Sunday, July 31, 2005

Agnotology

Philobiblon notes a whole new field of cultural studies: how knowledge is lost, distorted and suppressed. The blogosphere ought to be a fantastic field study....

Updates: I think I'm going to keep a list of really good examples here

But the campaign has already begun...

[via my brother]
I don't know if this will work in blogger, but here goes:



There's also a sidebar version as well, which will probably get pretty popular. My only objection to this is that I'm rooting for a Democratic revolution in 2006, leading to impeachment proceedings, so this is a maximum, not an absolute, countdown.

"All rights are a right to privacy."

The guys over at Positive Liberty have been going nuts on privacy and the ninth amendment, and they're great. My favorite single line so far, really the crux of the matter, is by Timothy Sandefeur:
I have never liked the phrase "right to privacy." It is redundant. All rights are a right to privacy.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Kristof misses again

Kristof of the NYTimes has one talent: storytelling. He's terrible at analysis, but he's got an amazing talent for finding people on the edges and telling their stories. In the case of religious conservative activism against North Korea, he's missing the forest for the trees. I'll update this entry with my own e-mail to the Times, which they did not deign to publish, when I'm at the right computer... Here it is:
Mr. Kristof's criticism of "liberals" for not being as vocal as Christian conservatives about repression and atrocities in North Korea is a classic example of mistaking volume for content. A steady drumbeat of "isn't that awful" does not equal policy substance. Liberals have been trying for years, unsuccessfully and without a lot of help from conservatives, Christian or otherwise, to push the administration to deal constructively with Kim Jong Il's regime. We have pushed for talks; we have proposed alternative solutions; we have regularly pointed out the failure of the administration to make progress or even to properly prioritize the issues. I feel no shame for myself or "liberals" in general on this issue: it is the administration which should be ashamed, and the Republican establishment which has let it slide by with so little effort.

Changes

I will be moving most of my blog reading to bloglines, and I will probably be posting less frequently. I will also be trimming from the blogroll here those sites that I don't read frequently and/or which don't link back to me.

Gut reactions are for food...

The ever-sensible Natalie Bennett suggests that immediate legislative and procedural responses to something like the London attacks are likely to be overreactions and counterproductive. It's not a new point, but it's one that bears repeating. Panic, like everything else, needs to be done in moderation.

"India, that hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia..."

It's the 2005 Bulwer-Lytton Contest for worst opening line of a novel! The best really bad prose imaginable... to be fair, the man for whom the contest is named wasn't as bad as all that, but he spawned some of the most hideous imitators and cliches.

Adventure category Runner-Up:
It was high noon in the jungles of South India when I began to recognize that if we didn't find water for our emus soon, it wouldn't be long before we would be traveling by foot; and with the guerilla warriors fast on our heals, I was starting to regret my decision to use poultry for transportation.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Difference

between a conceptual artist and a normal person:
  • bizarrely inflated sense of self-importance
  • press releases and gallery notes detailing the smallest actions
  • Tag (Garage, Yard, etc) Sale prices differ by two-three orders of magnitude
  • Sense of accomplishment not linked to actual results
  • Considers adding to the problem OK, if it "draws attention"
Feel free to add items in comments.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Wholesale corruption

A skeptical journalist finally looks past the horse-race and hurt-feelings stories to the actual cheating:
Here’s the thing about Ohio. Until you really look at it, you won’t understand its significance, which is this: the techniques used in this particular theft have the capacity to alter elections not by dozens or hundreds or even thousands of votes, but by tens of thousands.
And that's not including the damned no-trail digital voting. But there's some hope: Voters are taking the State to court to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Not a timed test, thank God.

Your IQ Is 135

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

I'm pretty sure I only missed one question (out of sixteen), and it was actually quite tricky (actually, that's how you do an IQ test in sixteen questions: very tricky questions): I could argue the definitions.... never mind.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm so vain.

This week’s Carnival of the Vanities #149 is now up at Pratie Place. I note this, of course, because there's a link to my Harry Potter Review.

Not only is it a carnival made up entirely of submissions, with no filtration whatsoever, there's a convenient multi-carnival submission form. Last week's was done in a very clever format; this week's is hardly more than pasted information from the submission form. But hey, links are links, right?

Update: According to my traffic stats, I get more traffic from a single comment on a really good blog then I get from the CoV mentions. Hmm.

