Sunday, June 29, 2008

At a critical point in my thought life, a man with whom I attended the same church campaigned for a local government office. This came at the time I had finally accepted it was simply impossible to be a rung in the political hierarchy and also be subject to Jesus the Christ alone.

I wonder if anyone had the heart to tell him it must not have been "God's will" when he lost. I would never have been able to, as I'm sure a slip of the Freudian persuasion would be more likely:

"Aren't Christians supposed to seek God's will beforehand as opposed to observing it afterwards?"

I am rereading Jacques Ellul's Anarchy and Christianity for the third time, but it feels like the first time. It has been a great help to read it on paper rather than on the computer screen. It is engrossing. It makes me desire to pour over the Christian and Hebrew scriptures for hours on end.

I found someone in the Netherlands who had an old interview with Jacques Ellul on DVD. They sent a copy to me in the mail free of charge.

Upon a first viewing I am most drawn in by his proposition that, in the technological society, reflection has been usurped by reflex. But do we want to risk finding ourselves far along the wrong road or guarantee only a short distance of travel down the right one?

Right now my mind is boiling over with new thoughts and ideas. I'm reading poetry. I'm reading prose. I'm looking and seeing. I'm listening and hearing.

I have found the Pole Star of my thought.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Living alone was one of the most enlightening periods of my life. I became aware of myself in a way that is not possible when living with others. It wasn't simply a matter of learning how to take care of myself; it was much more.

You see, when you live alone you have nobody to blame when there is a mess.
If the dishes are dirty, then you didn't wash them.
If the door wasn't locked when you came home, then you forgot to lock it.
If there's a stain on the carpet, then you spilled something.
If the trash is full, then you filled it.
If the roll of toilet paper is empty, then you neglected to replace it.
If the stereo was left on, then you forgot to turn it off.
If the car is out of fuel, then you used it all.
If there is nothing to eat, then you ate all the food.
If the toilet hasn't been flushed, then you didn't flush it.
If the lid is up, then you didn't put it down.
If the plants die, then you didn't water them.
If something is missing, then you lost it.

I could go on all day like this, but you likely see the pattern.

When you live alone, you become acutely aware of how terrible a roommate you are. If you never live alone, you could live the rest of your life under the delusion that nobody takes note of the little things.

The curse is that once you live with others again, you are better able to spot anything out of place. You remember the condition you left things in so well, that anyone else's mucking about with things is immediately evident.

Usually when Linnea is gone for more than a day, I'll do a little cleaning. I've come to think this is because I believe, subconsciously, that everything is messy because of me. I know this isn't true, but it is much more difficult to point the finger when there is nobody to point at.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I decided to take my Google Android RSS craving one step further today. Instead of just pulling a feed from YouTube, I've used Yahoo Pipes to create a "Google Android News Feed" drawing from the Google Android Developers' Blog, Gizmodo, YouTube, and Engadget as sources.

The end result is accessible from this page, and the resulting RSS feed can be added quite easily to Google Reader.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Every so often I visit YouTube looking for new videos related to Google's Android operating system for mobile phones. In a moment of brilliance I realized there is likely some way to turn my search into an RSS feed, which would allow me to view the search results in Google Reader as new videos go online.

The RSS page link for YouTube directs to this page, which provides information on accessing feeds for a specific user or tag. However, it fails to note that you can use more than one tag in the creation of an RSS feed.

The example from the above link shows that in order to create an RSS feed for the tag 'monkey', the link would be 'feed://'. What the information page doesn't tell you is that for more than one tag, the link is modified to be something like 'feed://'. Tags can be single words only.

The search feed I am using for Google Android videos is 'feed://'.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thanks to the wonders of Linux, it has never been a difficult matter for me to download MP3s from MySpace which were not explicitly provided for download. Now you can circumvent listen-protection, as well!

This link also works for downloading videos from Youtube and such.

Monday, June 09, 2008

If we simply add up the numbers from the prior post we find there are 2,206,800 pro-Obama results and 1,059,067 pro-Mccain results.

There are alternate explanations for results being skewed, however. Obama may have a larger Internet presence than John Mccain, and the extent of his presence may be tied to the prolonged race for the Democratic Party's nomination. Additionally, Hillary Clinton's loss may have resulted in pro-Mccain or anti-Obama backlash.

However, it is worth noting that if the size of Obama's Internet presence is tied to the prolonged race, Hillary's presence would likely be of a similar size. A quick set of searches gives us the following results:

"clinton for president": 543,000
"will vote for clinton": 46,700
"will vote for hillary clinton": 11,200

The 600,900:2,141,000 Clinton/Obama ratio for these three search terms seems to indicate otherwise. Even Ron Paul has better search stats than Hillary Clinton. It is more likely that Obama appeals to a significantly higher amount of Internet users than Mccain.

Hillary Clinton's Internet/Reality ratio (percentage of search results to percentage of official primary popular votes) is something in the neighborhood of 22/48, whereas Obama's Internet/Reality ratio is more like 78/48. This basically means Clinton's online presence is/was ~50% what her real-world presence is/was, and that Obama's online presence is ~170% what his real-world presence is/was.

Given current polls (as of 6/9/2008), Obama is leading Mccain 47 points to 45 points. This would mean Mccain's Internet/Reality ratio is something like 32/45 if polling is an accurate portrayal of public opinion. This would also place Obama's Internet/Reality ratio at 68/47. Current polling would suggest that pro-Mccain backlash from the Hillary Clinton camp is not very significant. has collected statistical data which suggests Internet users favor Obama over Mccain 62.9:35.4.

Now here's the stretch. I will assume has done limited polling, and assume the search result data to be representative of wider polling. I will also assume current non-Internet polling is limited. Now we can extrapolate what wider non-Internet polling might look like.

62.9/47 = 68/(?)

35.4/45 = 32/(?)

The results would indicate an Obama win of 50.8 points to 40.7 points in the general election.

Now, I'm no statistician. I'm also prone to overlooking very significant details. Don't take any of this as authoritative, as I'm likely to be wrong. But you have to admit... It would be really cool if I'm right.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Quick non-scientific follow-up:

Search results (possibly) favoring Obama:
"obama for president": 1,970,000
"will vote for obama": 153,000
"will vote for barack obama": 18,000
"will not vote for mccain": 24,900
"will not vote for john mccain": 40,900

Search results (possibly) favoring Mccain:
"mccain for president": 367,000
"will vote for mccain": 207,000
"will vote for john mccain": 43,200
"will not vote for obama": 441,000
"will not vote for barack obama": 867

Simple statistical analysis to follow...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

This is not a scientific measure of popular opinion, but I think it is worth noting:

Search results favoring Obama:
"when (barack|obama) (is|becomes) president": 19,700
"when barack obama (is|becomes) president": 1,919
"when (barack|obama) is elected president": 7,490
"when barack obama is elected president": 338
Total: 29,447

Search results favoring McCain:
"when (john|mccain) (is|becomes) president": 416
"when john mccain (is|becomes) president": 274
"when (john|mccain) is elected president": 37
"when john mccain is elected president": 357
Total: 1,084

There are some other searches of interest, but these are the only I completed this evening. Looks like either not many people who support McCain are savvy enough to do it online, or possibly they really don't think it likely he'll be elected.