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Cheese monkeys:

Monday, May 2, 2005  permanent URL for this entry

A reader writes:

Subject: Re the first of May

It must be much warmer where you are. Outdoor fucking doesn't start here until the first of June.

Yeah, it was implausibly chilly yesterday (and today) here also. But "June" doesn't rhyme with "Hurray" or "today", so we don't have much choice, eh?

Speaking of which: Orgy for World Peace. (I haven't actually looked at anything beyond the first page of the site, but I like the URL.)

And also speaking of which, we're officially stealing Elf Sternberg's Word 'o the Day: wust.

So I dunno, what else? Someone on an intranet weblog pointed to a piece about the Top Ten Tips for Successful Blogging. Now y'all probably already know that I'm allergic to both "Top Ten Tips" for anything (unless it's funny), and for that matter to the idea that one should want to be "successful" at weblogging and that there are Rules for doing it (and also to the word "blog"). Add to that the fact that these are people who associate weblogging (and success) with, like, selling stuff, and it's probably not surprising that my immediate reaction was snarky.

I tried to post the snarkiness as a comment, but got the very amusing message that my comment had been "rejected for questionable content: none". I considered adding the word "tits" to see if that was questionable enough to qualify, but decided instead to just inflict the comments on you here instead (and see if they'll take a trackback). So:

Wow! Virtually none of the weblogs that I love and read adhere to most of these principles (and the one that I write certainly doesn't). I guess that's because the advice is targetted at weblogs that are trying to sell something, or trying to get lots of hits, or trying to get their author famous; and I detest weblogs like that.

The weblogs I enjoy the most are written by a smart person with a distinctive voice and a wide range of interests (scratch #1 "Stay on Topic"). They don't concentrate just on The Latest Breaking News and Information (so scratch #2 and #3).

They're published whenever the author has something interesting to say (scratch #4). They're willing to say something that might challenge the reader to think (so scratch at least the "simplicity" part of #5).

And they're not concerned with search engine rank for pity's sake! (Scratch 6, 7, and 8).

Which leaves clarity, proofreading, and RSS. *8)

To be fair, this is probably great advice for the "get a high Google rank and push my product / service / company on readers" sort of weblog. I suppose I'm just not the target audience...

Whoosh, snark indeed. "Detest" is probably much too strong, but what the heck; the die is cast.

And finally, let's see. I got a nice big monitor for my desk at work, and have been having all sorts of fun trying to discourage the display drivers from crashing when I use it. I'll spare you the details, but one amusing note: my desktop wallpaper of the week is this one. But for some reason the system has been at intervals (usually after some sort of crash or other confusion) spontaneously changing it to this.

I guess some component of this system is a Marilyn fan...

Sunday, May 1, 2005  permanent URL for this entry

Where by "validation", amusingly, I could have meant either HTML validation (note that the About page validates now also), or validation in the sense of Being Reassured That You Are Good, something that we used to talk about here reasonably often, and that explains more or less all human behavior.

Hurray, hurray,
  it's the first of May!
Outdoor fucking
  starts today!

Although it also means that the first third of the second quarter is over, and all deadlines that much closer.


I wonder what it's like to be a professional beachcomber?

Probably not all it's cracked up to be.

2) The Essentials of Information Protection: For purposes of discussing protection, the information stored in a computer system is not a single object. When one is considering direct access, the information is divided into mutually exclusive partitions, as specified by its various creators. Each partition contains a collection of information, all of which is intended to be protected uniformly. The uniformity of protection is the same kind of uniformity that applies to all of the diamonds stored in the same vault: any person who has a copy of the combination can obtain any of the diamonds. Thus the collections of information in the partitions are the fundamental objects to be protected.

Or, alternately,

19) On the other hand, from ancient times wise people and sages have often lived near water. When they live near water they catch fish, catch human beings, and catch the way. For long these have been genuine activities in water. Furthermore there is catching the self, catching catching, being caught by catching, and being caught by the way. Priest Decheng abruptly left Mt. Yao and lived on the river. There he produced a successor, the wise sage of the Huating. Is this not catching a fish, catching a person, catching water, or catching the self? The disciple seeing Decheng is Decheng. Decheng guiding his disciple is his disciple.

20) It is not only that there is water in the world, but there is a world in water. It is not just in water. There is also a world of sentient beings in clouds. There is a world of sentient beings in the air. There is a world of sentient beings in fire. There is a world of sentient beings on earth. There is a world of sentient beings in the phenomenal world. There is a world of sentient beings in a blade of grass. There is a world of sentient beings in one staff. Wherever there is a world of sentient beings, there is a world of Buddha ancestors. You should thoroughly examine the meaning of this.

Is this not catching a fish, catching a person, catching water, or catching the self?

Saturday, April 30, 2005  permanent URL for this entry

So the Reader Question of the Month in Daughters the other month was

In some homes, younger children watch PG-13 or even R-rated movies when an older child or parent wants to watch them. I fear this robs kids of their childhood. How do other families negotiate appropriate TV viewing for different-aged children?

I wrote in with my usual "don't be so silly" sort of opinions, but they printed my letter (along with six others) anyway. I'm so proud!

Here's what I wrote:

I think we need to carefully examine the idea that watching PG-13 or R movies robs children of their childhood. Ultimately childhood is about being able to explore the world from a place of safety and lessened responsibility, being taken care of as you discover yourself and the universe.

Things like not hearing certain words, or not seeing certain acts or certain body parts, is less important. (Far less important than our society currently seems to think.) If the child has a loving guardian to go to, to talk about anything odd or puzzling that goes by in a movie or anywhere else, their childhood will not be stolen from them.

Which isn't to say that parents can't or shouldn't decide what their children can and can't watch; we should and we must. But we needn't, I think, do it out of a fear that they'll stop being children if they hear too many cusswords or see too many taboo body parts. We should do it out of our own knowledge of what they enjoy and what they need.

In our house, we do have general ground rules (no video games rated higher than "T", and "T" games only with prior adult examination, no movies that the adults haven't had at least a glance at first). But if they see a movie at some friend's house that we might not have approved of in our own, we don't worry about it too much. If they have questions or concerns about what they saw, they know they can come to us with them. PG-13 or R rated movies are pretty far down on our list of things we need to protect our kids from...

They printed the whole thing except for the two last two sentences of the third paragraph ("But we... they need."). And they fiddled with some of the punctuation. But they printed it!

We should talk about VALIDATION again sometime. *8)


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