Update 2: Carnival of the Vanities has pulled ahead, probably due to the Instapundit link. Hmm.

Woohoo! We're Back

We've got people in space again! If you've got a broadband connection, check out the launch. Damn, that thing is fast.... we rock, when we want to.

Good news and bad news

[via Sideshow]
The good news is that we've stopped an average of six terror plots a year for the last decade, so there are some pretty incompetent terrorists out there against whom our criminal justice system can very effectively defend. The bad news is that they're Americans, Christians, White, and we're not doing anything to address the roots of terror in our own society. We keep saying that Muslims need to: what they really need, it turns out, is an FBI like the one we used to have before 9/11.

Hypocrisy Watch: Billmon on Abu Ghraib Information

I'm not a huge fan of Billmon, but his ability to find and juxtapose contradictory information, and to let that juxtaposition speak for itself, is brilliant. His latest post at Tom Tomorrow contrasts Rumsfeld's remarks on the value of open information with reportage and comments on the Abu Ghraib abuse cases. What makes it all the more galling is that the adminstration is trying to cloak it's coverup in the very rules about protection of prisoners and soldiers that they violated, and by and large, Republicans are letting them.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Capsule Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Half-Blood Prince is the The Empire Strikes Back of the series. Discuss.

I thought it was a Trek quiz....

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?
Gifted and studious, you willingly approach the perils ahead with the help of your talents and friends.

I don't go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me



Damn. I coulda been Susan Ivanova!

Quotations #067

"In a free society, art is not a weapon." -- Pres. John F. Kennedy

"We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe." -- John Henry Newman, 1848

"Omnia Romae cum Pretio [Everything in Rome ... at a price.]" -- Juvenal

"The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause." -- HenrĂ­ Bergson (1907)

"Nothing could be more lovely and fearless than Chaucer. But already Shakespeare is morbid with fear, fear of consequences. That is the strange phenomenon of the English Renaissance: this mystic terror of the consequences, the consequences of actions." -- D.H.Lawrence, Phoenix (1936)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Hypocrisy Watch: Santorum

Rick Santorum is getting his kids' charter school tuition paid by a district in which he doesn't live. Abuse of process, misdirection of public funds, flaunting the law....

I recently discovered an interesting acronym: IOKIYAR, which stands for "It's OK If You're A Republican." In other words, it's shorthand for hypocrisy by the current party in power. I will say, and this is one of the reasons why Hypocrisy Watch is a feature here, the present Republican Party seems uniquely incapable of self-examination and self-correction. Perhaps because it's modern roots come not from Lincoln, but from the Dixiecrats, a group which prefered political treachery to evolution.

Someone spent SIX years

writing a novel of five chapters, each of which uses only one vowel, over and over and over....

I feel curiously better about my own work, now.

Repeat after Anne...

Homophobia Kills.
Homophobia Kills.
Any questions?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Thursday Lyrics: If I Were Taken Now

dedicated to all those who leave loved ones behind when they go off to war


If I Were Taken Now
by Fred Small

If I were taken now
I would remember the light in your hair
The darkness at the center of your eye
If I were taken now
I would remember the small of your back
The arc of your shoulder

If I were taken now
I would give thanks
For the kindness you showed in loving me so easily

If I were taken now
I would remember your breath on my cheek
The soft conspiracy of your kiss
If I were taken now
I would remember how quickly you laugh
Warm as winter's kitchen

If I were taken now
I would ask forgiveness
For every time my thoughtlessness caused you pain
Or made you doubt me

A swarm of stars
A fleet of fireflies
Would pilot me into the night
I would not be frightened
But I would miss you
I would miss you

(the index of other lyrics and poetry I've posted is here)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Cipher? Or are we just Google-eyed?

