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The Longest Now

TeX’ed fontification: my (re)new(ed) love
Saturday February 28th 2004, 6:15 am
Filed under: poetic justice

I like the fact that a totally open informational site, with an active community of thousands, and hundreds of introductory pages, can continue to surprise me two weeks after I became an active community member myself and started reading whatever I could about the site.

For instance, Wikipedia supports TeX fontification.  Hello?  What?  My copy of Office XP can’t manage that, but you’re giving me ~real-time equation rendering as I preview updates to any old wikipedia article? 


TeX’ed fontification: my (re)new(ed) love …

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Saudi is a funny country
Saturday February 28th 2004, 1:23 am
Filed under: international

Filled with deep and ancient anti-semitism and cheauvinism, though apparently a great place to work.  (The gentleman in charge of the reconstruction of Kenya’s main road in 1998, who told many wonderful stories that I still remember fondly, and had worked all over the world, assured me it was the best country he had ever worked in.)  From their government website, until this bit was redacted just yesterday :

Visas will not be issued for the following groups of people:

  • An Israeli passport holder or a passport that has an Israeli arrival/departure stamp.
  • Those who don’t abide by the Saudi traditions concerning appearance and behaviors.  Those under the influence of alcohol will not be permitted into the Kingdom.
  • There are certain regulations for pilgrims and you should contact the consulate for more information.
  • Jewish People

Important Instructions:

  • If a woman is arriving in the Kingdom alone, the sponsor or her husband must receive her at the airport.
  • Every woman must have confirmed accommodation for the duration of her stay in the Kingdom.
  • A  woman is not allowed to drive a car and can therefore only travel by car if she is accompanied by her husband, a male relative, or a driver.

At least they don’t go around chopping off hands.

Saudi is a funny country …

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The World Question Center
Thursday February 26th 2004, 1:27 pm
Filed under: poetic justice

Glorious list of questions. Hosted just down the river, too… A good place to find the right person to chat with about any really important ideas you might have.

The World Question Center …

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Currency of Severed Members
Thursday February 26th 2004, 1:26 am
Filed under: indescribable

For those of you forever looking for new anecdotal tokens of liquidity and value:

The baskets of severed hands, set down at the feet of the European post commanders, became the symbol of the Congo Free State. … The collection of hands became an end in itself. Force Publique soldiers brought them to the stations in place of rubber; they even went out to harvest them instead of rubber …… They became a sort of currency. They came to be used to make up for shortfalls in rubber quotas, to replace … the people who were demanded for the forced labour gangs; and the Force Publique soldiers were paid their bonuses on the basis of how many hands they collected.

-from Peter Forbath’s history of the Congo (ref’ed in WP)

Fortune for the day
Thursday February 26th 2004, 12:55 am
Filed under: %a la mod

I’ve found my new fortune replacement.  Eddy DuchinEthelbald of Wessex (wife Judith), List of collective nouns by collective term A-K(an aurora of polar bears?  a corps of giraffe?),  Mass murder metal, and Kalamazoo college.

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A shift in the quality of transparency
Wednesday February 25th 2004, 10:33 am
Filed under: metrics

I feel a subtle pressure change as we drop below a certain threshhold for frictional costs of scaled, detailed transparency.  .

This press release was collaboratively drafted on the Wikimedia Foundation’s wiki (meta.wikipedia.orgpage history). Before its release it was edited 259 times by 37 different volunteer authors, and drafted in 18 different languages. The text of this press release is placed into the public domain.

A shift in the quality of transparency …

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My Kind of Emperor
Tuesday February 24th 2004, 12:51 am
Filed under: indescribable

Anyone who wants the originals of his ten-thousand volume encyclopedia buried with him, and so issues multiple decrees for it to be copied by hand before he dies, is alright in my book.

My Kind of Emperor …

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Primary Correspondence
Monday February 23rd 2004, 3:04 pm
Filed under: poetic justice

Howard Dean’s Million-Penpal Jan. and Feb.

Primary Correspondence …

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Anthropological theories of value
Sunday February 22nd 2004, 2:38 pm
Filed under: metrics

You know you wanted to read more about different theories of wealth and value, ‘subsistence techniques‘, and the like. A shame that these are so ignored by serious philosophy today. An embarrassment that some people consider such ideas in opposition to capitalism.

Speaking of cultures with differential notions of value, here’s a lovely chart of delegates representing aggregate valuations of some big party coming up, or already going on…

Anthropological theories of value …

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Sunday February 22nd 2004, 7:53 am
Filed under: indescribable

The 70s appeal… the delicious glowing goodness… wow! Such beauty and wordless eloquence I have not seen since FlyGuy first graced my life, prompting a new page devoted to that very muse.


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Wonderland in Chains
Friday February 20th 2004, 11:22 pm
Filed under: chain-gang

WebWatcher for tracking site updates; thanks, Alps! And a portable Hamlet for the adventurous. Two things every digital nomad needs.

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In militia res
Wednesday February 18th 2004, 1:17 pm
Filed under: %a la mod

I love first-hand accounts by people who aren’t planning ambitious careers.

The number of possible slants is so small and natural; many individual quirks are left in rather than ironed out; they are a pleasure to read.  This one is from a Marine on the front lines of the recent invasion of Iraq.

In militia res …

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Top Ten Reasons…
Thursday February 12th 2004, 1:07 am
Filed under: %a la mod

…not to not vote for Kucinich.  Or somethingAnyone who posts top ten lists to a major internet site on my birthday deserves special attention.

Top Ten Reasons… …

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The subject that dares not speak its name
Wednesday February 11th 2004, 11:57 pm
Filed under: %a la mod

Peter in Seattle, getting all het up for Dean:

Systems Theory says that natural systems, including human groups (like the U.S. for one example) behave in set ways. One characteristic you might have heard of is homeostasis, for instance.

…also semiotics…,

…don’t forget complexity theory, …

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We LOVES the wonks, we do.
Wednesday February 11th 2004, 7:32 am
Filed under: poetic justice

Continued Dean, “Just a flesh wound! I’m invincible!”
Kerry brushed off Dean’s remarks: “What is he going to do, bleed on me?”

We LOVES the wonks, we do. …

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You could have sex tonight!
Wednesday February 11th 2004, 7:26 am
Filed under: indescribable

And the baby would be born!  Before November!

Chris Matthews on how near the 2004 election is.  [thx, Wonkette!]

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Clark goes down
Wednesday February 11th 2004, 6:43 am
Filed under: international

Igby, Igby!  Take that flag and run with it.  It’s probably not the worst thing that his campaign is disbanding.  This man’s a political animal with now national as well as international exposure; I give him three weeks with fam before he turns up again. 

Clark goes down …

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