pythonic chew toyz (a column, by K. Urner) v.1 n.1

kirby.urner at kirby.urner at
Wed Jan 14 22:05:09 CET 2009

Selena spotted me right away as "the O'Reilly spy", me agreeing she
had an exceptionally good memory, maybe we could recruit her?  Our
banter traces to the first meeting on OS Bridge and how I introduced
myself [0], not yet realizing Allison Randal was in the audience (way
more an insider, as to how many Ls).[1]

Last night in the Roman room (CubeSpace) I proposed she could emcee
the panel we're planning (maybe?), after the new Mayor (Sam Adams)
kicks it off with a keynote -- all in the proposal stage, looking over
her shoulder.

I was also there for the __metaclasses__ discussion by John Melesky,
and for work, most of that same day (this is PDX CubeSpace, a lot of
us rent office space).  Jason talked about the __missing__ rib (in

As we were getting settled, they talked about OSCON, perking my
interest.  Whereas some take the view we're somehow competing with San
Jose (where a lot of my friends work), my model is more Cirque du
Soleil, given where "geeks" come from (something about chickens).

Five OSCONs running in parallel in any given summer would make more
sense than just one, but then O'Reilly isn't quite as big as McGraw-
Hill (BYTE), yet.  Anyway, Portland is happy to share the glory.  OS
Bridge another bulb on the breadboard (aka grid), getting brighter by
the day.

Speaking of BYTE, I also learned last night that Eliza, our geek
therapist, is alive and well in Python, as a part of the Natural
Language Toolkit or NLTK.  And she's got company.  Some of you may
recall Hugh Kenner's hilarious investigation of chat bots, then very
new, in a way back issue (1980s).[3]

Hugh, by the way, was a leading 20th century James Joyce scholar and
fan of R. Buckminster Fuller (see 'The Pound Era'), Bucky a champion
for me as well (hence my -- named after the guy, for use with
VPython, POV-Ray, x3d etc., more on edu-sig).

I'll catch up again later, maybe from Chicago, maybe before.[4]


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