We all need aids to navigation during our journey. Sometimes the waypoints are fixed and known; though often they are temporary and fleeting. Here are some of my current waypoints focused on Homecoming and our individual journey.
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth, we’ve seen a very British transition of power, with all sorts of rituals from days of yore, including the Royal Beekeeper informing the Queen’s bees of the Queen’s death. But for me, the most British thing was The Queue: the 5+ mile long/24+ hour long queue to pay respects to the Queen, which stretched along the River Thames, and supported by Queue-side amenities such as restrooms (loo’s), aid stations, and pubs (!!!).
California, you beautiful place. Years of organizing have produced a state-wide movement toward allowing a greater range of housing then before, rolling back 50 years of unnecessary fixation on single-family detached homes. An array of bills have passed: AB 2097 which allows for ministerial approval of affordable housing on commercially-zoned lands, SB 886 which exempts student housing from CEQA review, and AB 2221 which makes it easier to build ADU’s. But the big one is AB 2097 which eliminates parking minimums near transit.
All of this shows that state preemption allowing people to do more, and build more, on their land is an effective strategy. I don’t think we’ve found a unifying strategy about what constitutes “good” state preemption, versus “bad” state preemption.
For a project I’m working on I’ve been doing a deep dive into control panels of all kinds. I’m especially interested in control panels from the Mid Century and control surfaces for complex systems. Our predominant interaction surface these days is a plane of glass or plastic, so having specific buttons, knobs, and lights excite me.
A MOST GOV TECH THING
Supporting The Queue was a curious YouTube channel created by an agency, with a very small island name: the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This YouTube channel was just a livestream running on a laptop, sitting on a cubicle, in a building somewhere in Whitehall. A custom back-end was coded to update the feed, and it unhelpfully used a confusing system of physical geolocation called What3Words, where three words are mapped to physical forms. This is both horrifying for using a confusing geolocation system, but amazing that this was cobbled together in 3 days according to a consultant who helped bring this to life.
WELCOME TO WREXHAM
Nominally about Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds buying a football club in Wales, the program is actually a portrait about a community trying to rebuild and find itself again. The show is certainly entertaining, but I find the documentary format hard to process and stay in the moment. It raises all sorts of questions as to the show’s authenticity, artifice, and storytelling ethics. Well worth your time.
I’ve been playing around with a suite of AI generated tools for a bit. We did a collaboration with an AI text generator for Issue 2. I’ve been playing with Midjourney every couple of days, testing out prompts and outputs. It is certainly a toy for now, but I’ve been looking to try to use it for projects with mixed success. Most of my time is trying to find ways to get Midjourney outside their “house style” of image creation.
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These waypoints come from our third issue – Homecoming – which is still for sale. Please support local journalism and purchase your copy today!
Issue 3: Home Coming
About our coming and going from home.