Hello. My name is Bix.

Blogging from a mediocre life. Moving soon to Micro.blog.

Manton Reece is right. Matt Mullenweg wanting WordPress “to become the operating system for the open web” with “every website, whether it’s e-commerce or anything to be powered by WordPress” is basically the opposite of a web that “can go back to being more open”. No matter how much better a Mullenweg might be than a Dorsey or a Zuckerberg, the indieweb goal of “a diversity of approaches & implementations” is how we get to an open web that's open in actuality and not just rhetoric.

#Blogging #Business #Internet #Web #September2019

Netflix's upcoming Criminal had me with the premise that, in the words of Matt Zoller Seitz (via Dan Barrett), “the action is focused on a single floor of a police station, with the interrogation room as the focal point, creating an effect somewhat like the legendary Homicide: Life on the Street episode 'Three Men and Adena,' which spent an hour on a single questioning”.

#PopCulture #Television #September2019

Of all academic disciplines, evolutionary psychology has the most to do with pussy. In the last half of the 20th century, biologists and psychologists working in the related fields of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology claimed that natural selection could explain much, perhaps most, of the complexities of human behavior, from a male preference for polygamy to why women wear high heels. In scientific articles and popular books like The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating, and The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature, evolutionary psychologists claimed natural selection could explain vast swathes of human behavior. Male adultery, gendered differences in achievement, and sexual violence were among the phenomena described as the product of genes shaped by our evolutionary origins. It makes sense that Epstein was enamored with this area of science, the proponents of which are overwhelmingly white men, and we mustn’t overlook those mens’ complicity in the billionaire’s abhorrent world.

From Why Jeffrey Epstein loved evolutionary psychology by Alexandra Walling

#Abuse #Men #Psychology #Science #Highlights #September2019

I'd already made plans to attend this Saturday's sneak peek of the St. Johns Museum but I only just noticed thanks to St. Johns Boosters that there's going to be a presentation by Dan Haneckow on The Great Light Way, the series of illuminated archways that once adorned more than several intersections along SW Third in downtown Portland and if you followed me at all during my Portland Communique days, you already know that I'm so here for it.

#Architecture #Cities #History #Portland #UrbanPlanning #September2019

I struggle a lot with what it means to be a part of music fandom and stan culture more broadly during this cultural moment. Celebrities are often viewed as more than just idols—they’re valorized as both representatives and defenders of marginalized identities, and pop culture is framed as a springboard to broader social and political consciousness. But on Twitter, constant consumption—and belligerence—are often the easiest and most high-profile ways to prove your devotion.

From The Empowered Stan by Keidra Chaney

#Fandom #Community #SocialMedia #Highlights #September2019

How do we attain justice when we are deciding to throw up our hands and wait for the president to “self-impeach?” These women know that, while Pelosi’s wealth and Whiteness can act as her shield against Trump’s most egregious executive orders and policy maneuvers, they and their constituents don’t have that luxury nor do they have the time. When asked what, if anything, the Speaker was going to do about the recent allegations of rape made by author E. Jean Carroll against the president, her response was “what can Congress do?” This is not only outrageous but unacceptable.

From Is Nancy Pelosi the ‘White Moderate’ MLK Warned Us About? by Danielle Moodie-Mills

#Politics #Highlights #September2019

Earlier this evening, David Gasca, product manager at Twitter, announced that next week is “hack week” at the company. “What would you build,” he asked, “to improve conversations on Twitter?” I've been following Gasca, and a number of other Twitter employees, ever since Arielle Pardes' epic thread from a wide-ranging conversation at Twitter last month.

My initial suggestions will be familiar in light of all the things I've posted here about finding ways to instill more “friction” on our social media platforms. Among them: eliminating engagement counts, providing tools allowing users to control who does and who does not get to participate in replies to their tweets (an expansion of Twitter's author-moderated replies being tested in Canada), and the ability for users to self-organize into their own Twitter groups in a a sort of internal analogue to different Mastodon instances.

On that last, I argued, Twitter simply is too big at this point. If users could login to Twitter and be in a sort of “home community timeline”, a kind of safe space and home base from which to engage with the larger Twitter community and experience, perhaps that might provide a greater sense both of responsibility and control. Perhaps these chosen community timelines then could also (to borrow a term) “federate” internally on Twitter with other communities, creating shared timelines between or amongst them.

Gasca's reply: “Totally.”

To be clear, what I am not talking about here is Twitter's apparent push to allow users to follow topics in addition to following people. I'm talking about, in a way, something of a fundamental reorganization of the Twitter experience for those who want it: establishing the tools for users to create their own Twitter communities which would be subject not just to Twitter's wider community standards but in fact could construct their own and enforce them for its own members.

The “federation” model (which most people know, if they know it at all, from Mastodon) really is what I'm talking about but in the absence of literally breaking up Twitter into physically separate instances like in true federation, I think this sort of virtual internal federation is the way to go.

It's difficult to envision. Perhaps it would work much like Mastodon instances running forks such as Hometown which institute a “local-only” posting layer which vanilla Mastodon lacks, where you'd have to set the audience for each tweet as you go: some local-only, some private, some open to the entire network. Or perhaps a Twitter user could log in and literally spend their entire session just in a “local-only” mode consisting of their home community and/or any allied communities to which it's been linked, and never even look at the wider Twitter universe.

There'd be lots of details like that to work out. Personally, I like the latter model better, since you could just immerse yourself in that local community. But there'd be ways when browsing and engaging with the wider Twitter community to share things you find there just to your home-base community rather than publicly on your open timeline.

Like I said, it'd require a fundamental shift on the part of Twitter in terms of what service it thinks it's providing. I do think that if they were willing to made such a radical movie, certainly no user should be required to set up or be a part of a home-base community. You should be able to continue having the typical Twitter experience if that's what you prefer.

I'm just thinking that if users had the ability to have shared but private conversations—think of it like a group that is locked the way an individual Twitter account can be locked—people could feel a sense of security and a sense of ownership. Not, of course, over the service, but over their own experiences on it.

Maybe that's the thing that Twitter the experience is missing, and that Twitter the company missed. Communities require buy-in from their members, and they require some sort of emotional investment. Twitter users frequently have emotional investments in each other, but it's difficult to maintain that kind of investment in or as a group because Twitter can be so treacherous, often with no real safe place to retreat and be refreshed except by logging off.

What if the Home timeline really was just that: a home each Twitter user could make for themselves, with their friends or their family or their chosen family or whatever kind and size of group they wished, that no one else could touch except by invitation?

ETA: I got so carried away with the above that I forgot to reiterate something I've said before a number of times now: “Do away with likes in favor of highlighting. Do away with retweets in favor of commenting. Interaction over indication. Expression over excitation.”

#Community #SocialMedia #Web #September2019

Richard MacManus, of ReadWriteWeb fame, has an interesting analysis of email newsletter subscribers that gets into the question of whether or not people are willing to pony up for paid subscriptions, and if so to what are those willing customers subscribing, exactly. He talks a bit about the idea of “subscription fatigue” and as I've wondered before if “you could subscribe to all of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Medium for $17/month” why would you instead spend more than that to subscribe, for example, to just five SubStack newsletters? You've got to have a lot of casual cash sitting around to subscribe to anything more than a couple.

#Business #Internet #Web #September2019

It feels insane to write this down, but let the record show that “pedo guy” is not a common insult used in South Africa. When you are in South Africa and you call someone a “pedo guy,” what you are doing is suggesting that they are a pedophile.

From “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.” by Rosa Lyster

#Language #Nonsense #Highlights #September2019

U.S. Forest Service fire lookout Philip Connors is right that “[e]very culture should have a couple of outsiders bringing a message from outside of the dominant culture” but I'm not sure an old white guy sitting atop a tower in a forest is really outside the dominant culture. That said, Nathan Rott's profile of Connors (via Digg) is a nice little look at the vocation and the ways in which it's being impacted by new technology. Once upon a time, long ago, I think after reading some Kerouac book (probably The Dharma Bums), I briefly flirted with following in his footsteps, but I don't think I would have managed very well.

#Nature #Technology #September2019