hbowie.net

Stuff by Herb Bowie

Notenik 7.2.0 Released

Website address updated to point to Notenik.app; wiki links now will try to pluralize a reference, if it is not found in singular form; the Merge template Set command now allows a variable to be used as part or all of a global variable name; Markdown quote sharing corrected to respect lookup links; added a Quick Export and Open command.

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20 Sep 2021


Notenik Website Redesigned

Redesigned the Notenik website to support dark mode, with added content and a fresh look.

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17 Sep 2021


Notenik 7.1.0 Released

Added some cosmetic improvements, including dark mode on the Display tab, and highlighting of search results within the Display tab; also added a utility function to convert a Note's title into a link to Wikipedia.

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31 Aug 2021


Notenik 7.0.0 Released

Added a new lookup field type; improved web book generation.

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27 Aug 2021


Lessons to be Learned from the Fall of Afghanistan

I think there are a few very broad lessons we Americans can learn from the rapid fall of the Afghan government over the last few days.

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17 Aug 2021


Notenik 6.9.0 Released

Added several new options to better support outlining: OPML Import and improved OPML Export, ability to add a new Child to an existing Note, plus ability to drag and drop within a sequenced list; fixed list scrolling so that the Note highlighted and visible on the left will generally match the Note currently selected on the right.

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12 Aug 2021


Notenik 6.8.0 Released

Added Short ID to the list of available field labels and types, to help with URL shortening; added new option to export an entire Collection into a single HTML or Markdown document; fixed a bug affecting automatic links in footnotes.

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02 Aug 2021


Why It's a Bad Time to be a Conservative

Conservatism is a respectable human impulse. But now is not a particularly good time for it.

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21 Jul 2021


Notenik 6.7.0 Released

Added support for Mathjax; enhanced Table of Contents generation for a single Note; enhanced Table of Contents generation for an entire Collection.

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19 Jul 2021


Notenik 6.6.0 Released

Added a new Markdown extension to generate a Table of Contents for an entire Collection; added another new Markdown extension to generate an Index for an entire Collection; added another new Markdown extensions to generate a Tags Outline; added a new command to Generate a Web Book from a Collection; updated the Notenik Knowledge Base to make use of all of these new features.

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14 Jul 2021


Kindness by Design

Perhaps we might come around to thinking that economic kindness, instead of being something indulged in capriciously by bleeding-heart liberals who are occasionally feeling generous, should in fact be a regular practice that is designed into our societies.

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14 Jul 2021


Notenik 6.5.0 Released

Added an option to backup an entire Collection to a compressed Zip file; made improvements to Streamlined Reading, to focus only on Seq, Title and Body fields; expanded the custom URL help command to allow an ID to be included, to point to a specific Note to be initially displayed; added a What's New command beneath the Help menu to show the user the latest changes to the app.

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07 Jul 2021


Notenik 6.4.0 Released

Markdown parser support for definition lists; new Collection pref for Streamlined Reading, increasing focus on Body content on the Display tab; new Display navigation elements added when using Streamlined Reading, especially useful when using Seq and Level fields and sorting by Seq; new Notenik Knowledge Base, available from the Help menu (replacing all prior Help documentation).

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02 Jul 2021


Are Political Parties Doing Us More Harm Than Good?

I've been making the case lately that the Republican Party is in decline, and needs to reinvent itself. But perhaps something even more radical is needed. For when we look at the current state of our two-party system in the US, nothing about it makes any sense.

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26 Jun 2021


Notenik 6.3.0 Released

Updated the Work List field type to allow entries for ‘Novel’ and ‘Podcast’ (and to make it easier to enter using all lowercase letters); added a new field type of Level, to indicate the depth of a Note within the structure of a Collection; added a new command to renumber the Seq field based on sequence and Level; added a new command to generate tags that will mirror the outline structure implied by the combination of Seq and Level fields.

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09 Jun 2021


And When I Die by Laura Nyro

As children, our thoughts about death are stuff of dreams and fairy tales. As adults we learn to suppress these thoughts because we are busy getting on with things. But as teenagers, in this transition between nursery rhymes and real life, we tend to approach this topic with a frankness and curiosity that can be somewhat startling. Laura Nyro wrote her song “And When I Die” at the age of 17, and her refreshing treatment of the subject shows none of the reverence or piety that we learn to adopt as adults.

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03 Jun 2021


Have Our Political Parties Turned Into Cults?

