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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

P. G. Wodehouse. "The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun." [Quotes of the Day]
What do you think? []  links to this post    8:56:55 PM  

Former free software hacker and night club owner Jamie Zawinski's LiveJournal has just reached the kiloloser mark. And I have to confess I'm one of the happy losers.

What do you think? []  links to this post    8:41:47 PM  
Published, hyperlinked events lead to awareness

Jon Udell reflects on a subtle chain of events leading to his becoming aware of issues FOAF developers had with some of his writing:

What struck me later about this interaction was its miraculous subtlety. I wrote something that made Edd sigh, I overheard his sigh, and we had a discussion about what provoked it. Now let's look at how this happened. My original comments were posted on this weblog. Edd and Dan may or may not subscribe to my blog, but given their central involvement in FOAF it was virtually certain that the item would come to their attention. Their reaction to it, on the FOAF chat channel, was logged on a public page. I became aware of it when somebody followed the link to my item from that page, which created an entry in my referrer log. A truly remarkable chain of events. This kind of thing happens every day, but I continue to find it astonishing.

Weblog to chat channel (via Feedster, perhaps?), to referrer log, to email. With human intervention in between each step, mind you. If you got the dynamics of it all you should get a passing grade in social software 101.

What do you think? []  links to this post    2:15:19 PM  
Why people blog

The good folks over at the Community Wiki (a fork out of Meatball wiki, with less restrictive copyright and NearLinks into Meatball - brilliant idea) have had a stab at figuring out why people blog. A few drivers from their list which I think are spot-on:

But what drives people to publish personal information in the first place?

  • Group Building. People don't always have good friends in real life with whom they can discuss what is on their mind; the web facilitates finding like-minded people
  • Reputation. In online communities, it is sometimes important to offer more personal information in order to build trust (ie. link to your blog from your signature when posting to Usenet or a MailingList)
  • Plain Talk, Personal Freedom. You are held to your own standards. Your friends are your friends. You can talk naturally. You can be yourself.
  • Off-Topic. People need off-topic so that they can build the human interest needed to work together in trust. But off-topic is off-topic, and doesn't belong in work mailing lists, and on some wiki. So what you do is you put your off-topic thoughts into your blog. Problem solved.
  • Half-Baked Thoughts. Nobody's going to pounce on you for putting your half-baked thoughts on your blog. People may disagree, or help you see some flaws, but almost always with the understanding that they are in your house as a guest.
Lilia has been thinking about this too, but I can't seem to find exactly where. Lilia, are you around? Google has ideas, too.

(link via Xtof)

What do you think? []  links to this post    1:25:36 PM  
Open access journals in education

David Wiley's introduction to the Pitch journal links to this huge list of open access journals in education. "Pitch is at least the 140th completely open access, peer reviewed journal in educational research".

If open access is your cup of tea, also don't miss this page on copyright and open access from the kickass Collaborative learning environments sourcebook .

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:06:59 AM  
Feed algebra bounces back

My RSS feed algebra post has been picked up at LinuxWorld and on the Java developers' journal, but without a link to the original item. Stephen and Gary have contributed to the discussion over there.

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:53:51 AM  
ZOMBIE collective blog

Serendipity stroke again this morning. While browsing self-introductions by Jean Leloup fans on this board, I came across ZOMBIE, a quite thoughtful French language collective blog that features contributions from a number of young physicists from my alma mater - string theorist Vincent Bouchard and particle physicists David Côté and Sylvie Brunet, among others.

No, that blog is not about physics - ZOMBIE stands for "Zone Ouverte de Mobilisation pour Briser les Injustices et Exclusions" and is a project of the Priorité à Gauche collective. I found a few interesting items penned by Vincent Bouchard - for instance, this essay questioning the meaningfulness of the concept of "human nature" (en français) and an emergent democracy-flavoured quote from Guy Debord:

Revolution is not showing life to people, but bringing them to life. A revolutionary organization must always remember that its aim is not getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders, but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at least strive toward, an equal degree of participation.

The RSS feed is here but the site doesn't seem to offer author-specific feeds.

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:27:34 AM  

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