Bookmarked There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing by Adam Grant (

Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.

Adam Grant explains that mental health is a spectrum and in the middle between florishing and depression is the feeling of languaishing. He describes how when we name such a condition that it starts to pop-up everywhere. In response, Grant suggests finding a way to get into a state of flow and carving out uninterrupted time.

Referencing gardening, Austin Kleon argues that the issue is not languishing, but rather lying dormant

I disliked the term “languishing” the minute I heard it.

I’m not languishing, I’m dormant.

Like a plant. Or a volcano.

I am waiting to be activated.

It seems to me that the reason that so many of us feel like we’re languishing is that we are trying to flourish in terrible conditions.

Bookmarked 45 Lost Albums We Want To Hear (Stereogum)

A list of history’s great lost albums.,Have you ever really stopped and thought about how intricate and difficult the process of making a successful album must be? There is, of course, the basic issue of inspiration. Every artist must wring something out from deep within themselves and try to make it cohere outside in the world, make it tangible enough that it communicates something to the listener — and even icons have their struggles with writer’s block. You might come up with seven or 10 brilliant compositions, but then still have nothing lyrically, or vice versa. And that’s just the writing. There are the players, the recording circumstances, the money, the ability or luck that results in a once-in-a-lifetime performance. While not quite on the level of, say, a major blockbuster production, it can be dizzying to consider the amount of factors that must fall into place for something as comparatively contained as an album to work. It’s a wonder we get as many great ones as we do.

Ryan Lees wonders about a number of albums that are known, but have never been released. The list includes Bruce Springsteen’s Electric Nebraska, Zack De La Rocha’s solo debut, U2’s Songs of Ascent and Beck’s Aphex Twin inspired electronic album.

It was interesting to listen to Megan Washington reflect upon realising she was able to release Batflowers or Thelma Plum scraping a complete album because it no longer captured her. However, maybe neither incomplete albums were meant to be and are best left unreleased.

Listened Joseph Shabason breaks down jazz for beginners from

I also thought about that whole Brian Eno ambient music theory, which is basically saying it’s music you can actively listen to, but you can also not. I really took that to heart. I wanted it to be background music that will make you feel cushy and nice. But I also made it so that if you put on headphones, there are some very “spoicy” moments where you can really zone in on a sound or a part. I would be stoked either way. 

Bookmarked Repurpose & Reshare Your Talks on Social Media | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O'Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

Part of my job involves regularly giving a talk on a specific topic. This may be at a conference, a local workshop, or in class. These talks are often limited to the participants in attendance. I spend a lot of time building the presentation. Why should my ideas be limited to the people that decide… Continue reading →

Ian O’Byrne discusses some of the strategies he uses for repurposing content created for particular presentations to share with a wider audience. Although I have blogged about presentations in the past, I am not sure I have done enougb work for adjusting to the new context(s).

With O’Byrne’s reference to an essential idea, I was left thinking again about Peter Skillen’s wondering about the limits of a tweet. I also wonder about automating some of these processes while presenting as Alan Levine has documented.

Liked I Was Never Good At Anything Until API Evangelist | Kin Lane (Kin Lane)

You see, my whole identity is wrapped up in the world of APIs, and while most of the time I am fine with that, I find myself in these moments feeling that I need much more than just performing in this online production, and where I always get stuck is with the reality that other than API Evangelist I really haven’t been good at anything in my life—I have been pretty much stuck in mediocre white guy mode.

Bookmarked The Long Tail of Aphex Twin’s ‘Avril 14th’ by Eric Ducker (

While this popularity may expose classical music fans to the sometimes overwhelming, occasionally terrorizing music of Aphex Twin, the exchange also flows the other way. “It’s a gateway to Debussy, or some of the other amazing piano pieces that are out there,” said Reitzell, the music supervisor. “If you like that piece, man, I’ve got 30 more for you. That is the most beautiful thing about music. That song will probably outlive Richard’s entire catalog in a way.”

But Moran hears an even more fundamental reason modern listeners have turned a haunting piano piece with minimalist influences into a digital era phenomenon. Before our interview, she transcribed “Avril 14th” again to refamiliarize herself with it. Holding up the piece of paper, she noted its chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus structure. “Honestly,” she said, “this is like a pop song to me.”

Eric Ducker reflects on the 20 year anniversary of Aphex Twin’s track Avril 14th from Drukqs. My favourite cover is Simon Farintosh’s arrangement for classical guitar. I also like Will Van Horn’s recording with the pedal slide.

“Austin Kleon” in Of portals and pansies ()

Bookmarked When Real World Mapping Meets Tolkien | Blog (

Maps are a window into an unknown landscape. They are simplifications of an increasingly complex world, affording us the opportunity to plan our adventures, make memories, and inspire our curiosities. It is these three attributes of maps and map making that continually motivate my work, in my endeavour to explore the realms of fantasy map creation within a real-world setting.

Dan Bell steps through the process of turning a real world map into something from Middle Earth.
Bookmarked Video Games as Literature – A Side of My Own – Medium by Quinn Norton (A Side of My Own)

We make video games and play them in order to live.

Quinn Norton asks the question, what is literature and where mediums like comics and games sit with this. Quinn explains that mechanics matter in there ability to change things.

Mechanics matter in literature. Apocalypse Now (and the arguably even better documentary Hearts of Darkness about the film Apocalypse Now) reached for the apotheosis of film. Joyce did the same for novels, e e cummings for poetry, Shakespeare for plays, 2pac for rap, and etc., insert your favorite author, or as we call them now, creators, here. Or maybe not your favorite. Maybe your least favorite, because they stick in your soul like a piece of gravel in your shoe, and you’re going to have to stop one day and change everything just to get them out.

That’s literature for you.

