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from Rebecca Solnit's _Orwell's Roses_

weirdly this is *exactly the opposite* of how i feel about writing. writing is the physical record of linguistic bodies, squished and spread on dead trees or twisting crystals with electricity (or whatever). it's all about physical connection through the senses

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It has been two months since the death of my dear, canine best friend, Pepys.

Today I have released “Arf Magna,” a small free software poem/artwork dedicated to his memory and based on the work of Ramón Llull.

Please share, enjoy, remix, etc.

https://nickm.com/poems/arf_magna.html

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(I had to add a handful of custom characters to the default MegaZeux character set to get it to match, but it's extremely close? I assume some type designer played MegaZeux as a kid and used it as the basis for designing a font, and then the Utah Jazz marketing person found it and thought it was neat. still, a very strange confluence of two intense childhood interests of mine)

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a thing that has been bugging me is that the Utah Jazz appear to be using a font in their marketing materials that is at least notionally based on the proportions and diagonal blocks of MegaZeux, the DOS EGA text mode shareware game (my recreation in MegaZeux on the left, original on the right). and I don't know what to make of this

macos performance help? 

lately pretty much every time I open my laptop, this happens: memory usage explodes, and I have to wait for 90 seconds or so (sometimes longer) before anything becomes responsive.

how can I make this... not happen? this is an old macbook air (mid-2013), 8gb ram, running Mojave 10.14.6

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You know how the Eiffel Tower won the Grand Prize at the 1889 World Fair? Well, it had to share the glory with a book.

Not any book: A book ENTIRELY WOVEN IN SILK.

You heard right. And nerds, get this: All pages of this book were produced on the Jacquard loom in 1889, using thousands (200k-500k) of punch cards. Only 50-60 copies were made. >

professional sports uniforms 

i could go either way on the team itself but miami's uniform design department has consistently been hitting it out of the park (to mix sports metaphors) for the past few years. love this new city edition jersey

I am once again asking machine learning library authors to stop changing their code so fast that all of my tutorials are wrong and inoperable against the latest version after literally three months

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new Judith Butler on TERFs 

Perhaps as an apology for cutting their previous article they really gave Butler space to stick the boot in this time:

"As a fascist trend, [the anti-gender movement] mobilizes a range of rhetorical strategies from across the political spectrum to maximize the fear of infiltration and destruction that comes from a diverse set of economic and social forces. It does not strive for consistency, for its incoherence is part of its power."

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2021/oct/23/judith-butler-gender-ideology-backlash

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machine learning is amazing because you take a bunch of data you don't have permission to use and a few million matrix multiplications later you can generate the wrong answer to any question

(I do workshops like this a lot and I'm really excited to be able to run this one at no cost to attendees. the experiment I'm doing with this iteration of the workshop is that *all* of the text we'll be working with will come from a collective corpus that we develop as a class during the first hour. no big data, no pretrained language models)

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I'm doing a in-person workshop this Sunday in Brooklyn called "Collaborative Creative Writing with Computation." More information here: posts.decontextualize.com/ccww and here's the registration link: eventbrite.com/e/collaborative

Thanks to the New York City Artist Corps, I'm able to offer this workshop for free! As of this post, all of the spots are taken, but I just opened a waiting list so you can sign up to be notified if/when spots become available.

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my work is hiring! (engineers, product managers, managers) 

the federal US government's technology transformation services (TTS) is hiring! this is my job, 18f's, parent org. they're using one listing to hire into multiple agencies.

I'm five weeks in and so far it's a really great place to work, with a lot of potential for impact. happy to chat to anyone interested.

- info session (there will be more): eventbrite.com/e/tts-talent-in
- roles ('upcoming positions'): join.tts.gsa.gov/

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I've released version 2.0.0 of my RSS to ActivityPub converter! This now provides functionality I'd hacked in to rss.friend.camp - it requires OAuth 2.0 authorization for someone to create a new AP account for an RSS feed.

I used to run this service "in the open" but was overwhelmed by spammers. Now the admin of a Mastodon (or Pleroma or any federated server that is an OAuth 2 provider) can provide this converter as a service solely to members of their instance.

github.com/dariusk/rss-to-acti

more details 

the colors are just for debugging (fading from red to blue according to the index of the given polyline)—the final piece will just be b/w. also this is using debug data (thresholded uniform noise w/gaussian filter), not DistilBERT states like I'll use for the final version. I'm at the point in the project where I need to break the code out into standalone modules instead of having one big spaghetti notebook

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more progress! I ended up having to write my own skeleton tracing algorithm, which I thiiiink is working okay now—basically it does a flood fill starting with pixels having exactly one neighbor, and each connected pixel is a node in a graph; later I use visvalingam-wyatt line simplification on each segment between nodes w/3+ edges. this technique gives me nice long lines, clean intersections, & hopefully more elegant plotter gestures. (this is just a raster preview, will try an actual plot soon)

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"Individual data centers were reporting dips in power usage in the range of tens of megawatts..."

src: https://engineering.fb.com/2021/10/05/networking-traffic/outage-details/

Good grief! Between this and cryptocurrency...

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Friend Camp

Hometown is adapted from Mastodon, a decentralized social network with no ads, no corporate surveillance, and ethical design.

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