December 14, 2005
# Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal

I'm on the road in a rather intense way.

I'm here in Winnipeg working for the PSAC until Friday. Then Toronto for Trafford's xmas party and the last show of the Fall Nationals, the Rheostatics' ten-night stint at the Horseshoe.

Then back to Montreal, possibly to Burlington, Vermont, then to Ottawa for the 24-26, then Montreal again.

So if you're in any of those places/times, feel free to drop me an email at dru at dru dot ca.

posted by dru
November 15, 2005
# Reader's note

Apparently due to the lack of weblog updates post-Estonia, a few people have wondered if I'm still there.

I came back to Montréal at the end of September, and became immediately, utterly immersed in life here. I haven't got around to processing the meaning of the ol' trip to Estonia, though it pops up in conversation now and again, and what I experience is mostly confusion. What role does this far off--yet culturally and personally near--land play in an already fragmented and hectic life? Open question.

I also had a list of things I wanted to write more about related to Estonia, but didn't get a chance. When, if ever, will I write about those. Similarly open.

On a related note, my friend Riina just sent me a link to this somewhat amusing blog about an American guy who is adjusting (slowly) to life in Estonia.

It's a little different than my "hyperpoliticized väliseestlane* returns to a nominal homeland, imposes conceptual framework" narrative.

* Estonian living (or born) outside of Estonia

posted by dru
December 21, 2004
# Solstice

I've been under a huge pile of work (just getting out), and thought I had been too busy to remember to celebrate winter solstice. (More sun, not less, is a good thing, at least right now.) As it turns out, it's today, and my days will henceforth be both longer and less stressful.

In other news, the Dominion has got a brand new design and all-new date-based organization of new articles, which should allow for more between-issue posting, and more "online exclusives". I'm definitely pushing the limits of what can be squeezed out of Moveable Type.

Oh yeah, and there's a new issue out, and a brand-new french language section, too! Moveable Type is going to start showing its limits faster if translations start happening, I think.

Also, I found a place in Montréal. I had to choose between really cool neighbourhood/basement apartment, and dead neighbourhood/beautiful apartment, and I went for the neighbourhood. Starting January, I'll be living in Mile End, which is north of the Plateau. The Utne reader named the Plateau Mont Royal one of the "hippest neighbourhoods in North America". Strangely enough, the rating (which was apparently preceded by reputation) came after a good decade of steep rent increases in the area. Word has it that the bohemian types have moved into Mile End and other neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the Plateau.

For all the shit that hipster neighbourhoods get, there's a kind of sweet spot mix of immigrants, small-scale industry, artists, and all around cultcha that happens in parts of town with cheap rent and oldish buildings. This seems to be the case in this general part of Montréal, in my extremely limited experience. And in any case, it's tough to argue with sub-$200 rent. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to it, and if I stick around, I'll be bitter as hell in 5-10 years when the yuppies take it over (assuming the apocalypse waits that long).

Finally, because I've been too poor to buy a copy of Bitch Magazine in quite a while, I've been craving a regular dose of their overeducated-yet-pop-sensibility-infused critical commentary and engagement. The Bitch Magazine weblog just doesn't deliver often enough, but I've been led to believe that is the answer. Short, link-rich, and snarky, and without the long personal narrative that I can't muster the attention span to follow unless its someone I know. (One exception.)

posted by dru
November 05, 2004
# War/Election Blogging

I can't believe I'm using the word "blogging" now, but it seems to best describe what I'm doing over at the Dominion Weblog, where I've been collecting links and quotes about the aftermath of the election.

In other news, I'm on the west coast for a month. I'll be going to cAts this weekend, and attending a few sessions of the Karen is giving a paper at some point.

But before that ensues, I need to get the November issue of the Dominion up. Almost there (minus a few bouts of procrastination, like this one).

As usual, if you're in Seattle (or Vancouver, where I'm heading in a week or so), drop me an email if you want to chat. dru at dru dot ca.

posted by dru
September 24, 2004
# Where I am

People keep asking me where I am, so...

Since I moved out of my apartment in Halifax at the end of August, I've been living a nomadic existence, travelling between Halifax, Tatamagouche, Montréal, and Ottawa.

I just got back from the first circuit, and am planning on heading to Tatamagouche, where a bunch of friends of mine have bought a farm, and have big plans involving sustainable architecture, organic farming, activism, and the formation of a community land trust. Things like that. I've only ever been peripherally involved, but since no one else is planning on living there full time for the moment, I'm nominally basing my existence out of there for the time being, on an extremely laid-back WWOOFing-style basis. (The folks who bought the farm are mostly alums of the Climate Change Caravan, which has led me to refer to the farm--affetionately of course--as the Climate Change Caravan Preserve, or CCCP... apparently I'm < not the first one to do this.) There will be a convergence of sorts up there for the next few weeks, hopefully resulting in more than a few ideas touching the ground, and maybe even hitting it running.

After that, I plan to continue to piece together the elements of my life which somehow dispersed geographically (the tour and the almost completely online nature of the Dominion obviously contributed to that) by continuously travelling... at least for the forseeable future. So I'll start the loop again in a few weeks... Halifax (friends, community); Sackville (more friends; projects); Montreal (relationship, activist folks, arts, other friends); Ottawa (a great group of folks distributing the Dominion, political centre of Canada).

I'm not burnt out yet... the plan is to crash at Tatamagouche whenever that happens.

The long term plan is to move to Ottawa or Montreal, with a view to turning the Dominion into a significant paper in Ottawa, establishing a model that can be applied to other Canadian cities.

But before that, there's turmoil in Ottawa to help resolve, media democracy day in Montréal, friends to visit in NYC and surrounding areas, and a trip to the west coast to visit family and at least one colleague.

So, if you're in Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City, Halifax, Sackville, Tatamagouche, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, Port Townsend or the respective environs, let me know if you want to meet up and chat or conspire or discuss: dru at dru dot ca.

posted by dru
September 23, 2004
# Weblogs by Women

What She Said! features interviews with women who run weblogs, and a big list of 'women who blog'.

posted by dru
December 27, 2003
# Links from 2000

Not being able to sleep, I started reading misnomer entries from way back in 2000, when I was still saying that "the US government killed Iraqi civilians today" at the top of every posting.

In any case, I found a few links worth present-day attention:

Salon: Being Martin Heidegger

Robert Jensen: Lingering Question: Is Dick Cheney Guilty Of War Crimes Against Iraqis? (Remember, this is 2000.)

Dru Oja Jay: Junk Science, Corporate Ideology, and Genetically Modified Food: An Interview with Ann Clark

Global Exchange: 10 Ways to Democratize the Global Economy

CBC's National: Interview with Fidel Castro

posted by dru
December 13, 2003
# Retrogression Progresses

David Grenier is back, with the ubiquitous "I'm back, and I have no readers" post. He writes:

Anyway, this isn’t tip-top for my first entry back, but since I’ve probably lost all of my dozens of dedicated fans in the months of my hiatus, you think I’m going to put my best stuff out there first when no one will see it?
So this is my effort to send the hordes of dedicated misnomer followers over there, so that Dave will commence with the good stuff, already.

posted by dru
September 27, 2003
# Bike for While

In other news, Jon Muellner (who I worked for a long time ago) completed the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle tour, which involves riding 1,200 kilometres in 83 hours (i.e. with five hours of sleep).

posted by dru
September 19, 2003
# Halifax

I've finally made it to Halifax, which will be my home for an indefinite period of time. Perhaps postings to misnomer will pick up?

As always, if you're in Halifax, drop me an email.

posted by dru
August 20, 2003
# Lack of Posting

It's summer, when a young man's fancy turns toward... staying away from the computer more than usual.

Also, I'm trying to turn misnomer into a place for my own thoughts, while most of the mindless link propagation continues apace at the Dominion Weblog.

But the simple requirement of "my own thoughts" (by which I mean, "someone else's thoughts", just not necessarily from online sources) leads me to psych myself out all too often. Nonetheless, there's plenty on the way; I just need to type it up and click "post".

posted by dru
July 17, 2003
# Dominion #3

Issue #3 of the Dominion has been up for a while.

I'm particularly happy with the National Missile Defence readings. They reveal some aspects of NMD that simply aren't discussed in mainstream debate (in Canada, the debate is almost entirely how much we need to placate the Bush administration). Those aspects are Canada's fast-growing defense industry, which stands to profit from projects like NMD, and the reasons for the existence of missile "defense" in the first place. Take this startling analysis from the Project for the New American Century, for example:

Effective ballistic missile defenses will be the central element in the exercise of American power and the projection of U.S. military forces abroad. Without it, weak states operating small arsenals of crude ballistic missiles, armed with basic nuclear warheads or other weapons of mass destruction, will be a in a strong position to deter the United States from using conventional force, no matter the technological or other advantages we may enjoy. Even if such enemies are merely able to threaten American allies rather than the United States homeland itself, America's ability to project power will be deeply compromised.
In other words, NMD is about being able to negate the ability of smaller states from deterring an American invasion, so as to attack with impunity. This is quite literally the position of the Bush administration.

We also published a series of excerpts from Social Torment: Globalization in Atlantic Canada, a book-length study of neoliberal policies by Dr. Thom Workman. Workman has some provocative things to say about both mainstream politics and the left in Canada. For example:

The social equation of neoliberal policy reforms is clear: social austerity equals low wages.
Capital is not antidemocratic; it is antiworker. If throwing a democratic bone or two to "citizens" would do it any good, transnational capital would embrace any element of democracy in an instant. Discussions that centre around the notion of "democracy" are likely to miss the crucial and most important point about the evolving globalist agenda, namely, that the purportedly democratic institutions of the state are being attacked and usurped to undermine the relative power of working people. Almost invariably, these overworked dramatizations about the erosion of democracy give themselves over to genteel concerns about the importance of salvaging great nations such as Canada. Analysts must do more than chase the shadows of a world that emits such cruelty and suffering.

posted by dru
July 13, 2003
# Meeting

I finally met Kellan in person yesterday, and spent the day walking around Seattle, chatting about various combinations of activism, philosophy, books, and technology. Kellan has done some interesting thinking on online collaboration, and we agreed that mailing lists are not a good way to get work done. No one is ever paying full attention when the traffic is anything more than minimal; it only takes one flamer or negative type to kill a discussion; no one is addressed directly, and so does not feel obligated to engage. I find this last problem to be present even on cc: lists where everyone has met in person and has a fair amount of common group to work with.

Since I'm trying to start a virtual national newspaper in Canada, I've been thinking a lot about how to facilitate a sense of cohesion, and keep everyone on the same page, without being in the same place. Right now, people doing work for the Dominion are in Scotland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. And two potential additions are in Nunavut and Italy. Even with Scotland out of the picture, that's a span of four days of driving or an eight hour plane ride that divides us.

On the other hand, it's pretty exciting, because none of this was possible even six years ago. That is, it was possible, but only by narrowing the range of participants to the at least mildly geeky. Now, it seems like every other person who emails me about the paper has their own weblog (more than two run their own slashdot-style collaborative weblogs), or checks their email at least a few times a week.

This makes a lot more possible, in terms of getting a group of people who are scattered all over the place to work together on one project. Email, though, doesn't seem to be enough in the long term. Kellan seemed convinced that for tasks that involve programming, much, much more can be accomplished with everyone in the same place, focused on the same task. On the other hand, he mentioned that irc meetings helped keep the indymedia tech folks in the same shared reality, until they stopped them, anyway. I've had a similar experience with various Indymedia meetings and from hanging out on the Monkeyfist irc channel for a few years. Something about feeling like the other people are present through immediate feedback makes it a much more satisfying experience than writing a long email, not receiving any reply, and wondering if anyone read it.

In the end, the choice seems to be between irc (or some kind of instant messaging) and phone conferences. Irc takes a bit of getting used to; a "pace" of back-and-forth has to develop, which can be complicated with many people present. And it's a bit geeky. Phone conferencing, though, sounds like it can also be tedious (I've been on one teleconference, but friends who work with regional environmental groups seem to dread them). And they're more expensive. Video conferencing, in the words of Eric Idle, is right out.

The production of a newspaper is a funny combination of social and antisocial. Good writing requires determinate lengths of silence and reflection. Putting a paper together, at its best, is a very social process of writing, editing, chopping, creative filling of space, and spontaneous discussion of journalistic practices or ethics, and discussion, as it gets late, of just about everything else. The end result is a collective work: stories have been re-hashed, layouts reconsidered and refined, and corrections made, with various levels of input from anywhere from two to a dozen others.

This is a lot of fun. On the other hand, I've written enough editorials at 3 am to know that it can also be extremely distracting. The Dominion, then, doesn't have this problem, but it also lacks the benefits, for the moment. The long term plan for the paper is to make it into a franchise of sorts: a way to enable people to start their own local independent paper by providing them with a solid base of 8+ pages of content, as well as design and layout services. They provide locally relevant content, local distribution, and local ad revenue.

Even in the short term, I hope to set up an office of some sort when I move to Halifax (or wherever I end up), to provide the paper with more than a virtual space. But the problem isn't going to go away; we are a national paper, and if everyone was in the same place, that would effectively make it a regional paper that calls itself a national paper, like the Globe and Mail and National Post do from Toronto.

I think, finally, that the answer is going to involve occasional short irc meetings, and persistant yet subtle encouragement of posting to the weblog. I mention weblogs because it's what enabled me, for example, to know that Kellan was in Seattle, and then to have a significant backlog of his thoughts on various topics to provide a background to our conversations. All of this involves getting people to geek out a tiny bit more than they feel comortable doing, but not enough to add a burden to volunteers who might already be close to burnout. This seems like a reasonable challenge, given the exciting possibilities of collaborating with a diverse group from different backgrounds and locations to create a newspaper that is truly national in scope and critical in sensibility. Actually, we don't have a version Francais, so that's a ways off.

The real technological solution to the geography problem was recently pointed out to me by photographer and writer John Haney. In a moment of wisdom, John suggested that we buy a railcar, paint THE DOMINION along the side, hook up some satellite internet and cell phones, and set up shop. The paper could travel slowly from coast to coast, stopping to pick up writers, confer with editors, and cover stories about various parts of the big dominion.

posted by dru
by Kendall

I finally met Kellan...

I'm jealous, of you and Kellan! Sounds like a fun, interesting conversation.

June 22, 2003
# Posting Elswhere

While I figure out what to do with misnomer, and get into a routine that allows me to do it, I've been posting a lot of material to the Dominion Weblog. If you ever came to misnomer for the obsessive war and news coverage, the Dominion weblog'll be the place to be for the forseeable future.

posted by dru
by adam

any plans to add a comments feature to the dominion blog, so that comments more interesting than this one can be made?

by dru

Yep. Comments are off by default, and I think I'll start turning them on selectively. I'd like to do some more structured discussion in the future, but I think that'll wait until publication gets more regular (and the audience gets a little bigger).

BTW, Floating Baby Moses looks like a solid blog. Nice work so far.

June 18, 2003
# In Town

Having concluded my winding bus and hitchhiking journey o'er this vast continent, I'm back in Washington State. It's the nth time that I've returned, but I haven't yet managed to avoid being freshly amazed by how gorgeous it is here. (Montana and North Dakota were also stunning, but not in a 'I'd like to live there' way.)

I'll be working part time while I try to get The Dominion off the ground. My current plan is to move to Halifax in the fall, hopefully with funding and a substantial audience for the paper. (Actually, Canada is so small that a great number of folks have heard about the paper; it only remains to deliver good material on a regular basis.)

As usual: if you're in Seattle or Vancouver, say so, and I'll drop in for a chat when I'm (inevitably) in town.

posted by dru
by DJ Shoe


long time no contact, but i thought of you today and wanted to touch base real quick.

still in madrid, and probably 'til the end of the month. then: barcelona, orleans, paris, and as much portugal i can squeeze into three weeks.

i've almost forgotten how to use email [probably for the best, i'm trying to keep english-usage to a minimum], but i still post photos here sometimes.

i'll be back on the east coast sometime in september, expecting to see you + Syl in sackville from time to time, and hoping to bump into both of you when i'm in halifax.

you'll be proud to know: i still have spectacular political-racism-immigration-poverty-war arguments with people, even here. ESPECIALLY here.

put the kettle on the boil, we've got lots to talk about.


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May 22, 2003
# On the Road Again

As of tommorrow, I'll be out of Sackville and on the road. I'll be stopping in the following cities, and possibly the places in between. If you want to get together, email as usual.

Port Townsend
and a little later, Vancouver

posted by dru
April 22, 2003
# Graduation?

Today was unofficially my last day as an undergraduate arts student at Mount Allison University. Barring the possibility of a major disaster, I will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Philosophy and Technology and Social Forms on May 12th. (The latter is an interdisciplinary major that I made up, because they let you do that here.)

I am now seeking employment as a web designer, editor, layout lackey, burger flipper, or anything in between, in order to fund the next project.

posted by dru
March 13, 2003
# Recent items of interest

John Dower in Boston Review: A Warning from History: Don’t expect democracy in Iraq

The Beastie Boys have pre-released an anti-war track from their new album.

France, China, and Syria are opposing war for mostly the wrong reasons. Their governments, that is. It kind of sucks that France, Germany and Russia would probably not be working so hard for peace were it not for their financial interest in keeping Saddam in power. So a Security Council resolution approving the US invasion will basically just mean that the various interests at stake have been sufficiently conceded by the US.

A collection of free antiwar posters.

NYPress: Cleaning the Pool: The White House Press Corps politely grabs its ankles

posted by dru
March 11, 2003
# New Paper

A project I started this week: starting a national newspaper in Canada. It's a little less ambitious than it sounds, at least initially. Feedback welcome.

(many thanks to Kendall Clark for hosting the site and listservs)

posted by dru
March 04, 2003
# Googled

Somehow, my post of John Brady Kiesling's letter of resignation got to be on the first page of results of a google search for his name. As a result, a lot of people (by misnomer standards, anyway) have been posting comments, and misnomer had more visitors in three days than it usually does in a month. In any case, the posts are a very interesting cross section of Americans who (mostly) aren't too keen on the war.

posted by dru
February 26, 2003
# -47 C

A week ago, the wind chill here dropped below -47 C. A strange side effect of this was that, when the temperature climbed back up to -10, it was over 30 degrees warmer. I found myself running across the street to buy eggs in a t-shirt, and some people even wore shorts for an afternoon.

We're now back to a considerably less mild -35 wind chill, so it looks like another week will be spent inside waiting for the air to be almost not freezing, which will surely be a sign of spring.

posted by dru
February 09, 2003
# Iraq. Public Dialogue? is selling a CD ROM with 2,440 pages of declassified CIA, State Department, and Congressional documents for $10. A lot more convenient than trying to do an actual Freedom of Information Act request, which I hear is largely futile for any reasonably valuable information.

Royal Roads University had a full-page ad in the Globe this weekend promoting "E-Dialogues" about sustainable development; specifically the implementation of Kyoto.

posted by dru
January 08, 2003
# drool.

Just when I think that I've outgrown the ability to lust after technology, Apple comes out with a 17 inch powerbook. Yow.

Apple also made a speedy new web browser based on Gecko, which looks promising.

posted by dru
by kellan

Not based on Gecko, based on KHTML (from KDE)

Me, I want the 12in, though at 4.6lb its still a pound heavier then I want to be carrying everyday all day :(

by kendall

I'm still holding out for Apple's first price break on the 23" LCD monitor, which is still the most beautiful computer thing I've ever seen -- but $3495? *Ouch*. They gotta drop that by a $1000 or so eventually...

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December 28, 2002
# La Manzanilla

I'm in La Manzanilla, a tiny village on the west coast of Mexico, on vacation with my folks. I don't speak much Spanish, and don't expect to learn much in the next few days, so I've been reading a lot of books:

How to be Alone, essays by Jonathan Franzen

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

The Gold Coast, by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Man Who Knew Charlie Chaplin, a novel about the Weimar Republic, by Eric Koch

Spinoza, Practical Philosophy, by Gilles Deleuze

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Franzen's essays were thoughtful, Patchett's novel was comfortably improbable but and quite engaging, and Robinson was technologically off the mark but existentially more tuned in, vernacular and flowing than he usually is, and at least as politically interesting as he usually is. Eric Koch was historically fascinating and for that reason worthwhile, but rhetorically inadequate, Deleuze was dense yet clear, and orders of magnitude more enjoyable than most commentaries on philosophy that I've read. I still can't decide what or how to think about Marquez, which is probably a good sign.


I just noticed that Robinson has a new book out (The Years of Rice and Salt) in which he apparently attempts to rewrite world history as if Europe has never existed. Apparently, imagining an entirely new civilization on Mars and squeezing it into three novels wasn't ambitious enough.

posted by dru
by rabble

I thought years of rice and salt was out a while ago? Well perhaps kellan reads too fast and just talked about it in the past tense even though it just came out. It's susposed to be really good.

by Kendall

I read YoR&S earlier this year; it was pretty good, though I found it a bit annoying, stylistically, at times. The really clever fictive device is to structure the drama around 3 central characters who keep dying and then being reborn to encounter each other again -- using the general karmic-reincarnation framework of several eastern religions as the deus et machina.

It's a fun book and a salve in these troubled, anti-islamic times.

November 25, 2002
# A relic, Odin! I'm a mini, docile Ra!

Late night Palindrome madness!
(s, send a me mo' r&d nil apt h'gin, et al)

Jim Kalb's Palindrome Connection

Dog Sees Ada, a 300 word palindrome masterpiece (it makes sense, mostly!)

On writing palindromes.

Bob's palindrome page

And of course, the world's longest palindrome, which most certainly does not make sense.

A quick selection:

Ah, Satan, dog-deifier! (Oh who reified God, Natasha?)

A relic, Odin! I'm a mini, docile Ra!

Age, irony, Noriega.

A Santa deified at NASA.

Embargos are macabre. Sad Nell, listen O! not to no nets--I'll lend a Serb a camera so grab me!

Sex-aware era waxes.

T. Eliot, top bard, notes putrid tang emanating, is sad. I'd assign it a name: gnat dirt upset on drab pot-toilet.

Won't lovers revolt now?

We few erase cares, Al; laser aces are we few.

Yo, Bottoms up! (U.S. motto, boy.)

"Ram O Hamas, Osamah, Omar!"

posted by dru
by direct satellite tv and dish network reviews

What's with all the Christian bashing on television? I heard Kathy Griffen on Tough Crowd say that when she hear someone say they are Christian, she automatically assumes that they are stupid. I hear Genean Garofallo (I don't give a shit if I spell their names right) on The Daily Show say that voting for Bush is now considered a character flaw. This comment was based on the fact that George Bush is a fundamentalist and proclaims to be a born again Christian. I'm not even saying that I support Bush, because I haven't paid any attention to his campain (besides the war). I'm not a political person. I also would never vote for a President just because his religion happens to be the same as mine; but to say that being a Christian is a character flaw, or that you are automatically considered stupid is STUPID! Albert Einstein said that religion without science is foolish, and science without religion is foolish. Most people consider ol' Einstein to be a pretty smart fella'. You don't see me saying the Jewish religion is stupid, or if you are a Buddist, then that's a character flaw.

November 18, 2002
# MS and OSB

Microsoft announced wireless displays that allow access to a pc from several hundred feet away. This is what I was hoping Apple would announce when they came out with the new iMacs. I can't say I'd mind being able to read web sites away from my desk without a laptop.

According to this Register article, the only Microsoft products that are profitable are Windows and Office. Every other area is losing money. I'm trying not to imagine what could be possible if those hundreds of millions in losses were put towards something generally useful or interesting (as opposed to future MS dominance).

An old article on open source biology.

posted by dru
November 09, 2002
# Ringneck Dove

I got a ringneck dove today. That's not her in the photo, but she definitely has the same air of alertness and curiosity. She (I haven't thought of a good name yet) is constantly looking around.

posted by dru
by Monte

I am located in Modesto, CA, and I will soon be moving to Missouri. I have a gorgeous female ringneck dove that I would love to find a good home for. She is about two years old and very tame. She and a nice cage would be free to someone that would assure me that she would have a good home. Please contact me if you might be interested. I may be contacted at telephone 209-551-8975.

by D Walton

We recently lost our dog to cancer. In the pet store my son & I heard & saw some beautiful ringneck doves. My son has decided this is what he wouldlike for a pet. He is a very responsible and diligent 9 year old. I have no doubts he would be responsible but do not know much about owning a bird like this. Can you share your experience? WOuld you recommend ownership? What are the basics to bird ownership?

by D Walton

We recently lost our dog to cancer. In the pet store my son & I heard & saw some beautiful ringneck doves. My son has decided this is what he wouldlike for a pet. He is a very responsible and diligent 9 year old. I have no doubts he would be responsible but do not know much about owning a bird like this. Can you share your experience? WOuld you recommend ownership? What are the basics to bird ownership?

by Les Walton

Odd.another Walton!
I saw some wild ringnecks, by the hundreds, at Eagle Pass, Texas recently. Do you have any idea where they are native too?

by Schlesinger Diana

Believing in God does not require believing in religion.

by Hieronimus

Computer security recourse: [Secure Root]

by Hieronimus

Computer security recourse: [Secure Root]

October 18, 2002
# Idiotarian

Eric Raymond has always been sexist gun nut, but now he's gone and lost it.

I'm pretty sure that isn't worth critiquing. I mean, no one's taking him seriously... are they? Raymond even seems to have dropped the lip service he used to pay to referring to evidence, flawed as it may have been. Now he's pumping out pure sadistic fantasy.

posted by dru
October 17, 2002
# Time

An Argentinian family photographed every family member once a year, from 1976 to present.

posted by dru
by smj

Tried to look at the photos but link seems to bring me right back to the same place I started from .. my computer or your link?

by dru

sorry. s'fixed now.

by smj

oh, yeah, very interesting to see the graphic-ness of the passages ... poignant even ... thanks

October 11, 2002
# Le Gloupier

Le Monde: La justice condamne l'entartreur Noël Godin, dit "Le Gloupier"

Noel Godin, the Belgian pie-throwing anarchists who targets politicians who "take themselves too seriously" was fined 800 Euros for premeditated assault on Jean-Pierre Chevènement. Chevènement commented that pie-ing les hommes politiques was an attack on democracy.

posted by dru
October 06, 2002
# Crowd Pleasers?

I like to avoid linking to stuff from Daypop's Top 40 links, because, well, everyone else has linked to it -- by definition. But then, there are a lot of folks who aren't as obsessive about a "rotation" as I am, soo...

The world's funniest joke?

Googlefight! (I can take heart that Noam Chomsky trounces Andrew Sullivan, and, if we limit the battle to NYTimes columnists, Paul Krugman soundly beats Thomas Friedman. Fun!)

Paul Krugman has some un-radical, sensible suggestions for US economic policy.

posted by dru
September 29, 2002
# Length

I think I've been conditioned by writing a column for a year. I either have one line of comments, or 800 words. (I've got a few other bits on the go, and they're long too.) There doesn't seem to be any in between.

posted by dru
September 28, 2002
# Life on Venus

New Scientist: Acidic clouds of Venus could harbour life

Solar radiation and lightning should produce large quantities of carbon monoxide in the planet's atmosphere, but instead it is scarce, as if something is removing it. They also found hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide. These two gases react with each other, and so are never normally found together unless something is producing them.

Even more mysterious is the presence of carbonyl sulphide. This gas is so difficult to produce inorganically that it is sometimes considered an unambiguous indicator of biological activity.

posted by dru
by Robert Fritzius

We may already have strong circumstantial evidence of Venus microbes (bacteria and viruses) reaching Earth courtesy of the Solar Wind.

Please see the article hiding under the URL.

by Robert Fritzius

The URL was doing the hiding.

Please see:

by animal sex with women

Andrew This preclude move.

by animal sex with women

Andrew This preclude move.

August 22, 2002
# Price of Tax Cuts

Paul Krugman: Bush's Populist Image vs. Elitist Policy

The federal budget is now deep in deficit, and everyone except the administration thinks it will remain there — not because of runaway spending, but because most of last year's tax cut has yet to take effect. And as my colleague Frank Rich points out, to offset the revenue losses from his tax cut, Mr. Bush would have to veto a $5 billion spending proposal every working day for the next year. Mr. Bush can no longer pretend, as he did during the 2000 campaign, that there is enough money for everything. Now, to justify that tax cut, he must hack steadily away at programs that matter to ordinary people.

Still, don't tax cuts also matter to ordinary people? It depends. Last year's rebate went to a lot of families. But the items still in the pipeline are income tax cuts for upper brackets — especially the top bracket — and elimination of the estate tax. For a married couple, only income in excess of $297,000 falls in the top bracket, and only an estate larger than $2 million pays any inheritance tax. Firefighters and coal miners don't make that kind of money.

posted by dru
August 16, 2002
# 9-11 lawsuit

Is there really a $7 billion lawsuit against the Bush Administration for letting 9-11 happen?

Stanley Hilton, a San Francisco attorney and former aide to Senator Bob Dole, filed a $7 billion lawsuit in U.S. District Court on June 3rd. The class-action suit names ten defendants, among whom are George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Norman Mineta.

Hilton's suit charges Bush and his administration with allowing the September 11th attacks to take place so as to reap political benefits from the catastrophe. Hilton alleges that Osama bin Laden is being used as a scapegoat by an administration that ignored pressing warnings of the attack and refused to round up suspected terrorists beforehand. Hilton alleges the ultimate motivation behind these acts was achieved when the Taliban were replaced by American military forces with a regime friendly to America and its oil interests in the region.

Hilton's plaintiffs in this case are the families of 14 victims of 9/11, numbering 400 people nationwide. These are the same families that rallied in Washington recently to advocate for an independent investigation into the attacks. The current 9/11 hearings are being conducted by Congress behind closed doors, a situation these families find unacceptable.

That doesn't seem like the kind of thing anyone would just make up, but a google search yields few mainstream media sources.

Just for kicks, I asked on Metafilter.

posted by dru
by dave

Curious. This may be something worth keeping an eye on, yes?

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HTML-parsing have That's Nowadays,.

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case Introducing of differently..

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case Introducing of differently..

August 08, 2002
# Woohoo!

Sweet! I figured out how to get Manila to present its content in the format that MoveableType can read, so now I've got all of the misnomer entries ever written in one place! The archives in the right column now extend back to November, 1999, when I first started "blogging" with any regularity.

posted by dru
August 07, 2002
# New Misnomer?

If one big move wasn't enough, I'm planning on moving misnomer over to as soon as I get comfortable with moveable type, and get templates set up. Meanwhile, I'll be posting to both sites.

update: I finally got around to learning how to do css-only layout. I wish I had learned sooner. After the initial learning curve, everything is easier and makes more sense. The new misnomer is now 100% tables-free. Yay!

As of a few hours ago, Sylvia has a website! And there was much rejoicing.

posted by dru
# WR

Monkeyfist: Weekly Review... which I wrote this week.

Stetson Kennedy is a fine song of Woody Guthrie's.

I ain’t the world’s best writer, ain't the world’s best speller
But when I believe in something I’m the loudest yeller
If we fix it so you can’t make no money on war
Well we'll all forget what we were killing folks for

posted by dru
July 28, 2002
# WR

Monkeyfist: Weekly Review

posted by dru
July 18, 2002
# Harper's

A great Harper's Index this week.

Percentage of Iranians and Kuwaitis, respectively, who say that the September 11 attacks were "totally justifiable" : 8, 18

Percentage of Americans who say this : 5

Amount the U.S. Agency for International Development spent to build Bethlehem University's Millennium Hall : $1,200,000

Months after the building's inauguration in December that Israel used three U.S.-made missiles to destroy it : 2.5

Greg Palast: Venezuela and Argentina: A Tale of Two Coups

This was no minor matter to the US. As OPEC's general secretary Alí Rodriguéz says: 'The dependence of the US on oil is increasing progressively. Venezuela is one of the most important suppliers of the US, and the stability of Venezuela is very important for [them].' It was the South American nation that broke the back of the 1973 Arab oil embargo by increasing output from its vast reserves way beyond its OPEC quota. Indeed, I learned from Alí Rodriguéz that the 12 April coup against Chávez was triggered by US fears of a renewed Arab oil embargo. Iraq and Libya were trying to organize OPEC to stop exporting oil to the US to protest American support of Israel. US access to Venezuela's oil suddenly became urgent.

Immanuel Wallerstein: The Eagle Has Crash Landed

The real question is not whether U.S. hegemony is waning but whether the United States can devise a way to descend gracefully, with minimum damage to the world, and to itself.

posted by dru
July 12, 2002
# Various Misc Assortments

Kendall started a Weekly Review at

Reuters: Sesame street to introduce HIV-positive muppet

How gross is "Psy-Ops"? This gross.

"Why is it such a pain in the ass to setup an Internet broadcast?" ... "OpenDJ pays for and maintains the hardware, the software, and the fat pipe to the Net. You generate the music, or listen to the music, or both. Enjoy, it's my treat."


According to Salon, Rudolph Giuliani will earn "$8 million this year in speaking fees alone." Yow. I can't imagine that criticizing him for being a CYNICAL BASTARD and taking advantage of 9-11 for immense personal profit would be very American. Yep. Definitely un-American.

Warblogger Watch

(last three via Daily Churn)

posted by dru
by smj

Lately I've heard about the huge fees people generate for speaking. Bill Clinton's was many times that of most others, including Giuliani's.

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that, That's For an.

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that, That's For an.

July 09, 2002
# Questionnaire

This being a weblog and all (I guess), it was only a matter of time before I linked to some personality test or other and shared my score. Predictably, I succumbed to curiosity and the Political Compass test (via rebecca's pocket). Also predictably, I'm solidly left-libertarian:

Economic Left/Right: -7.25

Authoritarian/Libertarian: -6.97

Now I don't have to do that ever again. Whew.

posted by dru
by Bruce Marston

Hello Dru, So I took the test too: -5.88 left and -6.44 libertarian. Pretty odd for someone who has voted for Richard Nixon, Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton and Ralph Nader (to name a few, even supported Jerry Brown years ago)? So I never see your parents anymore - all they do is work. Are you planning to come this way anytime soon? Best to Sylvie - and though I don't catch your page as much as I used to I do see it every week or two. - Love to you both - Bruce

by adam

that test asks some strange questions.

"Jews surely have to take some of the responsibility for their persecution over the past 2000 years": so if i answer that with agree (on the basis that everyone has to take some tiny amount of responsibility for the consequences of their actions), am i therefore reactionary?

"We'd be better off if companies simply told the truth, rather than spending a fortune on manipulative consumer advertising": so if i think we'd be better off without companues, do i agree or disagree?

"Abstract art, because it doesn't represent anything, shouldn't be considered art at all": ?

"One day, science may be able to cure homosexuality": i agree in the sense that, if there's a market for it, then some evil drug company will no doubt produce it, but i don't agree in the sense that this would be a positive development.

# Cheerful Topics: HIV and WTC

A page about the distinct possibility that AIDS was originally spread from an unproven polio vaccine which was administered to 1 million Africans between 1957 and 1960. If this site isn't misrepresenting facts and changing the articles it has published, both the timing and the location of the disease point to the vaccine. Given the implications, it's not suprising that publications have been pressured to keep research and articles out of circulation.

Although the theory has not been properly examined, many people seem to believe it has been refuted. Hilary Koprowski published a letter in Science in 1992 attacking the theory. In 1993, Rolling Stone, which had published a widely publicised article by Tom Curtis about the theory, published an "update", interpreted by Science as a retraction. The public record thus suggests that these contributions have been the final word.

Actually, this appearance of "refutation" was due to the exercise of power, not scientific judgement. Science refused to publish a reply to Koprowski's letter by Curtis and, later, another reply by eminent biologist W. D. Hamilton. Nature has received substantial submissions about the theory from at least six scholars but has not published any of them. Rolling Stone's "update" was the aftermath of a legal action for defamation by Koprowski against Rolling Stone and Curtis. Thus, it has been editorial prerogative and legal action that have given the impression that critics of the theory have been unanswered.

Fallout: The Environmental Consequences of the World Trade Center Collapse, by Juan Gonzalez.

Within days of the September 11th attack in New York City, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman, together with Time Man-of-the-Year Rudy Giuliani, reassured New Yorkers that air "contaminants are either not detectable or are below the Agency’s concern levels."

In fact, EPA tests taken at the time showed high concentrations of toxic materials in the air downtown, including asbestos, dioxins, and heavy metals. Con Edison and the Port Authority revealed—two months after the attack—that nearly 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel and transformer oils, much of it contaminated with low-level PCBs, had escaped beneath Ground Zero. And independent measurements of indoor air, widespread because the agency declined to test private buildings, showed astronomically higher readings.

NY Daily News: Asbestos Fallout Is Found In Co-op Near WTC Site, also by Juan Gonzalez.

posted by dru
by SooFer

re: the distribution of AIDS via mass vaccinations, talk to Gift. he and i had a looooong talk on the subject last year, and he's got some interesting (read: horrifying, eye-opening, heavy) information + ideas.

i got your email, and i'm writing a proper response this weekend.

July 07, 2002
# Grad Schools

Trying to figure out where to go to grad school (if at all), I emailed Robert McChesney and asked him (basically): "what's a lefty/media/journalism/philosophy type to do?"

He gave me a few names of places, and from that list, the interdisciplinary Communications Studies departments at U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (where McChesney teaches, coincidentally) and UC San Diego look really good for what I'm interested in. UMass might be a distant third. The Berkeley School of Journalism would be a long shot to say the least, but I might apply if I'm feeling overconfident.

'Problem is, those are both fairly selective PhD programs, and I have no idea if I can get myself accepted. So I'm going to apply to a few Masters programs in Canada as a contingency plan.

The reason I'm spouting all this is the off chance that there might be someone reading who would know of a program (anywhere in the US or Canada) that I might be interested in. Bijan Parsia pointed me at ILS at UNC, which I haven't looked at closely yet.

Any other ideas?

posted by dru
by Q

From what I hear Columbia University in New York has an amazing Journalism school. May wanna go to the website and check it out.

June 30, 2002
# G8

The "Group of Eight" industrialized countries (G8) met last week, in Kananaskis, Alberta. $300,000,000.00 was spent on security, and Prime Minister Jean Chretien's goal of keeping aid for Africa on the agenda resulted in some shakey commitments for maybe twice that for AIDS. Billions were promised for Africa, but no one actually believes that the full amount will be delivered in any meaningful way.

