October, 2001: 38 posts.
Use Cases – Some Practical Experiences and Lessons Learned with Web Applications looks like a good local meeting. October 15th. I’ll be there. Dang, is it really October? Dang.
Guide to logical fallacies – because there is much to debate in the world; today and into the future.
Tony Blair on the Taliban:
There is no sport allowed, or television or photography. No art or culture is permitted. All other faiths, all other interpretations of Islam are ruthlessly suppressed. Those who practice their faith are imprisoned. Women are treated in a way almost too revolting to be credible. First driven out of university; girls not allowed to go to school; no legal rights; unable to go out of doors without a man. Those that disobey are stoned. There is now no contact permitted with western agencies, even those delivering food. The people live in abject poverty. It is a regime founded on fear and funded on the drugs trade.
Salman Rushdie on Fundamentalists
Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women’s rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. These are tyrants, not Muslims.
I think you’re right. At some point several years ago a whole battery of folks were mad enough about the mess of standards support that we formed the Web Standards Project. I think that that kind of grassroots development was something that *was* listened to because dammit, we don’t *want* to have to write MS-HTML, Nescape-HTML, Opera-HTML, Whatever-HTML, etc – we’d much prefer for the browser makers to support a core functionality that we can use – and the w3c Recommendations are a great starting point. My hope is, that they will continued to me.
In my estimation, companies are free to continue making proprietary extensions to html and css (page transitions, <blink>, <marquee>, scrollbar-face-color, <spacer>, etc), and I’m completely free to ignore them, or use them if see fit. But the web as a platform makes the best sense when there are standards that anyone who wants to play can use somehow.
It occurs to me that the W3C has earned a reputation for being the bearer of recommendations that anyone can use, no questions asked. the way I understand it, this policy will open the door for specs which not everyone can use. There are other standards bodies for that, why have the W3C take that on? To take some examples of proprietary formats folks use regularly, but which are not part of the W3C – GIF, Quicktime, RealMedia, Flash, PDF, Windows Media. These are doing fine without the help of the W3C, why open the door.
I will admit, that despite having read lots of the discussion here, on w3c.org, in the register, etc, I still don’t have a firm grasp on the potential impacts.
Given that, my words carry less weight – but I *can* say that if the new change allows for me to one day browse to w3.org and find an interesting new file format or protocol – and I then find that I can’t write software that uses it without paying some fee or agreeing to some license agreement which allows some patent holder to *withdraw* the standard at will, I think the w3c will have failed in its’ mission to provide a web:
If the W3C can reconcile the new policy with this stated goal, then it’s win-win for us all. If they cannot, our web, the web of the individual, loses.
(From the “I wish this was not on my mind” department)
Some useful information on Airborne Anthrax: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response; American Medical Association – Disaster Preparedness and Medical Response; Officials: Tests Show Presence Of Anthrax In Second Florida Man And At Newspaper Building (via the AP); JAMA Consensus Statement: Anthrax as a Biological Weapon Medical and Public Health Management (from May 1999, it’s excellent and runs down the issues); AMA Statement to Physicians on Anthrax; Further articles from JAMA.
Personal comment: This makes me wonder if my skills as a Respiratory Therapist will be needed in the event of a mass casualty situation. I think though, that aerosol deposition is hard to do and hard to get right. One of the things RTs do is administer medicine in aerosol form. From that I know that to get deposition of drug in the lungs particles in an airborne form it must be carried in aerosol particles of just the right size. I’m not trying to minimize the threat (my sudden, intense need to research this certainly puts me in the “scared witless” category) but I will say that the threat is not on a mass scale, but rather in small outbreaks in small places. Of course, the prediction game is a dodgy one just now. Anyway, read the articles and make your local health care agencies aware of the CDC and JAMA statements.
My comments on the W3C Patent Policy. As usual, I wait until the last minute.
Three things that constantly get people’s attention are sex, violence, and humor. The artist who can weave these subjects together creatively is probably assured an audience. Yet artists can become attached to powerful imagery of violence, sexuality, irony, cynicism, anger, and fear as a way of attracting their viewers. Much pulp or romantic fiction and many action and horror films mirror and foster such dystopian attitudes. Art need not serve only the confused desires and pathologies of the ego. Art can serve and reflect the condition of the human soul, which includes but transcends pathologies.
Nothing like 226 year-old quotes calling for Revolutionary War to make the heart stir. Do not mistake my invoking this quote as support or non-support of war. The colonists debated the question of war for years — it was a difficult decision. Let’s hope the present leaders of the United States use as much intelligence and caution in their strategic decisions — decisions they take in Our name.
The flag I found at the excellent Flags Of The World site. I had no idea that vexillology = the study of flags [dictionary.com] Other choice links: USA Flags; Using the flag for advertising; US Coat of Arms; 51 Star Flag?; The danger of disunity, Don’t Tread On Me.
