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Archives for May, 2009

come play games with us!

I normally stay away from online video game play, both because of a lack of time and because of the bad things I’ve heard about strangers’ behavior on Xbox Live. For the last six months, though, I’ve been meeting up every Thursday thursday to play games with people from the Video Games and Human Values […]

update on learning japanese and memorization

It’s been ages since I blogged about learning Japanese, so I figured I’d give y’all an update. I finished the textbook I was using last November, which raised the question of what to do next. I have some manga around and even a couple of collections of essays/stories, but I wasn’t sure I’d be up […]

converted blog to utf-8

I just tried to write a blog post containing some Unicode characters (I was blogging about 日本語 learning), and found that WordPress helpfully converted those characters to question marks. After digging around, I ran into this web page describing the problem (see also this thread): basically, if you created your database in a pre-2.1.3 WP, […]

random links: may 26, 2009

Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce: the power of choices, of market segmentation. Two on folded paper: pictures by Simon Schubert (via @KathySierra) and a TED talk by Robert Lang on the origami that modern math and computers allow us to produce. An abandoned island city. (Via @japanesepod101.) Or, if you want a whole blog about […]

routinization, inscription, and facts

I can’t say I’ve internalized (routinized? inscribed?) Latour’s Laboratory Life yet, but in the mean time I present you with three quotes on routinization, inscription, and facts: To counter these catastrophic possibilities, efforts are made to routinise component actions either through technicians’ training or by automation. Once a string of operations has been routinised, one […]

christopher alexander on our birthright

The third volume of The Nature of Order, while very good, didn’t have the same impact on me as the earlier volumes did. Having said that, this bit from the conclusion is giving me something to think about: And in all this that I observe, when I talk to politicians, to townspeople, to developers, when […]


The fifth level of Flower is the most problematic by far. At the end of the fourth level, you get a pretty strong indication that matters have taken a turn for the worse, with some sort of black energy running along power cables that have glowing red lights; even so, I was completely unprepared for […]