11.30.2006

Found Friday

Post-it® note (actual size), found on the sidewalk outside our office of human resources:

Essay Writing Software

Your word processor already provides a design template, checks spelling, counts words, and auto-formats aspects of your document. So why not use essay-writing software?

A press release from two days ago, hyping theeasyessay.com:

"Free Christmas Gift to Teachers, Students and Businessmen Five Minute Automated Essay Writing Program Released"

Hallendale, FL (PRWEB) November 28, 2006 -- www.TheEasyEssay.com, a new free website, uses a logic based program to automatically generate the precise organizational pattern applicable to any expository or "proof" paper.

The user simply enters the title, a statement of what he wishes to prove and three reasons why this fact is true. If the user needs help finding these reasons, a Google link is provided. Then, with a click, the program generates the basic five paragraph essay form. It gives the user the paragraphs of introduction and conclusion, as well as the topic sentence and clincher statement for each paragraph of the body of the essay. The only thing the user does is give three reasons why the auto-generated topic sentences are true. Should a longer paper be needed, a click will turn this into a 17 paragraph essay.

Use of the program is not limited to students, but has business applications as well. It is a quick way to organize a presentation as to why you should get a raise or ways to improve productivity. The program gives the reader, or listener, an exact and organized message.

The program has been successfully taught to seven year old children, learning disabled students, high school, college, post graduate students, as well as, business executives and employees. Successful because the process remains the same. All that changes is the level of complexity of the user.


To "compose" an essay via the template at easyessay.com, you first enter content into this online form:



Then follow up with more supporting details on a few subsequent forms. Spending about eight minutes plugging half-baked ideas into the web form, I "wrote" this expository concoction:
Typography in Argumentation

Typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments. Authors of artists' books have for some time demonstrated the visual components of expression in their work. Typographic expression and design is an overlooked "mode" in multi-modal composition. Every typeset text makes implicit claims (typographically) already; innovative typography enables writers to foreground this aspect of expression. Therefore, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments.

Typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because authors of artists' books have for some time demonstrated the visual components of expression in their work. Johanna Drucker's expressive visual texts assert more than their alphabetic equivalents. Therefore, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because authors of artists' books have for some time demonstrated the visual components of expression in their work.

Typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because Johanna Drucker's expressive visual texts assert more than their alphabetic equivalents. Therefore, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because Johanna Drucker's expressive visual texts assert more than their alphabetic equivalents.

So that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because authors of artists' books have for some time demonstrated the visual components of expression in their work. Johanna Drucker's expressive visual texts assert more than their alphabetic equivalents. Therefore, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because authors of artists' books have for some time demonstrated the visual components of expression in their work.

Typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because typographic expression and design is an overlooked "mode" in multi-modal composition. Therefore, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because typographic expression and design is an overlooked "mode" in multi-modal composition.

So that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because typographic expression and design is an overlooked "mode" in multi-modal composition. Therefore, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because typographic expression and design is an overlooked "mode" in multi-modal composition.

Typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because every typeset text makes implicit claims (typographically) already; innovative typography enables writers to foreground this aspect of expression. . . . Therefore, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because every typeset text makes implicit claims (typographically) already; innovative typography enables writers to foreground this aspect of expression.

So that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because every typeset text makes implicit claims (typographically) already; innovative typography enables writers to foreground this aspect of expression. Johanna Drucker's expressive visual texts assert more than their alphabetic equivalents. . . Therefore, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments because every typeset text makes implicit claims (typographically) already; innovative typography enables writers to foreground this aspect of expression.

So, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments. authors of artists' books have for some time demonstrated the visual components of expression in their work. typographic expression and design is an overlooked "mode" in multi-modal composition. every typeset text makes implicit claims (typographically) already; innovative typography enables writers to foreground this aspect of expression. Therefore, that typography can contribute to sophisticated arguments.


I guess you could call that writing.

11.29.2006

EBSCO LISTA's Visual Search

Got a tip from BP to check out EBSCO'S LISTA research database—your library may subscribe to it. LISTA, by the way, stands for "Library, information science & technology abstracts," reminding us all that when it comes to data, the librarians have it going on.

Employing an architecture of visual relation (similar to the visual thesaurus, which I've never really liked, and AirTightInteractive's flickr tag browser, which I'm ka-razy about!), LISTA has a "visual search" tab that presents findings in tidy atomic clusters:

(click to make the image
in the mirror larger than it appears)

If you mouse-over the little wheels of gumballs, you get details on each item.

Even though the seeming immaculateness of such proxemics are fictitious, I find it nice to "see" potential sources as space-consuming entities.

11.27.2006

Salad Person

I'm in Chicago the other day, walking in front of a couple of guys who seem to be in the getting-to-know-you phase. They're talking; I'm looking for scraps of paper on the street and listening in:


guy 1: What kind of food do I like? Oh, you know. Oh no wait: you're not a salad person, are you?
guy 2: Yeah, I'm a salad person.
guy 1: You're a salad person? Really?
guy 2: Yeah, I'm totally a salad person.
guy 1: Oh, I think I knew that. I'm sorry. Well anyway ...

This raises the obvious question of what a "salad person" is. This ad on Craig's list reminds us that one meaning of the term, though clearly not the one these guys were operating with, is literally the person in a restaurant who makes the salads. When I used to work in restaurants, I always loved what we then referred to as the salad guy, mainly because his work was always invisible to me. I'd drop the salad orders and, cha-zing!, three or four or seven salads would appear at the pick-up station. But anyway.

The other thing I would guess the term "salad person" refers to is "one who eats salads." This then seems to require the term non-salad-person—but does this suggest zero salad consumption? Like ever? My good friend TT is, I think, the ultimate salad person, and this is because he not only eats plenty of salads but because he makes the best salads. TT works on pure inspiration in the salad department. Thus, if TT was involved in this conversation he might have needed to have responded "Yeah, I'm a salad person. And not just any salad person, an uber salad person."

I'm blogging about this not because of salads and entirely because of the popularity of the terminological combo:

_______ + person


Teaching in an English department, one constantly hears "math-or-science-person" in opposition to "English-person." And teaching document design and typography as part of argumentation, I frequently run up against students claiming "I'm not an art person," thus rendering them (or so they claim!) unable to incorporate new elements into their rhetoric.

"________ + person" seems to me to circulate as a way of linguistically sorting and limiting ourselves. It's a categorization that, I fear, keeps us from eating our greens.

UPDATE: 275 hits for the collocational phrase "not a salad person" via Google. Some of them are kind of funny. "Not a morning person," by comparison, shows up 244,000 times. See other examples of "not a * person" via this wild-card search.

11.26.2006

Students Suspended for YouTube Composition

Two articles—one on cNet, the other over at CBC News—about two students who were suspended for posting a video to YouTube of their teacher going berserk.

From the CBC report: "the incident took place a month ago, when one student provoked the teacher into yelling at her while a classmate secretly taped the confrontation." Of course, the video was captured on a cell phone, so the school has banned cell phones and other portable electronic devices.

Readers of this blog will recall that I was posting a while back on teachers being YouTubed, and you'll see most of the videos I posted a few months back in this recent CBC clip:



At that point it seemed like only a matter of time before bans of this kind (composition and documentation technologies regulated and controlled) would go into effect. Some composition technologies are simply too threatening, especially in the hands of students.

I say this with full recognition of the issues surrounding publishing the text of others (a lecture, say) and the importance of consent. But students who post video of their teachers to YouTube insist on a new kind of classroom that is open and public; they also insist on a new attitude among teachers that is game for public assessment and scrutiny.

A video will necessarily take teaching out of context, that is true, and with a little editing, any teacher can seem inept at best and demonic at worst. But still, when I see composition and documentation technologies banned, as in this case, I can't help but think the folks doing the banning have something to hide.

11.22.2006

F- f- f- found Friday!

Two little literate artifacts found this week, one intelligible and the other full of mystery. First the one that makes all kinds of sense, found on the margins of campus:


I'm particularly fond of the "courses you need" moment, as it marks a very directive and bossy author working to use the text for, if seems to me, self regulation. I guess "courses I need" would accomplish the same thing, but the way the to-do list seems to legitimate talking to oneself with a "you" is ... liberating?

This is the foundling I can't quite figure out:


Upon finding and reading it, I immediately flipped it over, assuming the genre of the language-learning flash card. And when I showed it to two or three other members of the found-object research team here at the blog, they all did the same thing.

But the back of the card is blank.

A memory tool for an in-class dialogue? I guess I can see that, but I'm still stuck on the idea of daddy putting on the speaker's "tenny runners." I mean, has that ever happened to anyone?

What Strange Email Lists Are You On?

It's Thanksgiving break here in Champaign-Urbana, time to catch up on/with grading, writing, friends, and esoteric email.

I'm on three or four bird related email lists: two about local sightings, one about bird books, and one about bird identification more generally. What I think is great about being on email lists from a range of disciplines/walks-of-life is that you can see how this now quite old technology of communicative exchange (pre-message board, pre-synchronous chat, pre-wiki, pre-social software) still does it for us when it comes to sharing information about a specialized topic.

On the bird identification list this week, there's discussion about a "putative Ring-necked Duck" possibly vacationing in Italy. Terms like "putative" show up a lot on that list, since it's all about identification. When the discussion veers too far from identification, say getting into "cultural issues," the moderator will circulate a let's-keep-to-ID-related-topics canned message

If I were to list the things I like about email lists, that (now) taken-for-granted tool of textual exchange, they would be that email lists:
  • reveal people invested in helping each other
  • reinvent the public letter
  • are topically do-it-yourself
  • allow you to swim in or ignore the discourse
  • seem to invite spontaneous participation
  • are usually archived and, thus, function as searchable resources
  • engender dialogue
  • seem to be particularly useful for newbies (you see this a lot on the WPA list)
  • and lastly, somehow tend to be less "on the radar" (in terms of what's pulled up in GrandpaGoogle searches) in comparison to, say, blog posts

11.20.2006

Crazy Email of the Morning

I've posted a few times before about what I sometimes refer to as Research 2.0: the leveraging of online social networks (as opposed to traditional research tools) to find stuff out. Instances of research 2.0 are most prominent on some of the lists I'm on when/where folks email the list looking for articles they could easily find in an online database.

I suppose Research 2.1 adds a level of specialized labor to "just" research.

I've deleted it now (such haste!), but a funny email came through this morning addressed to all or nearly all of the UIUC English faculty. In once succinct paragraph, the message asked for assistance editing some graduate application materials. This student, who shall remain nameless, thought it was a good idea to solicit twenty or thirty of us for help with some proofreading. This is strange for many reasons, most of them obvious.

Of course, if we'd all responded with suggestions, said nameless student would have been swamped.

11.18.2006

The Language of Electrocution

Like just about everyone else, it seems, I've been following the UCLA library debacle. I spoke with my sister the day after it happened—she's a librarian in the UCLA system—and learned that she deals with heavily armed campus police officers in her library, too.

In my post from a couple of days ago on the topic, I took care to describe what happened as a case of electrocution not tasering.

This is because of my concern that the use of the instrument's name (taser) to substitute for the action (electrocution) creates an antiseptic representation of this form of state sanctioned police violence. When "the student was tasered" stands in for "the student was electrocuted," I read the message as slightly removed from the jolting, transfixing shock of electrocution. We see this, similarly, in the lingo "sentenced to die in the electric chair" or "sentenced to the chair"; the chair, not the electricity, does the acting.

Another problem I have with how the events are being described concerns what is described as the motivation for the repeated electrocutions. In this article from today's LA Times, a piece that has been picked up by a number of other papers, we see the electrocutions described as for the purpose of subduing the student.

Hoping to calm the furor created when UCLA police used a Taser to subdue a student studying in Powell Library, the university's acting chancellor announced Friday that a veteran Los Angeles law enforcement watchdog would head up an independent investigation of the incident.

You need only to watch the video to get a very different impression of what happened: a subdued student (cuffed, in fact) was repeatedly electrocuted in order to get him to stand up and peacefully leave the library. The logic of this—electrocuting someone gets them to stand up?—is beyond reason.

Library patrons here at UIUC, particularly those not keen on being electrocuted in front of their classmates, may be somewhat relieved to read this local FAQ:
*Does [UIUC] Library Security Carry Tasers or any other Weapon?*

Neither Library Security, nor Campus Police carry Tasers. Library
Security guards carry pepper spray, only to be used in the event they
feel their lives are in danger. Campus Police carry equipment comparable
to that issues to members of municipal police departments.


UPDATE: Click here to check out the Petition to Ban the Use of Taser Guns by the UCPD.

11.16.2006

Phound Philly

If you've been reading the papers, you know that, as lead researcher here at the blog formerly known as metaspencer monster blog!, I was off in Philadelphia last week. Was I shirking my duties to this blog? No way; check out the foundlings.

Found on the street:


... and found (read: swiped off a seat) at the airport, something I'm sorry df had to witness:

UCLA Campus Police Electrocute Student in the Library

A painful video on YouTube of the UCLA campus police repeatedly electrocuting a student in the library in an apparent effort to remove him from the premises.

Previously blogged by rebel radio, netzoo, and martini republic.



To my surprise, not yet mentioned on rowdy librarian or any of the other librarian blogs I read. Do they cover how to deal with police brutality in library school?

The LA Times has this story about the incident. A statement by the PD is here.

Though I wouldn't typically cite him, Dave Kopel writes, in "Smash-Up Policing: When Law Enforcement Goes Military":
But the most dangerous aspect of police militarization isn't the machine guns: It's the change in police attitudes. In a constitutional republic, policemen are supposed to be "peace officers." Police militarization promotes maximal use of force as a solution, even when no force at all is required.

11.14.2006

RateMyClass

I'm over at Rebbecca Moore Howard's awesome blog (how does she do it, people?), and I'm scanning through a kind-of-long post. About half way through I find a link to ratemyclass.com. Thinking it's a new version of ratemyprofessors.com, I head over to check it out.

I guess I would have known this if I was paying closer attention to what RMH was actually saying in her post (boo scannadelic blog reading!), but ratemyclass is indeed doing much the same thing that ratemyprofessors is doing, only Syracuse University is the only institution listed on the site.

In spending all of three minutes on the Syracuse page, I was struck by two things: 1) how non-university-y the site looks, what with this banner and all, and 2) that the first published student evaluation I came across reads:


(click to enlarge, if you're into that kind of thing)

Now, we've probably all seen offensive, condemnatory, vituperative evaluations of instructors written by students. But what's weird is that I happened to click over to this particular eval because I was interested in seeing the responses to the course touted by ratemyclass as the best of the "Highest Rated Classes." The course this comment is associated with received a combined score of 9.4 (out of 10).

Clearly, this commenter considers a "good" class one where it's both easy to cheat via (ehem!) copying and where graders are easily coerced into dispensing high grades based on topical choice. If you "do it on being gay," which means write a paper about being gay, this commenter claims you'll get an instant "A." Implicit in this argument are a number of things, obviously, but one I have been thinking about for the past few days is the way personally revelatory writing can be hard to grade since it can seem that what's being revealed is what's being assessed.

The other thing we see in this published evaluation is a personal attack on the appearance of the instructor/professor (not sure which term to use), a thematic common in YouTube videos of and about teachers. Dale Bauer has a piece on the way course evaluations often focus on the appearance of female instructors; here we see how anyone can be assailed as bodily deficient to teach.

(Interested in reading about this again? Check out Inside Higher Ed in a couple of days.)

SearchMash

While I can remember a time when I used a range of search engines, BigGoogle has pretty much taken my searching over in the way it has colonized everything else. A few weeks back, Lei Lani was nice enough to turn me on to SearchMash, a search engine that reveals the hauls of both text and image searches on the same page.

So instead of having to tab-click between text and image results, as you do when you use BigGoogle, on SearchMash you get something like this:



Chasm Sized Segue #1: This reminds me of a conversation I had with the students in my "Writing Technologies" class yesterday, in that a few folks reported mainly attending to the images on Facebook these days. I was a bit surprised by this, but then realized that I do this more and more with BigGoogle, too, often searching for images in order to route to a page or site.

Chasm Sized Segue #2: It's happened again: my silly picture of an anti-skateboarding sign has been picked up, duplicated, and is methamphetamizing my web traffic. While it used to be the number one image hit on BigGoogle (if you did an image search for "skateboarding"), it's now like fifteenth or something. I mean, it's an okay image, but the naming of jpgs and gifs seems to me to be valued waaaay too much in the prioritization of image search results.

11.13.2006

Penultimate Panels

Via Bill over at history of the button (which is a mighty fine blog, by the way), I'm directed to Matt Gill's blog on penultimate panels.

I had no idea that text evacuated panels were a convention in comics of this kind and length, but Matt is definitely on to a genre convention—and writing a ton of hi-larious stuff about it.

On a completely different note, I'm just back from a conference in Philly, so behind in just about every way, but I can say that the two readers of this blog have something to look forward to all week: Found Philly Friday!

11.07.2006

Found Friday: More Cheating as Literate Practice

While I'm currently out of town giving a paper at the annual meeting of the SSAWW, one of the well-paid members of the research team agreed to post this installment of Found Friday. Thanks research team!

Today, for your reading pleasure, we have this to-do list, a popular genre both on campus and on the metaspencer blogging network®:

(click to make image larger than it appears)


For educators (98.3% of readers, if my focus-group interviews are correct), it may come as a bit of a shock to see the marginal-and-boxed item "copy span from Mark." If you didn't catch it the first time through, here is a close up:



And please don't even think of sending me a postcard arguing that "span" is a common term for a measured distance. I just ain't buyin' it. This list maker is, instead, a cheater. Or, attending more closely to the artifact and the mechanics of crossouts, a planned cheater.

This brings me back to my previous posts on cheating as literate practice. Who among us attends much if at all (in our writing classes) to the critical examination of copying? Clearly it is an academic practice, and clearly it is a technological practice, so why leave it unexamined? Surely there are many graphic intricacies cheaters deploy to mask their duplications, and as many complex social machinations that allow for such textual distribution.

And yet, teaching "Bartleby, the Scrivener" is probably as close as any of us come to talking about copying. In this list we see how copying is one of the ways students write clandestinely and despite our regulatory harangues.

What Chat Software Do You Use?

I've been "chatting" a lot more lately than ever before, and since starting to use Skype for long distance calls, I've been chatting via Skype, too. This leads me to think that what messaging program you use really does matter.

Comparing Adium, Fire, and Skype, first you get some logo variation.

adiumfireskype


The cute little ducky in Adium gets my vote, mainly because it doesn't try to suggest anything obvious about communication and jumps around in your dock (mac users) whenever you get a message. Plus, it's a bird.

What's significantly different about the applications, though, is the way they bundle or fail to bundle consecutive utterances by one speaker. In all three applications, if I say something, you say something, and I say something, we get a visual representation of three utterances in dialogic relationship. Only in Fire, though, is it the case that if I say something, then I say another thing (as I'm often prone to do; hyperlalia does extend to computer mediated communication), then you finally get a word in edgewise, three utterances are presented. So in Fire, this kind of exchange could look like this:


metaspencer: have you seen the ducky?
metaspencer: have you seen it? have you?
you: enough with the ducky already!!!

What's interesting about Adium and Skype is that the first two utterances, when not interceded with an utterance by the other discussant, are bundled together by background color instead of being separated from one another by line break. This grouping makes them appear as if they are part of the same speech bubble, to draw from the visual rhetoric of comic books, or the same speech act, to draw from everyone's dear pals Austin and Searle.

As Fire presents such an exchange, I say one thing, then I say another thing, then you say something. As Adium and Skype present such an exchange, I make one articulatory move composed of two utterances, then you respond. This is a significant difference, I think, because of the way pithy short phrases are normalized in IM discourse. I mean, some people write multi-line messages—possibly proof read them even!—and then click send. But most of us go for just a few words, as that keeps the dialog flowing. With the bundling of multiple utterances by the same speaker in Adium and Skype, a speaker who types one thing, then another, then even another before being responded to seems like less of a conversation hog.

Conversation hog, as you may know, is a highly technical term in conversation analysis.

I bring this up because this is one of the only ways I've seen an application representing computer-mediated-communication in significantly different ways that influence meaning.

11.06.2006

Proximity and Satire

Debbie sends me a link (via Z) to this article about University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann posing (on Halloween) alongside a student dressed as a suicide bomber. (More on the incident here, here, and here.)

The article reads:
[The student] can be seen carrying out a series of mock hostage executions, evoking images reminiscent of the series of abductions and murders of Westerners in Iraq in 2004.
Now, satire can be tough to read, and often the best forms can be in very bad taste—but it's funny how proximity works to damn the prez in this case. For her to be seen posing alongside the satirist is viewed as in poor taste (or uncritical), even though she's not the one laden with phony explosives and undertaking the performances so obviously critical of ethnic prejudice.

11.04.2006

What is a Writing Technology?

Over the course of the semester, I've posted a few times about the "Writing Technologies" class I'm teaching. The class has two parts:

The first part involves the exploration of writing technologies as significant in any act of composition, and to get at that students read about various technologies, conduct historical and ethnographic research into technologically mediated composition, and compose using a range of tools.

The second part involves an in-depth inquiry into one currently fashionable set of technologies: html, css, and javascript. This, in a sense, is a class within a class since, on Fridays, we meet in a computer classroom and students have been learning to hand code increasingly complex and sophisticated web sites. These sites connect to the first part of the class in that the sites students make are about the technologies they've studied and used. So the first website was about writing on clay, the second about handwriting, the third (a wiki) about typewriters and typewriter composition, and last week they "turned in" websites featuring typefaces they invented.

[An aside, and something to post about later: the "invent your own typeface" websites are soooo cool!]

You might not be able to tell from the way I've been going on in recent weeks, but this class is not the only one I'm teaching. My other class is great; I'm just excited about the way the structure of this "Writing Technologies" curriculum is facilitating interesting student projects.

Physical Technologies Students Have Written With So Far include
  • clay/stylus
  • pencil/paper
  • pen/paper
  • manual typewriter/paper
  • electric typewriter/paper
  • Etch-a-Sketch™/screen
  • MS Word/screen
  • online word processors/screen
  • PhotoShop & GIMP/screen
  • NVU html text editor/screen
  • and then things like dental floss

Physical Technologies They Will Soon Try
  • an online word processor, invented here at UIUC, that automates research in linked databases
  • IBM ThinkPads
  • AlphSmart Keyboards
  • The Fly PenTop, assuming I can get my hands on one

One of the many things that is nice about focusing on technologies of writing, I think, is that such a perspective begins to erode any clear sense that writing technologies are things we can touch and/or hold in our hands. As a result, this kind of inquiry gets us to a point of wondering where does technology end and rhetoric begin?

Less Physical "Technologies" Students Have Deployed
  • technologies of typographic document design
  • technologies of image/text relations
  • technologies of kinetic images
  • technologies of code and display
  • information architecture
  • form
  • genre

I'm teaching a "Composition Theory and Practice" course next semester, the kind of course that is commonly taken by future teachers (at UIUC, that means English Education majors), and it's increasingly clear to me as a teacher of composition/rhetoric that understanding the significance of writing technologies is part of a rhetorical understanding of composition.

While I've been toying with the idea of going back to one-technology-composition (having students post all of their work to blogs, say), such an approach is seeming increasingly limiting.

11.02.2006

Found ... Thursday? "Come Up With Plan to Keep Mom Away"!

You're walking down the sidewalk. Fallen leaves. Irregularities in the pavement. A conversation about attributes and relations in database fields. Suddenly, before you on the pavement, a scrap of paper. Stop. Pick it up. Uncrumble and read.

(click to make the object
in the mirror larger than it appears)


Now, there are a number of priceless items on this list, but what could possibly compare with number three? And it's crossed out!

(click to make the object
in the mirror larger than it appears)


Like all found texts, this one leaves soooo many unanswered questions. Such are the challenges of artifact analysis when there is no writer to chat with—and yet, we think we know at least some of the perambulations this list tracks. Getting rid of old clothes. An unfulfilled desire to exercise. And what, the country club doesn't do email?

Poor mom, if it wasn't for this list, you may never have been kept away.

.... .... .... ....

A Little Bit On StrikeThroughs

This list also makes me think about strikethroughs a little bit—and by strikethrough I mean both the tag that creates text of this kind and struck text.

The tag, of course, is just the simple <strike> followed by </strike>, and online such legible disruption of standard text can denote anything from sarcasm to corrected error.
  • sarcasm: "I am completely thrilled about the fact that my website went down yesterday"
  • corrected error: "My current archive of 265 (update: 266!) found notes-and-lists is close to requiring a second file folder."

But! Isn't it true that, when it comes to handwritten lists, the same graphic element of the strikethrough, when done in such a way to still make the struck text legible, signifies only one thing: completion? In this way, a graphic element such as the strikethrough (I'm hesitant to say punctuation mark), when jumping technologies and genres, can be used in new and multiple ways without disrupting the original and still-ongoing practice.

11.01.2006

404

Woke up this morning to find all of my domain servers down—did I forget to pay the heating bill or something? The meager archipelago I have created is almost entirely submerged. No metaspencer.com, no perfectspeling.com, no 9interviews.com, no ... well, I won't mention that one. :)

A small island nation now exists under the pirate flag of 404.



From plinko.net we learn that
HTTP status codes were established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1992, as a part of the HTTP 0.9 spec. They were defined by Tim Berners-Lee, the same person who single-handedly invented the web and the first web browser in 1990. We at the 404 Research Lab like to think of him as The Man Who Made All Of This Possible.

But history means nothing to me! 404 has dominion over all but this feeble blog! A thorough takeover!