“Earnestness is not enough. Irony is not enough. The battle to become the most unhinged and incoherent brand in history has begun. And the battlefield is kickscondor.com.” - Bev Wintercorn, Grape-Nuts Security Protocol
“Earnestness is not enough. Irony is not enough. The battle to become the most unhinged and incoherent brand in history has begun. And the battlefield is kickscondor.com.” - Bev Wintercorn, Grape-Nuts Security Protocol
re: minor edits
For me, it’s helped to have a home page and /all - every edit goes to /all unless I specifically mark it for broadcast. I only really do ninja edits when it’s a bulk change. So when I am retagging things or altering things en masse (search and replace, for example), those aren’t treated as actual post updates because they would clutter up /all.
It’s possible that I could have a threshold - like <4 bulk edits are sent to /all - but more than that is ninja’d. But I think that showing bulk edits is going to be useless for me 99% of the time. (Rarely happens anyway.)
Cool topic, dry as hell.
SPECIAL GREENLAND NEW YEAR SCRAPCHATTING. 9 PM EST on Dec 31st. Weiwei Hsu will be joining us from the year 2021. Peep into the future. We will countdown to Greenlandic midnight, calling on its restorative powers. twitch.tv/kickscondor
Yeah I’m with you - a desire to be back with those discovering and starting off. I definitely believe in a reset. ‘The age of delete’ as Jennifer Sharpe said. Perhaps your ‘notes’ are little resets.
Ahh ok glad I asked - this is more interesting than I thought at first! So the “polish” would be… like an ossifying of your perspective? A loss of curiosity? Perhaps finding an end to the topic… a slowing of progress in open source?
So - do you mean that you’ll continue to be around open source - just not as a career? (Wondering if there is something specific to the open source world that you’re articulating.)
The idea ‘unpaid writing is wholesome and golden’ - oh 100%!
Really grateful for this invitation - I wish I had something juicy to show at the moment! Fraidycat and Slaptrash are getting makeovers - we’ll see if I finish them.
In the meantime, looking forward to watching these!
More directories are popping up, many citing Marijn’s Cabinet.
I am barely keeping this site together - particularly since my creators have left me alone now. I suppose they can go on with their lives, off into fortunes, while I have to stay back and do all the work!
Ah, well. @glitchyowl is keeping company. And, now in 2020, I present to you a fine, fine, optifine list of directories appearing, without fanfare, but with placid, reverent gratitude gushing through the Internet pipes. Almost all of these give praise to Marijn’s Link Cabinet - which is really exciting for the linkbrarian Mx. van Hoorn!
Just a big list of categorized links. I love linking to many of the things on here as well! (Another way to do this is to keep pages for each category, such like Maya does here under ‘ye timeless content’.)
I also love seeing links to personal things - like the tea companies linked to - which are a window into the life of The Lynx. I’m trying to do more of this as well - such as linking to headache vids in href.cool.
Internet trash. Literally.
This looks like an unassuming list - but there are a lot of things here that I realized I left out of href.cool for reasons of pure negligence.
The Web is so awesome!
Nearing 10% completion of my twenty year directory project.
New link in Bodies/Adventure:
Added to Bodies/Human:
Gary Crowley’s Headache Vids
I risk losing you here - cause this might seem spammy or something. But I think a good librarian is going to hang on to something sweet, regardless of the optics.
If you have headaches, give this trilogy of short vids a shot. I’ve recommended these to so many people with positive results. A low-effort victory. I’ll take it.
Updated the link to “Ain’t Got No, I’ve Got Life”. The previous vid was removed from YouTube.
"THE NARRATION" (2020)
Wild livers, yes, the neighbors of the lungs, people sleep on livers, I prefer mines in brown gravy, drenched over a bed of white rice.
More of these @dayne_n_simple.
New in Tapes/Infinite:
Corrected “Mouth Trilogy” to “Mouth Tetralogy” now that Mouth Dreams is out.
Added within Web/Meta:
She rolled her eyes at me. “Yeah,” she said, “because everyone knows images are totally uncomplicated and true and exactly what they announce themselves to be.”
Expanded the file transfer entry in Web/Participate:
I have joined the UnderWater Web! It’s lovely bobbing along. If only these words could be read by a warbly text-to-speech.
