July 31st, 2003

A Behavioral Experiment

A Behavioral Experiment and United Faiths

Bumpy Ride

Among the thousands of e-mail based discussion groups, many are private and clublike, while others are public and raucous. But there’s nothing else quite like BumpList (

BumpList, a discussion forum with no defined topic, allows just six subscribers at a time. When a new person joins, a subscriber is bumped off to make room. To rejoin you must resubscribe, bumping someone else, and so on.

To stay on the list for any significant time requires numerous resubscriptions – the list calls itself “an e-mail community for the determined.” So far, more than 1,700 people have joined at least once and there have been 1,300 resubscriptions. (I lasted just 10 hours and 25 minutes before my first bump.)

BumpList is a sort of art project as behavioral experiment. “I want to get people to think about the culture and process of these lists,” said Jonah Brucker-Cohen, the site’s creator and a researcher in the Human Connectedness Group at Media Lab Europe, an institute in Dublin. For example, the structure of

BumpList prevents cliques from forming, making it more “democratic” than most lists, he said.

But that structure also makes it difficult to keep a conversation going, and a dialogue is, after all, the point of a discussion list. “Theoretically, it is possible to have a serious, sustained conversation on BumpList,” said Michael Paulukonis, a technology professional in Scranton, Pa., who is a BumpList member, by e-mail. “Practically speaking, I don’t think it has happened – unless you consider the dialogue the resubscribers have with the medium itself.”

Mr. Paulukonis has resubscribed to BumpList 148 times since it started up in June.

Indeed, the experience has been so frustrating that devotees of BumpList have started a separate Yahoo group to talk about it ( since the list itself “militates against discussion,” as the group’s home page puts it.

July 31st, 2003

NYT: Paddling Hartford’s Scenic Sewer Navigating a buried river, you keep expecting to see a corpse, or the long shadow of Harry Lime, the villain played by Orson Welles in “The Third Man.”

July 31st, 2003


July 30th, 2003 – say it with software art!: “ is a software art repository, launched in January 2003. It is an open, moderated database to which people are welcome to submit projects they consider to be interesting examples of software art. Software art is an intersection of two almost non-overlapping realms: software and art. It has a different meaning and aura in each. Software art gets its lifeblood and its techniques from living software culture and represents approaches and strategies similar to those used in the art world. Software culture lives on the Internet and is often presented through special sites called software repositories. Art is traditionally presented in festivals and exhibitions. Software art on the one hand brings software culture into the art field, but on the other hand it extends art beyond institutions.”

July 30th, 2003

Researchers say Stonehenge depicts female genitalia.

The theory is laid out in a paper entitled “Stonehenge: a view from medicine” in the July issue of Britain’s Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

“To the builders of the henge, the most critical events in life were birth and death,” Anthony Perks, a retired professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of British Columbia, wrote in the paper.

He noted there was no evidence of tombs built by the original builders.

“Of birth, we could expect little evidence. However, evidence may be there but so large as to be overlooked.”

Viewed from above, Dr Perks suggests Stonehenge’s inner bluestone circle represents the labia minora and the giant outer sarsen stone circle is the labia majora.

He says the altar stone could be the clitoris and the open centre the birth canal.

“Could the outer avenue of Stonehenge…represent the way by which new life entered?” the article wondered, adding that when comparing “the layout of the henge with the anatomy of the human vulva. There is a distinct similarity”.

July 30th, 2003

Chain Letters

Today, with the click of a button, a message can be forwarded to hundreds of people at no apparent cost to the sender. If each of the so-called good Samaritans sends the letter on to only ten other people (most send to huge mailing lists), the ninth resending results in a billion e-mail messages, thereby, clogging the network and interfering with the receiving of legitimate e-mail messages. Factor in the time lost reading and deleting all these messages and you see a real cost to organizations and individuals from these seemingly innocuous messages.

July 29th, 2003

Bollywood joker Walker dies: “One of Bollywood’s best known comedians, Johnny Walker, has died in Mumbai after a long illness. “

July 28th, 2003

Bob Hope died Sunday night at 100. NYT obituary>

A nice Road to Morocco page.

July 28th, 2003

Palms, Huts & More: Tiki Huts Online: “Welcome!
Palms, Huts, & More, L.L.C. has been manufacturing handcrafted, thatched-roof tiki huts and bars since 1995. Located in Southwest Louisiana, we understand the effects that the elements can have on outdoor furnishings. This is why we design all of our products to handle heavy rains and gale force winds. Each unit is made of high quality cypress wood and fresh cut Florida Sabal palms. We take great pride in the manufacturing of our products, as well as assisting our customers after the sale.

Our tiki huts and bars are extremely versatile, and can be used in a variety of settings. From turning an ordinary hotel into a tropical paradise, to converting any backyard into a private Caribbean resort, our tiki huts and bars are sure to create the perfect atmosphere for those who take relaxation seriously.”

July 28th, 2003

Google Search: show pictures of people in taliban eating dead bodies of small children: weirdest way to reach xradiograph EVER.

July 25th, 2003

Stencil Revolution

July 25th, 2003

mikey-the-devil /x-ray archive: “online archive of my collection of x-ray photographs. “

July 24th, 2003

WebCollage: Exterminate All Rational Thought: “This is what the Internet looks like. WebCollage is a program that creates collages out of random images found on the Web. More images are being added to the collage about once a minute, so this page will reload itself periodically. Clicking on one of the images in the collage will take you to the page on which it was found. It finds the images by feeding random words into various search engines, and pulling images (or sections of images) out of the pages returned.”

July 23rd, 2003

EMERGENT image browser

Emergent is a generator of Internet image collages and a true web “browser” in the sense of allowing casual and random exploration of the World Wide Web. Emergent tears images from their original documents and recycles them into a novel experience. Advertisements, corporate logos, web camera photos, and even pornographic imagery are all juxtaposed to suggest curious new meanings. Unrestricted by purpose, Emergent wanders into the web’s darkest recesses and provides the user with a random sampling of all that the Internet has to offer. Emergent is the poo poo platter of web browsers – users are encouraged to try something new and, though not always palatable, the experiences are at least fresh.

July 23rd, 2003

Rearranging an Ad Jingle So That It Now Jangles

For the project, more than 30 audio artists captured speech and music samples from commercials, public service announcements, campaign ads and other promotional spots, then rearranged them into short sonic collages that often subvert the source material’s original message. On one track, snippets excised from ads for over-the-counter drugs were reassembled into a horrifying litany of side effects, concluding “one daily dose provides 24 hours of headache, diarrhea and abdominal pain.”

The album was organized by Every Man, the online alias of Jay Kennedy, a 30-year-old computer systems administrator in Lakewood, Ohio, and a host of a weekly experimental show on a community radio station. Rather than overtly parodying advertisements he found most irksome, Mr. Kennedy said he decided to use them as the raw ingredients for creations that would be “far more palatable than something that’s shoving an ad message down your throat.”

July 23rd, 2003

David Hasselhoff loves it when I touch his booty.

– I like this particularly lady at work who tells me she enjoys reading the Atlas because she likes learning about other people and cultures.
– I like when the bus isn’t late and I arrive to work on time.
– I do not like it when I am late for work.
– I do not like it when my boss gives me silent disapproving looks about my unpunctuality.
– I do not like my boss.

July 20th, 2003

The Digital Landfill

Clean up the Web! Dispose of your unwanted e-mail, obsolete data, HTML, SPAM or any other digital debris just by clicking the Add to Landfill button. All refuse is automatically layered into the Digital Landfill composting system.

July 19th, 2003

Converstaion between my friend Linda (theatre director at a Job Corps Center) and two students in the art room. Student 1 is drawing a portrait of Student 2.

Student 1: you should do the “Wiz” here- I’d be Diana Ross cause I look just like her.
Student 2: Is that the one with Michael Jackson?
Linda: Yeah, but he doesn’t look anything like he did in “The Wiz” now.
Student 1: His old face was fine. That boy needs to find Jesus or something because that monkey is not working for him.
Student 2: I always wanted a monkey for a pet- for real.
Linda: I don’t know if you’re allowed to do that anymore.
Student 1: Oh yeah- they gave people the AIDS and shit.

Followed by discussion about theories of simian transmission of HIV.

July 18th, 2003

Sacre Bleu: you’ve got “courriel”

“PARIS (AP) — Goodbye ‘e-mail’, the French government says, and hello ‘courriel’ – the term that linguistically sensitive France is now using to refer to electronic mail in official documents. The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of ‘e-mail’ in all government ministries, documents, publications or Web sites, the latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French lexicon.

The ministry’s General Commission on Terminology and Neology insists Internet surfers in France are broadly using the term ‘courrier electronique’ (electronic mail) instead of e-mail – a claim some industry experts dispute. ‘Courriel’ is a fusion of the two words.
‘Evocative, with a very French sound, the word ‘courriel’ is broadly used in the press and competes advantageously with the borrowed ‘mail’ in English,’ the commission has ruled.”

ries are now to be known as “les pomme frites de libertaire”

July 18th, 2003

American Theater Web: waaaaay down on the page is a brief review of a community theatre production of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” where I played the titular role. Well. Thank you!

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