Blog-type stuff


I once had a friend with a brilliant idea: that we should start referring to all money in terms of "grand" or "large". For instance, "And your total comes to .043 large."

In that vein, I think we should start referring to all lengths of time in Hz. It's genius! And don't argue to me that not everything comes cyclically: if you think about it, by the act of debating that thought every time you talk to me, you've proven my point.

For instance, the interval between my last post and this one was 27.7 microHz. You can't beat that with a stick! (I think...) Or even, "I can't believe I wasted a Hz of my time on this!"

Oh, and pay no mind to the amount of time it takes to calculate out. It's well worth the effort. Trust me. That's it, trust me (update below).


On Wikipedia and Deletionism

"Maybe the time has come for Wikipedia to amend its famous slogan. Maybe it should call itself "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit on the condition that said person meets the requirements laid out in Wikipedia Code 234.56, subsections A34-A58, A65, B7 (codicil 5674), and follows the procedures specified in Wikipedia Statutes 31 - 1007 as well as Secret Wikipedia Scroll SC72 (Wikipedia Decoder Ring required)."

A very interesting article by Nicholas Carr which you can read here. It talks about the rising scourge of Deletionsim on Wikipedia. </Trotskyist language>

I must say I notice this to be a significant problem. On Wikipedia, space is cheap. IMNSHO, as much as possible should be included on Wikipedia. There are well over 6 billion people on this planet; some significant percentage will be very interested in a topic another group considers "obscure." Sure, quality and NPOV need be followed*, but that's why anyone can edit Wikipedia. Deletion of an article should be akin to capital punishment in criminal law: only used where it is thought absolutely necessary. Else, the knowledge base that is Wikipedia can't grow.

*A note: I've always wondered about ways of including "popular perceptions" within articles while retaining NPOV. I understand they are sometimes at loggerheads, and often the main page should simply be facts. I also understand the perception can be hard to measure and balance. But often, especially with historical periods, people, ideas, actions, and things, changing popular perception is an important component (at least to this person with a more-than-passing interest in Cultural Studies). Perhaps a second page is required, or perhaps an entirely separate wiki. But it is an idea that I believe is worth exploring.


So guess what I found today?

So guess what I found today? A computer. In the trash outside somebody's house.

Now, in and of itself, that's not really all the exciting. I actually already have one I'm using as a big MP3 player. But you expect such a thing to be, well, trash: an ancient machine with almost anything of value ripped out. But this is practically brand new: it's an HP Pavilion with a 2.2 GHz Athlon XP Processor and 512MB of RAM. It has an onboard GeForce 4 MX video card and a 160GB HD. Hell, it even has an 8-in-1 memory card reader in the front and onboard firewire. It's a pretty recent machine. And right there with it was a keyboard, mouse, and power cable (not that I'm really short of any of those components...). Absolutely astonishing: I can't figure out why someone would toss it: hell, put in on eBay for a few hundred bucks (hmmm.... no! I can't resist computer hardware). But there loss is my gain, I suppose. Before you ask, yes, it was in the trash... trust me, it was surround by it. It's not taking someone's patio furniture, "becuase it's out on the lawn, they're just throwing it out!"

I just powered it on and it all seems to work well. It is registered to "Owner" (wow, that's specific...) and has very little on it, aside from some demo games. I mean, no one ever even bothered to take the stickers off the front of the machine. I'm guessing it was someone's kids computer and they simply bought a new one and tossed this one. Whatever, as I said. I'm ecstatic. Well, maybe just happy. But now I need to find a use for this thing! Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Update: (I guess I really like these updates, heywhat?)


Phil Rizzuto

If you were not aware, Phil Rizzuto passed away last night. Holy cow, what a loss for all of us.

Here was my Father's reaction:

'Two Thoughts

"I heard the doctors revived a man after being dead for four-and-a-half minutes. When they asked what it was like being dead, he said it was like listening to New York Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto during a rain delay." - Late Night host David Letterman

"My best pitch is anything the batter grounds, lines, or pops in the direction of (Phil) Rizzuto." - Pitcher Vic Raschi '

May he rest in peace. Though he had been ill for a long time, and though it was easy to disagree with his style from time to time, he will be sorely missed.


So I was walking down the street

So I was walking down the street tonight, mostly lost in my own thoughts. All of the sudden, I notice someone waving at me. And by notice, I mean she looked me in the eye and said, both nicely yet forcefully "I'm waving at you!" I had never met her before in my life. But it made me smile.

I thought you might want to know.


Does this ad go a little too far?

Manhattan Mini Storage ad on the West Side Highway at or about 42nd st. For those who doen't know, Manhattan Mini Storage has been running a campaign of clever ads that, well, sometimes push the boundaries of taste. (EG: "Your closet is more shallow than Paris Hilton," with a picture of a lap dog wearing a tiara.)

But boy, even I'm not sure if this one hasn't crossed a line. I mean, jeeze.



Boy, I should really update this more often. You know it's bad when the cookie for your account expires making you relogin everytime you go to add something. Ah well. Hopefully I'll get some more stuff up soon. I'm hoping to write a little, but we'll see how that goes.


On War and Nations (but that is far too strong a title for what's below)

The following is my response on reddit to the following comment:

"Interestingly, while on its face the comic argues for greater empathy with foreigners, it's also arguing for the end of non-interventionism, the very policy which would have kept us out of the Iraq & Vietnam messes."

During the Second World War, we were fighting against a country that, amongst other things, had invaded (and was in the process of invading) others. The same was true in Korea, and in the first Gulf War. The current Iraq war and (I would argue) the Vietnam war were fought against soverign nations in their own right whom had done nothing to other soverign nations.

I admit I am not a strong supporter of war in any form, but protecting the sovereignty of other nations is important; in effect, it is the first assurance for self-determination. But more, it is an act to stop an agressor. (It very much bothers me how this point is lost in discussion of these wars, especially the current one, at least in America).

Now, are there other reasons to go to war without direct provocation; that is to invade another soverign nation that has not directly harmed another? That is a far more difficult question, and one that I think goes unexamined far too much. For example, stopping a genocide is undoubtedly a good cause (if it can be done), but who has the authority to do so, and why? If it is only might makes right, or even if you just try to leave it in the hands of a "benevolent" superpower, all you have done is create a tyrant. See how the US has abused its position of power in many other nations defending its own interests, all under the banner of ensuring peace or "spreading democracy." And even in an ideal case, say a powerful but benevolent United Nations, there is still no protection against a tyranny of the majority against any opinion it does not hold (for example, the economic tennants of Mr. Marx).

It's one thing to stop an agressor nation; indeed it is hard to defend not stopping them. But the question becomes far, far more difficult when one nation invades another whom had not directly done harm to it. Indeed, the question is so convoluted that for sixty years the US has been able to gloss the question with platitudes and proceed to act only according to its percieved interests.

That's no way to run any system, even from an American perspective.


Feelings in Graphic Form

Anyone else ever feel that way?

By the way, in case you were wondering, sometimes this little graphic kick I seem to be on isn't all it's cracked up to be.



Government in Graphic Form?

You know, the shape and functioning of governments has always interested me. Perhaps it's a bit of my engineering bent, it's certainly also touches some of my philosophial beliefs, but I love to see how they work, and see how they can be improved. So, here's a quick, unfleshed out idea for local government:

Still some details missing, but hey, it's a quick first draft in a quick sketch. I think it's kinda cool.