Friday, January 23, 2004

I know that my sense of humor tends toward the demented, but this picture really made me laugh. (But then, I just can't get enough of this whole Howard Dean thing.)

(Link edited)

OK, who's planning to see this?

I want to, although I'll probably wait for the DVD.

Reactions to the Moon-Mars thing, nicely collected in one place.

(via Paul Riddell, my source for pithy science commentary)

Rolling Stone has a story about Justin Frankel, the inventor of Winamp and Gnutella (via kottke). I didn't know he wrote both of those. My thoughts:

- this guy's value on 'what he wants to do' is too high.
- AOL does stink.
- like Jaq has said, you can't be naive enough to think that, by empowering people you're not gouging the recording industry. Surely most of Gnutella's traffic is illeagal.
- there should be ways to listen before buying. But music that you keep listening to should be paid for.
- however, the current industry is messed up and charges too much.
- some of his motivations sound noble, down to 'taking the wind out of Napster's sails', but, again, it's naive to think there won't be abuse and to take no responsibility for the abuse, isn't it? What would the analogs with guns or cars be (oh, wait. Those industries shirk responsibility, too.)
- more naivete: AOL pays you 100 million dollars, they own you What'd you think? If you don't want them to own you, give some of the money back or negotiate a buy out or something.
- re: Frankel's question at the end, for my part, I think people tend to do what they want, even if it hurts others. We need structures in place to discourage some of those hurts, to keep all of us reined in a little. The tragedy of the commons seems obvious to me.

I've got a post on Metallica, too, that I'm going to put up on interact.
We now have an RSS feed for Collaboratory. Blogger added the feature this morning. I'm hoping it'll start showing up on BlogRolling as recently updated, but it has other advantages as well, like RSS readers. Any of y'all use those?

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Did we get our first comment spam?
Futility has nagged at Caroline for a long time. Four years ago, at the dawn of the new millennium, she sat at her kitchen table in Claremont, N.H., and added up her life. It was the height of the economic boom. The nation wallowed in luxury, burst with microchips, consumed with abandon, swaggered globally. Everything grew larger: homes, vehicles, stock portfolios, life expectancy. Never before in the sweep of human history had so many people been so utterly comfortable.

Caroline was not one of them.
Crooked Timber's Harry Farrell has some pointed commentary regarding comments made on other weblogs regarding the New York Times article, "A Poor Cousin of the Middle Class", a vignette about one member of the working poor.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

"You want to convince me of something, give me numbers." - young Jed Bartlet in the episode "Two Cathedrals" from The West Wing.

Filched from MeFi, here are some numbers on the Bush Administration.

Keep up the good work Start up the good work anytime now, Mr. President.

Collaboratory demographic survey time:

How many of you have taken the Best Places quiz before? I took it several years ago, but then again this morning.

What do you all consider the most important aspects of places to live, according to the categories they use? If you got to pick exactly where you lived, where would it be?