Month: October 2008

A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy

Clay Shirky is at it again. Go read the whole thing, it’s awesome. Shirky: A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy: n the Seventies — this is a pattern that’s shown up on the network over and over again — in the Seventies, a BBS called Communitree launched, one of the very early dial-up BBSes. This was launched when people didn’t own computers, institutions owned computers. Communitree was founded on the principles of open access and free dialogue. “Communitree” — the name just says “California in the Seventies.” And the notion was, effectively, throw off structure and new and beautiful patterns will arise. And, indeed, as anyone who has put discussion software into groups that were previously disconnected has seen, that does happen. Incredible things happen. The early days of Echo, the early days of usenet, the early days of Lucasfilms Habitat, over and over again, you see all this incredible upwelling of people who suddenly are connected in ways they weren’t before. And then, as time sets in, difficulties emerge. In this case, one of the difficulties was occasioned by the fact that one of the institutions that got hold of some modems was a high school. And who, in 1978, was hanging out in the room with the computer and the modems in it, but the boys of that high school. And the boys weren’t terribly interested...

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eastern conference predictions

A couple of days late to the game here, but I hadn’t done as much study of the east in pre-season, so I needed to get that done first… Division winners: Pittsburgh Penguins (1) (but the atlantic’s the tough conference in the east) Montreal Canadiens (2) — I really like this team this year. Washington Capitals (3) — I really, really like this team this year. playoff locks: Philadelphia Flyers(4) — good, solid team in a tough division New Jersey Devils (5) — will be a playoff lock for me until Brodeur proves me wrong. on the bubble: New York Rangers (6) — on the bubble because four teams out of the atlantic is going to be tough. Buffalo Sabres (7) — I like a lot of things about this team, but it’s not really proven itself yet Boston Bruins(8) — my bet for “I underestimated how good they were” for this season. Carolina Hurricanes(9) — my bet for “could make the playoffs by beating up on a weak division” Ottawa Senators(10) — have they put last season behind them? do they have real goaltending? I’m not convinced. Florida Panthers (11) — best team attribute: finding a way to not make the playoffs. Not convinced anything’s changed. playoff misses: Tampa Bay Lightning (12) — new lightning management and coach: circus or genius? I’m betting circus. Toronto Maple Leafs (13)...

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western conference predictions

well, it’s prediction time, because, well, if I guess right, I can be loud and “cherry-esque” about how good I am, and if I’m wrong, we can hope everyone quietly forgets I said anything… The western conference is going to be a real mosh pit this season, lots of interesting hockey, and there are going to be some good teams missing the playoffs. A three or four game losing streak could mean the difference for some teams, or a key injury. Almost scary, if you’re a contender. There’s no margin of error here. So here are my thoughts on the west: Conference winners: Pacific: Sharks(1) — the change in coach will (had better) put this team over the top. If not, what do we do, blow it up and start over? Maybe. Central: Detroit(2) — and I AM including a “cup hangover here”, or they’d be my #1 seed. Northwest: Calgary(3) — I’m not sure why, but I don’t particularly like the Northwest, and Calgary seems the best of a fairly weak lot. playoff locks: Dallas(4) — last year, I expected them to fade. this year, I expect them to make the conference team’s lives miserable. Anaheim(5) — window has closed, fading fast. Still dangerous, but not a division-champ caliber team, and probably a 2nd round in the playoffs at best. On the Bubble: 8 teams playing for three...

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Drop the puck!

It’s hockey season again, so we dusting off the blog and getting back to work… Hope you all had a great off-season! With the baseball season ending here in the household a couple of days ago (Cubs lose! Cubs lose!), I’m now officially ready for hockey to start. We missed the first two pre-season games in San Jose while we were in Yellowstone, but made the third, and to be honest, I like what I see. Aspects are a work in progress, but it’s definitely not Ron Wilson’s team any more. More aggressive, offensively focussed, puck control. Just like (gasp) the Red Wings. And to be honest, much as I liked Campbell, Boyle was my first choice. Now he’s a shark. So is Rob Blake. Will Jeff Friesen? I have to admit, I’m rooting for him. I am so very much looking forward to opening night on Thursday, to see how the team handles things when it’s for real. I have plans to contribute more regularly here now that the season has started, and I have some interesting things (at least, interesting to me, hopefully to you as well!) that I want to do this season, if life cooperates — many of them are things I planned last year, but life simply didn’t allow. This year, we’re thinking, will be less — complicated, so we can move them forward....

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