War of Paper

September 29th, 2007

Millions may have died over idealism and religion, but there is one issue so contentious that it splits families down the middle and turns spouses against each other. Neither side seems capable of changing their opinion and there is no compromise. It has to be one way or another.

This is our chance, people, to settle this—once and for all.

When you put toilet paper on the holder, should it hang near the wall or the toilet?

Be difficult. Be compelling. But above all—be contrary.

September 29th, 2007

I had a marvelous idea for a website that combines fairly traditional elements from web applications like bulletin boards with elements from Web2.0 sites. I mulled it over for a while, and explained it to a few people—who seemed to like the idea.

The idea is for what I call recreational debating, i.e arguing for the hell of it. A debate consists of a topic of discussion that has two clearly opposing sides, represented by two columns were users can post their arguments. Users can comment on these arguments and also rate them on a scale between -2 and +2, a scheme that Pythonistas will be familiar with. Arguments are ranked according to votes given, so the best argument for each side will naturally rise to the top.

That was over a year ago, I have been hacking away at it since then. I haven't had a great deal of time of to do it, having also written a book in that period, but I managed to deploy it last weekend. I call it BeContrary.com, because users are encouraged to post on both sides of the argument, regardless of what they believe in.

Be Contrary

I plan on posting on my experiences creating the site (it was built with Turbogears), but for now I would really appreciate some feedback on the site itself. It has been up for a week, and I have discovered no obvious flaws (which makes me nervous)!


Telepods of Doom

September 25th, 2007

It is the year 2112. Telepods have been in use for a decade to instantly transport matter from one part of the universe to another. You are waiting in line with your family at a telepod station to go to Tau Ceti. In front of you in the queue you meet the inventor of the telepods. He tells you that the telepods only appear to move matter, what they actualy do is create an exact duplicate at the destination and destroy the original in the process.

Do you get in the telepod?
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