August 30, 2000
# Soul Salmon

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

If you're in Seattle, go check out the Soul Salmon at Bumbershoot this weekend. has some interesting links.

The world is still sane. Kinda. Sony backs away from comments by a company executive that it will "firewall Napster at the source".

The death of web journalism doesn't take into account people like the guys over at Monkeyfist, who provide quality analysis at no profit whatsoever. Now all we need is a growth in the 'overeducated, financially endowed, with a passion for the facts' demographic. RSN.

posted by dru in blog
August 29, 2000
# Origins of Dru

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Well, I'm back in Chimacum, Washington. I grew up here and went to High School here. Now I'm visiting my parents and the few friends that are still in town for five days.

I read half each of Plato's Republic and Meno on the plane ride here. I read Meno from my new Palm IIIc, which is suprisingly pleasant to stare at. I didn't find it any worse than a book. This bodes well for my future reading of long texts from the web. I jotted a good deal of notes for an article on Iraq on the Palm, too, but then accidentally deleted them. I switched to my pen and paper notebook for a little while after that.

I also picked up a used copy of a McLuhan biography, "Escape into understanding". That guy continues to fascinate me, and provide a certain amount of inspiration.

This has been a No Links edition of misnomer. Coincidentally, this is about as personal as the content here has been in a while.

I'm writing this on my mom's G3 powerbook. It's really nice.

Oops, a link: Metascene's page.

Two arguments about abortion.

posted by dru in blog
August 26, 2000
# The Real Survivors

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Salon: What happened to the Women's web?

A real survivor. Jim Keady spent 6 months working in a Nike factory in Indonesia for $1.25/day, in order to see if it really was a living wage. He kept a journal and took some photos. If that's not enough, the site is well designed, and overall, quite compelling.

Two articles about shareware payment incentives.

We're not allowed to link to DeCSS, but not a whole lot has changed in that respect. In order to shut down this kind of linking, I'd imagine it would require legislation that banned the use of certain word combinations. If a magazine that is widely available has illegal content, am I allowed to say its name?

Perhaps they'll avoid such an embarrasing analogy by applying anti-linking laws exclusively to the internet, with LitigationBots cruising the net for illegal filez, serving up Cease and Desist letters as they go.

2600 says: "Judge Kaplan has released a memorandum opinion on the January hearing which explains his reasons for granting the injunction. Many of the findings of fact are simply false. Given adequate time to prepare we are confident that this will be proven at trial." (emphasis mine)

posted by dru in blog
August 25, 2000
# Jules Dassin

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Salon has a Mediocre interview with Jules Dassin, the guy who directed Rififi, the classic Film Noire that apparently got really popular after I saw it. Not that I'm implying a deterministic effect or anything.

posted by dru in blog
August 24, 2000
# Pete Best

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Blue Green has started picking up a bit.

Kid Rock Starves to Death. MP3 Piracy Blamed.

A good list of books on Information Architecture. (via Peterme)

Mersault*Thinking is a weblog about IA and interface design.

Remembering Pancake Stomp '99. There's a great pic of Milosh, myself, and Janna groovin' to the tune of Alaxy and the Galaxy (I've got the yellow shirt). As it happens, Alaxy and his Galaxy have a few MP3's on the CHMA local music page.

Lots and lots of good links (and a terrifying story) at Metascene.

Sequential Tart - "A Comics Industry Web Zine"

A David Gelernter manifesto.

Pete Best (the Beatles' first drummer) is coming to Sackville. How wierd is that? The company that is representing him looks kinda slimey. Let's milk every bit of celebrity out of pseudo-pseudo-celebrities. Wierder.

Theory links.

posted by dru in blog
August 23, 2000
# Operation Cremation Monsanto

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

The Best of the Churn, Issue #2 has a load of diverse and interesting links.

Operation Cremation Monsanto.

posted by dru in blog
August 22, 2000
# Style >> Design

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Zeldman talks about the difference between style and design. Good.

Taking a look at 0sil8, I'm regaining an appreciation for web sites that release well considered 'issues', rather than updating constantly.

Bryan Boyer's thoughts on the end of DeepLeap make me feel kind of heavy.

Retrogression updated recently.

