Friday, April 07, 2006

Let's Try This Again

Now posting over here.

We are assured that mysterious computer-related things will succumb to catastrophe no more than around two or three times a week, and that sounds fine to me.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Advances, None Miraculous

Somewhere in his generally fascinating The Thirsty Muse, Tom Dardis discusses the "geographic cure" for alcoholism, in which the unhappy inebriate (in his case, Faulkner) attempts to cure himself of bad habits simply by altering his immediate physical surroundings.

This is basically one of those things that never works.

Regardless, mounting irritation with Blogger and Haloscan have led me to try something similar. Thanks to the good auspices of Phooeyhoo, I'll be found from now on at, as a sort of cousin site to Flog, should he ever decide to start posting again. If Dardis is any guide, I can expect a short grace period of reasonable output, followed by a protracted slide into an abyss of one-line posts and calendar months with only three updates to show for themselves.

Despite that prognosis, please update your links if you're of a mind to do so.

UPDATE: Alternatively, don't. Everything at the new place seems to have gone temporarily pear-shaped.

In comments, Pete presciently asks:
If I get a webcam can I just do a retina scan?
This is what we're ultimately working towards. Retina scans - in conjunction with other, more painful and invasive biometrics - are much more effective than a mere username/password system. And if you want to post comments, there's a microchip you'll need to have implanted subcutaneously. It's relatively inexpensive, and the "registration" process is covered by most HMOs and can be performed at any Mr. Goodwrench franchise.

Obviously, I will stop at nothing to safeguard my intellectual property. These blog posts are worth their weight in gold.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

"A Common Problem Among Yale Professors"

I've been over in the comment section at continuing to wage a vicious and unprovoked partisan campaign on behalf of the show Deadwood. While Googling up a non sequitur behind which to exit, I found this interview with series creator David Milch, which covers some of the same ground as the contemporaneous really long New Yorker profile but has enough new wrinkles to be worth reading. I'm posting it over here because Brandon has enough on his plate without having to host a dedicated site for me to pick fights with him about TV. (Although, come to think, that does give me an idea for a cable access show.)

Interview by Salon's not-un-awesome-in-her-own-right Heather Havrilesky.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Adventure Of Two Dingo

More of the world's problems are mediated through cartoons.
The media's response has perhaps been given added edge by still-simmering anger in Indonesia over the Prophet Muhammad cartoon furore.

Protesters rallying outside Australia's Jakarta embassy this week painted obscenities on its walls and carried banners of an eagle swooping to grasp the bloodstained neck of a kangaroo, shouting "Die kangaroo".
Of course, it's not a laughing matter. The phrase die, kangaroo is a laughing matter, though. But only a small one.

Should the Indonesian press be depicting John Howard as a dingo getting his Bone on with his foreign secretary? Well, why the hell not? I think describing it as "satire" might be a bit of a stretch, though.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Flurry Of Professional Activity

Peer review is a leisurely business, so it's pleasantly bizarre to have two papers OK'd by two different journals in the space of one week. I started shopping this one around in 2004, so it's nice that it has found a home - particularly because, if any serious lies were found in it at this stage, my Ph.D. would probably be retroactively invalidated.

The referee's comments did include the phrase "riddled with howling errors", which is one of those formulations that the eye leaps to and the stomach recoils from, and is generally just not the kind of comment you're looking for in this situation. However, he/she was just taking issue with one of the other works I cited, which was a relief. I've never claimed to be perfect, but the errors that riddle my work are for the most part non-howling.

Anyway, this is straying perilously close to introspection. Time for some more posts about basketball or something, or maybe another week-long hiatus.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Second Tangential Reference To Iowa State In One Day

Save your money! Accept one of our free tanks! It is invulnerable, and can drive across rocks and swamps at ninety miles an hour while getting a hundred miles to the gallon!
Was supposed to be doing something useful at the library; instead, ended up with Neal Stephenson's amusing rumination on operating systems, In The Beginning Was The Command Line, despite the fact that it's one of those tracts that is inevitably going to be available in its entirety online, like here.

The Cato Institute Has Surprisingly Little To Do With Basketball

College hoops? Not so much. However, "For The First Time Ever, Libertarians Win Something" is a gem of a headline.
You could tell by all those three-pointers that this was a team organized on the wisdom of distributed decision-making rather than central control.
Quite. This, in a nutshell, is why I like Reason: principled libertarian commentary together with wry references to their foundation members' "Vulcan and human halves".

Tragically, despite the name, Kelvin Cato of the Pistons did not attend "libertarian mecca" GMU - instead, he chose Iowa State and their iniquitous corn subsidies. Another marketing opportunity gone for naught.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

And Not Just The Obvious Ones, Like "Saloon"

Apologies for yet another protracted absence. I've been... well, not exactly busy as such. Anyway, Queensland was ravaged by a hurricane, and I found out that I've had a paper provisionally accepted by some journal or other, so there are entries on both sides of the ledger.

I'm also about to lose access to my old university account in the US, so I've been rummaging through the last five or so years of email and keeping the good ones. Patterns begin to emerge in your correspondence if you do this in a short enough space of time, even in addition to the usual patterns you see after staring at a screen for hours on end. Many, if not most of these several thousand emails were sent from my office and consisted of passionate negotiations with others on campus over the question of whether we were going to go to the bar, and if so which bar, and when, and what were we to do upon arrival at the bar. Reading through them en masse, one receives the impression that a primitive new language is taking shape before your very eyes; one with fifty-odd words for "bar".

Unintentionally Revealing Remark Of The Month