Reply to Gutenberg: First Impressions | MattCromwell.com

Gutenberg: First Impressions by Matt Cromwell (MattCromwell.com)
Gutenberg is the future of content in WordPress. It will deliver the elegance of Medium but with far more power and flexibility of layouts and content types

I love how this looks and works and it’s certainly about time that WordPress had alternate means of publishing to its platform. (I miss the days when Twitter had thousands of different configurable apps to post to it, though these were far simpler.)

Not only does it remind me a bit of Medium.com’s interface, it is highly reminiscent of Aaron Parecki’s Quill editor which uses the open Micropub spec to publish to the Micropub endpoint on my blog. Though his isn’t as fully featured as the Gutenberg example, he could certainly add to it, but then it could be used to publish to any site that supports the spec.

A sample of the Quill interface for posting to WordPress via Micropub.

The nice part about Micropub (and the fact that there’s already a Micropub plugin for WordPress) is that developers can build multiple competing publishing interfaces to publish to any website out there. (Or developers could even build custom publishing interfaces for their clients.)

In fact, if they wanted to do a highly valuable pivot, Medium.com could add publishing via Micropub to their platform and really become the billionaire’s typewriter that some have suggested it to be.

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📖 Read pages 16-55 of A Mind at Play by Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman

📖 Read pages 16-55 of A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman

Knowing that I’ve read a lot about Shannon and even Vannevar Bush over the years, I’m pleasantly surprised to read some interesting tidbits about them that I’ve not previously come across.  I was a bit worried that this text wouldn’t provide me with much or anything new on the subjects at hand.

I’m really appreciating some of the prose and writing structure, particularly given that it’s a collaborative work between two authors. At times there are some really nonstandard sentence structures, but they’re wonderful in their rule breaking.

They’re doing an excellent job so far of explaining the more difficult pieces of science relating to information theory. In fact, some of the intro was as good as I think I’ve ever seen simple explanations of what is going on within the topic. I’m also pleased that they’ve made some interesting forays into topics like eugenics and the background role it played in the story for Shannon.

They had a chance to do a broader view of the history of computing, but opted against it, or at least must have made a conscious choice to leave out Babbage/Lovelace within the greater pantheon. I can see narratively why they may have done this knowing what is to come later in the text, but a few sentences as a nod would have been welcome.

The book does, however, get on my nerves with one of my personal pet peeves in popular science and biographical works like this: while there are reasonable notes at the end, absolutely no proper footnotes appear at the bottoms of pages or even indicators within the text other than pieces of text with quotation marks. I’m glad the notes even exist in the back, but it just drives me crazy that publishers blatantly hide them this way. The text could at least have had markers indicating where to find the notes. What are we? Animals?

Nota bene: I’m currently reading an advanced reader copy of this; the book won’t be out until mid-July 2017.

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📗 Started reading A Mind at Play by Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman

📖 Read pages i-16 of A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman

A great little introduction and start to what portends to be the science biography of the year. The book opens up with a story I’d heard Sol Golomb tell several times. It was actually a bittersweet memory as the last time I heard a recounting, it appeared on the occasion of Shannon’s 100th Birthday celebration in the New Yorker:

In 1985, at the International Symposium in Brighton, England, the Shannon Award went to the University of Southern California’s Solomon Golomb. As the story goes, Golomb began his lecture by recounting a terrifying nightmare from the night before: he’d dreamed that he was about deliver his presentation, and who should turn up in the front row but Claude Shannon. And then, there before Golomb in the flesh, and in the front row, was Shannon. His reappearance (including a bit of juggling at the banquet) was the talk of the symposium, but he never attended again.

I had emailed Sol about the story, and became concerned when I didn’t hear back. I discovered shortly after that he had passed away the following day.

nota bene: I’m currently reading an advanced reader copy of this; the book won’t be out until mid-July 2017.

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Checkin Cross Campus Old Pasadena

Cross Campus Old Pasadena

Innovate Pasadena: Valerie Alexander on “How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace”

Sadly, based on the general attendance in comparison to typical weeks and someone who asked new people to raise their hands, there was a terrible turnout of the “regulars” and the majority of those there were first-timers. I’m not sure if it was the timing with the beginning of Summer or perhaps the title of the topic that scared the usual crowds away, but one thing is clear. THEY REALLY MISSED OUT! I’ve been to half a dozen or so of these coffees, and hundreds of presentations in this genre and this was easily one of the best I’ve ever seen.

I’ve written a separate post on some of the detais… It was that good!

Valerie Alexander at Innovate Pasadena

Cross Campus, Pasadena, California, United States of America

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📺 The Bridge S1, E3-5 (FX)

The Bridge, Season 1 Episodes 3 - 5 from FX
When a body is found on the bridge connecting El Paso and Juarez, two detectives, one from the United States and one from Mexico, must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the border.

Things have gotten a bit better in these next few episodes. Some of the characters still seem awfully disjointed and I’m still waiting to see where it goes.

There are a few interesting plot points, so I suppose I may as well continue on, but I’m really hoping for some great pay-off in the final two episodes.

I’ve also just noticed the production years, so I can’t hold out too much hope for a series that went two years and disappeared.

📺 The Bridge S1, E1 & E2 (FX)

The Bridge, Season 1 Episodes 1 & 2 from FX
When a body is found on the bridge connecting El Paso and Juarez, two detectives, one from the United States and one from Mexico, must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the border.

An interesting little series. I was kind of hoping it was going to be the Denmark/Sweden version, but I suppose Shine’s Americanized version will have to suffice for now.

There are some interesting and quirky characters and some generally good acting. I’m not sure why I should care about Sonya Cross. Though there is a short mention that her sister died, it isn’t really explored at all. Some better earlier character development would have helped.

The first two episodes, though only an hour long seemed to drag on forever and don’t seem to go anywhere. I’ll try a few more before potentially giving up.

Watched on Hulu.com.