I was born in Peoria, Illinois Peoria is situated in the Illinois River Valley. The hilly landscape is beautiful and the Rust Belt vibes are strong.
and currently live in Turin, Italy.Turin is a peculiar city in the foothills of the Alps. It is part aristocratic and part post-industrial. The myriad of local businesses are a joy to discover.
The interim years were spent in Iowa → Chicago → New York City → Berlin, Germany.
I spent the majority of my life working as an artist, a college professor, and a software engineer. My curiosity drives my research, which focuses on the structure and transmission of information, the social impact of technology, digital art, and the nature of computation.
How I Read
I always have my nose in far too many books. I prefer eBooks because I often search through my highlights. Furthermore, eInk readers are generally lighter and more ergonomic to use with one hand. They are also a joy to read in daylight and in darkness.
But the vast majority of eBooks are locked down and distributed in a way that is hostile to both authors and readers. I’ll write more about this in the future. In the meantime, here are a few ethical sources for eBooks:
- Leanpub empowers authors and makes the experience joyful for readers.
- Standard eBooks embody the care and attention that classic books deserve.
- Tricycle distributes wonderful books on Buddhism.
With a Little Help From My Friends
I read blogs and periodicals using an RSS/Atom reader, Feedly. RSS is a much better way to get your news than social media sites. I also use it to keep track of my friend’s writings. Here’s a list of friends by subject category - each ordered by how often they post.
- The Art of Living: Khurram Naik, The Compass Needle, Meanwhile, Back in Peoria
- Computing and the Humanities: Knowing and Doing, Veit Heller, esoteric.codes, Modulo Lotus, Daniel Bachler, John Jacobsen
- Programming: Jessitron, Matt Horan’s Blog, See Spot Code
- Music & Art: Esthetic Lens, Martina Della Valle, Travelogue by Jon Sonnenberg, Sharon Hoyer @ Streetsblog and Newcity Stage, Nathan Woleck, South Street Dungeon
How I Do My Computing
This entry is inspired by Richard Stallman’s How I Do My Computing
My family’s first computer was a Texas Instruments 99/4a (pictured above).I was quite young so all of my time was spent playing games. It was my introduction to BASIC - every TI booted with the programming language as an option. Some of the software available for the 99 4/a. From 99er.
My grandparents found one at a drastically reduced price during the “home computer wars” circa 1984. Computers have been central to my art practice and intellectual discourse ever since. Here’s how it looks today.
I use an Apple iPhone as a smartphone. I never owned a tablet.
What I Do On My Computer
Most work begins as text. Lots of research and writing - uncovering concepts, having conversations, and connecting ideas. The work manifests on the web as experiences that span text, music, and video.
I live in Emacs and Weechat. The vast majority of what I do on my computer is manipulate text. I switched back to text tools a few years ago. I found that it helps me focus. Since the software is built for text input, they are also much faster to use than mouse-driven programs. It’s simple math: ten digitsWell, nine fingers since the spacebar occupies two thumbs.
vs. one pointer.
Messaging: Weechat gets me to Slack, IRC, Google Chat, Twitter, and Mastodon. So that’s where I spend most of my time. On mobile I prefer Signal, but can also be found on iMessage and Whatsapp.Large proprietary services running on closed protocols introduce a number of concerns. My current response is to limit their use and encourage others to move to better solutions.
Beyond the Frame was established on Tumblr in 2011. The service, established in 2007, was experiencing significant growth and featured my humble blog, which made me pretty popular for awhile. I’ll import those old posts to this version of the blog in due time.
The current website is a collection of thoughts that cover strategies for #doing, the #humanities, #personal updates, #science and informatics, the #suchness of knowledge, and #tools for thinking. It was made using:
I stole ideas from:
- Brutalist Web Design by David Bryant Copeland
- Everyday Information Architecture by Lisa Maria Marquis
- Tom MacWright
- Martin Kavalar