Saturday, April 06, 2002

i play go on yahoo a lot. yahoo has a new paid games system, which as far as i can tell doesn't offer any compelling advantages over the current free system. it's my guess that yahoo will attempt to give the paid system a compelling advantage by making the free system worse.

but right now the paid system is a trial system, so it's currently free. but i haven't even looked at it, because i yahoo says it will be paid eventually.

for me, there is no compelling advantage a paid system of any sort on the internet could have that could overcome the price advantage of a working free system. because the internet is just a bunch of ideas, and i can still get ideas for free in real life.

i realize that if too many people thought like this, the internet wouldn't be as interesting as it is. on the other hand, i think if everyone thought like this, it would be much more interesting.

Friday, April 05, 2002

thispalenstinian boy reminds me of this chinese student. or maybe it's just the tanks that look the same.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

bush actually said: "In our lifetime, we have seen the end of conflicts that no one thought could end. . . .Peace is possible when we break free of patterns of violence and hatred." how can he say such things while continuing to perpetuate patterns of violence and hatred?
i'm really becoming obsessed with adjective-noun relationships. i have trouble concentrating on what i'm reading because every time i come across an adjective, i start thinking about it's relation to the noun it precedes.

i started talking to one of my apartment-mates about this and he said that bertrund russel had a theory that all names refer to descriptions. here's my current theory:

1) all nouns actually refer to a set of adjectives.
2) placing any given adjective before a noun serves to strengthen the reference from that noun to that adjective.

i think there's much more to it, though, because on some level saying "strong woman" implies that the word "woman" alone is not enough to imply strength.

must read more adjectives.
"taciturn" is a useful adjective. it's like "introverted" or "quiet," only it sounds better.
two amphetadesk items:

first, i haven't been reading daiweblog as frequently since i started using amphetadesk. i informed them of this and they emailed me today, announcing their new RSS feed. woohoo.

second, i discovered a trick by accident. this may only work in the mac version - i'm not sure. but if you press command-period while a feed is loading, amphetadesk will skip that feed and move on to the next one. so if you're in a hurry, you can cut your feed list down to the bare essentials on the spot.
i think maybe adjectives are what really change the world.

i read the word "hacker" just a momment ago. it was used in it's now-common meaning of "malicious programmer." there was a time, i understand, when "hacker" just meant "talented prorgrammer." and i suspect the term "malicious hacker" was used to refer to a talented malicious programmer. but then "hacker" came to imply, and then mean, what "malicious hacker" once meant.

in this process, a noun changed meaning by assuming the characteristics of an adjective that was commonly used before the noun. i'll speculate about another example of this: i'm guessing there was a time when "conservative republican" was not generally considered to be redundant. but then the word "republican" itself came to imply "conservative" because the two were used together so often. is this how most nouns change meaning over time? is this the primary function of adjectives? i'm not sure, but i think it's really interesting, and i'd like to see if this could be done purposefully. if all women, for example, begin to say "strong woman" whenever they would otherwise say "woman," will the word "woman" start to imply "strong"?

this makes curious me want to use interesting adjectives before all boring nouns.
"the restaurants will be serving bottled water only, which diners can purchase for half-price."

many fast food restaurants will charge something like 23 cents for a cup of water. but this charge isn't applied in some cases; if you get the right server, you'll get your water for free. on the one hand i understand charging for water. water costs money, and probably more than we usually pay for it when you factor in the environmental costs. on the other hand, we all know i can go into the bathroom of any restaurant and fill up a glass of water. so the charge is really just a deterrent from not drinking coke.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

"Thanks for taking an interest in Go, the world's greatest game. It's the one computers can't beat us at." i'm working on an online go game. i have all of the game logic worked out. i just need to make a computer opponent and set up the room system.
something you won't hear on the news: "The police were indiscriminately beating people - friends running away were smashed with batons, the police pushed an old man before me." this is almost certainly biased, but i'd rather hear a biased story than no story at all.
"So when a foreign nation urged us to show 'restraint' in dealing with the bombers, what might we say?" good analogy, bad question. we need not ask "what might we say?" because we can answer "what did we say?" but this doesn't answer "what should we say?" which is the most important question.

Monday, April 01, 2002

"Communities are different than audiences in fundamental human ways, not merely techological ones."

this explains so much for me: why slashdot is no longer interesting, why scripting news seems like such a synthetic community, and why an organization with ten members doesn't need an executive board.

but i think shirky misses the happy mix that is an audience made up of a community of communities. take a drive in movie, for example: everyone there is on some level an audience, but each vehicle is also a community, and the ability to move from vehicle to vehicle creates a community of communities. i want my internet to be a big drive-in theatre.
jonathon delacour: "Women have warm, intimate, supportive friendships. Women compete ruthlessly and undermine each other. Welcome to the real world."

what delacour's "real world" is missing is people (either men or women) who do not make regular practice of competing ruthlessly and undermining each other. that such people may not be found in popularized feminism does not mean they are not real (nor that they aren't feminists). it is only those people who do adopt an antagonistic stance toward the world who make a name for themselves (as "feminists" or otherwise), and delacour has defined his own "real world" in which only such people exist. it is a convenient thing that the "real world" is full of people just like oneself.