Josh Mack blogging at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, and occasionally on; bicycles, politics, Brooklyn, parenting, crafts, and good reading. Currently helping to build a new NYC neighborhood news site - nearsay.com, that celebrates the voices that make our city. Subscribe to the daily newsletter it gives you what you need to know.
Neat post from the founder of the late (and really interesting!) jpg magazine about Strange Light, a 40 page single issue magazine on the recent dust storm that enveloped Sydney, that he put together rather quickly.
Was thinking about Paul Graham's Post-Medium Publishing essay and also reading William Gibson's Burning Chrome where I came across the quote below.
"You know what your trouble is?" he says when we are under the bridge, headed up to Fourth. "You're the kind who always reads the handbook. Anything people build, any kind of technology, it's going to have some specific purpose. It's for doing something that somebody already understands. But if it's new technology, it'll open areas nobody's ever thought of before. You read the manual, man, and you won't play around with it, not the same way. And you get all funny when somebody else uses it to do something you never thought of." - The Winter Market, William Gibson,1986
I don't know exactly what the future will look like, but I'm not
too worried about it. This sort of change tends to create as many
good things as it kills. Indeed, the really interesting question is not
what will happen to existing forms, but what new forms will appear.
The reason I've been writing about existing forms is that I don't
know what new forms will appear. But though I can't predict
specific winners, I can offer a recipe for recognizing them. When
you see something that's taking advantage of new technology to give
people something they want that they couldn't have before, you're
probably looking at a winner. And when you see something that's
merely reacting to new technology in an attempt to preserve some
existing source of revenue, you're probably looking at a loser. - Post-Medium Publishing, Paul Graham, Sept 2009
THE BELIEVER: I’ve seen you referred to as an art historian, a landscape writer, and an art critic, if not more. How do you consider your own work and writer’s identity?
REBECCA SOLNIT: In Wanderlust, I wrote, “This history of walking is an amateur history, just as walking is an amateur act. To use a walking metaphor, it trespasses through everybody else’s field—through anatomy, anthropology, architecture, gardening, geography, political and cultural history, literature, sexuality, religious studies—and doesn’t stop in any of them on its long route. For if a field of expertise can be imagined as a real field—a nice rectangular confine carefully tilled and yielding a specific crop—then the subject of walking resembles walking itself in its lack of confines.” I have a very clear sense of what I am here to do and what its internal coherence is, but it doesn’t fit into the way that ideas and continuities are chopped up into fields or labeled. Sometimes I say I’m an essayist, because that’s an elegant, historically grounded—if sometimes trivialized—mode of literature, while nonfiction is just a term for the leftovers when fiction is considered to be paramount, and creative nonfiction is even more abject a term.
Stumbled on to this wonderful interview with Rebecca Solnit, one of my favorite writers on The Believer.
I'm so glad I stumbled on this as I was actually trying to research the cost of the magazine and different McSweeny's publications: McSweeney's - $55 quarterly, The Believer ($90 for 10 issues), Wholphin their great CD-Rom $50 for 4 quarterly issues sold on a rolling basis
When compared to their new iPhone app which is $5.99 and includes a 6 month subscription to some of the feature in the publications in addition to their site. Smart stuff. Perhaps bigger publishers should study them a bit if they could take a break from their repeat of the circa 2000 rush to micropayments debates.
A few weeks ago I imported a very large font library into font reserve and right after that my browser and computer started acting very strangely. TalkingPointsMemo and other daily reads would render with outlined text. Submit buttons would also be a shadow of their former selves and Office won't work. I tried a bunch of things including customizing my font preferences in firefox Well tonight I've solved one of the browser issues. After some sleuthing I downloaded LinoTypeExplorer X a free font management tool, and turned off 75 bold outline. Voila much better. But I still have an issue so if anyone has ideas on what font is causing the weirdness below please let me know.
Update: Just ran the restore system fonts tool on LinotypeExplorer and the page above renders just fine, MS Office starts too. Problem solved.
An overdose of such photographs would be unhealthy. But in proper proportion they can help us to understand something of what has been sacrificed for the victories we have won. Against a tough and resourceful enemy, every gain entails a cost. To gloss over this grim fact is to blur our vision. If we are to behave as adults in meeting our civilian responsibilities, we must be treated as adults. This means simply that we must be given the truth without regard to fears about how we may react to it.
This quote is from a Washington Post editorial from Sept 1943 about Life Magazine's decision to show a photo of three dead American soldiers. Part of a really interesting illustrated essay in the NYT about the debate around the subject of showing casualties. I wonder if the debate in some form goes back even further to the civil war and other battles around the invention of photography in the 1860's, though the ability to print and disseminate photos in newspapers and magazines wasn't there.
