Just added! Jason Kottke intros two new vintage Mississippi River maps – 20x200
In their relentless flow to lower ground, rivers like to roam over the landscape, cutting through solid rock and loamy soil alike, gaining advantage here and there where they can. The best and easiest course for a river to take downhill is its current course ... right up until the moment when it's not. Each color in the maps depicted in Sheet 8 and Sheet 9 represents a new course, a marker of each time a bend had become too bendy and the river "decided" to take a more direct path. One of my favorite things about these maps—and about art in general—is that they are time machines.
kottke  maps  mississippi-river  data-visualization 
4 days ago
Play With Your Words. (History of the word 'blog')
Sometime in April or May of 1999 (I can't say for sure when I exactly did it), I posted, in the sidebar of my homepage:

"For What It's Worth
I've decided to pronounce the word "weblog" as wee'- blog. Or "blog" for short."

I didn't think much of it. I was just being silly, shifting the syllabic break one letter to the left. I started using the word in my posts, and some folks, when emailing me, would use it, too. I enjoyed it's crudeness, it's dissonance...
blogging  language  etymology  word-origins 
6 days ago
Last Call: MoMA’s Closing, and Changing - The New York Times
The absence of art by women in the first six galleries is breathtaking.
whiteness  modernism  art  museums  moma  women 
17 days ago
A four-year-old will get you unstuck - Austin Kleon
Four year old realizes he can draw Batman. I watch him draw this and he shouts “I just drew Batman! I did not know I could draw Batman!” Then he draws a lot of them. Everyone wants one. I come back the next week and ask if he will draw me a Batman. He says “I don’t draw Batman anymore.”
austin-kleon  children  drawing 
19 days ago
Bret Victor on Twitter: "… "
Reminds me of Max Kreminki's tweets about gardening games + social networks
bret-victor  toph-tucker  social-networks  tweets  max-kreminski 
19 days ago
Questions this semester
Computer Utopias is a course at RISD, meant to incubate new ways of relating to computation.

Join a small conversation and tiny workshops around computer humanist research in progress. An open class.

RISD Design Center Room 211
Tuesday May 21st 7pm

2019's flavor, questions like:

What if “the computer revolution hasn’t happened yet?” 📜

What if defacing a magazine with tracing paper became programming? 🖍

As Dynamicland begins to totalize our culture's imagination for a computing future, how do we dream beyond its orthodoxy? 📊

How long until handshapes are inputs to search engines? 🖐

What if you reimagined written Chinese — if you redesigned it for a future of programmatic literacy? 🌏

What if your code development environment was a spring loaded multi-color watermelon scented pen? ✐

What 3D forms will style transfer & GANs synthesize when you grab two objects at once? 🌐

What if ur dungeon master AI-friend executed your paper programs and gave you suggestions about new ones? 🧙‍♀️

What if you hands could remember everything they grab? 🥑👋

What is autosuggest for grip? 🤛

What program gets made when a raccoon knocks over your trash can? 🦝

Is tearing tiny scraps of tracing paper coding?
OKAY but what if they're Yu-Gi-Oh! & Keyforge cards? ⚡️🐀

Should graphic designers invent their own programming languages via trash on their desk? 🍬

Should a programming language force you to consider that a quarter of all mammals face extinction? 🌍

Does it even make sense to programmatically model language-based philosophical systems? Is Animal Crossing already a purity, surpassing Foucault? 🐶

Is this medium that is seemingly eating the earth actually still humanity's most neglected? 🎨

What if we're a civilization of programmatic network illiteracy? 📖

What it's like we're in the time before arithmetic is widely distributed? 🧮

What if “UI/UX” culture is a bankruptcy? Is it possible we're entirely in the wrong context? 🙉

Is there even citizenship at the moment?


A few hours of code charlatanism & fantasy-league programming-environment design, in pursuit of a wider imagination in futures of computation.

A discussion of a question humanity cannot answer yet:

What is the medium of computation, and how could we relate to it?
chris-novello  dynamicland  risd  via:omar-rizwan 
4 weeks ago
Meet Aerospace Engineer Judith Love Cohen
My mother usually considered her work on the Apollo program to be the highlight of her career. When disaster struck the Apollo 13 mission, it was the Abort-Guidance System that brought the astronauts home safely. Judy was there when the Apollo 13 astronauts paid a “thank you” [visit] to the TRW facility in Redondo Beach.

