Tag Archives: blogging

Hidden City Philadelphia on the S.S. United States

Hidden City Philadelphia, a blog you should be reading if you’re not, has a few recent posts on the S.S. United States including pictures and an interview with Steven Ujifusa who recently had a book published about the ship.

Hidden City Philadelphia: Meredith Broussard: In Love With A Ship And Its Architect

Hidden City Philadelphia: Matthew Christopher: The View Inside (And Out) The Dazzling Ship

Related:

Plan Philly: The SS United States: Until the first blows fall

“Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.”

I went on an interesting journey online last night that led me to the source of the above phrase, a poem on mortality, entropy, memory… and databases. Yes, you read that right.

I read Tor.com’s wonderful blog almost once a day to check up posts on books, favorite sci-fi and fantasy TV Series, and more. Yesterday they had a post featuring a striking photograph by Cat Valente of some haunting graffiti with the title of of this post scrawled out. She had recognized the line from an earlier post in Tor.com’s Poetry Month series, “John M. Ford’s sonnet ‘Against Entropy’”. Reading the comments in that post led to the original source of the poem, where it was written and shared for the first time.

In 2003 Patrick Nielsen Hayden posted about how moved he was by Andrew Brown’s writing about the slow and terrible death of a friend’s wife. He lamented, If I were a better writer I’d conclude by yoking the trivial to the tragic, relating the twin inevitabilities of death and database error by means of a rhetorical figure involving worms.. In the comments of that post, John M. Ford, the writer Neil Gaiman said of, my best critic … the best writer I knew, wrote the following:

The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days –
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.
The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.

A poem, written in a blog post comment in 2003, shows up on a physical wall in 2012.

The poem speaks loudly about the ends of things, our role, and even the work I do, which has everything to do with building systems that can adapt and grow in the face of bit rot and lack of attention.

Damn it, I don’t care if it isn’t hip, I still love the Web.

Life and Code: a blog to follow

I’ve really been enjoying Lisa William’s blog titled “Life and Code” and think it’s a great one for your RSS reader every day. She started to blog to document her passage to a programmer who can toss together an app on a whim in a weekend and her background in online media and journalism makes for some great posts and links to follow.

The following is a quote from her, on her motivations to start coding (“Code to make a point; code to make change; on newshacking”, which resemble motivations that keep me wanting to continue code and to volunteer my skills:

I believe a program can stand in opposition to Things That Suck, just like a documentary, a work of art, or a protest march.  

That’s why I like work like this, which shows where the money goes when it comes to Congresscritters and their free cars.  

Or this, which is an Android app to help vets with PTSD.  

I wanna code because SHIT IS BROKEN.  I want to code because corruption is real, because people are getting thrown out of their houses, because veterans aren’t getting what they deserve, because racism is real and has real effects, because yes it does matter when you cancel a bus line, because it’s really hard to shut a computer program up, because you can’t say it’s an isolated incident when there’s a bigass Google Map in your face showing you it’s not.  

And journalism’s response to the biggest problems of our age — global warming, global health, economic crises — are, all too often, pathetic: he said/she said talking heads on TV, tearjerker anecdotes about one person who loses their house to a flood or rapaciously unethical lenders standing in for THE VAST TSUNAMI OF PEOPLE GETTING F**D OVER BY THESE THINGS.  No wonder facts just seem to bounce off so many Americans, and so many of the powerful are able to claim that nothing needs to be done when doing nothing suits their moneyed interests.  

Our age doesn’t just NEED computational journalism: it DEMANDS it. 

Recent highlights:

“Code to make a point; code to make change; on newshacking”

“Learning to Program for Journalists: The Epic HOWTO”

“Notable News Apps on Github”

The 99 Percent: a blog to follow

Tumblr and WordPress hosted blogs are home to an always ever growing source of inspiration. Check out “We are the 99 Percent”, hand written stories of struggle, fear, and hope.

Related:

Metafilter: “We are the 99 percent.”

Washington Post: “‘Occupy Wall Street’ only growing stronger”

New York Times: “Protests Stir Up Voices on the Web”

Joy bigger than the universe, and sorrow for a lifetime

Absolute must read – Jennifer Lawler: “For Jessica”.

The latest: “A vigil for Jessica”:

Now, between the crisis and the catastrophe, you know you should lift a glass of champagne, but you have failed to lay in supplies yet again. Maybe next time you will remember.

Tonight there is just a long time till morning, and your lost saints can give no comfort. So you pick up your pen instead and you pin the terror to the page, and you hope it does not get loose. And a circle of women who have sat this vigil themselves seem to surround you, echoing back so many generations you cannot begin to count, and you know you are not alone, and you never have been, even in that hardest part before dawn.

(via Susie Madrak)

TypePad AntiSpam count so far: 31700

That’s over the past year. I’ve modified some settings to get more aggressive, and have a few other countermeasures going, but I still get too much spam to manage for a personal site. 25 messages in the past 15 minutes in fact, plus 4 that AntiSpam didn’t catch. Cleaning this stuff off of a personal site takes a lot of effort.

I think it needs to be said that not only have the advents of Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter moved a lot of the energy from blogging, this has as well.

I’ve been planning to migrate back to WordPress for a while now, but along with that, I’m considering Disqus for this site. I’ve been holding off because paradox1x.org is a personal site, but leveraging a shared resource like that, to solve a bunch of known problems, makes sense.