critical reading for the rude

cale ugly

John Cale’s going through something weird again.  He’s flirting with ugly, but can’t get it quite right now; follow me.  He gets it “raw” well enough, and Black Acetate said it about as best as could be said: the old guy can rock.  But he’ll never get it as ugly as he got it on Fear, and he’s gotta know it.  John Cale is not Tom Waits.  John Cale has different strengths.  John Cale can talk out the side of his mouth better than Waits can make ugly into interesting.  But this is apple/oranges business.  John Cale, listen: What was it Don B said about the real challenge was to write a really bad sentence?


May 30, 2007 Posted by | music | Leave a comment

trusted computing

Makes a good point.  A(n overly?) simple point, but a good one.

May 29, 2007 Posted by | info sci | Leave a comment

small business

Good small business plan workshop.  Linked to from

May 27, 2007 Posted by | biz | Leave a comment


I just had the best freakin birthday party of my life. Like better than when you’re 8 years old. Better than before The Challenger blew up. Better than when Marc Silvestri was doing X-Men down under. Better than when you turn 20-something and get drunk in the pub and dance stupid with nobody in particular to some Robbie Williams remix and go stagger off into the forest to talk to the trees and wake up in the dew without your socks or eyeglasses as the sun rises red on the snowy roots that brought no comfort as pillows: way better than anything that happened before. Better… the best.

In fact, it was the bestest.  Everyone was there.

Thanks ladies. Thanks very, very much.


And you, brother — there’s no more time for sackcloth!  We gather our ashes for soapmaking, for fertilizer, for paint!


May 25, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

lloyd alexander

did die on 17 may 07.

May 18, 2007 Posted by | books, writing | 1 Comment

use thomas beta better

Thomas @ LOC has some new search features. Here’s the FAQ so you can learn more about it. I really like the “one search box” for both bill numbers and/or keywords in text. This is going to be lots easier to use (and teach).  Instead of choosing whether to search for numbers or keywords, you now search for present or previous Congresses.

If you want to tell them what you think of the changes, do so here:

May 16, 2007 Posted by | geo/pol, info sci | Leave a comment

documenting government continuity

Now what is it in 1998’s Presidential Directive 67 that causes for need of its entire revocation?  And what is it about the Presidential Directive (NSPD 51?, HSPD-20?) for a new national continuity policy that gives me a chill on the back of my neck?

67 strengthened continuity, as near as I can tell, re-beefing a plan that had become lax since the Cold War ended…

May 16, 2007 Posted by | geo/pol | Leave a comment

the kid is bright

Senator McCain, all, listen to James Kotecki for a minute:

May 16, 2007 Posted by | blogs, geo/pol | 2 Comments

Terence McKenna’s lost library

I was getting ready to send a friend some info on novelty theory, when I saw that Terence McKenna’s collection of rare books (slated for installation at the Esalen Institute) burned up a couple of months ago. What a library that would have been.  It apparently contained many rare books and manuscripts, McKenna’s own personal notes and writings… a copy of Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books, a 1659 edition of Casaubon’s book on John Dee… good gracious.

And the fire started in the Quizno’s next door?  The only news articles I can find on McKenna in 2007 is a NY Times review of a book about Esalen, and an Agrentinian story on cryptozoology.  Was the entire collection destroyed?  Did any of the scraps go to archivists in other libraries?  I bet Ralph Abraham and Rupert Sheldrake would know.  And Dennis McKenna, of course.  It’s a shame…  It’s like we’ve got less and less of him left.

I guess it’s time now to go back and listen to Terence again.

May 15, 2007 Posted by | books, green, info sci, occult | 5 Comments

state of the library

Librarians I’ve talked with haven’t generally been pleased with ALA’s 07 State of America’s Libraries.  I hear grumbling.  I hear mumbling that the report is self-serving.  I hear much cynical dissatisfaction that the ALA is out of touch, glancing rosily around at a future they don’t much get.  Maybe that’s not fair.  I mean, after all, they presumably haven’t cooked the books to get to these statistics.

Angel makes a good point:

And we still have our work cut out for us in terms of educating people about social networks. That we have a bunch of hysteria mongers trying to legislate something they don’t understand is simply disgraceful.

Truly any new big numbers of library visitors are mostly visitors to library computer labs, no?  What do folks overwhelmingly do on the computers?  Visit social networks, yes.  The report says that public library connection speeds don’t live up to user “needs”.  Ha.  Haha.

Folks, we’re standing around shrugging at each other over web2.0, yet to really imagine and implement good information services that use social networking, folksonomy, or user-generated content to excellent effect.  We’re mostly trying to convince our administrative overlords that we should at least have this discussion, to at leat talk about the potential benefits and pitfalls of making ourselves availabe on, like, Facebook.

And while we stand shrugging, web3.0, a more or less intelligent “semantic” web, is slowly growing its bones.  What will it take to make real technological (and therefore cultural) leaders out of librarians?  Maybe it’s a lost cause.  We fold to “hysteria mongers” who are even more short sighted than we are.

I’m not feeling very hopeful, either, at the moment.  And I am beginning to think that the real information service action is corporate.  We didn’t build it, they didn’t come.  Yahoo! built it. Google built it.  Ask built it.  MySpace built it.  Our patrons don’t come to us, they just come for MySpace.

We’ve dropped the ball.

May 15, 2007 Posted by | info sci | 2 Comments