Mar 282003

“what are disanalogies” — That’s when you make some stupid analogy in my comments section, and I dis you.

“Steven Den Beste” — I think I can help you out with this one.

“tarantino plagiarism french new wave cinema” — Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose.

“how much weed is in a joint” — I have no idea, and neither does Bill Buckley.

“irony machine” — This is your man.

“Ronald Dworkin fear of playing god” — Not in my experience.

Mar 172003

Megan McArdle discusses the necessity, if you wish to socialize in Manhattan, of avoiding political discussion, if you have politics like hers or mine. But sometimes avoiding politics just isn’t enough. I once started talking, at a dinner party at my sister’s, about Japanese painting with a guy I’d never seen before. One interesting thing about traditional Japanese art, I said, is that vanishing-point perspective does not appear. My interlocutor maintained that this was because the artists had no interest in perspective; they were trying to do something else, although he never specified quite what. I pointed out that perspective was a scientific discovery, made by the Italians in the 15th century, and that if the Japanese had known of it they certainly would have used it, at least sometimes. So how does he explain the fact that it never appears until the 19th century?

Sure, I was egging him on a little on the Western hegemony front. But only a little, and I was completely unprepared for what came next. He stood up, announced to the room that he couldn’t take any more of this, gathered up his girlfriend, and stormed out. My sister, who brooks no nonsense, banished him for life.

(Update: Stumbling Tongue says anyone who thinks Manhattan is bad ought to try Italy.)

Mar 132003

I just want to say thank you, to everyone, for the remarkably high class of comments here — so high-class that they often make me wish I had written something better in the first place to justify them. Professional philosophers correct me about philosophy, polyglots about language, lawyers about law, poets and critics about poetry, national champions about bridge, the rest of you about everything else. In eight months of blogging I’ve received fewer than a dozen nasty or pointless comments, and hundreds of well-reasoned, polite, humorous, and pertinent ones. I’m overwhelmed, seriously, and this is just a small measure of my gratitude, to all of you.

Feb 242003

Got my first piece today, from one, who eagerly awaits offers to increase his penis size and lower his mortgage rate. Senor Swinky writes:

and what the fuck are you doing about the war or anything for that matter?
caught up in dirty identity politics and spending too much time on a 2000 dollar powerbook your parents paid for despite he fact that you’ve completed 4 years of study at a fine liberal arts college.
make furniture not fun you fool.

Six factual assertions in a single sentence, and every one wrong. Identity politics of what? Neurotic middle-aged white male Manhattan programmers? Oh yeah, we’re taking it to the street, baby! Since I make my living at the computer it’s hard for me to spend too much time there. (Waste too much time, sure: replying to this for instance.) About the only popular OS that I don’t run is Mac, and it’s been a couple of decades since I gouged my parents for anything beyond a free meal. I did not “complete” four years of study, and the liberal arts college was not fine, it was adequate.

Look boys, from now on I’m going to need some hard evidence that you actually read the site, or it’s no spam for you. I have to admit I like the furniture thing though. If I had qualified by completing four years of study at a fine liberal arts college, I might even have tried it.

Feb 172003

Six hours today, from 11 to 5 EST. Finally straightened out my domain reregistration, which involved figuring out who registered me in the first place. Uptime remains at a solid 99%+, my poor organization notwithstanding.

Feb 072003

if god had an answer machine — Then you could leave a message, cupcake. But He’s in conference right now.

thomas kinkade lawsuit — Can you really sue for that?

top-down and bottom-up terror theory of Richard Rubenstein — You might want to ask Richard Rubenstein.

how much is an ounce of weed — It’s pricy. But it’s really good shit.

CRACK MACHINE — Look buddy, weed is one thing. What kind of blog do you think this is?

you have nothing to lose but your chains — You using those chains?

And not just f–k machine, oh no, but

how does a f–k machine work — You really need to come here to figure that out?

(Update: They improve! Today alone brings provocative ill-timed and internationally illegal actions and new economic policy lenin lesson plans, to which no comment of mine could do justice.)

Feb 072003

Suppose that you’ve set your comments up to email you each time one is posted, and you post a comment yourself. Suppose further that an email shows up in your box two minutes later, marked “New Comment,” and you open it excitedly, only to realize that it is, in fact, the comment that you yourself posted two minutes ago. Are you entitled to laugh at your cat when he chases his tail?

I don’t think so.

Feb 062003

It looks from my reefer logs that several people have tried to comment and not gotten through. If that’s you, or if you’ve had any trouble of this sort in the past, please email me (aaron at godofthemachine dot com or here), and advise. I’ve been thinking about switching from Greymatter to Movable Type anyway, and this may be the last straw.