Re: You are going to Advance

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So the Red Hot Chili Peppers are 'advanced'.

A backpacker in Samoa once told me that "The Red Hot Chili Peppers are shamans, man!" He claimed to have figured this out in a Cherokee sweat lodge in Honolulu. I didn't ask what the Cherokee sweat lodge was doing in Honolulu.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:16 AM
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And nowó today ócast all those thoughts aside

Plus: spaces with em dashes? For shame...


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:28 AM
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That is exactly the inconsistent style to which I referred! Note that later, he doesn't use spaces. Come on!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:29 AM
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So are we guessing that the guy belongs to some Scientology break-away cult? One with a pernicious punctuation style guide?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:33 AM
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Scientology crossed with Objectivism has unexpected hybrid vigor!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:36 AM
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What is the proper emdash/space usage? I am an emdash abuser, yet I do not know.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:37 AM
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No space!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:41 AM
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If you want to Advance with me, Becks m'dear, you must not put a space on either side of your em dash, but rather it must be fast against the letters on either side.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:41 AM
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God damn it, someone or other just convinced me to use spaces.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:42 AM
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And, also, are you objecting to just the grammar and musical selections or the overall conceit, too? Would you have objected to the concept if his Top 5 was full of groups like the InterrŲbang Cartel?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:43 AM
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I am an emdash abuser

Is that what the kids are calling it these days?


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:43 AM
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Chicago Manual of Style, 2.75

For electronic manuscripts.... [t]he em dash is represented by two hyphens with no space before or after.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:46 AM
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And, also, are you objecting to just the grammar and musical selections or the overall conceit, too?

This isn't about what I'm objecting to; it's about the fact that the whole thing is objectionable. I was put in a nostalgic mood by the ad and reflected on the many occasions when ogged (PBUH) would post such, often from that Persian personals site. I have nothing much against any of the bands, reall—I even like 1, 2, and 4 who is admittedly not a band—though it must be owned that talk of being rejected by 99% of consumers for reasons of nonAdvancement is kind of ridiculous when you've first listed RHCP.

I thought we could all find something to find pathetic or pretentious here. Perhaps I was wrong.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:48 AM
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Steely Dan? Advanced?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:48 AM
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Perhaps the topic is too thoeretical.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:49 AM
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7 & 8 - Does that still hold for the double hyphen approximation?

I do not like this rule. My --s only get autoconverted to proper emdashes when I put a trailing space after them. To be grammatically proper, I would need to put the space so it would autoconvert and then go back and delete the space. I think this may fall under the same "deprecated due to technological considerations" rule that Tom declared for punctuation within quotation marks. That, or you can take it up with Redmond.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:50 AM
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Insofar as his overall conceit is that popularity is indicative of a negative quality about a band, it is inherently objectionable, according to me. That is, popular things shouldn't be dismissed just for being popular, but rather because they are individually, and after examination, terrible.

Also, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are astoundingly popular.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:50 AM
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Perhaps the topic is too thoeretical.

All pop music is earnest and shrill!


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:50 AM
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Everyone's typographical authority, Robert Bringhurst (link wuz here), says, of parenthetical dashes and spacing, that ens take some but ems take none (link wuz here).


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:51 AM
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I should say, irrespective of what CMOS says, I always type 'em with the spaces, and let the production editors sort 'em out. They don't seem to mind. They give me the very devil of a time over other usage matters. w-lfs-n, you're not moonlighting as a production editor at [redacted] press, are you?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:53 AM
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I thought we could all find something to find pathetic or pretentious here. Perhaps I was wrong.

No, you were right. Just exploring the parameters of the discussion.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:54 AM
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I do not like this rule. My --s only get autoconverted to proper emdashes when I put a trailing space after them.

Your problem is that Microsoft Word is the true little bitch, and its use is, or ought to be, considered harmful. (See? Not the most compellingly written document, I admit.) LaTeX turns my ---s into em dashes no matter where they occur!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:55 AM
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Google sucks. First "link wuz here" wuz here, second wuz here .


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:57 AM
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OpenOffice, let it be known, will convert --s to dashes even if you don't put a space immediately after—after you type the space (or punctuation) following the word coming after the dash-to-be. Maybe you should just use OpenOffice.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:58 AM
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Mmmm...LaTeX. TeH AwEsOmE.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:59 AM
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Latex?


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:06 PM
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I like music that would be disliked by a much larger percentage of the population than the things that guy likes, if they'd heard it, and I thought it was so ridiculously insufferable as to not need comment. Shouldn't he have just posted "I am teh l33t mus1c g33k!!1!! b0w be4 my r0xx0rzing t4st3!1!! and send pix!" and have done with it? (My l33t may be no better than my punctuatin' skills.)


