In which I grapple with Open Graph

A hexagonal shape at left, and an HTML code, <og:wtf> rises above the horizon of a dark turquoise flattened sphere. In the background of "space" is a dark-blue purple.
This is a test of Open Graph. Installed a WordPress plugin, “Open Graph and Twitter Card Tags.” It works for twitter and facebook, but I’m trying to get it to work on Spoutible and my Mastodon server, masto.ai.

I am only like 10 years late to all this Open Graph technical stuff. I did a test, though of how Spoutible and Mastodon treat open graph on some servers, in order to get it to work for 2020 Hindsight’s.

The four required metadata elements to be added to each page are:

og:title The title of the object (the title of this blog post)

og:type The type of object. For this post, the type is “article”

og:image An image URL that’s a “representative of the object” and (the full image address of the illustration at the top of this post)

og:url The URL to the object (the permalink to this post)

When I compose a spout (a social media post) and paste a link into my compose window, Spoutible attempts to load up open graph information from that link. Technically, an image must be present to meet the minimum required 4 metadata items in Open Graph. In the compose window, Spoutible loads up an image from the image URL. What this means is that, for this moment, Spoutible is trying to serve up an image from a different web site, that is, this web site (i.e., 2020hindsight.org/some/path/to/image). Once the post is published, Spoutible now serves a copy of the image from its own servers.

Mastodon does something similar, in that it makes a copy of the image located on 2020hindsight.org and places it on its own servers.

So far, both sites fail to create open graph previews of my posts, and I think I know why. It’s because I won’t let them. Yet.

When web server BA wants to display images located on server A, server A pays a price in terms of bandwidth. That kind of thing is a technical web no-no. Do sites still do that? Yes. How does Server AB defend itself? It refuses all image requests from all servers unless the request comes from its own site or has been granted permission. Twitter and Facebook have been granted permission, and now, instead of telling Spoutible and Mastodon Don’t Do That, we gotta do a test and grant ’em permission.

This is the test post. Fingers crossed.

Kai Bird in the NYT: The Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer

NYT: The Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer

Time to blog again. Yesterday (July 16) was the anniversary of the Trinity Test, and this weekend, the movie, “Oppenheimer,” opens. A long time ago, in 2005, I was among the first — if not thee first— timeshift live bloggers. “Blog like it’s 1945!” was my summer 2005 project, blogging the first test and use of the atomic bomb. (it’s in the 1945 category, but I have lost the design and doodads that make it all work and I’m not gonna be fixing that today. But I might do something about it because of this blockbuster movie coming out. Might.)

When Bird’s co-author, Martin Sherwin, was on book tour in the months after their book, American Prometheus was released, Sherwin gave a lecture at Caltech and there was a discussion. I blogged it the next day. Note: The “Oppenheimer” movie is based on American Prometheus.

Here’s an excerpt from Kai Bird’s op-ed in the NYT:

Sadly, Oppenheimer’s life story is relevant to our current political predicaments. Oppenheimer was destroyed by a political movement characterized by rank know-nothing, anti-intellectual, xenophobic demagogues. The witch-hunters of that season are the direct ancestors of our current political actors of a certain paranoid style. I’m thinking of Roy Cohn, Senator Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel, who tried to subpoena Oppenheimer in 1954, only to be warned that this could interfere with the impending security hearing against Oppenheimer. Yes, that Roy Cohn, who taught former President Donald Trump his brash, wholly deranged style of politics. Just recall the former president’s fact-challenged comments on the pandemic or climate change. This is a worldview proudly scornful of science.

After America’s most celebrated scientist was falsely accused and publicly humiliated, the Oppenheimer case sent a warning to all scientists not to stand up in the political arena as public intellectuals. This was the real tragedy of Oppenheimer. What happened to him also damaged our ability as a society to debate honestly about scientific theory — the very foundation of our modern world.

Quantum physics has utterly transformed our understanding of the universe. And this science has also given us a revolution in computing power and incredible biomedical innovations to prolong human life. Yet, too many of our citizens still distrust scientists and fail to understand the scientific quest, the trial and error inherent in testing any theory against facts by experimenting. Just look at what happened to our public health civil servants during the recent pandemic.

Sad and sobering and (I guess) fascinating to see how the issues of the 1950s, described and lived in the early aughts are still true today, even as I shake my head that OMG I blogged about this 17 years ago.

Twitter Forwarding Address

Created an account on Counter.Social, username @susankitchens (it’s visible to people who also have accounts on CoSo, so the @ username @ domain format doesn’t really work)

Just created a Mastodon account @[email protected], or, if you want to copy and paste the text to find me on your masto-instance, here you go:

@[email protected]

Poised on a precipice (Twitter)

CNBC reports (as does, no doubt, many others) that Elon Musk has taken over Twitter.

This is weird. Yeah, I’m tweeting about it, but I have to blog about it. My first mention of twitter on this here blog was in 2007. Prescient. On continuous partial attention.

my continuous partial attention is continuous enough, partial enough, and inattentive enough as it is. What, honey? Did you say something to me? [shakes head] oh, sorry. yes, I’m stepping away from the computer now.

Well, at least I can pull up some of my old blog categories to be, well, a bit of commentary.

So, what’s the precipice? I don’t know. I don’t trust Elmo.

Adding to this to link to the WaPo story. Might as well keep adding to this and make this a blog post dirge