Eclecticity: Dan Shafer's Web Log : Where author, poet, sports fanatic, spiritual teacher, and dabbler in things Pythonesque and Revolution(ary) Dan Shafer holds forth on various topics of interest primarily to him
Updated: 11/13/02; 1:50:24 PM.


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Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Dusty Baker...A True Leader Who Follows

I had the privilege of working with Dusty a couple of years ago when I was heading up an online sports community called and he was our national spokesperson. I won't claim to know him well, but I will claim that I came to have great respect for him as an inspirational leader, human being, and baseball manager.

So I enjoyed this piece. I hope Baker stays with SF. I know he'll make the right decision.

Managing on a Higher Level. Whatever help the San Francisco Giants' Dusty Baker has received, materially or supernaturally, he has become one of the best managers in the game. By Murray Chass. [New York Times: Sports]

10:45:10 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

No Fun League

Once again the NFL can't get its shit together. Read between the lines: if Owens wasn't already a "bad boy", he'd have gotten away with this clean. It wasn't a big deal. Holmgren's reaction? Now that's egregious conduct.

Once Again, the N.F.L. Outlaws Fun. The N.F.L. tells players such as 49ers' receiver Terrell Owens to go a little crazy, just don't go insane. The behavioral line seems to shift from week to week. By William C. Rhoden. [New York Times: Sports]

10:38:56 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Tell This Guy What's What!

Phil Ackley, on his Radio blog today, asks if anyone is ready to see the Giants get trounced in the World Series.

Go give it to him!
4:51:19 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Online Communities Disappear With No Warning

This story broke when I was not blogging, but my friend Jim Cashel of the free Online Community Report noted it in his most recent issue, so I went to check it out. reported that a number of online communities have been axed with no notice or explanation in recent months by GeoCities and other service providers. These companies are private and they can do pretty much as they please, of course, but it strikes me as being singularly stupid to censor communities which by definition consist of groups of your user base without so much as a "by your leave" or a "could you please."

4:40:28 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

If You Read This, Read it All

The scariest part of this article about the ACLU's new national ad campaign for safety and freedom is the sample stories at the end. If this shit doesn't scare you, then you are scary!

ACLU Acts Against Patriot Act. The American Civil Liberties Union has had enough of some aspects of the Bush administration's Patriot Act, and it's launching a visible, nationwide campaign against it. By Julia Scheeres. [Wired News]

4:31:36 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

A Small Idea for Profitable Blogging

I'm not sure it's entirely original and I have no clue how well it might work, but I've had one of those "ideas that refuses to die" about a small model for how some bloggers might make some money.

Check out my story and jump into the discussion with your take on this idea. Or offer some alternatives?
12:52:59 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

World Series Sold Out, But if You've Got Sperm to Trade...

Robert Scoble spent the morning trying to score a World Series ticket. I just heard from a buddy who says Gary Radnich on KNBR had a call from a woman who will trade two upper reserved seats to all three home games for quality sperm. Yeesh.

There was also a guy who had one seat four rows back of first base in the lower boxes for sale in the paper - $4,725 for all three tickets.

I just got through on the phone. All tickets for the World Series are now sold out. I didn't get any.

[The Scobleizer Weblog]

12:20:43 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Mike Swaine's a Hoot

Eventually this column will appear at Dr. Dobb's Journal, but for now let me quote freely from Mike Swaine's October column, "Request for Disposal."

Describing our system of government to non-U.S. readers, he says the three branches of government are:

* the "Supreme Corpse" which he says is made up of "unelected and unrepresentative...senile ex-judges, bureaucrats, and John Holmes fans" and that "makes most of the important laws in the country." * the "House of Misrepresentatives which turns wishlists written by oil-company lawyers and other special-interest lobbyists into rough drafts for the Supreme Corpse to copyedit and sanctify" * the Chief Executioner (whom he characterizes as "unpopularly dislected", who does "to the best of his ability, whatever they tell him to do ." (I love the word "dislected". I got it wrong in my original post of this piece but Mike dropped me a note to correct it. He said he invented the word "for a bonus jab at Dubya's inimitable way with words". LOL)

He also mentions the Senate, which he dismisses because, "it doesn't do anything."

The guy's a scream.
12:16:04 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Blogging for Profit? Not Likely, Say a Couple of Gurus

I'm inclined to agree with Mark Pilgrim and with Dorothea Salo, whom he cites. A good blog is personally chosen content. Sponsorship - the only obvious way to revenue - always collides with opinion in such matters, in all media. (I do think there are other revenue streams to be tapped; they're just not obvious.)

