Fire in the Library

Another emerging aspect to the oncoming Digital Dark Age ...

Until a few months ago, Poetry­.com held more than 14 million user-submitted poems, some dating back to the mid-1990s. The site existed to make money: it had ads and at one point sold $60 anthologies to fledgling poets who wanted to see their work in print. But to the users, was much more than a business. It was a scrapbook, a chest for storing precious emotional keepsakes. And they assumed, perhaps naïvely, that it would always be there.

(link) [Technology Review]

09:58 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Consider the Oyster Farm

Funny and informative tale of shellfish farming on Cape Cod. I can assure the author, however, that raising things with roots or legs (especially legs) can just as, er, interesting...

Oysters don't need feeding and they don't run away. So why is it so (hilariously) hard to raise them?

(link) [Gilt Taste]

08:20 /Agriculture | 1 comment | permanent link


Conspiratais my latest read. And a good read it is, too. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in republican Rome and the transition to empire.

Harris tells the story of Cicero's presidency of the Roman Senate in 63 BC from the point of view of his personal secretary, Tiro.

It's seemingly pretty accurate - haven't run across any really egregious errors (yet). It's fiction, of course, and I'll allow his conjectures, especially when they're as philosophically dead-on as this:

Surely the greatest mercy granted us by Providence is our ignorance of the future. Imagine if we knew the outcome of our hopes and plans, or could see the manner in which we are doomed to die - how ruined our lives would be! Instead we live on dumbly from day to day as happily as animals. But all things must come to dust eventually. No human being, no system, no age is impervious to this law; everything beneath the stars will perish; the hardest rock will be worn away. Nothing endures but words.

21:55 /Home | 2 comments | permanent link

The Personal Computer Is Dead

Good analysis.

The PC is dead. Rising numbers of mobile, lightweight, cloud-centric devices don't merely represent a change in form factor. Rather, we're seeing an unprecedented shift of power from end users and software developers on the one hand, to operating system vendors on the other—and even those who keep their PCs are being swept along. This is a little for the better, and much for the worse.

(link) [MIT Technology Review]

08:35 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link