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Saturday, April 26, 2003

 
I'm thinkingn the news aggie gets the best stuff when I update at night. SO, I'm thinking of updating in the night, when all the interesting stuff has been collected, rather than in the morning, when all the bloggers out there are just forming their ideas and opinions. I'm off to study Civ Pro until my eyes bleed. I miss the test taking and post-test celebration from yesterday. It was such a simple time in my academic personal history.
 
Orkney and Other Scottish Islands Orkneyjar. The history, folklore and traditions of the Orkney Islands - ghost stories, megaliths, and more on this extensive site.
Related interest :- St. Kilda: Death of an Island Republic. A matriarchal society? Via Utopia Britannica: British Utopian Experiments 1325-1945.
More :- the National Trust's St. Kilda website; the Iona community, an ecumenical community founded in 1938 (more about the founding of the monastery on Iona by St. Columba in 563); independent Eigg; life in Westray, one of Orkney's north isles; the Shetland Museum.
[via MetaFilter]
Another educational nugget in the tradition of the Russian history link posted earlier this week.
 
Sandman: Season of Mists "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due."

 
Khmer Rouge tribunal agreement not good enough In a new report issued Friday, Amnesty International said that the recently-revised draft agreement with the Cambodian government to establish a Khmer Rouge crimes tribunal for Cambodia did not do enough to ensure fair trials and due process:Although an i...

 
Pride and Prejudice The New York Times movingly conveys the pain of a rich white men (sort of) humbled by the economic downturn.
[via AlterNet]

 
Say It Slowly: It Was About Oil With corporate vultures swooping into the killing fields, OPEC facing a death blow and Shi'ites partying like its 1979, Iraq is a mess only terrorists and greedheads could love.
[via AlterNet]

Friday, April 25, 2003

 
Okay. I know I'm horrendously late today, but the quality of the stuff found clearly eliminates the need to hold out any grudges against Madpercolator. Besides, she took a Con Law test today at 9am. Meaning she had to wake up at a crappy early hour.
 
surfing for the bored WebCollage: Exterminate All Rational Thought --Neato (and sometimes beautiful) page refreshed every minute or so. Every image is clickable, too. It finds the images by feeding random words into various search engines, and pulling images (or sections of images) out of the pages returned.
A very cool surfing tool for when you're bored of your usual web haunts (mefi excluded, of course)
[via MetaFilter]

 
Springsteen on the Dixie Chicks Here's a courageous statement from Bruce Springsteen on the plight of the Dixie Chucks, who are suffering boycotts of their work by the pro-war jingoists (including faux-patriotic corporate interests) throughout the land: The Dixie Chicks have taken a big hit...

 
Lessig on copyright Stanford prof. Larry Lessig continues to make the rounds on the subject of intellectual property. Yesterday he gave a talk at Northwestern University titled "Is Intellectual Property Copyrightable?" And yesterday he appeared on a taped segment on PBS's NewsHour to...

 
Blogs On TechTV TechTV is just that: By creating and delivering entertaining and insightful programming about today's and tomorrow's technology news, events, products,...

 
Chomsky And Zinn On LotR:FotR It's funny, presumably even if you're a Chomsky or Zinn fan. I can attest that it's downright hilarious if you're not.
Read this on McSweeney's last night, and HIGHLY enjoyed it!
 
You Da Sanction: Monster.Com Purges Entire Nations From Resumes Plastic::Work::International: Do U.S. sanctions against countries like Cuba and North Korea mean that you can't even list them on your resume?

 
UNron +#8212; The Shady Dealings Behind Oil-For-Food Plastic::Politics::Money: The U.N.'s oil-for-food program has virtually no public accountability +#8212; who's making the money, and why don't they want us to know?