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:08 PM
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Becks, you're trippin. I just typed "blah--blah" into Word 2000, and it didn't autoconvert, but I immediately typed a space and it did. A period or apostrophe will also trigger the autoconversion magic. No space is required immediately after the two hypens.

I have a distinct recollection that this has been the default behavior since Word 97, and I doubt it's changed in 2003.

Am I the only other one here that uses Word? (Actually, I don't really use word anymore. But I also think OpenOffice sucks.)


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:08 PM
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See, LaTeX is teh awesome, but it doesn't suit production editors, who like to muck around with your MS Word files, the better to destroy your prose. They don't know what to do with elegantly typeset .pdf's.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:09 PM
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Also: What is perceived to be bad by the largest percentage of the population? What the largest percentage of the population is least able to avoid hearing (since anyone who doesn't hear something doesn't like it). Conclusion: the most Advanced music is Xmas carols and "My Humps."


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:09 PM
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skillz, surely?


Posted by: Andrew Brown | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:10 PM
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I'm often surprised more people don't use LaTeX/TeX. It is pretty much ubiquitous in my area, but I hear people in other disciplines complaining about word, etc.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:11 PM
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Becks, it takes a while to develop the habit, but Alt + the number pad will open new territories for you. The em dash and the en dash can be yours!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:17 PM
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I use Word! Though after the incident when it crashed FOUR TIMES when I was trying to make up the bibliography for a paper on deadline, I may stop sometime soon. I could probably download some version of TeX now, but no one ever pointed me to a nice "Getting started with TeX" resource.

Hm. Maybe I should e-mail a question to Tia.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:18 PM
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Chicks dig merzbow. They just don't know it yet.


Posted by: Joe O | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:20 PM
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The Not-So-Short Introduction to LaTeX2e.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:32 PM
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I can't believe he didn't nest single quotes inside the doubles, or escape the doubles or SOMETHING! Took me forever to parse.

99% of the population appreciates Nelly for all the wroong reasons.


Posted by: danostuporstar | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:34 PM
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ben w-lfs-n: that looks like a pretty good intro.

One of these days I should really write up a tips & tricks page for latex, particularly dealing with graphics across the .dvi/.pdf divide. I've never seen it done (love a link if anyone has one) and it has some gotchas.

By the way, once you get past the initial curve, emacs + auctex + reftex is really productive. I know people who swear by texShop on mac, though, too.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:40 PM
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28 - OK, you're right. It will convert even without the space.

33 - Yeah, I could do the Alt+ thing, were I not terribly impatient.

That all being said, I think I'm still going to go with the spaces under the Tom rule. I just can't have punctuation like that flush against text. It hurts the same part of my brain that sees people not leave spaces around their operators in code ("foo=bar+3" instead of the proper "foo = bar + 3"). No Advancing with Ben for me, I guess.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 12:55 PM
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I just can't have punctuation like that flush against text

A rule which you violate numerous times within your post: look at all those commas and periods! Unspaced all of them! NTM your quotation marks and parentheses.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:08 PM
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Note, I said punctuation like that against text. The commas and periods are OK for the same reason one writes "foo = bar + 3;" instead of "foo = bar + 3 ;".


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:10 PM
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Oh and speaking of code, I'm in total agreement with you re. assignment and arithmetic operators; but I have a great hatred of coders who put spaces after open-paren and before close-paren -- I think it looks klutzy. I just now noticed that I never put spaces around an em dash but always put spaces around a double-hyphen. Not sure why. But at least I'm consistent.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:11 PM
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I have a great hatred of coders who put spaces after open-paren and before close-paren

Agreed.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:12 PM
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By the way, once you get past the initial curve, emacs + auctex + reftex is really productive.

Are auctex and reftex, respectively, a macro system like latex and a replacement for bibtex? My tex distribution is, I believe, tetex, and it provides such user-visible programs as tex, bibtex, and latex, but no auctex. What's the advantage to them?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:13 PM
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Oh, I misread your "like that" -- I was reading it as "I just can't have punctuation like that, to wit, flush against text."


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:13 PM
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becks: don't you mean (setf foo (+ bar 3)) ?

see, no punctuation problem....

I suspect there is no elegant solution to the problem of spacing em- and en-dash in a fixed width font, etc. When it's typeset it should come out properly though (and vary according to typeface)


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:15 PM
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I will admit to sometimes not putting spaces around operators for conceptual grouping reasons (instead of using parens, say).

