Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   bigger piece of crap
Thursday, January 18 2001

Today the guy who had been plagiarized my stuff so shamelessly in his website wrote to me to own up to his dastardly deed. I was dismayed to find he was actually one of my frequent correspondents, evidently a big fan. He'd been keeping his weblog under a pseudonym that Nancy Firedrake identified as an exit on the Garden State Parkway. His explanation was that, upon moving out to the West, he decided to start keeping the weblog so his friends back home would occasionally be able to check in on him. When they started complaining that his life was too dull, he took corrective (and, as it happens, unscrupulous) action by simply appropriating tales from my life, replacing proper nouns as necessary so they would match objects in his environment. For example, "Psion" became "Palm" when talking about small handheld electronic gadgets. He thought everything was cool and he'd be able to get away with his little deception, but he hadn't figured on referral logs. His error was linking to a page on Fandango Matt's site, and it was Matt who tipped me off about the suspiciously familiar content.
To some extent the perpetrator's admission came as something of a relief; I'd been a little concerned that someone was trying to jumpstart his place in the weblog world by simply appropriating the more exciting parts of my online journal. The possibility that someday I might be the one suspected of plagiarizing that content was so horrible that I had to call attention to the fact that it was being stolen. And in so doing, it seems I sufficiently shamed my plagiarist. The rest of the day his emails had the contrition of a friend you've caught burglarizing your home or someone who has unsuccessfully attempted to kiss you. It all seems sort of sad to me and I really don't wish the guy any harm. I feel magnanimous enough not to reveal his name or maintain the actual URL of his weblog. Apparently he is some sort of writer and if word of this got out it could damage his career. This experience has me feeling another one of those existential pangs about the nature of humanity and what sad desperate animals we all really are.
At work today I saw an AOL news item on the news ticker about how Hollywood is once more jumping on the anti-drug bandwagon. Reading the item, I was dismayed to find that Traffic was lumped in with all the others without any mention of this movie's critique of the drug war. I found myself wondering: do most people in conventional culture (I'm not talking about readers of Salon or Feed here) think that Traffic was simply an interweaving of four anti-drug cautionary tales? Did its fundamental message fall so easily on deaf ears? Is this why Orin Hatch and Barbara Boxer haven't complained about the clever point made by including them in cameo roles? Does anyone else out there wonder what it would sound like to punch John Ashcroft in his rubbery Republican face?

In the evening I spent much time working with (and occasionally being frustrated by) my music studio software. The biggest frustration of all came at the end of tonight's musical efforts, when my computer suddenly locked up in mid-sound, a sample only a tenth of a second long caught in an endless loop that could not be stopped except by application of the reset button. Sometimes I just can't tell whether my computer or Windows ME is a bigger piece of crap. I will make this small admission, however: my operating system hasn't been freshly installed since sometime back in 1997. It's been upgraded several times, but there are still DLLs in there from back in the days before Monica Lewinski was a household name.

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