The purpose of art is to delight us; certain men and women (no smarter than you or I) whose art can delight us have been given dispensation from going out and fetching water and carrying wood. It's no more elaborate than that. — David Mamet

Someday, they’re going to tell stories about all this.  

Do any of you have contacts in the restaurant world, especially owners of pizzerias or sub shops?  I’d welcome an introduction: perhaps we can work together to get more help to Kharkiv.

Pizza donations have been very slow lately. Please do spread the word if you can.

We did manage two amazing deliveries this week. The first was to a shelter in the basement of the ruined Palace Of Labor in central Kharkiv. About 25 families currently live in the basement shelter here.

Pizza For Ukraine: Update
Pizza For Ukraine: Update

Jenny from the pizza crew writesJ that "This was our most emotionally vivid trip. It's eerie to look at the ruin where there used to be life. But the people who stayed to live in the basements are very friendly. They don't lose heart, so we shouldn’t, either.”  Jenny’s mother used to work in the Dept. Of Social Policy in City Hall, seen in the background below, though she (like so much of Kharkiv) has been out of work since the start of the war.  

Pizza For Ukraine: Update
Pizza For Ukraine: Update

Then, we did our largest delivery so far, bringing lots of pizza to an aid distribution center in the Nemyshlyansky district in northeast Kharkiv. The food kits distributed here are really important, and these centers are just about the only place to get baby food. With sporadic shelling at random times, people avoid gathering in crowds in order to minimize the risk of random catastrophe. Sometimes, though, gatherings cannot be helped. At least we were able to bring pizza.

Pizza For Ukraine: Update
Pizza For Ukraine: Update

Feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested; it helps enormously.  Individually, we perhaps cannot bring peace or victory, or even warm and dry homes for half a million people. But we can send pizza. It’s not nothing. 

Jul 22 15 2022

A New View

ACM Hypertext was in Barcelona, a small but (I thought) good conference. My papers this year were gloomy — the Web Conference paper was gloomy as well. That’s the nature of the time.

In addition to many tasty meals, Barcelona featured some fine sights. Here’s the gatehouse to Gaudi’s Park Güell.

A New View

It's been a while since we’ve had a really new hypertext visualization. I wonder what might be done, starting with this notion of trencadis, mosaics based on broken tiles and random shapes. I’ve been doing some quick software sketches. Here’s one:

A New View

Lots of rough edges, but then, the aesthetic is about rough edges, too. A lot of white space, but not nearly as much as we have with boxes and arrows, and the whitespace shows a bit of energy,

Links of Darkness: Hypertext And Horror (Mark Bernstein and Stee McMorris). Engelbart Award Paper, ACM Conference On Hypertext and Social Media. June 28-July 1, 2022, Barcelona.

Abstract: Category fiction adopts a formal narrative framework to explore topics of mutual interest to readers and writers. Originating as a means of assisting retail booksellers and movie theaters in their work of matching readers and writers, categories like “Mystery”, “Western”, and “Horror” have shaped modern storytelling. The frameworks that underlie category fiction are often confounded with their conventional surface characteristics. For example, mysteries are not puzzles, but rather interrogate how a damaged world can be understood and, with understanding, repaired. We observe that that framework of Horror is congruent to the affordances of literary hypertext. The technologies and trappings of hypertext itself share the slippery uncanniness and unheimlichkeit of other horror staples: mirrors, twins, rivers, and crossroads. Finally, it is intriguing that the history of hypertext and the World Wide Web itself falls neatly into the framework of horror.

The Web At War:Hypertext, Social Media, and Totalitarianism. Blue Sky Award Paper, ACM Conference On Hypertext and Social Media. June 28-July 1, 2022, Barcelona.

Abstract: In 2022, much of the world faced the prospect of a prolonged conventional war with a totalitarian state. The origins of hypertext lie in the wars of the 20th Century, and efforts to avoid a repeated conflict — and confidence that conflict could be contained if not entirely avoided— is deeply embedded into the architecture of the World Wide Web. The Web was not designed to confront a war, and it remains deeply vulnerable to totalitarian subversion. Our systems, platforms, and our discipline will need to adapt.