vague, but exciting

the porous city

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Living in the dark place
Because you are human beings you are going to meet failure. You are going to meet disappointment, injustice, betrayal, and irreparable loss. You will find you're weak where you thought yourself strong. You'll work for possessions and then find they possess you. You will find yourself - as I know you already have - in dark places, alone, and afraid.

What I hope for you, for all my sisters and daughters, brothers and sons, is that you will be able to live there, in the dark place. To live in the place that our rationalizing culture of success denies, calling it a place of exile, uninhabitable, foreign.
A Left-Handed Commencement Address by Ursula K. LeGuin

The wildfires didn't have to be this bad
Gone
  • Cities founded in the fire-prone frontier by anti-government types that didn't want to be told how to build (proper infrastructure, firebreaks etc.)
  • Real estate has been the main wealth generator for a while, "Selling out to a developer was the only retirement plan most farmers knew."
  • "What was once sparse is now densely packed with pine, fir, cedar, and manzanita. A forest that supported 64 trees an acre in pre-settlement times now boasted 160 trees an acre ... 'I don't think we could have managed the forests any worse.'"
  • "as Wilson and his staff studied the fires more closely, he could see that their oddly linear pattern of ignition clusters corresponded to major electrical power lines."
  • “These weren’t outlier events,” Wilson said. “These same spots had a history of fire. They had burned before and were destined to burn again. If you charted it out, we weren’t having far more wildfires than in the past. But the wildfires we were experiencing were far more deadly and destructive, and that had to do with mismanaging the forest and building communities in the wildland-urban interface. The state’s population was exploding in the very areas most susceptible to wildfires.”
  • Forestry management and fire prevention - prescribed burns, reducing fuel load - curtailed in favor of military-style firefighting.
  • "To justify its high costs, [Cal Fire] had to figure out a way to make itself essential throughout the year. This was how it evolved into a 24/7 provider of emergency services to the sprawling mountain communities ... instead of trying to slow down the suburbanization of forestlands, Wilson said, the department served the growth — to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in funding."
  • "In their filings, each attorney traced the historic blazes to a culture of mismanagement, corruption, and cover-up that had taken hold inside PG&E decades before. A pattern of venality, they argued, began in the company’s early years and became more recalcitrant in the 1980s and 1990s, when PG&E, with the connivance of the California Public Utilities Commission, its watchdog, made a decision to place profits and bonuses to top executives — and dividends to shareholders — over safety."
  • "It was fiction that the California Public Utilities Commission exercised any watchdog role over PG&E, he said. “They don’t have the resources, they don’t have the trained personnel or mindset, to monitor and audit PG&E’s compliance with safety regulations. PG&E can literally get away with murder.”"

Techno and its history
Awesome reading list with special focus on techno as black music.

See also this talk from DeForrest Brown Jr.

The Great Pan is Dead
EVERYONE HAS ONCE READ, for it comes up many times in literature, of that pilot in the reign of Tiberius, who, as he was sailing along in the Aegean on a quiet evening, heard a loud voice announcing that "Great Pan was dead." This engaging myth was interpreted in two contradictory ways.

Part of a larger work that locates creation myths with a change about 6,500 years ago when the position of the sun during the equinoxes stopped lining up with the Milky Way.

The rest of the site ... lotta wild stuff there.

Infinity Window - Artificial Midnight

Manage the DOM with vanilla JS

Mellow Mix From Mr. Weatherall

Good all-in-one guide to preparing for coronavirus

Cool electronic music events in the Bay Area
19hz.info wow how did I not know about this

edmtrain also has some good stuff on the more mainstream tip as you might have guessed

really going to learn CSS the right way this time

AIDungeon
interactive fiction in 2019 is wild

I just won a game by getting broken up with and then crying. Which ... I play games to escape from real life, not to recapitulate it.

Best Kindle Edition of Ulysses by James Joyce
The number of cheap Kindle editions of Ulysses continues to grow. None of them are perfect: so far the editions generally accepted to be most free of errors (like the Gabler edition) aren't available, and the typesetting and layout are often amateurish. On the other hand, you can get a copy of a marvelous and strange book for the price of a candy bar and carry it anywhere.

  • 2019 update: there is now a Penguin edition on Kindle, based on the 1960 Bodley Head edition, which would seem to be the obvious choice. However, it looks like it was poorly digitized and is riddled with errors.
  • The Shmoop study version seems to be the only one that breaks the book up into 18 episodes. It adds Cliff's Notes-style commentary, for good or ill. Typesetting is pretty basic.
  • The free Kindle edition is free, has the most reviews by far, but is apparently missing text (The Ballad of Joking Jesus and any other verse printed centered on the page.) Might be badly scanned. No idea what printed edition this is based on.
  • Ulysses Unabridged (Illustrated) has the text the other version lacks. It's $2.99. Has only has one review, which makes me a little uneasy. No idea what printed edition this is based on. (Update: I ended up buying this one. It doesn't have chapter breaks. Despite what the one review says, it is actually illustrated. "Proteus" has a modern-day photo of Sandymount strand.)
  • Project Gutenberg has a Kindle version up that lacks chapter breaks, although it keeps the three-part structure. Based on the 1922 edition.
  • epubBooks also has a Kindle edition. Good luck finding out anything about it. It's probably fine. Why do I have to do this? Why isn't the answer obvious?

Recommendation: get the Project Gutenberg edition. Free, better than the "free Kindle edition", as good as the paid editions.

If you thought that was nitpicking, Google "gabler kidd".

Labor and value
tfw the best explanation of the labor theory of value in Marx you've seen is in a ten-year-old blog comment.

