100 Days of Something: 11

I sometimes wonder about these posts. If anyone reads them, that is. My stats indicate not many – unless everyone has opted out or is blocking tracking. Which is unlikely. There’s a little notification that goes out on Twitter each time, but who’s going to click on those links?

There’s a freedom in that of course. And there are occasional signs of appreciation. Facebook would be the biggest driver of traffic, but I got a little creeped out with all the privacy stuff and left. That’s already two years ago.

Who looks at websites anymore? Is there still a place for them in the age of Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and Snapchat? Rich Ziade And Paul Ford (who wrote the article on Brutalist websites I referred to a week ago) talk about this, and more, on the latest episode of their Track Changes podcast.

100 Days of Something: 12

I first considered no longer making use of SoundCloud almost two years ago. At the time I shifted to using self-hosted stats for my website (with Piwik), and it bothered me that as soon as I embedded something from SoundCloud (or Vimeo for that matter), a whole lot of tracking came along to the party. I began to see the charm of simply using the HTML5 audio element.*

I haven’t completely made that transition yet. I still have about ten hours of audio up there – a lot of it is material used to share with musicians when preparing pieces, or sound-files needed for performance purposes. I also have two web things that make use the SoundCloud API, but they could potentially be realised in other ways.

The reason I mention all of this is the recent rumblings of trouble on the SoundCloud horizon – but perhaps that’s for another post.


* Not quite as radical as those Brutalist websites, but perhaps a small step in that direction.

100 Days of Something: 13

“What Would Happen if We Just Gave People Money?” That’s the title of a FiveThirtyEight article on basic income included in this week’s Instapaper summary. A fine introduction to the topic, framed by a look at the upcoming Swiss referendum on it.

That reminded me of the blog post Thomas Basbøll published on this day precisely a year ago. A thought provoking look at the relation between surveillance, privacy, and leisure. And a call to join those wishing to reframe this day as Basic Income Day.

How might we make use of our time given a future of such freedom? Some interesting thoughts on the role of art in this regard from Brian Eno in his John Peel Lecture.

100 Days of Something: 14

The trouble with SoundCloud:

And then:

And where does that leave us?

SoundCloud started as a service by musicians, for musicians. As such it served a valuable role. It also took on a social aspect – it was a place for communities. Now, with everything ending up as a streaming service, the composers and musicians with Pro accounts find themselves in a strange position. As Dave Wiskus of the band Airplane Mode explains: “So not only are you getting our music for free and paying us nothing, we’re actually paying you to take it.”

With SoundCloud stretching so far from its roots, many are beginning to consider exit strategies – but perhaps that’s for another post.

100 Days of Something: 15

Each morning I walk through a small park near our apartment that stretches alongside the facilities of a large pharmaceutical concern. This morning it occurred to me that their logo, a five pointed star, might in fact relate to the starfish.

In the 1880s the Russian zoologist Élie Metchnikoff conducted an experiment in which he placed thorns into starfish larvae. Certain cells, the presence of which he had been puzzled by, congregated around these intrusions, and these observations led to the development of a defensive model of immunity. “Cell Wars”. A recent article on Aeon traces the history of this model and argues for a disarming of the military metaphor of the body as a battleground.

The company, whose logo includes lettering by Victor Vasarely, mentions nothing of this. The red starfish logo adorns some quite monolithic buildings in a fenced off facility covering a large part of the block. Not the most welcoming presence, but perhaps fitting given the defensive metaphor on which this approach to medicine is typically based. At some point the expansive facilities will probably become too expensive given their proximity to the city, and they too will eventually be ejected.

100 Days of Something: 16

Finally got the chance to take a little time out today. A few stolen moments in the sun.

Of the various Copenhagen espressos Meyer’s are my favourite. They have a certain sweetness and aren’t too heavy. I’m a great fan of The Coffee Collective, but when it comes to espresso I prefer Meyer’s. Sort Kaffe & Vinyl on Vesterbro do a pretty good ristretto, but I haven’t gotten round to that neck of the woods in quite some time.

The photograph was taken with Obscura. It’s not quite as foolproof as the standard camera app on iOS, and it can be a little slow to get going on my aging 5s, but it’s nice to use and can give some great results. In this case the perspective is a little skewed. I tried correcting it with VSCO’s fine set of tools, but eventually went back to the original.

100 Days of Something: 17

The fact that today is Kristi Himmelfartsdag got me thinking of the Lecture on Schizophonia that I saw Erik Bunger give at SPOR Festival a number of years ago. There’s a video excerpt on his site (with the ascension painting about 2 minutes in).

Being taken back by lecture to the hope of Obama’s first election feels like a big step. Especially with that chapter now closing into who knows what.

100 Days of Something: 18

Mindfulness is the ability to know what’s going on in your mind without being carried away by it.

That’s the phrase that jumped out at me from a podcast I was listening to this morning. And part of not being carried away by whatever it is you’re caught up in, is being able to tolerate the discomfort of the moment for long enough to see what’s going on. That ties in a little with Eric Meyer’s lesson from a few days ago.

Another aspect of being able to discern what is going on, is being able to put aside the stories that we inevitably wrap everything up in. Easier said than done. Putting aside those stories is hard. I guess that’s a story too.

100 Days of Something: 19

IndieWebCamp:

IndieWebCamp is a gathering of web creators building & sharing open web technologies to advance the state of the indie web. We get together for a weekend to discuss how we can empower people to own their identities and data, then spend a day hacking & creating.

There’s an IndieWebCamp in Düsseldorf this weekend. I didn’t get to go last year and I’d love to have been there this year, but circumstances have dictated otherwise. Kevin Marks has fortunately posted a collection of live notes from this morning’s demos on his site.

Your content is yours, you are better connected, and you are in control.

What appeals to me about the IndieWeb approach is that it doesn’t aim to create an alternate Facebook or Twitter, but rather builds on the principle of each person having their own website. IndieWeb technologies such as webmentions make it possible to communicate with other websites as well as the social media platforms. The webcamps are about developing those technologies and helping people implement them.

100 Days of Something: 20

A guest post from my (11-month-old) daughter today:

AasxCCCCC?’i .f FDMs uges udgåZabe Mm kl bn431:-/-a -: 😀 Azande. q N my, mob b b wl