 
Legislating Morality The pundits have exploded with discussions of the propriety of legislating morality since the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Lawrence v. Texas. One of the best discussions is at the Volokh Conspiracy. Much of the debate surrounds liberalism and libertarianism (not always synonymous) and their general view that the Government should not legislate morality (i.e., the Government should not tell people what they...
[via Legalguy]

 
Breakout! Tired, bored, brain overload? Try a game of Breakout!...
[via Legalguy]

 
RSS: An Alternative to Search Engines? Danny Sullivan presents Part II of his review of RSS services and applications that facilitate access to the continuously expanding...
[via beSpacific]

 
File-Sharing Networks Victorious Against Entertainment Industry In a 34 page decision released this afternoon that surprised many, the entertainment industry at the top of the list,...
[via beSpacific]

 
Mississippi's Death Row Conditions Spark Lawsuit In a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of Mississippi death row inmates, conditions are so bad they are...

 
Philip Greenspun asks:  Should we break up Iraq if so many inside the country hate each other?  What are the pros and cons of breaking up Iraq into three regions?  A big reason to do this is that smaller nations would be more likely to become dependent on the US and easier to control.   It would also reward the Kurds for their loyalty.  A con is that many of the nations in the region would get mad at us for doing it (however, they are already mad at us so the downside is limited).  What do you think?

 
Judge: File-swapping tools are legal Judge: File-swapping tools are legal
CNet News.com -
A federal judge in Los Angeles has handed a stunning court victory to file-swapping services Streamcast Networks and Grokster, dismissing much of the record industry and movie studios' lawsuit against the two companies.

 
Internet Radio Takes Off Bit by Bit Newshub.com - Fri Apr 25, 02:25 pm GMT
 
Law cannot stop growth of online gambling Smh.com.au - Fri Apr 25, 02:40 pm GMT
 
New Online Legal Resource Available To Physicians, Attorneys Newshub.com - Fri Apr 25, 03:37 pm GMT
 
Florida high court: Tree value in eyes of beholder Southflorida.bizjournals.com - Fri Apr 25, 04:01 pm GMT
 
Straw plays down N Korea threat Politics.guardian.co.uk - Fri Apr 25, 01:57 pm GMT
 
Gingrich Slams Powell for Failed Diplomacy Foxnews.com - Tue Apr 22, 11:10 pm GMT
 
Reporters without Borders - Press freedom - ITALY - A media conflict of interest: anomaly in Italy Newswire.ca - Fri Apr 25, 02:48 pm GMT
 
U.S. motives still suspect in Mideast Newsobserver.com - Fri Apr 25, 01:09 pm GMT

Thursday, April 24, 2003

 
The repeating vocabulary word of the day is "neoconservative," abbreviated to "NEOCON" in one of the articles posted. Now I shall resume tiredly praying for the information necessary to get good grades on my finals to flood my head. Right now, I can't tell if I know anything or not...
 
300 reasons why we love The Simpsons 300 reasons why we love the simpsons The 300th episode of The Simpsons is broadcast today. Find a space on the sofa and read why, in 14 years, Matt Groening's show has become the world's best TV programme.
[via MetaFilter]

 
Elite is Sweet In defense of elitism. For smart people only.
[via MetaFilter]

 
WHERE DO NEOCONS COME FROM? This New York Observer article, while a little thin on explaining the intellectual history of...
[via TAPPED]

 
Washington Unprepared For Iraqi Shi'ite Backlash Plastic::Politics::Religion: U.S. officials underestimated the organization of Shia political power in post-Saddam Iraq, and are 'unprepared to prevent the rise of an anti-American, Islamic fundamentalist government in the country'

 
Movable Type launches TypePad Ben and Mena "Movable Type" Trott have announced a new service, "TypePad," which is a hosted Movable Type blogging service: you can either publish your MT blog to your server, or store it on one of theirs. I just set up my first from-scratch MT installation, which was easier than I expected, but still harder than it shoulda been; TypePad is the solution to this. Best of all, they're financing it with a small investment from a VC fund run by Joi Ito.
Technically, Typepad has embraced all the new things that have appeared or been requested in the blogging world in the past year. There is a built-in photo album creation tool, for instance, as well as a built-in Blogroll - a list of all your favourite sites, or lists of books and music you are reading and listening to.

