Hello. My name is Bix.

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

Socialists of the kind Chait and Goldberg imagine existing in the Democratic Party, which is to say Stalinists or Maoists (for God’s sake!), do not believe in the democratic process. They do not respect republican principles. They do not value representative government, majority rule, individual freedom, civil rights or all the many things Americans take for granted as natural and good. In other words, socialists of the kind Chait and Goldberg imagine existing don’t exist—not in the Democratic Party.

From There Are No 'Socialists' in the Democratic Party by John Stoehr

#Politics #Highlights #September2019

Why am I unsurprised that Dave Winer is defending both Shane Gillis and Richard Stallman despite the former's racist “comedy” and the latter's Jeffrey Epstein apologia? Winer himself has this weird history where despite how much credit he's gotten for his work, there's always this ugly undercurrent where he suggests that he hasn't gotten his due, and threaded throughout is a self-righteous sense that people who criticize him are being unfair and they should just be thankful for all he's done, or at least keep quiet when he's being some sort of a dick out of respect for the good he's done. He believes, in other words, that there's some set of allowances that accrue from doing good works that are meant to give you a free pass for the bad that you do. What I don't get is that this attitude makes sense of his defense of Stallman (although, you know, not really, because rape apologist), but it hardly applies to Gillis, who just was out there making racist remarks on podcasts.

#Abuse #Men #Nonsense #PopCulture #Technology #September2019

Not for nothing, these interview tips from Katherine Breward for dealing with autistic applicants mostly also are good advice for any interaction you might have with someone you know is an actually-autistic person.

#Autism #September2019

Preparations are underway for my move from Write.as to Micro.blog. I've been going back and forth, mentally, for the entire time, and having finally gotten to tinker with customizations over there, it's going to happen. It could still be a couple of weeks out, as I've got some work to do regarding importing my Write.as posts over there, and also because while the process finally is underway for my getting ahold of a reserved three-character .blog domain, that's going to take a week or so to get finalized. That said, I'll be keeping my eye on the public reader feed here, since there are some interesting people coming through Write.as.

#Blogging #Meta #September2019

There's so many people rethinking blogging lately, whether they've been doing it since the golden age, were around back then but stopped somewhere along the way since, or are relatively new to it, and almost all of them are talking about consideration and context. They're talking about friction.

“In an age where the shortness and speed of content, of hot takes and clickbait,” writes Adam Tinworth (via Colin Devroe), “there's still a role for slower, more considered writing.” Tinworth is responding in part to Justin Paterno's thoughts, whose “golden age” routine will strike anyone around back then as disturbingly familiar.

He's not wrong that “90% of the game back then was showing up” and I think perhaps also is not wrong that “the scarcity now is resist the urge to instantly engage”. There's plenty of room for both, but for me the trick is going to be “showing up” without worrying about whether or not anyone is here reading this.

#Blogging #Nostalgia #SocialMedia #September2019

“Limited urban street and sidewalk space play a role as well,” writes David Zipper of antipathy toward “e-scooters”, and setting aside opposition by car people I think this actually might be the primary motivator. City sidewalks are becoming increasingly crowded even as cities move too slowly to give either more room or more consideration to giving over more space to transit modes other than the automobile. Pedestrians, bicycles, skateboards, bike-rental docks, and now scooters both in use and haphazardly parked suddenly all must share what limited sidewalk space there is, while cars continue their near-monopoly on city streets. Whenever infrastructure week finally arrives, let's expand sidewalk space before we add any more transit modes.

#Cities #Transportation #UrbanPlanning #September2019

I won't try to answer this in his “braintrust” thread, since I'll respect the fact that he blocked me on Twitter, but Winer definitely should push back against a reporter rewriting his quotes. I've had this happen but only learned of it in the finished, published piece. I've no idea if it's “standard practice” but it's certainly more common than it ought to be. They're literally not quotes if the reporter has rewritten them, and if you can't trust a reporter to only quote what was actually said, what else might they have “massaged” in their reporting? I know there's an argument that if you clear the rewrites with the source first they become quotes, but, personally, I believe that practice should be disclosed in the piece itself.

#Journalism #September2019

Currently reading: A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney; and The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey into Greenland's Buried Past and Our Perilous Future by Jon Gertner, having finished How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi which was more autobiographical than expected, but it certainly works. As always, you can browse my highlights over on Goodreads.

#Books #Reading #September2019

On September 8, 2019, Austrian’s largest public art installation to date opened to the public. Titled FOR FOREST – The Unending Attraction of Nature, the artwork transforms the Wörthersee Football Stadium in Klagenfurt into a native central European forest. Designed by Swiss curator Klaus Littmann and inspired by a dystopian drawing by Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner, the installation advocates for pressing contemporary issues such as climate change and deforestation. Through the structural containment of this massive forest, it suggests that nature may someday only be found in specially designated spaces, as animals are today in zoos.

From Austrian Stadium is Transformed into Giant Forest by Lilly Cao

#Art #Architecture #Cities #Nature #Highlights #September2019

In a weird bit of coincidence, Warren Ellis republished an item in which he describes dystopia as “one of those parts of speculative fiction that function as early-warning systems for bad sociocultural weather” on the same day that Danah Boyd published her speech to the Electronic Frontier Foundation in which she urged the industry to “stop designing the technologies envisioned in dystopian novels” and “heed the warnings of artists, not race head-on into their nightmares”.

#Books #PopCulture #Technology #September2019