The End of Problems?

I just spent the last few hours rebuilding the machine that makeoutcity.com is hosted on. I’ve been having problems with it for the last few weeks and hopefully now everything should be chipper. There was some really gross downtime. le sigh.

I got rid of some crappy software that was running and now it’s all good.

Girls Smell Like Rainbows!

From the 14th to the 21st, I will be in Italy on vacation. This means that I won’t be blogging, so I wanted to let everyone know not to expect anything. When I return, I plan on posting pictures and my travelogue on blog, so look forward to that.

I will be going to Rome for 5 days and Sorrento (which is near Naples on the Amalfi coast) for 2 days. Excited!

If you just can’t live without me, then I want to recommend some blogs to read this week and some of my older posts you may want to check out.

Blogs:

These are a few of my favourite blogs for getting a diverse picture of the world, and I hope you will find that true about them as well.

 

Older Entries:

  • Patent Theory versus Patent Law, a discussion of the patent system, by Alexander Tabarrok (of the Marginal Revolution.)
  • A commentary on The Western Canon, by Harold Bloom.
  • This post goes through many essays of George Orwell’s.
  • A commentary on The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis, a book about good and evil.
  • Some quotes from Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, a book about the choices humanity makes and has made.
  • A commentary on The Culture We Deserve, by Jacques Barzun, a cultural historian.
  • A commentary on The Third Chimpanzee, by Jared Diamond, a historian with a scientist’s mind. Or, a scientist with a passion for history.
  • A commentary on Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, by Lawrence Lessig, a discussion on how the law must deal with the Internet, and vice-versa.
  • A commentary on The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss, by Shadia B. Drury, an explanation of this influential man.
  • And, my commentaries on the Purgatorio and Paradiso, of Dante’s Divine Comedy. (There is also one for the Inferno, but it’s not as good and I want to re-write it.

New template and Tinderbox

I just updated my site template and I think it looks nice. I would like to get a different colour scheme though, and in time I will change it–probably green or blue. I borrowed and heavily hacked the code off of The Web Standards Project, hopefully they won’t mind.

In other news, I have recently been experimenting with Tinderbox, and soon I will write up how I am using it to run my site.

Money Is The Answer To Everything

I have recently made some changes to makeoutcity.com that will hopeful put a few more cents in my pocket every so often.

I signed up for an Amazon Associates account and whenever I provide Amazon links I will put them through my associate id. Note, however, that I will not interfere with any of the links that I pull from outside sites. Thus, if a blog I quote links to an Amazon item with their own associate id, I will NOT replace it with mine. Also, on the left sidebar there is now an Amazon link… I am not sure if I am required to show this. If not, it would probably be gone shortly.

Secondly, I now have a Google Adsense account. When this service was first offered, I tried to sign up but I was rejected. I figured they were still in beta testing and didn’t want to have a great deal of users, so I waited a while and tried to sign up again. On the second try I found that I was ineligible to even attempt to sign up. This made me guess that I was probably being rejected by “makeoutcity” sounds like it might be a pornography site and I was prompted refused because of this. When I emailed the Google Team about this earlier today, I got a pleasant reply from James saying that he had check my site and put me into the program. Nice guys.

So, be mindful of these ads, perhaps they will advertise something that useful to you or that will enrich a thought that starts here.

Happy Birthday To Me

I’m older today. Wee!

Also, yesterday I got notification that I got a “scholarship” I applied for. I will be going to the Cato University conference/lecture series in San Diego at the end of July this summer.

From the page:

Cato University’s 2004 Summer Seminar is a weeklong intellectual feast. Come expand your horizons, make new friends, renew your commitment to liberty, and hone your skills as an advocate for freedom.

Rediscover your passion: Remember the excitement of reading Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Thomas Jefferson, or F. A. Hayek for the first time? At Cato University, you can rekindle that spark. Imagine all your favorite subjects, taught by people who understand liberty, in the company of others who love to think and learn about freedom. Whether you’re new to classical liberal thought or an expert looking for a refresher, Cato University will reinvigorate your passion for liberty.

It should be fun, check out the schedule. And obviously I’ll be blogging it.

New Design

As you know, I think Jason Kottke’s new design is really hot. So I have modified my blog to be in the style of Kottke.

Some features of this change:

  • A nice new ‘tag’ on the top.
  • Wider entry text boxes, for less scrunchy reading.
  • Prose on the side bar and on the bottom.
  • Nice initial ‘Archives’ page.
  • No more calendar on every entry page.

I’d like to know what you, dear reader, think about it.

Also, over the coming week(s) I am planning on restructuring my category hierarchy with what I’ve learned over the past six or seven months. I have looked at my logs and only see myself and search engines referring directly to category pages, so not much would break even if I didn’t strive for compatibility.

My new strategy for categorization is to focus on the real world object that is being discussed. So, I would not have a category called “Philosophy” but I may have “People/Philosophers.” Then, I will have a “Subject” or “Topic” category that will contain those abstract ideas. Also, rather than having a category for each author of the books I’ve read in “Books”, this category will be flat except for instances when a book’s posts are split up–as is the case of The Divine Comedy, in which case the book, not the author, will get the subcategory. I think this is more logical and in the future I would to provide a feature like Faceted Classification, for when the blog goes wiki.