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A personal weblog by Paul Bausch, a web developer in Corvallis, OR

Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:22:44 -0800


Recent Web Wednesday

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 10:21:16 -0800

First, a big congratulations to friend of the blog Anil Dash, new CEO at Fog Creek. And a 2nd big congratulations on their launch of Gomix—a hosted community app builder. I love the view source philosophy behind it. It'll be fun to see what people build with it. And here are some recent links: The State of Things New York Times: The Array of Conflicts of Interest Facing the Trump Presidency (closed loops) Washington Post: Trump's stock holdings may give him a personal stake in rules on banks and oil firms New Yorker: Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About Politico: Trump inherits Obama boom New York Review of Books: Trump: The Choice We Face Media MIT Technology Review: Social Media Is Killing Discourse Because It's Too Much Like TV (by mefi's own hoder) Facebook's Walled Wonderland Is Inherently Incompatible With News ("The last thing Facebook wants is to contradict you in any way.") The Guardian: Google, democracy and the truth about internet search Designing Things Mike Monteiro: How To Fight Fascism Nielsen Norman Group: The Distribution of Users' Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think GDS design notes: We've updated the radios and checkboxes on GOV.UK Hail Mary Lawrence Lessig: The Equal Protection argument against "winner take all" in the Electoral College Electors Trust New York Times: Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump Online Community Fusion: What GitHub did to kill its trolls Buzzfeed: Silicon Valley's Most Popular Forum Bans Stories About Politics Keeping Instagram Safe: More Tools and Control (added anonymous reporting for self-injury posts) Security FBI to gain expanded hacking powers as Senate effort to block fails (thanks for fighting this, Ron Wyden) Buzzfeed: After Trump's Win, Secure Messaging App Signal's Downloads Increase 400% Supplemental EFF: Power Up Your Donation It doesn't look like anything to me (via @codinghorror) So bad it's good: Toto - Africa (many more at mefi) Christmas Gifs (:rotating_light: NSFW :rotating_light:) [...]

mirror ornament time

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 18:44:03 -0800


instagram photo

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 21:36:03 -0800


the path

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 09:31:02 -0800


The Elements of Eloquence

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:19:07 -0800

I want to share a book I read recently that I absolutely loved: The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth.


My introduction to this book was this tweet: I felt like I was getting a glimpse at the source code that runs English. Not at the syntax and grammar level (though there is a bit of that), but the presentation layer. I got the preview from Amazon and stumbled on this passage:
A poet is not somebody who has great thoughts. That is the menial duty of the philosopher. A poet is somebody who expresses his thoughts, however commonplace they may be, exquisitely. That is the one and only difference between the poet and everybody else.
That passage felt like demystifying a mystical process and from there I was hooked. I ordered the book and read it cover to cover.

Forsyth devotes one chapter to each figure of rhetoric identified by the Ancient Greeks. He describes them as, "...techniques for making a single phrase striking and memorable just by altering the wording." Some figures are familiar friends like alliteration. Some figures like hendiadys evade ease and detection. Some figures work across sentences like these three that start with the same words: anaphora. Of course you don't need to know the figures of rhetoric to use or appreciate them, but knowing how they work can help you employ them strategically.

The most fun aspect for me was the way Forsyth uses each figure to describe that figure throughout each chapter. Identifying each use became something of a puzzle to solve while learning about how puzzles work. Forsyth also frequently gives a prime example of each figure that everyone knows. Then he draws on everything from Shakespeare to poetry to music lyrics to illustrate each one. He demonstrates that rhetorical figures aren't a dusty relic, they're a part of the natural way we use language that we can tune into and appreciate.

It was a joy to read and joy is in need. And like all correct-thinking people, Mark Forsyth has a blog. It's The Inky Fool.