The standout feature is the template maker. Users can design their blog without knowing, or seeing, any HTML code whatsoever and with a very great range of control.

Other features include real-time statistics, posting by email, and automatic creation of Friend of a Friend data - instantly taking an experimental standard and taking it to the mainstream.

Link Discuss (via Ben Hammersley)

 
Tony Pierce shamelessly pimps his blog on eBay Tony keeps doing things on his increasingly popular busblog that make me go, "Damn, why didn't I think of that." He just did it again. He's auctioning off links on eBay. That's cool not in the "what a clever way to make money" sense, but in the "change the way you think about blog culture" sense.

I don't recall other well-trafficked blogs having done this before, but if you know of previous examples I invite you to post them in this Discuss forum. Here is the link to eBay auction "I Will Link You on My Blog Item # 2924466320". Top bid's only ten bucks right now, but the idea still made me laugh. Hard.

BTW, I'm still guest-posting cybersmut on Reverse Cowgirl through Friday (while Susannah blogs at Neal Pollack's Malestrom), so do swing by when your boss isn't looking. Nothing there is work-safe. And I'm joining Cory at the O'Reilly Emerging Tech conference tomorrow -- I'll be participating in Dan Gillmor's panel on warbloggging, along with Doc Searls, David Sifry, and a very special call-in guest: BBC news producer, blogger, and Iraq landmine survivor Stuart Hughes, live from the UK.


 
3 new US Supreme Court rulings DC Supreme Court litigators Goldstein & Howe are reporting that the US Supreme Court handed down decisions this morning in the following three cases:No. 01-258 -- Jinks v. Richland CountyNo. 01-1435 -- Clackamas Gastroenterology v. WellsNos.

 
Scott Peterson: Case Not a Slam Dunk The Case for Scott Peterson: Why a murder conviction is not a slam dunk CNN reports that Peterson's legal team...

 
Calling All Libertarians Have you heard of Free the State Project? It's a group that wants to create a Libertarian utopia in one...
Piqued at the possibility of hippie solidarity!
 
Nice.  A weblog devoted to chronicling the emergence of the global corporate kleptocracy.  Of course, this future doesn't have to happen.  We can prevent/delay it through opposition to the elimination of the estate tax and dividend taxes.  We can prevent companies from moving offshore.  Many will recite that this is unfair.  It isn't.  But hey, I have been in the top 1% of taxpayers before and still have this view (most of those that are drummed up to oppose me have never been).  Why do I still oppose this?  I know that people at the top of the money heap haven't really earned their money,  rather, they took it (there are exceptions of course).  This is not to say that these people are bad, far from it.  They are merely acting according to the demands of our system.  My solution is to continue to support laws that eliminate the ability of the wealthy to create a dynasty on taken money.  This is good for democracy.  There is much more at work here than Dems vs. Reps.

 
Florida spammers sue anti-spam groups Florida spammers sue anti-spam groups
The Register - A group of Florida-based porn peddlers, penis enlargement and Viagra spammers has united to file suit against anti-spam organisations.

Under the newly-registered name EmarketersAmerica.org, a front set up by notorious spammer Eddy Marin's lawyer Mark E. Felstein, the suit seeks to force prominent anti-spam organisations to stop blocking their spam.
 

 
EMI to Push Music Online Euronetmag.com - Wed Apr 23, 01:56 pm GMT
 

Couple in court after decapitation of kids Itechnology.co.za - Wed Apr 23, 04:04 pm GMT


Terrible and grisly.  But note how it appears in a South African news pub. and I haven't been able to find it in a stateside newspaper.  Maybe locally in TX...


