Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

25Jul/06Off

My Name Is Pig

Yeah, he was named pretty quickly. If grows up to be one of those throw pillow sized house cats I may regret that decision. He has a cold right now which works out really well given that we should be acclimating the cats to one another without spreading any diseases. Leonard is having a dental crisis right now and cannot eat. Yoon will taking both of them to the veterinarian tomorrow. Two cats who are scarcely unfamiliar with one another and adverse to being sealed up in boxes will be sealed in a car with my sweetie tomorrow. The audio will no doubt be unearthly.

24Jul/06Off

Okay, So The Debut Already

The first photo of the new cat who looks like suspiciously like the old cat only with bigger ears and more white (which is mostly invisible without a flash and all of the crappy contrast adjustment that iPhoto and Gimpshop can do):

Yes, he is that cute. This photo is a little blurry but this is as close as the little fucker gets to still pretty much ever.

22Jul/06Off

New New Cat, No Math

Yoon and I finally ventured down to the Denver Dumb Friends League (it's essentially the cowboy Human Society which fits right in here where a thrift store is called ARC and their trucks still fly the official 'Association for Retarded Citizens' banner) this afternoon to pick out the new kitten. He is yet nameless as we found the filler name the pound gave him (Ginseng for chrissakes) more offensive than usual and they were quicker on the draw to remove his picture/available for adoption posting so no pictures as of yet. He will be neutered tomorrow morning and then we can bring him home early evening tomorrow. Now comes the joy of working him in to the only child environment where there is only one incredibly babied and spoiled cat. Farewell sleep and sanity...

Filed under: General, New To Me No Comments
18Jul/06Off

It Can’t Possibly Make Things Worse

I'm not a huge fan of web based email as a day to day use sort of thing (meaning that Gmail is more useful a place to divert mail to when I can't check mail for a day or two than anything else) but Freenigma is a Firefox extension that makes some pretty valuable inroads into making the weirdness a little easier to cope with. The more encryption the merrier generally especially when services like Gmail like to employ AI on text to serve advertising. The one crucial feature missing (at least from what I read of the documentation on their site) for me is the ability to simply sign mail instead of encrypting it. Still, this is a huge step up for most web based email although it does necessitate the installation of a piece on a local machine.

This does make me wonder how free mail providers are going to respond to this especially those like Gmail that try to serve advertising based on the text content of mail that passes through the system. How will they react? I'm guessing that encryption won't get super wide use as most people who primarily depend on web clients for mail are already accustomed or unaware that it isn't the most secure way to either send or receive mail or are entirely ignorant of its shortcomings. Tools like the various pieces that use Gmail disk space as storage space are probably more troubling when it comes to cost of storage versus ad revenue.

I'll probably give this a whirl when I'm more situated to actually connect to a network but it's still more a useful implementation that partially heals or at least provides a functional crutch for a bad idea that is tremendously popular and vastly overused. That can't hurt more than it helps.

10Jul/06Off

It’s Really Funny Because It’s Really True

This is probably the most funny thing I've seen yet this week. It is only Monday but don't let that keep you from clicking the shiny, candy-like play button. These spoofs neatly encapsulate all of the frustration of being seen with a Macintosh when many of its most ardent supporters are, well, kind of stupid. Luckily, I'm pretty mean so I manage to ward off most of it. It still bothers me the impression clings or that people assume I might be interested in the newest bits of iPod trivia. Not really and no thanks.

4Jul/06Off

Beats Watching Some Guy Just Standing There

This is the kind of thing I'm always hoping to hear about. Granted, my relative exposure to DJ culture is next to zero since I'd rather listen to things without any real performance aspect on my computer than while standing around some club sipping $6 beer with a bunch of 22 year olds. I'm always interested in hearing about things that involve more involvement in technology than simply blowing some of those tall trust fund dollars on a bunch of buying it and aping whatever is circulating on the battle tape circuit.

