At Scripting News: 6/30/2005, Dave mentions that paying should preclude commercials as part of a general discussion about why movies are in the decline.

It’s not just that. I refuse digital cable because of the ads that are included in the interface itself. There are ads that appear not only in the program guide, but in the channel bar when one chances channels, etc … I refuse to have my UI become a space for ads, especially if I’m paying for the cable service.

The abuse our minds are subjected to is a perfect example of a tragedy of the commons, where every advertiser is trying to maximize their opportunity for eyeballs, as if they were the only one attempting to use the resource. Well, they aren’t. An I am not willing to take that. I’ve significantly toned down my acceptance of advertizing.

I use my Tivo, sure, to skip ads. However, I do watch ads that I enjoy watching. I have even been known to pause the playback in order to show some particular ad to someone.

But I also have almost stopped watching TV at all, supplementing that with Netflix. I prefer to watch a series on DVD than on TV. Which, as an aside, is a conspiracy to destroy independent TV stations that rely on syndicated version of TV shows, all of which are now available on DVD with no commercials.

Scripting News: 6/29/2005

Dave points out that there’s not way to get a subscription list out of iTunes. Well, there’s no real way to get a subscription list out of Safari RSS either. Sure, one can save their bookmarks, but they’re all mixed in with everything else. It’s not the mixing that I think is a problem, but the inability to usefully get them out again.

Isn’t this a job for Applescript? I mean, yeah, there’s no reason not to have this built in, but … frankly, I want a unified store for these things. I don’t want to have to get my subscriptions and import and export them to every freakin’ application. That’s the pain of bookmarks all over again. This is another topic, but Netinfo was a great way to store things like these in a uniform and independent way for users. Something like that would be an idea way to store everything, from addressbooks, bookmarks, RSS subscripts, etc … Of course, some kind of network capable store that included not just links to the data, but the data itself would be even better. This leads to a framework that bootstraps applications like DevonThink across any application. There’s a clear opportunity here, and I realize that the ODB in Frontier had that potential, if it hadn’t been ignored, for whatever reason.

So, there is already some useful scripting for getting an OPML subscription list into iTunes. That’s a start. Check out the instructions at OPML2iTunes : AppleScript to import OPML podcast subscriptions into iTunes.

Then again, Apple seems to have been trying to leave Netinfo behind. That’s not such a bad idea, since it seems like it wasn’t very scalable for large data sets. I have to say, however, that I really felt that Netinfo, as I experienced in a NeXT-based network was quite intuitive, impressive and I longed for it on my Linux boxen. Unfortunately the Linux version was in proprietary production by a company in Australia. As far as I know, it was never released for Linux, and now days I think anyone that cares has OpenLDAP on the brain anyway. If I understand correctly, Netinfo is still used on local machines, and I suspect that it’s still used on the server in Mac OS X networks to handle much.

I’ve lost my train, or rather I’ve derailed my train.

Guruphiliac: Amma: A Two-Faced Mommy?

This blog was linked on “BoingBoing”. Not this article, but another one. Anyhow, I noticed this posting about Amma.

I met Amma once. It was an interesting experience. There was, perhaps still is, a group that did weekly chant session in Olympia. I knew someone that knew someone that invited the someone I knew to go see Amma. So the someone I knew that was invited invited me too.

I got two necklaces to be blessed, and got into line with everyone. We were all kneeling in line, moving slowly forward. As I finally reached the end of the line, I handed my necklaces to be passed to Amma through an intermediary, and leaned in to get my hug. Somehow, I got planted pretty much with my face in her breasts … oops. Amma definitely had a distinctive smell. I took this to be the smell of rose and milk in which she is said to bathe. Her breasts were copious and soft, as far as I could tell.

I found myself crying a bit. There’s a kind of archetypal feeling of being mothered which I chose to think of Amma fulfilling, a representation of a universal mother. I found myself with definite emotional response. Well, it was an experience, to be sure. I was tempted to attempt attending more of the chanting session, but didn’t. I was not tempted to stay connected with Amma.

We are Harry and the Potters

“July 24th, Sunday

Seattle, WA

University Book Store

3:00pm, free!

4326 University Way N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105

July 26th, Tuesday

Portland, OR

Woodstock Library

Two shows, 2:00pm and 3:30pm, free!

6008 S.E. 49th Avenue, Portland, OR

Two afternoon library shows! Should be tight!

July 26th, Tuesday

Portland, OR

In Other Words Bookstore

7:00pm, free!

