...nothing is left to guesswork.

Recent Work:
An investigation of connected exceptive constructions and scalarity
Except-phrases and "only" presentation notes
Donkey Anaphora and Variable-Free Semantics

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Finals

EDIT: Nevermind! I've picked a domain name and will be working on the site for the rest of the day. Expect at least a mock homepage and the link thereto by the end of today.

After much consideration, I've narrowed down possible choices for the domain name of the new site to the following:

lambdasaurus.com -or- lambdasaur.us (It would be accompanied by a spruced up version of this graphic:

series-of-tubes.com

tante-emmas-ecke.com
(which, granted, not everyone would get but just the right people would)

dotcompositionality.com (which has an awkwardness similar to slashdot)

salva-veritate.com as in Salva veritate

or, to make the transition easier for everyone here,

boundvariable.com

Vote now or add another candidate! (Though initially I thought about all the variations on 'semantics' that would make for a good domain name, I eventually decided against it because I'd like the site to cover semantics, programming, and other topics.) The final decision will be made more on which name has the better argument(s) for it than popular vote, so be sure to explain your choice(s) :-) Enough of this silliness and back to work!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I've been promising this (among many other things) all summer, but it's almost finally time for the new blog. Now...any suggestions for the name of the blog?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hey everyone, a quick little personal update:

In less than 24 hours, I'll be boarding a flight to Providence, where I'll be staying for the rest of the summer so I can get a good feel for the place and also get a head start on working (which I'm really excited about since, if you read this blog with any regularity you'd notice, I have been sort of like a tumbleweed blowing about the semantics landscape so far). I'm excited with a fair supplement of my usual travel anxiety (more that usual, actually, since I get nervous about flights to Phoenix, AZ when I'm just going for the weekend...and this is certainly a much more intense trip than that). Anyways, there's that! Hope everyone is doing well. Look forward to my next post...from Providence! :-)

+1 Google

For a while now, I've been wondering what Google was going to do about the whole Net Neutrality issue. Well, it looks like they're willing to take action if need be, according to a recent Reuters article. Nice to see Google stepping up on the plate to this, although I'm afraid that this Net Neutrality thing could get very messy.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Policymakers need to learn about technology before they make policy regulating technology

Last week, the US Senate Commerce Committee voted a narrow 11-11 on passing an amendment that would enforce basic Net Neutrality provisions in a telecommunications bill that was just passed. The most astonishing part of all of this is Senator Ted Stevens' (of Alaska) explanation of why he voted against the bill. A partial transcript is available at the Wired blog, and the full audio recording of Stevens' speech is available at Public Knowledge.

I think what's most startling about this is just how wrong Stevens' ideas are about how the internet both functions and is used. Stevens seems to think that a staggering majority of the average user uses the internet solely as a means of communication in its most primitive form: e-mail and chat. It is not enough to say that he is wrong and that many users (and many more with each new batch of kids getting exposed at an early age) do use the internet for more than e-mail and chat. The point that Stevens actually misses is that there is much more that the internet can offer as far as communication services go. The internet is turning the act of communicating into something more than a two-person back-and-forth dialogue. Knowledge and creativity are now capable to take any shape beyond the restrictions of text when being passed from creator to audience. This isn't just businessmen and family members communicating, as Stevens claims, this is humanity communicating with itself! The senator uses the example of the amount of bandwidth hogged by users downloading movies; even if this is the case, shouldn't the solution be to foster research in making the internet faster so that more people can enjoy this luxury at a lower cost? It just so happens that the senator's example does not represent the full potential of use of the internet and net neutrality. The big corporations that are using the internet as a distribution method for their commercial goods (which, by the way, is not really being done by anyone except Apple's iTunes Music Store anyways) will still use the internet to do that in the absence of net neutrality and in the presence of a multi-tiered system. Warner Bros. et al will certainly be able to fork over the appropriate amount of money to make their site as fast as need be to allow users to download movies fast. YouTube, on the other hand, will surely languish. But moving beyond just video, what about other media that's shared across the internet? What about programmers trying to share code or documentation about certain software that they've written? Most of these projects won't have enough money to get their site operating at the same speed as Disney or Google. Scholars in academia won't be able to properly fund a fair connection speed for their archives or personal webpages (i.e. forget about semanticsarchive). Effectively, the absence of net neutrality provisions is equivalent to the creation of the carpool lane that single-passenger cars can pay to get into.

Listening to the Net Neutrality debates, it becomes very clear very quickly who's thought about the issue carefully and who hasn't; who is open to learning more before making such a rash and important decision and who just doesn't care. And then there's Senator Stevens, who seems to be under the impression that one can send an internet, which is made up of tubes.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?


No Senator, do you?

Puzzling!

Jeff Veen (found by way of del.icio.us Hotlist in the past hour) has a nutty anecdote about a mysterious woman at a payphone instructing the person at the other end of the conversation to rm -r *. My command-line skills are paltry at best, but I'm glad that should someone ever tell me to enter that in my command line, I'll know well how to react. (Also of interest about that story, I think, is that the person issuing the command was a woman...see what happens when women start getting a little tech-savvy? ;-)