LRB: Adam Shatz reviews ‘Congo’ by David Van Reybrouck.
Nice Marmot: Blogging like it’s 1999.
Later: Dr Vornov says, “With our symbolic tools of language that abstract the maps into notes, conversations and blog posts, we can get out of our heads and team up with other minds to improve the usefulness of our internal maps, even to the point of knowing things that are beyond any ability to experience.”
This post has been simmering in the back of my head as I’ve been running around town today, and I wanted to expand on it. I think of how fellow bloggers, my readers and others have shaped my perception of reality, my interpretation of events, my interpretations of groups of facts over the years. It’s been invaluable. However, after near fifteen years of blogging, I have to face my own … sluggishness? … to change the mental maps of late. I wasn’t so slow to change in ’99. Today? Glacial by comparison. Is it age? Is it exposure to poor quality articles? Is it comfort in an attractive rut? Is it a reflection of the knee-jerk post-9/11 fear-and-panic in our culture? I know it’s not media-driven - I don’t watch television! Not even Jon Stewart (though he served me drinks at City Gardens in Trenton eons ago). That seems to shock people.
I circle back to something the Barrett boys [Cam and Damien] underlined for me. Weblogs are best when they’re about stories. A good story is from the heart, from the soul. “I lived this.” A good story changes my mental map, because it is a convincing direct experience I can feel. It’s the direct experience I don’t have, but when I hear it from a person I trust, it bends my opinion to the bloggers’ experience. My mental map extends beyond my direct ken.
Why are today’s stories not changing my maps? Why are stories less compelling than they were? I think it’s because there’s a difference between a fellow blogger, posting as a virtual friend, and a stranger posting a story to Medium or other venue. Stories are told at an arm’s length now - even worse, when they’re on sites with no comment areas. There is no interaction. And historical storytelling has always been about adjustments for the audience as the story is being acted out. I think of the famous photo, the elder at the bonfire, spinning out stories to the next generations, animated look on his face. Our old blogger-banter served that need for interaction - that banter, that back-and-forth is largely gone today.
I suppose that’s why I mourn for the ‘old days’ of blogging. And I make a mental note (scribbled on my mental map margin) to tell more stories.
POODLE Attack and SSLv3 Support.
Vanity Fair: Why a Street Criminal Stole a Multi-Million-Dollar Violin.
“If you look at it another way, there was something dangerous and almost deranged about it, the kind of crime Abbott and Costello might plan, after consultation with Cheech and Chong and Martin and Lewis.”
The New Yorker: Copywrong.
I expect better of you, New Yorker. You’re on my watch list now.
Boston Review: Conservatives Are Driving Americans Away from Religion.
Guardian.UK: French soldier’s room unchanged 96 years after his death in first world war.
“The parents of the young officer kept his room exactly as it was the day he left for the battlefront. When they decided to move in 1935, they stipulated in the sale that Rochereau’s room should not be changed for 500 years.”
Ebola Deeply, Covering the Crisis.
EbolaDeeply.org, a curated list of articles on the crisis. I need to watch ‘em for a few days before I recommend ‘em. The article “Ebola Threatens Chocolate” rings a bit off (in the changing ‘Around The Web’ sidebar).
Slate: Aging slower: How elevation and speed affect time via relativity.
I’m aging faster than most of you (high altitude, lower gravity, self-employed, not moving at speed as much).
Dazed: Glastonbury bans sale of Native American headdresses.
Appropriate. Those who make and wear tattoos know not to copy ‘real’ Maori Ta Moko designs out of respect; the Maori consider this a form of ‘identity theft’, because the patterns are family-based. Why should a similar respect not be extended to Native Americans? Remember how much Christians love Serrano’s “Piss Christ.”
OpenCulture: Prof. Iggy Pop - BBC’s 2014 John Peel Lecture - “Free Music in a Capitalist Society”.
Info on where to find it in the last para.
Youtube: Haiku - ‘Chasing Jeff Beck down a dark alley with a loaded guitar (studio).’
Heh. Totally unfamiliar with the group.
365/2: 286. Galisteo Basin Preserve, late afternoon harsh light.
SF Reporter: Santa Fe’s Newly Improved Caboose.
The orphan caboose at St Francis and Cerrillos roads enjoyed a makeover.
Kormaran. A new kind of boat.
The New Yorker: The Limits of Friendship.
“With social media, we can easily keep up with the lives and interests of far more than a hundred and fifty people. But without investing the face-to-face time, we lack deeper connections to them, and the time we invest in superficial relationships comes at the expense of more profound ones.” Hmmm. ‘Profound’? I’d say ‘expense of more psychologically beneficial ones’.
Photoshelter Blog: How this London Photographer Got 70,000 Followers on Twitter.
“I try to be intelligent in the way I build my following by targeting the people that I follow who will then follow me back.” But that’s the whole secret. Look at his follower/following ratio. Almost 1:1. Choosing people who follow back is not difficult. I could hire a kid to sit and lure followers eight hours a day for a week, and have a huge following - completely unrelated to the quality of my social posts or photography. No doubt there is an advantage to big follower numbers, but at what cost?
Helftone: Mac App Store - The Subtle Exodus.
Apple Insider: IDG cancels Macworld/iWorld 2015 conference, says show ‘going on hiatus’.
Wowzer. End of an era, indeed.
Library of Congress: WPA Posters (canned search).
Observer.UK: What drives writers to drink?
Wait! I know this! AMAZON. Well, not in the context of this article perhaps ...
Kickstarter: anonabox - a Tor hardware router.
The Appendix: Photographing the Guillotine.
“... this will be and this has been.” Yes, exactly. Good article.
The Amphipolis Tomb - Map, photos and information.
Nice. Someone’s compiling all the latest on the tomb.