Turing award goes to Cerf & Kahn

Nice to see these guys get the Turing award. I didn’t realize they came up with TCP/IP in just two days: I guess I’m quite not down with my Internet lore. I wish the NYT article went a little more into why TCP/IP is so cool, because it’s not really hard to understand. People just get scared because there are lots of letters and slashes. I don’t feel up to writing it myself now, or I would.

I think it’s inspirational. It’s nice to be reminded that two people can lock themselves in a hotel with a yellow legal pad and come out two days later with a paper that utterly transforms the world. They didn’t need to be put in a special pre-school for precocious eggheads so that they could get into Harvard when they were 14. They didn’t need VC funding. They didn’t need a note from their mom. They just did it.

There will be snacks! Whoa! There will be snacks!

Folks, I implore you to treat yourself and buy the new Andrew Bird album. I’ve never posted an mp3 here before, but I can’t not share this song because it makes me very happy.

If it’s not your bag, no harm done. But I can’t get over how much it’s exactly what I want to hear right now. I’m not sure how he’s reading my mind.

I picked it up in Portland last weekend, along with John Coltrane & Duke Ellington and Pharoah Sanders’ Thembi (yes, Bull Moose music was having a sale on jazz on the Impulse! label). Thembi is my new favorite Pharoah Sanders album. Formerly, it was Karma, but 1) let’s face it, he should have just called it “The Creator Is a Master Plan” and not bothered to fill up the rest of the vinyl– it already clocks in at 35 minutes with that track alone. 2) it’s not something you can just casually listen to. You really have to block out a weekend and get yourself geared up for it. Thembi is in a similar vein, but it’s more digestible. “Morning Prayer” is about nine minutes long, and so it’s a perfect song to listen to on my walk to the T: it starts when I leave the house, it’s appropriately consciousness-altering/wake-up stuff, and it wraps up just as I get to the door of the Someday.

The Ellington/Coltrane, well, it’s just not hitting the spot right now. It’s too urbane & sophistocated. Someday I’ll want to listen to it, just not right now.

But check out Andrew Bird. He picks up actual motifs from Weather Systems in clever ways (like building a longer vocal track around one of the untitled instrumentals that originally appeared on it, or using the actual phrase “weather systems” in a lyric, or picking up a glockenspiel part from the track “Weather Systems” after a line about changing atmospheric pressure). The violin playing is fantastic. The songs are clever but it’s not a junk food, witty, Magnetic Fields-y embalmed-in-its-own-irony clever. Despite the fact that he seems to tour a lot, it sounds very much like he’s been spending a lot of time alone on his farm, thinking.

I still haven’t quite gotten over the fact that we ended up seeing Interpol in Providence instead of Andrew Bird at Johnny D’s.

What’s Googlebot’s Myers-Briggs personality type?

(alternate title: how to know when it’s time to step away from the keyboard and leave work)

I just caught myself trying to figure out what Googlebot‘s Myers-Briggs personality type would be if Googlebot had a personality. I decided it’s ESTP: extroverted (it always looks outward), sensing (not intuitive), thinking (not feeling), perceiving (not judging– that happens later, when PageRank is calculated…).

What it really means is that it’s time to head home.

Bull dash dash dash dash

What I think is bullshit is that the NYT won’t print the word “bullshit” even when the story’s about an essay called “On Bullshit“.

The essay’s worth a read, too. “One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted.” He’s off to a good start…

But… “For one thing, the expression bullshit is often employed quite loosely — simply as a generic term of abuse, with no very specific literal meaning.” So you’re saying people say “bullshit” and they don’t mean cow manure? Another scatological idiom involving “Sherlock” comes to mind…