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May 24, 2005

Making Lighter
Posted by Teresa at 08:24 PM *

If you’re reading the web via handheld, an older browser, a low-res display of some sort, text-to-speech software, or lynx/links, you may find it easier to read the stripped-down version of Making Light.

Mind, if it’s all the same to you which version of Making Light you read, I’d just as soon you read the regular one, because that way you get counted for purposes of setting advertising rates; but the important thing is that you can read it.

Comments on Making Lighter:
#1 ::: Reynardine ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2005, 09:11 PM:

And if by chance for me ye seek
Perchance you'll not me find....

#2 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2005, 09:14 PM:

Hi, Teresa,

I don't suppose there could be a lighter way of reading comments? I feel presumptuous asking for features, but what's the point of a stripped-down front page when the comments are where the action is?

By the way, I just noticed that the preview pane shows previous comments, but not the originating article. Sure, I can look at it in another tab or window, but I think the article would be useful here. Said the picky, picky, presumptuous, presumptuous person.

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2005, 09:18 PM:

Dan, it's good to have stuff pointed out. We'll do what we can as soon as we can.

#4 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2005, 09:20 PM:

Yeah, good points. We'll get to those.

#5 ::: Stephen Eley ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2005, 09:30 PM:

FWIW, I've been playing with Talkr -- they gave me a free membership in exchange for some feedback about their service -- and your RSS feed sounds fine through their text-to-speech.

#6 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2005, 10:42 PM:

I've been doing some thinking about web advertising and annoying animated ads. I'm assuming your page rates are based on how many times[...]/feed.js is called, and isn't affected by the fact that I'm blocking images from*.

(And what do I have to do to defeat whatever thrice-damned bit of code is turning things into links unbidden? Just had the same damned thing happen over at LiveJournal. Jeezus fuck a monkey, if I want to make a link I'm perfectly capable of doing it my own damn self!)

#7 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2005, 11:17 PM:

Avram, check for spyware on your own machine.

#8 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 12:04 AM:

Ah! That's right, I actually installed an extension to do just this! And totally forgot about having done it. That would explain why escaping the dots and slashes doesn't defeat it. Man, now I feel like an idiot.

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 12:31 AM:

Fortunately, you're anything but.

#10 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 05:47 AM:

Teresa Nielsen Haydent?

#11 ::: deborah ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 11:41 AM:

I'm delurking for the first time to say thank you, thank you so much. Dragon NaturallySpeaking thanks you as well.


#12 ::: David Moles ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 12:37 PM:

Do you folks get paid more if I leave in place my tabbed bookmarks (hitting both several times a day) for both the Electrolite and Making Light URLs, or is it on some kind of per-IP basis?

#13 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 12:43 PM:

Do you work for Dragon, Deborah? I have a friend there....

#14 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 01:01 PM:

I was joking about clicking on the ads. Speaking seriously, I don't want to encourage system-gaming behavior, and I probably ought not even joke in that direction.

In fact, we set our own ad rates., the ad broker, runs a counter on our site and displays the results to potential advertisers. I don't know what algorithms and assumptions the counter uses.

#15 ::: David Moles ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 02:18 PM:

Okay, no gaming. :) (But if you ever need any...)

#16 ::: Dave ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 03:05 PM:

Is there any way we can specify something in the URL so that we only see posts from one of the two authors? No offense to Patrick, but I really liked Making Light before because it was an interesting break from all of the typical, straight-on political blogs. I'd like to continue to have the option of just reading Teresa's posts.

#17 ::: Dave ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 03:08 PM:

Then again, if most of Teresa's gems (like the one Patrick just dug up) come out of Electrolite comment threads... I take back what I said. Keep up the good work!

#18 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 05:20 PM:

Dave, I'm not quite sure how to put this, but Patrick does have feelings. He's also a very entertaining writer.

Our names will be on our posts, but we've always written extensive comments into each other's threads, so you should probably just bite the bullet and read the whole thing.

#19 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 05:44 PM:

you should probably just bite the bullet and read the whole thing

There's been a big upsurge in comments since the merger of your two blogs. I think it's great, but what if it is headed towards some kind of singularity? The internet scales with more hardware and network connections. My poor old neurons, unfortunately, don't.

#20 ::: David Moles ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 07:19 PM:

Calling Electrolite a straight-on political blog? Ouch!

#21 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 07:48 PM:

TBFKAE (The Blog Formerly Known As Electrolite) always felt more stridently political, whereas TBTWOSML (The Blog That Was Once Singularly Making Light) felt more culture and socio-politically focused, reflecting PNH and TNH's online personas.