I recently wrote a piece offering “Some Hard-Won Wisdom Concerning Cults.” And I've written a couple of pieces recently questioning the direction of the current Republican Party. And so, today, I want to ask the question: should either, or both, of our political parties be considered cults?

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31 May 2021


Some Hard-Won Wisdom Concerning Cults

As someone who once belonged to an organization later determined to be a cult, I can tell you that the warning signs are not always obvious.

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27 May 2021


Notenik 6.2.0 Released

Notenik can now be invoked by a URL starting with notenik://…. Both open and add commands are available. Get the open URL for a particular Note by selecting ‘Copy Notenik URL’ from the contextual menu for a Note's row on the List tab.

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27 May 2021


Notenik 6.1.0 Released

A few improvements to Script execution:

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22 May 2021


Where, Exactly, Are the Republicans Headed?

So now the Republicans seem doomed to act like some strange variety of lemmings, unable to turn back from the cliff after their leader has jumped, but unable to turn away. And so they spend every day of their lives dancing along the edge, trying to convince the rest of us how good life will be at the bottom.

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16 May 2021


Notenik 6.0.0 Released

Added Collection Shortcuts and the Quick Action window.

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13 May 2021


Notenik 5.9.0 Released

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10 May 2021


Leadership and Followership - 21 Key Observations

I was reading recently about a couple of different situations involving traits of both leadership and followership. Some reflection on these two situations has compelled me to dispense the following bits of wisdom on the subjects of leading and following. Some of these may seem obvious, and some controversial, but they are all equally true and valuable, based on my own experience doing a fair bit of both in a number of different organizations.

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06 May 2021


Thinking Differently About Our Economy

We all know that the economy is important. We talk about it every day. But do we ever think about… how we think about it? How we visualize it? How we've been conditioned to think about it, perhaps unknowingly?

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24 Apr 2021


The Importance of Progressive Activism

It was just a little over four years ago that I remember sitting in front of our TV with our neighbors, watching the election returns, preparing to celebrate.

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19 Apr 2021


Notenik 5.8.0 and 5.8.1 Released

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07 Apr 2021


The Decline of the Republican Party - First Gradually and then Suddenly

In line with the famous quote from Ernest Hemingway, the Republican Party seems to see their fortunes on the decline – gradually for now – but perhaps suddenly before much longer.

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07 Apr 2021


Notenik 5.7.0 Released

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21 Feb 2021


Free Speech at the Crossroads

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, questions surrounding free speech are hot-button items these days. Should anyone be free to say anything, about anyone, at any time, and to any audience? If not, who's responsible for moderation, and what are the rules? And at what point does moderation become censorship?

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17 Feb 2021


Notenik 5.6.0 Released

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11 Feb 2021


Notenik 5.5.0 Released

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02 Feb 2021


A Resumption of our Humanity

Overall, taking the pieces of the inaugural ceremony all together, the entire gestalt for me was a feeling that our feelings and practices of humanity, after being put on hold for four years, could now be resumed.

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21 Jan 2021


Notenik 5.4.0 Released

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19 Jan 2021


The Big Truth

And so, I'm starting to wonder, if we want to end The Big Lie, what undisclosed pieces of truth do we need to bring out into the open in order to achieve a more spacious shared understanding of our common reality? In other words, what is The Big Truth that we have yet to acknowledge?

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17 Jan 2021


Notenik 5.3.0 Released

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14 Jan 2021


The Clown Coup

So much of our public attention is devoted to posturing, puffoonery[1] and empty opinionizing that many of our citizens seem to have lost the ability to distinguish this sort of behavior from actions that have real-world consequences.

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08 Jan 2021


Notenik 5.2.0 Released

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04 Jan 2021


Life is Complicated

We all would like a quick fix of simple certainty, and no matter where we turn today, we can find an army of pushers waiting to feed our habit, even giving the stuff away for free, just to keep us hooked.

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26 Dec 2020


Notenik 5.1.0 Released

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26 Dec 2020


Notenik Turns the Big Five-O!

Yes, that's right – Notenik version 5.0.0 has just been released, in all likelihood closing the books on 2020. So this feels like a good time to take a breather and look back on the path we've traveled, along with new routes yet to explore.

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10 Dec 2020


Notenik 4.9.0 Released

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30 Nov 2020


Diving Back into our American Muddle

In which I touch upon and connect thoughts from Jodi Doering, Dashiell Hammett and Ted Lasso, among others.

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21 Nov 2020


Notenik 4.8.0 Released

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13 Nov 2020


Notenik 4.7.0 Released

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06 Nov 2020


Notenik 4.6.0 Released

Added Markdown parser support for footnotes, a common extension to the original Markdown spec.

