Nr. 5 - July 21, 2003 - posted by Andis Kaulins - - Copyright © 2003 by Andis Kaulins
Looking for the best blogs? Here is a start. We will be adding to these as we go along.
The Blog Matrix Top 250
The Blog Matrix Top 250 blogs by
permalinks, incoming entry links as well as by alphabetical listing and by geographical location.
Top 100 Technorati
Technorati Link Cosmos ranks blogs by the number of blogs that link to a blog site.
The BlogRolling.com Top 100
Blogrolling lists daily the top 100 links displayed by BlogRolling users.
Popdex Top 100
Popdex has a list of the top 100 blogs of all time as gauged by link citations.
Blogdex - The Weblog Diffusion Index - by MIT Media Laboratory
Blogdex keeps a list of the hot news topics being spread in the weblog community.
Daypop.com Top 40
DayPop features "The Daypop Top 40" as a "list of links that are currently popular with webloggers from around the world".
ranked by page-reads are found at Salon.com.
Three Oxfords (Chafetz, Adesnik and Urman) run the OxBlog and have divided their best blogs according to names (and political sentiments) of past Presidents of the United States, the meaning of which is found at OxBlog. The selected blogs are among the best of the best, it just depends on where you stand.
Andrew Olmsted has a blog where links are given in terms of baseball categories: Contact Hitters, The Big Bats, RBI Guys, Pinch Hitters (From the Left, From the Right), Pinch Runners, Starting Rotation, Long Relief, Closer, Hired Guns and Disabled List.
Mark Glaser's Guide to the Blogosphere
Mark Glaser divides the most influential sites up pictographically (creative) in terms of conservative, liberal, blogging, or journalism.
Cal Ulmann "Where HipHop and Libertarianism meet"
Cal Ulmann has a nice list of best blog links divided by topic, including super blogs, libertarian bloggers, conservative bloggers, war blogs, foreign policy blogs, liberal bloggers, hiphop blogs, group blogs, college student bloggers, and other cool blogs.
aChanginTimes (ACT) - Veralynne Pepper
Veralynne Pepper has a very libertarian blog, but I very much liked the well-selected quotations from Bob Dylan and others.
Forbes.com Best of the Web and Best Blogs
Forbes Best of The Web contains a selection of best blogs and
Arik Hesseldahl has a Best Blog Special Report in Forbes.com from which we have sifted the following lists (plus our added description of the blogs to assist you to find the blog you may need):
Best Technology Blogs
Slashdot, IT specialist, motto "news for nerds, stuff that matters"
Techdirt, corporate IT intelligence
Gizmodo, the gadgets weblog
Kuro5hin, motto "technology and culture, from the trenches"
Reiter's Wireless Data Web Log - the wireless world
Best Media Blogs
Metafilter motto "we're all in this together"
Blogcritics motto "A sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, and technology - updated continuously"
Gawker is a blog on the New York City scene
Romanesko - Poynteronline, motto "everything you need to be a better journalist"
Best Economics Blogs
Arnold Kling - EconLog, motto "This week's issues and insights in economics"
ArgMax, motto "Economics News, Data, and Analysis"
The Knowledge Problem, motto "Commentary on Economics, Information and Human Action"
Zimrad Ahmed, a high tech blog
Stephen Kirchner, current events from an economic perspective
and here are some additional top blogs - take your pick according to what you need....
The Volokh Conspiracy - united they stand
The Volokh Conspiracy has some extremely bright people cranking out their thoughts. The most recent discussion involves the official French decision to require the little-known French term "courriel" (based on "courrier") to be used by government bodies and official documents instead of the term "e-mail". There is currently something seriously wrong with the ruling groups in France and Germany as far as their nationalistic language attitudes are concerned. As Volokh reports, about 2 million uses of the term "e-mail" on French internet pages (according to Google) compare with less than 100,000 uses of the term "courriel". This is what happens when clueless linguists have a say in important affairs.
