Kicks Condor

#garage
STACK OF RAKES, WELDING MASK

This is one of my primary tags. Mainly quotes from novels, links to music and zines, D.I.Y. stuff, hacking, junk you’d do in a garage. (However, keep in mind that many of my actual letters written to other blogs are in the hypertext tag - which is my primary tag.)

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”.)

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29 Nov 2019

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.

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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.

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21 Nov 2019

‘Two months after Sir John and I were married we travelled to Cambridge to seek a cure for Sir John’s melancholie from Dr Richard Blackswan, a very famose Physician. We took with us a little cristall flask that had some of Sir John’s water in it. Dr Blackswann went into a little closet behind a curtain of blacke velvet and prayed upon his knees. The Angell Raphael then appearing in the closet (as commonly happens when ever this doctor prays) peer’d into Sir John’s urine. Dr Blackswann told us that the Angell Raphael knew straightway from the colour of it (reddish as if there waz bloude in it) that the cause of Sir John’s extreame Want of Spirits was a lack of Learned Conversation.’

— p. 41, The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke

(And, yeah, I am pumped for Piranesi.)

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31 Oct 2019

Neauismea

Devine Lu Linvega’s completed series on the b&w dithered world.

I’ve been seeing a lot of monochrome lately—like what’s at peterburr.org, the killer layout at SILO or the coming World of Horror—so, as a shout to all that high-contrast dither, I commend to you the tales of Neauismetica. This is more than your normal ‘inktober’ project. I’ve linked to the XXIIVV directory before—it’s an incredible hypertext project, connecting artifacts like the Lietal language and the conceptualization of time as Horaire.[1]

Perhaps you’ve seen Rekka & Devine’s work before in games like Hiversaires and Oquonie. This crew has done more for black and white than anyone on Earth.

Oh and I would be remiss to not also point out Sphygmus’ XXIIVV page which is a kind of casual tour—and a definitive tally of the productivity time trackers encountered! Somehow XXIIVV seems at the crossroads between austere, machine-like efficiency and stark punk creativity. I’m an outsider, so this is just an impression.


  1. See, the database is here. ↩︎

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12 Sep 2019

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smashpilled

Taking of an antimisanthropic pill that ends all pilltaking.

Basically, you listen to enough Neil C that you start to actually like and appreciate Smash Mouth. The significance of System of a Down also becomes quite apparent to you. You realize that, somehow, you possibly like everything (e.g. everyone) in some fashion.

Once in this intense pro-human mindset, it becomes very hard to take other ‘pills’ which only promise make you feel superior to other people—which would ultimately threaten your enjoyment of Smash Mouth.

Thus, the pills are smashed.

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09 Sep 2019

Random Tape

Found cassette clips as a podcast.

Along the lines of WFMU’s Audio Kitchen—and definitely belonging in href.cool’s Tapes/Field collection, this podcast collects a myriad of found audio samples from cassettes and some personal recordings—such as his friend Danny’s voicemails from his dad or random people reading their grocery lists.

Found this on The Listener newsletter. A great example of human curation and recommendation. Follows the same kind of format as Warp Door—some light metadata and a paragraph review. If I were to give one recommendation to fighting the corpypastas (or CorpASAs), it’s this: start a newsletter or a blog where you do this. Just leave paragraph reviews of interesting obscure things you come across. Great way to abdicate from mainstream culture and corps of all kind.

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06 Sep 2019

Reply: Irony Cont’d

vasta

@kicks That’s a lovely passage. Hadn’t ever thought of benevolent vs. ferocious irony, but now I can’t stop thinking about it. Thank you for sharing.

I definitely like both kinds of irony—and perhaps there are both kinds of sincerity, too, of course. I like the quote and the whole book wrapped around it.

Your description of your cat today is fantastic. I’ve dealt with a lot of emotional pain in recent years (due to the deaths of many family members and children in my life) and nothing helps more than physical closeness like this—a ‘hug’ or holding the hand of the 86-year-old woman who lives across from me. But also laughter—if someone can make me laugh, it will reset everything. Having a ‘first responder’ who is light-hearted is great. I’m grateful that simple things can do good work confronting dark, heavy terrors.

