Dan Phiffer Dan Phiffer is an Internet enthusiast based in Troy, NY

The School of

Kottke recently linked to the first post in a series of articles meant to “give you a better feeling for what math is all about.”

I am a big proponent of this type of informal education and must share a related effort called The School of Mathematics. It’s a free, ongoing workshop that meets in a Brooklyn studio on Saturdays. From the most recent email announcement:

We will discuss probability: either its origins (what does it even mean?) or its applications (game theory).

Meeting at 11am, bagels at 10:45.


The Days of Miracles and

Greg Knauss travels back in time and has a conversation with himself about the future:

That’s why I wanted to talk to you, 1990 me. Your cynicism is important, even vital. God knows, there are times when it will seem like bunnies-and-rainbows optimism given what actually happens. Things get really, really bad for a while, and no amount of cynicism seems like enough.

But I also wanted to make sure that there are some things that are, in fact, awesome. The world’s been through a hell of a lot, and I’m not sure I trust my own eyes anymore.

Link via Daring Fireball

The second post

This is my second post here. That is, if you only count the longer-form stuff and ignore my prior attempts at blogging. I wrote a sufficient amount of explication in my first post, but I’m going to indulge just a bit longer with the meta blogging. I’ve been an enthusiastic blog reader for several years now and thought I’d look back at some other Second Posts of my long-time favorites. I’m hoping to ape these blogger-heros to the extent that I can.

(more…) takes top museum website

For the last year and a half I’ve been freelancing at MoMA’s digital media department, helping develop the front-end. In many ways it has been an ideal client for me: dependable pay, flexible terms, interesting work and people I get along with. I think I’ve done my best web development work here. So I’m very proud to see our efforts being recognized by Kunstpedia. Judith Dobrzynski summarizes the results on ArtsJournal:

The Museum of Modern Art takes the blue ribbon, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art not far behind.

Kunstpedia analyzed more than 680 museum websites worldwide, and ranked them thusly: “The scores are determined by comparing ranking data such as those of Google Page Rank, Alexa Ranking and Compete Ranking. Furthermore the number on-line references in the form of incoming links and references in user generated content have been analysed. The end score was determined by the sum of each individual score, given on basis of the position within the different data source which were analysed.”


Paul Ford on the Harper’s

We’re really into the idea of subscribers giving us money in exchange for our product … I honestly, honestly do not say that we are doing it the right way, but I don’t believe people know the right way. We are doing it in an interesting way and we are not spending very much to make that happen.

There’s also a bit about his intention of creating a Metafilter-style community for subscribers. This is a wonderful idea and I hope to join it one day.


On patience

I’m writing this on a train somewhere between Oakland and Van Nuys on the Coast Starlight train line. It’s my first attempt at writing anything substantial in quite some time. I’m a little uncertain how this will go. But I don’t expect to finish today. That is, I don’t anticipate this writing exercise to reach some conclusive state, at least not right now. I plan on returning to this tomorrow, maybe later in the week. I’ll cut, paste and tinker with the wording until I’m happy. What’s the rush?


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