jm + writing   10

JG Ballard, on the "pram in the hall"
Cyril Connolly, the 50s critic and writer, said that the greatest enemy of creativity is the pram in the hall, but I think that was completely wrong. It was the enemy of a certain kind of dilettante life that he aspired to, the man of letters, but for the real novelist the pram in the hall is the greatest ally - it brings you up sharp and you realise what reality is all about. My children were a huge inspiration for me. Watching three young minds creating their separate worlds was a very enriching experience.
writing  creativity  jg-ballard  quotes  pram-in-the-hall  children  kids  parenting  biography 
october 2016 by jm
Archie Markup Language (ArchieML)
ArchieML (or "AML") was created at The New York Times to make it easier to write and edit structured text on deadline that could be rendered in web pages, or more specifically, rendered in interactive graphics. One of the main goals was to make it easy to tag text as data, without having type a lot of special characters. Another goal was to allow the document to contain lots of notes and draft text that would not be read into the data. And finally, because we make extensive use of Google Documents's concurrent-editing features — while working on a graphic, we can have several reporters, editors and developers all pouring information into a single document — we wanted to have a format that could survive being edited by users who may never have seen ArchieML or any other markup language at all before.
aml  archie  markup  text  nytimes  archieml  writing 
march 2015 by jm
Standard Markdown
John Gruber’s canonical description of Markdown’s syntax does not specify the syntax unambiguously. In the absence of a spec, early implementers consulted the original Markdown.pl code to resolve these ambiguities. But Markdown.pl was quite buggy, and gave manifestly bad results in many cases, so it was not a satisfactory replacement for a spec.

Because there is no unambiguous spec, implementations have diverged considerably. As a result, users are often surprised to find that a document that renders one way on one system (say, a GitHub wiki) renders differently on another (say, converting to docbook using Pandoc). To make matters worse, because nothing in Markdown counts as a “syntax error,” the divergence often isn't discovered right away.

There's no standard test suite for Markdown; the unofficial MDTest is the closest thing we have. The only way to resolve Markdown ambiguities and inconsistencies is Babelmark, which compares the output of 20+ implementations of Markdown against each other to see if a consensus emerges.

We propose a standard, unambiguous syntax specification for Markdown, along with a suite of comprehensive tests to validate Markdown implementations against this specification. We believe this is necessary, even essential, for the future of Markdown.
writing  markdown  specs  standards  text  formats  html 
september 2014 by jm
Alex Payne — Bitcoin, Magical Thinking, and Political Ideology
Working in technology has an element of pioneering, and with new frontiers come those would prefer to leave civilization behind. But in a time of growing inequality, we need technology that preserves and renews the civilization we already have. The first step in this direction is for technologists to engage with the experiences and struggles of those outside their industry and community. There’s a big, wide, increasingly poor world out there, and it doesn’t need 99% of what Silicon Valley is selling.

I’ve enjoyed the thought experiment of Bitcoin as much as the next nerd, but it’s time to dispense with the opportunism and adolescent fantasies of a crypto-powered stateless future and return to the work of building technology and social services that meaningfully and accountably improve our collective quality of life.
bitcoin  business  economics  silicon-valley  tech  alex-payne  writing  libertarianism  futurism  crypto  civilization  frontier  community 
december 2013 by jm
Ponies by Kij Johnson | Tor.com
A rather dark short story about little girls, peer pressure, and childhood. no fun for this dad of 3 girls :(

(via Tatu Saloranta)
via:cowtowncoder  writing  fiction  sf  childhood  peer-pressure  tor  ponies 
october 2013 by jm
Facts Are Sacred
A new Irish news site with some familiar names. 'What is a fact? In philosophy, a fact is something that makes a statement true. In science, it is a verifiable observation. In our case, we take a fact to be something that we can provably demonstrate to be true. This means that we can check the truth of a statement about the current state of affairs but we cannot check claims about the future. Inevitably, as the evidence gets more granular, our view of a fact can change but we should take the scientific approach of going where the evidence leads us, rather than the all too common habit today of starting with a conclusion and looking for supporting data. We are holding ourselves to a high standard and we want you to call us on it where you believe we have fallen short. It is more important that, as readers and writers, we collaborate to put verifiable facts into our daily discourse rather than that we save face. We are looking forward to what we’re sure will be a challenging and rewarding experience and hope you enjoy the ride.'
science  facts  news  ireland  politics  data  writing 
march 2012 by jm
Brick, A Literary Journal: Issue 85: The Lizard, the Catacombs, and the Clock
'The Story of Paris’s Most Secret Underground Society': among the Parisian catacomb-dwellers and subterranean explorers. fascinating
france  paris  underground  toread  ux  catacombs  marquis  writing  from delicious
july 2010 by jm
Two Gentlemen of Lebowski
nicely done; Lebowski a la Shakespeare (via Waxy)
via:waxy  shakespeare  writing  humor  lebowski  movies  parody  funny  from delicious
january 2010 by jm
Una "UnaRocks" Mullally on the state of Irish blogs
'I think that ‘first wave’ of Irish blogging was over a long time ago, probably around the time Blogorrah hit the dirt, but in spite of time and an increase of participants and bigger audience there seems to be no real drive to improve content. People will always read something good – online or offline – and until that something good (hopefully in plural) starts to emerge and while good bloggers log off indefinitely, Irish blogging, for what it’s worth, is in a state of disarray.'
irish  irishblogs  ireland  writing  blogosphere  blogging  unarocks  from delicious
january 2010 by jm

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