Also, the Hypertext 2020 project is complete, nearly one year later: kickscondor.com/HT2020.
Reaction to the Unimaginable Heights novella.
Talia of Unimaginable Heights (the gem of all of Neocities) has quietly published an incredible novella: The Bomb and How We Built It. These are my running notes from my first reading.
This is a science-fiction story (along the lines of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We) about a woman living in a commune, the surrounding world existing in a kind of dystopian state. I found the story to be very imaginative and bursting with personality - with some tremendous imagery and funny observations. (I’m not as into plot or character, so I tend to not be as aware of these elements in a story - I enjoy novels that could never be made into films. This novella is definitely in this vein.)
Even though The Bomb is eight-years-old, I feel like it still hits. The human dynamics seemed like they could be a metaphor for virtual communities. There is something very detached and cartoonish about the figures of this story that made them feel almost like if Talita had ripped a bunch of personalities from a Discord channel or a Morrissey chat room and translated them into a real setting. (Doubt Talita did anywhere near this - just a feeling I had.)
Anyway, going to cite some bits and add some general observations at the end.
p. 1. “Now, in the morning, most Newcomers are out there working. Later they will come to the big Sunflower Field and dance naked under the sprinklers. Then they will have lunch, and then they will wash their dishes in a big metal tin, which will be placed right in the centre of the big Sunflower Field - they’re very strict about those kinds of things here, about centres.” (It’s very amusing that they dance and then wash dishes. I think the light-heartedness of the story is quite disarming. But the thing is - it gives the main character a very childlike feeling and sets the story apart from other dystopian stories which are nearly always characterized by a damp, heavy tone. This is why I pair this with We (1920), since the tone feels so similar. Also the note about “centres” becomes very important in the story - the desire to pierce the “centre” of a group dynamic.)
(Oh, I will say - this story is quite allegorical. But I don’t think that’s where it really kills. There are some amazing moments that are only tangential - like epiphanies that seem off-topic, but which are actually central - to me, at least.)
p. 1. “I’m still very far from being considered a part of this place, someone who really belongs here, and that’s because there is way too much ‘me’ in me.” (*It’s interesting that Leo can be Leo - and Jonah can Jonah - but she can’t be herself. I think there’s a very modern pressure to tone yourself down, or to abdicate your identity, perhaps even with good reason, which is why it’s easy to relate to Alejandra here. And I think I can see why this happens on the Internet
Introspective web of the heart.
As hypertext is a suitable metaphor for the mind, one often begins dumping knowledge into it - or sketching mind maps and pushing through idea- or topic-based webs.
In Winnie’s case, she journals in this way. So that, rather than simply starting from the present, she links back to past experiences and epiphanies. Her blog is a map of the heart, perhaps, more than merely the mind. Any devoted student of hypertext will find much to contemplate in her effort.
She combines some confessional blogging with a larger project of self-analysis and plan-making. I think I would be more reluctant to quote her if I knew that this page would be widely read - for her tone is so completely introspective and private.
Trying to write honestly on this public journal is also a constant struggle, especially with what is happening around the world these days. It seems unfair that I am here writing in relative safety while people are out there either dying due to injustice or fighting for it. But I know if I get caught up in activism I won’t be able to survive the grief and fatigue that comes along with it. To survive, I have to carve a little bubble around me for as long as I can. The price to pay is the existential guilt that I carry around with me everyday.
These kinds of admissions, I could never actually hit publish on. Here, in a paragraph detailing a pile of her weaknesses, the subtext is: the strength she has developed in managing those weaknesses.
And - in a way - it is astonishing to read a ‘blog’-type website that isn’t rooted in a criticism of the world or an admonishment to change.
And she develops strengths of a kind that many people simply don’t value. Such as the effort to build a robust aging strategy.
I love growing old, and the only thing I hate about it is people I love growing old — one of the most important things I’ve been working on is learning how to bear grief, and how to cherish love in the present.
Because I have abandonment issues, no matter where I go or what I do I feel alienated, isolated from what everyone else is doing.
So it has been deeply comforting to me when internet strangers send me messages to tell me that they resonated with what I shared. It is not validation that I seek, but resonance and connection. Sometimes, I would like to feel less alone. I would also like to facilitate the space for others like me to feel less alone.
