So Sick it Makes You Laugh - Follies in Political Rhetoric

Whenever I take an interest in politics it’s usually to look at the language and rhetoric that is used to make arguments. When I see other people take an interest in the same issue I’m usually willing to read. Here are some posts on political rhetoric, all from a liberal perspective, that I’ve found interesting over the last few days. Glenn Greenwald and Dave Neiwert have been consistently good about following the eliminationist rhetoric that regularly emanates from the conservative blogosphere.

Emergency Response and Hastily Formed Networks

The April issue of the Communications of the ACM contained an article about hastily formed networks. A hastily formed network is a network formed in response to a disaster or crisis of some kind. For example, the response to Katrina last summer and fall. Some students at SI collected material about the various responses to Katrina. Today I came across another story related to disaster response. It seems Tom Evslin and Jeff Pulver are trying to convince the FCC to mandate an emergency voice mail system for people affected by a disaster.

Retrieving Information from My Own Internet Tracks

I’ve been looking for a weblog post I read two or three months ago about the future of libraries, but so far I’ve failed to retrieve it. This kind of situation is one of the most frustrating technological problems I regularly encounter. There’s just no way to easily retrieve this information right now. I do have some programs on my Mac that help solve these problems. History Hound and browseback are two programs that keep track of pages that you display in your web browser.

Managing My Information World

One of my perennial interests is personal knowledge or information management. How do you keep track of all the stuff that comes at you? I’m an omnivore when it comes to collecting information. I’m working at improving my skills for disseminating information. So for the sake of my own future self who might want to know how I managed my information back in mid-2006 and any others who care, I offer the following list.

On Independence

It’s the fourth of July and America is celebrating Independence Day. I can hear people setting off fireworks. The windows are open and summer is in full swing. The National Archives has a very nice web page on the Declaration of Independence. There’s also an essay on the history of the declaration and one on the rhetoric. Independence of thought and expression are two great gifts which the United States has demonstrated to the world.

Recent Reading on Knowledge Mangement

Last semester I took a class on knowledge management or information in organizations. We talked a lot about the different routines, incentives, and rewards that encourage or discourage people to share knowledge with each other. Two knowledge management professionals have posted a couple of posts that I’d like to highlight. Dave Pollard at “How to Save the World” writes about creating our own peer-to-peer expertise finder. But then it occurred to me that there is a profound difference between ‘know-what’ and ‘know-where’ on the one hand, and ‘know-who’ on the other: Finding the former are complicated search problems; finding the latter is a complex problem.

A Disturbing Lack of Physicality

Yesterday’s list of potential curiosities was all mental. No doubt those who believe in a balance between mind and body would be disappointed. So as a countermeasure I bought an exercise book this evening in addition to a copy of Dracula and Frankenstein. The missing physical element in my summer curiosities is mostly habit. I’ve never been a very athletic person despite growing up with a health and physical education teacher.

Blue Pills, Red Pills, Rabbitholes..

My quest for more information on defense technology continues to move through odd paths and unexpected troves of information. Today I followed a single link from Wikipedia to the Federation of American Scientists and discovered a whole set of pages on current military technology, some we know is true and other we can only speculate about There’s stuff on space, smart weapons, ballistic missile defense, etc. I’ve been a subscriber to Stephen Aftergood’s Secrecy News email for some time and it appears he’s now publishing similar information at the Secrecy News Weblog.

Praise for Listmixer

Listmixer has become one of the key parts of my online life in the past few months. It’s clearly inspired by del.icio.us but has one feature that has been amazing - bookmark expiration. Bookmarks that haven’t been visited within a month disappear from the list. This works great for me because there are always tons of tabs open in my news aggregator or browser that I think I might write about.

A Shoutout to my Homie?

One of my oldest friends, Eric House has decided to join the blogosphere, at the Saganaga Experience. I’m a little behind in sending him my congratulations, he started up back in December. Eric is a man of deep faith. I hope we can engage in some constructive dialogs over the coming years. Also in the news, his new daughter, Allison, recently celebrated her baptism back in Minneapolis. Best wishes to the family and here’s to a golden future for his daughter.