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Rev Dan Catt - Building shutdownability, closing down Contributoria the nice way.
A nice write-up of a nice way to shut down a website. Lovely to see people doing things this way.
revdancatt  archiving  contributoria  webdevelopment 
november 2015 by philgyford
Rev Dan Catt: The Pen
"I've been asked about my pen (for reals) a couple of times, so I thought I'd write a blog post about it. It's a Tombow Zoom 707 Ballpoint Pen (amazon UK/US), it cost £28 and I bought it for myself as a Christmas present.

I keep two Field Notes notebooks in my pocket, at night I take them out and put them on the bedside table. My life is dense, not hectic, not crazy busy, just every moment is filled. We have three kids, we home educate, the start-up I'm involved in is blowing up, I try to swim, I try to run, I'm learning the bass, I try and put together a podcast that takes an age, sometimes I even try to write a blog post or two. In all of that there's hardly any time to do other stuff, although that doesn't stop me thinking about other stuff. That other stuff goes down in one of the two notebooks.

When I think of something I often can't get to a laptop or my phone in time, I tried, the thoughts don't stay in my head long enough to survive the gauntlet of children asking me things on the way upstairs. If you've watched the film Memento it's like that scene where he's looking around for a pen to write the thing down before he forgets it. I decided I needed notebooks and a pen with me at all times.

I think it's the most I've ever spent on a pen.

Before this I used the Field Notes pen that came with the notebooks. It's a good pen, feels nice to hold, flows well but the clip doesn't clip it in my pocket properly. I can't slide it into my jeans without having to put a fingernail round the back of the clip to make sure it clips properly. When I sit down the pen didn't stay in the same place.

It was all kinds of wrong.

The Zoom 707 slides into the pocket right next to the seam, and better still it stays there, after all I didn't want to lose a £28 pen. For the next few days I'd reach down and feel for the red ball on the clip, to know it was still there.

Now it's a reflex action, I'll brush my hand past the side seam of my jeans and feel if the pen's clip is still there. When I feel it I know I can't forget anything, life is speeding on but in that one moment I know I haven't left anything behind. If I need to remember something it's in the notebook, if it's in the notebook I don't need to remember it. I can clear my mind and move onto the next thing.

When I stop to take a moment, I can touch the red ball feel it against my fingertips and the memory of the last thing I wrote comes back to me. It's a shortcut to having to open the notebook and read it back.

It's a memory machine, a meditation device and an anchor."
worrybeads  fidgettools  anxiety  anti-anxietydevices  2015  pens  revdancatt  notetaking  memory  notes  notebooks  outboardboardmemory  ideas  kombolói  via:robertogreco 
february 2015 by danburzo
Rev Dan Catt: The Pen
"I've been asked about my pen (for reals) a couple of times, so I thought I'd write a blog post about it. It's a Tombow Zoom 707 Ballpoint Pen (amazon UK/US), it cost £28 and I bought it for myself as a Christmas present.

I keep two Field Notes notebooks in my pocket, at night I take them out and put them on the bedside table. My life is dense, not hectic, not crazy busy, just every moment is filled. We have three kids, we home educate, the start-up I'm involved in is blowing up, I try to swim, I try to run, I'm learning the bass, I try and put together a podcast that takes an age, sometimes I even try to write a blog post or two. In all of that there's hardly any time to do other stuff, although that doesn't stop me thinking about other stuff. That other stuff goes down in one of the two notebooks.

When I think of something I often can't get to a laptop or my phone in time, I tried, the thoughts don't stay in my head long enough to survive the gauntlet of children asking me things on the way upstairs. If you've watched the film Memento it's like that scene where he's looking around for a pen to write the thing down before he forgets it. I decided I needed notebooks and a pen with me at all times.

I think it's the most I've ever spent on a pen.

Before this I used the Field Notes pen that came with the notebooks. It's a good pen, feels nice to hold, flows well but the clip doesn't clip it in my pocket properly. I can't slide it into my jeans without having to put a fingernail round the back of the clip to make sure it clips properly. When I sit down the pen didn't stay in the same place.

It was all kinds of wrong.

The Zoom 707 slides into the pocket right next to the seam, and better still it stays there, after all I didn't want to lose a £28 pen. For the next few days I'd reach down and feel for the red ball on the clip, to know it was still there.

Now it's a reflex action, I'll brush my hand past the side seam of my jeans and feel if the pen's clip is still there. When I feel it I know I can't forget anything, life is speeding on but in that one moment I know I haven't left anything behind. If I need to remember something it's in the notebook, if it's in the notebook I don't need to remember it. I can clear my mind and move onto the next thing.