Blogging for pennies. 1. Wile away the best years of your life building a weblog and filling it with useful, interesting, relevant, topical, engaging content every day. 2. ??? 3. Profit! (196 words) [dive into mark]

BTW, Mark is becoming one of my favorite people. He's a Python pro and a thoughtful blogger.
11:23:27 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Akamai, Doubleclick Are Problems We Don't Talk About

John Robb asked on his Web log this morning about the load time on's redesigned site.

I really actually like Wired's new redesign.  My only problem is that for some reason it takes 40-80 seconds to load.  Apparently, nobody else is getting this problem.  Any ideas? [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

I like the design pretty well, too (though the default CSS type size is pretty small; you can increase it by selecting a different style sheet from the View menu). The load time is a bit higher than it used to be, but I discovered something a while back.

Watch the message box at the bottom of your browser window. Notice how many times when you're loading a site and it seems slow that the message box indicates either akamai or doubleclick is being loaded. I think those two services are badly overloaded, inefficient bottlenecks (that's probably repetitively redundant). We don't talk about them because no end user goes directly to those servers. But I suspect a study would find that these are really Web performance roadblocks.
11:15:37 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Bob Costas: Sour Grapes on the Wild Card Series

Bob Costas is a TV guy. TV guys aren't happy when the World Series is played without a New York entrant because it can adversely affect ratings. So take his viewpoint in this article from the New York Times with a large morsel of sodium chloride.

Wild-Card Series: A New Paradigm for an Old Game. Major League Baseball stands ready to celebrate the first wild-card World Series in history. Not everyone is ecstatic about the development, however. By Murray Chass. [New York Times: Sports]

Obviously, I'm delirious over my Giants being in the Series. I'm equally excited by an all-California World Series; for far too many years the East Coast teams have dominated baseball. Maybe Costas has been too busy preening to notice it, but the population in the U.S. shifted west a while back.

And I think an all-Wild Card Series is a wonderful thing for baseball. Costa's caustic comments notwithstanding, the wild card has added a measure of excitement to a game that this year would have had darned little of moment after about August 1 as most pennant races were out of reach.

Oh, and one more thing.


heh heh
10:00:38 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Never Bet Against a Sure Thing

This piece amused me. Betting on an election in today's United States bears a striking resemblance to betting on professional wrestling. Unless you're privy to the identity of the wrestler or political party with the fix in, you're betting stupidly. Ever since Florida, political elections in this country leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Caveat bettor.

Election Time: What Are the Odds?. Online election wagering forums are giving political pollsters a run for their money. The Iowa Electronic Markets is taking bets on November's election. By Joanna Glasner. [Wired News]

9:54:08 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Yep, It's the Software Alright!

This post is a bit recursively recursive as I cite Dave Winer's thoughts on the reasons software development ought to be a more important focus than it is. In the article, he cites a piece I wrote yesterday which focuses on Radio, which is software Dave makes.... I still thought it interesting enough to share with you!

It's the software, dummy!.

Markoff: "At this year's Agenda conference, traditionally an upbeat gathering of the computer and Internet industries' elite, attendance was low and the mood even lower. Executives engaged in a hunt for the bottom of the decline with few seeing even a hint of new growth on the horizon."

Here's my pledge to growth in the Valley. I'm refinancing my house and taking out a bit of extra money, and I'm going to use $2,000 of that to buy a new multi-gigahertz laptop to run some software that Bill Gates has never even heard of. It's mission-critical for me, and it would love more gigahertz.

In Andy Grove's Valley of Death they only buy software from Bill, and he ran out of new ideas when he drove Lotus out of business. Or was it Novell? What our industry needs more than anything is software to soak up those cycles productively and not just for games. But there have to be features that drive adoption. Markoff's story concludes that it may have been the music industry that sparked the doldroms in computers. That, and Microsoft's software monopoly. Moore's Law continues to rage on, but there's no software to soak up the cycles. Or is there?

Kevin Werbach and Dan Shafer said it so well yesterday. It's so recursive. It's staring you in the face. Get a weblog and do your readers a favor, let them know where the next round of growth is going to come from. Andy Grove, it must be great to have so many accomplishments. Encourage the young people at Intel to get out more and stop looking to Microsoft for all the new software. Fund the resurrection of software in the Valley. You need us to sell more hertz, and that's what you sell. Right? Let's pop the stack back to the 70's when we did technology in Silicon Valley. Software, software, software, that should be our mantra.

[Scripting News]

9:46:19 AM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

© Copyright 2002 Dan Shafer.

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