Liked Lil Beat Maker: Simple Online Beat-Making Machine | (

A free online beat-making machine based on a circular timeline. Have fun creating simple drum loops and patterns with this easy web app.

“Clive Thompson
in A Wooden Microphone, “Missile Command” As Therapy, and The Secret Life of Soil | by Clive Thompson | May, 2022 | Medium ()

Played Top games tagged Bitsy (

Find games tagged Bitsy like novena, catching the train, ✨💻ENDLESS SCROLL💌✨​, Flirting, UNDER A STAR CALLED SUN on, the indie game hosting marketplace.

“Clive Thompson” in Clive Thompson on Twitter: “I’ve been playing some amazing Bitsy games while doing wool-gathering for my next Linkfest omg the top-ranked stuff at @itchio is *amazing*: And there are 3,758 Bitsy games at itch get playin’” / Twitter ()

Replied to Homework every night for the rest of your life by Austin Kleon (Austin Kleon)

I was browsing YouTube with my son and we came across musician Jacob Collier answering questions about music theory, which led to videos of him explaining harmony in 5 levels of complexity and playing the same song in 18 increasingly complex emotions. I love this kind of stuff, so if you have favorite videos or podcasts about music theory, send ‘em my way!

I too love videos and podcasts about music theory. Two of my favourites are Kirk Hamilton’s Strong Songs podcast and Andrew Huong’s YouTube channel. i long how Hamilton carefully breaks down all sorts of songs, while Huong is always snappy and often incorporates electronic music (another love).
Listened from
Cameron, I really enjoyed your discussion of education not in the news. Really intrigued by the promise of an eight episode podcast series.

Also enjoyed Steven Kolber’s discussion of zombie data with Jennifer Clutterbuck and Rafaan Daliri-Ngametua.

We found excessive, purposeless and redundant data – ‘zombie data’. Those in the technology, economics, business, and “regtech” fields indicate an awareness that zombie data, while considered dead, ‘lurks around…waiting to be called to life again” (Datastreams, 2017). Such data has also been referred to as “huge waves of numbers without meaning or relevance” (Balleny, 2013) that create datasets “without any purpose or clear use case in mind” (Kaufmann, 2014 in D‘Ignazio & Klein, 2020).

📰 Read Write Respond #075

Welcome back to another month.

Even though we had Easter and the school holidays, we were still conservative as a family about getting out and about, sticking to a few country drives and visits to friends.

On the work front, there was a return to being on-site three days a week. Even though my job is to largely provide virtual/phone support to schools across the state, it is argued that being together is more conducive to collaboration. However, this is also reliant on having the right space for such collaboration to occur. With the new normal being more fluid, adjustments are required. For example, a few days back we had an internal meeting where the organiser either forgot to, or was unable to, book a meeting room, therefore there were five people spread across an open work space speaking with a couple of colleagues on another level virtually. It just seems a bit absurd at times.

Personally, I have written a few posts on my blog, including a review of Clinton Walker’s book Stranded: The Secret History Of Australian Independent Music, a submission to DLTV associated with the Classroom of the Future and a summary of my responses to Cyber Security & Awareness – Primary Years (CSER MOOC) which I finally finished. In addition to Stranded, I also (re)read Franz Kafka’s The Trial. I must say it is an intriguing exercise rereading texts you grew up with in a new light. I also listened to Daniel Johns’ FutureNever, his continued break from the past.

Here then are some of the other things that have had me thinking:


Climate Game

Financial Times have created a game to educate users on the challenges required to keep global warming to 1.5C.

Going Rogue: Teachers Designing their Own Conferences as a Transgressive Act

Philippa Nicoll Antipas explores how we might do a conference for teacher professional learning and development from the ground on up.

What should ‘digital literacy’ look like in an age of algorithms and AI?

Neil Selwyn argues that we need to reframe our discussion of digital literacies to focus on algorithmic literacy.

It’s Time to Give Feedback Another Chance. Here Are 3 Ways to Get It Right

Peter DeWitt shares some reflections on feedback.

7 Things to Do Before You Start Your PhD

Kimberly Hirsh provides a list of things to do before starting a PhD.

Learning Synths

Ableton provide a playground space that serves as an online synthesiser, as well as a teaching tool.


