Technology Weblogging

Google API and Weblogging

I just can’t see any usefulness of the Google API for weblogging.

So you can use it for lookups. To lookup what? We’ve all seem how useful Google lookups are. I still get hits for add morpheus node. And this buys me…what?

Weblogs aren’t “resources”. People use Google to find “resources”. Google lookups work extremely well for persistent resources such as tutorials for CSS or articles on the Giant Squid or such (as I get for my other web sites). They don’t work especially well for weblogs unless the weblog is created for a specific purpose and to be a resource.

Most of us just want to have fun…

The only accurate Google lookups I’ve had are for “burningbird”, “shelley powers”, and “single childless women in their 40’s do any of them feel positive about their situation”. And why would I want to put this as an embedded web services call within my weblog page? I would assume that people could use these phrases in Google to get to my page — they wouldn’t need to use it once they’re at my page.

Embedding a Google SOAP call into my weblog page is only going to add more CPU use every time the page is loaded as well as slow access to the page itself as it waits for the SOAP call to finish processing at Google. If I want to slow up page loading, I can easily add another photograph. I bet my friends who access my weblog via modem would just love me to add yet more bandwidth hogging content.

If I wanted to add searching capability within my weblog, the easiest, most efficient thing for me to do would be just embed a link to Google and attach the phrase to the URL. Then if people want to read more about me, they can, without penalty to the rest.

I am a technologist. I love technology. But there’s nothing that irritates me more than the use of Technology just to use it. Tinkering — that’s cool, and a great learning exercise. Talking about technology because you think it’s neat, or fun, or because it’s something you love, or you use technology in your job — that’s cool, too. Go for it! Have fun! Thanks for sharing! But to get caught up in technology because someone has convinced you that it’s the “geek” thing to do or because you want to get mentioned at Scripting News — phhhut!

I have to ask you all something, what’s more important to you: that you get hits or that people come to your weblog to read what you have to say.

I keep hearing from you all that you’re really only concerned about attracting readers who come to the weblog to read what you say. Yet we’re inundated, drowned, overwhelmed, and suffocated by all of the technological gimmicks that we absolutely must have at our weblogs or perish!

If you want people to come to your weblog and hang around for what you say, then say something interesting, unique, funny, controversial, informative, silly, cute, beautiful, smart, witty, sexy, or any of the above.

We need more sex in weblogging and less technology. There. My pronouncement for the day.

Just Shelley

The Trickster

I’ve always been fascinated with the myth of Trickster. He is cunning and sly; the wise man who acts as the fool. His very nature is contradictory because he is a bringer of both chaos and order. He is considered evil, but a necessary evil.

Every culture has Trickster in it, though the actual representation may differ. For instance, to many Pacific Northwest and Alaskan native people, the Trickster is Raven. The winged God with the dual nature, Mercury, is considered Trickster in Greek Mythology by some (because of Mercury’s dual nature), and Loki is Trickster in Norse mythology.

To the Turkish (Islamic) people, Trickster is a person, Nasreddin Hodja, and takes on the personification of Trickster as wise man who plays the fool. It’s hard to pick among them, but my favorite Hodja story is probably Everyone is Right:

Once when Nasreddin Hodja was serving as qadi, one of his neighbors came to him with a complaint against a fellow neighbor.

The Hodja listened to the charges carefully, then concluded, “Yes, dear neighbor, you are quite right.”

Then the other neighbor came to him. The Hodja listened to his defense carefully, then concluded, “Yes, dear neighbor, you are quite right.”

The Hodja’s wife, having listened in on the entire proceeding, said to him, “Husband, both men cannot be right.”

The Hodja answered, “Yes, dear wife, you are quite right.”

The Navajo (the Dineh) have, in my opinion, the most sophisticated outlook regarding Trickster, who to them takes on the persona of Coyote. In fact, Coyote still forms an important aspect in current Navajo culture to the point where many of the Dineh will not cross the path of a live coyote, in case it is Coyote come to play a trick.

Occasionally you might hear a reference to Coyote in regards to a person having to fight their own personal demons. In particular, the Navajo associate many forms of illness with Coyote, referring to alcoholism, drug addiction, stomach and other illnesses as “coyote sickness”. This sickness is usually associated with an external influence such as alcohol or drugs, or poor diet and even exposure to chindi, or ghosts.

To resolve these illnesses, the shaman will perform a healing ceremony and take a person back to their center, performing a ritual cleansing — a healing way — as the person makes reparations for the offenses they have made.

You won’t find much online about healing ways, nor will you find much about the sandpaintings used by Navajo shaman during the rituals associated with healing — the Navajo consider that this information gives power and power given foolishly can rebound on the person who disseminates it indiscriminately. However, I did find reference to one healing way, the Bear way, that seems to be for women in their 40′s. The mention of the “crystals” in the ceremony, though, would lead me to guess that this is new age rather than traditional Indian ceremony.

The study of Coyote and illness, particularly illness associated with addiction, isn’t restricted purely to Navajo medical and religious tradition. In an excellent article, Jacques Rutzky discusses addiction and Coyote from a psychotherapist’s position, somewhat based on Jung’s Archetypal Trickster:

Forced to cultivate an awareness of the Coyote in myself as well as my patients, I have come to recognize that Coyote’s greatest delusion, that he knows everything, is frequently my own delusion as well. I try to remember that the images, associations, and thoughts that arise in my mind may be a link to another’s experience. Or they may not. And though I know with great certainty that Coyote will never be destroyed, I can, at least, recognize his familiar shape, smell, and howl when he comes into my office, sniffs the furniture, and plops down beside me, smiling.