[joho] JOHO - Dec. 20, 2002

  • From: "David Weinberger" <self@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <joho@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2002 14:32:42 -0500

Journal of the
Hyperlinked Organization
December 20, 2002
Editor: David Weinberger (self@xxxxxxxxxxx)
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| CONTENTS                                         |
|                                                  |
| OPEN THE SPECTRUM: It's time to decentralize     |
| the ether.                                       |
|                                                  |
| TALKING TO LIBRARIANS: Random notes about        |
| information.                                     |
|                                                  |
| MORAL FICTION: Why do Pulp Fiction and Grand     |
| Theft Auto feel more moral than watching Ahnuld  |
| kick bad guy butt, at least to me?               |
|                                                  |
| REFLEXOLOGY: What's wrong with having the right  |
| reflexes? Nothin', that's what.                  |
|                                                  |
| THE ANALS OF MARKETING: We're all in the sights  |
| of marketeers. Might as well enjoy it.           |
|                                                  |
| DIGITAL RIGHTS LIBERATION: News from the war     |
| we're losing.                                    |
|                                                  |
| GOOGLE GOOGLE GOOGLE!: Morsels, tidbits and      |
| three tips.                                      |
|                                                  |
| PAGING DR. FREUD: I seem to be making more       |
| Freudian slips, perhaps because I want to sleep  |
| with my mother. Oops, I meant "because of the    |
| stress I'm under."                               |
|                                                  |
| MISC.: Misc.                                     |
|                                                  |
| WALKING THE WALK: Maids Home Service discovers   |
| that portals are not read-only.                  |
|                                                  |
| COOL TOOL: DVDme lets you make little Timmy's    |
| dance recital look as slick as a corporate       |
| sales video.                                     |
|                                                  |
| WHAT I'M PLAYING: No One Lives Forever 2.        |
|                                                  |
| INTERNETCETERA: The sudden decrease in dot-com   |
| failures must indicate a comeback!               |
|                                                  |
| LINKS: You found 'em.                            |
|                                                  |
| Mail from the smartest readership on the         |
| planet! (And the least able to detect            |
| pandering.)                                      |
|                                                  |
| BOGUS CONTEST: Wireless Oxymorons                |
| JOHO IS BROKEN                                   |
|                                                  |
| You may not have noticed, but it's been about    |
| two months since the previous issue. Because     |
| I've had writer's block? Hah! I'm writing too    |
| much: a daily weblog, a biweekly column for      |
| Darwin, a monthly column for KMWorld,            |
| occasional other 'zine work (recently in MIT     |
| Tech Review), a business white paper now and     |
| then, an essay on Open Spectrum and one on       |
| Quality of Service, radio spots (see next box)   |
| and maybe 6 projects I'm not ready and/or        |
| allowed to talk about. Too much!                 |
|                                                  |
| I'm writing so much that every day when I        |
| intend to work on JOHO, I run out of time.       |
|                                                  |
| Something is broken here. It's so broken that I  |
| know any promise I make to fix it I'm unlikely   |
| to be able to keep.                              |
|                                                  |
| If you were me, what would you do?               |
| IT'S A JOHO WORLD AFTER ALL                      |
|                                                  |
| I seem to be doing bi-weekly spots on The        |
| Meaning of Technology for the Here and Now       |
| radio program produced by WBUR and carried on    |
| about 45 stations.                               |
| http://www.here-now.org/                         |


Last week I wrote something between a white paper
and a manifesto on the importance of Open Spectrum.
No, this is not something I cared about until
recently either. But OS is important way beyond its
technical details.

The problem in a nutshell is that we license access
to frequencies as if the spectrum of frequencies
were land that has to be apportioned. While this may
have made sense seventy years ago, it doesn't makes
sense technologically or economically now. The
metaphor is wrong. We need new metaphors that are
closer to reality, and then we need new policies
that will open up the ether.

Let's discuss this in two parts, shall we?


The old metaphor thinks of frequencies as pipes. If
you want to move content from A to B, you have to
assign it a pipe. There's only a limited number of
pipes available. And you have to keep the pipes a
safe distance from one another because they need
goodly buffer zones between them. Because there's a
scarcity of pipes, a federal agency (let's call it
the FCC) licenses exclusive access to them. The
licenses are incredibly valuable because they enable
companies to deliver content to the awaiting masses.

Underneath this metaphor is another that is just
factually wrong: interference. The fact is that
electromagnetic energy is not deformed by coming
into contact with another wave of energy. Jeffrey
Beir, CEO of eRoom (which just became part of
Documentum) and former electrical engineer,
explained this to me succinctly: If you shine a red
flashlight beam through a yellow beam, making an X
of light, neither beam becomes orange. (This is the
level at which I can understand physics. Billiard
balls get a little too complex for me.)

Once you drop interference out of the picture, the
need for pipes goes away. You can flood the ether
with electromagnetic energy and it generally will
all be fine. Probably. (Yes, I know that "ether" is
at best a metaphor, too).

Further, there is a parallel here with the contrast
between the phone system and the Internet. The phone
system (of old) established a continuous circuit of
copper from A to B when C calls D and asks about his
old chums E, F and G. The Internet, on the other
hand, bundles up some packets, stamps an address on
them, and lets the routers figure out how to move
them closer to B until they finally arrive.
Likewise, we currently act as if the only way to get
a wireless message from A to B is to assign the
broadcaster a set "circuit" (= pipe). That builds
intelligence into the network, which we know (via
David Reed [1] and David Isenberg [2]) actually is
the wrong way to go. You want the intelligence to
exist on the "edges" of the net. 

And now we can do that. Radios and transmitters can
negotiate in real time which frequencies are open at
every instant rather than having to have a frequency
assigned forever by the FCC. They can hop around,
like changing lanes on the highway as space opens
up. Further, "software-defined radios" can do more
interesting things with the data they receive than
just play it through a speaker. They're computers,
so they'll do whatever the hell they've been told to
do whether it's to convert audio to text, drop
another pellet into the fish tank or launch an
ordure-laden trebuchet load at Damascus.


So, beyond broadcasters, who cares? We all should.
Open access to spectrum will drive a stake into the
most basic model that shapes our business, politics,
education and more: the broadcast model. Until now,
to communicate to the masses, you needed masses of
power and money. With open spectrum, we can
communicate point to point and we can broadcast to
our localities, and other localities can rebroadcast
what they want. Everyone becomes Fox...although we
of course hope that everyone becomes a lot better
than Fox.

Sounds like the Internet effect? Absolutely.

