Sandhill Trek - On The Road
Saturday, October 04, 2003
My all time favorite conference blogger...
Well, this is a hard prize to award. There have been conferences I was at blogged by Doc Searls, and he hasn't done a bad job today. And Denise Howell blogs a mean conference but she's home in major nesting mode right now with a baby due any month and a major remodel in prog. AKMA usually blogs a good conference but he's sitting back a bit and providing us links to others who are annotating the event. I think maybe he's still recuperating from surgery.
Nope. The bloggista who takes my prize today for most notemanlike notesmanship in recording the BloggerCon the way I remember it while I was sitting there is Ms. Betsy Devine.
Everyone who's reading this over breakfast [as if] don't forget that day 2 is free and Dave Winer would really like to see a lot of bloggers here at BloggerCon day 2. That's day 2 of BloggerCon in Cambridge Massachusetts on the Harvard Law School campus somewhere, just off Harvard Square near Harvard Yard take the MBTA Red Line to the Harvard station and follow the extensive signage to BloggerCon. That's at Harvard. In Cambridge. BloggerCon. Don't miss it.
How's I do Dave?
I am a Cowboy in the Boat of Ra
"The "I" of "I am a cowboy" is a descendent of the expansive and incorporative selves of Whitman and Emerson. Reed's cowboy hero, confronted with the double-consciousness of a divided self, adopts a strategy of inflation, an "unrealistic aggrandizement" of the ego. This process is part of the "shifts from communal modes of self-validation to a psychic self-reliance [that] have always been part of magic and religion, and perhaps of action itself," and have characterized classic texts of American literature. The transition from the Blakean notions of artist and community to the model of the gunslinger reverses the transition from sacrifice to performance in the second stanza and reincarnates the artist as sacrificial priest."
I think this is about bloggers. Not enough of the people gathered here have a sense of Ishmael Reed as a cultural reference point.
Chris Lydon is moderating the Cluetrain 2003 panel... he's heavy into Emersonian self-reliance. Nobody is giving a nod to Ishmael Reed, but this is a gathering of privilege and power, heavy in the center with margins not well represented.
"You can blog and have your TV on at the same time." - Chris Lydon
"I've got [a] problem with the self congratulatory tone of this gathering." - Esther Dyson
Looking around and doing a "facial" ethnic survey, I'm aware of only a few non-white people in the room. One with whose work i'm familiar is Oliver Willis, sitting in the back of the room. What's that about?!? Get down front Oliver... you're as well informed and literate as anyone here, and your ethical foundation is among the most solid.
in medias res
Dan Gillmor sitting right in front of me and to the left of Doc Searls comments on this group as being US centric. Glenn Reynolds suggests a translingual newsreader.
Pat Delaney teaches at Galileo in San Francisco and has wonderful experience enabling blogging at his school. I'm tempted to ask how the students at Balboa High are served technology-wise.
But I've used up my shit disturber points today with my question about what happened to John Robb.
Who'd I say hello to at the BloggerCon party? Betsy Devine and Susan Mernit, of course - I came with them! The first famous blogger I saw on arriving was Harvard's Redhead in Crimson, Wendy Koslow. And Chris Locke was there, too briefly. And I met Halley Suitt with her red chinese dress and Mandarin foot binding gear. I felt like I had met her before, but of course I had only talked with her on the phone when I was interviewing her and seen her picture in the blogs of a thousand a-list bloggers. (Are there a thousand A-list bloggers?)
I said hello to Doc Searls, and chatted briefly with AKMA (Si was waiting patiently in the restaurant below because he was a skosh too young to get inside the bar in this college town, original home of the blue laws). I said hi to Dave Winer, Lance Knobel, Glenn Reynolds, and Dan Gilmor. I spoke with Kevin Marks about MPEG4 and video blogging... What charming guy! I met Kaye Trammel and Amy Wohl. I saw Ed Cone and Jeff Jarvis, but didn't so much as introduce myself.
The food was great, the company was way A-list, and I had a chance to buy a copy of "Romanticism and Contemporary Criticism" by Paul DeMan at the Harvard Bookstore next door at a bargain basement price. (This will provide more ammunition for future anti-intellectual rantings, I promise).
Built in the 20s
A funny thing happened on my way to the party. Betsy Devine! Okay. That's not funny. How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb? Okay. That's not funny either. Betsy is a warm and wonderful person. She's an accomplished writer with a whack sense of humor and I was enormously happy to visit her at home before last night's BloggerCon party. On the way out the door I couldn't help but notice the ironworked hinges, the antique closures, a lot of details that made me wonder about her ever-so-elegant well lived-in red brick house in Cambridge. Here in New England, especially in the more rural areas of Vermont and New Hampshire, it is common to place "vintage numbers" on antique houses. Driving along a country road you can see the colonials (with numbers predating 1780) and the Federals (with numbers in low 1800s) and the numbers actually help you learn to distinguish architectural types.
Last night I asked Betsy when her house was built. "Oh, in the twenties," said she. I internalized that and actually thought for a moment that someone had gone to a lot of trouble in the 1920s to "antique" the place. Forehead slapping moment came a while later down the road as we looked in at the magnificent colonial Longfellow house on Brattle just down the road from Betsy's house on the way to Harvard Square - of course she meant the 1820s. I'm not used to thinking with such a deep local historical referent.