I see I have a comment stating a condition thusly, for instance: "## (rng-1)*cols < count <= rng*cols". But then the same script has this line: "print >> out, (fmt*len(tup))%tup". I guess there ought to be spaces around the %.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:19 PM
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Ben: no, I probably should have elaborated. TeTeX is probably the best base system out there (for non-windows machines). It is also the base system for TeXShop on mac.

Both auctex and reftex are add-on packages for emacs. Auctex is an extended `TeX mode' for emacs, with lots of extra goodies. Reftex is an emacs minor mode (which integrates with auctex) for better handling of references. You can use it to search for citations (string or regexp search of the current .bib files), outline your current work (handy for thesis or book length documents) etc.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:19 PM
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What is craigslist? Did it have something to do with Wonkette?


Posted by: Jonathan | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:40 PM
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What is craigslist?

The gigantic black hole at the center of the Illiteracy Galaxy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:47 PM
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apostropher: what would that make myspace?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:51 PM
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Does it emit hawking radiation?


Posted by: Jonathan | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:51 PM
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At Last


Posted by: thepoetryman | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 1:56 PM
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Comment spam on the topmost entry? Bold, my friend.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:00 PM
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apostropher: what would that make myspace?

In cosmological terms, I'm not sure. In practical terms, it's the place that's consuming large amounts of my bandwidth so that every lame-ass high school girl can display this picture of baby hedgehogs, and it can be replicated on seventy bajillion of their friends' pages.

I'm this close to replacing it with tubgirl.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:01 PM
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Does it emit hawking radiation?

It emits nothing, being nature's purest form of teh suck.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:04 PM
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apo: you could always just randomly rotate that picture ,say, 10% of the time. You don't have to start with tubgirl...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:05 PM
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Why the hating on craigslist? It's good for finding roommates.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:06 PM
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Grate site! —ongratulations ! Respecty to admin!


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:08 PM
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Does putting spaces around your em dashes make you one of the top 5 most advanced writers? Because, clearly, we're not ready for it now.

Listening to much country music nowadays, I'd say that Lynyrd Skynyrd was pretty advanced.

And the guy's a fool for leaving out Captain Beefheart.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:09 PM
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In the last moments of this blog, I'll rush up to apostropher, thinking there's one real blogger left, and he'll turn around, point at me, and shriek that one word, "—ongratulations," as a signal that my body should be devoured by the spambot hordes.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:11 PM
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You don't have to start with tubgirl

Why settle for halfway measures?

Also, since I moved to the new host that provides more monthly bandwidth than I could hope of consuming without streaming video, it doesn't bother me as much, I suppose. It's more having to page down through past several hundred myspace addresses in my referral logs to get to anything new.

If I wasn't so lazy, I guess I could .htaccess them out of my hair. but I'm lazy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:11 PM
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Who's tubgirl?


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:11 PM
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Never mind, through the magic of google I figured it out.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:13 PM
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Why the hating on craigslist? It's good for finding roommates.

Could be. I haven't had to look for a roommate since the 1980s. Every time I've been directed toward it, though, CL strikes me as the abattoir of the English language. It's a silly neurosis, but it's my neurosis and I'm sticking to it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:15 PM
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Tia, now aren't you happy you asked?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:15 PM
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But CL personals are hilarious. If you ever think your life is pathetic, those will cheer you up right quick.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:17 PM
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Becks has a point. Besides, I doubt CL would even hit my top 10 list of cringeworthy sites on the net. I refuse to check that hypothesis by making the list, though.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:19 PM
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Who's tubgirl?

I've often wondered that myself. There must be a certain sadness that comes with being one of the internet's most famous denizens, yet really not wanting to claim the prize publicly. Good thing her face is obscured, I guess.

The most puzzling thing about tubgirl, to me, is why, given the nature of the picture, did somebody feel the need to pixelate out her genitals?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:22 PM
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But CL personals are hilarious.

True. The Black Table ran a weekly round-up of the worst CL personals but, sadly, The Black Table is no more.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:24 PM
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I've actually had some luck with CL personals. A lot of different kinds of people are reading them for entertainment, so if you post something decent and literate, some portion of the decent and literate people will say "hey."


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:29 PM
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I didn't know who tubgirl was either, and now that I do, I wish I didn't.


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:34 PM
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I've tried personals in the past, without much success. I think it has the most to do with the fact that I live 50-100 miles from anywhere (depending on your standards for anywhere). Maybe once I move to a big city I'll start to have more luck.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:44 PM
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Small-town dating differs from more urban situations

In particular if there's few places to go


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:48 PM
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72 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:49 PM
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I'm sitting here smugly as having had the tubgirl picture described to me once, so there is no risk that I will be driven by curiosity to google it.