Quote of the Day:
I think because I went to a pretty white school, that I really don’t look Latin, I don’t have dark eyes, I never had dark hair, so I don’t think a lot of people put two and two together. But I was always proud of my Latino roots and proud of my Irish roots. I never felt like, ‘Oh, I should be white, or all Latin.’ I am what I am.
– Christina Aguilera, on being Latin
Stray thought: Is racism on the spectrum with pride in one’s race? It occurs to me that I have a certain degree of pride in my Mexican-American heritage, and of my Scot heritage (just to name two parts of my mestizo/mutt background)– but what does it really mean? Is having pride in what is basically the genetic “cards you’re dealt” just the opposite of something we’ve just made up? In both instances we ascribe importance to something which in the end does not relate to the content of our character. Human beings are so good at ascribing order to the way things work, when often there is no overarching theme to things – they just are. Race is something with little merit, appears scientific, and gets attention – rather like horoscopes and movie grosses.
Dissent and discussion make us great.
When America is an uninformed people, it is barely America.
Censorship, self-censorship, quasi-censorship — these all make us dumber, and less able to advise and consent our government to carry out what governments must.
WE the people.
A green, exultant, depressing, vaguely threatening, cynical song. Perfect for these times.
This is a great post to metafilter on CBS Mystery Theatre. I sure do miss that show. It was a great show when one was on the road. I think as a kid I thought it was the radio version of Twilight Zone – and I guess in a sense it was. Creepy and wondrous – it fired my imagination.
Hey, I used to work with that guy: Devin! Punk rocker (and shhh… – programmer)
I was right, my skills as an RT may be necessary…
Biological and Chemical Attacks Resources for Respiratory Therapists:
>Dr. William Bernhard Says RTs Will Play Critical Role in Case of a Bio or Chemical Attack
>Hazmat Expert Advises Fellow RTs on Disaster Readiness
>RT Departments Get Ready for the Worst
>RT Expert Provides Basic Advice on Handling Biological, Chemical Attacks
Looks like I have some studying to do. I think I’ll hook up with my local DMAT and see what I can do. Sort of like joining the reserves. The hope I have is that I’ll never have to <voice style=”Chris Tucker”>ever ever ever</voice> use my skills again, but the world may not leave me much choice. I must do what I am able.
Thought of the Day:
“When Mohammed Ali, the boxing champ, visited the attack site at the World Trade Center, a reporter asked him, ‘How do you feel about the suspected hijackers sharing your faith?'” Yee noted. Ali answered, “How do you feel about Hitler sharing yours?”
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The surprise for me was the new New Order record — Get Ready — listened to it at work and it’s nifty! Bit of a time warp to have a new NO record. Their best song is Turn The Heater On – a hauntingly beautiful song in a vast repetoire of haunting and beautiful work.
And I’m not even talking about the incomparable depths of beautiful despair that is – Joy Division.
Messing about with a scheme to navigate the headers. Edging towards bits of dhtml in scattered locations. The HTML validates, too. But not the CSS.
I wish we were playing our cards better. We suffered a calamitous and vicious attack, at the hands of people who truly seek to take over a huge slice of the world – and we end up characterized as lunkheaded baby-killers.
These times demand a higher standard of conduct for us. I think it’s possible to decimate our enemies, re-orient who our friends are, and rejoin the community of nations in a serious way (i.e.: acknowledge the World Court, pay our UN dues, etc). But we’re screwing up our opportunity to do so.
Meanwhile, the American people are distracted by anthrax.
Hennessey + Ingalls a wonderful Architectural and Art bookstore on the Santa Monica Promenade; Opamp Technical Books – killer technical book selection located in dingy and wonderful Hollywood; Book Soup – nice general interest bookstore on Sunset Boulevard; Midnight Special Bookstore – cool indie bookstore, great selection, on the Santa Monica Promenade.
Some of these stores also allow you to buy online.
(Forgive me this nostalgic moment)
I used to really love Halloween. I used to love dressing up in costume. But these days I find I’d just rather be me. I suppose that’s a function of narcissism – why be someone else when being yourself is so great! Perhaps that’s not it. Maybe I’m just a grown up.
I’m 31 years old and have worn many costumes. In the past I have donned the following costumes: Pirate ’77ish, Homemade Spaceman ’79ish, Hare Krishna ’86ish, Hip Devil ’84, Pseudo-Frankenstein ’85ish, The Joker ’91 (I won a prize for that one, green hair, red lips, white face, great costume), Mime ’01 (for a costume party this year), Batman ’76ish (2 ways – I used to have capes my Grandmother made for me of Batman and Superman, which I would wear when I played – I still have a Batman fetish), Bunny ’73-4ish (if I remember the family photos right), Jesus ’97ish (I had long hair – for a H’ween costume party – you might also call that “Chubby Jesus”).
On looking at that rough accounting of what I have been — maybe I’m just tired of finding solutions to the costume problem?
Every year Jenny harps on me to find out what I’m going to be this year, and every year I get sick of her asking, and find the question silly.
I think if I could figure out why I have such trouble figuring out a costume every year I could figure out my procrastination and completion issues. Maybe next year. Heh.