as we know it: on the evolution of culture, technology and knowledge
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selection theory

media ecology and evolution

tech ideology

art and illusion


cultural evolution

amor fati

the reading pile


...I gotta prolong this hiatus. Too much going on right now. Got a business that's starting to take off and the rest of the time I'm teaching sci-fi literature for a Humanities course at York University. But I am going to continue to hack away at Norm Walsh's blogware, which I decided was the right package for me. I will be back in April some time, after teaching ends and I have time to turn my intellect to something other than aliens and time travel.

I am not stopping for good! The idea here is to integrate blogging into your productive life. The asweknowit project will always be an open-source research project. It's just being crowded out by sports stats and sci-fi right now.

And if anyone can help me figure out how to get saxon to work via Walsh's Makefile, I'd greatly appreciate it.

submitted by Paul J Kelly on 2004-01-29T04:32 | Comment | Permalink

I need to switch blogware. I'm using very out-of-date software but it was, at the time, the only one which offered the kind of categorization I'm interested in. Now that Userland seems capable of incoporating topics I'm going to jump ship. This will take time away from posting to this blog. I may, however, write about my requirements and how they are, or are not, being met.
submitted by on 2003-11-26T10:15 | Comment | Permalink

This has little to do with "the evolution of culture, technology and knowledge" but it happens to be the business I'm in. Introducing Statsology, "tracking innovations in sports data processing". Then again, when I get around to reading Moneyball this Christmas, I might be able to make the connection i.e. how are computing machines revolutionizing the sports world? That's good media ecology and fodder for this here blog. It's also a preoccupation with Statsology. Check it out.
submitted by on 2003-11-10T02:34 | Comment | Permalink

I'm at AoIR 2003 in the second blogging session. Wireless just came on. Listening now to Taso Lagos. Just thought I'd do my first post straight from a con. If any of you are here, watch for me. Or email me and we can arrange to meet.
submitted by on 2003-10-16T14:47 | Comment | Permalink

I recently had the honour of inclusion in a prestigious list of favourite Canadian blogs. The author of the list, Dave Pollard, has unleashed the interview game and I'm in for the usual reasons of fun and egotism. Besides, I never get personal here at If you'd like to participate, see the rules at the bottom. Dave sent me the following questions and although my answers are short I laboured long over them.

1. What one thing do you most hope to be remembered for after you die?
I think the best I can hope for is to have descendants who will acknowledge me as a link in the chain. The chances of being remembered for anything long after you are dead are pretty slim. But that's what motivates greatness, I suppose.

2. What do you think is the single greatest threat to the survival of the world today, and what do you think is the greatest hope?
I do not believe there is any great threat to the survival of the world. I think alarms over "world survival" are part of an evolved mechanism which is well-calibrated to ensure our future. Most of these problems are knowledge problems. The things we now worry most about--say, global warming-- arose because we developed tools like computers to monitor ourselves. I believe global warming is preventable, but only if we get good and scared about it. So go ahead and sound the alarms. I think I've already answered the second part of your question. A lot of people think I'm cynical but I have a lot of faith in humanity.

3. What single life lesson do you think is most important for young people to learn?
George Kennan once complained about "the curses of egotism, romanticism, day-dreaming, introspection, and perplexity which befall the youth of bourgeois countries." Breaking out of that fantasy realm of the self is probably the most important step toward maturity.

4. Of all the people alive today, who do you think would make the best Prime Minister of Canada? Why?
My brother is involved in politics and through him I've been able to observe that politicians have the air of rock stars about them. They are, after all, performers. The smart policy wonks, on the other hand, tend to be socially inept geeks who couldn't get elected dogcatcher. They tailor the policies, the politicians wear them on stage. So I don't think any of my intellectual heroes like Michael Ignatieff would make very good politicians. But if he were to advise Bret Hart, on the other hand...

5. If you had a million dollars, what would you spend it on?
A school for people who are truly interested in learning, not in advancing their career or seeking shelter from the real world. It would be modelled on Black Mountain College.


1. Leave me an email, saying you want to be interviewed.

2. I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.

3. You'll update your website with my five questions, and your five answers.

4. You'll include this explanation, and acknowledge me as the interviewer.

5. You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

submitted by on 2003-09-10T14:19 | Comment | Permalink

Back after an intense work month that left me too tired to blog. Very frustrating considering asweknowit made some inroads in the ol' blogosphere in April, mostly thanks to Gary Lawrence Murphy's's k-blog aggregator. Just for the record, these are the known blogs that roll asweknowit as of May 4, 2003, in (I think) descending chronological order. All except the last two have discovered asweknowit in the last six weeks:

Did I miss anyone? I realize this still keeps me pretty far to the right on the power-law distribution, but I want to acknowledge those who acknowledge me.

submitted by on 2003-05-05T02:43 | Comment | Permalink

Many have discovered this blog recently so just a note to say we're still alive here at Busy on a contract but will update soon. I recommend accessing the site through an xml news aggregator, anyway. Saves dropping by for nothing.
submitted by on 2003-04-05T00:00 | Comment | Permalink

testing testing testing... please ignore. thank you very much.
submitted by on 2002-12-17T21:19 | Comment | Permalink

Sorry about this. Trying to understand why feed updates aren't going out.
submitted by on 2002-12-17T19:48 | Comment | Permalink

I'm blocking off quotations now so as not to confuse the reader as to who's talking. This may make things unbearable when quotes appear within quotes but we'll see how it goes. I may switch back.
submitted by on 2002-12-17T18:29 | Comment | Permalink

Apologies to feed subscribers getting swamped with items. Making changes to the item descriptions and can only test on the live server.
submitted by on 2002-11-25T15:46 | Comment | Permalink

"The majority of people are very good at doing what they don't like to do," he said. "But they don't know any more how to do what they like to do."
submitted by on 2002-09-14T19:13 | Comment | Permalink

about this category


Until I set up another more personal blog for myself I'm going to store things here that aren't really relevant to