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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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.

Frankenstein and Sappho are served up. anarchist lit in the deep fryer

The literary scene on Cardano is building infrastructure. So if you hear jackhammers in the distance, pardon the noise. That sound is just a handful of people getting up at (or staying up to) wee hours to turn your wallet into a bookshelf.

A couple weeks ago I published 10 million copies of Frankenstein as a fungible token (FT) on Cardano. The following morning I had a great opportunity to talk about it in the Tokhun Breakfast Twitter Space hosted by Tokhun’s community manager CardanoNoodz. And there was someone else listening with similar ideas.

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Frankenstein: or, Formatting a 200+ year old manuscript for the web

You can tell when you read old books that people used to have longer attention spans, and there was nary a screen to read from. Many of the paragraphs are very long, to the point where many pages look like walls of text.

Reading something displayed on a screen is very different from reading something printed on paper. A screen makes white by emitting a full spectrum of light, and a lot of it. If you’re like me and look at a screen all day, you know all too well what chronic eye strain feels like.

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publishing my own version of Frankenstein on Cardano

I’m extraordinarily pleased to say I’ve learned the trick to making the HTML NFTs display with all CSS styling intact in Pool.pm.

This has been a thorn in my side since I started doing this, and the answer was under my nose the whole time. It took a conversation with @ThisCrazyLife to figure out the issue, and he’s earned a lifetime subscription to dark mode press’s future classic lineup for this service.

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[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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what Cardano FTs mean for the dissemination of knowledge

Cardano NOODZ has been working hard to start what I think is the most incredible project on Cardano — The Alexandria Project.

Here is its library collection so far, covering multiple topics. It might look like another web page with grid of image thumbnails on it. But what you’re looking at is part of the future of publishing.

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why I’m moving the Love Machine project to Tezos

After long and careful deliberation, I’ve made a decision about the future of Love Machine. After I finish and mint the remaining NFTs in Shorts #2 (there will be 13 singles in total) I will not mint any more Love Machine collections on Cardano until something is done to streamline and decentralize verification.

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