|log (2002/10/18 to 2002/10/24)|
Thursday, October 24, 2002
Hm, well, that idea about trying to do less computer-related stuff hasn't been going really really well. Attentive readers may already have noticed that yesterday my main activity was producing a CGI script to let me archive interesting bits of Metababy; so that's lots of time spent writing a computer program that's about a Web site.
Tonight I was going to sit down and write in the log here, in the chilly quiet house with everyone else asleep, and I thought I'd just stop in at Metababy for a second to see what had or hadn't happened recently. That was about an hour (or two?) ago. There was, mirable dictu, an actual conversation going on there, despite the utter chaos brought on by both the infrastructure (no way to protect your own words from others) and the culture (no one ever signs their name). It was kinda cool, and also funny. (There's also no file locking of any kind, so when I save my changes they may overlay the ones that you just made.)
Smart people there, though, and interacting in cool ways. I've stuck a few of the salient pages in the Gallery, so you can see what they looked like when I finally tore myself away. Who knows what they look like by now...
In between various bouts of Metababy, I'm still reading "Fingersmith", and it's still very, very good. You should read it, you really should; everyone should read it.
In an unrelated story,
I once believed that the private sector -- especially conservative multibillionaires who want less government involvement -- would rise to the occasion and provide the funding needed to replicate the programs that work, sustain them and bring them to market. One of the changes in my thinking was born of the hard reality I confronted when I tried to raise money for groups and community activists who were good at saving lives but not at raising funds. I sadly discovered how much easier it was raising money for the opera or a fashionable museum.
From a very ''amusing'' spammer:
''Order'' today and start ''losing'' ''weight'' tomorrow with next day shipping. Also take advantage of a ''Free'' Consultation for a limited time.
Avenue Victor Hugo Books is leaving Newbury Street. Interesting little essay on the actual effects of 'net book buying on actual bookstores. Avenue Vic is a very hoopy little store, and I used to regularly blow significant money (and shelf space) there when we had family living closer to downtown Boston.
Not about bookstores:
Centrally designed protocols start out strong and improve logarithmically. Evolvable protocols start out weak and improve exponentially. It's dinosaurs vs. mammals, and the mammals win every time. The Web is not the perfect hypertext protocol, just the best one that's also currently practical. Infrastructure built on evolvable protocols will always be partially incomplete, partially wrong and ultimately better designed than its competition.
By the way, I very much liked "by the mane of Logos" yesterday. Logos as Lion. Original, too.
A reader writes:
I like the line centering. You should adopt that as a continuing conceit of your blog.
in reference to the fact that non-Opera users saw most of the lines in the Log centered for the last couple of days. Bitten again by the fact that Opera turns off effects like centering and italics at the end of a paragraph, and IE doesn't. I'll consider doing it on purpose; but I'm not sure that centered text is all that easy to read?
I like being easy to read.
So anyway, due to my Metababy obsession it's now no longer Thursday in this time zone, and it's getting pretty cold back here, and I think I'll go to bed.
A traumatized reader writes:
By the mane of Logos, how on earth can you spend more than 30 seconds on Metababy?! The goat-oriented content sent me back-clicking toot sweet.
Oh yeah, heh heh. That's the gentleman showing off the unusual elasticity of his anal sphincter, as I mentioned the other day. Someone is very very determined to keep several copies of that picture on Metababy at all times.
I admit the first time I saw it my basal ganglia did phone in a certain frisson of "eeeeewwwww", but I guess it wasn't enough to drive me away. Now I'm pretty used to it, and I just think "ah, goatse", and I remove it, or make it smaller, or replace it with something else, or just leave it alone. It's part of the (ehe) atmosphere.
Speaking of Metababy, my Big Project for today was the Metababy Gallery, a place where I can store Metababy snapshots that I especially like (or dislike, or whatever), and let y'all see them without seeing much of the gentleman with the anus (there's one goatse image in there at the moment, where it was important to the flow of the text, but it's much reduced in size, and hopefully non-traumatic).
The design is a total ripoff of Metababy (with the kind permission of Greg). The underlying cgi script is a hack of my own. Note the über-clever "Metababy" link at the bottom of each page, that takes you right to the corresponding page on Metababy (if any).
So that's what I've been doing this evening, and so I haven't done much else to speak about, nor had any particularly noteworthy thoughts. But I wrote some code!
- 2 for "419"
What is it with this "yahoo webcam hack", anyway? (The naked helen pictures, we understand.)