In at least one sense, the nomination of John Roberts is brilliant: it's impossible to Google him for quick reference. Here's a quick and dirty survey of the internet, including how highly ranked non-nominee John Roberts's are in the search results. I'm just sorry I didn't think to do this yesterday when the news first broke:
namenumber of Google Hitsnon-nominee results in top ten hits
"John Roberts"about 380,000eight, including a folk singer, a saint, a car dealership, a beauty salon, a Quaker, and a printing company
"John G. Roberts"about 16,800none. I sure hope he used his middle initial most of the time
"John Glover Roberts"10several, most of them involve an actor named "John Glover"
John Glover Roberts (no quotation marks)about 794,000all, including several other "John Glover" results: the serial killer, the actor, and the artist.
If you want to know how the "Jr." affects the results, do it yourself. For now I'll just note that both right and left think his lack of a real judicial record is a problem. I'd discount his work as an administration lawyer or in private practice, except for noting the people with whom he chose to associate himself. On those grounds, I'd say that he's worth opposing, but unless something really damning comes out, he's not worth making ourselves fools over (though Billmon thinks we can make the Republicans look like fools with relatively little difficulty. It's tempting). There are other arenas and other issues and other branches of government worth the fight. But that's my first take: I reserve the right to get in a froth as I learn more...

Codependency: addict and pusher

Anne Zook notes the fiscal realities of war, the budgetary and economic dependence on war as a prop to some significant segments of our society, and also that our Vice President is one of the finest examples of the disgusting fashion in which politics, military and economics and oil come together.

Full disclosure: I have family ties to defense contractors, but we're talking about people who work for a living and make things that are supposed to make our military forces safer and more effective. Not leeches.

Someone's gotta be sensible...

Of course, everyone wants to be in Gryffindor, but someone's gotta keep this place running while Snakes and Lions snipe at each other...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Moral Markets

Abu Aardvark notes a controversy about sports free agency and sharia law with some amusement. I'm not as amused (well, ok, I am) because there's a strong overlap between Sharia and Talmudic law in the area of contracts and moral business behavior. As far as I know, no Rabbi has ruled on the free agency issue, but there's plenty of Talmudic and Sharia material on indentured servants, slaves, artisans and contracts which would be entirely relevant to the question.

Just a reminder that there are other ways to view business behavior in free markets than simple "market order" (i.e. reacting to purely fiscal measures of behavior).

Useful Computer Upgrades

I'm shopping for a new computer, actually....Update: And if that's not enough, how about a USB Coffee Cup Mouse?

I'm less trashy than Orac!

But not by much....
I am 13% White Trash.
Not at all White Trashy!
I, my friend, have class. I am so not white trash. I am more than likely a Democrat, and my place is neat, and there is a good chance I may never drink wine from a box.
To be fair, I do drink box wine sometimes, but only in other people's homes; it's not bad, if you don't think of it as wine. More of a "wine drink".... Historically, most wine wasn't very good anyway.

In other news, I already took this one and came out Les Miserables.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Selective Quotation Watch

Canadian Cynic caught a fine example of selective quotation, including a (barely) deceptive mis-direction link. People have been beating on Paul Krugman for a while, particularly since Okrent decided to try to make a name for himself by taking a bite out of Krugman (he hadn't distinguished himself as "public editor"), but most of what Krugman does is precisely what CC did here: reveal the missing pieces of the puzzle, take the spin out of the numbers.

In this case, there's a bit of humility for both sides of the aisle, because the stock market tax reciept bubble which is being touted by our current misadministration is very much like the one touted as deficit-closing, market-friendliness by the last administration. Hindsight.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Patriotism...

USPatriotsUnited: Ten Characteristics of A True US Patriot [via Sideshow] is an interesting list, but too specific. First impression: It's a liberal list, though it tries to hide it. I'm not saying that they're wrong, but it's a bludgeon, not an argument.

Deny, Deny, Deny, Sorry!

Avedon Carol said it, so I don't have to:
Does anyone else think it's funny that after years of denying that there was ever a "Southern Strategy", the head of the RNC has finally apologized for it? Actually, the apology itself is kind of a knee-slapper, too. "We're sorry. We're not racist anymore. Please vote for us now, even though we will illegally remove your names from the voting rolls, close your local polling places on election day, and then refuse to count your votes." Ho ho ho.
As a friend once said, you'd think the words would stick in their throats. But no, they just keep coming.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Thursday Verses: Home Repair Haiku

I wrote these.
Long the seat pinched,
Until it cracked completely.
Ah. New toilet seat.
The first syllable of the third line is an interesting turning point. As I've written it here, it's a kind of neutral exclamation, the understated surprise of sitting on something that lacks a familiar flaw. I thought about using "Ohhh" but thought that was a bit lurid. I could go with the even more understated "So," but I like it the way it is. In a similar vein,
Two years of scratching:
Attic ventholes need covers.
Now, silence above.
There is something melancholy about expelling a critter, particularly a long-time resident, from your home. Though there is also a great sense of shamefully delayed accomplishment at finally figuring out what it was and how the damned thing was getting in. Last, but not least,
To accomodate
the broken desk lamp, a hole
drilled in the new shelf
No, each line does not have to be a self-contained grammatical phrase. Elegant solutions sometimes violate our sense of order, but they are elegant nonetheless.

