📑 Highlight of “Interviewing my digital domains”

Highlighted Chris Aldrich response to “Interviewing my digital domains” by wiobyrne (Digital Breadcrumbs)
Chris Aldrich used Hypothesis to annotate my post on Interviewing my digital domains.

Testing out the ability to more easily highlight content on the web and display it on my website using the Post Kinds Plugin. Typically a highlight wouldn’t include a textual note (like this), otherwise it would be considered marginalia or a general annotation. Perhaps I’ll get around to adding an annotation type shortly as well.

I’ve got an archive list of highlights now as well as a highlight feed.

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📑 Highlighted A Reply to Laying the Standards for a Blogging Renaissance by Aaron Davis

Highlighted Reply to Laying the Standards for a Blogging Renaissance by Aaron Davis by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (BoffoSocko)
I’m not looking for just a “hipster-web”, but a new and demonstrably better web.
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👓 Icon request: icon-highlighter (icon-marker) · Issue #2095 · FortAwesome/Font-Awesome | GitHub

Read Icon request: icon-highlighter (icon-marker) · Issue #2095 · FortAwesome/Font-Awesome (GitHub)
A representation of a highlighter, similar to the pencil. I would use this in my Whiteboard app. Could also be named "icon-marker"

There is nothing more awesome than looking for a piece of functionality you want in a product and finding that it has literally been built and released within the last day! Font Awesome FTW!

I may have to follow up on my threat to build a particular Post Kind for highlights on my website.

A link to the newly released icon.


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📺 “Goliath” Fresh Flowers | Amazon

Watched "Goliath" Fresh Flowers from Amazon
Directed by Dennie Gordon. With Billy Bob Thornton, Nina Arianda, Ana de la Reguera, Tania Raymonde. When Billy learns the name of the real shooter, he has to turn to the FBI to help him bring his elusive suspect in for questioning.

What a perverse group of wackos… A truly bizarre ending with H.R. Pufnstuf…

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📺 “Goliath” Politics | Amazon

Watched "Goliath" Politics from Amazon
Directed by Lawrence Trilling. With Billy Bob Thornton, Nina Arianda, Ana de la Reguera, Tania Raymonde. After a brutal loss, Billy decides to formally take on Julio Suarez's defense, but before he can go back to court, he has to get his team back together first.

Somewhat muddier plot than season one. This episode wasn’t as compelling…

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📺 "Goliath" La Mano | Amazon

Watched "Goliath" La Mano from Amazon
Directed by Lawrence Trilling. With Billy Bob Thornton, Ana de la Reguera, Tania Raymonde, Diana Hopper. Billy McBride is reluctantly pulled back into criminal defense when his friend's 16- year-old son is arrested for a double murder.

A seemingly slow start, but wow they sure do know how to close an episode and kill off stars.

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👓 Stonehenge builders used Pythagoras' theorem 2,000 years before Greek philosopher was born, say experts | The Telegraph

Read Stonehenge builders used Pythagoras' theorem 2,000 years before Greek philosopher was born, say experts  by Sarah Knapton (The Telegraph)
The builders of Britain’s ancient stone circles like Stonehenge were using Pythagoras' theorem 2,000 years before the Greek philosopher was born, experts have claimed.

I’ll be bookmarking the book described in this piece for later. The author doesn’t get into the specifics of the claim in the title enough for my taste. What is the actual evidence? Is there some other geometrical construct they’re using to come up with these figures that doesn’t involve Pythagoras?

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👓 The role of information theory in chemistry | Chemistry World

Read The role of information theory in chemistry by Philip Ball (Chemistry World)
Is chemistry an information science after all?

Discussion of some potential interesting directions for application of information theory to chemistry (and biology).

In the 1990s, Nobel laureate Jean-Marie Lehn argued that the principles of spontaneous self-assembly and self-organisation, which he had helped to elucidate in supramolecular chemistry, could give rise to a science of ‘informed matter’ beyond the molecule.

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👓 An Invisible Rating System At Your Favorite Chain Restaurant Is Costing Your Server | BuzzFeed

Read An Invisible Rating System At Your Favorite Chain Restaurant Is Costing Your Server by Caroline O'DonovanCaroline O'Donovan (BuzzFeed)
In data-hungry, tech-happy chain restaurants, customers are rating their servers using tabletop tablets, not realizing those ratings can put jobs at risk.

The lack of thought on behalf of these large restaurant chains is simply deplorable. If presented with a tablet or app like this at a restaurant, I’m simply going to get up and leave. I’ll actively boycott the use of such aggressive nonsense.

And Ziosk could be a roundabout way for employers to discriminate against employees. Employers are legally restricted from evaluating employees based gender, age, race, or appearance, according to Karen Levy, an assistant professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University — but nothing is stopping Ziosk users from doing that, even though those ratings can affect a worker’s pay or employment. “If you outsource that job to a consumer, you may be able to escape that,” she said.

“Customers who might discriminate against a certain class or group of workers can use the system to leave negative comments that would affect the workers,” said Cornell’s Ajunwa. She compared the restaurant system to student evaluations of professors, which determine the trajectory of their careers, and tend to be biased against women.

Having low scores posted for all coworkers to see was “very embarrassing,” said Steph Buja, who recently left her job as a server at a Chili’s in Massachusetts. But that’s not the only way customers — perhaps inadvertently — use the tablets to humiliate waitstaff. One diner at Buja’s Chili’s used Ziosk to comment, “our waitress has small boobs.”According to other servers working in Ziosk environments, this isn’t a rare occurrence.

This is outright sexual harrassment and appears to be actively creating a hostile work environment. I could easily see a class action against large chains and/or against the app maker themselves. Aggregating the data and using it in a smart way is fine, but I suspect no one in the chain is actively thinking about what they’re doing, they’re just selling an idea down the line. The maker of the app should be doing a far better job of filtering this kind of crap out and aggregating the data in a smarter way and providing a better output since the major chains they’re selling it to don’t seem to be capable of processing and disseminating what they’re collecting.

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Some thoughts on highlights and marginalia with examples

Earlier today I created a read post with some highlights and marginalia related to a post by Ian O’Bryne. In addition to posting it and the data for my own purposes, I’m also did it as a manual test of sorts, particularly since it seemed apropos in reply to Ian’s particular post. I thought I’d take a stab at continuing to refine my work at owning and controlling my own highlights, notes, and annotations on the web. I suspect that being able to better support this will also help to bring more self-publishing and its benefits to the halls of academe.

At present I’m relying on a PESOS solution to post on another site and syndicate a copy back to my own site. I’ve used Hypothesis, in large part for their fantastic UI and as well for the data transfer portion (via RSS and even API options), to own the highlights and marginalia I’ve made on the original on Ian’s site. Since he’s syndicated a copy of his original to Medium.com, I suppose I could syndicate copies of my data there as well, but I’m saving myself the additional manual pain for the moment.

Rather than send a dozen+ webmentions to Ian, I’ve bundling everything up in one post. He’ll receive it and it would default to display as a read post though I suspect he may switch it to a reply post for display on his own site. For his own use case, as inferred from his discussion about self-publishing and peer-review within the academy, it might be more useful for him to have received the dozen webmentions. I’m half tempted to have done all the annotations as stand alone posts (much the way they were done within Hypothesis as I read) and use some sort of custom microformats mark up for the highlights and annotations (something along the lines of u-highlight-of and u-annotation-of). At present however, I’ve got some UI concerns about doing so.

One problem is that, on my site, I’d be adding 14 different individual posts, which are all related to one particular piece of external content. Some would be standard replies while others would be highlights and the remainder annotations. Unless there’s some particular reason to do so, compiling them into one post on my site seems to be the most logical thing to do from my perspective and that of my potential readers. I’ll note that I would distinguish annotations as being similar to comments/replies, but semantically they’re meant more for my sake than for the receiving site’s sake. It might be beneficial for the receiving site to accept and display them (preferably in-line) though I could see sites defaulting to considering them vanilla mentions as a fallback.  Perhaps there’s a better way of marking everything up so that my site can bundle the related details into a single post, but still allow the receiving site to log the 14 different reactions and display them appropriately? One needs to not only think about how one’s own site looks, but potentially how others might like to receive the data to display it appropriately on their sites if they’d like as well. As an example, I hope Ian edits out my annotations of his typos if he chooses to display my read post as a comment.

One might take some clues from Hypothesis which has multiple views for their highlights and marginalia. They have a standalone view for each individual highlight/annotation with its own tag structure. They’ve also got views that target highlights/annotation in situ. While looking at an original document, one can easily scroll up and down through the entire page’s highlights and annotations. One piece of functionality I do wish they would make easier is to filter out a view of just my annotations on the particular page (and give it a URL), or provide an easier way to conglomerate just my annotations. To accomplish a bit of this I’ll typically create a custom tag for a particular page so that I can use Hypothesis’ search functionality to display them all on one page with a single URL. Sadly this isn’t perfect because it could be gamed from the outside–something which might be done in a classroom setting using open annotations rather than having a particular group for annotating. I’ll also note in passing that Hypothesis provides RSS and Atom feeds in a variety of ways so that one could quickly utilize services like IFTTT.com or Zapier to save all of their personal highlights and annotations to their website. I suspect I’ll get around to documenting this in the near future for those interested in the specifics.

Another reservation is that there currently isn’t yet a simple or standard way of marking up highlights or marginalia, much less displaying them specifically within the WordPress ecosystem. As I don’t believe Ian’s site is currently as fragmentions friendly as mine, I’m using links on the date/time stamp for each highlight/annotation which uses Hypothesis’ internal functionality to open a copy of the annotated page and automatically scroll down to the fragment as mentioned before. I could potentially see people choosing to either facepile highlights and/or marginalia, wanting to display them in-line within their text, or possibly display them as standalone comments in their comments section. I could also see people wanting to be able to choose between these options based on the particular portions or potentially senders. Some of my own notes are really set up as replies, but the CSS I’m using physically adds the word “Annotation”–I’ll have to remedy this in a future version.

The other benefit of these date/time stamped Hypothesis links is that I can mark them up with the microformat u-syndication class for the future as well. Perhaps someone might implement backfeed of comments until and unless Hypothesis implements webmentions? For fun, some of my annotations on Hypothesis also have links back to my copy as well. In any case, there are links on both copies pointing at each other, so one can switch from one to the other.

I could imagine a world in which it would be nice if I could use a service like Hypothesis as a micropub client and compose my highlights/marginalia there and micropub it to my own site, which then in turn sends webmentions to the marked up site. This could be a potential godsend to researchers/academics using Hypothesis to aggregate their research into their own personal online (potentially open) notebooks. In addition to adding bookmark functionality, I could see some of these be killer features in the Omnibear browser extension, Quill, or similar micropub clients.

I could also see a use-case for adding highlight and annotation kinds to the Post Kinds plugin for accomplishing some of this. In particular it would be nice to have a quick and easy user interface for creating these types of content (especially via bookmarklet), though again this path also relies on doing individual posts instead of a single post or potentially a collection of posts. A side benefit would be in having individual tags for each highlight or marginal note, which is something Hypothesis provides. Of course let’s not forget the quote post kind already exists, though I’ll have to think through the implications of that versus a slightly different semantic version of the two, at least in the ways I would potentially use them. I’ll note that some blogs (Colin Walker and Eddie Hinkle come to mind) have a front page that display today’s posts (or the n-most recent); perhaps I could leverage this to create a collection post of highlights and marginalia (keyed off of the original URL) to make collection posts that fit into my various streams of content. I’m also aware of a series plugin that David Shanske is using which aggregates content like this, though I’m not quite sure this is the right solution for the problem.

Eventually with some additional manual experimentation and though in doing this, I’ll get around to adding some pieces and additional functionality to the site. I’m still also interested in adding in some of the receipt/display functionalities I’ve seen from Kartik Prabhu which are also related to some of this discussion.

Is anyone else contemplating this sort of use case? I’m curious what your thoughts are. What other UI examples exist in the space? How would you like these kinds of reactions to look on your site?

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I was doing some reading and thinking about how one might translate the idea of blogging into Latin. I tried entering “I am blogging.” into Google translate just to see what would come out. Perhaps it’s just a glitch in their translation algorithm, but the response felt apropos to me.

A screen capture of Google Translate's attempt to translate "I am blogging." into Latin. It outputs "Ego nullam dolore."

“Ego nullam dolore.” translated back into English is “I have no pain.”

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👓 Interviewing my digital domains | W. Ian O’Byrne

Read Interviewing my digital domains by W. Ian O'ByrneW. Ian O'Byrne (W. Ian O'Bryne)

Alan Levine recently posted a series of questions to help others think through some of thoughts and motivations as we develop and maintain a domain of our own.

I’ve written a lot about this in the past, and I’ll try to include some links to content/posts as I respond to the prompts. This is a bit long as I get into the weeds, so consider yourself warned.

And now…let’s get to it…

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Having a domain is important to me as I research, develop, and teach.

example of a domain as thinking out loud or thought spaces
blogging as thinking

This should be a space where you can create the identity that you want to have. You can write yourself into existence.

I like this sentiment. Had René Descartes been born a bit later might he have said “Blogeō, ergo sum”?

Most of this work is focused on collaboration, transparency, and working/thinking in the open.

The plan is to use the site to share surveys, interviews, and researcher notes.

Note to self: I need to keep documenting examples of these open labs, open notebooks, etc. in the open science area.

teachers hid their Facebook accounts for fear of being fired.

The sound of this to me know reminds me of the type of suppression of thought that might have occurred in the middle ages. Of course open thought and discussion is important for teachers the same way it is for every other person. However there are a few potential counterexamples where open discussion of truly abhorrent ideas can run afoul of community mores. Case in point:


personal learning network perhaps marking it up with <abbr> tags would be useful here?





I feel like this culture in academia may be changing.

academia is built on the premise (IMHO) of getting a good idea, parlaying that into a job and tenure, and waiting for death. I’ve had a lot of colleagues and acquaintances ask why I would bother blogging. Ask why I share all of this content online. Ask why I’m not afraid that someone is going to steal my ideas.

Though all too true, this is just a painful statement for me. The entirety of our modern world is contingent upon the creation of ideas, their improvement and evolution, and their spreading. In an academic world where attribution of ideas is paramount, why wouldn’t one publish quickly and immediately on one’s own site (or anywhere else they might for that matter keeping in mind that it’s almost trivially easy to self-publish it on one’s own website nearly instantaneously)?
Early areas of science were held back by the need to communicate by handwriting letters as the primary means of communication. Books eventually came, but the research involved and even the printing process could take decades. Now the primary means of science communication is via large (often corporate owned) journals, but even this process may take a year or more of research and then a year or more to publish and get the idea out. Why not write the ideas up and put them out on your own website and collect more immediate collaborators? Funding is already in such a sorry state that generally, even an idea alone, will not get the ball rolling.
I’m reminded of the gospel song “This little light of mine” whose popular lyrics include:
“Hide it under a bushel? No! / I’m gonna let it shine” and
“Don’t let Satan blow it out, / I’m gonna let it shine”
I’m starting to worry that academia in conjunction with large corporate publishing interests are acting the role of Satan in the song which could easily be applied to ideas as well as to my little light.

Senior colleagues indicate that I should not have to balance out publishing in “traditional, peer-reviewed publications” as well as open, online spaces.

Do your colleagues who read your work, annotate it, and comment on it not count as peer-review? Am I wasting my time by annotating all of this? 🙂 (I don’t think so…)

or at least they pretend

I don’t think we’re pretending. I know I’m not!

PDF form

Let me know when you’re done and we’ll see about helping you distribute it in .epub and .mobi formats as e-books as well.

This is due to a natural human reaction to “Google” someone before we meet them for the first time. Before we show up to teach a class, take a class, interview for a job, go on a date…we’ve been reviewed online. Other people use the trail of breadcrumbs that we’ve left behind to make judgements about us. The question/challenge is that this trail of breadcrumbs is usually incomplete, and locked up in various silos. You may have bits of your identity in Facebook or Twitter, while you have other parts locked up in Instagram, Snapchat, or LinkedIn. What do these incomplete pieces say about you? Furthermore, are they getting the entire picture of you when they uncover certain details? Can they look back to see what else you’re interested in? Can they see how you think all of these interests fit together…or they seeing the tail end of a feverish bout of sharing cat pics?

I can’t help but think that doing this is a form of cultural anthropology being practiced contemporaneously. Which is more likely: someone a 100 years from now delving into my life via my personal website that aggregated everything or scholars attempting to piece it all back together from hundreds of other sites? Even with advanced AI techniques, I think the former is far more likely.
Of course I also think about what @Undine is posting about cats on Twitter or perhaps following #marginaliamonday and cats, and they’re at least taking things to a whole new level of scholarship.

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

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📺 "Goliath" Cover Your Ass | Amazon

Watched "Goliath" Cover Your Ass from Amazon
Directed by Anthony Hemingway. With Billy Bob Thornton, William Hurt, Maria Bello, Olivia Thirlby. As both sides begin their depositions, more secrets start to come to the surface, threatening to destroy everyone involved.
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👓 Yarns v. Microsub | Jack Jamieson

Read Yarns v. Microsub? (Thinking out loud) by Jack JamiesonJack Jamieson (jackjamieson.net)
I’ve been slowly making some improvements to my Yarns Indie Reader for WordPress, and also seeing very impressive development of other IndieWeb readers such as Together, Indigenous, and Monocle.  These three readers all rely on Microsub, which splits the work of building a reader into two parts: ...

Just the fact that someone is contemplating building a microsub server for WordPress warms the cockles of my heart. This is definitely going to be the year of some fantastic new technology on the feed reader scene!

Having just run into Jan Cavan Boulas at WordCamp Orange County and talking with her about her relatively recent redesign of WordPress.com’s reader, I’d be curious to see what she and others might be able to do for a WordPress reader built on top of a solid microsub server.

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Errors on update to 3.8.0

Filed an Issue dshanske/syndication-links (GitHub)
Add and Display Syndication Links

After updating to the most recent version 3.8.0 of Semantic Linkbacks I’m getting the following error in the Comments sections of both posts and pages:

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in htdocs/blog/wp-content/plugins/semantic-linkbacks/includes/class-linkbacks-walker-comment.php on line 25

It seems to be throwing the error the same number of times that there are comments on the post. Additionally the comments section is showing both the raw mentions and facepiled versions. I’ll have to test some additional posts, but it also seems to have changed some mentions that were previously moderated out to now be showing.

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