Also added a Share option that will format a Note as an HTML blockquote.

Plus there's a new Collection Pref that allows Note Titles to be formatted using level 1 Headings on the Display tab.

Finally, added a Navigation Board to allow easy navigation to known Collections that can be readily accessed by Notenik without any additional user authorization.

Oh, and one more thing… wrote a new Notenik blog post summarizing Notenik improvements made over the last six months.

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03 Aug 2020


Moved Practopian website to Drupal 8

Practopian.org now takes you to a website hosted on Pantheon, built using Drupal 8. Most of the same content is available on the new site, but the whole thing is now built dynamically, rather than using static pages. The menu navigation is improved, and the overall look has changed a bit.

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28 Oct 2020


Social Distancing and our Essential Nature

Social distancing and wearing of face masks have become the new normal for most of us, thanks to the continued threat of COVID-19. And yet, as ever more people work from home, and more students attempt remote learning, I'm concerned about a growing chorus of folks who are celebrating this enforced distancing as a welcome wave of the future, and suggesting that what started as a temporary fix should be embraced as a permanent fixture of 21st century society.

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04 Aug 2020


Reframing our Debates about Capitalism

There is a flaw in the reasoning behind our infernal, never-ending, society-splitting debate concerning socialism vs. capitalism, and I want to point it out.

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04 Aug 2020


The Era of Environmental Accommodation is Over

When historians look at the long span of our human history, they try to make sense of our arc of cultural evolution by breaking it up into phases: the agrarian era, the industrial era, the digital era, and so forth.

But of course, there are multiple perspectives we can use for this sort of exercise.

Perhaps the most important perspective to consider is the relationship of our human population to the rest of our world.

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04 Aug 2020


Undoing Trumpism

Many of the things that our current president came to stand for were around before his candidacy – and, in fact, helped him to get elected – and they won't simply vanish on their own. If we're foolish enough to think they will, then we're engaging in as much magical thinking as The Donald is when he claims that COVID-19 will simply disappear all by itself.

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04 Aug 2020


Notenik 4.3.0 Released

Some bug fixes, and some new functionality. If you have a Mac, then check it out!

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03 Aug 2020


Cooperation, Competition and Coercion

When we look at the major societal choices facing us today, the primary question is not whether we want a society that is more cooperative or more competitive, but whether we're ready for a society that is less coercive.

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17 Jul 2020


Notenik 4.2.0 Released

Some bug fixes, and some new functionality. If you have a Mac, then check it out!

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12 Jul 2020


RS 500 Blog - 400 - 375

Published the next batch of 25 albums to the RS 500 blog. Some notable albums in the 375 - 400 range, and some interesting comments from Charlie, Brian and myself. As always, three very different perspectives based on ages and interests.

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20 Jun 2020


Can the US Become a Truly Egalitarian Society?

As with many of us, I've been thinking deeply lately about the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breanna Taylor, and so many other people of color, and wondering how and why these atrocities continue to occur in my country, and what we can do to turn things around.

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15 Jun 2020


Notenik 4.0.0 Released

Added a new Counts window to check word count; several minor UI improvements.

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13 Jun 2020


In-Depth Analysis of Jackson Browne's Late for the Sky Album

Finally completed an in-depth analysis of Jackson Browne's album Late for the Sky, a project I had begun years ago. It's a lot to read, but the album is worth it.

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11 Jun 2020


Democracy

Wrote up a Practical Utopian “basics” piece on the core value of Democracy, after reading How Democracies Die.

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03 Jun 2020


8 Big Lessons We Can Learn from the Pandemic

Suffering through a pandemic is a terrible way to have to learn a lesson or two about the nature of humanity. But it's what we have, so we may as well make use of it.

Also cross-posted on Medium.

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10 May 2020


Virtual Textbanking Party

For the progressive movement in 2020, a TextBanking party has nothing to do with your bank balances, and everything to do with who will be running our government for the next four years.

A blog post for Seattle Indivisible.

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09 May 2020


Notenik 3.6.0 Released

Users can now drag and drop a Note from one Collection to another in order to copy it to the second Collection; a Note sharing option to insert Markdown block quotes has been added; improved apostrophe handling when using the Notenik Markdown parser; and a new Bookmarks Board allowing users to select an available Collection to be opened.