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05 Sep 2019

‘I like a kind of irony I call benevolent, compassionate, like what we find, for example, in the best of Cervantes. I don’t like ferocious irony but rather the kind that vacillates between disappointment and hope. Okay?’

— p. 5, Never Any End to Paris by Enrique Vila-Matas

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03 Aug 2019

Poolside FM

A vaporwave OS-for-pretendsies tears up Product Hunt—what does it mean??

I’m probably not introducing you to this link—because it’s been around the block for the last week. However, it’s a bull’s-eye for me—it lands in almost every collection I keep—from OS façades (such as whimsy.space and eeerik.com) to endless home video playlists (such as astronaut.io and defaultfile.name).

Yeah, but this isn’t an obscure site like so many of those. It launched on (remove glasses, rub eyes with fists) Product Hunt (this is v2, the first launched in 2014.), a watering hole for e-mail newsletter and blockchain startups. There seems to be no troll in the statement on the ‘about’ popup:

Want to collaborate or build something like Poolside FM for your company? We’re probably down to make that happen.

Reach out with your wildest dreams.

This idea of companies jumping on the bandwagon to fill the Internet with absurd anachronistic Windows 95 desktops is truly a grand vision—I’ll toast to that.

The reaction of publications covering Poolside FM is what I’m really enjoying. On It’s Nice That—a design magazine—Lucy Bourton writes:

There are of course, considering this is a project of pure fun and joy, a few smile-inducing tweaks in the website’s design too with a unique colour palette (customisable backgrounds are a must-try), martini glasses instead of close buttons and an ASCII art boot screen. It even involves its growing community with a guestbook for users to comment on and a shop with merchandise too.

😂 It even has a ‘guestbook’! For the users!

From The Verge:

Bell’s site even incorporates a guestbook on its site, like old-school webpages, which creates a feeling of community.

Has everyone gone back to 1985? This is getting infectious!

Poolside.FM has about 32,000 followers on Instagram, and Bell says that the site has 4,000 monthly listeners. He wants to grow that number this year and continue building up the community. Part of that is welcoming new listeners, but he also wants to encourage other artists and musicians to submit their tracks. It’s a collaborative process.

I only hope that one day we’ll have the technology for you out there—my own unique clan of snakeskin-clad hypertexting sunbathers—to load up Kicks Condor’s Russian Sci-Fi and Iranian Cinema Blog.avi straight from Poolside FM! See you then.

See also: foreignrap, somehow related.

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‘He often invited her parents to stay, as though by studying them he might decipher the mystery of their daughter. They would come to the island, where the ancestral home still remained, and would stay for weeks at a time. Never had he met people of such extraordinary blandness, such featurelessness: however much he exhausted himself with trying to stimulate them, they were as unresponsive as a pair of armchairs. In the end he became very fond of them, as one can become fond of armchairs…’

— p. 20, Outline by Rachel Cusk

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05 Jun 2019

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28 Mar 2019

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

— p. 77, The Emissary by Yoko Tawada

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25 Mar 2019

H3333333K

Poorly rendered architecture.

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

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

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

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

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14 Jan 2019

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

— p. 85, The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem

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12 Jan 2019

Reply: Picking Up a Kobo

Brad Enslen

My goal this year is to spend more time reading and if I like Kobo and the Clara HD I might even upgrade to something like the larger Kobo Forma.

I have owned two Kobo Wifi readers—the first one had its screen cracked while I was backpacking up in the mountains. That was in 2014. I could have upgraded, but I was perfectly happy with that model and picked up a used one. It’s still perfectly adequate to this day.

I use it to read public domain books—like Don Quixote or The Odyssey. I recently read The Adventures of Telemachus; now I’ve started reading Fear and Loathing. I have tried reading modern literature, but the book quality is usually just too poor. I prefer to check those books out from the library anyway.

