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Hi, I'm Justin. I'm an editor and researcher in York, North Yorkshire. This summer, I finished a PhD on urban infrastructure and “appropriateness”, based on fieldwork in Gujarat. I'm currently working with some artists on a sprawling archival/publishing project, while (slowly) figuring out post-PhD life.

Other interests: architecture, weird objects & interfaces, walking, painting, fractious arguments about degrowth, documenting the slow but inexorable decline of the UK.

Kyiv city workers repairing water pipes on Tuesday, using an emergency vehicle’s generator to power lights and a welding torch. (David Guttenfelder) 🔒nytimes.com/2022/11/30/world/e

Joking about decorating the (as-yet unbought) dehumidifer for Christmas.

Collecting a parcel earlier today, the postmaster had to scan my phone with his own, which reminded me of this Chris Xu essay on the power dynamics of QR code scanning in 2010s China. 📲

medium.com/@xuhulk/are-you-sca

Music, 1970s, West Yorkshire 

'The teenager lives in Hebden Bridge, a small town just west of Leeds caught in a moment of transition. It’s not yet become associated with the queer community and the hippies; it is, however, in the throes of industrial decline following the closure of Acre Mill, the local asbestos processing factory.'

daily.bandcamp.com/album-of-th

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Music, 1970s, West Yorkshire 

Guardian piece on forgotten folk blues guitarist Trevor Beales, upon the release of an album of recordings made in his West Yorshire attic bedroom in the early 1970s.

'Trevor’s departure from Hebden [Bridge] coincided with its emergence as a musical epicentre; hippies were lured there by cheap property, empty buildings to squat and beautiful landscapes known for their magic mushroom fertility.'

theguardian.com/music/2022/nov

When the Discord tech unconference clashes with the 3D printed ceramic beer stein launch event.

Illustrated feature on how Britain's stock handles thermal comfort (or doesn't). The example terraced house is basically identical to our own, but I'd struggle to notice our four fireplaces (even knowing that they're there), and it's strange to consider the floorplan as a product of abundant coal.

🔒washingtonpost.com/climate-env

Nice Verge piece on self-texting as a distinct digital practice; something I picked up when I was first down with covid, as prosthetic short-term memory and a way of ping-ponging doomscrolled-content back and forth between devices. 💬 📲

theverge.com/2022/11/28/234818

Man on the tube skims a free paper with the headline 'Great Brawl of China'; shopping centre butcher warns of bird flu's impact on Christmas turkey availability; Stratford coffee shop toilet has printed handwashing advice from the Minnesota Dept of Health, detritus from some earlier wave.

Early efforts to automate the painter-decorator.

'Dulux owner Akzo Nobel has warned of a “big scarcity” of painters and decorators exacerbated by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic as the group backs a [French] start-up developing a paint robot to ease the labour crunch.'

🔒ft.com/content/e7feeb38-a2a4-4

'Our Rhinocerous horn has been removed from display because of the threat of theft.'

Indian politics 

BBC's paying attention now.

'Thronged by a motley rabble of women party workers, queer rights groups and campaigners for old-age pensions, Mr Gandhi said he was trying to "seed an alternate vision for the idea of India through this march".'

bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-indi

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📺 Andor 

Thorough Vulture interview with 's composer, Nicholas Britell, featuring a cameo from someone my brother once worked with, who seems to have had an in-universe horn named after him (some spoilers). 📯

vulture.com/article/nicholas-b

Music, the infinite 

“Pop music's only about 70 or 80 years old … Why aren't people doing more interesting things by now? The songs themselves, the vibrating speakers, that's such a small part of the experience of music. All of the interesting meaning comes from social relations and interactions: that's where music exists. It doesn't have to be trapped in these boring little templates.”

wired.co.uk/article/65daysofst

Sweeping, big-picture Verge article on the endurance of the smartphone as the latest tech bubble bursts. 🤳

'Everybody’s trying to build new and better platforms, but it’s possible that there just isn’t one as powerful and versatile as a touchscreen in your pocket. Smartphones may be boring now, but that’s only because they’ve been so good for so long.'

theverge.com/2022/11/23/234740

Experimental publishing, book sprints 

Overview of the book sprint, which crams iterative writing, editing, and production into a 5-day window.

'The rapid content production of Book Sprints is useful to publishing timely topics in a short amount of time. The real strength of the method, however, is in the collaboration … [as] writers build on their previous research and experience to construct a work that goes beyond the individual contributions.'

🔓doi.org/10.21428/6ffd8432.e111

Music, weather 

NPR piece on experimental guitarist Daniel Bachman's new album, Almanac Behind.

'From his home in central Virginia, Bachman saw flash floods, major snowstorms, power outages and secondhand smoke blowing in from the west coast. As each event came to pass, he took field recordings and asked friends and family to chronicle the sound of pouring rain and strong winds as it affected them all.'

npr.org/2022/11/17/1137165601/

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Assemblag.es

assemblag.es is a Mastodon instance for people interested in thinking creatively and critically about technology, in the broadest sense. The only requirement is that you keep to the code of conduct! Note: we've paused new signups for a few days while we deal with the #twittermigration influx - please do request an invite, but be aware that for now functions more like a 'waiting list' than a knock on the door, until our numbers stabilise again :-)