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06 May 2020


Virtual Letter Writing Party

This is why leading progressive organizations are now organizing virtual letter-writing parties, to help us reach out to key voters in important states and encourage them to get out and vote in our critical elections this year.

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28 Apr 2020


Notenik 3.5.0 Released

Users can now drag bookmarks from their web browser and drop them into the list view of an open collection in order to add them as a new note.

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21 Apr 2020


RS500 401 - 420 Published

Published my and my co-authors' comments on the next 20 albums, working our way up the list of Rolling Stone's picks for the top 500 albums of all time.

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19 Apr 2020


Why Do We Call It Capitalism?

Why do we call ours a capitalistic system, when so few members of our society actually possess any capital?

This was one of my more popular posts on Medium.

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16 Apr 2020


Core Design Principles for Teams

David Sloan Wilson and his pals at Prosocial World have done the heavy lifting for us, providing the eight Core Design Principles to maximize the effectiveness of human groups of all sizes.

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09 Apr 2020


Notenik 3.4.0 Released

Fixed a couple more Markdown parser bugs that popped up, added a couple of convenience shortcuts for toggling and incrementing the status field, and added an option to Sort a List by Tags plus Title.

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09 Apr 2020


An Appreciation for "The Weight"

I recently came across the Playing for Change Song Around the World video of Robbie Robertson's composition “The Weight,” and it made me want to think – and write! – more deeply about how this song works, and what it means, and the timeless nature of its appeal.

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06 Apr 2020


Patterns of Human Cooperation

As humans our superpower is the ability to work cooperatively with others of our species. We can see all of the following patterns of cooperation at work in our society.

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03 Apr 2020


Notenik 3.3.0 Released

Released a new version of Notenik. Fixed a couple of bugs in the new Markdown parser and added logic to automatically add/increment a numeric suffix to a Note's title rather than rejecting it as a duplicate.

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02 Apr 2020


Understanding Human History

In broad strokes, all of human history can be seen as a progressive spiral made up of four intertwining strands.

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26 Mar 2020


Notenik 3.2.0 Released

See the Blog post on Notenik.net for a summary of recent changes to the Mac App.

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24 Mar 2020


Notenik Now Up to 3.0.0

My little Mac app is now up to version 3.0.0, is up to 10 ratings in the Mac app store, and still has an average rating of 4.9! I've received lots of feedback about the app over the last few months, and the latest release is better than ever!

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05 Feb 2020


Rolling Stone 500 Blog Makes It Thru the First 80 Albums

Brian, Charlie and I have now published our thoughts on the bottom 80 of Rolling Stone's list of the 500 best albums of all time. Check it out!

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20 Jan 2020


Assessment of Democratic Presidential Candidates - Jan 2020

This is my assessment of the Democratic candidates for the US presidency, following the debates on the evening of 14 Jan 2020.

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15 Jan 2020


Dethroning the False God of User Experience Design

As users of computers, do we really want our experiences to be so carefully and intentionally and restrictively designed for us?

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27 Dec 2019


My Prayer for a More Integral New Year

I want to take a moment to offer up a prayer – not to God, but to all of us – for a more integral sense of who we are in the new year.

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17 Dec 2019


Blogging Further Down the list of the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums

Some of the albums in the latest batch flew like eagles, while others sank like stones. Check out our latest multi-generational assessments of the top 500 albums of all time.

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16 Dec 2019


Notenik Forges Ahead

I've been releasing new and improved versions of Notenik fairly regularly over the last couple of months, and it's now up to 2.2.0 in the Mac App Store, with 2.3.0 on the way.

As I write this, my little app now has 7 ratings in the store, and an average rating of 4.9.

I've received emails about the app from a couple of people I've never met before — one user in Australia, and another in Finland! Nice to know that my software can be used around the globe.

Brett Terpstra was nice enough to mention my app in one of his recent blog posts, calling it “intriguing.”

But there's still more to do, and continuing work on Notenik keeps me busy doing something I enjoy.

If you have a Mac, and haven't yet checked it out, then I encourage you to give it a whirl!

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09 Dec 2019


Notenik 1.8.0 Released

See Notenik.net for details.

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08 Nov 2019


The Personal vs. The Institutional

Published on The Practical Utopian, and on Medium, and emailed to subscribers in The Practopian Perspective Issue 40.

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01 Nov 2019


Blogging the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time

A couple of friends/relatives of mine are taking a trip through Rolling Stone's list of the top 500 albums of all time, and commenting on each as we work our way up the list, starting with #500. We represent three different generations of listeners, and each brings his own unique perspective to this fascinating musical journey. See how far we've gotten and follow along. You might even discover some new old music worth a listen or two!

