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Thursday, August 15, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

Someone should write a sex guide for geeks, and call it "The Fucking Manual".

Think of all the free publicity!

(Of course, it'd be hard to find on Google.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

Well, Searle seems to have finished up his main theory of mind, and has drifted off into a long and very slow-moving discourse combining high-school linguistics and pop psychology.

Part of it is typical "truth conditions for the statement that S does action A intentionally" stuff. Having done "truth conditions for S knows that P" in my youth (and having mentioned intentional action on the way, as it turns out to be very similar), I know how much fun this can be (you get to make up all sorts of silly examples about how Fred doesn't know that Trudy has a twin sister Judy, and...). But ultimately it's much less interesting than, say, the Problem of Other Minds.

Other parts of it are facile observations like "statement is to truth as desire is to fulfillment", which sweep masses of actual psychology and linguistic behavior under the rug, for the sake of the kind of neatness that makes your diagrams come out symmetrical. Phleh! Only two tape sides to go...

Pronouncing the first "r" in "February" is like making a homemade Seaquest DSV uniform: It's a pain in the butt and very few people appreciate the effort.

And in other technology news:

The first Bobblehead doll of an adult entertainer will be appropriately modeled after Jenna Jameson, the most popular porn star of all time. She will be immortalized in a series of six 8-inch tall Bobblehead dolls created by Video Age, Inc., a leading adult entertainment products catalog sales firm based in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Now here is the little daughter. She will be helping us out tonight by suggesting some words. Here are the words:


the sky is red


scat singing

graham cracker

Thank you for those fine quality words, little daughter!

Tuesday, August 13, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

When good mailing lists go bad (aka, "it's a good thing archive 'bots don't get bored").

So the front license plate on a 1996 Honda Accord is held on by this strange non-standard plate holder, constructed of black plastic and clarinet reeds and scotch tape™, and this plate holder (which can be conveniently purchased for far more than it's worth at the Pricey Retail Parts department of your local dealer) is held onto the bumper by two bolts.

The Honda being a Commie Foreign car, the bolts are Commie Foreign bolts, and are sized in Commie Foreign units; in particular they are one centimeter bolts (apparently called "ten millimeter" in the wrench biz). And my socket wrench set turns out to be a Loyal American socket wrench set, sized in Loyal American eights of inches.

It turns out that a 3/8" socket wrench will, in a pinch, remove a couple of one centimeter bolts (especially if they've been slightly loosened by the event that cracked the license plate holder in the first place), but no way will it tighten those same bolts back in again.

Fortunately one's neighbor is still up and rattling around at eighty thirty at night, and one's neighbor is really good with atoms and has all sortsa tools, including Commie Foreign socket wrench sets, so one is saved.

Have you ever noticed that people who are good with atoms seem to acquire their tools from a whole different universe than us ordinary people?

My neighbor's socket wrenches are in this wonderful old metal box that's just the right size, and looks like it's been through a world war or two and shrugs at the prospect of a couple of more, and smells warmly of grease and spark plugs, and each socket sits right where it should.

My socket wrenches (like every other tool I have that was purchased on this planet) are in a cheap plastic case ironically shaped like a briefcase and entirely the wrong size, and they don't quite fit into their places in the case and are always leaping out and trying to get lost. They smell of, I don't know, of the mall or something. Definitely not of grease and sweat and general competence.

Why is that?

Monday, August 12, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

Namespace Collision o' the Day: ainews.com. "But Mr. Ashcroft, I was just looking for a good neural-network library, honest!"

Speaking of Jack Ashcroft, who says the guy has no sense of humor? (Widely blogged the other day, but I'm way behind; see the MeFi thread.)

Reason rears its ugly head:

A third of Church of England clergy are unconvinced by the basic Christian belief in the physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to a survey published in British newspapers Wednesday.

Your Tax Dollars at Work:

U.S. Moves to Block Human-Rights Lawsuit Against Exxon Mobil

The U.S. has moved to block a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. for alleged human-rights abuses at its Indonesian natural-gas operations, claiming the court action could hurt relations with Jakarta and undermine the war on terrorism.

Favorite line from that story: "Exxon Mobil lawyers asked the State Department to intervene on foreign-policy grounds." Words fail, yet again. (Link from some left-wing subversive or other.)

And speaking of left-wing subversives:

Having no membership should be no obstacle: we can still hold exclusions from time to time, just to be sure everyone remembers. These are festive occasions for us weathered politicos, analagous to the subtextual backbiting at the dinner parties of the bourgeoisie or the witch trials in the Salem, Massachusetts of old. But first, before we get into the firey self-righteousness of the thing, some background.

That last link (which unfortunately doesn't look very perma) was reached from the always wonderful Caterina:

I always knew I had these transhumanist, cyborg, anarcho-syndicalist, noospheric, punk, off-the-grid, communist, Sadean, militia, nomad, Rastafarian, vegan, telemarking, non-violent, NRA and Loompanics options, and even participated in some of them, but I haven't done all the reading.

Who among us, indeed, has time to do all the reading?

... for every family member you help put in front of a military tribunal, the government will send you a whole dollar!

Speaking of turning in your parents:

Are sons of lesbians different in any way from the sons of heterosexual parents I studied? Yes -- and the impact is mostly positive.

From the also very wonderful Textism, Right:

Hegel, Akhmatova, ΚαβαΦη, Shakespeare, Montaigne.

Lawn games.

So after lunch there was a meeting scheduled, and it was a meeting that I really didn't want to go to. I came back from the lunchtime walk a little sweaty, and sat down to cool off and check my email once before the meeting, and I thought to myself "wouldn't it be nice if the meeting was postponed at the last minute?".

And I checked my email, and the meeting was postponed at the last minute.

So now it's scheduled for September sometime, by which time I think I will be much better prepared for it and not reluctant to go, so that's a Good Thing. But I'm kind of nervous.

I mean, Goddess, you know I wasn't asking for a special favor or anything, right? It was just a random thought. I don't, you know, owe you anything, do I?

I know She doesn't really keep score, of course. But I'm kind of nervous anyway.

Silent as:

a banana.

... an asshole.

crumpled clothing on the bedroom floor

... someone playing Alpha Centauri again, which is probably a really bad idea.

half a banana

Yoko Ono in vacuum

a chainsaw falling.


a Disney-owned senator slicing away at your fair use rights

John Cage

a Tom Cruise missile




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