Archive of Posts from November 2003

Neil Postman quote

"The television commercial is not at all about the character of products to be consumed. It is about the character of the consumers of products...What the advertiser needs to know is not what is right about the product, but what is wrong about the buyer." - Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death. (A book that I am not consuming, but a book that is consuming me.)

Wired on Hacks

There's a nice introduction to the Hacks Series in the latest issue of Wired: Google & Co. to Hackers: Come On In!

Moral Politics

Moral Politics by George Lakoff I recently read a great book called Moral Politics by George Lakoff that I've been hearing about for a while. I finally picked it up after reading this interview with him about framing political issues. Lakoff isn't a pundit—he's a professor of Linguistics—so it's not a typical political book. He blames the American political divide on competing metaphors for family. He explains that many of our "common sense" beliefs stem subconsciously from the way we categorize the world. Conservatives, he argues, have a "Strict Father" model of the family that they map onto the government and how it should act. Liberals have a "Nurturant Parent" model that they map onto the government. He lays out these two major metaphors (and variants) in detail, and shows how those metaphors can explain all of the positions held by prototypical liberals and conservatives. It's ambitious, and it made perfect sense to me as he described his theory in detail—then applied it to current events (well, current as of 1996 but still very relevant). This isn't a book for other linguistics professors—and there isn't much linguistics theory here. It's written with a general audience in mind, after Lakoff did the research. (In fact, I wish he would have described linguistic theory and his research in more detail.)

Liberals and conservatives are buying up books by Michael Moore or Ann Coulter that reinforce their beliefs. I've read the latest Al Franken book, and there's something cathartic about it. But these books don't explain why we have polarized political views in America, and Moral Politics has a very interesting "unified theory of American politics" that attempts to answer that question. I think understanding the competing metaphors and morals involved with politics will help people fight more effectively for what they believe.

Covered bridge picture

looking through a covered bridge

Charles Shultz Quote

The last time I was in CA I went to the Charles Schultz museum in Santa Rosa. They had a quote of his on the wall—"A cartoonist is someone who has to draw the same thing, day after day, without repeating himself."

5 years of!

Today is the fifth anniversary of! I registered this domain on November 20th, 1998 when I was still going to school in Nebraska. The next day I moved my weblog to this domain (or most likely I pointed the domain at the server it was on). The weblog is still here in 2003, and it has lived on many different servers along the way. If you've been reading the site for a while, thanks for tuning in. This site sure has come a long way from its humble beginnings of me simply posting whatever is on my mind—along with pictures I take—in a reverse-chronological format.

yep, a long way.

Wet leaves picture

wet leaves

Brown cow photo

I gotta be me

Barn picture


Orange/Red tree picture

Orange/Red tree

Fort Ross birds picture

Fort Ross birds
Fort Ross birds

Fort Ross bell picture

Fort Ross bell
Fort Ross bell

Armstrong path picture

Armstrong Woods path

Mt. Shasta Pictures

Mt. Shasta (I think) from above...

Mt. Shasta from above

Mt. Shasta from above

Oregon C-SPAN

I know most of the country was probably glued to their TV sets last night, watching the 30-hour Senate marathon on C-SPAN. It's no surprise then that states are clamoring to roll out their own riveting versions of C-SPAN for their own state governments. Luckily Oregonians can already watch the daily political grind on OPAN. I'm sure it is televised representative government at its finest! (Channel 27 in Corvallis.) [via OSU Barometer]

Veterans Day Quotes

Stewart put together two quotes from two Presidents about war.

Update 11/9/2007: Since Stewart's site is no longer available, you can find the quotes in the archive: sylloge: Remembrance Day 2003.

American Splendor

If you haven't seen American Splendor yet, you should. It is the best movie I've seen this year by far. Sad, touching, artful, human, beautiful.

Mary's Peak photo

Mary's Peak
Mary's Peak

Goodbye BlogFodder

Goodbye BlogFodder, we hardly knew ye. The site/mailing list that was meant to inspire weblog posts across the web won't be adding anything new to the blogosphere. I thought I would be able to send out a single post idea every day for a year, but life and work conspired against me. Rather than sending out one or two more before December 31st, I'm stopping the site/mailing list now. There's no lack of inspiration out there for weblog authors, and now I'll focus my post ideas solely on this site. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Beyond the creative exercise of coming up with fodders, and the fun of reading people's reactions to them, the site was a great way for me to learn about Movable Type. I built a custom Trackback form, integrated MT with an external mailing list, and learned more about scripting MySQL.

There are currently 486 people subscribed to the list. There were 183 Fodders total. And strangely there were 138 Trackbacks. The most popular BlogFodder was 11 Objects.

RDF for photos

Note to self: look into adding RDF photo descriptions to snapGallery.

highway 99 picture

highway 99