(the index of other lyrics and poetry I've posted is here)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

RePlotting Rove v. Plame

A couple of bloggers are having fun coming up with possible backstories for why Rove revealed the identity of an undercover CIA agent, most of which have to do with romantic entanglements. None of them have gone so far as to postulate time travel, mind control, or psychic predictions yet, so there's lots of room for new ideas! They're having fun. [via Sideshow]

Speaking of having fun (also via Sideshow), check out these new proposed laws, guaranteed to whet your appetite for blood and offend your sensibilities, no matter where on the political spectrum you fall (downside: Gitmo will have to be expanded, probably to the entire island of Cuba). Sometimes speaking the truth is just so damn funny...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Revolving Door

Anne Zook notes the revolving door (on the right) between government service, disservice and Republican-friendly "private" military-industrial complexes. You could add examples from other corporate holding areas as well. Dishonor, even conviction, is no bar to service, if you're on the right side.

Hypocrisy check: if the Democrats did this Republicans would
a. scream bloody murder
b. make campaign commercials with revolving doors on jails
c. hold up presidential appointments and refuse to adequately fund background checks
d. all of the above

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Quotations #066

"The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent." -- George Orwell

"Any soldier worth his salt should be anti-war." -- Norman Schwarzkopf (1991)


"I always said God was against art and I still believe it." -- Edward Elgar

"The history of art is the history of revivals." -- Samuel Butler

"Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing that which has been done before." -- Edith Wharton

Friday, July 08, 2005

A Short Guide to Commentary on the Recent London Bombings

Don't mistake my disdain for cascades of commentary with any lack of sympathy for the victims -- the actual victims, not the vicarious thrill-seekers or panickers -- of the attacks, or with deep concern for real issues.

1. Brief expressions of sympathy and concern, remembrances of London, etc. are fine. "We are all Londoners now" is a cheap imitation of post-9/11 sentiment, and, unless you've actually recently converted to a universalist faith like Baha'i, you might as well stick with "we feel your pain" or "sorry for your loss" or something a bit less fraught with bathos.

2. If the words "as I said before" appear anywhere in the piece it's repetition. Nothing's changed, at least not in their own mind. "I told you so" is not a pretty thing to read, and it doesn't really advance the discussion much, particularly since we don't actually know very much yet.
2a. Odds are pretty good that this is an excuse to flog an agenda or an opponent, and may not actually have anything to do with terrorism, London, or any other matter at hand. Particularly since we don't know very much yet.
2b. Any mention of political parties, affiliations or elections should result in an immediate shift of your attention towards something more productive. Snacking, or online gambling, or something.

3. If the words "alleged," "suspected," "probably," or other qualifiers appear, then it's probably repetition, and it's certainly speculation. They don't know anything you don't, but they want to say something. And they're trying to avoid having to apologize for something later. They are thinking out loud, and either are paid to fill space, or don't have anything better to do with their time. If you get paid to read this stuff, fine; otherwise, find something better.
3a. Trying to interpret motives of an unknown actor from a single act is absurd.
3b. It could mean almost anything; only more facts will allow us to figure out what it was supposed to mean and only what we and others do in response to it will determine what effect it has.

4. Nothing said by a politician or other public figure, unless they actually know something and reveal it, is worth much of anything except a bit of inspiration. Fine, if that's what you're looking for, but don't waste our time "analyzing" what are basically content-free exercises in emotional showmanship.

Now, I'm perfectly happy to read original, interesting, coherent new ideas. But until we have a damned good idea of what happened, don't jump to conclusions and try to avoid running (your mouth) in place. Please.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Thursday Lyric: After All

This is one of the poems which brought me to Henry Lawson, through the singing of Garnet Rogers (listen here to the cut from this classic album, though he changed a few words to make it more song-like); there is no more romantic statement, to my mind, in the English language than "The ghost of the man that I might have been is gone from my heart to-day."

This is dedicated to my love, my dear, my match, my patient and inspiring spouse.