I'm not sure if I'd even be interesting in attending something that epitomizes the current state of the art but this sounds a helluva lot cooler that what pops into my head when I think of DJs:

For Maclean, who plays raves as well as programmer gatherings, the process is just as much about scripting as good vibe.

"I prefer it when the audience is dancing and doesn't care how we're making the music," he said. "Livecoding places the human right back in the creative process so you can't really call it 'computer-generated' any more. If we don't see programming music software as musical activity, we're missing an opportunity."

This likely warrants more research that I'm presently too lazy to do. Amazing how being awake for twenty consecutive hours will do that to you.

Filed under: General, New To Me No Comments
3Jul/06Off

Out Of Print And Readily Available

Hey. So even though it is likely that Explosions in the Sky won't be playing your town any time soon (unless your town is either located in TX or Yurp) you can make yourself feel better about the shitty town you live in by downloading their The Rescue EP which is handy to have since the subscription-only release is long gone and despite the fact that they've said they will sell them at shows they're never coming to my shitty town. If you're a fan this might strike you as a little off the beaten path for them but I guess that's kind of the idea. You won't be startled by any means but the slight changes make for music that I can't immediately internalize. That seems like a good direction to head in.

20Jun/06Off

Comes Out Punching

A whole bunch of places were passing along the announcement that Gnu-HALO actually rolled out a release which is based on Linux (specifically SLAX) instead of the originally planned BSD architecture. Yes, it is yet another live CD but the feature list should at least pique your oh-so-jaded interest. There are some good ideas at work in this project and although many of them may well be rolled into distributions I know nothing about the presentation of the features makes it sound extra special. This is killer:

Software whitelists. Under a default configuration, no application can run on the system unless it's been properly registered as an authorized application.

As I said earlier, it's probably already been implemented in other distros but that just sounds particularly kick ass and is a total pain in the ass to configure on Win32 without either purchasing some commercial application or charging into regedit and AD settings blind drunk and with both pistols drawn. I'd love to say that I'm going to take it for a spin but I can't imagine that I'll have time to do anything more than determine that it does indeed boot. I don't think they need my help testing that.

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14May/06Off

Monster Series Heads Up

I should probably mention that the dead tree version of Monster Island arrived the other day and despite the fact that I've already read the book from the aforementioned site I skipped the remainder of the cultural politics of James Bond book I was trudging my way through and started reading it pretty much immediately. That it is actually in print makes me pretty happy -- horror fiction written stylishly, as originally as it can be given the zombie fiction, and as far away from the typical fan fiction whipping of the dead horse style as possible. The great part is that if you let David Wellington know via email that you bought the book he will email you a PDF of stories that are peripheral to or extend the novel and/or the universe it is set in. I've read bits and pieces of it (received in the middle of a major computer shift so my focus was elsewhere) and most of it is interesting enough if you've read his other pieces of writing. I may give it a more thorough reading on my long bus ride to work tomorrow. Heads up...

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13May/06Off

Suddenly I Feel Like A Fucking Yuppie

So, I got the new and tremendously expensive machine last night which involved Yoon running me to the local Fed Ex facility to pick it up and then trying to get through all of the all singing, all dancing initial configuration in order to actually use the machine.

My initial impressions: It's godawful fast regardless of whether you're using native applications or the emulated ones intended for the PPC series. In that sense, it's been a pleasure to use. It rips through most simple tasks as quickly as any of my Linux boxes do. I'm pretty pleased with that aspect of it.

The thing gets fucking hot. As many have complained about in various forums, etc, etc, the case is seriously an egg cooking wonder of science. I was ready to box it back up last night and return it but, lo and behold, when I rebooted it this morning the fans actually came on and the surface is not scorch your skin off hot this morning. Again, folks posting their experiences in help forums were pretty much correct: it starts cooling off after a couple of reboots. The only upside is this experience gave me a higher degree of empathy for folks who bought one the earlier versions and are roasting alive. Class action is the sponsored term for the day. not because I think people ought to be suing Apple dry but because Apple especially as the friend to the common men and his creative urges image they've spent their PR dollars cultivating needs to wake up about responding to legitimate complaints from the people who (often faithfully) spend their dollars on Apple stuff. So, mine is still pretty hot but doesn't seem to want to burn me alive or anything.

