Thursday, May 29, 2003


Richard got the stats working for my page, and it turns out that my WWW paper has been downloaded over 1800 times since appearing in Search Day. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself. Update: Susanne just pointed out that it was mentioned in Wired, which is probably the likely culprit for some of this more recent traffic. Wow.

Also, in all the excitement, I forgot to mention that I'd read Stover at Yale. I sort of wish I'd read it a long time ago. It's always weird/depressing to see that people were grappling with same issues a century ago.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Home sweet home

Back, finally, after lots of travelling. And this blog is back, too. The MT import was surprisingly easy! However, I've lost my look and feel. :-( Maybe I'll take my time and come up with something snazzy.

Anyway, Dublin was great. I saw the Book of Kells and the Guinness storehouse (where I think I finally learned the barley+hops+yeast+water = beer formula) and went on the literary pub crawl and met some fun folks from the University of Minnesota, Morris who said that the musical pub crawl had been better. Maybe next time. Also met some interesting people at the hostel, Isaacs. The night before, went partying in Cork. Hopefully, Naomi made it through the day at work okay! The night before that, finally found a club in Budapest! The trick is to ask for a "disco." We ended up Bank, which is near Oktagon, and the music was pretty good, although I got American Life stuck in my head. On Saturday, snuck off for a bit to go to the Gellert bathhouse/spa and climb the mountain to the Citadel and see the Buda castle and Mathias church and whatnot. Didn't get to go to the Statue Park where they have old Communist statues or to Heroes Square. Had a too-expensive dinner where we were overcharged for water. Friday had a good dinner at Cyrano in Pest but then just went back to the hotel bar. Night before that had a cruise on the Danube and the night before that went to the Jazz Garden with a few people. Managed to deliver my presentation without any major disasters. Met lots of cool folks.

Hmm, I'm sure there's a lot I'm leaving out, but since I didn't bring a camera, it's probably all I'll remember. I'm exhausted!

Tuesday, May 20, 2003


Music's over. Realized I should say more about my trip. Working backwards...bowling with some people from Bristol and the guy from Columbia last night...had a great dinner yesterday in Pest with violins and pasta and plum strussel. Was warned by a local that credit card number theft is rampant. It was raining a lot...During the day, went to a workshop on Community Informatics and met some interesting new people and met Seb in person...Before that, went running in search of the castle and it was farther than I thought....Ooo, Tim Berners-Lee's talking. Back in a bit.


In Budapest, at the WWW conference, listening to Princess. Sufficiently weird to justify writing a blog entry despite the headache it'll create while switching servers. Not only is this a weird venue for this music, the music itself is a fairly painful montage of cliched classical music, backed by pounding bass and a phantom electronic symphony... In other news Budapest is great, I'm learning a lot. This weekend, went to Blarney castle and lots of pubs. Europe has one hell of an allergy season.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

does good art have to be mysterious?

it was kind of a weird rolling stone, marilyn manson said:

Morrison's enduring strength as a historical figure is in his mystery. I think the modern, contemporary treatment of rock stars on MTV and the voyeuristic world of reality TV are a great threat to anyone who wants to retain any sort of value throughout history. My whole life, I have tried to steer clear from "behind the scenes" things. They take away from the power of what you do. If you start explaining your tricks, then you are a shitty magician. I'm watching all these other people piss away what could be great works of art by going on Cribs. You can be legendary for not doing anything because of this voyeuristic culture that we live in. You can be famous for "surviving" something, or for marrying a millionaire, or for being a victim of a crime. It's a strange time that we are in now.

in the new york times magazine, one article bemoaned the decline of passive enjoyment of films. It quotes David Lynch, who "is concerned that too many DVD extras can ''demystify'' a film." It also says:

The more ''interactive'' we allow our experience of art -- any art -- to become, the less likely it is that future generations will appreciate the necessity of art at all. Interactivity is an illusion of control; but understanding a work of art requires a suspension of that illusion, a provisional surrender to someone else's vision. To put it as simply as possible: If you have to be in total control of every experience, art is not for you. Life probably isn't, either. Hey, where's the alternate ending?

this is interesting since martin (himself recently in the Times) was telling me that what makes new media art so different is its reliance on data and the possiblity of choosing your own experience.

is new media art still art? terrence rafferty might say no. having made a worthwhile (15-minute walk of a) pilgrimage to david small's illuminated manuscript this weekend, i'd vote yes.

fun with evil bureaucracies

this past week i learned a valuable lesson....asking if harvard vanguard dental accepts a given insurance plan is not the same as asking if they are a preferred provider. i was quite shocked to be billed for medical treatment i thought would be covered by my insurance. i could have gone to any dentist anywhere and gotten this level of "coverage." and when i called to suggest i had been misled, an incredibly rude and unhelpful supervisor named michelle explained that it was all my fault for not knowing enough to ask the person booking my appointment my question more precisely. (this was not much better than her underling, who explained that by signing their waiver, i had ceded my right to complain.) but now i've learned the error of my ways. thanks harvard vanguard!

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Old dog

yesterday, made enchiladas! wes showed me how to cut onions. and today jordi showed me how to throw and catch and baseball. now, if i can just figure out how to throw a frisbee and hit a golf ball and play football and...god, what was i doing with my childhood?

Sunday, May 4, 2003

The sun!

Sat in the sun at the Christian Science Plaza on Saturday (designed by I.M. Pei, who in my Googling I discovered also designed the Hancock tower and the MFA extension and the Media Lab and studied at MIT and Harvard and was a professor at Harvard, and so, in other words, left his mark here).

Bought Rolling Stone on a whim, the 35th anniversary issue about American Icons. Marilyn Manson rips apart reality television, John Updike praises Andy Warhol, corporate logos are explained.

Crap, I'm using capital letters again! we'll put a stop to that.

got my first sunburn of the summer today while watching the red sox blow a 4-0 lead against the twins. so sad.

considering running a half marathon in virginia, one of the country's 25 best. i'm not sure i could actually pull it off, but it would be fun to try. there is an amusing disparity between this training schedule and this one. the boston half-marathon covers a lot of ground i already run, which sounds a little boring, though last year they got to run around the field at fenway.

the play erik was in got a good review, wish i'd gotten down to see it.