Elderblog Sutra: 13

Venkatesh Rao reflects upon Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and what that might mean for the future.


Elan Kiderman Ullendorff shares a tool for finding random Substack newsletters.

Web3 Is Going Just Great

Molly White has created a site collating examples of how Web3 is not going as well as suggested.

Books Become Games

Justin Smith reflects upon the way in which the the publishing of books has become a game.

Fairlight CMI – the Sound You’ve Never Heard Of

James Vyver explores the development of Fairlight in the 1980’s, a musical instrument that involved access to an extensive sound library, a multi-track sequencer and a sampler.


Liz Wiseman on Standing Out at Work

Liz Wiseman talks about the way in which impact players look to how they can make a difference, rather than just play a roll.

Pop Music’s Nostalgia Obsession

Kevin Townsend, Shirley Li, Spencer Kornhaber, and Hannah Giorgis talk about the place of nostalgia in modern music and the way in which steaming allows us to easily fill our listening with more of the same.

Chocolate—the world’s most seductive treat and its dark shadow

Annabelle Quince leads a conversation into the history of chocolate and its relationship with child labour.

How Ikea tricks you into buying more stuff

Zachary Crockett explains how Ikea tricks shoppers into buying more.

The 9 Biggest Myths About Nonfiction Trade Publishing, Debunked

Summer Brennan debunks nine myths associated with publishing.

Read Write Respond #075

So that was April for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers
Replied to (
This exploration of stardom after the lights go out reminded me of something that Damian Cowell discussed in his podcast. Maybe not about pop and a little less famous, but he touched on the way in which that person with a hit on RRR years ago is also an ordinary human being working a day job.
Replied to (

For a few years now, it has been a goal (or more of a dream) to build my own feed reader which integrates directly with the blog making it easy to perform indieweb actions such as likes and replies. I started building a WordPress plugin back in 2018 but quickly abandoned it as I didn’t have the coding skills necessary at the time.

Today I am officially unveiling /reader, my new indie, integrated feed reader.

Colin, this looks great. I really like the idea of a customised reader. I wish I had the skills to achieve what you have done. Maybe one day.
Bookmarked The 9 Biggest Myths About Nonfiction Trade Publishing, Debunked by Summer Brennan (A Writer's Notebook)

What really happens when you “get a book deal,” publish your first book, and go on tour to promote it? It may not be what you’ve always imagined!

Summer Brennan debunks nine myths associated with publishing:

  • Book deals do not mean a bunch of money.
  • Most authors never see another cent beyond the advance.
  • Often book launches are the responsibility of the author.
  • In 99.9999% of times authors are not paid for readings.
  • Book tours are funded by authors.
  • Often authors have little control over the cover, title, and subtitle of their books.
  • Books maybe copy edited, but are often not given extensive structural edits.
  • Authors often only earn $1.50 a book.
  • Usually authors have no control over the publication of excerpts.

This is very thought provoking and eye-opening.

“Austin Kleon” in Stolen plants always grow – Austin Kleon ()

Bookmarked How Ikea tricks you into buying more stuff (The Hustle)

The home furnishings giant enlists a maze-like layout, cheap food, and crafty psychology to get you to fill up your cart.

Zachary Crockett explains how Ikea tricks shoppers into buying more. Much of this stems from the layout. As a store, Ikea breaks with common store configurations, such as grid, racetrack, freeform, and spine, to provide a one-way path. This approach does three things:

  1. It forces wider product exposure
  2. It creates a false sense of scarcity
  3. It creates a sense of mystery

In addition to this, there are other tricks, such as strategically placed mirrors, contextual positioning and dirt cheap bins and decoy prices.

Alan Penn, a professor of architecture at University College London, describes this as a ‘submissive experience’. What is intriguing is how much my children love going there as it provides a hands-on experience. I wonder if there has been any research into this?

Bookmarked Slow Social (

Slow social is a social network built for people who want a place to connect with their friends online in a more intentional, sustainable manner. It is run and developed by a small team looking to make online communities more human and inclusive.

