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"Not a Word!", on Language Log. If you care about usage, read it and understand it. _
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02:42:10 AM, Thursday 18 November 2004


Grand Theftendo!

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09:03:12 PM, Tuesday 16 November 2004


Interesting review of George Lakoff’s thing about politics.

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06:59:03 PM, Monday 15 November 2004


Of course, it's a basic fact of human psychology (to say nothing of biology) that a sentence can't go on forever. I suppose one could still dispute whether this limitation is essentially grammatical, but then it begins to look like metaphysics. _
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06:34:22 PM, Monday 15 November 2004


I really don't know that I have been excessively pessimistic, actually. _
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05:36:29 PM, Monday 15 November 2004


David Rees and the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. _
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03:43:15 PM, Monday 15 November 2004


I’ve moved several blogs from the top part of my sidebar to my RSS aggregator, because, frankly, it’s much easier to keep up with them that way. I’ll probably move others there too, as it becomes practical to do so. (Current impracticalities: missing feeds for some things, character encodings my aggregator can’t understand, lack of categorization in my aggregator, lack of priorities in my aggregator).

03:12:37 PM, Monday 15 November 2004


Anne and I have decided that we are going to elect her pet brine shrimp Blaine president, and replace the White House with a beautiful sea monkey castle. Just so you know. _
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02:47:59 PM, Monday 15 November 2004


"All the best people have bad chests and bone diseases. It's frightfully romantic!" _
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02:31:31 PM, Monday 15 November 2004


That's what I've always thought was wrong with the CIA, was all the damned liberals. _
02:25:59 PM, Monday 15 November 2004


Using FeedBurner, I’ve replaced my current RSS feed with a new one that includes a daily summary of links I’ve archived at You might want to subscribe to it if you’d like more linky goodness.

FeedBurner also offers a service that might be nice if you're interested in doing PodCasting: if you link to an mp3, BitTorrent, or other media file, they can include that link as an RSS enclosure. It could be an easy way to get enclosures into your feed if your software (like Bloglet) doesn't support them. _
03:27:22 PM, Monday 8 November 2004


Michael Gaster, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman have produced the exact election map I’ve been curious about for the past few days: a cartogram, by county, with counties shaded between red and blue. It forms an excellent antidote to some of the sloppy thinking that goes on about the election, and about the ways in which the country is divided. Probably best looked at in the context of their discussion of how and why it was made.

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02:48:17 PM, Monday 8 November 2004


The blender responds to human communication.
The person speaks the language of the blender.

Kelly Dobson's Blendie 2000 is an "interactive, sensitive, intelligent, voice controlled blender with a mind of its own". It is bizarre and fascinating. There is a demonstration movie.
[via MetaFilter] _
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03:43:19 PM, Friday 5 November 2004


“They had fangs, they were biting people, they had this look in their eyes, totally cold, animal. I think they were Young Republicans.”
—from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (a movie that makes me really appreciate Sarah Michelle Gellar's acting abilities)

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12:40:14 AM, Friday 5 November 2004


stay and fight, they say.

It's what I said four years ago. It's what I said even two years ago. But I'm just so tired. I wish I had the heart for this battle. I wish I believed that if the people just stood up and said no, we could chase out the fools and monsters behind all this. But America just doesn't feel like my country anymore. And it's not just a few powerful men behind it, it's the people. It's the heart and soul of the country, and they hate me, and they hate my friends, and I don't know what they'll do to us if we stay, and if I stay and try to fight I don't know what that will do to me. If I stay and fight them then sooner or later I'll come to hate them, and I don't want to do that, because they really are good people and they're just trying to do the best they can, but I don't know what else I can do.

So I'm going to try to stay around for a while and do what I can, but I think sooner or later I may have to leave. I can see when I'm not wanted; I may as well be polite about it. _
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02:23:52 AM, Thursday 4 November 2004


My father, on the phone just now, trying to understand the outcome of yesterday’s election: “They hate us. Because of our freedom.”

