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: You know how when a piece of research confirms or purports to explain some piece of common knowledge, it gets reported as "Hey look, the eggheads finally discovered that aspirin relieves pain!" or "Professor Newton's learned theory demonstrates to the unwashed masses that, should one drop a coin or a ball, it will unfailingly strike the ground without undue delay." Boy, that steams my toast. That's not really the point of this entry. The point of this entry is that if research really worked the way it gets reported, we'd see papers like my new Segfault story, What If Linus Torvalds Gets Hit By A Bus? -- An Empirical Study.

: Mike says that the "open sores" joke has probably been developed independantly of me. That's probably true. I just like to complain. For instance:

I used Graphtool to do the graph for the Segfault story. Graphtool is what people who don't like free software wish all free software was like. It crashes for no reason, it's hard to use, and it's oriented towards the same type of math graphs that gnuplot is oriented towards, which means no {hamburgers, pie charts or real bar graphs}. And it depends on gtk+extras, a GTK library that I'd never heard of which I had to find and compile (but which is pretty cool).

Hoom, there is a new version of Martin Gardner's Annotated Alice. I mean edition. I wish I had money.

: I just realized that I forgot to put units on that graph. Oh well.

: This is an approximation of the phone call I just got:

Lady: I'm from GTE [local phone monopoly] and I'd like to talk to you about caller ID caller ID has many fabulous features and costs just x amount and comes with feature 1 and feature 2 so let's get you set up with caller ID right away, okay?

leonardr: Quite frankly, I couldn't have less use for that.

Lady: I'd like to tell you about our fabulous call waiting service call waiting has many wonderful features such as feature 1 and feature 2 and if you sign up now you get feature 3 so let's sign you up for call waiting right now, okay?

leonardr: Look, I know you're just doing your job, but I have no use for any of that.

Lady: I'm calling to tell you about our wonderful system where--

leonardr: Are you a person or a recording?

Lady: No sir.

leonardr: Because I don't need anything. I'm fine.

Lady: Are there any services I can help you with?

leonardr: No, I'm fine.

It took about twenty seconds after that point to convince her that I didn't need any of GTE's services except the ones I'm already paying for. I don't even need the ones I'm paying for, but Dan needs a phone.

I've gotten telemarketing phone calls before, but never one where the person just went into another sales pitch after one was rejected. She really did sound like a recording. I wasn't asking to be rude.

: Segfault link and nice little mention (with the inevitable Onion comparison) on Salon last week.


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