Credibility And Mediocrity

A one act play with two scenes

The first scene is rather predictable for this life and time. At some point our young protagonist is asked to believe not in what is being said but that it is somehow believable because it has social authority or some populist doctrine attached to it. Our hero is then left to decide if the information is credible on its own or relies on the mediocrity and supposition of social practice to be credible for it. This play never ends the same.

Composed Saturday November 21, 2015 referenced as human, liturgy.

Hots On For Nowhere

Music from Led Zeppelin at You Tube

Listen and watch at You Tube

For a Monday morning. How was your weekend?

Composed Monday November 16, 2015 referenced as video.

Chasing Out The  <blink>

Getting rid of the obvious is not enough

It used to be the obvious things that the web standards movement railed against. The injustices that were sticking out like a sore thumb. Mostly, this was just a call to use HTML in a wellformed progressive practice. What you were supposed to do became an inflated crusade and undermined the message.

disseminating efficient effective information to the majority

One statement can mean so much. Almost ubiquitous, this statement should preface any workflow process. Which brings us to the blink or marquee elements or...?

What is yours? Define the blink.

Composed Sunday November 09, 2015 referenced as design.

Love Town

Music from Peter Gabriel at You Tube

Listen and watch at You Tube

From the Philadelphia soundtrack.

Composed Monday November 2, 2015 referenced as video.

Value - Of Other[s]

More than yours, or mine. The plural as predicate.

That usually means that you don't fit in a check box. Or your box is so small it is not recognized. You are excluded from being a type or class. Insignificant to count or even perhaps consider as a value on a line of data points. If you can't be enumerated into a group then you can't be an individual. You are an other.

The coalescence of other[s]

So here is the thing. There is more than one other, and what these others do can't be predicted. This coalescence is predicated on each of these others lives, experiences, and the good things they bring to share. Usually that does not fit into a check box, a magazine article, overhead compartment, or five minutes on the View. It comes from the predication and humanity of the other[s].

Composed Tuesday October 27, 2015 referenced as human.

Not For Everybody

The current state of everywhere is nowhere

Does everything on the web have to be absorbed like a transdermal patch? For ideas to reach and make an impact do they need the popularity or validation of a prom queen?

Small independent content publishers were here long before the web. Some made a living at writing and publishing at this scale but just as back then the scope is the art, curation, and humanity of the work. It stands for it's own value and not for the current state of the medium at large. It ignores this vagary by it's very nature.

Some of the best publishing does not exist as a global notion.

When small tomes were published to paper it reached a number of minds within the locale. There was no systemic distribution. Perhaps recognizing that one of the qualities of the WWW is distribution gives small content publishers the ability to to reach beyond their locale. Not in the hope that it relates to everyone. That is merely relevant. You want to make it relative to someone, not something. That is the strength of the independent content producer.

Composed Wednesday October 21, 2015 referenced as human.

World Of Wonders

Music from Bruce Cockburn at You Tube

Listen and watch at You Tube

The not so subtle heart beat of humanity. The reminders of time past.

Composed Monday October 12, 2015 referenced as video.

The Shape of Things

Mr Tyndale's tale. Then and now.

Perhaps the most enduring thing about information is that despite the many ways to authenticate it's credibility humans rationalize input. Turning the relative into the relevant and derivative. The hazards when a culture uses copy and paste way too much. Then and now.

Refresh certainly does not have the value of disruption.

▶ More about William Tyndale at Wikipedia.

Composed Tuesday October 6, 2015 referenced as liturgy.

Hounds Of Winter

Music from Sting at You Tube

Listen and watch at You Tube

Composed Monday October 5, 2015 referenced as video.


Music from Dave Matthews Band feat Jeff Coffin and Bela Fleck at You Tube

Listen and watch at You Tube

Composed Saturday October 3, 2015 referenced as video.

Proof Of Concept

Scope drives scale.

Any Questions? See examples below.

Composed Saturday October 3, 2015 referenced as design.

Thank You For Lettin Me Be Mice Elf

Live Cover Music from Dave Matthews Band at You Tube

Listen and watch at You Tube

Enjoy the weekend. With both hands.

Composed Friday October 2, 2015 referenced as video.

