April 02, 2017

The Crowd Has Too Many Pictures This Time [#271]

Hi Crowd!

Safecast volunteer mapped out some former uranium mines in the midwest and yes they are still quite radioactive. Speaking of Safecast, we announced the “Our World, Our Data” conference/symposium we’re holding later this month at MIT, if you are in the neighborhood and interested you should attend.


I put a new photo print up on my big cartel store and there’s only one each remaining of a few of the others. I paid to upgrade the shop so I can have more than 5 products there so I’ll likely list more prints as soon as the existing stock sells. I just posted some color photos on Instagram that I took at the Superbloom out in the desert - I don’t take a lot of color pics, and never film color, but a friend gave me a bunch of weird expired rolls a few years ago and I thought that might be a fun place to use them. I have no idea what the film was though of course because I’m an idiot and didn’t write it down. Anyway, let me know if you think I should offer a print of any of those. I have 3 different rolls I need to look through, but those are a few of the highlights.


After I mentioned my band camp shop in the last letter several people bought the full discography which was unexpected and is super flatting considering it’s all noise, but also encouraging so thank you and I’ll have new stuff for that soon too.


Once again my friend Warren gives passing advice on writing that is in fact brilliant when applied to life. He writes:

“You’re spending too much time thinking about what other people might think and too much time second-guessing yourself. Go where your energy is, and when you come to a point where you need to make a story choice, go with the less comfortable one.  It’s only time and paper. Ride the wrong way for a while and see what happens.”


You should subscribe to his mailing list. Every once and awhile I realize how lucky I am to have people like this in my life, and even the ones I don’t get to see in person often I can follow around on the internet. A lot of things suck in the world right now, but that’s pretty amazing.


A computer just wrecked everything scientists think they know about how to classify Dinosaurs. It’s not weird that train conductors and platform dudes in Japan point at everything, it’s actually weird that all other safety workers don’t.


I really love the idea of a commonplace book, and feel like this is a solution to a problem I’ve had for as long as I can remember. I’m firmly putting this in the column of things I wish I knew about 20 years ago. I have so many scattered notes and notebooks and they all get lost or filed or dusty and I never gain any value from them. In part of my current “get rid of as much excess shit as I can” before the big move I think I’m going to try and begin collecting those bits into one place, or discard if no longer useful.


I also really love Rob’s new photo series. Be forewarned there are #butts. Of the series, he writes “I spent the better part of last year exploring western Canada and the United States in an RV, camping and hiking, largely offline. The experience was invaluably freeing; I learned a lot about the joys of minimalism, and the misery of excess. Along the way I took these photos about reconnecting with nature.”


Speaking of things I love, the Christie Front Drive albums have been reissued and if you don’t have them you should.


I’ve never heard the term “demisexual” until today, but reading about it was kind of mindblowing, because maybe that’s me? I kind of always thought I was just weird and didn’t relate to people the way everyone else does. I guess I need to read and write more about this. It would explain some things I guess.


Pew Research has a cybersecurity quiz which I felt was way too easy, I got 100% when I took it and that’s just from generally paying attention, I’m curious what their collected results will show.


Remember how body cameras for cops were going to be to help people and increase accountability? Now they are building in facial recognition to ID you in realtime.


I’m finding it disappointing that people losing their mind about Trump’s access to surveillance systems were perfectly fine with Obama building them. “Just trust us!” is the stupidest justification from Government, because it’s not about trusting you, it’s about trusting the next guy and the next guy and the next guy. You can’t build systems assuming the best, you have to consider the worst and build around that. Meanwhile Trump’s White House is likely using the surveillance assets of the U.S. government to track the FBI investigation.


I’ve talked before about ‘HyperNormalisation’ and if you’ve seen it then you will definitely enjoy this which is basically the unofficial director’s commentary.


This morning I made a todo list of about 15 things, I crossed off one thing and then took the kid to an art museum for the rest of the day, I’m going to call that a success.


Thanks for hanging around.