(For anyone who still isn't familiar with it, my understanding is that it involves acrobatic defecation in a bathtub. If you're still interested after that, go google.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:56 PM
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74: Really?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:56 PM
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pdf, according to the Black Box Recorder song "Facts of Life", yes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 2:59 PM
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67: I once saw the CL personals described as being "like a David Lynch movie, only without any midgets." Which sounds, intuitively, somehow right.

Of course it can always be worse. Much, much worse.


Posted by: Doctor Slack | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 3:35 PM
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Hannidate is back! I once did a lengthy post mocking people whose only sin was to put a profile up there, because I'm mean and hateful. Then they went and took the site down for a major overhaul, so none of my links worked any longer. And without the pictures, it lost a lot of its funny.

I see a project for tonight.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 3:54 PM
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re: 48

LaTeX is teh awesome as is the Not So Short Guide...

I typeset L. Jonathan Cohen's book of collected philosophy papers for Kluwer a few years back (as a low-paid copy editor and as a favour to Cohen and my then supervisor) using LaTeX and they were happy enough to accept camera-ready .pdf copy from me.

On the other hand, my one soon-to-be-forthcoming paper (on why homosexuality isn't like cancer) had to be converted through a torturous process to Word format as the editors wanted to mess with it. Having to do all those things by hand that LaTeX normally handles for you is nightmarish.

The only caveat with LaTeX plus AucteX is that I have done near-permanent damage to the nerves in my left hand using all the ctrl key combinations in Emacs (with Auctex) when typing an insane amount of copy in order to meet my thesis submission deadline. I do NOT recommend it if you touch type -- use some other editor or be bloody careful.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 3:58 PM
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also, re: 78

Black Box Recorder are great and Sarah Nixey's voice seems to really do something for British blokes of a certain age.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 4:00 PM
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re 81: Matt, you changed your keymaps, right? Chording can become a bit much, but there doesn't seem to be another clean answer, and even just getting rid of stupid caps lock key placement can make a huge differenc e to that if you are doing a large amount of it. For more `normal' usage profiles, there is no problem.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 4:08 PM
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I've switched to an ergonomic keyboard and am trying not to chord ctrl-key combinations, but I haven't changed keymaps yet. Right at the moment I'm not doing much in Emacs anyway but when I gear up to do more writing (soon) I'll look into it.

I see a neurologist soon about the nerve damage which ought to be correctable -- it's a bastard having wierd neuropathies in your left hand when you play the guitar.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 4:17 PM
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Matt: no doubt. I used to code a lot, and play guitar, so know exactly what you mean. I was very paranoid about damage. I spent some time on ergonomics and identifying awkward motions I was repeating a lot (and fixing those by remapping etc.), and never had any significant trouble. So who knows if it helped or if I'm not as suceptible? I did get through years with 10s of thousands of lines of code and thousands of hours of guitar... I don't know what would have happened over the long run if I'd kept that up, though.

If you don't do anything else, look at swapping your ctrl and caps lock keys on the left side. Really smoothed things out for me. Good luck with the hands!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 4:26 PM
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Homosexuality isn't like cancer?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 4:45 PM
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OK, so I touch type. Is it the particular editor that's a problem, or should I just stay away from any LaTeX thing? I'm a little paranoid about nerve damage, though lately I haven't had to worry about being productive enough for it to be a concern.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 4:58 PM
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It's just the editor. (Emacs uses tons of multiple keystroke commands that tend to begin with control-x or control-c.)


Posted by: bza | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 5:13 PM
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Aprpos of nothing, I left my goddamn power supply at the office today, so I can't mock Ben as richly as he deserves. Goddamnit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 5:30 PM
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For a Mac user, I'd recommend TeXShop in its latest incarnation, along with BiBDesk. Emacs is very, well, CLI for Mac users. And the key-chording, for the inexperienced, is annoying.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 5:34 PM
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Also, soubzriquet, if you want to explain tips and tricks for handling graphics, especially if you want to get into wrapping text, I'm all ears. Or eyes.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 5:36 PM
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had to be converted through a torturous process to Word format as the editors wanted to mess with it.

Why can't the editors just learn the basics of TeXing? Then you could send them your text files, no conversion necessary.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 5:50 PM
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re: 87

Yeah, it's the editor. LaTeX itself is great and there's no reason why you need to use an editor that relies on ctrl-key combinations.

I also have teXShop on a Mac, which is very good, as per 90.

Unfortunately, using CLI type editing with key combinations is a very quick and efficient way of getting text in quickly -- it's just hard on the hands.

There are a number of less harsh more mouse-driven options.

LaTeX itself isn't much different from HTML -- it's a markup language -- there's nothing specific about it that causes problems.