And Open Spectrum is also how we all get an over-
supply of bits faster than we'd imagined. We don't
all have it now because the telephone companies are
successfully thwarting access by broadband providers
to their phone lines despite the legal requirement
that they provide such access. With Open Spectrum,
new players can jump in and provide wireless
connectivity. No need to lay cable, no need to get
towns to grant overrides to string stuff up or bury
it. Open Spectrum is how it's going to happen.

The good news is that the FCC is showing signs of
Getting It. [3] Yes, I know it doesn't happen often, but
this time it may be. And, by the way, that's not an
accident: smart people have been talking with the
FCC for years about this. And, Michael Powell, the
FCC chairman, gets credit for greatly increasing the
in-house level of technical understanding.

All this is important because:

               Spectrum is ubiquity.

             Open Spectrum is freedom.
[1] http://www.reed.com/Papers/EndtoEnd.html
[2] http://isen.com/stupid.html
[3] http://www.fcc.gov/Speeches/Powell/2002/spmkp212.html

David Reed has written a typically insightful short
piece [1] on the limitations (and inevitability) of
scientific metaphors. For example:

  Most radio engineers work in a particularly inapt
  metaphor - but they don't know it. That metaphor
  still includes the essence of the idea called the
  luminiferous aether (except they call it the
  "spectrum"). The metaphor includes the idea that a
  "bit" is a unit of energy (rather than what
  Shannon defined it to be - which is something that
  represents correlated probabilities among parts of
  a system). This confuses the thing (bit) with one
  possible instance of the thing (a coded pattern of
  energy or matter).

  Communications regulators work in an even more
  inapt metaphor....

[1] http://www.satn.org/archive/2002_10_27_archive.html#85620213

I've written a piece on Quality of Service, that is,
the idea that some bits should be more equal than
others. You can read it here:


NOTE: I got tutored on Open Spectrum by Jock Gill,
Dewayne Hendricks  and David Reed -- a heady bunch --
in order to write the white paper mentioned above.
What I've gotten wrong is despite their best


I gave a talk to a library association and pretended
I knew something about the history of information.


Among the factoids me and my pal Google dug up:

1. While I knew that Herman Hollerith, inventor of
the punch card, had been inspired by the way in
which some looms were "programmed," I didn't know he
was also inspired by the following [1]:

  I was traveling in the West and I had a ticket
  with what I think was called a punch phonograph. .
  . [T]he conductor . . . punched out a description
  of the individual, as light hair, dark eyes, large
  nose, etc. So you see, I only made a punch
  photograph of each person.

I like the way this ties holes in a card to the most
personal and embodied of the information about us:
how we look.

2. Dr. Johnson's Dictionary (1755) defines
"information" as follows (according to an
interesting academic article by Rafael Capurro [2]):

  1. Intelligence given; instruction
  2. Charge or accusation exhibited
  3. The act of informing or actuation

"Information" at this point wasn't something
separable from the human conversational context.

3. The third definition points to the oldest sense
of "information" as something more than what is
known. Aristotle thought that the form of a thing
(its essence, what makes it what it is) impressed
itself upon the potential which is the human mind
and that is how we come to experience the world.
"In-forming" was thus our most basic human
relationship to the world, the way in which soul and
body met the world itself. That's a lot different
than our abstract sense of information today.

Capurro has another article called "Hermeneutics and
the Phenomenon of Information" worth reading.
Capurro looks at the lived context in which
information researchers deal with information [3].


I made it all the way into the Q&A session before
uttering the word "doomed." We ended up talking
about whether there can be librarians without books.

The very first model proposed by the audience was:
"We're the gatekeepers of knowledge." This role will
only become more important as the amount of bad
information on the Internet grows. Supposedly.

But there are two forces working against the
gatekeeper idea. First, we seem to be self-
organizing our own gatekeepers. Sometimes they're
collaborative and sometimes our new gatekeepers
emerge from the noise in unpredictable ways. There
will certainly still be top-down gatekeepers in the
traditional sense, but they are at least becoming
less important because there are so many other

Second, when there's true abundance, gatekeeping
actually drives down the value of what's being
protected: if there's manna everywhere, putting a
gatekeeper in front of a storeroom just means that
that no one's going to bother with the protected
manna. Similarly, if I can find out everything I
need about manna by surfing, I'm not going to pay
the Britannica a fee to get the same information.

But, reply the librarians, you may not get the best
information for free on the Web. No, but I don't
need the best information. I just need good enough
information. And where I do need information
certified as the best, I will be willing to pay for
it. But the most important change in all this is
indeed a movement away from thinking that there
routinely is such a thing as "the best" information
that's kept in guarded, temperature-controlled
cellars. For better or worse, in an economy of
abundance, good enough is good enough.

[1] http://www.history.rochester.edu/steam/hollerith/cards.htm
[2] http://www.capurro.de/trita.htm
[3] http://www.capurro.de/ny86.htm


I received an email recently accusing me of
supporting liberal ideas "reflexively." I bristled
at the charge only in part because it's true. The
rest of the bristling was due to the inaptness of
the "reflex" simile.

"By reflex" is a pejorative, meaning
"thoughtlessly." But I don't believe it's a matter
of operating by reflex or by thoughtfulness. Our aim
should be to develop the *right* reflexes. Even
Aristotle -- Mr. Rational Animal Guy -- thought that
the virtuous man (sic) is one who has developed the
right habits. In the same way, someone who is
politically virtuous has developed the right

These reflexes are the result not of random muscle
spasms but of having a complex context that gives
ideas and experiences a richness they would not have
taken in isolation.

Besides, hard-headed rationality -- which, of
course, has its place -- is the signature of the CEO
Conservativism that has taken over US politics ...
reason enough to suspect it.


I watched "Pulp Fiction" again the other night. I
don't want it to be one of my favorite films, but it
is. Unlike movies like "The Godfather," "Goodfellas"
and "The Sopranos" where we're intermittently
reminded that the protagonists are capable of
violence that makes us morally superior to them,
"Pulp Fiction" accomplishes a true suspension of
moral belief. This isn't used for any profound
purpose -- Tarrantino is no Dostoyevsky -- but it
does enable us to enter a world where the basic
rules have been altered, like science fiction,
except instead of removing the law against time
travel, the law against murder is removed. Call it
"moral fiction."

And that's why against my will Grand Theft Auto 3 is
becoming one of my favorite games. In GTA3, you're a
hoodlum who succeeds by randomly killing innocent
pedestrians and taking their money. Also, you hijack
cars, kill policemen, and blow stuff up. Yet GTA3
doesn't bother me nearly as much as the game version
of BlackHawk Down where the violence is less and
you're a righteous American soldier fighting local
warlords who are starving their own people. GTA3 is
clearly a type of moral fiction, while BlackHawk
Down is parasitic on a real-life situation.

