Egos and assholes

The strange thing about search is it’s a lot like academia: full of assholes. I know, since I’m one of them. So I was trying to figure out why this twitter about my Keynote bothered me so:

“@tychay apparently serving red meat to the faithful at #phptek proving there are language Nazis on both sides.
tweet from a stream follower

Then it hit me. I act like an asshole, I’m probably an asshole, but never, not once, do I engage in personal attacks that aren’t obvious jokes. I don’t go up there like the founder of Ruby on Rails [Ed: corrected (see comments)] and in every talk say (to me):

DHH says…” by planetargon

“Then he clicked over to the next slide, white letters against a dark background that spelled out his response to the naysayers: fuck you. The crowd erupted into laughter and applause.”
Wired Magazine


No, really!

That’s hilarious!

In my current talk I have a slide that says to the viewer that if they disagree they should give me a big “Fuck Y—.” on their blog. I suppose that’s a bit ironic since this is the same talk where people explicitly create F-bomb counters on IRC and and twitter.

[Ego, assholes, internet architecture, being wrong, and learning after the jump.]Continue reading Egos and assholes


Because Morgan thinks I need to blog more fast food…

Today at lunch, I was talking really fast when a friend corrected me, “That’s a Sausage McMuffin, not a Egg McMuffin with Sausage. But the one with the ham is just called an Egg McMuffin™.”

“Actually, it’s the Sausage McMuffin with Egg™, because I think they used to have a plain old Sausage McMuffin before they added the Sausage Biscuit™ to the Dollar Menu™,” I corrected the correction.

Then I decided to mess with his mind.

“You want to hear something weird? In the Egg McMuffin™, they put the Canadian bacon above the egg, but the the Sausage McMuffin with Egg™, they put the sausage below the egg, but above the cheese. What’s up with that?”

Trust me, his world was rocked.

Cody’s closes

The last Cody’s Books is closing. Years ago, I would go to one on Telegraph when visiting my brother, who reads even more than me.

I can’t believe it.

Free Speech.

Books everywhere
Books Everywhere
City Lights Bookstore, North Beach, San Francisco, California

Leica M8, Zeiss Biogon 2,8/25 ZM
1/60sec, iso320, 25mm (33mm)

[My local bookstores after the jump.]Continue reading Cody’s closes

Job: PHP UI Engineer (Mountain View)

Restarting this policy

Job listing – User Interface Engineer (PHP) in Mountain View, California. Contact aknight [at] this site.

The company has developed a shopping search engine that delivers comprehensive lists of products and their corresponding images, ranked by the leading products, brands, stores and styles on the very first page of results. They call this technology their “Product Ranking Engine.”

Their unbiased Product Ranking Engine crawls over 500,000 stores to find over 200 Million products web-wide. There team has a strong background the start up world and Search space with companies like: Onebox, Bridgespan, Vialto, Scalent, Impresse; Frame; Apple; Oracle;; AltaVista , AOL; TURN; AltaVista, Yahoo Search; Zip2 and Verity Corporation. They should be profitable in 2008.
They believe that shoppers should have access to all of the products on the web – not just the ones that pay to be there. With their unbiased and objective “Product Ranking Engine” technology, we have made that dream a reality.

Their patent-pending technology ranks the product results for your searches by the most relevant and market-leading products, brands, stores and styles for your search. These rankings can never be bought or sold. So you can feel comfortable knowing that you are covering a ton of ground in just one search.

Plus, they provide large images of these leading products so you can easily see exactly what you are shopping for. No more wading through millions and millions of text links – the best matches for your search are easily visible and are right there on the first page!

They take care of the science, so you can enjoy the art of shopping!

They believe that shoppers should have access to all of the products on the web – not just the ones that pay to be there. With our unbiased and objective “Product Ranking Engine” technology, we have made that dream a reality.

[job description after the jump]Continue reading Job: PHP UI Engineer (Mountain View)

War crimes

On Feb 7, 2002, President Bush issued an order. The order stated, in pertinent part “I accept the legal conclusion of the Department of Justice and determine that Common Article 3 of Geneva does not apply to either al Qaeda or Taliban detainees.”

With these fateful and ill-advised words, President Bush, our Commander-in-Chief, perhaps unwittingly, perhaps not, started the U.S. down a slippery slope, a path that quickly descended, stopping briefly in the dark, Machiavellian world of “the ends justify the means,” before plummeting further into the bleak underworld of barbarism and cruelty, of “anything goes,” of torture. It was a path that led inexorably to the events that brings us here today, the pointless and sadistic treatment of Mohammad Jawad, a suicidal teenager.

The Geneva Conventions represented the baseline, they embodied the determination of the world to make war a more humane enterprise, to prevent a descent into wholesale barbarity, as had occurred during the Second World War. But now we were being told that humane meant something else, something less, than the Geneva Conventions. And we were being told that we could act inconsistently with the Geneva Conventions, when military necessity demanded it. Those of us who were familiar with the Geneva Conventions, whose job it was to know them, were puzzled and deeply troubled by the President’s order and had serious forebodings about the implications of such a decision. We understood that there were no gaps in Geneva, there were was no one who fell outside their protection, that Common Article 3 applied to everyone.

