Archive for March, 2003

My sister commented a while back, apropos of my post on What Makes Sammy Run?, that bloggers may be self-selectedly low-Glick. Perhaps, but Glick is relative, and the blogosphere™ has its share of canny self-promoters, like anywhere else. Some examples? Glad you asked. 10. InstaPundit. Glenn Reynolds certainly deserves his traffic — well, most of […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 31, 2003 @ 11:08 PM | Blogs

I can’t speak for each blogger, but this blogger is really four: The blogger who plays computer games instead of blogging. The blogger who checks his reefer logs like a hamster on crank instead of blogging. The blogger who, realizing that his last post could stand some polishing up, decides oh fuck it, hits the […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 30, 2003 @ 1:27 AM | Blogs,Navel-Gazing

Cryptographic history can be viewed as a running battle between the code makers and the code breakers, and as Part I concluded, the code makers were winning. The polyalphabetic Vigenère cipher proved impregnable for 300 years. In the mid 19th century a British dentist and amateur crytographer, ignorant of cryptographic history, independently reinvented the cipher […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 29, 2003 @ 12:46 PM | Code

“what are disanalogies” — That’s when you make some stupid analogy in my comments section, and I dis you. “Steven Den Beste” — I think I can help you out with this one. “tarantino plagiarism french new wave cinema” — Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose. “how much weed is in a joint” […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 28, 2003 @ 11:08 PM | Navel-Gazing

In the beginning were transposition and substitution. Transposition ciphers, which date back to at least the fifth century B.C., are giant anagrams. You scramble all the letters according to an agreed-upon pattern and put them back together the same way. A grade-school example is the rail-fence. Extract the odd-numbered characters from a message, write them […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 26, 2003 @ 1:23 PM | Code

Everybody go to Jim Ryan’s site right now and tell him not to quit blogging. Dammit Jim, you’re a blogger, not a real person with better things to do!

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 25, 2003 @ 3:00 PM | Blogs

Eddie Thomas, who ordinarily philosophizes, ventures into poetry analysis — of very bad poetry, but poetry nonetheless. He chooses “Your Guess Is As Good As Mine,” by the Derailers, a honky-tonk band I’ve never heard of. The lyrics run: Every time we talk, you keep asking me Where our hearts are headed and how it’s […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 25, 2003 @ 2:13 PM | Poetry

You really want a culture clash, attend the next time some TV reporter interviews a soldier. Chances are you’ll hear an exchange like the following: TV Head: So, you’re flying out again tonight? Pilot: Yes. TV Head: How do you feel? Are you apprehensive at all? Pilot: No. I’m ready to go out there and […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 24, 2003 @ 9:52 PM | Culture,Politics

Yes, Peter Arnett, last seen in 1998 disseminating a virtually unsourced and utterly false tale about the U.S. Army using sarin against Vietnam War defectors in 1970, is back, armed with a National Geographic press credential and reporting on the war for NBC. You can say what you like about lawyers, but if they get […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 22, 2003 @ 6:45 PM | Culture,Politics

Tom Wolfe coined “plutography,” which deserves to be in wider use, to describe television shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and magazines like Architectural Digest. Our new weapons are mind-blowing, to be sure, and I’m happy we have them, but there is something unseemly about the way the TV reporters slobber over them. […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 22, 2003 @ 12:55 PM | Language