Tinderbox Meetup Sunday 04 February 24 Video with Cathy Marshall and a TBX Training Using RegEx

Tinderbox Meetup Sunday 04 February 24 with Cathy Marshall and a TBX Training Using RegEx

Level Intermediate
Published Date 2/5/24
Type Meetup
Tags 5Cs, 5Cs Learning and Knowledge ManagementRegEx, Allan Ginsberg, Aquanet, Archives, Biography, Collections, Eastgate, History, Hypertext, Identity Praxis, Joan Vollmer, Personal Identity, Poetry, Reading Room, Texas A&M University, VIKI, William S. Burroughs, hagel
Video Length 01:35:11
Video URL https://youtu.be/q7tMoIMegJ8
TBX Version 9.7
Host Mark Bernstein & Michael Becker

In this Tinderbox Meetup, we were joined by Cathy Marshall (a hypertext legend and biographer), Michael Becker did a training/demo on using RedEx, and the group spent a few minutes sharing their backgrounds and interests.


  • Participant Background and Interests
  • TBX in 10-Minutes: “Becker demo hiding text patters using RegEx”
  • Cathy Marshall

Participant Background and Interests

Hypertext innovator and biographer (U.S.), chemist & hypertext researcher (U.S.), teacher: mobile marketing & digital Identity & personal data self-sovereignty & 5Cs knowledge management (U.S.), philosopher & hypertext writing (U.S.), teacher: digital humanities & architecture & writer (U.S.), ret. navel officer (U.S.), teacher: hypertext (Austria), iPhone app software developer & philosophy (Spain), ecology & public policy (Wales), geology & digital humanities (Germany), video games & creative writing (Poetry) (U.S./India), lawyer & programmer & scholar (U.S.), computer science & biology & Web security/standards & photography & history (Germany), computing (U.S.), ret. navel officer & web scientist & botanist (England), government & humanities/Arabic hews (Netherlands), business systems, medical & Asian language translations & philosophy, industrial history museum, economist, environmental engineering & public health.

Guest Speaker: Cathy Marshall

Cathy walked us through a detailed process of how she teased about Joan Vollmer’s history. She details how she made sense of the data and insights that had been collected.

She explains the value and experience of working in a special collection “reading room,” and unique considerations to keep in mind.

“Sometimes things are way more complicated than an official record will let you know.”

About Cathy

Cathy Marshall, Cathy is a legend of hypertext research, the inventor of spatial hypertext, and an Adjunct Professor Of Computer Science at Texas A&M University. She is currently writing a biography of beat poet Joan Vollmer, whose birthday was February 4 and who was killed in 1951 by her lover, William S. Burroughs. She is also preparing a book, Datum, on the nature of data and the problems posed by contemporary obsession with “big data.”

TBX in 10-Minutes: Becker [@Satikusala] shows how to hide text for display unsing RegEx

In this training, Michael Becker explains how to use Tinderbox action code and RegEx to hide text.


Becker’s dissertation chain wanted him to suppress the include of variable codes in the text for the reader, e.g. [ATT1]. However, as a writer, having these codes in the text served serval valuable purposes. The codes facilitated,

  • Text search
  • Scan text
  • Text and replace to help with consistency of references
  • Quickly scan a document to see elements of the research

Future Meetups

  • Call for Tinderbox Feature Trainers; we are looking for people to provide a 10-minute training on a specific Tinderbox feature (what it is and how, an example of why to use it, and how) at the start of each Tinderbox meeting. If you’re interested in providing a 10-minute training, contact @satikusala.
  • Feb. 18 Chris Aldrich To talk on Tools for Thought
  • Feb. 24 Blogging with Tinderbox to be Taught by Dave Rogers, Jack Baty, Mark Bernstein


Please comment

Please help with the development of future sessions by answering the three questions below.

  • What were your top 2~3 key takeaways from this lesson?
  • What do you want to learn next? Learn more about?
  • What exercises would help reinforce your learning?

TBX Meetup 04FEB24 Unedited Zoom AI Companion Script


Quick recap

The text covers a wide range of topics discussed in a meeting. The topics discussed include a technical issue regarding the absence of an ellipsis in their chat menu and the introduction of a new rule for future meetings. The meeting also involved introductions and planning for forthcoming events. The discussion also touched upon the participants’ disciplinary backgrounds and experiences with digital media. Towards the end, the meeting was disrupted by technical difficulties.


Technical, Relationship, and Future Discussions


Michael Becker and Mark Bernstein discussed a technical issue regarding the absence of an ellipsis in their chat menu. David Kolb confirmed his authorship of the hypertext “Socrates from the Labyrinth” and agreed to consider joining future discussions. Michael Becker suggested arranging a meeting with Mark Anderson ) to further discuss this potential opportunity and requested David Kolb’s email for future communication.

