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Tea “toppings” at 3 year old’s tea party:

  • milk
  • sugar
  • honey
  • rainbow sprinkles
  • unicorn sprinkles
  • dinosaur sprinkles
  • dinosaur poop
  • dinosaurs
  • kittens
  • kitten fur
  • flour
  • baking soda
  • eggs
  • coffee
  • tea 🤔
  • water
  • almond milk
  • soy milk
  • kitten milk
  • dinosaur milk
  • dinosaurs again

“Cheers, Papa!”

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I don’t hang out on the internet

I use Facebook. Not a ton, but I use it. I tweet, I Instagram, I read blogs. I do much of my work on GitHub. I’m on mailing lists, IRC channels, StackOverflow. Not LinkedIn, but that’s an exception. I say all this to show that I spend plenty of time on the Internet. More than my fair share.

And yet. If I hang out with people on the Internet, I generally already know them in real life. This puts me a bit at odds with online communities like open source, the IndieWeb, and others. I participate in them now and then, but I sometimes find it hard to relate to their needs and interests. They’re online communities, and I don’t really…commune…online.

This is not remarkable. For most people, it’s actually the norm, although that’s changing quickly as the more and more of the world gets online. We’re well past the halfway point! It’s a bit unusual for nerds like me, though, since discovering the internet has long been a rite of passage for us. Continue reading

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Haesindang Park

The world is amazing. This is Haesindang Park, in South Korea, better known as Penis Park. There are penis sculptures of all sizes, styles, and colors, including gold and silver. People come here to enjoy the scenery and (no joke) wish on the penises for fertility, spirituality, and more.

From BBC Documentary: Not Making Babies in South Korea:

Woman 1: It is very nice, but it seems a little indecent. It’s a bit embarrassing.
Woman 2: Why? It’s very nice, with all the flowers. It’s pretty. I really like it.
Reporter: Do you come here because you get a certain energy about this place?
Woman 1: Well, I shouldn’t be receiving any energy here. I’m done with children.

There’s even a legend! From Wikipedia:

A tragic legend known as the “Legend of Auebawi and Haesindang” shrouds the statues of the park. According to the legend, a woman was once left by her man on a rock in the sea while he worked. The man was later unable to retrieve her because of a storm, and the woman drowned. After that, the village people were not able to catch fish. Some said that it was because of the dead woman. One day, a fisherman urinated into the water and afterward, he was able to catch fish, so it was thought that exposing the deceased virgin to male genitalia pleased her. To soothe her spirit further, the local village people made several phallic wooden carvings and held religious ceremonies on her behalf. After a while, the fish slowly returned and the villagers were able to live comfortably again. The place where the woman died was named Aebawi Rock and the building where the religious ceremony is held twice a year was named Haesindang. The ceremony is still honored today as a traditional folk event.

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

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One of my favorite podcasts in recent memory, BBC’s 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy, is now a book. Thoughtful, original, and fun. Congratulations Tim Harford!

When they asked for suggestions for a 51st thing, I proposed the threaded screw. 🤓

Before it, fasteners were non-standard at best. Nails didn’t last. Others were hard to make or use. How many screws and bolts are made now? A million per person? Truly a key part of the modern economy.

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RIP Facebook for Bridgy

As planned, Facebook turned off some of its key APIs for posting and fetching data on Wednesday, and I disabled Facebook for Bridgy entirely.

It’s a sad day. Facebook was the single biggest reason I came up with Bridgy way back in 2011. I’ve always wanted to own my data online, on my own web site, but my friends and family generally used social networks like Facebook instead. I didn’t care too much about dogma or evangelizing, but I still wanted to connect with them wherever they were, and if they were online, more often than not they were on Facebook.

Social networks are under siege in the press right now, so it’s easy to forget all the ways they’ve made our lives better. Not only have they brought us indispensable tools for day to day life, they’ve also enriched our ties to many real people, not just those we care about most but also entirely new people, across the globe, who we may never have met otherwise.

We regularly look to big social networks for inspiration and motivation in the IndieWeb. We analyze and document features, UI designs, and yes, even antipatterns…but more importantly, we work hard to interoperate. We may try to live on our web sites, but we still treasure and value the relationships we have with everyone else. They’re still on the social networks, Facebook above all.

I’ll still use Facebook directly now and then. Friends will get engaged, colleagues will start new jobs, cousins will have babies. I’ll still expect to see someone at a party whose name I’ve forgotten – you know, we met her at that place, for that thing – and look it up on Facebook first. Embarrassment avoided, life improved. But I’ll use it less. I wish there was another way.

So long for now. See you on the web!

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Introducing Baffle

A while back, I wrote up a design for bridging Microsub clients to traditional feed reader backends. Fast forward to a few weeks ago: I hacked together a bare bones prototype at IndieWebCamp 2018. Fast forward to now: I’m launching Baffle!

Baffle lets you use Microsub reader apps like Together, Indigenous, and Monocle with traditional feed readers like NewsBlur and maybe eventually Feedly and more.

Right now, it only supports viewing channels and timelines. If there’s enough interest and usage, I can add channel management, muting, and blocking. I’d also consider adding Feedly if I hear enough desire.

Happy reading!

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