At any rate, I am pretty amazed that this nine-year-old device still functions so well. I am happy that I don’t need some book-loading software. It plugs in like a USB drive and I copy ePubs onto it. Nothing to it.

Anyway, as a long-time customer, just wanted to say that I think you’re on the right track!

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14 Dec 2018

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

— p 18, My Heart Hemmed In by Marie NDaiye

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Endless Jingling

brokenrecord.elf

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

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

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12 Dec 2018

“Allow me to pass over his misfortune in silence; for in the first place talk of it might dishearten you, and secondly and thirdly, and as far as I’m concerned sixthly, it isn’t proper to tug apart all the folds of misfortune and cast aside all ceremony, all lovely veiled mourning, which can exists only when one keeps silent on such matters.”

— Simon, p340, The Tanners by Robert Walser

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31 Oct 2018

How Writing ‘My Struggle’ Undid Knausguard

Normally I wouldn’t link to a large magazine, but this is relevant to the ‘hypertexting’ discussion.

My friend Nate first told me about this fellow—Karl Ove Knausgaard—who has become a substantial literary figure, which would normally qualify him to be ignored by me. Surely he has enough attention, what with every major magazine taking time out to heap praise on his work. Which bears striking similarity to h0p3’s wiki[1] and to my definition of Hypertexting—the creation of a massive ‘body’ of text, often as an avatar for one’s self. (I, too, am building a ‘body’ but I’m not sure that it’s of myself. No indictment to ‘self’ intended.)

Knausgaard’s six-volume My Struggle has concluded and so folks are internalizing it. In the book, the author attempts to lay bare every particle of his mind, life, relationships and—where do I stop?—it’s an autobiographical work that purports to leave nothing private (nothing? I haven’t started the first volume yet) and, so far, Oprah Winfrey hasn’t made him take anything back.

In violating prevailing standards of appropriate personal disclosure, “this novel has hurt everyone around me, it has hurt me, and in a few years, when they are old enough to read it, it will hurt my children,” he writes. “It has been an experiment,” he continues, "and it has failed because I have never even been close to saying what I really mean and describing what I have actually seen, but it is not valueless, at least not completely, for when describing the reality of an individual person, when attempting to be as honest as possible is considered immoral and scandalous, the force of the social dimension is visible and also the way it regulates and controls individuals.

I don’t know if this article is hyperbolizing the whole thing or what—I read around some other thoughts on the series and found other similar reactions.

From Literary Fundamentalism Forever:

At the end, in the last line, he says he’s no longer a writer, something he’s since disproven. But there’s something about this that’s like he’s put it all out, eviscerated himself and stretched the entrails out like Keroauc’s unfurled scroll along a shuffleboard table. He’s exhausted his capacities. And I’m sure that’s something that many writers have wanted to do at one point but never come close to achieving.

I’ve (and we’ve) been very busy having the meta-discussion about writing and cataloguing and relentless thought collection—we have kinship with this guy’s work. It might be that everyone is dealing with this, with the rise of an ‘automatic’ writing culture all around. I think the interesting thing that Knausguard offers is the moment of a ‘completion’. His six-volumes are up, but his life isn’t—and he’s gone on to write a four book cycle.

So, homework:

  • When can a ‘body’ be called done—what are the utilities of this moment, how do you see it coming?

  • For my own sake, I wonder how I might foment a reaction to the logorrheic approach that offers restraint—my Tuesdays and Fridays, for one—although I still end up feeling thoroughly logorrheic and I think I do exhaust anyone passing through. But: I feel to question this approach (hardly to demonize it) but what could a Reverse Knausguard ‘body’ style itself as?

  • What does the non-linear hypertext bring to the table?

For some reason, this work does help me really enjoy modern times.


