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Hamish Harvey is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
Bear in mind, too, that nothing appears to have happened with Haystack since 2004. 1Gb/2GHz is pretty normal these days (though no less horrifying as minimum requirements for all that); it was expensive then. That said, Java isn't interpreted. And the prototype "worked" (unusably slowly on the hardware I had at the time) under Linux, so running under Wine wouldn't be necessary. And running "under a VM" on modern hardware is pretty much running on the hardware.
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2007 on Yet another PIM effort: Haystack at MishMash
Hi Earl, What about the process of "drying" the milk? How much energy goes in? How much waste comes out? What is done with that waste? Where is the milk drying factory? How far does the "wet" milk travel to that factory? And the (much smaller) dried product? On the criteria of food miles and energy consumption, it would surely be hard to beat glass bottles, washed and reused on site at a local dairy. But for other reasons, dairy is already an international business (luckily for my sister, who farms in NZ). Cheers, Hamish
Klaudia: what point are you making? Darwin continues: "When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei ["the voice of the people = the voice of God "], as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certain the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, should not be considered as subversive of the theory." I feel I should point out that I haven't read "The Origin of Species". Despite this fact, it was immediately clear from the phrasing of the quotation you give that Darwin does not share the view described. Google filled in the obvious blank. Darwin, in any case, is far from the last word on evolution.
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2007 on Evolution of the (human) eye at MishMash
Ummm, OK. A few things. 1) Blasphemy is an act of speech. One cannot blaspheme by believing something. 2) The concept of blasphemy was constructed by organised religion in order to justify the suppression, and brutal suppression at that, of dissent. It has nothing to do with belief, and everything to do with power. Freedom from this sort of oppression was won with great difficulty and at great personal cost to those who fought for it, to the enormous benefit of all of us. To continue to use such medieval language from the comfort afforded by those freedoms is absurd. 3) "Chance"---random mutation---is a very important, but very small part of the evolutionary process. Neither Darwin nor Dawkins have claimed that babies came about "by chance". 4) The quotation you provide invokes wonder at the complexity and beauty of life. I share that wonder, and find that some understanding of the mechanisms by which evolution can generate such complexity increases this wonder. The quotation does nothing, however, to support your position, given that, ... 5) "This cannot happen by chance" is not an argument. In addition to the red herring of "chance", it both begs the question and unreasonably transfers the burden of proof from you to me; three logical fallacies in five words is quite impressive.
Toggle Commented Apr 28, 2007 on Evolution of the (human) eye at MishMash
Earl, Many fair comments. I have heard the term, I was really questioning what qualified, in your view, as a podcast. Your post seemed to be saying that the primary problems with podcasts was performance (which I took to mean production). Perhaps that production problem isn't so bad if either a) it has already been paid for (In Our Time, which is broadcast as a regular radio programme) or b) the listener is prepared to accept some rough edges (IT Conversations). Then there's the listener end in time-shifted broadcast mode. I use google reader to filter the IT Conversations feed. Each is available with a short description, and anything that strikes me as interesting I tag "listen". Google reader exports a feed of everything I've marked "listen", which I then subscribe to in a ipodder. Sure, I can't tell if the podcast will really be interesting, but I don't have to listen to get some idea of the content. I'm slowly learning to be more selective, too, because as you note, my listening time is limited. And sure, I'm using a bunch of tools in there which aren't immediately obvious to the average potential user. A third issue you raise is that of conversations and the fact that podcasts play badly in the networked world. This is true, and it seems reasonable to assume they will always be harder to deal with than text. But the problems could be alleviated with the right tools. Jon Udell has written a fair bit about this issue. Audio and video players are all designed on the assumption of linear listening/viewing of whole files; there are no readily accessible facilities for linking to segments. Udell managed to work out how to link to a point in a real audio stream, but it really took some doing. I don't see podcasting exploding as a conversational _medium_ like web logs (and my own web log writing has run into the ground because the production costs are already too high relative to other demands on my time at present ;). But there's a raft of material which is becoming available, and I can forsee that material being the _subject_ of conversation _if_ it becomes possible to link within files/streams. Every medium has its strengths and weaknesses. Some of the weaknesses are inherent, while some are to do with the surrounding technology. Essence and accident. Some are to do with my convenience, some with business models. (On that subject: I do fast forward past the ads on IT Conversations. I have a visa card already ... I have donated, though, and will do so as long as I continue using the service. And I pay for the BBC already!) Services like CastingWords ( are a potentially interesting addition to the mix. Cheers, Hamish
Hi Earl, But what's a podcast? Two uses of the delivery mechanism that I make use of: BBC Radio 4's "In Our Time". I never catch it when it's broadcast, but now I can accumulate and listen until my ears bleed on long car journeys. IT Conversations: recordings of presentations at events that are happening anyway, but that I can't go to. I guess you're talking about the more "audio web log" end of podcasting? Cheers, Hamish
But that's just one theory. An Elephants-based theory is equally valid ...