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To read: Rest of World

To read: Rest of World

We document what happens when technology, culture and the human experience collide, in places that are typically overlooked and underestimated. We believe the story about technology is as big as the world that’s using it, and that everyone — from those building technology to those using it — can benefit from a broader global perspective.

And

A note on our name: If you don’t recognize it, “rest of world” is a ridiculous corporate term commonly used in global business operations. It’s a catch-all phrase that means, basically, “everyone else.” And it generally represents billions of people outside of the Western world. We know that their stories matter. The term “rest of world” is a symptom of a larger problem: a Western-centric worldview that leaves innumerable insights, opportunities and complexity out of the conversation.

I’ve come across so many great stories on here since I subscribed via RSS. Here is a small handful of the more recent articles I’ve enjoyed:

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“Like a poet writing thrillers”

To read: The “Your Face Tomorrow” trilogy by Javier Marías

I found this tribute in the Guardian incredibly interesting. I don’t often come across an author that I have 100% never heard of but also seems so very up my alley.

I think my FIL would also be super in to his stuff, might get us both a copy of the first in the trilogy and read it together.

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“I feel like my lounge is going to tip over”

Really need to make a habit of reading something that makes me giggle before bed. It sort of sets the day straight.

I’m reading He Used Thought As A Wife, Tim Key’s first lockdown book. It’s perfect. Funny, poignant, captures so many of the absurdities of the first lockdown in the UK. Also the title is perfection, though I didn’t really get it until I got going.

This is the part that made me giggle last night. It’s the middle of a vignette titled “Book Arrangements”, the designer of this book speaking with him about his progress on said book.

JUNIPER: Get anything down today?

KEY: Huh?

Key approaches the SodaStream, strokes its shoulders and smashes a flask up it. Bubbles and a honk. Infinitesimal animated prisms are released into the air, kissing themselves to death and falling to the counter. Key pours the magic into his Simpsons mug.

JUNIPER: Tim?

KEY: I’ve placed my books in order of how many pages they’ve got in them.

Key nods at what he has said.

JUNIPER: You should be writing.

KEY: Well, I did that in the end.

JUNIPER: How does it look?

KEY: Unbalanced, I feel like my lounge is going to tip over.

JUNIPER: Richard E. Grant has his arranged by spine colour.

KEY: Classy.

JUNIPER: So you’ve not made a start then?

KEY: You listen to Five Live enough, you start to believe it’s fine to do fuck all.

JUNIPER: It is Tim.

Ugh, kind of regretting writing that down here because reading back through it, the humor is gone without the context. Leaving it in since it took a few minutes to format.

Just read the book, it’s great.

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Memory dump

Life has felt kind of hard recently. Water running through my hands. So many things backed up in my “Blog stuff” folder in Notes, things I didn’t want to forget but wasn’t able to sit down and put in a post. Here’s a bunch so they don’t languish there forever. Oldest to newest.

Image of color gradient from white in lower left corner, through light blue to navy, with a tiny bit of pink in the upper right corner


I want to make a “Uses” page, but not just software/hardware. Skincare, furniture, kitchen tools, etc.


To read: Werner Herzog’s new book, The Twilight World. Or books? I don’t think the other one from lockdown is out yet. See this New Yorker interview. Via RS.


People talk about finding joy in the way your kid looks at the world. I really didn’t understand how moving that could be until recently. Hilarious, pure, and sometimes a little melancholic.

B was being funny about dinner because of a long day, so we just gave him a huge block of cheese to go ham. He couldn’t believe it. Imagine being handed a whole forearm-sized block of the best thing you’ve ever tasted in your short life.

He’d never seen anything like it, and I’ve never seen someone eyes go like that.


Generally more interested in the process than the outcome. In my work and others’. See CBToF (again), also the guy that’s piloting a tiny speedboat around Britain at his own pace. Boat guy via SB.


People in the US seem individualist to a fault.

A generalization, and obviously that individualism has certain upsides as well—don’t get me started on the way that UK schools force you to choose subjects so young—but I see the negative effects every day.

Was talking to DB, she mentioned how in the UK, there is a natural flow to walking. For example, getting between platforms on the tube. In NYC, it’s an absolute free for all.

Woman on the stairs at Broadway and Lafayette, walking up the left hand side of the stairs not holding on to the handrail when the person walking down, their right, clearly needs the handrail. “You see me fuckin comin, right?!” Wild.

[And do not tell me this is just a thing in US cities. I’ve seen it in suburban Tennessee, the middle of Ohio, all over the place. It just comes in different guises. An able-bodied person parking in a handicap spot in a packed Walmart parking lot, believing that Andrew Wakefield’s vaccine bullshit is more important than your children’s friends’ health, asserting that your right to any gun that could possibly exist is more important than reducing the likelihood of serious injury or death during a shooting in our schools and places of worship, etc.]


I think one of my least favorite phrases in the whole entire world has to be “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.

