18.46, Tuesday 1 Jan 2008

Blogs were a different kind of conversational before permalinks were invented. This was also before categories, and titles, and topic-specific blogs, and professional bloggers. Permalinks and titles encourage us to face outward, to package our ideas in chunks for easy consumption by the reading machine (um, that's you). But I'm sure permalinks weren't that, to begin with. They were more like putting a timestamp in whenever the virtual carriage return lever was pulled.

Here's an Orangina Naturally Juicy commercial, which is aimed at furries. Speaking of which, I learned about a new fetish: financial domination. A financial dominatrix is like a camgirl who hurts you via your wallet. She won't take her clothes off, or answer your questions, but you can pay her $100 because you're a spineless worm with deep pockets. Seems like a good racket. And there's something hilarious about Goddess Hannah's Amazon Wish List.

A related note: the sex singularity is when machines surpass humans in hotness.

Vikram Chandra, The Cult of Authenticity: when an Indian author puts a cow or mentions dharma, are they doing it to exoticize the Indian landscape to signal their Indianness to the West, in the context of the Western market? Authenticity, as Chandra tells it, is one of those gods that people speak on behalf of constantly, but never speaks for itself. The trinity of these gods that looms largest in the UK is: anti-discrimination; health & safety; security. Is there a word for this general type? And what is the larger system of words that discrimination and its evil twin, political correctness fit into?

Matt Jones wants to scamper between beautiful extremes of pored-over and glanceable information design.

Google have introduced instant messaging chat bots that translate languages. I wonder what the conversational UI is like for these, in group chats?

In Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's Watchman (spoilers: cracking interview from March 1988), Ozymandias sits in his Antarctic base and watches dozens of television broadcasts simultaneously, letting patterns float up and predicting the future from the gestalt. ''Just me and the world.' "Browsing" the Web is like "reading" a David Markson novel.

There is both a great tune and a car blowing up in slow motion in the video to Kojak, You Can't Stop It.

All of that aside, I thought I'd switch the design of this weblog to one with more purple, orange and old people in it, based on a design I made for Tom Coates, some 7 years ago.