Today I learned that the first sports bra was two jockstraps sewn together.
Today I learned that the first sports bra was two jockstraps sewn together.
[…] You also talk in the book at length about the labor that goes into growing and maintaining digital communities like MetaFilter or Reddit. Of course, almost all that labor is uncompensated. How did this enthusiastic volunteerism of spaces like Echo in the ’90s become this economic engine of the internet years later?
I have really complicated feelings I tried to work out through that book, in the sense of volunteering as quite beneficial if it is for your own space. If you’re having a gathering or a party, you clean up afterward, as it’s your apartment. But that’s the nature of scale… when you get to that level that there are too many, say, beheading videos that we can’t make sure a platform is cleared of all of them, to me that’s evidence this is out of control and should be shut down. This is not a real community, it’s not organized by people who have their sense of values or through shared space. But on the other hand there are so many people who find imperfect tactics for maintaining spaces similar to Echo or those smaller ‘90s platforms.
This does seem to be the nature of the divide in thinking. Online community doesn’t scale. Or maybe we should say that persistent communities don’t.
Temporary or transient communities might, if only because they tend to be purpose-driven and if the problems of abuse and moderation arise within them they don’t last long because the communities themselves don’t last long. Any sort of ongoing concern, however, seems to have its limits.
One of the things that distributed efforts perhaps have a better handle on is that platforms aren’t communities but they can host communities if each community has access to community-building — and community-protecting — tools. But if the communities must rely on the platform handling all moderation and policing, it’s difficult if not ultimately impossible for communities to take hold.
This afternoon I was struck by an anecdote in the eighth chapter of Frank Chimero’s breezy The Shape of Design in which he describes encountering a rendering bug in what for all intents and purposes and maybe in actuality is Instagram; the profile photos of people who had followed Chimero or “liked” his posts were shown grossly out of proportion to the design’s intent.
[…] That one simple change made me feel a part of this photography framework and the community it sustains. Seeing the faces of the ones who liked my photos made me part of a web of mutual appreciation. The people snapped back into focus as individuals.
I began to think about the screen’s original design: it had information density, but it wasn’t a suitable representation of personhood. The design was optimized for consumption of information rather than thankfulness for the interactions and relationships it depicts. Appreciation is a significant aspect of positive experiences; if the design choices have been optimized for consumption instead, it turns an opportunity for nourishing collective resonance into a gesture of empty snacking.
Indeed, as I look at my Instagram notifications tab, the framework actually smushes notifications together into groups. Instead of seeing who engaged with a post. I see the name of one person and then merely the number of additional people. Instagram believes in the thrill of quantity rather than the warmth of quality.
Oh, terrific. Inexplicably, my site’s CSS is rendering ordered lists with an unindented circle, except that I did not change any CSS regarding
margin-left, so what the hell?
I’m never not amazed by how much smaller the White House briefing room looks compared to the set built for The West Wing. How much more cardboard, too. The set looks real and the room looks fake.
For those still following the radical-for-them changes Twitter said they’re working on, here’s your first look at how control over your conversations could be presented.
Just made a small ennui-prompted design tweak, changing the font for the main site header and page headers to
Still looking for a macOS solution for basic photo edits, mostly things like resizing and saving to
.png without ending up with files that are massive compared to the original
.jpg. It used to be Photoshop Elements for me, but the version I have doesn’t work right under macOS Catalina. Someone did tip me to Acorn and I did do the trial but I don’t have a spare $30 laying around.
.pngversions of book covers for use in my Reading posts.
What I want to know is: when Nevada switches to a primary will it incorporate the one aspect of a caucus that can and should be scaled up, and utilize the ranked-preference ballot they used for “early caucusing” this year?
Chris Aldrich brings me Cory Doctorow’s glorious paean to the ethic of gopherspace. My first access to the internet was via a dialup gopher server run by a public library in upstate New York; I adoringly went on to run a gopher server for awhile.
I admit that I misread CJ Eller quoting Robin Sloan as having written, “Is it simply… the feeling of being alone?” and, honestly, I got confused about whether that would be a quality of being in a place or a space.
Did some more CSS tinkering (mostly around the navigation menu and the search box), and made a custom
sitemap.xml template because I’d forgotten to turn off my replies to others being published to a section of my blog, and they were in theory getting indexed because of that. So, I finally changed that setting in my account and removed any
replies URLs from appearing in my sitemap.
Dear web browsers, please can I have support for this
:has() pseudo-class? Because able to select for any
a tag that directly contains an
img child would be useful to me, eventually.
The :has() CSS pseudo-class represents an element if any of the selectors passed as parameters (relative to the :scope of the given element), match at least one element.
If you’re any sort of progressive urbanist, you’ll probably weep at this short film from 2018 (via CityLab) showing how curtrailing car traffic in a nine-square-block area in Barcelona turned mere urban space into an urban place.
The other day when I reposted an old thing about Inception, it linked the old blog where it had originally appeared, and today I remembered how much I liked the color I used in that site’s very-minimalist scheme (I’d also used it in an earlier incarnation of a single-topic blog where I discussed the progress of Joss Whedon’s script for Goners or its lack thereof), and so today I changed the
--main-accent variable in my blog’s CSS to
#006868, which Colorbook refers to simply as “dark green” but always seemed to me more of a gray-green.
It’s true that I’m primarily reading Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City looking for interesting observations about urban planning and cities that might have analogues when it comes to online communities, but along the way I am learning about some fascinating projects in the former realm. For instance, the work of Alejandro Aravena to build half of a good house rather than a whole bad house. In essence, rather than taking the available $X and building a small house that will never really fulfill a family’s needs, you build half of a larger, better house which comes with an empty space into which the family themselves can expand as they see fit and when they can afford to do so.
Next, take it one step further and add captions to everything. You’ll find it helps with mumbling actors and unfamiliar accents, you’ll enjoy catching side remarks in your favorite shows that you never noticed before, and you’ll discover the hidden joys of surprisingly creative and humorous audio descriptions. Most importantly, you can crunch away on snacks as loudly as you want without fear of missing anything.
My biggest takeaway from Noah Kulwin’s look at Acronym (the company behind the Shadow app that helped break the Iowa caucuses) for The Outline is that founder Tara McGowan’s philosophy—she told Axios, “The space was ripe for disruption and innovation. Yet with the ethos of taking great risks means that we can make great mistakes.”—is the same “move fast and break things” which is wrecking everything around us, and surely is too dangerous to import into the systems of our democracy.
This brutal look by The New York Times makes it clear: it’s time to end the Iowa Clusterfuck once and for all. It’s charming, and watching partisans calmly push and pull at each other in this day and age is a psychic balm, but they have no earthly idea what they are doing.