  1. Surely by now you know the link. And, anyway, after yesterday’s discussion of hypertext ‘entry points’, I’m not even sure how to appropriately link to h0p3. Go make your own doorway. ↩︎

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29 Oct 2018

Reply: Children’s $hows

Eli Mellen

Kids shows are weird. Many of the contemporary kids programs I’ve come across (especially stuff geared towards toddlers on streaming services) seem to follow a similar pattern:

  • A group of main characters connected by either proximity or “vocation.” No parents, nor guardians really. Just elders who are expert in their field

  • Characters have clearly defined social roles (e.g. a train responsible for moving freight)

  • Narratives revolve around characters either learning to fulfill their roles or failing to do so, and then realizing that others suffer when they don’t meet their responsibilities

Are these Neo-Capitalist fairy tales?

I wonder if it’s possible for children’s television to ever be anything but that—considering how much money is required to produce television.

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26 Oct 2018

Reply: Refreshing Essays

Eli Mellen

In this way, I think blogs are a whole lot like essays:

Of all forms of literature, however, the essay is the one which least calls for the use of long words. The principle which controls it is simply that it should give pleasure; the desire which impels us when we take it from the shelf is simply to receive pleasure. Everything in an essay must be subdued to that end. It should lay us under a spell with its first word, and we should only wake, refreshed, with its last.

– Virginia Woolf, The modern essay

Boy, yes yes, lots of good things in there. I wholeheartedly agree.

Literal truth-telling and finding fault with a culprit for his good are out of place in an essay, where everything should be for our good and rather for eternity than for the March number of the Fortnightly Review.

I will need to read back on this several times to know what she means. She’s not saying that criticism is out of place—she engages in it the very paragraph next. (Although I confess that I am tiring of the constant flow of cultural critique. There has to be more than just that to an essay.)

I think writing for ‘eternity not just March’ could be an expression that stays with me.

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21 Oct 2018
19 Oct 2018

The Zymoglyphic Museum

A corporeal directory to another world.

In my travels about the hypertext kingdom, I happened upon a rare portal[1] to a so-called ‘Zymoglyphic’ world—islands of Earth ‘formed by the upwelling of molten magma from the underworld.’

I had not ever known of the creatures of this land! We talk of museums, libraries, cataloging and labeling here, do we not? Therefore, I awkwardly flailed out in my typical shock-curiosity to Jim Stewart—the Museum’s curator.

kicks: I recently discovered an interesting local museum a few blocks from my neighborhood after being unaware of it for five years. I drove behind it all the time and would have immediately spotted it had I driven on the other, parallel street. It took me five years to drive on that other, parallel street.

So what are your visitors like? Unsuspecting tourists? Neighbors that happen to drive by? Pilgrims?

jim: All of the above. Probably the majority of visitors are tourists and locals looking for “offbeat” things to see and do.[2] Some are specifically interested in personal museums, natural history, curiosity cabinets, or a rust-and-dust aesthetic. I do get a fair share of people just passing by as well and have met a lot of neighbors this way.

kicks: So, did you have any idea in mind of who you were looking for when you started the museum or were you just glad to have anyone and everyone?

jim: At first I was just doing it for myself, then when I went public I was happy to have anyone appreciate it. Nowadays (after 2000 visitors) I’m mostly looking for the people interested in a more in-depth connection with the museum.

kicks: I love the guide[3] you have, advice for curating your own museum. In a way, I took it as advice for the blog-hunting I do. You even have a section on ‘outreach’—I have a little group of online friends where we call this ‘find the others’—the pejorative word here might be ‘self-promotion’—to what degree do you engage in this kind of thing for the Zymoglyphic?

jim: Very little at his point. The blog has not seen an entry in years and the twitter account is inactive. Events are announced on Facebook and I have a mailing list that gets used 3 or 4 times a year. People who visit leave reviews on review sites and photos on Instagram, and I am on a lot of “quirky things to do in Portland” lists. The place is small and can’t really accommodate many people. Also, I think the fact that this is a physical place and not just an online presence puts it in a category that generates its own publicity.

