microsoft reconsidered

I've been thinking about Microsoft recently, and thinking about how the trajectory of Microsoft fits in with the trajectory of information technology in general. A lot of people in the free software world are very anti-Microsoft, given some of the agregious anti-competitive activites they use, and general crappiness of their software. And while I agree that MS is no great gift to computing, it's always seemed to me that they're johnny-come-lately to the non-free software world (comparatively speaking AT&T and the telecom industry has done way more to limit and obstruct software and digital freedom than microsoft, I'm thinking.…

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the day wikipedia obsoleted itself

Remember how, in 2006 and 2007 there was a lot of debate over wikipedia's accuracy and process, and people though about creating alternate encyclopedias that relied on "expert contributors?" And then, somehow, that just died off and we never hear about those kinds of projects and of concerns anymore? The biggest news regarding wikipedia recently has been with regards to a somewhat subtle change in their licensing terms, which is really sort of minor and not even particularly interesting even for people who are into licensing stuff.…

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Five By Five

Five Things I Could do to Make My Cats Happier 1. Have fewer hobbies that involve non-feline-objects on my lap (knitting, reading, writing/laptop). Be at home Sleep More. Grow More Appendages. Get a roommate/spouse. Five Books I Would like to Read in the Next Month Iain M. Banks' Consider Phebas The New Space Opera 2 Anthology Tad Williams' Otherland Giles Deleuze's Difference and Repetition (ha!) Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Police Man's Union Five Elements of My Daily Ritual That I'd like to Improve Wake Time Lunch Preparation (the night before?…

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Praxis and Transformational Economics

Here's another one for the "economics" collection of posts that I've been working on for a while. Way back when, I started this series by thinking about Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy and by the model of economic development presented in the final two books. In short economic activity is organized around ~150 person co-operatives that people "buy into," and then work for as long as the co-op exists or until they sell their spot so that they can work on a different project/co-op.…

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open source competition

I've been flitting about the relm of political economics, technological infrastrucutre, and cyborg-related topics for a number of weeks, maybe months, and I haven't written very much about open source. This post is hopefully a bit of a return to this kind of topic, mostly because I've been staring at a blog post for weeks, and I finally have something that's nearly cogent to about an article that kind of pissed me off.…

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fact files

I wrote a while back about wanting to develop a "fact file" or some way of creating a database of notes and clippings that wouldn't (need to be) project specific research, but that I would none the less like the keep track of. Part of the notion was that I felt like I was gathering lots of information and reading lots of stuff, that I didn't really have any good way of retaining this information beyond whatever I could recall based on what I just happen to remember.…

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writing like a programmer

I'm unique among my coworkers, in that I'm not a developer/programmer. This is a good thing, after all, because I'm the writer and not a programmer; but as a "workflow" guy and a student of software development one thing that I've been particularly struck by since taking this job is how well I've been able to collaborate with coworkers who come from a completely different background/field and furthermore how helpful this as been to my work and development as a writer.…

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