She finished her engineering career running the systems engineering for the science ground facility of the Hubble Space Telescope.

During her engineering career, she was a vigorous and tireless advocate of better treatment for women in the workplace. Many things that today we consider routine — the posting of job openings inside of a company so that anyone could apply, formal job descriptions for every position, and so forth - were her creations. She had a profound impact on equality in the workforce.
judith-love-cohen  science  nasa  engineering  books  writers  jack-black 
5 weeks ago
Real Native history in a video game: An Indigenous take on The Oregon Trail - IndianCountryToday.com
When Rivers Were Trails, a Native-themed decision-based roleplaying video game created with the help of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and Michigan State University’s Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab and financial support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

The game came together due to the contributions of indigenous artist Weshoyot Alvitre, 20 indigenous writers, and thematic music by artists Supaman and Michael Charette.

In the game, an Anishinaabeg player in the 1890s is displaced from Fond du Lac in Minnesota due to the impact of land allotments. They make their way to the Northwest and eventually venture into California.

The player, who must first choose a clan with different strengths, must make different choices throughout the game as they come across various indigenous people, animals, plants, and run-ins with Indian agents. In the time period of the game, a difficult time of rapid transition for Native peoples, the writers do not shy from controversial gritty truths involving personal family narratives, tribal stories and the darker sides of history.
video-games  indigenous-peoples  united-states  1800s 
9 weeks ago
Alan Kay Squeakland Posts
These are the messages posted by Alan Kay to the Squeakland mailing list between 2001 and 2012.
This mailing list was intended for teachers and parents to discuss Etoys.

To see the context for a message, click on the date. Some links have been updated.
alan-kay  bret-victor  squeak  etoys  email  smalltalk 
10 weeks ago
A Genealogy of Blue
Blue was once little-known in the Western palette. Homer’s sea was “wine dark”; blue would not be used as water’s color until the seventeenth century. It has evolved from its original association with warmth, heat, barbarism, and the creatures of the underworld, to its current association with calm, peace, and reverie. Like the unruly green, the Romans associated blue with the savage Celtae and Germani, who used the woad herb’s rich leaves for their blue pigments. These northern barbarians also painted themselves blue before war and religious rituals. The ancient Germans, according to Ovid, even dyed their whitening hair blue.
history  colour  blue  tim-carmody 
11 weeks ago
Kevin Snow 💀 GDC on Twitter: "Whenever I speak with anyone new to a medium and insecure about their work, I think about this passage from David Byrne's "How Music Works," about how capitalism devalues amateur expression to encourage consumption.… htt
"The act of making music, clothes, art, or even food has a very different, and possibly more beneficial effect on us than simply consuming those things. And yet for a very long time, the attitude of the state toward teaching and funding the arts has been in direct opposition to fostering creativity among the general population. It can often seem that those in power don't want us to enjoy making things for ourselves—they'd prefer to establish a cultural hierarchy that devalues our amateur efforts and encourages consumption rather than creation. This might sound like I believe there is some vast conspiracy at work, which I don't, but the situation we find ourselves in is effectively the same as if there were one. The way we are taught about music, and the way it's socially and economically positioned, affect whether it's integrated (or not) into our lives, and even what kind of music might come into existence in the future. Capitalism tends toward the creation of passive consumers, and in many ways this tendency is counterproductive." — David Byrne, How Music Works
david-byrne  music  capitalism  consumerism  making  creativity  tweet  via:max-kreminski 
march 2019
Yellow Box- Windows NT 4.0
Rhapsody Developer Release 2 (as I have it) is actually three disks: Rhapsody for Intel, Rhapsody for PowerPC and Yellow Box for Windows. Not being a Windows user, I don't have a ton of experience with Yellow Box for Windows. Being a computer consultant, I have many versions of Windows which I installed in VirtualPC to see what Yellow Box looked like in Windows.
NeXT  nextstep  yellow-box  rhapsody  windows  computer-history 
march 2019
The Hottest Chat App for Teens Is Google Docs - The Atlantic
Jason notes: I asked my 16 year old sister about this and she tells me it's true (and that I am old). She also says:

>I’m pretty sure it came from this instagram post about how this little kid got grounded so to talk to his girlfriend he used google docs
google  google-docs  text-communication  teens  chat 
march 2019
Community Learning at Dynamicland — Ding Magazine
Modern computational tools were first created in America in the 1950s, arising out of the need to create tools for warfare. Technology advanced, became smaller, and with the rise of personal computing in the 1980s, these tools became repurposed into the technology we know today: we now have access to all the information in the world at our fingertips.