The "New Partnership for Africa's Development" (which is referred to the grimly accurate acronym NEPAD) was pitched to the G8 as a way to solve all of Africa's problems (big promises for poverty reduction, health improvements, etc.). All that for only $64 Billion. Of course, for the African nations to get that far, they had to develop the plan in close consultation with the World Bank and IMF, and ignore many people and organizations who represent the actual concerns of their respective countries. All kinds of requirements have to be met before the money is made available, etc.

There are plenty of criticisms of NEPAD as too little, too late, but the most damning that I've heard was from Stephen Lewis, the UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, who spoke at the "Group of Six Billion" (G6B) people's summit in Calgary. His keynote speach is available from the Alberta Indymedia Centre, and is well worth listening to.

Notably, he quotes NEPAD itself: ""Unless these epidemics [AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis] are brought under control, real gains in human development will remain an impossible hope." And then notes that the G8 leaders and governments have been neglecting or simply ignoring the pitiful state that the The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria is in. He goes on to elaborate on just how big a problem AIDS is in Africa with some truly grim stories of how one out of every two people who are trained to treat AIDS die before their training is finished, how 2000 infants are infected every day. The statistics are all the more grim for their preventability.

If what Lewis said is remotely true (and there's little reason to doubt it), it seems clear that AIDS in Africa needs to be dealt with before anything else can happen. And yet, all the leaders can talk about is "economic development."

Other links:

Monkeyfist G8 Resources

I made a cool poster (200k, pdf) which illustrates and describes the ways in which the G8 dictate economic policy to developing countries. I also made a globalization reading list (150k, pdf) that has some excerpts from good articles on globalization that I've read.

Indymedia Centres: Alberta. Protests were smaller than usual (between 10 and 20,000 total), spread out between Ottawa, Calgary, and Kananaskis, and peaceful. As a result, they were all but ignored by the press, which seems to have an allergy to actually asking people why they're protesting.

A print interview with Stephen Lewis (whose son, Avi Lewis, is married to Naomi Klein.. one big happy family of Canadian lefties).

posted by dru
# Affirmative Action

I have recently gotten involved in a traditional Affirmative Action debate. For the purposes of which I dug up these articles, which are all quite good.

Reverse Racism, or How the Pot Got to Call the Kettle Black , by Stanley Fish (Atlantic Monthly)

White Privilege, by Robert Jensen
(Baltimore Sun)

Being colorbind does not offset innate advantages of white privilege, Robert Jensen (Kansas City Business Journal)

posted by dru
June 18, 2002
# Catchup

I forgot to mention that my once-roomate and future academic rock star, Matt, gave a rather brilliant Valedictory Address [text, mp3, photo] at Mount Allison's Convocation in May. Easily the best valedictory address ever, says me, with much bias and not many addresses to choose from. Still. It's good, go listen to it.

I went to Halifax last weekend for the G7 Finance Ministers' Meeting, got teargassed, went to dinner with Sylvia's grandparents, and came back to find that about one third of the protesters had been arrested. I spent the whole night standing outside the jail, "welcoming" people who had been locked up and had their things stol.. er, confiscated by the police. I took some photos. Indymedia Maritimes has the rest of the story in video, text, and photos, and lots of good background on the G8.

Highlights: heavily armed cops, raging grannies!, pull-no-punches banner from the Council of Canadians.

Looking for a quick, to the point criticism of the G8? Check out this pamphlet (pdf).

posted by dru
# LowCost

I was given a Mac LC with a 12" monochrome monitor today, which is fitting, because "LC", it is said, stands for "Low Cost". I stripped down the system to the minimum, and the little machine starts up in less than 20 seconds. I hadn't seen a computer start up that quickly since I last used the BeOS.

posted by dru
June 06, 2002
# Misc

NYPress: An interesting feature on the unsightly innards of Maxim magazine, by a former editor.

Wired News asks whether MS paid for the really quite egregious claims about open source being pro-terrorist.

A fun article on the "Phantom Edit", that re-cut of The Phantom Menace.

posted by dru
June 05, 2002
# Foul Deeds

CBC: Brazilian player Rivaldo gets fined for faking a face injury after getting hit in the leg with a ball. What I found rather embarrassing, though perhaps not surprising, was the other Brazilian player's defense of Rivaldo.

Many people think Rivaldo's attitude was incorrect. In my opinion, it wasn't. I myself have simulated many fouls and penalties that the referee called. It's moves like that that can make you world champion. You have to be intelligent. Brazilians have always managed to get other players ejected using their intelligence.

I can't say I'm much of a hockey fan, but I have managed to get sucked into the Stanley Cup playoffs this year. I was surprised, then, that Carolina pulled through to beat Detroit in overtime in Game 1 (Detroit being heavily favoured, and seemed to be dominating for the period that I watched).

posted by dru
by suzy ferry

hey Dru!

re: Rivaldo + the theatrics in soccer, i agree, it really is embarrassing. it devalues the sport, and though i know less naive sports fans would scoff at my mentality, i think a win is only worth being proud of if it was earned honestly. it's how you get there that counts... there are too many drama queens in soccer. it's really annoying.

but that's enought from me--i almost felt myself jock-i-fying there for a minute.

hope the summer has been treating you well so far.



June 02, 2002
# The other WC

The CBC is airing tape-delayed games of the World Cup every day in June.

posted by dru
May 31, 2002
# The G8 won't give me a job

I just spent a lot of time digging up links for the Indymedia Maritimes feature on the G7/G8. (The G7 finance ministers are meeting in Halifax in a few weeks.)

I've also been updating my resume. Want to send some lucrative, part time web design work my way? Don't hesitate!

Google Labs has the latest beta projects.

WTO to disband, re-form as "Trade Regulation Organization"

posted by dru
May 22, 2002
# Bawk Bawk

Featherless chickens (!)

CBC TV's Hot Type interviewed Noam Chomsky, and they post full transcripts, which is cool.

Lots of interesting links in this week's Red Rock Eaters.

posted by dru
May 15, 2002
# Dru the Newf

I'm off to Newfoundland (specifically, Saint John's) for a week. On the off chance that anyone there reads misnomer and wants to get together, drop me an email:

posted by dru
May 04, 2002
# On the road

I spent the day at the Indymedia centre in NYC today, which is buzzing with activity. Now I'm off to Atlanta for a week to visit the Monkeyfist guys, and I'll be back in NYC Thursday through Saturday. Soo, if you're in either of those areas and care to get together, drop me an email:

posted by dru
May 01, 2002
April 28, 2002
# CBC Coverage

CBC (that's Canada's much better funded equivalent to NPR) Newsworld had some surprisingly good in depth coverage of Israel/Palestine tonight, and will continue to broadcast longer documentary pieces and discussion (Robert Fisk is on on Tuesday) through Tuesday.

NYPress: Interview with Tariq Ali on the state of the Islamic world.

The killing of Danny Pearl, in my opinion, could not have been done without the knowledge of the [Pakistani] intelligence agencies. Any Western journalist, white-skinned journalist, who arrives in that country–not even white-skinned, any foreign journalist who arrives in that country and tries to investigate independently of the Ministry of Information and state agencies–is followed nonstop. They keep tabs on them. So the notion that they don’t know who kidnapped Danny and killed him just beggars belief. It’s just not possible.


You would include the Taliban as one of the fanatical groups created and funded by Pakistan?

Totally. The Taliban could not exist, and in fact ceased to exist, once the Pakistani military withdrew their support.

And Al Qaeda?

This is the story I think Danny was investigating... I have a feeling he got too close to something. The story everyone wants to know is Al Qaeda’s links to Pakistani military intelligence. Most people believe the links are there, and they were there on Sept. 11. Whether [the military] knew about [bin Laden’s plans] no one knows. People don’t even speculate–they don’t want to know. But the links were definitely there. These people were going in and out of Pakistan, landing in Pakistani airports. The circumstantial evidence is there to suggest that Daniel Pearl had got close to this story, and that rogue elements within the intelligence agencies laid a trap for him and he fell into it.

The thing is, the United States must know this. This is the shocking thing. They must know it. Whereas Colin Powell has gone out of his way to say, "We know the Pakistan government was not involved." How do you know that? No one in Pakistan believes that. General Musharraf himself described Daniel as "an over-intrusive" journalist.

Salon: Interview with the author of "the world's most dangerous places" travel guides. It could be titled "dozens of things the press could be paying attention to but isn't".

what do you think is going unreported over there?

Well, they kill a lot of people. The thing that doesn't come through is that we have killed thousands and thousands and thousands of people and you've very rarely seen an American soldier kill a foreign national [on television]. You've never seen a foreign national kill an American soldier. They're removing the bits that make war what it is and everybody's a hero. You drop a bomb on yourself you get a medal. That's the way the war has been fought.


So what's the way out for significant American troop presence in Afghanistan?

There is no exit strategy. It's absolutely identical to what the Russians did. People respond to what they think is an opportunity. In this case it was an opportunity to overthrow the Taliban leadership, and once you get in there and you destabilize a country, you have a choice: You leave immediately, which would bring down a lot of grief on your heads from the world community, or you stay and try and figure things out. The staying and figuring things out part is a lot more difficult than going in and destabilizing a fairly backward regime. The only thing that concerns me is when George Bush gets full of himself and starts expanding our war to include places as bizarre as North Korea and Iran and Iraq, but doesn't include a lot of the known harbors and supporters of terrorist groups. That makes me nervous.

What are you hearing about us going into Iraq?

They tried to, and then they got told: "You've got to be kidding."


Surely these big-time reporters have these questions and are asking them.

That's not true. You ask Barbara Walters. Why was Barbara Walters in Saudi Arabia? Did she get up one day, buy a ticket and take a camera in with her? No. She was invited by the government as part of a P.R. campaign to convince the American public that the Saudis who flew the planes into the buildings had nothing to do with the country of Saudi Arabia. That's an overt P.R. campaign. Why do you think the military invites journalists into a combat area? Because they know there's going to be a nice clean operation and it'll look good when we blow stuff up and they'll write about how we're winning the war.


Do you think Afghanistan has a chance at a legitimate government?

Yeah, if they start writing checks to Afghans. The problem is they're writing all these checks to Americans. They just wrote a check for $6.5 million to a university in, I think, Nebraska or something to create textbooks for Afghanistan. Well, Christ, for that kind of money they could set up an entire printing outfit and fly people over there to set up a state-of-the-art document processing system.

This from a guy who is anything but anti war, much less anti american. A very interesting interview.

posted by dru
by Andy

hi dru,

hope your summer's going well.

just a note on your posting about pakistan: there is an interesting and well-studied disconnect between the pakistani government per se and its intelligence wing. seymour hersh wrote a wonderful new yorker article about it last october (i think, it may have been in november). really quite unreal stuff. you should look it up -- sorry i can't give you a precise issue number, i just tossed my pile of old copies.

in other words, it is somewhat misleading to equate the actions of the pakistani intel agency with the policy of the pakistani gov't. hard for us to grasp, but hersh (as always) does an excellent job depicting it.



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April 05, 2002
# That's a wrap

[My last] Editorial: Slack for Iraq

posted by dru
April 01, 2002
# Where do we meat?

NYTimes: Power Steer [via daily churn]

Forgetting, or willed ignorance, is the preferred strategy of many beef eaters, a strategy abetted by the industry. (What grocery-store item is more silent about its origins than a shrink-wrapped steak?) Yet I recently began to feel that ignorance was no longer tenable. If I was going to continue to eat red meat, then I owed it to myself, as well as to the animals, to take more responsibility for the invisible but crucial transaction between ourselves and the animals we eat. I'd try to own it, in other words.

So this is the biography of my cow.

Ariel Sharon: "We must fight this terrorism, in an uncompromising war to uproot these savages, to dismantle their infrastructure, because there is no compromise with terrorists."

Is the whole "infrastructure of terror" obviously incoherent, or am I missing something? In the case of 911, "infrastructure" (though that is far from the right word) might be relevant, since a lot of work needed to be put into getting terrorists onto planes at the same time. But in Israel, the "terrorists" (they are terrorists, but insofar as they do a lot of terrorizing, so are is the Israeli gov'nt) are mostly suicide bombers. This requires a person and a bomb.

So the only "infrastructure" that is there to be dismantled is the very existence of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. Or more exactly: the very existence of a Palestinian people, many of whom are driven to the edge of despair, as a result of Israeli actions. One could dismantle this infrastructure by ending the occupation and assessing the egregious damages caused over the years and taking steps to rectifying the situation. Or, the Israelis could continue to kill, torture, harrass, torment, and otherwise attempt to drive the Palestinians out on a grand scale, as they have been doing for the past three decades.

In that sense -- but only in that sense -- Sharon's claims are coherent, since getting rid of the Palestinians is the stated and apparent goal of those currently in power.

posted by dru
March 24, 2002
# Two little articles

This week's Argosy.

Editorial: Four Little Editorials

Rheostatics: Four Little Songs

Feature: Governing Justice

posted by dru
March 15, 2002
# What I did this week.

Editorial: Understanding Protest

Feature: Direct Action, Direct Democracy: Popular social movements respond to economic and political crisis in Argentina.

The latter is one of the better stories I've written this year.

posted by dru
March 10, 2002
# Crepes

This morning, I made crepes again for the first time in a while. I used soy milk instead of buttermilk, and was surprised that the crepes turned out just as good, if not better.

posted by dru
by Alain Richard

Soy milk rules (opinion/mine), but I've never made crepes with it. Interesting.

by gay rape kenelm

the is this and.

March 06, 2002
# Philo Sophia

I just couldn't resist going on about Heidegger (bottom of page) and Plato on the Meatball Wiki.

The Athlon processor is so hot... you can fry an egg on it.

posted by dru
March 05, 2002
# Drunk Morons Stole My Bike

My bike, an old red utterly no-frills raleigh one-speed, has been stolen before. It was gone for about a year, but then one of my roommates recognized the bike parked in front of a bar (thanks to the stickers I had put on it) and called me, so I ran down and stole it back. As it turned out, some drunk people had taken it for a joyride one night when I left it in front of the student building (no bike thief with a brain would want this bike, so I didn't usually lock it up at the time) and left it on someone's yard. So the person who I stole it back from was actually the friend of a friend of a friend who had found it on their yard.

Anyway, I went into The Pub last night for maybe two minutes to use the restroom, and left my bike outside. I left the building just in time to see a group of drunk morons sauntering down the road, one of whom was riding my bike. I got that feeling that I get when I should be really pissed off, but don't quite feel it, and yelled something uninspired like "Hey! Don't steal my f*#@%ing bike!" They all laughed, a bit nervously, and one of them said that they were just taking it for a test ride. I must have sounded a little scary, because the guy riding it handed it over right away, and mumbled that he was sorry for stealing my bike. Like an (rather enraged) idiot, I didn't get a good look at his face or ask him his name, though I'm sure he would have said "Joe" or something.

As soon as I was far enough that I wasn't going to turn around, the drunk morons decided it would be a good idea to yell various incoherent things at me, like "Yeaaaaahhh buddy", and I think I heard "nice bike" in there somewhere. Cowards.

Obviously some part of this bugged me, though I'm not sure what yet. There really isn't any reason for me to tell the above story, other than my infrequent use of misnomer as a cathartic outlet. Everyone already knows that drunk morons exist. Maybe it serves to illustrate that drunk upper-class college kids are every bit if not more stupid than any other drunk people. Maybe it shows, albeit indirectly, that being drunk is just a really lame excuse for doing stupid things. What's more likely, though, is that I'm just annoyed that I didn't turn around and ask them exactly why not wanting my bike stolen was something to be rididuled, or just report them.

It's one of those all around unsatisfying situations, though. Even if I had turned around, the resulting confrontation would surely have been a waste of time. I guess I should be glad that I still have my bike, but that's perverse in its own way. Oh well.

posted by dru
by Andy

Hey Dru, someone stole my bike once too. I feel your pain. Really, I do. It sucks. And technically, it wasn't my bike. Ouch. Call the cops, they have a lost and found for such things...

by ana

i feel your pain my bike just got stolen today!!!!grrrrrr!it was a grey shiny bike.Almost new!

by emilie

my bike is a stolen one that was found at the bottom of a canal.

by nick

what kind of stupid people look up websites about stolen bikes, me i guess, my bike got stolen today for the second time, i guess i'll never learn, if you know somebody that doesn't want a bike email me, cuz i could sure use one

# Meet

Meatball Wiki is a wiki (a collaboratively created and edited series of interlinked pages) about issues of technology and democracy around online community sites. Some interesting stuff.

Ana Nogueira interviewed a number of Argentinians about what's going on there now: 1, 2, 3

posted by dru
March 04, 2002
# Thundering Din

Edward Said: Thoughts about America, wherein the noted intellectual lays it all down.

Thomas Friedman tiresomely sermonises to Arabs that they have to be more self-critical, missing in anything he says is the slightest tone of self- criticism. Somehow, he thinks, the atrocities of 11 September entitle him to preach at others, as if only the US had suffered such terrible losses, and as if lives lost elsewhere in the world were not worth lamenting quite as much or drawing as large moral conclusions from.
Plenty of other good stuff in that article, but I have to say that the "Arabs need to be more self-critical" line was tired and hypocritical when it (predictably) first started being spewed, but now it's just one endless drone in the thundering din of pundit noise. Silence is a good thing when all the experts are hawking up the same old loogies of wisdom and wasting millions of pages of print with it. To wit:
Yet in a long footnote, Walzer and his colleagues set forth a list of how many American "murders" have occurred at Muslim and Arab hands, including those of the Marines in Beirut in 1983, as well as other military combatants. Somehow making a list of that kind is worth making for these militant defenders of America, whereas the murder of Arabs and Muslims -- including the hundreds of thousands killed with American weapons by Israel with US support, or the hundreds of thousands killed by US- maintained sanctions against the innocent civilian population of Iraq -- need be neither mentioned nor tabulated. What sort of dignity is there in humiliating Palestinians by Israel, with American complicity and even cooperation, and where is the nobility and moral conscience of saying nothing as Palestinian children are killed, millions besieged, and millions more kept as stateless refugees? Or for that matter, the millions killed in Vietnam, Columbia, Turkey, and Indonesia with American support and acquiescence?
More on why bootlicking intellectuals make me sick:
All in all, this declaration of principles and complaint addressed by American intellectuals to their Muslim brethren seems like neither a statement of real conscience nor of true intellectual criticism against the arrogant use of power, but rather is the opening salvo in a new cold war declared by the US in full ironic cooperation, it would seem, with those Islamists who have argued that "our" war is with the West and with America. Speaking as someone with a claim on America and the Arabs, I find this sort of hijacking rhetoric profoundly objectionable. While it pretends to the elucidation of principles and the declaration of values, it is in fact exactly the opposite, an exercise in not knowing, in blinding readers with a patriotic rhetoric that encourages ignorance as it overrides real politics, real history, and real moral issues. Despite its vulgar trafficking in great "principles and values," it does none of that, except to wave them around in a bullying way designed to cow foreign readers into submission. I have a feeling that this document wasn't published here for two reasons: one is that it would be so severely criticised by American readers that it would be laughed out of court and two, that it was designed as part of a recently announced, extremely well-funded Pentagon scheme to put out propaganda as part of the war effort, and therefore intended for foreign consumption.

posted by dru
February 27, 2002
# Stolen from RRE

A critical appraisal of operation "Enduring Freedom".

A kind of new book: Critical Theory of Technology

I continually have trouble seeing how anyone can see Bush as anything but the corrupt illegitimate puppet that he is. Case in point: according to this Boston Globe editorial, almost none of the new defense budget increases could even concievably be spent on the "war on terror". Instead, we're getting more high-tech submarines, tanks, etc. The remaining question is: how can people not also see Congress as either corrupt and illegitimate (as above), or else cowardly and evil (maybe less so if they refuse to pass this budget)? And then there's the press. And all the other people with the power to stand up to this who turn their heads. I'm not saying that I don't tend to gloss over the true extent of the madness as much as the next person, just that it's truly astounding how far it goes.

It's only a matter of time before we all implode from massive, irresolvable internal contradictions.

posted by dru
# Google

Google now has all 20 years of Usenet postings in their database. Wow. They have compiled a history of the last two decades from the postings. Fascinating.

And just because google came up, go read Paul Ford's little ditty about the googlebot.

Sometimes, it sucks to be reminded what a sick and twisted place the world can be.

posted by dru
February 25, 2002
# Argentina

Apparently, thousands of people are attending public meetings and trying to build direct democracy in Argentina in other ways.

Barter markets have started up to ease the difficulty of the economic slowdown.

Another article discusses the various Argentinian protests in terms of anarchist tactics.

A cute photo of Moira, the Argosy production manager and part-time bartender.

A tongue in cheek article from the Vancouver Sun outlines the various conspiracy theories surrounding 9-11. The theories are pretty unbelievable, but some of the facts that the article points out are probably worth looking in to. Of course, one doesn't have to be a conspiracy theorist to know that the right wing has taken advantage of the tragedy in damaging, offensive and other inappropriate ways politically... that's just obvious.

posted by dru
February 21, 2002
# tariq ali's

The cover of Tariq Ali's new book is too funny.

BBC via daily chump: Train workers strike

And on Arriva Trains, unions have decided to stop strike action in favour of the "fare free" days, in order to hit the firm's profits but not disrupt services for passengers, according to the RMT.

posted by dru
by Sherryl-Annette Snyder

Hello, I am interested in contacting Tariq Ali. I met him on the protest in DC in April. I have wanted to be in contact with him if possible since then.
If nothing else then if you know how to get in touch with him say Hi for me. Tell him to say hi to his sister also for me.
Thank you Sherryl-Annette Snyder

# curios

Photos: some photos from home, ca. last december. Gallery format shamelessly borrowed from textism. For values of home that are equivalent to Chimacum, Washington.

This is both curious and rather engaging.

I've decided that I will be Learning Python this summer. In other words, I will be Learning to Program. The aim is to get good enough where I can implement some of these.

David Grenier's weblog has lots of decent stuff lately. And his home-grown content management system is looking good, too.

I found "The Faces of the Liberal Media" image on this page quite amusing.

Some FAIR reports on the mideast conflict:

The pro-Israel critique of Mideast coverage

Muffled Coverage of U.N. Vote

Bias and Fear Tilting Coverage of Israel

Occupied territories no longer "occupied" on TV news

NPR's coverage of Mideast deaths doesn't match reality

posted by dru
February 08, 2002
# Another Week, Another Ed

Editorial: The [Student Union] Needs to get Webified!

posted by dru
February 02, 2002
# A week in the life

Editorial: Personal Hypocrisy Index

Dotcom Scoop did an interesting interview with Rusty Foster, that Kuro5hin guy.

Warning: Media Management Now in Effect.

News from the World Economic Forum meetings and protests.

posted by dru
by SMJ

The Personal Hypocrisy Index failed to link - reason?

by dru

should work now.

January 22, 2002

I'm off to the Canadian Student Journalism Conference in Ottawa, until Monday.

Bring back the draft?!

posted by dru
by dog fucking

is When they as.

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January 15, 2002
# ES

More Edward Said: End the occupation: that comes first.

Monkeyfist: Bush's Racist Slur

posted by dru
January 14, 2002
# Said said

Edward Said: Is Israel More Secure Now?

Palestinians have been sequestered by the Israeli Army in no fewer than 220 discontinuous little ghettoes, and subjected to intermittent curfews often lasting for weeks at a stretch. No one, young or old, sick or well, dying or pregnant, student or doctor, can move without spending hours at barricades, manned by rude and deliberately humiliating Israeli soldiers. As I write, two hundred Palestinians are unable to receive kidney dialysis because for 'security reasons' the Israeli military won't allow them to travel to medical centres. Have any of the innumerable members of the foreign media covering the conflict done a story about these brutalised young Israeli conscripts trained to punish Palestinian civilians as the main part of their military duty? I think not.

Zoe Mulford has an album out: Soon As I'm On Top Of Things.

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) has been doing very good work since I've started watching their stuff. Everyone who reads the news should subscribe to their magazine, Extra!

Enron has been ripping off Indian taxpayers for some time now. This excerpt from Arundhati Roy's Power Politics has a good explanation of Enron and corporate imperialism in general in India.

Peter Beaumont on the treatment of Afghan POWs.

When our fixer saw him, he was being beaten slowly and methodically to death by a local warlord. We reached the camp too late. When we arrived, the man who had been doing the beating told us that he no longer had any Taliban prisoners. They had buried some al-Qaeda fighters that day whom they had killed in the liberation of the city, he told us. We asked again about the prisoner. He clarified the situation: 'There are no prisoners any longer.'

A some point as a kid, I watched Bridge on the River Kwai. I remember being baffled that the Japanese who were running the prison camp had the gall to just dismiss the Geneva convention. I was genuinely confused. I asked my dad how they could do that. I don't remember what he answered, I remember thinking that gosh, they must be pretty evil and ruthless people. I like to think that I'm just a tad less naive now (and less racist too). Even though I know that ignoring international law is hardly anything new for the US, it's still a bit of a shock that now I'm one of the evil and ruthless people, even within that childishly simplistic understanding.

posted by dru
by Qualiall

Thank you very much for keeping me informed about what's going on in the world. I enjoy this blog very much!

by cartoon rape

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January 12, 2002
# instant glee has a lot of really good links (via daily churn)

Paul Ford is writing fairly regularly again: Why are robots so fascinating?

These new Gods with their quick, colorful actions and powerful wrath have turned literature from useful lists of commercial transactions in beer and wheat into lengthy, digressive stories of strong men overpowering mythic beasts.
Another Ftrain favourite that I keep looking up for some reason: on pundit-ness.

posted by dru
January 08, 2002
January 04, 2002
# Pravda is Truth

Russia's Pravda and China's People's Daily are linking to each other prominantly... I wonder why. Consolidation of commie publications?

I'm going to keep an eye on

A large collection of chinese propaganda, via girlhacker. No reference to propaganda art is complete without a link to posters from the Spanish Civil War. And speaking of propaganda, wow! Also: a huge collection of public murals in LA, via randomwalks.

Women in the Spanish Revolution.

A couple of good aphorisms (link via Daily Chump):

The relationship between truth and a newspaper is like the relationship between the color green and the number seven. Occasionally you will see the number seven written in green, but you learn not to expect this.

It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.

Subtlety is the art of saying what you think and getting out of the way before it is understood.

posted by dru
by Daniel

Nice to see that the (failed) Spanish Revolution is still around here, I should play some Charlie Haden revolutionary songs to inspire me further...

Love from barcelona

by rape stories

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December 24, 2001
# space

This NYTimes article about the 9-11 memorial has some interesting, isolated ideas, but it's hard (for me) to make sense of it as a whole. (login/pass: cypherpunk40)

posted by dru
December 21, 2001
# catchup

There has been some interesting discussion (and some not quite as interesting) of my article on homophobia. Kendall's bit on the process of assembling the bible is especially interesting.

Phantom limb for the rest of us.

BuskPay looks like an interesting addition to microdonation schemes, though I haven't tried it out. The essay on "Mass-Market Busking" looks interesting too. looks like a home-grown news site with articles about Colombia, the drug war, plan Colombia, and other politics that Americans should be interested in.

Infoanarchy now has an irc-driven weblog based on the ChumpBot.

DayPop indexes a lot of weblogs and lets you search them.

Dean Allen: Reading Design

The Dead Media Project needs a link now and then.

The Open BeOS Project is trying to re-create the BeOS from scratch.

Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan.

The Morning News hosted a roundtable discussion about writing for the web.

Right after some heavy bombing, the US government bought up all the relevant satellite images, preventing other folks from seeing how much damage was caused.

Weblog madness is a directory of all things weblog, including a list of weblog software.

How can anyone with even the tiniest clue continue to call what the US did in Vietnam "humanitarian interventions"?!

posted by dru
December 13, 2001
# Chimacum, WA

As of today, I'm back in Washington State for a few weeks. If you want to get together, just send me an email (, as usual.

posted by dru
December 08, 2001
# Mac fun

Merry Consumerism! I updated my wishlist. Emphasis on wish.

Look at all the pretty pictures of possible powerbooks and other fun mac designs by people who are only slightly less obsessed with macs than I used to be. Then again, the titanium powerbook is making me go back to my old ways.

FinderMail is a mac mail client that stores mail as plain text, and lets you display or edit in any app. It reminds me of how the BeOS stored email messages in the system database, and let you move them around in the file system, sort them by sender, etc. It was very elegant, but I guess I'll have to settle for findermail.

Informed Dissent looks like a decent lefty weblog.

In case anyone was wondering, Henry Kissinger is an evil pig.

posted by dru
December 05, 2001
# New Monkey!

The redesign is up and running!

The last Argosy issue of the season hit the streets last Thursday.

My editorial: The Marketplace of Idea(l)s.

My roommate Matt wrote an excellent review of the Rheostatics show we went to.

posted by dru
by jayd

monket is buzzin rights!!!

by jayd

monkey is buzzin rights!!!

by jayd

monkey is buzzin rights!!!

by sazzle b

fuckin rightz the nu munky is swkd

by hailesy

hold tite to the wallsend massive mc tazo keep on rockin the monkey cos ya fuckin swickittt















November 27, 2001
# Last week

I'm re-reading Robert McChesney's Making Media Democratic.

Last week's Argosy had a somewhat interesting Globalization Supplement, and I wrote an editorial called "How We Hate Democracy".

posted by dru
November 19, 2001
# I am. Really.

A better version of I Am Homophobic has been posted to Monkeyfist. Thanks to Kendall Clark for the edits.

posted by dru
November 15, 2001
# Maclean's^H^H^H^H Argosy

This week's Argosy was big on Maclean's Magazine's rankings of Canadian universities (Mount Allison came in #1 in the "Primarily Undergraduate" category for the 11th year straight). My editorial, The Problems with Rankings, discussed exactly why Maclean's is full of shit and irresponsible. My friend Carole made the same point but differently. The cover was a (rather successful, I think) spoof of the Maclean's cover of the rankings issue. End Days of Analog (a comic strip) continues to be as beautiful as it is subtle.

posted by dru
# TV has a lot of good links regarding how insanely the US is acting at the moment.

Village Voice: "A twin towers tragedy every day for almost four years. We get to start the century by defending ourselves from charges of genocide."

posted by dru
November 03, 2001
# courage!

Those rich white guys sure are courageous.

The Hallowe'en Issue. My editorial was entitled I am homophobic, and I made my Apple Pie recipe public. I didn't choose that title, I swear. And, in what seems to be an emerging trend, I designed the cover. Spooky!

posted by dru
October 28, 2001
# tomorrow, tom

An absolutely brilliant This Modern World.

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible is really interesting. I has an exhaustive, cross-referenced catalogue of (close to) all the contradictions, insults to women, denounciations of homosexuality contained in the bible, and much more. A very handy resource for a discussion of homophobia (discussion starts towards the bottom).

posted by dru
by test


by ddd


by lc

No thanks. I prefer to search for truth in another place.

October 27, 2001
# fear

Things are getting scary.

Cognitive dissonance? Cognitive dissonance.

Constant reminder.

Another week, another Argosy. I wrote about free trade this week, echoing a lot of Chomsky... rather badly, I'm afraid. The ideas are good, but the article was written in a haze at 5am. I also interviewed Dr. Karen Houle, tree planter, poet, mother of twins, professor of political philosophy, and amazing person. Oh yeah, and I did the cover and the photo of the week, too.

End days of Analog is a beautiful comic.

posted by dru
October 19, 2001
# Argosy on the brain.

This week's Argosy was pretty darned good.

A whole bunch of people responded to the editorial I wrote the week before last, Culture and Capitalism, or: why I hate the commerce department.

I wrote two pieces this week; a mildly edited version of Rushdie's Rhetoric and Righteous Response, and Commerce Clarifications, in response to some feedback I recieved the week after the Culture and Capitalism piece ran.

If that's not enough, I spent all afternoon writing replies to the people who wrote op/eds in response to the same piece.

Ah, debate.

...and the cover, which was possibly the best one yet. There's a whole story there, which happened quite unintentionally.

Finally, this week's issue is available in pdf format, for anyone who wants to see the beautiful layout.

posted by dru
# Rushdie

I wrote a short piece in response to Salman Rushdie, where I talk about terrorism, and how we help to perpetuate it.

posted by dru
October 06, 2001
# The week.

Another issue of The Argosy. This week's editorial was "Culture and Capitalism; or: why I hate the commerce department. Not my finest work, could have been more polished, etc., but I think I got the point across. And maybe I pissed some people off enough to write some letters to the editor. I also did a photo essay this week, entitled Thin Film at the Edge of the Bubble: an exhortation to venture outside of Sackville before the air turns cold.

posted by dru
by Bruce

I enjoyed the pictures you shot. Was the first one a reflection in the sky of the water or was that just my screen looking bizarre. Your bike picture was fun. How about some shots of birds!! Sackville is noted for its waterfowl.

by Dru

Bird pictures are fun, but I lack a telephoto lense and the patience to get birds in the right light/setting to take a decent photo.

October 01, 2001
# democratic discourse

The Onion's Point-Counterpoint: America's Response is just about right on. God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule is similarly poignant.

posted by dru
September 30, 2001
# The Argo

Issue #3 came out last Thursday. I wrote an editorial about intellectual responsibility.

I've been at a Canadian University Press conference all weekend, and now I'm tired.

I saw the Pocket Dwellers last night. A very tight funk/hiphop/jazz band from Toronto.

posted by dru
by SMJ

Re Argosy editorial - it's commendable to develop a sense of responsibility for what you receive, even while receiving it. Even more importantly, passing on the benefits of your priviledge extends it beyond your own exclusive use, supporting the sense of true human community. The other end of this responsibility is to oneself - which hill do you want to die on? Choose well! ( I think you have ... my point is that maybe letters to the Glib and Mail is not your venue anyway, as an extension of your example).

by directv

Buy this it is a wonderful addition to anyones home entertainment system.

# The Argo

Issue #3 came out last Thursday. I wrote an editorial about intellectual responsibility.

I've been at a Canadian University Press conference all weekend, and now I'm tired.

posted by dru
September 24, 2001
# Lack of there

As you may have noticed, I have been completely sucked into diabolical machinations inherent in the structure of the Argosy. (there's a new issue out, by the way.) In addition, I've become equally sucked in to an attempt to read and understand (apprehend, rather) Martin Heidegger's Being and Time, which takes up any time that I might've not been spending on the Argosy. As a result, my web surfing has decreased to almost nil. Thus, postings here will be sparse for some as yet unspecified time (i.e. until I start spending a lot of time reading on the web again).

posted by dru
September 14, 2001
# Argo, see?

The first issue of this year's Argosy is online. Yay!

Besides making sure everyone had the right conditions to get their job done, I wrote an editorial about alcohol use and its institutions, and designed the cover.

posted by dru
September 13, 2001
# avoiding it less

I started a discussion topic on the WTC Disaster over at the Argosy, and I finally wrote down some thoughts (which are posted there).

Monkeyfist has been churning out some solid thoughts for the past few days.

posted by dru
September 09, 2001
# Meetspace

Yesterday, I ran a meeting for the first time in my life. I turned into Dru the Extrovert, who doesn't think about everything he's going to say before he says it. Dru the Extrovert hadn't made an appearance for some time. Shortly thereafter, I realized in a tangible way that I'm responsible for the 30-odd people on staff at a weekly newspaper. I'm also responsible for the paper itself. That's daunting, and exciting. I have a lot to learn, and I'm going to learn a lot.

posted by dru
September 07, 2001
# Uncle Noam

Sometimes it's nice to start the day off with a nice Chomsky quote.

"People who believe in a better way of life know that the way we live now is criminal. Denial of freedoms, death by starvation and exploitation, denigration of people’s capabilities everywhere. If you see that these outcomes are socially produced, then you understand that every person who dies as a result was effectively murdered. Once you accept the possibility of attaining a humanist alternative, you have to be a terrible hypocrite, coward or cynic to live passively with the contrast beteween what is and what could be."

posted by dru
by Bijan Parsia

Check out Singer's stuff on absolute poverty.

However, I don't think you *have* to be a terrible hypocrite, coward, or cynic to live passively etc. etc....*most* of us live that way. Maybe that means that most of use are one of the three, but I think there are more subtle discriminations to be had.

Not of course, for the sake of *justifying* the passivity. But if one is to *combat* it, either in oneself or in others, it helps to better understand it.

by Kendall

Heh, unlike Bij's disinterested comment, I'll take the self-interested route and mention that Monkeyfist's Chomsky Archive loads up a nice Chomsky quote, randomly, everytime you access the front page. (Not that I'm too much a Chomsky pimp, I'm just taking my revenge on Dru for pointing to GWU's scummy prez memo w/out giving me credit for showing it to him. :> )


September 06, 2001
# this new house

A few people asked me if I had any pics of my new house, so I snapped a few. (images link to bigger versions).


Our pristine kitchen, from whence many a tasty meal hath come. Usually, this place has some tunes playing and people cooking good food.


Our back porch. Jesse, one of my roommates, is tending a fruitful little garden in buckets and large pots. Tis' the source of many fresh tomatoes, green peppers, and jalapenos. In the background, one can see our fabulous view of the Trans-Canda highway, which, surprisingly enough, isn't very noisy inside the house.


The plant-filled living room. If you look closely, you can see the giant slug I made (out of plaster, burlap, and chicken wire) when I was taking 2nd year sculpture. The implements of music are signs that I live with a band.

posted by dru
September 04, 2001
# Iraq

Just in case anyone was wondering, yes, we are still doing evil things in Iraq.

Somehow I've been missing all this time. Great site, with lots of good links on the sidebar.

posted by dru
September 03, 2001
# Argosy

I've been spending a lot of time working on the Argosy site (comments/crit welcome), and getting things ready for a year of publication.

posted by dru
August 27, 2001
# enunciatory modality.

The Bad Writing Contest.

If, for a while, the ruse of desire is calculable for the uses of discipline soon the repetition of guilt, justification, pseudo-scientific theories, superstition, spurious authorities, and classifications can be seen as the desperate effort to "normalize" formally the disturbance of a discourse of splitting that violates the rational, enlightened claims of its enunciatory modality.

posted by dru
August 17, 2001
# Michael and Me

Hey, it's me, talking to Michael Moore at Webzine 2001 in NYC.

posted by dru
August 09, 2001
# tra


posted by dru
by Fred Hubner

Is it upside down or is it just an illusion ?

by Dru

Good question.

August 08, 2001
# Your tax dollars at work.

Oh. God. The country I grew up in is intentionally killing children.