kicks: Perhaps the museum is ‘complete’ and has no need of updates? Or is it in constant flux—are you always cooking up new exhibits?

jim: The basic format seems pretty stable. I’m working on a lot of different but related projects, such as a library and computer-generated aquarium.

kicks: You also have this profound quote in the book: “Once the museum is complete, it could become a private sanctuary for contemplation, since the museum will be like being inside your own subconscious mind.” This reminds me of the work at philosopher.life—where a fellow is cataloging his life and correspondence in a huge singular oracular HTML file. So when someone visits, are they able to absorb you through this portal—almost as if it is a stand-in for you—or is it as mysterious to you as it is to them?

jim: Very hard to say exactly what other people get out of it. Many are quite enthusiastic I think mostly they are finding something in themselves that they had not been able to express in just that way. I know from personal experience that it is possible to get a lot out of a work of art and not be able to relate to the artist as a person.

kicks: Haha, I love the idea that someone could relate more to the Zymoglyphic Mermaid[4] than to you. 😄 Well—and you say on the website that you like to give the visitors their space to peruse and not be badgered or guided through. (Have I got that right?) Does it matter to you what the effect of the museum would be on somebody?

jim: Yes, the museum is on the second floor and I just send people up when they come in (even if they want a quick introduction). When they come back down is when I engage them about their reactions (if they seem open to it) and answer questions. I’m definitely interested in what their take on it is, and what it means to them. I keep track on the web site of all the reviews, blog mentions, etc. It’s especially meaningful if someone gets inspired to do something similar.

kicks: Having lived in towns with small museums, junk art houses, religious shrines—you have given your city and the world a great gift.


  1. The Zymoglyphic Museum. ‘The Zymoglyphic Museum’s primary mission is the preservation of the unique natural and cultural heritage of the Zymoglyphic region. In addition, the museum hosts a variety of special collections and online exhibits related to zymoglyphic themes of natural art, celebration of decay, and museums as curiosity cabinets.’ ↩︎

  2. Also: vloggers. ↩︎

  3. Creating and Curating Your Own Personal Museum. Furthermore, the publications contains a myraid of other enchanting documents, such as the Museum’s Manifesto and A Guide to the Collections. All very worth your time. ↩︎

  4. ‘Somewhat of a spokesmodel for the museum […] its sinuous body and delightful smile grace the museum shop’s drinkware, clocks, and clothing.’ More. (See also: Jenny Haniver.) ↩︎

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17 Oct 2018

Notes From an Occupation

Journal-like coverage of early Occupy.

I’ve been both reading Mark Greif’s Against Everything and also just feeling nostalgic for Occupy Wall Street. (People claimed it was muddled, because it didn’t have answers—but I don’t know anyone who thought “We Are the 99%” wasn’t catchy.)

It’s been seven years and I found myself revisiting this day-to-day live blog of the first week, passing the mic between Mark Greif and Astra Taylor. (Here’s a subsequent part that goes into October.)

This author Astra is the wife of Jeff Mangum—and it’s interesting to me that his appearance at Liberty Park later led to a couple rounds of touring after a decade in the shadows. Well, if that was the point, then I’m glad for the times I saw him. Can’t help but wish Zuccotti Park was still a self-organizing commune, though, with its own roving troubadour.

Most of all, I love the description of the orderly congresses:

Noam Chomsky had sent a personal message by email. It was predictably long-winded; I wished people would make the “get to your point” sign. I was sitting close to the aisle of waiting speakers and I was surprised to watch participants whom I assumed knew each other well—since they were working together smoothly—whisper to ask each other’s names. They’re the most easygoing bunch I’ve seen at a protest, and the most calmly confident. Very gentle and not rattled by disruptors. Presumably that’s the confidence of nine days.

Up twinkles, hard block, flat hands—probably too cutesy for most. I dig it. Glad to make a new semaphore any day of the week. Or just fall back on ‘point of personal privilege’. There are rules, but there aren’t.

