All posts made the week commencing Sunday 1 Jul., 2001:

Vic just found a brilliant ad in the personels (page 50 of The Guide with today's Guardian, if you're interested): "Row Caesar Ed, Vile ate Saab lieu, Idol icon use tart, water bow chew? M 40 seeks F 25-40. Lancs."

Upsidecrown party tonight. Come along. After all, the people we met on the roof who came and drank gin with us last night will be there. Fucking woke up in bed at nearly 10am with my shoes still on didn't I. Feel ill-ish.

At some poncy London winebar last night, Jason made an interesting point about weblogs, saying that they could be considered as an enormous database, a single weblog a slice through this, this page being an Interconnected cross-section of all that content. Interesting, because I'd never thought before of weblogs as a mass, a whole, a single thing.

But it's not [an individual weblog isn't] really a slice, it's more of a trail, a chronological record of a passage through the web (a trail in the memex sense). Every so often, the trails overlap, and there would be value in seeing who else has crossed this point (a point being a node, a post, often a link, or a piece of commentary), and maybe following their trail for a while instead. But a trail is 1-dimensional, and a slice should be more. So how to do this?

Firstly, all posts should be categorised (possibly into multiple categories). This would mean that from each step on the trail, you could step sideways in the same category onto a different path (or rather, the same path but a different point in the time-stream. But you'd be crossing different other people's paths). Categories very important.

Secondly, for commentary-only posts we need transpublishing so it's easy to make references, comment, object and so on, and that such references are implicitly joined to their origin.

And as long as I'm dreaming... At each node you should be able to see what else is nearby, based on a web-of-trust-like system. And the entire thing should run through a universal map, so that the interface can be anything from a text adventure to a Nokia phone.

"Everyone OK down there? Excellent. First off, apologies for interrupting your twice-weekly diet of thought-provoking nonsense; Jamie had composed a rather brilliant piece on thermodynamics in Hindu Germany, but that'll have to wait. The Lord wants a quick word in your collective shell-like."

Regular Upsideclown programming has been suspended for a special message. Jamie brings us A Letter from God.

Some links to 'sites about city planning:

  • Cyburbia: ubersite linking to all manner of planning and architecture resources [ta Phil].
  • Congress for the New Urbanism: replacing spawl with communities, promoting environmental conservation, and operating at all levels from the street to the metropolis.
  • Carfree Cities: how to copy without cars, but also how to restructure our cities to work well with this.

What worries me about many of these plans for new cities is that they're very top down, building the city and then getting people to move in. How about a set of rules, or guidelines, that can be started at any moment of a city's development (which is always), and that work towards a "better" place? It's gotta be bottom-up baby. Carrots and sticks, all the way.

Various places where ideas are stored:

  • The Global Ideas Banks: a repository for "socially innovative non-technological ideas and projects" both original and from elsewhere.
  • Should Exist, a non-political tool to share cheap ideas. "Good ideas should be easy to come by. [...] The difficult part is actually implementing."
  • Halfbakery for submitting, commenting on, and rating all manner of ideas, no matter how small.

A co-operative startup could do worse than look at one of these places and start making some of these ideas real.

Ideas, ideas, ideas. The Positive Revolution page leads me to Vision Space, part of the New Civilization Network.

Which leads me to... The Venus Project, a collaborative thought experiment (is it?) to redesign culture. New energy systems, cities, economies.

Notes from the Handbook for the Positive Revolution by Edward De Bono: How to run an E-Club: "An E-Club is made up of people who meet periodically to set themselves action tasks and report on the progress of those tasks. Since effectiveness is a combination of thinking and doing, it involves thinking that designs and sets the task, thinking that plans the execution of the task, and then the doing necessary to carry through the task."

qmail howto. Got a new server, ain't I. Probably take a while to set it up though.

At Upsideclown: "That was the hundredth time we have made love. Counting the three times, two early on and one when you came back a day late from that weeklong conference in Leiden, when it was over almost before it started. Definitely not counting that one time when it actually was over before it started, which you were very kind about. And not counting the one time last week when you said that it didn't feel right, and asked me to stop."

Dan brings us the centenary issue of Upsideclown: Hecatomb. He has these just-so formed other lives, ever so detailed, and this is just one of them.

And now there are so many other announcements that it's time for an unordered list:

  • To celebrate our 100th issue, we're having a Readers Party called Upsidecrown. It's on Friday, in central London, and we hope you'll come along.
  • If you'd like to get Upsideclown articles by email every Monday and Thursday, send the word subscribe in the body of an email to Don't worry, we won't tell.
  • And if you like 'clown, why not come write for Upsideclone? It's the same, but different. Innit.

Announcements over. Please resume your lives.

I don't know whether we'd get on if you knew me, because we'd go out for Chinese and end up talking about whether it'd be possible to construct a valid (y'know, valid as in using only the switches provided by universal grammar) language in which exchanging concepts was easy, but saying normal things was hard. And then we'd end up talking about concept complexity and limits and how the world would be a different place if the limit was higher or lower. I'm not quite sure how Es puts up with it.

Anyway, I wrote up the various thoughts in A concept-easy language. It feels right and there are lots of open questions and growth points.