Just saw that Brownstoner covered the brownstone conversion that is next to our building. At least it is finally finished; four years+ in the making, stop work orders, drilling through the walls, disappearing contractors, blocking our chimney with debris, garden with a huge amount of Brooklyn weed that I have to keep pulling as it jumps our fence. On the one hand we would just like it occupied so it stops being a safety hazard on the other I've been inside and don't think much of the apartments.
A reporter from Wales looks at the way the Amish stay up to date. There are some every interesting corollaries to new media. The Amish newspaper the Budget gets reports from 500 scribes who in return for user generated contributions get a free subscription. So you have user generated news. Some scribes have avid followers, and the collection of letters forms a database (though not easily searched since it is on microfiche) of Amish life going back 120 years.
If you are interested in the growing field of nanofarming - growing vegetables in extremely small spaces - you might want to check out Notes on Nanofarming. And while you are at it wander over to The Old Stone House on 3rd Street and 5th Avenue in Park Slope to see a demonstration project on the lamp posts that ring the green.
"It's like things are coming full circle," Google spokeswoman Jennie Johnson said. "This will allow people to pick up the physical copy of a book even if there may be just one or two other copies in some library in this country, or maybe it's not even available in this country at all."
On Demand Books and Google teaming up to bring the ability to create bound and printed copies of the out-of-print books Google has scanned in. Starting with 2 million public domain works. $8 a pop suggested retail with a 25% fee half of which will go to charity.
These "public domain" books were published before 1923 — an era that includes classics like "Moby Dick" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" as well as very obscure titles. The paperbacks churned out in Wednesday's demonstration of the Espresso included "Lathe Work For Beginners," "Dame Curtsey's Book of Candy Making," and "Memoirs of A Cavalier," a Daniel Defoe novel that never caught on quite like his most famous work, "Robinson Crusoe."
Memoirs of a Cavalier is available for $23.99 or .99 in Kindle via public domain.
Dame Curtsey's Book of Candy Making - 1 used for $47
Lathe Work For Beginners - assuming this is the book by Yates which seems to be the classic then
a reprint for $9.90 an original for $30. For the reprint The Amazon.com Sales Rank: #2,505,228
I went to some presentations about this machine years ago and it is neat to see it come to life. Easier, more satisfying in the form factor, and costs less than printing them out yourself. A store would need to print about 16,600 books to earn out the $100,000 cost to buy the machine (which you can lease) apart from supplies (and interest). Or to think about it in a slightly different way you need to print over 4,500 books a year for 4 years to cover the cost. Opens up a whole new, trickle of sales for stores. Perfect for colleges which is where they are starting.
I got the September Issue of Paste magazine and read the article about Jim Carroll the day before he died. Oddly I haven't visited their site much (and not too many others seem to have either since the article only has 4 comments considering its timliness) but the article which talks about Jim Carroll's music and how the author listened to "People Who Died" the day after John Lennon was shot, is there. I don't know if Jim Carroll's death makes me "spew rage and heartbreak" but I do know that it makes me sad, miss the city of my youth, think of some people who may have modeled their lives after his (with the exception of the hustling and heavy heroin addiction), and even miss the minor punk (at heart - people) that I used to be too.
Bryony's installation "nanofarming" opens tomorrow night at The Old Stone House, as part of the Brooklyn Utopias show. The nanofarm is cultivating a variety of vegetables in the containers that are attached to the four lamposts ringing the green. In a few weeks a second phase of the show that documents the long history of nanofarming in Brooklyn will open at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The project is influenced by the fact that during WWII more than 40% of the produce consumed in the NYC was grown in Brooklyn.
On first glance I thought this ad for The Lost Symbol running on the NYT was an ad for the NY Post.
But then again I also thought that the ads for Bob Zuckerman, who lost yesterday's City Council primary, were ads for Entenmann's. If cookies had been on offer then maybe I would have voted for him, but they weren't and I'm glad our favorite candidate Brad Lander won.
Great loves can never be replaced, be they man, woman, child or beast. But the holes they leave in our hearts are empty rooms to be filled, with warmth and laughter and secret fear, and knowing the shape of those rooms is the only thing that makes it possible to truly love another, wholly and with understanding.
I know what it like to lose a great cat and a friend, and some people I love have recently lost their wonderful dog. And though this post and collection of covers are about cats and the adoption of two kittens perhaps they will be able to relate and find some connection in their new puppy parentdom.
Apart from announcing Getty’s investment, the two will collaborate on products that will let users insert imagery on their websites. Under the arrangement, Getty will merge its content with Daylife’s technology, centering on “SmartGalleries” tools for curating and publishing online images.