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05 Oct 2018

‘One day my window was darkened by the form of a young hunter. The man was wearing leather and carrying a rifle. After looking at me for a moment, he came to my door and opened it without knocking. He stood in the shadow of the door and stared at me. His eyes were milky blue and his reddish beard hardly concealed his skin. I immediately took him for a half-wit and was terrified. He did nothing: after gazing at what was in the room, he shut the door behind him and went way.’

— from “The House Plans” by Lydia Davis, p53 in The Collected Stories

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25 Sep 2018

‘After walking through a few other rooms, thinking about The Rose, I returned to look at the painting again. I read the placard again, though I had read it less than an hour before. Everything that is is a record of its process, I thought; this description of The Rose in front of me had more to do with where it had been composed and when than with what The Rose itself was struggling to be. Had the curator lacked imagination, or was it our language that lacked imagination? I looked again at the radiating folds of paint, like rock chipped away by the wind and the rain. Each one recorded the time that had passed while DeFeo worked on The Rose. All the placards around me were lists: a title, an artist, a place, and a time. The best the curator could do was log the facts. Facts are a set of coordinates, in space and in time. Causation, motivation, character—all the rest is fiction.’

— p134, Madeleine E by Gabriel Blackwell

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21 Sep 2018

Sort Trek

Sweet ‘foone’ hack to re-sort Trek episodes based on the subs.

Foone’s got a great thing going on Twitter. I can’t quite complain as much about the place when it’s used to this effect.

The script is called ‘SplitBySubs’ and it gives you clips at all the timestamps where subtitles start and stop. And then you do things like… this!

So I generated the Silence Video. It’s 16 minutes long and it’ll get me copyright-striked on youtube, but here’s the first 2 minutes of it, basically everything up to the Intro. pic.twitter.com/mMVuaGCbFH — foone (@Foone) September 21, 2018

Best of all, the script is now out there. Algorithms are well-suited to mischief. Gah, I was going to read this weekend…

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‘Logic, [Nicholas] suggests, knowing, is like an n-sided polygon nested inside a circle. The more sides you add, the more complexities you introduce, the more the polygon approaches the circle which surrounds it. And yet, the farther away it gets as well. For the circle is but a single, seamless line, whereas your polygon seems to be breeding more and more lines, more and more angles, becoming less and less seamless.’

Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees by Lawrence Weschler

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15 Sep 2018

‘He was a pekingese, and as such he had a peculiar, droll manner of walking that aroused my sympathy no less than his facial expression, which was a constant meld of almost tearful sorrow and unreasonable, condescending arrogance.’

— p501, The Island of Second Sight by Vigoleis

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14 Sep 2018

‘I had a memory of reacting similarly to my own mother’s breakups, to cutting off my emotions for the men I had once loved or for whom I’d at least felt an affection. Once I failed at such an attempt; I sobbed and mouthed the name of my mother’s ex while a new man slept in her bed. I sobbed similarly on subsequent nights until I had finally rid myself of any lingering affections.’

— p195, Person/a by Elizabeth Ellen

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Danielx on Whimsy.Space

Ok, trying out an interview here—throwing some questions to the author of a beloved ‘zine’/‘operating system’.

I try to go out looking for links as much as possible.

(God’s sake, man—why?? Who needs more links, I can give you links—don’t toss yourself into the brambles—)

But I love to see the horrors and grotesques—to measure and inspect them. I aspire to be a grotesque and must be very studious about achieving it!

It all pays off when a link like whimsy.space comes a long.

kicks: Daniel, had a few questions about whimsy.space. (I really love glitch, too, of course—and hope it’s doing well, but the zine hits a nerve for me.) So, what ‘works’/‘zines’ inspired whimsy.space?

danielx: I was inspired by sites that have a lot of heart, things like the original Geocities. Also the feeling of personal computing from the mid 90s like win 3.1 and Win95. I’m also a fan of things like Dwarf Fortress and Bennett Foddy’s games.

