Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Clue one...don't ever ask me to help with your web sites publicity. Ryan Hiller is a very talented young musician. So far, the MP3 upload I did for him has attracted a paltry 4 hits after three months. Considering that I played each of the songs once. This seems to indicate that only one of the people I directed to the site played the music. I suspect that Ryan himself was responsible for the fourth hit.

Even when I start with excellent material, I can't seem to draw any interest.

I am in a funk, because I received a nasty gram from a marketer who wanted to rub in the fact that my Provo site has an Alexa rank in the upper millions, while his site has a 500,000. My rank seems to fluctuate between 1.7 million and 3 million. Few of my other sites are ranked at at all. Proto Photo cruised in with a 550,000.

Of course, I don't have the Alexa toolbar installed. Installing the bar generally skyrockets one's page rank.

The scary thing is that employers might be checking out this information. I guess when you have 500+ resumes per position you can do a great deal of weeding out just by checking the page rank of applicant's sample sites. It might explain why I haven't been able to get a job in the last two and a half years.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Mowed the lawn for the third time this year.

I am working on a CSS page. So I am too miserable to write anything. CSS is worse the filling out tax forms. I nominate for the most poorly conceived mark up language ever conceived.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Alas, my blog archives have disappeared. The directions on reviving disappearing archives does not work. So far, the time spent trying to fix the blog has been for not. I clicked on several other blogs...their archives have flowns south as well. It is probably the simple matter of waiting until someone at corporate gets their head in gear and fix the problem.

Hmmm, you might visit photo gallery site while you wait for the computer geeks to get their heads in gear.

Friday, April 25, 2003

The number of acts bearing the name patriot is become a little bit unnerving. This /. post was in regards to an act concerning software encryption. The rules about what type of encryption is allowed and the access that the government has to databases really has nothing to do with patriotism.

The fact that the proponents are misusing calls to patriotism is extremely worrisome. When oppressors want to take over, the language is the first thing to go.

For most of my life the far left had been the biggest threat...so it breaks my heart even more when the conservatives pull stunts like naming 9/11 Patriot Day.
My father's computer is on the fritz. He has serial mouse, and it appears that his serial mouse has gone south. We now have two ill computers in the house. The lack of income tells me to simply live with the cards dealt. Boy, I now have a big load of expenses, if ever I get a job again? I am scared that at 40, I will be lucky to make $30k a year. To make matters worse, not being LDS, it is almost impossible to find a job in Salt Lake. The few interviews I get generally make it quite clear that they only look for LDS employees. Now that it is warm, I think I might take another stab at crossing the mountains and looking for employment in Denver.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

The coffee pot remains broken, I put at scathing review on epinions. I noticed the other reviews for this coffee pot had similar complaints of the computer going south. Gosh, who'd a figured that a computer would break in an environment that gets super hot several times a day? Adding computers to all the devices in the world really doesn't make our lifes any easier. People want an appliance to do what the appliance does...we really don't need more clocks that show the wrong time or other things computers offer...so why put a computer chip in everything?

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Josh Gold spoke at the UNA Utah Meeting. He is a PhDed professor currently teaching at SLCC. The talk brought up speculations of the US agenda in Iraq, and he brought up the thesis that many smaller countries, in the wake of the Iraq war, are desperate to find ways to defend themselves against US aggression. As such we are likely to see more countries trying to go nuclear or join anti-US pacts.

From an academic point of view. It is interesting the number of times he delved into metaphors from game theory. For example, he brought up the prisoner's dilemma twice. The first was in reference to countries that felt the cost of opposing the US was greater the gain. The second was in context of the US unfettered support for Zionism. In this case the lobbying is one sided. The support or withdrawal of support by AIPAC far outweighs any benefit a politician would gain by an open minded approach to the Palestinian question.

As for the plight of the UN and international community. Professor Gold would simply bring up the problems of the commons. While there are many people who would want to have the benefits of collective action, there are few willing to bear the cost.

Post 9/11 America is an extremely sad affair. The US has given in to the primal instincts to destroy our perceived enemies and it is now a very difficult time for people who believe in rationality and hold the hope that there is a better way to approach international affairs than through either brute force of poised diplomacy of the UN security council.

If there were only an International Criminal Court.

Anyway, back to the issue of game theory. The unilateral and controversial actions of the US really have created a horrible situation for the world. It is as though the US has cast aside the whole concept of right and wrong, and the world has digressed to an irrational game of different parties that simply seek advantage over one another.