This recent French attempt at pseudo-cultural tyranny on its own people reminds of the former East Germany's unsuccessful fascist attempt to get rid of the foreign word "pizza" and to supplant it with a Teutonic equivalent which has long since disappeared from usage. The recent inane German discussions over German language orthography and spelling (Rechtschreibung) are a similar constant reminder of the intellectual backwardness of much of modern Europe and its academicians and officials in such matters.
OK - so where does the word "mail" in the term "e-mail" originate as a matter of etymology (i.e. a trace of the word's roots)?
Based on the etymology found in the exceptionally good American Heritage College Dictionary, 3rd ed., which also has a special appendix of alleged Indo-European roots, the clueless mainstream linguists allege that the English word "mail" comes from a middle English "male" meaning "bag, pouch", and this in turn from some unknown Old French word and that word in turn from some unknown Old Germanic word. Incredibly, the English term "male" (where "pouch, bag" would make more etymological sense), allegedly derived from the hardly similar Latin masculus - do they think that the letters "sc" just got lost in the woodwork? Nonsense. Do the linguists have their glasses optically crossed? I would have thought that English "muscles" would be related to Latin masculus, which is then the same as the very ancient Latvian muskulis "muscle" and mezglis "knot", thus describing a muscle as a knot of tissue and providing us with the root origin of the term masculus, which has nothing to do with the original English term "male". Rather, even in ancient Egypt the min- (as the later English term men or man) applied clearly to the male anatomy.
Casting further doubt on the current etymology of e-mail is the fact that the Scottish word "mail" means a rent, payment or tribute, allegedly rooted as a term in Middle English "mol, maile" and Old Norse mal meaning "lawsuit", which puts us back to law, where we belong. This Scottish "mail" was thus a type of message notification, just as modern e-mails are, but only in the strict legal sense.
In fact, the ancient Latvian term "mele" can be considered close to the original Indo-European term and explains the origin of all of these message-type "mail" terms, since Latvian MELE means "tongue, language, oral notification" and this explains Indo-European message-meaning variants of "mail" which have survived over thousands of years down to the present day in English and/or other languages. Indeed, the Latvian diminutive "melite" then gave us our word "mouth" as the weak "L" disappeared over time. "Mouth" did not derive from "men-" as the linguists currently claim. Preposterous. The word MEN derived from "men-" which is why we call women wo-men and not *wo-masculus. Similarly absurd is the scurrile French "courriel", which, if based on an original term "courrier", goes back beyond the French language to Old Italian "correre" and Latin "currere" meaning "to run" which is what ancient pouched male couriers did in ancient days prior to the invention of writing in passing their messages "by tongue, i.e. spoken language" to the receiver. For the French academicians to now claim that "courriel" is more "French" and "mail" more English just shows the idiocy which pervades the upper echelons of many academic and political institutions of our modern nations. No wonder the world is often in such a sad state of affairs. These are NOT the brightest of the bright nor the best of the best, you can be sure.
Andrew Sullivan, in contrast to the French linguists and politicians, has a very bright blog, but I find the white text on dark blue background to be stressful for the eyes. Sullivan recently wrote correctly: "I feel like I'm living in an alternate universe. I turned "The Today Show" on this morning, and while there was a piece from Iraq by Brokaw (who's coming around on this issue, I think), the next story was, of course, about Kobe Bryant. Is anybody there at all? Does anybody care? What is wrong with the world these days, or is it just the media? Couldn't we start some sort of news channel that really DOES deal with what's going on in the world - the important, earth-shaking events going on in the world currently?"
