While crossing campus this morning

Very few people walking about, but I noticed a few folks standing at the base of the flagpole near the quad. Before today, I could not have told you that a flagpole stood there. I looked up and saw the flag at half-mast. And then, of course, it clicked. I walked on a bit to where I could see the full length of the pole against the sky and stopped and just looked at it, looked at the people under it -- probably waiting for a ceremony to start in a few minutes time -- and looked back at it again. I stood there for a minute or two, just looking and remembering where I was, imagining what those last terrible minutes must have been like for those thousands of people.

I'm not a flag-waver, by any means, but I thought that was the most eloquent statement that could be made and that I would hear regarding the anniversary of the event all day. Remembrance is best done in silence, in solitary.

By improbably (and I’ve often thought, mistakenly) landing a brief berth in the Technorati Top 100, 43 Folders was also “discovered” by an unspeakable black mildew of PR people who, on their clients’ behalf, “reach out” to bloggers with the gruesome goal of getting them to trade their credibility for access to free crap and “embargoed” press releases. Mm, pinch me. And, somewhere in there, I heard somebody say, “Marketing is the tax you pay for being unremarkable,” and I dreamed of having that phrase printed on a giant hammer.

In a recent critical essay about economist-philosopher Friedrich Hayek, Jesse Larner notes:

… Hayek understood at least one very big thing: that the vision of a perfectible society leads inevitably to the gulag. Experience should have taught us by now that human societies are jerry-built structures, rickety towers of ad hoc solutions to unforeseen problems. Their development is evolutionary, and as in biological evolution, they do not have natural end-states. They are what they are continuously becoming. Comprehensive models of how society should work reject the wisdom of solutions that work and deny the legitimacy (indeed, from Lenin to Mussolini to Mao to Ho to Castro to Qutb, deny the very right to exist) of individuals who demonstrate anti-orthodox wisdom. Defenders of these models are required by their own rigidity to invent the category of the counterrevolutionary. To Hayek, this is what socialism, communism, and collectivism—he makes little distinction between them—mean: the dangerous illusion of perfectibility. …

What I DIDN'T do this summer

  • Create accounts on my MacBook and really get a handle on securing it.
  • Create a custom search engine in Google that would search the sites I tend to read the most: Lifehacker, Marginal Revolution, Kevin Kelly's sites, 43Folders, Web Worker Daily, my delicious bookmarks, Ask Metafilter, etc. I created a custom engine of usability sites for my User Interface class last spring, so it's not that hard.
  • Update my blog's template and add cool plugins.
  • Read some recent SILS master's papers to get an idea of what these papers are about.
  • Set up my turntable so it hooks into my PC.
  • Organize my CDs.
  • Organize the office closets.
  • Picasa.
  • Buy an extra power adapter for the MacBook.
  • Get my ClaimID site looking complete and purty.
  • Write to Sue.
  • Write to Cara.
  • Learn how to get FTP working on this blinkin' site.
  • Clean up the categories and tags on this blog.
  • Research whether I could hook my Airport Extreme router to my current Verizon modem/router box.
  • Lose 5 pounds of unsightly flab.