The All-Thing

All stick and no carrot, since ought-three.

`Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on ``I am not too sure''.' -- H. L. Mencken.

各位能夠讀中文得來賓您好。小的這還在學中文中,恐怕中文寫得不太好,希望你們還看得懂。


塞上 (柳開)

鳴﹝骨交﹞直上一千尺,天靜無風聲更幹。
碧眼胡兒三百騎,盡提金勒向雲看。

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Thu, 12 Feb 2004

Man's Two Best Discoveries

Man's two best discoveries

(From my good friend Lex Luthor)

Posted at 07:53 | /internet | (leave a comment) | permalink

Fri, 23 Jan 2004

Scream Remixes

Heh. http://deangoesnuts.com/

Posted at 14:13 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Sat, 17 Jan 2004

Hackers and Painters

Holy shit. I have just seen the dilemma that has occupied my mind for the past two years—which started as a nagging doubt once I left college, only to grow like a fast-spreading fungus to become my daily angst—what I thought was my own personal, bizarre hell—described on paper, in lucid and exacting detail.

Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham.

Every single sentence in this essay is like the tolling of some great Bell of Truth in my head.

Identity crisis: resolving, slowly.

Posted at 18:42 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

What You Can't Say

Paul Graham has written a fantastic essay called What You Can't Say about taboo topics within society. He pulls together, in a elegant and cohesive manner, several ideas that I (and, I'm sure, many others) have had about at one point or another about taboo topics: the historical constancy of their existence within society, the fact that every generation invariably considers itself right, looking back and laughing at the cognitive blind spots of their predecessors, and the fact that each generation in turn is always encumbered by its own set of blind spots and incorrect beliefs.

"It seems to be a constant throughout history: In every period, people believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly that you would have gotten in terrible trouble for saying otherwise.

Is our time any different? To anyone who has read any amount of history, the answer is almost certainly no. It would be a remarkable coincidence if ours were the first era to get everything just right.

He discusses how one might discover the taboo topics of one's own generation, and how, more often than not, these topics are the ones that that society has mistaken beliefs about.

I think one of the things that really reverberated in me about this article is the fact that I know I'm more aware of these things than most people, and Paul Graham is too, and for the same reasons. We are both nerds:

Nerds are always getting in trouble. They say improper things for the same reason they dress unfashionably and have good ideas: convention has less hold over them.

And we are both (god help me) scientists:

"In the sciences, especially, it's a great advantage to be able to question assumptions. The m.o. of scientists, or at least of the good ones, is precisely that: look for places where conventional wisdom is broken, and then try to pry apart the cracks and see what's underneath. That's where new theories come from.

A good scientist, in other words, does not merely ignore conventional wisdom, but makes a special effort to break it. Scientists go looking for trouble. This should be the m.o. of any scholar, but scientists seem much more willing to look under rocks."

See, I can tell he's a scientist from this note:

"I don't mean to suggest that scientists' opinions are inevitably right, just that their willingness to consider unconventional ideas gives them a head start. In other respects they are sometimes at a disadvantage. Like other scholars, many scientists have never directly earned a living– never, that is, been paid in return for services rendered. Most scholars live in an anomalous microworld in which money is something doled out by committees instead of a representation for work, and it seems natural to them that national economies should be run along the same lines. As a result, many otherwise intelligent people were socialists in the middle of the twentieth century."

Anyways, it's definitely worth a read.

Posted at 18:00 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Fri, 09 Jan 2004

Comcast blues

Comcast, which provides the All-Thing with cable modem access, called me a few days ago, out of the blue, to say that, in some kind of bizarre airline-style price-fixing scheme, if I add basic cable, then my total bill would go down by $5 a month. Which is completely nonsensical, but in this day and age of foiling terrorists via nail-file-breaking and duct-tape-buying, I have long since abandoned my foolish attempts to believe that the world conforms to the antiquated notions of being logical or "making any fucking sense", so I said: yes, please charge me $5 less per month, regardless of what mystical rites you have belive you have to perform on your end.

Of course, they fuck up the installation, and internet access is suddenly gone. I have to call to request someone else to re-fix it. I was half expecting them to tell me it would take two weeks, which I would have answered with the sound my seppuku dais being dragged into place, but they had someone here within 24 hours, and, to Comcast's credit, he was completely professional and knowledgeable and fixed things within 15 minutes.

