In my previous logs, I have discussed topics such as:

Nose to the grindstone:

  • Edited
    Owners of edited WUs get a /msg informing them of the edit. Very minor stuff isn't listed here - this is for more extensive edits. Also, if I thought a WU was good enough to merit the effort involved in an extensive edit, it probably is worth a visit - so this list is a good guide to miscellaneous interesting WUs.
    • (...)
  • Killed
  • Editor cooled
    As is my self-imposed rule, I shall try to restrict myself to 3 ed-cools a month
    • Mission to Mars (November 1, 2002) - Though I actually enjoyed the film very well indeed, and every single writeup in this node seems to disagree vehemently with this assessment, I can't help but feel that these critical writeups are, each and every one of them, very well written indeed. They certainly made me laugh out loud. Kudos to sl0throp for "killing with kindness"; to ccunning for the delightful parody of the script; and to Ulkesh for reminding us that "Mission to Mars" was and is more than a film.
    • Mary Poppins (November 24, 2002) - This is one of the finest nodes I've come across in a long time - what a fine set of WUs! Here's Segnbora-t with a good summary and listing of the books in the series, and teleny about the symbolic import of Mary Poppins as "an illustration of progressive education in action". Alias Mother Jonez weighs in with a well-crafted WU dealing with the Disney film, with lots of contextual information on the great films of 1964. And finally, to cap it all off, comes dutchess, with a veritable tour de force of a WU, going deep into the Poppins books and making us familiar with them in a whole new way. Top marks, all!
    • You use chopsticks very well (November 30, 2002) - This month's third (and final) ed-cool goes to a node dealing with an entertaining detail of Japanese politeness. Initially pointed out in a concise WU by beable, the Japanese habit of politely complimenting you for simple chopstick use is expanded upon by mowph. In liontamer's WU, we are offered a good and witty (but difficult-to-pronounce) phrase to disarm such situations. But the real prize goes to gn0sis, who deconstructs the whole phenomenon, and brings us to a deeper understanding. Not least, of the fact that it is remarkably easy to accidently claim to be a sodomite of houseflies, when one had intended to be casually witty, using the phrase suggested by liontamer. Heheheheh.
  • Firmlinked
    • (...)
  • Softlocked
    • taking pictures of art is not cool (November 21, 2002) - "One wouldn't think so, but this is definitely becoming a GTKY node. If you have something interesting to say, ask an admin to unlock it for you."
    • Why Didn't Noah Slap Those Two Mosquitoes? (November 21, 2002) - "'There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.' (Genesis 7:9) - and yea, verily, this is a GTKY node. If thou hast somewhat to add, contactest thou forthwith thy beloved admins."
    • I'm sorry (November 26, 2002) - "I'm sorry that this has become a GTKY node. I'm sorry that you will have to contact a god or editor to have it unlocked, if you want to add something. I'm sorry that walnuts taste so bitter. I'm sorry that escargots aren't a cure for the common cold. I'm sorry."

You will subjugate the unknown beings on other planets, who may still be living in the primitive condition of freedom, to the beneficent yoke of reason. If they fail to understand that we bring them mathematically infallible happiness, it will be our duty to compel them to be happy.

We, Yevgeny Zamyatin

Reward Wisdom.

  • None found, yet.
Correct Ignorance.

Flog with Wet Lettuce.

The log is your friend. The log can sit quietly. The log can burn. The log can provide warmth. The log can be very cold. The log can be filled with gold. The log is your friend.

Lotsa people be dissing the daylogs. It has very often been in vogue to bash the daylogs and denigrate those who make use of them. Lesser humans. Weak noders. Birdbrains on acid who think everyone gives a shit about the fact that they spent $22.56 at the grocery store on diet soft drinks and the bag boy looked at them funny. Why don't we do away with them? Why do we allow them to be included in a person's node count? Why don't we make them "unvotable?" The snickers and back alley accusations make it all the way around the world. Everyone wants fairness and equity and a perfect little world that conforms to their concept of reality, justice and righteousness.

There ain't no justice, WalMart brain. There is just this and, for the moment, nothing more. Words on an imaginary page broadcast to you through computer magic onto a screen that is slowly eating away your vision. This is what your science has done to us. Bastards. Now, step up to the holy altar and place an offering. Prepare for judgment.

