Oct 10, 2006

This is a test of my weblog system. If you see this post, my transfer to my new host account has succeeded.

My previous web host was a free account from a former coworker. It was a small account and I always tried to maintain a small footprint; static HTML pages, no dynamic features like a comment system, low bandwidth usage, etc. Unfortunately, I drew some fire from a website defacer and caused my former coworker some work. I decided that wasn't polite, so I've switched services to something I'm paying for and can ask for some kind of support.

This means I'm no longer quite as interested in maintaining a small footprint, and while there are a few things I need to attend to first, I will be looking into installing a server-side weblog system, which would include commenting capabilities. Lately it seems like this would see some use. Certainly it would be interesting to see if we can get some dialog going here; I'd love the opportunity to refine what I say here, based on how other people actually read it.

Come to think of it, there is another project I've been interested in tossing together, which may be related to that. I've had the idea for a while now of trying to come up with a three-part essay system, which needs a clever name. Two people would collaborate to produce an essay with three parts. The two people should be friendly with each other and intellectually honest and open, but strongly opposed on some issue of interest. The first part would be the things they both agree on. The second and third parts would be the remaining viewpoint differences that could not be reconciled. Ideally, both such parts would be built on the central core to the extent possible.

The goal would be to make the first part as large as possible.

Obviously, the technical issues for this are pretty minimal, it's more a social problem, but it would require some technical support to work well.

(Some clarifications and updates to the previous post may be forthcoming, pending an email discussion with a reader; I'll post a note above this when that happens.)

Oct 10, 2006

A general comment I've wanted to post several places lately, especially after seeing this sort of thing:

I'm all for alternate suggestions on how to deal with the problems of the world right now. I'd be absolutely stunned if our government (including not just the Bush Administration but also Congress) was handling everything optimally, just on general principles. But I see so few suggestions that don't boil down to:

I wish that last one was just rhetoric, I really do, but there are a lot of people who actually want to eliminate us.

I also sort of wish the first three would work, but the problem is that simply being successful is enough to earn us a lot of hatred and I'm not really willing to stop being successful, if for no other reason than that's the fastest way to harm those very same people. Psychologically, that's just not in the cards.

The number of suggestions I see that pass this test is not zero. Some are more aggressive than our current stance, some less. All I know is the policy that boils down to

is not one I'm terribly interested in.

"Why I Hate Advocacy"
Oct 05, 2006

Non-programmers should read this entire article to see the arguments presented in a neutral-to-you context. (Unless you have strong baseball opinions in which case the first bit may not be quite neutral.)

Programmers should read this because it's true, even if you're not a Perl programmer.

Oct 01, 2006

I've learned to be careful about the definitions for the words I use. Our lives have become more complicated and even as our vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds it's still not enough. Ever finer and sharper distinctions must be drawn in order to convey the information; I can spend a good ten pages just defining "censorship" and "free speech".

Read the rest (693 words)

Sep 29, 2006

Leiberman Scenario watch: Lieberman said in an interview:

The fastest growing political party in America is no party, which is to say, that the fastest growing group of voters are unaffiliated with either party. That’s a market statement on the two major parties.

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