knowledge is power Last updated - Jan 2002

 A Weblog exploring the repository of all human knowledge

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 Archive - November 2001



This article from National Geographic: Afghan Tribal Diversity Undermines Attempts at Unity explains what ethnic tribalism really means in Afghanistan. With a few bits on cultural, language and fashion differences among the tribes. "Afghanistan has about 20 different ethnic groups, with four most dominant: Pashtuns, who comprise 38 percent of the population; Tajiks, 25 percent; Hazara, 19 percent; and Uzbeks, 6 percent. Each group includes tribes, and among the Pashtuns, Edwards said, there could be as many as 30. "

Knowledge is Power
I've come to the conclusion that I don't have much of a chance to compete with some of the webloggers who are doing an amazing job of providing relevant information and sharp analysis of the over-abundance of opinion on the current state of history. There's no way I could keep up with the flow. So I am going back to the roots of this blog with this list - the assumption that "little" knowledge is a good thing.
  • Guide to shooting rubber bands "A comprehensive guide on the lethal and meticiulous art of shooting rubber bands". via february 7
  • The Art of Turboing - "the actions of a customer who goes around the normal technical support process by contacting a senior person in the chain of command".
  • Investing buzzwords translated - For instance how is Jennifer Lopez - J.Lo, used in investing? A slang technical analysis term referring to a rounding bottom in a stock's price pattern. Get It? Rounded bottom? Oh crap, now I'm going to get all kinds of J. Lo refferers.
  • Another Outlook virus -BadTrans virus spreads by replying to any unread e-mail in the victim's Microsoft Outlook in-box.

Here's a few links relevant to the war.
  • Interactive maps of Afghanistan from National Geographic and El Pais (in espanol) Lots more flash-based war information here and its much better than any of the interactives from CNN, MSNBC or ABC (not worth linking to, but I'm still looking for more.)
  • The PBS Frontline interview with Dr. Kenneth Allard, Colonel, US Army (Ret.) applying lessons from the U.S. operation in Somalia to the Afghanistan operation. As to Bin Laden's role in Mogadishu, he thinks Osama "is simply claiming credit in retrospect for something that he really didn't have very much to do with" Allard sums up the two conflicts: "...the difference between the Rangers in Somalia, and the Rangers in Afghanistan. The Rangers in Somalia essentially were the ones who had to cash the checks for political miscalculations which had occurred all the way back in Washington, D.C. We had had a very imprecise idea of our strategy and our objectives. It went from bad to worse. And eventually the American fighting man paid that price on the soil of Mogadishu. What we're doing right now in Afghanistan is not the result of miscalculation. What we're doing in Afghanistan right now is the result of war in the old-fashioned sense. Someone attacked you directly. He told you that he was going to. He carried out the threat. Now he's waiting for you to either accept that humiliation, or to come get him. And when it comes to going and getting him, the Rangers are primarily and absolutely the best choice of the American presidential leadership to say, "Go in and get him, and don't come back until you do." "
  • Speaking of war in the old-fashioned sense - here's the uncensored speech Patton gave to the Third Army before D-Day. It's quite a bit tougher than the one in the movie and the good parts are too profane to quote here.

    Web stuff
    Still too busy for regular updates. However, here's list of links to make this look like a blog.
    • Nadav, from antenna, writes a typography tutorial for webmonkey. At first I thought it was just going to be another basic article explaining what a serif is. But he's got links to just about everything you need to know about type. Especially on-screen, including embedded fonts, CSS font controls, dynamically generated font images, using flash to display type, SVG, etc, etc.
    • I mentioned SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) in the previous link. Learn what it is and what it means to web design in The SVG Beast. Then get an idea of its complexity in Real-world SVG, a tutorial on its features and glitches.
    • The man who came up with CSS debunks Microsoft's claim that browser blocking at has anything to do with "web standards."
    • At least somebody is cracking down on Microsoft "By classifying Microsoft a monopoly in Israel, the company is now prohibited by law from, among other things, giving its clients benefits in exchange for selling its products rather than its competitors merchandise, or forbidding them to sell competing products, or to link the sale of one of its products with the sale of additional Microsoft products."
    • Chapter 4, "Lo-Fi Grunge Style", of Fresh Styles for Web Designers: Eye Candy from the Underground

    Other links
    • Pixar put its short animations online for free.
    • Scott McCloud is now doing a daily thing
    • Scott McCloud also brings us 5-card Nancy - "A Nancy panel is an irreduceable concept, an atom, and the comic strip is a molecule. With 5-Card Nancy we create new molecules out of Ernie's atoms."
    • I've added another blog to the chicago blog list to the left - making of a restaurant. A blog exploring the process of creating a restaurant. But more important, this is the journal of some serious foodies exploring the culinary depths of Chicagoland.

    A nice synopsis of "The issue that has occupied macrohistorians over the past generation... : Why Europe?" From Lingua Franca. "Even if Europeans possessed indigenous technologies that gave them an advantage (spectacles, for example), as Landes believes they did, their most vital asset was the ability to assimilate knowledge from around the world and put it to use-as in borrowing the concept of zero and rediscovering Aristotle's Logic from the Arabs and taking paper and gunpowder from the Chinese via the Muslim world. Landes argues that a systematic resistance to learning from other cultures had become the greatest handicap of the Chinese by the eighteenth century and remains the greatest handicap of Arab countries today. "

    WAY behind
    My posts have ground to a halt, and so has my traffic. Its only been a few weeks, and and the subhonker filter have changed the way they keep track of blogs and now I have to figure out how to get listed again. I've been on a few weekend trips, been camping and busy working on half-dozen projects (sorry to all those web-people out-of-work, but it sure would be nice to read a book rather than work during the train ride to and from work everyday.) In any case here's a few things I'm behind on:

    The War
    • $200 million goes to other Red Cross programs "it now appears that of the $530 million (U.S.) total donated, more than $200 million is being diverted to the blood agency's long-term goals and administrative costs."
    • Enlisting Insects in the Military "Best known for inventing the forerunner of the Internet, DARPA is spending $60 million over five years on projects that try to harness the animal kingdom's skills and instincts to the needs of the military."
    • $1B IT fund in the works "Homeland security is going to require a moon-landing-scale effort at knowledge management across all jurisdictions and across many different departments and agencies"

    Knowledge management
    • What is Knowledge Management? "Information is what you get when you run a web search on Google. Knowledge is what you would get -- or at least get closer to -- if all of the results that came back from that search were relevant to what you actually wanted, and were presented consistently. "
    • Part II - Knowledge Management, Meta Data, and the Organization
    • Much more detail and insight at Knowledge Management-Emerging Perspectives "When a pattern relation exists amidst the data and information, the pattern has the potential to represent knowledge. It only becomes knowledge, however, when one is able to realize and understand the patterns and their implications."
    Other news

    Older stuff

    See the archive
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