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“I think crypto…is an amplifier”

Read “Eric Hu Will Not Take Web3 For Granted” on the Zora blog.

I think crypto…is an amplifier: if you’re a libertarian asshole, it’s going to help you become an even more libertarian, more asshole-y person. But if you believe that the people that help you out should be taken care of, and that we can have a place where we could take care of our friends, and our friends can take care of us, and it’s not about fighting over scraps and the narcissism of small differences, we can take part.

I think this is pretty spot on. So maybe people’s opinions of whether Web3 is going to be “good” or “bad” on the whole comes down to whether they feel optimistic or pessimistic about humanity at large. IDK.

Also:

I think when people are like, ‘Oh, Web3 is going to liberate people’, I get really angry. I’m like, ‘Dude, when you say that, it just makes us all more lazy; we just expect that Web3 is going to be inherently better than Web2’.

No, this is a conscious choice. We have to make protocols that aren’t trying to be extractive—all of that takes effort. I have full faith in Web3’s ability to do some amazing things, but I also have full faith in humanity’s tendency to just become selfish once it gets to a certain point. Web3 has a lot of promises it can offer, but it’s not going to happen automatically.

Also, Eric mentions that some people prefer using the term DISCO (Distributed Cooperative Organization) instead of DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations). I like this, much prefer DISCO. “Autonomous” makes it feel very robot-y. “Cooperative” is much more human.🕺🏻

Twitter can make it seem like the Web3 “war” is purely binary. But there are so many more nuanced takes out there, including this interview and others. Thx SB for sharing it with me.

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Homework from Larry

It’s a beautiful, premature spring day today. Mid-50s in the sun, and might even reach 60F tomorrow before it drops back down for a bit.

B and I picked up some cupcakes from Ladybird and I stopped to feed him on the bench outside. An older guy was sat on the neighboring bench reading Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism by George Hawley, but mainly holding court. He asked me B’s name, and we got talking about books and movies. Larry gave me some homework:

  1. Listen to the Octavia E. Butler interview on Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast. This is a tough one… I had a look for it but couldn’t find it. Perhaps he meant the episode with Anthea Butler and Arlene Sánchez-Walsh on Sister Aimee? I don’t think so though since he said the interviewee was talking about spirituality and sci-fi. I scanned through all of the episodes before Butler’s DOD and didn’t find anything. Perhaps it was a different radio show? I’ll have to ask if I run in to him again.
  2. Watch Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, a PBS documentary presented by American Masters. You need a membership to watch it, but there are some short clips on YouTube as well.
  3. Watch The Hustler, a 1961 film with Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, and Piper Laurie.
  4. Watch Days of Wine and Roses, a 1958 episode of Playhouse 90 on CBS with Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie. He said it is on YouTube but unfortunately I can’t find it. Perhaps it was taken down. He also recommended the film from 1962 with Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick.
  5. Read A Clockwork Orange, the film isn’t enough. Anthony Burgess was his teacher.
  6. Check out Thomas Nast’s editorial cartoons.
  7. Check out Alice Neel’s portraits. He mentioned a retrospective at the Whitney that made a huge impression on him, when I look for it online it looks like that was back in 1974. Looking at her paintings now online, I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of her before. Shame to have missed her retrospective at The Met last summer but c’est la vie, we weren’t in Brooklyn yet.

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DIY sea salt spray for hair

Growing up, my hair always looked best after swimming in the Pacific or using the original John Frieda Beach Blonde sea spray. I’ve tried a ton of other sea salt sprays since then, none of them are as good. The smell is too strong or weird 99% of the time, they often don’t give quite the right effect, or are stupid expensive.

I tried the DIY version below and haven’t looked back.

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In a 3oz spray bottle, combine 60g warm water and 8g Maldon salt. Shake until the salt is fully dissolved. Then add 5g squalane oil and 15g aloe vera gel, and shake again. Shake to combine before each use.

If you want to make a bigger bottle, combine 68% warm water, 9% sea salt, 6% oil, and 17% aloe vera. Different hair types may require more or less oil.

