All those topics that i wish i had time to pursue more earnestly.
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Posts from — August 2003

flash mobs in the herald

i spoke briefly about flashmobs the other day with dan chang from his the miami herald, the article is a nice, short culture piece. have a look.

August 31, 2003   No Comments

donald davidson died

Donald Davidson dies. IN MEMORIAM Donald Davidson (1917-2003) Professor Davidson died yesterday in Berkeley. As soon as memorial notices are available about his… [The Leiter Reports: Editorials, News, Updates]


Oh i remember reading some of his work when i was an undergrad.

while it might appear that i experienced death in a remote manner above, it should also be clear that i experienced it by relating it to my life, and that through that i sympathized with others or would not have posted it.

August 31, 2003   No Comments

Sun, 31 Aug 2003 18:25:03 GMT

Bush and The Philosophers. Speaking of memes, check this one out. Back on August 5, Mark Kleiman wrote a post that concluded with the observation that “There's a great essay to be written about the second Bush Administration as our first truly post-modern Presidency.”… [Matthew Yglesias]

wierd thing is that i just had a discussion with a colleague on this who argued that bush's presidency is the highest perfection of machiavellian modernism, where i argued that under the conception of 'pluralist idealological conflicts' it was post-modern.

August 31, 2003   No Comments

Sun, 31 Aug 2003 13:56:26 GMT

Tax the rich the same as the average people, Camejo says

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo on Thursday unveiled one of the recall campaign's most detailed and liberal proposals, one he contended would lift California out of its budget morass.

Camejo, who heads an investment brokerage firm he founded, called for strikingly higher income tax rates on Californians who earn more than $500,000 a year, changing Proposition 13 to allow reappraisals of many corporate properties and tax cuts for low-wage earners.

“We have a crisis,” Camejo said. “At least (the wealthy) should pay what the average person pays, and that would balance the budget.”

Heck, maybe the rich need to be taxed even more than the average person…

Disparity in wealth is killing democracy, scholar warns

One scholar argues that representative democracy is effectively dead ö done in by the biggest shift of income and assets to the super-wealthy since the 1920s.

“President Bush's tax cuts increased the political power of the richest Americans,” says Walter Williams, University of Washington professor emeritus of public affairs. “Their gains fueled the huge increase in campaign contributions and made big money the driving force in national politics.”

[Politics in the Zeros]

August 31, 2003   No Comments

Sun, 31 Aug 2003 13:06:43 GMT

Walter Cronkite clears his throat. Walter Cronkite's Ten propositions for the Democrats I respect Cronkite like I respect my grandmother. I'm also a democrat. Please someone, anyone, destroy Walter Cronkite's levelheadism here. Please. [MetaFilter]]

everyone should read this, it is about democracy, and equality in the future.

August 31, 2003   No Comments

1000+ apple computers = top 10 supercomputer at Virginia tech

well, news just hit slashdot that Virginia Tech, where i teach, is building a top 10 supercomputer cluster out of Apple G5's. it is supposed to attract researchers interested in using it to virginia tech, though there are already several groups on campus with clusters and grids opeational already…. well, it is a good way to maintain our reputation in this area at least.

lots of people are viewing this, there is just as much info at slashdot.



August 31, 2003   No Comments

Sun, 31 Aug 2003 01:04:45 GMT

Too much to read!. You know, this just shouldn’t be allowed. In fact, I think it ought to be outlawed. It’s just bloody not fair that the 2003 Extreme Markup proceedings come out just as I really ought to be getting a head start on fall reading. Oh, and, um, I guess we won’t… [Caveat Lector]

this has an insightful comment and link to interesting proceedings. 'specially the link to

August 30, 2003   No Comments

Sat, 30 Aug 2003 19:22:56 GMT

Code reading and literary criticism. Brian Marick has posted a wonderful essay on the subject of commenting code. “I do believe that code with comments should often be written to be more self-explanatory,” he says. “But code can only ever be self-explanatory with respect to an expected reader.” To illustrate, he shows an algorithm in C, then translates to the kind of Lisp a C programmer would write, then retranslates to the kind of Lisp a Lisp programmer would write. Then he walks through the Lisp code line by line, exploring how the code itself sets up and then satisfies expectations in the mind of a reader who is presumed Lisp-proficient.
[Jon's Radio]

this actually tails in with some of what i'm arguing in my dissertation… i/m saving a copy.

August 30, 2003   No Comments

Sat, 30 Aug 2003 14:24:24 GMT

Software Patents?

My view is that the success of business processes–including software–depends on subtle issue of execution, rather than on the concepts that you can explicitly patent.  So I think I'm sympathetic to Paul David, et al, who argue against a proposal for the EU that would encourage software patents.

Bessen and  Hunt found that the correlation between R&D and patenting in the U.S. over time has been significantly negative. In other words, as software patenting rates have risen, R&D investment in sectors using information technologies has declined. Whether there is an underlying causal relationship remains unestablished, but the U.S. experience warrants scepticism regarding claims that software patenting would contribute to the goal of raising the software R&D investment rate in the European Research Area.

[Corante: Bottom Line]

I'm pretty much anti-patent toward anything that can be covered by a lesser form of license or other property protection.

August 30, 2003   No Comments

carabella goes to college

actually this is a game that should be played by everyone, not just college students. you already play it so, perhaps you should know what your playing with. in any case, i recommend distributing this game to your students and friends.

August 29, 2003   No Comments