For the third time

I keep hitting back or forward and losing this blog post. They really need some autosave function. It's driving me nuts. Sigh.
Rich thinks I'm biased because my roto team has a whole bunch of Asians on it. I think I have every Asian in the National League. Byung Hyung Kim, Chan Ho Park, Bruce Chen.
The Asian influence is evident in Hollywood, and Crouching Tiger is just a culmination of sorts. Now, sports. Hideo Nomo pitched a no hitter today, the fifth pitcher in history to do it. 7' 1" Yang Zhizhi became the first Chinese player to make an NBA team, joining the Mavericks. He could play tomorrow. 7' 6" Yao Ming could be the first pick in the NBA draft next year. Asian invasion.
Yesterday, I saw Ichiro Suzuki play for the first time at Safeco Field. He looked overmatched with his running slap swing. Still, he had a crazy fan base. Tons of Japanese fans shouting his name. Ichiro must find American fans to be strangely apathetic.
(in a good sign, I managed to follow the ball under the three moving hats, that electronic scoreboard puzzle they do between innings; last year I lost my ability to follow it and thought my vision was fading)
I'm in with Bill on a few of Chris and Kirk's season tickets this year. They have great seats! 6th row, right behind the Mariners dugout. I could hear the manager shouting at the umpires.
If you receive a lot of e-mail from friends, you're probably already aware of Internet memes, like Mahir, or "all your base is belong to us." From another weblog, here's a timeline of the life of an Internet meme, this one the whole story about the guy who tried to order custom Nike shoes embroidered with the word "sweatshop" and was rejected. Memes (rhymes with dreams) are fascinating. Recently, I received this URL with dance steps in Flash from 5 different people in the span of one hour. That's a record. Why was that message so sticky? Because my friends are all bad dancers? Is information the basis of the world? Or just a metaphor we use to explain phenomena?
Another cool and somewhat related story is this, about viruses and how they spread on a network like the Internet, and why this differs from how medical viruses spread. I'll just grab this post straight from Ars Technica:
"In a paper (subscription required for full text access, I'm afraid) to be published in the April 2, 2001 Physical Review Letters, Romualdo Pastor-Sattoras and Allessandro Vespignani investigate how epidemics - of computer viruses, say - spread across networks like the Internet. Pastor-Sattoras and Vespignani point out some problems with the current standard virus model (called the SIS epidemiological model), arguing that while it is instructive, it is not quite as accurate as could be desired when applied to real-world situations. They argue that the Internet is something called a scale-free network. What this means is that on the Internet, "each node has a statistically significant probability of having a very large number of connections compared to the average connectivity of the network." This is different from a so-called random network, in which each node has about the same number of connections.
They then study the SIS model in the case of scale-free networks. The results are quite striking. It turns out that with a scale-free network, there is no epidemic threshold. In random networks, if the number of infected nodes is less than the epidemic threshold, "the infection dies out exponentially fast" (the infection threshold is determined by such things as infection spreading rate, and how quickly nodes are cured, by anti-viral software, say). If the number of infected nodes is higher than the threshold, "the infection spreads and becomes persistent." But the infection threshold is zero for a scale-free network, so an infection will spread at whatever spreading rate it may have. The theoretical predictions are shown to match real world data on computer virus epidemics. This is doubtless rather alarming news, but it turns out to be tempered by the finding that on technological networks like the Internet, most infections have very low effective spreading rates."
Isn't the world interesting?
In other cool and interesting news, MIT has promised to make all its course materials available via the web for free in 10 years. What a noble goal. I'd be on that site all the time, trying to follow along in as many classes as possible. Someday, we'll hear about a genius who learned everything from a computer, surfing sites like that, or interacting with computer lessons like Nell in The Diamond Age.
Neil Gaiman has a weblog. Cool.
Just got a wedding invitation from Rob in the mail. Peter just got engaged in Prague. I think every off year is a wedding year. I went to five weddings in 99, and this year is going to end up as a big year as well: Kristin and Greg, John and Irene, Rob and Ruby, Peter and Klara, Adam and How do we explain marriage using information?
Listening to the new Stephen Malkmus CD. It's pretty good.
Oh my gosh. Rich's girlfriend is watching Sportscenter with him. He should marry her.