Apparently the change that the first guy was supposed to make he did at the house box, rather than at the pole box where it should have been, presumably because it was too cold out, and didn't bother to check that it worked...

(I should have just said to them in the first place: how about you just charge me $5 less and not install the tv stuff and we'll call it even.)

Posted at 12:40 | /internet | 2 comments | permalink

Wed, 07 Jan 2004

FLEM

My kind of humor.

FLEM sample

http://flem.keenspace.com/d/19990523.html

The entire strip is worth checking out.

Posted at 11:07 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Sat, 03 Jan 2004

Magnatune

Cool.

"Listen to hundreds of MP3'd albums from our artists. Or try our genre-based radio stations.

If you like what you hear, buy our music online for as little as $5 an album or license our music for commercial use.

Artists get a full 50% of the purchase price. And unlike most record labels, our artists keep the rights to their music.

Founded by musicians, for musicians.

No major label connections.

We are not evil."

http://magnatune.com/

(from dph)

Posted at 16:21 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Mon, 22 Dec 2003

Hunkin's Experiments

This is great!

Cool cartoons that will have you experimenting with food, light, sound, clothes, and a whole lot more! Hundreds of cartoon experiments from cartoonist, broadcaster and engineer Tim Hunkin.

http://www.hunkinsexperiments.com/

Some really neat experiments to play around with—how to boil water on a business card, how to amplify sound with two umbrellas, how to make things jump out of a cup of tea, how to prove 1 = 2.

(From MetaFilter.)

Posted at 17:52 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Wed, 17 Dec 2003

Waste Isolation Pilot Planet

I imagine this must have been all around the blogosphere, but I just stumbled upon it today:

What kind of markers can we place to deter our post-apocalyptic posterity from entering a radiation waste site for the next 10,000 years? Read Excerpts from Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Pretty fascinating stuff.

(Or buy the t-shirt.)

Posted at 20:08 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

I've never seen

Craigslist more aptly described: http://boston.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/20274505.html

Posted at 10:38 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Fri, 12 Dec 2003

Sheep

You'll never look at them quite the same way.

http://www.zodoenzehetdaar.nl/templates/filmpje1.php

(from metafilter)

(And, incidentally, from the comments section, this image.)

Posted at 17:14 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Tue, 09 Dec 2003

Rat Babies

Neat.

rat baby rat babies

Yes, those are real rat fetuses. From http://www.greggman.com/japan/designfesta2002-05/designfesta2002-05.htm, which has a bunch of pretty cool stuff.

(from jwz)

Posted at 13:52 | /internet/links | 5 comments | permalink

Sun, 07 Dec 2003

A Chick tract that really touched me

It's true! So, so terribly true! Who will be eaten first?

(from bb)

Posted at 07:18 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Fri, 10 Oct 2003

Dynamic DNS Service Agreements

I've just paid good money to add a couple more DNS servers pointing to masanjin.net because people have been complaining about failed DNS lookups when emailing me (which is completely bizarre, but whatever—I've got to assume it's a problem on my part when multiple people report the same issues.)

One thing that really irked me was that every dynamic DNS provider that I looked at—DynDNS, No-IP, ChangeIP, etc.— all had basically the same usage agreement, including this ridiculous provision:

Customer will not use the Service for illegal software, junk pornography, spamming or any use of distribution lists to any person who has not given specific permission to be included in such a process. Customer agrees not to transmit through the service any unlawful, harassing, libelous, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, obscene or otherwise objectionable material of any kind or nature.

Now seriously. Besides the fact that it doesn't really make any sense AT ALL to speak of transmitting information through a DNS service (only transmitting information from a DNS server, and the only thing you can transmit is a zone record), are they suggesting I can't have a machine pointed to by their DNS servers that I use to view pr0n websites with? Or compose emails with the word fuck in it? Or talk about how I love to eat steak, because that's offensive to Hindus?

Well, whatever. I'm more than happy to click the agree button to nonsensical service agreements. It's almost like I'm not agreeing to anything! Tee hee! Fucking morons.

Posted at 10:12 | /internet | (leave a comment) | permalink

Mon, 29 Sep 2003

BeatBasement

Now that bluegrasscountry.org has turned into a non-stop loop of soulless, generic, watery gruel I've been checking out other sources of music. I hit the jackpot with BeatBasement —I have yet to hear a track I haven't dug. Solid underground hip-hop.

Posted at 14:26 | /internet/links | 1 comment | permalink


   

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. -- Mark Twain