Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Oh well

So the DARPA idea market isn't happening, says the FT. Bummer. I thought it was a neat idea.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Life's but a walking shadow

Requisite weekend wrap-up:

Went to Tia's. Fun scene. Excellent night.

Saw Macbeth on the Common. Sort of overwrought, favoring pyrotechnics over good acting, and nothing so interesting about the directing. Maybe that's what it takes to put up shows on the Common - after all, they did Carmen in English. But I talked to a lot of people who didn't even bother to sit through the whole thing.

Went to the Cape with folks from work and met up with some cute vets-in-training. Highlight was definitely the police in the town of Sandwich, or, as the sign said, the Sandwich Police. How cool is that? "Sir, don't put that mayo on your sandwich!" "Who do you think you are, the Sandwich Police?" "Why, yes I am."

Friday, July 25, 2003

More political stuff

S├ębastien picked up the Googlearchy link and put it in one of my favorite blogs! So, on the off chance that some traffic finds its way here, I figured I'd try to drum up support for Mike's idea of the Blogger Voter list. In order to avoid duplication of efforts, get in touch with Mike if you're game.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Googlearchy!

A fun word and interesting idea comes from Matt Hindman, who I met once and hope to hang out with again... Googlearchy. He writes about the impact of power law distributions of links on politics in both a paper and the paper.

Go see Bob!

Last night, saw Bob in Midsummer Night's Dream at the Publick Theatre. He was great. The entire production was excellent, in fact....easy to follow, funny delivery, great costumes.... I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Two fun links

Andrea pointed out that Mike is on the Polo Jeans site.

Sarah sent me yet another weird dating-related article (earlier ones have covered arranged marriage, match.com, etc.), this time about quiet parties.

Also, got to meet Clay Shirky today. He was as awesome as I'd expected.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Beach Blanket Bedtime

Busy weekend!

Friendster update: 125,612 through 20 friends. Had a Friendster moment when social-network-surfing made us realize that a high school friend who went to Dartmouth knew my roommate's girlfriend. A little shocked to read that people are selling their friendship on eBay.

Went to Crane's Beach. Nice, but not quite what I expected. Very rural. Good sand. Bummer about the clouds.

Gospel Brunched at House o' Blues. Fun. Excellent music from The Soul Converters. Interesting crowd. A little pricey for an hour of music + food, though still more cost effective than lap dances. Clapped, sang, hugged neighboring strangers. Today is Love Sunday. This little light o' mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

Saw Bad Boys II...a couple of very funny scenes, and some fun if absurd chases. 2.5 hours, though. And a little annoyed at the Public Service Announcement-ish treatment of Ecstasy, especially given how easily the hundreds of people who die on both sides in the movie as a result of the drug war could make an excellent anti-drug war argument.

On a somewhat related note, (finally) reading Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Sentence of the day: "Harriet Street...looks like about forty winos crawled off in the shadows and died and turned back and bloated and exploded, sending forth a stream of spirochetes that got into every board, every strip, every crack, every splinter, every flecking flake of paint." Sounds a bit like my bedroom. ;-)

Observation: sin taxes impede alcohol, but alcohol impedes syntax.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

A quick note

Cool sentence of the moment: "It's a grand opportunity for new bureaucracies and the further infantilization of the public in the name of the greater social good." from (where else?) the Times.

Friendster update: 99,514 people through 17 friends. Chad has me wondering how big my network would be if not for the fictional superconnectors (God, The Dude, etc), though.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Electroverts!

At lunch, we were talking about introverts and extroverts (among other things, Scott mentioned that these traits are correlated with tolerance for pain). But, I thought, I have a lot of friends who aren't quite introverted, because online, they're a whole different person. And Eric said, "Electroverts!" The word is so perfect, I'm surprised it hasn't been coined already, but Google shows only 2 hits - one is the name of a band the other appears to be some sort of equipment. I'm sure that we'll be seeing a Metrosexual-ish article about Electroverts in the Times any day now.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Trivial Pursuits

Wow, what a boring weekend! Of course, it did give me a chance to recover from staying out late playing pub trivia at The Overdraught (thanks for letting me tag along Bryan!) and then spending some time at the Phoenix Landing. Got fed Indian food Friday and rented Wall Street Saturday and watched T3* Sunday. Also finished Hedda Gabler audiobook and some Borges stories and started the Moneyball audiobook (all excellent). Everybody seemed to be out of town. Also decided to use miles to have my brother visit, since SAN to BOS tickets are double their usual price.

One random tidbit. I forgot who I had been trying to convince that pink and blue were reversed for baby boys and baby girls at one time, but I found a web page describing it, and, as we all know, everything you find on the web is true.

*T3 tangent: There's a great quote where John is shocked to find out he's going to marry Kate (Claire Danes) and Arnold says something along the lines of, "Why not? She's a healthy female of breeding age." In trying to find the exact quote, I hit some other fun ones at IMDB, this weird parent's guide, and this amusing New Yorker review.

Monday, July 7, 2003

Poking through my referrer log

I love poking through my referrer log. It's endlessly fascinating. There are the people searching for ways to get pot in The Sims, for Braitenberg vehicles, for popular sites, for my paper, for people, for quotes. There are the links from the Google intranet (you think they of all people would be smart enough to obfuscate referrers!). A link from a site I can't read and people I've met and others I haven't met at all. Apparently Metabuzz made an appearance on blogdex and popdex, which is neat, if circular. More when I get around to digging it out.

Two bits don't make a byte

I've run across some interesting odds and ends lately...

For example, I saw a link from the Yahoo! newsletter to Dressed to the Nines, an exhibit about baseball attire. I don't really care about baseball attire, but it did make me wonder where the phrase came from, especially given my recent foray into etymology. I found this cool site which points to "1793 in the poetry of Robert Burns: 'Thou paints auld Nature to the nines'."

I also love it when my reading happens to randomly coincide. For example, there was a New York Times Magazine article about how stimulating parts of the brain can lead to savant-like activity. (I found some some good pointers to related material.) And just yesterday, I read "Funes, His Memory" (in the translation I'm reading) or "Funes the Memorious" (in others). Here's the text of it. The similarities between Funes ("He was, let us not forget, almost incapable of general, platonic ideas.") and those with an autistic infant ("whose mind 'is not concept driven. . . . In our view such a mind can tap into lower level details not readily available to introspection by normal individuals.'"). I've always considered myself the sort of person who thinks better conceptually than in detail, and yet many computer people exhibit autism-ish symptoms. If there's a spectrum, how do I figure out where I am on it?

Lastly, I thought the Nicholas Lemann article about the Michgan case was fascinating. The heart of it (for me) is that: "Nor do universities share the public's view of admissions as a rewards system, which must be conducted with absolute fairness to each applicant. Instead, universities consider themselves to be rarefied autonomous institutions." I've often been annoyed with admissions and hiring policices because they seem an un-meritocratic disbursement of awards. But if I accept that university admissions are shaping an inevitable elite class, I suppose I'm willing to afford them more latitude. Questions about whether privilege is inevitable keep coming up in conversations I'm having.

Happy birthday to me

Wow, what an awesome weekend (after inauspiciously locking myself out on my birthday). Friends visiting, sitting outside waiting for the fireworks (beautiful, but why did they have to start sooooooooo late? pretty offensive to make us wait for the sake of the television audiences), going to the beach (thanks Mike!), good dinners. I think every weekend should be a long weekend.

Friendster update: 70,336 people through 12 friends. 39 single girls 21-24 in Boston. Hmm.