· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · March
· · · · 31 (4 entries)

FSS: Hawai’i · Fri­day Slide Scan #27, like #26, has two twenty-year-old pho­tos from Hawai’i, the Big Is­land; but un­like last week, these are or­di­nary pretty-plant pic­tures. Like last week, I picked them be­cause we’re go­ing to be spend­ing the a week there, leav­ing to­mor­row, April 1. If any­one I know is go­ing to be there too, let’s get to­geth­er for a Mai Tai ...
JDiskReport · Hey, this is cool; it’s a lit­tle doo-hickey that draws pie charts and graphs of what you’ve got on your disk. I won­der on what set of hard­ware/OS com­bi­na­tions the web-start Just Works like it did on my Mac? The pie-charts of my life were so cool I had to pub­lish a few. And I turned up a re­al prob­lem, too ...
Scoble’s Bad Month · I don’t al­ways agree with Scoble, but the man doesn’t have an ounce of mal­ice, near as I can tel­l. I think that, by and large, he tow­ers over the peo­ple who’ve been giv­ing him a hard time, and I’d ad­vise him to tune ’em out un­less they’re re­al­ly adding val­ue. To ad­dress a cou­ple just in the last week: Note to Vo­gel­s@A­ma­zon: There’s a word for com­pa­nies that base all de­ci­sions on ruth­less quan­ti­ta­tive ROI met­ric­s: Bankrup­t. I’m an en­gi­neer and val­ue num­ber­s, but in busi­ness, some­times anec­do­tal ev­i­dence is all you’ve got, and the anec­do­tal ev­i­dence that blog­ging pro­duces good re­sults for some com­pa­nies is pret­ty vo­lu­mi­nous. You don’t want to hear it, that’s your priv­i­lege; me, I tend to want to con­sid­er all the in­put­s. Note to Nick Car­r: This per­ils of blog­ging piece is re­al­ly poor­ly con­sid­ered. Carr in­tro­duces his lengthy list of Things That Can Go Wrong with “Last year, the San Fran­cis­co law firm Howard Rice pro­vid­ed a use­ful overview of the le­gal risks in­her­ent in em­ploy­ee blogging”. As a thought ex­per­i­men­t, re­place the word “blogging” with “email” or “conference presentation” or “teleconference” or “sales presentation”. Or “barroom conversation” for that mat­ter. Quick, quick, you wan­na be safe, you bet­ter lock all your em­ploy­ees up and nev­er let ’em say any­thing to any­one! The point is that qual­i­ta­tive­ly, blog­ging re­quires no new poli­cies and in­tro­duces no new risks. If your em­ploy­ees are go­ing to say stupid things in pub­lic, you’ve got a man­age­ment prob­lem and a pol­i­cy prob­lem, not a blog­ging prob­lem. Note to ex­ec­u­tives who are fright­ened of hear­ing what their em­ploy­ees have to say, or find­ing out what the world re­al­ly thinks about their com­pa­ny: Carr has done you a re­al fa­vor. Just go and ask your at­tor­neys if they think blog­ging is safe, and slip ’em a copy of that list, and you can rest easy know­ing you’ll nev­er hear any­thing un­com­fort­able.
Sebastian and Fred · That would be J. Se­bas­tian Bach and Fred­er­ick II Ho­hen­zollern (AKA the Great) of Prus­si­a, who fa­mous­ly met in 1747. The King pro­posed a Roy­al Theme and asked Bach to ex­tem­po­rize fu­gal­ly; Bach did so on the spot, some­what, and a few weeks lat­er sent Fred­er­ick The Mu­si­cal Of­fer­ing. This episode ap­peared at the be­gin­ning of Gödel, Escher, Bach, and now finds it­self at the cen­ter of an­oth­er book: Even­ing in the Palace of Rea­son by James R. Gaines, of whom I’d nev­er pre­vi­ous­ly heard. It’s pret­ty good; read on for some re­marks on the book, Fred­er­ick, Se­bas­tian, and the Of­fer­ing ...
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