5 Quick Things: June 2024

Welcome to 5 Quick Things that I saw since last month that I thought were interesting enough to share with you. None of them are particularly timely so feel free to just enjoy 🙂

>Number One<

We Used to Play

Every time I type on this blog or even think about updating my website I have this kind of internal discussion with myself about the nature of the complexity of the modern age. I’m sure every age saw their things as uniquely complex which makes me kind of terrified to live another 50 years but also, not to be old on main, people used to be able to make reasonably useful complete computer programs by themselves and now they just can’t. I guess open source and “user-generated” content has also been on my mind because of the AI/copyright shenanigans that Adobe is pulling but in this article I really appreciate that there are still people out there exploring the messy edges of ideas, making one person programs, not worrying too much that their things are optimized for profit or even use! I pulled my favorite quote out of the article to entice you but I can’t agree more:

“[W]hat a missed opportunity it is that mainstream digital art tools are so caught up in making the perfect pencil line, or imitating exactly how chalk or water colors work, when there’s other types of lines we can invent that would never be able to exist in the real world.”

>Number Two<

Your Life is Not Supported At This Time

I feel like I might be talking about this again but on the other hand, I think you should talk about this until the end of time. There is a risk that anything you do not own, do not have the tools to fix, do not have the means and understanding of can break. Your tractor, your “smart” objects, or even your body parts. Considering how popular Dex meters, smart pacemakers, and so on have become in the past decade it’s worth remembering that these devices are amazing and wonderful if you’re given the actual tools to update and control them but if at time a company can go under or turn them off or other things well, you could lose your eyes, your livelihood, or even your life.

>Number Three<

It’s a Sad Song (We’ve Got to Sing It Anyway)

José María Luna absolutely nails it in this video exploring the story of Orpheus and Eurydice through multiple media properties and why we’re so drawn to this story. This comes off the back of a tumblr post that has haunted me for about 4 years about Pushing Daises (the TV show) being a modern day retelling of Orpheus. I am not even sure I agree with that, or all the examples in the video but isn’t there something in the fact that such a tale, a tragic tale, still haunts us all this time later. I don’t know but watch the video and get back to me.

>Number Four<

A Bit of History

Not to be extremely annoying but sometimes I have these conversations with people online and we get to a really funny point where I realize the person I’m talking to has absolutely no idea of the broader picture. It is one thing to look something up on Wikipedia and get the broad strokes but it is also important to take time and dive deeper into subjects. In this case, it’s about serfdom. Why is that important, well, I keep having conversations about democracy [or democratic institutions] and freedom where people don’t really understand how those things happened or why and this is a big piece of that puzzle. Now if I could find more long form texts for people about how money and commerce and property worked per-Industrial revolution in a similar vein I would have a lot less fights on the internet (this is a joke, I would just have different ones).

>Number Five<

Meditation via Parks

That was all pretty heavy so here’s something to give you a little bit of re-calibration before I send you on your way. One Minute Park is a project that simply posts one minute of recorded video from parks around the world. Eventually it aims to post enough of these to full an entire day. I do wish the park locations were a little more varied but it’s just based on user submissions so that might is kind of up to you (!). I find these videos very meditative and calming and it is like other “window” projects / groups a kind of sanctioned voyeurism.

That’s all for this month and hopefully I’ll see you back again next month with some more exciting and cool things!

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