Monday, April 30

I, Cringely | The Pulpit . But then the good times ended, leaving these same tribes in shock. Having spent half a decade awash in Baby Ruth bars and parachute cloth, they suddenly had to do without. So the cults arose, rituals of paramilitary activity -- marching around in fake helmets carrying fake guns -- that were intended to coax from the sky more cargo planes, more parachutes, more PXs.

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Lions face new threat: they're rich, American and they've got guns The shortage of such beasts is now so great that hunters have been making use of a mane-extension service back in the US where fake hair is weaved in to give their trophies an extra flourish before they hang the heads.

Saturday, April 28

disinformation | chemtrails The domestic bio-warfare connection was given the most validity after former Lycos 'Entertainment News Service' reporter William Thomas wrote an article series about contrails that occasionally dripped down to earth in cobweb-like strands. Thomas said he and a medical expert collected samples of a 'brown, gel-like substance' that splattered over the sides of two aluminium structures in separate states and had them tested at an 'EPA'-licensed facility.

What are Cybernetics and Systems Science? Systems theory or systems science argues that however complex or diverse the world that we experience, we will always find different types of organization in it, and such organization can be described by concepts and principles which are independent from the specific domain at which we are looking. Hence, if we would uncover those general laws, we would be able to analyse and solve problems in any domain, pertaining to any type of system. The systems approach distinguishes itself from the more traditional analytic approach by emphasizing the interactions and connectedness of the different components of a system. Although the systems approach in principle considers all types of systems, it in practices focuses on the more complex, adaptive, self-regulating systems which we might call "cybernetic".

Social Aspects of Literacy The following is a guide to information, including books, av materials, journal articles and websites available through the Reference Library at Library Media Services in the Winnipeg School Division No. 1 on "Social Aspects of Literacy."

Grounded theory: a thumbnail sketch This distinction between "emergence and forcing", as Glaser frames it, is fundamental to understanding the methodology. Most of you, whatever your discipline, will have been exposed more to hypothesis-testing research than to emergent research. The research processes you have learned and the thesis structures you have internalised are those of hypothesis testing, not of emergence. Doing grounded theory well is partly a matter of unlearning some of what you have been taught or have acquired through your reading.

Friday, April 27

Slashdot | Data Munging with Perl Yes, you are missing something. You're absolutely right that you can get all the reference material you need on the web. That's what it does best. However, when you're trying to *learn* a new language, it's better to have your editor, a couple console windows, and a book open. That speeds up the write/compile/run cycle. No flipping back and forth from the browser. You learn faster.

[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Re:The power of paper? (Score:5, Interesting)
by interiot ( on Thursday April 26, @12:38PM EST (#44)
(User #50685 Info)
Get a second monitor to read documentation from. Not only would it pay for itself within 4 books, but it's more useful than a stack of spent books.

Balancing act is tough for women Although Silicon Valley women now contribute substantially to family income,
they still bear the brunt of household duties.
The study found that half of Silicon Valley women overall -- and 33 percent of women in marriages and partnerships -- provide the majority of their household incomes. But 47 percent also do most of the errand running, cleaning and child care, while 46 percent share those tasks. Only 7 percent of women said that someone else had the main responsibility for running the household.


David Eggers, on criticism: But criticism, for the most part, comes from the opposite place that book-enjoying should come from. To enjoy art one needs time, patience, and a generous heart, and criticism is done, by and large, by impatient people who have axes to grind. The worst sort of critics are (analogy coming) butterfly collectors - they chase something, ostensibly out of their search for beauty, then, once they get close, they catch that beautiful something, they kill it, they stick a pin through its abdomen, dissect it and label it. The whole process, I find, is not a happy or healthy one.

Hyperlinked Organization (JOHO) Feb. 6, 1998 It's depressing to admit it, but humans can't multitask -- we can't pay attention to two things simultaneously. (Obviously,we can be aware of many things at many levels simultaneously, but that's not the same thing as paying attention.)

Thursday, April 26

Chicago Tribune | Print Edition -- 3 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE READING THIS Parts of it were written years ago. Some came from old journals, some from episodes I wrote shortly after they happened. But in earnest, I spent about 8 months on it. I tend to write pretty quickly, in huge bursts, when I get going, and then edit very slowly. The structure was a huge problem, because I was constantly struggling between wanting to play around with the form of it all, and then having the actual material, the subject matter, overwhelm all the tricks and gimmicks.

Survival of the fittest Jini services, Part 1 - JavaWorld April 2001 In the near future, Frank Sommers argues, all information capable of digital capture will be recorded, and made available via the Web in the form of active, persistent objects. The primary consumers of this information will be machines (software), which will let people intelligently use increasingly larger portions of that vast resource.

Wednesday, April 25

My Manifesto - Archive - A Hearbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius: Revised I too have been keeping tabs on Eggers' literary stardom, or, as one recent Eggers essay said it best, fallen into a "relentless Google search for Egger's soul."

FoE! Log #8: The Dave Eggers Backlash Is "Five Minutes Ago" Eggers' accepted $1.4 million paperback book deal with Vintage, turned-down seven-figure movie deal, and rapid-firing of agents has been making news lately.

My Manifesto - Archive - FoE! Log #18: Eggers Is Everywhere check out this comment from his Coupland summary:

Guardian Unlimited Observer | Life | Dead man talking 'The army was a right-wing finishing school for Tim,' agrees Lou Michel. 'They taught him to separate his emotions from his actions and the motto Tim remembers was: "Blood makes the grass grow greener." After the Gulf War, he really became indifferent to life. This is the man who told me: "I understand what they felt in Oklahoma City. I have no sympathy for them."'