3734 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR”

Wha? No shows in Olympia?! *sigh*

One of the problems I have with traditional media on the web is that they are informationally dead-ends. Many articles from traditional media, especially newspapers, that are transitioned to the web do not have links to anything else. That makes them a dead-end. The meaning of this metaphor is that the article claims to be the last bit of information I need, but very seldom is that the case. An article is about something, and I would like to be able to get to that something from the article, but cannot directly.

This dove-tails into a conversation I’ve been having with myself, especially after re-acquainting myself with Clay Shirky’s Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags. I ran into Shirky’s essay again because I’ve been thinking about the list extensions to RSS and OPML.

RSS and OPML both enforce a hierarchical relationship between elements, To some extent, I feel this is also a problem with XML also. The structure implies a relationship that is bounded by a single-meaning link. By single-meaning, I mean to describe that the only context for the relationship is “this thing follows this other thing” in the chain of information. Certainly, these relationships can result in recursive links if the next page, or somewhere else along the chain, links back to a previous node. However, there’s no other kind of link.

Some pages, especially blogs, have attempted to qualify links by having sections that collect links backward and referrers, but these have to be explained in the context of the content, not by the link themselves. So, one has to very inefficiently, and lossily, determine the relationship from context.

The extension to Shirky’s observation about ontologies might be that what would be useful, as a next step, would be a thesaurus to describe links. By this I mean that a link could express specific information about the relationship, such as the page is “more specific” than the link, or “more general” than, etc …

An example of these relationships from Introduction to thesauri, ISO-2788, LCSH offers:

“The relationships specified by the standard, and their abbreviations are presented below:

SN Scope note; a note attached to a term to indicate its meaning within an indexing language

USE The term that follows the symbol is the preffered term when a choice between synonyms or quasi-synonyms exists

UF Use for; the term that follows the symbol is a non-preffered synonym or quasi-synonym

TT Top term; the term that follows the symbol is the name of the broadest class to which the specific concept belongs; sometimes used in the alphabetical section of a thesaurus

BT Broader term; the term that follows the symbol represents a concept having a wider meaning

NT Narrower term; the term that follows the symbol refers to a concept with a more specific meaning

RT Related term; the term that follows the symbol is accociated, but is not a synonym, a quasi-synonym, a broader term or a narrower term”

When I was thinking about developing relationship terms to provide a thesaurus for links between community asset records, I thought of similar options but included the notion of creating human understandable, free-text descriptions to co-exist with the specific terms. For example, one might represent a second record having a relationship to the first as “more general” but also provide a free-form description as article two “offers more information about the topic in” article one. Certainly, this would all be optionally added to the link.

There is in fact a way to already express link relationships in the HTML specification, as described in LINK- Document Relationship, but this is not granular to anchor tags and only provides information on the entire HTML document.

And, now I feel pretty silly, because there is the option to place the same information in the actual anchor tag, as described in A – Anchor. However, the options for link types does not include useful entries to describe the relationship between documents outside of a local set. The link types include things such as index, toc, next and previous. This is not useful to describe thesaurus relationships between different sets of documents. The document does point out that authors may use other link types.

Bringing the elocution safari back home, a de facto ontology based on simple links is not nearly as interesting as one that actually expresses the nature of the relationship. However, a de facto ontology of simple, undifferentiated links has the advantage of not forcing a linear heirachy, inherent in RSS lists or OPML.

One of the productivity tips on concept mapping I have heard is to provide text on the link which makes a sentence. For example, if I have two nodes, I might write something along the linking line which creates a useful sentence: [OPML] — is a file format for –> [OUTLINERS]. Being able to provide this kind of description might allow for more robust visualization, such as the way that Omnigroup’s OmniGraffle 4 can now automatically display outlines as graphical maps.

The notion of describing the nature of relationship implied by a link, especially to external documents, seems to be a useful next step in allowing strong user-created ontologies to be constructed. Even if the description is free form, there would be advantages.

Tools like technocrati, flickr, etc … use tags to describe content, but there’s just no robust way to describe the relationships. I feel attracted to the notion of having a controlled thesaurus to describe these, but perhaps the lesson from livejournal and technocrati is that the thesaurus develops on its own as people self-select terms used by others when they wish to do so. However, either way, there should be such a thing.

community, festivals & education (was Re: tesccrier digest: March 27, 2005)

Hirsh Diamant recently posted something to TESCCRIER about which I
found myself thinking a great deal. I have moved my response to
TESCTALK, since that forum is intended for more conversational topics.
I responded privately to Hirsh, but wanted, in part on Hirsh’s
suggestion, to post something to the forums.