Not necessarily that they are inaccessible for the sake of being inaccessible, but that if they were simpler they would be something different. Philosophically I’ve read and respect Alan Kay “The real computer revolution hasn’t happened yet” and Bret Victor.

kicks: Yeah, oh man, Foddy. I teach at an elementary school and a favorite activity I do is to play Foddy games with the kids hooked up to wires (Makey Makey-style) so that when they close the loop (by jumping on the floor or slapping hands, for instance) then CLOP hops around. It’s a credit to the simplicity of his design that we can do that.

What do you hope for it now? Was it just a momentary plaything—or is it an obsession?

danielx: It has been an on and off obsession. It depends on what else I’ve got going on in life and work outside of my own esoteric pursuits.

It’s definitely the hobby that brings me the most joy when I get to dig into it and see where it goes. Early on I decided that it would be for my own personal enjoyment and I wouldn’t look for ways to “make it a success” or “turn it into a business”. I want to keep my work and play separate you could say 😃

kicks: I like that it doesn’t explain itself. I didn’t even get that it was REALLY a zine the first time I visited. I still don’t really understand how the filesystem and social media inside of it works. And I can’t help but feel that its opacity is symbolic. It feels like a hidden trove - like a person is or maybe like an animal is. You probably don’t care about ease of use - how did you design it?

danielx: I’ve created a lot of different web applications and sites and things over the years. Some of them for fun and some as businesses. With whimsy.space my goal was to have it be a curated collection of all my works along with other things I find interesting. About eight years ago I built an online game development environment at pixieengine.com. Now it’s been simplified to a pixel editor and art community. Whimsy.space is the spiritual successor to that, I want many different applications that can interact and contribute to creating content. To recreate the part of personal computing where the operator of the computer could combine small components in interesting ways to get profound results.

I care some about ease of use, though it’s not been my top priority lately. Similar to Bennett Foddy’s games I want it to be as easy as it can be without losing its essence and becoming something else.

The design and implementation is a lot of custom code and some integrations of existing components. The site itself is serverless/static hosted on AWS with S3 and CloudFront. I use AWS Cognito for the My Briefcase authentication feature and each user can upload to their own S3 subfolder. The UI is all my custom js/css inspired by Win3.1/95. The code editor is Ace. The apps run in iframes and talk to the system over postMessage. I use CoffeeScript for most of the code.

The essence of the zine part came from my tendency to always go too deep on architecture and infrastructure, so by having a periodic release of content it would force me to prioritize only the features that aided the content and not be a system of pure mechanics with nothing to showcase it.

kicks: Jeepers, didn’t expect that. Is this a kind of backend that you would recommend to hobbyists? I’m used to static HTML and JS.

danielx: I wouldn’t recommend going deep into AWS or other Cloud services for hobbyists. Since I do software engineering for my employment I’ve gained a lot of experience on “industrial strength” solutions.

The challenge is finding the subset that actually solve more problems than they cause.

I often feel like I’m crawling around in Jeff Bezos’ spaceship trying to bring alien technology to the people.

kicks: Are handmade ‘blogs’/‘zines’/‘home pages’ dying? Would that be a bad thing - like: is there something else?

danielx: They’re dying in the sense that every living thing is in a constant cycle of death and rebirth. There are probably more handmade blogs and home pages today than ever before (in an absolute sense) but proportionally they make up a smaller part of the internet.

I would like to see more people sharing personal computing and smaller internet communities. Businesses exist to consume consumers, by getting our hands dirty and crafting using technology individuals can gain knowledge and understanding of how these systems work so we might not be so vulnerable to all these forces trying to devour us. The web is a modern marvel, not quite as complex as nature, but it has its own evolution and ecology. I enjoy the first hand experience of digging around in it to see what I can learn about systems as well as myself.

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10 Sep 2018

tultywits

talk of and use the little things you want to survive.

talk of and use the little things you want to survive.