My answer to Andrew is: it has always been this way, and be happy that it is. Whenever your average man starts mixing his confused ideas into the political sphere and starts getting too involved as a "concerned" political or religio-politico being, the result is always the worst sort of extremism, because the average intellect of the average man is not high. We see this all around the globe. As Berlusconi is quoted as saying "the average man has the mentality of an 11-year old". My comment: Berlusconi is an incurable optimist. If you plug in the word "intelligence" in Google's search box, the first link that comes up is the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and the second is the search for "extraterrestrial intelligence" and the third is "artificial intelligence". I would call that striking out in three pitches at the plate, 0-3. If we refine our search to the initially hoped-for term of "human intelligence" we get only about 100,000 hits. Human intelligence is not an active commodity on the web. "Artificial Intelligence" gets about one million and half Google hits and UFOs get nearly 2 and a quarter million hits. And you wonder about our world? Instructive reading here is Arthur R. Jensen and his "The Limited Plasticity Of Human Intelligence" where human intelligence is discussed realistically, according to the evidence of many studies. One might also look at Quotable Quotes to see how the subject of human intelligence fares in the quips of the world's best thinkers.
David Harris' Science and Literature
This also fits in with David Harris' Science and Literature blog of July 18 2003 entitled "darn good intelligence" which I guess is a contradiction in terms in that verbal context. (By the way David, there is too much red on that page - hard on the eyes - I suggest a color "redesign"). So let us not expect too much of our fellow humans. We are all just a few very small steps up the evolutionary scale from the chimps. The people hopping around on your TV screen - often like or even worse than the apes - are us. Expect no wonders where none can rationally be expected.
Jay Manifold - A Voyage to Arcturus - A great President Polk
Jay Manifold's A Voyage to Arcturus impressed me by the July 16, 2003 blog which noted that Polk was one of the most unpleasant and yet the most successful (and unsung) U.S. President ever. I too have long argued that Polk was a great President, under whose leadership the US territory increased more than under any other President (see Robert Ardrey's The Territorial Imperative)
Eric Lindholm - Viking Pundit
Viking Pundit - Eric Lindholm, blog motto "the only conservative in Western Massachusetts". I just agree with much of what this man writes.
Anthony Adragna - Quasi Pundit
Anthony Adragna makes a nice "link" between politics and Harry Potter, suggesting there may be more to J.K. Rowling than the wise old owl Hedwig has told us - Hedwig, what do you have to say about this? - shades of the double-meaning Lewis Carroll? - laying it between the lines? (as reminiscent of Peter, Paul and Mary)
Jason Kottke - a Weblog Wunderkammer
Jason Kottke - Kottke's weblog wunderkammer - A great site for info on books. See his July 8 material on the Virtual Book Tour. I particularly like his website objective of making sense of "material that connects the insights of science and culture, rather than using one to dismantle the other".
Danile W. Drezner - An Untenured Perspective
Drezner has a blogsite where the motto is "politics, economics, academia, globalization... all from an untenured perspective"
William Sjostrom - Atlantic Blog
Atlantic Blog - - William Sjostrom, the blog's motto is "thoughts on politics, economics and the culture"
David Horowitz - Especially telling is the July 13 blog posting on "How the left destroys inner city schools" - I am very much for helping people, but the ends do not justify the means if the long-term results are contrary to the original intent. When things do not work as planned, they must be changed ... immediately, otherwise you are throwing good money after bad.
The New York Times 50 Best Websites include one blog (Gawker.com)
The New York Times Techtime in an article by Maryanne Murray Buechner looks at the "50 Best Websites", 10 each in 5 categories: The Essentials, News & Information, Entertainment, Lifestyle and Strictly Broadband.
Gawker.com is a blog that made it into the Times top 50, but only because it is a gossip blog which concentrates on events in the Big Apple. But hey, if this blog had existed in the days when I lived in the City on East 61st Street, I probably would have read it.
NetryBlog/Seki discusses the ranking and future of the most highly ranked blogs.
Marc's Voice - Marc Canter - in his blog, this man does not canter, he gallops
has - in our opinion - a futuristic vision. See also Canter.com
Blogroots - Best Blog Resources