Jun 192008

A few months ago I saw Jonathan Zittrain give a talk about his now-released new book, The Future of the Internet — and How to Stop It. One of the premises of his talk was that the Internet is becoming exceptionally balkanized, with little corporate fiefdoms springing up to intermediate the Internet user’s experience. He drew analogies to the heady days of the mid-1990s, when personal computer networking was just starting to become mainstream. In those days, people would subscribe to services like CompuServe or AOL (now the same entity, but separate back then) and their entire online existences would take place within those company-defined worlds.

I remember a joke I heard back then (which unfortunately I don’t know whom to attribute it to) that went, “The people who think America Online is the Internet are the same people who think Taco Bell is fine Mexican cuisine.” The point of the joke was that there were all these people who interacted online within the narrow spaces provided by their services, thinking they were accessing the entire world, when in reality they were experiencing just a tiny sliver of the online universe.

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 Posted by at 9:43 am
Jun 182008

I had high hopes for last night. Some friends of mine had met at a Giants Singles Night in a previous season, and since I’ve decided that it’s time to think about settling down with someone in whose confidence I can be assured evidentiary privilege, I thought it would be a good idea to go.

I was wrong. It was an enormous waste of time and money. Except for an increasingly exasperated DJ there was no organization, no sense of place or occasion for these scattered and sparse mingling singles — just a limply cordoned area and a coupon for a free drink out on the centerfield plaza. Men were in short supply, as was maturity generally. It immediately became apparent that any man who might actually be my type had demonstrated it by wisely not attending.

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 Posted by at 9:20 am
Jun 082008

I haven’t yet written about the current presidential race, which is both good and bad. I’m always wary of writing posts on common topics, fearing my own addition will amount to little more than, “Me, too.” But at the same time it’s still worth the exercise to distill some sort of insight from all the noise, and it might have been nice to have had a record of my opinions as they developed over time. Particularly how they changed and evolved with respect to the candidacies of Clinton and Obama.
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 Posted by at 12:06 pm
Jun 062008

Kevin Underhill has a great blog, Lowering the Bar, that chronicles in a particularly witty fashion some of the absurdities that abound the legal world. I first thought of him and his blog when I encountered the headline on England’s The Guardian website, “Banger to rights: sausage exonerates woman.”

Because what could be sillier than a sausage?

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 Posted by at 11:17 pm