Category Archives: Blogging

Eight random facts

Subadei tagged me with the eight random facts meme a couple of days ago. With no further ado, here are the eight.

  1. All dogs, no matter what temperament or breed, like me, at least a little. I can’t recall a single dog that has been at all hostile to me.
  2. I am immune to fleas and mosquitoes. They simply don’t bite me.
  3. When I was 20 I fought in a toughman contest and got knocked out in the first round by a tough redneck about 25 pounds heavier than me. For the record, I was up by eight but the ref declined to let me continue. It taught me two important things, namely that while I can take a punch, I can’t take eight punches, and to be very careful about making promises in front of women you’re trying to impress (namely that I would fight in a toughman contest.)
  4. I earned the permanent enmity of a boss of mine with an artful quip. He once remarked “I’m pushing forty” to which I replied “yeah, from the North.” I found out later he was 54.
  5. While my speaking voice is abnormally low and quiet, my singing voice is abnormally loud. I present a challenge to the sound guy. Luckily for them my guitar style is loud too.
  6. I think Thomas Sowell’s theory of the constrained vs. the unconstrained view of human nature does more to explain Western intellectual history than anything else.
  7. I think “Bonaparte’s Retreat” is pound for pound the best song ever written. While the original Irish version is seldom played, the melody is simply more suited to acoustic instruments than anything else in the traditional catalog. The version on the first Doc Watson family album shines in it’s harsh minimalism, while his later more fleshed out renditions work almost as well. Norman Blake and John Hartford have good versions too. Doc’s version of “Lone Pilgrim” still has the most primal impact on me though, I’m not sure why.
  8. The life and writings of Eric Hoffer are a source of endless fascination to me. Albert Jay Nock and H.L. Mencken are close seconds. All three of them managed to unload their thoughts onto paper with a minimum of distortion. All three were also solitary and dispassionate observers of human nature.

I now tag Dan Tdaxp, CodePoet, Purple Slog, and Dave Henson.

Sony VAIO customer service – an exploration

Jane Galt vents most eloquent on her frustration with the Sony Corporation, specifically Sony Vaio tech support. Short version; it’s lame.

In the post she states

So instead, I’ll try to change the cost-benefit analysis. With your help, I’d like to make this little incident as expensive for Sony as possible.

Let’s remind Sony that sometimes, the dumb bitches have blogs. And friends with blogs.

So if you’re reading this, and you have a blog, if you wouldn’t mind linking to this post, preferably with the words “Sony VAIO customer service” in the link, I’d appreciate it awfully.

Sure, it’s revenge. But revenge has positive social uses. If it gets expensive enough to screw over their customers, they’ll stop doing it. To all of us.

We’ll see what happens. It creates an interesting exercise in feedback, i.e. an advancement in the first of of the OODA loop.

That would be a good company to start – a service that monitors the blogosphere for mentions of a product and somehow differentiates the positive and negative threads so one could track the source and find hidden problems with the business process.

Stigmergy and signalling

Stigmergy is defined as a method of communication in emergent systems in which the individual parts of the system communicate with one another by modifying their local environment. My Digital Tool Factory project has been evolving in that direction lately and it occurred to me that the internet is evolving that way too.

In the political blogsphere one can draw conclusions about an author from the use of the phrases “The fall of the Soviet Union” vs. “The fall of Communism”. In the corporate realm the use of feathered graphics is a good indicator of the age of the designer and the focus of the company.

Food for thought.

Too insulated

While lately I’ve become a follower of next-generation warfare theory (there’s lots of them) the tenor lately has become similar to discussions Ayn Rand followers have.

No larger point here, just a minor observation as I think over my Brave New War review.

A telling point in the Boyd biography

I’m currently reading Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War and I read a telling passage that stated (approximately) that autodidacts crave approval from conventionally educated academics and professionals. For those who don’t know fairly obscure word, it’s Google defines the word as

Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-education or self-directed learning. An autodidact is a mostly self-taught person (also known as an automath), or someone who has an enthusiasm for self-education, and usually has a high degree of self-motivation.

(tip, if you type in “Define:Word to be dined” into Google it defines the word for you.

This seems to be a good explanation for a lot of the tensions in the blogsphere. It also seems to be a natural healthy thing. As I put it in a previous post, science advances funeral by funeral. It follows that if left to their own devices, any field of thought or industry will spend it’s time polishing the corpse of some grand new idea that is mutually agreeable to all (think of the US auto industry before the Japanese came along.