Sunday, January 30, 2005


personal :: moving

really wanted to get a picture of it, but I kept forgetting. It's
really too bad, too. Alas, I shall have to describe it, hoping to
capture some of the comedic impact.

I have just moved to Colorado with some friends. We did a caravan
cross-country, and it was a blast. However, there were, shall we say,
some "low points" along the way...

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Sorting, Packing, and Throwing Out

personal :: moving

is the worst part of moving for me, and it always has been. The joy of
a move to a new place is tainted only by the arduous series of tasks
required in getting there ;-)

In the process of sorting through all the printed manuals, web
pages, etc. held together with binder clips, I found my first python
reference manual. So, today I had to say good-bye to something I didn't
even know I had: a printed hard-copy of the Python 1.5.2 reference

Yes, I shed a tear. A little Pickled tear. But I used cPickle, since it was faster.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Paul Graham - Value and Productivity in the New Economy

internet :: techology :: economics

In Paul Graham's essay What the Bubble Got
, he makes mention of several things that many people are
discussing all over the net in technological, political and economic
circles. Of particular interest are his discussions on value and
productivity. Of particular interest to me is how these insights mesh
with the visions that others are having of economics, business,
management and society in the coming decades.

The following bears greater reflection:

Recognizing an important trend turns out to be easier than figuring out
how to profit from it. The mistake investors always seem to make is to
take the trend too literally. Since the Internet was the big new thing,
investors supposed that the more Internettish the company, the better.

In fact most of the money to be made from big trends is made
indirectly. It was not the railroads themselves that made the most
money during the railroad boom, but the companies on either side, like
Carnegie's steelworks, which made the rails, and Standard Oil, which
used railroads to get oil to the East Coast, where it could be shipped
to Europe.

Gar and Ted's Excellent Adventure

economics :: politics

Okay, and Duncan too ;-)

Well, today I had the immense good fortune to meet with Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism and Ted Howard, Director of The Democracy Collaborative. We had a fantastic meeting this afternoon in Washington, D.C.

You know, there are times when you meet people and the
personalities, atmosphere, communication and relating go beyond all
expectations. This was one of those times. They are both exceptional
individuals with lofty goals coupled with a down-to-earth approach for
attaining these goals; two very welcoming and natural or "real" people
with a great sense of humor and deep interest in open, honest,
thoughtful discussion. It was an honor to share conversation with such
scholars and activists, but even more so, it was an honor be sharing
food and drink with two wonderful human beings.

These are the types of interaction that have been slowly and queitly transforming our society. I look forward to more :-)

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Saturday, January 08, 2005

A Random Blog

I think I will call it "Schrodinger's Box" ...

I was reading the paper "Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks", and part of it sparked a thought: it shouldn't be that difficult write a blog that generates random gibberish... but not just any gibberish. The parts of speech should be correct (for the most... part); sentences should represent complete "thoughts." In the spirit of that most bizarre of internet radio stations, Eigenradio, the source material will be analogous to radio stations: blogs, news items, popular google searches. But how, you ask? Easy!

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Traceroute Games

This post is actually taken from and email that I wrote to some friends (late last December) who like this kind of stuff. I went searching through my email, looking for what it was that I did with pydot and graphviz just a while back, and I realized I never blogged about it, and I should have ;-)

A few days after the Winter Solstice, I was screwing around with pydot (graphviz) and a custom traceroute python wrapper I threw together (Update: this is now available
here). I wanted to graphically visualize multiple traceroutes and see the paths shared in common. This is part of a proof-of-concept for some monitoring ideas I have.

The end result was rather cool, the images for which are available here. Here's the Python code that generated the images (though all the heavy lifting is done by the traceroute module, linked to above):

import pydot

from import traceroute

hosts = ["", "", "", "",
linkedHosts = []

for host in hosts:
trace = traceroute.Trace(host, useDNS=True, queries=5)
domains = trace.results.getLinkedDomains(subdomainLimit=2)

graph = pydot.graph_from_edges(linkedHosts, directed=True)
graph.write_png("traceroutes.png", prog="dot")

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Beyond Capitalism

economics :: politics

while running errands for the move, I was listening to NPR and an
interview with Gar Alperovitz on his new book "America Beyond
Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty and Our Democracy." It
was awesome. He had some very interesting stats on wealth in this
Nation, the division wealth by race, the political inheritance of the
South (from the Confederacy) as it has recently become a Republican
stronghold, the decline of labor unions and the labor politics, and the
rise of the very wealthy.

Yet, he had some excellent and encouraging
things to say about the amount of work that has been going on at the
grassroots level. However unbalanced things have become politically and
economically, there has been a whole new focus at very practical levels
-- right where we live, work, and play.

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