Blogs and News

2002-05-11

Friday night is often my blog night, but last night I worked on a Jabber URI scheme instead. It will be great to be able to express Jabber IDs as URIs and interact with them through a browser or whatever, though obviously we'll need to build that support into web browsers and email clients and such. Don't hold your breath for support in IE or Outlook. :)

More evidence that bloggers like to blog about blogs: everyone is linking to essays in Salon by Scott Rosenberg and Steven Johnson. How do I know everyone is linking to them? Because Blogdex says so. BTW, I'd never visited Blogdex until this evening -- it's a fun if ultimately narcissistic window on the blogging world. But narcissism is what makes the blogosphere go round -- it's an incestuous community of people who love to hear themselves talk. I suppose I'm no better than the rest. ;)

As usual for a Saturday night I've been enjoying baklava, Turkish coffee, and good music. Right now I'm listening to the music of New Orleans piano guru Professor Longhair -- specifically, his song "They Call Me Dr. Professor Longhair". I love the left-hand part he plays on the low bass keys in this song. There is something so delectable about that low, growly, chocolatey range on the piano, at least to a bass-hungry listener like me. Yum.

Leafing through the hit parade at Blogdex, I rediscovered the essays of Victor Davis Hanson over at the National Review. I've just read half a dozen or so of his latest essays. He certainly is consistent in this views, which are quite the opposite of those expressed in essays like this one on the "disastrous foreign policies of the United States". Hanson's latest piece on "Occidentalism" captures much that is wrong with Islamic thinking. As the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn argued before he was assassinated recently, Islam is a backward culture because it is a closed culture (incidentally, the word 'assassin' comes from the Arabic word for a secret society whose hashish-eating members killed Christian leaders during the Crusades). BTW, Adam Curry has written an important essay about Fortuyn's assassination and the resulting reaction; the title is The Big Lie. Fortuyn's killing hits closer to home for me than it probably does for most Americans, since my mother is from the Netherlands and I've inherited important parts of Dutch culture, which is so open and tolerant (the very opposite of Islamic mores). Perhaps my Dutch heritage is why I'm able to keep a bit of perspective about intolerant aspects of American culture. Or so I like to think.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal