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from Matt

This morning I spent some time thinking about Read Write.as and its general purpose. I want to keep its “publication”-like feel, so we pushed out some simple design changes that make it look more like that. But I also want to support the amazing social activity that's grown on it through quoted replies, good old-fashioned links, and shared hashtags. It's time to start thinking about facilitating conversation, instead of it happening accidentally.

Read the rest of this article on write.as/matt/towards-a-commenting-system.

 
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from theabbie

How to mind your own business?

I was walking past the mental hospital the other day, and all the patients were shouting, ’13….13….13.’

The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks, so I looked through to see what was going on.

Some idiot poked me in the eye with a stick!

Then they all started shouting, ’14….14….14.’

 
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from theabbie

How to mind your own business?

I was walking past the mental hospital the other day, and all the patients were shouting, ’13….13….13.’

The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks, so I looked through to see what was going on.

Some idiot poked me in the eye with a stick!

Then they all started shouting, ’14….14….14.’

 
Read more...

from theabbie

How to mind your own business?

I was walking past the mental hospital the other day, and all the patients were shouting, ’13….13….13.’

The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks, so I looked through to see what was going on.

Some idiot poked me in the eye with a stick!

Then they all started shouting, ’14….14….14.’

 
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from Matt

A small conclusion arrived in my head the other morning, as I woke. It was years in the making. It said that technology, and digital text-based forms of communication in particular, will never replace or surpass real-life human interaction. I had held out believing it might happen since I was young, just by sheer exposure to more tech, more connectivity, and new tools over the years. Each new invention came with the implied promise of it improving the state of our communications. Now we can text each other at any hour of the day; send and receive messages anywhere we are. We'll never need to worry about being stranded. We can just work from home, now that we have email, chat, video conferencing. “If you can’t be there, feel there,” promises Facebook's home surveillance device.

Yet, in reality, all of these communication mediums provide only a low-fidelity imitation of human interaction. We only convey meaning through language; we smile back at pixels on glowing screens; we fall in love with text and fonts and photos and flirtatious emoji standardized in Unicode 6.0.

Read the rest of this article on write.as/matt/text-communication.

 
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from Thoreau

When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again.

I should not obtrude my affairs so much on the notice of my readers if very particular inquiries had not been made by my townsmen concerning my mode of life, which some would call impertinent, though they do not appear to me at all impertinent, but, considering the circumstances, very natural and pertinent. Some have asked what I got to eat; if I did not feel lonesome; if I was not afraid; and the like. Others have been curious to learn what portion of my income I devoted to charitable purposes; and some, who have large families, how many poor children I maintained. I will therefore ask those of my readers who feel no particular interest in me to pardon me if I undertake to answer some of these questions in this book. In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference. We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking. I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me. Perhaps these pages are more particularly addressed to poor students. As for the rest of my readers, they will accept such portions as apply to them. I trust that none will stretch the seams in putting on the coat, for it may do good service to him whom it fits.

I would fain say something, not so much concerning the Chinese and Sandwich Islanders as you who read these pages, who are said to live in New England; something about your condition, especially your outward condition or circumstances in this world, in this town, what it is, whether it is necessary that it be as bad as it is, whether it cannot be improved as well as not. I have travelled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere, in shops, and offices, and fields, the inhabitants have appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways. What I have heard of Brahmins sitting exposed to four fires and looking in the face of the sun; or hanging suspended, with their heads downward, over flames; or looking at the heavens over their shoulders “until it becomes impossible for them to resume their natural position, while from the twist of the neck nothing but liquids can pass into the stomach;” or dwelling, chained for life, at the foot of a tree; or measuring with their bodies, like caterpillars, the breadth of vast empires; or standing on one leg on the tops of pillars,—even these forms of conscious penance are hardly more incredible and astonishing than the scenes which I daily witness. The twelve labors of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbors have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor. They have no friend Iolas to burn with a hot iron the root of the hydra’s head, but as soon as one head is crushed, two spring up.

 
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from Matt

Since spring, I've been back and forth between my home of the last few years, northern Florida, and my home as a kid, northern Virginia. After a few more years in the South than I'd initially planned to stay, I finally started working on returning north to the comforting cold, falling leaves, and, well, seasons.

There's much to say about what I'm leaving behind (or not) in Florida, but today I'm thinking about the Publix grocery store I shopped at for basically my entire time there.

Publix has a certain fame in Jacksonville, where I lived, and no doubt elsewhere. For one, it was common to get a “Pub sub” — a sandwich with ingredients straight from the store — instead of the standard Subway or Firehouse sandwich. Before a weekend of camping or floating down the river, in one stop you could pick up your beer and a few pre-made sandwiches. It was not only convenient, but very delicious.

