I’ve started learning a new programming language other than webdev standard HTML, CSS and Javascript, everyone’s favourite Python for my computer science class at university. It is a clean and elegant language, but I do miss the brackets I have come to rely on for JS. And while I have found some of the languages features to get right (Currently tackling iteration), it’s still a fun language to learn.

Just completed my first university assignment for engineering. They gave us barely nothing but a 1000 word limit and said good luck. Spent the whole weekend researching and getting it done, but got it done Sunday afternoon. Didn’t have to pull an all nighter like some people.

How Spongebob predicted meme culture

There’s a reason everyone at my University dorm fought tooth and nail to get Nickelodeon, and by extension Spongebob on our TV. It wasn’t because Spongebob is a window that we look back on a carefree time when we weren’t bogged down by overwhelming existential dread (lol), but because even now it’s genuinely funny, extremely well written, and has some important morals that still ring true today.

Also the video above by Quinton reviews is pretty good.

When do we admit that we are in a cyberpunk now?

At what point are we gonna wake up, draw the curtains, put our hands on our hips and go “Yep, I’m in living in cyberpunk now.” Not a cyberpunk future, a cyberpunk Now. When an unqualified fascist takes over control of the most powerful country in the world? When a company is trying to sell us Bane’s mask in order to protect our privacy during phone calls, and a denim jacket to make the calls? Perhaps when a man has to flee his country in order to declare the government is spying on us. Maybe when it’s raining constantly? When we don’t even need our own limbs anymore? Or when every city looks like the image I used in the header of this post, of a vast, glowing Akira at night, each tower looking like a data stack on a computer board. One thing I always liked about cyberpunk as an aesthetic is that it was never a far reaching future I will never see, of aliens and spaceships. Cyberpunk was always very real, and it soon will be real.

Levi’s to sell a smart denim jacket for all your cyberpunk needs

Alejandro Alba at Vocativ about the new collaboration between clothing brand Levi’s and Google to make what is currently the most stylish looking piece of techwear I’ve ever seen:

The renowned denim company partnered with Google to develop a smart denim jacket that’s capable of answering calls, giving directions, control music, and offering information about nearby places. The team behind “Project Jacquard” used tiny circuits and conductive yarn that can be woven into any textile (hats, shirts, pants, etc.) to produce touch- and gesture-sensitive surfaces, which are then controlled with a cufflink-like device called a smart tag.

The smart tag looks and works very similar to a fitness band or tracker and is packed with LED and haptic sensors that vibrate when receiving phone notifications via Bluetooth. Those wearing the jacket can tap on the smart tag to answer calls, change tracks they’re listening to their music.

Finally, a piece of clothing that’s got the cyberpunk aesthetic and doesn’t look fucking ridiculous.

A collection of minimalist web blogging platforms

Boing Boing’s Rob Beschizza has made a web publishing ‘toy’ as he calls it, text.fyi. It’s small, brutalist, anonymous and mostly just a fun little thing to play around with. Here’s the list of features from BoingBoing:

This is the dumbest publishing platform on the web. … There’s no tracking, ad-tech, webfonts, analytics, javascript, cookies, databases, user accounts, comments, friending, likes, follower counts or other quantifiers of social capital. The only practical way for anyone to find out about a posting is if the author links to it elsewhere.

But it is legible, no-nonsense static hypertext, good for short stories, not-short-enough tweets and adventures and all your numbers station or internet dead drop needs. Here you can scream into the void and know the form of your voice is out there forever.

Search engines are instructed not to index posts and I’ll do my best to make sure this isn’t used as a tool by spammers or other abusers. Nonetheless, posting will be turned off if anything bad grows out of it.

Use Dumbdown to format posts: #header, **bold**, *italic*, `code`, >quote, and hyperlinks in the format [link](http://example.com). Try !hacker and !professor and !timestamp too. …

Long live the independent web!

Then goes on to write about a list of very similar web publishing platforms for small content like this:

txti.es is plain and perfect. Unlike txt.fyi it allows post editing for the duration of your browser session. Barry T. Smith made it with Adam Newbold to provide “fast web pages for everybody,” especially those with poor internet and low-end devices. (Newbold also made motherfuckingwebsite.com, itself among the many inspirations for txt.fyi; see also Drew McConville’s bettermotherfuckingwebsite for an idea of what a line of CSS can do for you.)

Said So is “a simple, anonymous, non-indexed, non-searchable microblogging platform,” but with share links, and stylish typography. Writes author Apostolos Pantsiopoulos: “Anonymity was the first thing that interested me. Then after I watched the documentary “helvetica” I was inspired to create a minimal posting service that removes all the unnecessary clutter and deliver the message as emphasized as possible, using a font that has this “authority” effect on people.”

I really, really like this. Sure it may be stupid and nowhere near as fully powerful as an actual blog (ala this site), and it’s probably not just for the brutalist design1. Maybe it’s just because it’s an echo chamber for my thoughts, but any kind of indie centralised writing is great and can go a long way. Jason Kottke just celebrated his websites 19th birthday. That’s an amazing acomplishment that has outlasted most blogs. I hope Valiant Ghost does the same (A few months – 2-3 years going strong!).

You should start a blog too if you haven’t already. As a decentralised echo chamber for your thoughts and feelings. As one of my blogger idols Rands said: Support freedom of the press. Start a blog.

  1. I’ve had a weird obsession with brutalist design lately, both in architecture and on the web. Maybe it’s just because my university has brutalist architecture, or that I found brutalist web design was a thing and then spun my own 90’s-esque page on Neocities. There’s something very stark about it.