Sunday, 6 July 2003

Hidden necho feed

Following the lead of others (including Sam Ruby and Mark Pilgrim), I’ve added a feed of the new syndication format without a name to Signifying Nothing. This should also give Jeff a new test case for his Straw patch.

For the moment, it’s here (since it’s currently generated by the LSblog RSS module); it will probably move to a separate URL once the format (and name!) have been finalized.

Speaking of RSS, it must be very, very sad to live in the place Dave Winer does.

Hopefully the last word on Colonel Reb

BigJim writes on the Rebel Flag, Colonel Reb, and “From Dixie With Love” (not to be confused with “Dixie” — the mp3 doesn’t do it justice).

Kevin Drum on moderation

CalPundit tries to figure out what it means to be moderate. Money quote:

First, there’s a difference between policy moderation and rhetorical moderation. John Kerry, for example, is probably about as liberal as Howard Dean if you look at his actual policy positions, but Dean uses more fiery rhetoric. Likewise, aside from a regrettable weakness for sarcasm, my writing tends to be pretty sober compared to someone like Atrios. But on actual political positions, we’re fairly close.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I take Kevin seriously but would rather get hit by a bus than visit Atrios again in my lifetime, and hence why Kevin actually has a decent shot at persuading me that he’s right on the issues.

James at OTB has more, including a money quote of his own:

Indeed, the mere fact that we spend a lot of time thinking, let alone writing, about politics and have developed somewhat coherent positions almost by definition puts us into the extremes.

I’d probably elide the “almost.” Having a coherent personal belief system puts you in the tails of the bell curve, at least relative to the public at large. I think moderation is more a function of whether you allow the belief system to dictate how you feel about people who don’t share your beliefs, and not so much what the content of your belief system is. Which, incidentally, gets back to what I was saying about political sophistication and perceived media bias.

Understanding the organization of Open Source projects

Kieran Healy is looking for feedback on a paper he plans to present at the August meeting of the American Sociological Association. The paper’s definitely worth a read, even if you’re not a sociologist or an open source geek.

Dean a flash in the pan?

James at OTB links to a Mark Steyn piece in today’s Washington Times in which Steyn argues that Howard Dean will peak soon. I’m not particularly convinced, mainly due to the lackluster Democratic field and the diminished appeal of potential Dean vote-splitter Ralph Nader to the “progressive” fringe (or, as Dean would put it, “Democratic wing”). And, with the highly compressed primary schedule, there’s a good chance Dean could remake himself into a centrist in time for Labor Day 2004 if the party grandees don’t panic and bring in an outside candidate as the nominee.

Dean Esmay, meanwhile, also ponders (the other) Dean’s prospects (via One Hand Clapping).