Reading their website or going by their name, I never would have thought that Puffy would be a likeable band. But their single, "Korega Watashino Ikiru Michi", is very cool. The best thing is, the lyrics don't get stuck in my head, because they're in Japanese. (CHMA got them in on Japan Not For Sale Volume 3, on Sony Music Japan).

posted by dru in blog
August 21, 2000
# Quang Duc

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

The self-immolation of Thich Quang Duc

Superbad is a good place to wander around for a long time (or a short time). Especially if you have a decent connection. A massive hypermedia art project.

Thoreau's Civil Disobediance, a hypertext adaptation.

posted by dru in blog
August 20, 2000
# Scott McCloud, of the Clan McCloud

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Scott McCloud (the guy who wrote Understanding Comics) was interviewed by Feed.

The Chronicle talks about electronic academic publishing. "Ease of access leads to use."

Interesting interview with Winona LaDuke on Native Americans, Chiapas, and structural poverty.

posted by dru in blog
by lori anderson

If the usa and britain did not step in and stop saddam, who would ...... How long would all of the Iragi people suffer.. I am against war but I am against torture and suffering more so which is the worst of two evils? war or indifference.

August 19, 2000
# Privatization

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Eric Boehlert wrote a Salon article that looks at why critics are passing over Eminem's lyrics.

"Makes you wonder what it would take for music journalists to sit up and take offense. A song or two about lynching bothersome blacks, or gassing a few Jews? Even then, it'd probably be a close call."

The letters Salon recieved in response to this article.

If I could seperate form from content, I'd say that on the form side, Eminem is one of the more interesting and clever, if not brilliant, pop musicians to come along in a long time, and on the content side, his lyrics are more offensive and damaging than can be written off on his tongue-in-cheek format or self-deprecation.

Unfortunately, I'm not really sure I can seperate form and content, as many of the critics mentionned in Boehlert's article have tried to do. This presents a challenging subject to critique - ever more so because it concerns an artist with misogynistic and anti-gay content that is topping the Billboard charts. But with the kind of intimidated applause that this guy is getting, it doesn't seem like there's too much debate happening where lots should be taking place.

Interesting article on the damaging effects of privatization in New Zealand.

Who do tax cuts help?

UN human rights body calls for lifting of Iraq sanctions

This week's debate became heated after Belgian's member called the sanctions "unequivocally illegal" which had caused a humanitarian disaster "comparable to the worst catastrophes of the past decades."
posted by dru in blog
August 18, 2000
# More Existential Dread

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Al Gore's acceptance speech. Reading it, I can understand how politics become so incredibly skewed. The things he talks about doing make me want to say "yeah, I'll vote for him". Unfortunately, what Al Gore says has very little connection to reality. Big promises. One can only hope. Or vote for Nader.

I'd like to see a line by line analysis of the campaign promises Gore makes in that speech - matching what he says to his previous record of voting. This is how the internet can change politics: people matching up the facts and asking questions.

As Jim Page sang back in '92:

He's got a hip box president
who's in to the environment
he wrote a book about it once
so you know he's gonna mean what he says.
posted by dru in blog
August 16, 2000
# Existential Dread

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

"I usually vote Democrat. On the other hand, that was a lot of confetti they dropped on Bush."

Old Man Murray: Interview on biblical-themed games. (link and quote shamelessly lifted from random$foo)

It seems that people who deliberately deconstruct religion, then exorcise it from their lives, eventually realize that maybe they're not so much smarter than everyone who's ever lived after all. When they inevitably discover that faith has a purely utilitarian value as a way of mitigating the mounting existential dread that arises from simply being alive, they generally resort to creating some kind of half-assed religion substitute. This leads to spiritual philosophies that embarrass everybody, like aromatherapy and everything Jewel believes.

There was a passage in Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon that had a similar idea. Part of the ongoing subtext of post-modernist inner conflict, or something.

posted by dru in blog
by Wally

Deliberately deconstuct opposed to those who unintentionally deconstruct religion?...And I think that instead of deconstruct you mean think about it for themselves instead of blindly believing what ever dungeons and dragonsesque nonsense that their sunday school teacher and brainwashed parents told step away from unicorns thats all I'm saying.

August 15, 2000
# Back in Iraq

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

As those who read my Dialogs and Documents piece know, I've been interested in the fact that a an email thread or chat transcript can be edited and presented as a document. This thread is a really good example. It contains a lot of viewpoints, and has well-articulated messages that aren't hard to understand. In this and other cases, I find that reading an on-topic thread dealing with given subject can be more informative than reading an introductory text.