Google Search: Nice thread on using Palm pilots for ward record keeping.

Content Management There are two fundamental elements to content management: (1) storing stuff in a content repository, and (2) supporting the workflow of a group of people engaged in putting stuff into that repository. This chapter will treat the storage problem first and then the workflow support problem.

I can't believe I am getting whipped into a frenzy over speed bumps. This signifies something I would rather not think about.

Metafilter | Comments on 7216 In addition, further respondents to this thread, in the interest of full disclosure, should declare whether they have young children or not.
posted by mecran01 at 7:22 AM PST on April 25

The response below pisses me off!

I have two daughters, 12 and 5, and at no time during their lives did I agree with speed bumps. I am aware of the phenomenon whereby new parents become obsessed with safety entirely out of proportion to the existing threats. My ex-wife is the master of this sort of excess. At one point, she told me that it was unacceptable to leave the children (then 11 and 4) unattended for the 90 seconds that it takes me to put a bag of trash in the dumpster.

In much the same way that I don't think non-parents should tell parents how to raise our children, I don't think parents should impose their irrational fears on everyone else. It is not uncommon, for example, for parents to press pre-schools not to allow any sort of junk food in any kids' lunches because they don't want their own children exposed to the horror of Ding Dongs, or whatever.

You want to keep your kids safe? Do what I did: teach them not to play in the road.

I can't stand that psuedo-neo-libertarian smugness crap.

Joel on Software Human Task Switches Considered Harmful

More on "task-switching." I tend to agree that the time required for task switching with people, especially writing projects, can be a real drag.

Tuesday, April 24

CROCODILE DUNDEE IN LOS ANGELES/ ** (PG) .Roger Ebert writes: It may not be brilliant, but who would you rather your kids took as a role model: Crocodile Dundee, David Spade or Tom Green? It is a melancholy milestone in our society when parents pray, "Please, God, let my child grow up to admire a crocodile rassler," but there you have it."

ZDNet: Content Management for Dummies Content Management for Dummies
By Jim Lynch, PC Magazine
February 7, 2001

Atomz Publish from Atomz Corp., a developer of Web-hosted applications, is an easy-to-use, content management system designed with midsize to large Web sites in mind. This application allows everyone from Web developers to nontechnical users to edit and update Web content directly via a browser: There is no need to install any software, and you don't even have to be familiar with HTML.

The Seattle Times: Never again, New York: Authorship for no fun and no profit It fell to my brother Pat, during the writing of "The Visionary Position," my second New-York-published book, to strong-arm money out of my editor at Random House. Pat, who owned a bookstore at the time, wrote to Random House president Alberto Vitale explaining that he was writing a check to me for the amount he owed Random House because he heard the publisher was having trouble paying me. There must have been subsequent rumblings in the corporation, for my check from Random House arrived within days, along with a letter from my editor saying that she hoped this "cleared up any misunderstanding" I might be having about her.


Video games, music, and murder
1990, number of teenaged boys who played violent interactive video games: 0.
Number of rap music (including “gangsta”) albums sold, 1990: 74 million.
Number of teenage boys arrested for murder in 1990: 6,600.

1999, number of teenage boys who played violent video games: 5 million.
Number of rap/gangsta albums sold: 125 million.
Number of teenage boys arrested for murder: 3,700.

Rate of non-Hispanic white teenagers arrested for murder (reporting states) in 1990: 3.1 per 100,000.
Rate in 1998: 1.1 per 100,000.

Monday, April 23

Handsets in Europe Strike a New Chord as Pop Music Replaces Beeps The snippets of song, known here by the German word "Klingeltöne", have become so common that trains, stadiums and pubs regularly turn into impromptu karaoke centers as soon as a phone rings. If Eric Clapton's "Layla" beeps out from someone's phone on a train, people all over the car start singing. When a phone rings "Who Let The Dogs Out?" in a pub, the whole bar bursts into rapping and barking; the effect gets increasingly raucous as last call approaches.

Friday, April 20 Hit & Run 04.19.01 Teacher evaluations are designed and executed to give students the illusion of authority. Anybody who has spent any time around college administrators knows that the complaints of disgruntled students are viewed with nothing but contempt, and that those student evaluations they hand out at the end of the semester generally end up unread at the bottom of some archival dumpster

State of the Art: If Typing Won't Do, Speak Up For example, the act of composing prose is very different when you're talking to a computer. To maximize accuracy by gauging context, speech programs analyze entire phrases or sentences, not individual words. You see nothing on the screen until just after you stop speaking.
As a result, you learn to form each sentence in your head before speaking. Otherwise, you develop Speech Recognition Babble, in which, to avoid stopping in midphrase to think (impairing accuracy), you keep spewing words, keeping the sentence alive at all costs. ("Mary had a little pet, and it was a baby animal on a farm, and it was small and. . . . ")

State of the Art: If Typing Won't Do, Speak Up Speaking conversationally, I can dicate about 130 words a minute, and people walking into my office and watching NaturallySpeaking 5.0 pour prose (like this column) into Word or Outlook Express often think they have stumbled onto the set of a "Star Trek" movie.

I've decided to move Markzilla here, because
1. posting to blogspot is faster than ftp-ing
2. There's less chance it will be indexed by school crawlers and read by folks in the department
3. Blogger is starting to surpass other weblogging software in ease, support, and reliability. yeah!

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