It's no accident that GTA3 and "Pulp Fiction" are
comedies. GTA3 even has its own radio stations
playing parodies of various musical styles. ("Ah,"
says the pretentious classical DJ, "that reminds me
of the summer I spent reading Proust ... in the
original Italian.") In suspending morality, they
keep us so disconnected from the victims that we can
laugh at what in real life would be horrific. If we
were to connect with our victims, the morality would
no longer be suspended; when Nicholson falls for the
hitwoman who is to be his victim in "Prizzi's
Honor," morality -- sort of -- comes back into play
because the human connection is made. Not with GTA3
or Pulp Fiction." Both are unrelentingly

In fact, the implicit disconnectedness is itself the
source of humor: When in "Pulp Fiction" Travolta
accidentally blows a kid's head off in the back of
the car, that it means nothing to him and Jackson
except that they have a mess to clean up is funny.
The suspension of morality is so obvious and so
obviously a literary device that it has no more
effect on my actual moral stance than watching "Star
Wars" made me think I can levitate objects by
channeling The Force.

I understand why parents are legitimately concerned
about GTA3. And I also understand why news magazines
make a to-do about it: Show a 5-second snippet in
which a player is shooting a cop and you're
guaranteed an 8-minute segment with indignant
politicians. And I'm queasy enough about it that I
don't let my 11 year old son play GTA3 because I
don't know what "moral fiction" will feel like to
him. But the truth is that I'm more concerned about
heroic games like Blackhawk Down where the ultimate
moral message is that being right puts you in a zone
where everything is permitted. That to me is the
most dangerous moral idea.

Salon reviews GTA4. Salon says it's art. I don't
know about that, but it sure sounds like it kicks
fictitious ass.


If marketers had designed the Web, we'd be measuring
transmission speeds not in bits per second but in
pages per hour.

The Gartner Group says, according to the Center for
Media Research:

  More Europeans use short messaging service (SMS)
  than email... GartnerG2 claims that SMS has
  therefore become a powerful marketing tool, which
  can be more important than the web for a range of
  activities. Around 62 percent of all adults across
  the major European countries now use a mobile
  phone, according to the research. Currently, 41
  percent of European adults use SMS, compared to 30
  percent that use the Internet/email.

  Last year, 28 percent of European adults used SMS,
  as opposed to 29 percent who went online. SMS is
  particularly popular in the UK where 49 percent of
  adults use it, compared to 39 percent who are

Three observations:

1. Connectedness will happen. How? Every way it can.

2. But it's not as if email and SMS compete. Read
Howard Rheingold's "Smart Mobs" [2] to see how the
short medium is the short message. (There's a
discussion of the book going on now at the
InkWell.Vue. It's long form and fascinating. Some
great stuff, including a recounting by Dave Hughes
of what followed from his boast that he could wifi
every farm in Wales "by turning every Welsh pub into
a wireless ISP." )

3. I'm looking forward to the day when the
announcement of a new type of human connection is
not immediately followed by the phrase "powerful
marketing tool."

[1] http://www.mediapost.com/research/index.cfm?loc=1
[2] http://www.smartmobs.com/index.html

Scott Kirsner writes in the Boston Globe about two
Boston-area companies coming out with anti-spam
products [1]. The founder of one of the companies,
Spamnix, was one of the founders of the other
company, InterMute. (InterMute is best known for
AdSubtract.) Even though the Spamnix guy signed a
non-compete, he claims it only pertains to ad-
blocking software, not spam. Nevertheless, it's easy
to imagine InterMute suing, if only to slow the
launch of competitive software.


  "We're both attacking spam because we both hate
  it," Jaspan says. "There are a zillion people
  using e-mail, so there's room for lots of [anti-
  spam] products. If I do pretty well or they do
  pretty well, maybe one of us will acquire the

  "My passion against spam is even greater than my
  competitiveness," says Paul English. "I think
  there can be lots of good solutions, and I wish
  him luck."

Now, that's the way it ought to be.


[Disclosure: Paul English at InterMute is an old
friend of mine and a sometime business partner. I
was a beta for his upcoming spam product,


Jonathan Peterson reproduces Peter Chernin's (CEO of
Fox) Comdex keynote [1], interpolating comments
disputing not only its accuracy, but its most basic
representation of what's going on. Jonathan
summarizes his own reaction:

  They still see us as consumers only capable of
  digesting their offerings and handing over money.
  They really don't seem to understand that the
  reason we are buying PCs, video cameras, digital
  cameras, broadband connections and the like is
  that we want to create and share our creations

I found a few places in the speech that made me see
the inside of my own retinas. In particular, Chernin

  The trumpeters of the Big Bully Theory may also be
  startled to learn that we have absolutely no
  problem with viewers shifting our content from
  their television to their PC, from their living
  room to their bedroom and to their bathroom and
  back again as many times and ways as they'd like.

First, "shifting" does not necessarily include
copying. Second -- and this is what makes my blood
boil -- he's granting us permission to shift "our
content" where "our" refers to the entertainment
company? When I buy a DVD, the DVD is mine and I can
use it any way I want so long as I'm not reselling
it or broadcasting it. I can make a copy for my
upstairs TV. I can mold it into a pretty little
ashtray. I can roll it in a tube and sell it to
Peter Chernin as a home colonoscopy kit.

The speech is long but well worth reading. As are
Jonathan's comments, chockablock with links.

[1] http://www.way.nu/archives/000493.html#000493

The Naval Academy has seized computers from 100
midshipmen looking for "illegally" downloaded
copyrighted material. The Navy plunged into action
in response to a letter sent from the RIAA to
colleges and universities. Yes, the computers are
property of the Academy, but the fact that the Navy
is responding to demands from an industry group,
much less such well-known digital burglars as the
RIAA, should send a chilling effect down our spines.


From Declan McCullagh:

  WASHINGTON -- A last-minute addition to a proposal
  for a Department of Homeland Security bill would
  punish malicious computer hackers with life in

Seth Johnson points out that two senators "are
starting to show some truly helpful cluefulness" [1].
Senator Ron Wyden said:

  "Digital media simply shouldn't be more restricted
  than other copyrighted items," Wyden said.
  "Digital technology is a great step forward, and
  it would be a shame to take a big step backward on
  consumers' rights when it comes to using this

He and Chris Cox (R-Calif) are sponsoring a bill to
make this idea all legal and everything.

(For the record, my wife and I went door-to-door a
couple of times for Wyden during his first political
campaign in 1979. We thus feel, in a Stallman "Gnu
Linux" [2] sort of way, that the bill really ought to be
referred to as the Wyden-Cox-Weinberger-Geller Law.)

