, I need to plant some seeds of commitment in myself and just say it.

3) Return to Teaching, This Time First-Grade

I taught for two years and it was the best. At first, I treated it like a research project to try to sort out how to improve public education. But I’m not sure that any ‘system’ can automate teaching - we just need quality teachers and they need resources. (What I mean by ‘quality’ is - at the very least, you shouldn’t intimidate students - and, beyond that, hopefully you can heyfey to some degree.)

This kind of alt-education stuff is also starting to feel like min-maxers who just want real characters to try their hands at. But it’s like - the whole thing is already min-maxed.

I still spend a lot of time at the school, but I hope to just go back to basic teaching in like seven years, when I’ve stabilized my life. The elementary school is like the epicenter of our society (or should be) and it’s a damn sacred place. I no longer see the appeal of ‘changing the world’ compared to ‘helping thirty kids’ have a good experience during their daylight hours.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Reply: Just-in-Time Kohaiships

chameleon

Hey, I can take this as the segue to ask you about net culture. Have you ever hung out in the Places… reddit, tumblr, *chans, etc? Your attitude is too lovely for me to think you have, you’re not irony-poisoned or cynical, but yet you still seem to have the handle on “our” culture that makes me think you must have at least some passing familiarity with those cursed websites.

I need to chasten you here and perhaps move to prevent you from putting me on a pedastal because I am absolutely just as screwed and wrong-headed as anyone you’ve met and I constantly have to fight my own shit-eating grin. Yeah I’ve hung out in all of those places, trolled and gaslit-up in my time, sometimes as “eddie touch” and sometimes as “simply chudder chess” - that’s all buried now, I can’t even find the stuff. This lacks credibility, but it’s true, whatever.

There was once an online forum that I was on where people just loathed me. Almost everyone in my life knows about this - because the forum had a lot of real-life friends - and everyone on the forum had little 64x64 pixel avatars. And there was this one popular user that had an avatar of a little kid’s face - I guess it was kind of iconic within this group. And I started using the avatar as my avatar - and it came to knives. It was rough - because I did it for many weeks and people hated it because they would think it was this other person posting when it was just me and my shit. People were messaging me “I will cut you” or gtfo and I really enjoyed it - but the forum eventually died and now we’re here talking to each other instead.

Things have changed for me since some of my surrounding family members have died - a number of people my age and four children. And this has also led to me meeting other people who have had to go through accidents with multiple deaths. That side of my life eclipses whatever is happening online - I just come here to play and escape. So maybe that helps explain my perspective - the problems of Reddit, imageboards and so on just seem like virtual play by comparison. But it’s much more than that - I just appreciate being alive for today and getting to write you a letter. Every day I feel grateful to breathe and be on this world with whoever happens to be here. So yeah - especially you too![1]

a realization like this; that the current internet was sick, nothing like it was in my youth

This is a fun description, it’s very true. I don’t think there’s any curing the sickness - life outside the Internet is sick in its own way. I think I like the idea of directories because it doesn’t go head-to-head with Google. I don’t like waging head-on war against the enemy. It’s too straightforward and just seems naive. It alerts the enemy.

I like directories because they’re surreptitious. You’d never notice them. I really think subterfuge and peaceful, lulling work can defeat anything. I’m not saying that directories will win - they’re a total longshot, of course - and head-on attacks have the advantage of alerting your allies, too.

The “post-searchengine era” has suddenly implanted itself in my brain, like a mind virus (you just lost the Game). If we are to collect hyperlinks, to build a directory of directories or a web of links like Indra’s Net, we could transcend the search engine altogether. The idea of stealing google’s power from right under their noses makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I was anti-search when I started getting into directories. But this fragment of a conversation with this guy Brad changed my mind a bit. Maybe it’s just that we need balance or something between directories and search. (Like how TiddlyWiki itself is a balance between directories and search.) So I guess you’re right - thinking “post-searchengine era” sets a course that way.

Brad is also starting an old-school forum to talk about directories if you’re interested. Maybe my question for you wikifolk is - it could be enough to just say “my whole wiki is a directory” - but what could a more finely curated directory look like in TiddlyWiki?

And what’s more, do you have recommendations for “churn” type websites (places with lots of new content I can check daily) that aren’t so cancerous? I experiment with RSS and stuff, but the new content just isn’t forthcoming. I’m forced to look at what Pocket recommends in my phone’s Firefox or to trawl HN for interesting things to read.

