Photo: September 24 2022, 7:52amGolf Lesson

I figured that if I’m going to spoil some walks, I should at least learn to spoil them properly. Definitely worth it. I should have done this when I first started playing many, many years ago.

A photo by Cam titled 'Golf Lesson'

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I spent several hours last night banging my head against a wall trying to get Wallabag set up. A quick cry for help in the IndieWeb chat revealed that I had been reading a ‘<’ as a ‘>’. 🤦🏻‍♂️ With that idiocy resolved, it took me about 15 mins to get things up and running this evening. There’s also an iOS app and—surprisingly!—a Safari extension, so the switch from Pocket has been remarkably painless.

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I loved Nina Li Coomes’ article about rewatching Spirited Away; it’s a film I can (and do!) go back to as well. Also noted: her point about “the precarity of media”—I’ve been bitten by stuff disappearing from streaming too.

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Lots to unpack and think about in today’s Galaxy Brain; creativity as “a by-product of mastery,” tech designed to make us inattentive, our fixation with (and veneration of) building over maintaining… 🤔

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Evidently I’m still on a bit of a LEGO kick at the moment…

Two LEGO jigsaw puzzle boxes, one of minifigures making up the classic space logo and one of stacks of minifigure heads

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Thematically related to the bookmark I posted earlier today: W3C TAG Ethical Web Principles. It’s nice to know that the people shaping the direction of the web are thinking about what can be done to make it better beyond just the technologies.

(Via Jeremy Keith)

Bookmark: September 19 2022, 9:28amThe Internet We Could Have Had

Christopher Kelty: “Ten years ago I began writing a book. It was going to be called Power/Sharing and would pick up on my previous book Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. It was a turbulent time: the occupy movement, M15 and the indignados movement, the protests in Tunisia and Egypt, protests against legislation called SOPA/PIPA, the suicide of Aaron Swartz, STUXnet, the successes of the Pirate Party, the antics of Anonymous, the crazed certainty of Wikileaks, the revelations of Edward Snowden, and seemingly endless lawsuits, crackdowns, and arrests related to piracy, hacking and as we used to say, various internet motherfuckery.”

Institute of Network Cultures

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TIL a name for something I see almost every day, but for which I didn’t have a good label: Certainty Theatrics.

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There’s no other way to say it: this is fucking wild.

Another 🤯 stat… most American restaurants have 3× as much space dedicated to parking than they do for dining.

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(Note: I’ve had this article open in a tab for weeks now, and I was going to write something a little more thought-out about it, but now I just want to post it and close the window because it’s kind of depressing me.)

Ted Gioia asks “Where Did the Long Tail Go?” It’s a great question; I read and enjoyed Chris Anderson‘s book, but it’s pretty much turned out to be a bust—if anything (and I know this is a broad generalization, and that there are some counter-examples), it appears that big players selling huge amounts of high-grossing product have become even more entrenched and dominant in the market, squeezing out the potential long-tailers that were supposed to flourish.

And, sadly, I think Gioia’s explanation around why the Long Tail has proven false is accurate:

There’s one more reason why the Long Tail has died in the digital world. Web platforms aren’t really focused on serving users—what they really want to do is control users. This almost always requires them to squeeze out niche and alternative views, and force as many customers as possible to follow the herd.

The Long Tail was published back in 2006, just before the rise of the social media giants, so while the premise may have been reasonable back then, my hypothesis is that the amplification + homogenization of cultural trends (“echo chambers”) that the social silos created has made it infinitely more difficult for the people on the fringes that were supposed to benefit to actually break through and reach the audiences that would enable them to thrive.

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A couple of trivially interesting Melbourne-related things I saw this morning:

  1. Melbourne made the top 25 list of cities with the most skyscrapers, but Sydney did not (apparently, Sydney sits at #42); I would never have thought that.
  2. The City of Melbourne has decided that the smell from a Vegemite factory is “of significant heritage value” and will need to be “acknowledged” (whatever that means) in any future redevelopment. I also totally agree with the—admittedly Australian—author’s assessment that this settles the argument about the superiority of Vegemite over (🤢) Marmite.

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🤯

(But also now I have Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” stuck in my head.)

Photo: September 14 2022, 12:20pmJustice & Equality

A photo by Cam titled 'Justice & Equality'

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Since I got injured last year, running and I have not been great friends, but I do miss having something to do outdoors. And because I apparently need more aggravation in my life, I’ve decided to pick up the clubs again (after a long hiatus!) to try to spoil a few good walks. ⛳️

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The Verge is trying something “new” (is it new? Or maybe “different” is a better word?):

We also thought about where we came from and how we built The Verge into what it is today. And we landed on: well shit, we just need to blog more.

While the new design is… fine, I guess 🤷🏻‍♂️, the change in direction is something I’d like to see from more media outlets; rather than rehashing the same stories as everyone else, just link out to good reporting and spend the time working on your own stories. How well it works for them remains to be seen, but it’s definitely a worthwhile experiment and I hope it’s a successful model that catches on elsewhere.

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I was about to run out and buy an Xbox, but then I read the thread—it’s coming to Switch, too! BRB, reliving my youth…

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@dammh I’ve got the 12 mini which is about the perfect size… it should last me a while longer, but (semi-)seriously considering buying and stashing a 13 mini for future use.

Retoot from Brion Vibber:

Remembering the right combo of button presses to rewind/ff at maximum speed on the Apple TV feels a *lot* like trying to learn combos for Street Fighter II

Photo: September 5 2022, 10:51amA Walk in the Woods

Great Ledge Trail, Redding, CT

A photo by Cam titled 'A Walk in the Woods'

Photo: September 4 2022, 8:32amScoop Your Poop

A photo by Cam titled 'Scoop Your Poop'