January 31, 2001
# Trees.

Local: Trees. A series of photographs of the forest around the place I grew up.

Nothing can stop the whiny liberal punditbots, you traiterous fool!

posted by dru in photo
January 28, 2001
# Davos

Dan Gilmour's account of the massive security at Davos sounds a little too much like a scene from Blade Runner. It's never been more clear that globalization as it is currently being implemented is an undemocratic process designed to channel money and power to elites.

I wonder if this photo has any allegorical significance? I kinda hope so.

Exit Art in New York has what looks like an interesting show about genetic engineering.

Cool, looks like Ola saw the show. He describes it a bit more.

I never realized how much of a bottleneck having a slow hard drive was. Having a fast (7200rpm) and quiet drive is definitely worth the investment.

posted by dru in blog
January 27, 2001
# The Pain of Enfranchisment

This about sums it up.

"You have no idea what it's like to be black and enfranchised," said Marlon Hastings, one of thousands of Miami-Dade County residents whose votes were not counted in the 2000 presidential election. "George W. Bush understands the pain of enfranchisement, and ever since Election Day, he has fought tirelessly to make sure it never happens to my people again."

posted by dru in us
January 26, 2001
# Stardom

I saw Stardom, a Canadian film which parodies the media, and how women are treated in it, last night. I thought it did what it set out to do - that is, provide a scathing critique of the media quite well. As for questions of what needs to really be examined in that area and how, I'm not really informed enough to say yeah or neigh. Worth a look, though.

A few other reviews of Stardom.

Here's a fascinating debate on metafilter about corporate domination of culture. Lots and lots of good links.

Why corporations are different than you or me. And yet they have the same rights, and then some.

What the government spends your money on.

Is google making an editorial comment about Shrub? The text of the search doesn't appear anywhere in the source of the first-ranked page.

I just finished reading this article about the relationship between Zeta functions and Quantum physics aloud to Sylvia, who understood considerably more than I did. The connection between pure math and physics is pretty interesting, though -- even to ignorant ears like my own.

posted by dru in culture
January 23, 2001
# The geek's lament

Some stories about Sony's BeOS-based 'eVilla'. [bit of fun with url "hacking"]

I wonder what "music can only be played by the eVilla" means.

Jean-Louis, Be's CEO, talks a bit about CES and the eVilla (what a bad name).

Kevin Smith is working on a new movie.

Colin Powell wants to get rid of sanctions, though scarcely out of any interest in basic human rights.

Harpers index: Number of the 614 arrests of protesters at last year's presidential conventions that have led to criminal convictions : 4

Currentform.com. [via referrers]

First my computer dies, then the brand new hard drive dies, and now I'm sick, and have DSL installed which I can't use until at least Thursday, when the new new hard drive arrives. Life is soooo tough.

What Yahoo looked like in 1994. I can still remember when it was akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo. Ah, back in the day.

posted by dru in blog
January 19, 2001
# Miss the nomer

This week's issue of the Argosy was one of the best ones I've ever read. A lot of articles by people who care about what they're writing about.

I just want enough, by Tara Mills.

SSHRC Funding Under Attack by reactionary nimrods.

I went to see KunkFUNKshun last Saturday. What a show! Nine students playing funk covers with a lot of style (and damn, they could play) brought out a larger audience than any of the big name bands that the SAC brought in. Particularly awesome (in the sense that I was in awe) was the cover of Ice Ice Baby and 'Let your backbone slide', with full beatbox backup.

posted by dru in blog
January 18, 2001
# The Aargh

This week's Argosy. It's online.

My computer died. I am not happpy. However, I ordered a new 9 gig hard drive, so once the recovery happens, my old mac will have yet another breath of life.

Radicalism is a responsibility of youth, conservatism a privilege of age. [repubbies move left]

What do you think of Eminem getting nominated for four Grammys?

posted by dru in blog
January 16, 2001
# Plastic

According to Robot Wisdom, this forthcoming internet appliance from Sony is BeOS-based. "eVilla" is an unfortunate name, though - I reckon it would better serve as a dotcom parody name.

I just checked out Scott McCloud's 'Hearts and Minds'. Good stuff.

I forgot to mention last week's issue of the Argosy.

Plastic uses the Slashdot model for non-geek subject matter.

posted by dru in blog
January 15, 2001
# It's a G4... it's a CD-ROM drive... no! it's

Apple's new SuperDrive will burn DVD's and CD's, and it comes installed on high-end power macs. In a year or so, it'll make sense to have an iMac with DV software. Of course, I'm not expecting oodles of interesting things to be done with it. Desktop publishing still has a lot of unused 'revolutionary' verve that never seems to be tapped in to.

Geek History through T-shirts. Very cool. [via girlhacker]

Lots of good links at Randomwalks that I don't have time to look at. :<

posted by dru in culture
January 14, 2001
# White Privilege

Kendall Clark: My White Problem -- And Ours.

"Charges of racism, so the habituated response goes, are so stigmatizing (really?) that making them effectively forecloses all possibility of rational discourse. The risk, they claim implicitly, of mismarking racism far outweighs the gains of marking it properly. That's exactly backwards. The costs of its perpetuation far outweigh the price of mismarking it."

posted by dru in good_articles
January 12, 2001
# Don't you step out of line.

I found two old articles by Nathan Myrhvold about paying for content online.

"To understand the challenge of getting people to pay for Internet content, imagine trying to sell subscriptions to HBO back in the 1950s. People were still fascinated with the sheer miracle of television."