Professor Gold had a great deal of knowledge about the problems in the Middle East, and had a great deal of insight into the different positions and motivations of the interested parties in the region, but when asked about solutions, or best path to follow from here, he had little to offer.

And so it is with the fog of war. No one knows what the future will hold. It is all up in the air. There are no simple patches to fix injustices of the past. When you stare at a problem and longer even see a clear path to solution, the mind simply has to fall back and find other explanations.

As such, the political economist will turn to game theory. It is all a game where parties seek comparative advantage. Saddam may have lost the battle, he may even be dead, but at the moment he won the war because the world has just been taught a great lesson by the US Administration.

It is sad. The US had served as a beacon of hope and justice for many in the world, but they now see that it is all about power. If people give up hope that we can define a right way and a wrong way of going about important international issues, they will simply fall back to the belief that it is all a game of parties vying for power and the strongest party ruling.

The UNAU is a fantastic organization. It gives people of Utah a chance to learn about and discuss international affairs. Yet I am sad today, because we have fallen in a sad state that makes no room for civil discourse. Should I fall into the trap of the dour academician and say it is all game. It is all parties seeking relative advantage over each other...or should I hold to my naive believes that there is an ability for people to engage in rational, mutually beneficial discourse?
Well, I wasted several hours working on Hello Utah!. This poor site was marked as a 0 in Google's Page Rank program. I take it that means that the site will soon be delisted. The goal of the site was to provide a place to put articles on Utah. To quickly make the site interesting I added population statistics by county. I think the real problem is that I have too many projects going on.

Monday, April 21, 2003

I broke a hundred points at Zeal...Gosh, I am being such a wonderful netizen. Here is a list of Contributed Sites. I figure doing things like this helps counter some of the SEO spamming done by companies and helps worthy organizations float to the top. This whole karma thing going on with search engines is quite fascinating, a site like this has a little itty-bitty tiny amount of points that transfers to zeal. Zeal aggregates of this Karma, then sends it to the sites that it deems worth listing. Google and other search engines then use the karma points to help determine search order. The topology is quite fascinating.

Friday, April 18, 2003

So the big reports from Iraq concern looting of zoos and museums. Much of the looting appears to be organized.

That was one of the questions I had from the beginning of the war. How much priceless art would be lost in the incursion?

The shame isn't on the Americans. Iraq was run by thugs and created a culture of thugs. The looters undoubtedly had keys and new which pieces to steal.

Undoubtedly, Mr. Hussein had lined his pleasure palaces and bunkers with all the art he could steal. US TV has let to tell us how much was destroyed in these pleasure palaces.

The business of war is still messy...even with laser guided bombs.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

My neice is gracing the Internet with another set of her pictures from Europe. She did a quarter in Torino, and is now traveling around freely.

On the annoying side of things. I just got several bounced messages. It appears that a porn spammer sent a boat load of spam with my domain in his forged return address. I hope it is only on a few thousand mails, and not a few million.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Yesterday, we had a fierce winter storm (fierce enough that I decided to forego the festivities of ritual midnight tax return mailing)...today it is so nice that it should be illegal. Weather in Utah is always a hoot.

Neff Creek (behind our house) has started to flow when it rains. While on a walk, I discovered that someone had done some illegal dumping of dirt in an empty lot several blocks above our house. The dirt washed away, and has effectively clogged all the storm drains in his neighborhood. The city now has an expensive drain repair project to complete.

The reason that Neff Creek is flowing is because the rain water from this neighborhood flows down to a cross over piple into Neff Creek. Neff Creek isn't rated to take the run off from both Neff Creek canyon and this neighborhood...so if we were in a flood year, the clogged drains could cause serious damage.

It is amazing that people fail to realize that if you put a big pile of loose dirt on a slope that the pile of dirt will erode.

A few years ago, I came across a construction project where they were dumping excess tar into a storm drain. The idiocacy of some people is astounding.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

The IRS rejected my efiling...So I had to print out my return and mail it. So much for the efficiencies of the net.

I finally gave up on Resendable Greetings...I will now just use it to host the silly short stories I occasionally decide to write.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

I decided to move the ads of descriptive mathematics and on to a new separate ad only site called A Fountain of Bargains. I wish I had a better way to pay for web development. I also reread the Return of the King today. Pretty much a wasted day.
It is good to be gardening again.

I was disappointed, the mulch pile was completely dry and hadn't done any magic dirt making during the winter. I poured some water on the thing and stirred. Considering that it is a drought year, I don't want to have to water the mulch pile in the summer. Seems to defeat the rabid eco jabbering meadow muffin in me.