After a brief hiatus, the Daily Churn is back, with (potentially) better software guts.

posted by dru
August 02, 2001
# travelling

I'm travelling again. Go ahead and post interesting links by using the 'post a comment' feature. It doesn't matter if they have nothing to do with misnomer. I'm interested in what people who read this are interested in.

posted by dru
by heidi

hey dru hope your travels are going well. looking forward to having you back in sackville soon. I check this site quite often for links, but i've also been using the internet to research for two special topics classes i'm working on. this is a cool site with lots o links on i'll use for my course on contemporary women philosophers/theororists

i'm also going to study some of walter benjamin's arcades project and this site is really fun to explore


July 27, 2001
# chimacum

I'm in Washington (State) until wednesday. I'll probably show up in Seattle at some point. Email me if you want to get together.

I'm being lazy, reading, and visiting people, so updates will be slow for a bit.

Charting International Media Ownership.

An inside joke that may well be funny (strange anyway) for those that aren't in on it.

Jessamyn's links and brief thoughts on Genoa. Mostly for my future reference.

I chatted with the folks at Vilgilance (web page not working right now), an independent monthly bioregional/community-oriented newspaper. They do it in addition to their day jobs, but still manage to put out a pretty cool little paper. The energy around independent media these days is overwhelming; Indymedia has sprouted over 50 active collectives around the world in 20 months, and I'm starting to realize that Capital-I Indymedia is only part of a general trend of people making their own news, culture, and whatever else it is that media do. It's a good thing.

posted by dru
by kerstinn

Thanks so very much for taking your time to create this very useful and informative site. I have learned a lot from your site. Thanks!!

by kerstinn

Thanks so very much for taking your time to create this very useful and informative site. I have learned a lot from your site. Thanks!!

July 19, 2001
# off to NYC

I'm off to New York City, until the 25th, when I'll head back home to Washington. Want to meet? Drop me an email, as always.

posted by dru
July 18, 2001
# flamebait

Wow. Misnomer got its first mindless, hostile post yesterday. I've removed it from the front page, but the text has been archived for documentary purposes.

Spoke and Axle. Distributed bandwidth for people who need it.

Wireless Freenets. Free internet access for a small area for people who have wireless cards.

Non-profits that use BSD.

Nader sues AOL for blocking campaign emails.

posted by dru
July 16, 2001
# indy cred

I'll most likely be heading to webzine next weekend, seeing as it takes place the day after I arrive in New York. Anyone ever been to, or heard good things about it the webzine conference?

Shedding Democracy for Tears, a look at the effects of tear gas on humans and democratic society. (written by me)

posted by dru
July 14, 2001
# corporate medley

Microsoft Lost Big, Actually.

you have to give Bill Gates and the Microsoft crew credit for chutzpah. The DC Court of Appeals declares Microsoft an illegal monopoly, affirms that they have coerced, threatened, and lied to maintain their operating system monopoly - and the Redmond boys declare it a victory.

Naomi Klein on GM foods. "The idea, quite simply, is to pollute faster than countries can legislate - then change the laws to fit the contamination."

Tim Wise: School Shootings and White Denial.

...the FBI insist there is no "profile" of a school shooter. Come again? White boy after white boy after white boy, with very few exceptions to that rule (and none in the mass shooting category), decides to use their classmates for target practice, and yet there is no profile? Imagine if all these killers had been black: would we still hesitate to put a racial face on the perpetrators? Doubtful.


white high school students are seven times more likely than blacks to have used cocaine; eight times more likely to have smoked crack; ten times more likely to have used LSD and seven times more likely to have used heroin. In fact, there are more white high school students who have used crystal methamphetamine (the most addictive drug on the streets) than there are black students who smoke cigarettes.

A lecture to first year students at Princeton. (via

I think the trend towards computing applications that do everything for you is misguided. Some people expect to have tools that will "automatically" garner information, build connections and do other tasks---I prefer to believe the opposite, that new tools will emerge that will depend upon our resourcefulness and creativity and that will enable us to build upon our accumulated knowledge (and to pass it on) in completely new ways.

Bruce sent in an old forward about the windows/cars analogy. Since this entry is so huge already, I've removed it and put a link to it instead.

posted by dru
July 07, 2001
# ignorance

NYTimes Op/Ed: "The administration is studiously ignoring that finding."

My article, Getting Paid for Content: from micropayments to shareware models got posted to the front page over at Kuro5hin.

Google's Zeitgeist page is interesting.

The Ten Worst Transformers Of All Time! Sometime last summer, some friends and I decided that it would be a good idea to take another look at that old toy commercial that took up untold hours of our youth. What we found was a truly bizarre, borderline incomprehensible mash of pop-culture and watered down literary references that no kid would have any grasp of at the age of 8 or so. Some scenes were simply generic bits of "jim, I'm a doctor, not an..." lifted directly from Star Trek, and big words like "impervious" were dropped in without explanation. "Pastiche" came to mind as an appropriate adjective. And I always remembered the animation as being infinitely more vivid than it actually was. That, and the fact that the plot made little or no sense except as some kind of pomo art project made me realize just how much writers and animators can rely on kids' imaginations to fill in the (abundant) blanks. That, or an underdeveloped ability to detect incoherence.(link via David Grenier)

posted by dru
June 28, 2001
# chain of fools

This Atlantic article makes the argument that chain stores have done a lot of good for the book buying public, contrary to the elitist complaints to the contrary. There are some good factual points raised, but two essential points are missed. First, book chains are likely not sustainable in their current form. Their low prices and perks are subsidized by investors, so they can afford to sink independents without having to be profitable in the short term. Like the cold war, it's about who runs out of money first. This means that independents get put out of business rather quickly, handing an enourmous amount of power to the chains relatively quickly. Once there's no competition, prices can go back up, and selection can become more concentrated. While there's still a relatively large selection, it's a selection chosen by a few people, so if you can't sell your book to the few buyers who work for all the chains, then you're more screwed than before. Corporate censorship at its least visible. And the music they play in those places.. that's another rant.

Mel Lastman, the mayor of Toronto doesn't get to avoid the question. Wouldn't it be nice if journalists could make politicians look like fools every time they try to avoid a simple question?

posted by dru
by jessamyn

the metafilter kids went back and forth on this article a bunch. I was surprised how many people dislike indie bookstores because either 1) the book you want isn't in stock WHEN you're there [i.e. if I can't impule purchase it, forget it] 2) clerks are snobby/rude/whatever

June 25, 2001
# Horowitz

Ever wonder how wrong David Horowitz is? look no further. Seriously, the guy just makes stuff up to get attention. So why do people (like me, at this instant) pay attention to him? It must be some sort of critical mass - enough people pay attention that one can't simply dismiss him for the flame-baiting pig that he is. Of course, it would help if editors could afford to care more about the substance of the ideas than the amount of attention someone will attract.

posted by dru
June 24, 2001
# Toronto

I'm in Oakville, otherwise known as the vast suburban wasteland outside of Toronto. So if you're in Toronto or thereabouts, drop me an email if you want to get together.

I'll refrain from commenting (ranting extensively) about Oakville (and suburbia in general), except to say that every house is exactly the same, and I was greeted by a billboard for $400,000 condos promising the "ultimate lifestyle", which apparently has something to do with total monotony, consumerism (ooh, "power centers"), and owning an SUV.

In other news, here's an interesting bit on the history of pamphlets.

posted by dru
June 01, 2001
# Give it back

Niel Bornstein has a simple proposition for those who are recieving Bush's tax rebate cheques: give it to those who should be getting it, but aren't (i.e. the poor).

posted by dru
May 26, 2001
# if knowledge is power and power corrupts, is ignorance bliss?

A story of what can happen to ya if you get rich real fast. (Though I guess no one has to worry about that for a while, since the system seems to have gone back to channeling more money to the rich, instead of giving out the odd million to programmers in a semi-random way.)

The Monty Hall Trap is a real mind-bender.

David Gelernter's latest project is Scopeware, which appears to be fairly similar to Lifestreams (which is apparently dead). Essentially, a time-based view of computer tasks, which makes a lot of sense in a certain respect. I don't see why some kind of rudimentary time-based view of work couldn't be built into traditional systems; e.g. in addition to having a list of directories, why not also have a parallel list of files, organized by date and time. I wrote an article about this back in high school, called Liquid File System. While that article needs an update, bad, I think it has a lot of relevant points. Here's an illustration of how I imagined alternate hierarchies of information being displayed back then:

Having auto-generated views of web directories based on data like dates or categories would be pretty useful, too. What I didn't know then is that there's a word for this: intertwingle. All that means is that things can be connected not only by category, but by size, date of creation, keyword, author, or any other information that one might have (stored in a computer). Jamie Zawinski explains intertwingularity fairly well in this proposal for organizing email.

posted by dru
by Kendall

What's worse? Zawinski's loser, rich friend, or Zawinksi? Complaining that, as a rich guy, you don't like most rich guys and that, as a consequence, you have to hang out with the loser, wage slaves, that you can can stomach, is just *so* wanker.

Give me a break. I used to think Zawinski was a decent sort, but not anymore. He should have put some of that money of his into a Common Lisp reimplementation of Emacs.

by Dru

Wankery indeed, though I can't say I gave that aspect much thought when I read the story; I was mostly interested in the way getting rich seems to convince people that they deserve it, are entitled to it, and how reality warps around them to accomodate this belief.

The geographic pattern of 'interesting people inhabit a place, rich people want to be interesting and move in, prices go through the roof, interesting people move out' is a good example. Alternatively, rich people move in, make complaints about the noise level of the interesting people, interesting people are driven out. Happened and is happening in Halifax, SF, NYC, Toronto, and various other cities.

(not disagreeing; just decided to go off on a little rant :>)

by Bijan

If you don't believe you're entitled to your money (when rich) then you can't be rich.

Proof: If you have real needs (food, shelter, clothing), then you can justify having money/goods. College tuition and retirement are great drivers of this, as is housing. But if your real needs (espeically the needs of your family/kids) are satisfied, then Singerian, or even mere Christian, ethics pretty much require you to give it away. You can only go so far on the "I *neeeeeeeeeed* an infotainnet center in every room." Basically, there *is* a point where you can't spend the money effectively (at least, most of us can't), only invest it. I mean, the third yacht really is ridiculous. So, once you hit that point, what are you going to do? *Give* the cash away? Forget it, slippery slope (i.e., if you have to give away the obscenely obscene, why not the merely obscene too?). So what moneied classes (and individuals) do, out of necessity, is rationalize their obscene wealth. They *deserve* it! They've *earned* it!

That's why the grossly rich are really scummy about taxes and profits. But note that it's a perfectly natural behavior, i.e., all of us with computers and net access and cd players etc. tend to be doing the same thing on a smaller scale. Of course, scale can be what makes the difference.

For the poorer "rich", the middle-rich, and the "credit card" rich, habitual consumption is drummed in hard, as it's what drives the economy. Or, at least, drives corporate profits.

by Blandy Charley

Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.

by direct TV

Buy this it is a wonderful addition to anyones home entertainment system.

May 22, 2001
# best

The best stuff on the indymedia newswire this week, according to Marco. Indymedia sites generally let anyone post anything to their newswires (within a few broad guidelines), which leads to a lot of chaos, and a need for filtering.

posted by dru
May 18, 2001
# media analysis

Strawman's revenge, an e-zine of media analysis, takes a close look at mainstream editorial coverage of recent protests. Links like that one are probably the best way for anyone to learn about the protest movement, at least initially.

I think media analysis is vastly underrated as a method for getting the word out. Instead of having the protesters in one corner and the corporate media in the other corner, each shouting out their own version of reality and making the people in the middle confused and cynical, you have direct proof of exactly how the corporate media is blatantly misleading. That makes things a lot more clear for the folks listening, and gets them on the way to looking for or creating alternatives that focus a little closer on reality.

posted by dru
May 17, 2001
# getting paid to write

As an update to a rather simple article that I wrote about paying for content online and the importance of not restricting access to content, I've been working on an extensive overview of methods of exacting payment for writing, music and art online. The article describes a number of non-advertising business models for independent artists, writers, and musicians.

This is the first bit of work that I'm doing for this grant I recieved that is paying for me to do independent research all summer. I'll be looking mostly at how institutions and social forms shift from one set of media (tangible productions like books, CD's, prints..) to another (digital distribution). The original plan was to look to the transition from oral traditions to literate traditions in the days of yore to inform the study of the present transition; I think that will still play a part, but I'm unsure how significant it will be.

Comments welcome.

posted by dru
by angelina-jolie

angelina jolie vs sylvia saint

by orgy-porn

orgy porn

by incest pic

computer should less, less.

May 15, 2001
# all the news that's unfit to broadcast

A petition to stop TV infotainment programs calling themselves "News". Broadcasters are granted part of the spectrum by the government (read: the public) on the condition that they provide programs that serve the public interest. While the above petition can be seen as a joke, it's pretty much spot on. Even in the framework of the (completely skewed) existing laws, most broadcasters are well below any reasonable standard.

Tear Gas: Harassing Agent or Toxic Chemical Weapon?

posted by dru
by Bruce

One great article, newspost after the other. That's why I get all my news from Misnomer. No more tv for Oliver. Keep the news coming, Dru- It's a relief- Rocky Mountain could do the boycott thing or have a big tv bashing. - I am afraid that includes PBS (and NPR too). Speaking of which did you happen to catch the "Shed Boy" story out of Port Townsend broadcast over NPR? - Pretty lame - and I knew just about all of the participants.Your Argosy was great. Keep me thinking - thanks, bruce

May 12, 2001
# Argo

The first issue of the Argosy with my name at the top o' the masthead is online now. Despite having less than a third of the usual number of staff, I think it turned out quite well; a testament to the quality of the folks who helped out, I think.

I wrote an editorial based on some of the reflections on Quebec which I posted on this page.

A random Photoshop doodle:


posted by dru
May 02, 2001
# moving hell

Hi, I'm in moving hell. No wait, I'm between houses. My roommate said I could sublet her room for the summer but forgot to ask the landlady if that was ok. Now, the landlady is telling me that subletting is prohibited by the lease. So I have to ask the landlady if I can (pretty please) move into her house for the summer, even though no one contacted her, she makes no money from the deal, and my moving in is technically precluded in the lease. I would go on about how much work I (still) have to do, but for my desire to keep the ranting to a minimum.

update: I've been denied straight out by the landlady, who said it was "too much trouble" for her (where too much trouble means making a few phone calls). However, I found a new place that is positively huge, and pretty darned perfect in every way, so now I guess I'm just in moving purgatory, or something. /me knocks on wood.

Some thoughts on the Holocaust by Paul Ford, who is in Israel.

David Grenier talks a bit about mutual aid, which is (I think) sometimes called anarchism, and the creation of free societies. Always a good topic.

On a related, but diametrically opposed note, I'm getting sick of seeing the moronic commentators in the media constantly refer to concensus and direct democracy as unfeasible or even fascistic. Argh. Journalists either misrepresent the truth purposefully, or simply aren't doing their job. Or maybe they don't do they job in order to misrepresent the truth more comfortably. Judging by how little journalists actually talked to the protesters in Quebec (as opposed to talking amongst themselves or chattering away in front of a camera), I'd say the latter is the case.

Oh my, I'm ranting again.

posted by dru
April 30, 2001
# More summing

In my continuing quest to simplify the FTAA protests (if only to get people interested in what's going on) I found that Tom Tommorrow has done a pretty good job, as usual.

posted by dru
April 12, 2001
# price/performance

"Right now it doesn't cost anything to kill a black man"

(in Cincinnati, amongst other locales in the land of the free)

More coverage of the Cincinnati uprising. Also, Indymedia Centres in Cleveland and Ohio Valley have continuing, and somewhat more realistic, coverage.

Where was the Color in Seattle?

Where are the White Activists in Cincinnati?

Thanks to everyone for posting introductions. Feel free to post yours. It's good to get feel for how many people visit misnomer, and how often (server statistics generally don't give me that sense).

posted by dru
by Kendall

This Cincinnati story may be good for, Dru, once it develops a bit more.

April 11, 2001
# Intros!

It's introduce yourself day here at misnomer!

Click on the "post a comment" link below, and write a short (or long) note saying who you are, and toss in a link to your web site if you want. If you're really ambitious, say something about why you read misnomer, or something interesting about yourself.

posted by dru
by Helen Highwater

There's absolutely nothing interesting about me.

I stop by Misnomer every day or two, because it's a quality site, part of a surfing routing gathering bits and pieces for Unknown News, where we try to expose the hypocricy of the powers that be -- crooked cops, paid-for politicians, pervert priests, etc.

I wouldn't normally intrude with a plug, but the management here did just about ask me to... :)

by sylvia


I read misnomer at least once a week, because it's a good site, and because Dru's my S.O. I usually hear about his on-line ventures from him face to face. I never venture too far into this digital land myself. Most of the time I am artist, sometimes I try to be a mathematician. My quasi home page is a link dru made for me with photos of some sculptures I made last year.

by jessamyn

hi, I'm Jessamyn. I read misnomer because it's a place I can find info on activist and other anti-capitalist activities and it reminds me that not everyone on the web is debating what color iMac to buy.

by Kendall

I read Misnomer regularly to monitor the progress of Dru's IRC-enabled Political Re-Education Program, of which I am one of the senior tutors. :>

Or something like that...

by Ola

I read the Misnomer daily. I'm a student at RPI trying to find a job in New York's Capital District. This is a shameless plug for employment, please hire me. I read the Misnomer out of nostalgia mostly, but to keep up on news and what my friends, including Dru, are thinking and doing as well.

by disastro

I've never been here before. Can't even remember how I got here.

Anyway, enough about me. Everyone's invited for coffee at my place in the a.m.

by Bruce Marston

I live in the land of Oz and like to know what is going on in the real world. Doesn't your mother or father, not, read your column? I haven't seen them post a comment. Actually I like to check up on former students of my wife's like Dru and Ola. Love to you both- Bruce

by David Grenier

Im Dave. I started reading Misnomer when Manila was first released and editThisPage was first launched. It was one of the few weblogs I liked because it was one of the few that didn't obsess about dot coms and palm pilots. I've found lots of great sites through here, including Monkeyfist, Rebecca Blood, then by extension Jessamyn.

Ummm, as far as interesting stuff, I once tried to get my picture on the wall at Spike's Junkyard Dogs in Providence by eating six jumbo dogs. I ate five and a half and then threw up on The Gap.

by Lilly

I keep coming back to Misnomer to find info that isn't the usual and is worth thinking about.

by Sara Mall Johani

Hi, my name is Sara Mall and I read Misnomer to keep up with what my son Dru is thinking about. We do have weekly conversations which sometimes range into the relevant and interesting world of events but Misnomer fills these out, at the very least. My husband Tom still considers himself a neo Luddite, though he has determined to make Misnomer the exception to his stance. However, it's still an intention in progress. I wasn't going to comment but, thanks to Bruce, I had better prove that we do take an interest. It's always eclectically informative.

by Niel

I'm one of Dru's imaginary IRC friends and I read Misnomer because it's there.

by Daniel

Hola desde Barcelona (España)!

I come to misnomer very often, it's part of my "own net" of websites that keep me informed about the stuff I am interested in: everything, and everything these days means politics and economics. I feel good here, I can smell that! and that's enough for trusting this site.

love (we are gonna need it)

by Jordan

I take a spin by misnomer every once in a while to see what's on Dru's mind. Knowing him for a number of years it's always interesting to see the progression and maturity of thinking that happens with time and age. I also find that the content of misnomer always has direct or indirect connections to my studies in architecture.

by heidi

i come here as my first stop to almost every visit to the electronic world.i do hang out with dru from time to time over beer. i agree with the smell of this site, almost like an oven with fresh brown bread a bakin'. i'm trying to be more appreciative of a system of electronic information which i often find draining and uninviting. lately i've had a lot of positive experiences with the web, especially indymedia. thanks all for bein' interesting and not just out to get my desires transferred in cash. with unexplainable giggles, see ya

by Roma Gary

Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.

April 05, 2001
# De-mos

Criticisms of Democracy.

The Argosy. And hey, it's me.

This week's cover has been (for some reason) endlessly entertaining to me; I can't tell if it's because I know the people on it, or because the photos are just funny.

posted by dru
April 03, 2001
# You say Kwee-beck, I say Kay-beq

Construction begins (Reuters photo).

posted by dru
by heidi

hey dru,

i just lowered the karma on something about pronunciation. i dunno i kinda got confused so i just clicked something. that might be one of my fundamental problems with computers. i am often tempted to just randomly press buttons that i do not understand on any level whatsoever, thus i end up meandering through the internet and never really realize what i have done here, except perhaps contribute some extra number to a site saying that yes i looked at it. but in fact this is all residue from the by'gone dazys when i would not spend more than two hours a month with the internet/e-mail. these days i've actually been reading and finding way too much interesting and thought provoking stuff on these strange machines which eventually make me feel like i've eaten too much sugar when i finnally get up and leave. well i like your work ... bye

by Ola

Those look like some pretty heavy duty fences ... what exactly are they expecting?

by Dru

They're expecting something on the order of 5000+ angry protestors, looking to shut down the proceedings. Not unjustifiedly, it seems.

March 29, 2001
# Action

My Palm Pilot crashed, along with my notes from the second David Suzuki speech, so the writeup that was promised might not happen after all.

IMC Maritimes got flamed by some guy named Halifax_Ben. Only hard-core activists can start IMC's. Oh, ok.

That, and this week's Argosy is online.

posted by dru
March 23, 2001
# sick sick sick

More evidence that Economic Globalization (more exactly: the people behind it) (or maybe just economics in general) is sick sick sick.

Send secret messages hidden in spam.

More neat-o stuff: The Open Cola Project.

Interesting interview with Clay Shirky on Slashdot. Except I (predicatbly) disagree with this bit:

That part of the left given to conspiracy theories has been banging on for 30 years about the contraction in the media space while out here in the real world, technology has been tearing the roof off the sucker since the launch of CNN. I lived through the 70s, and no matter how earnestly The Nation approaches the task of drawing all those little charts of media ownership, nothing can make me pretend that things are worse now than they were then.
The top may have blown off in terms of format, but the bias in the coverage hasn't changed a bit. Despite the fact that they were broadcasting all day long, news coverage of the WTO 'riots' failed to ask any of the protestors why they were there. Instead, there was an endless stream of talking heads yacking about things they obviously didn't have any idea about. Other illustrations of how corrupt the media is (whether the people working within the media realize this or not is another story) can be found on The characterization of all (or most of) leftist analysis as 'conspiracy theorist' is annoying, too.

Shirky on the WTO protests.

posted by dru
March 22, 2001
# not indy enough

Barring any significant and unexpected turns of events in the coming months, I'll be Editor of the Argosy next year (just in case anyone was wondering).

posted by dru
by direct TV

Buy this it is a wonderful addition to anyones home entertainment system.

by out of debt

Get help with your credit problems here!

by click here

Get WWW.IDEBTCONSOLIDATION.ORG the debt relief you are searching for here!

March 18, 2001
# Prime Madness

An illegal prime number. "Right this very second, chances are there is a marketing team somewhere trying to hijack 'All your Base Are Belong to Us' in order to sell you something. Doing this makes their job that much harder." The AYB thing fits in quite nicely with corporate agenda, but I think it makes it a little too transparent to be worth stealing.

I've been working on setting up an Independent Media Center site for the Maritime Provinces here in Canada, and I'm pretty happy with the resulting design. Now all it needs is some content.

Napster seems to be helping me broaden my musical tastes without commiting financial resources. Currently in my MP3 playlist: Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Eminem's Drug Ballad, David Bowie's Space Oddity, Janice Joplin's excellent cover or Me and Bobby McGee, Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, and a bunch of Scott Joplin's piano rags.

posted by dru
by Daniel

I suggest you to do a Napster search for "La Mala Rodriguez", a spanish rapper that has a very strong flamenco accent in her hip-hop...

March 09, 2001
# Granted, but.

I got the grant. I will now be spending the summer studying digital media in the historical context of older 'new media'. In other words, looking at how the Greeks responded to the emergence of the written word, how radio was initially understood, and comparing that to the reception that digital text is getting today. Coming from the other side, I'm going to look at the qualities inherent in various new media, and how the expectations and prior experience of older media form our understanding of these inherent qualities. The fun part will be coming up with a series of designs that illustrate how work on the web reflects assumptions carried over from print, video, and other old media.

But before I do this, I have five papers to write. And before that, I have to finish the monster proposal that I'm preparing in order to prove myself worthy as the editor of next year's Argosy. As a side note on this, I shan't be too too disappointed (besides the massive blow to my ego) if I don't get the job. It would be nice to spend one more solid year in Sackville doing schoolwork and then leave. I find that I (often unwittingly) get myself into situations where there are two or more mutually exclusive choices, of which I would be satisfied with any of them. It strikes me that this is a useful way to look at things, especially in situations where others are deciding your worthiness for the activity in question, as with applying to a University, asking for grant money, or applying for a job.

Good thing I have a project to work on in Indymedia Maritimes that can suck serious time away from all of the above, and lest I forget, I'm the webmaster for three different organizations.

I like to put things in perspective now and then. And yet I still can't decide whether I'm slacking off this term or not. Feel free to post comments below.

posted by dru
by Bruce

Did you ever get that book we sent you for your birthday?, you slackard Love from all of us

March 07, 2001
# dork tower

Dork Tower, a comic strip for gamerz. Interesting hypothesis about Scooby-doo and the X-Files.

The Merchants of Cool. Scary. From inside MTV's total request live:

I guess you could say "Total Request Live" is democratic in the way that this year's election was democratic. The field of candidates is very small. And there are organizations behind them, not unlike the Democratic and Republican parties, who decided which candidates get promoted.
Rock industry irony at its best.

How to Deconstruct Almost Anything.

posted by dru
March 05, 2001
# lack of update

Two whole days with no updates. I've been working on better-edited writing projects and overdue essays, going to class, trying to start an Indymedia center in the Maritime provinces, waiting nervously to hear whether I got a grant for the summer or not, and since everyone knows by now, working on my application for editor-in-chief of the Argosy.

If you live in the Maritimes, join the IMC-Maritimes list, and discuss the creation of an Indymedia center here.

I got published! Well, an essay of mine was published in "Meeting on the Edge: Building the Virtual Meeting Place", an e-book. I got paid for it, and it's more official than a web page, so I guess that counts.

posted by dru
by Bernard DeKoven

You can find Dru's article ensconced in various other wordage at

March 03, 2001
# journalism

Google is great at generating interesting reading lists on subjects that have commonly used keywords. For instance, Objectivity in Journalism.

Public Journalism and the Problem of Objectivity, by Phillip Meyer.

With his The Making of the President 1960, Theodore White inspired a genre of political writing that treats an election as a sporting event. Every move is evaluated, not for its effect on the community, but for its tactical value to the political player.

If anything makes me proud to be an American, it's gotta be the complete Bushisms.

The Street Performer Protocol is always worth looking at again.

posted by dru
March 01, 2001
# projects

My friend John Powers has a show up in NYC called "Indicator Spaces" (after indicator species). It's a commentary on the use of art in public spaces. The show consists of alternate proposals for three major contemporary projects: the D.C. WW II Memorial, New York Penn Station, and the new Guggenheim. The crux is that open, public spaces where people can congregate are integral to democratic society and public existance. More importantly, he notes that open public spaces are being routinely broken up/divided with architectural elements like planters, private buildings, and monuments. Also interesting is the notion of giving art the same structural privilege that architecture has: literally letting public art shape public movement.

He's also written an essay by the same name, which deals with minimalist public art and open spaces. I set up the essay to let anyone annotate the essay, paragraph by paragraph, and set it up in a two column format so that one can read footnotes and view link lists without interrupting the flow of the article. It's something of an experimental design; it'll be interesting to see how it turns out. That the design would catch on is truly too much to hope for.

Spending time lamenting the lack of time to work on projects, while not working on projects. One that I'm never going to get around to doing, is "Riffs". I want to make a sound-art piece that mixes all of the catchiest guitar riffs I can find in to one five minute segment. But alas, there are a lot of other things to do that I never spend any time doing. This is my dilemma.

Who the heck is this Kimble guy anyway. Looks like he's going for 'most decadent man on earth' or something.

posted by dru
February 27, 2001
# Independent Media

I've been spending a lot of time in the past day and a half getting into Indymedia; reading their mailing list archives, and talking to people on As a result, I haven't really been visiting any other sites. Thus the dearth of recent links. There is a lot of independent media to read, though. :>

Niel Bornstein's Personal Political Platform puts things in perspective, and otherwise illustrates the really big gap between ideals and reality.

In other politics, there are some serious demonstrations going on in Korea. Wow.

Markerfight!, and an interesting piece about the use of Hitler in ideology. Both by David Grenier.

LOL! Jessamyn sent along some markerfight pics...

Dang. I just realized that CSS support is even worse in Netscape 4.0/windoze than it is on the Mac. Back to the drawing board? Nah. I'll just sit tight and say I'm supporting web standards. Hee hee. So follow that link and upgrade your browser already! Or just turn off Stylesheets, if you haven't already. update: I fiddled with the CSS enough that font size shouldn't be an issue anymore, and as a bonus, people can now post comments. Apparently, the form wasn't working in Netscape. God, I feel like I'm managing some kind of important project. Except I'm not.

posted by dru
by Niel

I had someone email me that he had come across my Personal Political Platform and found some commonalities with what he believed (and some differences, which is fine). But he had gone one step further and written up a Personal Hypocrisy Inventory, detailing the ways in which his behaviour differed from his ideals.

Interesting idea, I thought. I'll do something like that at some point.

by jessamyn

testing the comments by adding this link to the Alternative Press Collection at the Minneapolis Community & Technical College Library.

by Kendall

I've always liked Niel's PPP -- both the idea and most of his actual views. My favorite thing about it is that he doesn't mess around; he goes right to the heart of the matter: the UDHR, which I take to be one of the most important political documents of the 20th century.

I thought about doing a PPP once, following Niel's example, but then I realized that's what Monkeyfist is, more or less. :>

by Kendall

Hmm, I'm not sure where else to say this, and it seems the kind of wankeresque thing webloggers are always saying, so I figure I'll give it a whirl: I just realized, having read Jessamyn's comments lately on Misnomer, that, subliminally, I bet, the DSL provider,, I picked for our new house is the one Jessamyn works for. How completely odd. It must have stuck in my head from the times I used to read her blog.

Of course this means that I can't play all my fun (and perverse) technical support games if, or when, I have trouble. But, then again, it may be nice if I can reach her when I call in because I can't post my latest anarchist rant because the DSL is down -- at least she'll give a damn or, failing that, know what I'm whining about.

The person I've talked to so far, in sales, has been helpful, and I realize all the *really* gross DSL stuff is mostly the Bells' and Covad's fault -- like them making me wait 1 *month* until after our new phone line is setup before they'll let me order RADSL, a bit of petty bureaucratic stupidity I circumvented by ordering SDSL, for which they require only a week petty bureaucratic wait -- but I did get a bit pissy with him. Oops.

Suffice it to say that if there is a hell for petit-bourgeois losers like me, it's having to order and reorder DSL for eternity. While listening to on-hold music. While doing tedious Unix sysadmin work via a 28.8 dialup. In vi.

by jessamyn

Make that "worked for"...

the good news: you can make all their lives a living hell as far as I'm concerned [though karmic retribution will bite you on the ass for that eventually] and drop me a note if you need the straight skinny on anything.

the bad news: your support will suck worse than it might have before my departure. ha ha ha. I write teacher's manuals for fifth grade textbooks now, no nasty customers!

February 24, 2001
# Special P2P issue!

I've been pretty disappointed with how the media has presented P2P (peer-to-peer) so far. That is, with a lot of vagueness. Mind, I haven't read everything, but after watching the video of Clay Shirky's keynote at the O'Reilly P2P conference, I ended up writing a synopsis of how he defined P2P, and a few things that came to mind.

posted by dru

The Gallery of CSS Descramblers has some pretty creative ways of publishing source code.

Usability experts as rocks stars: The User Experience World Tour".

posted by dru
February 22, 2001
# Brrr.

If you've seen the "all your base.." thing, then this link is worth following.

It is painfully cold outside. Apparently, -50 C with wind chill. Brrr.

In other news, Ola sent me The Chomsky Reader from my Amazon wishlist, and it got here a day before my birthday. Thanks Ola, and good timing :> Hmm, looks like someone bought Vygotsky's complete works, too, but it's not here. (whoops, I've used up my solipsistic rambling quota for the day)

Wow. I just wrote a long entry about how I lost four hours of work because the Argosy fileserver crashed in a wierd way that let me save files, but when I restarted the server, all the changes were lost. I commented on how even when I realized that it had happened, I didn't get a bit frusterated. I didn't really react at all. After I finished writing that, and another entry about the FTAA, I pressed the wrong button, and lost all my comments (good thing that IE5 caches form contents!). I had even gone through the effort of learning the difference between "enunciate" and "annunciate". The irony is sickening. Sickening, I tell you.

Heh. I said "form contents". Nyuck Nyuck.

A few lines in this article about the FTAA are rather disturbing. Namely,

NAFTA does not allow complaints to be brought against corporations

"We already know that its [NAFTA's] protections for labor rights are worthless."

the largest police deployment in Canadian history

2.4 mile long metal fence, similar to those found around prisons, in the streets of the provincial capital

The original police plan to run criminal record checks on all Quebec residents receiving a pass was quickly shelved in the face of widespread public outrage.

That last one gives me a bit of hope :)

Wow. Y'all are using the karma function. You must be telling me that you like the solipsistic rambling. Seriously, the karma function seems a bit vague, at least for my kind of site. Maybe a contextual mini-poll would be more appropriate: "do you agree with dru's uninformed opinions today?" [] yes [] no [] I too am chronically uninformed.

posted by dru
by Kendall Clark

Hmm, I had that book in my shopping cart at Amazon, all ready to send to you for your b-day, Dru, but then I realized it wouldn't make it on time, so I blew it off.

I was motivated less by celebrating your b-day than by the prospect of getting you to read some Chomsky!

So, did you almost get me anything? :>


by Dru

So, did you almost get me anything? :>

Well, seeing as your library is so *ahem* substantial, I didn't know what you wouldn't have, and you didn't post a list ;)

by jessamyn

friend of mine made some nice

No On FTAA graphics, suitable for

making some good stickers. At the URL above.

Happy Birthday Dru.

by click here

Buy this it is a wonderful addition to anyones home entertainment system.

February 20, 2001
# Racist? Nah.

I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was this bad: "A black teenager is 48 times (yes, you read that right, 48) more likely to do time for a drug offense than a white kid."

posted by dru
February 19, 2001
# Editorial

I just went back and read an interesting discussion about independent web sites that happened almost a year ago.

Why democracy is in trouble.

A wiki on electronic dialogue. Looks interesting. I hope to have time to read it soon ;>

What a great editorial.

Republicans don't have the armies of university professors, reporters, editorialists, publishing houses and Hollywood entertainers to demonize their opponents. It is difficult for politicians to attack those who havenot been set up for attack. Democrats were able to vote en mass against confirming John Ashcroft as attorney general, because feminist, minority and anti-religious interest groups did the dirty work of turning Ashcroft into an ogre.

Paul Craig Roberts must have done some serious research before writing that piece. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe both.

Obvious evidence that Microsoft is copying MacOS X directly, maybe even to the point of copyright violation. The irony here is that if Microsoft would hire some competent people and do their own research, it would be totally feasible to come up with a better interface than the new image conscious Apple has. Unfortunately, they seem to insist on making flawed copies of an OS that is already flawed. Great.

posted by dru
# Editorial

I just went back and read an interesting discussion about independent web sites that happened almost a year ago.

Why democracy is in trouble.

A wiki on electronic dialogue. Looks interesting. I hope to have time to read it soon ;>

What a great editorial.

Republicans don't have the armies of university professors, reporters, editorialists, publishing houses and Hollywood entertainers to demonize their opponents. It is difficult for politicians to attack those who havenot been set up for attack. Democrats were able to vote en mass against confirming John Ashcroft as attorney general, because feminist, minority and anti-religious interest groups did the dirty work of turning Ashcroft into an ogre.
Paul Craig Roberts must have done some serious research before writing that piece. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe both.

Obvious evidence that Microsoft is copying MacOS X directly, maybe even to the point of copyright violation. The irony here is that if Microsoft would hire some competent people and do their own research, it would be totally feasible to come up with a better interface than the new image conscious Apple has. Unfortunately, they seem to insist on making flawed copies of an OS that is already flawed. Great.

posted by dru
February 18, 2001
# Napster

An interesting account of one of the more (most?) mainstream productions of the Vagina Monologues.

Slow food.

Holding out any hope that politics is about issues, and not pure spin? Fool yourself no longer.

Dave Grenier's thoughts on Napster pretty much sum it up for me. Good conclusion, too :>

Tipster has a good list of URLs relating to intellectual property discussion, activism, and technologies.

I should note that offers a way to put artists in touch with the voluntary payments of fans.

posted by dru
# Napster

An interesting account of one of the more (most?) mainstream productions of the Vagina Monologues.

Slow food.

Holding out any hope that politics is about issues, and not pure spin? Fool yourself no longer.


Dave Grenier's thoughts on Napster pretty much sum it up for me. Good conclusion, too :>

Tipster has a good list of URLs relating to intellectual property discussion, activism, and technologies.

I should note that offers a way to put artists in touch with the voluntary payments of fans.

posted by dru
by Kendall


Is the slowfood.c thing an anti-gm site or what? I can't tell.


by Dru

I think it's just a backlash against "fast food". I found the idea amusing, but didn't really look over the site.

by Dru

This is a test. I'm trying to get the comments to run in descending order.

February 17, 2001
# The real democracy..

I'm thinking of moving misnomer to another server. Namely, to [here] . I'll be posting the same content to both sites for a while, and eventually I'll discontinue [the other site], I think. There are a number of reasons for this. Salient among them is the fact that was started as a 60-day demo, and eventually got extended. Thus, I can't really expect it to be free forever. There have been some been some performance issues with off and on for while now, which I'd like to avoid. Other than that, Greymatter has some really cool features, and I'd like to have all my stuff on one domain ( if at all possible.

For some reason, I've got a craving for old-school rap these days, so I've been listening to A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and just to keep things international, a bit of Dubmatique and MC Solaar.

Phil Agre's thoughts and analysis of the effects of internet on democracy are well worth reading.

Michael Moore's opinion about the solipsism of the left is also worthwhile.

This page on has a potentially interesting format for online photojournalism: small audio recordings that add atmosphere to each photo.

posted by dru
by Daniel

Nice to see that little option: "Comment". It has given me the chance to say hello and thank for a very informative weblog (at least the info that matters). It has provided me with many interesting links, it also made me apply for an editthispage account and build my own weblog.

