Fresh Samantha's : east coast :: Odwalla : west coast?
10:02:45 PM, Saturday 14 July 2001
Never deny, seldom affirm, always distinguish.
07:12:58 PM, Saturday 14 July 2001
The difference between people who are good at math and people who aren't, is that the people who are good at math try every little trick they can to make a problem easier, and know a lot of these tricks. The people who aren't good at math use shortcuts sometimes, but they think this means they're not taking the time to solve the problem properly, and they think the fact that they have a hard time solving problems the long way means they're no good at math.
(This is still only a very rough approximation of what's actually happening, but I think it's on the way to a fuller picture of things than I've had thus far. Previously, the most I'd been able to notice was: "People are no good at math because they believe they're no good at math." I think this is true, but it lacks explanatory force.) _
01:44:39 PM, Saturday 14 July 2001
Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet; She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet. She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree; But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree. In a field by the river my love and I did stand, And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand. She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs; But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears. -- William Butler Yeats
03:46:24 AM, Saturday 14 July 2001
Zeno's Paradox is a good name for a band.
02:21:59 AM, Saturday 14 July 2001
Kerne, if you haven't been disusered yet, you might consider replacing the copy of bloglet in your home directory with a small script that would display instructions about how to switch to the new location, or at least instructions to get in touch with you. (If you're feeling especially daring, you could write a perl script that would make the corrections automatically, but I was never confident enough in my skills to try something like that.)
06:48:08 PM, Friday 13 July 2001
My mother's old computer has arrived here, which means I can start work on converting it into the next server for my little home network. With any luck at all, I'll be able to set it up to let people telnet in.
05:51:30 PM, Friday 13 July 2001
Titles of books, plays, films, and longer musical works (operas, complete albums, etc.) are properly italicized. Underlining can act as an indicator of italicization in media where real italics are impossible. Titles of short stories and individual songs are put "in quotation marks". I am not sure about poems. More detailed advice should be findable in a good comprehensive style manual. I don't have one on hand, but I did feel that the basic rule was worth pointing out to anyone who may be interested. The advantage to having such rules be widely and consistently followed is that it makes reading a more transparent experience. Individual peculiarities of style may be charming, but they draw the reader's attention away from the content and towards the typography of a piece--the most masterful typographers know that this, above all things, is to be avoided.
05:21:30 AM, Wednesday 11 July 2001
odd... you see, a favorite song of mine references the same film:
i want you to know
slicing up eyeballs
i want you to know
girlie so groovy
i want you to know
don't know about you
but i am un chien andalusia
up to be
be a debaser
I've heard "Heaven Sent". I never would have thought the two songs had anything in common, but I suppose all sorts of peculiar things meet up with each other in surrealism--it falls near one of the major nodal points of the twentieth century. I might also recommend Greil Marcus's Lipstick Traces, a book that does an admirable job in laying out some of the connections between a number of the better things in the 20th century, in particular Punk and Dada. Also has some things to say about some of the more interesting outbursts of anarchism, which I now wish I'd read more closely and remembered.
And, because when responses to Kerne come, they come not single spies, but
* 75 points to Cecily, for her elegant summary of the major forces acting on our language
* Miles Davis is the best. Listen to Sketches of Spain some time. _
04:45:52 AM, Wednesday 11 July 2001
It would appear that
others have been thinking
about this, too, for quite some time now. I'm starting to find myself
somewhat convinced by what they say. More importantly, I'm finding that
they make concrete certain half-formed ideas that I've been entertaining
for a while.
05:12:55 PM, Tuesday 10 July 2001
Logging on to AIM for 51 seconds at a time, so that people don't notice you've arrived until you're already gone, is hardly fair. Not that I haven't been doing the same thing a fair bit myself lately, I suppose, but still.
09:13:50 PM, Monday 9 July 2001
The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread.
07:44:40 PM, Monday 9 July 2001
War and Peace? Is nothing sacred?
As for Ayn Rand, I don't find her particularly readable either, but friends have expressed surprise that I didn't go through an Objectivist phase in high school, and indeed, high schools seem to be the typical locations of Ms. Rand's most loyal followers. _
04:50:15 PM, Monday 9 July 2001
The extension of policy by other means.
01:23:58 AM, Monday 9 July 2001
Well, Ayn Rand, at least, belongs in the young adult section, but the others are more... perplexing. Especially Machiavelli. Is it perhaps an abridged Machiavelli for younger readers? I suppose something like that could have come in handy. I would have liked to have been more feared in high school.
09:47:22 PM, Sunday 8 July 2001
03:24:58 AM, Sunday 8 July 2001
One risk of having your entire mp3 collection on shuffle is that sometimes you'll go from, say, a Leonard Cohen poem to, say, a Sex Pistols song.
12:05:01 AM, Sunday 8 July 2001
Face down, nine edge first.
08:45:52 PM, Friday 6 July 2001
Okay, now we just wait and see how long it takes for an updated robots.txt file to propagate to all the search engines, and hope that this will make my search engine hits a bit less pornographic.
12:49:17 AM, Friday 6 July 2001
This town has done us dirty
This town has bled us dry
We've been here for a long time
And we'll be here 'til we die
So we'll finish off the leavings
Of blood and glue and beer
And burn this bloody city down
In the summer of the year
01:02:16 PM, Thursday 5 July 2001
24! That's rather a lot of years. I think I approve.