The screen also makes a lot of noise when running under battery power. This isn't as aggravating for me as it has been for some other people but I would eventually like for it to stop. I've been listening to old This American Life episodes all day so when I've got the plug yanked (trying to keep the battery from turning into a weakling) I don't hear a damned thing. It's pretty strange that it only happens on battery power but, whatever, I'll probably get more ambitious about fixing it when I'm somewhere quiet without access to convenient power and the oscillating whine starts to drive me crazy.

The keyboard sucks and it's taken me a long time to be able to type at any reasonable rate without turning on the Caps Lock key whenever I hit any key on the left side of the keyboard. I would complain about the arrangement of the control keys and such but that would only invite the wrath of the faithful. I'll probably just remap the keyboard at some point so that the control key is where God intended it instead of the totally useless caps lock key. In any case, it still feels like I'm typing on a touch pad or something but I adapted to the slightly strange layout pretty quickly.

Since I practically live in Emacs and OS X is in theory based on *nix, I thought finding a functional version of the GUI editor would be fairly easy and I wouldn't have to look at the ugliness that Emacs under Linux usually is (which I have to say: I don't really spend a whole lotta time just staring at it). Wow. What a colossal pain in the ass it was to find a working version and by working I mean the 'customize' menu doing something other than forking into a million different buffers and a functional ispell because I type pretty fast when provoked. The only version that completely fulfilled my expectations was the Carbon Emacs package which spit out a pretty complete install. Woo hoo. I was a little worried about being able to find all of the applications that I'm comfortable with. I still haven't found an FTP client that works exactly the way I would like it to but I'm not doing a whole lotta remote stuff this weekend anyhow so I'm willing to let that one go for a little while.

It has been a whole lot of fun to mess with an operating system I don't normally have occasion to mess with. I'm going to try to work entirely in the Mac OS for a week or so before I set up Boot Camp and make it a multi-boot machine just for the sake of learning as much as possible.

7May/06Off

Holes To Fight In

If Google had any sense of humor whatsoever about the use of their name in anything but a bunch of perpetually broken beta releases, then this subtle work of ridiculous genius would be called GoogleHole or something.

Here's where I'm at, roughly:



apparently I would end up in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I suppose I'll put off digging that hole for the mean time.

Filed under: General, New To Me No Comments
24Mar/06Off

Pre-Weekend Doldrums

Some things that didn't fit into anything longer:

Google making terrible choices when it comes to word choices for verifications. I laughed but many more will spend hours trying to unsee those words and atoning and all that shit.

Apparently TX law enforcement is trying to make people incredibly uncomfortable by scouting out public drunkenness in bars where people are both surprised and appalled by drunken behavior. We can't seem to fit any more fish into this barrel...

This otherwise well considered piece about desktop eyecandy, Windows Vista, and what it all means to the end user is hilariously sidetracked when people in the comments assert, without a trace of irony mind you, that eye candy is equitable to usability. Several people even say that they cannot be productive if their desktop isn't attractive. Insane.

I'm completely ignoring all of the incredulous news stories about the Windows Vista delay. Duh. Has a Windows release ever been on time? Have any of the features that would almost make life bearable ever actually made it into a product? Yup. You get new interface elements that your machine probably won't be able to handle. Luckily, I don't have to use that crap. I just have to fix it when it breaks which is like every fucking day of my life. As I am currently applying for jobs in the same painful area I don't see this ceasing in the near future.

