Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

pynchon

I read Gravity's Rainbow more than 3 years ago. Since then, a week doesn't go by without "a screaming comes across the sky..." appearing in my head. The complexity of Pynchon's work has inspired many websites that, thankfully, are not just your usual fan-babble but contain useful and interesting information. One of my favorites can be found here. Another site (less nice, but with more links) can be found here.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 27, 2002 at 8:15 PM

blogstreaming

Today I found a (for me) new term: blogstreaming, which is defined nicely and concisely here. I've grappled with these questions myself, and the evidence is that I have two weblogs instead of one with categories. Separate weblogs seem to me a better solution, but maybe a future blogstreaming tool will make it easier to merge them into one.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on July 27, 2002 at 7:55 PM

the bright side of the crash

Bill Keller's op-ed piece in the New York Times today talks about "the bright side" of the current problems in corporations, and their consequences. Very interesting. A quote:

"The truth may empty your pockets, but it will also set you free. Over the past decade we have been absurdly captivated by the stock market. The Dow became our national mood ring. Investing went from being a form of savings to being a kind of lottery. We became a nation lined up on its elliptical trainers, pedaling to nowhere while staring blankly at the market ticker on CNBC. [...] The fact that Americans are losing faith now is no bad thing; we've been worshiping in a casino."

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 27, 2002 at 5:19 PM

the US and the UN

The US has lately been dismissing international treaties apparently faster than others can start working on them. The latest relates to a modification to the UN convention against torture that would allow observers to monitor prisons in countries that accept the protocol. The US, in not accepting it, has sided with countries like Iran against almost everybody, including its allies. The usual complaints are there: too intrusive, conflicts with local law, etc.

What is amazing to me is not so much that this happened, but that, in the US, it doesn't seem to be newsworthy anymore. So far, I've found it mentioned only in European newspapers and magazines.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on July 27, 2002 at 2:18 PM

the doubling of internet traffic

During the late 90's, there was a famous statistic that we've all heard at least once: Internet traffic was doubling every 100 days. The claim was made in a report by the US Department of Commerce, but, according to a recent article, the figure did not come from internal research by the DoC. It came from a company: Worldcom.
UUNET, a unit of Worldcom, handles about 50% of the Internet traffic. So when Worldcom executives, including its CEO, presented the figure, everybody assumed it was right. Competitors, when seeing their traffic far below Worldcom's numbers, internally assumed that they had to catch up with them, but externally they inflated their own traffic numbers as well.
Over time, people apparently started to confuse growth in capacity with growth in traffic, and routinely quoted growth figures of 1000% annually.
And to think that so many business plans where funded with astronomic sums on the premise that traffic was growing on that scale...
A tiny error. Just like the one they made on their accounting books. "Nobody Knew," right?
Will this be Arthur Andersen's fault as well?

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on July 27, 2002 at 11:07 AM

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