Certainly, the multi-voicedness of differing viewpoints and the contrast between ideas are well-stressed in such exchanges.

We started bombing Iraq again today.

posted by dru in blog
August 14, 2000
# Back in the Sack

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Microsoft doesn't exert any influence over editorial decisions at Slate. Suuuuuuuure.

I pretty much agree with the Concord Principles. Vote Nader!

After a 22 hour bus ride, I'm back in Sackville. I'd say it's a stark contrast to New York City, but this little town is pretty much etched in my bones, so it seems like I never left.

I read Harry Potter #1. It was a combination between a Roald Dahl novel and a Hardy Boys formula, but in an intelligent way.

I'm reading Antarctica, by Kim Stanley Robinson, who did the excellent Mars series. Being in weblog mode, I don't have the patience to think of good descriptors, suffice to say that Robinson's writing is versatile, multifaceted, and really quite interesting. I'd have to agree with the NYTimes when their review guy says there is 'no finer writer of science fiction today'.

posted by dru in blog
August 08, 2000
# Mcluhan.

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Monkeyfist: Golden Rice: some realities. "Are we interested in helping people? Time magazine is, but is our help so conditional that we only lend it when it costs us nothing and serves our interests?"

Bijan Parsia wrote an engaging piece on the moral and legal situation in the Philladelphia justice system.

A Metafilter thread on Bijan's piece.

Technological Determinism in 14 chapters.

Write for Star Trek. A fun read.

Marshall McLuhan, the holy fool: "I have no theories whatever about anything. I make observations by way of discovering contours, lines of force, and pressures. I satirize at all times, and my hyperboles are as nothing compared to the events to which they refer."

posted by dru in blog
August 07, 2000
# Art Art Art.

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Today is the last addition to what has been an impromptu display of photoshop art. Comments?

The rumbling is starting in Los Angeles.

If you want to know the reality about golden rice, go read this article now. It's well worth it. I wrote a piece for BlueGreen on the Golden Rice panacea.

Golden rice is shareware: "As long as the farmers do not earn more than $10,000 annually from the sale of golden rice, they need not pay any royalties."

Eek. is the #1 visited site by far. (Alexa report) What I'm interested in is what the proportion of traffic from the top 1000 sites is to the rest of the web. I.e., has the revolution truly been commercialized?

The Symphony for Dot Matrix Printers.

What in the WWW is happening to writing? Some interesting thoughts at the beginning.


posted by dru in blog
August 06, 2000
# Art Art.

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

An internet art exhibition from the Whitney.

Fox News on internet art.


posted by dru in blog
August 05, 2000
# Art?

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

I've been looking through web-based art these days, trying to figure out what people are doing with it. I had the idea of curating a show of web-based art in conjunction with Struts a while ago, but I'm still trying to get my shit together.

I had a conversation about web art with Anthony at PS1 today. He said that it seems like a lot of web art is more based on technical novelty than real artistic ideas. I've got a lot of stuff to review to see if he's right.

Some of these sites are web-based art.

Zoom: web based art

It seems that a lot of artists are avoiding the medium of the web itself by going to Flash. Flash can be interesting, but I'm not sure it's web art. I think it's probably really hard to make meaningful art just with HTML. It's pretty different from traditional artistic media.

I think it has a lot of potential, though.

This page has been getting a ___load of hits, and I could never figure out why. Today, I got an email from Zac, the music director at the station, who tells me that the Hampsterdance single is #1 on the Toronto charts. And I got sick of it over five months ago. God, I'm cutting edge.

A Metafilter thread on police injustice in Philladelphia.


posted by dru in blog
August 04, 2000
# Huzzah for Independent Media

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

My photos from the Republican National Convention protests are now up. About 40 photos. Worth your time, if I do say so myself.


posted by dru in blog
August 03, 2000
# Jail

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

I just watched the X-Men movie. I would say that it was a really poorly concieved movie, with a overly formulaic plot, which added nothing to the comics that it was based on. Problem is, that is how almost every Hollywood movie is. Let the director/writers put just enough thought into the script to hold it together, then dump huge amount of money into special effects (though I would hardly call them 'special' anymore), and voila, a financial success.

People still pay their $9.50 to go see those movies, and keep going back, so who am I to argue? My point is, there's not much point in noticing the aspects that suck about Hollywood movies, because those aspects are omnipresent in close to everything that appears on the silver screen. Let's raise the level of debate. All Hollywood movies suck, but the FX are fun. What's next?

In other news, I walked past Film Forum, where I saw Rififi. The line was around the block, but I saw it on opening day, before anyone knew it was cool. I feel so hip. If you're in NYC, it plays til the 10th, so if you want to see a really amazing piece of cinematography, go check it out.

Monkeyfist: Act now to support jailed activists. Arrested protestors are, for the most part, not being charged, have not been allowed a phone call, have bail set from $100 to $400,000, and are basically being held in storage until the conference is over. Some have not eaten in more than 10 hours. More info from the IndyMedia Center.

Reasons to Protest the Conventions.

The Anarchist Statement on the GOP Convention has some interesting views and history.

Bill Gates interviewed: " is not the same as other completely open systems. It is, instead, a Microsoft platform -- just like Windows."

What's the deal with the press letting Gates and others screen questions before an interview? To me, this screams "I am dishonest, and there are aspects of the truth that I don't want to publicly recognize".

posted by dru in blog
August 02, 2000
# More Philly

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks that the media totally ignored the issues at the GOP convention.

It's becoming increasingly apparent to me that my strongest interests of late - media, politics, and art (in that order) - are convergent, or fundamentally interconnected - each have a deterministic effect on the other.

Eric Raymond talks about the 'Big Lies that are being spoken with regards to DeCSS and Napster.

He says that Napster is bad for artists, because they don't get paid, and becasue they lose control of their work. I agree.

But I still think Napster is a good thing, because I think it will mean the marginalization (or ideally, the destruction) of the record industry.

Long term, I don't think Napster is the answer. If people distribute their work on the internet at all, there is bound to be some loss of control. However, if they publish their music from their own web site and make it the most comprehensive resource for their music, with downloads just as easy as with Napster, then there won't be any reason to find their music using Napster.

No one uses Gnutella to distribute shareware that is available on public mirrors. For the same reason, if music is freely available from artists' web sites, Napster will no longer have a reason to exist, and artists will have a higher degree of control over their work.

On the net, it is simply reality that prevents artists (and record companies) from having the control that they have in the CD universe. This will surely affect the way musicians distribute their work, but it's not the end of the world.

The only way this *won't* happen is if there is either some sort of totalitarian control imposed on the net, or if there is a widespread ethical enlightenment that inspires people to pay the bloated CD tax on music.

Getting paid is the real problem, one to which the only apparent solution (in my view) is voluntary micropayments, which require an ethical population, but pre-empt the unethical portion of the population from routing around any semblance of artistic control.

posted by dru in blog
August 01, 2000
# Constitutional Rights, who needs em?

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

(It's still) time to end the suffering in Iraq.

I'm back from Philly. Lots of protesting, lots of people, lots of fun, lots of illegal activity, by protestors and cops. Though the intent of the protestors was to disobey in a civilized manner, I would be truly dismayed (but not surprised) to hear that the police were consciously violating the rights of people in downtown Philladelphia this weekend. I got frisked without my consent this afternoon (which I hear is unconstitutional), but I can say that that certainly wasn't the worst of it. Apparently, this is fairly common.

NYTimes Slams Nader (again):

There is precious little debate on globalization and no debate at all on Ralph Nader's Presidential campaign on the op-ed page of the Times, a page that is ostensibly designed for debate.

On a higher level, this is my biggest beef with the media: no debate. When talking about protests, you'll find full page articles talking about what protestors look like, how much fun they were having, what the police did, how many people showed up, where they marched, etc. etc. I guarantee, however, that you'll find the least amount of information in such articles about the actual issues at stake. No debate, but worse, no one knows why 5,000 people showed up in Philadelphia, ready to be arrested for something they believe in, besides the text of a few banners.

Does this strike anyone else as totally skewed and just plain wierd. Even more so that it happens across all media, not just in certain organizations, but in the NYTimes and the tabloids alike.

The Philadelphia Independent Media Center has comprehensive coverage of the arrests, protests, and lockdowns, as well as position statements from protestors, news, and editorials.

I've been discussing politics lately more than usual. Anyone have any feelings on this? I'm interested to hear:

posted by dru in blog