By the way, it turns out that it's not as easy to bring down the Internet as some of us had feared. Or at least this particular attempt failed. If that's indeed what it was trying to do...
Speaking of insults, we discover on Weberrific (another one that linked to our famous witticism), an extremely clever telemarketing counter-script. This isn't just your typical "say 'oh, just a minute' and put the phone down for an hour" advice; this is designed.
Through 6th form and on in to university, there was a very clear overtone of "This is what you'll need for the exams" which is quite demoralising if you actually want to learn things outside the norm.
And more extendedly:
because I can, and it's quite easy and you wouldn't believe how pleasurable,and you know the best part? Nobody else on the bus knows I'm doing it at all!
We like that. We probably would believe how pleasurable. We very much enjoy scratching ourselves, too.
I'm really growing very fond of that little thing with the wheels over in the margin there. It even fits the color scheme perfectly! I wonder if the spammer I stole it from stole it in turn from someone else? I wonder if there's anyone I could pay for it.
My hot cheek cools, my colour dies, the heat quite fades from my limbs. The restlessness turns all to scorn. I become what I was bred to be. I become a librarian.
Not that I have anything but the deepest respect for (not to mention a generalized crush on) actual living librarians. The narrator in Fingersmith there has certain (um) issues. But it's somehow a great set of sentences.
So cleaning out the back of my car yesterday (it was a lovely cool intense early-fall day, not raining for a change, and I opened all the car doors to let the air flow through, and put Ziggy Marley on the stereo, and dug out the layers of junk from the back), I came upon a pale green piece of paper, worn and torn and begging to finally be recycled. It was a one-page catalog / order form from a wooden toy company, probably picked up at some craft fair sometime in like the 1980's.
But before I tossed it into the recycling pile, I noticed something written in the margin, in pencil, in my own handwriting. Barely readable after all these years, it said:
Say, this petard looks awfully familiar...
I continue to spend altogether too much time on Metababy, for reasons that are still unclear to me. Other people seem to be losing interest, though, so perhaps I will be able to cut back as well. And last time I tried to load GNE, it stopped halfway and would not continue.
Maybe the Gods are trying to support me in my "doing less computer stuff" effort. I'm nearly halfway through "Fingersmith". It's very good. You should read it.
Whew, all trends are up! Various luminaries, including Camworld and flutterby, have linked to that little piece of spam from the other day. Some of them even (ehem) used nice adjectives like "brilliant" (and nice adverbs like "utterly").
We are modestly proud.
Unfortunate URL o' the Day ("For NARC members only").
So it's after midnight here, and technically speaking not Friday at all anymore. I'm crosslegged on the guestroom bed with two laptops in front of me, all cozy in the dimness. My cold seems to be receding somewhat; I have more energy today. On the other hand it now seems to be assaulting my stomach, which is making very unusual noises. Bodies are so wierd.
Good sex news widely blogged: from Pop One (one of those who linked to the Rebel Spam) to one legal blog to another, with coverage of the "Alabama federal judge strikes down that State's sex toy ban" story. The decision (which I haven't read, but which is apparently noteworthy in many respects) is here.
And in a related story: "After Alabama dildoes, it's Georgia Fornication!". Looks like Georgia is thinking of striking down a particularly dumb sex law (poster child for selective enforcement).
Also from Pop One, SCOTUSblog, a weblog devoted to the doing at the Supreme Court. Extremely cool! When did all these legal-themed blogs start showing up? Have I not been paying attention? Some of them are written by actual practicing lawyers and everything!
Mixed results so far from the attempt to spend less discretionary time messing with computers. I finished "Feersum Endjinn", and enjoyed it very much (more perhaps on that another time), and I've started "Fingersmith", and it's also looking good. Haven't frittered away much time on GNE or Neopets, but that's partly because I have frittered away a bit of time on Metababy. It draws me for reasons I can't quite pin down.
(The current infestation of soft-core naughty pictures of redheaded women is, I have to admit, somewhat attractive all by itself, and a nice break from the picture of a man showing off the unusual elasticity of his anal sphincter which was popular there earlier in the week. But it's more the interaction than the nekkid babes that interests me, I think.)
Medley points to a story that puts some substance around something I vaguely heard on the radio the other week; that that Republican candidate in New Jersey who was making a big stink about the Democrats switching candidates after the legal deadline had himself done exactly the same thing in the primary leading up to this election.
And they wonder why voters are cynical about politicians.
Speaking of Metababy, I've just noticed sketchzilla, which is vaguely the same thing, but seems to have a very different culture.
Ah, I love complexity!