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Biomedical and Electrical Engineer with interests in information theory, evolution, genetics, abstract mathematics, microbiology, big history, Indieweb, and the entertainment industry including: finance, distribution, representation

boffosocko.com

chrisaldrich

chrisaldrich

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chrisaldrich

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Interested in becoming part of the after @t's talk at ? I'm happy to help or answer questions. I've also got some WordPress specific experiments and documentation (on my own website, of course):
https://boffosocko.com/research/indieweb/

 

The invited talk "Take Back Your Web" given by the thoughtful and Inimitable @t should be livestreaming in just a few minutes from WordCamp US

https://2019.us.wordcamp.org/session/take-back-your-web/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D547WuCZIaE

 

My fervent wish for in 2020 would be for all badges to show preference for featuring people's websites (over Twitter) and for speakers to say, "Contact me on/through my website" instead of saying, "Ping me on the birdsite."

 

Wishing I was at today to hear my friend Tantek Çelik @t, web standards lead @Mozilla & @CSSwg, talk on "Take Back Your Web"

Livestream: https://2019.us.wordcamp.org/livestream/saturday/#240 at 2:30PM Central
https://2019.us.wordcamp.org/session/take-back-your-web/

 

Expanding Ekphrasis to the Broader Field of Mnemotechny: or How the Shield of Achilles Relates to a Towel, Car, and Water Buffalo

3 min read

If Lynne Kelly's thesis about the methods of memory used by indigenous peoples is correct, and I strongly believe it is, then the concept of ekphrasis as illustrated in the description of the Shield of Achilles in Homer's Iliad (Book 18, lines 478–608) is far more useful than we may have previously known. I strongly suspect that Achilles' Shield is an early sung version of a memory palace to which were once attached other (now lost) memories from Bronze Age Greece.

The word ekphrasis, or ecphrasis, comes from the Greek for the description of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise, often used in the adjectival form ekphrastic.—Wikipedia

While many may consider this example of Homer's to be the first instance of ekphrasis within literature (primarily because it specifically depicts an artwork, which is part of the more formal definition of the word), I would posit that even earlier descriptions in the Iliad itself which go into great detail about individuals and their methods of death are also included in a broader conception of ekphrasis. This larger ekphrasis subsumes all of these descriptions in an tradition of orality as being portions of ancient memory palaces within a broader field of mnemotechny. I imagine that these graphic, bloody, and larger-than-life depictions of death not only encoded the names and ideas of the original people/ancestors, but they were also quite likely to have had additional layers of memory encoded (or attached) to them as well. Here I'm suggesting that while an actual shield may or may not have originally existed that even once the physical shield or other object is gone or lost that the remembered story of the shield still provides a memory palace to which other ideas can be attached.

(I'll remind the forgetful reader than mnemotechny grows out of the ancient art of rhetoric as envisioned in Rhetorica ad Herennium, and thus the use of ekphrasis as a rhetorical device implicitly subsumes the idea of memory, though most modern readers may not have that association.)

Later versions of ekphrasis in post-literate history may have been more about the arts themselves and related references and commentary (example: Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn), but I have a strong feeling that this idea's original incarnation was more closely related to early memory methods at the border of oral and literate societies.

In other words, ancient performers, poets, etc. may have created their own memory palaces by which they were able to remember long stories like the Iliad, but what is to say that these stories themselves weren't in turn memory palaces to the listeners themselves? I myself have previously used the plot and portions of the movie Fletch as a meta memory palace in just this way. As the result of ritualistic semi-annual re-watchings of classic and engaging movies like this, I can dramatically expand my collection of memory palaces. The best part is that while my exterior physical location may change, classics movies will always stay the same. And in a different framing, my memories of portions of history may also help me recall a plethora of famous movie quotes as well.

Can I borrow your towel? My car just hit a water buffalo.—Irwin M. Fletcher
 

Just passed a north of the 210 around Lowell exit. Also saw about 30 police headed West in response.

 

After some warm-hearted arm-twisting by the incomparable @VeriousSmith, I've submitted a talk about and to @WordCampRS '19.
Talk or not, I look forward to seeing everyone Nov 8-10.
https://2019.riverside.wordcamp.org/

 

Could I volunteer some web development time/energy to help any interested @RadioRookies journalists build their own websites/platforms for empowering/owning their voices, stories, and reporting portfolios? https://indieweb.org/Indieweb_for_Journalism

 

This is one of the best end funniest uses I've seen yet for having a domain of one's own!

https://mickens.seas.harvard.edu/tenure-announcement

 

Against the Rules: Referees, Journalism, and Politics

2 min read

If correct, the hypothesis by Michael Lewis in Against the Rules could have some profound implications into how we view politics and particularly the current President of the United States and why we need accurate, fair, and objective journalism. Trump's fame is making him cry foul more than is necessary, particularly amidst accusations of wrongdoing. In the episode Ref, You Suck! one can see a clear analogy between the NBA and the current political hellscape.

"...he [referring to Larry Byrd, but this could easily be applied to Donald J. Trump] played with certain assumptions about the rules and how they applied to him..."
"The NBA has set out to ref the game more objectively, more accurately, more fairly. This has enraged the stars and their coaches. You want to know why? The more objectivity there is, the less power they have. Objective refs eliminate some of their privilege. The stars can't get the calls anymore just because they're stars, or anyway, not as often. Lebron James and Kevin Durant and Stef Curry and Clay Thompson, they'll all survive better refs because they're actually just better than everyone else, they don't need unfairness to win. [...]
I think American life just now has at least one thing in common with basketball. The authority of its referees is under attack. And when you have a weak referee you have a big problem. Because a weak referee is a referee who can be bought or intimidated or just simply ignored. A situation goes from being more or less well referred to more or less not. Then one day you wake up in a world that seems not just unfair but actually sort of rigged. That is, it is incapable of becoming fair because the people who benefit from the unfairness have the power to preserve it. Boom!"

tagged:

 

"Think of it as a rule of thumb:
'Find a happy referee and you've found a problem.'"
—Michael Lewis in The Hand of Leonardo
https://atrpodcast.com/episodes/the-hand-of-leonardo-s1!7616f

 
 

I could see instructional designers and fans using something like @ProPublica's new Collaborate platform to make digital artifacts similar to that in Donaldson's @HybridPed article https://hybridpedagogy.org/travelling-in-troy/
https://www.propublica.org/nerds/making-collaborative-data-projects-easier-our-new-tool-collaborate-is-here

 

I'm glad @onthemedia brought back their American Expansion episodes w/ @DImmerwahr & @GregGrandin. They've correctly chosen some of their very best to rerun. They're particularly interesting after finishing @WoodardColin's book American Nation. https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/projects/american-expansion

 

This is the sort of story with which @onthemedia might do something interesting: https://www.thecut.com/2017/06/brooklyn-artist-alexandra-ball-racial-bias-new-york-times.html