Joho the BlogJanuary 2004 - Joho the Blog

January 31, 2004

The Grinch who Turned Down Testimonials

I have problems with Orkut and other such e-friendship networks because they make binary the most analog of relationships. But I really hate testimonials. I am neurotically compliment-averse to begin with, but encouraging people to write little paragraphs praising one another cannot help but spawn an Economy of Bullshit.

What makes it worse is that the couple of testimonials I’ve gotten (and declined) have been from actual friends who thoughtfully crafted paragraphs that meant something to them and to me. And then I slam the door on them.

I wish Orkut would make this less awkward by letting participants opt out of receiving testimonials.

Cross-blogged at Corante Many2Many.


January 30, 2004

Marc Canter Banned

Marc Canter has been banned from Orkut, possibly because he linked to 300 friends in a week.

Hmmm. I’ve ranked every one of my Orkut friends as maximally fan-worthy, trust-worthy, cool and sexy, except for the handful of people who’ve asked me to be friends who I actually have never heard of before; they only get 2 stars out of 3.

So, will I be next? One can only hope…


Yule Adornoments

Yule Heibel is beginning an occasional series of blog entries about Adorno, in part because she thinks Heidegger has been getting too much air time. She promises to tell us what Adorno thought was wrong with the Ol’ Nazi.

I used to know enough about Adorno to weasel out of any actual conversations about him. Now I remember nothing at all about him. In fact, I think I’m into negative numbers. So, I look forward to Yule’s writing about this philosopher she cares about.


January 29, 2004

How much to RSS?

A reader at my new Corante blog complains that the RSS feed only contains about the first two lines.

Any thoughts about the wisdom of making the whole blog entry available via RSS? I’m inclined to do it.


Trying to buy a Mac

I installed Windows 2000 over Linux last night, a process that I expect is going to cost me my snack privileges in Hell. But I simply couldn’t get my Linksys wireless card to work. One of the advantages of being a monopolistic software overlord is that companies make sure that their products install reaaaal easy-like.

Meanwhile, following the advice from y’all about getting a Mac for my father-in-law for the single purpose of browsing the Web, I called Small Dog and spoke with a helpful salesperson. I thought I wanted a used G4, sans monitor, plus a fresh copy of Panther. Small Dog has a G4 for $520 + $119 for Panther. But the salesperson warned me off of the hw because it’s 2-3 years old and thus is likely to break. “It’s like buying a used car. It’s just got so many miles in it.”

The salesperson at MacResQ tried to down-sell me, not up-sell me, which I appreciated. He recommended a blue-and-white G3 (400mH, 256Mb RAM, 20GB hd, 8.51 OS) for $500. He also recommended a 400mH G4 (128mb RAM, 20GB hd, DVD player) for $530; another 128MB of RAM, installed, is $40.

I’m leaning towards the MacResQ G4, installing PythonPanther, but I feel like a blind man in a room full of deaf computers. Any and all advice would be appreciated. And this time, shouting “Get a Mac!” is entirely uncalled for.

Thanks for everyone’s advice in the comments. As a result, I just bought a 400mH G4 (20GB drive, DVD player, keyboard and mouse) from MacResQ, an extremely pleasant experience. I had them boost the RAM to 384; they charge $40 for 128 but gave me the 256 upgrade for the same price. Real pleasant folks to deal with, and were quite frank and helpful all the way through. I also bought Jaguar/Panther 10.2 for $40 off of eBay (original disks, unregistered).

So, in a few days, my little Mac installation adventure can begin. I’m looking forward to it.


More over at Loose Democracy

I’ve posted an appreciation of Joe Trippi over at my new Corante blog, “Loose Democracy.”

(I haven’t figured out my policy about cross-posting myself, so for now I’m taking the raw self-promotional approach.)


January 28, 2004

Pink on outsourcing

Daniel Pink in Wired gives a human face to offshore outsourcing, as well as providing a nuanced discussion of its political and ethical dimensions.


New blog

I’ve started off my new Corante blog — on how the Net is changing our democracy and politics — with a critique of Clay’s provocative Dean meme.

The new blog is called Loose Democracy, and I’m open to comments, suggestions, criticisms, unfunded mandates and recall initiatives. And please remind me of the 4,000 people I’ve left off my blogroll…I have problems creating lists ex nihilo.

All I can promise you is that I will never make a mistake and I will never ever be wrong.


New service from Amazon

From Denounce:

Amazon Launches New Social Network Called “Pricekut”

Customers Can Now See and Comment
on the Contents of Other Customers’ Shopping Carts

It’s satire, ok? (Thanks to Brian Dear for the link.)

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My dream

Last night I had a dream that I was trying to explain to John Kerry that the Internet is like free speech: Its value comes from its openness to possibility, and that the government should regulate it as little as possible.

Yes, I actually had this dream.


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