Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

26 Mar 2010, 2:55 a.m.

Gussied-Up Link Blogging

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2010 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I am accumulating draft posts as I focus my days on GNOME Journal work, errands, and preparing for conferences and other appearances. So, very little blogging; even my Ada Lovelace Day post will be days late. But I can at least mention some interesting links.

"The reason this exists is because every time we watch Parks and Recreation we sing 'Jabba the Hutt' along with the theme. So naturally we had to make this video." I like the way you think.

This New York Times article on China's cyberposses, or "human-flesh search engines", was scary and enlightening.

Searches have been directed against all kinds of people, including cheating spouses, corrupt government officials, amateur pornography makers, Chinese citizens who are perceived as unpatriotic, journalists who urge a moderate stance on Tibet and rich people who try to game the Chinese system. Human-flesh searches highlight what people are willing to fight for: the political issues, polarizing events and contested moral standards that are the fault lines of contemporary China.

It also led me to feel less sympathy for an Encyclopedia Dramatica moderator.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, as often, eloquently states something that gets my head nodding:

But I think any sort of conservatism intellectual critique of liberalism and minority rights, really has to reckon with American conservatism's appalling record on that front...

Moreover they have used a skepticism of change, to mask a defense of institutional evil...

There is a fundamental problem here, one that can't be elided by pointing out the differences between "true" conservatism and Republicans. A bias toward time-tested, societal institutions almost necessarily means a bias toward institutional evil....

Derek Powazek's recent foolproof guide to nurturing houseplants reminded me of a heartwarming houseplant story he once wrote.


26 Mar 2010, 5:19 a.m.

that article on human flesh search engines suddenly makes a lot of things clear to me. i follow a lot of chinese blogs and forums, and one thing i've been noticing a lot of is how things that start off as about anonymous people always end with them being found weeks or months later.