The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Nation Without News

Thoughts on the collapse of the news:

We tend to get all holier-than-thou when we look at countries without free press. We think their lives must somehow be more pathetic or sad. Needless to say, this attitude makes us feel better. But people go on. They know, or at least suspect, that they are being denied something, but they maintain hope and optimism. They don’t go around moping. They get on with their lives, and sometimes, at least now and then, feel like maybe the censorship doesn’t matter all that much. There are still reasons to be cheerful.

The author? Why, David Byrne, of course!

I don’t agree with his analysis — I think it’s quite Golden Age-ist, and silent on all the new possibilities for news — but I really enjoyed reading it.


The Last of the Four Horsemen

This feels like a significant cultural artifact. So disturbing it’s impossible to look away. I’m about to go wash my eyes out with soap.

(If you’re looking for someone to blame, blame Taylor.)


Happy Birthday, Robin

I do agree that Facebook takes all of the honor out of remembering your friends’ birthdays. But it also averts all of the drama of forgetting them. So … net win. Post a review of the Prelinger film. And if you get to speak to Rick Prelinger, tell him he better put that sucker up on under a Creative Commons license. And it better be better than this.

For your birthday, I’m getting you a Facebook gift.

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Magnificient and Fleeting (In Praise of Butter)


The most common mistakes made by home bakers, professionals say, have to do with the care and handling of one ingredient: butter. Creaming butter correctly, keeping butter doughs cold, and starting with fresh, good-tasting butter are vital details that professionals take for granted, and home bakers often miss.

Butter is basically an emulsion of water in fat, with some dairy solids that help hold them together. But food scientists, chefs and dairy professionals stress butter

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Let Us Now Praise Famous Bloggers

I missed Matt’s comment on (and defense of) the Atlantic bloggers, so maybe you did, too. He prompted me to subscribe Ta-Nehisi Coats and re-subscribe to Ross Douthat. And in fact, I didn’t even know Jeffrey Goldberg was blogging at all.


Obama As Writer (Well, Co-Writer)

I’m fascinated by Barack Obama’s conception of himself as a writer, and doubly fascinated by his partnership with younger-than-me speechwriter Jon Favreau. This Washington Post article by Eli Saslow (“Helping to Write History“) indulges both fascinations to the hilt. Enjoy.



My friend Paul has been writing a terrific cocktail blog. Teaser: His latest post includes the phrase “Indian-cocktail rosetta stone.”


Like Google Apps, Except Fun

The web-based creative apps at Aviary are out of private beta!

Go check ’em out — it’s Adobe Creative Suite in the cloud.

My favorite of them is actually the simplest: Toucan, which helps you make color swatches. More and more I realize the key to great images is color — awareness of it, attention to it. Usually I just jack a palette from Kuler but this app makes it easy to build one from scratch.


Two Paths to the Same Place

Summary of scientific journal article or Zen koan?

To ask how life started

would be the same as to ask

when and where did the first wind blow

that quivered the surface of a warm pond.

The answer. (Bottom of the page.)

(Via the flock.)


Show Me the Bones

Rex is right: I never want to just listen to a mashup again.

I love that it’s not just a visualization — it’s actually showing you how it was made. And showing you, in a roundabout way, how you might make one yourself.