Dim Sum Conversations

It's always fun talking to Doug and Joshua. Last Sunday's conversation full of amusing anecdotes such as stories of college frat parties with garbage cans full of punch spiked with Everclear. Observations about the logical inconsistenies in human belief systems were rife. We were particularly amused by the fact that the political left in the US is pro-abortion and anti-death penalty while the political right is anti-abortion and pro-death penalty. One would think that either side's beliefs would be based on the sacredness instead of the inconsistent "it's OK to kill unborn babies but not adults" versus "killing adults is OK but don't you dare harm unborn babies".

We also talked a bunch about religion, especially Christianity/Judaism, as a meme which reminded me of similar ideas described in Snow Crash. It's always interesting to talk to people and realize that your observations that you considered private or unique were shared by others. We seemed to have the same opinions on the lack of mention of Lilith in modern religion.

Joshua's seen the new Bond and he's given me a good reason why I'm definitely not going to see it. Two words; invisible car.


XML 2002

Just got back from XML 2002 and left with a number of impressions.
  • IBM, Oracle, Sun and even XML Spy did not have booths.

  • I never encountered anyone from the Press besides Edd Dumbill, editor of XML.com, but given that he was at the O'Reilly booth I'm not sure that counts.

  • Lots of sessions on Semantic Web technologies (RDF, DAML + OIL, WebOnt, Topic Maps, etc) but very few on XML Web Services.

  • Tim Bray's keynote was well received but I can't take it seriously given that he actually gave props to blog browsers at the end of it. Creating custom browsers for a specific XML format instead of simply reusing web browsers and using style sheets (XML + CSS or XSLT) is the kind of thing I'd expect college kids itching to code to do and not something espoused by a member of the W3C Technical Architecture Group.

  • The XML features of Office 11 knocked 'em dead. There was always a crowd around the Word 11 booth and always someone a few folks gawking at XDocs and Excel 11. In the words of Paul Prescod, "This is by far the most open and standards-compliant version of MS Office in history."
I took a bunch of notes on Don's XML 2002 keynote and considered posting but realized that would take longer than I thought. If you are interested in Don Box's XML 2002 keynote, post or email me and if enough people care then I'll dig up my notes and write 'em up.


Laments on America

I've been stumbling across various rants about the current socio-economic and political situation in America. I've linked to my favorite three below
  1. Get Your War On - "When A Tree Falls In The Forest And It's The Fourth Ammendment, Does It Make A Sound?"

  2. Ten Things That Are The Law In America Today - "But the saddest and most telling answer is: They were all the product of the 104th Congress. Every one of the horrors above was imposed upon you by the Congress of the Republican- Revolution-the Congress that pledged to 'get government off your back.'"

  3. How To Ruin American Enterprise - "Tax the fruits of labor many times: First tax it as income. Then tax it as real or personal property. Then tax it as capital gains. Then tax it again, at a staggeringly high level, at death. This way, Americans are taught that only fools save, "




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