links that make you go Hmmmm

ok, so a couple of relatively long reads have muddled up my brain today. The first and lighter topic is a post over at six different ways about why people blog. This is of course one of my favorite topics, the metablogging question, and this rant was great. (a little long, but full of links citations, which were really excellent and to the point.)

There are several things about this blog are conscious decisions, despite, (maybe to some people) appearing as omissions. The most obvious one of which is my lack of side-links. Almost everybody has them, and yes, occasionally I will click on someone’s. I’m not sure why I don’t have them except to say that hey, this is my blog. Yes, there are blogs I love and would like to promote, but I keep those another link deeper, in the “blogs I read” link at the right. In some ways, I suppose keeping a list of bookmarks is not that different from the sidelinks that most people have, but I guess I had the bookmarks before I had the blog, so maybe it’s laziness. I did at one point consider including the bookmarks (and especially the blogs I read part) as part of this page, but it was going to involve some stupid javascript since I wasn’t about to start using SSI or PHP to include stuff here.

Another voluntary omission is the trackback feature and the whole ball of wax in that can of worms. Paul Hammond pointed out in his post on this topic that “Something about trackbacks, pingbacks, referer lists and the like makes me uneasy. But I don’t know what.” This struck an immediate chord with me. I don’t know what it is either, but maybe I’ll do some thinking this weekend and try to come up with it. There’s got to be some weird social or psychological quirk that keeps me from wanting these. (Strangely, this uneasiness does not extend to user comments, as it appears to for Paul, even though he didn’t mention them.)

Ok, enough about that, the second link that gave my head a whirl is this piece by John Barlow about the possible war with Iraq. As you may or may not know, John Barlow is one of those EFF people, and someone who (at least from afar) I have admired. The piece is long, but very interesting, and it made me take a step back in the way I’ve looked at US motivations for the conflict, (if not, actually, the uselessness of the possible conflict itself). That last part is to say that yes, I disagree with the possible war, and I would even go as so far as to say that the shaking of our mighty military fists is just plain wrong, yet now at least I can say I’ve heard one plausible justification for the whole fiasco that doesn’t make Bush and Cheney out to be complete blithering idiots. (Yes, there is quite a bit of evidence pointing to calculation behind Bush’s various idiocies, but until today I had mostly written it off as coincidence and circumstance.)

On a related subject, something I will merely link to and say no more.

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