Bookmarked The Steal Like An Artist Audio Trilogy – Austin Kleon (Austin Kleon)

An audio compilation of my bestselling books about creativity in the digital age, Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work! and Keep Going.

I purchased Austin Kleon’s audiobook trilogy from Libro.fm. His books (and blogs) are something I dive into again and again as a point of reflection, so I am excited about reading the books with new ears. Also a sucker for authors reading their own work.
Listened NEW SINGLE ‘WHEN THE MACHINE STARTS’ OUT NOW! from missyhiggins.com

I know this track won’t hit home for a lot of people and that’s OK. I wrote it during Victorian Lock-down 1.0 at a time when I was feeling particularly lucky to be able to spend so much time with the kids while they’re still so young. To be able to look at my calendar and see NOTHING on it, forcing me to be completely in the moment because suddenly the future didn’t exist.


Surprisingly, that felt like a gift. I realised I’d been running an invisible race, a rabid dog chasing a phantom rabbit. But to what end? So to be given this chance to stop… well, I really didn’t want to forget it. So this song came out of that moment. It’s a post-it note to my future self: “don’t forget the good things you’ve learnt!”.

Missy Higgins has released When the Machine Starts, a song written about the truth of seeing beyond all the busyness of life to the being in the moment. She wrote it as a post-it note to her future self.

The video clip associated with the song is made up of multiple screens capturing the culture of video conferencing so prevelent during the crisis around COVID.

She has also produced a ‘live’ clip for The Sound which features Higgins walking around Melbourne before finally ending in with a performance at the hauntingly empty steps to Flinders Street Station.

Similar to Child Gambino’s This is America a few years ago, Higgins’ song encapsulates the current state of affairs, especially the hope at the end of the tunnel.

Listened The Number Ones: Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” – Stereogum,The Number Ones: Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” from Stereogum

“How Will I Know” only fell into Houston’s hands because Janet Jackson said no. The song came from George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, a married couple from Seattle who sang backup on Deniece Williams’ 1984 chart-topper “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” and who recorded as the duo Boy Meets Girl.

Liked When We Look Back on 2020, What Will We See? (dancohen.org)

Our year of 2020—somehow simultaneously overstuffed but also stretched thin, a year of Covid and protests against racism and a momentus election—will thus have a commensurately unwieldy digital historical record, densely packed with every need, opinion, and stress that our devices and sensors have captured and transmitted. That the September 11 Digital Archive collected 150,000 born-digital objects will strike future historians as confusingly slight, a desaturated daguerreotype compared to today’s hi-def canvas of data, teeming with vivid pixels. This year we will have generated billions of photographs, messages, and posts. Our movement through time and space has been etched as trillions of bytes about where we went and ate and shopped, or how much we hunkered down at home instead. But even if we hid from the virus, none of us will have been truly hidden. It’s all there in the data.

Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #126 – Hey first I wanna say really like your music i have lost my beautiful wife in cancer and my dear brother in covid 19 my question to you is how keep you going on after lost your son its hard sometimes to keep going on with life. (The Red Hand Files)

Matti, forgive me if this makes no sense to you, but perhaps there is a way to summon your wife and dear brother and release them from your despair so that they can attend to you — allow them to become your spiritual companions in that impossible realm, to look after you in their imagined presence, and guide you forward until things get better. For they do, in time, they do.

Replied to The Eye of Providence: The symbol with a secret meaning? (bbc.com)

How has a seemingly straightforward image – an eye set within a triangle – become a lightning rod for conspiracy theorists? Matthew Wilson looks at the history of an ambiguous symbol.

I never realised that the Eye of Providence could be so complicated.
Bookmarked School Library Websites: Essential Features And Examples (The Edublogger)

In this article, we’ll explain why your website is a key part of your school library experience. Then we’ll discuss 5 essential features you should include when creating or updating your school library site. We’ve also got 8 examples of great school library websites and blogs to share with you.

Kathleen Morris provides some suggestions about what makes a good library website.

The trick making your library’s website or blog as engaging and useful as possible is to include these 5 essentials:

  1. Clear site navigation
  2. Regularly updated content
  3. Consistent design
  4. Visible contact details
  5. Accessible design

She also provides a useful collection of examples.

Bookmarked Pluralistic: 23 Nov 2020 by Cory DoctorowCory Doctorow (pluralistic.net)

Predictive policing tools work really well: they perfectly predict what the police will do. Specifically, they predict whom the police will accuse of crimes, and since only accused people are convicted, they predict who will be convicted, too.

Cory Doctorow discusses the magic that is predictive policing.

Victoria police say they can’t disclose any details about the program because of “methodological sensitivities,” much in the same way that stage psychics can’t disclose how they guess that the lady in the third row has lost a loved one due to “methodological sensitivities.”

Doctorow explains that all this tells the police is “how many crimes to charge the child with between now and their 21st birthday.”

Listened The opal fossils that changed a miner’s life and introduced a new species from Australia’s deep past by Michael Dulaney from ABC News

Opal dealer Mike Poben nearly got rid of the 100-million-year-old fossils found in a bag of rough dirt — but his decision to keep them changed his life, and our view of Australia’s deep past.

A fascinating story about the discovery of the Weewarrasaurus pobeni.
Bookmarked Adding Microformats to WordPress’s Twenty Twenty Theme by Jan BoddezJan Boddez (jan.boddez.net)

I recently moved another blog of mine back to “plain” WordPress, and in the process added microformats2 support to its Twenty Twenty child theme. Some remarks: I’ve yet to add a u-photo class to featured images, I used a bit of a trick to get post metadata to show below short-form posts rather than above, and I’ve also completely hidden the “regular” comment form—I’m more of a Webmention type of guy.

All of the site’s source, minus default plugins and such, is hosted on GitHub, and that includes this child theme.

Jan Boddez adds to the IndieWeb options by adding microformats to Twenty Twenty theme.
Replied to https://boffosocko.com/2020/11/23/55781499/ by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (boffosocko.com)

Zuckerman and Rajendra-Nicolucci have an interesting looking research project here that aims to look at means of potentially providing more civic-minded social media. 
I thought I’d take a short stab at beginning a conversation on this front as it’s an important topic that is near and dear to m…

Chris, I always enjoy the way you are able to so succinctly explain the benefits of the IndieWeb.
Bookmarked The Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done by Cal Newport (The New Yorker)

Cal Newport on the 43 Folders blogger Merlin Mann; the late productivity expert Peter Drucker; the author David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” method; and why G.T.D. doesn’t address the anxiety and inefficiency associated with e-mail overload, a phenomenon that knowledge workers experience in the office.

Cal Newport reflects upon the history of productivity hacks, from Druker’s management by objectives to Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero, and suggests that individual actions are not enough. As most of us lack the power and control of our processes, we instead require management intervention.

In software development, for example, it’s widely accepted that programmers are most effective when they work on one feature at a time, focussing in a distraction-free sprint until done. It’s conceivable that other knowledge fields might enjoy similar productivity boosts from more intentional assignments of effort. What if you began each morning with a status meeting in which your team confronts its task board? A plan could then be made about which handful of things each person would tackle that day. Instead of individuals feeling besieged and resentful—about the additional tasks that similarly overwhelmed colleagues are flinging their way—they could execute a collaborative plan designed to benefit everyone.

I think the biggest challenge with this is as much about mindset as it is about process. It is interesting to consider this alongside discussions around distributed leadership.

Liked Asimov’s Three Laws Helped Shape A.I. and Robotics. We Need Four More. (One Zero)

In Frank Pasquale’s provoking and well-wrought book, New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI, the Brooklyn Law School professor proposes adding four new principles to Asimov’s original three. Which, for those unfamiliar, are as follows:

  1. A robot must not harm humans, or, via inaction, allow a human to come to harm.
  2. Robots must obey orders given to them by humans, unless an order would violate the first law.
  3. Finally, a robot must protect its own existence, as long as doing so would not put it into conflict with the other two laws.

Pasquale says we must push much further, arguing that the old laws should be expanded to include four new ones:

  1. Digital technologies ought to “complement professionals, not replace them.”
  2. A.I. and robotic systems “should not counterfeit humanity.”
  3. A.I. should be prevented from intensifying “zero-sum arms races.”
  4. Robotic and A.I. systems need to be forced to “indicate the identity of their creators(s), controller(s), and owners(s).”
Replied to There Is No Goal by wiobyrne (digitallyliterate.net)

I spent some time looking at Substack, but ultimately decided against it for a variety of reasons. I am interested in this new writing space and model. But, it also does remind of the hype around Medium when it first started.

Ian, I am really intrigues about the rise of Substrack. I liked Sean Monahan concern about the magic of micropayments:

A new micropayments platform for newsletters won’t magically liberate public intellectuals from commercial pressures; it won’t solve the tensions between free speech and safety; and I highly doubt it will make having a career as a writer any easier. But it will create space for writing not tailored to the trending on Twitter section, encourage writers to develop a deeper relationship with their audience, and promote the sort of writing (both longform and short) that doesn’t fit neatly into the categories of legacy media.

I really liked your association between Substack and Medium. What Monahan labels a ‘social media interregnum’. I really liked Chris Aldrich’s point about ‘yet-another-platform’.

I have been using Buttondown, but have reservations and am considering moving to Mailpoet, especially as all my posts are already on my site.

Replied to https://boffosocko.com/2020/11/21/55781431/ by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (boffosocko.com)

One thing I find myself wanting is a discovery-based follow button for Microsub that would allow me to input either my own following list or even my Twitter account which would then parse through my Twitter follows to allow me to quickly follow the personal websites that appear in people’s Twitter website and bio fields.

This sounds like a great idea.