Of course, this is where I am supposed to suggest that social media is tearing the intimacy of online relationships apart - by converting them into war grounds. (While, it seems, her website enables meaningful connection.) However, I can’t help but confront my own reasons for reading Winnie’s journal. Am I merely attempting to voyeuristically examine her life? Perpetuating another ill of online life - the performance, the transaction of personal privacy in exchange for public karma dollas.
What am I seeking in her words? Resonance and connection? Yeah - I think so. I am - for sure - responding to that feeling - resonance - something like, “Oh hey, what she’s saying has something new, but it’s also… very old. I recognize it.”
Yes, yesyes, oui, oyyyy. Hypertext is our connection. She inhabits here more and more, so does h0p3, Talita, all these friends. I am not attempting to self-model, but it is happening. Part of my internal state is here. And they are woven thru it.
I wouldn’t call it self-modeling tho. It’s a soul thing, conjuring, maybe a subastral soulsync (soulseek?) a fomenting of the miracel or the bizet (virtual personas that don’t exist in the physical world, even in pixels, there is no picture of them because they are entirely made of our feelings for others and whatever it is that we’ve learned but don’t yet understand…)
I feel like I’m constantly loosening the invisible chains on myself with every year that goes by. I think the gift of working on ourselves is emotional freedom, and it is emotional freedom that gifts one creative freedom. There has to be a sustainable, steady force propelling us through a 30-year project, and we cannot let our psychological baggage be dead weight in that long, possibly arduous journey.
I need to quote some parts from the chronic pain stuff, as well as her excellent stuff on grief. In those respects, I feel like I live so similarly - it’s like I’ve found someone who says the things I don’t say, because almost no one understands them.
But I’ll also observe that her writing has been excellent during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not generally about the pandemic - more a crystallization of the state of her heart and mind, clearer than before even. So many have been sidelined by the virus - their posts are like “WHOA!” - whereas hers are more uniquely determined in some way.
Her website goes back to 2012. So, as of this writing, there are eight years in the corpus - encompassing life in her 30s. Normally I wouldn’t mention an artist’s age - but age plays a central part in her work. ↩︎
The connection, on the other hand, for me, is the process of building this page, this person page that h0p3 first modeled. I am not trying to completely capture Winnie Lim here and to summarize her so that you don’t have to read her - but to subsume into my life all those words she’s said that will now be with me forever, to credit her, to be generous to her and to thank her. Could be another type of t42t. ↩︎
@sphygmus I’ve been pouring time into an edit of the Hypertext 2020 conversation. It’s very large and I’ve probably spent 40 hours on it. A good amount of that time has been spent on all the wikis - re-reading and combing through - bc we all littered fragments everywhere.
Whatever might happen - I’m very glad that we had that conversation, back on the cusp of the world getting thoroughly upturned. I enjoy reading it. I feel like I kind of ruined part of it by asking questions that fell flat - but it was fun to do and I like the variety of responses. I’m glad you were all up for it! I love to collaborate - it’s a chance to do more than I could ever do alone.
It’s been almost two years since I started reading you. (Two years since I found h0p3 and one year since chame joined.) What can I say? It’s been great. I had fun working on whostyling with you. And watching you write and build simultaneously across your wiki.
It’s probably weird for you that there are still snapshots of your wiki from back then. But I love it.
I think I understand why you do your wiki. I mean - you love it, it’s your creation. You love to shape it and color it in. You like to write, too. You like to muse - feel out topics or emotions where you are uncertain. I definitely see h0p3 and chame fleshing out topics, too - filling in their workbooks - but I think you usually resist coming to a conclusion.
Similarly, you have always been off-and-on with the public side of your wiki. I think this is why it’s so fascinating to see where you go next. You’re still working through those reasons - and maybe resisting a conclusion there, too.
The thing is: we have this big public place now that we all share as humanity. And we don’t understand this place like we understand physical places - cities, homes, parks. This public place has only recently formed - because even the early bloggers and webmasters were virtually alone online. It was a niche thing until recent years.
So you get to be here at the beginning of its explosion. And part of the problem is that we have to try to figure it out before we really even know what it is.
When I think about it, though - I’m glad that you are here at the beginning, sorting through the conflicts this place presents. And working with the raw materials to create unusual, vivid designs for no other reason than the sheer fun and beauty of it.
