Well, I had my first major crash with the Panther OS X last night. It was related to Suitcase X1 which, despite being the “patched” version, does not play well with Panther and, once it failed, wouldn’t even allow me to force quit and move on. After a few reboots I at least managed to delete it. I then upgraded to 10.3.4, (from 10.3.3) but not sure what sort of enhancements/fixes it is supposed to take care of. So, sans suitcase, I’m back.

Had a major migraine last week, too. God I’m sick of ’em. Margaret Cho discusses her migraines, and a lot of other interesting things, at her blog. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to hard-link to individual posts (not impossible, but all sense of location and formatting are lost when you do). But her blog is one I go back to. It’s a diary in the classic sense of her writing for herself, to make sense of her world, remember the people in her life, sound off about whatever she wants. I do feel that she writes for herself. We can just read along if we want to.

Thanks to James Joyce’s Ulysses: One Page Every Day creator Jason, I now have a Gmail account. Thanks Jason!

Go ahead, talk to me: elramsay at gmail.

Now, just what am I to do with it? I use IMAP for email and tend to leave messages on the server well, forever. So, for certain kinds of communication, say, when I want to keep a whole dialog organized, I can keep it all organized without having to archive it offline. Also, for sending around those mp3s and images, yeah! It also gives me a new public address to use when commenting at other sites and blogs. I recently gave up an address I’d had since 1995. It had become nothing but a spam magnet (and a place for crazies to track me down at!) so I finally deleted it and all the messages still languishing at the server. Ah, I felt the Internet get just a wee bit lighter.

While were here, lets turn a card and see…
Do the washing up
I guess that’s what I did with this system last night.

weekend catch

Been stepping up the additions of my delicious links (although it seems my feeds are back, no thanks to me, I couldn’t se any obvious reason why they stopped working) since I’m busy researching all sorts of things for my Digital Art: Using New Media in the Art Classroom course. This weekend was a little slow.

Integrating with PHP and Magpie
Principia Cybernetica Web
“aims to develop a complete philosophy or “world-view”, based on the principles of evolutionary cybernetics, and supported by collaborative computer technologies.”
Metaphors We Compute By
lecture notes by John M. Lawler (1999) Conceptions and misconceptions of the interface
John Kerry Weblog
includes a huge list of other blogs and resources
Visual Collections
images of art history and culture
why? just because.


…something idiosyncratic is today’s card. Conceived in the late 1970s, these cards predate the technical advances that ushered in a completely new ways of working and creating.

v. t.
1. To cause to become mechanical. (the free dictionary)

I wasn’t even sure if it was a real word. It is certainly an archaic one.

It’s the rare field today that does not rely on technology at some level. Even producers of fine art and traditional crafts increasingly turn to the Internet for information, supplies, community, and use technology to run their studios and organize their lives. The lowly diary, our secretive writings or records of experience, have gone high-tech, in the form of websites and weblogs.

The mechanical has been augmented or replaced by the electronic, digital medium, but the “mechanicalizing” of thinking, reflecting and documenting, has begun shaping the way we think, and what we find important to share. Take the obsession, focus, on the meme, the organic process of transferring an idea through a community. This process has been mechanicalized through repeated linking of sites, stories and ideas found on websites and weblogs. This automation changes the nature of this transfer, it is no longer organic, it is mechanical and contrieved.

An example of memes marketing madness can be found in the Google pagerank contest nigritude+ultramarine. An experiment in linkage, contestants vied to see who could gain and hold the no.1 page rank at Google for that combination of terms (previously returning no pages, probably because “nigritude” while it sounds vaguely offensive, is not a word. No, it does not mean “dark”).

Popular blogster Anil Dash holds the rank now, but didn’t build his links fast enough through the blogosphere to win. Merky forums, which seems to exist soley to win the iPod, the prize offered by spam proponents DarkBlue, (get it?) came away the winner. Google generally frowns on this blatant rank-grubbing and used to state in their ToS that sites who abused meta-tags or repeated text soley to return a hit when certain phrases or words were submitted would be removed from their crawls. I guess they are just too big and too automated to have such lofty goals anymore.

So, this combination of terms became the fastest spreading meme on the internet. But it was more a virus than a meme. It wasted people’s time and resources and the phrase, rather than being a spreading idea, means nothing. It might possibly be the fastest-disappearing phrase, once everyone gets around to cleaning up.


