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btilly (5037)

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Journal of btilly (5037)

Monday March 07, 2005
04:46 AM

SUVs, perceived safety vs real safety

I like this article on that topic.

For the record, I've rented an SUV before, but I had a pretty good excuse. I was travelling with my wife and son, and it was the only vehicle that we could rent with rear seats (you can't have babies in the front seat) and enough luggage room. (You try travelling for a month with a baby and see how much luggage you bring!)

Thursday March 03, 2005
01:58 AM

Questioning Metcalfe's Law

Metcalfe's Law is the claim that the value of a network scales as the square of the number of people in that network. I believe this to be a grotesque overestimate, and a couple of years ago came up with a heuristic argument that not only was it an overestimate, but n log(n) was a much more reasonable estimate.

I wound up sending that as a brief note to Andrew Odlyzko, a fairly well-known researcher who discusses (among other things) the economics of networks. (Content is Not King and The many paradoxes of broadband are two of his papers relating to networks.)

We had a brief discussion and I forgot all about it. Until he came back to me recently with the argument expanded out, and a few other arguments added in coming up with the same estimate. And then he asked me if I wanted to be a co-author with him! Rather generous, considering that he's well-known and he did all of the work...

If anyone is interested, here is the result. Constructive feedback would be appreciated if anyone has some.

Wednesday January 05, 2005
01:55 AM

What happened to

When I send mail I get:

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

Sorry, no mailbox here by that name. (#5.1.1)

Which sucks since I'm in the Boston area, travelling with my wife and son and intermittent internet access, and final arrangements for a meeting on Jan 19 have yet to be made. :-(

UPDATE: That's just a bounce from a list member, but the list is working fine. /me feels like an idiot...

Thursday November 25, 2004
01:25 AM

Announcing SETI

The diary of Samuel Estep Tilly, Infant. As dictated to dad.

5:45 PM, Sat Nov 20: Whaa? My lovely swimming pool just drained to an alien place!

12:05 AM, Sun Nov 21: Geez! The last few hours have been rough. And now my head is supposed to go through what? Sorry, but my head doesn't do that!

2:23 AM, Sun Nov 21: Ow, ow, ow, ow. I guess my head did do that. And what is this "air" stuff, don't they know that I have stuff in my lungs already, how am I supposed to breathe?

2:30 AM, Sun Nov 21: Whew! Much better. The pediatricians have dried me tested me (APGAR 99), weighed me (7 lbs, 14 ounces), forgot to check my length (19 3/4""), and handed me to dad. They think that I am a normal baby. If I could talk I'd tell them that I'm a perfect baby!

9:00 PM, Sun Nov 21: I think that I've got the hang of this baby thing now. I've eaten, looked around, slept and pooped. I think I'll saving peeing for when I can surprise dad. But I've had a big day that I think I'll remember for life. I'm exhausted!

6:00 PM, Mon Nov 22: My parents finally agreed on a name. Now they think I'm SET! Silly parents! I'm a baby, and I have mommy and daddy. What else do I need? But I wish they were a little smarter. No matter how clearly I explain that a little poop doesn't mean I need a diaper change, daddy does it anyways. :-(

3:00 PM, Tues Nov 23: I'm scared! All of my stuff went away, and now I'm being moved from the only room that I've ever known! But I get to find out about cars. I think that cars..zzzz...

4:00 PM, Tues Nov 23: *Yawn!* blink blink. Hey! Nothing looks familiar! But I still see mommy and daddy. That's good.

10:00 AM, Wed Nov 24: My parents sure look tired. Why are they tired? I am the one who has had to put up with strange surroundings! Is it unfamiliar for them? Why did they take me here?

7:00 PM, Wed Nov 24: Daddy's back! I don't know where he went, but he was gone and now I see him again. He's got lots of stuff. I'd figure out what it is but he just put something beneath my bed. Now I hear the ocean and..zzz...

(to be continued)

Pictorial evidence exists, but uploading it is low priority so may take a while to happen.

Thursday October 28, 2004
09:22 PM

The conservative case against George Bush

An excellent article about why true conservatives should vote against George Bush.

Along those lines, I believe that the following conflict of interest involving James Baker subverts our attempt at nation-building, and puts our troops at further risk in Iraq. This is on top of the debacle at Al-Qaqaa. Of course there are some odd things about this story, and there are various questions that need to be addressed by the media and those involved. But that doesn't change the fact that the securing of Iraq was badly screwed up.

On Nov 2, about half of the nation will place votes for John Kerry. Many won't like him, they'll just think that Bush is worse. In fact some will absolutely hate Kerry. So even if you dislike or hate Kerry, you'll be in good company if you evaluate our pathetic options carefully and decide to vote against Bush.

Saturday October 16, 2004
11:52 PM

I'm confused

There appears to be water falling from the sky. That isn't supposed to happen in LA. We don't know how to cope. A measurable amount of this stuff is obvious grounds for an extreme weather warning!

Here is the local forecast.

The worst thing about this is that I might not get to play volleyball tomorrow. :-(

Saturday October 09, 2004
01:08 PM

California local voting guide

Anyone who will be voting in California should see It contains information on all of the local elections that otherwise are hard to learn about. OK, not that much information (basically brief resumes and position statements), but it is better than nothing.

Remember that while you may be going to vote for President, your choices about local candidates are more likely to make a concrete difference. So choose wisely.

Friday October 01, 2004
07:21 PM

Bush debate notes

They have been snuck out, and are available right here. Well worth the read...
Tuesday September 28, 2004
10:12 PM

I'm slowly rewriting my perlmonks home page

For a long time I've known that tilly needs a complete rewrite. But the job has always seemed so big that I never got started.

Well, I just got started. I intend to continue gathering together links on specific topics so that the amount of content can grow while the page remains navigable. I'm taking suggestions both for what links should be included or what topics I should break out into sections.

Likely unwisely, I started by highlighting all of the potentially controversial stuff that everyone will disagree with. C'est la vie. If you feel appropriately motivated, feel free to flame me here for that.

Tuesday July 20, 2004
10:45 AM

Linspire is raising Bill Gates' ire *again*

Their ad to, "Come on baby run Linspire" hopefully will annoy some people at Microsoft. It certainly takes some accurate potshots.