11:18:47 PM, Wednesday 3 November 2004


JavaScript: It's sweeter than you think. _
07:56:45 PM, Wednesday 3 November 2004


A taste of what's to come? _
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07:55:26 PM, Wednesday 3 November 2004


United States Patent 4,022,227: Method of concealing partial baldness. _
07:42:22 PM, Wednesday 3 November 2004


by Allen Ginsberg

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January
17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I
need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not
the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back
it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday
somebody goes on trial for murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid
I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses
in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle
Max after he came over from Russia.

I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let your emotional life be run by
Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Business-
men are serious. Movie producers are serious.
Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of
marijuana millions of genitals an unpublishable
private literature that goes 1400 miles an hour
and twenty-five-thousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of
underprivileged who live in my flowerpots
under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers
is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that
I'm a Catholic.
America how can I write a holy litany in your silly
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as
individual as his automobiles more so they're
all different sexes.
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500
down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Com-
munist Cell meetings they sold us garbanzos a
handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and
sentimental about the workers it was all so sin-
cere you have no idea what a good thing the
party was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand
old man a real mensch Mother Bloor made me
cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody
must have been a spy.
America you don't really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen.
And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power
mad. She wants to take our cars from out our
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Readers'
Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia.
Him big bureaucracy running our fillingsta-
That no good. Ugh. Him make Indians learn read.
Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make us
all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in
the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes
in precision parts factories, I'm nearsighted and
psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
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04:19:34 AM, Wednesday 3 November 2004


Mostly for my own reference:
BBC live-updating Flash-based presidential election map
CNN presidential election map
Media Matters presidential election tracker (thanks, Remi!)
State of California election returns
Sonoma County election results _
07:05:00 PM, Tuesday 2 November 2004


So, that's done with. Nothing to do now but wait and see how it turns out. _
06:16:14 PM, Tuesday 2 November 2004


The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation _
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04:39:30 PM, Tuesday 2 November 2004


Some very important things to know about leaked exit polls. They just aren't a reliable source of information. They won't tell you anything, and will ultimately drive you insane.

Some leaked exit polls. (What can I say? I'm a junkie.) _
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03:24:04 PM, Tuesday 2 November 2004


See also Julia's less flippant, more reasoned version of this last post, on her LiveJournal. _
12:05:34 PM, Tuesday 2 November 2004


You know, I'd half decided that I wasn't going to bore y'all with a post about how I'm voting on everything, but then I saw Backup Brain, and I'm so tickled at the thought of the blogosphere having multiple Healdsburg City Council endorsements that I just couldn't resist. And so, without further ado, I present The Official 2004 Moss Collum Voting Guide:

President: John Kerry, because it would be really nice to have a competent president for once, whatever his politics.

Senator: Barbara Boxer, because she is awesome.

Representative: Mike Thompson, because... uh... well, he's a Democrat, and I don't know as he's done anything too terrible so far, so what the hell?

State Assembly: Patty Berg, because I like what she has to say for herself.

No on 1A (protection of local government revenues) because, while I'm all for running things locally to some extent, I think it's good for the state to retain the ability to distribute money to poorer communities.

Yes on 49 (public records, open meetings) because more transparent government is virtually always a good idea.

Yes on 60 (election rights of political parties) and No on 62 (open primaries sorta) because, while I'm desperate for election reform, this really looks like a bad way to do it (see also my advocacy of preference voting over instant runoff).

Yes on 60A (use proceeds of sale of surplus state property to pay off certain bonds) because I want them paid off as soon as possible.

Yes on 61 (children's hospital projects bond act) because children's hospitals are probably worth borrowing money forr.

Yes on 63 (mental health services expansion, funding tax on personal incomes above $1 million) because improved mental health services are badly needed, and because, well, fuck people with personal incomes above $1 million.

No on 64 (limits on private enforcement of unfair business competition laws) because the solution to frivolous lawsuits is to throw out the frivolous lawsuits, not to prevent the reasonable ones.

No on 65, because it appears to be basically the even worse first draft of 1A and is no longer supported by anyone, even the people who wrote it.

Yes on 66 (limitations on "three strikes" law) because Three Strikes went way, way too far, and we need to do something to restrict it, and there isn't a box I can check to repeal it completely.