I saw The Tao of Steve last night. I was definitely entertained, but the (strongly negative) reaction of some female friends made me think a little harder. I think I still liked it, but it didn't really fulfill what it was trying to do. I get the sense that even with indy films, there's some hollywood dude dictation what the final cut looks like. Definitely more interesting than any romance/comedy I've ever seen, even though it failed to dispense with some tired, damaging stereotypes.

posted by dru in blog
January 11, 2001
# But you sure could yell.

Reuters: Eight Arrested for Shooting at the Moon.

Upon waking up this morning, I wondered briefly why I had been dreaming about talking to Canadian politicians at a hockey game, inside a theatre. Then I realized that CBC Radio had been playing as I slept.

posted by dru in blog
January 09, 2001
# A smile for a veil.

AOL-TW is gonna publish On, a magazine about "what people do with the web".

Jeremy Bushnell of Invisible City sent me a link to a Feed article about the insane amount of product placement in the film Cast Away. Admittedly, the unabashedly pro-corporate subplot never really crossed my mind (the movie was engaging enough), but it's a bit sickening. And if the artists (there still are artisitically minded people who make films, right?) don't put the product placements in the final cut, they get sued.

Today, Castle Rock Entertainment , CBS, Columbia, Dreanmworks, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, MGM, Miramax, Morgan Creek, New Line Cinema, Paramount, Trimark, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Disney, and Warner Brothers all employ Product Placement or Production Resources executives to consult with the hundreds of companies seeking to place their brands in pictures. These executives analyze scripts before
they go into production, come up with breakdowns for "production opportunities," and go in search of sponsors. Given the cost of promoting a film in today's market, merchandising deals are becoming mandatory. Merchants, on the other hand, get captive audiences, get celebrities that
wouldn’t ordinarily endorse their product to do so, and minimize advertising costs. "Imagine the impact of your customers seeing their favorite star using your product in a feature film," one placement company's ad reads. "Both your company's name and product thereby become an integral part of the show, conveying both subliminal messages and implied endorsements."

posted by dru in culture
January 07, 2001
# Rationalization is irrational...

... in the Weberian sense, anyway.

The Government Accountability Project. Neal Stephenson sez, "give these guys money".

More on micropayments:

(Or was that "moron micropayments"?)

Scott McCloud hints at interesting thoughts to come on having artists get payed for their work online.

Evan's Pricing Matters makes an obvious (though it apparently isn't to a lot of people) but important point.

the book I linked to above, Information Rules, is also available from Amazon as a Microsoft Reader e-book. The price? $23.96 -- exactly the same as the hardcover version. This will never work. Sure, it'd be nice to download the book immediately instead of waiting and paying for shipping, as well as to have an electronic copy. But for most readers, the advantages of having the book printed and bound will far outweigh the benefits of speed and searchability... The sad -- and all-too-common -- thing is, when it's demonstrated that these sales have flopped, the publisher will probably conclude that no one will buy e-books, period, when perhaps many people would have at a more reasonable (still highly profitable) price.
Remember kids, bad implementation of payment for content failing doesn't mean that payment for content fails universally. That, and why the hell should the price for something distributed online as it is for the physical version, which has all kinds of material costs (production, shipping, etc.).

Some choice quotes from my Logic textbook (Contemplative Logic, by Cyril Welch, who also teaches the course):

"it seems that doctrines most easily supplant the priorities they name, and that one must constantly overcome them in order to actualize them."

"...theories intend not to erect a picture replacing our attention to reality, but rather to occasion a focus directly on reality."

posted by dru in sites
January 06, 2001
# school days, school days, good old fashioned rule days

Pyra's Blogger Server Fund strikes me as a perfect application for voluntary micropayments. Its success stems, AFAICS, from two important facts: they provide a service that is percieved as valuable, and they promise a reward for helping out.

I wonder if this could be expanded to applying the shareware model to web applications? This might result in some interesting possibilities, especially for part time projects; i.e. "we need another $1000 to implement feature X." This works somewhat like the storyteller's bowl publishing model, in that it has the flexibility to be paid for either by one rich person, or 200 poor people (to simplify things somewhat).

Well, I thought I was going to update more when I came back. I've been moving into a new apartment, starting classes, catching up with various things and people, and generally not surfing a whole lot. The end is not in sight. In fact, it's the beginning of the end. No, it's the end of the present, or the past.

At least I live in a house where everything works, and have cool roommates.

Here are the classes I'm taking, in place of links:

Contemporary Social Theory (Sociology)

Social Dynamics of Science and Tech. (Sociology)

Modern Japan (History)

Logic II (Philosophy)

Ancient Philosophy

posted by dru in blog
by Nikita and Alyssha

We think ur page is good....we were just wondering if u could send us some pics of the old days because we r doing a project on it and we need some pics...please and thanks
Nikita and Alyssha

January 02, 2001
# Homeward bound?

In about four hours (i.e. 4am PST), my journey back to Sackville will begin, and less irregular updates will probably resume after I recoup from travelling for 20 hours straight, on three hours sleep.

It has been fun hanging out in the northwest, meeting some new people and visiting old friends. Bummer that I didn't get in touch with all the people I wanted to see. To any of those people reading, thanks for the good company and hospitality; it has been fun.

I'm working on a few little web projects, but wouldn't want to promise to much before I actually get anything done.

posted by dru in blog