“Not a member of the African diaspora” is a non-racist way to  rename whiteness.

It’s too wordy to be a good handle, but it is a reasonable meaning.

A test I’d apply to any alternative word for white is whether it captures me, a white of African descent. My grandmother was born in Africa*. Her parents or grandparents were from France. My father, her son, was born in Africa. His father was from Belgium. I was born in the US. So I am African-American but the one-drop rule would name me white.

There is also the smell test for alternative words. Is it violent or supremacist, like “master race” or “Aryan”?

“Non-diaspora” would pass both these tests.




26 track EP

I have posted up a 26-track EP over on FreeMusicArchive. That’s three songs + 23 cuts, bumpers, stems, pellas and backing tracks:

First of all, these are just three songs to have fun with.

But the other 23 tracks are for remixers. New music shouldn’t be frozen and hard. It should flow into culture.

Maybe video makers, podcasters and remixers only need a single track. In that case the variety of lengths and types makes it more likely that one will fit.

Also I hope that having a collection of related snippets will enable podcasters and video makers to use them together as an integrated theme, similar to a Twitter Bootstrap theme for web pages. My hope is that people will be able to tie together the elements of a podcast or a video using these sets of different but similar pieces of music.

Posting a collection of samples is an outgrowth of projects I have done at Freesound and CC Mixter, where I’ve been posting sample packs with a bunch of closely related snippets, from a few seconds to 60 seconds.

Freesound and Mixter aren’t for fully mixed songs, though. Free Music Archive is the right place.

These recordings are under a Creative Commons license. There are a bunch of CC licenses. I used the Attribution license, which says you can do anything you want (even commercially) as long as you give credit.  It’s almost as permissive as you can get. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Also, it’s an official Free Cultural Work, which I think is just the right thing to do.

Confederate flag

I was cleaning out an old box of music stuff and came across a little confederate flag a band gave me. This band was urban LA hipsters schticking it up with country-ish music, and I was a pinch hitter on one gig. They liked confederate flags and I didn’t care one way or the other.

I realized it was a talisman of White privilege that I had been unaware of. The fact that I paid no attention was a White thing. No skin off my back.

I unfolded it and looked closely for the first time. Then I tossed it on the trash. Later I came back and saw it on top, and stuffed it into the pile to hide it.

Stadium Teams Sunday


A thing I love about YouTube is that I can see the kinds of sports that interest me. Which includes pretty much anything but teams with stadiums. If it’s a team with a stadium, fuck it. If it’s motocross, snowboarding, martial arts, parkour, rock climbing, BMX, surfing, skiing, mountain biking, running, skateboarding, diving, fishing, wingsuits – etc etc etc – I’m into it.

When I look at the sports pages, it’s all teams with stadiums.

Teams with stadiums are decent enough. I get the appeal.

But boring, obvious, predictable. Nobody is ever going to do something different with football, baseball, or basketball. Innovation comes in ultra tiny packages.

They’re corporate. Without a super rich owner, there is no team. Stadiums are named after massive corporations. If a player threatens advertising, they’re gone.

The players bust ass, but you the viewer couldn’t be lazier. You watch TV. You gain cred by watching even more TV than other people. You eat crappy food.

Obviously the whole thing is sexist to an extreme. Commercials. Cheerleaders. Separate and unequal leagues.

You identify with your local team. You must be for that team, except when you are so true to another locality that you never stop identifying with them. It’s the height of meaninglessness.

It could be about outdoor recreation. Hiking, rock climbing, mountain climbing. Fishing and hunting. Camping.

Or aggressive riding sports: BMX, motocross, mountain unicycle, mountain biking. Skateboarding.

Or combat. Martial arts. Kickboxing.

Or instead of narratives about competitions, it could be about participating. How to improve your basketball shooting. How to pick running shoes. How to do a kickflip. The Internet has a huge amount of this stuff. The interest must be there.

Or fitness. Get In Shape articles. “Hey You! Reader! Drop the doughnut and do some crunches right now!”

Maybe the underlying issue is the economics of print and television news. There isn’t enough real estate to cover more than a few sports, and only stadium sports appeal to a critical mass.

On the Internet real estate isn’t a problem. You can always make more pixels.

And on an on. The list of alternatives to the status quo is not short.

It bothers me that the “Sports” section covers so little about sports.

The robots will not take over, their masters will

Johannes Ernst: Confusing the Robot Takeover and the robots’ masters’ takeover

So far, there is NO INDICATION that any kind of robot, or any other kind of technology is going to be autonomous in any way, shape, or form, any time soon.

But there is OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE EVERYWHERE that lots of people — typically by means of the organizations they run and the products that those companies build or deploy — want to use robots and other technologies to control you and me and the rest world.

Is Robbie-The-Supposedly-Authonomous-Robot really taking over my life if he is ultimately built, maintained, supervised and upgraded by Google? Even if he looks autonomous?

Screenless Web

There is a web app whose primary interfaces are touch and audio.

Touch is for input. It has the affordances of a D-pad: up, down, back, forward, select. Also: options, aka right click. Implemented on a phone, these would be swipe up, swipe down, swipe left, swipe right, tap. Up and down traverse a browseable list. Left and right traverse history. Tap performs the default action on the current item. Long press activates options.

Audio is for output. It reads off menu items. It is a screen reader. It may be able to speed up speech. Audio would be best implemented via an earbud.

A second input type would be voice. I don’t see this as a navigation tool as much as an endpoint. Yes: talking on the phone. No: voice search.

Use Cases

Driver-oriented apps. A driver could navigate available radio stations without taking their eyes off the road. There could be a podcast directory. Or a news site where stories are audio but the ability to pick stories adds value.

Workout UX. A person who is jogging or doing other intense exercise could navigate a UI without interrupting their flow. For example, there could be a music player with UX targeting exercisers.

Cheaper and smaller mobile devices, with longer battery life. A screen adds a lot of cost, consumes a lot of space, and burns a lot of battery.


The app could be implemented as a web page on a mobile device. There would be little displayed, only a prompt for using the touch input controls. Audio output would be via Aria/WCAG.

But there would need to be a screen reader built in to the app. Usually the end user supplies their own screen reader, but that only works for apps whose target audience is hearing impaired. It wouldn’t work for apps using audio accessibility technology for a general audience.


I’m specifically interested in the _web_, not native apps. What inspires me is how web accessibility technology can serve the general public.

But maybe that’s bad factoring. To the extent that what I’m working on here is a type of user experience, and a value proposition, the user doesn’t care whether I’m delivering with web or native technologies. It may be easier to build on web accessibility than native SDKs, but if not then this isn’t truly a web technology.

When I googled the term “screenless web” today I didn’t find any comparable idea. I found “screenless displays”, as a reference to projector-based UI, and I found “screenless web” as an idea about wearable tech. My idea is related to wearables, but can work fine on a phone as well.


I worked out sample flows for a radio experience. You’ll need to open up the below image, zoom in, and explore.

No-Look Radio