Wednesday Links

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:25:39 -0800

Another mid-week link dump. I'm trying to link beyond our new national nightmare a bit. If you only have time for one, make it The Great Silence. And then make time for Vicki Boykis' post about blogging. (Maybe I need to prioritize instead of categorize, hmm.) The State of Things John Scalzi: Three Weeks In @quinnnorton: Let me say something to my friends about the political emotion of the moment.... (breathe, strategize, use reason) Kottke: Is liberal democracy in trouble? "Warning signs are flashing red." George Lakoff interview: A Brain Scientist Explains How To Turn Trump Into A 'Loser' (eg. FiveThirtyEight runs the numbers) Media Atlantic: A Reflexive Liar in Command: Guidelines for the Media Politico: The New Rules for Covering Trump AP: Writing about the 'alt-right' (new internal style guideline for accurately labeling racists) The News (music industry veteran on handling disruption) Designing Things Maciej Cegłowski: Who Will Command The Robot Armies? ("What we need to do is grow up, and quickly.") 7 web design dos and don'ts (Monteiro: "It's time to grow up.") Gina Trapani: We’re All Frauds ("...get really comfortable being uncomfortable...") Om Malik: Silicon Valley Has an Empathy Vacuum Leigh Alexander: It’s Time For a New Kind of Power Fantasy Online Community Vicki Boykis: Fix the internet by writing good stuff and being nice to people (via @mathowie) Gizmodo: Reddit Is Tearing Itself Apart Security The Guardian has moved to https More Than 1 Million Google Accounts Breached by Gooligan Ars Technica: Firefox 0-day in the wild is being used to attack Tor users Motherboard: The Entire Internet Will Be Archived In Canada... Supplemental The Great Silence (beautiful short story via @fraying) Lin-Manuel Miranda to Produce 'Kingkiller Chronicle' (whoa, LMM and Patrick Rothfuss working together!? :boom:) Amazon LightSail: Simple Virtual Private Servers on AWS ($5/month) [...]

Amazon Feed Generator Update: Categories

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 14:13:30 -0800

The Amazon Feed Generator is still humming away on my server. Now with categories!

Say you want to stay up with the latest cat calendars that Amazon offers. It was kind of a pain before. Now you can select Books then the Calendar category within books and that specificity makes all the difference! You'll find things like the Cats in Art 2018 Wall Calendar before anyone else.


I'm not sure who these people are buying 2018 cat calendars already but I guess it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

Related, node is still neat.


Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:54:02 -0800


Monday Links

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 09:57:19 -0800

This just keeps going. If you only read one article from these links, make it the NY Times article about conflicts around the globe.

Corruption (image)

Media Hail Mary Extra The soundtrack for these links is the Butterfield Blues Band, Born Under a Bad Sign:

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Winter Berries II

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 08:44:03 -0800


Winter Berries

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 08:42:03 -0800


Recent Web Saturday

Sat, 26 Nov 2016 08:41:18 -0800

I took a little break from compiling links but the web did not take a break from creating them. So I bring you a new consternation of think pieces. (Pretty sure that's the collective.) No algorithms were knowingly used in collecting these links. Corruption Donald Trump: Corrupt AF @JoltedToad: Trump Foundation admits to violating federal law by using funds to support campaign... NY Times: Donald Trump's Caldron of Conflicts LA Times: How Trump could use the presidency to help his own business interests Media Fascism and The Historical Irony of Facebook’s “Fake News” Problem Pando: Why has Facebook changed its mind on fake news? Thank the Germans ProPublica: How Journalists Need to Begin Imagining the Unimaginable I can’t just stand by and watch Mark Zuckerberg destroy the internet. Hail Mary Jill Stein: Election Integrity depends on YOU! The Guardian: Jill Stein requests Wisconsin recount, alleging hackers filed bogus absentee ballots CBS Philly: An Audit Of Pennsylvania Election Results? Already Underway Bruce Schneier: Hacking and the 2016 Presidential Election Washington Post: Electoral College must reject Trump unless he sells his business... Practicing Cryptography A practical guide to securing macOS Decent Security on router configuration Tech flarum: Delightfully simple forum software. trigger-happy (open source IFTTT clone in progress) Paul Ford: Get Me Central! (A quick explainer) Everything you ever wanted to know about building a secure password reset feature Extra @jbushnell: I took a look at the Professor Watchlist so you don't have to... Washington Post: Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story On Bullshit and the Oath of Office: The "LOL Nothing Matters" Presidency Kottke: Five Steps to Tyranny Inspirational Images: 1, 2, 3, 4 [...]