in post

1 June 2021

I spent a while reading Gemlogs yesterday in Lagrange, which offers a good reader experience, and makes it easy to find content. I still didn't figure out how to do a couple of essential things, like make bookmarks. Gemini seems a little too niche, for my liking. Rather than adopt a solution like abandoning the WWW entirely, I think we should be playing our part in making it a more pleasing environment, by reducing all of the accretions that make it intolerable, like trackers, excessive java-script, pop-up windows and the rest. And the best designs always tend to be the simplest, or at least attempt to mimic simplicity.

As a blog, Dave Winer's simple-looking interface in Scripting News is one of my favorites. The width and line height of the text, the color for links, the unobtrusive illustrations, are all easy on the eye. And there is no distracting metadata. The outline and bookmark features are just additional niceties. On the other hand, I checked the site at and Scripting News gets a score of 70, for a size of 5.6 MB and 86 requests. By comparison, my WP site currently gets a score of 82, with 1.2 MB and 28 requests. I will look into reducing that when I get around to changing the theme. I may eventually decide to use something other than WordPress, but so far I haven't found a system of conversion that works for me, and I may even decide one day that I want to place it all back on a free blog on, if for some reason I find I'm no longer able to self-host, but wish to preserve it over the long-term.

Nah, couldn't be. Don't be silly.



Pacific Plunder: this is who profits from the mass extraction of the region’s natural resources the Guardian

The extraction of valuable resources from across the Pacific has made companies billions but comes at a sometimes catastrophic cost

Facebook battles reputation crisis in the Middle East nbcnews
Facebook is grappling with a reputation crisis in the Middle East, with plummeting approval rates and advertising sales in Arab countries, according to leaked documents obtained by NBC News.
“Users are feeling that they are being censored, getting limited distribution, and ultimately silenced,” one Facebook senior software engineer said.

‘A kind of rat with thorns’: the comic book busting myths about the Madras hedgehog | Wildlife | The Guardian
Nice story about someone who is passionate about hedgehogs in southern #India.

Why Arabs are so powerless in front of Israel Scroll

Israelis have long known that the brain will rule over brawn, a fact that some Arab rulers are only just discovering.

Well... Israel has a mediocre school system and teachers' salaries are notoriously low. Palestinians are just as smart as Israelis, but if everyone is so smart, why do we even have an intractable conflict? Wrong notions, scars from the past, distrust, fears, zealotry, ethnocentrism, group allegiances, politics.

Pleading for Stallman Scripting News

I got an email from Richard Stallman thanking me for standing up for him. In turn, I thanked him for his many contributions, and for politely telling the people who wanted to destroy him to fuck off. We need more people to refuse to go away just because an internet mob demands it of them.

Poacher suspected of killing 70 Bengal tigers captured after 20-year pursuit the Guardian

India mosque demolition: report filed on Muslim leaders false, court finds
The Guardian

Barabanki district authorities had accused them of forging documents leading to illegal construction

Senior figures attack ‘obstruction’ of ICC’s Palestine investigation The Guardian

Exclusive: Open letter signed by dozens of European ex-officials calls for end to ‘unwarranted public criticism’ of inquiry into alleged war crimes

Israel rolls back army chief comments on AP’s ‘coffee with Hamas’ Al Jazeera

In an article published on the website of Israel’s Channel 12 news over the weekend, the military chief of staff, Lieutenant-General Aviv Kohavi, was quoted as saying “the building was destroyed justly” and he did not have a “gram of regret”.