On the waterfront

· Book News, Miscellany

Most years we hold the annual Waterside publishing conference in San Diego’s Mission Bay, but this year we are holding it near East Shore State Park in Berkeley. Author, consultant, entrepreneur (and author of ‘elm’) Dave Taylor, attending the conference, took a walk along the waterfront this morning and posted some observations about this “lovely spit of land”:

There’s something delightfully relaxing about a harbor in early morning, and Berkeley’s harbor was peaceful, with a light mist over the glass-like still water, and a few early morning fishermen on the pier, trying their luck. I chatted with one of them and found that the prime catch is halibut, if they’re swimming in the harbor, or striped bass.

R.I.P. Babatunde Olatunji

· Miscellany

I first saw Olatunji as the opening act at a Grateful Dead new year’s eve concert at the end of 1985. (That night was also the first time I saw the Neville Brothers, which started me on a strange odyssey through the Meters to Jazzfest and James Booker, but that’s another story.) He enraptured the basketball-arena sized crowd, teaching the audience call-and-response chants. He brought a sense of the sacred and the ancient to his sophisticated riddims.
Sue W. forwarded this from another list today:

We’ve just learned that our respected and beloved friend and brother Babatunde Olatunji passed away Sunday, April 6, at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. We wish that his spirit may forever be rewarded for the good life he led among the people, and may his soul pass into perfect peace forever. Let us resolve to carry forward his love for people, for the earth, and his belief in the healing power of rhythm and music.
Peace and Love to You,
Baba Ken Okulolo and Jackie Wilson

(No, not that Jackie Wilson!)
Say amen somebody.

Operation Iraqi Liberation

· Miscellany

It’s been over three weeks since this (Who’s leading Who?) appeared in my in-box and it still creeps me out every time I go take a look.


I think it’s the phallic nose.

And, no, I’ve never thought this conflict was merely about oil, but it still amuses me to imagine the operation named as above.

Google as OS

· Best Practices, Miscellany

Every few years some new technological framework comes along to challenge Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop. Since the advent of the Internet, Microsoft has managed to fight off Netscape (IE), Java (.Net), application service providers (Hotmail), remote process calls (SOAP), and U.S. antitrust law (Bush).

OK, I’m waving my hands here. Not all these things are comparable, obviously, even putting politics and law (social code) aside. This article by Elwyn Jenkins at Microdot News (Why Microsoft Must Compete with the Google Operating System) makes an interesting case that Google is putting together what the author calls a knowledge operating system, or KOS:

A KOS handles the storage and retrieval of information organized [such] that knowledge can be built using both the storage and retrieval mechanisms…. Having purchased Pyra a little over eight weeks ago, Google has in place the core components. Using a browser, a knowledge worker can create information pages organized into reverse chronological order and save these as a blog. Through the fact that a blog is an organized and regular way of storing web pages, Googlebot has a good chance of discovering and indexing these pages very close to the time they were created. Through careful wording of the blog titles and other fields, a blogger can greatly influence the way that page is represented in the Google Database. Using a free site search tool from Google, I can also now retrieve the information using keywords and full-text searching for that information the knowledge worker stored.