When I stop to take a moment, I can touch the red ball feel it against my fingertips and the memory of the last thing I wrote comes back to me. It's a shortcut to having to open the notebook and read it back.

It's a memory machine, a meditation device and an anchor."
worrybeads  fidgettools  anxiety  anti-anxietydevices  2015  pens  revdancatt  notetaking  memory  notes  notebooks  outboardboardmemory  ideas  kombolói  cv 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Rev Dan Catt: RDCXAD #007, the binaural episode.
"The latest experimental audio diary is out and this one is a bit of fun (for me). For this week it's all about the binaural recordings.

I was introduced to binaural recordings for the first time back in 2008 by Scott while working at Flickr. In short you record with microphones positioned at ear distance apart, with a head like object between them to block the sound from one side of the head directly reaching the other. A good way to simulate this head like object is to use your actual head, easy huh!

Then when someone wearing headphones listens back to the recording they end up with the slightly freaky experience of essentially ending up in your head. The effect isn't so great on stereo speakers, but I figure most people listen to podcasts with headphones.

Anyway, wearing a pair of handy in-ear microphones we all set off on a family walk around our local deer park, with the intent of getting some nice nature/field records. Turns out as a family we don't really shut up for more than 20 seconds at a time, I blame the kids."

[Direct link to the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/revdancatt/rev-dan-catt-experimental-audio-diary-episode-7 ]

[Hardware:

Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003QKBVYK/

Roland CS-10EM Binaural Microphone Earphones
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003QGPCTE/ ]
revdancatt  fieldnotes  fieldrecording  audio  sound  soundscapes  2014  classideas  projectideas  microphones  binaural  binauralrecording  zoomh1 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Rev Dan Catt: Still Blogging
"It's fun to see people (by which I mean people I track) talking about blogging. Andy here and Gina here, and others in Andy's comments.

I thought I'd jot down my angle.

• I'm tired of putting content on other people's platforms such as Medium, Flickr & Tumblr because I'm now never quite sure when it'll all go bottom up with me scrabble to get my content back out. Instead I'm scrabbling now, slowly going back through my archive and converting posts to markdown and importing images from Flickr. You can see just how far I haven't got by the cube placeholder images at /root.

• No analytics, no tracking, no cookies. I don't want to help Google track people around the web just so I can see how few hundreds of people viewed the site today. Removing the tracking is part of owning content. My audio is still on SoundCloud which drags GA cookies in with it when I post it here, same with Vimeo/YouTube videos. It's getting easier to self-host that kind of stuff, I just haven't had the time yet. So, no javascript on the page, no css/images/js from external sites is the goal. As I'm still interested in where people come from I sometimes pop onto the server to run goaccess to view referrers.

• Blogging has changed, twitter and Medium have altered the need to blog how we used to. I've re-jigged my blog to be the historic record my future self will want. Hence why you get presented with the current month, rather than traditional reverse chronological posts. I'm designing it for a future when at the end of the year I can push a button and it'll toss all my content into a book, divided up into months.

It's my own shoebox"
revdancatt  blogging  blogs  webdev  tracking  googleanalytics  medium  flickr  tumblr  content  adomainofone'sown  soundcloud  ownership  control  vimeo  youtube  css  images  javascript  2014  webdesign 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Rev Dan Catt: Conference Eaters
"The ushers usher us out of that hallowed place into the blinking bright sunlight the godly ones having already flown, blazing trails of CO2 in their wake.

And that's how conferences work.

Maybe I should back up a little and explain.

**The tech conference should not exist.**

Or at least not in its current form. This is what I used to believe until I finally understood the truth which I've written above. It's the only way I can make sense of it.

We are post future, we don't have flying cars but we do have the network slowly bringing us everything else. Hmmm, let me put it a different way, if you have a tech conference called "The state of the network" in 2014/15/16 in which speakers and audience travel from different parts of the country/world to talk/hear about how the network is making things better, then we've all clearly failed.

This is how technology and conferences are failing you.

People fly from one country to another, to sit in a room together and watch Edward Snowdon talk from yet another country up on a big screen. Don't even get me started on overflow rooms with screens for keynote speakers.

A conference cannot be about the dissemination of information because we have YouTube. Why reach an audience of 200 when you can reach the wired world? Tech conferences where a person stands at the front and preaches visions as a way to spread knowledge is so laughably outdated it's unreal. Vimeo, Twitch, YouTube, Podcasts, blogs, tweets are all faster and scale more than meatspace.

Maybe it's about the transference of money from supporters to speakers (and organisers). Perhaps those speakers wouldn't share their knowledge for free on the intertubes, maybe they've spent years working something important out and deserve to be remunerated for by a select few followers. Ah, Information as limited resources to give it value in a digital era, and of course not forgetting that speakers often don't get paid anyway.

Again technology is failing us if we can't work out a way to pay people for information in the age of the internet. However you're right, it's just like music. Bands have to accept that their music spreads for free (or even encourage it) as record labels cling to the last century, and make the money instead from gigs, a paying audience who want the live experience.

Which brings me to the final reason given for conferences. "That was inspiring" is the comment I often hear when asking someone how a conference went... "I'm not quite sure what they said is applicable to what I'm doing, but it was inspiring". Paying to be inspired, yeah ok, I get it. This goes smoothly into "it was a chance to get together with friends I don't normally get to see, and work paid for it".

If going to a conference is the only way to get time free from work to see your friends and peers then once again we have been tricked out of the technological future we were promised. The one where we weren't all so busy making computers do work for us that we had some leisure time beyond grabbing a coffee at lunch with the next start-up over.

The speakers are just a backdrop for the meetings in the corridors and bars. The solution to that is an Event not a Conference. Stop going to conferences, stop making conferences, stop flying people halfway around the world, putting them up in hotels and making them talk to 400 people in a room. Go to an event and talk with all 400 people in a room instead.

However...

**The tech conference should exist.**

That is what I believed for a long time. I stopped going to conferences, well the conferences itself, I've still gone to the location of a conference to meet my friends and hang out in the bar afterwards. Paid for the transport and hotel myself, and then caught up with the conference videos afterwards if available. Then worked out how to support the speakers by buying whatever it is they're selling, if anything.

No, this is what I realised.

A conference is a way to force a smart person hurtling forwards to stop and collect their thoughts by making them a speaker, otherwise they'd be too busy to record their own video or write a blog post.

Every conference speaker I've know has come out of a conference understanding themselves and what they are thinking about better then before they went in. Its been the same when I've spoken at conferences (which I've stopped doing now) the weeks beforehand gathering up all the threads of an idea or two, weaving it all together for a single point in time.

These brilliant minds, which often run along and beyond the bleeding edge need to be made to focus to raise them to the next level so we can all benefit.

We supplicate ourselves before our idols, allowing them to consume our energy and brain to evolve themselves further. And that is what conferences are for, because otherwise what use are they that we shouldn't have already solved with technology."
revdancatt  conferences  climatechange  2014  speakers  information  technology  canon  internet  money  waste 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Rev Dan Catt: Heros
"Each one is trying (I believe) to normalise a way of doing something that's currently outside of the mainstream, until hopefully it becomes the new normal. The things they are doing are things that I believe should and need to exist. I'll also get back to that in a moment.

So where's my interest?

Well, we homeschool (UK) here, Modesty (12), Zachary (8) and Isobel (6) for various reasons, but one of them is this: In the last 10 years the internet and the world because of it has changed so much but the school system hasn't really kept up."



"We're practicing Autonomous (or "child led learning") learning, which in theory is letting your children loose to learn whatever they feel like learning while you support them. Our reality is that it's a bit more like one of those toy pull back wind-up car. You pull them back filling them with energy, point them roughly in the direction you think they aught to be heading and release.

In this case Modesty was playing World of Warcraft as was just at the right age to watch The Guild, which led onto watching Felicia's own videos, I can still remember the cry of delight and "Felicia plays Skyrim too, her favorite bow is the same as mine!", which indirectly led to her cooking Skyrim Sweet Rolls after watching Rosanna Pansino make some on Nerdy Nummies. Really getting into board games, watching Amy Dallen talk about comics, Nika Harper talk about writing and video games and then later making cool weaponry from games.

In turn that leads to thoughts such as "Hey, I could be a blacksmith or weaponsmith, or a leather armorer. Time to hit up the library and YouTube". Which is pretty much not what happens at school. Also the (I think) fairly obvious decision to present the content not as "Women in games/comics/magic/technology", but just normalised as cool people talking about cool stuff is just lovely.

Which brings me back to the behind the camera stuff. Richard with his podcasts, plays and theater performances. Sinking a whole bunch of money into trying to make things work outside of the normal TV/Radio/Theater commisioning process, working towards another way of doing things, because that other way of doing things should be just as valid and possible as the "normal".

Leila, here and here making a magazine, podcasts, conferences and more because they are things that aught to exist. They are things that aught to be able to exist, to be funded, paid for, consumed as though they weren't alternatives to the mainstream but just a different part of the mainstream.

Felicia making full-on half hour (US TV "half-hour") TV programs but on YouTube, as thought that's just how it should be. And I've seen the promise of "TV on the internet" for very long time, and each time I watch someone attempt it I'm like "go on, this time, please let this be the one that finally survives and makes it work"

Because...

Because... I'm betting on "Home Schooling" or rather outside of the mainstream education system as a valid route for our children, and when they "leave" I need things like Richard's independent radio/podcast programs to have worked, Felicia's new company that she's spent so much time on getting set up to succeed, Leila to not burn through all her savings and make her way of publishing a magazine and so on, a perfectly acceptable and doable thing to do.

So that when our children are ready for the "world of work" that world is an interesting place and there are people in it I can point to as an example of how things can be done.

In short, I need heros."
revdancatt  2014  heros  feliciaday  leilajohnston  richardherring  cv  homeschool  unschooling  change  future  heroes  hopes  dreams  learning  howwelearn  parenting  television  youtube  creativity  games  gaming  publishing  education  schools  schooling  schooliness  funding  kickstarter  internet  online  markets  alternative  mainstream  pioneers  passion 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Rev Dan Catt: Yo
/ and other reasons I love @revdancatt
papernet  revdancatt  newspaperclub  yo 
june 2014 by straup
Zarch
"Just been reminded of my frankly awesome “Zarch/Virus” experiment [desktop, not mobile] http://revdancatt.github.io/CAT808-zarch/ :) which I must write about."
https://twitter.com/revdancatt/status/421649541394604032
revdancatt  topography  coding  webdev  webdesign 
january 2014 by robertogreco
The Guardian experiments with a robot-generated newspaper with The Long Good Read » Nieman Journalism Lab
"The Guardian has partnered with The Newspaper Club, a company that produces small-run DIY newspapers, to print The Long Good Read, a weekly print product that collects a handful of The Guardian’s best longform stories from the previous seven days. The Newspaper Club runs off a limited number of copies, which are then distributed at another Guardian experiment: a coffee shop in East London. That’s where, on Monday mornings, you’ll find a 24-page tabloid with a simple layout available for free."
guardian  journalism  design  revdancatt  via:tomtaylor  sparkfile 
december 2013 by sha
Minimum Viable Ur, modestly rebuilding Glitch an update of sorts.
"Since TinySpeck released a whole bunch of Glitch (the game) assets into the Public Domain I've been grabbing evenings here and there to see what I could build as a proof-of-HTML-version-concept. I always knew it was going to be rough and ready as I was travelling at speed, rather than being "proper".

I believe there's an actual proper attempt to revive the game, getting the server & client up and running over at ElevenGameMMO.

Meanwhile I've been aiming a lot lower. …"



"To keep things tidy and not to flood my personal blog too much I've set up a Dev Diary blog [http://blog.mvurxi.com/ ] and a twitter account @MVURXI to track updates and general MVURXI news."
glitch  revdancatt  MVURXI  tinyspeck  2013  github  socket.io  edg  srg 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Minimum Viable Ur, modestly rebuilding Glitch an update of sorts.
RT @revdancatt: Blogpost: “Minimum Viable Ur, modestly rebuilding Glitch an update of sorts.” in which I dump my brain about @MVURXI
glitch  revdancatt  archive 
december 2013 by straup
The Guardian experiments with a robot-generated newspaper with The Long Good Read » Nieman Journalism Lab
"The robot does the legwork, leaving an editor to pick and choose what stories work for the edition before handing the process off to a different robot. In this case, it’s The Newspaper Club’s ARTHR tool, a layout program that lets people feed in content from different sources, either links or individual text and images. Tom Taylor, head of engineering for The Newspaper Club, said they use a semi-automated version of ARTHR for The Long Good Read, which allows an editor to enter story links and lets the program develop the layout on its own.

It’s a human-robot workflow that makes putting together a customized newspaper a quick process. The Long Good Read is sent to the printer on Friday and delivered fresh on Monday, Taylor said. “It becomes possible to make a paper in an hour that you can put in a coffee shop and have 500 copies,” Taylor said."



"While technology has upended the traditional newspaper model, Taylor said it’s changed the economics in the favor of letting print lovers experiment with the medium. Things like The Newspaper Club aren’t meant to replace the traditional daily, but instead to see how the form can be customized and personalized, Taylor said. The appetite for reading longer, more in-depth articles exists, as well as the desire to get away from the screens we surround ourselves with, Taylor said. “I have no particular nostalgia for print. But I see it being very useful for certain things,” he said. “It does things you can’t do with a tablet or a screen.”"
revdancatt  newspaperclub  journalism  bots  theguardian  2013  jemimakiss  tomtaylor  design 
december 2013 by robertogreco

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