All in the Family

Before today, this site has been badly named. It’s me, but I’m not the only Jarrett, and the site isn’t a house. I’m the only person writing and frankly I’m sure I’m boring people with all this stuff about XML-RPC and obscure world music.

Fortunately I’m not the only writer in my family. Starting today, my sister Esta will also be contributing to the site. You can always find her stuff here. This is a good thing on many levels, not least of which is that we’re practicing what we preach about keeping the Internet spirit of self-publishing alive. Welcome, Esta!

The site has been really slow recently. I’m thinking about moving to a more stable domain, but I’d have to pay money for that (unless MIT decides they want to set up a Manila server).

Emmanuel Kant: True, True

Those wacky guys at the Brickskeller are at it again. First they put up with the “Suspicious Cheese Lords” singing in the back room at our farewell dinner (including a Happy Birthday over a cell phone to Seth’s sister Cheryl). This summer they’re hosting evenings of philosophy and beer. Kant at the Brickskeller??? Makes me want to break into song:

“Emmanuel Kant was a real pissant
who was very rarely stable

Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
who could think you under the table…

For a good discussion of the relationship between Monty Python and philosophy in general, check out the lecture notes posted by Gary L. Hardcastle, who was (at least in 1993) in God’s own state of Virginia (even if he was at the wrong school).

I don’t like Spam!

I’ve seen two items recently about preventing Spam that looked interesting. One was mostly only relevant to me and other web authors. The Email Address Encoder at West Bay Web turns a regular email address into HTML character entities to make it more difficult for spammers to pick your email address off your web page. (For those of you who don’t read Greek, a character entity is a command to the browser to display a particular character, either by using the common name of the character (e.g. eacute for é) or the number of the character in ASCII (e.g. 101 for e). So my published email address,, would render as (which if you view the source ACTUALLY looks like toj8 j@alu mni. virgin

Secondly, and far less geeky, CNET has an interesting article on behaviors that may result in spam. What surprised me was that posting on Usenet brought about more spam than most of the other methods. The article does not cover my area of concern, running your own website, but so far (knock wood) I haven’t gotten any serious amounts of spam by exposing my email address, even without using the character entity hack above.