March 2003 Archives


This is very interesting:

A "Xerocracy" is where YOU choose. Like a democracy, but no leaders are elected. Like a collective, but everybody's involved. EVERYBODY chooses and then the MASS DECIDES.
So how does it work? If you have an idea, put it on a piece of paper and photocopy it. Pass it around at Critical Mass and if enough people think it is a good idea, then it will happen, if people think its a bad idea, then it wont happen, but at least people have had the choice to think about it for themselves rather than having never heard the idea in the first place.

The site is a cyclist "thing", and they also speak of "Critical mass", which to them means a large group of cyclists. Amazing how they developed these concepts from cycling in groups! Phenomenology, government, society, culture... A microcosm!

Ape Man

by The Kinks
(Though I'm thinking of the reggae version which appears in the Robin Williams movie "Club Paradise")

I think I'm sophisticated 'cause I'm living my life
like a good homo sapiens
But all around me everybody's multiplying and
they're walking round like flies man
So I'm no better than the animals sitting
in the cages in the zoo man
Cause compared to the flowers and the birds and the trees
I am an apeman.

I think I'm so educated and I'm so civilized
'cause I'm a strict vegetarian
But with the over-population and inflation and starvation
and the crazy politicians
I don't feel safe in this world no more,
I don't want to die in a nuclear war.
I want to sail away to a distant shore and make like an apeman.

Lawrence Lessig's presentation at SxSW2003

Heath Row's Media Diet

Thanks to Heath (whom I briefly met at Bruce Sterling's "end of SxSW" party - nice guy!), we have what I guess is a verbatim trasncript of Lawrence Lessig's brilliant presentation.

Thanks Heath!

L'anarchie c'est l'amour

Le conditionnel de variétés
par Léo Ferré

Je ne suis qu'un artiste de Variétés et ne peux rien dire qui ne puisse ètre dit "de variétés" car on pourrait me reprocher de parler de choses qui ne me regardent pas

Comme si je vous disais qu'un Premier Ministre Britannique ou bien papou ou bien d'ailleurs pouvait ètre déclaré incompétent

Comme si je vous disais qu'un ministre de l'Intérieur d'une République lointaine ou plus présente pouvait ètre une canaille

Comme si je vous disais que les cadences chez Renault sont exténuantes

Comme si je vous disais que les cadences exténuent les ouvriers jamais les Président

Comme si je vous disais que l'humiliation devrait pourtant s'arrèter devant ces femmes des industries chimiques avec leurs doigts bouffés aux acides et leurs poumons en rade

Comme si je vous disais qu'à Tourcoing et plus généralement dans le textile en ce moment ça licencie facile

Comme si je vous disais qu'il pourrait peut-ètre exister un prisonnier politique qu'on aurait jugé pour la forme

Comme si je vous disais que je pourrais suivre dans la rue ce procureur qui regarde avec l'eau dans la bouche le ventre d'une enfant mineure

Comme si je vous disais que ce procureur pourrait ètre celui qui aurait pu requérir contre ce prisonnier politique qu'on aurait jugé pour la forme.
Comme si je vous disais qu'un intellectuel peut descendre dans la rue et vendre le journal

Comme si je vous disais que ce journal est un journal qu'on aurait pu interdire

Comme si je vous disais que le pays qui s'en prend à la liberté de la presse est un pays au bord du gouffre

Comme si je vous disais que ce journal qui aurait pu ètre interdit par ce pays au bord du gouffre pourrait peut-ètre s'appeler la Cause du Peuple

Comme si je vous disais que le gouvernement intéressé par ce genre de presse d'opposition pourrait sans doute s'imaginer qu'il n'y a ni cause ni peuple

Comme si je vous disais que dans le cas bien improbable où l'on interdirait le journal la Cause du Peuple il faudrait l'acheter et le lire

Comme si je vous disais qu'il faudrait alors en parler à vos amis

Comme si je vous disais que les amis de vos amis peuvent faire des millions d'amis

Comme si je vous disais d'aller faire tous ensemble la révolution

Comme si je vous disais que la révolution c'est peut-ètre une variété de la politique

Et je ne vous dis rien qui ne puisse ètre dit de "variétés" moi qui ne suis qu'un artiste de Variétés

Real dummy?

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Would the real George Bush please stand down

Bush's main vocal technique - the bewildered pause - is only too easy to imitate.


Wired News: Brain Music: Not Much to Dance To

Wired article about the DECONism events i also attended last weekend in Toronto.