"Do you have a feeling that you've done this before?"
"No."
"Neither do I. Maybe that's a good sign."

Study Guide to the Pali Canon

“No seré capitán.”
And this, surely, is what Shakespeare also felt, because in one of his comedies there is a soldier, a cowardly soldier, the Miles Gloriosus of the Latin comedy. The man is a show-off, he makes people believe that he has acted bravely, and they promote him and he becomes a captain. Then they discover his trick, and in front of the entire troop they pull off his medals; they humiliate him. And then he is left alone and says: “Captain I’ll be no more; / But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft / As captain shall: simply the thing I am / Shall make me live.” “No seré capitán.” He says simply, “the thing I am shall make me live.” That is, he feels that above and beyond the circumstances, beyond his cowardice, his humiliation, he is something else, a kind of strength we all have within us, what Spinoza called “God,” what Schopenhauer called “will,” what Bernard Shaw called “life force,” and Bergson called “vital impulse.” I think this is also what was going on with Boswell.

Borges on Boswell

Oh man it's been WAY too long since I've read Shakes

Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great,
'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more;
But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft
As captain shall: simply the thing I am
Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
Let him fear this, for it will come to pass
that every braggart shall be found an ass.
Rust, sword? cool, blushes! and, Parolles, live
Safest in shame! being fool'd, by foolery thrive!
There's place and means for every man alive.
I'll after them.

Ways of Seeing


"There's something here that really, I'd like to twist round a little bit ... because, narcissism, is a very sort of pronounced way of stating a relationship to the world, whether it's a man or a woman, isn't it. But this other question, which is contained within it, doesn't go as far as it as an idea - is this sort of self-delight of a person, whether it's a man or a woman, in life, in what they'e doing, in their relationships with men or women. And it's a thing that matters tremendously. And it's not only a sort of inner thing, by which you live, but it's a very outer thing by which you gain relationships with your own context in the world that you can't gain any other way. That it's when you have somehow been made so unconscious of yourself that you easily, naturally sort of compulsively go out to whatever is going on around you. Now, when [inaudible] a child, that tends, more than people, to be other things, doesn't it. Mountains, streams, wherever you go. And then, only gradually, as you go on, you make this kind of absolutely necessary contact with people. But I do think that the sort of essence of self-delight as a kind of possible thing in the modern world, and something which fewer woman have than men, and want, and must have ... is the power, the compulsion, not the power, the compulsion to make contact with the world as you are living in it. And when I say that I don't just mean the people next door, or your friends, I simply mean what is going on."

I don't buy what she says about the differences between women and men here, but

high-pitched buzzing sound

Live streaming like it was in the old days
9128 ambient, downtempo etc from A Strangely Isolated Place, Mysteries of the Deep and friends.

Quick start guide to research on human factors in software engineering
Papers, references, books

Could have used this three years ago, but better late than never.

The Bushy Bride and others

Zürich
trees and blue sky

In Venice
Reading Goethe's "Italian Journey". He hung out with a Frenchman, "a man of rank, who is well bred, but whose mind cannot go beyond himself and his immediate circle ... he is traveling through Italy for pleasure, but rapidly, in order to be able to say that he has seen it ... it caused me some surprise to think that anyone could ever travel in this temper, without a thought for anything beyond himself, and yet he is, in his way, a polished, sensible and well-connected person."

In Rome he is "oppressed and borne down with numberless phenomena. Wherever one goes and casts a look around, the eye is at once struck with some landscape, forms of every kind and style ... by the evening one is quite weary and exhausted with the day's seeing and admiring."

EYEDEEEM
I'm finally an Aleksi Perala believer:

What's that sound?

Lou Reed David Bowie 1979
Story time

"Don't you EVER say that to me!"

Satellite of Love
Hayabusa2NOW

I which I continue to post links to stuff I would have loved around the time I hacked together this blog.

Improving
  • Sriracha, but a little bit spicier.
  • Accessibility for software, but as a continuum instead of a few "accessibility features".
  • Me, but with the benefit of having observed a few more cycles of my habitual reactions to things and how those are oftimes unhelpful.
  • Now, but maybe paying attention to the meeting I'm in?

Writing on music worth your time

Open database of RSS feeds

psi-onyx

Interactive map of SF parking rules
Coord

Someday I'm going to need this badly enough to sign up.

Tape transfer

San Francisco exports more homeless people than it imports
I'm going to need this some day. Data on busing homeless people from the Guardian

rgraggghaaaaahhhhhhhggg

The Merchant Fleet of Late Medieval and Tudor England, 1400-1580

We launched a thing

Goblin King
Bowie 😭

Robert Heaton
Essays

Funny, well, written, it's a good blog. Say this one: Tracking friends and strangers with WhatsApp.

Use of proprietary IT associated with increased industry concentration
Paper

"Successful IT systems appear to play a major role in the recent increases in industry concentration and in profit margins, moreso [sic] than a general decline in competition."

Illustrating Group Theory
A coloring book

Online version is beautiful, I assume the printed version is too.

Tech
Hardware, OS, Storage, a11y, WRX, Open, Development, Product Management, Mobile, barcamp, Web, Data, Security, Android, Energy, PIM, Javascript, RSS, Visual, Crowdsourcing, Social, s60, Collaboration, Net, Audio, Automobile, Wearables, Business, Web analytics, Medical, MacOS, Shopping

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Tools, Process, IA, Algorithmic, Type, Presentations, Cool, Furniture, Architecture, Web, User experience, Data visualization

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Kenya, Uganda, Kingdom of Siam, Vagabond '08

Photos
Moblog, Friends, Photos I Wish I'd Taken

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Mind

Internet classic

One Acre Fund

Mathematics

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