Squeak

I contributed to the most recent Fedora Linux release’s wallpaper. It’s interesting to have seen it pop up everywhere I normally read about Linux as a featured image touting the new releases arrival.

At any rate, this is a squeak from me. It’s been a while since I’ve posted here (I was off playing with static site generators and custom Emacs scripts), but I’m quite happy to be back. I may migrate the writing I did elsewhere to this blog in time.

At the moment I’m working to add some portfolio content to this site. My 3×5 artwork series for a local coffee shop finally gave way to heavily manipulated photography series I’m currently in the middle of completing. This return to pixels from vectors is a long time coming. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Excited to share with you all.

Squeak! — A-Hem

Published
Categorized as art

a quick drawing

instead of hand-drawing the stripes I’ve matched them up with a digital tool after the original hand-drawn outline. not certain I like this (in fact―pretty certain I don’t) but it’s clear that I’m going to move somewhere here to progress. we’ll see what happens there. At any rate―behold something new.

 

draw-coffin

Tutorials?

I’m thinking about doing some tutorial-type things revolving around some of the free-software tools I use to create visual art. Predominantly I’d focus on inkscape (at least at the moment) since I’ve been enamored with vector graphics on that program for a while. I’m also interested in doing something for inkscape as it was a program I avoided for a long time and there was no reason for the delay. If I can assist anyone out there in picking it up faster the world would truly be a better place.

I’d have to talk about other tools I tend to use like gpick, GIMP, digikam, darktable, and others I’m likely forgetting. Looking back and trying to think about writing out my process for any of these things becomes daunting quickly―I forget how many little processes I’ve enacted over the years that otherwise complicate the explanation of what I’m doing.

For instance, I’ll often prepare images in GIMP (using the G’MIC plugin) prior to vectorizing in inkscape. That single step for me is just a given, but in the context of a tutorial it would require explaining a whole other program and a separate plugin for that program. *Alas!*

bunny-01

But I think others could learn… so I’ll probably do it.

White keyboard layout

This is a pretty amazing use of programming and personal data to create a custom keyboard layout for yourself. Great read.

This scoring method is then evaluated on a collection of text that is representative of all text I’ve typed in the last five years, which produces a number representing the objective function. Specifically, I take all of my code, IMs, emails, and articles over that time period, remove any non-ASCII characters, and create a long word frequency list to be used in scoring layouts. Lastly I throw out any words that were not used more than 20 times over 5 years, for the sake of efficiency.

Link

Your Personal Archiving Project: Where Do You Start?

http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2016/05/how-to-begin-a-personal-archiving-project/

Pretty great, low-key article about not losing your mind organizing things. I suspect this is easier when it’s not your stuff. Never really thought about how archivists archive and it’s interesting. Wish they’d addressed long-term digital storage formats. Would assume you’d use free software if possible.

CV of Failures

Just want to acknowledge the joy of this endeavor. A running documentation of your failures is a great idea that I fully support.

Published
Categorized as found

Emacs For Writers

[kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtieBc3KptU” ]

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Categorized as found

Sound Wave

Getting back into digital visual art a bit. Here’s one from today.

Sound Wave

Published
Categorized as art

Untitled

I can’t recommend strongly enough that you take the time to read the entirety of APPLE INC.’S REPLY TO GOVERNMENT’S OPPOSITION TO APPLE INC.’S MOTION TO VACATE ORDER COMPELLING APPLE INC. TO ASSIST AGENTS IN SEARCH. Some gems below:

The government attempts to rewrite history by portraying the [All Writs] Act as an all-powerful magic wand rather than the limited procedural tool it is. […] Thus, according to the government, short of kidnapping or breaking an express law, the courts can order private parties to do virtually anything the Justice Department and FBI can dream up. The Founders would be appalled.
This case arises in a difficult context after a terrible tragedy. But it is in just such highly-charged and emotional cases that the courts must zealously guard civil liberties and the rule of law and reject government overreaching.
Indeed, it is telling that the government fails even to confront the hypotheticals posed to it (e.g., compelling a pharmaceutical company to manufacture lethal injection drugs, Dkt. 16 (“Mot.”) at 26), or explain how there is any conceivable daylight between GovtOS today, and LocationTrackingOS and EavesdropOS tomorrow.
The government also implicitly threatens that if Apple does not acquiesce, the government will seek to compel Apple to turn over its source code and private electronic signature. Opp. 22 n.9. The catastrophic security implications of that threat only highlight the government’s fundamental misunderstanding or reckless disregard of the technology at issue and the security risks implicated by its suggestion.

The government’s position has sweeping implications. Under the government’s view, the state could force an artist to paint a poster, a singer to perform a song, or an author to write a book, so long as its purpose was to achieve some permissible end, whether increasing military enrollment or promoting public health. […] The First Amendment does not permit such a wholesale derogation of Americans’ right not to speak.

The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

So it is for me and perhaps for you: The bare facts of surveillance capitalism necessarily arouse my indignation because they demean human dignity. The future of this narrative will depend upon the indignant scholars and journalists drawn to this frontier project, indignant elected officials and policy makers who understand that their authority originates in the foundational values of democratic communities, and indignant citizens who act in the knowledge that effectiveness without autonomy is not effective, dependency-induced compliance is no social contract, and freedom from uncertainty is no freedom.

http://m.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/the-digital-debate/shoshana-zuboff-secrets-of-surveillance-capitalism-14103616.html

The question

The key question isn’t, “what’s the answer?”

The key question is, “what’s the question?”

http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/140043972/0/sethsblog~Worth-thinking-about.html

a tale of some meetings

I’ve been increasingly involved in meetings. Often these are productive and necessary fare, but sometimes they reach Dilbert-like levels of banality and un-productivity. As I was reading Winnie the Pooh to my kids tonight I was reminded of such a meeting in CHAPTER VII: IN WHICH KANGA AND BABY ROO COME TO THE FOREST, AND PIGLET HAS A BATH, where Rabbit has a meandering  and hilarious PLAN TO CAPTURE BABY ROO.

Armed with a pencil sharper than his wits, Rabbit goes through eleven semi-connected points that are broken into an itemized list without respect for conventions of rational thought (and include frequent asides). His counterparts, Pooh and Piglet, stare blankly. Pooh doesn’t understand what was said at all, and Piglet meekly points out that the plan doesn’t have a conclusion by asking

“And―Afterwards?”.

It’s lovely. Please read it here. I share this because while I was reading Rabbit’s list I started laughing out loud―it reminded me of some of the worst qualities of bad meetings: a collection of loosely organized thoughts without an endpoint presented as a tightly-connected plan tied by a beautiful bow and impenetrable to question due to a lack of rational thought by its creator.

I doubt I’m the first to notice a similarity between the three of these―meetings, Dilbert, and Pooh―but it was too amusing to keep to myself.

(Side note: I’m saddened that Pooh is apparently “new” enough ― Happy *90th Birthday*, Pooh! ― to remain under copyright.)