Update (2006-11-12):
Mark Federman posted pictures (I was also at the Stellarc thing, featurd in the previos entry at that link), and the Internet archive has audio files.

More pics:
i'm in this pic, mostly hidden, back of the room, second from right, i'm holding somehting up and looking at it. Oh wait there I am!

Sigh, good times.

Still waters

It's been quiet on here lately. It will continue to be so for a bit longer. Too many things going on and too many thing in my noggin' needing attention in other places. Come by once in a while. Skip a stone. Sometimes there'll be something new washed up on the beach, sometimes there won't. ;)

Kansei Engineering

incorporating affection and emotion into the design process.

"Kansei is a japanese term where the syllable kan means sensitivity and sei means sensibility. It is used to express the quality of an object for producing pleasure through its use."

Internet Law event in Rio

Copyfight: Intellectual property politics and issues.

Print. Read later. Looks very interesting.

One war post

1_880_1_6.jpgAl Jazeera - Now in english and sticking it to The Man

Look at this picture America. This is one of your sons. He is one of many MANY dead. Most of the dead are not your children. But all ARE, or WERE children.. and now they ARE dead. Do YOU want this? I don't believe you do.

Every American who attended peace rallyes, anti-war protests or any such things, put your VOTES where you mouths are:

Pledge RIGHT NOW NOT to re-elect the current administration.

Pledge right now that you will not accept ANY of the members of the current administration in ANY future positions of public office.

Barring a truly inspiring candidate in the Democrats' camp, VOTE OUTSIDE the bi-partisan system.

Vote for electoral process and funding reform.
Demand radical reform thereof, for your votes are being toyed with, manipulated by shady statisticians and you are being lied to.

Demand that YOU THE PEOPLE actually have a voice again, and that you be represented as a humane people.

Learn to love Trackbacks : A Beginner's Guide to TrackBack

Trackbacks are, IMHO, vital to future wikkidness of weblogging. If you use Movable Type (or any of the supporting systems), turn on TrackBacks NOW. And use them. Often.

Recent travel pics

These are temporary "galleries" of pics I took while on my recent travels. There are no comments, no stories no metadata of any kind. Why? Becasue I have yet to find a tool that does an acceptable job. ;)

Enjoy. Insofar as this can be enjoyed, of course.





Thank god! Let them keep their toxic shlock.


Been quiet lately. Spent the weekend in Toronto. Will write later.

For now, consider this: explodingdog 2003.

"cartoons drawn on the back of business cards"

by Hugh MacLeod

Swimming treadmill

This is an example of one of those things which you'd never have thought of in a million years (and evidently no one had) until you see it and you smack yerself on the forhead and think: "duh.. of course..."


<<What are your thoughts on Lily Chou-Chou?>>

<< [[ some thoughts about the movie "All About Lily Chou Chou" ]] >>

<<Erm... Not sure... I found it very difficult to follow (who is who, who does what, what are the relationships between the characters... When is what happening...), which is disconcerting in itself since my own life is really quite limbo-esque, meandering between "reality" and the inside of my head. I also found it extremely maddening.. The things these kids do to each other without anybody ever doing anything about it. Made me want to get up and scream a few times.>>

<<What I liked the most was some of the most awesome cinematographic "shots" I've seen in a looong time, and, though it was motion sickness inducing at times, I appreciated the use of the homevideocam for parts of the film. All in all, it's very modern and cool and all. I did enjoy it, but it left me in a quite emotionally perturbed state... >>

<<From: Bopuc>>


Roly-poly fish balls!

please.. make.. it.. stop... must... stop... laughing...

(see them all)

A Letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush on the Eve of War

Michael : Mike's Messages

Dear Governor Bush:
So today is what you call "the moment of truth," the day that "France and the rest of world have to show their cards on the table." I'm glad to hear that this day has finally arrived. Because, I gotta tell ya, having survived 440 days of your lying and conniving, I wasn't sure if I could take much more. So I'm glad to hear that today is Truth Day, 'cause I got a few truths I would like to share with you:

Read on...


Google Dance explained and tracked. Fun.

Cheap quick videocams

Here is why a videocamphone could potentially be a TON of fun.

My friend Louis recently bought a $150 "webcam" with integrated Flash memory, which means he can run around with it.

Here is his document of a trip to toronto (QT Mov. ~8.6Meg).