This page, for instance, uses HTML definition lists. (The <dl>, <dt> and <dd> tags.) These are quite obscure tags compared to the heavily dominant <div> and <p> tags. I use them because someone has put work into them and I guess I want them to survive. They are a ‘tultywit’. The acronym doesn’t quite stand up under that usage; I assure you, the meaning does.

Some of my current tultywits: Beaker Browser, the Indieweb and Blogging of a personal, misdirected, colorful kind.

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Snackronyms

A compendium of pronounced shortenings and portmanteaus employed in this vicinity.

I very much dislike acronyms—you string together some letters and you’re done. They are certainly convenient when typing. They can confuse conversation. And usually the sound of them is stilted by the implied periods.

A snackronym is simply my term for a ‘word acronym’: a prounceable initialism of a term. These variations on a phrase are much more appealing to the author. (In a way, they recall the mood of cryptic crosswords, where skills and disciplines collide, not willy-nilly, but with blissful meaning and grammar punning.)

bipsbiff

Phonetic BPSBF. beautiful, pretty, smart, brave, fire.

corpypastas (or CorpASAs)

corporatey anthologies of self-advertising. (e.g. Instagram, Behance, Facebook, Twitter)

‘cottoms up’

Phoneticalized ‘COTMs up’. COTM is crontab of the mind.

dwim

do what i mean.

heyfey

Phonetic HFEI. have fun, encourage, inspire.

nai-burrough

(Pronounced: ney-burro.) not an ideal burrough. (Or: nai-tribe.)

ridtyawtr

reality is darker than you are willing to recognize, but it could be brighter than what you can imagine.

smashpilled

Taking of an antimisanthropic pill that ends all pilltaking.

Tim Toady

Phonetic refactoring of the acronym TMTOWDI. Or, there’s more than one way to do it.

tultywits

talk of and use the little things you want to survive.

Please reply with your own vital terms if you like. Thankyou for reading, as always.

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Tim Toady

Phonetic refactoring of the acronym TMTOWDI. Or, there’s more than one way to do it.

Phonetic refactoring of the acronym TMTOWDI. Or, there’s more than one way to do it.

This is a contentious term; I think it is useful to combat dogmatism. It’s worth exploring other routes even if they turn up as culs-de-sac. I have lived in many culs-de-sac and I think they have some benefits. Extra parking, for instance.

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bipsbiff

Phonetic BPSBF. beautiful, pretty, smart, brave, fire.

Phonetic BPSBF. beautiful, pretty, smart, brave, fire.

Kaylee said this everyday before she died. “I am beautiful, I am pretty, I am smart, I am brave, I am fire.” She was six-years-old and she knew to do this. Yes, beautiful and pretty is redundant. 😎 One of many wonderful things about this mantra.

This is usually not said but thought: “You are bipsbiff to me.” Or sometimes I say it to myself: “I am beautiful, I am pretty…” To bring ‘her’ into my mind. Sometimes I just say: “I am fire.” (She is fire.)

Also, if you’re wondering who Kaylee is—the strange thing is that I actually never knew her or met her, so I have no relation to her.

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dwim

do what i mean.

do what i mean.

This could be seen strictly as an acronym, however I find the sound of ‘dwim’ as a word to convey exactly the sense of the fully expanded phrase. I usually use it in the context of a tool functioning well in the overall spirit I intend for it and may have to adapt for situations. I also feel like this term wards against uses that would be nice—but would move it outside its purview. But also: ‘I have been holding the kite like this, but feel free to dwim it much higher.’ (So: ‘the specific rules are not important if the wind changes.’)

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ridtyawtr

reality is darker than you are willing to recognize, but it could be brighter than what you can imagine.

reality is darker than you are willing to recognize, but it could be brighter than what you can imagine.

Courtesy of h0p3. This is close to articulating the feeling I live in. I think I take issue with the ‘is’/‘could’ dichotomy. I am more like: it is ‘is’/‘is’.

I’m also tempted to make it more phonetic, but I think a phrase like this deserves to be pronounced Rid Tee Yawter—or to be butchered senselessly every time.

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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.