Tuesday, February 11, 2003


Commentary on the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act" from The Black World Today: "Now is the time to recall the words of James Madison: 'If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.' People who value their freedom must fight the oppressive measures proposed in the draft 'Security Enhancement Act.' "

- posted by laurie @ 2/11/2003 10:58:00 PM (0) comments


Just wanted to point out that, in my morning fuzziness, I got carried away at the end of my last post, and went off on a completely unrelated tangent: the Sokal incidednt doesn't have a lot to do with spam or weird associations of people or groups on the Internet, it just has to do with the Postmodern Essay Generator. The post demonstrates why the tagline for this blog is "spirallling associational train wreck." Well, the spiralling part is really from a They Might Be Giants song, but that's neither here nor there.

- posted by laurie @ 2/11/2003 10:49:00 AM (0) comments


The NY Times Magazine has a pretty good article about spam - Tangled Up in Spam is six pages of info on spam filtering, spam history, and so on. One of the things the article points out is the strange bedfellows that pro- and anti-spam arguments and proposed legislation create.

This actually seems to be quite common on the 'net - new and weird combinations of people and organizations being thrust together to argue a certain point. Funny strategic alliances, forged to advocate anti-spam legislation or to combat the imposition of certain filtering or monitoring schemes. Job done, whether the goal was accomplished or not, and all of a sudden these people are on opposite sides of the fence again. The Internet is this strange social stew: put free speech and child molesters in, stew slowly over time, and watch to see what arguments take form in the simmering Internet pot. Add bits of spice such as globalization, various (and often conflicting) national laws, etc. This is not a melting pot metaphor, by the way: I don't think there's anything particularly homogenizing about the Internet in an intrinsic kind of way. Nope, one can find people of all varieties and flavors online: weirdos, wackos, conservatives, liberals, radicals, people with such strange political viewpoints that trying to categorize them would be futile, professors of religions of all types, academics, independent scholars, pseudo-scholars, and mockers of various types of scholars (you have to have seen the Postmodern Essay Generator, or heard about the Alan Sokal SocialText affair - more info here and here).

Wow. That was an early morning ramble! Anyway, thanks to Clancy over at Kairosnews for the link.

Ah, off to psychology of language.

- posted by laurie @ 2/11/2003 05:50:00 AM (0) comments

Sunday, February 09, 2003


Thomas Spencer's Thinking It Through is a part of the History News Network. It's a good blog, and has links to a few other blogs that are worth checking out, too.

Link via the Professors Who Blog page at Rhetorica, which I got to from the links page at Kairosnews.

- posted by laurie @ 2/09/2003 05:57:00 PM (0) comments


From Derek Slater's blog,A Copyfighter's Musings, this post (and a lot of the later ones, as well) provides commentary and response to a December interview with Jack Valenti, Mr. MPAA. The interview itself was published in the Harvard Political Review (registration required).

Scary excerpts:

' "HPR: The MPAA has backed several bills mandating copy prevention technologies. Critics have lambasted these bills for curbing consumer's "fair use" rights, including the ability to make back-up copies. How can we balance the interests of consumers and the movie industry?
JV: What is fair use? Fair use is not a law. There's nothing in law." '

Valenti continues:

' "Right now, any professor can show a complete movie in his classroom without paying a dime--that's fair use. What is not fair use is making a copy of an encrypted DVD, because once you're able to break the encryption, you've undermined the encryption itself."
[ . . . ]
"HPR: Even if breaking the encryption is for a legitimate purpose, to make a back-up copy?
JV: But you've already got a DVD. It lasts forever. It never wears out. In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless."

Sure, he's got a point (even though DVDs do not last forever; they scratch, they break, they get juice spilled on them by toddlers). I guess a better question, from my end, would have been, "Why should the movie industry get to determine what 'legitimate purpose' means?" They say making a backup isn't legitimate. Many others disagree with that. The question is: how do we determine who's right? '

The commentary is interesting and entertaaining - certainly worth checking out.

Link courtesy of Slashdot.