On Mar 28, 2005, at 12:00 AM, Tesc Community Announcements digest wrote:

> From: “Diamant, Hirsh”
> Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 16:31:44 -0800
> Dear friends and colleagues,
> Learning about and celebrating seasonal festivals could be a valuable
> part of a liberal arts curriculum. The benefits of that would include
> learning about other cultures, embracing diversity, creating community
> on campus, connecting our programs with the larger off-campus
> community,
> and grounding in nature and changes of the seasons. Some of these ideas
> I have presented at the recent Evening and Weekend Studies faculty
> symposium. One of the suggestions from this symposium was to start
> planning for such events early on, hence the reason for this email.

I am a graduate of TESC, currently working on a masters at Antioch in
Seattle. One component of my program is a real-world change project
which acts in reciprocal conjunction with my thesis – action and
theory. I have an abiding interest in community and dialogue and was
part of Patrick Hill’s last iteration of Power and Limitations of
Dialogue. I have also been involved with groups in the Olympia
community that develop seasonal, public rituals, such as the most
recent spring equinox at the longhouse.

I mention all of this because I have been thinking about Hirsh
Diamant’s posting for the last several days. I have been imagining an
ethnographic, participatory action-based research project that develops
ways for the Olympia community to find out about itself and the world
around it. I was thinking about how so many sub-communities exist on
campus but do not cross-connect. For example, there was a recent
posting to the online forums that suggested that TESC was a secular
campus and any belief system was nonsense, when, I recall, there are 3
active campus christian groups, not to mention others paths or the
individual affiliations of the TESC community with various ritual
systems, and systems of marking the passage of time through metaphor
and mythic structures. There seems to be a complex matrix of ignorance
about what these sub-communities and the community as a whole knows
about itself.

This matrix includes not just the traditions and cultures of the
community, but also disconnects between the activist groups that do not
appear to communicate with each other. Further, while I was a student
at TESC I noticed that so many wonderful programs were building
communities which end up being temporary to themselves and invisible to
the other communities at TESC.

I imagined over the last couple of days a project that was developed to
help the TESC community, and perhaps even the whole Olympia community,
know more about itself and various, diverse beliefs and cultures
through marking the seasons, and developing an asset-based community
development research project to show the complexity of the community in
relation to the groups with which the community was affiliated and the
marks that each of these groups and individuals make on their own
seasonal calendars.

Suffice it to say, that I would love to hear more about the
presentation Hirsh Diamant made, and would be interested in talking
about various ideas for projects around these topics. Is there interest
in being involved in some project like the one I have described, or in
related projects that might have similarities? Would there be interest
in getting together and talking? If so, you might send me an e-mail
with your thoughts and schedule in the next week or two.

Ostara ’05

Welcome North, the colour black, the season of winter and the element of Earth.

I don’t want to start a contest, but I’ve noticed that earth is heavier than air, which is good because if it weren’t we’d all be ants.

I’ve noticed that earth is not flammable, which is good, because if it were we’d be toast.

Earth absorbs water, which is good because if it didn’t we’d all be fish.

As for earth, well, it’s earthy, which is good because if it weren’t where would the green plants grow?

Authors take on Herculean task of retelling the world’s ancient myths – Britain – Times Online

There is a new project to retell myths, a project from many authors, in a series of works. The first will be Margaret Atwood retelling the story of Penelope.

[source] Authors take on Herculean task of retelling the world’s ancient myths – Britain – Times Online

The venture will involve 35 publishers worldwide and some of their best-known authors are rewriting the ancient myths, whether Greek, Aztec, Hindu, Norse, biblical or African, to show how the stories remain as relevant as ever.

The authors have been given no brief, beyond taking a myth of their choice and writing a 30,000-word story based on its gods, superhumans and larger-than-life characters.

Important Event

Dr. Shiva in Seattle on Saturday Jul 25th (The Day Out
of Time, interestingly)

Dear Friends and Colleagues–

Want you to know that Dr. Vandana Shiva–a brilliant,
articulate, and significant international voice, will
be speaking on Sunday, July 25, at 2:30 pm in Kane
Hall (U of W).

We have just learned that she is currently involved in
high-level, national conversations in India, because
these issues have come to a point of cirses there. So
her visit here is very timely. Please pass this to
your networks as it promises to be an important and
informing event about matters that are finally
critical for all of us.

I hope you will be able to attend and will encourage
others to join you,

Sharon (Parks)
Director, Leadership for the New Commons
Whidbey Institute

presented by UW Women’s Center and the Whidbey

Vandana Shiva

“When we plant a seed there’s a very simple
prayer that every peasant in India says: #8216;Let
the seed be exhaustless, let it never get exhausted,
let it bring forth seed next year.’”

Water, Seeds, and the Human Spirit: Ecological and
Economic Perspectives

Sunday, July 25, 2:30 p.m.
University of Washington, Kane Hall

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, author,
and international voice addressing issues of social
justice and globalization. She is the director of
the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and
Ecology, and founder of the International College for
Sustainable Living near Dehradun, India. Her most
recent books are Stolen Harvest and Water Wars.

Dr. Shiva will be introduced by Satish Kumar, editor
of Resurgence Magazine.

$10 for general public
$7 students / seniors

Call 206-685-1090 to register.

University of Washington– Health Alliance
International, Program on the Environment , South
Asia Center, School of Social Work, The International
Health Program at the School of Public Health and
Community Medicine, Women Studies

Antioch University, Center for Creative Change;
Bainbridge Graduate Institute; Seattle University,
Center for Water and Ethics; EarthCorps, Earth
Ministry, Institute for Children’s Environmental
Health, PCC Markets, Positive Futures Network – Yes!

gorilla? what gorilla?

No, it’s not a new animal in the Safari.

This is about how the brain functions to make us all
blind men looking at Elephants.

“Working with Christopher Chabris at Harvard
University, Simons came up with another demonstration
that has now become a classic, based on a videotape of
a handful of people playing basketball. They played
the tape to subjects and asked them to count the
passes made by one of the teams.”

“Around half failed to spot a woman dressed in a
gorilla suit who walked slowly across the scene for
nine seconds, even though this hairy interloper had
passed between the players and stopped to face the
camera and thump her chest.”

“However, if people were simply asked to view the
tape, they noticed the gorilla easily. The effect is
so striking that some of them refused to accept they
were looking at the same tape and thought that it was
a different version of the video, one edited to
include the ape.”

what the bleep in seattle in may

Turns out that the movie will be showing in Seattle.
The film makers will be present, I assume on the 14th
only, for questions and discussion. Some of the people
at Antioch in the Center for Creative Change are
talking about going at that time.

Loews Cinemas – Uptown
Opens: May 14, 2004
Show times: TBA
511 Queen Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
Tickets will be available in advance, stand by for
more information.
Filmmakers William Arntz, Betsy Chasse and Mark
Vicente will be on hand opening night to answer
questions about the film. Stand by for more info.

What the Bleep at the Grand in Tacoma

The movie What the Bleep is now in Tacoma at the Grand

Here’s the schedule and the blurb.

WHAT THE #$*! DO WE KNOW!? (108 min, UNRATED)

Amanda (Marlee Matlin, Children of a Lesser God), a
divorced photographer, finds herself in a fantastic
Alice-in-Wonderland experience when her daily,
uninspired life literally begins to unravel, revealing
the cellular, molecular and even quantum worlds, which
lie beneath. Guided by a Greek Chorus of leading
scientists and mystics—who, in documentary form,
reveal that science and spirituality are not different
modes of thought—Amanda finds that if reality itself
is not questionable, her notion of it certainly is.
Stunning special effects plunge you into a world where
quantum uncertainty is demonstrated—where Amanda’s
neurological processes, and perceptual shifts are
engaged and lived—where everything is alive, and
reality is changed by every thought. Diane de la Paz
of The News Tribune calls the film, “A provocative
blast of fresh air.” And Brian Brait of The Portland
Mercury writes it’s “a tidy, slick, and thoroughly
compelling documentary-infused narrative…”

Mon-Thurs: 4:15, 6:45 & 9:00 P.M., April 5, 6, 7 & 8

Fri: 4:15, 6:45 & 9:00 P.M., April 9

Sat/Sun: 11:50, 2:00, 4:15, 6:45 & 9:00 P.M., April 10
& 11

Mon-Thurs: 4:15, 6:45 & 9:00 P.M., April 12, 13, 14 & 15

what the #$*! do we know!?

There’s this film you may have seen posters for around
campus … and it’s being billed on its own website as
a film for the cultural creatives, and it could be a
much more accessible (but at a cost, I think) intro to
the ideas of films like mindwalk. However, it’s still
interesting and I think it might be a great first film
in a palod program. If you see it, you should let
everyone else know what you thought.

I feel it necessary to post a warning. I felt a little
misled when I saw this film in Yelm. Afterwords, I
realized why it was showing in Yelm. One of the people
interviewed in the film is Ramtha. I still think it’s
worth checking out. Marlee Matlin is a great actress,
and Armin Shimerman does a brief cameo in what I
thought was an important point. (He’s got a great
voice!) So, fair notice to you, which I didn’t have. I
think the movie is worth checking out.

Okay, so I just noticed that this film is showing at
the capital cinema this week. It’s this sun at 4pm and
9pm, mon at 6:30, tue 9pm, wed 6:30pm, thurs 9pm.

After that it will be showing in Tacoma at the Grand
Cinema, if you miss it in Oly and still want to see

Link to the OFS calendar:

Link to the OFS movie blurb:

my summative self eval

It’s the end of my undergraduate career! I did a
summative self evaluation, which I’ve posted to my
website. I thought I send a link to you all, if you’re
interested in taking a gander at that:

For those of you graduating too, congratulations! For
those that aren’t done yet, I can testify that there’s
light at the end of the tunnel! ;)

what are you gonna do

what are you gonna do
when people put up yard sale signs
but won’t sell you their yards?

what are you gonna do
if lovers lips are so sweet
they pucker when they kiss?

people don’t mean what they say
and don’t say what they mean
and people are mean when they say

what are you gonna do?

Brigid ’04

One of the old traditions for this time of year was to place a candle in the window. This was to act as a beacon for the Goddess. This is the time of year when the Goddess starts her journey of return from the Underworld. She is bringing something with her.

The Goddess went to the Underworld to be with the old sun one last time. She goes into the dark to rescue the light. At Samhain she, queen of cups, joins with the dead god, the sun at the end of the cycle, the hierophant. From this union, is born the new year at winter solstice, the new star, the spark of fire in the earth. This promise of coming nobility from the earth is the rising summer sun, a knight of disks.

This is a call to remember the cycle, the wheel of the year. In the new year, she begins at Imbolc a journey from the Underworld that takes her until Ostara to complete. With her, she brings the promise of a new summer, a time of light and growth. We put a candle in the window to light her way home.

Put a candle in the window, she is coming home … (Thoughts, head)
Put a candle in the window, she is coming home … (Words, mouth)
Put a candle in the window, she is coming home … (Hearts, chest)

Just like the Irish saved western civilization from the dark ages, Brigid saves the light from the darkness. Goddess is mother of the new year. Brigid is foster-mother of our hopes and the midwife to our renewal.

We are each other’s allies in an intentional community of compassion in which we participate with each other. We participate in this community by each being the foster-mothers to our own spark of life; each of us a keeper of that flame. We are a community of lights, and together we are the light on the horizon that signals the dawn of the new year, the new God, and the return of Goddess.

my fall final paper online

Hey, there, all.

Now that the quarter is over, I’ve had a moment to catch my breath. I put my fall final, from Dissent, Injustice and the Making of America, online. I mention it because it carries forward some of the PALOD themes and things I was thinking about. There’s some definite palod-isms like “willing and able” but there’s some new thinking in there.

Anyhow, if you do end up reading it, and have any comments, let me know. I’ll eventually have my other weekly papers online too, but not yet.


(BTW, having my papers online really rocks when I was able to use Google to find a quote I needed from a previous paper!)

the elephant parable

Okay, sorry, but this was too interesting. There’s a book out, by a
consultant that lives in Walla Walla, called “The Blind Men and the
Elephant: Mastering Project Work”, and here’s a review on Slashdot:

Each participant on a collaborative project encounters a piece of that
project, rarely the whole elephant. We grasp whatever we can — an ear,
a tail, a trunk, a leg, a tusk, a broad, flat side. Based on what we
grasp (our piece of the project) we extrapolate an understanding of the
whole: a fan, a rope, a snake, a tree, a spear, a wall. Schmaltz
develops these analogies in terms of project experience. We encounter a
fan that brings us fresh air, a rope that binds us together, a snake
that abuses our trust, a tree that evolves in structure above and
beneath the surface, a spear that puts us on the defensive, a wall that
challenges our personal progress. A chapter is devoted to each analogy.”

exclusivity & dignitarian movement

Time to annoy my community again!

One of patrick’s wish list items for a theoretical 4th qtr was a book,
“Creating a World that Works for All” by Sharif Abdullah. The
description mentions that the book is about the idea that “exclusivity”
is a core issue.

I thought I’d mention that I’d run across a website, derived from
another book, that speaks about “rankism” and the idea of creating a
universal dignity movement.

These things seem linked to me, so I thought I’d mention it: