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The Road from the Alamo to Minneapolis
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I have good memories of San Antonio, host city of the ISIR 2012 conference. We visited the Alamo, and where throngs of tourists looked respectfully at an ancient wall of the building which was being restored with lime mortar. It was regarded as a restoration of national importance, and the wall was cordoned off, with detailed explanations. At that same time in England the local stone mason was restoring our similarly aged West facing cottage walls, putting in lime mortar, so it seemed a natural process, though accorded a profound reverence in this case. If only stones could speak, and so on. History is when things turn, not just when they happen. Impact matters, so a distant siege can become an icon of national affirmation. All respect to those citizens who saved the monument from encroaching development.

It was that visit in December 2012 which really got me blogging. It seemed a waste of an airfare to attend a conference and then not tell anyone about it. I listed the papers and made some comments, aware that I was casting my words into empty space. My actual conference report got 20 views. As I blogged more about intelligence research the numbers built up slowly. In the subsequent year I got 71,701 pageviews.

Next week I am off to the ISIR 2019 conference in Minneapolis. I will do my best to post up the papers presented, and to tweet comments and links. On the other hand, I tend to just listen to papers, so might well blog less for a while.

This morning I find that I have reached a million page views. Thanks for reading.

• Category: Science 
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  1. So, you behaved yourself 😉

    • LOL: Logan
  2. dearieme says:

    I remember going to the Alamo. There was a plaque to the dead. Well, not the winners, obviously. But what were the rebels/invaders/losers called? Americans? Texans? Illegal Immigrants? I can’t remember. It’s an interesting question: what label would be best that would be consistent with the circumstances of that time?

    I remember being struck by how many had been born outside North America. They really were foreigners: so maybe Crusaders would do? But the implication of the importance of religious differences would be wrong. I suppose it’s such considerations that lead to the use of “gringo”.

    Do enjoy Minneapolis. Decades ago I was driven around some suburbs of that city – very attractive they were. Are they still?

    • Replies: @Jim bob Lassiter
    , @Cortes
  3. @dearieme

    Pre-Mogadishu days, heh?

    • Replies: @dearieme
  4. dearieme says:
    @Jim bob Lassiter

    Hah! Neat, white houses built around lakes: we’d cross a low ridge and there would be another suburb in the same style. I was pretty impressed. There was no resemblance to Passaic N.J. where I’d spent time working a dozen years earlier.

    When people bang on about the ugliness of US suburbs I call to mind those handsome ones in Minnesota. How daft to put them at risk by importing people … um, shall we say unsuited to the climate?

  5. Modernity is tough on our egos. I recommend this invaluable site nonetheless, whenever there seems to be at least a small chance, that it makes sense. Why I act this way, I don’t know; maybe just to show, that I’m not totally and absolutely suspicious of our modern ways.

  6. Cortes says:


    maybe should be filed with the French equivalent:

    “les ros bifs.”

    Present day versions of the once upon a time “Milords” start with “Les Fuckoffs.”

    Village intelligence is a fearsome beast.

    Even 40 years ago “Gran Bretaña” was synonymous with gran puta.

    I shudder to think what the terms of art for the “Anglo” world might be nowadays.

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