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User Journal

Journal Journal: Contact me

If you want to contact me without spamming article discussions (i.e. if you're new here), just reply to this post.

United States

Journal Journal: Googling the Vote

I've been tracking Google's stats for some 2008 Presidential Election-related searches in an effort I've been calling "Google the Vote". The results have really helped to keep me in touch with how the election is shaping up. My blog entry on the topic is titled, "Using the Web to predict elections." I touch on a few ways that people are tracking Web-based data for the election such as Google Trends and Intrade.

I really do think that the Web is going to become a more and more accurate predictor of elections over the years, and eventually live-polling will be an antiquated and moot factor.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Profanity Blacklist is dumb. 8

Quickly running through my foes, just to see how much hatred I garner, and discovered that the Profanity Blacklist (UID 825460) still hates me, even though I haven't used any "foul" language in sometime. Well fine, I did mention the word "asshole" earlier, but I really don't see how offensive that term really is to anyone.

The key problem with the blacklist is that it is a one strike system, if some faceless user (who is completely anonymous) sees one little naughty work in a post, at some forgotten time in the past, then automatically everything you say has less merit than a troll who refrains from from interesting language. Snap judgments are for idiots, children. I try to keep most of my replies on an intellectual level (no matter how much some of you don't agree with me, it generally is a respectful disagreement), but because I once (probably to a poll, and probably at 3am) muttered something less than kosher to virgin ears, I am an eternal rogue with the mouth of an uneducated sailor.

There is no way to plea your case, or to be un-blacklisted, since there is no avenue of recourse. PB is an anonymous god, prayers will do you no good.

My essence is not defined by one action. No ones is.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Rant against Dogma and Evangelicalism 2

I never write in this damn thing, how many damn "blog" things do I really need? But for once I think I have a rant that is fitting to post on /., well at least link to /., since I really don't feel like posting it again. I wrote a long rant on the Ethics of Evangelicalism on my blog, which was partly spurred by a conversation had here over evolution.

I've noticed that /. is inane advocacy central, we constantly pander our views, and irrelevant preferences as some holy objective standard that everyone should hold true, or be doomed to be an imbecile. Vi vs. Emacs; Mac vs. Linux vs. Windows; Libertarianism vs. Everyone Else; Right vs. Left; etc... It seems that on most of the issues discussed on /. there is no room for middle ground, and this is getting annoying.

What motivates someone to be an OS troll? Or to be a libertarian extremist (sure, they have points, but to take any doctrine as a literal truth is...), or one of those people who have to spam anti-war statistics and Noam Chomsky quotes in conversations about Microsoft's business practices. "Sure Steve Balmer throws chairs, but does he have GUANTAMAMO?!" Its like Slashdot is where logical fallacies go to have a nice night out on town.

Your opinion is your opinion, my opinion is mine. Thats it. You screaming that Apple pwns Windows, or visa versa, is like me starting a wholly war over the primacy of the color blue. Idiotic. Its a meaningless preference. Yes, there might be some cognitive dissonance going on, where you just plunked down a couple hundred or thousand dollars on your OS/hardware, and the years of experience becoming a self proclaimed expert, so you must justify this great expenditure of time and money. But really, step back, and ask yourself "who cares?" Windows is flawed, OS X is flawed, and Linux is flawed, and *BSD is dead. Fine. All of them also have some really good points too. In the end it boils down to a wasted fight over a silly and superficial topic. Its a damn string of 0's and 1's, nothing substantial or even that important, you should have something better to be doing (but then again the same can be said of even reading, participating on /.)

The libertarian extremists bother me more, along with the more preachy members on the left-right axis. Accepting a body of rhetoric whole heartedly is a more dangerous problem, than being an OS fundamentalist, since it can have real world effects. Please, people, stop and criticize your views, don't accept them dogmatically. If you can't find a single fault in your ideology, then there is a problem, since no ideology is perfect, or even close to it. Every position is right on some points, and wrong on far more.

I guess I'm writing this for the reason that I can't say this every time I run into the ubiquitous artificially polar dogmas that populate every discussion on /. No one reads these things, so I guess this is more catharsis than anything.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Grammar Troll Catch and Release 12

**** EDIT *****
Game over. This is becoming boring and the trolls have all taken to posting AC to avoid getting flagged. So much for the idea that they were really honest slashdotters working toward the common good.

Today I decided to conduct an experiment. I noticed a user with this sig

"'Effect' is used as a noun. 'Affect' is used as a verb."

Kept getting posts from grammar trolls correcting him. This gave me an idea. So, I have set my sig to this line as bait. Using this bait I can capture grammar trolls and add them to my foes list so that I do not have to worry about seeing their posts. I reply to each troll with the following message "Congratulations. You have been caught in a troll trap. You are the latest in my campaign to capture and tag all the grammar trolls on Slashdot. Please refer to my journal for more information."

In addition I will occasionally change my sig to similar statements or put intentional spelling/grammar mistakes into subjects (in a way that does not hurt the legibility of my writing).

