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Permanent link to archive for Friday, March 12, 2004. Friday, March 12, 2004

Andrew: "I've finished an initial version of a RSS+BitTorrent integration tool for Radio Userland's news aggregator. This is beta software." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Okay here's a first. A non-Berkman RSS feed from Harvard.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Dowbrigade: "He seemed an unlikely Presidential candidate for an increasingly internationalized South Korea; he had no administrative experience to speak of, had rarely traveled outside Korea, and spoke almost no English. He was however, the first candidate. and now the first world leader, who understands how to write html." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Visual Studio: Build an RSS Generator ComponentPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Korea Times: "President Roh Moo-hyun on Thursday compared domestic political environment with the US one by illustrating his favorite television program during his important news conference." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Jenny Levine presented on RSS and weblogs at the Computers-In-Libraries conference yesterday. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Globelogger: "It is often said that the Internet was designed to continue functioning even in the event of nuclear war. Recently, Google dropped on Atom bomb on the crowded marketplace of weblogging. Here's how the Internet routes around the damage." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

News.Com: "McDonald's doesn't expect to earn money initially from its Wi-Fi service. It hopes instead to attract more customers and sell more burgers and fries." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Don Park: "While I was having dinner, Korean Assembly controlled by the corrupted opposition parties impeached President Roh." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

NY Times: "There is no problem that cannot be solved by a dill pickle, a hot twin roll with soft butter, a freshener on your cup of coffee, a fat slice of cheesecake, a smile." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Gay marriage Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yesterday's thread at Joho about gay marriage yielded a mostly-great discussion, there was a little gay-bashing, which sucks. Following is one of two bits that I wrote, lightly edited.

There are good technical reasons for disallowing marriage between relatives for genetic reasons. But if they chose to marry with the stipulation that there would be no offspring, why should any of us object?

I don't buy the arguments that people in hetero marriages lose anything by gays marrying. That's like saying that because someone reads a book somehow your reading a book means less. The two things have nothing to do with each other, and the fact that the opponents of gay marriage clutch at this straw shows that they don't have any valid reasons to block gays from marrying, just mystic reasons, which isn't good enough to stop people from doing something they want to do that hurts no one. Sorry control freaks, worry about your own lives, stop meddling in other people's lives.

We should allow gay marriage because it's going to be allowed eventually, our values are changing, some people stand up for this now, when in the past no one would and -- we have much bigger problems to deal with. Any time wasted on this is a distraction from global warming, loose nukes, hunger, and coming up with antibiotics to replace those that are becoming obsolete. While we're at it, let's cure cancer, heart disease, diabetes. And let's help kids whose parents abuse them, and alchoholics, and how about universal health care in the US, etc etc.

In other words understand this debate for what it is -- a political tactic to distract us from things that we should be worrying about and doing something about.

God bless the young people Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Two bits on NPR recently changed my point of view on two things: The West Wing and young people's music. First about The West Wing. I heard several interviews over the course of a week with David Chase, the creator and producer of The Sopranos, promoting the new season, which of course, like everyone else I am watching and so far really enjoying.

They asked him to compare producing for HBO, a cable channel, with commercial TV. He said the difference is over-stated, and most of what's on The Sopranos could be done on the big networks. Then he explained how The West Wing works and opened my eyes.

Without naming the show, he said they give the plot a sense of urgency and importance by making the characters walk fast and using a SteadiCam. Now I've watched for both, and imagined a not-moving camera and actors that stay in one place, and all that's left is stupid unbelievable overly dramatized TV crap. I can't believe I was so easily fooled. Was I, or has the bubble of belief just popped, and if so was The West Wing ever more than a quick camera and quick feet?

Second perspective-alterer. Yesterday on All Things Considered, a very young thoughtful and sweet analyst, Mikel Jollett, explained slowly and carefully why rap music is a way for us old folk to look inside ourselves and find our parents and grandparents, disapproving of us as we now disapprove of the younger generation's music. It finally happened, the young folk have invented something that proves us to the hypocrites that we are. What relief. (No sarcasm.)

Here's the deal. What is it with the young people's music these days, the drugs, violence, raw sex, perversion, explicit language. Back in our day music meant something, it was a cause, we were fighting back against a heartless system that was killing us, both spiritually and physically. We took drugs to turn on and tune out.

But it's not true, the young man pointed out. And he did his homework. He played a long section of an old 60s favorite, Everybody Must Get Stoned, by Bob Dylan. It's a great song, one of his most popular (and it's so stoned that's not even the title!). But was it really better than Maggie's Farm, or Blowin in the Wind? Of course not. But it's fun because it's about breaking the rules.

I just listened to Lola by the Kinks. "I'm not dumb but can't understand why she walked like a woman but talked like a man." And Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison -- some of the biggest heroes of our day died tragic deaths at their own hands. Did their music mean something and if so did we get it, or did it just make us feel like we too were living on the edge? Probably more of the latter.

Jollett's point is that youth wants to be corrupted, and if I remember correctly, that's true. I never did most of the things that were in the songs I admired as a kid, and it certainly freaked my parents and grandparents to hear what I was listening to, but of course, that was the point. Music for young people is a ritual that's still sacred. That we grimace and don't recognize that it's exactly like the music we loved when we were young, is validation that they're doing something new. And god bless.

Friday five Permanent link to this item in the archive.

1. What was the last song you heard? Stairway to Heaven.

2. What were the last two movies you saw? Secret Window, Jerry MacGuire.

3. What were the last three things you purchased? Coffee, coffee, gasoline.

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend? Refill prescriptions, buy new jeans, pack, fly to SFO.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to? Paul Boutin, Randy Green, Starbucks coffee guy, Starbucks cashier, Starbucks cashier.


Last update: Friday, March 12, 2004 at 7:57 PM Eastern.

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