Archive for June, 2004

2004.06.30

Religion and Plurality

I’m not sure plurality is the correct word to use. Rather, call it splintering of a single thing. This thing is religion, specifically Christianity.

One of the interesting things about Christianity, and one of its weaknesses, is that there is no “one way” about it. You’ve got every flavour of Christian like Born Again, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Evangelical, Unitarian, Methodist, Quaker, Mormon, Baptist, etc ad nauseum. Which one is right? Not a single Christian would probably agree.

Compare this to many other religions like Islam. “There is only one God, Allah, and Muhammed is his messenger.” Muslims have a few variations in practice, but overall they are far more unified than Christians in their worship. Buddhism seems much the same.

This splintering makes it seem like there is no right answer. It makes it seem to an outsider like there is no authority. There is the Bible, but how you interpret it is open to any particular churches discretion. This is great in that you can shop around and find a church that appeals to you, but for a religion to claim it is Right and The Answer to have hundreds of counter claims weakens your case. Compare this to Catholicism: you have the Pope and you have the Bible and there is no variation. The Catholic Church speaks as one voice. This is appealing in many ways, and certainly gives credence to thier “claim” to be Right and The Answer.

I wonder what Christ would say to the Christians upon seeing his splintered Church?

To me the fact that there are so many religions is indicative that there is no true universal religion. I am not saying that we are not a religious species; we obviously are and I believe I am rather more religious than I care to admit, but there is a clear difference to me between Religion which is splintered and religion which is my own and only as fractured as my own soul.

2 Comments | Catergorized: thoughts

2004.06.29

How To: CSS Shadow Box

Shadow box with me! Yesterday I posted an article on how to create shadows specifically for your text. My goal had always been to create dropshadows for text boxes. The examples odd left in the comments were for items that required image files, which I don’t want to deal with. Read the rest of this entry…

Comments Off on How To: CSS Shadow Box | Catergorized: geek  technology

2004.06.29

Blojsom Gets Apple Pie

It was announced on the mailing list today that Blojsom, a Blosxom fork written in Java, will be bundled with Apple’s upcoming OS X 10.4 Server (scroll down to the section about iChat and Blog Servers). The main Blojsom developer, David Czarnecki, is still in shock.

I have to admit, I am very jealous! I can’t help but feel mildly cheated… I wonder why Apple decided to go with Blojsom instead of Blosxom? Or some other weblog system, for that matter? Still, it’s good that something like this is being bundled with OS X Server. Congrats to Blojsom!

Comments Off on Blojsom Gets Apple Pie | Catergorized: geek

2004.06.28

Didn’t Know Better

Life was more fun when you didn’t know better.

When you’re a kid you don’t know you’re not supposed to take the cookies when you see them on the table. When you’re a kid you don’t know you’re not supposed to go into the woods and swing from ropes over dangerously deep ravines. When you’re a kid it’s exciting to sneak out in the middle of the night to visit a friend.

Now you’re an adult. You have to go to work to pay bills and make ends meet. You know that it’s not nice to just take cookies when they don’t belong to you. Some activities are just too dangerous and if you hurt yourself you worry about medical bills and how long it will take to recover. There’s no point visiting friends in the middle of the night because they have kids, a job and need their sleep.

*sigh*

Life was more fun when you didn’t know better.

Comments Off on Didn’t Know Better | Catergorized: life  thoughts

2004.06.28

How To: CSS Text Shadows

Art through imitation. I was checking out wirelesspirate.net and noticed they were using dropshadows for their text. I checked out their code and saw they were creating the shadows with CSS. After a bit of expropriation and manipulation I’ve got it running here. Read the rest of this entry…

5 Comments | Catergorized: geek  technology

2004.06.26

Induction

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is trying to get a law passed that says if you make a product (hardware or software) that allows others to use and/or share illegally obtained software, files or other copyrighted material then you are culpable and equally guilty as the person engaging in the criminal act. So Apple would be guilty and prosecutable under this law, according to Sen. Hatch, because their iPod encourages people to share illegally obtained MP3s. A website that discusses the pros and cons of peer to peer (P2P) software is illegal because even talking about these networks might encourage others to engage in illegal activities. The creators of FTP (File Transfer Protocol, a popular internet protocol) should be locked away because people might send each other digitized movies ripped from DVDs.

bOING bOING today posted a link to Corante website and a well-annotated copy of this ridiculous law by Ernest Miller. Read it and be amazed at the sheer stupidity of our representatives.

