I wish I had a decent citation for the von Bekesy quote. I ran across it in graduate school while studying for my phd area exam. It’s from a classic tome on inner ear physiology, and has stuck in my mind for perhaps ten years. I lifted the text from this page. I can’t be sure it’s exact, but it sounds right. The book has likely been out of print for decades. Might be worth a trip to the MIT library…

Georg von Bekesy: “[One] way of dealing with errors is to have friends who are willing to spend the time necessary to carry out a critical examination of the experimental design beforehand and the results after the experiments have been completed. An even better way is to have an enemy. An enemy is willing to devote a vast amount of time and brain power to ferreting out errors both large and small, and this without any compensation. The trouble is that really capable enemies are scarce; most of them are only ordinary. Another trouble with enemies is that they sometimes develop into friends and lose a great deal of their zeal. It was in this way the writer lost his three best enemies. Everyone, not just scientists, needs a few good enemies!” (more)

I don’t know what this means exactly, but here’s a first. Today I was filling out a form with one of those captcha images that’s supposed to be able to distinguish between people and computer programs, and I got it wrong!

We watched the Incredibles on DVD tonight. Holy smokes, what a movie! Not that that’s news or anything. As the credits were rolling I said, “hey, I know a podcaster who worked on that film.” Sure enough, under technical development there was Mark VandeWettering. By the way, I’ve never met Mark so I don’t actually know him. Blogs and podcasts blur the line quite a lot. You get to know something about a person’s thought process, as well as the mundane details of their lives. I’m grateful for all the generosity. I guess maybe I oughta reciprocate, pull out the recorder and do some more podcasts. I’ve just been so darn busy with other projects. Oy.

WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg is taking quite a bit of heat for some stuff he did on the wordpress.org site. In an unfortunate twist he was vacationing in Italy when the story broke, but is now interrupting that vacation to respond. I’m not a WordPress user and haven’t had much time to think about it, but I know that people who can make the kind of waves Matt can are rare and often wildly undervalued. Please, cut him some slack, give him a chance to tell his side of the story. Oh and since all kinds of weird stuff is showing up today: as far as I know, this is not an April fools’ gag.

Battlestar Galactica podcast: “Start playing each episode’s file when the words ‘The Cylons Were Created By Man’ appear on your TV screen. Beeps will indicate when to pause for commercial breaks.” Lisa, are you listening? And no, that’s not who I was meeting with :-)

I was in New York on business today, not far from these guys as it turns out, but at a different meeting. The Acela train was a breeze. Unlike on a plane, you can flip open the laptop the minute you sit down and get a good chunk of work done. I managed to add a new dialog to iPodder, which was cool. The downside: no net connection.

GigaDial is starting to attract spammers. The volume is low — what looks like a few manual attempts a day that usually fail — but today I had to delete a couple of bogus stations. I’ve intentionally left things pretty open up until this point to make it easy to try out. Tonight I tweaked it a bit to not link out from stations created by unregistered users. I’ll continue to keep things open as long as it’s manageable, and am keeping an eye out for creative ways to prevent spam while keeping the system easy to use. If you have any ideas, feel free to email me.