I'm finding the fusion of TBFKAE and TBTWOSML to be quite lively; clearly this is a merger that produced synergies without layoffs.

But, the current active threads are making me alternately angry and depressed (nobody's fault but my own). Maybe it's time for a recipe thread!

#22 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 08:01 PM:

Now that they've opened the doors between the two blogs, things can be more sensible. Would you like port and cigars on the garden terrace, or tea and cookies in the war room?

#23 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2005, 08:42 PM:

The Door between two blogs, having been breached, alloweth things uncanny to pass between the worlds. No gentleman, nor lady, nor anonymous composite virtual editor being can scry what cometh next.

I'm currently at a brother's home in Bryn Mawr, PA (O! awful letter-pair in other contexts) just back from Providence, Rhode Island, and an infinite series of increasingly quaint places nearby, amid rain and the smell of lobsters, for family meetings, wake, formal funeral, and the like. There much reciting of Yeats and eldritch talk of H. P. Lovecraft, amid the expected open coffin sort of thing, and parts of familes that had never met now intersecting, and re-meeting of groups of siblings who had not all been in one place since a wedding a couple of decades back.

Will be another day plus before I'm back in Altadena,and then probably the whole weekend to unjetlag and recover from a rather intense emotional series of events. There was also a classic "Are You Feeling Safer Yet" snafu in the airports, which I may report on in carefully edited form someday.

Mind if I lurk for a while, before fully rejoining the multilogue?

#24 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2005, 12:25 AM:

Thanks for "lighter"; I find it considerably easier to get Plucker to bring something readable onto my palm. Not just the layout, I need fewer link exclusion rules too somehow.

#25 ::: Dave ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2005, 06:24 PM:

I think Mr. Brennan summed up my feelings better (and more tactfully) than I am able to. It was the cultural and socio-political commentary that drew me to Making Light to begin with; Teresa's observations are particularly interesting and insightful, partly because even when they're political they're not the typical Atrios-style "here's something else dumb the conservatives are doing" posts.

Heck, I tend to spew out a few Atrios-style posts a week. But I see Kos, Atrios, and the rest of the Liberal Blogosphere(tm) as more of a news resource than something I want to spend my time reading. Mostly because (a) you can spend forever reading those blogs, and (b), as Larry put it, it's very easy to become angry and depressed at all the awful stuff happening in the world. I spend most of my time fighting not to be another Atrios parrot; sometimes I even succeed.

I guess that all I'm saying is that I hope that this blog doesn't turn into a purely political one, and that I still have enough time to read through everything and get those TNH gems for which I started reading ML in the first place. But I certainly can't tell y'all how to run your site - you're blogging for yourselves, not for my personal entertainment.

#26 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2005, 06:30 PM:

To turn this blog into a solely political blog would require the knowing collusion of the entire commenting crew.

I suppose this has a slightly higher probability than winning the state lottery three times in a row, but I'm not sure.

#27 ::: antukin ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2005, 09:32 AM:

Small suggestion. At the bottom of each page, especially after long comments, could you please put links back to the top and back to the front page? Only if it makes sense to you and only if it's not a hassle :)

#28 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2005, 06:20 PM:

antukin, CTRL-Home* doesn't take your browser to the top of the page?

*or Mac equivalent

#29 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2005, 09:02 PM:

Mac equivalent is cmd-up-arrow.

#30 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 12:55 AM:

I suppose this has a slightly higher probability than winning the state lottery three times in a row, but I'm not sure
<OT>Quick query: what kind of 'lotteries' are around? Probably different in different places. I've noticed that the UK is calling what I'd call 'Lotto', rather like 'Keno', a 'lottery'.
To me a 'lottery' has a fixed amount of numbers (tickets, entries) and one is drawn out to be first prize. There may be other prizes, but they are each a single entry drawn from a fixed number, with the prize amounts for each fixed ahead of the draw; there's a very similar idea with raffles.

What's called 'Lotto' (and similar varieties of gambling) here is where you pick a series of numbers from a field (it started out 6 from 1-36, it's now 1-40, and there are all sorts of variations where you pay more money and can pick more numbers). The number of entries is variable, it fluctuates more or less randomly between draws. Then they pick a series of numbers from that field, and however many entries matched those numbers divide up the amount alloted to the first prize - the size of which partly depends on the number of entries. If no entry matches, a prize isn't won and it rolls over to the next draw.

Since there are now 150,000 tickets in each lottery (was 100,000), you know the odds, and the prize amount -- admittedly it's usually much less than the possible first prize for 'Lotto'. The odds are trickier to calculate for 'Lotto', but they are HUGELY greater, and you also may end up divvying it up with a lot of others, so you could end up with less than the lottery prize.

So, are you saying 3 x 150,000 to 1 (several people have won twice since we started State lotteries 70-odd years ago) or 3 x 3,000,000-or so to 1?</OT>

#31 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 01:12 AM:

If 3,000,000-or so to 1 to win Lotto once, it's 3,000,000-or so to 1, CUBED to win three times in a row. That's 27,000,000,000,000,000,000-or so to 1. Right? Or is that some sort of trick question?

#32 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 04:18 AM:

I meant the Lotto type.

And it's just my opinion here, knowing the kind of unherdable cats that hang in this venue.

#33 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 06:06 AM:

Well, only "trick" inasmuch as the probability tutors would tell us that if you've won (whichever type of lot-thing it is), then the odds of you winning again in the next one, or whenever, are exactly the same as before, otherwise, not 150k cubed, 1:3,375,000,000,000,000 nor 3M cubed, 1:27,000,000,000,000,000,000-or so.

One of those non-intuitive probability results I'm sure some of the more-maths-inclined fellows here would give you a few examples of. If I'm correct.

#34 ::: antukin ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 09:51 AM:

Yes, pressing Ctrl-Home or even just Home works (which is why the suggestion is just a teeny tiny one and I will live if it doesn't happen =) ). There are, however, lots of people who don't know this.

Actually, I have a habit of pressing Backspace to return to the front page, but then that doesn't work if the last thing I did was post a comment, and I don't want to accidentally post a comment twice, and so...

#35 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 10:30 AM:


Right. The coin doesn't know it's flipped "heads" last time, so it has a 50% chance of flipping "heads" now. The coin, dice, cards (if very well shuffled), and roulette wheel have no memory. To claim otherwise is "the Monte Carlo Fallacy."

Hence, if it's 1 in 2 for the coin to come up heads one, it's 1 in 2 cubed to come up heads 3 times in a row, i.e. 1 in 8. If it's 1 in 39 for the number 17 to come up once on a roulette wheel (with 0, 00, and 000 included) then it's 1 in 39 cubed for the number 17 to come up 3 times in a row on a roulette wheel, i.e. 1 in 59319. And as I said for the Lotto...

#36 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 03:42 PM:

antukin, people should learn how to use their tools, not insist that the world be remade to their ignorance.

#37 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 04:11 PM:

Hey. Antukin wasn't insisting anything of the sort.

#38 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 06:25 PM:

For getting back to the site's Home, I do what my computer fix-it guy taught me: use the teensy little arrow between the Back and Forward arrows to show a condensed History, then click on what I want. I'd never even noticed that feature before, but it has turned out to be very handy. (I'm assuming later models than my old clunker have something comparable.)

#39 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2005, 07:07 PM:

The back arrow is great for getting back to your browser's cached copy of earlier pages visited. A link to the home page, though, causes it to be refreshed.

#40 ::: antukin ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2005, 03:41 AM:

Thank you, Patrick.

#41 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2005, 06:44 PM:

Blimey, I've been purged.


#42 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2005, 07:32 PM:

Kip: Do you mean, a comment of yours vanished? We did lose some comments in the hardware failure and later restoration. We haven't deleted any on purpose.

#43 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2005, 11:04 AM:

No, I used to be linked under "friends and relations." I haven't been updating my personal page lately, but I add fresh pictures to Sarah's page every month or two, and my Live Journal gets updated more frequently than that.

Um, sorry for the self-pitying tone of my comment above, but I was greatly proud of being there and used to lord it over the houseplants on days when I needed to lord over something.

#44 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2005, 12:04 PM:

Patrick and/or Teresa:

One of the web-hosting companies I use - the easy-to-use one, of course - is folding at the end of the month. So I'm shopping for a new hosting company. Who hosts Making Light? How do you like the service?


#45 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2005, 12:43 PM:

Making Lighter is a great idea -- however, I think a link to it from somewhere near the top of the main page would be useful for those of us who would use it infrequently and are therefore unlikely to commit the link to memory :)

#46 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2005, 10:48 AM:

Kip: Oops. Not intentional. Fixed.

#47 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 09:34 AM:

Thanks kindly! Any time you need two more readers, just say the word and I'll give you a plug on my LJ.

#48 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 10:01 AM:

Are you aware that you have Making Light listed in your Friends and Relations section?

#49 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:16 AM:

Oops. Meant to delete that. Done.

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Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.