Archive for the ‘mastur/metablogging’ Category

Did I mention that Arms Control Wonk is still great? The guided nuclear bomb. Bureaucratic consequences of A.Q. Khan. The clean-up of Semipalatinsk, including an actual loose nuke, which was disposed of back in 1995 without anyone getting hurt.


At Fistful of Euros: so what did Nicolas Sarkozy know about DSK, why did he only leak the bits he leaked, and what are the voters going to do about it?, how I was wrong about the euro, NATO for dictators, floating without a strategy, although if we had one it would probably be wrong.

At Stable & Principled: my entire post on Dr. Tim Morgan, how we were right as far back as July about the coalition economic strategy, the Kübler-Ross model of grieving, and the coming Sad Donkey Economics movement has vanished into thin air. This is a disturbingly common event with S&P, although nowhere near enough to account for its general lack of content. You know you want it, though. Update: Up!


Via yet another really excellent Arms Control Wonk piece on Indian and Pakistani nukes, it turns out that A.Q. Khan, formerly of Khan Research Laboratories, the man who sold the world the unofficial open-source community version of the Urenco enrichment cascade, and now of luxurious house arrest right up until the Navy SEALs climb over his back garden wall, has a blog.

It’s in Urdu, but I know a man who can deal with that and who has blogging time on his hands.

Does anyone know if I can trust this stack exchange answer (referring to wordpress bug 14818) that wordpress won’t mangle all the Google Maps, video, ManyEyes visualisations and the like from the old site during a programmatic import? I’m now down to two blockers before moving TYR Classic.

Back to 2006

Bérube sez:

So these days, when I talk to my scientist friends, I offer them a deal. I say: I’ll admit that you were right about the potential for science studies to go horribly wrong and give fuel to deeply ignorant and/or reactionary people. And in return, you’ll admit that I was right about the culture wars, and right that the natural sciences would not be held harmless from the right-wing noise machine.

Ah..I said back in February 2007:

the modern global Right has operationalised postmodernism as a system of power

The Googles tells me I actually said it as far back as April, 2006 in a thread at Chris Lightfoot’s.


In the last month or so I’ve begun adding blogs to my RSS queue again. I’m surprised by this; I didn’t expect to find that the form still had so much energy. Perhaps this isn’t so optimistic after all. Meanwhile, watch this space.

Swinging off my Stable & Principled contributions, this is ridiculously great. Who the hell is this menacing new competitor at the intersection of naval shipbuilding, MoD criticism, and obsession with mobile computing devices?

Oddly enough, I keep adding new blogs to my RSS queue at the moment. The scene burns on. On which theme, time for some music. The Beat vs. Smokey Robinson, so that’s not only a cover but also 2-Tone vs. northern soul.

Here’s a question. Having seen the Google’s new “Priority Inbox” feature and also John Graham-Cumming’s POPFile application, both ways of using a Bayesian classifier to guess which e-mail you will want to read first and to file it automatically, I was wondering if anyone had applied the same idea to RSS. I’ve recently started to add new blogs to my reader again, and it struck me that reading them took up enough time that it might be useful to prioritise and classify them automatically. It might even be yet another project I probably won’t find the time to finish.

Searching the web, though, I was surprised to find quite a lot of similar projects that didn’t seem to have many users or for that matter to be in active development. It actually looks like this is one of the problems that almost all developers at one point or another feel the need to tackle. But nobody’s made it stick. Somebody even had their RSS feeds delivered by e-mail and used POPFile itself, but that’s silly. I can think of a couple of reasons – one is that the use case might be fundamentally flawed. If it wasn’t for surprises, the blogosphere would be pretty dull – otherwise you might just read Martin Kettle’s column or watch TV. If you could have a feed of blog posts that you were guaranteed to read, would you want to read them? Of course, you could introduce some sort of random element, perhaps promoting some proportion of the posts least likely to be read, but that would defeat the point.

One feature which I didn’t see anywhere was a social element. I could certainly see a use for an application that classified RSS items into groups, and let multiple users contribute to the same group. I mark some of the items as “Telco 2.0”, and therefore train the classifier to filter things relevant to the company into that bucket. But other T2 people have opinions about what is relevant to the company, and they might benefit from mine as well. Obviously, if we use the same classification profile we’ll get the same results – interestingly, we’ll get the same results in some sense even if we’re not all reading the same blogs. So I’d like to be able to have shared group filters.

Does anyone know of an application that does this, preferably without letting some random website see everything I read? Points for integration with other RSS readers, notably either Akregator or Firefox/Sage. I’d be OK with a web page served on localhost (or on a server I control). At the moment, this is in the lead, but it strikes me as being rather more heavyweight than is ideal.


I was about to comment on this Jamie Kenny post about the blackly comic way that 10 years after the 11th September attack, the US or at least its media-political complex is in thrall to some book-burning nut in Florida who got thrown out of Germany for helping himself to the communion plate. Then I realised I couldn’t remember the Bruce Sterling quote I wanted exactly. Here it is, for the record and to make the original point:

The American national character really wasn’t suited for global police duties. It never had been. Tidy and meticulous people such as the Swiss and Swedes were the types who made good cops. America was far better suited to be the World’s Movie Star. The world’s tequila-addled pro-league bowler. The world’s acerbic, bipolar stand-up comedian. Anything but a sombre and tedious nation of socially responsible centurions.

The amusing thing is that, before I gave up and grabbed my copy of Distraction, I googled for Bruce Sterling American world policeman diva. Which is a near-SHA1 hash of the content of that paragraph, no? The fifth result for that search is part one of my response to the UK Strategic Defence Review as a Blog.

And come to think of it, it’s actually quite relevant, although the fact AFOE links to Troubled Diva probably has something to do with it.