Christopher T. Miller

Bloggy blog blog

Posts

Context, Substitution, Walls, Boundaries

Our networked culture erases time-honored boundaries and robs us of context. Because of that lack of context, we engage in substitution.

Example: working from home erases the line between home life and work context. We often play a role at work which is not our whole self, it’s a sliver created to do the things which need doing within the culture of the company we work for. The way we are at work is not the usually way we like to be in our own homes.

When trying to work at home after hours or on the weekend, we find it difficult to be both people: the work-person and the home-person. We attempt to bridge the gap with substitution. We substitute affection with brief conversation, meaningful interaction with lists of things to do. Instead of enjoying time with our families, we get stuck in the productivity mindset. Is home about productivity? To produce…what, exactly? For whom? To what end, and who benefits?

We see this playing out across society, especially with knowledge workers.

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A Simpler Web

“There’s a key component of the original vision of Tim Berners-Lee’s Web that I glossed over, and one that may very well be at risk of fading away; HTML was designed to be written by people. Not programmers. Not programs. Not compilers. People. Actual, ordinary, every day people like the scientists at CERN, the cat lover in their basement, the burgeoning young author with controversial ideas, or the oppressed political activist fighting for freedom. People who have better and more important things to do than keep up to date with the latest hipster devstack trending on Hacker News. People for whom Twitter being blocked in their country or going down is more than a simple inconvenience.

“This was the whole point of the World Wide Web. Anybody could participate in content creation and it didn’t require any fancy tools, compilers, frameworks, IDE’s, social media accounts, private web services, closed-source software, or college degrees.”

Mark’s article about how we got where we are, and where we are going in the realm of web development is excellent. I remember much of what he is talking about, Mosaic, the browser wars, the rise Firefox, then Chrome, then the vary world of JavaScript frameworks.

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A Macroblogging Renaissance

I’ve recently come back to using Twitter and have been engaging some of my friends (@David, @Bridget) in conversation about the state of blogging. Over my time in web tech, I’ve embraced a number of values that often (it seems to me) run counter to the prevailing thoughts about publishing on the web. I’m going to run with those as I get back to putting words on the page.

Blogging has gotten more business-oriented since its inception. I suppose it was inevitable, but I was deeply saddened as people sharing the reality of their lives and having vibrant conversations shifted to “content generation” to “build your brand.” Business ruins things. It never fails.

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PyCon 2019

I’ll be attending Pycon this year. It’s being held in nearby Cleveland, OH, and I’m very excited not to have to use the crappy airlines to have to get to the hosting city. I feel bad for all you folks having to fly in. Airlines suck.

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The Workshop

I miss blogging.

Not the “promote your brand” blogging. Not the “build an audience” blogging. I miss the sort of blogging where people talked about their lives in a longer format. Where it was informal, you had nothing to prove – you were just sharing because it was a fun thing to do.

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