Random Internet Discovery of the Week

Cooking By Numbers this week. Have a look if you want. I don’t have much to say about it.

Judging by the results of the poll, I’m going to be using all the StumbleUpon interests. Sorry for pushing the polls down with the sheer size of the label list. I need to find a more compact label list that doesn’t require me to do some hacking.

Random Internet Discovery of the Week

Well, I’ve decided that until the poll is closed, I’m setting StumbleUpon to check all topics – even though that often leaves me without anything to say – and here’s why.

I have my toes dipped in a lot of fields. One thing I’ve noticed is that there are often groups of sites that all tend to have the same group of regulars. It’s fairly rare, though, for those regulars to really cross over into fields that are too different. It’s rare for me to encounter someone from a webcomic board on a political board, or a sports board.

One thing that I hope to do with Da Blog is to connect various different groups together and expose them to vastly different viewpoints, and a variety of fandoms. I hope that large, disparate groups can come and cross-pollinate, become exposed to new ideas and experiences, and come out richer for the experience. That’s part of the reason why I’ve conceived of Da Blog as a collection of smaller sub-blogs.

So we begin with a brief history of the Middle East through the people who have conquered it, which reminds me of David Horsey’s “Brief History of the Holy Land“.

Update on the Random Internet Discovery

Well, I’m running a new Da Blog Poll alongside the other current one, which I will refresh presently. This one asks if I should select between all the StumbleUpon topics, pick only the ones I like, or poll you for the ones you like. (The latter may end up being hosted on the Web site. There are 78 topics?

The poll will run through next week’s RID. I’ll think of something else to get us through this week’s RID. And I may have to use that something else to get through all subsequent RIDs as well.

My webcomic write-up for tomorrow is finished, so I can spend tomorrow either recreating my Truth Court announcement or working on next week’s webcomic write-up. Who says I don’t have a job?

Hmm. Here’s another feature I’m stumbling on.

Well, it turns out that part of the reason the StumbleUpon Demo draws from such a small pool of sites is because, once the Toolbar is installed, it requires me to select several interests before I can do any stumbling.

So either I select a long list of “interests” that don’t interest me at all, or the Random Internet Discovery turns out not to be so “random” after all.

I’ll think this over over the weekend.

Random Internet Discovery of the Week

Okay, I need to actually install the Stumbleupon Toolbar now. Once again, the first time I looked for a Random Internet Discovery I was taken to last week’s RID. Then I was taken to a page that I had encountered the first time I tried to write a RID, but which I was too tired (and worn out from fighting for an Internet connection) to write about. So it looks like the demo page just cycles through a small number of select pages.

I still don’t have much to say about it, in part because I don’t know how to interpret it, so I’ll just keep whining.

Part of the reason I didn’t install the actual Stumbleupon Toolbar is that it is influenced by what you rave and what you downgrade. I want my Random Internet Discoveries to be random internet discoveries, so I may be tempted not to register my opinions. But if I keep getting sites that don’t affect/effect my sensibilities at all, I may have to change my tune on that front.

So. I’m getting the Toolbar on my computer. Eventually. When I have a moment when I can close my IE windows. Sometime before next Wednesday.

Truth Court is being announced tomorrow, but the last time I mentioned it I promised something in the title that is looking more and more distant.

Random Internet Discovery of the Week (Now on Wednesdays!)

Moving the RID to Wednesday because I’m settling into a groove of days of the week (such as webcomics on Tuesday and Sports Watcher on Friday) and I want to leave Mondays open for football-related stuff.

Strangely enough, the first time I activated StumbleUpon I was taken to TED.com again. But on the second try I was taken to this site. If you thought you were an insignificant speck of dust in the Universe before, this’ll make you really think you’re an insignificant speck… on an insignificant speck… orbiting an insignificant speck.

I doubt I’ll have much more to say on the “astronomy” tag.

Random Internet Discovery of the Week:

Never let it be said that I don’t give you what you want. Since posting my most recent poll, I have gotten a unanimous consensus (okay, it’s only three votes, but still) that among the things I should add to Da Blog is a series of random Internet discoveries.

So we start with TED.com. Such a valuable address was snapped up by an

annual conference [that] brings together the world’s most fascinating
thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18
minutes). This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to
the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available,
with more added each week.

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

The TED Conference, held annually in Long Beach, is still the heart of TED. More than a thousand people now attend — indeed, the event sells out a year in advance — and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter pieces of content, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn’t work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole.

Mm. Interesting. And in no small way connected to my non-random discovery last week.

The conference is actually only moving to Long Beach in February of next year, after spending 20 years in Monterey, and is being simulcast to an audience in Palm Springs. Don’t expect to be able to attend it live – “attendance at TED is by invitation only,” consists significantly of people more famous than you and me, and sells out fast – and the Palm Springs conference is probably equally crowded. But you can still watch the videos on the site.

I was originally planning to make this feature daily, but I don’t think that’s feasible, for the same reasons as Sports Watcher…