This narrative of computation leaves out a few radical ideas from thinkers who wanted to pull the arc of computation in a different direction. Doug Engelbart wanted computers to augment our ability to “improve our tools for improving our tools.” Alan Kay wanted to create authoring environments for “powerful ideas”. Access to information has its benefits, but we do not have full agency unless we are fluent in this new medium. Dynamicland embraces this alternate arc. Computation at Dynamicland is designed to be continuous with human activity; its purpose is understandability and visibility. Not designed only for the consumption of information, but for a desire to collaborate, create, and understand with others.
dynamicland  paula-te  agency 
march 2019
BRYAN LEE O'MALLEY On SNOTGIRL's Family, Love Life, New SCOTT PILGRIM 'on the Horizon'
O’Malley: The boundaries between comics and the larger entertainment medium have been getting so blurry. So many of my peers disappeared from comics to work on cartoons and stuff, and so many young artists seem more interested in making fanart and trinkets than comics. I hope there are artists and storytellers out there who want to make comics.

My advice is to make comics! Don’t be satisfied with Instagram likes! You could have so much more than that! Don’t wait until you’re perfect, don’t wait until you develop a style, just make some comics... you’ve read enough stories and seen enough visual entertainment. You have it in you. Everyone sucks at the beginning. Work at it until you suck less.
bryan-lee-omalley  comics  scott-pilgrim  worst-world 
march 2019
Why I Quit Ordering From Uber-for-Food Start-Ups - The Atlantic
“Gotta eat” is a rumble in the belly, a business opportunity, and a public-health crisis all rolled into one, and to address it, Sprig is building the biggest, nicest cafeteria ever. The ambition is clear: Sprig in every city, with longer menus, better ingredients, faster delivery. I can see them: the drones dropping lamb kofta from the sky.

But there’s more to any cafeteria than the serving line, and Sprig’s app offers no photograph of that other part. This is the Amazon move: absolute obfuscation of labor and logistics behind a friendly buy button. The experience for a Sprig customer is super convenient, almost magical; the experience for a chef or courier…? We don’t know. We don’t get to know. We’re just here to press the button.
food  delivery-services  startups  income-inequality  silicon-valley 
march 2019
Words you’ll never see me use in restaurant reviews - SFChronicle.com
When I first thought up this idea — to lay out all the words that I tend to stay away from when I write about food and the people who make it — I didn’t think the list would be very long. (Honestly, I just thought “ethnic” would be the one, since that’s a word that’s been a thorn in my side for years.) Of course, there are certain words that can make people’s skin crawl, like “mouthgasm” and “noms.” But after conversations with colleagues at The Chronicle and in the food world at large, and after brainstorming on my own, I realized that, as a writer who aims to improve my political consciousness and empathy toward others, there is a lot of use in simply thinking about how my word choice can help or hinder that goal.

Owing to a mixture of myth, prejudice and marketing, food writing in particular is often victim to strange verbiage that fails to describe accurately or fairly. One of my great hopes with my own writing is for it to better reflect and respect the way real people live in the world.

Some might call this self-censorship or being too politically correct. But, as a writer, I think pretending that word choice doesn’t matter would undermine my whole profession. Moreover, if caring about other people means I have to find a better and more creative word than “addictive” to describe how good a bag of chips is, I’m fine with the small inconvenience of that.
food  language  empathy  restaurants  eye-opening-thing 
march 2019
Chris Ware on Here by Richard McGuire – a game-changing graphic novel | Books | The Guardian
But who or what is the main character? Is it the man who seizes up at a joke told in the first few pages (yet dies, moments later, halfway through the book, after the reader has already ricocheted back and forth through millions of years of history)? Is it the indigenous couple, looking for a place to copulate? Is it the cat, the cat’s cradle, the elk, the builders, the partygoers, the weeping woman? You could say it’s the space of the room, the arbitrary geometry imposed by a human mind on a space for reasons of shelter and as a background to this theatre of life. But you could also claim it is the reader, your consciousness where everything is pieced together and tries to find, and to understand, itself. This is a big step forward for graphic novels, but it is so much more than that. With those first six pages in 1989, McGuire introduced a new way of making a comic strip, but with this volume in 2014, he has introduced a new way of making a book.
comics  comic:here  richard-mcguire  chris-ware  book-review 
march 2019
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