After catching each troll, I will add them to my foes list and mention them in my journal in case anyone else wants to add the trolls to their foes list.

Captured trolls are as follows:


User Journal

Journal Journal: Of Buddhist /.ing 2

I've decided to befriend all of my freaks. This seems to be the Buddhist thing to do. I shall also remove all of my foes.

Actually it isn't about the Buddhist thing, it just seems like a really silly thing to do. I'd reccomend that everyone does the same. Do we really need foes and freaks? Its not like I even have a +/- attatched to any of them, since I might want to see what they have to say.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Journal?

Okay, I've never posted here. I don't even know what I would post here. What type of things do people say within there /journals?

My day was long. I am depressed. I will listen to goth music and cut myself. No. Thats LiveJournal.

My day was long. I played with terminal. I will listen to blues and vote libertarian. That seems more /.-y.

I just got my first pop-under in years, in Safari. Odd. Anyone know where I can find a decent list of pithhelmet rules?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Springtime

Winter wasn't too bad. Not really any snow this year to talk about. Spring has arrived and the bulbs are really popping around town. My wife is looking forward to the tulips opening next week.

User Journal

Journal Journal: About my sig...

Many people mistake my sig to mean that I'm suprised that so many people (half!?!) are of sub-average intellegence. Quite the contrary, there are plenty of people out there who are intellegent.

My problem is that there are so many people who choose not to exercise their intelligence in any useful fashion. No, I'm not talking about proofreading emails or journal entries. I mean just plain old, walking around common sense.

You hear somthing incredible on the radio, or from a friend, or (the worst) read it in an email. Rather than saying, "that sounds pretty unusual, I should check it out for myself," it gets repeated to eveyone you know as if it were handed to you on stone tablets you received at Mount Sinai. Urban legends take the cake (stolen kidneys?). But it applies to current events, too.

Somtimes it's even simpler. When you're driving on a highway and an exit ramp is coming up, most of the time an entrance ramp will immediatly follow. A quick glance will show you if it is a busy interchange. Are you in the right lane? Is there anyone in the next lane over? No? How about switching lanes so you don't play chicken with the cars entering. Stupid AND inconsiderate (they seem to go hand in hand).

It's not about how intellegent people are; that isn't suprising. It's about how many people choose not to use that intellegence; that always amazes me.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sorry for the lack of writing

I've been writing more on my new website/blog at

Since I coded the blog though, I could theoretically double up the production of any article I write on there by auto-posting it here on Slashdot. :-) If anyone is interested of course.

Otherwise, I may post some more stuff here eventually, but not very often. To all the people who enjoy reading my journal entries, feel free to check out my blog above on a regular basis, or follow it's RSS feed at

User Journal

Journal Journal: St Louis is damn hot

It's been better the last couple of days, but 98 degrees F and 50% humidity is pretty rough. I'm told August is even better!
Thank God for cold beer and refrigeration.

The Media

Journal Journal: Advertising! ARGH! 2

geebus saints cripes! I can't stand watching television anymore, just because the blatent lies and horrid things that companies promote is so disturbing and upsetting. (when I watch TV now, I just crank the volume down and work on my computer so I don't have to see commercials.)

It's obvious that the media has finally evolved to where many media scientists (not quite sure of the term to use.) expected it to evolve. Television shows are not written to attract you to their station because they are good, but rather are wrapping around the commercials. Why pay big bucks for quality media when you can get people to act like asses and still make the same money from advertising. But... since this is not a rant on television shows, but rather advertising, I'll move on.

Okay, well, let's start with my favorite one. Do you know what was a great memory from my childhood, going on those long family trips with my sisters, and playing around in the back seat of the car, watching the landscape going by, taking pictures with my $2 macdonalds cheap-ass camera (yeah, I used to eat there, not anymore.) I still have some of those pictures, and I still remember all of the fussing we had, but I also remember how much those trips brought our family together, and how many stories we have now about it. While I acknowledge we had some rough spots, they just added to the experience, and no one really lost out from it.

But now what are companies promoting in cars? Sedate your children in the back seat by showing them more useless bullshit television. Heaven forbid they be children and do typical children things that they do on trips. Heaven forbid that for one instant you take care of your own _damn child_. Nope, instead we are told that it's a good idea to put yet another television into your life to sell and advertise useless crap to you while being wrapped in cheesy little DVD wrappers. (yes, even DVDs have advertisements now.) Everytime I see that commercial, where they show these amazing landscapes and the car driving smoothly through them, and then they flip to the inside and the children have their eyes glued to yet another television it makes me sick, but that's what they want to sell you. Sedate yourself, ignore the world, and heaven forbid if you take care of your own children yourself.

Well, that's not the only commercial that drives me up the wall, but I think it'll be the one I rant about today. maybe tommorow I'll do another one. ;-)

newaiz, have fun, and remember to turn off the TV and computer once and a while. You may be surprised at how much time you have and what else you can do.

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