Just learned that Archilllect is a bot. I'd assumed it was just a prolific hipster. Spooky.

Sailing Boats in the Morning (Inland Sea), Yoshida Hiroshi, 1926 [2335 × 3200]

Hilarious story on the college admissions scandal. Reading it I feel something like second-order schadenfreude: gleeful vicarious appreciation of another's enjoyment of a third party's suffering.


"Not reforming capitalism would be an existential threat to the US."

This feels like the beginning of a sea change in thinking from the economic elites:


After orchard pruning all day my bellybutton lint is mostly sawdust.

Bruce Sterling SXSW 2019 talk:

Who is the most cyberpunk person in the world?


Puzzling that there's no climate optimism on either side.

Liberal Climate Chaos Optimism: Once there's no "normal," we have freedom to invent crazy microclimate ecosystem designs.

Conservative Climate Chaos Optimism: Same, but with no fear of using nukes and similar scale tech to influence weather.

Pondering ways to characterize environmental politics:

Liberal Ideal: We should freeze ecosystems as they are, prevent further contamination.

Conservative Ideal: We should freeze rate-of-industrialization at its recent state.

Both sides feel rooted in fear of change.

Does this make sense?

Really appreciating woodstoves during this cold snap.

I feel like they're the closest thing we have to "Mr. Fusion" from back to the future: you just take trash lying around on the ground in the woods, chuck it in the box, and get energy out!


Is our search turned off? I can't seem to search anything cc @zacharius

I already have too many toots to search for my own without a search function. Looking for something I tooted about how some science fiction approaches closer to reality instead of escaping from it...

Is there any particular university that's pre-eminent in Environment / Climate / Ecology / Meteorology stuff?

Seems like there's no obvious choice the way there is for engineering, medicine, finance, etc.

I'm being nudged into a marketing role where I work, and it's forcing me to re-examine a long-held belief: Advertising Is Evil.

Anyone care to play devil's advocate?

The New Yorker’s “Touchstones” essays on classic albums are quite good. The inline samples of Missy Elliott’s musical references and supercuts of other artists borrowing Janet Jackson’s chair dance are a great evolution of online music writing. (There’s also one on Nirvana 🤷‍♂️) newyorker.com/culture/touchsto

I think the best New-New-Deal would be to give young people a Guaranteed Basic Job working for one or two elderly people, as IT support.

At the local computer store:

me: "Do you have any advice about how to learn to use this [new smartphone]? Like, what do all the different swipes mean?"

repair technician: "Ummm, I'd suggest finding a small child and asking them to teach you."

US Medical Billing continued:

Bizarro Future: Instead of paying for health insurance or a legal retainer, you pay your monthly healthcare budget to a PR firm who will counterattack the service provider in the court of public opinion as soon as you receive a bill.

Has media coverage surpassed the legal system as the standard way to contest medical bills in the US?

Odd asymmetry: nobody can hire lawyers to match an insurance co.'s legal team, but no amount of hospital/insurance PR can dispute public opinion about an absurd bill.


What's the best metaphor for aggregated public opinion?

1) collective unconscious
2) mob mentality
3) psychosphere
4) overton window
5) wisdom of crowds
6) clash of civilizations
7) other?

There's a lot going on in this interview with Adam Curtis:

Politics as pantomime, narrative void, South Park.


Early new-years resolution: spend time with more negative people.

I'm such a contrarian that the most reliable way for me to be optimistic is to be surrounded by the despairing.

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Refactor Camp

Mastodon instance for attendees of Refactor Camp, and members of various online/offline groups that have grown out of it. Related local groups with varying levels of activity exist in the Bay Area, New York, Chicago, and Austin.

Kinda/sorta sponsored by the Ribbonfarm Blogamatic Universe.

If you already know a few people in this neck of the woods, try and pick a handle they'll recognize when you sign up. Please note that the registration confirmation email may end up in your spam folder, so check there. It should come from administrator Zach Faddis.