The Computer History Museum outlines some of the processes involved with preserving the artifacts in its collection.
The majority of physical objects in CHM’s collections are a mish-mash of plastics and metals, some of which actively corrode each other. The most obvious detriment to the collection is the prevalent attitude by manufacturers and consumers alike that computers were made [to] be used, used up and disposed.
The Dilemma: What to Write and How to Write It
I’ve been in a rut lately - emotionally and creatively - and have been brainstorming ways to get myself out of it. One idea I’ve contemplated is reviving this blog.
This is something I’ve thought about before, and if you peer back into the archives of this site, you’ll notice that I’ve posted in fits and starts over the past few years. The site has gone from a personal blog, to a link blog of interesting articles, and back again. I am somewhat bored with both approaches and am left thinking, if not those, then what?
My initial thought was to write only long form pieces about things I think about. These would mainly be about technology (as that seems to be really all I think about these days), but may extend outward from there into my other interests (music, film, biking).
The problem I’m running into is deciding on the scope and format of the writing. Should I limit it mainly to long form posts (like John Siracusa’s Hypercritical and Thomas Brand’s Egg Freckles), short “link posts” to other sites (like John Gruber’s Daring Fireball), or something in between (like Ben Brooks’ Brooks Review and Marco Arment’s Marco.org)?
I want to have be able to post both styles without worrying about “sullying” the site’s style or feel, and ideally there would be a way to have the long form writing be completely separate from the link posts, but this would also add undesirable complexity to the site. I even went so far as to create a second blog, with the intent of posting my short links there, but again, that’s unnecessarily complex.
So, here’s the plan: for now, I will try the Daring Fireball approach. I will post links to interesting things on the web (accompanied by short commentary) while still writing some long form pieces as well (like this one). I think this will work well for me and the way that I use the web.
Now the only question is what to do about all those old posts in the archives…
This is retro-futurism at its finest. Brilliantly shot low budget sci-fi film that’s both amusing and hopeful.
…imagine doing a trade in the absence of money—that is, through barter. (Let’s leave aside the fact that no society has ever relied solely or even largely on barter; it’s still an instructive concept.) The chief problem with barter is what economist William Stanley Jevons called the “double coincidence of wants.” Say you have a bunch of bananas and would like a pair of shoes; it’s not enough to find someone who has some shoes or someone who wants some bananas. To make the trade, you need to find someone who has shoes he’s willing to trade and wants bananas. That’s a tough task.
An enlightening look at money throughout the ages.
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Something I submitted to onethingwell.org got posted. I’m not ashamed to say that makes me very happy.
What was the point where it broke down? There was no evil executive coming in from on high telling us to make the game more lowbrow. The team was not a bunch of sniveling adolescent boys (a couple were, to be honest, but most were of the aforementioned good type). I think instead that the problem was structural— deeply structural to the product itself, at a level where no amount of “smart” versus “dumb” choices can really change things. One of those games centered around shooting aliens with guns and lasers. Another was about navigating an environment and punching people until they died.
Leaving aside the work of Ada Lovelace - the 19th century countess who devised algorithms for Charles Babbage’s never-completed Analytical Engine - computer programming has existed as a human endeavor for less than one human lifetime: it has been only 68 years since Konrad Zuse unveiled his Z3 electro-mechanical computer in 1941, the first working general-purpose computer.
Three attributes of the typical hacker are laziness, impatience, and hubris.
Park Benches - Love is Everywhere [Couple flirting on a fire escape], 1946, by Stanley Kubrick. More can be seen at the Museum of the City of New York. He took an astonishing number of perfect photographs.
Stanley Kubrick was a photographer before he was a filmmaker, and it shows in his films.
One of the maddening things about starting out with someone new is that everything’s possible—and that’s not necessarily good. It’s the same with any relationship: you want to cut down the world of possibilities; you want the other person to know that you hate pizza, so don’t even think about pizza. When you work or live with anyone for a long time, you narrow your range of possibilities in a positive, creative way.