There are those who abuse daylogs and drag them down into the horrible swamps of Hell. They see them as an easy place to dump a couple of random thoughts about nothing in particular so they can get closer to having the right number of nodes to jump up to the next level. Hey, guess what, you don't get a blowjob when you move up a level. It doesn't mean all that much. Your soul is more important. There are so many damned fine daylogs out there and you could spend a day winding your way through a couple of months worth and find some pretty spectacular reading. Some understand that often what they have written isn't quite the kind of thing that deserves its own node or fits into an existing one. It is worth writing and worth reading, but perhaps it is a fleeting moment. A daylog brings in many readers, for it is easily accessed and discovered at its time of posting. It might be topical, dealing with present day issues and perhaps won't stand the test of time. It lives in the moment. It is a fire in the bushes.

So, you think you're ready to write a daylog? Good for you. Let's take a look at some of the possible reasons why you might be feeling this way...

  • You are a journal writing type person. Nothing wrong with that at all. Some very interesting material has come from journals and the people who write them. You comment on key events in your life and the world around you and weave them together in a style that is truly your own. Excellent. Let us savor your work.
  • You just had a really crazy day or strange experience. Perhaps the events of one particular day in your life are highly unusual and have the substance of a truly interesting tale. It could be a work of prose, but you want to keep all the facts intact and just relate the events as they happened. Excellent. Tell us the story.
  • Rant. This type of thing is generally discouraged on E2, but a well written and focused rant can often find a home in a daylog. Strong opinions are best reserved for daylogs, as they won't last very long elsewhere. Pissed off about tailgaters? Hate the government? Focus your thoughts and give it to us straight. Just keep it in the daylogs, please.
  • Experimenting with your wurds. I have seen a lot of this in daylogs, and it warms my cold, cold heart. Poetry, strange formatting, toying with phrasing, trying a new way to tell a story... it is all very tasty and fits well in the daylog format. Want to try writing something a little unusual and outside your usual style, play around with it in a daylog.
  • Immediate impact. You have something you want to say that is about the present moment in time and you want it to be seen. Daylogs give you exposure in the light of the moment and they'll rarely be looked back on months from now. Take the September 11th daylogs as an extreme example. The events of the present and your reaction to them are something of a snapshot of history, even if just for yourself. They are there for you.

So, you say you are a "serious" noder. Yes, we know, "serious noders" don't do daylogs. What is a "serious noder" anyway? A noder who takes E2 "seriously" is one who knows the rightful place of all kinds of writeups. There are certain writeups that belong in daylogs. They may be as good and possibly better than other writeups with their own titles. They are often much, much worse. There are crappy daylogs. There are brilliant daylogs. There are a lot of good daylogs somewhere in between. The bottom line is that even a daylog should be a well written piece of writing worthy of the time spent by others to read it. It might make them laugh. It could make them cry. It could touch them in super special ways. It could shock them and it could piss them right the fuck off. These are the things that good writing does to people. Not everything is "just the facts, ma'am." Writers write. They write constantly. Sometimes a thought or an idea needs a jump start. The train of thought needs to be focused. A daylog can help you find where you lost your place. A lot of daylogs are so much more. Use daylogs wisely. They are your friend. They beckon to you. People are listening. People are reading your wurds on the other side of a computer monitor screen on the other side of the world. Remember to consider them when you weave your wurds. Make it count.

Information! Yes, I have been known to /msg people and tell them that a work they submitted that was nuked from orbit would have made a good daylog. For whatever reason, this is seen all too often as an insult. "Daylogs? I'm better than that." Pull it together captain. I'm making a positive suggestion. Come into the daylog garden. Let us upgrade the neighborhood. Okay, let's dance. Someone cue the music.

I blame National Novel Writing Month for my total editor slackitude this fine November. I'm only noding this right now because I'm a day ahead and my so-called "plot" or lack thereof hasn't been going anywhere for the past few thousand words. Ugh.



Update 24 November 2002: Word from on high says "firmlink overkill is bad", and the following are examples of what NOT to do. The excessive links have been removed, writeups moved to appropriate locations, and my hose-up is duly noted here for all who want to point and laugh.

  • magic realism to magical realism and vice versa. I've only ever heard or used the second term, but apparently they're interchangeable. The winner is: magic realism, and the firmlink in the other direction is no more.
  • Papiamento to Papiamentu and back again, because I only knew the first spelling but the second is valid as well and both contain excellent writeups. Both writeups now reside at Papiamentu, and there's only one firmlink, pointed that way.


As I messaged Frankie some time last month, "As a content editor, I could just fix all the typos I came across; it'd probably be quicker than /msging users. But I like to think that telling people to fix stuff helps them learn to edit themselves better. Or something." Like it says on my homenode, I don't suggest corrections to writeups that aren't worth improving. If I /msg you with a correction, it means, "Hey, this is wrong, please fix it and give your writeup a double-check because I could have missed typos since I probably only read it once through." Now you know. That said, the exception to my "messages for typos" exchange program are fled users, although I do usually message them to report any changes I make, just in case. Here's me leaving big tracks, too:

It looks as if I'm only going to be logging my editorial activities when I've got a bee in my bonnet about something.

This month's bee: E2 Copyright Violations: Same Song, Second Verse

We all love songs. Or at least, all of us love certain songs. Of course the quality of the lyrics varies; some groups' verses are beautiful, and can stand on their own as very good poetry. Other lyrics, when taken out of their musical context, sound like the rambling of an addled three-year-old.

Regardless of their quality, I have to say that it's a beautiful thing to be able to look up said lyrics, to be able to determine that Mick Jagger was not singing "I was raised by a two-headed lesbian" but was instead singing "I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag".

It's useful.

It's cool.

And it's against the law.

And ultimately, that just ain't cool any more. Stuff like this is why the Web and those who publish on it have such a bad reputation in some quarters. And I say E2 should become something better than that.

A lot of us editors have turned a blind eye to the rampant copyright violation involved in the noding of unexplicated lyrics. We've been discouraging it, but that's as far as it's gone. Everybody's doing it, we tell ourselves. The fans love it, and who's it hurting? The music industry megacorporations? Who cares. We'll leave it all up and let the users have their fun and worry about it when the lawyers come a' knockin'.

But posting a bare, unexplicated lyric is a clear violation of intellectual copyright laws. It's not a technicality, not a grey area: it's against the law.

Posting lyrics in the context of a good analytical writeup, however, is fair use, and can be very, very cool. dannye's I Can't Make You Love Me is a good example of how to handle this; I'm sure you can find other examples.

Posting public domain lyrics, such as those of old blues or folk songs, is legal. So is posting lyrics for bands such as The Grateful Dead who have given reuse permissions to the world at large. Posting copyrighted lyrics after you have gained explicit permission from the copyright holder is entirely cool.

So, if you've got permission, tacit or explicit, you should always make a note of this on your writeup. And even if you have permission, annotating said lyrics in an interesting, edifying manner is a much better way to go.

Speaking as an editor and content producer, I can no longer in good conscience turn a blind eye to the copyright problem of lyrics posted here at E2.

It's not enough to let it go on and wait for the lawyers to find us on their own. Tacitly allowing the violation of others' intellectual rights while expecting people to respect your rights is hypocritical at best.

I can't speak for other editors, but I'm going to start nuking unexplicated lyrics nodes, starting with fled users. And since I have a limited amount of time to spend here at E2 these days, it'll take me a while to get around to auditing active users' accounts.

If you have lyrics nodes up, make 'em right in the eyes of the law.

  1. Write to the copyright holder and ask for permission. When it is given, add a note to your node stating such.

  2. Can't get permission? Can't figure out who to contact? Then explicate your lyrics. And creating a short intro paragraph talking about how much the song means to you isn't enough to satisfy the letter or the spirit of fair use, I'm afraid. You need to get into the guts of the song. You need to make the writeup fundamentally your work rather than someone else's. For more detailed guidelines on fair use, see sites such as

If any of you have any questions about this etc., please feel free to message me. I really, seriously, am not doing this to be a wet blanket squelching the fires of noders' musical enthusiasm.


Sunday, November 24, 2002 2:49:xx update:

dem bones says re Editor Log: November 2002: Actually, I'm sorry - but I can't have you doing this. I understand how you feel but the copyright issue is our biggest one and if we tackle it it will have to be on all fronts. As it is now we operate under DMCA protection...

Roninspoon says: Bones and I have spoken at length about this. It's weird, and anti-intuitive, but we're following the word of the law by not removing them in mass. I feel your pain, believe me. I'm one of the biggest champions of copyright and slayers of plagiarism round these parts. I know it's strange, but it's the law. If we formulate a policy, then we are liable for all content and open to litigation. If we form no policy, we are protected by the DMCA and we simply remove those nodes that CP holders complain of.

The Management hath spoken, it appears. The official policy is, there is no official policy. But remember, kids - plagiarism gets deleted, period.

However, if you want Lucy-not-speaking-for-management to benevolently smile upon your work: if you've noded unexplicated lyrics, do the right thing. Rewrite your nodes to adhere to fair use. I and The Spirit of Copyright Past thank you.

11/27/02 Update:

I was in communication with most excellent poet Mark Strand. Turns out that, until a few days ago, he didn't know that several dozen of his poems were here at E2. Nobody had asked his permission; he asked that his poems be removed from the site. I have removed all that I could find.