The advantages in automating layout, footnotes, references and bibliographies massively outweigh the initial learning curve.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 5:51 PM
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Unfortunately, using CLI type editing with key combinations is a very quick and efficient way of getting text in quickly -- it's just hard on the hands.

Emacs does have a vi emulation mode. Not much chording in vi, as I understand it. Granting that modal editing has been scientifically proven to increase crime rates, it might be a worthwhile tradeoff.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 5:54 PM
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I should probably expand on my above comments.

Emacs is probably the most powerful text editor ever created, for reasons that go beyond most day-to-day usage. VIM (*not* vi) is pretty much equivalently powered in many ways, but far off in others. The advantages to using emacs if you do a *lot* of text manipulation, especially if you write programs all day, are probably worth the learning curve.

Than being said, there is absolutel no reason to have to learn it to use latex. For the mac, there is texShop (which is a wrapper/frontend to teTeX) as mentioned. For windows & unix there are several all-in one options, or you can use whatever editor you are used to already. MikTeX is, I think, the accepted standard windows based TeX implementation. teTeX is the best distribution wherever it is available, as far as I know.

Tools like auctex + reftex can make handelling large complicated documents and bibliographies easier, but they aren't in any way necessary, and there are plenty of other options.

There are also a couple of GUI front ends around, but really the model works better without it. Separating he content from the layout just makes sense for things like papers, thesis, books, etc.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 6:26 PM
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I need to look into vi, first time I looked at it and emacs together emacs just made more sense to me so that was what I went with.

I usually use MikTeX on a PC and texShop/TeTeX on a Mac. MikTeX is pretty easy to install and once it's working you can use any editor you like.

You could even use Notepad to edit LaTeX if you really had to.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 6:31 PM
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I know this is inappropriately back on-topic, but I was at work all day.

For every dude that thinks the best thing he has to offer a girl is his amateur expertise on something like music, film, literature, or electronics, how many girls are there who are sitting at home saying, "It is nearly impossible to find opinions on music/film/lit/electronics these days! I've looked online, in magazines--zip! If only there were a man out there for me who could fulfill the dual functions of rocking my body and telling me what to think!" Who's going around telling guys this is a good way to get laid?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 7:34 PM
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But who could turn down a guy with opinions on aesthetics?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 7:49 PM
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If only there were a man out there for me who could fulfill the dual functions of rocking my body and telling me what to think!

But—ignoring the tendentious phrasing of the second conjunct—wouldn't that actually be a good thing? At the least, it asserts a possible common interest (not for nothing, I assume, is the relevant entry on this list number one). And I stand by my heretofore unarticulated opinion that while reading reviews or recommendations is all to the good, it's almost always better to get recommendations personally. Community-formation rah!

I mean, if I met a girl with an amateur expertise in a form of music in which I had an interest, that in itself would be attractive. I suppose that if you think the best thing you have to offer is good taste, that doesn't speak so highly of you (but hey, maybe it's an accurate assessment—may as well play to your strengths), but good taste and the ability to talk competently on at least one subject are good things. Hectoring and lecturing, not so good, but not necessary attendants.

This concludes my touchy overreaction.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 7:50 PM
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I'm gonna get you after class, eb.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 7:52 PM
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My friend Allan calls (one component of) 99 The Fallacy of Shared Aesthetic Interests. Though I think he admits that there is this much to it: ceterus paribus, if you are romantically involved with someone who shares your aesthetic interests, you will more often be able to both be with your S.O. and listen to that godawful racket you like. Don't think Mr. Advanced is making a good case for himself there, though.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 7:57 PM
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80: I definitely think you'll find that Hannidate is still the gift that keeps on giving!

97: "Who's going around telling guys this is a good way to get laid?" Music, film and lit geekery actually have a pretty long tradition of getting people laid. It's not so much about the newness of one's opinions as their superior snobbery.


Posted by: Doctor Slack | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:01 PM
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Though one might also seek someone who is indifferent to the art form completely, so that person did not mind that godawful racket more than anything else.

That is somehow connected to this, although w-lfs-n garbled what I actually said so thoroughly that the point is almost impossible to reconstruct. (For instance: I wasn't asking for my own sake! I have this friend!)


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:02 PM
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Needless to say, Mr. Advanced is not an example of superior snobbery. That's part of his charm...


Posted by: Doctor Slack | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:02 PM
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99: I agree about the value of personal recommendations, in fact I probably overestimate their relative value, especially of recommendations from people on blogs.