28Jan/06Off

Hardware That Isn’t Ten Iterations Behind The Curve

The replacement PDA is finally here after months of random clashes with my el cheapo Zaurus and I really really like it. I bought a Palm TX (I'll spare you the logo-included pipe between the 't' and 'x' that PalmOne Palm seems to stubbornly use to pollute so many of their product names) and it is pretty damned close to the ideal machine for what it costs. The only complaint I have so far is the flimsiness of the tiny leather loincloth included in the package that is presumably intended as some kind of protective flap. Mine disintegrated on my second attempt to attach it. When forced to decide between the exclusion of an item like that or passing along a total piece of crap I really do wish that more people would opt for the negative as my experience with the crude little mud flap was more frustrating. I ordered one of the aluminum cases for it and until it arrives I'm stashing the little fucker in a sock. If I were a public relations drone for PalmOne Palm I would note that substitution with some degree of embarrassment.

Most of this stuff is probably old news to those with more disposable income than me but there were a couple of features that really impressed me. One, the widescreen-ness of the PDA inspires a little awe in me after dealing with the cramped confines of previous handhelds. The fact that you can orient the screen in either portrait or landscape format with a single button makes the screen size an asset instead of a feature you might learn to use at some point when you have time to read the manual instead of just looking at porn or speed dialing prank calls with a Bluetooth connection. As I said, these distinctions might be dusty for folks acquainted with more recent versions of the PalmOne Palm OS but they're new to me as is the graffiti area that you can dismiss and actually use the entire screen. It's good stuff although there is a noticeable lag with Graffiti2 that kind of annoyed me especially since I was really fast with the older version and I tend to double up characters under the assumption that the first strokes were missed. I read a few reviews before I kicked down the cash and the main complaint for most people seemed to be with the mail client. I had it working with two IMAP accounts in a couple of minutes so I'm not sure what issue others had with it. I would fucking love it if more mail applications shipped with the ability to import keys for signing and encryption but when it comes to commercial software I'm always mildly pleased when it works at all.

One thing that bothered me about setting up the new toy was setting up my laptop to synch with it. I learned far too much about udev and spent an equal amount of time directly editing files that told me they should not be directly edited to be happy about the experience. It works now but I had to do quite a bit of indirect tinkering to put it in working order. It sucks to be unable to chmod permissions on a file because it phases in and out of existence on the whim of hotplug. Those solutions always seem more broken to me than the problem they are supposed to remedy. Everything does work though and looking at that from the perspective of one who has installed Debian Potato manually only to find that his kernel didn't feature USB support I'm pleased as hell to accomplish that in a couple of hours and learn something along the way.

7Jan/06Off

The Literal Clash Between Quality And Quantity

I was dredging through the usual aggregated lists of boring shit that I've already seen a few times too many when this incredibly absorbing story about the CEO of Snapper (the lawn mowers, man) making the decision to sever ties with Wal-Mart. Seriously, go read it before you chalk it up as another working joe resisting the corporate behemoth story usually right before their operation goes under. This is a much more complex situation than the hypothetical one posed previously. The CEO of Snapper operates his business nearly as anally as you'd expect Wal-Wart to but is seriously focused on quality at high speed instead of the even faster production of crap that appeals only by pricing. I'm not sure that I'd even like the guy if I met him but the story is worth reading if only for the description of his meeting with Wal-Mart management and the details of how Snapper's production line works. Wier's position is probably a unique one for most people contemplating their immersion in the cult(ure) of Wal-marketing as his stand was ultimately not about distaste for the unsavory parts of Wal-Mart that we're all too familiar with but the realization that his company would have to start making disposable crap to further court the 'Mart. Like I said, interesting.

Filed under: General, New To Me 2 Comments
1Dec/05Off

Runs Best On Obsolete OS

I also noticed today after a rare visit to the always interesting Daring Fireball that there is actually a new version of Fontographer. Nothing could have eased the production of so many kerning ignorant grunge fonts as our old pal Fontographer. The announcement is here but the funniest part about the whole thing comes in the system requirements section of the announcement: if you're running this software on Windows you might have trouble with anything post-98/NT (including 2000, Me, and XP) which is pretty damned funny. I really wonder if this is one of those crappy conflicts between the registry and ini files that the installer uses. Either way it certainly makes the requirements list a whole funnier than it could be.

