CSPAN meets YouTube


(Business Insider) “A new site called Digital Democracy aims to help voters hold their elected officials accountable by making local government hearings searchable by speaker and subject. You can think of the platform like CSPAN meets YouTube. […] A bot makes daily transcripts of state senate and assembly hearings. It uses facial recognition to monitor who’s talking. Users can see legislators’ financial ties on the platform, and easily share video clips on social media. […] Users can look up hearings by date, topic, speaker, or committee. Or if you want to hear a specific speaker, the video will automatically jump to the point when that person starts talking.”

“Digital Democracy only posts footage from hearings in New York and California right now (the nonprofit launched the platform in California in 2015, and it became available in New York in February). But Blakeslee says that his team hopes to eventually expand the platform nationwide.”

Will we see a day when I can tell my personal AI to find everything my state rep says on topic XYZ? (Sound of thousand of tiny cockroach feet scurrying from kitchen light)

WordPress Media Library

The screencast below is about one of the under-the-hood features of WordPress. So it’s going to be of zero interest to anyone who doesn’t have (or has had) a blog or website using WordPress as the content management system.

WP is great for searching. I have 5,000 posts going back 15 years but if I can remember a word or phrase, WP will find all references in a matter of seconds. If you include media (photo, video, audio) with your post, WP puts it in the Media Library. I had more than 1,600 pieces of media in my library but I couldn’t search because I hadn’t taken the time to give the media a useful name or any other metadata. This 6 minute screencast shows how I cleaned that up and why.

As I’ve experimented with various online tools for managing media (iCloud, Google Photos, Flickr), I’ve found myself drawn back to my WordPress blog. Let me hasten to point out almost nobody visits my blog. That’s been true since the beginning. It’s always been more journal/archive.

But when I put images online, I try do so in some context. If I have 50 photos of my mother as a young woman, I’d rather include those (as a slideshow or gallery) as part of blog post that might include links to other posts and images. You get the idea.

For me, the stories behind the images (if I know them) are as important as the images themselves. A blog works well for this. And because it is self-hosted, I don’t have to worry that Yahoo! or Google or Facebook might one day kill it.

23 Emotions people feel, but can’t explain

  • Sonder: The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.
  • Opia: The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
  • Monachopsis: The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
  • Énouement: The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.
  • Vellichor: The strange wistfulness of used bookshops.
  • Rubatosis: The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.
  • Kenopsia: The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.
  • Mauerbauertraurigkeit: The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.
  • Jouska: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.
  • Chrysalism: The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.
  • Vemödalen: The frustration of photographic something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.
  • Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening
  • Ellipsism: A sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out.
  • Kuebiko: A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence.
  • Lachesism: The desire to be struck by disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire.
  • Exulansis: The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.
  • Adronitis: Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone
  • Rückkehrunruhe: The feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness.
  • Nodus Tollens: The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.
  • Onism: The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time.
  • Liberosis: The desire to care less about things.
  • Altschmerz: Weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had – the same boring flaws and anxieties that you’ve been gnawing on for years.
  • Occhiolism: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.

Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows