Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Name Change

I've changed the name of my blog. We were chatting on Sunday night. We're thinking of buying a flat and as it's a large amount of money to spend I was naturally mildly concerned that we were making the right decision. But talking to a friend who had gone through the process years before I was getting little sympathy. So I stated my usual catch phrase in situations like that - and decided then and there to rename my blog.

It seems a momentous decision to buy a flat. I think Dear Reader and I both feel it hasn't been difficult enough and so we are not sure we're doing the right thing. Anyway, we should be putting verbally negotiating a price today - unless we back out at the last moment.

The real estate agent is going to ring soon and we both didn't sleep well so we're feeling a bit tired.

So at the moment I feel that would be coping with change poorly if I weren't feeling tired and a bit sinusy. I'm probably coping with change poorly because of a lack of oxygen getting to the brain due to my sinus issues today. Any excuse will do :-)

Australia Square in Pink

Australia Square in Pink
Originally uploaded by bristley.
Australia Square was Pink on Monday night. I'm so unobservant that I only noticed because someone was taking a photo of it with their mobile phone.

Then I noticed the professional photographer setup and the two GIANT spotlights on the corners of the building. So knowing that it would be at least a bit blurry I took lots of photos and ended up with this being the best of them.

Why it was pink I don't know - but it looked kind of funky :-)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Intellectual Snobbery

Via boing boing I saw that the Wall Street Journal Online had a debate between Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales and the Encylopaedia Britiannicas Dale Hoiberg:

Will Wikipedia mean the end of Traditional Encyclopaedias

The contents of which was fairly predictable until the end when Dale Hoiberg started recommending his guidelines for the limits of knowledge:

Anyone who works on an encyclopedia for any length of time understands the hazard in this: the whole endeavor can easily spin out of control as you try to take in everything that has ever been known, thought, or said. It's an impulse that should be resisted because it produces work without direction or focus.

Which made me think - who's direction and focus. It's an encyclopaedia - it's supposed to provide me with the information I've decided I want to know about. It's not supposed to be a social commentary on the world.

And later:
Most of us don't need all the information in the world. We need information that yields knowledge - a practical and enlightened understanding of ourselves and the world we live in

Which makes me think - who's deciding what this enlightened understanding should be in his mind.

I recognise the usefulness of formal Encyclopaedia's but I like being able to see the drafts and discussions around an article. Whenever I look up something in Wikipedia I always check the discussion page to find the context in which it has been printed. This is not something a traditional Encyclopedia model allows.

I am willing to believe that the statements above do not really mean that Dale Hoiberg believes that he has the right to impose his view of what information is worth while knowing on the world. I do think that possibly he should be more careful his use of language.

Maybe this is supposed to be publicity for the Britannica...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Don't do this at home

Well actually - don't do this anywhere. I was reading aus.bicycle in this thread there was a link to the Naval Safety centre which has a Photo of the Week of safety breaches.

The photos are astounding - the tractor that's crashed through the ice, the temporary light made of a light fitting alligator clipped onto live wires - people holding down loads on the back of trailers. It's amazing the things people will do with ladders.

As alexone of the posters found maybe what you shouldn't do is look at this site at work because you keep on looking at just one more.