Vacuum weblog 0003 E. Vielmetti prev next

books music travel work food people networks writing epinions

Nature abhors a vacuum. So does my cat.

Welcome to Vacuum

Join the mailing list.

In the latest issue: "When you get distracted, as you eventually will be, be distracted with a purpose. If you are scatterbrained at times by nature take glory in it and make the odd connections that no one else will. No one else thinks the way you do and no one else has your unique combinations of skills and experiences."

In an earlier issue: creative problem solving, networking vs. cronyism, how weird Silicon Valley is. More issues are also online. Join the mailing list to get new issues as they come out.

On top of the book pile

  • Networks and Organizations edited by Nohria and Eccles. thanks Valdis

Library books

Waiting to come in at the Ann Arbor District Library:

What we're listening to

Deb is reading for Assistive Media, a non-profit that does an audio magazine delivered with RealAudio every month via the net. They recently won the Real Networks Streamers award for best use of streaming media by a non-profit. Congratulations!

What we're looking for

A local (Ann Arbor) printer that will do good color postcards in small runs for not a lot of money. Or black and white, or single color.

What we found

Writing paper made from recycled geo survey maps is called "Geolopes" or "Topolopes", available from a number of suppliers.

Bound acid-free archival quality lab notebooks, quadrille printed, $23 each q1 plus postage, less in quantity. Eureka Lab Book, Scott Hapgood (sales manager), +1 413 534 5671.

A national postcard printer, Modern Postcard, with good rates for runs of 500.

Dynamic revision

16 October 1999

New Blogger based weblog coming soon, goodbye to editing HTML by hand.

23 September 1999

[523.43 / QB641 Mars] Bummer, Mars orbiter lost.

[001 General Works] Jerry Michalski's Java-based Jerry's Brain is now on line. If you haven't seen this, stop the next time you have an hour to explore and take a look.
thanks Jeff and Lhasa Moon for dinner

[303.483 / QA76.9 Computers and Civilization] Steve Talbott's NETFUTURE: Technology and Human Responsibility is a well reasoned newsletter by the author of The Future Does Not Compute.
thanks google

[302.2 / P90 Communications] Albert Borgmann's new book Holding on to Reality: the nature of information at the turn of the millenium looks like a good one. An excerpt:

Processing our words with computers and drawing on vast reservoirs of information have rendered our prose prolix and shapeless. But information technology has dissolved more than the contours of our writing. It has infected our sense of identity with doubt and despair. Are my tangible traits just so much noise that distorts the true message of my self? Is my ethereal Internet self the genuine me, freed from the accidents of my place, class, and looks? Or is it a flimsy and truant version of what, for better or worse, I am actually and substantially?
Personally, I think this sense of wonderment about whether the Internet "I" is different from the real world "I" wears off after a while. "I" will try to track down the whole book though.
thanks to the shelf list at the library of congress. time to start giving LOC call no's as well as dewey numbers for my searches.

22 September 1999

[781.1 Folk music] Alan Lomax's collection Southern Journey: Ballads and Breakdowns (Vol 2) is in the CD player. Notes on the series are at the Rounder site.
thanks Ann Arbor District Library, the Ark.

[523.43 Mars] The Mars Climate Orbiter is due to be in Mars orbit in less than 14 hours. Cool pictures coming. thanks con-serv (Later 23 September: bummer, orbiter lost.)

[891.5 Sufi poetry] From Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi.

Workers rush toward some hint of emptiness, 
which they then start to fill. 
Their hope, though, is for emptiness, 
so don't think you must avoid it. 
It contains what you need!
Dear soul, if you were not friends 
with the vast nothing inside, 
why would you always be casting your net 
into it, and waiting so patiently? 
thanks jeffy, who has seen emptiness in miles of soybean fields, and thrace.

[658.8 Marketing] New York Times today has a big section on e-commerce.

21 September 1999

[025.4 Dewey Decimal Classification] OK one more then I promise to go make dinner. Organize your filesystem using the Dewey Decimal System. thanks

[638.1 Bees] Use honey as a dressing to heal wounds? It's said to have antibiotic properties. See the CBC coverage. thanks Health 'n Hacks, a new health related blog.

[551.2 Earthquakes] Earthquake in Taiwan. I have a friend in Taipei, hope she's OK. thanks my yahoo

Jakob Nielsen on Reputation Managers in a recent Alert Box. Open quesiton: how do weblogs serve similar roles? Aren't we just talking about the traditional opinionated editorial role of selecting carefully from among choices and presenting those first or more vigorously, now automated with algorithms we can't see or perhaps even describe? thanks googlescout, which somehow decided that I'd find this interesting (boggle)

Rolf Jensen in the Futurist Magazine on The Dream Society and the home of the year 2020: "In the year 2020, wealth will be 60% higher than today. Goods produced with labor-intensive methods will still be expensive, but products produced with little labor will be cheap or even free. Vacuum cleaners will be cheap but servants so expensive that only billionaires will be able to afford them." thanks rebecca's pocket

Central European churches and cathedrals are often set up as giant pinhole cameras to catch local solar noon. Here then are pictures of the recent solar eclipse as seen from the projected images on the floors of those buildings. thanks rebecca's pocket, who credits tbtf. "Many thanks to TBTF Irregular Mary Ellen Zurko for the pointer. "

A Jane Jacobs page entitled Healthy Cities, Urban Theory, and Design from students at U Virginia. thanks memepool

Looking for a "surf menu" to help you find weblogs? See this one which is a happy collaborative effort. thanks Aaron

In First Monday, Susan Lukesh "explores the preservation of electronic correspondence - a small subset of the large and varied area of the preservation of electronic documents. Discussions of preservation in the literature today and briefly reviewed below focus on electronic publications, Web sites and even listservs - all more easily seen as 'public' areas and, we hope, someday susceptible to broad preservation efforts. " So print out your weblogs on paper and put copies in your notebooks so that they won't be totally gone. thanks Aaron

20 September 1999

Interview with Will Shortz of the New York Times crossword puzzle in the Feb. 99 Brill's Content. When people see "empty boxes," Shortz says, "there is a natural inclination to want to fill them in. Nature abhors a vacuum."