Keep doing it!

February 16, 2001
# Greymatter

Greymatter is cool. It allows for posting full articles inside an item, but just the description or abstract shows up on the front page. All it's really missing is author pages and categories, which is no big deal at the moment. Here's a random link.

posted by dru
by brutalside


February 15, 2001
# Argh.

This week's Argosy is up.

posted by dru
February 10, 2001
# The whether

I've started working on version three of the Framework for Intercreative Publishing (fip), a project I've been working on (off and on) for about four years now.

Peterme took some notes on Information Architecture.

Taylor ranted about micropayments a bit. Worth reading.

deadline approaches
other things interest me
back to work, you fool

it snows a whole lot
then it rains, freezes again
to walk is to slip

posted by dru
February 09, 2001
# Misnomer is back!

I've set up Greymatter on (server space graciously provided by Kendall Clark of Monkeyfist). As soon as I get things set up, I plan to shift misnomer to this server (from editthispage).

posted by dru
by Kendall

Greymatter looks pretty cool, Dru.

by Dru Jay

hmm, I wonder if I can edit comments of others.

by da fuking a$$ hole

aider moi jai besoin des photo de dubmatique svp si vous conneser un site ou on peut trouver des photo de dubmatique emailer moi a:

marci bye-xxx-

ps,,,jen ai besoin pour mon cour de french caliss

February 08, 2001
# Dang

Peter Merholz is interviewing Scott McCloud in March. I'm jealous. That "cultural implications of interface design" bit sounds interesting too. Too bad I have all of zero chance of going to SXSW this year.

posted by dru
February 06, 2001
# I tore my mind on a jagged sky

I went to a teach-in about the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) summit that's coming up. Some activists from Quebec gave a great presentation. More later, but I thought I'd post my notes verbatim, just because I can, and because it'll take me a while to put this into some kind of publishable form. This is more or less what I wrote on my Palm Pilot (w/ keyboard) at the meeting, with links added hastily thanks to Google.


Ethyl: produces MMT, an additive which makes gas more efficient.. but: cancer-causing. Canada says: ban it. Nope. Chapter 11 sez: Ban that Canada posed was "discriminatory". Ethyl *threatens* to take it to tribunal. Canuck govn't backs down, gives Ethyl 20 Million for lost profits.

Methanex: California finds gas additive bad for fresh water, bans. Same thing. Methanex sues, California gives $900 million for lost profits.

Metalclad: wants to build plant for toxic waste. Local officials shut it down, Metalclad sues, gets $25 million for lost profit, builds plant..

Sunbelt Water: fresh water's not a commodity... yet under NAFTA, if water could conceiveably be a commodity in the future (under the FTAA, maybe), then it can sue for lost profits now.

Corpos don't have to reveal tribunals.
Chill effect: fear of getting sued.
Laws aren't being passed, and we don't know that they aren't.

Other stuff: "tourist activism" is unsustainable. "Summit hopping" is inefficient. Activism needs to be local and ongoing.. integrate it into our lives, not just have fun because some well to do activists can afford to. Stay local, yo.

What kind of democracy?

Oscar: targeted for being a part of student strike, political refugee.
Anyone who stands up for rights is harrassed and threatened. Kidnapped by army.

"they ask us things like 'do you advocate the overthrow of the american government', and we have to lie and say no."

colours of resistance - an organization
summit hopping
what moves us
where were the people of colour in Seattle?


Travelling the slow road to getting paid for content.

Jakob Nielsen, whose solipsistic jabbering is starting to annoy me, is featuring a new voluntary micropayment system from on his site.

Looks like it hooks into Amazon's server, and if you have an cookie from them, then there's no login process, which is nice, because with small payments, speed of transaction is essential. I just wish the graphic wasn't so big, ugly, and colour scheme-specific.

Here's the sign-up page. The service is US only. That sucks. The FAQ has some interesting details, though.

A really pressing problem with pageview-based automatic payment (which Jakob advocates): With a little javascript, who's to stop a site from popping up 300 windows and extorting a few bucks from any visitor who happens to drop by?

posted by dru
February 05, 2001
# Don't laugh but I thought I was a radical.

I thought I had some interesting links to post, but I changed my mind, and am going back to work on my grant application instead. 1:43am: finished.

Politics and the English Language, a pointed essay by George Orwell:

"This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing."

"The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness."

Whoops, 'got sidetracked reading Jessamyn's WTO protest journal entry. She took a bunch of pictures, too.

I watched The Big Lebowski last night. That is all the segue I can come up with to explain why I'm posting these lyrics. That, and the fact that this song was stuck in my head for a good part of the summer of '99, thanks to friends who were obsessed with the aforementionned movie. Bet ya thought Kenny Rogers only sang country music, eh?

Just Dropped In

(Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in)

I woke up this mornin' with the sundown shinin' in

I found my mind in a brown paper bag within

I tripped on a cloud and fell-a eight miles high

I tore my mind on a jagged sky

I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

(Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in)

I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in

I watched myself crawlin' out as I was a-crawlin' in

I got up so tight I couldn't unwind

I saw so much I broke my mind

I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

[psychedelic guitar instrumental break]

(Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in)

Someone painted "April Fool" in big black letters on a "Dead End" sign

I had my foot on the gas as I left the road and blew out my mind

Eight miles outta Memphis and I got no spare

Eight miles straight up downtown somewhere

I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

I said I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in
Yeah yeah oh-yeah

posted by dru
by jonathan

hi, got bored hanging around, whilst my girlfriend chats [flirts] with strange people [men] online, so i thought i'd surf the web at random. Typed in Kenny Roger's best song [i'm no country fan] by far and came up with you. [Actually Google has you on page 2, but I'm that bored].

Anyhoo, nice site, The Big L rocks like a bastard (that usually comes with a hand signal, where i come from, but i'll spare you). Oh yeah and do you Know what marmite is?

by jonathan

hi, got bored hanging around, whilest my girlfriend chats [flirts] with strange people [men] online, so i thought i'd surf the web at random. Typed in Kenny Roger's best song [i'm no country fan] by far and came up with you. [Actually Google has you on page 2, but I'm that bored].

Anyhoo, nice site, The Big L rocks like a bastard (that usually comes with a hand signal where i come from, but i'll spare you). Oh yeah, do you know what marmite is?

February 03, 2001
# Greed.

Thanks to Napster, I've started listening to Dar Williams. Funny, I've had friends who liked her music a lot for years, but it has never interested me until now.

The History of Unix.

I like books, and my birthday is fast approaching. Thus, I point to my wishlist. The list consists mostly of books that aren't in the library, or that I read often enough to care to own.

posted by dru
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
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 [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 Ah, back in the day.

posted by dru
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
December 31, 2000
# Heart of the Sun

Jessamyn's trip to Alaska spawned an interesting little series of photos and commentary.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that I've recently been ranting about 'Mcluhan-esque patches' not being feasible sources of positive social change (at least not on their own), this passage from Phil Agre's latest notes and recommendations made me feel all giddy:

Large numbers of .com companies are trading for well under $1 a share. It wouldn't cost much to buy them all and shut them down. But it's okay: every important new technology goes through this stock-bubble phase, transferring wealth from the dumb to the quick. The point is to get back to the democratic vision of the Internet that was common sense before the failed experiment with the advertiser-supported Web got started. There's nothing wrong with someone making an honest buck on the Internet, of course. What's wrong is identifying the making of bucks as the essence of the medium.

posted by dru
December 29, 2000
# I'm on your side.

The Case Against Micropayments. Interesting, but I'm not convinced Mr. Shirky is right. He is right that the single toughest thing about micropayments is getting the infrastucture in place, which is gonna be real hard.

Scott McCloud's little visual essay on 'trails' is worth a second look.

The Snowman, a well-fed, dominating, patriarchal male who symbolizes patriarchal control of public space, and is always white. Next up: snow angels are symbolic of female submissiveness, or something.

Maybe, but there are better ways of smashing patriarchy. What's a pop culture critic to do..?

posted by dru
December 25, 2000
# Consume! Consume! Consume! ok.

Merry Christmas, or Happy Consumerism, whichever you choose to celebrate.

For some reason, I set up a wishlist at Maybe because it will tell you about some books that I think are cool, but don't have yet

posted by dru
December 23, 2000
# Seattle

I spent the day in Seattle yesterday, hanging out at Left Bank books and the Speakeasy Cafe. In the evening, I met up with Dave Grenier, and chatted about anarchism, social justice, eco-fascism, and the internet. Later on, we talked to Jessamyn, who seems to know a whole lot of the people whose weblogs I read. Here also, we chatted about politics and weblogs.

It occured to me that weblogs, insofar as they are a self-referential scenester* thing, are pretty useless, and generally don't fulfill their promise of really filtering what's on the web. However, I reckon they're still a pretty worthwhile phenomenon (from my narrow perspective) because they create a sort of infrastructure of participatory media which could facilitate an alternative to mainstream media. Kind of a McLuhan-esque point, I guess: what people use the medium for is less important than the kind of communication which becomes possible in that medium. It remains to be seen whether it will be used in a 'revolutionary' way. That's probably wishful thinking on my part.

*David had some interesting things to say about "scene" culture. What I got from his comments was that "scenes" are more about belonging to a group with shared values (however shallow the actual practice of those values), and less about doing something because it is interesting in and of itself.

I just finished reading bell hooks' Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics. Excellent book, and short and easy to read, too. hooks has a way of making very powerful ideas come across in very easy to understand terms. Funny thing, though, I noticed a remarkable number of typos. Maybe it was a vindictive printer.

(Quibble: I'd link to Powell's, since they have less evil policies and a unionized staff, but I find that Amazon almost universally has better information about books, mostly because of customer reviews. Seeing as my intention in linking to a book is to point to where more information is available, I link to Amazon. Maybe if there was a script that would generat the following: 'read about it at Amazon, buy it at Powell's'.)

posted by dru
December 18, 2000
# Back in the Evergreen state

I'm back in Washington (state) until January, visiting parents and friends. Give me a call if you're in the area.

On the flight from Toronto to Seattle, I saw Chicken Run. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised, but boy, did they pack in the references and allusions. Geek that I am, I started writing them down on my Palm Pilot while I was watching. Without reading too much into it, I caught textual references to the World Wars, Marxism, women's rights, unions, various pop culture analyses, war time swing dancers or "flappers", western plot formats, and the notion of rhetoric without wisdom, as well as obvious visual references to Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Star Trek, and James Bond. I suppose it epitomized what is referred to these days as a "pastiche". And that's just the stuff I caught in my sleep-deprived haze of travel.

I saw The Hustler last night. Amazingly good movie; Newman's had a lot of verve, and the character acting and dialog were excellent. I was reminded that there was indeed a time when it was ok to make well crafted, complex movies without happy endings. Nowadays, I'm positive there's some Hollywood exec standing by, ready to pull the purse strings to make sure that happy ending gets tacked on. I guess that's why I pretty much avoid Hollywood movies anymore. I'm a bit slow to catch on to these things sometimes.

Oh yeah, I'm all done with school for this term. Whew.

Sometimes I wonder whether the message about Iraq that I paste into the entry every day is relevant, but I'm quickly amazed that I would think that the US would let off. They won't.

Onion: Scrappy Band Of Lovable Misfits No Match For Rich Kids. Genius. The Onion has been really spot on these days.

posted by dru
December 15, 2000
# Set the controls for the heart of the sun

Nothing much to see here. Just studying for my last exam, worrying about getting the sculpture portfolio done for tommorrow, and contemplating free time soon to come. And listening to Pink Floyd. Eerie stuff.

The Daily Churn doesn't get nearly enough credit. I don't know many weblogs that let people post links through a chat interface, and let multiple participants add comments without leaving the chat window. I use it every day, but it still strikes me as pretty darned cool.

posted by dru
December 13, 2000
# Equal Protection

Kendall Clark on the disenfranchisement of Floridians. So that's why the Supreme Court decision made me feel sick (part of the reason, anyway). I just didn't know it yet.

That a state official, even from the negligibly sane Republic of Florida, would act in so blatantly hostile a manner, imperiling the most fundamental civic right afforded to Americans under law, is proof enough that the franchise remains embattled, tenuous, and in need of the Court's highest protection.

On Monday, I failed to mention that Kendall is the reason is up and running (not to mention hosted). Thanks Kendall.

posted by dru
December 11, 2000
# Bonobos

My new domain, is now up and running. It's nice and short. That's where I'll store all my personal web projects and knicknacks until DRU Megacorp Canada, ltd. sues me for using that domain. Then I'll move.

All I want for Christmas...

One exam down, three exams, a takehome test, and a sculpture portfolio to go. Four days to finish it all. And the pipes in my house ^H^H^H^H^H slumlord-owned wreck burst again, flooding two rooms. Life is gooooood.

I forgot to mention that Monkeyfist has a new mailing list, for articles and discussion, which is open to the general public. It's called Bonobos. Go join.

posted by dru
December 10, 2000
# No Justice, No Peace

An interesting essay on the "high water mark" of the 'digital revolution'. [via robotwisdom]

What I am saying is that I stopped believing that this Revolution would bring fundamental change–to prevent, for example, a jackass buffoon like George W. from becoming a serious candidate for the Oval Office.

Part of a series of essays, What Ever Happened to the Cyber Revolution, Parts I and II, in Signum, which looks like a really interesting zine.

I'm still feeling profoundly unsettled by the Supreme Court's (seemingly partisan) decision yesterday. I haven't been nervous that Bush is going to win, or Gore lose (otherwise I would have voted for him), so most of the Florida voting rhetoric hasn't really affected me, besides being a curiosity, and a good way to keep Democrats from demonizing Nader. But the second I read about the overturning of the decision to recount, I got scared, and I still am.

Because it means that the Supreme Court Justices have been sucked in to this power struggle. For me, this has some profound implications for democracy in this country. As thousands of people shout at every protest: "No Justice, No Peace".

And they're right.

This is what it looks like to me, at any rate. The second someone convinces me otherwise, or I read something that does, I'll post here. I'd really love to be proven wrong.

posted by dru
December 09, 2000
# Our Political System

When a large amount of power is up for grabs, things get really, really ugly. The Supreme court is split because of party lines, rather than questions of justice, and it makes me feel kind of sick.

This story about Republicans in Washington state being pissed off that party funds were not spent on campaigns raises a quite different issue for me. Namely, that money = votes. The Republicans mentionned in the article seem convinced that if they had spent more money on their campaign, they could have won. I'm sure this is all very 'normal', but what does this say about our electoral system?

Apparently, elections aren't won, but bought. I doubt this is news to many people, but I find it hard to believe that the obvious nature of the problem it any less outrageous. [link via rebeccablood]

Users who downloaded songs by Rage Against the Machine were bannen from Napster, but apparently, no one asked the band before proceeding.

posted by dru
December 08, 2000
# Estonia

The Standard: Estonia, the little country that could.

What gets me about the whole election kerfuffle is that through all this, no one is questioning the meaning of the actual votes. Since it's a winner takes all format, whoever refuses to vote for the two people most likely to win is essentially disenfranchised. Of course, if ballots had a first choice, second choice system, then the intentionality of the voters would be heard loud and clear. But it's not.

I'm sure there are a lot of problems with giving voters two choices (or are there? I don't know), but the current system simply doesn't communicate the intentions or values of the voters. Otherwise, Gore (slightly less evil though he is) would have won. Though I have significant trouble caring, unless I narrow my perspective considerably...

posted by dru
December 07, 2000
# Starbucks, continued

I got a reply to the letter I sent to Starbucks yesterday, and since I'm too busy trying to think about studying to post anything else, here is their response and my reply.

Interesting interview with the guy from at WriteTheWeb.

posted by dru
December 06, 2000
# Starbucks

Today was the 11th Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. A good reason to think about violence against women.

A letter:


From: Dru Oja Jay <>

[please forward appropriately]

Dear Starbucks,

This message is to let you know that I am, as of now, no longer patronizing Starbucks establishments. Furthermore, I will make a small but significant effort to inform others of Starbucks' corporate practices.

The practices to which I refer have to do with the lawsuit your corporation has filed, described here:

While it is possible that Starbucks has some kind of technical legal precedent for filing this lawsuit, the fact is that your actions only serve to limit artistic freedom in the United States. While it may be common practice among corporating to "slap" a lawsuit on anyone who makes fun of them, the act itself is no less outrageous to myself or anyone else who believes in artistic freedom or freedom of speech.


Dru Oja Jay

posted by dru
December 05, 2000
# bday

Today is the one year birthday of misnomer. Well, technically it was yesterday, since I'm posting this at 12:01am. was originally only going to be a sixty day demo, but then it got extended.

I originally had lofty goals for writing about web theory type stuff, but I often left ideas pretty unexplained, for various reasons.

A whole year of posting almost-daily. Wow.


Still working on the essay that was due a week ago. Dang.

posted by dru
December 03, 2000
# tears of a seasick crocodile

John Haney took this great photo of myself (middle), Sylvia (left), and "Strong John" Kilpatrick pouring bronze. Bronze pours are always a good way to take some time off from studying and get dirty. They're rare enough to be special, but frequent enough to keep one sane.

The text on the wall behind us reads: "the Etruscans were bad welders at best... don't be an Etruscan."

posted by dru
December 02, 2000
# contemplate the silent freeway

David Grenier has some thoughts about the anniversary of the WTO protests.

...if we're serious about social change we need to build local grassroots movements that will do the dull and difficult day-to-day nuts and bolts organizing work. These organizations need to be controlled by the people most effected by whatever situation they are fighting be it police brutality, unfair wages, or water pollution.


The Argosy and CHMA both had parties last night, and I'm darned tired, so I'm listening to Vennaskond to stay awake.

Some thoughts:

We keep forgetting that the presidential election is already decisively undemocratic. We've known this since the primaries, when we found out that what really matters is money and backing from powerful people (i.e. money).

A trend that keeps popping up in my readings of Thucydides and Xenophon is justice vs. expedieny. Funny thing is, the two tend to get mixed up. For example, when debating whether to kill or enslave an entire city, the guy arguing for it will appeal to justice, whereas the guy who thinks the people shouldn't die appeals to expediency.

Something quite similar pops up in the present day. When we talk about universal health care as a good thing, it's generally from the point of view of expediency - "it'll be good for poor people", or whatever. What we miss is that health care can ends up costing less per capita in countries where the government provides it, plus they serve more people, regardless of economic status.

posted by dru
November 28, 2000
# fashionably late

As you probably know, I have, for the past six months, been running an experiment in collaborative environmental news with Blue Green. Recently, I haven't been updating it a whole lot, and neither has anyone else.

So I'm almost ready to give up on it, when Craig Jensen (of Booknotes fame) posts a link, and I get all excited. No big effort, just a relevant link. And I get to remembering all the reasons I started the site. I'm afraid to expand on that, as I might end up writing an essay, which will have to wait until I finish the ones I am obligated to finish.

Ola has a new design, and he might even be updating now and then. (psst, Ola, your html documents need title's).

Now that I have referers logs, I can feel warm and fuzzy about contributing to the mass of collective knowledge on the internet on a semi-regular basis. For example, someone who searches for information about the comic strip Norb, then they'll find the entry in misnomer that I wrote on the day I tried to find information about the Norb strip, the worthwhile parts of which I linked to.

That saves those people the hassle of digging up all the same links that I plowed through.

Warm. Fuzzy.

posted by dru
by phentermine

Nice site. Keep up the good work.

November 27, 2000
# election

I voted in the Canadian election today. Apparently, Parliament races are decided by less than 100 votes sometimes. Maybe that means my vote matters more. Or something.

Updates will be sparse for the rest of this week, due to the unreasonable amount of work I am expected to complete before the end of the term.

posted by dru
November 24, 2000
# procrastination

This week's issue of the Argosy is up.

The NY Times with a bit of thinly-veiled propaganda on GM Rice, though perhaps unwittingly.

If we're worried about kids starving, there are a whole lot of things we could do about it. Right now. However, our "representatives" routinely vote against putting any real resources (res: money) into such an effort. But if it'll validate our technology, it's ok, right?

I've argued this before.

I'm working (planning to work on, anyway) a paper outlining the objections to the use of Genetic Engineering in food and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, I'm procrastinating...

...And listening to "The best (and the first) in overproduced, epic prog rock". That being King Crimson's debut album, "In the Court of the Crimson King". (links to a review)

Here's an interesting in-depth analysis of the title track. It's kind of overwhelming.

The yellow jester does not play

But gentle pulls the strings

And smiles as the puppets dance

In the court of the crimson king.

posted by dru
November 22, 2000
# Snow! (Back from NYC)

Just got back from New York City, where Sylvia and I spent a few days visiting some friends and staying out of Sackville.

'Twas relaxing, but now I have three substantial papers to write in the next ten days, and a presentation due tommorrow.

That means that I can't remember most of the things I've been meaning to write here for the past three days, because my head is filled with school-induced madness.

In other news, I bought a sweet little keyboard for my Palm Pilot. It folds up to the size of a walkman, but it's a full size keyboard. So now I never have excuses not to be writing my essays.

posted by dru
November 16, 2000
# Sun!

The sun came out for the first time in three weeks today. Seriously.

That, and I turned in a monster essay, went and saw some very impressive artwork by my friends and fellow students, and tonight, I'm off to New York. Whee.

posted by dru
November 15, 2000
# A good cause

Hehe. This Hour Has 22 Minutes, a Canadian news parody show (the ones who asked George W. about Prime Minister Jean Poutine's comments) are running a petition to force Stockwell Day to change his first name to Doris.

Apparently, the following song about Day aired on the CBC recently:

Stockwell Day, he'll do what's right

As long as you're rich, as long as you're white.

Stockwell Day, he'll never fail.

As long as you're straight, as long as you're male.

If you don't know or don't care about Canada, the Prime Minister is Jean Chretien, Poutine is a snack consisting of fries, gravy, and cheese, and Stockwell Day is the leader of the "Canadian Alliance", the new right wing party. Cut health care, cut taxes, cut spending, cut throats... er, something like that.

I must commend The Onion for their election coverage. They are truly cutting edge.

posted by dru
November 13, 2000
# Argosy?

I forgot to mention last week's Argosy.

For that issue, I updated my RIAA Boycott piece to be a little more readable.

posted by dru
November 12, 2000
# Hypermedia

The Hypermedia Design Pattern Repository looks like an interesting idea.


posted by dru
November 11, 2000
# It is remembrance day.

israeli protest:

Indymedia Israel has a lot of great coverage of Israel/Palestine violence and protests. Though I have a hard time using the word great in that context. Check out the Amnesty International press releases.

It's remembrance day here in Canada, and I'm having a hard time seperating those who died from those who are dying, or worse. I suppose the distinction should be made, but I'm having trouble making it.

It's Veteran's Day, too.

If, like me, you're a US citizen, you might have a little trouble hearing that about 2 billion of our tax dollars go to Israel annually.

Oh yeah, and both candidates seem to not mind what is going on (they both support Israel fully). Justice? Nah.

I suppose this is politics (I seem to remember I was going to stop talking about that), but at least it's social justice, and not corrupt party leaders spewing forth.

posted by dru
November 10, 2000
# Cerfin' UK

Vint Cerf, "the father of the internet" speaks in London.

It is like an anthill, you watch any particular ant for a day, and it won't do much but every now and then one or two will do something really fascinating. So it is on the Internet: sometimes people, given the freedom to experiment, will do something really interesting.

OTOH, it is truly amazing how *little* experimentation is done these days, relative to how much territory is left to be explored. Like a herd more than an anthill.

Some politics: Slate: "Earth to both campaigns: You do not want to open this can of worms." Matthew Miller argues that the best way for the election to be resolved is for Republican reps in the electoral college to exercise their constitutional right to *not* vote for who was popularly elected in their state.

If the can of worms gets opened, I don't see how anyone will ever be happy. Ironically, it does make me happy that our democratic process is being closely examined and criticised. All we need now is for that criticism to be applied more broadly.

A number of arguments for keeping the electoral college, though I'm not sure how sound they are.

Kevin Murphy has some interesting thoughts on the election, and a lot of links. Go read what he said.

Oh yeah, and there are two good pieces at Monkeyfist.

Dang. I got sucked in to talking about politics again. I guess going cold turkey was a little too hard.

posted by dru
November 09, 2000
# Remembrance day

It's Remembrance Day weekend here in Canada. With that in mind, here's a poem: Dulce Et Decorum Est (Pro patria mori)., by Wilfred Owen.

"It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."

posted by dru
by phentermine

Nice site. Keep up the good work.

November 08, 2000
# McCloud is back

Whew. I'm gonna hold off on the politics for a while.

Scott McCloud has released his fourth instance of "I can't stop thinking", his online column about artistic creation (specifically comics, but his observations certainly have value beyond the comic universe) on the web.

E-Sheep has some pretty interesting made-for-the-web comics/art.

Edd Dumbhill's explanation of the Semantic Web provides some help for those of us who really don't know anything about it.

Ann Clark, a researcher at the University of Guelph has written some thought-provoking papers on Genetic Engineering in crops, why it isn't necessary, and why it's dangerous.

I'm interviewing her next week, so if you have any questions about Genetically Modified food, send them along:

posted by dru
November 07, 2000
# Elections

Monkeyfist: Live Election Results Coverage. Reload early, reload often.

The cool cats at Monkeyfist will be watching the election returns all day today and commenting on them in their IRC channel.

Point your IRC client to, port 6667, and join channel #mf.

Oh yeah, and go vote today. Remember, if you weren't planning on voting at all, a vote for Nader is nothing but just that. (i.e. not a vote for Bush).

Vote for who you think is best, but please keep in mind that there are two parties who are explicitly opposed to a fair democratic process, and one that explicitly supports them.

That, and Gore and Bush both support the war on drugs, US imperialism, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. The list goes on. That, and both major parties have accepted millions of dollars of corporate money to support their campaigns.

You've most likely heard it all. But please vote.

posted by dru
November 05, 2000
# Back online

I now have internet access at home again. Given the amount of material I'm expected to read *carefully* for my classes, this isn't necessarily a good thing. Moderation, always moderation.

posted by dru
November 03, 2000
# Referers

I finally found the link to Mike Moore's open letter to Al Gore. Yowza!

Look, Al, you have screwed up -- big time. By now, you should have sent that smirking idiot back to Texas with a copy of "Hooked on Phonics" in his hands. You should have wiped the floor with him during the three debates. But you didn't. And now your people are calling ME, asking ME to do the job YOU'VE failed to do!

More Moore: Three strikes and you're out, Mr. Bush.

Alexander Cockburn on Al Gore and blaming Nader. Very good stuff.

Cool. Now you and I can see where visitors to misnomer come from. I had no idea that so many people visited the site from search engines.

I saw East-West (Est-Ouest) last night. A French film about Russian exiles returning to a Soviet Russia. Quite worthwhile.

posted by dru
November 01, 2000
# More Politics

Bijan Parsia wrote about selling out and voter disloyalty.

posted by dru
October 31, 2000
# little Hitlers

The sordid affair of a man battling his neighbors for the right to house stray animals. I for one have a hard time sympathizing with people who buy $200,000 homes and feel the need to impose all kinds of regulations on their neighbors. Mostly because their causes are supported with reasoning like this:

"I'm upset because my daughter asked me what [the sign] means," said Deborah Greener, 47, who lives next door to the MacFaddens. "I'm not sure what it means myself, what kind of statement are they trying to make."

I'm upset because I'm confused. God, the world is caving in. Yes, I'm feeling a little angst-y this morning.

posted by dru
October 29, 2000
# Palestine Again.

A petition. (thanks to Jeremy Bushnell for the link)

Mr. Gore, we believe that your candidacy will spoil the election nationally for Ralph Nader and the army of citizen activists fighting to end two-party, corporate control of our democracy.

A Metafilter discussion about Palestine. Pro-palestinianism is being equated with anti-semitism, which is bizarre and Orwellian.

Frankly, I don't see how anyone in their right mind (Jewish or not) can support Israel's position.

A chronology of the Zionist/Arab conflict.

posted by dru
October 28, 2000
# Feel the Fear!

Everyone is up in arms about Nader throwing the election to Bush. Great! Instead of voting for Nader, who is the only candidate to explicitly be interested in rebuilding the democratic process, vote for Gore... who is, uh, better than Dubya.

Or is he? Perhaps we need a cure for Dubyaphobia. In brief, the following points, popular among fearmongers, are popularly (but pointlessly) pointed to as reasons to fear voting for Nader:

Anti-abortion activist Supreme Court Justices. Actually, the two most anti-abortion Justices were unanimously approved by Democratic Congresspeople. Gore has, among other pro-life sentiment, voted against abortion in the case of rape.

Universal Health Insurance. Wait! Didn't Clinton promise the same thing? Gore only wants to take "small steps", which are in themselves meaningless without Congressional support.

Campaign finance reform, by necessity, can't be seriously addressed by anyone in the two major parties. To get that far, it's necessary to bend the rules in order to have enough money to keep winning elections.

I won't go on. I hardly want to tell anyone how to vote, just like everyone else. However, seeing things how they are, I simply can't imagine how anyone could, with a grasp of the facts, vote for Bush or Gore.

Before you vote, go read this article. If you still vote for Gore, email me (, I'd love to know why you did.

One other point that shouldn't be discounted: if Gore wants the Progressive vote, there's no reason he shouldn't have to do something to actually earn it.

I wonder if I'll stop talking about Politics so much once the election is over..?

posted by dru
October 27, 2000
# eBay

This week's Argosy is online, with a great cover (as usual).

Suprisingly enough, the Argosy's Bitch page has interesting content this year (in stark, stark contrast to previous years).

Salon: Doomed by eBay.

Just in case anyone was wondering, Misnomer wholeheartedly endorses Ralph Nader for President. He's the only candidate that is explicitly interested in real democracy.

In fact, I just sent in my absentee ballot today.

NYTimes: Mr. Nader's Electoral Mischief.

The country deserves a clear up-or-down vote between Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore, who have waged a hard, substantive and clean campaign.

Who are they kidding? A few issues that both candidates support:
  • starving/killing Iraqis
  • corporate globalization
  • the death penalty
  • little or even less environmental regulation
  • Israel's slaughter of Palestinians. (aka "the peace process")

In the debates, Gore stated: "our military is the strongest in the world. I pledge to do whatever is neccessary to make it stay that way".

Nautilus, a Linux GUI, "provides higher level views through its component architecture". With what look like some pretty cool possibilities.

I wonder if the Mnemonic browser project has died..?

David Grenier noticed that my micropayments article shows up first on Google. But in the last ten minutes, it has changed position considerably, a bunch of different times. Is it Google's dynamic nature, or a malfunction? Erk. now it's on the first page again!

posted by dru
October 25, 2000
# Gold is the corpse of value

A Metafilter thread about stupid drug laws. I wonder if anyone from Congress read tha... no wait, don't answer that.

posted by dru
by online poker

side projects / splinter groups), the results online casinos are rarely as satisfying, whether or not you (as online gambling the listener) are expecting the same music. I find bingo that to be true. Another thing that seems related casino to me: when the focus of a band is several different online casino songwriters writing their own material and alternately online bingo using the rest of the band as back-up or as session blackjack musicians (and even more noticeably when a band blackjack has initially been more of the collabourative, holistic baccarat

October 23, 2000
# Gold is the corpse of value

Here's a great interview with Kim Stanley Robinson, that most well read of Sci-Fi authors.

...human civilization is in need of a sense of project in history, and while the obvious project is to make a decent civilization for all humans, going into space might help that project, directly and indirectly. It has a spectacular quality that is encouraging, and the value of comparative planetology to managing the Earth's environment is very high.

A History of the Twentieth Century, with Illustrations, a novelette, by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Books by KSR at Amazon. Ooh - The Martians (an addendum to the Mars Trilogy) is out in Hardcover.

Another interview.

posted by dru
October 22, 2000
# Maniacal Editor II - the spin

When I wrote this news story for the Argosy, I was a little unsettled when the editor added an introductory paragraph and changed the headline such that it changed the tone of the story, which bears my name. However, I shrugged it off - editors do these things, no big deal.

However, what Business 2.0 did, and what I've heard the NY Times has done - that is, change the entire story to present an entirely different point of view - is pretty scary. I can only see such abuse of editorial power making the author-editor relationship even more adversarial and suspicious, and that kinda defeats the purpose. [via camworld]

posted by dru
October 20, 2000
# Palestine

What's really happening in Palestine. Oof. Wow. Ick. Yes folks, our news media is really that corrupt.

This is wierd. Oja is my middle name, so when I noticed that was due to expire in September, I thought I'd check back and try to register it. September came and went, and the domain hasn't expired. It still says:

Record last updated on 06-Oct-1998.

Record expires on 26-Sep-2000.

Record created on 25-Sep-1997.

Database last updated on 20-Oct-2000 14:14:26 EDT.

So it expired a while ago, but the same guy still owns it? I don't get it. update: Cam just happened to post this link yesterday.

In addition, the firm's press release says that NSI has "implemented a unilateral policy of refusing to delete expired domain names from the WHOIS database."


You can read The Pravda in English. (via girlhacker)

I wonder what this site or this site are about..?

I no longer have internet access at home (at least for the next two weeks), so I'm spending more time on campus. That, the two essays I need to write, and this weekend's bronze pour might result in less updates.

Then again, procrastination is a powerful thing.

posted by dru
October 18, 2000
# Representative Democracy

Kendall Clark: Presidential Debates, Town Halls, and the Corporate Assault on American Democracy.

The radically asymmetrical access to political representation afforded corporate persons and ordinary human persons is the single most harmful trend in American politics today. It daily erodes whatever lingering measure of authenticity may have remained in the decaying corpse of American representative democracy as few as 30 years ago.

George Woodcock (a Canadian intellectual with an unfortunate name) once remarked that it is truly unfortunate that representative democracy and direct democracy are called by the same name, as they are different in every way. Except he said it more eloquently.

I couldn't agree more.

posted by dru
October 16, 2000
# Gored by Bull

The Onion: Pantene Introduces New Behavioral Conditioner. B.F. Skinner would be proud.

There are a lot of reasons to hate Al Gore, but smearing him for saying he invented the internet isn't one of them. Starting with the fact that he never used the word invent.

"during my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet"

The problem, of course, was that Gore's claim was correct. As the Internet's scientific leaders attest, often heatedly, Gore recognized
the significance of the Internet very early, and took the initiative in doing the political work and articulating the public vision that made the Internet possible.

Wierd. According to Drudge, Gore has a history of being anti-gay.

posted by dru
October 15, 2000
# The discourse of tech manuals

Sylvia's mathematical sculpture can now be viewed online. She spent this last summer working on art that incorporated mathematical shapes, patterns, and ideas into sculpture. The result is pretty interesting.

Phil Agre: Designing genres for digital media. "Each genre implies a particular sort of audience and a particular sort of activity."

Steven Feuerstein wrote an interesting piece on the political nature of the examples used in technical manuals. "I also believe that almost every technology book we buy and read is full of politics." [via htp]

I find that, in the United States, very few people are willing to talk "politics." It is, along with the topic of money and sex, generally veered away from in trepidation. Better to comment on the weather and sports.

How often do you see real political debate, crossing the entire spectrum, taking place? How often do you hear a member of the media truly challenge politicians and business "leaders" to justify their policies and actions?

posted by dru
October 14, 2000
# Classmates

To Feel Like a Woman, by Carole Ferrari.

I recieved an email from a guy at who read my micropayments article, and mentionned that PayPal's US-only limitation will soon be overcome.

Further indicating the recent revival of the micropayment meme, the Industry Standard has an article about some (IMHO) mediocre technologies.

Neil Postman in NY Times' article on McLuhan: "McLuhan's questions were generally more interesting than his answers."

"For a discipline like media studies, he makes for a weak founding father because he was wrong so much of the time," said Mitchell Stephens, a professor of journalism at NYU

The article concludes with a really weak argument against technological determinism:

said Ms. Jackaway, a member of the defeated anti- McLuhan group. "I am a firm believer that human beings invent machines, that from the beginning there is intention, that the way we use them is mostly the result of human and political decisions.

The implication here is that everyone who uses machines fully understands the implications of their limitations and extensions, and furthermore, that the users of technology have explicit control over the structure that technology imposes by its very use. McLuhan argued - rightly, to a certain extent - that the only people who can make their intentions expressed through media are those who have explicit knowledge of their medium: artists, writers, and those who really know the ins and outs of a given medium.

I registered at today, and was suprised to see a few members of my graduating class listed there. The site could stand to offer a lot more basic features, though. For instance, adding URL's to profiles, and noting how many discussion group messages there are before you click on the link.

posted by dru
October 13, 2000
# Voltaire's Bastards

I went and saw John Ralston Saul speak this morning. He was in town with his 'consort', Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson (whew). As the name might indicate, they were there with a huge entourage, with university presidents, fine arts profs, and various assistants.

Given this context, I thought it was pretty cool that Saul specially requested to speak to some students. If he hadn't, I most likely wouldn't have known he was there.

He gave a 15 minute speech on democracy and citizenship, and then left the remaining 45 minutes open for questions. I wish I had time to go over what he talked about, but in short, he stressed participation in the political process (and cheap education) as essential to building a healthy democracy.

Not too far off from alot of Nader's Concord Principles.

posted by dru
October 12, 2000
# Intellectual Wrongs and Intellectual Lefts

CBC's The National interviewed Fidel Castro. Castro was in town for Pierre Trudeau's funeral.

Tipster and look like interesting sites.

Looks like there's a bit of interest in gift economies these days, which is cool.

O'Reilly's Seven Golden Rules for Building Community overlaps a bit with Howard Rheingold's Art of Hosting Good Conversations Online, and has some interesting ideas.

posted by dru
October 10, 2000
# Abortion

Randomwalks makes it clear that a vote for Gore is not a vote for abortion rights. So I can't vote for Gore for human rights, abortion, or the environment (though Dubya would be worse). What's left?

Every time I talk to someone about fip, I get kinda excited about it again. I've started working on a bit more.

posted by dru
October 09, 2000
# Gato Negro

Why Dubya can't read.

Here's a scenario: oil is discovered under an old victorian seaport, with cultural and historical significance. There's a pretty good chance that there would be some kind of petition to get it saved, and it would more than likely work. More likely, oil companies wouldn't consider drilling there in the first place.

Now, what if those people have brown skin, live far away, and feel so strongly about the cultural significance of the place that they decide that mass suicide is better than watching their land be bulldozed? I guess there's nothing we can do, right?