But the civilian political appointees of this administration intentionally cut out the real experts on the law of armed conflict, the uniformed military lawyers, the JAGs, were out of the loop, for fear that their devotion to the Geneva Conventions might pose an obstacle to their intended course of action. The State Department, led by Colin Powell, tried to raise a red flag, but to no avail. Instead, the administration chose to rely on the infamous torture memos by John Yoo, Robert Delahunty and Jay Bybee. These secret memos attempted to redefine torture for the purpose of providing legal cover for administration officials who approved the use of patently unlawful tactics. These legal opinions, now disgraced, disavowed, and relegated to the scrapheap of history where they belong, laid the groundwork for the wholesale and systematic abuse of detainees which ultimately ensnared my client, Mohammad Jawad.

The Feb 7, 2002, order of President Bush invited the rule of law to be circumvented.

Adding to the pervasive atmosphere of lawlessness in the early days of Guantanamo was the administration’s assertion that the detainees could be held indefinitely without charge, without access to counsel, without any recourse to challenge their detention. The administration asserted that the detainees were beyond the reach of any federal court and were not eligible for habeas corpus, a hallowed right guaranteed by the founding fathers of this great country. In effect, the administration created a legal black hole at Guantanamo, a policy universally decried by our even our staunchest allies in the war on terror, but steadfastly defended by the administration.

If there was any doubt that the President intended unlawful tactics to be used, all doubt was erased when Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld authorized, on Dec 2, 2002, numerous extra-legal special interrogation techniques.

America is a nation founded on a reverence for the rule of law. We should never forget that when we take an oath to enlist or be commissioned as an officer in the United States Armed Forces, we do not swear to defend the United States, we swear “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Under the Constitution all men are created equal, and all are entitled to be treated with dignity. No one is “undeserving” of humane treatment. It is an unmistakable lesson of history that when one group of people starts to see another group of people as “other” or as “different,” as “undeserving” as “inferior,” ill-treatment inevitably follows…After six and a half years, we now know the truth about the detainees at Guantanamo: some of them are terrorists, some of them are foot soldiers, and some of them were just innocent people, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the detainees at Guantanamo have one thing in common — with each other, and with us — they are all human beings, and they are all worthy of humane treatment. We should also never forget that no one in Guantanamo has been convicted of a single crime and that even in these deeply flawed military commissions, they are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

February 7, 2002. America lost a little of its greatness that day. We lost our position as the world’s leading defender of human rights, as the champion of justice and fairness and the rule of law. But it is a testament to the continuing greatness of this nation, that I, a lowly Air Force Reserve Major, can stand here before you today, with the world watching, without fear of retribution, retaliation or reprisal, and speak truth to power. I can call a spade a spade, and I can call torture, torture.

Today, Your Honor, you have an opportunity to restore a bit of America’s lost luster, to bring back some small measure of the greatness that was lost on Feb 7, 2002, to set us back on a path that leads to an America which once again stands at the forefront of the community of nations in the arena of human rights.

Sadly, this military commission has no power to do anything to the enablers of torture such as John Yoo, Jay Bybee, Robert Delahunty, Alberto Gonzales, Douglas Feith, David Addington, William Haynes, Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, for the jurisdiction of military commissions is strictly and carefully limited to foreign war criminals, not the home-grown variety. All you can do is to try to send a message, a clear and unmistakable message that the U.S. really doesn’t torture, and when we do, we own up to it, and we try to make it right.

—Major David J.R. Frakt, Excerpts from Closing arguments in Favor of Dismissal of the Case Against Mohammad Jawad

Someday, at the sunset of this nation perhaps, the architects of this will face the indictment of history and judgment for these war crimes. On that day, I will not cheer for their demise. On that day, instead, I will shed a tear—as I do right now—for what these people have done, acting in my name, to the country that I love.


Someone introduced me the other day: “Do you know, Terry? He’s one of the coolest guys I know.” And I thought Where did he get his crack pipe?

Then it occurred to me: Maybe he doesn’t know what I do? and balance was restored to the Force. So I let him go with a citation.

People think otherwise, but I’m the shyest person I know. Which is why, I suppose, this introvert likes to observe his friends—live vicariously.

[Getting digits and criticizing others after the jump]Continue reading Cabbenwitz

He’s onto your B.S.

It comes as no shock to anyone who has ever played a game of poker, but Obama has opted out of the public financing that has caught his Republican straw man in legal hot water.

David Brooks whines, “Obama isn’t Uncle Tom, Whaaaa!”

I need to take a moment, point at David Brooks and do a “Ha ha!” in my best Nelson Muntz voice. If you think this “flip-flop/two Obamas” meme is going to stick, Mr. Brooks, you are as truly out of touch as the five-dollar words you use in your transparent columns.

Watching these right-wingers cries to mommy, “It’s not fair—he’s not a moron!” as reality slowly dawns on them.

“Black people dominate sports in the United States. 20% of the population and 90% of the final four. We own this shit. Basketball, baseball, football, golf, tennis, and as soon as they make a heated hockey rink we’ll take that shit too.”
Chris Rock

Looks like “Black People” found out the “White House” has climate control, and all I can do is cheer, “Yeah, take that shit too!”

This election cycle is definitely going to be fun. 🙂


It’s interesting how self-context can change a city.

Last time I visited Amsterdam, I was in a terrible relationship, living in South Bay and I got robbed leaving Schiphol. Three years later, I’m single living in San Francisco and am a tiny bit wiser.

This time, for instance, I found out that Amsterdam smells a lot like San Francisco.

(Back then, I thought Patchouli was pot, so what did I know?)

[Amsterdam women after the jump]Continue reading Amsterdam