01:50:26 PM, Tuesday 3 July 2001
Of course, if we really are to give up absolute pacifism, and accept that, pragmatically, war may sometimes be necessary, unavoidable, or better than the alternatives, then I should think it also becomes much harder to make a principled stand against terrorism. Not that it can't still be abhorred on a practical, case-by-case basis, just that it does become necessary to consider the full significance of each case.
(My own view is that even the most nearly justifiable wars and terrorist campaigns in recent (i.e., past 50 years) history are bad enough that they can be opposed without resorting to general principle, primarily on two grounds: crimes commited against civilians, and failure to achieve their objectives, or to do so more effectively than would be possible through peaceful means.) _
05:37:11 PM, Monday 2 July 2001
But then, sometimes it just leads to random people with the right names. Publish or perish, Dr. Findler, you have been warned once before!
05:33:54 AM, Sunday 1 July 2001
You can sometimes find neat stuff by googling your friends names. I was aware of this. What I was not prepared for was how much I would learn by googling my own name. Have I no memory at all? Or did I somehow spend several months on Usenet in the mid-90s without actually noticing? If my connection to the past is really so tenuous, I'm going to have to start weblogging much, much more obsessively.
Oh well. At least my personality doesn't seem to have changed too severely--my tendency, then as now, appears to have been to post either to (1) make small jokes or (2) attempt to moderate people's opinions and help them see the other side of the issue. _
05:28:24 AM, Sunday 1 July 2001
I don't know how I could have missed it for so long, especially with A
Wrinkle In Time right there staring at me at the beginning of the
conversation. I don't know how I could go about trying to make one more
duality--life and death--primary over all the others that had been
mentioned, when the real answer was there to be seen. It is love. The root
of all goodness is love. I don't mean romantic love, though that's a
nobler thing than people seem to realize. And I don't mean friendship,
though I'd die without it. And I don't even mean some purely abstract love
for all mankind. I mean the kind of love that unites the lover with the
object of love, that unites the knower with the known. I mean the love in
which both faith and reason find their highest realization. I mean the
love that you feel when you see right into someone's essence, only it's
not really a feeling, it's a knowing, it's just that you can't call it
that because it encompasses so much more than just your thinking. I mean
the love that you're supposed to have for your enemy, that demands to be
had for every other human being there is, but it isn't at all abstract,
because you love them for what they are, for their very selves, not
for some idea of what's human. I mean the love that lets you know when
you're speaking the truth because it feels as if the god is speaking
through you. The thing you find your understanding transformed into when
you finally see the mathematical proof, rather than just knowing
you've done all the steps right and found the answer. The thing that makes
dancing so perfect in the way it destroys all boundaries between the self
and the other while somehow never destroying the self, somehow even fully
realizing the self. The force that moves the stars in their paths. The
reason that opposites cry out to be unified with each other
(opposites, mind, not negations). And evil is--whatever stands
against love. I've defined it negatively on purpose, because it's not
something, it's just a negation. It's not order, but it is what order
serves when order is used to keep people closed in their boxes, to keep
them from reaching out to each other. It's not death, but it is what death
accomplishes when death cuts us off from those who are dear to us. But
it's not pleasant to think of it, and ultimately there's no it to think
about, and the only thing to do with those that serve it is to fill them
so full of love that there's no room for it to remain.
03:08:20 AM, Friday 29 June 2001
I added a lot of entries today, and most of them have been archived now, so you'd do well to follow the link to the older stuff.
02:17:10 AM, Friday 29 June 2001
When Kerne adds weblog entries that I want to respond to, he tends to add a whole lot of them all in a row. Or maybe it's just that he tends to add a lot of entries in a row, and that I tend to want to respond to things he writes. Anyhow, in response to the current batch:
1. You forgot to tell us the name of the artist in question, and now I'm all curious! (Or perhaps it was a more general point, in which case I certainly agree. Still, examples would be nice. In fact, it would be nice for lots of people to recommend some good music.)
2. This confirms my ongoing suspicion that we somehow have the same personality, yet strangely inverted. See, I've always loved math, as you seem to, but I seldom did as well as I should have in math class, because I always hated the homework: my teachers expected me to spell out every step I took solving things, and I just couldn't bear to think that way. So slow and unwieldy, writing everything down. I could hardly even see the solution at that pace. Once, just to make a point, I actually tallied up every addition I did in the course of solving a problem--when the answer's there to be seen, making up details to explain how you got there is just silly.
bother me, but only a little bit, despite all appearances. I've been
feeling kinda snarky all evening, so when I started responding to Mike's
post I maybe went on a bit too long. Anyhow, if they'd really bothered me,
I would have said something before, but I for one would find your weblog easier
to read in Roman type. I also, for reasons that are both irrational and
personal, have a strong reaction against the use of italics to imitate
handwriting. But it really does look nasty in Lynx.
 Not personal in the sense of private, but personal in the sense that they reveal more about me than about whether it's good to use italics to imitate handwriting. Mostly, the fact that the first time I encountered the "looks like handwriting" argument, it was to justify someone's use of Helvetica, which, like almost every sans serif font, is an eyesore and an atrocity.
 The exceptions I've encountered being Verdana (made for the screen, simple, elegant, readable), Lucida Sans, Arial Black, Gill Sans, and Johnston's typeface for London Transport. If I had to give a more general/specific characterization of my objections, I think I'd find that it's really Gothic typefaces that I object to, and that I like Humanist faces just fine, but I'm not comfortable enough with the terminology to say that for sure--it's been years since I was really into typography. _
02:14:54 AM, Friday 29 June 2001