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The Price of Admission

I want to try to knit together two things that are discouraging me about the way we talk about the relationship between academia and the world at large, in particular, between academics whose work levies critique against technologized systems and the industries that architect those systems in the first place.

@withdrawbot: An Exercise in Peripheries

A star-gazing technique: we know that the darkness is full of light too faint to see and too far away. To see fainter stars and galaxies, which brighter stars tend to occlude, avoid looking at a spot in the sky head-on. Rather, gaze just off-center from where you want to see, and relax your peripheral vision. Then fainter stars will begin to appear.

Generating Jekyll Tags with a Shell Script

I think blog tags are art.

I Miss Google Reader

I know I am not alone in this. There are too many “I Miss Google Reader” posts across the internet and this one comes years too late. But I still do miss it, not just for its functionality but also for how the idea of RSS feeds more generally occassioned a different rhythm to the consumption of online information. It felt just a little bit less like “consumption” back then, even though it was, feed after feed scanned and slurped down only for more to pile up. Heaven forfend you ever went on vacation: you’d just have to hit “mark all as read” and move on with your life. Undoubtedly it had its downsides. But I embarked on (yet another) Twitter hiatus this week, and so found myself once again with occasion to miss Google Reader.

In Lieu of a Proper Post, or There’s Research in the Research Section Now

One of the more honorable goals I set for myself during the first year of graduate school was that I was going to write here more. I then proceeded, as do most who set such goals, to write here even less than I did before grad school. I might point to a confluence of factors: writing on Twitter provides much more immediate satisfaction, though at the cost of one’s immortal soul; the nature of grad school is such that one is constantly engaged in all sorts of provisional writing that does not seem particularly suited for public consumption in an unrefined form, and who has time to refine things anymore?; also I adopted a cat, and taking care of her is frankly more interesting than most things, including writing, which made finals season particularly interesting, let me tell you.

How to Set Up a Personal VPN on macOS, or Goddamnit I Can't Believe This Is the Sort of Thing We Have to Write These Days

Thorough disclaimer: I am not a security researcher. I am a grad student in the humanities who studies technical systems. I have a general understanding of what I’m talking about here but I’m far from an expert. Throughout I try to link to folks who know a lot more than I do, so that you can see critiques of this process and judge for yourself if/how you might want to implement some of these systems. In essence: caveat emptor.

On Children and Water

A few interconnected thoughts.

On Staying Up Late to Look at Arbitrary Borders

When I can’t sleep (which is most nights these days) I tend to do a few things:1

  1. There once was a time where this list was just “read and drink herbal tea” but I am like all of us imperfect. 

On “the Real World”

The news is a Category 5 shitstorm these days and it’s difficult to surface any rage-inducing story for any more than a few moments at a time. One in particular that’s driving pins into the back of my eyes is a pair of moves from Missouri and Iowa to eliminate the concept of tenure in their state university systems. These moves come on the heels of Wisconsin’s relatively succesful attempts to neuter the concept of “tenure” beyond any utility. These attacks are only going to become more and more common as increasingly Republican-led state legislatures defenstrate the American education system.

On the Desire to Surround Oneself with Wolves

Threaded tweets are bad now I guess, and the prevailing wisdom on Twitter seems to be “why are people tweeting when they could be writing blog posts?,” which I take as yet another riff on “you’re doing it wrong.” Particularly with reports of Medium’s demise not really exaggerated at all making the space for such thoughts increasingly scarce. That being said, I do have a blog so I guess I will kowtow to the times and put these thoughts here rather than as a tweetstorm. With any luck, Twitter won’t be around by the time that you read this and then I will come across as prescient rather than contrarian.

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