Monthly Archives: October 2004

The “Insert Exotic Cause du Jour” Movement

A great expose on the way thatself-righteous activists blunder around the globe taking on causes to get one over on youand causing only damage to the people they profess to care about. The technique of selecting foreign causes works especially well for those activists and celebrities desperate to be perceived as being more erudite and […]

Grothendiek’s Solitude

I am looking forward to reading the upcoming bio ofGrothendiek. Grothendiek’s autobiographical notes are deeply human; more like an introspection diary ala ‘Markings’ than a narrative. For example, his comments on independent thinking: ?These years of isolation laid the foundation for a faith that has never been shaken – neither by the discovery (arriving in […]

Neurotransmitters for the Global Mind

In keeping with yesterday’s theme, I’ll present another of my favorite metaphors for the semantic web: ?Neurotransmitters for the Global Mind?. You see, each new advance in technology makes it easier for humans to communicate amongst ourselves. And if you think of people as being individual neurons, and our modes of communication as the neurotransmitters […]

The Committee of Gossips

Scoble just sent me a message about this new Channel 9 video, showing JP Stewart’s car mods. It’s the same hacker spirit directed into hand-coding BIOSes for gaming console mod chips, or writing bittorrent trackers, or any number of other things that are exciting despite (and maybe because) you can’t really make money doing them. […]

Windows “Brand” and Blogs

When I first read Ries’ ?22 Immutable Laws of Marketing?, I remember comparing it to Microsoft’s own experience of marketing and wondering, ?if Microsoft violates so many of these laws, why are we so successful?? Microsoft has a long history of attempting to ?extend? the ?Windows Brand? into other categories, one of the more severe […]


The Nobel Prize committee labored long and hard to select candidates who would not have a political axe to grind and would not give the impression that the Nobel Committee favored one candidate or another. Edward Prescott was considered to be one such candidate, and earned the Nobel Prize in Economics. Then, without skipping a […]

Where XML Goes Astray

Derek Denny-Brown quite possibly knows more about implementing the XML specs than any other human being who has ever lived. Today he gives you an overview of some of the biggest issues which are lurking in the shadows for those who attempt to implement these specs. Reading it gives me flashbacks to many instances over […]

Streaming Infoset from db://

I have always been fascinated by the possibility of loading streamed Infosets via custom protocols/serializations through a very simple URI hack (such as ?db://?). The System.Xml stack makes this easy, and now Mark shows you just how. Is that cool or what?

Web 2.0

OK, I’ll admit that I found the whole idea of ?Web 2.0? to be somewhat silly, and perhaps wishful thinking for the bubble days of Wired magazine. But with each passing day of reports from Zawodny, I’ve slowly changed my attitude, and I am now ready to declare that Web 2.0 is even cooler than […]

The Meta Model

My brother has recently been building sensors that can discriminate odors such as chemical weapons, based on the work of the winner of this year’s nobel prize in medicine. The neural model is proving to be a big step forward in understanding how weform representations ofthe world, more suitable than the traditional symbolic approach for […]