Finding great information on the web can be exhilarating, but keeping track of the information becomes daunting. I’ve been simultaneously adding links at my delicious account and AEContent, sometimes overlapping my choices, although usually not. The criteria for entering a link at delicious differs from what I might add to AEContent. In fact, it’s important that any link in the AEContent database have some academic credibility or be useful to educators. Delicious, a “social bookmarks manager, is an interesting experiment that may end up drowning in its own success. The idea is to post your links to it, instead of your own bookmarks or, in my case, lots of little lost plain text documents. It has no agenda and the members, who become known by their choices, are a diverse lot. There is a growing concern that the homepage is declining in value and becoming a means for spammer-types or other disliked blowhards to push their dubious links on the community. I don’t really see evidence of that. Rather, I feel like I’m dipping in a community pool. I might not like the tone of a lot of the links, but I don’t have to visit them.

Zee cards keep a turnin’

Ok, so none of these strategies really worked for me.


  • Simple Subtraction
  • Turn it upside down
  • A line has two sides

Although, seen together they almost form a haiku.

Stupid laugh of the day: Bilbo Baggins
I didn’t know there was a video…

Two more cards turn…

it’s hard to post everyday. I started this blog in part because I implement them and research them so, I might as well keep one myself. I also manage another blog for the Massart new media program, and a wiki (closed), where I’ve blathered on about all sorts of things. But Caught gives me a personal space to try my hand at the public life. Since I’m a very private person, and pretty shy, this is not easy for me to do. I’m also maintaining this blog as a place to keep track of all the swell resources I find out there on the web everyday. So, this is primarily a links blog.

Another reason why I’m forcing myself to do this is because I’m starting to write a book, ok I’m starting to claim I’m writing a book. Once I’ve got some of it together, it will start to make an appearance here, and then I’ll start letting people know about this place, rather than just shouting out alone into the ethernet…

So, yesterday I tweeked PHPnuke all day. I’m finally getting the hang of how it all works together and am actually beginning to enjoy customizing it for AEContent. Yesterday’s card was:


Which is always on my mind when I’m dealing with art teachers and technology. I’m trying to create a virtual peer community for a technophobic group of folks. So, it’s slow going.

Today’s card is:


I procrastinate, so any order that allows for putting off what I can’t deal with is a good order…

One thing I’ve noticed is, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started getting some of my best work done in the morning. I’ve never been a morning person. I always wanted to be a morning person but, it just wasn’t happening. Then, about a year ago, I dunno, I started becoming a morning person. It will happen to you too… trust me…

cranky update…

Lowest common denominator… like the atrocious half-time show at the superbowl?? … and I’m not even talking about the stoopid Janet expose. Is this really what people want to see and hear? Whatta load of garbage. And, where were my Areosmith boys at half-time? Pre-game what?? Whatever happened to good old marching bands creating elaborate designs on the field while blasting out barely in-tun medleys of show-tunes? … ah, nostalgia…. Plus, what a bunch of crappy ads (yeah, I admit it, the main reason I was watching).

..oh yeah, go Pats…

What is the reality of the situation?

…the reality is that I didn’t get to post yesterday, because I was too busy preparing for an AEContent workshop, which went well. But I did draw the card in the morning.

What is the reality of the situation? Maybe we need to ask that question more frequently than we do. What are you dealing with now? Is it really as you perceive it?

What is the reality of New Hampshire? Of electability? I wonder because, here we have a group of guys running for the Dem nomination, any of whom would be far superior (and safer for our country) than Cheney, oops, I mean Bush…

Bbut, this one’s too angry, this one’s from Massachusetts, this one’s too young, this one’s too inexperienced in politics, this one’s too radical, this one’s too black, this one’s too Jewish…

If people stopped dismissing them and actually listened to what they have to offer — not too easy in a climate where the media is far more interested in the “gotcha moment” and determining the winners before a vote has been cast — they’d see there is substance of all of these candidates. Hell, if we’re not, as a nation, going to look beyond these superficial reasons for rejecting these guys, why don’t we just skip the election and let the courts decide… oh, we did that last time.

The reality of the situation is that we can’t afford to relinquish that responsibility. We must always question the motivations of our leaders. We must not be so compliant. We must not treat the election cycle as though it was another season of America Idol.

There are no guarantees that the US will always remain a free democracy. We earn that everyday, as a nation, with our diligence.