Archive for November, 2004

Burning Man Politics

on Monday, November 29th, 2004 ... ob: gatherings + society

Dissent is afoot within the burning man community. What else is new ;). This “we have a dream” petition, and various responses ( larry harvey included), focuses on the apparent lack of inspiring art at the event. A more public proposal and voting system is proposed for burning man art funds distribution. I happen to agree with larry harvey on opposing any formal voting structure. Adding a ‘democratic’ vote process, ignoring implementation issues, is hardly a step toward reduction in bureaucracy. Threads on eplaya like “The decline of burning man“, echo the petition’s sentiments less optimistically.

This fantastic example of bureaurocratic creep brings back memories of nomic as a generic model demonstrating such ‘progress’. In fact, the spirit demonstrated during my various nomic experiences feels deeply similar to that of playa anticipation. Radical self expression, attempts at approaching the (once) minimal rule set with a novel and creative eye, complete disregard for structures embraced by society at large, even a feeling of creating something grander and better suited to the ‘participants’.

Naturally, our games ended in an unrecoverable bureaucratic mess. To all those involved in this inevitable and repetitious debate: it’s the art silly, but don’t upset the spectators, and beware the angry artist — they’ll take your guns away. (… and dogs, and radio stations, and ‘rave’ music, and …) For perspective, here’s a death note from 1997.

Perhaps a spectator-only event (museum?) would solve the problems? No gang related clothing allowed on the premesis.

Go , Oregon Trail

on Thursday, November 18th, 2004 ... ob: academic + games + procrastination

I’ve been playing a daily game or two of Go recently, mostly against gnugo v3.4. I am slowly improving and almost able to reliably win on a 9×9 board at the easist difficulty ;). Just in time, version 3.6 was released today, supposedly slightly stronger, and should set me back another week or so. I have been feeding played games back through gnugo using the –replay option prompting the engine to consider each position played and notate what it finds as the best move. Anyone interested in a game, drop a line and we can meet on igs or similar.

Google gets another cheer from my corner with google scholar. It can still be difficult to pull full text documents out of the journal empire, but it looks like it works excellently at pulling academic results for such topics as teleportation, labanotation, and gravity waves. Re-msn… keep working, I’ll check back around version 3.

In the probably-not-worth-the-time dept: I’d like to add a friend of a friend (FOAF) doc here. A nice potential alternative to social networking sites, FOAF as with blogs will see realtively limited implementation. Though perhaps it will lead to a protocol worth implementing through a more traditional social networking site structure (orkut xml, yum). Plus, #irpg on EFnet (and many clones) is possibly even more clever than progress quest, and at least as pointless.

Final thought: Ryan called me up the other day pointed out that the classic video game oregon trail was initially programmed at carleton college way back in 1971. yeehaw carl. Thanks ryan.

I’m getting married!

on Thursday, November 11th, 2004 ... ob: music

warp records (is hiring!) has released a dvd called vision with a retrospective of video work associated with the label. Anything with chris cunningham involved is worth attention, but this compilation has a number of other classics on board. One of my favorites from squarepusher, aphex, autechre, vibert, plaid, mira calix, prefuse 73, the usual crew. At least take the time to check out the intense spash screen if nothing else. I still haven’t seen cunningham’s only other dvd release, though I’ve heard good reviews.

Plan for the weekend: marry a canadian and head to europe to hit up a few warp shows.

MSN Search Beta

on Thursday, November 11th, 2004 ... ob: geek

Oooh, the beta MSN Search is available. First impressions look unimpressive, though it is still beta. The database looks complete and recent, but so is google’s. I’ll admit, I’m looking for more options, sorting, and information in any alternative search engine. So far, this provides none of that.

Tetsuo Kogawa – Japans original microbroadcaster?

on Tuesday, November 9th, 2004 ... ob: geek + media + music

Morgan was involved in a recent radio project at the walker art center in minneapolis and sent a link to Tetsuo Kogawa, self proclaimed originator of the microbroadcasting movement in Japan. Free Radio Berkeley has a host of decent info and links for US interests. At the very least, I plan to check out these old WHBI recordings, circa 1983, apparently the first hip hop station in New York.

Teleflip sms service and Firefox 1.0 extensions

on Tuesday, November 9th, 2004 ... ob: geek

Finally found what seems to be a reliable (get back, spammers, back) sms service for US phones. teleflip relays email sent to [mobile-number] on to sms networks free and fast. I’ve never had much success with the standbys of the rest of the world where sms is hugely popular, icq, ipipi (10c / message), and with my favorite byline of the day: mein handy lebt! – ‘my handy lives!’. With Sprint PCS’s idiotic sms implementation requiring the user to logon to the ‘wireless web’, it takes 5-10 times longer to send a message than it should — making this email option much preferable.

Also, Firefox (v1.0 released today!) and Thunderbird are both keeping me happy. I am generally hesitant to add extensions to programs, with the experience that the eventual hassle of compatability and instability is rarely worth the added functionality. However, a few of these are fantastic, and I’m sure I’ll curse the day I have to use unmodified browsers. Today’s picks:

  • bugmenot – Login to sites requiring free registration (nytimes, washpost, etc), without registering. Also available for ie.
  • imagezoom – Zoom images viewed on the web.
  • duplicate tab – allows tabs to be popped to new winows. This is the only tab extension I’m currently using, although the popular choise seems to be tabbrowser extensions (TBE); see also rebuilding TBE’s featureset with other plugins. I’m still witholding final opinion on my most recent delve into tab browsing, never having been a convert.
  • webdeveloper – This looks incredible. Apply local css to pages, live css edit, show comments, image dimensions, validation, etc… too much fun.

I also plan to play with a few of the gestures extensions. I expect mouse gestures of some sort will filter their way into mainstream applications soon enough, might as well put my vote in for usability before it’s too late.

Thanks Justin for the tips.

site changes and comment spam

on Monday, November 8th, 2004 ... ob: meta

All seems to be going well with the recent site move. The initial css layout was the second place finisher by Hadley Wickham over at alex king’s wordpress css style competition. In the meantime, I’m working on my own layout design and content for subsections to be determined. For the readers, don’t miss that you can now subscribe to as an RSS feed through any number of utilities and services.

I can’t believe how much comment spam I’ve received in the few short days since relaunching. Many of my posts have more than 20 comments all advertising online poker rooms. I’m not yet sure what the best solution to this will be, but in the meantime — what a pain in the ass.

On my own machine, I’ve been exploring mozilla’s offerings, including firefox and thunderbird, as open source alternatives.