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Orientation FAQ for the Robot Wisdom Weblog

Jorn Barger, 17 January 1999

Why "Robot Wisdom"?

Since 1978 this has my term for 'extreme Artificial Intelligence"-- my main life's work. See my AI FAQ.

Where do you find it all?

My main sources are described here.

Other detailed comments about sources are on the media,literate page.

A DejaNews URL is broken!

Try it again in an hour or three. I usually construct these using the Message-ID, but that doesn't kick in until DejaNews has indexed it. (Netnews is vastly more readable if you use a dedicated newsreader-- MacSoup or MT-NewsWatcher on the Mac, Free Agent on Windows, trn on Unix. Netscape, MSIE, and DejaNews don't begin to compete.)

The background color is unbearable!

I've been cycling thru the 215 'browser safe' background colors, one per fortnight. Almost all of them have looked okay so far on my Mac, but if you really hate one, just mail me.

(I'm really interested in the esthetics of multicolored text.)

Something looks like crap!

I have an odd monitor, so I view everything in 18-pt Geneva. This makes my viewing experience unlike almost anyone else's, so I need to hear if I've screwed something up. IE, mail me.

Identify: rab, ark, Kibo

rab = rec.arts.books newsgroup
ark = alt.religion.kibology newsgroup
Kibo = James Parry, kibological godhead
(See sources page.)

Why is MSNBC evil?

I swore off MSNBC links when they dropped RealPlayer support (in a typically monopolistic attempt to promote their own proprietary WindowsPlayer standard). So when they have something I can't resist linking, I include the 'Evil MSNBC' caveat.

Your URL is too long!

Try "i.am/jorn" or "http2//jorn" or (new, still infrequently updated) "www.robotwisdom.com".

(But also, take control of your bookmarks!!!)

I want to comment on an item.

Good! Try this weblogs DejaNews group, or this anonymous public feedback board, or just mail me.

Or join the weblog community by starting one! Using Frontier makes it pretty easy.

How long does it take you?

My MCS account gives me seven hours a day, and I've been using most of that since starting the Weblog. I have a fairly slow 28.8 connection, but this is hardly any problem because I use multi-window surfing.

I also have a highly efficient start-page that arranges my sources by time of day, day of week, etc. I'll share this eventually.

My Mac is a 2ndhand PowerMac 7200 with the 15" Apple monitor. (It's starting to wheeze.)

What's MCS?

Macro-Computer Solutions is an Internet service provider (ISP) in Chicago, where I've had my main account since 1993. It was recently sold (late 1998), and service has declined precipitously.

Don't you do any writing of your own?

Almost all my writing is posted to netnews. You can see the latest here.

Who are you?

There's a little biographical stuff here.

Why is the 'hardcopy' link a 404?

I'm still miles from doing the printed version of this website. If people care enough to bitch at me about the 404, that helps me get my ass in gear a little better.

I admit this is not exactly considerate. Sorry.

Can I suggest links?

Yes, please mail me. But I hardly ever use them, so don't be disappointed if I don't. And I usually don't like links to sites -- I want links to particular pages with good reading.

What's this waxy loonie fortnight stuff?

Two weeks seemed like a manageable size for the archives. And I think it's good for people to be at least semi-conscious of the moon's phase. Waxing means the moon is getting bigger during that fortnight, waning means it's shrinking.

You like James Joyce?

Mmmm... James Joyce.

What happened to the UK Guardian?

I love the Guardian, but since 1 Jan 1999 they've been demanding registration, and I don't feel that's appropriate for a shared-links forum like this.


See the bottom of the main page. There's a clumsy method for searching them there, too.


A handful of the very best I've found are here.

But I'm in the first stages of building a 'portal' with hundreds of the best links sorted by topic:

# TV # Movies # Gossip # Music # Sex # Games # Toys # Humor

# Interactive # Performance # Visual # Music # Erotica # Fashion # Literature

# Weblogs # Collations # News # Techniques # Critiques # Trends # Design # Content...

# Activism # Trade # Imperialism # Spying # Conspiracy # Drugs # Ecology # Family # Sexuality...

# Email # Netnews # Hardware # Culture # Web.Money # Web.Culture # Web.Tech...

# Hacker # Programming # Design # Hardware # Risks...

# AI # Space # Biotech # Physics # Primates # Language...

# General # Early # 1500+ # 1900+ # 1940+ # 1960s # 1970s # 1980s # Future...

# # # # # # ...

# WebShopping # Work # Shopping # HomeEc # Microsoft # WallSt...

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The Robot Wisdom Pages include far more text than anyone could be expected to read online, so within the next few months we hope to offer most of it in a $20 hardcopy edition-- some two megabytes of text in a 240-page, large-size format, divided four ways between James Joyce, artificial intelligence, internet culture/ hypertext design, and miscellaneous topics. If you'd like to be informed by email when this becomes available, please send me email with the words 'hardcopy list' as the subject or in the body. [More on the hardcopy edition]