Back when I used to write in my weblog like daily (anyone remember
those heady days?), I would write about just completely random
stuff that sprang to mind (with random degrees of profundity or
silliness), and often didn't have pictures or anything.
So we'll do that today, in a spirit of giddy nostalgia.
(Besides, the little boy is hogging (I mean) using the
World of Warcraft machine.)
A quote from Wired:
In design, the tag is simple: A medical-grade glass capsule holds
a silicon computer chip, a copper antenna and a "capacitor" that
transmits data stored on the chip when prompted by an electromagnetic
Now I'm not quoting this because of the somewhat disturbing (or not,
but perhaps at least significant) piece about computer-chip implants that it's
from, or even because it's wrong about what the capacitor in the device
actually does (arguably at least).
Rather, I'm quoting it because of the adorable shame-quotes around
What's up with that?
Is this implication that these so-called "capacitors" are really
(When I was a wee lad, they were called "condensors".)
Or that Wired's readers would be confused and befuddled and offended
by the use of the word in routine speech, and have to be comforted
with "we realize this is a big scary technical word, and it makes
us feel all woozy too, but the geeks insisted that we put it in" type
If my company was called Precision Consulting, I think I'd
Noun Phrase That We're Ashamed To Admit We Find Intensely Amusing o'
Search Term That We're Amazed Gets Zero Hits On Google (Although It'll
Have At Least One Now) o' the day:
(From a conversation with Ian.)
Weblogs that I really ought to go back to occasionally reading
o' the day:
from which I recently got to
wonderful (if factually inaccurate) picture, and
this page about sex-related
resources for those that really need them, and
piece about those "Girls Gone Wild" ads that I never really noticed, which led to
this very nice piece by
Greta Christina on the same general subject (including her very nuanced and
informed opinions on a few of the semi-porn GGW videos themselves),
and thence to
a whole weblog by Greta Christina,
which leads back to the idea that I really ought to go back to reading
weblogs now and then.
RC r00lz! u all sux0r!!
-- The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Washington Post story about this most recent pronouncement by the
Organization Formerly Known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition,
and some of the reaction to it
(a story that, as the popular press usually does, unaccountably omits a pointer to
actual document or
commentary on it).
While I'm being confused about things, what's up with that "commentary",
Is there one buncha guys that write the actual document, and another
bunch that then comments on it?
Which bunch should we take more seriously?
Is the actual document official ("canonical" har har), and the "commentary"
only an unofficial gloss that Papa Ratzi himself might not have vetted
If the Church as a whole had further stuff to say on the matter,
why didn't they just make those "comments" in the actual document,
rather than creating a whole nother document to hold them?
Some of these old viral meme complexes are
But then that's why we love them...
Friend Diane (who is
very into this)
showed me the
site on Second Life, from which I went to the actual
kiva.org and loaned some random
person quite distant from me on the "marginal value of money" curve
It was cool!
The site generated the following text for me to pass
along to you:
I just made a loan to someone in the developing world using a revolutionary
new website called Kiva.
You can go to Kiva's website and lend to someone in the developing world who
needs a loan for their business - like raising goats, selling vegetables at
market or making bricks. Each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a
description of their business and how they plan to use the loan so you
know exactly how your money is being spent - and you get updates letting
you know how the business is going. The best part is, when the entrepreneur
pays back their loan you get your money back - and Kiva's loans are managed
by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing
this, so you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.
I just made a loan to an entrepreneur named Amalia Sanchez Rivas in Mexico.
They still need another $75.00 to complete their loan request of $1,100.00
(you can loan as little as $25.00!). Help me get this business off the ground
by clicking on the link below to make a loan to Amalia Sanchez Rivas too:
It's finally easy to actually do something about poverty - using Kiva I know
exactly who my money is loaned to and what they're using it for. And most of
all, I know that I'm helping them build a sustainable business that will provide
income to feed, clothe, house and educate their family long after my loan is paid
Join me in changing the world - one loan at a time.
So go do that.
Modes of transport:
That's Spennix on the Intercontinental, westbound (I think).
It's not easy to get out onto the bowsprit there, but it's
definitely worth it.
Great place to make train noises, too.
That's Spennix on Wyvernback, flying over the ominous Twilight Shore
on the western continent (whose name I always forget).
We're like level 28 or so in these pictures.
Have been spending lots of time in WoW and SL, as always.
(which oddly seem to occur about annually)
about theories of radical freedom, what one should do, and
all like that.
A related but different question, though, has to do with
what one does do.
There've always been a certain number of people who (the poor
things) find various alternative worlds, or various smallish subsets
of the real world, significantly more attractive than the real world.
In the archetypal narrative, these people don't do very well, and
the rest of us (who remain proudly grounded in the real world) pretty
much feel sorry for them, feel grateful that we aren't them, and
One obvious thing to think is that these people don't have very
good real-world lives, and that it's therefore understandable that
they find Dungeons and Dragons, or Second Life, or UFO narratives
(or religion, heh heh) more attractive, and easy rabbit holes to
get lots down.
But this line of thought suggests that as we develop and produce more
and more attractive pocket worlds, virtual worlds, alternate worlds,
there will be more and more people for whom one of those worlds is
more attractive than the real one (here I resist a tangent on
Does this process continue more or less continuously, until
we get to worlds that are more attractive than the real world
to half of humanity, to two-thirds, to nintey percent?
Or is there something identifiably unfortunate or unusual
about those people who can be seduced by pretend worlds,
and do the rest of us, the normal folk, stay in reality at
least much of the time?
Is there, that is, something inherently attractive or
preferable about the real world as compared to any worlds
that one might embed within, invent from, it?
I tend to think that the answer is "no", of course, because
the picture of infinitely nested worlds, none really more
real than any of the others, has (for whatever reason) great
Whatever the answer to that question, there's also the empirical
question of how far, at this stage of technology, we are towards
(or from) making enbedded worlds that a rational ("rational")
person might find anywhere near as attractive (as a dwelling
place, rather than as a diversion) as the real world.
Probably pretty far, I suspect; but then it's only July.
Went to Boston to visit family the other weekend, and saw
performing in the square by Faneuieueille Hall.
She was good!
Love live music.
Would be funny if only hardly anyone at all believed these idiots.
Spam-in-its-entirety o' the Day:
Subject: churchmen cofactor abash
clear baggy clock compassion. badland desuetude clamorous agouti carib cleavage. bract archdiocese
abandon annal devoid balzac dissuade charisma anguish. chrysanthemum candidacy contractual chap buckskin churchgoer coroutine.
Not bad, eh?
And I went to the grocery, and now we're sitting around in a Sunday Afternoon
sort of way, eating crackers and brie, and cherries, and honey-mustard
"dirty" potato chips, and generally enjoying time.
The little daughter's reading that "Harry Potter" book that you
may have heard about, and the little boy is in some one-person
virtual world on the computer in the playroom.
After I post this, I'll either work on the piles of printed matter
in the backroom, or go into Second Life and fiddle around there.