Jason Kottke Hits 25 Years of Blogging

I can’t remember when I started reading Jason Kottke’s blog, but I find I’m often surprised how long I’ve been reading someone when I start to work it out. I’m guessing it’s been since the mid-2000s. The eponymous blog has always hit a sweet spot for me.

Several years ago, I was the subject of a post and it gave me insight into how much Jason’s site drives conversation on the web, as I followed along as the story was picked up by increasing prominent news outlets (Buzzfeed, Adweek, cnet, Forbes) and, eventually, the New York Times.

Congratulations on reaching 25 years, Jason.

As Twitter Declines, 25 Tweets Highlighting What It Was

The New York Times:

On Wednesday, Twitter announced that users who pay extra will be able to send their thoughts into the world in tweets of up to 4,000 characters, instead of 280 or less. A few hours later, the site glitched. Users couldn’t tweet; they couldn’t DM; #TwitterDown began trending. All of it — the muddled sense of identity, the breakdown of basic function — confirmed the sense that Twitter, a site that has hosted the global conversation for almost two decades, had become a rickety shell of itself, that its best days were behind it and that it would never be as significant again.

Ate these are the 25 most important tweets? Some I’ve never seen before, but they are a good representation of all that Twitter was.

I’ve stopped using Twitter, which I used heavily and evangelized for since June 2007, and it’s still kind of amazing how quickly it stopped being the place that hosted the “global conversation”.

It’s not a great sign that more 10% of these tweets are Donald Trump, tho.

It’s Shut the Fuck Up Friday

Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times:

To people unfamiliar with the American criminal justice system, Baldwin’s decision sounds reasonable: Something terrible happened, and he wanted to help. But defense lawyers I talked to said Baldwin’s case should serve as a reminder that if you are involved in a serious incident, it’s best not to talk to the police unless you have an attorney present.

Manjoo is right, but it’s easier said than done to just shut the fuck up. Police rely on social engineering.

Manjoo cites an entertaining 48-minute video in which a law professor argues that nothing good can come from talking with cops no matter how innocent you are followed by a long-time-cop-turned-law-student telling you how he operated during interrogations which only confirms the need to shut the fuck up.

All Colors Combine to Make Brown

Novel storytelling is fascinating and fun: Momento told its story backwards and Primer told its story out of sequence.

Netflix offers Kaleidoscope as a limited series of episodes each named after a color watchable in any order. Otherwise it’s a run-of-the-mill heist series. And, in the end, the and-order-is-fine dynamic just leaves the viewer feeling like you’ve watched a out-of-order series, robbed of any crescendo or finale.

2022 In Review

I find the “good riddance to this year” trope, even in terrible years, unhelpful and uninteresting, and in light of some recent years, not particularly meaningful. Here’s some highlights of my past 12 months.

  • Finally took a letterpress workshop at Public Space One
  • Replaced 2,500 car miles with an electric pedal-assist bike
  • Hiked more than 100 miles, including in the Rocky Mountains and the Loess Hills
  • Added a redwing blackbird to my arm thanks to Nikki Powills
  • Had really meaningful and sometimes tough conversations with my kid who is now on the verge of adulthood
  • Ended my 1,010-day COVID-free streak
  • Engaged with friends and family for walks, meals and more


Meanwhile at Twitter

There are many mockable things going on at Twitter, and this certainly isn’t the most outrageous, but a new gold verified badge appeared as they roll out a second iteration of Twitter Blue verification to differentiate the big players who might buy ads meanwhile legacy verified accounts, including government agencies, simply get a blue badge noting “This is a legacy verified account. It may or may not be notable.”

Star Wars Imagined in the 1940s by Walt Disney

Inspired by Flash Gordon, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Walt Disney began sketching out characters for grand, animated space opera full of villains and magic warriors. No one outside Disney was believed to have seen them, until, recently, these drawings were found in George Lucas’s collection.

Imagined using AI from Midjourney.

Why Andor is Great and Rouge One is Just OK

Jamelle Bouie on Rouge One versus Andor:

[In Rouge One] We don’t actually get a sense of the interior lives of any of the characters, who, we know as an audience, are on the way to their doom. There’s no real attempt to deal with the psychology of rebellion. The movie is exciting, but I don’t think it quite works.

[W]hile “Andor” is billed as a show about the Rebellion, it is just as much, if not more, a show about the Empire. It is most interested, I think, in how the Empire works — in the bureaucracy of domination. Key moments take place within the Imperial intelligence agency, in scenes reminiscent of a John le Carré novel or adaptation (it helps that many of the actors are British, with the Received Pronunciation that we expect from Imperial officers in Star Wars). We see how paperwork in an office translates to brutality for ordinary people on the ground; how Imperial control is administered, and how dissent is repressed. We see why someone would join the Empire, find fulfillment in the Empire, seek to advance Imperial goals. It is a show that uses the idea of the “banality of evil” in exactly the way it was meant.

Exactly right.