101: I can imagine the existence of a fallacy wherein one assumes from the existence of shared aesthetic interests the presence of romantic interest, but I don't see Ben doing that. And I don't like this trend of people just calling things a fallacy without explaining the error in reasoning.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:11 PM
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I have never understood people who were looking for someone with similar tastes--who were sure that the girl who recognized this one line from a movie was the girl for them. I understand the concern about liking to do the same stuff, but that's never how it's framed; they all think similar taste is a sign of a deep soul connection. I want a boyfriend who's into different cool stuff than me, so I can get introduced to it.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:14 PM
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Also, I don't find people who are defined by a collecting/consuming impulse to be that attractive. It's fine if that's part of you, but if all you have to offer the world is your love for Steely Dan or whotheheckever, well...


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:18 PM
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I want a boyfriend who's into different cool stuff than me, so I can get introduced to it.

Like pork products. I can show you an entire world of glorious greasy wonder that you're missing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:18 PM
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Why did I google tubgirl after so many people I trust let on that I shouldn't? Why?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:19 PM
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But, really, when you characterize it as "different cool stuff", you're already inserting similarity of taste—you want someone who's into the same stuff as you would be into, if only you knew about it or were introduced to it in the right way. Matt Weiner, who really does like godawful rackets, presumably isn't looking for someone who likes all the most out things of what he already likes, but I would be surprised if he winds up with some young lady from Lubbock whose taste is strikingly foreign to his own.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:19 PM
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How did so many of you internet geeks get to this age without encountering tubgirl?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:21 PM
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I've always thought I'd be interested in the numbers racket and would like to meet a woman who could introduce me to it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:21 PM
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I invite those with JSTOR access to read the right-hand column of the third page of this article (continuing on, I suppose, if you like).


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:25 PM
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Just dumb luck, I guess, apostropher.

I still see it when I close my eyes.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:26 PM
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Okay, but that's different from thinking that the girl who already owns all the same music is the girl you love. I had a bonding moment with a young film student because we both liked AI and felt marginalized about it, though he told me Armond White loved it so much he reviewed it three times, and he started tearing up when talking about it and that got me into some toes-curled "ooh, he's sensitive frenzy", but after three dates we stopped seeing each other because really, there was only that between us, and besides he was the one who took me to that horrid Vincent Gallo vampire movie that everyone sensibly walked out of at Cannes. And I don't think we need to have identical taste; I'd be interested in understanding his, but it wouldn't mean I'd have to adopt it. And I'd go out to some of his stuff, and he'd go out to some of mine, and we could be, like, different people.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:28 PM
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some young lady from Lubbock whose taste is strikingly foreign to his own.

Not to impugn the ladies of Lubbock town.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:29 PM
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Labs, you bastard. You made me look.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:31 PM
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I guess I should add, for the sake of completeness:

tubgirl has a little something called artistic integrity. And, she's nicely bouncy.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:33 PM
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I should have been more specific. The problem is not that guys want girls they can talk to about music. It's that they want girls whom they can indoctrinate with their crackpot ideas about music. Most of the musicians I've dated have done this shit. It's not acceptable for me to only like some of the things they like; I have to like all of them. And if I like something and he hasn't heard of it, it must be stupid.

Of course people with similar interests should go out. I'm dating a lit guy for the first time in my life, and it's a real relief to know I can use a Ben Jonson line in conversation without it freaking him out. We read each other's favorite books, but it's not a dealbreaker if we disagree about them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:33 PM
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I have to say, I have a stronger stomach than you guys. I was like, hmm, a woman projectile shitting orange goop into her own mouth. Not attractive, but not traumatizing either.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:33 PM
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Tia, surely you understand that Armond White is a pseudo-contrarian tool of the first order.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:35 PM
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105: I believe that my friend (note: this time "my friend" ≠ me) meant that the fallacy was that shared aesthetic interests are important, although really I shouldn't get into too much detail about that conversation on the internets. And it does seem that it would be more accurate to call it a mistake than a fallacy. But is there a bright line between a fallacy and a mistake? When we speak of the Intentional Fallacy, which we do, do we not simply mean that it is a mistake to believe that the meaning of the work is whatever the author intended the meaning to be? In any case, comparing me to that guy is definitely an invitation to a beatdown.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:36 PM
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I'm glad that being on a library computer viewable by anyone who walks by has prevented me from searching for tubgirl.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:37 PM
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Tia, when I see that, I am reminded of my reaction to seeing pictures of a man having a potato and a bottle of jelly pulled from his ass.

How does a human reach this point? A citizen of the Kingdom of Ends, a creature made in the image of God, and the only thing left to do is curl up in a bathtub and spout feces over oneself.

Sophocles saw tubgirl long ago on the Aegean, and she spoke to him of the ebb and flow of human misery.