Yes it's not hi-res. So what; It's damn cool. ;)

I need to go

I can barely stand it anymore.. or is it just today?
I need to find a way that will allow me to be on my way.
What will I do?
I don't know.
Where will i go?
Well, let's start here:
- New York - London - Paris - Munich - Berlin - Wien - Milano - Roma - Istambul - Smyrna - Jerusalem - Baghdad (too late...) - Bombay - Ha Noi - Hong Kong - Tokyo - Sydney - Wellington - La Paz - Sao Paolo - Brazilia - Rio De Janeiro - Caracas - San Francisco - Vancouver



Where do you want to go?

Finally the "R" word...

Joi Ito finally said it; the R word: Revolution.

In his case he speaks of Japan and it's political/economic systems, but I've been itching to hear it lobbed about here in North America, and more specifically, in the U.S. Helloooo wildly corrupted borderline fascist state!!!

But this is not why I am writing this tonight.

If you can't find a solution, change the rules.


Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.
- Kristian Wilson, Nintendo Inc, 1989

George W. Bush's War on Women

(copied from the latest CWHS e-bulletin)

"Bush's secret war"
IPPF, 22 January, 2003

London - Shielded by the smokescreen of an imminent war, President George Bush is waging another stealth campaign, systematically working to undermine reproductive freedom around the world, claims The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

Today marks the third anniversary of the beginning of this cultural battle. On this day in 2001, in one of his first actions on taking office, President Bush reinstated the Global Gag Rule - or Mexico City Policy - which cut off U.S. international aid money from any family planning organisation that engaged, directly or indirectly, in abortion-related activities. The cost to IPPF was devastating - $18 million lost, clinics closed, essential reproductive health denied or delayed. This unjust policy has actually increased the number of unintended pregnancies and illegal, unsafe abortions and consequently needless deaths.

Since then, using every means available to him, Bush has formulated a strategy to stifle reproductive rights and access to reproductive health care services. They include: instituting gag rules that censor free speech; supporting legislation that limits access to family planning and abortion services; sinking large sums of money into medically unproven abstinence-only sexuality education; nominating religious ideologues to important scientific posts and decrying the use of condoms.

IPPF Director General Dr Steven Sinding said:
"We are using this, the third anniversary of the Global Gag Rule, to draw the world's attention to a chronology of events [see separate War on Women Chronology below] which show George Bush's seemingly single-minded determination to strip women of reproductive rights and access to reproductive health services - not just abortion but even family planning and sex education.
"These acts are a testament to the Bush administration's war against women and his overall contempt for their fundamental civil and human rights."

For further information contact:
Fiona Salter
Tel: +44 (0) 207 487 7892/ 07799 335533


Mmmm... I just opened a new package of Lavazza coffee grinds and made myself some with my stove-top espresso maker. I usually only make myself coffee on weekends, so one of these freeze dried packages tends to last me for quite a while. This causes a problem, especially since I had forgotten that one should NEVER freeze coffee.

That's right, I've been making myself a cup of swill every sunday for the last few months.

Taking all of this into consideration, I've decided no more Lavazza vacuum-packed for me. It just takes too long for me to go through and I can't adequately store it to keep it fresh. From now on, small baggies from Vielle Europe it will be.

Now, i left my smokes at the bar last night; I can't tell if the shakes I am experiencing at the moment are caused by nicotine withdrawal or the two cups of oh so yummy espresso I just shot back...

Prolly both...

Digital Identity

This is a hot topic with many implications and applications. Most of the time when DigiID is mentioned, it is in context of government programs to give everyone universal identification. The fear there is of course centralized governmental control of your identity. While there certainly may be benefits in this, it nonetheless opens frightening possibilities.

But this is not what I wish to address here.

I'm thinking again about "your URI is your identity". Self-managed and SECURE Digital Identification.

Le Web c'est des humains

"The Web is humans"
Indeed, when one considers the Web as a force for expression and communication, especially in the context of Weblogging, we can begin to not only see the truly biological characteristics of the Web, but also gain insight into the human mind.

I feel fairly confident to say that, in some cases – not all – weblogs are a sort of extension of one's mind: a memory offload, a place to store thoughts and experiences and share them with the community at large. The ability to comment and "trackback" (off-site commenting essentially) creates a conversation: 2-way communication.

A conversation between weblogs? No. A conversation between people: humans, human minds.

Daddy dearest

Bush Sr warning over unilateral action
So George "A Thousand Points of Light" Bush Sr. is now saying Jr. should chill just a bit.