20Mar/05Off

The Rapidly Populating Galaxy

I totally love Planets and I was really happy to see that there is finally a Gentoo Planet. It's probably been up and running for a while since I heard about it from the main Gentoo site where I don't often visit. I know others have expressed less positive opinions about the utility of Planets and some of them are somewhat valid like the dilution of mailing lists for the less conversational weblog format. I can't imagine a Planet ever replacing the traditional mailing list but they are incredibly nice for people like me who are non-developer users that want to keep up with developments on a not-quite-so-granular level but couldn't sanely keep up with the dev lists. There are a lot of fucking dev lists for any distribution and, archived or no, I don't really have the time to dig around just to get a general sense where development work is going. So, I'm happy to be able to pop in and casually check things out especially for Gentoo which I actually use and love.

Filed under: General, New To Me No Comments
17Feb/05Off

Bring The Bling

I did the WordPress upgrade last night while watching a movie. The entire process took about 40 minutes including back ups and all of usual pre-upgrade paranoia. It was an extremely smooth transition given the differences between 1.3 and 1.5. I was pretty worried about the conversion from plain old style sheets to themes but the convertor works really well and didn't make any choices that I disagree with. Things were a little rough at the start until I deleted the old index and replaced it with the new. The only other real issue that I had wasn't really an issue but a matter of CSS caching that resolved itself by refreshing the page. It was heartbreakingly easy.

There are quite a few new and useful goodies included in 1.5 like being able to manage static pages from within WordPress. The new comment handling is also really helpful with options to mark an entire page of moderated comments as spam being the highlight there. I've always loved the balance that the WP developers maintain between power, flexibility, and bloat. While the new stuff is edging into CMS territory WordPress doesn't feel like a CMS. The application is flexible as fuck without placing the responsibility of that complexity on the user. That sort of balance makes WordPress a bit of a unicorn. I've yet to find any real problems with the new version although I'm sure some folks will get fired up over the default implementation of rel=nofollow in comments. I don't have a horse in that particular race as it's an optional thing that Google came up with and although it isn't a fix it is at least movement in the right direction. I like the Dashboard feature but I think that its placement as the first page presented after you log in is probably wrong. I've already fixed this in my install but the Write page seems like the proper default to me -- a tiny quibble if there ever was one. I'll give it another week and see if any other issues come up. You should probably go download it now.

While you're doing server improvements you might as well install the Pimpzilla theme for Firefox and give your browser the kind of bling it deserves. The first time you open up the tab bar it all becomes worth it. The mouse over sparkle on the spade back and forward buttons also cracked me up. Brilliant.

Filed under: General, New To Me No Comments
8Feb/05Off

Tedious Minutia Of A Tedious Life


"The tedious minutia of a tedious life in too many discontinuous installments" should really be the name of this site. So:

I picked up a copy of I,Zombie and watched it a couple of hours ago. Yes, the acting is incredibly rough in places but I really enjoyed the concept. I wouldn't go as far as to say that low budget experiments are the future of horror but they're always a lot more interesting conceptually (or at least really funny) and surprisingly good with an increasing frequency. It isn't a film filled with jack in the box scares or even cringes but it's still quality discomfort. The scenes that depicted the main characters loneliness and isolation were the ones that stuck with me with the gore being minimal. Another paycheck or two down the road I'm going to have to give Dead Creatures a whirl since it's the same director and same basic premise.

I'm pretty much accustomed to the dismissive "foaming at the mouth zealots" treatment that most MSFT sympathizers give me but this editorial and the attached comments make us look like a sane bunch in comparison. All you really need to read are the first couple of comments. The first in line that manages to insult Miguel de Icaza for being from Mexico. So, I guess the plan of attack is obsolescence and offensiveness in tandem? Brilliant. I especially liked the attacks on Mono. Nothing like the rigorous intellectual arguments of the scared and running to provide a glimmering capstone for the evening.

