Happy Birthday Ashley Thorvaldson
Today was dominated by core seminar reading, catching up on The Economist, and playing around with WordPress. This term is odd in the sense that there are so few times during the week when members of the program are brought together for academic purposes. We have both the core seminar and the methods seminar on Tuesdays, with no seminars or labs taking place at other times. I do see some program members through the Strategic Studies Group, but that is on Tuesdays as well. I should find someone who is interested in once-weekly coffee and breakfast meetings to discuss academic matters.
Tuesday's core seminar is on the topics "Compare and contrast the American, Soviet, and European conceptions of détente during the 1970s" and "What were the most important factors that led to the end of the Cold War?" I've done some reading already, and will devote a good fraction of tomorrow to immersion in the social sciences library. Because of how early in the research process my thesis presentation will be, it will probably me markedly less useful than it might have been later on. I suppose its value may lie in it being a spur forcing me to think about some of the important questions earlier than I might otherwise have done.
This blog is a-movin'
After another long outage yesterday, I burn with the desire to move beyond Blogger. My experience there have been a progressively more emancipated one, as I got my own domain and learned how to use it. The biggest limitation of all, of course, is that all the content management is still being done on the Blogger side. There are advantages to that - I can't really break Blogger - and disadvantages - I can't tweak or fix it either. Of course, moving again means the whole rigamarole of broken links and hopeless search engine results for another few months. It was a mistake to give Blogger control of the root directory of my webspace. It will make the process of relocating trickier than it would otherwise have been.
A draft version of the new sibilant intake of breath as managed through WordPress 2.0.2 is online. I obviously need to tweak the template, as well as deal with some internal changes. Once finished, it will probably replace the Blogger based blog as my primary avenue for posting. I expect that with some learning and tweaking, it will be much snazzier.
For the moment, I will carry on updating both. A facelift and database shift for elements of the cryptoblog may also be in the offing, in the longer term.
PS. Those who haven't seen it yet should watch the video of Stephen Colbert addressing the White House Correspondents' Association dinner should make a point of doing so. It's an astonishing demonstration of someone using satire to speak truth (or truthiness) to power. It's especially remarkable that the President and others were actually present for it. (Small Quicktime version)