Slow Social places constraints on the practice of posting to reverse the gamification of platforms like Twitter. Although it creates a sustainable practice, I wonder if we really need another platform?
Bookmarked – The online spreadsheet for project management, tasks, CRM, and more. (

The spreadsheet you know with the power of a database and project management system. Gantt, Kanban, Forms, and Automations. Get started free. provides another ‘no code’ solution integrating with a number of other applications.

“Clive Thompson” in Spreadsheets Are Hot—and Cranking Out Complex Code | WIRED ()

Bookmarked Why the WHO took two years to say COVID is airborne (

Early in the pandemic, the World Health Organization stated that SARS-CoV-2 was not transmitted through the air. That mistake and the prolonged process of correcting it sowed confusion and raises questions about what will happen in the next pandemic.

This lengthy piece unpacking why it took the World Health Organisation so long to recognise that COVID is airborne is a demonstration of how this is very much a political pandemic.
Bookmarked It’s Time to Give Feedback Another Chance. Here Are 3 Ways to Get It Right (Opinion) by Peter DeWitt (Education Week)

If we are to show our school communities, and the rest of the world for that matter, that our schools are more than child care during the day and that school leaders and teachers engage in learning that is equally as powerful as the learning students are supposed to engage in, then we have to understand what feedback is all about and how it can be impactful.

Peter DeWitt shares three ways to get feedback right, including:

Respecting that feedback is a process, not a one-sided message
Closing the gap between desired and current performance
Appreciating the impact of feedback on self-regulated learning

Feedback is powerful, but also problematic. For me, what DeWitt highlights is the power and importance of creating the right conditions.

In a separate celebration, Tom Sherrington reflects upon twenty years since the publication of Working Inside The Black Box.

Bookmarked Climate Game (

This game was created by the Financial Times. It is based on real science and reporting — however, it is a game, not a perfect simulation of the future.
The emissions modelling was developed in 2022 by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The scenarios used in the IEA’s “Net Zero by 2050” report were recalculated to track the temperature outcomes for specific pathways used in the game.
These climate outcomes were calculated using the IEA’s World Energy Model (WEM) and Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) model coupled with the MAGICC v7+ climate model.
MAGICC stands for Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change and is used by scientists and integrated assessment models.

Financial Times have created a game based on published scientific research and bespoke modelling by the International Energy Agency to get users to appreciate the challenges required to keep global warming to 1.5C. Along with other stimulus, such as The Ministry for the Future, the Climate Game is a thought provoking exercise and helpful in imagining a different tomorrow.

📓 War on Ukraine

There is so much being written about Ukraine. Here is my attempt to keep a list of some of the interesting pieces.

In The Month That Changed a Century, Michael Hirsh discusses the way in which Putin has unsettled the political status-quo:

In little more than a month, Russian President Vladimir Putin has changed the course of this young and already troubled century. He has resurrected the threat of territorial conquest and nuclear war. He has jolted Western Europe awake from its long postwar torpor, raising the prospect of rapid German rearmament. He has put the capstone on two decades of U.S. misdirection by defying American power and influence.

Above all, with his invasion of Ukraine, Putin is trying to complete work on a vast project of destruction implicitly supported by several other world leaders, especially Chinese President Xi Jinping. Together, these leaders want to break what they see as U.S. hegemony over the international system and undermine the notion that the world is bound by a common set of values embodied in international law and upheld by institutions such as the United Nations.

Rutger Bregman explains why Europe needs Ukraine as a reminder of the hope that the EU actually offers.

Ukraine, in short, chose Europe. And Putin found that intolerable. Now it is up to us to choose Ukraine. Yes, normally the road to EU membership is long and complicated, and with good reason. But these are not normal times. Millions of brave Ukrainians have reinvigorated the European ideal—of freedom, democracy, and cooperation—and many have paid with their lives.

Timothy Snyder explains how The War In Ukraine Is a Colonial War.

Ukrainians assert their nation’s existence through simple acts of solidarity. They are not resisting Russia because of some absence or some difference, because they are not Russians or opposed to Russians. What is to be resisted is elemental: the threat of national extinction represented by Russian colonialism, a war of destruction expressly designed to resolve “the Ukrainian question.” Ukrainians know that there is not a question to be answered, only a life to be lived and, if need be, to be risked. They resist because they know who they are.

