Creating Useful Archives

I've done a little tweaking to the archives for dialectical futurism recently, including creating a new archive for science fiction and writing and being who I am this has inspired a little of thought regarding the state and use of archives of blogs. The latest iteration of this blog has avoided the now common practice of having large endless lists of posts organized by publication month or by haphazardly assigned category and tag systems.…

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In Favor of Simple Software

I've spent a little bit of time addressing some organizational and workflow angst in the past few weeks, and one thing I'd been focusing on had been to update and fine tune my emacs (text editor) and irssi (irc/chat) configuration. Part of my goal had been to use irssi-xmpp to move all of my chat/synchronous communication into one program; unfortunately I've not been able to get irssi-xmpp to build and function in a fully stable way.…

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Focus and Context Switching

This post is inspired by Cory Doctorow's Inventory about the technology he uses for his work and ongoing personal angst and gadget lust. For the past six months or so I collapsed my entire computing existence into one, single, computer. It's a nifty Thinkpad x200, a small laptop with just the right balance of usable screen space, sufficient computing power, and great build quality. And when I say "everything," I mean it.…

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Fan Fiction is Criticism

Thanks to `Shaun Duke <http://skiffyandfanty.wordpress.com>`_ for inspiring this little rant. I must confess that I'm mostly uninvolved in the world of fan fiction these days, though I have traveled in "fanish" circles at various points in my past. It's not because I don't think fans have interesting things to say about literature and media, or that I don't think what's happening in fandom important and fascinating. No, I'm mostly withdrawn because I have too much on my plate and participating in fandom doesn't really contribute to the specific goals I have at this moment.…

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The Overhead of Management

Every resource, every person, every project, every machine you have to manage comes with an ongoing cost. This is just as true of servers as is it is of people who work on projects that you're in charge of or have some responsibility for, and while servers and teammates present very different kinds of management challenges, working effectively and managing management costs across contexts is (I would propose) similar. Or at least similar enough to merit some synthetic discussion.…

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Jekyll Publishing

I wrote about my efforts to automate my publishing workflow a couple of weeks ago, (egad!) and I wanted to follow that up with a somewhat more useful elucidation of how all of the gears work around here. At first I had this horrible scheme setup that dependent on regular builds triggered by cron, which is a functional, if inelegant solution. There's a lot of tasks that you can give the appearance of "real time," responsiveness by scheduling more brute tasks regularly enough.…

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The Meaning of Work

I've started to realize that, fundamentally, the questions I'm asking of the world and that I'm trying to address by learning more about technology, center on work and the meaning and process of working. Work lies at the intersection of the all the things that I seem to revisit endlessly: interfaces, collaboration technology, cooperatives and economics institutions, and open source software development. I'm not sure if I'm interested in work because it's the unifying theme of a bunch of different interests, or this is the base from which other interests spring.…

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