But I could get used to it!
Friday, October 03, 2003
RSS and the Blogroll
I've been wondering how the shift to RSS can be formatted to maintain a sense of community. Jenny (four-on-the-floor) Levine has an approach that looks like it works nicely for her. In her right side bar she has a link titled "Blogroll - Sites that I read in my aggregator." When you click on the link, voila! Lots o' linky love.
IRC In the Public Domain?
Here's why your IRC tool needs to support screen scrape... (from Mark Pilgrim's blog, Dive Into Mark)
jcgregorio I like this new schedule, I can squeeze a whole days worth of bitterness and cynicism into one hour
f8dy irc is a good medium for that
f8dy blogging takes too long
f8dy blogging bitterness, i mean
f8dy you post, then people have to visit your site, or download your feed, then they have to find your comment form, or post something on their own blog (and that assumes they have trackback or that you have some sort of referrer auto-discovery)
f8dy i just don’t have that kind of time anymore
jcgregorio yeah, by that time the bitterness is stale
f8dy yeah, i need instant bitterness gratification
jcgregorio IRC: for that fresh sqeezed bitterness
f8dy can i blog that
If You're a Democrat or Better....
You'll probably enjoy some of these bumper stickers. Presented here on the off-chance that some other liberal do-gooder hasn't already spammed you with them:
George W. Bush. The buck stops Over There
George W. Bush:
Leadership without a doubt
George W. Bush: It takes a village idiot
George W. Bush: A brainwave away from the presidency
Assimilate. Resistance is Futile.
Bush/Cheney: Asses of Evil
Bush/Cheney '04: We're Gooder!
Bush/Cheney '04: T h i s t i m e, e l e c t u s !
The last vote you'll ever have to cast.
The economy's stupid!
Thanks for not paying attention.
Putting the "con" in conservatism
Over a billion Whoppers served.
Bush/Cheney '04: Or else.
Bush/Cheney '04: Making the world a better place, one country at a time.
Vote for Bush & You Get Dick!
L e s s C I A -- M o r e C Y A
Bush/Cheney '04: Leave no billionaire behind
Bush/Cheney '04: In your heart, you know they're technically correct.
Bush/Cheney '04: Get used to it!
Don't Change Whores in Midstream
Bush/Cheney '04: Deja-voodoo all over again!
Bush/Cheney '04:Compassionate Colonialism
Bush/Cheney '04: Because the truth just isn't good enough.
Don't think. Vote Bush!
Bush/Cheney '04: Apocalypse Now!
BU_ _SH_ _!
Peace & Prosperity Suck: Big-Time
Vote Bush in '04:
"I Has Incumbentory Advantitude"
God Save the King!
Vote Bush in '04:
"Because I'm the President, that's why!"
Vote Bush in '04:
"Because every vote counts -- for me!"
Vote Bush in '04: It's a no-brainer!
Vote Bush in '04:
Because dictatorship is easier
Who would Jesus bomb?
Made it to Massachusetts...
Last night a Quaker lady said to me, "I'm not sure I approve of the way you seem to revere this opportunity." While I know few whose opinion carries more weight with me than Kathy, and while I know exactly what she was pointing at in me that could use a little moderation, I am still just tickled pink to be here in Cambridge at the Hotel@MIT, writing a brief blog post, and winding down from the day's travel.
There's a BloggerCon party tonight and I'll be heading over there with a lovely lady on each arm. Susan Mernit, Betsy Devine and I have promised ourselves a walk around town before the fete.
The trip was not without its minor hassles. The security queue in Madison was huge. In Detroit I found a paperback Jane Smiley novel to take my mind off it. Arriving in Boston I didn't recognize my bag because it had this odd little blue tag on it... Couldn't be mine, I didn't put it there. Turns out it's some kind of Bush family thing to control domestic retail drug smuggling or something. I'm convinced that the Colombian cartel and the Southern Bushies are in this together and the whole thing with the Arabs is a bad rap. Can you imagine a casual Arlo Guthrie singing "Flying into Los Angeleez. Bringing in a couple of keys... Don't check my bags if you please, Mr. Customs man." They'd be checking that boys bags coming and going. So, as I said, this is an interruption in the retail dope smuggling trade but I doubt it's dented the bad guys' ability to do bad stuff when they put their minds to it.
Speaking of a waist being a terrible thing to mind, I came up with a beauty product that's a sure fire seller... One nice thing about travel is all the nice looking people one gets to try not embarrass with frank glances. Anyway, the product is: abdomen make-up, belly blush. All the young ladies showing off their midriffs can certainly be convinced to be self conscious about this fashion necessity and then the self consciousness can be spackled over with belle-belly-beauty blusher... The name needs a little work.
Monday, September 29, 2003
Sunday, September 28, 2003
Ramping up to BloggerCon
Sandhill Trek will go dark next Friday and come back online on Tuesday October, 7. I'll be at the BloggerCon meetings in Massachusetts, posting to this temp blog that I more or less maintain when I'm on the road.
Blogger Pro has been through some changes since I was last in this space, so I guess I'd better look around and figure out how to blog all over again.