The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

Jennifer § Two songs from The Muppet Movie / 2021-02-12 15:53:34
A few notes on daily blogging § Stock and flow / 2017-11-20 19:52:47
El Stock y Flujo de nuestro negocio. – redmasiva § Stock and flow / 2017-03-27 17:35:13
Meet the Attendees – edcampoc § The generative web event / 2017-02-27 10:18:17
Does Your Digital Business Support a Lifestyle You Love? § Stock and flow / 2017-02-09 18:15:22
Daniel § Stock and flow / 2017-02-06 23:47:51
Kanye West, media cyborg – MacDara Conroy § Kanye West, media cyborg / 2017-01-18 10:53:08
Inventing a game – MacDara Conroy § Inventing a game / 2017-01-18 10:52:33
Losing my religion | Mathew Lowry § Stock and flow / 2016-07-11 08:26:59
Facebook is wrong, text is deathless – Sitegreek !nfotech § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2016-06-20 16:42:52

West Siiiide!

David from Ironic Sans snapped some pretty wonderful shots of kids in his Upper West Side building on Halloween.

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Universal Computing in Two States and Three Colors

As previously noted, I couldn’t hack Stephen Wolfram’s big book but I like his way of thinking. This new post from his blog is fun and fascinating. It’s about a 20-year-old kid who met a challenge Wolfram set out earlier this year — with a $25,000 reward attached. Good (if esoteric) reading.

The general concept of “discovering” solutions vs. engineering them seems fairly profound, yeah?


Short Schrift on Sasha

Hot diggity. Sasha Frere-Jones writes a whizbanger of an article about indie rock’s racial influences, then Tim Carmody blows it out of the water. I adore dialogues like this. Read ’em both!

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Musical Genre Name Generator

If you’re a music critic, you’re constantly searching for combinations of terms to describe the flavor-of-the-moment in a novel but legitimate fashion (e.g. “metal-queer,” “mumble-core”). I’ve made it easy for you. Presenting the Musical Genre Name Generator™. After you generate your new musical genre, you can click the term to search Google to see how original you are. (By the way, this won’t work in the RSS feed.)

Click button to create your musical term

Clearly, this is a statement on how nothing’s original anymore; everything’s been done. Even the Musical Genre Name Generator™.


Pretty Ladies

Humor me a moment here. Sarah Silverman and Ann Coulter share an obvious similarity: they each make a rather nice living saying things that would be unspeakable if they were not attractive Caucasian women, veiling their statements beneath a gossamer cloak of irony. I’m kind of tying my brain in knots trying to figure out whether they don’t actually share the exact same appeal for our culture. It seems any statement I could imagine applying to one — “Well, clearly she doesn’t actually believe the things she says; she’s playing a character” — applies to the other just as nicely. Or is patently untrue in both cases — e.g. “No one believes what she says; people understand she’s just joking.”

Sure, many people who adore Silverman would say they revile Coulter. But the grip she holds on even their attention seems to belie that — if Coulter were a man, she’d be Fred Phelps, ridiculous enough for them to gawk at once in a while, but not a fixture of the talk-show circuit. Certainly not a bestselling author. If we get right down to it, mightn’t we perversely enjoy the maniacal utterings of Ann Coulter as much as we do Sarah Silverman’s shtick? You can almost imagine either woman on stage, grinning flirtily, and saying, “Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.”

Reading that line, though — which is Coulter’s — maybe it’s all just a matter of wit. ‘Cause actually, I can’t imagine Silverman saying it, not just like that, at any rate. Silverman’s lines are constructed, Coulter’s lines are merely dropped. Coulter might say a lot of over-the-line stuff about high pregnancy rates among young black women, but she doesn’t have the art or the timing to craft the line, “The best time to have a baby is when you’re a black teenager.” Coulter gets attention merely for saying the incendiary, Silverman’s principle skill is drawing her audience out for several lengthy seconds, trying to figure out how she’s going to end her sentence, then delivering a punchline that’s offensive in the most delightful, unexpected way.

But is that all that distinguishes the two? Wit? Really? I’m missing something obvious, aren’t I?


Proof of Purchase

A diary/blog written on scanned receipts. (Gadgetopian.)


Shaun Tan

Blog of a Bookslut has been posting links to the work of Shaun Tan. Pure gorgeous. Check out the wordless panels (courtesy of New York Magazine) from Tan’s The Arrival.


American Stakeholders, Part II

Remember this spring, when I was gushing about the American Stakeholder Act ($6,000 given to every child at birth for capital investments)? Apparently, no less bright a light than Hillary Clinton is all over the idea. Awesome. I wonder if the New America Foundation is working some kind of Manchurian Candidate-fu?


Reading Roundup

Today at work, I convened a tiny confab of colleagues for an inaugural, bimonthly, lunchtime essay-reading series. We kicked it off with the National Magazine Award-winning essay Russell and Mary, by Michael Donohue, a work he apparently spent five years putting together.

Blog_Little_Rock_Nine.jpgKevin Drum linked this Vanity Fair piece tracing the last 50 years of the life of the two women depicted in this sad photograph, taken at the integration of a school in Little Rock, Arkansas.

I’ve been enjoying the blog Nonfiction Readers Anonymous for its choice snippets of random tomes.

All Aunt Hagar’s Children is finally out in paperback.


There Be Pirates

I realize this is 24 hours too late, but on any day of the year, the International Chamber of Commerce’s Weekly Piracy Report is the best reminder that for all our iPhones and gizmos, the world is still much the same as it was 300 years ago. An excerpt from this week’s report:

Five robbers, in two motor boats, armed with guns and knives boarded an anchored chemical tanker from the bow using ropes and hooks. Duty crew spotted the robbers and raised the alarm. The robbers broke the padlock on the forward store and stole ship’s stores and escaped. Bonny signal station was called many times but did not respond. Master requested for additional guards from agents.

Note: Armed theft is a serious crime and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, or whatever. But that somehow doesn’t mitigate the vision of a crew of peg-legged, one-eyed, ‘do-ragged blaggards scaling the side of a sailboat with knives in their teeth, threatening to make some scurvy sea dogs walk a plank. (Clearly I saw this on Read/Write Web.)