19 September 1999

The new version of the Library of Congress catalog replaces the old LOCIS telnet interface. thanks AcqWeblog.

Chris Locke and Net Perceptions have launched, a web site to discuss tools that make it appear as though a real human being is attending to your web site needs (as opposed to some clever script grinding away at a database). Not that we're opposed to clever scripts, but let's be careful what we're promising here. thanks chris, good luck.

Kevin Werbach from Release 1.0 has a weblog prototype up and running using Frontier tools. (But to get the real scoop you still need to subscribe to the monthly newsletter.) thanks glee

13 September 1999

Edward de Bono's Lateral Thinking is on my bookshelf again. There's a page at the Theory Into Practice database at GWU, and an authorized official de Bonoa web site. thanks Alamut.

Daniel Pink interviews Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute, in Fast Company magazine.

12 September 1999

I dusted off my copy of The Brain and had a good time going through the 3000+ link database that I put together last summer. Sorry it's not on line, there's soo much personal stuff in it that would be hard to tease apart. There is a smaller Ed's Brain published with links from Vacuum, but that's not been rigorously kept up. (Hm, but now that I have the weblogging discipline it might be easier to go back and retrofit things in.)

A report from Mali in French on Ali Farka Toure's new album Niafunke from Webdo. To look forward to: a forthcoming album from Affel Bocum.

9 September 1999

The dreaded 9/9/99 date. Haven't heard of a single problem yet.

Dan Pink runs Free Agent Nation, "the information hub for people working on their own". is gearing up to let you print out US postage from your own printer. thanks free agent nation

8 September 1999

Danny Hillis's Clock of the Long Now has all manner of time and mind expanding notions of what it means to have a long attention span. It would definitely make a good science fiction story even if it were not true. thanks ken

6 September 1999

I'm laboring, it must be labor day.

Steve Coffman on "Building the Earth's Largest Library" - ideas for building a massive interlibrary loan system a la Amazon but for borrowing books. Definitely a service I would use if the time ever comes. thanks AcqWeb

5 September 1999

It's fall. Michigan football today, M beat Notre Dame. I was at the Hands On Museum with a friend and his five year old. (Priorities.)

A book list: flow and synchronicity books and web sites. I was browsing for a while, got in a groove, thirty minutes later I landed on this one. It's the research the authors of The Power of Flow did to write their book on 'practical ways to transform your life with meaningful coincidence'. (Alas the book itself is not at the Ann Arbor public library so I'll have to hunt it down.)
Found it at book closeouts. Deep discount remainders. Do they kill you on shipping? Nope, this one will only cost $2 to ship. Slow site at what should be off hours. thanks google

Jerry Michalski, of "Jerry's Brain" (an amazing collection of wisdom about the net and the interconnections he sees in it), pointed me at Pyra's Blogger. I'm not using it (yet?) for Vacuum, but I have put together some "private" blogs with it, and it's nicely handy for dispensing with the burden of keeping track of HTML to write blogs with. More generally it looks useful as a project management tool.

4 September 1999

Roots World has an accordion juke box featuring a cut from Maria Kalaniemi. thanks Lindsay

McSweeney's has a story (excerpts from the forthcoming print edition) by a psychotherapist who's been corresponding with the Unabomber. thanks CardHouse

Spellweb, harnessing the power of the net to figure out just how popular variant spellings of words are. thanks brig and NQPAOFU

3 September 1999

Issue 30 of Vacuum: an annual review, serendipity (thanks Lindsay), and what is in your future (thanks Judi).

Will Kreth writes a column on what's happening in Austin, TX for The Cyber Scene. thanks Will

See Peacock Maps for a full color map of the Internet.

From the FAQ:
Q. Cool image. But what am I looking at?

A. It's a graph of how the Internet might look if you were a packet of data like an e-mail message. The lines show the paths you might take, network-by-network, if you started at a computer in the U.S. and visited almost every known network around the world. The lines branch at each network switch or router along the way. thanks dead canaries

GriefNet is an Internet community approach to on line grief support, providing support to people working through loss and grief issues of all kinds. thanks Cendra

2 September 1999

Mappa Mundi magazine has a nice piece by Marty Lucas on his experiences at a Edward Tufte seminar in Chicago. thanks brig for the ptr to the magazine

Will auctions at eBay ever be regulated? The latest item to go on sale is a human kidney.

31 August 1999

While I wasn't watching, GoGaGa Radio got assimilated somehow into the MacroRadio-Dot-Net Internet Radio Network. I'm grooving a little bit better since my main net radio listening machine got upgraded, more processor and more memory seems to help. On right this instant: Music For Cubicles.

New Ali Farka Toure: Niafunke. Time to track down a copy.

New Media Magazine article on the Six Degrees twist on e-commerce: a "service finder" directory that lets you look for house painters or dog walkers through recommendations by friends or friends-of-friends etc. (thanks brig for pointing out the site.)

29 August 1999

I've started to use the new web log tool Blogger from the good people at Pyra to keep a book log. This is separate from the books page which has tidy links of books I like; the book log may include stinkers or stuff that hasn't been looked at yet. Why Blogger? Tools are good.

Earlier log entries in the previous log.

15 May 1999 and earlier

See weblog 0001 for earlier entries.

Notes afterwards