There’s a price to being public. You rarely see the benefits. You may not see them at all. In fact, the benefit may go to all of us who marvel at your work and get to find inspiration in your designs and the ideas that you leave for us here and there.
I think we can safely say that a platform’s design usually predicts its use. A minified website would be severely hobbled if you’re browsing it with Beaker - forking and live-editing is central. It seems they’ve successfully upgraded ‘view source’.
This whole tweet feels so much bigger that it looks. I’m keeping my own copy of it, if you don’t mind.
And your recent paragraph on the blog about ‘existential guilt’ as a price - it’s just as good. The things you’re writing are, like, palpable.
The new extension by @tobyshorin and @tomcritchlow is textbook. Hypertextbook.
You might think that the Quotebacks extension - for being a piece of rather simple tech - is being talked about enough already. But I think we need to slow down and look at this closer. (Are we few? Those remaining Web devotees…)
And, yes, the website says that Quotebacks does three things. But I’m just going to talk about it as if it did one thing: gives people a common format for embedding quoted stuff.
Looks like this:
Fuck that. I'm more of an editor than a developer any day, but I'll be damned if I'm going to cede that territory. I dont want to pour my words into a box, the parameters of which someone else decides (and obscures). I want to make the box, too. And remake it. And, hell, break it from time to time. It's mine to break.
Select the text. Copy it into the extension. And it’ll give you embed tags. (Much like YouTube does for embedding videos or Twitter does for embedding tweets.)
So. This is a cool extension - but also very sneaky and strategic. Something like this can actually draw people back to the Web. A bit of stylistic appeal paired with some subconscious luring.
The primary advocacy strategy on the Web for the last ten years seems to have been to write a blog post saying, “Hey, stop what you’re doing and write blog posts!” Unfortunately that offers nothing appealing to offset the risk of blogging on a seemingly empty Web. Especially for people who tried blogging already. (“Come on - I swear - people are still out here!!”)
Think of the appeal of ‘likes’ on social media. There was a lot of excitement around this kind of participation. Hey, likes - I could do that! I could get some likes! At the very least, I could give out a few - and I might get some back. Great!
A quoteback is a like, too, actually. It’s just a full paragraph one.
Likes are the most atomic way - the most basic way - of participating in social media. And perhaps the quoteback is the most atomic form of participation on the Web.
This suggests that people are quoting each other a lot on the Web. This suggests that you will be quoting others and they will be quoting you. There is an automatic action implied - a subconscious luring - that one should begin by reading. By finding quotes to quote.
And I think this is an excellent mindset to be in.
Furthermore, this positions the Web as a container. The Web has already become a place to embed other network content. You don’t embed social networks into each other - you embed into HTML. This makes the Web a wrapper for every other kind of network. And the glue between networks.
Quotebacks can fabricate an image for social networks. Check it out.
An acute reminder of hypertext sterilization on those Webs.
So, sure, go to the social networks to do detail work and messaging. But come back out to the Web to assemble it all into more encompassing creations. Essays, guides, journals and such.
The novel styling of quotebacks is not immaterial. The elegant formatting - and even the slight hover effect - creates desire to be quoted. Just as reading a book with gorgeous typesetting and paper aroma alone fills one with desire to write. (“This book sucks - but I can almost picture the book that might live up to a binding of this quality…”) The styling gives the Web texture and physical appeal that it is distinctly lacking.
If the Web is going to be treated as a place to drop embeds, this extension embraces that. Here are some more good-lookin’ embeds for ya.
And I actually hope that quotebacks become a more general thing. Imagine if you could snip video or podcast segments and spit out a block that is also recognizable as a quoteback. The Web contains and wraps those fragments, seeds in its garden.
Now, of course, I’m raving about something that is truly quite simple.
Am I dense? I'm still at such a loss on the https://quotebacks.net thing that I feel like I must be missing something. I don't feel like "blockquotes don't have a fancy, common-design embed like tweets and grams do" is some sort of pressing obstacle for blogging?
Isn’t this just a quotation or citation? Haven’t these been around for centuries? Can’t I just use the blockquote?
Absolutely. I, personally, am sticking to the blockquote - because I already have a convention going for myself.
