Archive: February 5, 2006
Hey, I've been blogging for a week! No big deal, you say? Yeah, you're right. But somehow, this is fun. Maybe what I had to do was take so much time off, that it became obvious that nothing bad would happen if I stopped "forever". At that point it was no longer an obligation, and hence, it could be fun again... Wow, that makes my brain hurt.
This is related, I think, to the reason I don't like to keep stuff. I am a compulsive thrower-away of things, or lately, a compulsive eBayer-away of things. I like a clean desk, and a clean desktop. I like an empty inbox. I like having zero posts waiting in my aggregator. All of these things - keeping stuff, stuff on my desk, mail in my inbox, are in some sense obligations. Getting rid of them feels good, in the same way that crossing to-dos off my list feels good.
The same thing happens to me with programming. Nothing is more fun than "noodling"; building something new which does something cool, something unexpected, something unplanned. Sitting down at my computer with a task at hand, designed but not yet implemented, is a simple pleasure. At the same time, building something on deadline - or (gasp!) behind deadline - is not fun; it is an obligation. It must be done, and requires the same concentration and creative energy, but the obligation makes it less fun.
This afternoon I decided to fix my archive. At first I merely changed it a little to make it work better now that I've been blogging for three years. But as I was working on it, I realized the calendar metaphor is really lousy for blog posts. When I started blogging I'd created a calendar-like archive, because, well, that's what leading bloggers like Dave Winer did. I never really questioned it... but in the back of my mind, I remembered a comment from Jeff Jarvis (who I met at BloggerCon II), saying that when he found a blog he liked, he wanted to see "everything", not just the new stuff. And that got me to thinking...
So, presenting the new and improved archive! There they are, links to all 900+ articles, posts, surveys, etc. I've made to this blog in reverse chronological order. I actually think this makes much more sense as a way to present a blog's archive. At least this way if you're browsing around, you have some chance of finding something interesting, as opposed to merely picking by date from a calendar. Check it out! (And of course, please tell me what you think...)
So congratulations to the Steelers. I must say I thought neither team played very well. Overall I thought Seattle played better, but at the end of each half they brain-locked and had horrible clock management, and that proved to be the difference. The referees didn't have a good game either, twice calling Seattle for phantom penalties at critical moments, and giving Pittsburgh a touchdown when the ball never reached the goal line. I'm not saying that was the difference (although Slate is!), but it didn't help...
Shirley's tamales and chili were awesome, as usual. I feel like a Penguin, about to go four months without food. The Stones were cool - we made fun of them for being old, but hey, for old guys they are pretty good, and pretty entertaining. I can't honestly say any of the commercials grabbed me. There were some funny ones, but none that were awesome, if you know what I mean. A pretty tame game, all things considered. But still spending the afternoon eating and watching a game with friends, it doesn't get much better than that :)
In the process of messing around with my new TV, getting ready for the Big Game, I learned some things. First, there is a big difference between my old DVD player on a composite interface and my new DVD player (which upsamples to 1080i) on an HDMI interface. Dramatic. Movies look, well, like movies. Incredible, actually. Second, there is a big difference between an optical audio link between a DVD player and a stock RCA cable. I hadn't meant not to use an optical link, but it turns out ever since I've lived in my house I've had it hooked up incorrectly. So I was listening to stereo sound with surround sound speakers, instead of true 5.1 Dolby sound. The combination of suddenly better audio with suddenly better video made for a qualitatively better movie watching experience. I actually watched all of Star Wars IV, awed by the quality. Very cool.
Of course then I watched the Big Game with stock cable video and audio, and it was pretty lame in comparison. I can't wait to get my new Adelphia HDTV box (hopefully in time for the Winter Olympics). Stay tuned for a report on that...
The other day I noted the unintentionally ironic headline, "The President is a dolt, so how can America be such a success?" In the same spirit, check out the cover of the latest Economist: The one thing Bush got right (democracy). Yes, well, I guess he only got one thing right, eh? But at least it was important, in fact, it was the most important thing. Of course, reasonable people might differ about whether this was the only thing he got right. After all, if the President is a dolt, how can America be such a success :)
I see where Russell Beattie is giving up on comments. (He calls it "back to old school blogging".) From time to time I think about adding comments, but it just doesn't seem like a good idea. Gardening comments seems to take a lot of time - replying to interesting ones, deleting inappropriate ones, and fighting link spammers. I guess if you want to comment on my posts, you can post on your blog :)
John Battelle reports Google is really going to take on PayPal. At least, they're going to build a payment service, they probably won't get much or any traction on eBay, which is still where the majority of PayPal payments are made. They may use it for settling payments for videos and stuff like that... Somehow, I can't see where this is going. Fraud will be a big problem, and if they don't have a stored value system they won't be able to deal with it effectively, and if they do have a stored value system, then they'll have to dodge being classified as a bank, and they'll be competing with Visa, and they'll find themselves in the same minefield PayPal had to cross. Good luck to them :)
I just found this, and it's awesome: Duct-tape band-aids. Wow. Makes you want to get hurt, doesn't it?
Jim Lawrence has a collection of the worst album covers of all time. Pretty impressive actually, they are that bad. [ via Ottmar Liebert ]
Return to the archive.
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
where are the desktop apps?