The Myth of the Lack of Japanese Creativity

There’s this meme that’s been going on since at least the 80s that the Japanese are not very creative. I’ll be honest, I used to believe this myself. For example as an outsider, it seemed like all the anime characters have big eyes and blue hair and there are so many characters that look like clones of characters from other anime. The 3 to 5 “sailor girl” super hero troupes, Sailormoon being the most famous but there are plenty of clones. The multiple Mecha characters from Gundam to Mazinger-Z or Patlabor. I’m sure there are other examples of things that seem copied from other cultures as well.

The truth is the Japanese are massively creative. Whether they are more or less creative than other cultures I have no data but there is no valid reason I know of for the myth that the Japanese are not that creative.
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Where's the Ramen?

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Mind Over Money

I started watching the Nova episode called Mind Over Money. I generally like Nova but this episode was far below their normal standards.

The episode is supposed to be about the idea that traditional economists base their calculations on “rational people”. They claim stuff like people are supposedly perfectly rational when it comes to money and will never pay more for something than it’s actually worth. They then go on to give several massively convoluted examples. They say things like “people take their the interest rate of their retirement plan into account on every purchase” or something like that. They’re basically claiming things no economist has ever claimed.
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Conversion to Wordpress, Epic Fail!

So I moved this blog to WordPress because I didn’t want to write spam moderation code for my old site code. That part works, I can now moderate spam comments before they get posted, something I couldn’t do with my old site.

But………………….My old site got 10-20 spam comments a week. My WordPress site gets 500 A DAY!!!! At first I was using the wp-reCaptcha plugin. It was catching the spam but after I noticed no comments for a couple of weeks I realized it was just marking everything as spam which suggests it wasn’t actually working. I use the Akismet plugin as well and I think that’s what’s marking the spam which in truth means the wp-recaptcha plugin wasn’t working at all. That meant I had to scan through 500 spam messages a day to find 2 or 3 false positives. That’s un-workable.

So, I recently installed wp-spamfree plugin which kind of takes some of the tactics my old site did. It’s doing better than wp-reCaptcha in that now only 100 spams make it into my moderation que but I still have to go through them for the 2 or 3 false positives everyday. That’s still un-workable.

I don’t know what to do at this point. Maybe there’s another plugin. Maybe I should right my own although if I go that route I’ve hardly gained anything by switching to wordpress.

Spammers fucking suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WTF is up with the Census?

This REALLY EFFING pisses me off. The census is pretty clearly designed to further someone’s personal agenda and not to actually gather data. See below.
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Flickr bans Flickrdown

So a couple of days ago Flickr decided to ban Flickrdown. The issue is that some people complained that you could use Flickrdown to download copyrighted images. Of course you can do the same thing from any browser. Right click an image in Flickr and pick “Save Image As…” Why these people feel Flickrdown should be banned but not also want browsers banned doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

It’s frustrating that Flickr decided to ban it. Just because images are copyrighted does not mean you can’t copy them. How does Flickr know that I didn’t ask for permission from the author and am just using Flickrdown as a tool to get the images? In fact if Flickrdown couldn’t download copyrighted images it couldn’t download any of my or my friends images as most of them are copyrighted. Kind of stupid if I can’t download my own images and yet that’s the way Flickr wants me to make Flickrdown function.

Please contact Flickr and or techcrunch or anyone else that you think can bring some pressure on Flickr to stop this policy.

Switched to Wordpress

Well, I finally think I got most of my site switched over to WordPress. I’m sure there will be some glitches and I’m sure there is still stuff to do but for the moment it seems to be mostly working.
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Back to Baltimore

Today I went back to Baltimore. I hadn’t been there in 23 years. I lived there at 19 when I ran away from college with my first girlfriend. I lived there 3 years from 84 to 86 and worked at M.U.S.E. and Microprose.

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Blogging Software

It’s come time for me to do something about my blog because lately I’ve been getting a 15 to 1 comment spam. That means about for every 1 real comment get 15 comments that are spam. The really annoying thing is they are typed by live people who attempt to leave a comment that sounds relevant, but then they leave a link to some website that makes it clear it’s not a real comment. That it’s just spam.
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The Death of Radio

This might be obvious and maybe others have posted this but it’s clear to me radio will be struggling to stay alive within 10 years just like newspaper is today.

It’s already dead for me. Why? Because I bought an iPhone last year. Since that time, on the way to and from work I listen almost exclusively to either podcasts (This American Life, Radiolab, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History) or streaming music (Pandora, Shoutcast). I get a good enough connection that I can stream all the way to and from work.

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