Yeah, I should write some thoughts about this - because I have some specific recommendations for link-hunting in 2019 that I think everyone should know. But it also mainly comes down to just surfing. I have a big page of links that list rabbitholes that I haven’t fully explored yet - I usually just pick back up there. (Like - if you just started at philosopher.life and branched outward from there, who knows where you’d end up. Like really - you’re going to find a lot more of the web from that approach than searching on Google for, say, “cool links” or something. Or typing three random words into Google.[2])

I’m still learning how to get around the 2019 web tho. Might be a matter of finding good shit and then working backwards.

Hey, with the group chat - I have a page of ‘springboard’ type prompts that I can throw out at first, but I have a feeling that there’s enough unresolved discussion between us all that I think it’ll reel out of control no probs.

Always honored to hyperchat, chamy. (oh hey - I’m not saavy to the origins of ‘chameleon’ as a nick for you - but it haaaas to do something with the face, right? Triangle head, circle eyes, straight line mouth? Slurpy lil face.)


  1. Have to say - I realize that you are probably taking everything I say as if it were construed - like Kaycee Nicole type shit - and I totally understand that. Which is why I try to minimize my expression of this type of thing and just say it when it’s relevant and get back to leeching and linking. ↩︎

  2. Just wrote a script to try this. My sample phrases were: “junkie ampitheatre anarchy”, “preempt typing electrostatic”, and “ordination intellectually feminists” - cept I searched with no quotes. It’s interesting to see that Google tries to make sense of these phrases and I usually get shipped off to The Atlantic or JSTOR. Ooo I like this fourth phrase: “cagey gorgonzola admiration”… ↩︎

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

30 Nov 2019

Reply: Le Rabbithole Café

Sphygmus

[…] there my little page was (arcane and esoteric, one might say) and I just grinned.

You hacked me fonts! I used to be all about Lacuna font - but Signika has washed it off my pages. Also just glad to broadcast the work of Anna Giedryś.

Your gentle mentions are little gems I treasure.

To see a letter from you pop up again - felt the same. It gave me the pringles. (Rather than butterflies in the stomach - it’s a kind of mustachioed old-timey crispyfly. More oily than buttery. Don’t know what kind of butter they put in butterflies.)

it’s hard to go back and read my writing. like gurl, why you gotta be so, so, so! oof! I didn’t know what I was doing! I don’t know what I’m doing now, either, but I have a better sense of the direction I’m heading. I will bring your gracious benefit of the doubt to myself: a year ago this was new, and different, and vulnerable, and as a tiny seedling my perspective was different than my current perspective as a slightly taller sapling.

Well and I feel like you’re hiding less of your tiddlers now? Or is that you’re crafting more public ones? Just like I have /all, you have your layers, too, I guess.

I’m grateful that our early interactions led to me adding a more private layer - but I’m also glad for those messages between us simply because I got to know you better. Takes a lot of foot-mouth-putting and shredded past-talking notes to get there - with anyone. Your voice has become a lot more familiar to me over time - it is a voice that sounds colorfully creative but with a sensitive longing.

I was definitely worried about you disappearing at one point. But now I just see that you were in a phase of building your wiki. Seeing that I fall into those phases, too, I think we’re alike in that way. So I just feel a kinship now.

I don’t think there’s anyone who I’m more interested to hear their ideas or impressions about Fraidycat than you. I think your organizational and visual improvements to Tiddlywiki are second to none. But I also think it will take time to understand organizing at the Fraidycat meta-level. I would pay a lot of dollars to see what a Sphygmus remix would look like tho.

Perhaps these words would be different if I had drafted them in private — I don’t think I can say for sure, this time. I’ve wobbled back and forth as the deadline of my publish script approaches — will I take the private tag off and let it roll through, tonight? Or will I keep it tucked away just a little longer?

While I realize that what ends up at sphygm.us is somehow trimmed, I didn’t know how - and was about to ask you, when I realized that pearl/publish and pearl/crontab are right there! It’s lovely that I can use your wiki to research you in this way. (Your publish script removes tiddlers tagged private and goes off at 8:20 GMT — the sphygm.us last-modified header right now says 8:25. So you write against a deadline each day - although I doubt you race to meet it - as you say: keep it tucked away, anticipation rather than haste.)

