Tag Archives: controversies

On the Jena 6

Shelly Powers: It’s difficult to find the facts to the story of the Jena 6, because there’s no person in the world better at burying unpleasantness than a Southerner.

What We’re Up Against

Carl Zimmer, describing a documentary on the latest round of science wars: They’ve [biologists] got the science right, but they can be inarticulate and high-handed, torpedoeing their own cause. Their efforts at communication to the public are stiff and a bit arrogant. Meanwhile, intelligent design advocates have hired the PR firm that brought us Swift [...]

Bulimia killed Terri Schiavo

Several folks recommended a Live Journal entry commenting on a clueless New Yorker article about Terri Schiavo’s bulimia. Sorry to be joining a weblog chorus, but folks, this is what killed Ms. Schiavo. When she tried to lose weight by throwing up what she had for dinner, she set herself up for the heart attack [...]

Blame India Watch

Cheryl Morgan found Blame India Watch, a blog tracking anti-India/outsourcing stories. The site’s slogan is: “Lost your IT job? Blame HR and your management. Don’t blame India, or Indians.” I’d add, blame the Internet, wage-differentials, and technology.

Well this is embarrassing

“Wisconsin Assembly Pulls All-Nighter, Passes Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment.” It still has to be voted on by the State Senate and approved in a statewide vote, so there’s some hope that it’ll be stopped. Note: I lived in Wisconsin from 1987 to 1996.

Mars is Hawaii: without the good surfing, the plants, or the people

[ via Oliver Morton ] Planetologist Jeffrey Bell doesn’t think much of Mars. If the planetary science crowd gets excited over some feature, Bell harumphs from behind his desk at the University of Hawaii, and points to an analog he says he can find by walking around the campus or by asking a passing vulcanologist. [...]

The Lurkers Support Gibson in Email

Well Gregg Easterbrook didn’t like The Passion of The Christ either. Heck, he even points out that the Gospels don’t support the torture fest Mel Gibson put his Jesus through. However, the movie’s opened big; $26 million in the first day. So how much of the audience are people curious about the controversy, and how [...]

On The Passion of the Christ

My screenwriting teacher saw The Passion of the Christ today. He said there’s a strong religious anti-Semitic theme, as the Pharisees are the black hats. But he was impressed with Gibson’s filmmaking skills. He liked the portrayal of Pilate. Gibson emphasizes the Hobson’s Choice he had of either executing Jesus and playing into the hands [...]

It’s Just XML. You people are so superstitious.

Jon expresses my frustration at people angry at Google for switching from RSS to Atom: The fact that we are now going to have a war over formats that are separated by a trivial XML transformation is almost as depressing as February in New England. Going back to the classic story of George Leroy Tirebiter: [...]

WMD threat explained as a snack food

Iraq: dangerously cheesy.

Limbaugh v. Postrel

A fast way to get all the Right Wing members of Blogistan to adopt well-formed and valid XML: On the Atom list, the well-formed feeds question is back, should aggregators attempt to parse broken feeds, or throw an error and refuse to process them? There’s the Ultra Liberal Feed Parser that will munge most any [...]


[ via Electrolite ] Another Googlism. That looks like a bug in the vote counting software. And yes, I’m still willing to think it’s a bug, not a conspiracy, because I write software, and make boneheaded mistakes like everyone else.

Just Call it Atom

Morbus says: I would like to propose, nay, admonish, that the name of the format and spec [ for the currently nameless but shiny new syndication/aggreagation format ] should be Atom, that the current naming vote should be killed, and we should move on to grander things without the auspices of “what’s it called?!” over [...]

Why Produce a Valid Feed?

Continuing the discussion on feed validity, and punishing users for the mistakes of producers, Brent Simmons writes: The single most common cause of non-well-formedness that I see is unencoded ampersands. They appear in a feed as & rather than as &amp;. This is most often in <title>s. In my experience this most often afflicts larger [...]

Postel’s Law doesn’t mean you’re entitled to be messy

Aaron Swartz observes that enforcing well-formed and valid RSS won’t work. It’s a prisoners’ dilemma. Anyone making tools which consume RSS have an incentive to defect, and write something forgiving. Of course, you know where that leads: an aggregator war. You don’t want war. You don’t want to produce a broken feed. It’s not that [...]