I think it’s time that we start looking for qualified candidates to represent us. These flaming retarded idiots we have now (and many of them are Democrats; don’t think I’m taking sides!) are going to push us into a corner where we won’t even be able to say anything without being sued; some corporation will be able to copyright the English language. Seriously, they are making it impossible for our once great technology standards to progress because they are stymied in patent muckraking, a morass of copyright law, and too many legal (and definitively illegal) disclaimers.

We don’t need this law. It is bad legislation and against common sense. As Mr. Miller says, “If a Ford automobile crashes into me, do I sue Ford or the person driving? It depends on what caused the accident. If the accident was something Ford had control over, like a faulty accelerator, the I sue Ford. If the accident was something that Ford had no control over, like the other driver was drunk, then I sue the other driver. While the concept of “control” might seem like a “minor detail” to Hatch I assure you it is an important legal concept.” Lawrence Lessig weighs in as does Derek Slater, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a mock complaint against Apple for their iPod as well as some excellent commentary.

Comments Off on Induction | Catergorized: geek  rights  thoughts

2004.06.25

Tardy

I think I suffer from chronic tardiness. The symptoms are obvious.

1: I am often late for work.
2: I am often late to meet friends.
3: If you send me an email don’t expect a speedy response.
4: Rent was due when? Last week?
5: Happy Belated Birthday!
6: It’s often midnight before I realize, “Oh, I haven’t eaten tonight.”
7: We won’t even get into sex but let’s just say you won’t see me leaving the table soon.

With some of the symptoms I know the causes. With others it is pure speculation.

I am the heir, I am convinced, of a long line of night owls stretching back through time to the misty beginnings of my bloodline. I am, strangely enough, the first born male of every first born male that came before me making me the true (patriarchal) inheritor of this propensity towards being awake at night.

I also have a terrible memory storage problem. At an early age I started cramming my brain full of useless facts and fictions. Likely I know more than anyone on the planet but I can’t access the jumble of my thoughts and memories making all that knowledge quite useless. It would be like unloading the Library of Congress in a big pile stirring it up, and then trying to find the one book that has an interview with HG Wells on Mind at the End of its Tether. In amongst my piles of unfiled mental memes are things like your birthday, your anniversary, my anniversary, and the date things are due despite looking at a calendar every day.

It’s not that I’ve forgotten anything, I just can’t access the memory at the time the information is relevant. I need a trigger for the information to be accessed… Like walking past a book store that is advertising gift cards in their oversized plate glass windows and remembering that I was supposed to pick one up for my brother in law for Christmas the year before.

Some things I’m late for because they just aren’t important to me when I look at life, why we’re here and what’s the point. This is a somewhat skewed and existentialist issue with me because of course paying bills, the rent, and going to work are important. They just aren’t that important to me. I can’t help thinking about life this way just like I can’t not notice a pair of boobs right in front of my face. It’s a built in propensity.

Sometimes I’m late for things simply because I am so easily distracted. If I read a book or am working on a song or writing this article, it’s hard to tear myself away. Especially if the thing I’m supposed to be doing isn’t interesting.

Hopefully the world learns my tardiness is a disease I’m afflicted with. I’m not tardy to work because I don’t care about work; I work just as hard as anyone and will work later than them, too. I’m not late to the party because I like to be fashionably late; I was probably tweaking a web page or writing. I will continue to suffer jibes, scolding, and sometimes persecution because of my tardiness. It’s not that I’m lazy, though I’m sometimes accused of this. I just have an overwhelming desire to things at my own pace and in my own time.

By the way, I meant to post this up two days ago.

1 Comment | Catergorized: life  thoughts

2004.06.22

Terraserver USA

Since I seem to get alot of hits in my referer logs searching for Terraserver information, here’s what I know.