 
Supreme Court looks at free speech rights of corporate America Azcentral.com - Wed Apr 23, 04:04 pm GMT
 
US determined to punish France for its anti-war stance Smh.com.au - Wed Apr 23, 03:10 pm GMT
 
Saddam still in Iraq - UK minister Cnn.com - Wed Apr 23, 03:08 pm GMT
 
De Villepin: France was not alone in opposing war Middle-east-online.com - Wed Apr 23, 03:20 pm GMT
 
Poland will be seven billion euros better off from EU entry: study Eubusiness.com - Wed Apr 23, 03:12 pm GMT
 
Bush Approach Failed in Faith Bill Battle Washingtonpost.com - Wed Apr 23, 03:05 am GMT
 
Neoconservatives object to Mideast peace plan Seattletimes.nwsource.com - Wed Apr 23, 12:07 pm GMT

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

 
Excuse the smaller, more bloggish selection today. The news aggie isn't picking up today's stuff, yet. Perhaps it knows I should be studying...
 
Nobody actually believes those TV ads, right? Starting with Super Bowl 2002 , the ONDCP launched a media campain linking drugs to terror, pregnancy, shooting your friend with your dad's gun, and running over a girl on her bike (Cost to taxpayer: $3.4 million). Soon after, the ads were refuted and parodied. Now the ONDCP says they'll end the ads in June, but not before they make some token Earth Day link and a weak argument against legalization.
[via MetaFilter]

 
Google Graphing Fun Graphing Google Neat little Java applet which will create pretty graphs of inter-site relationships based on Google's 'Related Sites' feature. Check out MetaFilter,BBC News and Slashdot for good examples of how deep the inter linking can go. Try graphing your own site! Neat. (Requires Java)
[via MetaFilter]

 
Fascism and Feudalism in the Post-modern era Please read what Trotsky thought of fascism from his pamphlet "FASCISM -- What It Is and How To Fight It". I'm much more interested in the "What It Is". This article from the Guerrilla News Network got me thinking about it. Trotsky does a lot of the definition here. The foreward by George Lavan Weissman contains such gems as:
The germ of fascism is endemic in capitalism; a crisis can raise it to epidemic proportions unless drastic countermeasures are applied.
and from elsewhere:
In order that the social crisis may bring about the proletarian revolution, it is necessary that, besides other conditions, a decisive shift of the petty bourgeois classes occurs in the direction of the proletariat. This gives the proletariat a chance to put itself at the head of the nation as its leader.
Oh MAN. I'm more fearful than normal about where the US is headed. And to throw some water on the flames, yes, I know that there isn't any systemic violence against the masses, but think of how the fear that's created by the administration takes the place of violence in cowing the populace.
[via MetaFilter]

 
Three Questions Three Questions Tom asks: If the web simultaneously puts us in a space where we have no other selfhood than...

 
Campus File Sharing Crackdown Continues It's hardly a pogrom, but apparently RIAA letters, threats, legal action and a "complaint" has spurred Penn State to take...

 
THE BIBLE: Post-Modern Edition Excerpts from the forthcoming new edition of The Bible. For today's modern world, a hip translation we can relate to...

 
The Dog-Eat-Dog World Of N. Korean/U.S. Diplomacy Plastic::Politics::International: "This meeting will be the first official high-level discussion between Washington and Pyongyang since Kim Jong-Il's announced his intention to restart N. Korea's nuclear program in October."

 
Madonna.com hacked After Madonna rudely planted fake tracks from her new record last week on the P2Pnets (see Cory's post below), a prankster responded on Saturday by hacking madonna.com and posting MP3s of the entire album four days before it hit stores. Link Discuss (Thanks David!)

 
Gardener Saw Scott Peterson At Berkeley Marina On Day of Laci's Disappearance Two Men Told Cops They Saw Peterson Fumbling To Get His Boat Off Trailer into Bay [PRWEB Apr 23, 2003]
[via PR Web]

 
Clinton Blasts Bush on Foreign Affairs Former US President Bill Clinton blasted US foreign policy adopted in the wake of the September 11 attacks, arguing the United States cannot kill, jail or occupy all of its adversaries.

 
George Bush's Resume From Kelly Kramer at Democratic Power: George W. Bush Resume Past work experience: Ran for congress and lost. Produced a...

 
Noam Chomsky's Golden Rule In his new book, the 75-year-old author and activist offers a solution to end terrorism: Stop supporting it.
[via AlterNet]

 

This is excellent.  Non-graphical editing of common weblogging accoutrements.



