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This is a test. _
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01:20:59 PM, Tuesday 8 February 2005

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For those of you who use the blogbot: the m14mBloggingBot screen name seems to have stopped working--it wouldn't log on, either as the bot or from a regular AIM client--so I gave up and registered a new one. You can now reach the blogbot by adding "Blogbot m14m" to your buddy list. _
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09:25:45 PM, Monday 7 February 2005

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Woah! I was just looking at the St. John’s seminar list, and they appear to have added Wittgenstein! Awesome!

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03:57:08 PM, Monday 7 February 2005

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Camper Van Beethoven, Tusk
Laibach, Let it Be
...others?

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08:46:07 PM, Sunday 6 February 2005

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I’ve finally gotten around to adding my Furl links to my blog, in the sidebar on the right just under Four Years Ago. Furl is an online bookmark manager, something like del.icio.us, that I’ve been using on and off since Mike recommended it a few months ago. My furl account has been getting a lot of things that would otherwise go into linky blog posts, so if you like the links I post, you can find more of them there. You can also browse my archive on the Furl site, where most items have excerpts from the linked pages, a few have my own comments, and you can scroll back to look at older links.

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06:55:03 PM, Saturday 5 February 2005

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O.o.C.Q.o.t.D. I think people would be pretty impressed with a frog for going to college, even at Kermit's age. _
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01:15:26 AM, Saturday 5 February 2005

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This is pretty much the best thing ever. _
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09:17:54 PM, Friday 4 February 2005

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That was perversely satisfying.

I'm in the process of making sure that the test suite for a program I wrote a while back actually tests every feature of the program. I ran it through a code coverage tool, and found that there were several lines that had never run, and that are therefore untested. So, I went through and systematically added errors to every untested line. I ran the tests again and, of course, they still passed. So now I just need to write more testing code until the tests properly tell me to fix all the bugs I put in. _
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07:10:11 PM, Friday 4 February 2005

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Things I like in programming languages (in no particular order):

That’s all I can think of for now. I don’t think I got everything, but it helps to sort out my thoughts.

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03:21:22 AM, Friday 4 February 2005

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Would anybody like an invite for a Gmail account? I have ten available. If nobody wants them, I'll pass them on to the spooler in a day or two. _
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05:24:43 PM, Thursday 3 February 2005

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Now that their plugin works with the iPod, I'm tracking all the music I listen to at Audioscrobbler. It's a neat website: In addition to showing off your questionable musical taste to the world, it will give you recommendations for new stuff to listen to, and a personalized radio station. So, if you're interested, check it out. _
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03:13:43 PM, Thursday 3 February 2005

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I really hope Derek sees this.

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05:01:45 PM, Saturday 29 January 2005

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I was just contemplating—in a way that I had avoided doing thus far—the fact that every week I seem to get a hit or two from people Googling for “moss collum“. That means they pretty much have to be looking for me, and finding me.

I… hadn’t really thought that through before somehow. So! Uh… Welcome! Introduce yourselves!

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03:44:50 AM, Friday 28 January 2005

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But it's especially important you follow that Bonnie Simmons link. Good music! Every week! _
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10:49:22 PM, Thursday 27 January 2005

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I’ve been noticing something a lot lately in people’s thinking about politics (particularly those on the left, but possibly just because that’s who I see more of): a tension between, on the one hand, wanting to respect people with radically different ideas from one’s own, and, on the other hand, not wanting to be a mere dupe for those who dress up evil actions with pretty justifications.

As a particular example, there is often a really bitter divide—among people who already oppose the war in Iraq—between those who think the reasons for war were fundamentally honest but pragmatically flawed (spreading democracy, dealing with a threat to national security, limiting the scope of Al Qaeda’s operations) and those who think the reasons publicly offered were spurious justifications meant to conceal a less respectable purpose (securing U.S. power in a major oil-producing region, bringing profit from the war to friends and business associates, having a politically popular military success to show off). None of these interpretations seems to me outside the realm of plausibility, and yet I am vividly aware that, in the eyes of many people I like and respect, showing even a tentative respect for one or the other of these positions would mark me as at best a bit na´ve and at worst contemptibly idiotic.

This will probably continue to bother me. It seems like a serious problem, but I can’t tell what, if anything, there is to do about it. I saw the same sort of thing back when the Kaycee Nicole hoax was being uncovered, if the comparison helps you make more sense of what I mean.