Sing a song.

Thx Warren.

Toc toc toc drrrrr

This is a couple of years old but well worth seeing/listening:
Symphony for Dot Matrix Printers - [The User]

I saw a performance of this about three years ago. It was really quite something. A lineup of old dot-matrix printers ratcheting away in a totally controlled way. Each printer had a camera trained on it and part of th eperformance was also the rythmic switching of camera views on large overhead projections.

Grab the MP3s. Well worth it.

WarBlogging in Iraq

Kevin Sites Blog

CNN reporter in Iraq sets up blog. Can you say "career move"? Let's see if he's any good. Wish he'd picked Movable Type tho...

FOAF & trust/authority

Six Log: Fun with FOAF

Good. This came up during their panel "The Future of Weblogging". Let's see what we can do with this.

Of connexe interest, David Galbraith provides his bio in RSS 1.0 format using the "bio" namespace he is pushing. I spoke to David at the EFF party on, erm, Monday night and we spoke about how this could be used for various self-managed digital identity systems. VERY cool.

Videocam Cellphone

Gizmodo : Japanese videophone

This is one heck of an awesome gizmo. Anything that allows us to record and document and annotate our lives now digitally is wicked cool. IMHO.

Do you want some freedom fires with that sir? - House cafeterias change names for 'french' fries and 'french' toast - Mar. 12, 2003
Are americans "idiot semants"? Has western culture really become so engrossed with "the word" that it supercedes not only sanity (the clear apprehension of reality) but reality itself?

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

WiFi nation

11-Boris-Austin-2.jpgIt is 7:15 pm, it is dark, the sky is menacing rain. Karl, another hard core geek and I are sitting on the sidewalk outside the closed Schlotzky's Deli on Congress St. In Downtown Austin. We are stealing bandwidth.

Ah WiFi!

Best part? The wireless network is managed by a Colubris CN3000. ;)

Weblogging in Baghdad

Where is Raed?
To follow.
(seen on Joi Ito's log)

Go east, young man.

Tout au long d'un souper sushi avec Karl, celui-ci me torturait: "Jaaaaapon... Jaaaaaaapon... tu dois aller au Jaaaaaaaapon... Jaaaaaapon..."

© —> CC

Lawrence Lessig shook the very foundations of the Manufactured Reality. Hallelujah. A trully powerful and engaging orator, masterful presentation giver, he had the room enthralled, shocked, scared, outraged and entertained. This was THE historic event of the convention I felt.

Read Aaron Swartz's notes on the speech (almost a transcript).
Lisa Rein is graciously sharing video and audio of Mr. Lessig's presentation.

Mr.Lessig said he'd be making materials available online. I will link to them as I find them.

All I could keep thinking was "let's push things forward".

I refrained, and kick myself now for having done so, from raising my hand commenting: "I have not heard the one word I think we all need to hear: revolution."

Between the (style) sheets

One of the best panels so far was this morning's "Between the (style) sheets" featuring Jeffrey Zeldman, Tantek Çelik and Eric Meyer. All three did a great job of showing off the power, and yes the relative ease of using valid, semantic markup and CSS for web design (the hot topic nowadays, n'est-ce pas). Though the audience was filled with mostly designers who admitted, by a show of hands, of having some knowledge of CSS based layouts, it was clear from the questions that most still feared it to some extent, or at least are weary of it. However, the job these guys did, I think, went a long ways to soothe some of the fears, simply by *showing* everybody "look what you can do and how easily!"

On an obliquely related note: I spoke briefly with David Weinberger who mentioned he was having some CSS/accessibility issues with one of his sites and I offered to give him a hand, which he happily accepted.

À la mer

Carole Guevin & hubby, J-F, took Karl and I to "Jazz", a cajun restaurant/bar, for lunch. After a half-pound of "u-peel" shrimp (served cold and covered in cajun spices. Yum!) three of us were simply blown away by our chosen platter: Chicken à la mer.

À la mer refers to a parmesan and white wine sauce with shrimp and crawfish. The chicken came deep-fried and smothered in this scrumptious sauce, served with "dirty" rice and sautéed zucchini. As my mother would have said: "zum kosten" (to be had/tried)... and as my father would have said: "pfui Teuffel ist das gut!" (damn the devil that is good).

[Update: Karl and I returned the next day and after much debate and oh-humming, ordered the same dish again!]