Tuesday, April 22, 2003

 
First of all, we're sad here at CaffMonster about Nina Simone's passing on. We get the ball rolling with a lesson on Russian history (because it's interesting and educational), move along to a few Laci Petersen burden of proof and possible legal arguments articles, some entertainment amusements, and, as always, a liberal sprinkling of irrelevent or redundant comments. I now resume studying for finals...
 
Russian History Russian History. 'Few nations have as colorful and vivid a history as Russia. At times torn between the East and the West, sometimes buffering the two, Russia has always been a pot of enormous ethnic diversity which refuses to melt. The result has been a mixture of socialism and capitalism, of east and west, Christianity and Islam with a bit of social experimentation thrown in. '
A Chronology of Russian History; the Russian Assembly of Nobility; the History of Moscow; the Khazars; the History of Jews in Russia; Treasures of the Tsars; Soviet and Russian Technology; Soviet Archives Exhibit.
[via MetaFilter]
Not news.  I know.  But we're all due to read up on something interesting and educational.
 
The New Chosen The New Chosen. After reading about six Congressmen living in unbelievably cheap housing owned by a religious organization called "The Fellowship Foundation" (or "The Fellowship" or "The Foundation") (via Fark), I became curious about the group. They sponsor the National Prayer Breakfast, but they'd rather you didn't know that - they go to great pains to give the impression that it's an official government function. (President Bush's remarks from 2002, and Rev. Rob Schenck's take on missing the same breakfast.) In March, Harper's Magazine ran Jeffrey Sharlet's first-person account on being a Fellowship neonate, in which he describes the group's organizational structure (which takes its clues from terrorists, Hitler, and the Mafia). In 2002 the Los Angeles Times published an examination of the Foundation's political activities (hosted at toobeautiful.org, which recounts an interesting episode in which three Congressmen, all Fellowship members, take the opportunity to proselytize to a foreign head of state while on official government business. [more inside]
[via MetaFilter]
Checked this out last night.  The Harper's mag article was mighty fine reading.  I highly recommend it.
 
Taking The War Between The Sexes Up A Notch Don't Worry Darling, I'll Protect You: Are men really braver and less frightened by life and stuff than women? Can Woody Allen and 14 million Jews be wrong? Not to mention the Cosa Nostra back in Sicily. Or my Mummy! Or are men less intelligent? Bigger show-offs? Or just lazy, insensitive buggers perhaps? An amusing article in The Washington Monthly by Garance Franke-Ruta - a woman, if you must know - delightfully recasts the age-old "Me Tarzan, You Jane" debate.
[via MetaFilter]

 
A Man Who Writes The New York Times today reprints an essay by Raúl Rivero, a Cuban poet recently sentenced to 20 years by the Castro regime.

 
My Baby Just Cries For Me +#8212; Nina Simone, 1933-2003 Plastic::Music::Death: The music world has lost one of its most passionate, angry voices.

 
Kubrick Still Talking From Beyond The Grave Plastic::FilmTV::Ideas: "Art-phobia is now the dominant sensibility of the official culture, and art-phobia annihilated Stanley Kubrick's autumnal work."

 
Louis Vuitton SARS masks: fact or Fark? This image, posted by Hong Kong SARSblogger Phil, may just answer that question. Some say it's the genuine article, though I doubt it -- and haven't slogged through the Louis Vuitton website to see if it can be verified there. I feel a powerful case of Puma-itis coming on. Update: Hoax. Link to JK's adept debunking. Link to blog post with full-sized image, Discuss


 
Competition Heats Up Among Top Search Engines Today's Wall Street Journal has a brief comparison, in chart format, of some of the best features of the free...
[via beSpacific]

 
Gunfight at the Harvard Law School - webcast! Recorded video of an April 8 Harvard Law School debate on gun control and the Second Amendment featuring HLS Professor Alan Dershowitz, UCLA Professor Eugene Volokh and Dennis Henigan, Director of the Legal Action Project of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, is now available from Harvard Law School.