But most of all, the shopping experience was always pleasant there. There were two Publixes (Publices?) near me, about equidistant from my house. I always went to the larger one just down the 6-lane road from me — the road that heads away from the quaint old houses I lived among toward suburban hell, the next town over. Many times after work, the beautiful, vast meadow of asphalt in front of this Publix would fill with parked cars or idling cars waiting to park themselves in that perfect front-row spot. But once I was inside, it was a joy to shop there.

Read the rest of this article on write.as/matt/self-checkification.

 
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from wakest

written the night of October 25th 2019 #listenlogging

This list isn't in order but who the fuck cares. I am not sure why I am doing this anymore. I guess seeing the view count keeps being 0 makes me a little less inclined to write. Though I am not really saying anything that interesting other then “this good” or “this sorta ok” etc

Baduizm(s) By Gavin Gamboa + Erykah Badu “Twelve remixes of material from Baduizm (1997), Erykah Badu's debut record” Had been meaning to listen to my friend @gavcloud@sonomu.club new remix album since we hung out in Berlin and finally ran into it again today so got the chance to listen. It was quite good. I was impressed at how experimental it was.

Ran into the following two albums just looking through the stuff BandCamp had featured. They usually do a good job of featuring a diverse selection of sounds and was happy to discover both of these jems though clicking on stuff.

Lewis Cancut – Air Condition

Kamaal Williams

This compilation #chiptune album had some killer songs on it and also some awful ones. I was working so wasn't able to ascertain which were which. I will have to re-listen and look up the artists who I actually liked another time. Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 8

 
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from wakest

written the night of October 24th 2019 #listenlogging

I listened to the first 3 hours of the Mark Zuckerberg congressional hearing today. It took a lot of patience to listen to so many old people talk about things they didn't understand for 3 hours. Especially so many people in a position of power.

I wanted to write something about this but feel I should probably go to sleep. I listened to some other podcasts too but none of them were very good and there is not a good reason to list them here.

 
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from Matt

@darius@friend.camp fixed the mention issues on our end — this should work now!

cc @matt@writing.exchange

 
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from tunda

In den 1980er Jahren wurden sie wiederentdeckt: diese »künstlichen, in Bergflanken hineingebohrten und -gebauten Kanäle, die die zur Bodenbewirtschaftung so wichtige Bewässerung ermöglichten, indem sie über mehrere Kilometer Wasser transportierten«. So beschrieb Auguste Vautier (1942: 19) die Bewässerungskanäle, von denen hier die Rede ist. Über ihren ursprünglichen Zweck hinaus, sind sie heute auch für den Tourismus von Belang. Unter anderem haben sie zur Einrichtung beliebter Wanderwege beigetragen. Doch im Zusammenhang mit den Commons sind sie vor allem wegen ihrer Langlebigkeit und ihrer Bewirtschaftungsform von Interesse.

Im Schweizer Alpenkanton Wallis ist in Urkunden aus dem 13. Jahrhundert erstmals von den Bewässerungskanälen die Rede. Die Dokumente verweisen auf Bauwerke, die wahrscheinlich 200 Jahre zuvor errichtet wurden. Doch erst das 15. Jahrhundert wurde zum goldenen Zeitalter der sogenannten »bisses«. Historisch erklärt sich die Entwicklung des Kanalnetzwerks mit Ereignissen, die in ganz Europa fürchterliche Spuren hinterließen: die Pest von 1348 und die Seuchen, die ihr folgten. Diese Epidemien haben die Walliser Bevölkerung hart getroffen, sie wurde um mindestens 30 bis 50 Prozent dezimiert. Die Verringerung der Bevölkerungsdichte in den Alpen führte wiederum dazu, dass Land, welches zuvor für den Getreideanbau benötigt worden war, verfügbar wurde. Gleichzeitig stieg in den norditalienischen Städten die Nachfrage nach Rindfleisch stark an. Beides zusammen brachte die Walliser Bauern dazu, ihr Land in Heuwiesen umzuwandeln, weil sie ihre Viehherden vergrößern wollten. Um Wasser aus den Bergen zu ihren Grünlandflächen zu befördern, mussten sie die berühmten Kanäle bauen. Dafür taten sich die Eigentümer der Wiesen und Weideflächen zusammen und es begannen kollektive Arbeiten, an denen oft die gesamte Dorfgemeinschaft beteiligt war.

Im 19. Jahrhundert kam es unter dem Druck der Bevölkerungsentwicklung und der Ausweitung von Weinbauflächen zu einer erneuten Bauphase. 1924 gab es 300 Bewässerungskanäle mit einer Gesamtlänge von etwa 2.000 Kilometern (Schnyder 1924: 218). Die letzte unveröffentlichte Erhebung im Kanton Wallis fand 1992 statt. Sie zählt immerhin noch 190 Bewässerungskanäle mit einer Gesamtlänge von mindestens 731 Kilometern.

 
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