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10:47:47 PM, Thursday 27 January 2005

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I've just discovered that each Bonnie Simmons Show on KPFA is archived online for the week after it is broadcast. This is excellent news, because she tends to play a whole lot of great music, and I'm not usually near a radio when the show is on. If you like music at all, you should check it out--you can browse old playlists if you'd like a better idea of what to expect. _
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09:47:04 PM, Thursday 27 January 2005

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Sorry about m14m.net being down over the weekend. My fault. Following is one variation of the explanation I’ve been emailing people:
As it turns out, I needed to renew my domain registration, and I hadn’t seen any warning notice about it because they didn’t have my current email address. In my defense: I did try to check for this possibility on Saturday, and the only information I could find was the fact that I had registered the domain in June; what I wasn’t thinking about was that that was just the date I had transferred the domain to pair.com, and that it still expired in January. In any case, I’ve renewed it for five years, so this shouldn’t happen again till 2010. And I have given them my current email address.

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03:24:51 PM, Monday 24 January 2005

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Julia: Jesus, Lars von Trier, why?
Movie: (ends)

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01:02:47 AM, Monday 24 January 2005

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Moss: I… I think there’s something wrong with Lars von Trier.
Julia: Are you just now getting that?
Moss: No.

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12:47:45 AM, Monday 24 January 2005

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at home, watching Breaking The Waves

Jan: ...but maybe you want me to die.
Bess: No! No, no!
Audience: Yes! Yes, yes! _
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12:11:45 AM, Monday 24 January 2005

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I am deeply grateful to Dorothea Salo for pointing out a trick that has just drastically reduced the amount of referer spam I have to wade through on the stats pages.

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09:03:16 PM, Thursday 20 January 2005

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Natural Phenomena Named After Frank Zappa

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03:52:56 AM, Thursday 20 January 2005

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This is the best political poll ever.

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03:50:17 AM, Thursday 20 January 2005

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T.I.A.I.L.W.: Senator Barbara Boxer _
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02:49:11 PM, Wednesday 19 January 2005

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Idle Words: One day I will wake up in Trenton.

Read the whole thing.

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02:29:31 AM, Wednesday 19 January 2005

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Google has finally announced a way to request that a link not be counted toward PageRank, which has the potential to be a major tool in fighting common spam. Most comment spamming is done to increase Google ranking, so by removing any ranking advantage to links in comments, you can remove the incentive to spam them.

As others have noted, this in itself isn’t actually enough to stop comment spam. If you’re a spammer, it’s much easier to just spam a bunch of sites indiscriminately than to take the time to check that you only spam where it’s useful to do so. What it does have the potential to do, in my opinion, is to stop the arms race between spam and anti-spam: if a site installs Google’s new system, and, at the same time, installs some sort of spam-blocking measure, the spammer has no reason to find a way to defeat the spam blocking. This leaves us much better off than we were before, because we only have to be good enough to block current spamming scripts, rather than having to be completely foolproof.

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02:23:41 AM, Wednesday 19 January 2005

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The Wikipedia article on the Time Cube is beautiful. Marvel at the dizzying heights to which NPOVity can be taken.
[via MetaFilter] _
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07:34:46 PM, Monday 17 January 2005

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Awesome philosophy toys. Hell yeah.

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12:18:48 AM, Monday 17 January 2005

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“Oh my God, this is totally freaking me out… she sounds like a cross between Gwen Stefani and Chrissie Hynde. In fact… I’d go so far as to say that this sounds like a cross between No Doubt and The Pretenders. The music and everything!”

So yeah, we got ten, count ‘em, ten CDs from the fifty cent bin tonight. Fun!

“With my monosynth!”

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11:06:10 PM, Saturday 15 January 2005

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One weird realization I had while reading this MetaFilter thread is that some intelligent, reasonable people evidently think that respect for authority is a good thing, and something worth instilling in your child. (This quite apart from the fact that some of them think hitting children is a good way to instill such respect). Personally, I tend to assume that the only sound reaction to authority is to examine it to see if it has any reasonable basis, and then to trust it to whatever extent your examination reveals is appropriate. Is there something I'm missing here? What do y'all think about it? _
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10:12:18 PM, Thursday 13 January 2005

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This is the best thing I've read about SixApart buying LiveJournal. _
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09:25:05 PM, Tuesday 11 January 2005

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I feel a strange kinship with Michael

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07:21:06 PM, Tuesday 11 January 2005

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Evidently Apple decided today was the day to make everything smaller and less expensive. _
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04:09:31 PM, Tuesday 11 January 2005

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out of context quote of the day
"Yeah, I liked it a little bit too, and then I thought about the Qwantz dinosaurs doing it and how much funnier it would be, and... well, you know." _
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09:35:05 PM, Friday 7 January 2005

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Gay Bomb! _
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06:50:00 PM, Thursday 6 January 2005

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Best New York Times correction ever: An obituary of the innovative comic-page illustrator Will Eisner yesterday included an imprecise comparison in some copies between his character the Spirit and others, including Batman. Unlike Superman and some other heroes of the comics, Batman relied on intelligence and skill, not supernatural powers.
[via MetaFilter] _
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02:41:09 PM, Thursday 6 January 2005

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