Introductions and Planning for Upcoming Events


The meeting involved introductions and planning for forthcoming events. David Kolb, Mark Bernstein, and Cathy Marshall, who joined from San Francisco, discussed the need for a screen share for Cathy’s slides. Mark Bernstein initiated the meeting, reminding the team about the East Gate list and the Tinderbox Forum. He introduced Cathy Marshall, who is working on a biography of Beat poet John Volmer and a new book about data. Upcoming events, including a session on Tinderbox for weblogs with Dave Rogers, Jack Bailey, and others, were also discussed. Michael Becker led a discussion about the agenda for future meetings, proposing a new rule where each meeting would start or end with a 10-minute tutorial on a specific Tinderbox feature. He encouraged community members to volunteer to lead these sessions. Cathy Marshall was preparing to share her slides for her presentation towards the end of the meeting.

Disciplinary Diversity in Tinderbox Users


Cathy Marshall initiated a round of introductions where each participant shared their disciplinary background. The group was diverse, with members having backgrounds in chemistry, philosophy, digital humanities, architecture, law, programming, computer science, biology, web security, and environmental engineering, among others. The discussion also touched upon their experiences with digital media and how they utilize tools such as Tinderbox in their work. A notable mention was Paul Christy, a retired economist who uses Tinderbox to manage information for four nonprofit boards he leads.

Biography Research and AI Impact Discussed


Cathy Marshall discussed her work on a biography project about Lyndon Johnson and her interest in Robert Carroll’s research book. She shared her experiences and challenges in conducting research, such as the decentralized nature of the subject’s materials and the potential of biography to bring together physical and digital media. Cathy also touched on the impact of AI on research, the challenges of verifying online information, and the importance of considering the provenance of information. She highlighted the difficulties involved in piecing together the life of a minor figure from the past, as demonstrated in her biography about Joan Vulner burrows. Towards the end, technical difficulties disrupted the meeting.

Regex Stamp for Variable Codes in Text


Michael Becker demonstrated a solution he developed to a challenge he encountered during his doctoral dissertation. He found it useful to include variable codes in his text for easy reference and search, but his chair found them distracting. To resolve this, Michael Becker created a Regex stamp that hides these codes from the reader while keeping them visible to the writer. He explained the process of using the stamp, which involves extracting the variable codes from the text, replacing them with a span element set to display none, and then inserting the results back into the text. This way, the writer can still use the codes for reference and research, while the reader sees a clean document without the codes.

Joan Vulner’s Unknown Life: Research and Discoveries


Cathy Marshall discussed her research on Joan Vulner, focusing on a previously unknown aspect of her life. She shared a story about a competitor who encountered challenges in conducting remote research due to the lack of information available online and in secondary sources. Cathy also mentioned her visit to the Ginsburg collection at Stanford, where she discovered a photo she initially thought was of Joan, but later realized was of Sessa Carr. She also shared about her collection of over 40,000 items related to Joan and other figures. Cathy revealed that Joan had a first husband whom she later married in Henderson, North Carolina, but the marriage was later annulled. She concluded by sharing a memo from the Dean of Barnard about Joan’s actions.

The Keeler Mystery: Fraud and Identity Theft


Cathy Marshall recounted a story about her family’s interaction with a man named Howard Keeler, who had married into the family. She discussed how Keeler had portrayed himself as wealthy but had humble origins. She also shared her research into Keeler’s life, including his participation in the Columbia track team and his career as a real estate agent. She revealed that Keeler had been involved in fraud and had likely assumed a new identity. Cathy Marshall concluded that Keeler had been living in a rooming house since before 1935, working as a bridge teacher, and was communicating with his ex-wife, Mrs. Keeler.

Photo, Fire Ant, Julie, Burroughs, Ginsberg Stories


Cathy Marshall shared several stories and discussions during the meeting. She presented two stories related to a collection of photos from the late 1940s, expressing doubt about their authenticity and suggesting further investigation. She also discussed the issue of fire ants in Texas and her personal experiences with them. Additionally, she brought up a picture of a girl named Julie, questioning the assumption of neglect and suggesting a more nuanced understanding of the situation. Lastly, she discussed a series of images and stories related to William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, sharing details about their collaboration and experiences.

Special Collections Challenges and Significance


Cathy Marshall discussed the complexities and significance of special collections and reading rooms, such as the Allen Ginsberg collection at Stanford University. She highlighted the importance of understanding the scope of a collection and its relation to other collections, as well as the challenges posed by privacy, copyright, and access policies. Cathy shared her personal experiences and challenges in using special collections, including note-taking and citation. She also discussed the potential problems of digitizing collections, such as digital leakage and the challenge of capturing context. Towards the end, she mentioned her upcoming book on the transition from physical to digital materials. Michael Becker raised concerns about potential privacy issues.

Next steps


Cathy will share her experiences with biographical and historical research and digital media after the meeting.