[2] http://www.gnu.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html



The debate continues over how to solve the DNS mess.
The mess exists because there are more people than
there are names. So, who gets davidweinberger.com?
(Hint: I didn't.) Not to mention who gets
Disney.com, Schwarzenegger.com, and

Dan Gillmor [1] a few months ago said that Google had
solved the problem, at least for now. If I want to
find my pal Bob Smith, the Mulholland furrier, I
google him with a query like "bob smith furrier
mulholland." Very likely Google will get it right.

So, why not build on this? Google could enable us to
fill out a standard form with fields for name,
email, web pages, parents, town, high school,
college, jobs, employers, hobbies, publications,
summer camps, etc. Then add a tab to Google.com
called "People." Weight these forms heavily when
searching for names, so that if you searched for
"david weinberger herricks," the Google engine would
notice that "herricks" is listed on my personal form
as my high school, and thus would move my web pages
(the ones I've listed on the form) way up the list.
No one besides me would ever see my form itself.

Google has the heft to pull this off. If you know
someone at Google, wanna pass this along?
Alternatively, you might want to point out the
gaping hole in my logic that makes this idea not
just implausible but actually humiliating.

Either way, thank you.

[You can see bogus screen captures of what this
might look at by going -- guess where! -- to the
online version of JOHO.]

[1] http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/2986450.htm


I blogged recently about a neologism I'd like to

  Google URL (n) A phrase sufficient to bring a
  desired Web site to the top of the returns list at
  Google. E.g., "My real address is weird, so I gave
  him my Google URL: 'Locke die cast'"; "I couldn't
  remember the dictionary's web address so I used
  the Google URL 'American Heritage'"

Peter Kaminski responded:

  "Google URLs" are the same as the mechanism behind
  Robust Hyperlinks [1] 
You make a page robust, according to this paper, by
running free, open source software that adds to your
document a "lexical signature" about five words
long, a hash of your document content. People can
find your page by searching for its signature, so
even if you move the page, Google (or whatever) will
find it for you.

The problem is that the signature isn't necessarily
memorable. For example, the signature of
www.cluetrain.com is "html intranetworked uznajut
happytalk stemmens" whereas the Google URL is

[1] http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~phelps/Robust/index2.html


1. Go to google.com
2. Type in your phone number, in quotation marks
3. When it finds your name and address, click on
4. You are here.


Adina Levin makes the case that a sufficiently
usable search engine that has indexed a sufficiently
large text base -- i.e., Google -- in effect is a KM

Yup. In short: If you know where things are, you
don't ever have to clean up.

(One caveat: This works when you know exactly what
you're looking for, but browsing a taxonomy is
helpful when you don't.)



Art Medlar writes to a mailing list:

  A friend points out that google's raw ordering of
  pages by rank can be had by searching for "http":




Craig Allen points us to a science fictionish story
by Paul Ford about how Google could become the
center of the known universe.



Gary "Unblinking" Stock [1] points to recent activity at
his Gogglewhack site [2]. (A Googlewhack is a word pair
that gives one and only one hit when searched for
at Google; the pair must not be enclosed in
quotation marks.) In submitting a Googlewhack, one
must also provide a definition of the pair. On one
day alone Gary received (among others):

| uplifting interregna   | 2 Clinton terms of      |
|                        | economic progress &     |
|                        | peace-sandwiched by 2   |
|                        | Bush failures.          |
| snowmobile purgatives  | GW: "Lessee, gotta get  |
|                        | this crap out of my     |
|                        | system Ah! Blow it on   |
|                        | Yellowstone!"           |
| awol reactionist       | Send Tom DeLay to       |
|                        | Iraq. GOP leader        |
|                        | missed Nam for law      |
|                        | school                  |
| noncombatant reviler   | Send Rush Limbaugh to   |
|                        | Iraq. He missed Nam -   |
|                        | anal cysts.             |
| lawyerlike dodge       | Send Ken Starr to       |
|                        | Iraq. He too missed     |
|                        | Nam - psoriasis.        |
| phallus                | Why do you think        |
| overcompensates        | someone's so eager to   |
|                        | go to war in Iraq?      |

"Phallus" and "overcompensates" are found on only
one page on the Net? Shocking! Given that our
civilization is built on phallic overcompensation,
this is like "Nigerian scam" turning out to be a

[1] http://www.unblinking.com
[2] http://googlewhack.com/tally.pl


Steven Johnson's excellent new blog [1] (he's the
author of "Emergence," a book I learned a lot from)
has proposed a new Google trick that Rael Dornfest
quickly instantiated [2]. You take the number of
Google hits on a term, and  the number of hits on a
second term within that result set, and divide. The
result is your "googleshare." To use Steve's
example, there are 1,450,000 hits on "emergence" and
5,190 of those mention "Steven Johnson," giving him
a .3% googleshare of the term "emergence."

You can run your own experiments using Rael's
software. (You will first have to get a Google API
key, a painless process. [3]) For example:

  Bush has a 7.93% share of "idiot" and 8.89% share
  of "moron"

  Michael Jackson has a 1.24% googleshare of "freak"

  Microsoft has about 3.5% share of "satan," handily
  beating Saddam Hussein's 0.72% share and Osama Bin
  Laden's 0.84% share.

  Cluetrain has a 0.4% share of "hippy-dippy" and an
  astonishing 23.19% share of "worst book" (with the
  search term in quotes), while "small pieces
  loosely joined" (in quotes) has an astronomical
  102.35% share of "worst book"!

Now that's an achievement worth noting!

[1] http://www.stevenberlinjohnson.com/movabletype/archives/000009.html
[2] http://www.raelity.org/lang/perl/google/googleshare/ 
[3] http://api.google.com/


I was at the Newseum [1], a site that thumbnails
newspaper front pages from around the world.
(Thanks, Dan Pink [2].) I clicked on the Australia's
Courier Mail and saw their tag line:

    For readers who expect more from life

Unfortunately, I Freudianly misread it as:

   For readers who expected more from life

Two letters can make the difference between
marketing and truth, eh?

And while we're discussing news about news, J.D.
Lasiter has asked various digeratti what they read
to keep current [3]. For extra fun, try to guess the
answers the ecelebs give; I bet you won't be far
wrong. (Kudos to Henry Jenkins for mentioning
TheOnion as a news source.)

[1] http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/
[2] http://justonething.blogspot.com/
[3] http://www.ojr.org/ojr/lasica/1035486868.php

I usually don't "get" the Zippy comic strip, proving
that the effects of drugs do eventually wear off,
but one the other day struck me as trenchant. Zippy
is talking to a building shaped like a fish and says:

  Zippy: If I'm so safe, why do I have this feeling
  of imminent annihilation?