Ask permission before you repost other people's work. Period. Most writers have webpages these days; if they don't, most poets are faculty someplace and thus have faculty email addresses. Those that have neither home pages nor faculty gigs have publishers, and most every publishing company I know of has a website with contact addresses. Don't be lazy; lazy can get E2 sued.

After talking to several folks, then having another respected icon hereabouts say the same thing, we're replacing the "HOWTO" node titles and either making them a verb or a proper sentence (How to). If any user is upset with the new title choices, please find a suitable title without the HOWTO and let us know what you'd like it to be. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

So, without further ado:

Renamed and/or reparented thus far:

  • HOWTO: Kill Zombies
  • HOWTO: Install ecore on a Linux OS
  • HOWTO: connect an xbox pad to your PC deleted
  • HOWTO Change a Yale Lock
  • HOWTO: Lay the Smack Down
  • HOWTO: Do a Drive-By deleted
  • HOWTO: write a HOWTO deleted
  • HOWTO: Mop a floor
  • HOWTO Squat: Law
  • HOWTO fix windows deleted
  • HOWTO: Test your house electrical ground
  • HOWTO: Treat thermal burns in the backcountry
  • HOWTO: Treat Brain Injuries
  • HOWTO: Use gzip to do computational linguistics
  • HOWTO: Reduce a dislocation in the backcountry
  • HOWTO: Treat Chemical Burns
  • HOWTO Squat: Section 6
  • HOWTO: Treat Nose Injuries
  • HOWTO: Synchronize your computer clock to an atomic clock
  • Howto: Fit a heatsink to an Athlon
  • HOWTO Squat: Opening Time
  • Things to consider before you a get a tattoo
  • HOWTO: Read the Holy Bible
  • How to become a Jedi
  • howto log in as admin without the password
  • HOWTOs on Everything
  • HowTo: Make a Windows 2000 partition bootable
  • HOWTO Squat: Police
  • Converting others to the Darkside HOWTO
  • HOWTO: Steal software
  • HOWTO: rewire an epee
  • bartending howto
  • The Everything2 Mozilla How-To
  • Estimating Cooling requirements - a HOWTO
  • HOWTO Squat: Finding A Squat
  • HOWTO introduce your parrot to new foods
  • How to add an alarm clock to your case
  • Howto: unblock blocked ports
  • HOWTO Squat: Gas
  • HOWTO: develop black and white photos
  • HOWTO Squat: Tools
  • HOWTO: develop color photos
  • HOWTO: Export address-book data from Netscape/Mozilla 6.x
  • kernel hacking howto
  • Howto: Commit suicide while in prison
  • HOWTO Squat: Electricity
  • HOWTO trim your parrot's wings
  • HOWTO: eat an orange
  • How to build a lasting peace in the Middle East
  • HOWTO: build a colorimeter
  • HOWTO: Use Power Management on Windows XP's Welcome Screen
  • How to quit smoking
  • HOWTO: Enable Root User in Mac OS X
  • HOWTO: Crack a Master Lock
  • HOWTO: Treat Eye Injuries
  • HOWTO Squat: Introduction
  • Bad Homepage HOWTO
  • HOWTO Squat: Locks
  • HOWTO: Enable Dedicated Swap in Mac OS X
  • HOWTO: Get to Dublin on short notice
  • HOWTO opt out of pre-approved credit cards
  • How to improve your memory
  • HOWTO: Drive traffic to your website
  • HOWTO Steal movies from Blockbuster
  • HOWTO: Get a free soft drink anywhere in North America
  • Everything HOWTO: Hijacking
  • HOWTO: Hide a body undetected
  • Howto: View Dialup Passwords in Win95, 98, ME
  • time acceleration - HOWTO
  • HOWTO: Call for Emergency Help
  • HOWTO mix the perfect wasabi
  • HOWTO: Clear a C-spine in the backcountry
  • Howto design a good UI
  • HOW-TO rebuild a lot of Windows boxes
  • HOWTO : prepare for a house party
  • HOWTO: Splint a broken femur in the backcountry
  • how-to
  • HOWTO: repairing punctures on your bike
  • HOWTO: Treat electrical burns
  • HOWTO Squat: Water
  • HOWTO: Reduce a dislocation in the backcountry
  • Squatting HOWTO
  • HOWTO: Use gzip to do computational linguistics
  • HOWTO: Treat Brain Injuries
  • HOWTO: Make Urushiol Spray
  • Bash Prompt HOWTO
  • HOWTO: Treat thermal burns in the backcountry
  • HOWTO Squat: Links
  • HOWTO: Test your house electrical ground

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