blog housekeeping: Storify’s slideshows

Like Sulia’s text-animator, Storify’s “slideshows” seem a little hinky, possibly as a result of cross-application fratricide, possibly for reasons internal to the application itself. So: apologies if my experiments with them have weirded your browsing or wasted your time in other ways.

Just for the sake of explanation, and to note these user-experience matters while they’re on my mind, for my own part I made the mistake with the last post of trying to develop it on Storify. In the process of examining export-to-blog possibilities, I published it prematurely, then ended up shuttling back and forth between blog and Storify trying to conform edits. It’s also not possible on Storify itself to un-publish a post. Can’t really think it was helpful to the post itself as a piece of writing.

Another hink I noticed is that, as with the Sulia text animations, trying to show more than one slideshow at a time creates problems. In the case of the slide-shows, showing more than one on the same (main) page seemed impossible at least on Firefox and Chrome. Since I wasn’t too happy with the second slide show anyway, I just deleted it.

I’m still thinking about doing a longer post focusing on Sulia, but I want to give the Suliers more of a chance to answer some questions about how they expect people to use their product. I still find aspects of it rather mystifying. Have you guys checked it out at all?

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

2 comments on “blog housekeeping: Storify’s slideshows

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  1. For my N=1 part, sulia holds no interest ’cause I can’ read that fast.

    As I mentioned before, I found storify’s retro futurism interesting, but again my personal limited bandwidth makes learning how to use it at this point, low on the list of stuff to learn.

    • I meant the whole Sulia web site, not just the text-animator thing. Storify is likewise a lot more than the slideshow app (which I haven’t seen anyone else use). People I’ve seen use Storify mostly to preserve interesting Twitter exchanges in a format more straightforward than the Slideshow, though you can use it to aggregate material from other sources, too.

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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