It’s so cool that you have a self-designed publishing system setup for yourself. I wonder what it’d be like if a podcast or a video blog ran in this way. The thought is kind of cool - of a wiki of audio files, some in ‘draft’ form or comprised of disparate fragments.

Give me the OG Godslayer & Return of the Fallen, plus Realms Unraveled (with the multi-factions) and I’d be perfectly happy!

Don’t know why the OG doesn’t grab me. I’ll try again. I think I thought Mechana was too strong there. I feel like you have to go Mechana or you’re lost. And I like to go Void.

I’m with you on multi-factions. I love the flip cards, too. And the weird stuff: like the one demon that lets you bring other demons into your deck and use them as power.

As for the rest — I’m afraid I don’t know how to mock you — neither can I replicate the kind jesting you and Ivan gift to h0p3.

I have a unibrow - so that’s an easy target. I also conceal my feelings too much and come off as aloof or condescending. So it helps when people trim me down - I have a sister who just always tells me to fuck off and sometimes slaps me in the face to get me to come down. (She is the best, she’s able to full-on slap me when the time for it is ripe.) Anyone in the room will tell you it’s absolutely necessary.

I also touch people too much in the pool. I don’t know - my inhibitions come down and I start grabbing people too much. This isn’t as much of a problem between you and I right now - but if we end up in a Roblox virtual spa one of these days - hopefully not, but just be aware.

I also have these terribly graphic and deplorable dreams that could only have been concocted by the worst kind of debased mental state. This isn’t the worst of them: but I once had a dream that I was murdering people, just going house-to-house stabbing people in their homes and throwing the knives in trashcans when I was done with them. The next day when I went to work, someone said to me, “Hey, I had this crazy dream last night where you were going around murdering people!” This chilled me to the bone! What’s that supposed to mean??

I’m often drawn into the trap of wishing my online correspondence would manifest itself offline; I fancifully dream of us sitting together on couches in a comfortably lit room, drinks of choice in hand, full bandwidth engaged.

I have no doubt that I would love to meet you. And the others, too. There was once a guy online who asked me in IRC where I lived and I told him. So he drove out here and we met at a bowling alley and ate at the diner attached to it. It was very unexpected, but a very fond memory. I think he had a habit of roving around to drop in on people.

However, I’ve also had some negative experiences - not anything too invasive, just unwanted attention - and so I resolved to lay lower, just keep online things separate. But it might just be that the uptight side of me needs a slap in the face again.

what’s left? I think this is left, this being-together-in-quietness, the park bench, and here is where the conversation might pause for a while and pick right back up in a month or a year. (well, also, it feels a little silly to chat about things that are just chilling in my wiki. it’s both a blessing and a curse — idk, blargle!)

Oh, my mom always played that song when I was a kid. She kind of had a mocking way about it - like the old friends were just way too cute about it. She would sing it when people were too cute about being BFFs. But I still think it’s great - I have an old friend coming in a week and we’ll take a walk for hours next to the train tracks - it’ll be too cute just like that. I’ll have to sing that when we’re walking just to ruin the mood.

I’ll have to think more about video. Right now I’m feeling like it’s a crutch and I shouldn’t betray hypertext in that way. But then, I’ve written too long again and now wish I could experience a video of your thoughts and meanderings - wish I could see you do the ‘warm space’ website thing and tour us through your stuff…

So I know what it means to want more info - completely natural.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

@hope I think if we could start this week or next, that would be cool. No, I wasn’t thinking real-time. Quite the opposite. Totally asynchronous. Give everyone time to craft their replies - which is why it might take a month to work through. Take a slower pace.

I envision it being the sort of thing where we’re even publicly drafting side-by-side and self-editing, self-correcting as we toggle back and forth between reading and writing the overarching group ‘chat’.

Yes, we would just do it on our sites - just like our ‘hyperconversations’ have been, but as if it was a group ‘chat’. You might respond as individual letters - or you might just have one big page of @-replies.

Basically, you could ‘chat’ however you prefer to - that’s one of the cool things about ‘hyperconversations’ - we’ve all participated using a format that’s comfortable to us rather than needing to use a common platform. Although it might be useful to settle on a common tag or phrase or something - a dog whistle for the public self-modelers out there. You all can tiddle yourselves, fine with me.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

29 Nov 2019

@sphygmus @chameleon @h0p3 I am going to find some more time over the weekend to write more - the letters that you are all writing right now have unfolded new faces and expressions in me - digifaces! I have had a thought tho… I’m envisioning something - what if we did a groupchat for a certain range of time? Like maybe a week or maybe a month.

And we can field questions to the group, answer them in hypertext - and when we’re done, I’ll make something out of it. Yes, we sort of do this already, but I’m thinking that having a beginning and an ending and a title maybe - could be interesting. Ahh, I’m explaining too much - it is just an attempt to branch off on the ‘hyperconversations’ game.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Audio Commentary for Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

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

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

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

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

26 Nov 2019

Reply: Stuck Following

Art Kavanagh

There’s still one feed I can’t delete but otherwise the erratic behaviour is gone 😊 👍

Hello! Can you give me the URL of the feed you’re having troubles with? Perhaps it’s something to do with that specific one.

(Thankyou for taking a crack at this - the OPML import is only a few weeks old, so I’m sure there is still work to do getting it perfect.)

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

25 Nov 2019

Vektroid’s NFL Mixtape

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

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

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

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

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

21 Nov 2019

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

@sphygmus: I’m now regretting calling your wiki ‘bizarre’ in my last video. It felt like an accurate complement when I blurted it out - but then I remembered that attention like this can be withering and that there are better adjectives: ‘sweet’, ‘razzledazzle’, ‘mageworthy’, even just ‘awesome’. I just couldn’t resist flashing ur razzledazzles. (@chameleon’s wiki is the bizarre one!! 🤣 love u chamy

also my response to your survey is ‘feels bad to not know what you’re talking about, thought i knew everything in the sphygmusphere’.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Reply: Solid Victorian Textual Elixir

Neil Mather

I’m kind of OK with the sentiment of the p.14 quote from Rebecca Blood – hypertexting helping me find my voice – although yeah it is worded a little like something from a Victorian self-help guide. But I have found blogging and wiki-ing sort of does the things she says. Though I think I would perhaps just describe it as learning, rather than self-growth. The blog/wiki combo is both helping me think more about what I learn and learn more about what I think, I’m really digging it.

Cool - I appreciate this clarifying thought. My issue was more with the part about solidifying opinions - I think my personality needs my opinions to be plastic. But maybe that fights against self-growth. Like maybe learning should solidify into opinions…? I really love her contributions to that book tho - in case it wasn’t clear.

(I’m reading her The Weblog Handbook (2002) right now as well - will probably post some thoughts on it.)

I’ve noticed my own wiki/commonplace book thingy slowly taking that rough form recently, too, I wonder if it’s a common pattern? I’ve just started making the doorframe.

Huh - well it definitely appears to be a pattern. (Interesting to see @visakanv do this with Twitter threads - as if it was his commonplace book.) I don’t think it’s terribly common - but perhaps becoming more so in our niche.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

Reply: New Season of Indieseek.xyz

Brad

My break from Indieseek.xyz, both the directory and the blog was intentional.

👍 I did this too. A directory is a long game - I think you can safely roll-up changes every 3-6 months. Cool that you got some submissions!

I think what we need more than a forum - is an easy way for people to make little directories. I mean even just link lists would be a start.

  1. I know a programmer who 15 years ago made a PHP program that that made hosted directories. I don’t think it ever got out of beta but it was stable and I tested it by making a little directory on it and running it for a few years. All one had to do was register and you got a subdomain directory with a simple control panel for adding categories and sites. A lot like WordPress.com only for directories. It worked fine.

    It checked all the buttons: no script to install, easy to sign up, easy to make links and easy to use. But it wasn’t pretty and I don’t think he ever figured out how to monetize it.

  2. Kicks, I remembered the name of the directory hosting: Hyperlinkd.com. Archive capture at the link.

This post accepts webmentions. Do you have the URL to your post?

You may also leave an anonymous comment. All comments are moderated.

PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

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

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

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

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

waxy is back at it!

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

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

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

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

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

chips: zeptobars, scargill, 41j.

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

neil c very famous but should be a world icon.

the world or cate le bon you pick.

sammyclassicsonicfan the original teen rage adventure.

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

and opinionated gamers for non-chudyk game analysis.

my twitter. my github. minor things.