See notes below for alternative ingredients, but note that you may need to adjust the ratios if you use substitutions. For example hair gel will behave differently than aloe vera.

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If you don’t have Maldon salt, you could use kosher or epsom salts. In fact, there’s a lot of epsom salt in the John Frieda version. I use Maldon since it is actually sea salt, and I already have it on hand for cooking.

If you don’t have squalane oil, you’ll have to find another lightweight oil with little-to-no smell. Don’t use coconut oil, it will clog the spray mechanism. Speaking from experience, don’t use olive oil unless you want to smell like a cheap garden salad. I use squalane since I already use it on my face.

If you don’t have aloe vera… maybe you could try some sort of lightweight hair gel? I’d use less though, and be wary of clogging the spray mechanism.

Also, note that not all aloe vera gels are the same. You want something with a high aloe vera content, and you have to check the ingredients list for that. Avoid products with alcohol, and anything that professes to be more than 99% aloe vera. It’s impossible for something to be 100% aloe vera unless you made it yourself from aloe leaves, any product you buy in a tube has to have other chemicals to make it shelf-stable.

For the smellies, sometimes I replace a bit of the water with orange flower water. Could also use a few drops of essential oil, though I haven’t done this yet. I’d love to get close to the original John Frieda eventually… Something like piña coladas and sunscreen.

Edit 7 April 2022: Changed recipe from original (60g warm water, 10g Malon salt, 15g squalane oil, 5g aloe vera gel), it previously didn’t have enough hold and was too oily+salty. Also added substitution suggestions.

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A few more grays

An abrupt, hilariously stereotypical physical change over the past six months or so: the major uptick in gray hairs since B was born. I’ve been plucking them. Honestly, I’m not that bothered by them, at least not yet. I’m not removing them because I’m worried about going gray, it will be a while before that happens in all likelihood. (The lady doth protest too much?)

It’s just… satisfying, I think. My hair is dark, identifying and removing this silvery thread to restore the even brown gives a tiny bit of pleasure. But now I’ve got these random, short gray hairs poking out here and there. Probably time to stop.

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Fluid type sizes and spacing

I’ve been using a fluid type and spacing system on the most recent builds I’ve completed. Here’s why I use it, and how I approach it. I mainly use SCSS (a Sass syntax), but it’s also very do-able with plain CSS.

Screencast of Gort Scott’s homepage, resizing it in Chrome’s inspector

The example above demonstrates the result on gortscott.com, resizing the window from about 2300px down to about 640px and back again. The type and spacing across the page begins scaling down when the window is 2095px wide and stops shrinking at 1047px wide. At that point the text begins to reflow as the CSS Grid layout continues to shrink. Eventually at 703px wide the layout shifts, and again at 543px wide.

Read more

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“I’m using a kind of primitive hypertext”

I generally have four or five books open around the house — I live alone; I can do this — and they are not books on the same subject. They don’t relate to each other in any particular way, and the ideas they present bounce off one another. And I like this effect. I also listen to audio-books, and I’ll go out for my morning walk with tapes from two very different audio-books, and let those ideas bounce off each other, simmer, reproduce in some odd way, so that I come up with ideas that I might not have come up with if I had simply stuck to one book until I was done with it and then gone and picked up another.

So, I guess, in that way, I’m using a kind of primitive hypertext.

Octavia E. Butler

Quote introduced to me in a convo with LS. Also shared by Édouard U. in his essay “On building knowledge networks” as published in the book How do you use the internet mindfully?.

It’s originally from a discussion between Octavia E. Butler and others at MIT on 19 February 1998. Topics included: The Value of Literacy; The Future of Literacy; Reading Hypertext; The Age of Misinformation; Who Controls the Web; Race, Cyberspace and Equality; Science Fiction and the Black Community; and The Ghetoization of Science Fiction. See also Butler’s introduction to this discussion, “‘Devil Girl From Mars’: Why I Write Science Fiction”.

I finally started reading Lilith’s Brood about a month ago, got started on the second book recently.