After All
by Henry Lawson

The brooding ghosts of Australian night have gone from the bush and town;
My spirit revives in the morning breeze,
though it died when the sun went down;
The river is high and the stream is strong,
and the grass is green and tall,
And I fain would think that this world of ours is a good world after all.

The light of passion in dreamy eyes, and a page of truth well read,
The glorious thrill in a heart grown cold of the spirit I thought was dead,
A song that goes to a comrade's heart, and a tear of pride let fall --
And my soul is strong! and the world to me is a grand world after all!

Let our enemies go by their old dull tracks,
and theirs be the fault or shame
(The man is bitter against the world who has only himself to blame) ;
Let the darkest side of the past be dark, and only the good recall;
For I must believe that the world, my dear, is a kind world after all.

It well may be that I saw too plain, and it may be I was blind;
But I'll keep my face to the dawning light,
though the devil may stand behind!
Though the devil may stand behind my back, I'll not see his shadow fall,
But read the signs in the morning stars of a good world after all.

Rest, for your eyes are weary, girl -- you have driven the worst away --
The ghost of the man that I might have been is gone from my heart to-day;
We'll live for life and the best it brings till our twilight shadows fall;
My heart grows brave, and the world, my girl, is a good world after all.

(the index of other lyrics and poetry I've posted is here)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Is satire always an attack?

Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury poked fun at bloggers this week (though I don't know any who are cat food eaters, quite a few blog about their cats with surprising intensity) and some of them are a bit upset. But he's also done sequences in which blogs were featured more benignly (around the Howard Dean campaign, for example) as well as critiques of "mainstream" media outlets of all sorts, from Fox to NPR. He's also satirized families, presidents, diseases, dictators and colleges. Does he hate them all?

No, you overweening nuts: he's a satirist: his job is to find the humorous kernels of truth and expose them, to "strip off the comforting veneer of half-truth" as Michael Flanders said. Some of us bloggers are really intense, socially and economically disfunctional, neurotic/maniacal geeks.

Humility, a friend of mine once suggested, is one of the most important aspects of making progress. Let us be unashamed of our selves as long as our achievements are duly noted along with our quirks. Let them ridicule us, knowing that they also read us; we ridicule them the same way.

We're not all nice, normal, high-functioning sorts. If it doesn't apply to you, then fine; you've got a nice life. But rest assured, some of us (and I'm not necessarily excluding myself here) are weird, fanatical, unfit loudmouths who would be (just) muttering on streetcorners or bloviating in bars if we didn't have blogs. How can you blog and not know that?

Ohio Voting Official Fraud Roundup

[via Sideshow]
If you want a concise and straightforward description of the official vote fraud perpetrated in Ohio, look no further. There's another discussion to be had about unofficial fraud, of course, but let's start somewhere. Indictments, perhaps. Or at least enforceable pledges that things will be different next time.

What is an Activist Judge?

Gerwitz and Golder want to define "judicial activism" as a function of votes to strike down legislations. As they note, it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's one non-partisan way to measure it. What I'd like to see is an analysis that differentiated between striking down legislation produced by a Congress of one's own party and that produced by a Congress of the other party. This court has sat through mostly Republican dominated Congresses, though, so that's not a terribly important distinction in the short term.
Thomas 65.63 %
Kennedy 64.06 %
Scalia 56.25 %
Rehnquist 46.88 %
O’Connor 46.77 %
Souter 42.19 %
Stevens 39.34 %
Ginsburg 39.06 %
Breyer 28.13 %

2BRNT2B

N8Z1

A few people who've commented, here or by e-mail, admitted that they had the same reaction I did: "That doesn't say 'Nazi,' does it?" Some have tried to come up with alternative readings, but I'm not buying it.

Most states have requirements that personalized plates not be offensive, vulgar; some even limit political speech. Is this something that should be questioned officially? That's my question: do I go to the DMV and say "this license plate should be investigated and probably revoked" or do I just shrug and move on?

Civil Discourse

[via wood s lot]
There is an unfortunate tendency to assume that civil discourse has occurred whenever two or more people are nice to each other, say something, and don’t get into an argument. That is misleading on all three counts.
...civil discourse has not occurred if boundaries have not been crossed.
...civil discourse has not occurred if boundaries that define spaces of sound and spaces of silence have not been recognized and honored.
...Where there is no argument, there is no civil discourse.
We must openly disagree if we are to discover what binds us together and what we can accomplish. We must talk to each other in order to disagree. We must speak honestly as well as decently, which means that we may sometimes need to say unpleasant things about each other. And about ourselves.

