sentence surgery: hybridizing Darwin’s On the Origin of Species

Darwin’s sentences are tedious. Many of his paragraphs are hideously long, complex sentences that are really multiple complete sentences and useless filler words and phrases strung together with semicolons, colons, commas, or some combination.

This material is not the easiest to understand to begin with. And complex ideas need to be presented clearly and concisely as possible. So I’m breaking down sentences as well as paragraphs, and this time changing much more punctuation than I have in the others.

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finishing Love Machine Shorts #2 with 4th grade art materials

I’m starting over another problematic composition from Love Machine Shorts #2 for the third time. But on paper, because my tablet stopped working. Or the cable. Whatever … I can’t get the power to stay on. (Weirdly, something similar happened while I was drawing Shorts #1 a few months ago.)

It’s not in my budget to replace my tablet right now. So this time, I’m going to finish it old school. And since I gave all my paint (except white) and brushes to my sister, I’m down to paper of various types, white acrylic paint, Crayola markers, and colored pencils. So it’s really more like elementary school.

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what to do with the index? formatting On the Origin of Species (Charles Darwin)

By now, I’ve downloaded a number of public domain books in plain vanilla ASCII. Although I’m sure of the next three books I’ll be turning into web books under my dark mode label, I’m no closer to nailing down a publication schedule for the next three months than I was a few weeks ago.

I’m getting into the sinewy meat of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and have encountered a beastly index that, in Google Docs, is 47 pages long. And it uses the original page numbers as HTML bookmark links to the item locations in the text.

That’s a problem. For one thing, there are no page numbers anymore. Each chapter will be its own HTML document and every part is equidistant from the home page by means of the menu. Kind of like a dandelion that doesn’t blow seeds all over your lawn.

Plus, ballparking the number of entries to be 450-500, I realized it would take roughly eleventy-thousand hours I don’t have to locate each reference, assign it a unique ID, and link it with corresponding anchor text. That’s a lot of added code, making the file sizes bigger when I need to keep as small as possible to accommodate images.

And for what? Three point six people who might glance at the index?

So what am I supposed to do with 47 pages of index when I can’t justify putting that much extra time into it?

Ockham’s Razor is my go-to when I encounter a challenge like this. My thoughts usually gravitate towards function. If a thing X exists, it must have a function.

Why is the index there in the first place? Is there a better solution now than there was when the index was invented?

Indices allow the reader faster access to specific topics in the text. Which is really useful in a book like On the Origin of Species that talks about a vast array of species, scientific terms and principles, other writings, etc. But readers don’t need the index when they’re already reading the book in a browser. If they want to look something up, they’re one search away from the world’s library of publicly available information on the matter.

So long, index.

Eventually I’ll wind up publishing something I can’t leave the index out of. But now I have time to imagine what that looks like in Pub3. Probably not so linear.

[publishing] just minted a 4-page HTML album. Now what?

Since I successfully minted an article as HTML, I’ve been working on list of formats I want to test. Thursday I minted my first “album” of 04 variants from my Atmofear Destroyed collection on Tezos. A four-page website with a home page, two gallery pages, and an About page.

This is web design, but it’s not like designing a normal website. All the files are stored on IPFS and being served from a p2p network. HTTPS protocol serves content from a central source, and browsers are built on HTTPS. The two protocols don’t always play nicely together.

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[publishing 3.0] trying to mint a website as an NFT on Cardano

I haven’t posted for a little while because I’ve gone down a creative rabbit hole trying to do something hard and have forgotten about the physical world. The one where I have to eat and talk to people and stuff.

So my brain is flickering with various types of code and what I’m trying to do hinges on a tenuous relationship between IPFS protocol and HTTPS-oriented browsers that don’t recognize it or know how to handle it properly yet. When there’s full browser support for this, it will all be easier.

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