Ritual Dance

Music from Michael Hedges at You Tube

Listen and watch at You Tube

Composed Friday October 2, 2015 referenced as video.

Negative Scale

Making simplicity serve

All I want is a way to capture and cache screen grabs from You Tube videos. This can be done in one line of cURL and a shell script ran with cron at the server.

I visited the You Tube Data API and obtained a authorization key.

To return data about videos You Tube uses JSON and a https get request. This request can be shaped to what you want. The value selected returned the URL's for the screen grabs, 3 sizes in total along with channel, title, and description data. It is the image URL conventions we are interested in.

While the API is extensive the image URL conventions in the JSON return allow us to just swap out the video id to return the image. There is no need to call the api to do this time after time just to get the URL image data. This is static anyway you just need to be able to update the screen grab cache. This is also simple via a call with cURL.

curl https://youtubeurl/xx/ VIDEOID /default.jpg > domains/domain/html/path_to_folder/ ARTICLID .jpg

The curl call can be added to a batch shell script that can be ran when a new image is added or a cron job to update and refresh automatically.

To reference the image to the post the image is named after the time/date serialization (article id) of the post. e.g. 201510021214

URL and application naming conventions allow us to repeat and refresh the image cache without making a ton of API calls and produce images for posts with a few moving parts.

Composed Thursday October 1, 2015 referenced as design.

API Simple

So then this is about relative worth

What is the worth of a simple API request when the code to generate the pull is larger than the request itself? Without easy top level access to simple public artifacts how does the API promote an ease of common use in everyday practice?

The most common, simple forms of information from a given API should be made as accessible as possible

To give common access to otherwise low priority public information encourages use and promotes better understanding of metadata and its application to curation.

Composed Monday September 28, 2015 referenced as design.

Authoring Markup

Using HTML as an adjective, instead of just using it.

Good ideas however simple and atomic can be made complicated by the engineer, profiteer, or book publisher. HTML has suffered through all three. Just how do you make something, that is by nature declarative, imperative by definition?

HTML became an influential symbol of design guilds.

What it was expressing changed. It became about an ideology of authority and right or wrong about it's application or fitness. Is this how we apply natural language? It is as if our thoughts need to be codified by type, paper, and ink and not the value of the expression or its value to communicate. For most of us, shouldn't it be simpler than that?

Composed Wednesday September 17, 2015 referenced as literacy.

Are We Reaching?

Artifacts tell quite a bit about a civilization and its direction.

Because of the scale of these artifacts no one sees them as such. It isn't the quality of information they store. It is the expression of the application itself.

These artifacts demand things of us. These artifacts are so persistant they influence the nature of the words expressed. This was supposed to support the future not be the future.

If the first generation of moveable type gave direct scale to ideas this vision scales based on the application against the scope of the information itself. This represents a fundamental change in the function of moveable type for the sake of a digital medium. This has become an abstraction to the ideas expressed.

It is no wonder that the information these applications carry isn't curative in nature. How can it be when the application managing these ideas is merely an artifact itself?

Composed Saturday August 29, 2015 referenced as design.

I'm Dying

For real, no shit

The modern miracle of medicine. All the rage. Need help? Get a script and a pill that's all it takes. But whose symptoms does it help?

For anyone out there that does not have a clue. I know I am dying. Shit just does not work right anymore. Again, I am painfully aware of this on a minute by minute basis. Your attempt to cope with my illness is not usually empathy but sympathy and well meaning pseudo advice. Your vulnerable state concerning my mortality is touching. You see your mortality in me and you respond. These days, I am touched by the compassion I feel from people but for those who wish to sympathize, fuck you. Feel it but don't pat me or anyone else like me on the head.

So is it about the sick getting help or the healthy feeling better about the sick?

We placate and normalize the horrors of mortality and illness for the healthy. The culture wants to feel better about themselves and turn a tidy profit from your death. A win win for the healthy and for the anthropological notion that life only moves forward. So I am left behind with the rest of us that are dying. Do us a favor, look elsewhere to see your reflection of mortality.

Composed Sunday August 02, 2015 referenced as human.

White Socks, Nice Shoes

How do you impart relevance on the relevant?

It would seem that anything is available. How much of it is attainable?

