Linked List: July 2015


Free, open source planetarium for your computer.

Web Design The First 100 Years

Whether you’re talking airplanes or web design, good enough is good enough!

Space Probes

Current information on the scientific probes sent into deep space by human beings of planet Earth.

The One Minute Case for a Basic Income

Eleven good arguments for a basic income. My favorite is the human rights case for a basic income:

Poverty is not a natural tragedy like cancer or earthquakes. Poverty is a human caused tragedy like slavery or government oppression. Slavery is caused by societal recognition of humans as property. Government oppression is caused by governments punishing people for their beliefs or characteristics, and without due process of law. Poverty is caused by property laws that deny some people access to necessities. These types of tragedies can be ended by recognizing that humans have the right not to be subjected to tortuous conditions imposed by other humans. Humans have a right not to live in slavery. Humans have a right to be free of government oppression. And humans have a right not to live in poverty. A basic income is not a strategy for dealing with poverty; it it the elimination of poverty. The campaign for a basic income is a campaign for the abolition of poverty. It is the abolitionist movement of the 21st century.

Goodbye, Charles Harbutt

This sense of quickness, of being alive on this earth, of simple orgasmic sense perception, is the point at which great photographs are made. Photographs come from that moment in the process of cognition before the mind has analyzed meaning or the eyes design and at which the experience and the person experiencing are fully, intuitively, existentially there. Such images look like photographs, not paintings: there is a tremendous sense of stopped time, of the blinking shutter, of being alive and still there, of discovery (rather than analysis), of chance, not design, of quick emotion from an uncertain cause. Photography is at its best when it deals with the very act of seeing in itself and not with recollections in tranquility or dilettantism of design.

The moment of creation in photography is similar to a state of consciousness very much sought after in yoga. Or Gestalt therapy. It is to be at the exact center of one’s being, where an awareness of everything going on inside oneself — in fantasy, memory, emotions and thought — is balanced by sensitivity to what is happening outside the person and what it means and feels and is. If a photographer can become sufficiently aware of this continuum and have the energy to push a shutter when inside and outside click together, that camera might produce some very fine photographs indeed. And they would be unique and original (good or bad) because the particular way the world would fall into space from that camera angle could not be seen by any other camera. One couldn’t occupy the same physical space. And because that particular continuum is totally personal. And because a person is different from moment to moment. As is the world. But all one’s photographs would share that unique personal way of being alive, and it is this being-aliveness that viewers can respond to.

How Does Google Share Data Between Its Services and Applications?

Part of the answer seems to be protocol buffers:

Protocol buffers are Google’s language-neutral, platform-neutral, extensible mechanism for serializing structured data – think XML, but smaller, faster, and simpler. You define how you want your data to be structured once, then you can use special generated source code to easily write and read your structured data to and from a variety of data streams and using a variety of languages.

On Social

A couple of people have mistaken me for Dan Cross, probably due to my glasses and graying hair. I looked Dan up and assure you I’m not him — he is much smarter than me, though we probably swear about the same amount!

Confirmation Bias

Often, people never even think about asking questions that would produce a negative answer when trying to solve a problem — like this one. They instead restrict the universe of possible questions to those that might potentially yield a “yes.”

Simon Stålenhag’s Paintings

From a childhood that never was and a future that could have been.

Media LIT Overcoming Information Overload

Taught by Dan Gillmor and Kristy Roschke. Should be good.