The Newsletter Leaf Journal 92
Welcome to the 92nd edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. This week featured our fourth appearance on page one of Hacker News as well as four new articles and a number of leaflets. Below, we will recap the week that was at The New Leaf Journal along with interesting links from around the web and other news and notes.
Table of Contents
- Leaves From The Week That Was
- Leaves From Around The Web
- The Old Leaf Journal
- Most-Turned Leaves Of The Newsletter Week
- Notable Leaf Journal
- News Leaf Journal
- Taking Leaf
1. Leaves From The Week That Was
I published four new articles since I mailed the previous newsletter. All four of the articles this week were substantive essays following a distinct theme.
- Digital Purchases as Indefinite Rentals | N.A. Ferrell | July 10, 2022 | Summary: A long look at the perils of digital stores that sell digital wares that the buyers never truly own.
- Against Twitter as a Content Curator | N.A. Ferrell | July 11, 2022 | Summary: A kernel of truth in a satirical article about the ongoing Musk-Twitter saga inspired me to write a spiritual successor to my 2021 article on RSS as a Facebook alternative.
- Fediverse Clone Wars and Decentralized Social Media | N.A. Ferrell | July 12, 2022 | Summary: Is decentralized social media that retains the core functionality of popular proprietary social media the best answer to the ills of social media?
- Emojis, Corporations, and Censorship | N.A. Ferrell | July 13, 2022 | Summary: On the downstream effects of decentralized emoji depictions.
I published seven new leaflet microposts over the last week.
I will cover my most recent Leaflet first. While searching for an image for my emoji-censorship essay, I came across a set of "pharaoh smilies." I documented my archeological find in a Leaflet.
I have made use of our Leaflet section to write about unusual search engines that pop up in our logs. This week, it was the turn of Becovi Search. If you search for Becovi, you will come up with many links alleging that it is malware. I worked to get to the bottom of the matter. Three days later, I covered a small social network called Mokum which similarly appeared in my logs.
Continuing on my tech essay theme, I discussed an interesting blog post on social media content consumption.
Finally, turning to an NBA dispute that began in 1985, I questioned why anyone would believe Michael Jordan's account of an otherwise undocumented slight when he bragged about inventing slights to motivate himself in a documentary that he produced.
I will reserve two Leaflets for later in the newsletter.
2. Leaves From Around The Web
Let's see what's happening around the world wide web...
- The Value of Parentheticals in Statutes and the Constitution | Josh Blackman for the Volokh Conspiracy | July 13, 2022 | Quote: "I think about the text of the Constitution, but I never paid attention to the Framers' use of parentheticals."
- Here are the best ways to kill roaches, according to Japanese experts, and some ways to avoid | Dale Roll for SoraNews24 | July 15, 2022 | Spoiler: Do not vacuum.
- FBI and DHS confirm they are buying Chinese drones despite security concerns | Jerry Dunleavy for the Washington Examiner | July 15, 2022 | Comment: What could I possibly add?
- Our Problems Aren't Procedural | Tanner Greer for City Journal | July 14, 2022 | Thoughts: An interesting essay responding to a take on social media by Mr. Jonathan Haidt. It was an interesting read in part because I addressed some of the same issues earlier in the week in my own essay on Twitter - which highlights points with which I agree and disagree with the takes of both Mr. Haidt and Mr. Greer.
- Ask HN: How have you deGoogled your life? | Internxt posting to Hacker News | July 15, 2022 | Thoughts: While some of the suggestions are self-serving (the poster, Internxt, runs a cloud storage service), the thread includes interesting responses with ideas for alternatives to Google services (albeit, not too many that I use in my own work).
- 10% of the Top 1 Million Sites are Dead | Craig Campbell on his website | July 14, 2022 | Thoughts: Maybe I need to work on a series of posts about archiving internet content.
- How the Eyüpsultan district of Turkey uses GNU/Linux | Devin Ulibarri for the Free Software Foundation | June 21, 2022 | Description: The story of how a local government in Turkey developed a free and open source Linux distribution and implemented it for municipal services.