Turning the mulch pile made me realize that I am horribly out of shape.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Alas, the new Cuisinart Coffee machine is dead again. The little computer won't respond to commands. We got about five pots from the fool thang then it died. Why is there a friggin' computer on a coffee machine anyway? I prefer the old mechanical style with a physical on/off switch. A computer is a thing that breaks and can't be fixed.

Speaking of broken, I ran scandisk and got two more bad clusters, so it's official ... this computer is at the end of its days.

I got an email from SEO Chat saying Google is dancing...but I checked Salt Lake Sites...it is still in the high 200s. I did all sorts of nice things for Google last month. I made all my URLs shorter and added juicy sections of public service links, and what do I get...an even lower rating.

Yahoo is being nice to me, and has Salt Lake Sites on page one. Hooray for Yahoo!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

My six year old niece broke her left arm on the monkey bars yesterday.

She is now spending the day in rehab, and will be getting a cast tomorrow. The young lady is very interested in what the doctors do. Wouldn't it be exciting if she grew up to be a doctor...instead of a computer geek like the rest of her relatives.

Monday, April 07, 2003

This month's Intelligent Inquiry Educational Society meeting featured Michael Yount. He is the editor of the Salt Substitute insert in The Salt Lake Tribune. The topic of conversation was The Influence of Religion and Environment on Language.

The topic started a lively debate about language, language education and communication and the idiosycracies of Utah dialect. It is fun being part of a group discussing ideas. It would have been "funner" if "funner" was actually an English word and not just a jumble of syllables that I use when I mean more fun.

I should start a society of people who want "funner" to be recognized by Webster dictionary as a word.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

For a brief moment today, ProvoUtah.US was pointed to a porn site. It was disconcerting because I couldn't figure out where the hackers were attacking. All of the index files, .htaccess and DNS entries were okay when I looked at the files. It may have been an attack at my webhost or perhaps something wrong with the DNS entry at xmission.

So I spent an hour changing passwords. There certainly are a lot of useless people in this world. Anyway, back to checking logs.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Here is a big waste of time. I was interested in how different areas of the world are represented on the web. So I took different names of cities, and compared the number of pages google returned to recent population reports. It looks like a complete waste of time. However, I find population statistics and knowledge of other places fascinating.

Here is the page: Google City.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

I crashed the Utah Information Technology Association annual meeting. UITA is a political action committee for Utah hi tech.

The center piece of the meeting was Governor Mike Leavitt's signing House Bill 240 -- The Venture Capital Enhancement Act. The meeting was largely about self congratulations. No one explained how common folk like me can get our grubby little mits on the $100 million treasure trove...which is how it should be.

The timing of the act is pretty good, since there will probably be a small amount of growth in the venture capital industry in the next few years.

Anyway, it was fun hob nobbing with CEOs. I pretended that I owned my own company. I do own the web site Links Alive. If you have $12 you can own a web site too.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Talk about obnoxious design. I wanted to see if a friend still had an AIM account. Anyway, I went to load AIM. The program said I had to upgrade. Yeah, Yeah, I knew it would do slimy things like start loading AIM on startup...I knew how to turn that feature off. Well, the new AIM now attaches itself to Microsoft Outlook and has some type of hook into internet explorer.

To be even slimier, the program loads an ad page. That means I have to wait for thirty seconds to load then close a piece of garbage software by AOL. This is my punishment for loading the program. I knew I was making a mistake. Now I have a resource hungry parasite draining a few seconds of my day away. This computer will die soon; so I won't waste much time fixing things. What a waste of time.

I suspect corporate America will get slimier before they ever start getting better.
I thought I would whip up a short outline for the Rich Theory idea a few days ago. Three days later, the half day project isn't completed. I appear to be getting slower, slower and slower.

Rich Theory really is just a brain fart about about a better way to present the concepts of large sets, power sets and the introduction of transfinite theory to students in lieu of the bug ridden diagonal method. It is something that I spent entirely too much time on.

I admit, I had toyed with the idea of sending this draft out to schools to see if it would be of any interest. The problem, of course, is that the article really isn't aimed at the academic mathematician. The problem is that transfinite theory as it is presented in most introductory texts has a major bug, and it ends up creating a great deal of confusion.

This Rich Theory outline ins't meant as a completed paper, but as an outline that textbooks writers could use to expand into a better introduction to the theory.

I still need to add some stuff about ordering sets and multiple dimensions, then I will call the project half-assed.