Now, I like that. But I liked it better before I
started typing it in because I thought the last line
was: "If I'm so safe, why do I have this feeling of
immediate alienation?"

Safety and alienation go together like guns and


Freelists.org [1], which provides free mailing list
services to thousands of technology-based 'zines
and lists (including JOHO), is starting a for-pay
service [2]. The folks at Freelists.org provide a great
service for free, and are stand-up folks. Please
consider using them. Here's their description of
the service:

  MailandFiles.com: For 5 bucks a month, you get
  access to 50MB of email and file storage, a
  you@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx email address, access to that
  email through web mail, POP3, and IMAP, plus
  access to your files both through the web mail
  client and FTP. (Software like WebDrive(tm) and
  Windows 2000+'s "map a network drive" makes it
  easier on Windows users.) That's it: premium mail
  and file storage and access, one flat rate.

[1] http://www.freelists.org
[2] http://www.mailandfiles.com/

My son Nathan, 11, yesterday asked:

  Why can you sell your soul to the Devil but not to

He worked out an answer, but I enjoyed the question
more. As did he.

To see who Michael Jackson looks like, go to the Web
version of this newsletter.

Gary "Congratulations! She's beautiful!" Turner runs
a screen capture of an unfortunate line break in a
message from Microsoft [2], thus giving me an excuse to
run a pointless, unjustified bit of ridicule. But
it's a picture, so you'll have to see the Web
version of JOHO.

[1] http://www.garyturner.net/2002_12_01_archive.html#90056991
[2] http://www.garyturner.net/2002_11_01_archive.html#85707589


And a big JOHO welcome to Michael O'Connor Clarke's
son as well. We're all better with Gary and
Michael's two new ones in the world.


| MIDDLE WORLD RESOURCES                           |


Walking the Walk According to an article by Elana
Varon in CIO magazine (Dec. 1), portals are in. For
example, Maids Home Services International uses a
portal to distribute corporate documents to its 140
franchises. The usual advantages accrued: everyone
is up to date and distribution costs have gone way

But, then the Internet worked its magic. One
franchise owner in Austin, a retired Air Force
colonel, says the portal's most valuable feature is
its online forums, replacing an email list that was
getting unwieldy. At the new forum, franchise owners
discuss advice and tips such as how to repair
damaged marble, the most efficient way to wash
windows, and how to get moose blood out of shag
carpet. At the moment, the Colonel is soliciting
reviews of his new house-cleaning Web site. Maids
Home Services provides centralized administrative
services such as updating addresses and cataloging
forum threads. Says the Colonel: "That's what we
wanted them to do, take care of the administrative
stuff and let us talk."

Sounds like the motto for the Web.


I got a DVD burner ostensibly so I can make discs
with clips of me giving speeches. Ah, the
egocentricity of marketing! What doesn't it permit?

The software that come with it is pretty good. DVDme
is especially nice. It enables you to build screens
with menus and then burn the whole enchilada to
disk. You create the background graphic in some
other application and use DVDme to create hot spots
and links. Put your own upbeat musical choice behind
the screens. Test it with their virtual DVD remote
control. When you're done, set aside an hour or two
for DVDme to process the AVI file and write it to

It works and can be mastered by human beings,
unlike, say, the DVD copying freeware that's so
complex and confusing (don't forget to deMUX, or is
that reMUX?) that I have yet to succeed at it even

(BTW, if there's nothing left on the Web to see and
you want to see those clips of me speaking, you can
go to www.hyperorg.com/speaker/video.html. For
now it's only for Windows users.)

| WHAT I'M PLAYING                                 |
|                                                  |
| I'm playing the best first person shooter ever:  |
| No One Lives Forever 2. If you played the first  |
| one, then you know what this one is like,        |
| except notch up the graphics, plot and humor.    |
| If you haven't, then this game should be your    |
| introduction to the question of how and when     |
| games are going to surpass some genres of        |
| movies as entertainment. You play Cate Archer,   |
| 1960's British secret agent. She battles an      |
| evil organization called H.A.R.M. As silly as a  |
| Flint movie, NOLF2 is both more exciting and     |
| funnier than any James Bond movie I've seen,     |
| and I've seen them all (except for the new one). |
| INTERNETCETERA                                   |
|                                                  |
| According to Masha Geller's MediaPost column, a  |
| report from WebMergers says that the dot-com     |
| failure rate has "declined dramatically":        |
|                                                  |
| So far this year...93 Internet companies have    |
| shut down, which is about a quarter of the       |
| number (345) that shut down in the first half    |
| of last year.                                    |
|                                                  |
| Geller seems to think this is good news. Sure,   |
| and here's some more:                            |
|                                                  |
|    '00s show dramatic reduction in number of     |
|      returned suits compared with mid-70s        |
|                                                  |
|                                                  |
| Puhlease.                                        |


Bryan Field-Elliot of PingID suggests at NetMeme [1]
some proverbs for our times such as:

      Googliness is next to Godliness

      Blogs of a feather link together

      A watched hitlog never scrolls.

This has similarities to Gary Turner's Blogstickers, [2]
which I mention primarily so I can say:

        Great minds link alike
[1] http://netmeme.org/blog/archives/000018.html#000018
[2] http://www.blogstickers.com/

Greg "LinuxMan" Cavanagh points out this tidbit from
the December issue of Linux Journal:

  ...the PC speaker in post-2.5.31 kernels may now
  be used as a microphone. This is new and weird. As
  Jos Hulzink put it on the linux-kernel mailing
  list, "2.5.32 will go into the history books as
  the kernel that implemented voice recognition for
  all AT class computers .."

Greg comments: "Umm, you mean every machine broken
into is now a listening device. Wow."

If he's right, this is spooky. Good thing our
current administration is so fiercely committed to
civil liberties that there's no chance this type of
abuse could happen.

Jon Husband [1] has published the text of an ad Sean
Penn took out in Washington Post yesterday [2] .
It's an open letter to W. After making nice in the
first paragraph, Penn writes lays into the W in a
surprisingly (and entertainingly) personal way. For
example: "You lead, it seems, through a blood-lined
sense of entitlement."

Penn paid $56,000 to run the ad and then he didn't
post the text on the Web somewhere, as far as I can
tell. Someone quick get that actor a weblog!

[1] http://www.wirearchy.blogspot.com

Eric Raymond reproduces a Microsoft memo assessing
their battle against Open Source software [1]. Eric
also comments on it. The Register summarizes and
comments on the memo also [2].

The shortest summary: Microsoft's own surveys show
that they're making no headway against Open Source.

[1] http://www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween7.php
[2] http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/28008.html

Garrison Keillor [1] is flaming. As one of our
culture's best story tellers ever, and as someone
who has trademarked a transparent gentleness and
civility, this outburst is remarkable. It's short on
particulars because, as the end reveals, it comes
not from offended reason but from a broken heart.

(It's available only to Salon premium members. Pay
Salon the money, will you? It's an experiment that
deserves to succeed.)

[1] http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2002/11/13/coleman/

Adina Levin discourses on the hyperlinked
nature of Judaism's basic texts, saying in a couple
of paragraphs what it takes "The Talmud and the
Internet" an entire book to say.


Dave Rogers writes:

  This article [1] describes the "Social Web
  Cockpit" ... that aims at the support of "virtual
  communities", i.e. often loosely coupled groups of
  people sharing a common interest or task. The
  cockpit is a result from our "Social Web Research
  Program" at Fraunhofer FIT which aims to explore
  and demonstrate how we can turn information
  environments into rich communication and
  interaction environments."

Lots of good ideas. But I'm getting more and more
pessimistic about the willingness of people to make
even the smallest change in their computing
environment, no matter how good it would be for

[1] http://www.sapdesignguild.org/editions/edition5/fraunhofer.asp.

Adina Levin writes:

  have you ever read Sources of Power by Gary Klein;
  the book is badly named; it is not a
  neomachiavellian business manual; it's fascinating
  social science research on how people (really)
  make decisions, in contrast to how we think people
  make decisions, influenced by our mental models of
  people as computers.

  spoiler: people make and share decisions with
  stories Blog summary here [1].

Sounds fascinating.

[1] http://levin.blogspot.com/2002_10_01_levin_archive.html#85573287

Dan Hughes of TheyBlinked [1] points out a "Total
Information Awareness" flowchart by John "Felonious"
Poindexter up on the DARPA site [2]. It maps how the
government is going to map your every click and
every step. Take a look at the list under
"transactional data": Financial, education, travel,
medical, veterinary, transportation, housing,
government, communications...

Pornography for information fascists.

[1] http://theyblinked.blogspot.com
[2] http://www.darpa.mil/iao/TIASystems.htm

Dan Bricklin [1] writes up his thoughts about his new
Toshiba tablet PC. He's excited about it, on the
whole. Amy Wohl [2], on the other hand, thinks that the
genre won't take off until they machines are much
cheaper and lighter.

I personally am not feeling the familiar surges of
technolust when contemplating this device in the
privacy of my office. If it had a screen with twice
the resolution, I'd feel differently.

[1] http://danbricklin.com/log/tabletpc.htm
[2] http://danbricklin.com/log/tabletpc.htm

David Stephenson has an op-ed in Government
Computer News about what the Homeland Security web
site could learn from Amazon and eBay.


Vergil Iliescu points us to an interactive Flash
(i.e., move your damn mouse) that features
pointless but amusing morphings and the like:


Eric Norlin is beginning to think about a taxonomy
of trust: 1. You are who you say you are. 2. You do
what you say you will do. 3. The combined
experience of 1 and 2 builds over time.


And now Eric Norlin is arguing that we need to get
more subtle and flexible with our concept of
anonymity. I'm sure he's right. We're already
working out issues about who we are, who we say we
are, who we pretend to be, and who we can prove we
are. As the legal requirements become more
pressing, we're going to end up with more formal

My only hope is that the practices that are
emerging shape the law, rather than the other way


I always enjoy the weekly sends from Hank Blakely
announcing his satiric newsletter. For example, he

  We have nothing to fear but fear itself, which, it
  turns out, is more than sufficient...

And, in an oddly related story from the Department
of It's Not Supposed to Be Funny, It's Just Easier
to Laugh than Sh*t Your Pants comes this quote from
W as reported in the new Bob Woodward book:

  "I do not need to explain why I say things. ?
  That's the interesting thing about being the
  President. ? Maybe somebody needs to explain to me
  why they say something, but I don't feel like I
  owe anybody an explanation."

Paul Krassner, editor of The Realist, is being
interviewed over at InkVue.


Chip has two suggestions

  First, on Google Ads:


  and then,


The Google article is about their AdWords program.
The second link says that the death of the Internet
will be caused by "new technologies ... that can, in
practice, transform today's open Internet into a new
industry-regulated system..."

Beliefnet [1] is back online. Good. It's the type of
experiment I personally want to succeed: a shared
space for talk about religion that tries to be
respectful of differences. Getting that balance
right is difficult -- or, put technically,
impossible -- but there's room in the world for lots
of attempts.

I found out about the rebirth of Beliefnet because
Steve Waldman, the editor in chief, has a diary in
Slate, recording his group's comeback from
bankruptcy. [2]

[1] http://www.beliefnet.com
[2] http://slate.msn.com/?id=2073990&entry=0

Arts and Letters died Philosophy and Literature was
born in its place.


Don't forget to test your firewall at Steve Gibson's
stalwart site, Gibson Research.


Dan Gillmor has a terrific column on what it'll take
to get broadband going in this country. And he even
has some words of encouragement for the FCC.

  What would we lose by calling the telecom giants'
  bluff? ...

According to Teletruth.org's Bruce Kushnick (from a
mailing list):

  ...the Bells' lobbying group and association, the
  USTA [U.S. Telecom Association], is asking for the
  removal of all documentation and accounting
  requirements, just to name a few items.

  I consider this entire process an outrage and the
  FCC should immediately halt this proceeding and
  start all over again. Record Shredding should be
  illegal and not sanctioned by the FCC...

Oh, Bruce, I think after all these years we've
learned to trust our telephone companies!


Jim Law [1] points us to the Hypergene Media Blog about
participatory journalism ("news from the bottom
up"). Lots of good information and ideas.

[1] http://www.teletruth.org
[2] http://www.hypergene.net/blog/weblog.php

Tom Wilson has a kickass article on knowledge
management in Information Research. This is from the

  The conclusion is reached that 'knowledge
  management' is an umbrella term for a variety of
  organizational activities, none of which are
  concerned with the management of knowledge.

Kevin Werbach has an excellent article on
decentralization at news.com.


Charlie Green has found a site for college teachers
who feel oppressed [1]. In particular, he points to
an interview about the (non-)importance of hypertext
[2]. It's an "edgy" (= obnoxious) piece, typical of
academic squabbles except without the usual pretense
of civility. 

Here's a taste of the tone:

  Rojas: Why was Gigo so angry?

  Seagrave: Newly minted PhD.

  Rojas: The importance of being important.