Also make sure to check out Myths About Samba, a clarification of the techniques used in Samba development. Despite all the semantic fisticuffs in the comments about the precise definition of "reverse engineering" it is a well thought out explanation and the French Cafe analogy is a great way of explaining the finer points of reverse engineering. It's also nice to see people getting it in the sense that Samba isn't just about interoperability with Microsoft product. It's a venerable product and predates MS being much of a concern.

Google Maps is fan-fucking-tastic. Now would be the time for MapQuest to bust a move before the end is really, really nigh.

I looked at the huge list of distributions waiting for inclusion in Distro Watch for the first time in ages and Symphony OS caught my eye for a couple of reasons. Most of it has to do with the planned Mezzo desktop interface which is still in planning. Still, go look at those concept drawings and check out some of the good ideas in the works. Fnord Linux also looks kind of cool (a source-based distribution aimed at making production machines) but I could really do without the snide comments about other source distros being toy distributions. Desktop Linux Server is another good idea: a bootable CD that will quickly configure a server to host a bunch of thin clients. I've been missing a lot lately.

I'm not looking forward to the Jeeves-infused Bloglines. The purchase really brings forward something that I've been pondering for a while since the aggregation burn out is quick and difficult to get over: I've tried to link as many of the Planets up as possible over yonder in the link mess because I think they're a much more sensible method of aggregation than individually polling RSS and Atom feeds in a disorganized fashion. They're also a lot easier on the eyes. The question I'm getting to here is this: What other "organic" aggregation methods am I missing out on? I'm giving Bloglines a couple of weeks before I shut down my feeds so I'm in the market.

Anyone else notice that there wasn't a big something after the Super Bowl this year? It seems like in the past there have always been big pushes to have something better than Sunday night sitcom hell airing afterwards. I asked a bunch of people today if they could remember and no one so far has been able to. Maybe a commercial overdose is to blame?

Filed under: General, New To Me 1 Comment
24Jan/05Off

Straight Out The Eight Bottle


Just got a functional scanner in a single piece today. Although I'm about ready to collapse I had to get it up and running before I could nap. In the name of the latter...

Filed under: General, New To Me No Comments
11Dec/04Off

The Nap, My Friend

I left work a bit early today because I was sleep deprived and considered myself headed for an argument or worse. I'm starting to feel differently in sleep deprivation as I grow older. In the past, I grew progressively less coherent as sleepless weeks dragged on and now I'm completely lucid when super duper tired but I have absolutely no patience. It's that weird sort of irrational that I most often associate with drug use (especially ketamine) when you develop polarities in your high; I realize that I'm being completely crazy and can observe it as if from a distance but cannot do a thing about it. When I nap instead of work everyone wins. Getting a fraction of the normal human quota of sleep has really simplified a number of problems that I've been smashing my head against over the past week. I've messed with and recompiled The Gimp a half dozen ways trying to get printing support and didn't realize that it was there all the time but accessible only from the image window menu and not the main menu. I printed out a giant scribble and feel very accomplished.

Google Suggest is interesting. I've had a little time to play around with it and find it a combination of very useful for situations where you're unsure about the spelling of a search term and very annoying (ie. the recent history feature in most browsers that drives me batty in a matter of minutes if I don't disable it) in many others. I do like the inclusion of results in the suggestion bar but I'm very glad that it's optional.

Speaking of search engines, Accoona is a new one on me. I have absolutely no fucking idea what the deal with the name is but it has two sets of repeating letters so I will forget this without trying in an hour from now. Of course, I immediately did the vanity search and found myself missing and was horrified to find that the submission process is a mailto hack. If I can remember to come back in a week or two I'll have to give it another whirl but the trade marked, camel case sloganeering gives me horrible mid 1990's flashbacks so maybe not.

I'm thinking of having some business cards printed up. They won't say "Consultant" or anything stupid like that. I need to make these printed up and covered with slow poison. As someone who spends the majority of his time on public transportation trying to read and sharing glances of agony and frustration with others trying to do the same, this seems like a public service.