But it’s still appealing. This is inviting me to do something that I’m already doing. In a way, the fact that this is such a slight change - so simple and familiar - just tweak your copy-and-paste to get some slight advantage - almost guarantees that it will do well.
Anyway - I applaud this strategy. Creating new protocols for the Web is cool - but it implies more work for everyone. If you can help modernize the existing Web by adding tools that enhance it as a container, that encourage reading and which perhaps offer a way of understanding what it means to participate here - seems exquisite, right?
Which is already somewhat the format of e-mails, though it’s unnatural to quote different sources there. ↩︎
With so many networks focused on tool for creation - here are the ways you can use videos, use stickers, filter yourself, sprinkle yourself with three-dimensional face dust, lower your pitch, tag yourself - I think it’s a smart counter-strategy to swing the other direction - here is something you can do with what someome else has said. Begin by reading, not by pressing REC. ↩︎
There it stands - so smug and invincible!
I’m very slow to reason about things, so I often just avoid it. Which means I end up with a whole lot of things I haven’t reasoned about - until I have to. (It’s also overwhelming - the amount of things to try to figure out.)
I’m kind of ambivalent about Chesterton, but maybe he was ahead of his time. Borges liked him, so that’s probably enough. Anyway, I ran across this quote from him:
There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”
— G. K. Chesterton, The Thing, 1929
This is tough enough to do with a fence. How do you possibly attempt to justify the purpose of abstract empires like Wall Street, religion, vaccines, capitalism, socialism, governments, police departments, academia and even stuff I personally loathe - such as influence-peddling and that ‘recognition’ is considered a good thing to do to someone?
A way to defeat Chesterton’s Fence is to simply obscure the purpose so deeply that - while there may be surface purposes, the true purposes are purported to be too deep to understand - except by a select few. (The term ‘quantitative easing’ comes to mind.) A fence like that becomes quite invulnerable.
He goes on, elsewhere to further object to passionate, sudden smashing. This is predictable.
Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, “Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good—” At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their un-mediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.
— G. K. Chesterton, Heretics, 1905
I do like that the monk is ‘excusably knocked down’. I feel the monk’s issue here is exactly what I described earlier - obscuring his reasoning in abstractions, in a way that feels like stalling. The pullers-down here may seem impatient, but hey, we can’t spend our whole lives analyzing a lamp-post.
In a way, all of the various reasons for pulling down the lamp-post are pretty damning. Couldn’t a variety of reasons be much more compelling than a singular, unanimous reason?
Besides, isn’t the fence’s destruction inevitable? By fire, rain, vehicle or animal - isn’t a fence ALWAYS a temporary solution? Hastening its destruction seems innovative - let’s find out what the consequences are - REAL, not imaginary - such that we can find a more permanent solution perhaps.
I think that, if people are talking about taking down a fence, then they are likely free from more pressing concerns. So they likely have the luxury of now addressing the consequences.
In this way, I feel like the current desire to destroy the police departments has come about BECAUSE culture and society have improved. We now have the luxury of this being our concern - and there is an inate feeling percolating that now could be the time to confront the consequences. (I don’t say ‘luxury’ accusingly - having experienced a lot of grief in my life, I feel that grief too is a luxury - not everyone has the luxury to dwell on a tragedy after it happens.)
I run out of steam pretty quickly on topics like this. It’s not that I don’t care - it’s just the futility of trying to tackle a big topic, having only lived as this one inadequate being. (I lose every debate I get into because I see the other person’s side too easily - and I just agree with everyone. It’s stupid - I wish I was principled.)
But I think I see the ‘fence’ differently than Chesterton. We are too attached to our personal fences. Even the big ones like capitalism and socialism. I feel that these are just tools for us to use. (And I think humans will ultimately move well beyond these two concepts.) Both capitalism and socialism have useful concepts that will stay with us. Even if they are one day only found as choices in the menu of a SimCity clone.
Life will one day be unrecognizable to us today. The events of the last few months are proof of that. And I almost feel certain that the least likely prediction will come true. (And I do wish that Chesterton’s fence was real - maybe it is - because I confess that it would be cool to visit such a thing. Even if it would only be kept alive under extremely vigilant care.)
glitchyowl, the future of 'people'.
jack & tals, hipster bait oracles.
maya.land, MAYA DOT LAND.
neil c. "some..."
all my other links are now at href.cool.