(UPDATED) I re-read Matthew Debord’s piece in the L.A. Times about the Aspergerian male compulsion to efficiently load the autoclave, or, as non-male non-Aspergerians call it, the dishwasher.

In response to inquiries… General Electric sent me an owner’s manual for its current Profile line of dishwashers. There on Page 14 are instructions for getting 12 place settings into the upper and lower racks.

In my own response, I did the obvious thing. I downloaded one or more instruction manuals from essentially every dishwasher manufacturer in existence (even Haier), extracted just the pages or parts thereof that illustrate how to load the dishwasher, and assembled them on Flickr: How to load the dishwasher.

(Several marques use the same manuals, presumably because all that distinguishes them is marque. The best manuals have actual pictures instead of undifferentiable line drawings. And note the emphasis on the upper-middle-class frippery of ten‑ or even twelve-piece place settings. But never any instructions on where to put the dog’s bowls.)

Gruesome typography of the week

From that same article:


Movie titles don’t go in quotation marks. They also don’t go in neutral quotation marks. Neutral quotation marks are not to be gruesomely featured in a drop cap, a print-typography cœlacanth that needs to be killed off.

Update: 3 million views later

Deconstructing Rebecca Mead’s New Yorker article “You’ve Got Blog” 14 years ago:

Jason Kottke… is widely admired among bloggers as a thoughtful critic of Web culture…. Getting blogged by Kottke, or by Meg Hourihan or one of her colleagues at Pyra, is the blog equivalent of having your book featured on Oprah.

Finally, independent confirmation of an obvious fact that is self-servingly denied by the Weblog aristocracy itself: Despite no appreciable difference in the “thoughtfulness” of their respective Web criticism, some Webloggers are superstars.

As it was then, yea it is today: A single link from Kottke led to 3 million views of my dishwasher-manual extracts. (Extracted PDF pages, not “screenshots.”) Nothing in my 23 years onliné has been viewed so many times.

And it’s already over.

(Talking point: Is Tom Coates still as upset now by my article as he was in the year 2000? You do realize the galactic timescales we’re dealing with here, do you not?)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.01.04 13:05. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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