Everywhere. The ability of the web and media to place a product or social phenomena in your face like it belongs there. After all isn't there equality in every media push? Can the same be said for it's payload?

There is also a cautionary tale to all this new. It comes from 1962 and tells that sometimes disruption and velocity can be devastating to those not able to apply it or understand it. Ken Kesey wrote a message that tine and place did not change. To bad we can't read.

▶ Read More One Flew Over The Cuokoo's Nest at Wikipedia.

Composed Thursday July 23, 2015 referenced as literacy.

Public Image

"Can You See The Real Me? Can You? Can Ya?" - The Who

Everybody is boring in the same way everybody is interesting. It is a point counterpoint to your personality. Boring as hell, that's people and that's natural. Personalities are only so big.

Has your public image been supplanted by your media driven profile?

The capacity and velocity of information networks have created an unintended consequence for social networking. To fill this void you echo likes, shares, hashtags and what is suggested for you. This is cheap filler for boring. So, while you are filling the boorish void with noise you devalue what you have to say. The value of boring is that it helps identify the remarkable in people.

Composed Wednesday July 8, 2015 referenced as human.


Turns out, size does matter. So does how we count it.

Special persons day. Where big people sit in little chairs next to their young prodigy. We were treated to a song and the Pledge Of Allegiance along with counting by 10's. We also got a worksheet and a bag of Skittles. Candies just about the size of a dime. We had to do counting, graphing, and evaluation. Such is the world of Pre-K.

The big push is to get kids engaged earlier. How they are being introduced to simple concepts affect core learning into the future.

While we worked I observed. The math involved counting and graphing by color. Skittles are considerably smaller than what is ergonomically normative. The work I have seen has large typefaces. The common belief is that handwriting easier if it is larger. This is true. It is ergonomically normative at that age because of developing motor skills. The larger assumption is that spatial skills track with motor skills. So children count and organize large items. By what scale do we measure spatial skills and are they mutually exclusive to motor skills?

The grandson organized the candies by vertical bar. No problem. It is when he began to count he could not count the small items visually. I observed the same from others as math concepts gave way to best way adaptation. They lacked the spatial skills to count the small objects.

Instead of this imperative is it possible to write big and think small?

Writing needs occupational development but spatial skills already exist that exceed this need. As the operators and functions of mathematics become more complicated so do the concepts. Yet, from the very beginning of the learning process spatial comprehension takes a back seat at the simplest of levels. We have to foster occupational skills that nurture and foster spatial development to build a foundation for extensible thinking.

Composed Friday July 3, 2015 referenced as human.

Nate Is Using His Big Words Again

Having a core competency is not Common Core.

One of these things involve a text book publisher making a profit. The other, involves being prepared, ongoing learning, and an open mind. So how do people confuse the two?

The common core spec can be found here. It was transposed into weights and measures and a profit center making it something else besides a way to prime peoples minds. A shame.

This profit center also masked the real message

What emerged from the Common Core was a second outcome. The idea that local competency can no longer be competitive to the global condition. This has been brought about by the velocity and the amount of information needed to solve problems and arrive at the best answer.

So maybe having a core competency is being competitive to the velocity and amount of information that exists beyond your physical locale. The challenge is not the information itself. It is how we use it.

Composed Wednesday July 1, 2015 referenced as human.

Almost Human

Is it how or what you say or the means by which you say it?

The book, brochure, and poster have been hallmarks for printed communication for over 500 years. They impart semiotic markers for how we live our lives. As people we have come to look for standard information in familiar places within these formats. While moveable type is portable the information formats or standard remained for the most part static.

Precedents were created to make document systems extensible within an established format. These imperative constants guide printed communication and have gone as far as shaping our spatial comprehension of how we apply information so that we may curate or preserve an extensible but static format. Quite simply you can not have the semantic without the semiotic foundation. Defining semiotic need allows semantics to create rich context within a native scope.

Web designers have long stressed that the web be semantic but without semiotic foundation. They claimed the rules were too cumbersome. The same rules that advanced civilization for the past 500 years. As programmers we are not only responsable for the disruptive we are also accountable for the constant and familiar.

Have we been doing our best with the constant and familiar?

▶ Define semiotic at Wikipedia.

Composed Sunday June 28, 2015 referenced as design.