Yes on 67 (emergency medical services) because it seems like a good idea, even if a phone surcharge is a pretty weird way to fund it.

No on 68 (tribal gaming compacts--basically, either Indian casinos give us more money or we start letting people compete with them) because, frankly, the U.S. has fucked with the Indians enough over the years, and now I figure it's their turn to fuck with us some. Yes on 70 (we still ask them for money, but give them Unrestricted Casinofication Power in return) for similar reasons.

No on 69 (DNA samples collection database) because that's some scary dystopian sci-fi shit goin' on right there.

Yes on 71 (stem cell research) because it's a good investment, and because reading the text of the initiative answered any arguments that the opposition had made about safety, fairness, responsibility, ethics, and the like.

Yes on 72 (health care coverage requirements) because it moves us marginally closer to having reasonable health care for people.

Healdsburg City Council: Mark Gleason, Lisa Schaffner, and Tod Brilliant, because I liked their statements. Not Mike McGuire, because he left an answering machine message about how he had met me while walking in my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, and this seemed a little bit sleazy to me on account of its being completely untrue. Though I will feel bad if I find out it was an honest mistake. [Update: Dori Smith comments and offers reason to believe that it was an honest mistake, so now I feel bad.]

North Sonoma County Hospital District: Herbert Polesky, Ruth Olson, and Floyd Coakley, because they seem like the best candidates, basically, but I think Julia's posting the whole story in her LiveJournal.

Yes on Measure M (road improvement and public transit) because passenger rail to Marin or even San Francisco is worth trying, because more public transit would be a good thing, and because, honestly, I think widening 101 will end up doing less harm than having people stuck in traffic all day would.

No on Measure Q (increased hotel tax) because it seems like it would hurt people who run small B&Bs, and because the local police department doesn't seem to be hurtin' for money as it is.

In conclusion: I promise I was more thoughtful than this when I was actually making all those decisions, but it was a lot of thinking, and now it is late, and I am feeling loopy, so this is what you get. _
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05:50:48 AM, Tuesday 2 November 2004


I've been hearing some people pose doubts about Proposition 71 (the initiative to fund stem cell research here in California), but having just read the text of the proposition and the arguments in the voter information guide, I'd have to say I'm for it. _
02:58:30 AM, Tuesday 2 November 2004


Well, I was going to spend the last few days blogging about Kerry, but then I got high was super-busy at work and at home, so I guess that’s not really going to work out. I’m sure you’ve read more than enough argument from both sides already. I will suggest, though, one more time, that you take a look at what Kerry actually plans to do and consider that he may be the best person on the ballot. And please, please vote.

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07:36:24 PM, Monday 1 November 2004


Further test entry, begging your pardon. _
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05:19:09 AM, Saturday 30 October 2004


Test entry. _
05:01:31 AM, Saturday 30 October 2004


As you may have noticed, there's a presidential election coming up next week. I believe that, almost regardless of your politics, you will be better served by voting for Kerry than by voting for anyone else. I'll be presenting a series of arguments for this over the next few days, but for now, I would invite you to look over the discussions of various issues and detailed policy documents on Kerry's website. You've probably heard Kerry alluding at various times to his having a plan for America. This is where you can find the details of that plan, and the reasons for it. It is well worth reading if you want to make an informed choice. _
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08:55:26 PM, Wednesday 27 October 2004


Total eclipse tonight! _
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07:56:05 PM, Wednesday 27 October 2004


Pydev is a complete python development environment for eclipse.

Includes refactoring and a debugger. (And code completion, but it sounds like it's a bit flaky so far). And now I'm actually going to try this thing out. _
04:43:21 PM, Wednesday 27 October 2004


Someone involved in this is selling out, but I'm not sure I can quite say who. _
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04:06:22 PM, Tuesday 26 October 2004


Okay, you know how sometimes you need to pay a bill, and you don't have the money for it yet, but you will in a couple of days, so you write a check, secure in the knowledge that it will take a couple of days to go through anyway? Yeah, that's not going to work anymore. _
02:20:34 PM, Tuesday 26 October 2004


Skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums.
[via Philip Greenspun] _
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01:47:46 AM, Monday 25 October 2004


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