Ex Bibliotheca

The life and times of Zack Weinberg.

Thursday, 15 August 2002

# 5:05 PM

One thousand eight hundred thirty-six.

That's how many email messages were waiting for me at my work account.

A rough breakdown: 30 messages addressed to me, seven of them spam. Six more pieces of spam caught by the (much less aggressive) filter on this account. 26 messages to internal CodeSourcery mailing lists. Then, 966 from the various GCC development lists; 446 from the Subversion project list; 322 from the Python development list; and a handful more from lower-traffic lists.

In the time it took to download all that mail, read everything but the high-traffic mailing lists, and prepare this summary, another twenty-one messages arrived.

# 12:40 AM

i can stop anytime i want

Datastarve, they call it in cyberpunk role playing games. An addiction to information, brought on by spending too much time with your brain wired directly into the network. But you don't need to jump forward thirty to sixty years and undergo major surgery, have a high bandwidth "datajack" installed into your head, to suffer datastarve. Most of us already have a high bandwidth channel directly to our brains, came free with the body: our eyes.

I just spent five days in Los Angeles with my parents. I had great fun. Swam every day. Went barefoot as much as possible. Saw an exhibit of Hopi tithu dolls (more commonly known as "kachina dolls") at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. And I didn't touch a computer the entire time.

What did I do the moment I got off BART here in Berkeley? Came over to ICSI, where I am now, to check some of my email and write one of these blog entries. And I've the urge to go straight home, turn the computer back on, pick up the remaining mail (the vast majority, since most of the mailing lists go to the other account) and spend the next, well, however long it takes, catching up on every last one of the information feeds that I normally read daily. Takes an hour or so each morning — I would be done by midnight.

But I'm not gonna. I'm going to go eat, and then I'm going to San Francisco to the FSF benefit.

seen on the street

While riding AirBART away from the airport: A cab with an ad for Yahoo!jobs on its top, showing a signpost for the intersection of Opportunity and Van Ness Avenues.

In the Berkeley BART station, a guy busking — with a didgeridoo.

the junkmail wars

Waiting for me in the primary inbox for this account: 37 messages, of which 7 were wanted, 5 were spam, 12 were mailing list traffic I don't care about anymore, and 13 were copies of whichever Outlook worm is making the rounds this week.

In the spamtrap box, on the other hand, were 81 messages, of which 3 were legitimate, 1 was a different Outlook worm, 73 were garden variety spam, and 5 were the Nigerian scam.

I like SpamAssassin, yes I do.