Archive for August, 2004


August 31, 2004

Happy Birthday .


August 23, 2004

I have been sitting here for a while, trying to find a way to introduce the link I am about to publish.

But I can’t.

So here it is, without an introduction: A North African PhD student writing letters about the war in Iraq.

I have read it several times, and it makes me sad, upset and dejected. But I believe it is an important piece of writing, and I hope it will reach a lot of people. Even if some of them will react in the same stupid, unthinking way some of the people who commented on the article did.


August 10, 2004
I am…..

The name of the rose

Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose. You are a

mystery novel dealing with theology, especially

with catholic vs liberal issues. You search

wisdom and knowledge endlessly, feeling that

learning is essential in life.

Which literature classic are you?

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August 9, 2004

I am not in a very bloggerly mood in general. There is a reason for this – I am in the process of compiling a blog corpus of 100000 words, which means I need to take 200 random blogs and extract 5000 words each from them.

This means reading a lot of blogs, and trust me, there are many of them you wouldn’t want to have to read. I can’t just harvest the text blindly; I’ve tried using a tool but not found anything useful, and so I need to do it manually, month by month when I’m lucky enough to pick a blog that has monthly archives….

I start on Jan 1, 2004, for each blog I pick and collect postings until I pass 5000 words. There’s a lot of stuff that needs to be stripped out of the raw text, headers, footers and long quotes from other sources for instance. And I add the comments (if any) as footnotes to each posting. That takes a lot of time. And more than half of the blogs I look at aren’t usable for my purposes – they just don’t contain enough text after Jan 1.

And it makes me feel that there is too much blogging in the world already.