I'm in tears.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:40 PM
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My college boyfriend used to make me listen to his mother's amateur musicals. He asked me what I thought. I told him, as gently as I could, that I didn't think much of them. He got defensive and tried to argue me into saying they were good. This only made me stick more firmly to my opinion. He'd inform me that I was somehow soulfully impoverished; that I was fully intellectually capable, but there was some aspect of human experience I didn't access. His mother's musicals by the way, were total shite. Everyone here would agree. They totally fucking mistook the map for the territory.

(Disclaimer: We're friends, I owe him a phone call, he has since apologized for his deeply toolish behavior.)

121: I dunno. The only review of his I ever read was of Fahrenheit 9/11, and he didn't like it, which struck me as a sound opinion.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:42 PM
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69 made me realize I shouldn't look for tubgirl at work, 72 made me glad I hadn't, and 76 extinguished the curiosity.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:42 PM
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The NYPress is interesting pretty much only for the venom of the letters to the editor. Armond White manages to hit on the truth sometimes in his you-all-suck pendulum; I read him with salt-goggles.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:48 PM
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A citizen of the Kingdom of Ends, a creature made in the image of God, and the only thing left to do is curl up in a bathtub and spout feces over oneself.

But I'm sure she was getting paid for it. So afterwards she went out and bought herself something frilly. See, happy ending. Don't be sad, Labs. Everything's for the best.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:50 PM
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Weiner, cut out the sensitive liberal crap and look at the picture.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:50 PM
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Ooh, Armond White, I have an opinion on that.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:55 PM
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So you like his work, wd?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 8:57 PM
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Look I don't know what you guys' fuckin problem is here -- the Tub Girl is as wholesome a bit of Americana as you could ask for. I mean come on, what red-blooded American man hasn't secretly fantasized about watching his darling in the tub, giving herself an auto-Hot-Carl? It's a beautiful moment of purity. It is very healthy, I will come on your blog more often.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:00 PM
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If I hadn't meditated on my happy place immediately, tubgirl would have made me a social conservative.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:00 PM
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I have a stronger stomach than you guys

Yeah, I could point y'all to much, much more disturbing stuff than tubgirl. I only referenced that because it's sufficiently famous/infamous that I figured it wouldn't require any explanation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:04 PM
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Dear Peggy Noonan,

I found someone who I think is embarrassing the angels, but I'm not sure. Could you have a look?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:05 PM
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135: Somebody must do this.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:06 PM
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goatse was also something I didn't need to see.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:07 PM
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135 -- good one.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:07 PM
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In any case, comparing me to that guy is definitely an invitation to a beatdown.

While I'm normally a firm believer that one should escalate things in response to a threat, I was only drawing the comparison with regard to calling things fallacies without explanation, not as to that guy being a misogynistic asshole. Also, I was trying to hi-lite my snarky response.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:08 PM
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137: What's crazy is that I had somehow avoided looking at goatse all this time, but all this talk of tubgirl got me thinking that now was the time. So I just looked at it. I guess I was expecting it to be less clean or more obviously prolapsed.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:10 PM
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Wikipedia has a list of shock sites.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:11 PM
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goatse was also something I didn't need to see.

Completely worksafe and undisturbing: photos of people's reactions to seeing goatse for the first time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:12 PM
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Not to take you as any particular representative, SCMTim, but I reacted to the photo with a "My God, look what the margins are up to," and never imagined that the people involved would ever be more than internet ephemera.

Is this naive of me? Maybe having kids would change my position, but I hope I'd be open enough and paranoid enough to introduce my hypothetical children to the net with a cynical eye, just as parents today worry about TV...


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:12 PM
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Yes, there are far worse things on the internet, but that's not to say that it's a pleasant picture.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:13 PM
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143 to 133.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:16 PM
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Various readers email to say that fountains of poop are not the authentic feces of the Internet.

I wish I agreed with that. But, sadly, they are its very image today.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:20 PM
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139: No probs, pls take the threat as an expression of appreciation of the snark.

Reading the wikipedia description of Goatse, weren't we confronted with that once when somebody *coughbphdcough* deep-linked to a site that didn't appreciate it? I reacted with quiet appreciation of the elegant trap that had been set, but it wasn't a very big image.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:24 PM
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SB, you're a national treasure.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:25 PM
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Thank you kindly, my good Labs.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:41 PM
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Hey I just noticed Mr. Advancement Theory requests his interlocutors to "Also respond with a picture."...


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 9:53 PM
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How about: In the Arthur legend of 20th Century America, the true king will be given his Excalibur not by the Lady of the Lake, but by the Girl of the Tub.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 10:11 PM
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So she'd be like an inverse sword-swallower, then?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 10:13 PM
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Shit, my clock has stopped. 20th s/b 21st. Time for bed.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 10:13 PM
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Because I think it's cool that a thread on typography—with some diversions—can extend for 153 comments, I thought I’d keep it going.

