Christmas Music as The Most Innovative of the Year
Dec 04, 2003

If you're all exposed to any kind of public music, you're probably
already tired of Christmas music. After all, there are at best around
20 to 30 Christmas carols, and that's counting quite a few things like
"Still, Still, Still", which I recognize but rarely hear in
public. And it's the same 20 every year.

But if you can get past the repetitive nature of the melodies, I've
been noticing how innovative Christmas songs get harmonically. After
all, the song writers are as aware as we are, if not more so, of how
repetitive the season gets.

Music typically played in public is very harmonically repetitive;
entire decades have gotten by on I-V-IV-I and I-VI-IV-V-I. Most
traditional Christmas carols come from the Classical tradition so they
are almost all I-IV-V-I unless they come from the late twentieth
century, which gets old after a month. It's nice to hear some

For instance, consider this sample
Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas Extraordinaire. (If your RSS reader supports
enclosures it should have come in there.) Give it a listen; if you
can't identify it look at the file name.

In that regard some of the Christmas music is almost worth it,
since some of it is the most innovative music of the year... that is
actually played in public anyway. Beggars can't be choosers.

Still a net loss. And this year I actually heard Christmas music
in public before Thanksgiving, a first. Oi!

iRights is dead... long live iRights
Dec 03, 2003

iRights is dead.

The mission of this weblog since Jan. 2000 has been to track the development of rights on the Internet. I've been eclipsed in every significant way by people with more time and perhaps more importantly, more real domain knowlege. LawMeme, Groklaw, Privacy Digest, and many other sites are doing a better job then I can.

With the publication of my Communication Ethics essay, I no longer have very much significant to say in this domain, other then occasional references to the essay. To me, it's a sign of the maturity of the piece that I have felt no great desire to modify it, or encountered a situation that I find the ethics espoused in that essay, but it makes for a rather boring weblog.

I feel constrained by the fact that I have declared a format for the weblog. I find myself making posts on Slashdot that belong here, even though they are not "rights" based. So I'm retooling this weblog to become the standard "generic" weblog, posting what I want, when I want. (It's not like I've ever been 100% on topic, but I've tried.)

Thus, I am making the following changes:

This weblog will now focus more on my musings (as in my writings; if you like those you'll continue to like my weblog, I hope, I won't just post anything and everything), my development work (about which more in a future post), and more general world topics (reconnecting to the weblog world). If you do not like this, now's your chance to unsubscribe ;-)

Here's to new names, and new beginnings!

Atkins Update
Nov 28, 2003

I thought it would be interesting to summarize my experiences with
Atkins to date, since I haven't posted on it for a while.

First, so far I've lost about 30 pounds, out of a projected 50 or so I
want to lose. The reason I'm not there yet is that I have not been on
it full time.

Read the rest (1095 words)

The ''Second Superpower' in the US' is conservative...
Nov 19, 2003
It was obvious that the democratization of the media would bring new voices into the field, but who knew that so many of those voices would be conservative, libertarian, or just cantankerously opposed to entrenched liberal doctrine? The conservative side is far from winning the culture wars, but the debate is broader and fairer now. The near monopoly is over.

Read the rest (584 words)

Beaten to the punch
Nov 16, 2003

Third, this is going to be a product, not one that I plan to sell (although I may give it to UserLand and they might sell it). It's a new kind of outliner-based Web CMS, that does weblogs and all the other stuff you see popping up here on Scripting. I spent much of the day exploring ideas for how to package, test and then ship this. Should it be a Manila plug-in? Or something that's linked to Manila on a sort of peer basis? Or should it be completely independent of Manila? I want to deliberate on this decision, because I expect to live with it for a long time.

Looks like Dave is going to beat me to the punch on this one. I've been headed in this direction for about a year now. My problem is that I was completely unsatisfied with Radio's outliner and I've had to create a lot of infrastructure before I could even start. I'm at least a month away from serving my first web page, at least, and that's probably pretty conservative.

There's a lot of potential here that's largely untapped by current systems, if you use a properly sophisticated idea of an outline. Combine "transclusion" with "node types" and define a few other things and you've got a very, very flexible writing system.

I've thought about this a lot, and my input into Dave's dilemma would be to make the outline system more independent of Manila, rather then less. You'll probably find yourself replacing almost all of the parts anyhow, depending on how deeply you go into "everything is an outline". You can always transclude a Manila message from outside of Manila, but tying yourself to Manila from the outset may not be a good idea, for the very reason it seems appealing on first blush. The pre-existing Manila system will make it very easy to walk down the paths Manila already walked down, only this time with "outlines".

That may itself be neat, but it is little more. Instead, I suggest going for the gusto and breaking from Manila entirely. It will free your mind and allow the outline system to develop its potential more fully. Manila may be a useful initial platform, but it should be discarded as quickly as reasonably possible.

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