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.


宿桐廬江寄廣陵舊遊 (孟浩然)


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Fri, 23 Jan 2004

Scream Remixes


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

Wed, 07 Jan 2004


My kind of humor.

FLEM sample

The entire strip is worth checking out.

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

Sat, 03 Jan 2004



"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."

(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.

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:

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

Fri, 12 Dec 2003


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

(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


rat baby rat babies

Yes, those are real rat fetuses. From, 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

Mon, 29 Sep 2003


Now that 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

Wed, 17 Sep 2003

Angle Grinder Man

"This is the Web-Site of Angle-Grinder Man, the U.K.?s first wheel-clamp and speed camera vigilante cum subversive superhero philanthropist entertainer type personage. A big welcome to all good, decent, law-unabiding citizens. Godspeed to you and your four-wheeled, petrol-driven chariots."

If you live in London, and your car has been wheel-clamped, you can call this guy and he will come with his angle grinder and remove it, while dressed in a superhero outfit. Great pictures.

Posted at 14:07 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Sun, 07 Sep 2003

Craigslist Best-Of

The Boston Craigslist in general is populated by very stupid very illiterate people, but the best-of section occasionally has some very funny posts, e.g. this very Flowers for Algernon trip report about Portland:

Posted at 23:09 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink

Mon, 25 Aug 2003

Cool Watch

Me likey.


Isn't that cool? Others here.

Posted at 13:15 | /internet/links | (leave a comment) | permalink


Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. -- Mark Twain