Oh yeah, and here's another scenario: Al Gore, the presidential candidate, owns shares in the company that's doing the killing, and hasn't done anything to divest himself of this obvious conflict of interest, much less address it publicly. But he's the lesser of two evils, so we gotta vote for him anyway, right?

posted by dru
October 08, 2000
# Ye olde TG

It's thanksgiving here in Canada, so I have a three day weekend, but I have to read 200 pages of Herodotus and Plato's Phaedo, so I'm not sure it really counts as a break.

This page uses an annotation system that is a lot like FIP, but not quite as refined in its design. I say this because the original designs for FIP looked a lot like that page, until I thought of ways to simplify the design.

I went out dancing at the campus Pub with some friends last night. It never ceases to surprise me how many people are out at any given time, looking for love. It seems that they're all looking in the right place, but I would venture that they're going about it in the wrong way.

Carole's editorial touches on this a bit. A philosophy prof says we're Puritans. I'm not inclined to disagree, given the empirical evidence at hand. That is, the nightly emotionally hollow "picking up" that goes on.

From what I've seen and heard, people are really lonely, or at least insecure. They don't spend a lot of time thinking about it, preferring to do something about it, so insofar as people can't be expected to think, the situation is understandable.

I think it's the formulaic aspect that bugs me. The same 20 songs, the same alcohol, the same crowded dance floor, the same clothes, and the same ambiance all result in what everyone wants. I guess.

In other news, I'm constructing a massive slug for sculpture class, and I baked two apple pies today.

posted by dru
October 05, 2000
# Eesti voit

This week's Argosy has been posted online. I wrote an article this time, though it's not liable to be too interesting unless you're in Sackville.

Kendall Clark looks at the Olympics, critically.

Despite the fact that I'm opposed to the Olympics, I have to be happy for the Estonian guy who won the decathalon. That article is in Estonian, but there's a good picture.

posted by dru
October 04, 2000
# Anaximander

Boy Scouts take a lickin' and keep on discriminatin'.

Utne Reader: People in materialistic societies are less happy.

Randomwalks has been doing a good job of keeping track of interesting stuff on NPR, which is good, because I only get CBC and CHMA here in Sackville. Not that those radio stations are bad. :>

Peterme discusses Mcluhan and Innis briefly.

Voice of the Shuttle: Theory and Research on Hypertext.

posted by dru
October 01, 2000
# structured creation

This week's Argosy is online, with a very cool cover.

Jakob Nielsen talks about structured creation for a paragraph. This is something I'm really interested in, but haven't got around to writing about. Structured interaction too. A great deal of the web (and almost all net-based interaction) is free-form, but it all has an implicit structure. What we need to do is understand that stucture and how it works, and more importantly, establish what is possible, and what is effective in different contexts. Real soon now, there will be a website which deals with this.

This morning on CHMA, Paul Griffin reminded me of yet another reason to be critical (or at least skeptical) of the Olympics: time spent sitting on the couch watching professional athletes could perhaps be better spent playing catch in the back yard, or going to see a local (amateur) hockey team.

But really, who am I to argue with the "Star System"?

posted by dru
September 29, 2000
# ah, the olympics

13 Good Reasons to Hate the Olympics gave me more than enough reasons. Go read it.

The Olympic Games: a good excuse for Fascism (tm). Free speech? Nah. You gotta pay for it.

The Sydney Indymedia Center.

Trudeau dead at 80. Wow.

I saw the best minds of my occupation destroyed by venture capital, burned-out, paranoid, postal...

Different ways of dealing with entertainment.

Things are getting veritably insane over here. I've got a lot to do.

posted by dru
September 27, 2000
# oral tradition

From the forthcoming 'Dru's big book of tenuous aphorisms':

How interesting an internet project is varies inversely with its potential profitability.

There are two kinds of local business owners. The kind that loves what they do are found in diminishing quantities

posted by dru
September 26, 2000
# reductio ad absurdum

Libertarianism makes you stupid [Via Daily Churn]

Compare the choice of photographs between this story, from the BBC, and this one from CorpWatch. What makes violence so interesting that it gets covered to the exclusion of massive peaceful protests?

Infoanarchy is covering the death of intellectual property.

posted by dru
September 24, 2000
# A Wall

Clinton, Albright, others, sentenced to 20 years in jail for war crimes. Too bad this trial was conducted by Milosevic, as that seems to rob it of its credibility.

However, if such a trial were conducted in a more credible context (the context reuters places it in), I doubt the results would be any less harsh.

A thread about democratizing media with lots of good links is happening over at metafilter.

Democratizing the Mass Media: an assessment and a proposal. payed record companies a few hundred million dollars to carry some of their music. How much went to artists? Zero.

Support artists. Boycott the RIAA.

I just picked up Pink Floyd's The Wall Live double album. I would have downloaded it and sent money to directly to the artists, but I'm out of hard drive space, and the cool photos that comes with it make it a little more valuable in tangible form.

posted by dru
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September 22, 2000
# Argosy

I posted a buncha stuff to Blue Green.

This year's first issue of the Argosy is online, using my new design. Comments welcome.

Kendall criticized what I said yesterday. He was right. I suffer from a side effect of low-friction publishing: not saying what I mean.

posted by dru
September 21, 2000
# Canuck Academia

Canadian Academics object to their work being sold by Contentville. They say:

"The public has already paid for our research with their tax dollars. We don't feel anybody should be making a profit on the selling of theses"

So do they plan to offer them online for free? If tax dollars paying for research is the basis of the decision, then there's really no excuse for not providing the theses in a medium where publishing costs the reader next to nothing.

posted by dru
September 19, 2000
# Capital

I just finished a day packed solid from 10am to 10pm with classes, meetings, projects, and a bit of stress. And now I can't sleep.

The Register examines the insanity that is the Olympics. What a crock. Why o why o why is this tolerated? It's completely nuts. It's capitalism.

In another forum, someone mentionned the importance of quantitative differences. For example, in copyright law, the difference between sending a few paragraphs of a book and sending a chapter matters a lot in terms of legality.

In an abstract sense, capitalism is the same way. Money is a useful medium of exchange on a relatively small scale. It provides incentives to provide a quality product or a reliable service. However, when you try to say that money provides the same incentives on an exponentially larger scale, things tend to fall apart much more quickly. Control of the market, manipulation of demand, and the subversion of culture become economically incentivized.

From there, things just get bad. It doesn't look like it, because it seems that we're getting what we want. Problem is, society has already been set up to want tangible, profit-making items. Capitalism can't fulfill a demand for less stuff.

If culture and commerce stayed at a reasonable distance from each other, capitalism could work nicely. Except that staying away from culture is inimical to capitalism as we know it.

In other words, there have to be strict limits to what meta levels capital can affect in order for it to be beneficial to society. For instance, exclusive control of, say food distribution on a college campus should not be put up for sale. Marriott owns these rights here in Sackville.

Those are my thoughts on capitalism.

posted by dru
September 18, 2000
# Nader
posted by dru
September 17, 2000
# Genocide

Here's a syllogism - you provide the conclusion:

    Genocide is "the systematic killing of a racial or cultural group."

    The United States and Britain are systematically killing Iraqi people.

    The Iraqi people are a cultural group.

    Therefore: __________

And we thought that was just for Nazis!

Factual note: no, we're not just targeting weapons; the UN has withheld chlorine and other necessary elements for drinkable water, and dams have been bombed (leaving flood control and irrigation capacities damaged). Furthermore, we (that's "we", in the sense that our democratically elected governments are doing this) have denied Iraqi doctors access to medical journals since 1993.

What could denying access to medical information possibly be good for, except for systematically killing a whole population?

It is a truly sad and evil thing we are doing.

posted by dru
September 15, 2000
# red... no wait, blue! aaaauuuuuugghhh..

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

I remember commenting that one of the more potent metaphors that The Matrix represented was the collective illusions we hold as a society. Otherwise known as Concensual Realities. [via eatonweb]

posted by dru
September 14, 2000
# /., ideal democracy.

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

First Monday: Slashdot and the Public Sphere.

My web surfing has become book reading to a large extent (probably a good thing). Last night, I started in on Herodotus and some Presocratics. I also did some figurative sculpture yesterday, which is darned hard. All indications lead me to believe that this is going ot be a fun (if a bit strenuous) term.

posted by dru
September 11, 2000
# Love the glam.

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

A better way to 'buycott' the RIAA.

Aussie protestors block conference"Organisers of the summit branded the demonstration an 'abuse of democracy.'

Probably the most common criticism of direct action blocking conferences such as the WTO and the WEF is that forceful shutdowns are undemocratic. Such a criticism, however, ignores the fundamentally undemocratic nature of such meetings. How can one oppose an undemocratic process through democratic means which don't exist? Our sources of information, our political representation, and our self-determination have been hijacked.

Not convinced? Ask yourself, did I vote for genocide in the last election?

I wonder if the spirit of the Olympics is being lost on some people?

Very large numbers [last three via Daily Churn]

Scott McCloud:

'Slaps' are becoming very common, those lawsuits that are nothing but nuisance suits to intimidate people. That’s gangster stuff. I see no difference between that and planting a bomb in your local greengrocer’s apartment because he won’t pay up to the mob. I think it’s the exact same thing, it’s just a matter of degree. It’s criminal behavior from an ethical standpoint.


[Stephen] King charged too much! I want that on the record. That thing cost too much! He’s cutting out an army of middlemen and he’s still going to make the same amount per word from the consumer. That’s not right! He should be charging fifty cents for that thing. It’s not his fault, there’s not a model in place to do that. It bugs me.


A book is like a bomb. You pack all of these chemicals and things into it over the course of a year and they read it in a second, with that amount of compression. Think how long it takes.

Ah heck, I'm not gonna keep quoting all the good stuff I see, so go read it.

Back to school. Misnomer updates may or may not occur less frequently. A lot of projects have been put on the back burner.

My roommate is listening to some kind of speed/death metal. The drumming is really quite impressive. [it turns out the band is called Opeth, and are better described as black or doom metal.]

posted by dru
September 09, 2000
# A bed of sound

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

NPR has a short, sweet piece on various applications of the Street Performer Protocol. [realaudio]

There is a review in Feed of Volume: A bed of sound, an exhibition of audio art at PS1 that I went and saw in July. It's a sixty-foot long futon with minidisc players embedded into the sideboard, and headphones extending from it. Visitors to the exhibit can (after removing shoes), lay on the futon and listen to one of sixty minidiscs filled with various audio art pieces. I can't say I could think of a better way to present audio in the context of a visual art museum. A very cool idea.

posted by dru
September 08, 2000
# I don't want to pay record companies

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Suck says the internet will not change the world, because The Lawyers rule, and will continue to rule. "the blind narcissism that leads geeks to confuse "can be done" with "will be allowed" is disastrously naive."

Nick Petrely: Information doesn't want to be free, people want it to be. It seems that the original quote that spawned the "wants to be free" catchphrase has been all but forgotten.

Stewart Brand said it, and his full quote was:

Information wants to be free -- because it is now so easy to copy and distribute casually -- and information wants to be expensive -- because in an Information Age, nothing is so valuable as the right information at the right time.

Petrely would have done well to look it up. However, this hardly dimishes his points, since hardly anyone who drops that line knows the full context of the quote.

I agree with Petrely's point in principle: if we really believe in free information, let's support musicians who copyleft their work, instead of stealing the work of the people who want money for their intellectual property.

However, it is my opinion that the record industry is so fundamentally corrupt that erasing the possibility of making a lot of money from Brittany Spears albums would be a good thing overall.

People who buy music don't really give a s#it if Ms. Spears makes $1.00 (if that) from a $15 purchase. If a lesser known artist supplies quality content freely on their website, however, there is a much better likelyhood that people who listen will say "this is worth my money", and if there's an easy way to send the artist $3 (Paypal, anyone?), then they might just do it.

If I have to pay $15 so that an artist can make $2 (and that's darned optimistic), then the economics just don't work for me. At that point, I'll download the songs from some hotline server, and since there's no easy way to send money to the artist, no one makes any money.

posted by dru
September 06, 2000
# Yet more stress in Sackville

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

I'm back in Sackville, but now faced with the somewhat daunting task of finding a place to stay. Unfortunately, this means that all the fun projects I had planned for that week before school starts are on hold. </whine>

On the good news side of things, I just installed an additional 128 megs of RAM on my s900, so computer-based life is considerably less stressful.

posted by dru
September 05, 2000
# Scott McCloud

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Another Scott McCloud interview. A long one, with interesting topics this time. "Why should you be restricted to this technologically mandated rhythm of the page?" Scott McCloud is the man.

An interesting account of the current Seattle music scene. Artists are less taken with the record industry these days. Good Article.

No Media Kings.

posted by dru
September 02, 2000
# Colombia

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Ten Ways to Democratize the Global Economy.

Colombia Support Network's statement on the Clinton Administration's national security waiver on military aid to Colombia.

Bijan Parsia on Clinton's doubletalk regarding Colombia.

Olympic Organizing Committee bans athletes from Net Storytelling. The real reason is a little farther down: "The organizers are taking every precaution they can to ensure that their broadcast partners, which have paid $1.32 billion for exclusive TV rights, don't get scooped by the Net."

When events that have noble intentions at the start, but tend to degenerate into greed-fests and power grabs (witness the above and Olympic committee corruption), it becomes harder and harder to keep the original goals in sight. A sad product of globalized media, perhaps, but sadly, it seems that good intentions get easily crowded out for stronger (and less noble) motivations whether locally or otherwise. Human nature?


An old, very sweet dog named Thuja, sitting on my front porch.

posted by dru
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
July 30, 2000
# Off to Philly

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

I'll be in Philadelphia for today and tommorrow. It could be said I live in interesting times.

Sometimes there's nothing like a bit of Edith Piaf to get one up at 5am.

Billionaires for Bush or Gore says its piece more effectively than anything I've seen so far.

posted by dru
July 29, 2000
# Bush and Gore make me wanna Ralph

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Ralph Nader made the cover story in this month's village voice.

They also have a guide to the protests going on in Philadelphia during the Republican National convention this week, called 'Raising Hell in Philly'. I'll be there tommorrow, most likely just for the day.

posted by dru
July 28, 2000
# Satan Gave Me a Taco

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Ah, the original page for the Street Performer Protocol. Writer/Artist creates content, sets up a method to pay for it. If px or z people pay (where p is a set percentage, x is the number of downloads, and z is a set dollar amount), then artist creates more content. Only a little different from the Storyteller's Bowl.

There is an interesting idea for voluntary payments for music over at Hack the Planet. It's called "Kill the RIAA".

Or instead of killing them, you could let them know what you think.

There seems to be a campaign of sorts to give the RIAA their music back, so people are sending CD's, old hard drives, and disks with MP3's on them to the RIAA. This guy is playing songs into their voice mail system. The list is pretty funny, imo (scroll down). He also read the entire text of Courtney Love's speech into their voice mail.

There is a really miserable dog next door to where I am staying. It barks all day long. I feel sorry for it, but since I can't do anything about it, it annoys me.

'But beware of commercial radio. Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of the Dial are they.'

posted by dru
by Ass Wipe

There's a fume, in this truck and I don't know if we are dead or what the fuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Ass Wipe

There's a fume, in this truck and I don't know if we are dead or what the fuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 27, 2000
# Les Filmes Noir

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

My thoughts on mp3's: after noting that most artists make little or no money on record sales, I sincerily hope that the record industry dies - or is at least reduced in size exponentially. After that, there may or may not be a dark age of content. Pop music certainly won't be as lucrative as it is now. If artists need to make money but can't, then the culture of music consumption will have to respond, and pay for what they listen to.. but with two significant differences. First, music will cost less, but much, much more of it will go to the artist. And second, it'll be possible to pay small prices for music so easily that downloading will have to be restricted to those who have already paid, mostly because with so much music on the net, bands can't afford to not give their music away, with a few exceptions.

Think something different will happen? I'd love to hear about it.

Against Intellectual Property.

I've started work on a new issue of subtext. Submissions large and small are welcome, as always.

Yesterday, I went and saw Rififi, a French Film Noir made in 1955. The plot was ridden with sexism, and the subject matter was certainly clicheed to a certain extent, but all that was in the back of my mind, because this was one of the best pieces of cinematography I've ever seen. It made me consider filmmaking as a craft, and realize that while the glamour and special effects have increased, the perfect blending of visual metaphor, transitions, suspense, and other elements has really gone downhill.

How could it be that the film industry's grasp of their own medium has declined so much? It occurred to me that it might be a French thing, as the only other movie that I've seen that has such great cinematography was Cyrano de Bergerac, and attention to the exection of a film (not just the idea or worse, the FX and stars in it) is something that shows up in European films much more than in the Hollywood variety.

From the Rififi page at Film Forum:

"...a legendary 30-minute sequence with neither dialogue nor music - provided a usable blueprint for real-life professionals (causing outright bans in some countries)..."
posted by dru
July 26, 2000
# The Grey Lady

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Nous passons de la vie a la mort.

Google redesigned, ever so slightly. Probably the only search engine I've ever seen get simpler over time. Bravo. is an interesting new show on CBC radio. They aim to be 'the most interactive radio show in North America'. Listeners can send them instant messages, chat with other listeners, and coolest of all, upload sound clips for the show.

The show is a bit obnoxious at times, but it's worth a listen, if only for the format. (They managed to misquote Mcluhan badly enough to piss me off in the first show that I listened to. )

One thing that annoys me about radio and media in general is that debates never really go anywhere. Most 'debates' that happen are really just a bunch of people saying their opinion - but then, just when it starts getting interesting, it stops, and we move on to the next topic. It would be alot more interesting if the topics stayed the same over time, and the discussion really had a chance to inform people, with thoughtful responses and rich background information.

Instead, we have 'lets whip up some infotainment before 5 o'clock and then move on' business. Even in 'quality' publications, you have to be thoughtful before your deadline, not after. </rant>

Smartertimes offers counterpoints to NYTimes articles that they find to be innaccurate. Kendall over at Monkeyfist has been doing similar analyses of NYTimes and Washington Post articles on protests and the elections. Jeremy at Invisible City was doing something similar with Time magazine, too, but I can't find the link.

Maybe there should be a site that aggregates analytic counterpoint pieces. Hmmmm...

Did I mention that Retrogression is back? Good stuff can be found...

posted by dru
July 25, 2000
# Nader as a Protest candidate

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Michael Moore says that Ralph Nader doesn't need any democrats to vote for him, because 55% of the voting age population is disillusionned with both parties to do something a little crazy (or uncharacteristically sane) with their vote. So it's the real majority that needs to vote. Good point.

posted by dru
July 24, 2000
# Whew

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Ok, now I'm back in NYC, and getting settled for few weeks (housesitting for friend). I'm looking to check out any New Media/Silicon Alley stuff/events/interestingpeople/places I should check out, or If you want to have lunch, let me know :

Here's a page with digital versions of hard-to-find essays, short stories, and a novel by Neal Stephenson.

posted by dru
July 22, 2000
# Nader

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

Analysts noted today that voting for Al Gore would be taking a vote away from Ralph Nader, thus negating the possibility of any real change occuring in the next four years (see above).

Paypal now has one step click to pay functionality. It's not exactly one-click, but it's a step in the right direction.

Still no word from Millicent.

I'm in Chicago now, staying with my friend Natanya... until tommorrow, and then it's back to NYC.

posted by dru
July 19, 2000
# Iraq - Still Going

The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today.

National Mobilization to End the Sanctions Against Iraq. Protests in Washington DC, August 5-7.

posted by dru
by john

Rather than war, why not put Iraq on probation, and establish some sort of policing agency that continually moves throughout the country making various inspections. Do this for the next 5 years or so...see if Saddam's patient enough to stick around.

July 17, 2000
# Saint Paul and Indy Radio

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. Are you a US citizen? Innocent people are being killed by people who represent you. Bummer.

If anyone's keeping track, I'm now in St. Paul, Minnesota, visiting my best friend from pre-university days.

Is moving a radio station onto the internet really a big deal?

A station that brought the best of the internet to the airwaves would be much cooler, imho. An internet community radio station could be run by a staff of one or two (with volunteers), and play radio shows that produced independently by people people all over the internet. Stuff like off the hook, counterspin, and others could be heard by people without access to the internet.

I'm hoping to do something like this at CHMA next summer (when all the programmers leave), as an experiment.

I think that bringing independent media from the internet to the Real World could have a lot of potential in this and other ways - in the sense that the most interesting stuff from all over the internet could be picked up by people publishing locally. This could be pretty viable if low-power radio becomes a reality.

The same idea could be applied to print - take the best articles published by independent media sites on the net and make a newsletter, augmented with local content, and distributed in a town or neighborhood.

Syndicate globally, publish locally.

posted by dru
July 15, 2000

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. Are you a US citizen? Innocent people are being killed by people who represent you. Bummer.

Scott McCloud on the promise of digital distribution.

I'm reading Understanding Comics right now, and it rocks. McCloud lays out all the different dimensions of the Comic medium, showing exactly how they affect the reader's perceptions. A very ambitious project that seems to have been completed quite successfully.

I'm working on something that looks at the web in similar fashion, though on different scale. If you're interested, email me.

posted by dru
July 13, 2000

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. 250 pointless deaths per day!

I'm off to New York, Chicago, St Paul, and other places as of tommorrow morning, so updates will happen now and then. Maybe I'll actually get some writing done now...

Yahoo's Full Coverage has a section on digital music.

Kendall Clark: Anti-protest Propaganda Intensifies.

Matt Johnson of The The is pissed at the record industry, so he's releasing his new album directly onto the internet. Far from being just a rant, Matt's intro has a lot of interesting background information on the record industry.

posted by dru
July 12, 2000
# What did I miss?

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. 250 pointless deaths per day!

Back online after almost five days! That's the longest it's been for quite a while, and I'm off travelling again in about three days, so no time for love.

All about Flying Standby

Orrin Hatch threatens to "clarify fair use", and consider legislative action to keep record companies from drowning online music distribution in a sea of litigation. I could think of worse things that could happen to the music industry.

Diane Feinstein says: "If Napster-like services sprung up across the content industry, copyright would become 'null and void.'" I think that would be pretty cool, myself.

posted by dru
July 08, 2000
# Major Tom to Ground Control

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. 250 pointless deaths per day!

Oops! Now I'm off to Cape Breton for a few days. Updates will again be sparse.

posted by dru
by KOE

I want to commit suicide
I want to know what is going to happen after I die
I want to see if anyone would stop me
After all it's all useless isn't it?
not one of the lives that are used matter
one in billions and they don't matter
when i do, im not planning on taking anyone else with me
some people actually like it here
others are scared
what's to be scared about?
never be scared about anything ever
you have no reason to be so what if your hurt
i've been hurt before
mental physical
hurt by parents
my body's been practically destroyed from the things that have happened
and im in near perfect health
while others suffer
i can't help any one that
i canh't change a damn thing
and neither can you
so who cares
if we go?

by JAK

you are one messed up freak. "see if anyone would stop me." Do us a favor and put up a tarp so no one has to clean up a mess.

by Seph

Humans fear death for the same reason they fear everything else, because they can not comprehend it, and there is a right to fear, and to care as you put it. Because perhaps when you die there is nothing why quickly let go of what you already have?Why commit suicide when death is so out your life and what happens happens, thats how I think of it

July 07, 2000
# Ground Control to Major Tom

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. 250 pointless deaths per day!

I'm back from PEI. Had a great time, saw two great bands: The Rude Mechanicals from Charlottetown, and The Wells, from Montreal.

Brent Simmons has a cool rant about Punk Rock, art, and the two-way web.

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography. Wheeeeeee!

posted by dru
July 05, 2000
# Off to PEI

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. 250 pointless deaths per day!

I'm hitchhiking to PEI for a few days. See y'all on Friday.

Kendall Clark lays bare recent criticisms of Ralph Nader in the NYTimes and Washington Times. The NYTimes actually said the following!

"But given the major differences between the prospective Democratic and Republican nominees, there is no driving logic for a third-party candidacy this year, and the public deserves to see the major-party candidates compete on an uncluttered playing field."

Egads! What are they smoking? This reads like an overblown parody of Orwell's 1984. I wonder if any of their readers realize it. :|

Monkeyfist: Best of the Churn

posted by dru
July 03, 2000
# The Gorebot

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. 250 pointless deaths per day!

The GoreBot malfunctions, speaking the truth briefly, but the problem is quickly fixed.

Is making a secure format for digital music impossible?

I recently saw Dead Man and Hurlyburly. Both compelling and bizarre in different ways, both recommended.

Liam (the station manager here at CHMA) started a weblog just moments ago.

posted by dru
July 01, 2000
# Icebergs

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. 250 pointless deaths per day!

(If updates are sporadic now and later, it's because I'm a suffering from a bit of computer burnout, and trying to focus on writing something longer than these little blurbs)

I recently got the latest issue of Wired (they take forever to get to Canadian mailboxes), and they had about ten pages of responses to Bill Joy's Why the Future Doesn't Need Us. The responses ranged from alarm, to rhetoric about the inevitability of technological advancement. A recurring theme was that we can't stop progress of any kind without some kind of totalitarian solution, which is just a bit reductive for my taste.

The other responses were interesting, but Stewart Brand put the issue in perspective very succinctly:

"Everyone agrees there's an iceberg - the question is, will it hit the ship, miss the ship, or replace the ship? Or maybe - unthinkable! - the ship will slow down and study the iceberg for a while."

posted by dru
June 30, 2000
# Sins and Sinners

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. 250 easily preventable deaths per day!

Leo Robert Ford: Web Design and Sin

"When we go to a web guru we don't want to hear that the world is complicated and full of contradictions, we want to hear what it takes to make our web site a success, and if it takes ten steps instead of ten thousand, so much the better. Thus we naturally gravitate to those with a simpler message, if for no better reason than we are beginners and looking for a place to start."

Funny thing, that. I had a conversation today about the difference between following rules and engaging with a friend today that was very similar to the last paragraph of Ford's essay.

posted by dru
June 28, 2000
# /.

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. Still bombing!

Lurking in sci.environment, I caught a brief glimpse of the essence of USENET debates. It is reproduced here for your perusal:

>Which is not what I have said.

It's exactly what you said.

The true colors of Bennetton.

Is Slashdot implementing context-sensitive banner ads? (It's ironic. Laugh.)

a self portrait of sorts:


posted by dru
June 27, 2000
# Online Revenue

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Look at all the different Flame Warriors.

Tom Jay: Ecology and Economy

The Storyteller's bowl is an interesting profit model for online content.

In the old days, a storyteller would come to a market-day, offer the start of a story, and then wait until his bowl was full before finishing the story. Sometimes a rich man paid for a story, so others could hear. Sometimes everyone in the crowd tossed in whatever coin they could afford.

Seems like a good idea, but the main barrier to its use is that the 'storyteller' has to be in demand such that people will pay. It could certainly work well for some applications, though.

Heard on #mf:

kendall: everytime I read a WSJ editorial, I think: goddamn, if that's how slow-witted you can be as a WSJ editor, I could do that as a part-time, on-the-toilet gig, and have time left to run the NYT.

Michael Stutz pointed me to the Free Music Philosophy manifesto after reading yesterday's rant

posted by dru
by Hot Sex Lesbian Teens

Very good site, i like it :)

June 26, 2000
# pomes

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Why vote green? This pamphlet makes it pretty clear.

A king and bok choy

sing loud anthems

of grace and acacia.

posted by dru
June 25, 2000
# (c) is for Corrupt.

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Yet more proof that record companies are evil. Or just capitalistic, take your pick.

"forced consensus and labored manifestoes are fading into the background, replaced instead by a culture of constant, loosely structured and sometimes compulsive information-swapping."

Mouse Trapped, an article from about the changing face of copyright (via CC. The current reasoning: the only purpose of copyright laws is to create more (financial) incentives for authors et al to churn out material, so any increase in the control over the work (and how it gets paid for) is an incentive to create more content goodness.

The irony, of course, is that corporations are simultaneously lobbying to have artists' work be considered a 'work for hire', so that the incentives go directly to the people who control the distribution channels, not those that are responsible for the actual content.

It seems there is a growing rift between two sides: The first is characterized by the net and open source, where content that is created gets distributed as widely as there is interest, and there is little or no payment or control over the work.

The second is every other corporate medium (software, music, books, magazines), where distribution is controlled in various ways by institutions that wants to make money.

One is strengthening its control over what it does, while the other is contantly finding ways to de-emphasize control and payment.

I've long wondered what will eventually happen; it seems unlikely that both models will continue existing independently from each other, yet it doesn't seem plausible that one will kill the other off. So what will happen?

When I wrote Rethinking Micropayments, I thought that creating revenue while not asserting total control might be one component of a way of eventually resolving these two opposing forces. However, as they drift farther apart, I have more trouble seeing how they will ever come together.

It occurs to me that looking at analagous historical examples might be a way of better understanding how things will eventually resolve, but none come to mind. Any suggestions?

posted by dru
by phentermine

Nice site. Keep up the good work.

June 24, 2000
# Stomp Stomp Stompin'

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

I went and saw the Planet Smashers (a very cool ska band from Montreal) play a free show in Moncton this evening. Outdoor venue, lots of good vibes, and amazing tunes made for probably the best way I've spent an evening all summer. I'm pretty sure I didn't stop skankin' (dancing) the whole time they were playing. Wooooooooo!

Their site (which is all in French) has MP3's. 'Life of the Party' and 'Surfin Tefino' are two of their most lively and ska-ish. Go check it out.

Ah, the Ska FAQ.

You know you're doing the right google search when you end up at

Another photo from evening bike rides:

posted by dru
June 23, 2000
# Every three days...

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

As always, I've been putting a fair bit of energy into BlueGreen, so go check it out. (No pun intended)

The US and Britain have bombed Iraq every three days for the past 18 months.

Ftrain has some very interesting thoughts on weblog forms. This relates to an article I'm writing now about forms on the web, but it's different enough that I'll keep working on it.

I've been taking long bikerides out into the Tantramar countryside in the evenings recently, and took a few photos (more later):

posted by dru
June 22, 2000
# The Daily Slice/Chop/Grind

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Monkeyfist's DiaWeblog (Diablog?) 'Daily Churn' page is hoppin'.

Sylvia has a weblog of visual art.

Stefan's stream of consciousness rant is interesting. I think he's been reading about quantum physics too much (or not enough!).

Roger Waters is touring. I didn't know that. He's playing in Madison Square Garden the day before I arrive in New York, but the tickets sold out in 40 minutes anyway. Nuts.

There is a webcast of the new Pink Floyd: The Wall Live, punctured by ads and interviews. Heh. I just heard a US Army commercial a few minutes after 'Good Bye Blue Sky'. The irony was just sickening.

posted by dru
June 21, 2000
# Micropayments!

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

I got a voluntary micropayment from MetaGrrrl today. An there's a thread on the subject at Metafilter.

I was planning on having this be one of my summer projects, to spread the idea of voluntary micropayments, and try to help it evolve, but it looks like other people have already started doing this. How utterly and completely cool.

posted by dru
June 20, 2000
# Punch the Clock

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

I'm listening to various Bossa Nova artists on today. This stuff is quite groovin.

A little late for father's day, a picture of my Dad showed up online. This is interesting, as he more or less avoids computers like the plague. Despite it all, he also had an article in NetFuture a while back.

Wow, now that I do a google search, there's a bunch of stuff: a page about my parents' art, with a tour of their gallery. There is also a page for his Salmon Woman and Raven sculpture, which he worked on for about three years straight.

posted by dru
June 19, 2000
# Tersely, I respond

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Murder Suspect To Be Tried By Media: Overworked Justice System Grateful For Help

Bungie to be bought by Microsoft?? Methinks it's some kind of joke, but who knows? AFAIK, Microsoft doesn't develop games in-house, it just markets them, so the bit about the Bungie guys moving to Redmond doesn't make sense. Who knows? [ack, looks like it's true]

For the first time in quite a while, I've managed to go two days without updating misnomer. Actually, I've been pretty good at avoiding the computer altogether these past few days.

Bijan noted that an article he wrote about light pollution is relevant to my offline-ness this weekend. Of course by now, I'm completely re-glued to the screen, thanks to my job redesigning/fixing this site (no, that's not my design).

Monkeyfist now has Daily Churn. Bijan (he's everywhere!) rigged up a nifty IRC bot that stores every URL, and lets people who hang out in #mf (irc: to append comments to each one. Lots of URLs pass through there every day. Tres cool.

Feminist Media Watch looks potentially interesting.

posted by dru
June 16, 2000
# Being PC

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Bijan Parsia has some interesting ruminations on political correctness and offense.

I took a few days off from misnomer. Apparently, I've been missed.

I'm not usually a big fan of Courtney Love, but this is right on: "Right now the only way you can get music is by shelling out $17. In a world where music costs a nickel, an artist can 'sell' 100 million copies instead of just a million."

If you read nothing else, read this speech. It details everything about the music industry I've suspected, but never bothered to confirm.

One very important fact: the vast majority of musicians don't make a living wage, even if they sell millions of albums. I'd love to hear any exceptions to this reality, but I fear it's even worse.

Via Camworld, Scott McCloud's online graphic column. Very cool use of the web.

posted by dru
June 13, 2000
# Terrorism

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Kendall Clark: The Political Economy of Terrorism (public draft). A very thorough critique of the The National Commission on Terrorism's report and reccomendations.

I've started using Usenet again recently, and am quickly discovering that there is much value left in it, in the form of smart people with time to explain things, mostly.

The following links are graciously borrowed from today's Davenetics:

Real and Apple Team Up. It's a Good Thing.

RIAA Sez: "Napster teaches a generation of music consumers that artists do not deserve to be paid for their work, and their creative efforts are free for the taking." Hahahahahahahaha! Exactly how much of the net profit of CD sales do artists get? I'm just curious. As I recall, The Problem with Music sums up the story of the generation of corporations that believe that artists should be paid very little for their work quite well.

Fortune has picked a bunch of startups it thinks will do good things in the future. Some interesting companies on the list.

posted by dru
June 12, 2000
# Electronic Discussion

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Affordances and Constraints of Electronic Discussion:

"...written discussion itself is a contradiction in terms. In this view, the physical and oral situation around an oral, face-to-face conversation -- the facilitative mechanisms like expectant silences, visual cues for turn-taking, the pressure of occasion -- are necessary to keep any extended dialogic exchange going, and that without them, any written discussion that is not driven by a specific and immediate necessity like a shared task will simply evaporate."

posted by dru
June 10, 2000
# Writing in Hypertext revisited

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Writing in Electronic text: links has been updated.

posted by dru
June 09, 2000
# Englebart et al

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Beginning and ending a hyperbook: Possibilities for authors.

Understanding Hypertext. A big list of links.

Millicent, a company working on making effective micropayment software, has changed their site a bit, but the demonstration pages are still 'under development'. I was told that their software would be available in early June, but just to be safe, I'm going to expect to wait til August.

SuperDistribution "is an internet based services company that monitors, tracks, reports and disburses for usage of digital property such as software by treating software's ease of replication as an asset instead of a liability."

Interesting article: Utopian Plagiarism 101. It looks like the document is being used in part to teach a course at CSU San Marcos. Each class edits and improves the article collaboratively. Very cool.

posted by dru
June 08, 2000
# dialogs, documents, toil

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

It's as much news today as it was yesterday.

BTW, this isn't just about Iraq, it's also about how the media treats 'news'. If the same thing goes on constantly, then it's not news. At least, not according to them.

The Guardian has a page of Iraq news. (from Ola)

Interview with Neal Stephenson.

I've been sweating over yet another revision of Dialogs and Documents. I'm starting to be happy with it, which is a good sign, I think.

posted by dru
by phentermine

Nice site. Keep up the good work.

June 07, 2000
# still going...

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. According to UNICEF, 250 people die each day as a result of the sanctions.

Opinion: this is bloody well unnaceptable.

Thanks to Ola for the link. I'd like to have an Iraq-related link per day. If you have any, send em in.

Aha...come to see the literary master?

I wrote a piece on Academic publishing online for Bluegreen today.

The Pogues do a great musical version of Rimbaud's Drunken Boat (Bateau Ivre).

My roommate just suggested that I write a 300,000 word essay entitled 'the Human Situation'. hmmm.

posted by dru
June 06, 2000
# non-linear news

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Dru Jay: Mcluhan's Message Clarified

Bijan Parsia posted an enlightening explanation of why academics don't publish online.

Tom Jay: Reinhabiting the Commons

posted by dru
June 05, 2000
# J'arrive, j'arrive

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine. is live.

I'm back from the conference, so updates should be more regular.

BlueGreen is starting to get some new contributors, even my Dad the luddite is going to write some essays for it.

Running Blue Green for the past month has been the means to my personal environmental education, as it motivated me to read the news with a little more depth than I usually would.
My koan for the day: Writing about something makes you think about it, which is a good thing.

Primary sources are hardly ever available online. Another reason for academics to be less stubborn about publishing online.

posted by dru
by sex-anal

sex anal

June 02, 2000
# Barlow

John Perry Barlow says:

Also, from an economic standpoint, many musicians have discovered, as the Grateful Dead did, that the best way to make money from music is to give it away. While scarcity may increase the value of physical goods, such as CD's, the opposite applies to information. In a dematerialized information economy, there is an equally strong relationship between familiarity and value. If your work is good, allowing what you've done to self-replicate freely increases demand for what you haven't done yet, whether by live performances or by charging online for the download of new work. "

Or maybe by paying after you know you like it.

posted by dru
May 31, 2000
# I'm, like, so po mo

Blogit has some fun links to sites that explain aspects of Post Modern philosophy in some kind of comprehenible fashion, which is in and of itself amazing. Academics tend to be a little too dense for my taste in too many cases.

posted by dru
May 29, 2000
# Away

I'm off to the Evnet conference for the week, so updates may be sparse... unless I get bored.

posted by dru
May 27, 2000
# Reinforcing the music monopoly

Michael Zara points out an interesting thing: Napster doesn't get used to promote unknown artists at all. That is, all the music that gets downloaded is stuff by known musicians, so the net effect is that we hear the same old music.

The Napster interface is conducive to finding music that you already know about; how can you search for music that you've never heard of?

If we really want to change the status quo in terms of music, then a conspicuously missing element needs to be reintroduced: people. That is, people need to talk to each other about music, point each other to good tunes, and talk about them.

As it stands, this process is interrupted by the fact that music is inexorably linked to physical objects that have to be paid for, so the only way you find out about new music is to listen to the radio, which are controlled by corporate music labels, or know someone in a band.

The net promises to change that, because it lets people try out music without paying for it up front, and thus lets more diversity come through, and allows it to spread by word of mouth.