  Seagrave: Yes. She's thirty years old and has
  spent all but five or so of those thirty working
  hard for parents or surrogate parents in a
  meritocracy... now she actually has to do
  something with her life that may run the risk of
  someone telling her she's less than brilliant.

[1] http://papergraders.com
[2] http://papergraders.com/Hypertext.shtml
Gen Kanai has a fascinating blog entry asking what
the advent of Xbox telephony will mean. Both Xbox
and Sony are adding the ability to talk with other
online gamers via headsets:

  The obvious thought here is that Microsoft and
  Sony will soon both have international IP
  telephony networks built around their gaming

What would it take to publish a "game" CD for these
boxes that turn them into free IP phones?

And there are rumors that Microsoft is going to turn
the Xbox into a Tivo. Slap some Palladium onto it
and you got yourself one fine mofo of a Digital
Entertainment Lockdown Strategy.


David Isenberg has published a new issue of his
always excellent newsletter. In this one, you can
read about "the future of voice telephony," which is
not about talking pachyderms but a software product
from Global IP Sound that uses the Internet to
transmit calls and does so with higher-quality audio
than you'll get on a "real" phone. I'm also hearing
pretty good things about Vonage...


Doc Searls writes:

  The kid spotted the galaxy Andromeda straight
  overhead. I could barely see it. "It's not dark
  enough to see the arms," he said. I said I had
  heard that Andromeda and the Milky Way were on a
  collision course and due to become one galaxy in
  about three billion years, which was about the
  same age as most diamonds found on Earth.

In the hands of a good writer, facts can be moving.


Mike O'Dell points us to ThinkGeek.com, a shopping
spot for the well-appointed nerd, because under the
"Fortunes" tab you can read randomly-selected
fortune-cookie style sayings submitted by readers.
For reasons we may never understand, Mike was
particularly amused by "I still fail to see what
this has to do with Morocco." Being a person of
highly refined taste, as I believe my obsession with
Michael Jackson has demonstrated, it took me 11
tries before I found a fortune I found entertaining:
"rotinom ruoy edisni deppart mi pleH"

Even so, it's an admirable marketing ploy.


Let there be no doubt: In Kate Bulkley's article in
The Guardian about blogging and wifi, I am Mr.


Ian Poynter has found a random techno-idea
generator. Nicely done and pretty durn amusing.


Clay Shirky points us to a work of art-or-something
by John Simon. The original Mac icon was 32x32
black and white. Simon is systematically and
automatically generating every possible icon that
could be drawn on such a grid. He started in 1997.
As a NYT article [1] at the time said:

  Rounded off and expressed mathematically,
  the total number of conceivable
  variations within the grid is 1.8
  multiplied by 10 to the 308th power (for
  purposes of comparison, 1 billion is a
  measly 10 to the 9th). For the grid to
  become totally black, the last "icon"
  that the applet is programmed to exhibit,
  Simon calculated that it would merely
  take several hundred trillion years.

See for yourself at

[1] http://www.numeral.com/articles/041797mirapaul/041797mirapaul.html


Nathan Cochrane adds lumber to the Palladium

  The below may explain why Microsoft is happy for
  music to be played through "normal" media players.

       By Nathan Cochrane August 27 2002 Next

       Microsoft has unveiled its vision for the
       future digital media landscape and it's a
       world where content creators are king.

       Version 9 of its Windows Media technology,
       codenamed "Corona", to be launched in
       September as part of the Windows.NET server,
       gives media conglomerates complete control
       over the way their content is viewed by



Adina, having read my ramble about Stephen Wolfram's
presentation at PopTech [1], suggests Kurzweil's
appreciation of him [2], which she has summarized
[3]. The Kurzweil piece is well-written and leave us
humanities majors behind about a third of the way

There's also a good article -- again only two-thirds
beyond my comprehension -- by Steven Weinberg in the
NY Review of Books [4].

[2] http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0464.html?printable=1
[3] http://levin.blogspot.com/2002_10_01_levin_archive.html#85529803
[4] http://www.nybooks.com/articles/15762

Bryan Field-Elliot responds to my discussion of
Stephen Wolfram by pointing us to an article by
Michael Shermer (editor of Skeptic) in Scientific
American [1] that wonders why Wolfram is getting far
more attention than an equally implausible-sounding
theory from James Carter.

  ...[L]ike it or not, in science, as in most human
  intellectual endeavors, who is doing the saying
  matters as much as what is being said, at least in
  terms of getting an initial hearing...

But the article points to why Wolfram got heard
better than Carter: Feynman called Wolfram
"astonishing" and Wolfram was the youngest person
ever to win a MacArthur "genius" award, whereas
Carter "has been an abalone diver, gold miner,
filmmaker, cave digger, repairman, inventor and
owner-operator of a trailer park." That doesn't
mean, of course, that his theory of circlons is
wrong. But the screening process is probably working
pretty well: Carter published and no one paid much
attention. If you're going to pay full attention to
every publication, you don't have much of a
filtering system.



Steve Yost [1] writes pithily about reading Wolfram.
He says:

  The repetitiveness of Wolfram's style led me to
  think that near the end he'd reveal that the book
  was generated using his main thesis as the initial
  condition of a CA [Cellular Automaton] algorithm.
  Now that would be a substantial example.

I happen to know for a fact that Wolfram's bodily
tissues are made entirely of autonomous cells that
manage to self-organize into a living, breathing
human. Remarkable proof of concept!

[1] http://www.quicktopic.com/blog/archives/000109.html#000109/p


Madeleine "Madkane" Kane (www.madkane.com) responds
to the Google URL suggestion way up your scroll bar
in this issue:

  I checked and "madkane" qualifies as my Google
  URL, bringing my site to the top Google search
  spot.  But here's the funny part -- so does Dubya.

  Something tells me the real Dubya wouldn't be

b!X [1] responds to my plaintive plea that the Left
become fun again:

  The right just doesn't understand our brand of
  fun. Or perhaps they understand, but don't want
  anyone else to understand.

  Namely, that while the Right laughs to be mean, we
  laugh in order to cope. They have their fun
  because the don't give a flying rat's ass about
  the damage being done. We liberals and/or leftists
  on the other hand (real ones, not the pansy faux
  liberals of the Democratic Leadership Council) are
  way too aware of the damage. Perhaps too much so.
  So a lot of the fun we have, much of the humor we
  find in things, is a kind of gallows humor. It's
  dark. But it doesn't tend to be mean.

Now hold on a minute. Does this mean that I'm not
allowed to make fun of Bush for being a moron
anymore? Sign me up for the National Review!

[1] http://www.theonetruebix.com/

Charlie Green responds to my argument in favor of
leeway [1]:

  ...about leeway: how does one decide where
  "leeway" becomes scofflaw or aiding and abetting?