- posted by laurie @ 2/09/2003 01:00:00 PM (0) comments

Saturday, February 08, 2003


I'm finally beginning to feel better - I woke up feeling more human than not today, and for the first time in a week, I didn't feel like there's a big, fat cat sitting on my chest and making breathing impossible (cat owners, you know what I mean, right?). Yay! My ears, however, are still being affected by this, the cold/virus/whatever-it-is from hell: I haven't been able to hear things correctly in over a week. Background noise makes all conversation more or less incomprehensible. Anyway, I am feeling better. I'm not going to complain too much.

- posted by laurie @ 2/08/2003 02:51:00 PM (0) comments

Wednesday, February 05, 2003


Celebrate Valentine's Day with BitterSweets™.

oh, yeah, check out the prints on this site, too.

- posted by laurie @ 2/05/2003 10:50:00 PM (0) comments


In my feb. 2 post, I was trying to show you, dear reader, something that is so silly: this - but the link didn't work, so I went back to the site and I also found this. Now we can have a matched set, girls!

If these links don't work again, for some reason, go to the New Zealand Nature Company site and search for "eco fur possum" or enter the shop and click on the "possum fur & wool" tab up above - next-to-last tab on the right. look closely - there are a few things on the page that should stick out more than the rest! :)

- posted by laurie @ 2/05/2003 08:42:00 PM (0) comments


You think you get some weird things in your referrer logs (I know I do!)? Check out the list at Forthright's Phrontistery: Unusual Search Results. Wow. There are a lot of odd people in the world. Or maybe there's just a lot of odd information? Hmm . . .

link from this post at cyborg woman, sorta.

- posted by laurie @ 2/05/2003 08:22:00 PM (0) comments


This November, 2002 article, The Law's an ass for Italy's women, reports the results of a drawn-out sexual harassment case in Italy. Apparently, the highest court in Italy finally ruled that a manager who patted an employee's posterior is guilty of nothing: unwanted pats on the butt aren't "sexual molestation" as long as the unwanted attention is not of a habitual nature. Great. Glad I'm not employed in Italy.

- posted by laurie @ 2/05/2003 12:23:00 PM (0) comments


I'm sick. I stayed home yesterday and was miserable. I am about to head to campus and spend the afternoon feeling miserable there today.

Instead of posting here yesterday, I spent a bit of time setting up emergence, the research blog I have been threatening to create. Ugh! Trying to set up archives for an extra blog is a pain in the butt. Anyway, everything seems to be working right now.

- posted by laurie @ 2/05/2003 10:53:00 AM (0) comments

Monday, February 03, 2003


It is really ridiculous that almost all of my hits in the last few days have been people using search engines to find out about the subject of this post, or the subject of this one. Maybe I shouldn't have added that link to rotten.com, after all!

- posted by laurie @ 2/03/2003 10:37:00 AM (0) comments

Sunday, February 02, 2003


Check this out. Gotta get a pair of these for me and all my friends!

- posted by laurie @ 2/02/2003 11:34:00 AM (0) comments

Saturday, February 01, 2003


From a fellow Laurie at cocokat in slumberland:

You are blue. You are somewhat innocent, in the fact that your genius only extends to the physical world. You have a false sense of contentness. You are usually the quiet one, the genius. Everyone can count on you to help when they have problems, but you only fall short of being able to solve your own.

What inner color are you?

- posted by laurie @ 2/01/2003 12:55:00 PM (0) comments


Have you ever roleplayed? Do you know your immortal soul is in danger? D&D players, go to the Ramos Homepage and find out the truth!


Got this link from the husband, who in turn got it from peoples over at the Nut Shack, who quite frequently post hi-larious stuff.

btw, if you couldn't tell, it IS a parody site. Read the source code - "meta NAME="Author" CONTENT="If you are first coming to this site, nobody is trying to trick you. It's easy enough for you to look at who has registered the URL or to see that it is running off of our servers. This is also not an attack on the religiously minded among you. It is intended as a parody of those religious zealots who inevitably are going to be upset by our production of a "Demon game. We just figured we'd beat them to the punch.

meta NAME="Description" CONTENT="White Wolf's official web site. Publishers of fiction and Storytelling games, including Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Mage: The Ascension."

meta NAME="KeyWords" CONTENT="White Wolf, , everquest, roleplaying, rpg,vampire the masquerade, werewolf the apocalypse, mage the ascension, roleplaying games, storyteller, wraith, changeling"

- posted by laurie @ 2/01/2003 12:30:00 PM (0) comments