Napster does not facilitate this, because it is about files, not people. That's why the web and email are the media of choice for spreading music, and more importantly, spreading the word about what is good.

However, Napster's role in de-corporatizing music is hardly nullified - it provides the wake up call that wide distribution over the net is a simple fact, not up for negootiation. What the net ultimately has the potential to bring back is the general view that music - and art - is something to be shared widely, not simply converted into capital.

For people (instead of corporations) to decide what music is popular, music needs to be available free of charge, at least initially. Otherwise, the entire advantage of the net is lost or marginalized.

People still need to make money. No one is arguing against that. There are a few ways of resolving these two seemingly disparate elements.

One such way that is in effect now is Orange Alley, where you get a kickback if you tell your friends about music you download there.

Another is voluntary micropayments, which proposes to apply the shareware model to music.

posted by dru
May 26, 2000
# Dog meat

I never thought sexual innuendo would be used to sell dog food, but according to, these ads ran in New Zealand magazines. Bizarre.

Stefan just keeps crankin' out the poems:


running inside the small house

I close the door in irreverent


I jump through the ceiling

posted by dru
May 25, 2000
# Cookies with DOJ kool-aid

Bijan had this to say about yesterday's Microsoft rant:

And I think it's important to emphasize that MS, without its monoply, isn't competative because it has structured itself to compete by using its monopoly power.

I.e., they've "forgotten" (if they've ever knew) how to compete on a level playing field.

The split will disproportionately impair MS's ability to compete...unless they figure out *how* to function fairly.

Niel Corrected me about the Chinese wall with this link:

In the past, Microsoft has publicly professed that there is a "Chinese Wall" between the groups that produce its operating systems and those that produce its applications. Steve Ballmer, Executive VP of Sales, has even stated, that there was "a very clean separation" -- "It's like the separation of church and state"

However, Microsoft lately has changed its stance. Executives even deny that the concept of
a Chinese Wall ever existed. They feel it is quite acceptable for them to give an unfair
advantage to their applications developers by keeping new operating system specifications
private. According to Brad Silverberg, head of the personal operating systems division, "if
Microsoft chose to keep such specifications private, to give a competitive advantage to its
many software departments, that would be the company's privilege. It does own the
operating system, after all"

Interesting. I was thinking of this message that showed up on Red Rock Eaters a few days ago.

posted by dru
May 24, 2000
# Microsoft: 'we make shitty software'

One little, two little, three little Microsofts.

"Nonsense, said Microsoft's lawyer, John Warden. What the government proposes, he said, 'will go a long way to insure that Microsoft is the one company in the world that won't win, can't win, the next round of competition' in the high-stakes, ever-changing world of computers and software."

Whine whine whine. Here's a rough translation:

"our products rely on our monopoly for their success, and won't stand up on their own merit, so if you break us into pieces, we'll die."

What else would they base this claim on? I'd love to hear any plausible argument to the contrary.

You can't say that MS was just doing what it needed to in a market economy. They repeatedly claimed that there was a "Chinese Wall" seperating software and OS divisions, when in fact there wasn't.

Of course, when the legal precedent comes into play, things get a little more complex. Do we want the DOJ regulating the software industry? Probably not.

On the other hand, Microsoft could have easily prevented such regulation long ago, had it decided to cooperate.

Their monopoly power was like a cookie jar on the shelf. Always there. Always sooo tempting.


Bill, you ate the whole Key Lime pie! Now mom is pissed!

posted by dru
May 23, 2000
# The Mcluhan Kool-Aid

Captain Cursor: "Why do web loggers all tend to make shorter posts that point out other sites? The software they are using tells them to. We could get into a detailed analyses about why that is, or the difference in writing style based on the software that people are using, and perhaps we should." Bingo.

Dammit, I wanna see Koyaanisqatsi.

The Various and Sundry weblog looks promising.

I'm listening to Phish's version of Dark Side of the Moon, live recording. It doesn't suck at all.

posted by dru
May 22, 2000
# The long decline of copyright

Having fun with Bookmarklets today. I made a one that searches for the currently selected word. I'm trying to make one that searches for weblogs that link to the current URL, but I can't seem to get it to work (on Netscape 4.08/Mac, anyway).

Anyone want to help me debug this:

Ola points out that if you use this link, it'll work fine. However, it still doesn't work as a bookmark. Arg. The whole point is that when you're on any page, you can select the bookmarklet, and see if any weblogs point to that page.

Monkeyfist: Global Warming Petitions, a short article by yours truly.

Salon: 30,000 Napster users tell Metallica to 'prove it'.

Thanks to Rebecca, David, and Donovan for linking to Blue Green.

posted by dru
May 21, 2000
# Bluegreen (again)

I posted some interesting information about how to make lightbulbs last for decades over at Blue Green, the collaborative environmental news site that I've been working on way too much lately.

More poems by Stefan Hamilton:

Serfs in olive tunics
cultivate the land
of snorting kings
posted by dru
May 20, 2000
# More Free Beer - deliberated!

Most rocket boosters that propel satellites and space shuttles into orbit are constrained in size by the fact that they need to fit on railcars. The width of railroads comes from the carts used in mines in early industrial England, which were based on the axels available, which were for manufactured mainly for wagons at that time. The wagons' wheels were spaced exactly so that they could fit in the ruts that were characteristic of pre-pavement roads. The width of the ruts, in turn, was a leftover from the Roman days, as they were originally worn by chariots. Where did the width of the chariots come from? Obviously enough, the span of the wheel corresponded to the width of two horses at their widest point.

Rocket boosters based on two horses' asses. Now *thats* technological determinism!

A second draft of my Dialogues and Documents article is up.

I keep forgetting the Civilution's name and URL. No longer. --They are a company in Seattle who seem to be doing interesting stuff with discussion software.

A whole new page, just for ME!

Just in time for yesterday's comment about good software at no cost, Slashdot has a piece questioning whether free beer software is a good thing in the long run.

posted by dru
May 19, 2000
# Free Beer!

Strata is giving away Strata 3d for the mac (!), and Palm is handing out Palm Desktop (formerly Claris Organizer). 'Tis a good day for good software on a low budget.

posted by dru
May 18, 2000
# The Freedom to Repress


(from subtext)

posted by dru
May 16, 2000
# Summer

The first really beautiful summer night of the year in my corner of Canada. Lots of smells and visuals that I forgot existed.

Pomes by Stefan Hamilton.

Machu Picchu Madness

Machu Picchu madness

the emperor's dead-

the state's in disarray

I've been trying to figure out how to integrate the process of the articles I'm writing with this weblog. Somehow I want it to reflect the work that I'm doing in a comprehensible manner. Maybe I just need to finish the three articles that I'm working on/revising. Egads.

Brent linked to Blue Green with a few complimentary words. So did Craig. Thanks.

posted by dru
May 15, 2000
# Blue Green

My latest project: Blue Green: Environmental News and Opinions.

It's a pseudo-slashdot style environmental news site, where anyone can post stories or news items for the front page. If you're interested in environmental issues, or have something to say, go check it out.

I'll be spending the afternoon plugging the site to various environmentalist people and mailing lists. Fun!

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May 14, 2000
# MSIE for Mac

As the Apple turns has a good summary of the rumored disbanding of the Macintosh Internet Explorer team. has a library of cyberpunk fiction, including short stories by William Gibson, Douglas Rushkoff, and Bruce Sterling.

posted by dru
May 13, 2000
# Metallica

An Open Letter from Metallica: "There are thousands of little local bands that would give up a few organs to have 350,000 people downloading their music. It stands to reason that at least a few of them completely kick our ass, musically speaking. But they don't have that one crucial thing we have: We have millions of dollars going to convince you that we don't suck."

metajohn has good coverage of the Metallica fiasco.

posted by dru
by Joe Holder

Hey Metallica Don't forget about your friends in St.Louis!!!!!!!!!!!

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by Joe Holder

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Date posted 1/06/04

by Joe Holder

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May 12, 2000
# History

David Grenier has some thoughts on yesterday's bit about Denmark: "
I know in Providence they take great care to preserve the 'historic' houses on the East Side, all of these beautiful old 1800s era homes, but they have no problem knocking down factories and warehouses from that same era so they can build a better road to the new mall."

Bijan Parsia, the net's resident eyeball monger, pointed me to a PARC piece on the fluidity of documents, with a few comments on my Dialogs and Documents article. I responded.

Sartre's Cookbook is fsking hilarious. "I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of a cigarette,
some coffee, and four tiny stones. I fed it to Malraux, who puked. I am encouraged, but my journey is still long."

posted by dru
May 11, 2000
# Denmark

In addition to doing too many things at once, I'm now a contributor to the Monkeyfist Collective.

Credit for absolutely everything, unconditionally, goes to Bijan.

For a reason I can’t remember, I recently recalled an experience I had on a visit to Denmark a few years ago. I was coming back from Copenhagen with two friends and the Danish family we were staying with, we stopped at a modestly identified monument, situated by a long stretch of road, framed by unremarkable fields.

The monument itself was a hollowed-out hill, where a number of locals had apparently hidden from the Nazis for a number of days when they came barging through. The entrance to the cavern was still open, and we climbed through a narrow tunnel into a space about the size of an SUV, sat on the damp rock benches, and lit some of the candles that were left there by others. In the same place that people had waited in fear for days.

Once I got past a cynical wonder that in the US, they would have closed the tunnel for fear of litigation when someone got stuck, a few thoughts came out of this. Sitting in that cave was completely different from anything I ever imagined from reading a textbook, or seeing Schindler’s list. The obvious detached nature of understanding something through media became more evident that I ever would have thought; being immersed in a context, or a place that doesn’t just reflect reality, but in a sense is reality, is mind-blowing.

It also occurred to me that all of the really memorable experiences I had in Europe had very little to do with the Eiffel Tower or the Piccadilly Circus. More, they were small tastes of history and reality which are too often glazed over where they might otherwise exist in America. That, and I'm less likely to see them because I live here.

posted by dru
May 10, 2000
# Affordances

Don Norman: Affordances and Design

Blue Green: Environmental News and Opinions. This is my attempt at a source of environmental information by the people, for the people. Anyone can contribute, but the editors filter what comes through. The environmental community doesn't use the web a whole lot. I'd like to change that somewhat.

Captain Cursor: " links are stupid. Yeah I know that this is the information architecture equivalent of saying 'I hate hippies' but it's been bugging me for a while and I needed a log entry to link my broad statement of value to." Part of a larger rant about Ted Nelson's ideals and information architecture. is live! Well, kinda.. most of the content isn't there yet, but I'm working on it. Comments are welcome.

posted by dru
May 09, 2000
# Hosting good conversations

Here's a piece that doesn't get linked to (or read) nearly enough: Howard Rheingold's the Art of Hosting Good Conversations Online.

My Dialogues and Documents piece got a bit of coverage in the recent issue of Bernie DeKoven's Coworking.

posted by dru
May 08, 2000
# More


posted by dru
May 07, 2000
# Self Censorship

New bookmark: EFF "Net Culture & Cyber-Anthropology" Archive. Lots and lots of material there, including these two:

The Abominable Dr. Phibes is back!

Via Retrogression, a good breakdown of a survey on self censorship among journalists. Quite an interesting issue; IMHO it is one of the reasons we need more diversity in the institutions we rely on for information.

Something I've always wondered:

If knowledge is power, and power corrupts, then is ignorance bliss?
posted by dru
May 06, 2000
# WTO/Seattle

Just a gentle reminder of what went on in Seattle almost six months ago...

wto pix:

These pics are courtesy of the Mount Allison Blue Green Society, who I just started a news site for today... looks like an interesting site for media criticism and alternative sources of news and information.

posted by dru
May 05, 2000
# Visual vs. Textual literacy

Though I initially passed over technography because it seemed so business-oriented, I think it has a lot to do with what I think and write about - mediating collaboration through technology, etc. "the goal of the meeting to be to create a document. Regardless, it is a visible, tangible product of the meeting. It becomes the central focus of the participants, which subtly alters the relationship dynamic in a manner that makes the facilitator's task easier."

Web Content Won’t Always Be Free: "the Internet is free because it is in its infancy, but it won’t stay that way forever". The reason the internet is free (AFAICS), is because there are so many people who are willing to generate quality stuff for free, and it's really quite cheap to distribute. (This article seems to have become a bit of a whipping post, but what can I say, it's fun).

Slashdot is interviewing Metallica, presumably because they just decided to sue some 300,000 napster users. This could be interesting. This seems to be one of the better uses of the web so far - interfacing real people with public figures, but without the self-censorship.

There has been an interesting weblog and email-mediated debate going on over at Cap'n Cursor. It seems that trying to argue that images can communicate as effectively as text is something of a null argument, since images can never be as good at what text does as text itself.

This is reminiscent of the great debate over whether digital books are better or worse than the dead-tree variety. There isn't a medium out there that can be a better book than a book, because the book itself is the standard to which everything else is compared.

In the same sense, images will never be as effective at doing what text does as text is, but that doesn't mean we can't develop a visual gestalt such that it becomes an effective medium for communication on it's own terms. Such a gestalt, or set of symbols was certainly done to a certain extent by painters in the last few hundred years. Now, if we take a cue from the past, we can similarly cultivate web design, flash animations, and good ole gifs and jpegs to communicate in new and exciting ways, but on their own terms.

posted by dru
May 04, 2000
# policy

People at Georgia Tech have done a lot of interesting experiments with interface design for specific applications, mostly classroom-related, but with obvious ideas for the Rest Of The World..

Here's a job I can aspire to: Director of Dialogues at Weblab. (thanks, Bijan)

Winerlog contradicts Dave Winer's policy of 'no personal statements' by having 'fun with the search engine' (scroll down). Hmmm. Dave?

posted by dru
May 03, 2000
# M$? Innovate??

Microsoft's Real Problem: No Innovation. It's kind of sad that we need Dvorak to explain this to us this late in the game. I guess people really do think that Microsoft 'innovates'. Sigh.

posted by dru
May 02, 2000
# rendering speed

Too many web designers forget to remember rendering speed when writing their pages. Web pages that don't have a whole to download often make up for it and then some by having complex tables, div's, and lots of small images. These pages load pretty fast on any G3, even if it's on a modem, but things tend to slow down when you hit Pentiums and 604's that are (gasp) under 200 mHz. Yep, people still use em - I'm one, and there are others. <rant/>

ladybugs sketch wild,

opaque fantasies of anxious


waiting in port and wanting

a beer

or departure

posted by dru
May 01, 2000
# Pyra

I'm working on a piece about interfaces on the web, so this article about Pyra caught my interest in a few different ways.

The idea: interface design thus far has been focussed almost exclusively on ease of use (which is good), but contextually-specific, high-level elements of interface design offer a way to structure information and flow in ways not yet fully explored. Informed design.

Infolets, David Rubin's exploration of internet innovations, is a darned good resource.

Conglomerate (GPL) looks like an interesting, if overly complex, collaborative document authoring application. I think the web can do this in a much more elegant and effective fashion.

I found an interesting explanation of the "alternative music" category that happened in the early nineties.

terms make calculated glances

toward coy, smiling concepts

a small child grinning

through a lick

on a big ice cream cone

posted by dru
April 30, 2000
# No more right to choose - Officially.
posted by dru
April 27, 2000
# OrangeAlley

OrangeAlley has an interesting business model for MP3 distribution which they call BootLegal. It goes like this:

  1. Buy an MP3 from OA
  2. Bootleg: Send your friends a link or copy of the MP3.
  3. Kickback: Your friends buy the MP3. You get paid. Artists get paid.

An interesting idea, but it ignores important aspects of the nature of the internet. (read Rethinking Micropayments for context.) Instead of creating a barrier to accessing the music, why not make it really easy to download, and really easy to pay. As it is, it's hard to do both, which ultimately results in less people seeing the art (less eyeballs, or earballs, if you will).

All this is not to say that OA is not totally on the right track when they say "a BootLegal license also gives you all of the 'fair use' rights that consumers are supposed to enjoy under the copyright laws." And the whole thing is right on. I just think it should be taken to the next step.

I found OrangeAlley indirectly through iRights, which has a whole lot of good material these last few weeks. (Nice work, Jeremy) If anyone knows of other interesting MP3 business models, let me know.

(Bradley Nowell of Sublime said it best: "nowadays the songs on the radio -- they all drive me craaazy." But then again, he sang it beautifully.)

I'll be watching this space:

I'm reading Natural Capitalism, by Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins. In the first few pages, they make a very interesting point about industrial capitalism: namely, it is a limited form of capitalism in that it only accounts for certain kinds of capital, but doesn't assign any value to the kinds of capital that are fundamental to its existance the ecological and human varieties.

meetspace, n. A locale, physically or virtually defined, where meaningful exchange of ideas takes place. See also: conversation, discourse, debate.

posted by dru
April 25, 2000
# micropayments to arrive shortly

I just got this email from Russ Jones of Millicent, a company currently making software for micropayments.

>Russ: when is Millicent set to launch in the states? As I recall, it
>should be real soon now.

We should start staging vendors in late May or early June. Did you want to
integrate MilliCent directly into your website (Windows NT) or use our
remote payment hosting service?

I wonder how quickly this will catch on, if at all. In any case, I'll definitely be playing around with it (and writing about it) once it's released.

posted by dru
April 24, 2000
# A16 protests after the fact

Retrogression has a good summary of the A16 protests. Criticism of media coverage, ideas about motivations, and a good overview. Maybe a bit polarized as far as describing motivations of 'ruling elite' et al, but not unjustified by any stretch. "The IMF talks about how it helps ease the financial crises of third world nations, which is somewhat true. But it's also true that a loan shark might pay off my gambling debts."

Thanks to people who posted comments on the designs from yesterday.

posted by dru
April 22, 2000
# design sampler

"So far, the Internet seems to be largely amplifying the worst features of television's  preoccupation with sex and violence, semi-literate chatter, shortened attention spans, and near-total subservience to commercial marketing." Weeelll, that about sums it up. [via]

I'm looking for feedback on two web sites I'm working on: Soul Salmon and Mount Allison Sociology and Anthropology. None of the links work on either, and the text is still filler... I'm just looking for feedback on the designs.

posted by dru
April 21, 2000
# dialogues and documents

There's a bit of discussion of my Dialogues and Documents piece going on.

When you pirate MP3's, you're downloading Communism. [funny]

posted by dru
April 20, 2000
# irc renewbie

I visited the MonkeyFist IRC server today, and was treated to an enlightening conversation about weblogs, dialogue, and some other stuff. I'm starting to see stronger connections between my various projects.

Bijan from Monkeyfist paid a visit to the discussion group, and laid down some Rousseau, which I have since added to my summer reading list.

Jeeves of AskJeeves gets interviewed. [satire]

Earlier today, I did a little redesign/reordering of misnomer's layout. Comments are welcome.

posted by dru
April 19, 2000
# microcontent

There's a discussion about SXSW, weblogs, and microcontent over at Hack the Planet. I must say, for all the enthusiasm about new ideas, etc. exuded over that conference, the party-picture to thought ratio was inordinately high.

iRights: Tying the threads together: "Obviously, in the time that [the constitution] was written there was only speech, literally speaking out in the streets or townhouses, or the press, a literal machine with which to turn out many many copies of a written work quickly. Certainly there was no internet! But I think we all quite clearly understand what is intended here, which is that the people are free to speak their mind. The primary purpose of this speech is to advance the Great Conversation, which is supposed to be how we run this country. In other words, free speech and press are important not just for the individuals, but for the society as a whole."

posted by dru
April 18, 2000
# art, new links page

I just saw this banner ad for an MP3 player on This is ironic.

local: Writing in Electronic Text: Links. I just started compiling this list of quality articles on writing in electronic text. Additions are welcome in the discussion group

Publisher's Lunch: "If Riding the Bullet was a clarion call to get yourself an e-book strategy, this deal sounds a different note: The Dumb Money is Here, Grab it While You Can!"

Lots of good stuff at metascene.

blocks: some of my sculpture portfolio

[from my sculpture portfolio]

posted by dru
April 17, 2000
# More web writing links

Webmonkey: The writing on the web. Good article, but way too short. I want some in depth looks at the culture of digital text. 'sappose I'll just have to think about it for myself.

Michael Stutz of pointed me to Jorn Barger's alt.etext FAQ. A lot of material there. Thanks!

One of the most important realizations that you come to as a designer, artist or writer is that 90% of the time, people who look at your work won't notice any of the energy or nuance that you put into it. It's kind of frusterating, but it tends to result in a love of the work itself, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

...or you get cynical...

I spent nine hours in the sculpture studio yesterday, six of which were spent banging on a big sheet of metal. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome, though. Stay tuned for pics.

Oh yeah, and I'm all done with schoolwork. Isn't that nice.

posted by dru
April 16, 2000
# From Seattle to DC.

Protests in DC: "One group of 50 people were dressed in tuxedos, wearing shark-fin hats and shark noses as they danced behind a brass band chanting, 'The IMF is the Loan Shark to the World.'". A sense of humour and a real message are a powerful combination.

posted by dru
April 15, 2000
# Tricky Dick

Tom Tommorrow: Apparently, Nixon said some pretty enlightened things.

Ideakeeper is "a free-form database and idea manager" for the macintosh. Looks cool, but I'm totally amazed that no one has bothered to make something as simple and compelling as notespace. Unfortunately, notespace is just a concept at the moment.

Time to email some shareware authors.

posted by dru
April 14, 2000
# Academia Nuts.

This article in the Chronicle of Higher Education says that academics have trouble evaluating the quality stuff published online, because it wasn't published in a journal whose reputation was a "known quantity". To me (the naive one) this seems pretty bizarre. Whatever happened to evaluating things on their own merit, not what club they belong to?

(that link works now)

The Deapleap beta is now available for general consumption. It's a "contextual information application" - pretty close to something I've been complaining about not having. I always thought of it as a system-level thing, though - e.g. right click on a word in any application and get a contextual menu with stuff like look up this word in dictionary X, or search for this words/phrase in Google, or whatever else. This is cool too tho.

They should have a "show me weblogs that link to this page" option.

posted by dru
April 13, 2000
# Micropayments here we come... (?)

There is an interesting discussion about micropayments going on over at Hack the Planet.

(having a discussion group on every site is very cool)

Gotta love weblog politics.

A couple of great links on Flutterby today..

Conxion is cutting off service to Userland Software, for no other apparent reason than the fact that Dave Winer criticized them in public.

I signed up for PayPal and eGold today. I'm going to start experimenting with homegrown micropayments over the summer, and bugging them to add features.

Alexander Stigsen sent along an easy way to send someone 2 cents, using egold. It seems like it would be easy to set up more of this kind of stuff, and make it flexible.

Still waiting for Millicent...

posted by dru
April 12, 2000
# solutions to

Jordan Pollack thinks he has a way to fix the problem of buggy software, among other things.

Hey cool, all of the Slashdot comments on my LFS article are still there. Gives you a good idea of how much /. has changed in the past three years. If I submitted that article today, I seriously doubt it would even get looked at. I guess that's why we have weblogs.

BTW, that article got 5000 hits/month after it got posted to Slashdot, and I got over 200 emails from people who had subsequently heard about it on mailing lists. Quite the jump-start into web publishing.

I wrote about the experience in the Argosy last year.

posted by dru
April 11, 2000
# busy busy busy busy ow.

A wierd quote from a promising weblog on publishing that needs more cellpadding: "What [Arthur C.] Clarke did [publishing a short story online] was a kiss good night. Bullet is more like heavy petting."

The National Association of Broadcasters wants to kill low-power FM. duh. What's scarier is that they might just do it.

This weblog has been around for about four months.

Link from four months ago:

I found this in a Wired review of a book by Galen Marcus: "The idea is that you should be creating your own art instead of consuming other people's art. With punk music, there wasn't supposed to be a person in the audience who wasn't taking part in the performance. If people are spectators instead of participants, it's easier to sell them commodities. A few years ago, people wanted the Internet to be revolutionary and change the world. Making people participants in the product creation is the first step."

I've got two papers due tommorrow. Sucks to be me.

I've updated and rewritten quite a bit of my Rethinking Micropayments piece. Go read it.

There's a second draft of my new paper on Dialogues and Documents, if you're interested in what I'm presently working on. I'm hoping a lot of people read this one (once it's done), coz I think there are a lot of good ideas in it.

posted by dru
April 09, 2000
# IP.

Dave Winer doesn't believe in property.

I tend to hold the same opinion, but I must say, taking sociology has changed my perspective a fair bit. I used to look at 'property' values from a highly critical standpoint (which is necessary), but I think that it's also very important to understand where the ideas of property come from. When you know (or theorize about) the source, it's easier to see how to effect real change... hopefully to something more aligned with values that are underemphasized.

More on this later.

posted by dru
April 08, 2000
# 12th Night

I just finished an outdoor production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (I played Sebastian). It was cold and windy and three hours long, but about 150 people stayed for the whole thing, and loved it. Needless to say I'm pretty psyched. I'm also pretty amazed that a bunch of students learned their lines, directed it, and composed original music for the project - all during exams.

Some things renew my optimism and make me all giddy. This was one of them.

posted by dru
April 06, 2000
# Free Speech?? Can you imagine what chaos the world would fall into?

The MPAA wants to make it illegal to link to illegal content. Read all about it. Yeesh.

Entirely reminiscent of the Bill o' Rights Lite (from the excellent John Perry Barlow Library)

posted by dru
April 05, 2000
# 5k entry

I just remembered: the 5k deadline is up, so I can show everyone my entry. It's kind of artsy, but it's 708 bytes, and I like it.

Silicon Valley may not care what Bill Joy has to say, but the fact that a bunch of people with a stake in him being wrong are ignoring him hardly makes his argument less valid.

Short article from Business 2.0 about the PC becoming more of a server, and content shifting to the edges. i.e. another significance of Napster piece.

USA Today: Eisner says net content doesn't have to be free. "''These Internet pirates try to hide behind some contrived New Age arguments of the Internet. But all they are really doing is trying to make a case for age-old thievery... Theft is theft, whether it is enabled by a handgun or a computer keyboard.'" hmmm. theft indeed.

There is some great music (legal MP3's - 'magine that) on the CHMA music page: check out New, by Channel 4, and a very interesting version of Brown Eyed Girl, by Threesome. Both bands are from Sackville - that is, where I live and go to school.

I'm using IE5 on a Mac right now, and despite my bias against Microsoft, I have to say they got quite a few things right with this one.

posted by dru
April 04, 2000
# community and other blogs

Millicent: "MilliCent is in production today, live for use in the Japanese market. MilliCent will be available for use in North America and Europe very shortly." Still waiting for those micropayments to show up.

Tim O'Reilly wrote a good, concise article on the emerging eBook universe.

Interesting thoughts on online communities over at Sylloge.

Good blog: Random($foo)

posted by dru
April 03, 2000
# stoopid uses of IP law

Eric Raymond: Why I am an Anarchist. We might perhaps wonder then, why did David Grenier sell out?

Mount Etna blows smoke rings

I once did this to a friend's car in high school.

RSA Hacked. ouch.

Man, there are a whole lot of weblogs out there these days.

I was using pike today, but the controls just stopped responding.

I wonder how long it'll take paramount to shut down this site. (A well done, exhaustive compendium of all the Star Trek ships).

The focus on child violence is always about what can we get rid of that is causing this? Why not be a bit more constructive? How about, let's teach our kids to solve their problems through communication, instead of blowing someone's head off. Watching less TV is definitely a part of that, but it's not the Final Solution.

This is wierd. Reallly wierd.

posted by dru
April 02, 2000
# busy day; quote

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

-Upton Sinclair.

Things are slow on the weblog angle these days, as a result of my having three papers and a play (Shakespeare's 12th night) to do in the next week.

posted by dru
March 31, 2000
# visual 'blogging

Dr. Bronner's soap labels are now available in pdf format. All one!

Michael Stutz over at posted a great Ginsburg quote:

"Every American wants MORE MORE of the world and why not, you only live once. But the mistake made in America is persons accumulate more more dead matter, machinery, possessions and rugs and fact information at the expense of what really counts for more: feeling, good feeling, sex feeling, tenderness feeling, mutual feeling. You own twice as much rug if you're twice as aware of the rug."

Camille Paglia in Salon: The North American Intellectual Tradition. Nice and short; some interesting ideas about environment influencing thought. [via metascene]

Interesting use of images in a weblog format: mod7. I was telling a friend about weblogs the other day, and she said that one of the most exciting possibilities about the internet was the possibilities for visual communication. Being text oriented, it frankly hadn't occurred to me in any profound way. Lots of unexplored possibilities. [via kottke]

Home sweet home (the Olympic Mountains, Washington State.):


posted by dru
March 30, 2000
# limitation and creativity

David Carter-Tod makes an important point that has been made before in different contexts: "the internet's limitations have forced us to rethink instruction. The more it resembles "real life" the less work we have to do."

The important thing about new technologies is not how well they can replace real life, but about how much perspective they give us on what we do. The same way that learning a different language or visiting a foreign country gives us perspective.

posted by dru
March 29, 2000
# Structuring Meaningful Discourse

Structuring Meaningful Discourse

Here's an idea/area that more internet publishing sites should experiment with: meaningful questions.

Thus far, all of the 'interactive' features of publishing, such as ZDnet's talkback, and the NYTimes' Buzz are limited to general discussion forums, which are fine for getting a certain number of people to be eyeballs for ads. It can also be fun, but such forums are generally ineffective at generating any meaningful conclusions. Even when there are interesting conclusions, the signal to noise ratio is just too high.

Sites like Slashdot work within this 'everyone gets an equal voice' paradigm by adding moderation features, which works to a point.

Here's a slightly different model that could be effective: Make each article a dialogue, with the author at the center. How to do it: make a comment space at the end of each article, but instead of letting anyone throw out an argument, let people ask concisely stated questions which might render a meaningful response from the author.

Add some light moderation and a willingness to respond to the few best-rated questions, and you might just have a way to generate real discourse, and use the web to its potential.

addendum: Another way to make discussion of an article more meaningful is to bring the discussion structure closer to the intuitive structure of the document itself, as outlined in fip. Recent interest in fip makes me hopeful that this idea will spread in the near future.

update: David Grenier pointed to a few sites that do something like I described.

Seems like these (and many others) rely on 'the community' not misbehaving. I'm interested in making the small-community effectiveness work on high-traffic sites - so that interaction is mediated in such a way that it is effective, despite being between lots of anonymous strangers.

(I find it interesting that the two people who have so far been the most active on the discussion group here have been the proprietors of Leftwatch and Retrogression; conservative and anarchist weblogs, respectively. I don't know if Brian Carnell still visits misnomer, though..?)

deep linking is legal. I'm so relieved.

posted by dru
March 28, 2000
# 3000?

This 3000+ thing is really wierd: if writing one way suits your style, do it. If it doesn't, don't. Feel free to experiment.

I'll weigh in with "conciseness rules", but all that means is that if something is more concise, I'll link to it over something that isn't. Feel free to do your own thang.

Benbrown's assertion that 'bigger is better' is somewhat questionable.

Looks like Wes doesn't like the new Be logo either. Someone should start a petition.

posted by dru
March 27, 2000
# King's eBook and encryption.

The internet is pretty cool lookin'.

Stephen King's eBook cracked. I'm still amazed that everyone is convinced that people won't pay for something unless they are forced to.

The assumption is so deeply embedded that no one ever questions it - every article about online content is based on it.

There is a poll about encryption in eBooks. Some strong opinions on the results page, too.

Dan Gillmor: "Microsoft has a habit of making and breaking promises. It has a habit of using fine print and deliberately imprecise languate, pretending to mean one thing while actually meaning another. It has, to put this bluntly, a habit of dishonesty."

Sometimes, you just have to say it like it is.

BeOS 5 is out tommorrow.

I didn't know that caveat emptor means "buyer beware". Now I do.

Seen on /.:

    "It is not enough that I should succeed. Others must fail."
    -- Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald's

I wonder if he actually said that..?

Disinformation has a lot of cool links to stuff that is... less mainstream, like this cool web art

Brad's Technological Determinism Links.

All kinds of determinism: linguistic and technological; strong and weak.

From blogit:

    CNN deems four bands from SXSW (no, not that one) worthy of our attention, with brief bios and music clips for each.

    well, coverage of four is better than none, at least. i think we should start holding online media to higher standards of story coverage, though, as they do not have the same time or space constraints inherent in broadcast or traditional print media, respectively. coverage of all the bands, thereby letting the public decide who to follow? okay, so call me a visionary...

posted by dru
March 26, 2000
# MP3's .. again

Jason Kottke has a few short thoughts on MP3's and IM.

If anyone is wondering, I have a thirteen pager due tommorrow morning, so that's why there aren't many updates.

posted by dru
by juan carlos

necesito este programa

March 24, 2000
# bloggin' for class credit.

Apparently, there's a class at RPI, Writing for the WWW, where students create and update their own weblogs as part of coursework. " is not enough to wait for things to settle down or for the "experts" to decide what's important and what's not."

I've always thought it would be fun to teach a course like this. Looks like these people haven't quite mastered the weblog format yet.. and they still call it a "notebook". Then again, getting credit for keeping a weblog would be nice too.

There's some trippy text happening over at insane.

Somehow, the webcam pic disappeared in a wierd Manila error, so here it is again:


posted by dru
March 23, 2000
# Ingenuity Software

Looks like Ingenuity Software is finally getting ready to ship iFile. They don't say much on the web site, but from what I gathered from talking to Bruce Horn, it makes the file system a lot more flexible, possibly adding intertwingle capability, and customized hierarchies, like I described in

For some unknown reason, misnomer is not showing up on, and it's starting to make me feel helpless in the face of technical adversity. Argh.

Eleven Inherent Rules of Corporate Behavior. It brings out the anarchist in me.

I'm playing with the prefs entries on this site to make it faster to register, and more relevant.

posted by dru
March 19, 2000
# good conversation... yum

Howard Rhiengold's The Art of Hosting Good Conversation Online is a must-read for anyone maintaining a discussion group or online community of any kind.

Also very cool, by Rheingold: The Internet and the Future of Money. Talks about creating localized currencies, but on a more abstract level, illustrated the ability of the internet to make things like money a lot more flexible. So much for the almighty buck... I hope. is a very cool weblog that I never noticed before. Free software, indie music, and open source text. Sounds familiar.

Wouldn't it be great if people decided they didn't need lots of money to be happy?

Sure, altruism doesn't work, but if you don't care about it in the first place, it's not altruism.

Massively Multiplayer Online Star Wars Game. Someone clued in in a big way. (via /.)

I went and saw Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew last night. Absolutely brilliant blues and rock, with some awe inspiring Hendrix-style solos. Apparently, they tour on the west coast - a highly recommended show in any case. (psst. they've got MP3's on their site, too).

posted by dru
March 18, 2000
# let's play MP3 what if...

More thoughts on MP3's

(unrefined ideas to follow)

The other day in class, my prof mentionned that the reason record companies are afraid of MP3's is because the market could quickly become something like in China - dominated by pirates who sell content for cheap (or in this case, give it away). Now this is fairly obvious, but it led me to question whether we really need to make money from music. While losing revenue is Bad For Artists, I think the only people it really hurts are huge record companies, and a minority of recording artists who actually make a significant profit fro their music (see the problem with music for details). So why don't we just make music a local thing, and have people who make a reasonable living playing it, as well as a lot of amateurs.

Of course, that would mean an end to the star system, and a bunch of other things. My idea is this: if MP3's help make recorded music less of a wierd, elitist, star-worship thing, and places more emphasis on live, local music, then I can't see the loss of billions in record sales revenue as a bad thing - record company execs will hardly starve.

Another bottom line: if no one can make a decent living as a musician, there won't be any commercial music. (Is that a bad thing?) Therefor, even if MP3's make all music inevitably freely available, other ways of paying musicians will emerge, or there will be significantly less music. That's my understanding of the market, anyway.

Either that, or musicians will find motives other than money to play music, which I think some of them already have.

If you haven't seen the cool web apps at yet, they're definitely worth a look.

My roommate, Stefan, has the fastest loading manila site out there: Promises to have some interesting content, too - Stef does good poetry and a lot of non-sequiters.

Finite and Infinite Games. Another cool concept that applies to more than just what it describes (games). (via synthetic zero)

I think I like using bold for emphasis when I write longer bits.

It seems like 20 new blogs show up every day, many of which are suprisingly uninteresting. Heh. Welcome to the dark side. Anyway, thank god for filters.

posted by dru
March 17, 2000
# Art and Incrementality revisited.

fish1: A close-up of some of a piece I did in photoshop.

idea. One of the strengths of weblogs is that they are updated incrementally. Consider this in relation to a site like yahoo, which has (arguably) similar content to many specialized weblogs, the chief difference being that the presentation is incremental, yet non-linear, so any visitor can jump into the flow and have a reasonable chance of learning something by spending a few minutes a day at a site, starting at any point in time. Contrast this to a huge annotated link list, which amounts to a huge one-time flood of information, which it's hard to go through in one sitting, and even harder to remember (or want to) go back later. The 'newness' of newly updated weblogs only adds to this.

The point: the temporal, incremental process of reading a weblog is an explicit part of the interface, so the user doesn't have to have the discipline to sit down and sift, just the curiosity to go back to a site and get a few tidbits now and then. This relates to my idea of incrementalism, which I now realize applies to both the updating and reading of weblogs.

Good stuff about comics and eBooks on peterme, and I just noticed his interface design reading list. Fantabulous.

Weblogs that are new to me: blogit has some good links today, including this one which quotes Steve Ballmer as saying the internet is "backward". Swallowing Tacks has an entry about a cool musical concept. Infolets looks interesting.

Free BeOS is coming on the 28th. Apparently, over 100,000 people signed up to be notified. It'll be interesting to see how fast the BeOS spreads after it's freely available. Go Be! ... er, Gobe!

Monkeyfist digs Zydeco. I wonder if any Zydeco bands ever make it up to eastern Canada? I would seem likely, given the Acadian connection and all.

Another one from the archives: Bewitched. Ack. It works.

Oh yeah: Web Collage

I was looking for the earliest archived posts in some weblogs today, and the first two I looked through eatonweb and inessential both mention squirrels in the very first post. Cosmic!

Happy Saint Paddy's day! As usual, Google is dressed appropriately.

Pink Floyd: Green is the Colour

posted by dru
March 16, 2000
# Dialogue and SXSW

It's really interesting to put faces with names of people I read daily, but never see, thanks to all the photos from SXSW.

Cool! O'Reilly is using the dialogue format to document his conversation with RMS. This has been done before, like 2,500 years ago. Any similarity?