UPDATE: In an odd flash of relevancy, our President has called for "civility" in the Supreme Court nomination process. He's called for Senators to "ignore interest groups", which makes no sense: why would you ignore the people with the greatest expertise and stake in the matter at hand, particularly when they represent substantial portions of the electorate which our, ahem, elected officials are pledged to represent as well? Oh, he means "the fringes," that neatly defined subset of interest groups which don't really have anything interesting to say....

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Carnivalesque #6

The Early Modern History roundup has been posted at Cliopatria. Lots of good history: the stuff by Sharon Howard and MisterAitch is particularly first-rate.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Kelo Is Not The Last Word

I do not share Mr. Jones' belief that Congress can singlehandedly obviate the Kelo decision with funding withholdings. What will happen, instead, is that the courts will be forced to figure out what in the world Congress means in its vague formulation. And, of course, Congress being what it is, exemptions (this being law, not justice) will be the newest form of pork-trading, fundamentally returning us to the Kelo standard.

"Secret Air War Seals the Case for War Crime Charges"

Among the other counts against Bush in the dock will be deliberate violations of international law to provide a pretext for war. No wonder the administration won't endorse the ICJ.

Myers-Briggs Shortcut

I've been looking for a reasonable length Myers-Briggs test for a while. This one is 40 questions, and, as usual, I wish there was a way to indicate questions that could easily go both ways.

Your #1 Match: INTP

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can. Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge. Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat. A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

Your #2 Match: ISTP


The Mechanic

You are calm and collected, even in the most difficult of situations. A person of action and self-direction, you love being independent. To outsiders you seem impulsive, surprising, and unpredictable. You are good at understanding how all things work, except for people.

You would make an excellent pilot, forensic pathologist, or athlete.

Your #3 Match: ENTP

The Visionary

You are charming, outgoing, friendly. You make a good first impression. You possess good negotiating skills and can convince anyone of anything. Happy to be the center of attention, you love to tell stories and show off. You're very clever, but not disciplined enough to do well in structured environments.

You would make a great entrpreneur, marketing executive, or actor.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Google Accelerator Brings Satire to Life

I remember the first time I read the expanded Assembly Command Set with such immortal tools as "branch and hang" and "Convert to Roman Numerals" and, my personal favorite, "halt and catch fire." (Here's an even bigger collection).

Well, Google has gone ahead and done it. Their new Accelerator tool actually clicks and caches everything on a web page, ignoring little distractions like Javascript confirmation dialogues, including delete and abort buttons. Needless to say, this isn't good.... there's a patch. Does Google also sell back-up utilities, I wonder? [via All About Access]

Pick a Card.....

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

[via Natalie Bennett]

Saturday, July 02, 2005

OK, let's talk.

A conservative offers a truce, ground rules for serious discussion. Problem? Aside from the hard left, the fringe, most of what he requests of his interlocuters has already been conceded. Not so sure the converse applies, but at the very least he's willing to talk.

Still, it's a really good move towards something resembling a middle ground, and I'll have more thoughts about it later. It's nice to discover that there might be someone out there I can talk to.

My Taste in ROCK Music

Your Taste in Rock Music:

Classic Rock: High Influence
80's Rock: Medium Influence
80's Pop: Low Influence
Progressive Rock: Low Influence
Of course, the complete lack of folk, classical, jazz....Beatles? I was prepared to dislike this quiz, but if you carefully check only acts that you really like, it comes out OK. It noted the complete lack of pop influence, at least.

Hey, I hadn't done a quiz in a while. This one's quick.

God Doesn't Blink....


[via Mr. Sun]

Real Life Rorschach

I saw this personalized license plate today. What do you think it's supposed to mean?

N8Z1

I'll weigh in soon, but not yet.
[Thanks to Avedon Carol for her links, and deepest sympathies for her loss]

Friday, July 01, 2005

History Carnival XI

Brandon has put more effort than usual into the visual aspects of the History Carnival (fun with bullets!), and also done a very nice job with sorting and introducing material. The role of alcohol in civilization is worth the price of admission alone. The Procession of the Cliopatriarchs has great stuff as well, particularly Luker and Ahmed's. Not new to me, but great stuff.