This is fantastic. I was really hoping they would do something like this. $400 for a brand new laptop? With functionally infinite battery life? That’s an engineering feat in itself. It’s a little slower—but Civilization III slow is really not bad. (I know, it’s not a gaming computer, but I can’t think of any reason a Word Processor should need 433 MHz.) Sure, the project has had hitches, but this is still an amazing accomplishment. To the cynics, go make fun of the pyramids because their tops are getting a bit rounded.
“The Internet connection in Myanmar was cut Friday, limiting the free flow of information the nation’s citizens were sharing with the world depicting the violent crackdown on monks and other peaceful demonstrators.”—Internet cut in Myanmar, blogger presses on - CNN.com
You ask, “why get hung up on such 20th century notions as the individual author, the fixed voice, the core identity, and the stable self?” What else do we have? The internet is a dark and lonely series of tubes—and without a fixed identity, can we even be sure which tube we’re in? Sure—it is all very well for the Marco of Marco.org—but what about the “friends”? To have no identity, save through Marco? To be a voice echoing down endless, interconnecting cylinders? To shout, “Help, I am trapped in some quasi-futuristic plumbing device,” but to know in your heart that there is no I only that limitless group known indistinctly as potential friends of Marco’s. Do you realize the agony of the broken voice, the confusion of the multiple author, the rejection of the fringe identity, and the uncertainty of the transient self?
(Thanks, Marco, who pointed out this page discussing Marco.org.)
Marco:Absolutely don't use those stupid systems that send me a verification email and make me fill out a CAPTCHA before they send the message to you. It may stop spam, but it also stops legitimate messages while frustrating and inconveniencing people who try to email you. Your spam is your problem, not mine.
Me:I agree entirely. I got one of those messages yesterday. I'd never seen one before. It's sort of like telling somebody, "Sure, come to dinner--but you'll need a criminal background check first. It might annoy you a bit--but it's really convenient for me." Sure, spam is sort of annoying--but it's even more annoying to miss legitimate emails. What if I'm using a non-standard address that I won't check often?
“At night I drank and my hostility came roaring out of its cave like a jet-assisted banshee.”—By God, I find something different to admire in “Critique de La Vie Quotidienne” every time. It’s in Sadness by Barthelme. Read it. Now.
That’s right, Clinton. It’s all politics. I’m sure there aren’t any problems at all with your “require all Americans to buy health insurance” plan. Just ask Mitt Romney who had a similar plan in Massachusetts. No hitches at all. Oh. Wait. Romney left office just as those laws were going into effect.
Marco tumbled Seth Godin’s post on people confusing the mean for the median. It’s a fine post—and largely I agree with him—but the example he chose to illustrate it really doesn’t inspire confidence.
Mr. Godin wrote, “Consider a website that reports a mean (average) of 2.1 pages per visitor. Then realize that the median is 9.”
Really? Your page view per visitor is going to be a non-zero positive integer. (1, 2, 3, etc.) The average will be what you get if you add all of those up and divide by the total. Thus, if there are x visitors, your average will be the total number of pages viewed by all of them (n) divided by x. So, n/x=2.1.
Now, the median is the middle number. Thus, if you put visitors 1 through x in the order of the number of pages the visited, visitor x/2 will have visited the median number of pages, in this case, 9. (Well, maybe x/2 + .5, but close enough). Also, everybody past that guy will have visited at least nine pages, so you have at least x/2*9 pages viewed. So, the number of pages, x > (x/2)*9. When we rearrange that, we get 4.5 > x/n.
Perhaps Mr. Godin had the median confused with the mode or the most commonly occurring number? (Of course, I think that would also be impossible, but I’ll leave that proof to somebody else.)
This article suggests that an open source project should take eight times as long or require eight times the developers. My key disagreement with this article is that an hour of time at work is not necessarily the same as an hour of time doing work. If you are volunteering to work on a project you have no incentive to waste time. While the efficiency difference is probably not a factor of eight, I bet it is significant.
Why do people bother conducting these stupid polls? Why would a news organization poll people about something that they have no source of information on—except what’s covered by that very news organization.
Marco:I forgot that I hate Digg, so I submitted my iPod Classic article and it accidentally got frontpaged. I'd like to thank Digg's readers for ... flooding my site with crappy comments.
Me:You really shouldn't write articles about things because it inhibits peoples ability to judge for themselves. Information will just confuse people--and saying bad things about any iPod means that you're probably a Microsoft Terrorist. Besides, the album art delay is what, a second or two? Do you know how may seconds are wasted every day? You wouldn't be doing anything useful with those seconds but writing more crappy articles to piss off loyal Digg users.
The Moral:I will not stand by while Digg floods Marco.org with crappy comments. Obnoxious comments are my job and crappy is a kind of obnoxious. I will not be outsourced to Digg.