 
Supreme Court to Revisit Miranda The Supreme Court Monday agreed to revisit the issue of Miranda warnings in a Colorado case, U.S. v. Patane. The...

 
Don't Be Fooled by Corporate Greenwashing Every Earth Day, ten corporations who cynically exploit environmentalist sentiment are given 'Don't Be Fooled Awards.' And the winners for 2003 are . . .
[via AlterNet]

 
More on CNN Obituaries CNN Obituaries Leaked. The Smoking Gun: Leaked Obituaries TSG: "APRIL 16--While all news organizations prepare obituaries in advance of the deaths of famous individuals, the folks at CNN inadvertently gave the Internet-surfing public a chance to preview how the network's web site would note the demise of Vice President Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan, and a few other prominent figures. Until earlier this afternoon, a CNN server housed mock-ups of web pages announcing the yet-to-happen deaths. The CNN pages, which were discovered by the intrepid folks at fark.com, were yanked about 20 minutes after being exposed (though TSG was able to grab a few of the pages for posterity's sake). The premature obituaries, housed in a publicly accessible area of the CNN server and searchable via Google, were apparently the work of Peter Rentz, a senior multimedia designer at CNN. The mock-ups are virtually identical to the obituary design currently used by CNN when a notable person dies (click here to see how CNN covered the Queen Mother's March 2002 death). In fact, elements of the Queen Mum's obit template can be seen in the below Cheney design. In addition to Cheney and Reagan, CNN also prepped online farewells to Fidel Castro, Bob Hope, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, and Gerald Ford. (7 pages)"... [#!/sablog : Shanti Braford's daily links]

 

Madonna bent on stopping online piracy Spokesmanreview.com - Sun Apr 20, 03:41 pm GMT


Is anybody else puzzled as to why she is hell bent on copy-protecting her name for such a crappy single?  She should have done this for something quality, like "Die Another Day," or "Music" when it might have been important.  Madonna: the new single is tired and the funky no-pirating mp3 clip of you is only amusing for a little while.


 
HMV hands online operation to Amazon Marketingmag.ca - Tue Apr 22, 03:57 pm GMT
 
Court: Doctors may not be 'employees' Washtimes.com - Tue Apr 22, 04:10 pm GMT
 

Cuba clampdown on dissidents has "devastated" EU ties Eubusiness.com - Tue Apr 22, 03:04 pm GMT


You'll note the Europeans give a shit.  Where's American freedom muscle power?


 

Daughter to Lead Nina Simone Mourners in France Nytimes.com - Tue Apr 22, 03:47 pm GMT


A real shame.  Nina will be missed.


 

Judicial Watch Files New Lawsuit over Elian Raid Web1.wsvn.com - Tue Apr 22, 03:03 pm GMT


Please, nobody let the Cuban community know about this.


 

Boca twins sentenced to prison in mob scheme Sun-sentinel.com - Tue Apr 22, 03:17 pm GMT


Jeez.  I think these people had kids who went to my school...  South Florida crime.  Never boring.


 
Lawyer: DNA Clears La. Death-Row Inmate Kentucky.com - Tue Apr 22, 03:28 pm GMT
 
Laci Peterson¿s Family Vows Justice Wwklonline.com - Tue Apr 22, 03:44 pm GMT
 
State's fetal murder law among toughest By Josh Richman, STAFF WRITER Sanmateocountytimes.com - Tue Apr 22, 03:53 pm GMT
 
Health officials cautious about cannabis for medical use Stuff.co.nz - Mon Apr 21, 05:38 am GMT
 
Kerry, Lieberman Miss Votes to Campaign Abcnews.go.com - Mon Apr 21, 11:41 am GMT
 
State-Defense Policy Rivalry Intensifying Washingtonpost.com - Tue Apr 22, 03:34 am GMT

Monday, April 21, 2003

 
Sex At Fourteen? Lawyer says sex should be legal for 14-year-olds Should a 14 year old be allowed to make up his or her mind to have sex with whomever they want? This lawyer thinks so. The current legal age of consent in New Zealand is 16. He is proposing making it 14.
[via MetaFilter]
Jeez.  Scary modern times... However, I guess we should infer that a great number of 14 year olds are having sex, anyway.  This law maybe is to reduce the number of charges of statutory rape?
 