There isn't a clear line. That's why you need
leeway. (Or is that meta-leeway?)

  If we need leeway to function, maybe we don't need
  the rule/law leading up to it. My contention has
  long been that if a rule/law is not regularly
  enforced, it should be repealed. Otherwise it is
  just there for intimidation and harassment,
  presumably of "undesirables".

If a rule isn't regularly enforced, then, sure, who
needs it? And isn't "selective enforcement" grounds
for dismissal of a charge? But every  rule needs to
be enforced with leeway when leeway makes sense.

[1] http://www.hyperorg.com/backissues/joho-oct25-02.html#leeway

Jeffrey Stecker writes:

  Just read THE NEED FOR LEEWAY.  It made me think
  of something I have been espousing for years,
  usually to blank or glazed reactions.  That is,
  "You don't need to treat everyone equally, but you
  do need to treat them fairly".  As you illustrated
  in the article, the confusion and misunderstanding
  of the differences between these two concepts and
  how they are applied can lead to truly bizarre
  results.  I also think that this issue is at the
  root of much of the political/philosophical
  differences between the pointy headed liberals and
  the right wing warheads,  particularly with
  respect to domestic programs.

Another, related, way of characterizing the
difference between liberals and conservatives is
that conservatives want everyone to start equal and
discount the importance of the uneven playing field,
while liberals are more concerned with the equality
of the outcome. (Ironically, classic free-market
liberalism takes the current conservative position.)

Kurt Kurosawa also has leeway on the brain:

  Anyway, I just learned a whole lot about leeway
  from a Catholic. Being a non-Catholic American, I
  had thought Catholic rules were cast in stone. I
  thought wrong. It was explained to me this way:
  you pull up to a red light at 2 in the morning in
  the US with nobody around for miles and you sit
  there 'til it turns green. In Italy, which flavors
  much Church thought, that light would just be a
  suggestion. What you are expected to do is do
  right by your conscience, which might even mean
  running the light under certain circumstances.
  Just thought I'd pass that on FWIW; I found it

The Seven Deadly Suggestions? That's not the way I
heard it, Kurt....

David Miller writes:

  This is pretty damn depressing, but I thought
  you'd want to see this if you hadn't. An
  unbelievable example of how the DMCA [Digital
  Millennium Copyright Act] is being turned against
  us even more than Congress could have imagined.
  Wal-Mart claims their prices in circulars are copy
  protected, and use the guilty-until-proven-not
  provisions of the DMCA to stifle the flow of
  information to the market:


  A good summary of articles at Copyfight:


  I've been trying to find a way to email Wal-Mart
  corporate officers to register a complaint but
  can't find any yet.

  Arrgh! I never thought Sonny Bono would haunt us
  like this except on oldies radio.

The law is clear: You cannot copyright information,
only its expression. So, the next time someone asks
you how much you paid for that Wal-Mart brand Elvis
bottle-opener, call Wal-Mart and ask permission.

Chris Worth responds to our mention of Steve
Himmer's coverage [1] of a lawsuit by the John Cage
estate claiming someone else's recording of silence
infringes on Cage's copyright.

  I'm somewhat disconcerted about it, but I *do*
  understand the Cage case. It's all about

  If David Weinberger scribbles a random sentence,
  then reads it to me in a bar, you've 'released' it
  and I can quote it, adopt it, perhaps even
  appropriate it as my own assuming it's just a few
  words or so. (Remember, leeway.)

  If, however, you 'frame' that composition - say 'I
  am David Weinberger, and I am scribbling this
  random sentence, which will be the sum total of
  the next JoHo' - then any use I make of it is
  definably plagiarism. You've fenced your creative
  output, provided a chalked square that shows me
  precisely what you're prepared to defend and the
  boundaries where I risk harm by stepping inside.
  'Git orf my land!'

  So ultimately it's not about the crappiness of the
  creative work; it's about what constitutes the

  I can't remember who I'm plagiarising the above
  from, but I think it's Frank Zappa. And I'm pretty
  sure Mike Batt is only doing it for a laugh - I
  met Batt a few years ago, and he's rather an
  amiable guy.

All that might be true. Let's say it is true. But,
Chris, we're talking here about two recordings of
silence. This is like suing me because I erased the
same words as you.

By the way, I've just composed a piece called
"Beethoven's Rests." It consists of all the rest
notes in Beethoven's early string quartets. It's
available at Amazon for US$16.00. I'm about to
release one called "The Beach Boy's Greatest
Silences" in which I perform my rendition of the
space between the tracks on their recordings.  So
sue me!

Gotta love this stuff.

[1] http://www.onepotmeal.com/blog/archives/000887.html#000887

David Stephenson reports on his experience reading
the previous issue of JOHO:

  I used Courier, bought a 60' flat panel display,
  kept on stretching JOHO, and still nothing makes
  sense to me...

It's very simple, David: The "cup holder" is really
your CD drive.

Peter Tunjic asks, more or less out of the blue:

  why does modernity have a love of ideas but a
  hatred of thoughts? Or am I just making this up?

What, is there something wrong with making things
up? Uh oh!


I was at a conference a few months ago that had a
big monitor at the front displaying the chat board
being used by audience members with wifi connections
(i.e., everyone). Whenever a speaker mentioned a
person, technology or idea, the board would fill
with links to further information. It got to be
almost competitive: who could post a link first?
(Answer: Peter Kaminski.)

So, imagine an Olympics of the Web. Other than
Competitive Linking, what would the events be? For

| EVENT                  | DESCRIPTION             |
| Carrying the Olympic   | Volunteers hand off an  |
| Flame                  | argument about          |
|                        | Microsoft from city to  |
|                        | city.                   |
| Trolling               | Participants make       |
|                        | provocative remarks     |
|                        | attempting to get a     |
|                        | rise from the judges.   |
| Blogrolling            | Teams see how quickly   |
|                        | they can gather the     |
|                        | highest-value           |
|                        | blogroll. Extra points  |
|                        | are given for sites     |
|                        | that link to you that   |
|                        | you do not have on      |
|                        | your blogroll. (Links   |
|                        | to Doc and Dave are     |
|                        | gimmes.)                |
| Webiathlon             | Browse through as many  |
|                        | pages as possible       |
|                        | while closing popup     |
|                        | ads.                    |

Well, that wraps up this bimonthly (ugh) issue of
JOHO. Remember the real bogus contest (itself
oxymoronic): How do I fix JOHO's royal brokenness?
Offers of personal therapy will not necessarily be

And may we all have a peaceful new year. 

Yeah, sure.


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  • » [joho] JOHO - Dec. 20, 2002