log (2003/11/28 to 2003/12/04>

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Wednesday, December 3, 2003  permanent URL for this entry

So once again I find myself spending long late hours on Metababy, when there's so much else that I could be doing (including, say, sleeping) that would have so much more obvious value.

It's interesting. Thinking about why I spend so much time on Metababy leads to all sorts of interesting questions about why I do anything that I do, how much my conscious mind is really in charge of my body (some days I'm convinced that it's just an observer, making up halfway convincing but entirely false stories about being in charge), what life is about anyway, and so on.

Metababy is (sometimes) like combat performance art. Like a shouting match where you suspect that the other party is kidding just as much as you are, but you can never be sure. Where, of course, there's only ever one other person actually there. *8)

Some days (nights) there's interesting art and HTML work and even fiction. Some nights it's all discussion. Some nights it's mass deletion and abuse and the reaction to that. (Tonight it was chatting, leading to abuse and mass deletion, leading to retaliative re-creation, leading to me finally tearing myself away.)

Very, very odd.

Just a couple random tidbits from the Web tonight: in one, someone working for a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco tries to organize a protest against his own event (to try to make the other party look bad). In another the people who wrote (or some people who claim to have written) a very early PC virus rant at great length about it, demonstrating a remarkable but perhaps not unexpected cluelessness about the whole Virus Thing.

Lots of reader input stacked up; don't think that because I don't always post it for a few months after you send it in that I don't appreciate it. I promise I do.

(Boy, it gets cold back here at night in Winter. Well, it's not officially Winter, but it's cold.)

Poetry from spam has slackened off lately; I will close with one lone enigmatic arrival:

Re: IFW, state library here

This is state library, saying Good Night, and Goddess Bless...

Tuesday, December 2, 2003  permanent URL for this entry

Woo, look! This editor window came up maximized! It's all huge and blue and shiny and everything! Woo!

(You can't see it, but I can; you'll just have to take my word for it. It's very blue. And large.)

And in the Almighty Name of Jesus Christ, I hereby order you to learn how to use an apostrophe to create the possessive form of a noun

It struck me the other day (no doubt out of spite because all the females in my house are addicted to the silly show, and love to speculate about what would happen to me if I were on it, while giggling wildly) that the Fab Five on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" aren't actually queer in the strongest sense of the word.

I mean sure they're probably gay, homosexual, male androphiles, and all. But they aren't really transgressive. They're on prime time TV, they're darlings of the consumer culture, they're watched by tens of thousands of suburban housefolks.

That's not queer, really. Is it?

(As a loyal reader wrote awhile back, "what's kinky about two men having sex?")

Billy's grandfather sent for Billy one day and told him that he had been keeping up with how many skins he had turned in to the store. we need to motivate people to pursue excellence and not feel sorry

That from spam. (A reader points out this story about poetry and literature found in spam; can't understand why I wasn't interviewed for this.)

"Of course, you try telling young people that now'days; they'll burst asunder into a hundred glistening spheres full of strangely beautiful irridescent alien insect larvae."

That from a Mornington Crescent game that seems to exist only in the Google cache (like so many precious things).

Jorn Barger, of Robot Wisdom and arguably the Father of the Weblog, inveterate Usenet poster and general Net personality, has apparently decided "to heck with all that", and as evidence of his sincerity he didn't tell anyone. Metafilter had to ring up the police and have it looked into.

(Turns out SF fandom has a term for it; so your Word For The Day, dear reader, is gafiate.)

Monday, December 1, 2003  permanent URL for this entry

World AIDS Day 2003 Today is World AIDS Day. I have nothing deep or unusual or profound to say about this. AIDS is a very bad thing. I have no personal stories; aside for one friendly acquaintance of M's many years ago, no one we know (as far as we know) has been directly touched by it. But it's a nasty replicator, and we should figure out how to get rid of it. The Link and Think participants will have lots of interesting links to places you can find information, and ways you can help. Techie nerd that I am, I tend to think that the best way we can fight this sort of thing long-term is to spend more on basic research in biology. On the other hand, there are lots of people, short-term, who could really use a hand to hold...

Saturday, November 29, 2003  permanent URL for this entry

"I know that when you were a kid you liked being on the edge of things."


"Liked hanging around in the shadows and the simple places, knowing that the light and the grown-up stuff was out there, and that later you'd be able to go into it."

"Yeah. But patient in the meantime."

"Patient, and also you got good at the edges."

"I had my favorite places."

"Now you're grown, though. You can go into the city, into the light."


"Make a name for yourself, be part of it all!"

"I guess."

I was reading some old log entries this evening. I've written some pretty cool stuff over the years (the years!). How the mighty have fallen, eh?

Still, it's nice of y'all to keep coming around. Bringing me home-made cookies and everything.