You can find the site here. It used to be considered a Microsoft product but not anymore, though it is still hosted by them. You can use it to find satellite images of your house or places you used to live. If you look closely you can even see OOKEE.com headquarters.

Generally the maps are older but still fun. FYI I do not have any special access to their servers or know of any backdoors, and I don’t know where you can find information in this regard so I hope that satisfies a few of you more inquisitive visitors.

Comments Off on Terraserver USA | Catergorized: geek  site

2004.06.17

bOING bOING Redesign

The folks at bOING bOING have redesigned their site from a two column (right side navi) to a three column eyeball twitch fest. I love reading the site, but holy cow, what an eyesore! It looks super cluttered.

The center column is too narrow for easy text reading until you get down past the cloodge on the left and right. You might also notice some pictures scrunch the text or do not fit in the middle column leaking out over the irritating dotted line.

And what’s with the dotted line surrounding the center column? Too bad it’s a “cut along the dotted line” so I can cut out the pain and read with pleasure.

I also see they’ve added sponsors. In a twist from how other people will probably react, I have no issue with this at all.

Please, bOING bOING, bring back readability!

Comments Off on bOING bOING Redesign | Catergorized: thoughts

2004.06.16

Meet Joe Blog

TIME.com did an article recently about blogging called Meet Joe Blog. The article is interesting but, like most Big Media, focuses only on Big Names. Slashdot, Instapundit, and Fark among many others are mentioned (full listing on the last page of the article). The trouble is I have a hard time calling some of these blogs. Slashdot I read everyday, yet I would not call it a blog. There is generally no editorial content or perspective except in what they cover or their general dislike of Microsoft.

Fark suffers the same… Yes, there is a lot of content and links to articles around the web, but in essence all you have to do is come up with a witty turn of a phrase as a headline and you’ve posted an article. There’s very little commentary.

Where there is editorialization on both sites is, well, the comments. Slashdot can get anywhere from 100 to over 1000 comments on any particular article, and many of Fark’s articles garner in the 100s. They are definately community sites with a lot of community participation but I don’t believe they are blogs.

So what is a blog? According to Dave Winer a blog is personal (written from a person’s point of view), on the web (others have to be able to read it and link to it), published (he means the process is automated making it quick and painless), and part of a community (it has interest/links to other sites and other sites have interest/links to it, as well as individual participation). He’s written a longer article on the subject here.

Why am I fussing about this? Because at least with my site you get my perspectives, my thoughts, and my interests. I don’t know who Drew Curtis from reading Fark. I know he started the site and I assume he writes some of the headlines and puts articles in the queue, but Fark has grown so anyone could do what he’s doing. What is he doing? Managing a site that, because of the community involved in it, manages itself. SP.ookee, in all it’s irritating glory, is published by me alone.

bOING bOING is a different sort of blog because while many people contribute to its content you can still get a sense of who Cory, Xeni and Mark are, what they are interested in, and why. This is something I’d love OOKEE.com to become, but OOKEE.com, as it stands, is not a blog. It is mostly a website with links; a linkblog.

A Linkblog is a site that is run using blog software (or something very similar to it) but that only posts links. Including “blog” in the word is therefore a bit misleading. Fark is a linkblog. For that matter most of the so-called “blogs” out there are linkblogs. This doesn’t negate my enjoyment of reading what is there but linkblogs are not blogs.

Ultimately this is hot air but it’s a shame that a company as prominent as TIME would include blogs-that-are-not-blogs in an article about blogs. This is possible because the best they can do for a definition of blog is “a website where you could post daily scribblings, journal-style, about whatever you like.” Worse, that they focus exclusively on the celebrity blogs instead of pointing out a few of the lesser known or completely unknown blogs out there (and I am not talking about myself; I don’t need that kind of attention!) that would make a much better example of what a blog actually is.

For an interesting introduction to a few actual bloggers I’d suggest looking at the SF Bay Bloggers site. Yeah, it’s regional; tough cookies.

1 Comment | Catergorized: geek
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