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22 Oct 2019


Notenik 1.6.0 Released

Implemented a few additional fixes and minor enhancements. Changed scripted sorting so that fields whose labels begin with “seq” will be treated as sequence fields, meaning that numbers will sort in numeric sequence. Added a basic Textile parser that, while far from complete, is good enough for my needs, since I still use Textile on ReasonToRock.com.

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15 Oct 2019


Notenik 1.5.0 Released

This release includes the following changes:

See Notenik.net for the updated User Guide and other documentation.

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20 Sep 2019


Practopian Perspective Issue 38 Published

“Rejiggering Our Religion” published via email in The Practopian Perspective.

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16 Sep 2019


Notenik 1.4.1 Released

This was a focused maintenance release designed to prevent the user from inadvertently specifying an existing folder as the repository for a new Notenik Collection.

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09 Sep 2019


Notenik 1.4.0 Released

This release includes the following changes:

See the latest version of the User Guide on Notenik.net.

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06 Sep 2019


Elizabeth Warren in Seattle

I was one of the 15,000 people who gathered under the Space Needle yesterday to hear Warren speak. There were several things about her that impressed me.

All in all, she seems like a smart policy person who genuinely has our country's best interests at heart. but also a smart campaigner.

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26 Aug 2019


Notenik 1.3.0 Released

This release includes the following changes:

This last item is a big one. It means that the Notenik.net site is now entirely generated by this latest version of Notenik writtein in Swift.

See the latest version of the User Guide on Notenik.net.

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16 Aug 2019


Rejiggering Our Religion

When it comes to religion, the main question for most people is whether to keep the one we were raised with, or to lose it altogether.

But now I’m starting to wonder whether, instead of losing my religion altogether, it might not be better just to rejigger it a bit?

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13 Aug 2019


Apollo 11 - The Most Important Movie You'll See This Year

No matter what your age or orientation, it’s hard to gainsay the significance of humankind’s first trip through space to set foot on a celestial body other than our birth planet.

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20 Jul 2019


Notenik 1.2.0 Released

This release includes the following changes:

See the latest version of the User Guide on Notenik.net.

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17 Jul 2019


What the Latest Trump Attack Means for Democrats

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Trump’s recent attacks on four Democratic congressional representatives, all women of color, urging them to “go back … to the crime-infested places from which they came.” How should Democrats respond? Here are the sorts of positions I’d like to hear them articulate.

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16 Jul 2019


The Dangers of Political Nostalgia

I’m not quite as old as Biden, and I’ve never served in public office, but I can still share his nostalgia for seemingly simpler times when our political leaders displayed some sort of respect for each other, even when they disagreed over issues of state.

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25 Jun 2019


Micro Blogging Again

Just reactivated my micro.blog account at hbowie.micro.blog, and set up cross-posting to Twitter (@herbbowie) and my Facebook Practopians page. Happy to be part of the Micro.blog community and to join those supporting the open web!

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15 Jun 2019


The Progressive Problem

No wonder zombie movies have been popular of late: so many of us feel like increasingly isolated survivors having to fight off forces that we thought were previously vanquished and long buried, forces that seem to be arising all around us, springing at us from all sides.

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10 Jun 2019


Notenik now in the Mac App Store

I now have an application called Notenik listed in the Mac App Store!

I’d been doing some regular programming in Java over the past couple of decades, but decided this year to bite the bullet and try to learn Swift, Apple’s latest development language, and chose the Mac as my first target platform. It’s been quite an adventure to create a full-fledged Mac App in a new language, but I’m happy to report that I’ve finally crossed the goal line! More improvements to come, but I believe that version 1.0 is quite serviceable. And it’s free!

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03 Jun 2019


How to Fix Big Tech

We all sort of know the problems, right? Monopolies. Lock-in. Stream addiction. Reality bubbles. Billionaires seeking market dominance. All other values taking a back seat to growth. I don’t think I need to elaborate. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably well aware of all these concerns.

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22 May 2019


Building a Case for the Detective Story

Over the many years since the receipt of my Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan, I have probably spent more rewarding hours reading detective stories than any other form of fiction.

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07 May 2019


The Challenge for Democrats -- Playing the Long Game

Right now Democrats are focused primarily on two things happening in 2020: 1. Beating Trump; 2. Regaining control of the Senate. These would both be great accomplishments for the party, and for the winning candidates. But for the country, not so much.

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25 Apr 2019