Re: VUX, will not take
Re: HUXKD, a cosy little

Thanksgiving was great, just the four of us, all the food done at just about the right time, and everything tasting wonderful and smelling wonderful and everyone happy.

The day after Thanksgiving was the perfect day after Thanksgiving; not perfect in the "lovely weather and heartwarming feelings" sense, but rather in the "chilly grey hung-over and head stuffed with cotton, slept too late and not really up for anything" anticlimactic sense.

Today I got up with the intent of Taking Stock and Doing Useful Things, and in fact I actually have to some extent. And everyone in the house has been sitting around playing Animal Crossing and strumming guitars (we seem to have a whole bunch of guitars around for some reason) and the little boy and I went out and got haircuts (I'd been wearing a kerchief headband for days, my bangs were so long and annoying), and I ran some errands and picked up a copy of Stoker's Dracula at B&N for only five bucks (a really nice edition; pocketsize hardcover with gilt page-edges and a built-in ribbon bookmark).

And I feel somewhat less stuffed with cotton.

Toys. I should really learn Flash sometime.

Metababy is still running, with only a few mass deletions and immense flame wars. I've added a few pages to the Gallery, for those who'd like to get a static, but pretty much non-horrifying, glimpse of (parts of) the flow.

It occurred to me that one thing keeping me from writing more book notes was that the design was so awful-looking, so I finally sat down and twiddled the CSS a bit and now I like it better, and I entered a couple more recent books.

(Keith Laumer is great.)

I've also started watching Season Two of Babylon 5. Definitely different from most TV SF, or at least from development-free TV SF like Star Trek or Lost in Space or whatever. I hadn't realized that B5 was like the first TV show to really take computer generated graphics seriously. For some reason (probably because I never watched it when it first came out) it feels more recent to me than that. But of course it isn't.

(Various interesting shocks in the second season. So far I don't really approve of having Delenn come back as Magic Hair Barbie, but I'll give jms the benefit of the doubt.)

I can't decide whether I'd rather see it more as the original viewers saw it, one episode at a time with significant delays between them, or more like reading a novel, as many episodes at a time as I feel like and have time for. (I'm also not sure it matters.)

Widely logged: Psychalking. Peer-to-peer paranoia.

So I was going to rant about how everyone says "gauntlet" when they really mean "gantlet" (second only in annoyingness to how people use "beg the question" to mean "raise the question", as ranted about the other month). But then it turns out that in fact they're variant spellings of each other, and you can't do it wrong.

(I dunno, is this just sneaking descriptivism? I distinctly remember that it's "throw down the gauntlet" and "run the gantlet", and never the twain shall meet. Maybe that was another universe.)

From flutterby to yet another of them tests:

Your Moralising Quotient of 0.10 compares to an average Moralising Quotient of 0.23. This means that as far as the events depicted in the scenarios featured in this activity are concerned you are more permissive than average.

Your Interference Factor of 0.00 compares to an average Interference Factor of 0.15. This means that as far as the events depicted in the scenarios featured in this activity are concerned you are less likely to recommend societal interference in matters of moral wrongdoing, in the form of prevention or punishment, than average.

Your Universalising Factor of 1.00 compares to an average Universalising Factor of 0.43. This means you are more likely than average to see moral wrongdoing in universal terms - that is, without regard to prevailing cultural norms and social conventions (at least as far as the events depicted in the scenarios featured in this activity are concerned).

I'm not sure what got me the high Universalising Factor, but I guess that's pretty accurate. I do think that there are universal facts about what's moral and what's immoral (which is just to say that I think some statements of the form "X is immoral" and true, and others are false); on the other hand I think that many social taboos have nothing whatever to do with morality (hence my low numbers on the other scales).

Betcha thought I'd forgotten this one: In autumn:

Can you find punks on Neopets?

I paint my dining-room red, or at least every year I intend to.

cats get silly

the Great Pumpkin will arise from among the gourds and deliver toys to all the true believing children!

the blackberries turn to mush

A letter from whom?

Perhaps it's really about "An army of none," when it comes to minds, anyway.

Late In Autumn Trolls Explode

you can fix your car, or make some jelly in a jar, or plan to go away next year quite far, or even pay a visit to your ma and pa, there really is no need to be so la-di-da, in Autumn.

the scuddy clouds knock witches off their brooms

*you* apparently do spring cleaning

Lessee. I'm not going to tell you who the letter was from, it's a Secret. I've never looked for punks on Neopets, but it wouldn't surprise me (Goths, I'm sure of). I've now been out shopping multiple times without buying any more bookcases, and otherwise the rash of cleaning events seems to have calmed down. And "Late In Autumn Trolls Explode" sounds like one of them mnemonic things for remembering the colors on transistors or the temperatures of stars or something, eh?

So thanks for all that; you're all much appreciated. Soon I'm sure I will wake up even more.


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