Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts published in February, 2003

Posted by Seek:
Yes yes.. Thats my site…

My bad. I rebuild some pages/posts, because some of them contained static links to the old server.

In all fairness to MovableType, I could/should have deleted the suggested trackback pings, which were visible in the interface.

I did not because I thought the feature didn’t work: I had tested my trackback when I migrated to the new server 2 weeks ago and they didn’t seem to work, and I left it as that since I’m not linked to very much.

AFAIK, Trackbacks still don’t auto-discover for me on new posts made using XML RPC (I’ll have to look into that) but they apparently do for trackbacks that were already discovered.

I’m glad to see the problem is not as generalized as I thought but I’m sorry for the unintended consequences. I think you’re right in suggesting that default behaviour should not to resend pings when saving an edited post.

This trackback below shows a possibly unforeseen side-effect of automated trackbacks…

Two months ago I posted a comment which linked to seek’s weblog, which was at another URL then. Seek migrated elsewhere, changed the name from “Manual::Override” to “”, and just today (I suppose) made some minor change to his old post copied over from his previous incarnation.

This caused Movable Type‘s automatic trackback machinery to fire, sending me a ping, and inserting an excerpt into my weblog, which at first sight made no sense at all. Perhaps MT should make pings optional when older posts are edited? Hmm…

Posted by linked to this post


There are a bunch of systems around the web to see who’s linking to who, what weblogs you might like

Paul Graham wrote today’s most-linked-to article: Why Nerds Are Unpopular. He also responded to some comments.

Alberti, arguably the archetype of the Renaissance Man, writes that “no art, however minor, demands less than total dedication if you want to excel in it.” I wonder if there is anyone in the world who works harder at anything than American school kids work at popularity. Navy SEALs and neurosurgery residents seem slackers by comparison. They occasionally take vacations; some even have hobbies. An American teenager may work at being popular every waking hour, 365 days a year.

…Nerds don’t realize this. They don’t realize that it takes work to be popular. In general, people outside some very demanding field don’t realize the extent to which success depends on constant (though often unconscious) effort. For example, most people seem to consider the ability to draw as some kind of innate quality, like being tall. In fact, most people who “can draw” like drawing, and have spent many hours doing it; that’s why they’re good at it. Likewise, popular isn’t just something you are or you aren’t, but something you make yourself.

The article is very long but carefully reasoned out, if (understandably) biased towards contemporary conditions at US schools. In the response to comments, he writes:

From my experience, I’d say that while some smart kids may be borderline autistic, this can’t by itself explain the smart/nerd correlation, because there are also plenty of nerds who are very talkative. Indeed, one of the most characteristic nerd flaws is an addiction to newsgroup posting.

Coincidentally, just yesterday I re-took Wired‘s Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test, owing to a discussion among Macmania Magazinecontributors. I scored 37 (out of 50), which definitely puts me well over the “borderline autistic” threshold. (In contrast, many of the less-technically oriented contributors scored in the 9 to 15 range). This correlates well with similar tests I took on Asperger Syndrome sites.

In my own case, my social disabilities were so pronounced that I wasn’t even aware of the fact that I was unpopular at school. The absence of two prominent factors in Graham’s article – girls and football – may have contributed to that unawareness. My school wasn’t coeducational at the time, and sport activities were much less organized than in the US. My unpopularity meant that while I was never asked to play soccer (or any other team sport), I concentrated on table tennis, going on to win several titles later at the university level.

Another cultural difference is the emphasis given to the anti-intellectual biases that pervade American culture. (English is one of the few languages where “smart” and “wise” are derogatory). While my grades certainly were quite good in some subjects (math, physics, chemistry) in my last school years, they always were terrible in others (languages, history, religion), so that wouldn’t have been a factor even in the US. Any derogatory comments I heard at school were usually based on physical appearance, my social ineptness, or on the fact that I was German. Interestingly, Graham comments favorably on teenagers in Italy, although I personally believe teenagers nowadays are the same in any western country.

I remember reading somewhere that the very concept of “teenager” was invented in the 20th century. (Anybody knows the reference?) And, as Graham says, this correlates to the fact that teenagers aren’t put to work (or even allowed to work) anymore… the fast food industry is the only outlet for them. In so-called “primitive” societies, one went through a rite of passage around puberty and emerged as an adult, able – and even compelled – to work, marry, and so forth. No such rites remain in western societies, the American ritual of getting one’s driver’s license being a feeble and ineffective remnant.

As a result, today’s adults are little more than “children with a mortgage”.

Re: Gogger or Bloogle?

No comments

Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing fame gives a short interview (in German) about the Blooger deal at Netzeitung:

What Google does now with its PageRank technology, bloggers do as persons: they organize complex information and link to pages that are interesting at that time. If the Google people are smart, they’ll use these metadata to improve their searches. That’s Google’s core business. Thanks to Blogger they’ll have a million researchers available at no cost, all interconnected.

Ich danke dem Schockwellenreiter für den Link!

Re: Gogger or Bloogle?

No comments

Brazilian webloggers are commenting, too. Two particularly good weblogs I’m recommending:

Superfície Reflexiva by Ronaldo Ferraz has a good rundown of links (in Portuguese); here’s the English version‘s permalink.

The Flux by Daniel Pádua, originator of BlogChalking (and who also lives here in Belo Horizonte) comments on the possibilities (in Portuguese).

Both weblogs have trackbacks and RSS feeds. Parabéns, pessoal!

Update: Ronaldo just e-mailed me to say he lives in Belo Horizonte as well… small world…

Re: Gogger or Bloogle?

No comments

Yet another great analysis by Craig Danuloff’s No Time To Think:

The concept of the ‘next big thing’ has been building and taking shape. Its the theory of the ‘Semantic Web’ meets the power of ‘Google’ meets the value of ‘Reputation’. Call it the ‘Global Clique’ (although one will exist for each subject) – everyone knows everyone (either directly or indirectly), someone knows everything and lots of people know where to find it or who to ask, there is no specific or consistent relationship between the participants (they’re loosely coupled), and the thought leaders and the influencers – both in general and on specific subjects – are clear. It just needed a push. Today it got a huge one.

Thanks for the trackback, Michael!

I’d started doing a similar piece about “A Fire at Blogosphere”, but soon realized I don’t know enough yet about individual webloggers’ styles to satirize them effectively. Does someone else feel up to it? Try thinking of lines like:

Doc Searl‘s laptop vanishes in the confusion but reappears mysteriously the next day in a nearby McDonald’s.


Photos licensed by Creative Commons license. Unless otherwise noted, content © 2002-2022 by Rainer Brockerhoff. Iravan child theme by Rainer Brockerhoff, based on Arjuna-X, a WordPress Theme by SRS Solutions. jQuery UI based on Aristo.