Thursday, November 03, 2005


• If one were to begin making a list of bloggers who only most rarely suffered, in their very writing, from an inflated sense of self-importance, what would such a list look like? A start:

Acanthus Leaves
à Gauche
Charlotte Street
Critical Montages
Dem Wahren
Fort Kant
Paul Kerschen
Red Thread(s)
The Decline
The Pinocchio Theory
The Rhine River
The Young Hegelian
This Space
Side Effects

That's about as far as I got (and before I realized how potentially insulting such a lazy late-night gesture could be. Also, what's with all the Russian spam lately? And the viral infections? My Dog.

• And the DailyKosers are shocked as Bush fucks up a photo-op with black students:
To set off a student protest at this school, you'd have to be politically tone-deaf in the extreme, out of touch and flying blind. And yet, Bush did it.

God help us in Iraq.

• Oh, and The French kids don't seem to really like the Police State:
Riots erupted in an outburst of anger in Clichy-sous-Bois over the accidental electrocution Oct. 27 of two teenagers who fled a soccer game and hid in a power substation when they saw police enter the area. Youths in the neighborhood suspect that police chased Traore Bouna, 15, and Zyed Benna, 17, to their deaths.

Since then riots have swelled into a broader challenge against the French state and its security forces. The violence has exposed deep discontent in neighborhoods where African and Muslim immigrants and their French-born children are trapped by poverty, unemployment, racial discrimination, crime, poor education and housing.

Ah, those crazy intelligent French (courtesy of Le Colonel Chabert).

• An anonymous emailer writes in with a question:
Hey Matt,

Is there a good word that people like you and Derrida (not to lump you together indiscriminately, though I'm sure it's flattering) use to mean "a text and all the things said about it", as in "the entire universe of references to / comments on / things having some noted relation to the text"? It's gestalt, so to speak.

The term I'm seeking could also apply to referents other than texts, i.e. subjects of any kind, people, events, concepts, whatever. In fact I need both a text-specific and a general term, hopefully two different words.

I'm looking for a good word (or two) to abscond with for my metadata software. You know, we computer people are always robbing terminology and repurposing it; this is an ancient and honorable practice (found in every field of study of course, not just computers, we're just notorious for doing a whole lot of it and all of it in the last 50 years). I hate to invent when I'm sure there is something with exactly the right sense out there somewhere for the taking, already.

By the way, one inverse term I'm using is 'venue', as in 'virtual place' (like your blog is a 'venue'). The general term I'm looking for would mean, among other things, "all references to a venue", as in everyone who goes there, comes from there, talks about it, etc.

So I need name(s) for that distributed entity which is everything that names or refers to a venue (or other generality), or a text (specifically).

I know you guys have names for everything of semantic importance in meta-relationships. Even if what you and I think of as metadata (in our daily use of it) is on rather different scales (like, the cosmos in your case versus the atomic nucleus in mine?), the 'physics' behind the terminology ought to transfer via analogy, I hope.

Update: it can be short as well, the word. Anyone? I can vouch for his motives and they are pure, as driven snow.

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