"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."


I'm moving to Pantheon, which has been delayed because I didn't want to deal with the legacy hand-roll that was the first three years of this now decade-old (so old!) website.

Update: Moved! I even found a few bugs in documentation to fix. Hooray dogfood!

While I was at it I went ahead and ported the venerable (CivicSpace powered!) Vagabender dot com as well. Turns out updating CivicSpace/Drupal 4.6 to run on Pantheon was actually easier than dealing with ten years of random cruft and symlinks. Who knew!

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"Hedonism Is So Distracting"

I had a dream the other morning, in the fitful and usually dreamless hour between my ambitious/idealistic first alarm clock and when I actually get out of bed. I don't recall all the details, but the gist of it was a scene of opulent excess, an enormous feast, only in that particular dream-like way something was wrong. I don't know whether it was the undercurrent of doom, barbarians at the gate, flood-tide rising, or just everyone's declining cardiovascular fitness; I just remember saying to one of my companions, "hedonism is so distracting".

And so it is, and this is a growing concern of mine.

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In Which I Feel That I Have "Arrived"

Last weekend I caught up with an old dear friend from college. Mulching that over leads to the first serious post in several weeks: an attempt to explain what I do for a living.

This turns out to be harder than it seems.

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Aaaaand... we're back

Sorry for the downtime, y'all. I have been incredibly busy this past couple months launching Pantheon Systems and neglecting this old blog both from a writing standpoint and from a regular maintenance point of view.

But things are back in order. My domain name is no longer adrift and my creaky old VPS (ironic, I know) is paid up. I'm off to DrupalCon today. More when I return.

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Do Unto / "Cognitive Surplus", "The New Capitalist Manifesto" and "Cloud Atlas"

I took a bunch of books with me on vacation — facilitated while traveling light thanks to the Kindle (that's my one and only plug; I'm aware opinions are mixed) — and over the past three weeks I managed to get through five volumes. Today I'm going to write a little about the two non-fiction works, Clay Shirky's Cognitive Surplus), Umair Haque's New Capitalist Manifesto and David Mitchell's novelly-structured novel, Cloud Atlas.

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Drupal 7 In The House

With the help of the fine folks at ToDrupal.com, I've upgraded to Drupal 7! This is still beta software, so bugs are to be expected, and I've already stubbed my toes in a few places. Have some ideas for ways to improve things too. Nothing like "scratching my own itch" to get the contribution train rolling again.

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In Which I Trash-Talk Steve Jobs a Little

So, it's clear that Apple is starting to feel the heat from Android:

Steve Jobs doesn't usually make a guest appearance on Apple's post-earnings conference calls with analysts, but this time he made an exception, attacking Google for marketing its operating system as 'open' versus Apple's 'closed' iOS.

Jobs' points here are, not to put too fine a point on it, pretty weak. While Android isn't a utopian greenfield of openness, they are actually Open Source, and haven't pulled any crap like trying to dictate development tools. Steve's objection that vendors like Motorolla put some of their own secret sauce on top and "the user's left to figure it out" is also bogus. My Droid and my friend's HTC Incredible have subtle differences, but it's the same UI set. Moreover, users don't flit between these things. It's not confusing for them because they only have one phone, dude.

While I'm sympathetic to Jobs' point about the virtues of an integrated platform (e.g. there are some Android apps that have issues with the touchscreen keyboard on my Droid), I think he drastically overestimates his ability to anticipate what people want. The downfall of Apple is generally their ego. When they are wrong, it hurts them a lot, and they're slow to recover. In a fast-moving world, the open approach has a lot of advantages so long as you can keep the quality up.

I for one look forward to the Apple iPhone vs Android battle of the mobile Operating Systems. It's going to produce a lot more/better innovation than Windows vs MacOS. Neither company is currently dominant, and both are smart and creative and innovative. Should be good to watch what happens.

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Words of Advice for Young Men

I find this sort of thing kind of baffling:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday there was no timetable for wrapping up an investigation of an Internet report that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre sent racy text messages and lewd photos to a former New York Jets game hostess.
Deadspin reported the voicemails include a man asking to meet with Sterger, who now is a TV personality for the Versus network. The website posted a video that contained those messages and several below-the-waist photos - said to be of Favre - that were allegedly sent to Sterger's cell phone.

Now, let's be clear. I don't really care whether or not Brett Farve did some douchy things or not, but the article caused some resonant vibrations and it's a good jumping off point. Every time I read something like this, I feel the sense of a gap between me and other men. Maybe it's generational, maybe it's sensitivity or awareness or just having strong women in your life. I feel like i know a little something, and this is an opportunity to put some things out there that I think are good for people to grok and understand.

To wit: if you're a young man, or just a man who doesn't (yet) know much about women, here's something to chew on. You like to look at stuff to get turned on, females typically don't. A picture is worth a thousand words:

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Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit Video

Ego trip alert!

I don't know that there's anyone other than my mom who would watch me talk on the internet for 55 minutes, but just in case here you go. This is my keynote from the 2010 Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit:

Also, props to the fine folks from Carlson Media for doing the taping and picking a really flattering key-frame image. And of course many thanks to the wonderful organizers, and the people of Vancouver "Don't Call It The Coove" BC:

Infographic credit: @awesome (aka Stephanie Vacher).

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Crimefighters Online

Here's postmodern information age empowerment for ya. A woman uses MySpace, Craigslist, and a dating site (and the cops) to nail someone who ripped off her car. It's a good read:

See, aspiring thief, you just never know what you're stepping into when you hit up a random car on a random street. However badass you think you may be, there is someone on the other side of the robbery. And in this particular case it was someone who escaped the Iranian Revolution as a child; who roamed the world alone for five years because her parents couldn't get out; who watched from a dozen blocks away as the twin towers crumbled; who had just barely clawed her way out of that concentration camp known as late-stage cancer, if only because she was intent on raising her babies, come hell or high water. And all of this before she even turned 40. Can you see how that someone might be way more twisted than you?

If big brother ever gets it together, we may be screwed. In the mean-time, there's a big competitive advantage for those with brains.

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