She gives the example of Portal 2. Its medium is essential to what it is. A part of this is the very nature of the author.

You couldn’t write a Portal book or make a Portal movie or ink a Portal comic, Portal could only be Portal.

For many people, the conceptual problem with Portal and other video games, as literature, is authorship. It can’t be literature without the auteur. How can a team of people be a singular creator of a literary work? But idea of the lone auteur creating from the depth of his singular soul was always a myth.

The ability to bring change comes through the interaction involved in reading and responding.

Literature is made in how it acts upon the world, not how it is pretended to be born fully formed from the head of a single man.

You can find literature at every level of the gaming world, from small indie games like Hollow Knight and Undertale, to multi-million dollar budget “AAA” games like Witcher, an open world game of vast detail where moral choices determine everything about the story, and most of the endings aren’t happy. Wide open, generative landscapes in games like Minecraft often let whole communities myth-make together, whether they’re chasing the Ender Dragon or not. What they all have in common is choices that matter, that they contain or build worlds that you make as much as consume, and that have the potential to make you.

It is interesting to consider this alongside Doug Belshaw’s work in regards to digital literacies and the importance of process. I am also left wondering about J. Hillis Miller’s ‘obligation to write’:

As we read we compose, without thinking about it, a kind of running commentary or marginal jotting that adds more words to the words on the page. There is always already writing as the accompaniment to reading.

Maybe when we play we compose?

Replied to

Bianca, maybe you are just cool?

P.S. That must have been a lengthy walk

Bookmarked Pluralistic: 21 Apr 2021 by Cory DoctorowCory Doctorow (

de-identifying data is really hard, and it only gets harder over time. Say the NHS releases prescribing data: date, doctor, prescription, and a random identifier. That’s a super-useful data-set for medical research.

And say the next year, Addison-Lee or another large minicab company suffers a breach (no human language contains the phrase “as secure as minicab IT”) that contains many of the patients’ journeys that resulted in that prescription-writing.

Merge those two data-sets and you re-identify many of the patients in the data. Subsequent releases and breaches compound the problem, and there’s nothing the NHS can do to either predict or prevent a breach by a minicab company.

Even if the NHS is confident in its anonymization, it can never be confident in the sturdiness of that anonymity over time.

Cory Doctorow discusses the problems on anonymity of de-identified data over time. He talks about the paper in Nature about the use of generative models to re-identify datasets and the site developed by the Imperial College of London which demonstrates how problematic the notion of de-identified data is.
Bookmarked What is ‘Design Justice’? Notes on Costanza-Chock (2020) by Neil (

The book starts with a basic initial definition – i.e. “Design justice rethinks design processes, centres people who are normally marginalized by design, and uses collaborative, creative practices to address the deepest challenges our communities face”. This is then expanded into the following ten collective principles ….

  • We use design to sustain, heal, and empower our communities, as well as to seek liberation from exploitative and oppressive systems.
  • We centre the voices of those who are directly impacted by the outcomes of the design process.
  • We prioritize design’s impact on the community over the intentions of the designer.
  • We view change as emergent from an accountable, accessible, and collaborative process, rather than as a point at the end of a process.
  • We see the role of the designer as a facilitator rather than an expert.
  • We believe that everyone is an expert based on their own lived experience, and that we all have unique and brilliant contributions to bring to a design process.
  • We share design knowledge and tools with our communities.
  • We work towards sustainable, community-led and -controlled outcomes.
  • We work towards non-exploitative solutions that reconnect us to the earth and to each other.
  • Before seeking new design solutions, we look for what is already working at the community level. We honour and uplift traditional, indigenous, and local knowledge and practices.
Neil Selwyn puts together some notes assocaited with Sasha Costanza-Chock’s book on Design Justice. This has me thinking again about Mike Monteiro’s book Ruined by Design.
Liked Pluralistic: 19 Apr 2021 by Cory DoctorowCory Doctorow (Pluralistic)

The anonymous author of the leaked memo calls themself and their colleagues “the tonsils of the internet, a constantly bombarded first line of defense against potential trauma to the userbase.”

FB is a company that says it can do everything – operate local offices in more than 100 countries, field a major VR platform, issue a currency. But when it comes to moderation, it is rendered helpless before the enormity of the task.

The “we must outsource” explanation grows ever thinner, while the “tonsils” hypothesis has enormous explanatory power.

Liked Archivebox (

ArchiveBox is a powerful, self-hosted internet archiving solution to collect, save, and view sites you want to preserve offline.

You can set it up as a command-line tool, web app, and desktop app (alpha), on Linux, macOS, and Windows.

You can feed it URLs one at a time, or schedule regular imports from browser bookmarks or history, feeds like RSS, bookmark services like Pocket/Pinboard, and more. See input formats for a full list.

It saves snapshots of the URLs you feed it in several formats: HTML, PDF, PNG screenshots, WARC, and more out-of-the-box, with a wide variety of content extracted and preserved automatically (article text, audio/video, git repos, etc.). See output formats for a full list.

The goal is to sleep soundly knowing the part of the internet you care about will be automatically preserved in durable, easily accessable formats for decades after it goes down.

“john johnston “ in Bookmarked: ()
Replied to a bit of friendly advice – Snakes and Ladders (

Here’s my suggestion: Assume that everything everyone says on social media in the first 72 hours after a news event is the product of temporary insanity or is a side-effect of a psychotropic drug. Write it off. Pretend it never happened. Only pay attention to what they say when three days have passed since the precipitating event.

Alan, this is one of the benefits I have found in following social media via RSS. I often come upon things long after the fact. This can also be strange though when you read a tweet a week later and reply. Often the conversation has long moved on. Kind of feels like being late to a party, but then maybe it was a party that was not necessarily worth attending in the first place?