Kicks Condor

#zine

I use three main tags on this blog:

  • hypertext: linking, the Web, the future of it all.

  • garage: art and creation, tinkering, zines and books, kind of a junk drawer - sorry!

  • elementary: schooling for young kids.

17 Oct 2019

Normality RPG

(nicked from chameleon:) Possibly the most raw, rage-filled role-playing game—designed to unhinge players by lying to them and deluding them. It’s a psyop on your friends. Cool aesthetics.

Ok, thanks to chameleon, here’s normality.pdf—good luck reading through the splatters and commas, , , , . BWYT M BWYTJ XXXDXXX. (Although, the poem “THE MAORI JESUS” by James K. Baxter is included and can be used as a character module. I don’t know what a ‘sad old quean’ is.)

The two authors began on a two-year journey of rage and frustration at the state of the world, and the reactions of those around them to their concerns. We became filled with hatred toward the roleplayers we encountered at local games and conventions, and so we set out to hurt them. To make them cry. We very nearly succeeded.

I can’t play this because it’s so brazenly misanthropic—but my love and appreciation for humans truly eclipses any of that—this is just another marvellous mess in the pile of our history, something to wrap our fish in—just as Van Gogh’s paintings were first repurposed. (Little-known fact from the pdf.)

It’s interesting to me that one of the goals of this game is to strip away ‘fluff’—aloofness and oneupmanship at the table, social veneer, the kinds of things perhaps the Joker film was on about—and to immerse characters in the game by ‘scrupulously avoiding a coherent setting and/or meta-plot for the game.’ In doing so, it begins to feel very postmodern, because there’s a kind of ‘breaking the fourth wall’ kind of thing being done to try to blur the border of the fictional and the real.

At the same time, it definitely doesn’t see itself that way—it seems to see itself as completely primal. And I think you could get there, perhaps, if a group playing the game could let things completely devolve. (Though I think such a thing couldn’t truly be done without real violence, right? Otherwise, you’re kidding yourself.)

It’s also fun to look at the whole thing as a parody of niche RPGs or zines. I think it would be fun to play this ironically, too. I know that sounds degenerate, but yeah, that’s exactly the point. (Signed, Ironic Waifuist Sad Old Quean.)

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12 Sep 2019

Dror Bar-Natan’s Academic Pensieve

How a mathematician self-modeled over the last 20 years.

I’m tempted to label this guy the “Anti-Tufte” because of the MS Paint academic style on this website and the slapdash text layout. I hope this isn’t an insult—I find all of this work inspiring, quite inspiring in a way, it’s like dense mathematics have somehow wrapped around to zine aesthetics. (A lot of the visuals I’m talking about are linked on the ‘handout browser’ wiki page.)

Also really cool: this directory where Dr. Bar-Natan follows students projects.

The directory of blackboard shots is kind of like an interesting take on a timeline. I keep seeing interesting timelines out there—this one is cool because it extends in the future. There was another one, but I’ve lost track of it. I thought the site was too commercial, so I let it go. But now I just want it back for a minute. Ah well.

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05 Jun 2019

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23 May 2019

Reply to alienmelon

I love the skeleton zine. Could skeleton zines become a new genre? Well, yes. It’s now a new genre. Soon there will be teenage skeleton novels and films. Good job.

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10 May 2019

Slaptrash Editor. This is a little project I’m messing with at the moment. It’s a simple way of creating video + audio + text mashups that you can embed in a webpage. Don’t worry if you feel that this thing is flippant and pointless—I’m well aware of that.

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09 May 2019

Reply: Autoapology

Jeremy Cherfas

Don’t do this! Just don’t. Autoplay ought to get you flayed alive.

I’m so sorry! I will fix this. I’m playing with an unfinished prototype here and rushed to get it out the door. Please bear with me.

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07 May 2019

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21 Mar 2019

Internet K-Hole

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ok, have your fun.

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12 Mar 2019

Hand Job Zine

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

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

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14 Sep 2018

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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16 Aug 2018

The Word.com Archive

While surfing today, I ran across this article—The Ballad of Jaime Levy—that goes over the history of an old 90s e-zine called Word.com. Man, had I forgotten. Boring name, yeah—but they were doing some really sweet stuff back then. This archive doesn’t do the zine justice; many of the best years were done in embedded Shockwave and Quicktime, but it sounds like they’re working on restoring those issues. I vividly remember the screenshot above—there was a kind of parallax scrolling going on in the banner.

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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.