I talked about this a little while ago, and keep meaning to write a more in-depth article about it. The basic idea is that the dialogue is a totally natural way of presenting an argument, because the exchange of arguments takes place in the same medium as the presentation of a document, so with a little editing, they can be one and the same.

I got a fun list of keywords in an email forward. The message claims this has something to do with the NSA's Echelon project (scroll down), and their new "super cray". I just think it's a fun list.

posted by dru
March 15, 2000

There's a guy who his lots of money and wants to start a free net based university. This is cool, though it can never be "Ivy League quality", because the value of those schools doesn't come from their pedagogy (their lectures), but from the result of having lots of intelligent people who will do interesting things in the future all in the same space, learning intensively. Still, it sounds like a good/great idea.

Other weblogs that link to this story.

Manila should have a macro that generates this link automatically, e.g. when I type {otherblogs}, it looks for the first link before it, and generates the weblogs search feature. Better yet, I want that feature integrated into my browser - with one click at any point in time, I can look and see which weblogs are pointing the page I'm currently on.

We'll have to wait for Mozilla

If you can read this, I'm done being frusterated because I can't post this message.

posted by dru
March 13, 2000
# Drama, Greed.

I just finished the first rehearsal for a play I'm acting in (12th Night). I'm not much of a drama person, but it's really interesting to look explicitly at all the nuances of meatspace/meetspace interaction, especially considering how much time I spend thinking about the digital medium and its qualities/nuances. Enlightening indeed. I keep finding new uses for a liberal education.

I've been thinking about books vs. computers, and it occured to me that when enough people get used to (read: dependent) find functions and other useful reading features that have yet to appear, we'll see a lot more traditionally paper stuff moving to computer-based media. Of course, there has to be actual innovation in the on-screen reading space. For that, I'm sure we can rely on Bill "We just want to innovate" Gates, or whoever's running that place now.

Something I'd like to see - in-page placeholders. Does this exist? Probably not in a useable way.

David Grenier, discussioner in residence, has posted a reply to my idea about environmentally friendly shop bots.

Brent beat me to this one: "Want your own domain name like or These are available:,,,,"

I got bored in class today: GreenScene, CuteFlute, FunGun, SwearChair, BoreScore, BloatCoat, LordBoard, BleakSqueak, Ease Trees, DotSlot, MeanScreen, RipeSnipe, OralMoral, BlackTack, BleakGleek, FullBull, SlightLight, DarkLark, AloofPoof. Oh yeah, and these are all registered trademarks, patent pending, and copyright 2000 Misnomer Holdings International, Ltd.

Good comics: Bob the Angry Flower, home of Bob's Quick Guide to the Apostrophe, You Idiots.

Is it just me, or is everything about internet business in all or nothing mode? It doesn't seem to be possible to do modest (or one thing well, for that matter) business on the internet without being considered a failure because you didn't have a trillion dollar IPO.

I wonder if that's a goal to aspire to: make an modest living working on the internet.

posted by dru
March 11, 2000
# Misnomer: Lifestyles... ummm

Microsoft PressPass: it's not just a bunch of propaganda, it's a lifestyle. This must be proof that Microsoft 'gets' the web.

It seems there's a lot of vibes coming from the anti-patent camp. While it's important to point out companies that are abusing patents, it's even more important to show what's positive about companies that aren't filing patents.

posted by dru
March 10, 2000
# Misnomer: Deadly Bananas

I recieved an email warning of a deadly skin disease that could be transmitted on bananas imported to the US. I don't know if it's legit, but it seems like laying off the bananas for a while might be worth it.

Two fun ska tunes : 'Russians Don't Skank', by Mr. Goon, and 'Anarchy Waltz', from the Distorted Penguins. (free downloads)

idea. I was reading the recent Wired article on shop bots, which are little proggies that search the net and tell you which product is cheaper from who, etc., and I was suprised that they didn't mention the possibilities for availability of other information about the product.

It seems to me a killer app for environmentally and socially conscious shoppers - while sorting available sources by price, users could also figure in other variables, such as how much packaging will be used, how much junk mail will arrive in the package, and whether the product was manufactured by people earning slave wages.

Presently, I'm working on a proposal to get a student run web server here at Mount A, running on Manila, of course. I'm also redesigning the Sociology department's page, putting up music on CHMA's site, writing three articles for the Argosy, working on sculpture, doing an entry for the 5k competition, and working on the zine. Somewhere in there I'll do some schoolwork.

I've finally got a Background colour I like...

posted by dru
March 09, 2000
# Misnomer: hampster madness

People have been asking where they can find the Hampsterdance single. Unfortunately, unless you work at a radio station, has as much information as I do. And then, there are always the shadier corners of the net.

posted by dru
March 08, 2000
# Misnomer: good weblogs.

Lots of good stuff at Monkeyfist in the past week.

Also, jjg's latest project, Weblog Nation looks promising.

I've been working on my entry for the 5k contest his evening.. I find that little stuff like this is good for getting out of a rut - being just a little creative makes you think about the web in a different way.

posted by dru
March 07, 2000
# Misnomer:

Today at CHMA, the radio station where I work, we got the Hamsterdance single CD in the mail. It starts off with the hamsterdance music (dee-ba-dee-teh-do-do), but then, when you're just about to groan, a dance beat kicks in - thumpa thumpa thumpa, and the whole thing is a techno dance track. Craziness!

Apparently, it's not available in North America yet, but just went on sale in Germany.

posted by dru
March 06, 2000
# Misnomer: Digital Copyright

<indulgence type="self"> Hey, I just noticed that Brent Simmons gave me a plug last week. Thanks Brent! </indulgence>

Oops! More self indulgence. This one is fun!

Every once in a while, I have to rave about Wannabe. Wannabe is a really small, infinitely fast (even on my old IIvx) text-based web browser for the mac. It doesn't have many features, but it supports Sherlock plug-ins and internetConfig, and plus it's small, and really cool.

I've been talking to David Pierson (the author of Wannabe) about making it into something like notespace, which would be really nice.

I started using the Subhonker Filter today. Very cool as well.

The Standard on UCITA. There are so many dumb laws being passed (and a serious dearth of smart ones) that I'm starting to think anarchy is the way to go. It works on the web, anyway. "One of the key provisions in UCITA is the transformation of what is now a sale – such as buying a copy of the Windows 2000 operating-system software, or the e-book version of Stephen King's latest novel – into a lease."

If it passes, this one belongs at

Quake as a performance medium. [via usr/bin/girl]

PeterMe has some interesting observations about the layout of coffeehouses that relate well, though somewhat abstractly, to what I talked about a few days ago.

Great article by Stewart Alsop on digital property. He points out that while Microsoft arrogantly defies the government in the monopoly case, it is copyright laws that give them that monopoly in the first place.

He also mentions that there are quite a few business plans floating around that deal with unprotected music. I wonder if any of them look like this?

I think the most interesting part was when he said this: "Of course, as a spur to these discussions, I would love to grant you blanket permission to copy this article freely, but I don't own the copyright." That would be the most interesting thing about the web - if the source of information is efficient, then there's really no point in duplication; you can just point to it.

Barlow wrote about this a long time ago: "most information is like farm produce. Its quality degrades rapidly both over time and in distance from the source of production." And in reference to the Grateful Dead" "our intellectual property protection derives from our being the only real-time source of it."

(this sums up Microsoft's situation rather humourously)

Sylvia is getting one of these today:

imac: yum.

400MHz G3 Processor, 128MB Memory, 13GB, dual 400 Mbps FireWire ports, video editing software, slot loading DVD drive, stereo speakers... I'm jealous.

posted by dru
March 05, 2000
# Misnomer: 'leet haXorz

whoa. (A crazy story from Forbes about two really malicious 'hackers')

posted by dru
by jay

hahahahahahahahaha so they wanna do a show bout hax0rz (text written that way 4 ppl who do not know how 2 read hacker txt.)

by tr0ut iz mi her0

hahahahahahahahaha so they wanna do a show bout hax0rz (text written that way 4 ppl who do not know how 2 read hacker txt.)

by u4ea sha|| |>revai|

Dysons life is at risk, dyson will lose.

March 04, 2000
# Misnomer: The ubiquity of it all.

A friend of mine from CHMA, who does a radio show under the pseudonym 'Chaponsky' has started an editthispage site:

Seen today on Slashdot:

    My sister opened a computer store in Hawaii. She sells C shells down by the seashore.

    If Ronald Reagan's speeches proved one thing to us, it's this: a well-chosen anecdote can drown out innumerable (and true) statistics. I was wondering whether you might have any good terrifying anecdotes that might scare people who are about to make an unusable Web site into doing the right thing. (question in the Nielsen interview)

posted by dru
March 03, 2000
# Misnomer: Meatspace vs. Meetspace

ZDNet on"The battle over, Robertson argues, will settle whether consumers have a legal right to play music they have purchased on whatever device they choose." The RIAA does not concur, and is suing for royalty damages on all the CD's posted on, which apparently easily exceeds their market value. Ouch.


David Grenier posted some interesting thoughts and good questions about community to the discussion group.

I responded.

idea: A collection of inter-connected autonomous sites creates a sort of ecological filter, not unlike open source, where sites that are of interest to others rise to the top of the pile by recieving links, and those who don't, stay on the periphery. I'm not saying this is ideal, but it is better than having the collective space be brought down by bozos with big mouths and no accountability.

Mnemonic, a little known GPL browser initiative, keeps plugging along. See their recent screenshots.

Here's a good business model. pssst. read this, it's funny.

"Bill can conquer the world but he can't move anybody's heart"

I added iRights and Retrogression to the links above.

Wired on 5k design contest: "The more constraints there are, the more creative people become." Amen.

If being spoofed is a sign of success, then Dave Winer must be doing all right.

Addendum to yesterday's piece: While reflecting on the idea of the tragedy of the commons, more and more instances of flamers and trolls bringing a community to its knees come to mind. Hotwired's Threads, post-critical mass Slashdot, the Bitch Page, Usenet, various mailing lists... it seems like everywhere on the net where there are not set standards or authority, it's seen as an open invitation to wise asses who think they are doing the world a favour by provoking everyone with a strong opinion. Bummer, but also something of a unavoidable thing given the net's present condition and population.

So what to do? Change the structure of interaction. Much like architecture, computers give us the power to restructure how we interact, relate, and think, and do it much more easily than in meatspace.

Thought: maybe a corollary to meatspace should be meetspace. Meetspace being where interaction takes place, whether online or off - the distinction matters less and less.

posted by dru
March 02, 2000
# Communities and Commons

Communities and Commons

Jeremy Bowers (of iRights fame) has a 'Katzian' piece on weblog communities. Good stuff. (Katzian and good are definitely not mutually exclusive, IMHO)

I liken the creation of a community of discussion-enabled sites to fencing off the digital commons, except there is infinite land available. Instead of an anonymous melee of shouted opinions, we now have individual residences in which people can share, build and discuss. The nature of individually staked out property is that it is available to others only by invitation; people are apt to act much differently in someone else's house, as are they more likely to respect the wishes of a particular site than those of others in an open discussion group.

"Freedom in the commons brings ruin to all."

Restated: when you visit someone else's site, it's like visiting them in their home - you play by their rules, and if you don't like them, you don't hang out there anymore. This is more conducive to a stable community, because there doesn't have to be any concensus as to how to operate collectively - collective operation emerges gradually from the individual parts, control over which doesn't need to be shared.

Howard Rhiengold wrote about what is probably the best-known manifestation of the tragedy of the commons online.

Free Speech as a Tragedy of the Commons "If it is not policed by a list moderator, every user is free to add one more comment--one more
insulting or intemperate posting--polluting the virtual commons as surely as the sheep pollute the real one."
It seems like the internet is growing farther and farther away from the
shared code of conduct that was there when it was growing slowly - this is why individual sites will be more effective than commons for establishing communities: opt-in vs. concensus.

The tragedy of the commons in Artificial Intelligence. Interesting.

I've always asked seriously whether Microsoft has actually ever really contributed any innovations in computer software. By showcasing these examples, they've more or less confirmed my doubt.

The local web people here in Sackville have a whole lot of really nice Quicktime VR panoramas of the surrounding area and the university I attend.

posted by dru
March 01, 2000
# Misnomer: The Search for Norb

Here's a somewhat prescient article from 1994 about the effect of hypertext on how we view knowledge. "the idea and the ideal of the book will change: print will no longer define the organization and presentation of knowledge, as it has for the past five centuries."

One of the things I think is most interesting about hypertext is that context explicit, e.g. on the next line, I refer to Antisthenes - In a offline setting, I would have to assume you know who that is, but online, I can just link, and what I'm saying will make sense, because the context is as close as you want it to be.

According to Antisthenes, knowledge should be in the soul, not on paper.

Context is king.

DeapLeap has a really cool 404 page. DeapLeap, LoudCloud - is this a new trend, like the swoosh?

Intellectual property doesn't know what to do with itself. Film at 11. Gotta keep those IP lawyers employed.

Parsec looks really cool. Kinda reminds me of Net Trek on the mac, which we used to play on Mac Classics over Appletalk back in the day.

David Grenier has some interesting things to say regarding Emma Goldman and the radical tradition in America. "The idea of 60s radicalism as an aberration is a conservative myth, the fact
of the matter is it was a continuation of a long tradition."

Does anyone else remember Norb, a really cool comic strip that appeared in the Seattle Times (and elsewhere) for a while? I did a few searches, but just found a whole bunch of guys names Norb.

Ola says it's Daniel Pinkwater who did Norb, but I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing.

Ok, this explains things. Maybe we can appeal to the authors to put Norb online.

Via Rebecca's pocket, a Merc article about online filmmaking. "Tamir Halaban said the situation for filmmakers on the Web was like the early days of professional baseball, where ballplayers had to wait tables in the off-season to make ends meet."

posted by dru
February 29, 2000
# Misnomer: Other Voices

The 5k web design contest is coming, so stop using tabs and return characters now!

Here's a really good paper comparing Orality with online discussion. I hope to finish a more polished, comprehensive version of my thoughts on dialogue and digital text sometime this week.

Jason Kottke and Jason Levine both have different takes on the Amazon patent issue. What a startling coincidence.

Seeing someone in two different places on the web is kinda wierd.. tho that's not the right word. (scroll down)

I'm writing a paper on Emma Goldman, a turn of the century Anarchist and Feminist - before it was popular. <grin>

posted by dru
February 28, 2000
# Misnomer: Rollins for Prez!

Ooooh! A new toy. It's small.

Henry Rollins for President!. "In an age where people accept what Dr. Laura says as the absolute truth, the United States needs a leader who will encourage people to use their own brains."

The Standard: Patents Enemy-Making Process "In 1994, for example, [the US patent office] awarded a patent to Compton's on the concept of multimedia. That one was later yanked." Isn't this indicator enough that the process is simply and utterly FUBAR?

Slashdot interviews: Ask Jakob Nielsen anything "let's bypass all the people who have usability opinions just because they have opinions, and go straight to The World's Leading Expert" hehe.

Dan Gillmor interviews Linus Torvalds: "The best result is still what happens naturally." Some interesting bits on collaborating online. "The natural world is far from serene, as Darwin noted."

I'm doing miscellaneous stuff today - mostly catching up with coursework, cleaning my fishtank, grocery shopping. My subsequent procrastination will probably result in frequent updates to misnomer.

posted by dru
February 27, 2000
# Misnomer: Lazy

I have done a sum total of nothing today, and it doesn't feel too bad. This makes about 36 hours of playing pool (free all week at the campus pub), surfing (online), and sleeping. Ahhhh.

Is this the end of the web's non-linearity? frightening.

Now I'm listening to His Luscious Uncle (links to bio and mp3's), who are originally from Sackville. "I strolled downtown to find myself / but get stood up again../ I haven't had the guts to just sleep in" Worth a listen.

posted by dru
February 26, 2000
# Misnomer: Send some love to Amazon

Here's a great Salon piece that shows how the difference between dating and appearing on "who wants to marry..." is a matter of degree. "Women's eroticization of traditional power relationships makes evaluating a boyfriend for his earning power seem acceptable, rather than mercenary, to most men and women."

Dave Winer has a worthwhile piece called Notes on Competing - One of the better pieces by Dave I've read, actually. This Amazon business seems to be stirring up quite a few people. Jakob Nielsen and quite a few others still point to Amazon, however.

Now this is truly ridiculous. Jeff Bezos needs a kick in the pants. absurd! "Amazon has demonstrated they are not afraid of seeking an injunction to stop other people in their tracks" I'd be more inclined to call it cowardice.

No. Scratch that. Amazon needs to learn what it means to feel the love. It's that simple

Here's how: Go the other way. Instead of cutting yourself off from the rest of the web with patents, open up your infrastructure for everyone. Let any web developer put their own value-added interface on your product database. Selling stuff online is all about providing good information about products, so let everyone use your shipping and handling, and let them skim a percentage off the top for selling through you. If Amazon has the best infrastructure, it will be ubiquitous, perhaps without the customers knowing it. You don't need to worry about one size fits all, because if it's compelling, hundreds of people that know will use their knowledge to sell products for you. Feel the love

No one else is feeling the love yet. Bummer.

I'm a face in the crowd of Brent Simmons' collection of Manila people today

posted by dru
February 25, 2000
# Misnomer.

The web gives us a new view of humanity?

Big web pages that try to be everything to everyone tend to get a bit out of focus. It's like a Jackson Polluck painting, except it's not art. Other examples: AOL, Lycos, and Infoseek aren't quite as bad.

posted by dru
February 23, 2000
# Misnomer: Politics

Dave Winer has some suggestions for candidates who want the support of internet people. This begs the question: is there a body of voters big enough to be called the 'internet vote', and is it worth it - even at the state level - for politicos to win their support?

Another question: if there is an internet vote to win, does it necessarily have a concensus on issues facing the internet?

PC is to Piaget as WWW is to Vygotsky. Very interesting piece which makes an analogy between theories of developmental psychology and technologies.

Looking for some good tunes for free? Check out Wood Worm; very classy techno. My favourite track is "SPF 45", which fuses jazz and electronica, with interesting results.

posted by dru
February 22, 2000
# Misnomer: Redesign

Orality and Literacy Links. Lots of very interesting stuff I haven't seen before. I got into the idea that digital media combines aspects of Oral and Literary traditions, and couldn't find anything that even came close to saying the same thing.. until now. I applied for a grant to study this stuff in the summer, so my reading list just increased exponentially... if I get it.

Just found out I have the same birthday as a guy named Drew in one of my classes. Creepy.

From a friend's .sig: "In order to have the great reliability that we promise with Windows, you can't have all these variant versions where somebody has gone and tinkered
with source code here and tinkered with source code there."
-Bill Gates

posted by dru
February 21, 2000
# Misnomer: Redesign

Moving right along... The Problem with Music basically sums up why I don't think that the status quo of record companies can be any worse than lots of MP3's being distributed freely.

Redesigned today, with a view to making more sense of the dynamic navigation bar, and (as always) loading and rendering speed. That's one thing I don't like about the default Manila configuration: you have to wait for the entire page to load and render before you see anything.

So far, 100% of the reactions are positive.. And I just redid the tables.. should be a lot prettier now. Whew.

posted by dru
February 20, 2000
# Misnomer: Plato would dig the web

[idea] Rebirth of the dialogue online

Reading this discussion, I was reminded of Platonic dialogues. Plato refused to write essays or books in the narrative sense, because he (more or less) believed that the process of arriving at an intellectual conclusion should be apparent in the communication of such a conclusion (e.g. justice is...). I find that to understand something online, it is often beneficial to read a discussion that takes place between informed individuals. In this sense, the web could represent a return of the dialogue as a a mode of intellectual documentation - as contrasted to the present, where discourse happens, but the results are communicated in essay format.

This has everything to do with the mediums used. It is cumbersome to hold a discussion via letters, so a good deal of discourse takes place orally, which does not transfer readily to paper. Furthermore, lengthy discussions take up a lot of printed space (in journals), so single-writer essay format usually is chosen over a verbatim transcript of a particular debate.

By contrast, email is effective in itself as a medium for discussion, and debates conducted via email lend themselves well to being published verbatim, since no transcription is required. Furthermore, the space limits of print media are nonexistant online, so the richness and sumblimity of discourse can be preserved.

Email discussion does differ from Socratic dialogues in that it isn't as structured or questioning of fundamental assumptions, but in the right conditions, it does lend itself to the critical advantage of the dialogue: it can guide the reader through all the steps taken to reach a conclusion; it lets everyone see (and question) the process.

Aaron Olson responds to the above piece. Looks like misnomer is getting more readers who aren't necessarily part of the weblog 'community'. This is cool.

Today's entry on inspired my new tagline. Not trying to mock anyone, "thinking about the box" just best describes what I do.

The search feature doesn't seem to be picking up misnomer yet. Question: will it automatically read all of my archives?

posted by dru
February 19, 2000
# Misnomer: Covered in plaster.

Powazek: WTF is a weblog?

It's 7am, and I'm still awake. I can't explain it any more than you can. The campus Pub had a non-alcoholic 'Rave' from 3am to 6am, and before and after I was watching the kiln for the bronze pour, which happens this afternoon. Something about techno makes people a little more relaxed, and a little less into the meat-market atmosphere. More dancing for the sake of dancing. I like it.

Must. Sleep.

posted by dru
February 18, 2000
# Misnomer: Covered in plaster.

This is very cool. Now you can access all two months worth of archives using the search field in the title bar. thanks Userland fine print: it won't really work until tomorrow, when the site gets indexed

simplicity itself
eludes the fervent seekers
who sacrifice all


It doesn't occur to C|Net (or any of the companies described) that there might advantages letting the internet do it's own thang with music. We fear change. Regulate!

It's really unfortunate that a little comment can spark a childish pissing contest. "If you compare the blogger sites against the userlanders, then it's pretty easy to see where the design skills lie." If Dave doesn't like Derek's site, who cares? How this extends to editthispage vs. blogger, or who's design is better, or anything, I don't understand. An opinion is an opinion.

The weblog 'community' is looking like a junior high lunch hour at the moment. Kinda sad.

Slashdot postings: Jon Katz's Lonely Hearts Club Thread, Women in CS.

Lake Effect has a good rant about the Oscar nominations. This is good, because now I don't have to go on about it. :D

It's that Argosy time of the week again. This time, I wrote about Napster, and the Economics of making music in digital media (see wednesday for a summary of my ideas).

posted by dru
February 17, 2000
# Misnomer: Internet Bliss?

Ask and ye shall recieve is the motto for yesterday. I asked for (and received) a response from David Grenier about MP3's and micropayments.

(I have an exam, but plan to comment extensively after that).

hmm, looks like I ran out of time: I spent from 9 PM to 3 AM finishing sculpture for the bronze pour tommorrow. I'm tired.

posted by dru
February 16, 2000
# Misnomer: Internet Bliss?

Question for Dave: How can companies do (nevermind ask) what's best for the internet when they have stockholders who demand short-term results?

While I was in class, Dave responded

Lisa W. has a weblog. I didn't know that. She mentions Coming Soon (the movie), which apparently isn't going to be released in the states, as a result of the ratings board scandal

idea. Short extrapolation: if digital storage becomes the medium of choice for people who listen to music, then those musicians who distribute with SDMI and demand payment up front will gradually get less well known, while those who let their music be distributed freely and ask for a voluntary micropayment of 50 cents or so - if you like the music - will gradually get more widely distributed.

Another possibility: Hit single type songs will still be popular, but might not make as much money as music with real depth (and longer listenability). MP3's are good at playing one song 'til you get sick of it pretty efficiently.

My rationale is that music on the internet costs nothing to distribute, so why should it cost anything to listen to. If you like it, you pay for it, and if you're not going to, then you probably wouldn't have, no matter what kind of copy protection is used.

I wonder what David thinks..

I started out writing "consumers of music". What is happening to me?

posted by dru
February 15, 2000
# Misnomer: Fun with Photoshop

The RIAA says they are the "the trade group promoting the vitality of music in the U.S." I'll not dignify that with a response Latest SDMI information is interesting though.

I like this headline: McCain Feeds off the hand he bites. Sounds like a good plan, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who remains distinctly skeptical about such promises. "McCain voted against the final version of the satellite TV bill, not because he had a change of heart but because he said the bill had become 'simply another legislative goody bag, full of special provisions for special interests,' after it was amended in a House-Senate conference committee." Yeesh. It's enough to make me cynical.

Hey cool! I made Bloat's Top 8 new blogs list. Glenn Danzig, only crazier!

Christian Science Monitor: This year, apathy is out "
And the fact that Texas Gov. George W. Bush is the son of a former president is 'a little too monarchical for
me,' says Mr. Nelson. 'I thought we got rid of that with the American Revolution.'"

bicker bicker bicker (Salon and Slate go at it)

Here's an interesting idea from the /. discussion group.

Been having fun with Photoshop the last few days...


More of my computer art can be found here

posted by dru
February 14, 2000
# Misnomer.

No one else is talking about micropayments.

I just tried to read a news story at Red Herring, but it took three minutes to load and then crashed my browser. Is making a site look pretty or 'professional' really worth making it that slow?

Did anyone else notice that according to Microsoft, Windows 2000 has over 63,000 bugs?

Some interesting debate about what 63,000 bugs actually means.

posted by dru
February 13, 2000
# Misnomer.

Thanks to google, here's a good list of micropayment-related stuff, including companies, banks, and articles.

WC3: Micropayments Overview: "With the rising importance of intangible (e.g. information) goods in global economies and their instantaneous delivery at negligible cost, 'conventional' payment methods tend to be more expensive than the actual product. On the other hand, billing for small portions of a product or service reduces the need of security"

Recent issue of Spark looks interesting.

posted by dru
February 12, 2000
# Misnomer.

The Dead Media Project aims at documenting every medium that didn't make it. "Early 20th century electric searchlight spectacles. Morton Heilig's early virtual reality. Telefon Hirmondo. The various species of magic lantern. The pneumatic transfer tubes that once riddled the underground of Chicago. Was the Antikythera Device a medium? How about the Big Character Poster Democracy Wall in Peking in the early 80s?"

posted by dru
February 11, 2000
# Misnomer.

The Argosy is online.

This week, I wrote about the tragedy of the commons.

Last night, I saw Romance. Easily the most shocking, and at times repulsive movie I've ever seen, but at the same time, it was quite intelligent. If you're interested in sexual politics, I'd recommend it. It's a movie I'm glad to have seen, but didn't especially adore watching.

posted by dru
February 10, 2000
# Misnomer.

mmmmmmm... BeOS on a wireless webpad. Yum. I'd still settle for BeOS 5 for free, though. Is there any possible way Be will go back to their beautiful old logo? I'm still bitter.

posted by dru
February 09, 2000
# Misnomer.

Wired: CBS is stoopid. OK, that's not the real headline, but that's my humble opinion.

A year ago, there was a very interesting article on the history of vibrators in Wired: Love Machines: The secret history of a mass-market appliance. "The musculo-skeletal relaxation devices were medical vibrators used by Victorian doctors to masturbate their patients to health."

posted by dru
February 08, 2000
# Misnomer.

I have a friend who is making his own language, which sounds like a lot of fun. Anyway, this led me to find the constructed languages list. Apparently, there are hundreds of people who make up their own languages. Yet another list I'd love to spend time exploring.

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

- Voltaire

If anyone was curious as to what I look like, wonder no longer. I don't always look so stoic, though. But when was the last time you had a perfect picture of yourself?

My friend Ola posted the 100th message on the discussion group, saying that he liked the photo. I wonder if this means something. (now back to your non-self indulgent programming)

posted by dru
February 07, 2000
# Misnomer.

The Tragedy of the Common Re-stated "The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things."

Howard Rheingold: The Tragedy of the Electronic Commons "When two attorneys enraged millions of Internet users"

Free Speech as a Tragedy of the Commons

This list makes me wish I had a lot more time on my hands...

Context: I'm planning on writing an article about discussion groups using the tragedy of the commons as an analogy.

I've got these mysterious lines from a Slackers song stuck in my head:

Now a bee in a birds nest never made no honey

and a bird in a hive sang no song

god made man, man makes money

so who am I, who am I to judge?

There is an interesting debate about web page annotation software going on over at Hack the Planet.

The Word art director shows how hip he is: "I am a pretty regular person, not a pretentious art intellectual. I'm not one of those posturing, wanna-be hip people who hide behind their knee-jerk distaste for mainstream products, nor am I one of those other types of paranoid anti-snob snobs who are so adamant about not wanting to be hip."

This is apparently what inspired a whole issue of Suck

posted by dru
February 06, 2000
# Misnomer.

In reference to my comments on Slashdot's integrity, Jeremy Bowers asks: "Yeah... but wouldn't the parts be less then the total of the sum?" Too true, but that provides all the more impetus for them to not even think about skewing their view.

Wes has an interesting response to the same comment on Monkeyfist. He gives this as a hint.

Jorn has a scoop today: Sinead O'Connor turned in Shane MacGowan for heroin posession. This is pretty sad, the Pogues have always been one of my all-time favourite bands. It seem like Shane has been hitting rock bottom for about 15 years now - IMHO, it's amazing that he lasted this long. I wonder if he'll write songs in jail?

posted by dru
February 04, 2000
# Misnomer.

Over at Monkeyfist, Kendall Clark asks whether Slashdot has any editorial integrity to compromise, since they are "total amateur hour". However, one rhetorical question begs another: isn't amateur journalism still journalism? Since I, and many others rely on /. for information, I'd say it's pretty darned important that they keep some semblance of integrity. That said, I don't think it would be in anyone's interest to compromise /., because the audience's bullshit detectors are so sensitive - it wouldn't be long before a bunch of replacement sites showed up.

Last night was Argosy night. This week, I wrote about three principles for understanding the web.

posted by dru
February 03, 2000
# Misnomer.

I demoed Manila for some of the execs of Mount A's Student Admin Council.. they were very impressed. They are implementing an environmental policy, and want to use much less paper for memos, etc., and also want to communicate with the student body more effectively. Looks like Manila fits the bill!

posted by dru
February 02, 2000
# Misnomer.

If you're having a bad day, this is bound to have some effect. [via /usr/bin/girl]

Warning: do not try to censor the internet while under the influence of cluelessness.

In Canada, SOCAN acts as a sort of micropayments system to reimburse authors and musicians whose intellectual property is used. Their web site doesn't explain very much about the process, though. It looks like a micropayment system from the student's end, because we buy a course reader, and $2 or something is automatically distributed to the author.

New Hampshire primary election results are out. I'd go on about the system being non-conducive to reflecting the interests of the general population, but I won't waste my breath. Did I mention that Americans place way too much stock in 'character'?

posted by dru
February 01, 2000
# Misnomer.

What's with all the hype about PC's being replaced? It seems more like an analysts' pissing contest than anything... PC's will keep doing what they do, and if something else is more effective, then thats just great. Let's see the goods!

Slashdot has an irrestibable story about replacing SAT tests with legos. What could possibly make more sense?

Well described, fascinating. (thanks to Sylvia for the link)

One post, two replies.. hmm, I think misnomer just got its first dg thread.

Cam has a long, somewhat interesting rant about New Media Magazine's new site, and the presidential race up today.

posted by dru
January 31, 2000
# Misnomer.

In the discussion group, David Grenier remarks on the below observation about voting with one's wallet. "Voting with ones dollars assumes one *has* dollars to vote with."

Jamie Zawinski's diary of the early days of Netscape Communications has some interesting comments: "We had one of those 'we're going to win big' meetings today, where Jim and Marc wave their arms a lot and say 'these are not the droids you're looking for,' and we all sit there and nod enthusiastically and grin and say 'these are not the droids we're looking for.'"

Today, I've been spending alot of time on, looking for interesting music to listen to. My previous experience with jumping into the genre top 40 lists rendered a lot of novelty songs with low playability over one listening. This time, I started out on Paranerd's page, looked at the 'other artists we like' sidebar, and found lots of cool stuff from there, such as Woodworm and Les Paiens.

There's lots of good stuff out there, but people need an opinion to start them off, so IMHO, community - lots of interlinked artists, weblog style - is the killer app on the web for music, not the top 40 lists.

The reason I'm doing this is to test a theory about whether the web can revive the 'midlist' - that is, books and other published media with circulations under 50,000 that are still viable. Or maybe just distribute that cultural force that is music/media consumption a little more evenly.

That, and there's a lot of great innovative music out there that I'm definitely not hearing on the radio.

JLG talks about Be in the new Be Newsletter. Did I mention that I still hate their new logo? Aargh.

The Amazon boycott seems to be spreading pretty fast - Slashdot mentions it in the same tone that they mention that the NY Times has "free registration req'd". The net may not be affecting politics in the electoral sense, but it seems that voting with your wallet is a more effective means in this day and age.

posted by dru
January 30, 2000
# Misnomer.

Issue #2 of subtext (an experimental print zine of ideas that I produce) is now online. This is one instance where I really like Adobe Acrobat - the file went from 11.1 megs in Pagemaker to 915k in .pdf. cool!

subtext got a good review in the Argosy last week.

I forgot to point to
>this article
on Corporate Censorship in the DVD Industry.

You've gotta love Dr. Bronner! "Eternal
Father, Eternal One! Exceptions eternally? Absolute none!"
- Get the
Straight Dope on Dr. Bronner.

More colour changes, comments are welcome.

posted by dru
January 29, 2000
# Misnomer.

Dave Winer wrote a really fascinating look into the happenings at the World Economic Forum. Dave looks at the dynamics between people, which IMHO, is much more interesting than the speeches, etc.

Ola posted some thoughts about the radiohead website.

I'm looking for links to interesting material about gift economies and gift-based cultures. Feel free to post links in the discussion group

posted by dru
January 28, 2000
# Misnomer.

The Radiohead website is very worth checking out.. it seems that they've made it into one big piece of web art- by the same guy who does their album art. Impressive.

Funny, if a bit bizarre and confused: Republicans discuss the virtues of moshing.

Dave Winer gets interviewed: "There are so many beautiful women here in Davos. And so many very smart beautiful women here. The are probably great beautiful men too but I don't look for that."

One of the great things about the web is that when other people share your opinion, you don't have to take a lot of energy to express it. In this case, Kate sums it up on I was trying to listen to MP3's with RealPlayer today, and it kept crapping out.. argh.

What if Jakob Nielsen designed a WinAmp skin? [via]

yeesh. where did all the time go?

Last night, I went and saw Fly Jimmy Swift play at Ducky's. It routinely amazes me that there can be bands with great songs and more talent, but never seem to 'make it big'. They played an amazing cover of some Pink Floyd stuff from the Animals album.

Paranerd has some new songs up.

posted by dru
January 26, 2000
# Misnomer.

The second issue of subtext was released to the general public today. There should be a .pdf version on the web by the end of the week.

Now I'm working on a grant proposal, so I can do research over the summer. the fun never ends

Interesting look and feel on the Mac-oriented Google

The Norwegian kid who released the source code to play DVD movies on Linux was arrested

Lack of updates due to hectic running around as if I was deprived of a head (and the coinciding brain).

It has been brought to my attention that the Open DVD people are doing interesting stuff, including a source code distribution contest. Whoever said the net routes around outages was spot on in this case - one guy encoded the code into a JPEG on his web page. Spread the love!

posted by dru
January 24, 2000
# Misnomer.

The Luddite Reader

I got another email from Russ Jones at Millicent, and he says that the 'wallet' (client) software will be an average 3 meg download, available for IE and Netscape on Windows platforms. There might also be a network based wallet that doesn't require download - that looks like the most promising method to me - 3 megs seems a bit much. He also mentionned that they'd like to have an SDK for Linux, Mac, and the rest, but that won't be for a while yet.

Wired: "Being appointed to a federal advisory committee is a lot like becoming a mother-in-law: You get to tell everyone why they're wrong, but nobody has to listen."

posted by dru
January 23, 2000
# Misnomer.

Dan Fitch has a cool new design

Jeremy Bowers points out that with Millicent, my voluntary payment scheme would be easily workable. Now all we have to worry about is Millicent making all the steps really easy, and the software widely available.

$50,000 for internet art. Yessss! [via rebecca]

Did I mention I'm pretty psyched about this?

I've been talking with Russ Jones at Millicent, and the word is that things should be working by April. I asked about client software, but no reply there, yet.

Jerry Pournelle has various methods of letting you donate money to him for the use of his site. They all seem pretty time consuming, though. What's most interesting, however, is the number of people that bothered to send cash. I'd say that's proof that donation-based payment systems can work.

I usually try to keep archives in the same category of new stuff, because it's usually more interesting (with the selective benefit of hindsight), but at the same time, 'just updated' has this irresistable appeal. Today I poked through the Barlow archives and found a fun little quote: "Since the Sumerians starting poking sticks into clay and claiming that the resulting cuneiform squiggles meant something, we've been living in the Information Age. Only lately did someone come up with a name for it. I suppose that was because we quit making anything else of value. Before that, they just called it civilization."

Another good Barlow article: Bill O' Rights Lite Short, but powerful.

posted by dru
January 22, 2000
# Misnomer.

In this discussion, Dan Lyke and Dave ignore one significant point - humans can't learn to write or communicate outside a social context, so whatever you do, your opinion/style is being coloured by other people. Now, what they're saying is that they've learned as much as they need to, and now they're going to cut themselves off from 'whiners'. I find this kind of strange, as it is pretty hard to learn and improve without outside input, whether it's whining or not. The first thing I do when I produce something (writing or otherwise) is find out what people think - not because I want to pander to their likes/dislikes, but to tap into their brainpower to improve myself and my work. If, to do that, I need to make a bit of bold text, why not.

This is figuratively speaking - I don't especially care for bold text, unless I need to distinguish between levels of concepts when explaining something. It's all very interesting nonetheless.

In recent news, Dave Winer calls me a 'whiner'. Whining (the word) seems to me to be a universally negative thing. However, commenting on things and questioning them seems less one-sided. Categorizing things/people in terms of whiner/non-whiner seems just a little limiting to me. another word?

Comments are welcome on my design modifications..

Slashdot takes on iSmell.

I never realized I generated that much content - The Ideas Page is now annotated, and generally ready for public consumption.

Slow updates today - I'm working on Subtext.

posted by dru
January 21, 2000
# Misnomer.

New page: I just compiled all of the (worthwhile) ideas that have appeared on misnomer thus far and put them on the ideas page

Whine Whine Whine

Mother nature just opened the biggest can of whoop ass in a 100 years here in New Brunswick. 70 centimetres of snow!

Interesting - The same storm hit Jason Levine when he was in NYC, on thursday

Back when I was a wee lad, I spent many hours designing a game that looks kind of like this. Too bad I don't have time for games anymore...they missed the window!