- Victor V. Gurbo's 'Big Blue World Blues' Live at City Lore (Jeremy Ain & Victor V. Gurbo) | Victor V. Gurbo on YouTube | Leaflet link: I covered the newest music video post from Victor in a Leaflet.
3. The Old Leaf Journal
Let's dig into our archive...
- The Great Suspender and Twitter Stardom | N.A. Ferrell | September 24, 2020 | Thoughts: We had a brush with Twitter success in September 2020. The number of views we received already looked quaint by February 2021, but I thought this would be a timely Old Leaf Journal entry given the content (and events) of the last week.
- Quarantine Session: Cash's Folsom Prison Blues | V. Gurbo | February 20, 2021 | Thoughts: Victor's post on Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues - along with his and fellow Brooklyn musician Mark Caserta's rendition of the song.
- The Model and the Model Maker | N.A. Ferrell | July 22, 2020 | Recollections: My emoji essay included a high school recollection, so I thought that it would be a good Old Leaf Journal to refer back to a 2020 article wherein I retold a different recollection involving different dramatic personae.
- Reviewing 'Rashomon and Other Stories' | N.A. Ferrell | March 6, 2021 | Thoughts: In one of this week's essays, I discussed the dangers of DRM-protected digital purchases that the buyer never truly owns. In March 2021, I reviewed one such purchase, a very good Kindle edition of a collection of short stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (fortunately, I do not think it is in danger of being removed from my library).
4. Most-Turned Leaves Of The Newsletter Week
I list our most-visited articles of the previous week in each newsletter. In keeping with our newsletter schedule, these “Newsletter Weeks” begin with Saturday and end on Friday. The statistics come courtesy of our local and privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics - which I reviewed on site. The week of July 9-15 was the 28th Newsletter Week of 2022.
|1||What is Becovi Search?||NAF||7.10.22||1 (1)|
|2||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||28 (19)|
|3||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)||NAF||11.27.21||28 (7)|
|4||The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 - Statistics and Analysis||NAF||1.18.22||1|
|5||Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)||NAF||7.5.21||25|
This week's Leaflet micropost on Becovi Search made a strange appearance on page one of Hacker News. While its performance was not as dramatic as the two Leaflets that appeared on page 1 in May, it was more than enough to make my Becovi post the fourth article to top a weekly ranking in 2022. The only other notable in our weekly top five was my January 2022 study of Pokémon stats in generations 1 and 2. In light of the fact that the Pokémon article finished our previous three monthly rankings in 13th, 9th, and 6th place, it is more surprising that it had not yet notched a weekly top five than that it is making its first appearance.
5. Notable Leaf Journal
In 2021, Victor V. Gurbo wrote an article about why vintage guitars sound better than new guitars. One of the reasons he offered is, and I quote, "[I]t's the wood, bro." But where can you learn about the wood that goes into guitars and all sorts of other structures and contraptions? May I refer you to The Wood Database, a comprehensive searchable online resource featuring more than 500 kinds of wood and many advanced search parameters. Whether you are building your next home, making a guitar, or just generally curious about the crushing strength of different varieties of wood, this resource will most likely have the answers that you are looking for.
6. News Leaf Journal
The New Leaf Journal did not see any changes in the last week, and the main news event was the appearance of my Becovi Search post on page one of Hacker News. I did note that too many visitors from Hacker News (through a comparison of page views for the Becovi article and total page views on the day) only came for one article. This prompted me to think about how to organize the site to make it easier for people who land on one article to find more articles that interest them. I also think the About Page may be due for an update - it has not seen any substantial revisions since April 2021. Beyond that, I am still working on building out our Resources section to make The New Leaf Journal more useful and searchable for visitors.
7. Taking Leaf
Thank you as always for reading The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and are not already a subscriber, you can sign up via email or add our newsletter's RSS feed to your favorite feed reader. I also syndicate the newsletter to Bear Blog along with other New Leaf Journal articles, and that blog also has an Atom feed.
Until July 23,
Cura ut valeas.
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