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Saturday, March 15, 2008
beware the iceweasel
a rare technical post
OK, so you say it doesn't look like a technical post? Well, it's a long story. Short form is that I actually learned something useful on this Perian site -- not least about iceweasel fears (read carefully). But also from the how-to videos under that "Watch" tab. So yeah, sounded useful. I downloaded and installed it.
Then to test things out, I naturally went to YouTube. Hmmm. What to search for. "Perian" being much on my mind at the moment, I entered that as a search string. Imagine my surprise on finding an entry called Perian Pornstar - Diana. My God! What kind of software company was this? It took a minute (well, about six) for it to sink in that "Perian" was a typo. "Oh, I see," I mumbled to myself. Then one thing led to another along this vein, and I ended up clipping the pic to the right from a video called Persian Pride -- after I'd downloaded the Flash video file and converted it using Perian so I could play it -- and play with it -- in Quicktime. (I mean play with the file. Damn, you people have such dirty minds!)
None of that will probably make sense unless you do the same thing. Then you'll be all like "Oh!" Typical.
How all that came on the heels of researching a) the influence of the occult on 19th century American literature, and b) the history of the CIA's involvement in Tibet, well... I don't quite remember now. And to make matters even stranger, midway through writing this supposedly "technical" note, I got a package in the mail from Tom DeMarco -- a very technical guy indeed.
Inside the package was Tom (and Company)'s new book, Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior (much more info here). When I was rank amateur working in Japan back in the early '80s, DeMarco was a god to me. As I have never really progressed beyond the rank of rank amateur, imagine my surprise when he asked me to blurb this book. Holy crap! I was flattered. I was floored. So of course I procrastinated for about a month until Tom pinged me again. "Uh, Chris? About that blurb?" He was very nice about it. Finally, I wrote something way too long -- and way too complicated...
People have always tried to understand themselves and each other. Our survival has depended on such understanding, as has the quality of that survival, from bare subsistence to deeply fulfilling livelihood. What people do individually, interpersonally, and within their institutional matrices, forms distinct frameworks of attitude and behavior. Perceiving the dynamics of these complexes (let's call them) confers both insight and power. Three attempts at such understanding leap to mind. The Chinese had the I Ching, or Book of Changes. Architects have had A Pattern Language. And medical psychology has had its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Brilliantly blending elements of all three (not least from that last one), Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies maps the patterns people create and follow -- to their detriment and advantage -- in the projects they engage within organizational contexts. Sharp, funny and dead-on-target, the book deserves a wide reading.
I always like to work in a reference to mental illness whenever I can -- especially in reference to large software projects. But because that was so long and complicated, I was surprised to see that it made it into the book at all. There it is, though, right inside the front cover. And it's even on Amazon, though you have to click on See all Editorial Reviews to get there. I also just plugged the same text into a five-star review in an effort to achieve back-door front-page billing ... as it were.
So, to briefly recap, you should...
- Download Perian (if you've got a Mac; if not, be sure to get a Mac first).
- Know that there was something going on between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Franz Anton Mesmer.
- Not necessarily believe everything you're hearing about Tibet these days.
- Buy Tom DeMarco (and Company)'s new book.
6:47 PM | link |
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"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
28 October 2004
||More of Chris Locke's photos
Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of.
I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos."
It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.
what I'm listening to...
egr on topica
on yahoo groups
terms of service
It is too late.