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> The logic of ‘pataphysical design

> Both ATTN and Number of You follow the same design procedure: first we identify particular trends in software applied as a solution to a perceived problem. Then we
deconstruct the nature of the problem to illustrate that it is only a “problem” within a narrow understanding of the intersection of software, human practices, and economic
practices. We then look for the particular in each of these problems: we isolate the more specific, most reduced form of solution lurking in these problems, and we design software
around it. We strip content consumption of content, and we strip self-tracking of data capture and processing.

>We then submit these ‘pataphysical solutions to the App Store, so they can be integrated in the wider ecology of software solutions.


The paper is accompanied by an iOS app you can get on the App Store. ATTN is a blank screen that "provides a particular solution (the empty, dimming screen) to an imaginary problem (the need to consume content on a phone)."

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(This is such a sharp paper. It is outlining a purposefully non-scientific and ridiculous approach to software creation that is also literally word-for-word, beat-for-beat-, thought-for-thought, how most software design and development is done.)

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"The first step in the 'pataphysical method of software design is to do desk research in order to identify the kinds of imaginary problems that 'pataphysics can address. This process has to be non-scientific, guided by taste and intuition in a kind of intellectual dérive, as no scientific methods can be applied during the development of 'pataphysical software, or the results will not be 'pataphysically appropriate."

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"If software needs to exist, and please notice that maybe software SHOULD NOT EXIST, there are many approaches to its creation."
- Miguel Sicart, "'Pataphysical Software: (Ridiculous) Technological Solutions for Imaginary Problems" (2020)

free game recommendation 

Watabou's "Teen Island Simulator" is a text-based simulation of a pencil and paper role-playing game called "Teen Island" by Chris McDowall.

Basically it plays the game by itself and you watch the situations all play out. It plays in both mobile and desktop browsers:

Also if you haven't seen Watabou's generators for dungeons, medieval fantasy cities, and mansions, check them out:

Last night I started modeling the tower of the Ben Franklin suspension bridge between Philadelphia and Camden. I took detailed reference pictures for an illustration I was planning last year so it seemed like a good idea to adapt to 3D for the sake of making dense and informative cross-sections. It’s just blocking for now but I’ve already gotten into some pretty small-scale detail.

lyrics; nine mens morris 

we morris if we want to / we can leave nine mens behind / but your friends aren't mens and if they aren't mens then they're no friends of mine

New release, this one is mostly an update to include the security patches from Mastodon v3.1.5.

(Thanks @support for the ping.)

Just a reminder, for half a decade I have provided a livestream that you can watch of a different random integer between 0 and 99 (or 1 and 100? I forget) every two seconds.

“America’s quietest routes”: The least travelled, most scenic routes in the U.S. Might be fun to drive this list some day

uspol, 2020 election 

My neighbors have an "Any Functioning Adult 2020" sign in their yard and I'm tempted to ask which third party candidate they are planning to vote for.

theorizing, not fully sold on this claim but chewing on it 

Perhaps our obsession with third-party trackers is the online equivalent of focus on "stranger danger": yes it's worth putting energy into solving but I think it's low-hanging fruit that addresses ultimately a small amount of online abuse and makes for good PR. Meanwhile it tends to sucks up resources, leaving not much left over for work on intimate/targeted attacks.

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@darius yes, this! we're running an interview with sarah t hamid of the carceral tech resistance network for our next logic issue, and one of the *snaps* things she talks about is how this threat of surveillance capitalism has shifted the focus of surveillance to "oh creepy" instead of looking at the specific threats posted by specific communities of surveillance. this seems like a concrete example of that—focusing on privacy broadly, as opposed to the impact of that lack of privacy specifically

Maybe I'm putting words in Alex's mouth, but the article more or less matches my thoughts at the time I was doing W3C stuff (2011): we are already fingerprinted and tracked to death. Alex points out that simply not using Tor means you are fully trackable no matter what other protections are in place. Since we are already living in this fully-tracked world, why not actually enhance browser features that will lead to better security along OTHER vectors like the one in my above post?

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Apple's "structural under-investment" (as Alex puts it) in the browser is the main reason why iOS users on my instance have to resort to third-party apps to read posts on this server (no native notifications). This results in them having to use code that is authored by strangers instead of code that is maintained and run by me, their trusted admin. (Yes I suppose I could write an iOS app but it would take me a few years to learn to do that.)

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A well-argued piece from @slightlyoff as to why we need to bring more capability to web, and why the privacy concerns brought up by Mozilla and Apple are kind of a red herring.

My brief time in W3C-land was filled with people yelling 'but fingerprinting!' any time someone proposed something useful. (Fingerprinting is the idea that the more features your browser exposes, the easier it is for a third party to track you as an individual collection of features.)

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Friend Camp

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