There is some Good Content (tm) today on Girlhacker's log

It's a small web after all. I pointed to syncmedia the other day, the same place that the DHTML clock resides. [via girlhacker]

posted by dru
January 20, 2000
# Misnomer.

Scary: A whole day's worth of weblogging just disappeared from Time to start over...

It's Argosy night.

Salon: Pirate Radio Goes Legit The FCC approves microbroadcasting.

posted by dru
January 19, 2000
# Misnomer.

[more ideas] I posted a short piece I wrote for my Sociology class about the philosophical underpinnings of computer-based intelligence.

Transmeta's killer app: Low power, high performance. "[the chip] will consume an average of one watt compared to a typical Celeron processor that consumes between four and 10 watts."

Once again, the analysts (rent-an-experts) are more concerned with how transmeta will fit into the status quo. What about the possibility of a whole new class of portable computing - desktop speeds on a webpad. Sounds good to me. (nevermind increased battery life on PC laptops)

Over at iRights, Jeremy Bowers writes: "Jon Katz evokes a lot of different opinions from people; I tolerate him, there is a place for people who state what seems blindingly obvious."

Lycos is now slowing down my access to Wired news with links to stuff that I'll never use.

For some reason, my computer crashed the last three times I tried to update this page. Sorry for the dearth of content.

Wired: Microsoft vehemently denies that the sky is blue. "Proclaiming your virtue after a judge has dubbed you a noxious reprobate is not a trivial task"

posted by dru
January 18, 2000
# Misnomer.

[idea] My latest article, Enabling Goodwill on the Net is about gift economies and micropayments.

A Berst of hot air. I think a good indicator of questionable content is when the ads and nav bars collectively exceed the size of the actual 'editorial' in question. Where's the substance? This is sensationalist crap.

[this is not to say that patents aren't a serious issue, but this particular article is devoid of value]

I'm looking forward to using the BeOS again. "We estimate BeOS 5 will fit in somewhere between 40 and 60 megabytes -- about the same as many game demonstrations available today, and less than twice the size of a complete Internet Explorer installation." Jab!

Emmanuel Goldstein on trial for distribution of DVD copying software. "'We're trying to send a message to people who will circumvent our copy protection and people who provide access to technology whose only purpose is to circumvent copy protection technology. That's not acceptable,' says Mark Litvack, MPAA's worldwide legal director for antipiracy." Scary.

I think the MPAA and the RIAA need to feel the love just a little more often. Just my opinion.

Two english students go at it in a tandem story session. Probably faked, but LOL anyway.

posted by dru
January 17, 2000
# Misnomer.

Idea: I got inspired by Fatbrain's lack of inspiration, and wrote an article: Enabling Goodwill on the Internet - Rethinking Micropayments - in which I discuss the dynamics of paying for content, the benefits of giving it away, and how to do both.

The Dictionary of Allusions looks very cool, but an online version would be cooler (and cheaper). (via girlhacker)

Here's a comprehensive history of Mozilla. IMHO, Netscape should lose the bland corporate image and start using these images on their website again. I guess that wouldn't float too well with AOL Time Warner types, though. A definite must-see for anyone who remembers when Yahoo was hosted at (via Camworld)

How to speed up your browser - Everyone who owns a mac should read this.

Garret Vreeland suggests designers look to women's fashion magazines for design inspiration. Elle has a neat little animated element on their front page right now - non-annoying, and kind of addictive...

Dave Winer wonders if access to porn will change the young generation's values about sex. It'll change, but how much and to what depends on whether they visit the hun or Nerve

On that note, I'd be curious to know the impetus behind the Shower Project.

David Carter-Tod posted something of a summarized manifesto about comparing learning between mediums on his Serious Instructional Technology site.

Note to Apple: please take Tog's advice, because it's the future useablity of my computer that you're messing with, dammit! Note to Microsoft, Be, KDE, GNOME, and the like - you, also, should read AskTog now and then.

posted by dru
January 16, 2000
# Misnomer.

Apathy has an interesting design, or content structure, anyway. Beware - the design element filcher cometh.

Hermenaut looks at loving music through objects, and the soul of punk rock.

Disintermediated! looks at writing for machines, among other things.

And while we're at it, here's an old DaveNet piece on disintermediation.

posted by dru
January 15, 2000
# Misnomer.

Coooool! Steve Dietz's paper, curating on the net provides a comprehensive overview of online art.

A story of net art in hypertext.

The new web-based Dante's Inferno looks interesting, but the site seems bogged down, despite the fact that it's only available in French. Probably because of the Wired News story

Wired News: the Slamdance film festival is showing films online this year.

Here's an old Tom Tomorrow on the fundamental problem people have with the WTO.

Cringely: "They want to know in advance what I will say on the air. Part of this audition is the producer (producers in this case) needing some quick education about what is going on, and part is their wanting to make sure that I am going to not only be interesting, but that I will say what they want to hear." It seems like people just accept the fact that news media only give their audience a very narrow side of the story. I find this sad and scary.

posted by dru
January 14, 2000
# Misnomer.

Thanks to slashdot's moderation system, some interesting comments can be read with little or no wading. "So really, the artist is irrelevant and has no rights of any description. They're all drug-addled perverts anyway. The only thing that matters is the guy with the checkbook. The customer is only buying the right to listen to the work, and certainly has no conceivable right to make copies or anything of that nature." But seriously - there's good ideas in those posts.

Here's another article on writing well for the web. via Scribble "List your site on for as little as $25 and start driving targeted customers to your Web site." I wonder if this is what Heraclites meant about driving the beast to pasture with a blow? Since when do customers need to be driven?

Weblog Madness has links to just about every bit of meta-weblog content I've seen. Well organized.

Weblogging: lessons learned (via metascene)

Scratch it! [flash]

The Matrix as a philosophy course

Those weblog IRC socials look kind of fun - the challenge is getting out of asynchronous time and remembering to show up.

I like being able to hear what people have to say when I have time, but I guess a little synchronicity never hurt anyone.

Jon Katz's Geeks hit the big time. This is interesting - when I read Geeks, I figured that it was a little early yet for mainstream acceptance, but when it comes out in February, it might very well work.

mini-review of Geeks: I usually find Katz's ramblings on Slashdot and elsewhere to be intellectually on the shoddy side, i.e. not thought out completely. However, with this book, he seems to have found time to absorb and process all the scathing criticism he recieved on /., and put it to good use. The story of the two geeks is told in a linear, cogent manner that is refined, yet simple. The book tracks the story of two rurally situated social outcasts who use then net to plant themselves into an ostensibly better situation out in the 'real world'. It seems to be aimed solidly at a mainstream audience, but (I think) will hold the interest of tech types as well. Besides a few clumsy uses of technical terms, it lacks all the partial, preachy rambling of Katz's essays. Instead, Geeks flows along more journalistic (even anthropological) lines, providing an honest glimpse into the lives of two Geeks, while remaining refreshingly free of rhetoric.

posted by dru
January 13, 2000
# Misnomer.

I'm working on the Argosy's first online issue for the year tonight - it should be up by 7 EST. update: it's up!

And my column is back! This week, I talk about the AOL-Time Warner merger. Keep in mind that I'm writing for the students of a small (2500) liberal arts university, but I think I keep it interesting nonetheless.

Via camworld: Bibleman!

posted by dru
January 12, 2000
# Misnomer.

Brent Simmons: "I'm trying to get some of my co-workers to start weblogs. They say the same things I said before I started this one. The standard reasons: I'm too busy and I have nothing to say. I thought the same things -- but I've found that running a weblog is a great way to be engaged with the web and the people who make it fun. I'm sure this is a topic I'll return to, soon." I'm still going strong after a month...

Rude Grrrls

The rest of today's entry is an email I just sent to Dan Gillmor.

Dan: in your commentary on AOL-TW, you say

"Ten million small sites won't begin to have the reach and power of AOL Time Warner, which will not be a force for adventurous journalism or cutting-edge art."

I'm curious as to why you think that this is true. I would tend to agree that the small sites can't move in unison or decisively as fast as AOL, but there is no way that AOL can react to emerging interests and issues, never mind muster up the collective expertise and wealth of interesting viewpoints that the net provides already. Just wait until the amount of people self-publishing on the web multiply exponentially and gel their organization.

OTOH, AOL (or other big, bad corp) can always appropriate the collectively generated information/opinion. In that event, people will choose to go to the source (as Barlow says), and if they don't, media will already have been changed for the better.


posted by dru
January 11, 2000
# Misnomer.

Project Censored "Tracking the news that didn't make the news"

Wired News: FEED interview circa 1998. "What we're seeing happening with the editorial styles of the different publications will start happening with the actual underlying technical basics of how the medium works."

Zinos has a well-done eZine directory - categorized, and with a top 200 list.

Brooke Shelby Biggs in 1997: Media Misinformation - Some close parallels to the WTO protest fiasco. The Media keeps on doin' its own thang

Yesterday was the fast break news day for all the AOL - TW stuff. Now some more reflective, interesting stuff might start to show up.

Salon's cover story today is one of those.

Slate: did AOL pay too much?. "the difference between the value AOL Time Warner will create and the value AOL would have created on its own (and that includes whatever return it could get on the $184 billion it's shelling out) will be less than what AOL just paid for Time Warner."

Slate's Links page lists only pundits that write for major papers. There seems to be a fairly large perceptive gap here - on one side, people who accept non-credentialled opinions via the web on their own merit, and on the other, 'internet magazines' like slate who seem to dismiss them completely (or are at least utterly ignorant of them). Is there is a reason for this?

posted by dru
January 10, 2000
# Misnomer.

Why does Newsweek have a pop-up ad that says "try Time magazine"?

In the off chance you haven't heard the wonderful news, AOL and Time Warner merged today. In some cases, quick reporting has shown how self-contradictory and generally clueless some 'analysts' are. What should be interesting, though, is the second wave of pundits that will talk about it this afternoon and tommorrow - that's where we'll get a good snapshop of what people think the web is really about.

CNN: "It also gives birth to a new class of digital media company able to combine high-speed Internet access with powerful news content and video streaming capabilities that ultimately will redefine how Internet and media companies are structured,analysts said." ... "it’s about coming up with all kinds of ways to use your computer in a very TV-like experience."

Funny. And I thought we had finally figured out that the web is the web, and not TV.

Wired: "It would allow the new technology titan to easily leap ahead of its rivals in traffic rankings, beating out" "Analysts said that the Net landscape is likely to change rapidly over the course of the year as large capitalized Internet firms look to acquire media companies. Web portal Yahoo has a market cap of $107 billion--far greater than some leading media companies, including Disney, which has a cap of $64.19 billion."

Slashdot: "No more need to deal with Web sites that stray from the party line, take risks (and screw up now and then), or any of that other messy old-fashioned 'Internet as anarchy' stuff. To get online in the future, all you'll need to do is plug in your computer, turn off your brain, and enjoy!"

AOL: "By merging the world's leading Internet and media companies, AOL Time Warner will be uniquely positioned to speed the development of the interactive medium and the growth of all its businesses."

I wonder what exactly they mean by 'interactive'? Kind of like the TV-like experience described above? If they want truly interactive media, they should have bought Slashdot.

I don't care what Jon Katz says! No more video games! (may be offensive?)

posted by dru
January 09, 2000
# Misnomer.

Another idea: why doesn't someone (OS vendor) make a contextual menu command called 'store URL'. This would make the selected URL available for quick pasting from the same contextual menu, and wouldn't get overwritten by the next thing that was copied. The last five URLs would be always available with a right-click. IMHO, it's little things like this that make an OS 'web-enabled'. That, and notespace.

I'm running another weblog (more of an enhanced 'what's new' page) at CHMA. Question: if it's a news page with a human voice, is it a weblog?

I recently discovered that a classmate of mine has an online alter-ego: Paranerd, an electronic music artist.

Updates are slow again, because I've been working on the next issue of subtext. I've got twice the number of contributors for issue #2 than I did for issue #1. Things are looking up.

The CBC and CRTC are squabbling over budget stuff.
I wonder how long state-funded media will be around?

posted by dru
January 08, 2000
# Misnomer.

You can see an interesting cross-section of the web at Yahoo's What's New pages. 1000 new sites per day!

How to build your own igloo

an idea: If companies like AOL - who send out millions of useless CD's - want to be hip and gain mindshare while spending very little additional money, why don't they use all the unused space on their junk mail discs to include tracks from up-and-comers, or even shorts from independent filmmakers.

The internet is still too slow for big files, and it still costs to much for artists to distribute their work using physical vessels. Voila le niche

posted by dru
January 07, 2000
# Misnomer. rates features spoken word MP3's from the likes of Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and how could they not have Henry Rollins? cool!

Ghost in the Machine: Sound and Technology in Twentieth Century Literature.

Here's YALLOWZ (yet another long list of web 'zines), this time, hosted by Webzine '99 (wired article). Alot of interesting ideas/design concepts. Also, it looks like a pseudo-weblog/zine community has developed in parallel to the eatonweb / scripting news / camworld universe.

How to make a web zine "two major ingredients to making an e-zine for free. 1. a computer with internet access. 2. something to say"

I was mad as heck when the RIAA made Floyd Radio stop playing good Pink Floyd tunes, and I still am. There's still a cool discography, though.

Slashdot interviews The Woz. I really like /.'s method of choosing questions from the readers - when people are actually interested, it's a much more thorough and effective method of getting the relevant information out. this is in stark contrast to the below quote on who has the "worthwhile content".

Dan Okrent (Editor-at-large at Time) speaks to the Colombia School of Journalism, and declares (halfway through), that print is dead. "Imagine a tablet, maybe half an inch thick, shaped when held one way like an open book or magazine, when turned sideways much like a single page of a newspaper. It weighs six ounces. It’s somewhat flexible, which makes it easy to transport." Is digital paper finally here? Dan claims he's seen it at Japanese research labs. I'm waiting.

What I find interesting is that Okrent delivers his argument in a distinctly non-digital way - his linear style of setting up the audience with his nostalgic sentiments of print could only be so well effected in the medium of public speaking, where the audience has no scrollbar.

Interesting: "last year, Time Inc., spent $1 billion dollars on paper and postage."

Obvious, yet scary: "And if you don’t think advertisers influence the direction of American
mass media, you ought to talk to Tom Goldstein about the curriculum here at the J-school."

Arrogant, and not true: "Because we – the big media companies like Time Warner, the eight or ten major copyright oligarchs, as I like to call them, who control so much of the nation’s supply of worthwhile content"

posted by dru
January 05, 2000
# Misnomer.

I've been enjoying Girlhacker's random log quite a bit in the past few days - she does pretty much what I'd like to do, a new idea every day. Unfortunately, my brain is a bit too clouded with classes starting lately.

Digital Diploma Mills by David Nobel and School's Out, by Lewis Perelman draw radically opposite conclusions from similar assumptions with regards to information technology in education.

I didn't know that Userland owned

Lots of Class Scheduling Angst today, so it's a slow day online.

I'm taking a class called Sociology of Cyberspace - every friday, we have what the prof calls 'asynchronous class', as in we all go to class (online), but not at the same time.

posted by dru
January 04, 2000
# Misnomer.

I really like Stewart Brand's Creating Creating - A short and sweet piece about art in new media.

David Noble in First Monday: Digital Diploma Mills: "...behind this effort are the ubiquitous technozealots who simply view computers as the panacea for everything, because they like to play with them."

Noble's article is interesting, but his open bias does very little to convince me that what he preaches is true. He says: "there has been no such demand on the part of students, no serious study of it, and no evidence for it". Well, if there has been no serious study of student demand (for online notes, etc), then how can you substantiate the 'no such demand' part?

I had no idea that Apple was doing that well. And they laughed when I said Apple was undervalued back at $25. Of course, I hardly had any money to put where my mouth was.

Bruce Sterling, whose writing I enjoy quite a bit, has penned Viridian Note 124 : The Manifesto of January 3, 2000. Looks interesting, though I haven't read it yet. (via slashdot)

Bruce writes: "You do not win freedom of information by filching data from a corporate warehouse, or begging the authorities to kindly abandon their monopolies, copyrights and patents. You have to create that freedom by a deliberate act of will, think it up, assemble it, sacrifice for it, make it free to others who have a similar will to live that freedom." Preaching to the converted, in my case.

O'Reilly now has Beta Chapters posted. Open source literature?

Nardwuar finds the numbers of famous people and conducts impromptu interviews. He walks the line between rude and obnoxious and funny. Bizarre.

A friend told me that when he was in university, the only time his room was spotless, his laundry done, and everything generally organized.. was during exams. Procrastination can be quite an ironic motivation. I think the same thing was happening to me when I started this blog. Now that things are back to a sort of steady grind, I don't feel quite as compelled to update four times a day.

posted by dru
January 03, 2000
# Misnomer.

Looks like Mnemonic has Linux binaries ready for download. Any Linux users out there want to try it out?

Salon: Annual Darwin Awards

JLG: Be and Internet Appliances

Be seems to be doing exceptionally well with Wall Street, considering their position.

I saw Toy Story 2, and, like a true weblogger, waited until the end and saw Dan Lyke's name in the credits. My question is this: did the penguin character have any significance in terms of Allegory vis a vis Linux? I couldn't find any without the allegory being kludgy.

posted by dru
January 02, 2000
# Misnomer.

Yeesh. I was expecting to be able to update regularly when I went home, but it turns out Manila doesn't agree with Netscape 2.0 on my old IIvx. Other than that, I was busy running around seeing people before I had to hop on a plane back to New Brunswick.

Kim Stanley Robinson in Yahoo Internet Life: "...I suggest we nationalize [Bill Gates] and take all his money. Leave him with $5 million and tell him to sink or swim. Give $5 million to each of his employees and ex-employees. Give the rest to charities."

BTW, the rest of the Sci-Fi round table is pretty interesting. Especially Robinson, since he brings an environmental perspective to the technological world.

I've been enjoying the recent issue of YIL, but the online version is pretty bad - formatting errors, splitting of articles into little bits to sell more ads, and they still have that god forsaken X-Cam advert. There must be a serious shortage of good webmasters these days.

I find it interesting that Kleiner-Perkins has adopted the Keiretsu concept.

posted by dru
December 23, 1999
# Misnomer.

Thought of the day: The most killer business model for (or BrandX online retailer) would be to open up the ability to sell their stuff to anyone who wants to start a website. In this scenario, Joe Web Entrepreneur would provide a nice site - customer service, community features, product information, etc. - with an inventory catering to a specific audience. Except the 'inventory' is really just an interface to Amazon's infrastructure. Result: Joe Web makes X% of the profits in his area of expertise, while someone else does all the logistical stuff, but also makes money. The customer gets personalized service, and doesn't have the anonymous, homogenous online shopping experience that is so familiar. Just a thought.

Does anyone feel like telling me who pointed to the browser rant (it's getting a lot of hits)? Just send me a quick email:

posted by dru
December 21, 1999
# Incrementality.

I thought of a new word today: incrementality. It's the state of mind that I (and surely many others) get into when they do things in increments - e.g. weblogging. Since it only takes a few minutes to add a link, I don't feel like I'm wasting time completing one increment, yet I almost always end up spending an hour or two with subsequent increments. By contrast, if I have even a small project to do (1-2 hours), I'll tend to put it off.

I'm not sure if I need to incrementalize my mini-projects, or just get some motivation to sit down and do it. Weblogging definitely has incrementality going for it, though.

posted by dru
December 19, 1999
# Misnomer.

Updates will be sparse for the next week - I've decided to take a small break from computers... Time to read, watch mindless TV, and recharge. Also, this laptop is somehow non-conducive to lengthy commentary and writing on the web... we'll see.

posted by dru
December 17, 1999
# Misnomer.

While I was trying to sleep on the train, Brian Carnell posted some interesting thoughts to the discussion groups. BTW, the best way to see whats being discussed is by looking at the topics page. I'll add a permanent link soon.

I was just discussing how so much software has too many unneeded features, and a lack of simplicity or intuitiveness, so this post struck a chord. It seems that 'back in the day' - when programmers had limited resources - the features of an application actually fit together.

More when I get some sleep.

posted by dru
December 16, 1999
# Misnomer.

Well, I'm off to Toronto, and then home to Washington (state). Updates will most likely be pretty sparse (anywhere from every other day to once a week), but then again if I get access to a computer for an hour or so, things might get out of hand :D Stay close to the Weblog Monitor

Oh yeah, and go read about another idea of mine: Notespace

There's more where that came from...

An old favourite: Push Media

This bit of patent law seems to conflict with all the 'stupid patent' threads on Slashdot. "Only the writings and discoveries of authors and inventors may be protected, and then only to the end of promoting science and
the useful arts."
Are corporations considered "authors and inventors"?

And what's this: "an invention must display ''more ingenuity . . . than the work of a
mechanic skilled in the art;'"
Seems there are some problems with the status quo. I guess US citizens are already getting used to having their constitutional rights violated often enough that this shouldn't come as a suprise. sigh

Whoever runs Serious Instructional Technology seems pretty frusterated with all the hype.

I got a great email from Lisa W. that outlines all kinds of information regarding WTO issues - lots of links. People like this are why I love the net. Thanks!

Anyone else who has useful information can reply to the discussion group message.

I'm looking for a concise, clear, unbiased outline of the issues being addressed by the WTO and their protestor counterparts. Is that way above the possibilities of modern news media? Even the independent press seems to be focussing on the scandal rather than what's at stake. We don't even need to mention Time magazine. Have any good links? Send em to

posted by dru
December 15, 1999
# Misnomer.

abuddahs memes has quite a hefty intellectual load for a weblog. "Alta Vista, which also asked me to 'Comparison shop for grand unified theory'..."

In response to Katz's latest in the Hellmouth series, a geek named Raskolnik says: "We have the right to say whatever we want. However, we do not have the right to have people hear it." Since when do geeks name themselves after Dostoevsky characters?

It's not april first, so what's the deal with this? (via Geeknews)

I'm going to start pointing marketers who send me email as a member of the "college press" demographic to Cluetrain. "Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice." (Context: I'm the webmaster and online editor for the Argosy)

My opinion: has pretty good web design, but from what I've seen, their content is crap. Am I just watching the wrong shows? Every time I watch one, I get a lot of self-indulgent, 'let's hang out in front of the camera', useless, content. It seem to me that TV on the web should cut to the chase, providing compact, relavent, informative (or at least entertaining) video in a short time span. From my experience, it's just not being done.

Did I say they had good design? I meant aesthetically pleasing, really slooooow design.

Actually, iFilm does have some interesting stuff. Too bad RealVideo has such bad quality.

Sabren: the socratic method at work

Here's an old editorial from the Denver Post that asks something that I've asked many times: how has microsoft innovated?

Another DG posting. This time a question about Allan Watts (who I talked about a week or so ago)

If you know who they might be giants are, you might want to read this. If you don't, then you don't. :D

Steve Wozniak on the integrity of the NY Times: "The New York Times didn't print my op-ed right away. After months, as I recall, they decided to run it. They sent me a rewritten version that followed the theme of Microsoft being the great innovator. It was a 180 degree reversal, with my name attached." (via GirlHacker)

I'm writing a paper today (last one), so updates will be sporadic, unless I start procrastinating again.. which is likely.

Hmmmm. seems to be up and down. I wasn't going to update today, but that seems to have changed. :D

posted by dru
December 14, 1999
# Misnomer.

On another note, I encourage anyone who has anything to say to pipe up in the DG - I like to know who is reading (apparently about 80 of you per day), and why. I wish manila had something like MetaJohn's karma points, but that'll have to wait.

Arrrgh. is slowing to a crawl, and I'm getting 'socket not connected' errors left and right. It's enough to make you start your own server!

Cool. There is a post in the discussion group from Brian Carnell. What my philosophy prof would call an appeal to character

David Grenier pointed me to his site, Retrogression.
"We wish to return to a time when diverse opinions were offered in various forms of communication."

Last night, I discovered one of my classmates is a techno artist on We ended up getting into an extended discussion on the old IRC culture, and the virtues of techno music.

Something that occured to me during that conversation is the web's similarity in some ways to punk music - in the 'I'm sick of having this crap forced on me, so I'll do it myself, dammit' sense. Weblogs in particular. I was watching a film about the early punk days once, and they shot a clip of this poster that said: "Here's [how to play three chords], now start a band!" I think the web is a lot like that in some ways: there's mainstream crap (some of it good), and there's the DIY crowd, which isn't always the best quality either, but it's definitely more organic, and the good stuff rises to the surface. :D Also, there's not as much clear cut reactionism on the web, with prehaps the exception of Matt Drudge

I did a search for "punk ethos", but I just got a bunch of pretentious rock writers.

I found this in a Wired review of a book by Galen Marcus: "The idea is that you should be creating your own art instead of consuming other people's art. With punk music, there wasn't supposed to be a person in the audience who wasn't taking part in the performance. If people are spectators instead of participants, it's easier to sell them commodities. A few years ago, people wanted the Internet to be revolutionary and change the world. Making people participants in the product creation is the first step."

The Straight-Edgers (sXe) seem to be getting pretty popular. "a reaction to the hedonism and self-destruction that characterised punk"

The sXe FAQ on "spammerz": "They are parasitic, thieving, bottom-feeding, asocial would-be entreprenuers with Ayn-Randish hero complexes..." has an interesting collection of book reviews hidden away in the archives.

posted by dru
December 13, 1999
# Misnomer.

I wonder if ZDNet's stock goes up when they post Flamebait. Ahh, the decline of it all!

Seriously though! How can this kind of crap be considered a 'guest editorial'? Astounding.

My local rant, Browsers, from another POV is finally up.

Suck has a pretty good parody of Slashdot up today. You know you've made it when... "If they change their address to, I will never look at their site again." LOL

hmm.. I have a logic exam at 2, so maybe I should study, and avoid Manila for a while. The Framework for Intercreative Publishing should keep you occupied until then :D

I've been noticing slow response times from the editthispage server, and wanted to make this page load incrementally, but Manila insists on putting a table around everything for the calendar. Hrm...

posted by dru
December 12, 1999
# Misnomer.

I'm writing an editorial on web browsers, which I will hopefully finish after my logic exam tomorrow. I'm hoping the subject won't be passe by then. :|

Mnemonic keeps on goin'.

Another thought on weblogs: Updates are incremental. You can update your site in about 5 minutes, as long as you have something to say. Contrast to writing an article, which requires a time commitment of at least a few hours. This makes it easy to jam a whole lotta weblogging into a busy day, and update frequently.

I'll have to think about this one: "The standard-brand religions, whether Jewish, Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu, or Buddhist, are - as now preacticed - like exhausted mines: very hard to dig." --Allan Watts, 'The Book'

Dave has interesting things to say about dialogue on the web having to do with a sense of place. I'll buy that, but I also think that to really benefit from the web, people have to be sincere and ask honest questions. There seems to be a disease that makes people need to look as though they already know everything at any given time. If we somehow get past this epidemic, we'll probably make a lot more progress in a lot less time.

Addendum: calling someone a 'whiner' probably isn't the way to start a dialogue.

Globe and Mail: The Height of Commitment. "Two years ago today, she scaled a 1,000-year-old giant redwood tree slated to become lumber. Believe it or not, she's still up there". egads! look at the size of that URL!

Canada's The Anarchist Organization (TAO) offers "technical and social support". Interesting combo.

If you read misnomer over time, you might notice that I repeat stuff now and then. I think it's important to 'restate assumptions', on all levels, now and then.

If you still want more, the Independent Media Center has more non-mainstream coverage of the WTO fiasco/prostest.

Here's an interesting rant. For some reason this reminds me of when Steven Levy told Apple to embrace the internet, back in '94. They didn't listen, either.

There is a beautiful collection of internet related maps at the Atlas of Cyberspaces. Geography continues to be relavent, though perhaps in a different way.

posted by dru
December 11, 1999
# Misnomer.

This is intense.

Meta on McLuhan: When the web first started to be the 'next big medium', everyone was buzzing about the ideas of a guy named Marchall McLuhan. Now no one talks about him (or his ideas). Two ways of explaining this: a) no one understands him; b) people think that since he's been talked about, he's no longer relavent. It's not specifically McLuhan that brings this to mind; a lot of the ideas present back in '94 seem to be all but gone - are they still implicit? Or have we 'moved on'?

From the McLuhan interview: "I do see the prospect of a rich and creative retribalized society--free of the fragmentation and alienation of the mechanical age--emerging from this traumatic period of culture clash; but I have nothing but distaste for the process of change."

Meta on the WTO: People complain about how you can't have a dialogue with [violent] protestors. Question: what would be the best way to have a dialogue with the WTO? Seems to me it's a fundamentally undemocratic organization.

The Globe and Mail: Takin' it to the Net. "At last week's WTO summit, the alternative media bypassed mainstream sources to get their message out on the Internet."

"I started listening to the CBC and CNN and they just didn't get it. The CBC phoned up a professor at the London School of Economics and he was talking about how you can't negotiate with people who slash tires."

I'm experimenting with layout to make this page load and render more quickly.. Also to make it look less like scripting news :)

I'm not sure what to think about the fact that almost 400,000 people have sent crack to others over the net.

Spark-Online looks like it has some interesting content, but I don't have time to read it, thanks to my logic exam.

Looks like Bruce Horn's company, Ingenuity Software, is still pluggin' away on iFile, formerly known as context.

Details are scarce, but Bruce has told me that iFile will have a lot of the things I described in my Liquid File System essay.

LFS was my first experience with web publishing - a link got posted to Slashdot, and by the end of the month, I had received over 200 lenghty emails from people all over the world. It was quite an eye-opener.

posted by dru
December 10, 1999
# Misnomer.

Mcluhan's interview in Playboy (1994). "People don't actually read newspapers--they get into them every morning like a hot bath."

Wired articles on Marshall McLuhan.

Simson Garfinkel in Wired 1.0.1: Is Stallman Stalled? "One of the greatest programmers in the world saw a future where software was free. Then reality set in."

"I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which have produced them." -Thomas Jefferson

I miss net soup Remember when email forwards were actually entertaining?

Subtext was inspired by Wired's late Idees Fortes in no small way.

I added a link in the left column for subtext, print-based 'zine I put out a few times a year filled ideas of various kinds. As much as I like the web, making something tangible is still appealing - though you can read the .pdf file, too.

There was a thread in the Userland discussion group last year about what to look for in a third browser. I find this is more relavent today than ever.

It seems there are a lot of sites that keep really bad archives, which I find kind of arrogant, and too modern, like what is happening now is the only thing that is important. History is fundamental to understanding 'the now', but that's obvious, right? I noticed that DaveNet keeps good archives.

Why I like activity theory in a nutshell: "To understand and facilitate development, we need to study and change entire collective activity systems, their objects and motives, not just isolated actions and skills." --A.N. Leontyev

posted by dru
December 09, 1999
# Misnomer.

I updated the WTO protestors accounts with this link to the original material, which is more complete, including a run-in with the FBI and a description of the protests before the police went nuts with the teargas. Some of the reports have pictures. Did anyone know there was a tank?

Ooooh! Misnomer is #5 in the site rankings. 4270 hits. Who are all these visitors? (I like feedback:

I just found a synopsis of a Be developer's conference that I wrote quite a while ago. When they had the better logo

"The kicker was that all this was being done on a $2,500 Dual-Pentium box with an IDE drive." I wonder what the BeOS can do for $2500 now.

I've been reading Jon Katz's new book, Geeks (at the expense of the exams I had yesterday and today), and so far, I'm very impressed. I think I'll write a review over Christmas break. Until then, here's an interesting quote, attributed to a conversation with Louis Rosetto: "Jobs says 'insanely great', and Gates says 'really neat'".

..made me think of the quality which makes them very similar, and the nature of that quality which makes them very different. Two kinds of geeks

posted by dru
December 08, 1999
# Misnomer.

I really like the fact that people can change things they don't like simply by sending feedback. (even if they are small things)

Of course, the jury is still out on that big thing that people don't like, the WTO (and associated police action), but it's always better to start small. :D

Wired News is accepting submissions for Vaporware '99. Userland won't make that list, I think.

I just realized - using italics after a link can be a little obnoxious if you don't do it right. I think I'm going to cut down until I get a better sense of it.

Be seems to be pluggin' along these days, though I really despise their post-IPO logo and slogan - the geek-oriented Be had character, now the corporate image is just contrived crap. The software is still good, though

In the thread I started yesterday, Jakob Nielsen is pointing to a quite exhaustive resource on writing for the web

A google search for 'misnomer' turned up Common Errors in English.

The Legal Definition of Misnomer

Bill Gates' writing style seems to be a lot more clean in Slate than when he responded to Davenet. The tone is the same, though.

posted by dru
December 07, 1999
# Misnomer. Someone Did Die: "What happened here in Seattle was not only a civil rights abuse it was a mass demonstration of martial law and human abuse. No one should think it was a matter of controlling the protests..."

The internet movie database is a really cool mainstream website. fun

Nielsen's latest: Web users are getting more impatient. The flip side: web users spend more time where they really want to be. 20 million people (apparently) downloaded Quicktime 4 to watch the Star Wars trailer, because they wanted it. What's getting harder is convincing people to spend (time or money) frivolously on things they may not really need. I don't have to mention banner ads, do I?

In retrospect, there may be some faults with that argument, but sometimes I'm tempted to leave it and see if any critical readers send me email.

For all the other Radio junkies out there, BBC has a bit on Writing for the Radio

Jakob Nielsen's How People Read on the Web is another useful article for people starting weblogs.

Cam is pointing to some fascinating essays by John Stevenson. A lot of these ideas I've seen replicated in pieces by many other authors. a few typos

Yeah, what Barlow said:: "With the exception of the rare classic, most information is like farm produce. Its quality degrades rapidly both over time and in distance from the source of production." Stevenson's essays == the source?

I just made a new topic on asking the web writers out there to share their experiences or ideas about writing for an electronic medium. This means you!

I got an advance copy of Jon Katz's new book, Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet out of Idaho. Looks interesting so far, though in my experience, Katz's consistency varies. More later.

The Chronicle of Higher Education says that Technology Transforms Writing and the Teaching of Writing: "The very nature of technology generates a vast amount of prose and discourages the next step, which would be to prune, winnow, consolidate it. Give it texture and depth. That can't be done by the machine." Blame it all on technological determinism.

My argument: you can't say that because students use technology, their writing is bad. This just seems to take "the medium is the message" in the wrong direction. What's more accurate is 'the context is the creator' - and technology is only part of a context which includes past education, knowledge, contemplation, and a host of other things. Bottom line: bad writing is only made more evident by computer use, not caused by it.

Look at the writing of the alot of the webloggers out there: their prose (often) is tight and concise: partially a reflection of their computer use, but more of their audience, and the fact that they care about what they're doing. I know very few students who really care about what they're doing.

Another quote: "That slow, manual process touches the soul, she says. 'Students who write essays on screen say they would never write a poem on screen.'"

posted by dru
December 06, 1999
# Misnomer.

As I understand it, RSS was created to provide a window into the various servers on the web, but I think 'they' might have unwittingly created a new medium: the one-paragraph editorial/sound byte/tip. I haven't seen a lot of this yet on, but what better way to get an idea out in the open than to write a paragraph, add a link or two, and eureka - that's already pretty solid. Thoughts anyone? keeps good archives, though the external links in their stories are almost 100% dead.

Jon Katz on the WTO "riots" in Slashdot: "The political potential of the Net has always been pushed aside by obsessive preoccupations with pornography and business.

Heard on the streets: "the protestors didn't riot, the Seattle police department did". Friends of mine who flew to Seattle to join in the protest said that the 'anarchists' who were causing damage were in the minority. 90% of the protestors were peaceful, chanting things like "be nice" and "we love the Seattle police department".

I just realized that I haven't seen any accounts from actual protestors on weblogs yet, so I posted an excerpt from the emails I recieved from Seattle during the protests: "Sometimes they even lifted the protester's gas masks off their faces to spray them more directly."

The anarchists in Seattle most likely haven't read Anarchism: from theory to practice by Daniel Guerin.

posted by dru
December 05, 1999
# Misnomer.

About me: I'm a student, and also the "webmaster" (web dude internally, webmaster on my resume :D) for the local Radio Station and the school's student journal, where I write a column on technology.

Because of these 'jobs', and a general fascination with the web, I'm going to use my 60 days on to experiment with this medium to see if I can offer anything new or innovative to it in the way of form or function.

John Perry Barlow is my hero! Well, maybe not quite, but I admire his writing quite a bit.

Last year, I wrote a piece on intellectual property for the Argosy that had alot of Barlow's ideas in it.

I find myself in an interesting situation, as I write for two different audiences: people on the web, who tend to be attracted to focussed, specialized information; and people at my university (pop. 2500), who have a broad range of interests. For the second group, the writing has to be much more generalized. I find explaining things to people who aren't so specialized helps me understand what goes on in specialized settings.

For example, this article on XML tries to describe it in terms that people understand. :: HTML is for people, XML is for computers. HTML is form, XML is content. This is a bit of a simplification, but I think it gets at what XML is about.

I'm currently studying Activity Theory, as well as philosophy, sociology, history, art, and english at Mount Allison University. I find Activity theory interesting because it has a lot of potential application to understanding the web. More on that later.

My homepage hasn't been updated in a while, but the work page has some of my art, articles, and other stuff on it.

Writing for the web takes a bit of getting used to. I find myself cleaning up alot of things I say to make them more concise, less wordy. Electronic text seems to be conducive to that in some way. Can I say it? the medium is the message Sorry, that just slipped out.

Electronic text is also conducive to firing off meaningless or insulting crap. But at the same time, it is a good medium for reflecting and refining. a paradox?

Does discussion of electronic text as a medium seem redundant? Alot of this stuff was hashed out in the early days of the web on sites like Hotwired. OTOH, a lot of people weren't here in the early days. I think the fundamentals should float back up to the top of the pile now and then. A revolution every 20 [web] years

posted by dru
December 04, 1999
# Misnomer.

a weblog of sorts...

    This Manila thing is addictive...

    Thanks to Dave Winer for setting up the ability to make this page. This is fun.

    I had never heard of Davenet or any of this until I saw him sing "Give Peace A Chance" with John Perry Barlow and Chuck Shotton at Macworld '95 in San Francisco. That was a while ago.

    As has been said: "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now".

    Slashdot is pointing to Reading the laws for Washington state made me think of what Thomas Jefferson said about revolutions: that we should have one every 20 years. Not to be taken in the 'first against the wall' sense, but rather in the 'let's re-examine what's going on' sense.

    Another good Jefferson quote: "Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it"

    posted by dru