Goodbye, WordPress.com. Hello, WordPress.org

March 13, 2008 at 1:57 pm | Posted in blogging | Leave a comment

This blog has moved, for a few simple reasons.

All the past posts, as well as many future ones to come, can now be found at http://jueseph.com/blog.


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NOTE TO SELF

January 17, 2008 at 3:00 am | Posted in blogging, computers, humor, silly nonsense | Leave a comment
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You know it when it happens. Something struck you while you were surfing the internet. You wanted to jot down a couple of thoughts, just post a few sentences before going to bed. But now it’s 3AM and you’re looking for evidence in the New York Times archives, trying to support your argument so you can weigh in on some debate on someone’s blog from 2 years ago. What happened to studying for finals? Why are you writing in such detail about something so completely unrelated to what you claim to be interested in at school? Why are you still UP?

It’s unclear.

Maybe you want attention. Maybe you’re a world-class procrastinator. Maybe you have some horrible, life-threatening disease. Or maybe you’re just really, really passionate about the moral dilemma of doctor-assisted suicide.

Do you remember what’s going to be on the test tomorrow? Do you remember the last time you saw the sun? Do you remember what your girlfriend (ex-girlfriend, as the case may be) looks like? And yes, it’s cheating to check Facebook.

Get a grip! Put on a jacket and go outside. Smell that? That’s air. Go to the library, where you can study without distractions. Take out some paper. Jot down notes. Start writing:

NOTE TO SELF…

The internet isn’t about frames and ugly 2-page personal websites anymore

January 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Posted in blogging, computers, geeky, internet, opinion, social | 2 Comments
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The fact that this realization still strikes me profound after a few days can only indicate 2 things: 1) that I think too much about the internet, and 2) that my thoughts about the internet are at least 2 years behind everyone else’s. But since we’re on the subject, I might as well share some writings I’ve found by those who don’t suffer from my propensity for lagging behind the times.

Tim O’Reilly, head of O’Reilly Media and one of the most influential figures on the development of the web in the last decade, has the following to say about a certain “collective intelligence” taking hold on the internet:

If an essential part of Web 2.0 is harnessing collective intelligence, turning the web into a kind of global brain, the blogosphere is the equivalent of constant mental chatter in the forebrain, the voice we hear in all of our heads. It may not reflect the deep structure of the brain, which is often unconscious, but is instead the equivalent of conscious thought. And as a reflection of conscious thought and attention, the blogosphere has begun to have a powerful effect.

First, because search engines use link structure to help predict useful pages, bloggers, as the most prolific and timely linkers, have a disproportionate role in shaping search engine results. Second, because the blogging community is so highly self-referential, bloggers paying attention to other bloggers magnifies their visibility and power. The “echo chamber” that critics decry is also an amplifier (Link to article here).

“Web 2.0” is the buzzword for what I’ve been trying to place my finger on for the last month–that snazzy, interactive, smooth dynamic feeling of the web as exemplified by sites like flickr, wikipedia, and pretty much everything google has ever made (gmail and google maps being the most well-known ones). Apparently there’s been a conference every year since 2004 to explore how this “new Web” can be made even cooler.

While strictly speaking, Web 2.0 refers to a set of technical innovations and business models, these components are deeply connected with a paradigm of collectivist, highly self-referential content that must also enter into discussion. Continue Reading The internet isn’t about frames and ugly 2-page personal websites anymore…

Worse Than Heroin

January 15, 2008 at 2:19 am | Posted in blogging, design, geeky, internet, music, procrastination | Leave a comment
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My internet addiction has recently gotten much worse, but probably because in the last month or so I’ve discovered more useful and profoundly interesting sites than in the past 10 years of websurfing put together. Some of this may be from having glued my eyes to a screen for 12 hours yesterday working on my Computer Science 50 final, but I can’t help but feel as if I just woke up from a long nap and realized that the Internet isn’t about shitty frames interfaces and 2-page personal sites anymore. Here are some of my favorite new discoveries (which probably aren’t new by any other sense of the word — I just take a while to react to things as trendy as computers):

Hype Machine. Basically a way to sample any song you ever wanted to hear about (and even a lot that you never did). Sooooo good. This is where I first got into dirty electro rock pop, by recommendation from a long-lost friend I found on Facebook (appropriately enough). Now I can’t get enough.

Lolcats. And apparently loldogs too, as of a few days ago. Probably impossible to explain–you’ll just have to see for yourself.

Design blogs (Skelliewag.org, N.Design Studio, kevadamson.com). My desperate procrastination-cum-rediscovery of “art” (i.e. doodling on sketchpads and trying to impress friends with likenesses of trees) earlier this semester has morphed into something horrible and grotesque. It’s worse than a heroin addiction and almost as expensive (okay, so a trip to Utrecht won’t set you back as much as fetching some Blue Magic, but I haven’t even gotten into painting yet…). It’s mutated through a “silly Illustrator drawing” phase, to a “silly real-life drawing” phase, culminating in a “passive amazement at other people’s much more talented drawings on Illustrator” phase. The weird appeal of drawing is easiest to explain to a 4th grader and probably most difficult to anyone who has gotten themselves into any sort of real profession, especially one that involves a lot of following orders and deadlines.

Webcomics, and comic-like ridiculous internet memes. (xkcd, dinosaur comics, gapingvoid) Alright, XKCD has been ruining my GPA for months already, but it was only recently when I looked over a list of participants at ROFLCon this year that I realized I was missing out on so much more. XKCD is still the classic for me, an extremely relatable (to me, which means it won’t be for most of the rest of the human population, unless you enjoy reading this blog) blend of math/science/computer geekdom with the sort of high school sentimentality that you never really manage to purge from your thoughts. Think that’s weird? You probably don’t want to go down the list. None of these comics are conventional, and some verge on the downright Dada (see white ninja for an example of how no amount of nothingness can be made into humor).

Good old personal blogs (a friend, an artist/fellow student, a bunch of funny fellow students, a funny random blogger, another designer). They’re just getting more and more powerful. Yeah, I know, people have been raving about the amazingness of personal publishing, viral blog posts, etc. for years, but I guess it never really struck me how remarkable this was until now. I used to trawl through blogspot or wordpress for ages and not find anything I liked enough to return to…now that I’ve gotten a point of entry to the world of the “serious blogger” (red flag: it’s hosted on <artsyobscurename>.com as opposed to the plain vanilla <user>.wordpress.com accounts), following their blogrolls is taking me places I’ve never gone before in my life, for example to the eye surgeon, to get my poor eyeballs replaced.

I apologize if this post has ruined your productivity for the rest of your life. No but seriously, I do need to rest these eyes. By reading this incredibly interesting article about internet memes, that is!

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