Archive for November, 2005

When you go to California….

November 30, 2005

A friend on a mailing list, writing to another friend who’s contemplating a move, passed along this wonderful quotation:

Someone had mentioned an analogy that had begun to prey on my mind. Going to California, he had said, was like entering a swimming-pool. It was pleasant, you swam a few laps, and before you knew it, you were fifty years old.

– Vikram Seth, Two Lives

Boing Boing publishes hearsay

November 27, 2005

Over at Uncle John’s blog we’ve been covering the recent Deadhead controversy in a teapot concerning the removal (or rather, prevention of downloading) of 2300 Grateful Dead shows from the Live Music Archive.
There are many theories and suppositions floating out there about what motivated the change in policy, as well as a fair amount of disinformation (for example, the music will remain in the archive for perpetuity, but for the time being the soundboards can no longer be freely downloaded or listened to via the site).
In covering the story, Boing Boing quotes an anonymous reader and accepts that person’s theory about who is behind the policy change and why: Boing Boing: Greedy Grateful Dead widow burns down online show-library.
It’s traditional in rock ‘n’ roll to blame the wives and widows (see also Yoko), and this kind of explanation also serves to let the heroic rockstars off the hook for what their handlers decide on their behalf.
While I’m in general sympathy with Cory Doctorow’s philosophy regarding the sharing of the Dead’s music and free culture in general, it appears that he didn’t bother to do any original reporting at all. If he had he would have learned that the Deadheads are still free to trade recordings as they always have, “acting as unpaid, volunteer evangelists for” the band.

December 18? I'll take it

November 20, 2005

nanowrimo chart
Warning… adult content.

Blogging from New Orleans

November 15, 2005

My friends Steve and Elizabeth are blogging the reconstruction of New Orleans from within the city: Inside the Bowl.
We stay with them when we go to Jazz Fest (nearly every year), and we were very worried about them when the flood and hurricane hit. They evacuated successfully and their house wasn’t harmed, and they’ve since moved back in.
Steve was writing us these fascinating email messages with photos, so I asked him if he might like to blog about the recovery of the city. A little mumbo jumbo, a little abracadabra, and voila! Inside the Bowl joins the Mediajunkie publishing collective.
I’ll be reading the blog every day. Will you?

Strange blog-spam problem

November 14, 2005

Movable Type is doing something bizarre here. I’ve got this entry, Blogging a yoga conference @ Radio Free Blogistan and it shows 19 spam comments in the counter and on the individual archive page. The spam comments are also showing up in my list of recent comments in the sidebar of RFB.
Ironically, they’ve all got “nofollow” attributes on the links, so they ain’t buying any Googlejuice for the spammers, but they’re still ugly and they clutter up my recent list.
So, just junk them and rebuild, right? Sounds easy. Here’s the problem:
I’ve already junked those comments _and_ repeatedly rebuilt the index page and the archive pages. The back-end information for the entry shows 0 comments. They are phantoms. I have no idea how they can be displayed on the page despite the rebuilds. I have no idea where they’re stored and where they’re coming from.
How can the backend and the frontend of an MT blog be out of synch like that?
I suppose I could poke around the database but I’d first like to have some idea of what’s going on.

The limits of open-source campaigning

November 13, 2005

Micah Sifry wrote up a Rasiej Campaign Post-Mortem analyzing how Andrew Rasiej’s campaign for Public Advocate in New York City managed to fall so short of success despite its embrace of open-source philosophies, techniques, and themes.
Gregory Heller responds in Thoughts on the Sifry Postmortem of the Rasiej Campaign, suggesting that Sifry may be blaming the open-source community for not embracing his candidate instead of truly examining the shortcomings of the campaign itself.
Aldon Hynes, blogmaster for DeStefano for Connecticut weighs in as well with Reflections on grassroots technology driven campaigns.
Disclosure: I am a contributor* to Personal Democracy Forum which is owned and financed by Andrew Rasiej and edited by Micah Sifry. I met Gregory Heller at the last PDF conference, but I do not know him particularly well. I’ve been friends with Aldon Hynes since the Dean campaign.
* * *
*Then again, I’m not a very _good_ contributor to PDF. I haven’t posted anything worthwhile to the blog there in several months and I have thus far failed to submit the last two stories I agreed to write for them (but Kate I am working on them, honest!)

Subscribe to an email digest of RFB

November 13, 2005

Bloglet is dead, long live FeedBlitz. I’m trying out a new email-subscription service on this blog. If it works right I’ll probably add it to all my blogs. It seems pretty straightforward. If you’re interested, scan down the sidebar for the section called “Subscribe to RFB” and submit your email address. Then let me know if the service works for you. (I’m subscribed too, so I’ll see whatever you see.)
I discovered FeedBlitz via the excellent Blog Starter Checklist at Life Beyond Code, which I heard about via the blog conference on the Well, from a Technorati employee, who credits big cheese Dave Sifry with the find. There are some things on the list that seem head-smackingly obvious to me now but which I have myself not bothered to do yet (such as, register my fullname as a domain and redirect it to my – in my case, primary – blog).

Fest Lives!

November 12, 2005

I’m not sure bigger is always better, but I’m glad to hear that Festival Productions is committed to making Jazz Fest happen on schedule next year: Planners promise bigger Jazzfest
We may need to get our plane tickets soon!

A novel a day keeps the doctor away

November 7, 2005

So far, so good. B and I went away for the weekend to celebrate my birthday but I’ve posted two installments of my daily NaNoWriMo effort today to make up for it. There’s a lot to be said for writing fast without fear or favor.

MIT blog survey results now two months overdue

November 1, 2005

What’s up with the MIT Weblog Survey?