Terror and Liberalism Berman's thesis is that we are not involved in some clash of civilizations, as in the Huntington mold; rather, rather we are in the midst of an 80-year struggle between classic liberalism and totalitarianism.

 
Several Abrupt Reversals Seen Over SARS In China Plastic::Politics::Health: " These numbers show 339 infected in Beijing, up from 37 at last count, surpassing the WHO's highest estimates."

 
America's Secret Theocracy? Plastic::Politics::Religion: "A recent edition of Harpers Weekly contained a fascinating expose of this secretive religious organization that has connections into the very highest branches of the government of the USA."

 
The Decay of Lying


Posted by The Happy Tutor



In Variations on a Lie Dorothea expresses concern about being taken in by a blogger's fiction, unable to tell whether it is a true confession, or a fabrication. The debate between Art and Truth is a long one, central to Plato, resurrected when the Puritans closed the theaters in Elizabethan England, the source of Sir Philip Sidney's ringing Defense of Poetry -- "The poet never lieth for he nothing affirmeth." Yet it is not so simple. The Augustan Satirists prided themselves on fooling unsuspecting gulls. They would say that Dorothea "has been bit" by Jonathon's counterfeit tale of Ikuko.


Why would a writer want to fool an audience (as Swift did with Gulliver's Travels, or his mock obituary for a living Astrologer, or his famous piece on eating Irish babies)? Swift believed that moral truth is simple and can be plainly stated (as in the 10 Commandments) -- to no effect. That sermons are necessary but generally futile. Only when a gullible reader's mind has been thoroughly confused, and vexed to fury, will it have the energy and the motive to work its way out of the dark wood back to simple truth. That, I think, is the moral justification for all the obfuscation, and it is why Swift, in almost every satire, drops the satiric masque and writes the plain moral in bold italics -- where it has far more force than if he had intoned it from the pulpit to the slumberous multitudes.


Some of us today believe that most of what we are fed by popular news and culture is a fiction, created by Knaves for Fools, and that these false seemings work because most readers are good-hearted, ignorant, and gullible. Hence, we Teachers adopt the stratagems of  indirection, creating elaborate and absurd canards and defending them with all the energy of Ari Fleischer. If you can read us well, and see through us, you are prepared to read the daily papers.


An admission: I was "bit" by Delacour's tale of Ikuko. What helped me as I thought about it was my sense that he is a moral man -- and that no one of his taste and intelligence would ever write of a real lover with so little concern for her privacy. So, I was forced to conclude that his Ikuko was just another street-walker from the Ginza, where lost souls of that name are found on every corner.



 
Web Searching and Information Retrieval Web search: how the Web has changed information retrieval. "This paper suggests that the significance of the topical metadata controversy...
[via beSpacific]

 
Where Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction? "Not one illegal warhead. Not one drum of chemicals. Not one incriminating document. Not one shred of evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction in more than a month of war and occupation."
This point continues to be pushed...
 
What's Your Favorite Book? How presidential candidates try to impress reporters with their reading lists.
 
Affirmative action, free speech among Supreme Court topics Cleveland.com - Sun Apr 20, 02:39 pm GMT
 
Several Major Rulings Await Supreme Court Abcnews.go.com - Sat Apr 19, 11:33 pm GMT
 
FAQ | You've got pop-up ads! Here's how to block them Kansas.com - Sun Apr 20, 11:36 am GMT
 
Trial lawyer ads fight tort reforms Crainsny.com - Sun Apr 20, 03:23 pm GMT

Sunday, April 20, 2003

 
Today's Goodies:
Bad Dabbling -- Ashcroft should get out of terror trials; FBI informants; teacher arrested in net sex sting. The moral of the story is: watch your connections carefully and stop being such a meddlesome attorney general!
Good dabbling: finally, collaborative blog fiction.
Media: Staging key scenes in the War in Iraq; Generating Ratings with Serial Killers.
Happy Easter, by the way. Somebunny wuvs you.