Read The Trial

The Trial (German: Der Process,[1] later Der Proceß, Der Prozeß and Der Prozess) is a novel written by Franz Kafka in 1914 and 1915 and published posthumously on 26 April 1925. One of his best known works, it tells the story of Josef K., a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader. Heavily influenced by Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Kafka even went so far as to call Dostoevsky a blood relative.[2] Like Kafka’s two other novels, The Trial was never completed, although it does include a chapter which appears to bring the story to an intentionally abrupt ending.

After Kafka’s death in 1924 his friend and literary executor Max Brod edited the text for publication by Verlag Die Schmiede. The original manuscript is held at the Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar, Germany. The first English-language translation, by Willa and Edwin Muir, was published in 1937.[3] In 1999, the book was listed in Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century and as No. 2 of the Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century.

I remember reading The Trial when I was younger. It remember it for its sense of dystopia and paranoia, but also the way in which it lingers.

‘Everyone wants
access to the law,’ says the man, ‘how come, over all these years,
no-one but me has asked to be let in?’ The doorkeeper can see the man’s
come to his end, his hearing has faded, and so, so that he can be heard,
he shouts to him: ‘Nobody else could have got in this way, as this
entrance was meant only for you. Now I’ll go and close it.'”

I like how Benjamin Winterhalter captures it as ‘unnervingly real’:

I’m here to suggest, following Werckmeister, that this feeling results from the fact that Kafka’s stories, despite their bizarre premises, are unnervingly real. Although there is undoubtedly an element of the absurd in the worlds Kafka creates, his style—unpretentious and specific, yet free from slang—renders those worlds with such painful accuracy that they seem totally familiar while we’re in them, like déjà vu or a memory of a bad dream

I guess it is an example of the Kafkaesque.

There are, of course, as many definitions of the Kafkaesque as there are readers of Kafka. There are also those readers who admit they cannot define it but know it when they see it — or know it when they see it in someone else’s definition. As one of those readers, I find that one of Kafka’s many biographers, Frederick R. Karl, seems to get it right. We enter the Kafkaesque, he writes, when “we view life as somehow overpowering or trapping us, as in some way undermining our will to live as we wish.”

Liked Triple Entry Blogging (

Here’s a super rough proof of concept Replit tiny library. I’ve never written nodeJS code before and managed to copy and paste together a little thing that takes a library.json file and turns it into a library. Right now it only iterates over a single library but it’s easy to imagine how to extend this to include a feed, info across library files etc etc. I’m gonna get to all that, I jut haven’t had time.

Bookmarked Going Rogue: Teachers designing their own conferences as a transgressive act (Philippa Nicoll Antipas) by CI_Jamie (

In this post, Philippa Nicoll Antipas re-considers conferences as sites for teacher professional learning and development. She details her PhD research project Plan D, a game-like collective activity whereby teachers are supported to go rogue and design their own professional learning and development needs.

Philippa Nicoll Antipas explores how we might do a conference for teacher professional learning and development (PLD) differently. She argues that we need to breakaway from “somebody deciding to share what they’re interested in, in the hope that you’ll find it interesting too.” A review of the literature highlighted that too few decide for too many, in response she came up with a different model where teachers design their own conferences based on their own needs. This model came in the format of a board game-like collective activity.

There are four layers to the d.conference collective activity, known as Plan D. In the first layer, teachers consider what they already believe about effective PLD. In the second layer, teachers consider their professional learning needs, and the learning needs of their students in order to decide what the purpose of their d.conference is. The third layer gets more ‘nuts and bolts’: who will speak at the conference; what the schedule of the event will be; what the learning at the conference will look like. Finally, in the fourth layer, teachers reflect on the decisions they’ve made whilst playing, and commit to sustaining their professional learning beyond their d.conference.

The process is as important as product.

This reminds me of a piece from Sean Michael Morris reflecting on education conferences.

We need to critically examine all of our assumptions about conferences. How they are run. Who leads them. What kind of learning should happen there? Why are they convened? What is the gathering meant to accomplish? What is the pedagogy for conferences now, in a landscape where keynotes should be something more than talking heads, where organizers who are white and male need to cede not just the stage but the design of events to make way for new ways of knowing, teaching, and learning? Where expertise does not win the day, but a willingness to ask does?

people make conferences, as well as my wonderings about starting the learning prior to the conference.