10Nov/04Off

Three Hits From Hell

A couple of things that make life considerably easier:

1. Kitten's Spaminator - I've used a bunch of plugins from MooKitty for dealing with the increasingly messy world of even allowing comments but this is the one that pretty much removes the administrator from the equation. I do have it set to mail me in order to catch potential false positives but otherwise it is automagic. This is pretty much perfect because the volume of crapflooding has gone through the roof over the past couple of weeks. They don't seem to be getting any smarter but the persistence is almost admirable. If you're running WordPress this plugin is pretty much required.

2. Koders is a search engine for source code. It allows you to search by language and license which is nice. Looks like they're going to actually sell the software for internal use in commercial applications but this is already a helluva lot handier than the blunt instrument that Google is for these sorts of searches.

3. Yotoshi is a search engine for torrents and other more legally complicated things. It was formerly called Bitoogle (note to people developing anything search related: don't slap 'oogle' on the end of name of things. The joke is a little old at this point and the main 'oogle' seems a little lawyer happy when it comes to naming) and it looks like (it's been a while since I've used it) they've added KaZaA searches to the toolkit as well. I'm not sure I'd ever use the latter but the torrent search is pretty damn handy.

Filed under: General, New To Me 1 Comment
18Oct/04Off

The Time Machine Of Boredom And Fear

If I haven't made this adundantly clearly in the past, despite my obsessive fixation on techofetishism and flagrant disregard for formatting, punctuation, and grammatical standards, I'm an English major. The internet, as the WWW is commonly referred to by Humanities types, and its direction of text away from the dead tree only distribution channel always elicits a mixed bag of reactions from fellow students and professors. I've recently heard one professor bemoaning the decline of academic publishing due to that pesky intarweb making texts accessible, capable of rapid revision and editing after review by peers and otherwise, and a whole slew of other generalizations about the influence of hypertext on the distribution of the written word. I guess that's where things intersect for me: the preoccupation with channels of distribution, specifically of information packaged as a marketable commodity, and how that might affect the livelihood or prestige of having that information (or equally often, research) transformed into commodity is often shared between the technologist and the literati. In other, probably more clear, words, it's another case of open/free and closed/proprietary information and by nature is as vehemently arguable as any topic on the planet. Depending on the day or the level of CRT burnout my eyes are currently experiencing, I might fall on either side of the argument but I love it when I find folks in the Humanities actively dealing with these issues in a constructive way.

Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities is a fabulous example of how this can play out. There are a collection of writings about teaching, researching, and studying Dickenson and Whitman using the Classroom Electric (forgive the term since it seems like this project, at least the MITHologies section, is frozen at 2001) called MITHologies that is really worth perusing despite their relative old age and limited scope of subject matter. The opinions in the essays are largely more mature in their lack of hysteria and a couple of them are conceptually kickass. I especially liked Jay Grossman's article about teaching Whitman's Civil War by the wide use of otherwise difficult to obtain or sanely navigate resources (the Library of Congress site is the example he uses) compiled into something useful and more linear for the sake of student sanity. He also mentions that many more forks of potential interest can be explored by allowing students to voluntarily explore divergences without simply relying on search terms shots in the dark or bibliographic information slapped into one of those damned 'Further Reading' lists.

Yeah, this is totally 1996 of me but my interest in the gee whiz technologies is in perpetual recession and I'm more actively interested (at least in the sense of things that I'd actually like to invest horrible hand dirtying labor into) in how to use all the crap that we already have. That's why I'm making this a 'Don't Forget' post -- because I'm going to try to find more actual instances of this sort of compromise between academia and the howling void that sometimes is the internet. So indulge my 1996-ness and help me out if you know of any projects (other than the blatantly obvious ones that everyone knows about) that fit this description or any that seem to argue either of the extremes.

12Oct/04Off

No Teat For You Bad Man


This one's a new one on me. Seen when I clicked the News link from a search page. I was actually just trying to get to Google News.