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2003/02/28

Yesterday there was an excellent article in the Chroncle summarizing technical emails regarding catastrophic space shuttle failure, "Eerie e-mail warnings before shuttle disaster." compiled from AP, New York Times and the Washington Post. No luck tracking down the summary, but they did refer to www.nasa.gov, and easily found this, sad to say, nearly indecipherable PDF scenarios such as LOCV, loss of crew and vehicle because of overheating in left wheel well from super-heated plasma penetrating the wing.
posted by TT 4:33 PM

2003/02/26

From malorama, a random picture finder. Best to leave at this.
posted by TT 4:56 PM

In a thread on Joi Ito, the discussion was very lively over the question, why direct democracy? Toph has always assumed it would be a good thing for a democracy to be about government by the people, given whatever failings of the day of powerful politicians. It just seems so obvious, but that's not good for argument. Would it be a good idea to amend the US Constitution? Well, not without great care, but when things are veering toward empire, it is tempting to stick a few thorns in the side of the grand republic. Wouldn't it be nice if people were capable of raising questions that members of Congress fail to ask, or if people were able to revoke measures passed by apparently unrepresentative representatives and, in some cases, signed by an unelected executive? This, the initiative and referendum process, exists in many states. In California, for example, it brought a still controversial form of property tax relief, Prop. 13, that no one in government would have brought, but to be fair, most of the propositions on the ballot are placed by the legislature. Why does the initiative and referendum not exist on the federal level? Entrenched interest? If Switzerland and most other democracies of the world have it, why not the US? Technology is not the issue here, though improved internet media allows for more effective discussion and comment than before. This is key.
posted by TT 4:25 PM

Pallalink has many reflective landscapes on recent pages, and a recent link to images collected by Google. Recent posts inspired Toph to do a mirror conversion on PhoToph, Stop 8.
posted by TT 2:13 PM

2003/02/24

Joi Ito has a thread on power law hit rate and lust for power that might be a little hard to follow, but the article that he mentions, which gets everyone that is powerful so worked up, is Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality.
posted by TT 4:36 PM

Here is a commentary on how some blogs get all the traffic according to power law distribution. Reed's Law is dredged up from history, and is now directly applicable to blogs. It says in group-forming netwrks (GFNs), the value of the network increases by previously defined aN (number of nodes receiving broadcast content such as news or on-line newspaper classifieds), + bN2 (number of nodes capable of interconnecting peer to peer such as email) + c2N (join, create groups such as eBay, chat rooms). Instead of the all-important A-list getting all the attention, and forget the rest, the generally unlinked, uncommented blogs add tremendously to network value based on any readership beyond the author, who alone counts as +1 (and who usually can get someone to read at least one post, which counts as more), and keeps the curve in positive territory for the life of the blog or cache. The point this article makes is that any blog is important to the total value of the network. It may be true that big blogs get big traffic, but from the point of view of any two bloggers, what's of surpassing value is the tendency of the curve to look like 2M+N = 2M * 2N.

Example. Experience of Toph, a user in vast photoSIG community is at first, not many points, even negative points, and not many people looking at posted pictures, good or bad. Recently, a hundred points for just one picture, good or not so good, due to large network of other photographers visiting Toph's portfolio as a result of Toph visiting all of their sites and awarding points and writing comments. This experience is often much surpassed by others in the informal group visible to Toph. Something beyond hit count is at work here.
posted by TT 3:51 PM

Croquet-->Reed-->SATN-->reinvented-->Common Errors in English
posted by TT 2:57 PM

2003/02/23

Well, much frustration as continue croquet. See wiki as before.

The Photobloggies winners are out.
posted by TT 6:51 PM

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