Microsoft Word actually commits an even greater sin. If you type “--” it actually converts that to an “en” dash, not a “em” dash.

An “em” dash is the brother of the comma and counsin of the colon. An “en” dash, on the other hand, is used to signify a duration. For example: “The party will last from 10:00–noon.” You likely use a hyphen in that case, but that is typographically incorrect. I don’t believe it is correct to say that either the misuse of an “en” dash or an “em” dash is gramatically incorrect, however that is probably a discussion for another day.

The two dashes get their names because of their width. An “en” dash is the width of a lower-case letter “n” (in a non-monospaced font), where an “em” dash is the width of a lower-case letter “m” (in a non-monospaced font).

Now if I could just get you all to use true typographers quotation marks (“”), instead of ditto marks (""), the world would be at peace.


Posted by: PunctGod | Link to this comment | 03- 7-06 11:40 PM
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An "en" dash, on the other hand, is used to signify a duration.

And also, by the CMS anyway (if I remember aright), an en dash is used in place of a hyphen in creating compound adjectives containing spaces, as, for example, "He did it with Matt Weiner–like grace.".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 12:01 AM
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If I’m going to go to the trouble of typing out a pair of entities every time I want to quote someone, I’m at least going to use some fancy foreign-style marks: «, ».


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 12:09 AM
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Belatedly, I'll point out that (despite 100) in 98 I was actually thinking of the Crash thread, particularly Tia's clarification on "wrongness" w/r/t aesthetic values. But I'll resist re-opening that thread.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 1:10 AM
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119: Fair enough. To clarify, the snobbery doesn't have a long tradition of getting people laid more than once.

Or maybe twice.

132: "the Tub Girl is as wholesome a bit of Americana as you could ask for."

Therein, I think, lies the tragedy.


Posted by: Doctor Slack | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 3:47 AM
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Isn't there a blog plugin that turns falsepuncts into truepuncts?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:09 AM
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Or better yet, Blaupunkts?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:25 AM
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Isn't there a blog plugin that turns falsepuncts into truepuncts?

BAD! My epistemology groop blogg does this, and then when people cut and paste from previous comments those fancy curly quotes post as NASTY UGLY GLOOP. It makes the baby Jesus cry.

(Yay, I got to BLAST WITH CAPS LOCK!)


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:35 AM
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But, but, Crooked Timber does it, too, and I've seen no NUG result. I blame: epistemology.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:46 AM
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A brief preview test reveals that the problem may have been fixed even at the epistemology site.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:48 AM
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You have to be careful, though, because sometimes they show up correctly on the site but are garbled in the RSS feeds. I know that happened on Unfogged for a while (not sure how it got fixed) and I see it sometimes on other sites that shall remain nameless.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:53 AM
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Why should I believe you?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:53 AM
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Curses upon you, Becks. 165 to 163.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:56 AM
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165 to 166, so there.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:58 AM
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Oh yeah? 165 infinity no tagbacks.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 7:59 AM
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Thus skepticism was born.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 8:00 AM
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Eh bien, mordez-moi, ouanqueurs.


Posted by: …ner Setracsed | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 8:18 AM
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To be defending Word once again, it does actually replace "--" with an em dash. On the other hand, it doesn't replace " -- " with an em dash, but instead an en dash, as is probably best. If you type "10 - 20" or "10 -- 20" it converts it to "10 – 20". But if you type "10--20" it converts it to "10—20".

On the other hand, its em dash seems to be too wide in word. Much wider than an actual m. (Wider than what the html entity produces in windows firefox). But the en dash is about the right size.

Yay for typography!


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 9:10 AM
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There is a historical process of em dash inflation.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 10:19 AM
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Practically speaking (has someone already pointed this out?) similar aesthetic interests are very useful long-term. Otherwise you end up arguing over shit like whether or not to turn the rackety music down, and whether Japanese minimalism really is the aesthetiic you should strive for in your housekeeping.

That said, far, far too many young men think that the road to a lady's heart is through hectoring and lecturing her. This is annoying, but useful, as yawning is a useful way of indicating that the date and relationship are probably not going well.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 2:18 PM
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There is a historical process of em dash inflation.

Set in motion by Laurence Sterne.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 3:27 PM
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Ah, MK. I thought the opportunity for w-lfs-n-hassling had passed; I'm glad to see that someone else decided to do it anyway :)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 3:29 PM
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yawning is a useful way of indicating that the date and relationship are probably not going well.

And all this time I thought I was being slyly signalled that oral sex was in the offing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 8-06 3:37 PM
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