It’s a turning away from the world. Announcing that, no, I don’t want to learn anymore thank you very much. No thank you, life is perfect for me as it is, heaven forbid I grow or change. Much better for the world to bend to me.

Gross.


Great article on accessibility: “Writing even more CSS with Accessibility in Mind, Part 2: Respecting user preferences” by Manuel Matzo.

See also: “Accessibility for Vestibular Disorders: How My Temporary Disability Changed My Perspective” by Facundo Corradini.

Came across these while writing a manual accessibility testing guide, an auditing system, etc. for SuperHi.


If things have been calm for a while in life, little stress and so on, I feel like my body can build up stress of its own accord. Is this some sort of innate expectation that if things are going well for a while, surely they must go wrong soon? A sort of fight/flight overture? If so, it kind of makes sense that exercise could help. Literally getting your ya yas out. Don’t know.


Getting properly dressed in the morning, makeup and everything, is such an important part of my day working from home. Don’t know what it is, but I really don’t feel like myself otherwise. I fell out of the cycle once a while back and it actually led to some really low points. It helps if my skin is cooperating.


Related to current events: So one time I had to get a birth control prescription refilled while we were visiting family in the Tennessee. This was in high school (maybe early college?). It was a little more complicated at that point to get a prescription transferred between pharmacies, especially between states, so it had stressed me out but I was able to get it sorted. Anyways, I got the prescription filled and went on my way. It was a very forgettable experience.

Until I got a text from the pharmacist. He used the private contact information in my file to reach out and ask if I was available.

I should have done something about it, but I didn’t know what to do. Thank god I didn’t live there, imagine having to go back.


The shooting in Uvalde happened, and I reflexively went on Twitter. I don’t know what it was about that moment in time, but the instant I started scrolling I felt actual revulsion. It suddenly clicked, how horrible Twitter can make me feel. It didn’t used to be like that. I haven’t really used it since then. I met some great people on it in the past, but that hasn’t happened in a long time. I hope people realize they can always reach out to me here.


Read Notes on maintaining an internal React component library, an article by Gabe Scholz. Via CDM.


Watch How I Code and Use a Computer at 1,000 WPM!! by blind coder Sina Bahram. See also Coyote, “a project developed by cultural heritage professionals and people from the accessibility community to encourage the use of visual description in museum practice”. Very cool. Via RS.


Read about Meno’s Paradox on this University of Washington faculty page. I do not know how to summarize it, only that I have tried to articulate this and have failed every time. Now maybe I can just refer to Meno’s Paradox, or at least to this page. Via CDM.


Read this Guardian article on a neurologist’s tips for fighting memory loss and Alzheimers. “Samuel Johnson said that the art of memory is the art of attention.”


Claire McCardell was incredible. She popularized separates for women! Capsule wardrobes! In like, the 30s!! This is a great article about her contribution to fashion: Claire McCardell originated The American Look (part 1)


Explore philosopher.life. Via LS.


To read: Social Warming: How Social Media Polarises Us All by Charles Arthur. Or not. It sounds worthy, but depressing.


Dig further in to Roni Horn’s work. Specifically, “Still Water (The River Thames, for Example)”. Via BL.


There is no reason to be anything but nice to strangers. It makes you both feel good. Being a dick to someone makes you both feel bad.

Yep, exactly. Well said, and happy birthday, Chris Coyier!


Thanks to B for the photo ❤️

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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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“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.

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“we will be making marmalade”

Read Letting go: my battle to help my parents die a good death by Kate Clanchy in The Guardian, published 6 April.

They don’t know if she will ever come off [the ventilator], but if she does, they say, she will live a very limited life in a nursing home. “We must hope she dies,” says my dad when I put down the phone. My parents are devout atheists: they believe there is no God and therefore we must live well. So do I. We pray.

This is probably one of the more moving things I’ve read in the past year. I came across it via Kate’s Twitter profile where she often shares poetry by her students.

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To read: “Making Space: Women and the Man-Made Environment” by Matrix

Another one for the list.

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Read Making Space: Women and the Man-Made Environment by The Matrix Feminist Design Cooperative, published by Pluto Press in 1984.

Came across it via this article in the Guardian, wish I could see the exhibition currently on at the Barbican.

It’s long out of print so pretty pricey secondhand… but the ever-useful Monoskop has a copy online and supposedly Verso is reprinting it this year. Definitely one for the wish list.

Related to this, check out the Matrix Open feminist architecture archive online which includes a few texts and other resources.

Random coincidence: Apparently Pluto Press was located on Torriano Ave. in the mid-80s, the same short street in Kentish Town where I lived when I first moved to London. Looks like the Torriano is now the Rose & Crown, but it sounds like it was a relatively gentle change, as far as pub refurbishments go. Pluto Press is now up in Archway, just up the road from the old Byam Shaw School of Art building. Wonder what CSM is doing with that space now…