Free Play

Margaret and I will be offline for twenty-four hours or so, taking a day away from our reunited family to celebrate New Year’s and to catch Paula Poundstone (annoying background music alert) at the Paramount in Aurora. If you’re coming by to leave a comment, please be patient, ’cause I won’ get to them till…

On Certainty of Others’ Folly

Yesterday morning, Margaret pointed me to the comments in David Weinberger’s post about Daniel Dennett. I had read the post and skipped the comments, because I heard David to be making a point to which I generally assented, with reference to a gesture — the “all religious people are deluded” gesture — about which I…

Call The Doc

We’e wondering if Doc Searls makes house calls. We know several recording engineers, but no one who knows more about the transmission end of the radio business; every month or so, Doc offers a seminar in some aspect of FM radio: band distribution, the effect of ground conditions, how to make your iPod transmitter work…

Moving Type

I’ve done some para-typographic work in my day, and have remained over-attentive to matters of type and page design. Thus I choke up with type-design exhilaration at the Typographi.ca Year’s Best Type column. Some of these faces impress the daylights out of me. It would be great, for instance, if Seabury could change from Trajan…

Holiday Wishes

Today’s the day we celebrate Christmas at our house (it’s within the twelve days of the season, so this is kosher, although I hope no one gives anybody three French hens). Nate had some singing jobs lined up and couldn’t get away; Jennifer still won’t arrive till Saturday, but there’s only so long you can…

Back In Olden Times

We opted out of much of the holiday spending extravaganza, partly for reasons of conscience, partly for economic reasons, and partly because we’re just not organized enough to plan and list and shop and ship in time for plausibly festive arrival. I hadn’t been inside a Major Retail Establishment except the Apple Store, and the…

A Vanishing Difference

I was talking about authenticity* with a friend after church last week, and she advanced the premise that careful, deliberate writing showed a writer’s minimal courtesy to her or his reader. Since I have a reputation to uphold, I suggested that it’s more complicated than that — but I sympathized with her concern that too…

Seasonal Remembrances

It’s been a tough year for natural disasters. A year ago, hundreds of thousands of people died in the devastating tsunami in South Asia. An October earthquake killed tens of thousands and destroyed the homes of millions more in Kashmir. Hurricane Stan killed thousands in Central America, and in the U.S. Hurricane Katrina killed thousands,…

Political Musings

If the media incline to the left, why has all the coverage of the transit strike in New York (all that I’ve heard, in other words “mostly NPR and online news sources”) stressed the hardship this strike imposes on commuters, tourists, hoteliers, and merchants, and the unusually-comprehensive pension and health care package that the laborers…

Grace and Theft

Kevin has a neat post about the difference between digital reproduction and physical theft. The overdeveloped world can persistently legislate technological and judicial sanctions to enforce the illusion that the conditions of [re]production have not changed — but since letting digital media function as they do best costs less in hardware, software, and just plain…