Some t-shirts available for sale at this location:

  • "If sex is the spice of life, I wanna be cajun."

  • "Crawfish have it best: they get their tails pinched and their heads sucked."

User style sheets

I asked Tantek about how easy it would be to develop a web-browser for web developers / designers where one could really see what was going in terms of the positioning and the layout (rollover highlighting of boxes, coloring of padding and margin etc.)

He opined a lot of that can be achieved through using user style sheets. I'll look into that, and perhaps hit him up again for some help.

Necessary evil.

Name dropping is a necessary evil when attending a schmooze-fest such as SxSW. In fact I've always felt it to play a rather significant role in initial contact with a new person. It allows the other to quickly get a gage of the people you've linked with and who may have linked to you. Real-space blogrolling, in other words. It is one more device in the trust/authority toolbox available to us in our social engineering.

Of course, as with all things, moderation is the key.


First meal in Austin, Texas and what do I order? A vietnamese beef satay soup. And oh my what a soup it was. Standard soup-meal bowl size: I managed half of it. I had not eaten since the day before, it was 4PM and I could not eat more than half the bowl. I was stuffed. Gorged. On, wait for it, big juicy, tender delicious chunks of texas beef.

So far I am liking this Texas thang... erm... thing...

Free software & copyright

I attended the first presentation at SxSW. It was by Richard Stallman: the founder of the GNU (free) software, erm, movement. I left after about 45 minutes because I grew tired of his longwinded and really quite silly (with no chance to retort, or expand) examples and simpleminded illustrations. They say he's a genius; I guess he felt he needed to dumb it down for the audience. Dumbed it a tad too much, I'd say.

Hot legs

Forgive me but I must say this: I have never seen so many hot chicks driving hot cars in my life. Rock on, ZZ-Top!

Off I go...

Running a tad late but eh.
Just hope this chest cold that is developping doesn't get too much worse... :\


Boiled Pork Dumplings to be precise

Oh I love these. I could live on only these.

Interesting to note: in Northern China they are called "Jiaozi", whereas in Japan they are known as "Gyoza".



This is apparently old news, but sooo much fun!


"It's not a bald spot, it's a solar panel for a sex-machine."
- Thanks to Cory Doctorow.

The village elders

Or "(wisdom + character) * concensus = authority"
Or "Weblog Trust Indexing"

Traditionally, small communities have always had "the village elder(s)": a person or persons who, through experience and intelligence aquired wisdom, who's character brought them into the forefront of their community's consciousness and through the building of trust in him (them) by the community achieved a level of authority.

Keep in mind, I am NOT talking about the "might is right" crowd here.

Weblogging, when used to share one's knowledge and experience, allows for such a dynamic to develop as well.

Goin' to Texas

without being as critical or diamond jewelry judgemental. It didnt have to jewelryinolog be sublime - it was fun. It didn't jewelry have to be profound - it was religious jewelry social.
I bring this up because christian jewelry over the last several months, dog jewelry I've written something like seven silver jewelry songs straight now where the gold jewelry music is complete and finished man

as like I want it, and I don't have the words. And, I've written

Hours of text-to-speech fun!

AT&T Natural Voices - Demos

There's a song in my head

This is somehow hugely interesting to me and I do think I'm gonna head down the 401 for this one.

Rate me.

What's all this now?

I've built a proof-of-concept WebBlog rating system for my RowBoat. Visitors (you all!) can rate entries on my weblog by clicking the [+], [=] or [–] symbols below.

The idea:
- Visitors can rate individual weblog entries.
- ratings are "positive" [+], "neutral" [=] or negative [–].
- [+](positive) can symbolise agreement, good feeling, coolness etc
- [–] (negative) .. the opposite.
(Here's the important part:)
- all ratings are compiled into an "OverAll Rating" (at the top right-hand side of the screen). This rating gives an immediate visual indicator of the Weblog's rating; i.e. how the readers of this Weblog regard it.

Read on.

Alexa = Amazon + Google

Alexa Web Search

This is... interesting. A webservice combining Amazon-style services with Google search functionality. Users can rate search results... they also have some stats screens.. Top500, Movers & Shakers...

I wonder if DayPop, Technorati et al may not be acquisition targets for Google sometime in the future?

Knowledge, language and cultural erosion

Steph forwarded me an email from the mailing list.

It raises concerns regarding the degradation of global culture due to the alarming rate of extinction of many of the world's languages...