 
Evidence? We don't need no steenkin' evidence So they finally arrested Scott Peterson... Modesto Police got their big break. Laci is indeed dead. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, somebody must have killed her, and indeed, Scott is somebody. Seriously: "It was a process of elimination," Wasden said. "At the outset you have the universe to work from. ... we were never able to eliminate Scott." Nothing says "we've got nothin'" like "hair noticeably lighter than before and a new Vandyke beard".
[via MetaFilter]

 
Sartre Resartus Sartre Resartus I?ve wanted to say something about the latest round of metablogging that spread so dynamically while I was in the midst of other projects... 

 
Julie: Portrait of A Serial Killer's Victim The media all but glorifies serial killers. Here's the story of one of the victims.

 
Was The Saddam Statue Revolt A Sham? Plastic::Media::Conspiracy: Was the Iraqi uprising spontaneous or staged for the benefit of TV cameras? Does it make any difference?

 
Unwirer: an online, real-time exhibitionist sf story collaboration Charlie Stross (who's up for the Hugo, Neb and BSFA awards this year!) and I are collaborating on our third story together, working title "Unwirer." And we're doing it online.

We've set up a Movable Type blog for the collaboration. You can read along as we write, rewrite and discuss the story as we work our way through it. I think this might be a net-first -- an act of auctorial exhibitionism that no one has ever attempted before.

I think it's gonna be cool. Writing with Charlie's always as fun as a rollercoaster ride, as we try to one-up each other with ever-more-outrageous corners to turn (check out Jury Service for a look at how this works out).

For me, this is a good way to keep track of the actual creative process. Today, when I re-read the stories I've written in collaboration, I'm hard-pressed to remember which bits I wrote and which bit my partner wrote.

Charlie and I had talked about doing this before, but we needed to get an editor to sign off on it first: we didn't want to write the story and then find out that we couldn't sell it. So when Isaac Szpindel asked me if I'd write a story for ReVisions, the alternate science history anthology he's co-editing with Julie Czerneda, I told him that I'd do it, if I could write it online, with Charlie.

And away we go! The story, "Unwirer," is an alternate history in which the copyright industry's 1995 bid at the National Information Infrastructure hearings to redesign the Internet was successful. Now, America labors under a kind of MiniTel hell, where every online transaction costs a few cents and you can only field a website with the phone company's permission. Meanwhile, the French IT giant Be, Inc., has launched a global revolution with the first WiFi AP, and American guerrilla networkers are running through the hills on the US side of the Canadian and Mexican borders, establishing meshed access-points, working to provide end-to-end meshed IP from sea to shining sea. Hilarity ensues.

We're going to be updating the site daily, more or less, and we hope to have the story done in about a month.

The cops caught Roscoe as he was tightening the butterfly bolts on the dish antenna he'd pitoned into the rock-face opposite the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. They were State Troopers, not Fed radio cops, and they pulled their cruiser onto the soft shoulder of the freeway, braking a few feet short of the soles of his boots. It took Roscoe a moment to tighten the bolts down properly before he could let go of the dish and roll over to face the cops, but he knew from the crunch of their boots on the road-salt and the creak of their cold holsters that they were the law.

"Be right with you, officers," he hollered into the gale-force winds that whipped along the rockface. The antenna was made from a surplus pizza-dish satellite rig, a polished tomato soup can and a length of co-ax that descended to a pigtail with the right fitting for a wireless card. All perfectly legal, mostly.

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A Reminder that Ashcroft is Not the Law



"Judge wants Ashcroft out of terror trial". "Judge wants Ashcroft out of terror trial": Today's edition of The Detroit Free Press contains this report. [How Appealing]


Frankly, the Attorney General of the United States should know better!



 
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