Critical Section

Archive: October 16, 2004

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Saturday,  10/16/04  10:15 PM

Hey, two days in a row, not bad :)  And yesterday you guys gave me over 52,000 hits, amazing.  Imagine what might happen if I actually posted something worth reading.

Okay.  So I've got to start with another recovering ex-blogger, Steven Den Beste, who claims he is not going to start posting again: Poll Trends.  "If I saw something like that in scientific or engineering data, I'd be asking a lot of very tough questions. My first suspicion would be that the test equipment was broken, but in the case of opinion polls there is no such thing. My second suspicion would be fraud."  I link, you decide.

Roger L. Simon makes a great point, one I've thought about but haven't enunciated: "The predicted squeaker victory for either party will leave a divided country."  This is very true. 

I remember an older, wiser colleague telling me "it isn't enough to win, you have to win the victory".  Huh?  He was talking about making a deal with another business, and his point was, it isn't just getting the best possible deal, but coming out of the process with a good relationship.  I don't think either Bush or Kerry is going to have a good relationship with the country when the election is over.  The divide is too deep.  And that is troubling...

Charles Krauthammer reports An Edwards Outrage.  [ via Glenn Reynolds, who notes: "John Edwards has been savagely beaten by a man in a wheelchair." ]

Of course, there are two sides to every issue, and Kerry and Edwards seem to take both of them.

U.S. trade deficitJohn Robb continues to blog up a storm; he notes the U.S. trade deficit in August was $54B.  (Yeah, one month.)  "The two major elements driving this is the deficit with China: $15.39 billion and oil producers: $14.18 billion."  The price of crude is now up to $55, and it isn't coming down.  The problem is not Iraq, and not Saudia Arabia.  The problem is we're running Out of Gas.

Look at the bright side, when gas is $10/gallon, people will stop driving SUVs.  In fact, people will plain stop driving.  Good for the environment, but bad for the price of everything...

Matt Haughey notes DRM issues with the new Tivo DVRs.  Essentially, the Tivos with DVD burners will not save content from another Tivo.  Why?  Well, this would make sense under one particular scenario.  Suppose Tivo made a deal with someone who could give them VOD-type content over the Internet.  Could be Netflix but it could also be CinemaNow or anyone else.  Now they can get video content to your PC, but how do they get it to your TV?  (This is the famous "last 30 feet" problem.)  Well, Tivos have this cool Tivo-to-Tivo viewing capability.  What if they gave you software so your PC looked like another Tivo?  It already does for music and pictures, just not for video.  So say they add video.  Now you can view the downloaded video, and birds sing.  But one problem, the analog leak.  Content owners aren’t going to want people to download video to their PCs, only to burn it to DVD.  So you can bet they’ll have Windows Media DRM on the content.  Unfortunately it will have to be un-DRMed to send it to the Tivo.  Once there, if you could burn it directly to a DVD, it would be bad.  Hence this restriction...

Roland digital accordianOttmar Liebert comments on Gizmodo's note regarding Roland's new Digital Accordion: "Question: If you throw an accordion, a tuba, and a banjo from the top of a 30 story building, which instrument would land on the street first?  Answer: Who cares!"

I bet Joey deVilla would care :)

This is pretty cool:  FilmStew reports "In an effort to raise funds for The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, is holding a 'spirited' event that will allow the winning bidder to receive a personalized tombstone in the finale graveyard scene of the attraction with a humorous epitaph written by the team at Walt Disney Imagineering."  [ via Cory Doctorow, who thinks "this is the best thing ever.  I mean EVER." ]

Dave Winer: Evangelism 101.  "Don't tell the girl you want girls.  Tell her you want her."  I want you.

the paperboyWill Campbell posts a great reminicense: There were Paper Boys in those Days.  "'Boys,' he'd tell us, 'No matter how bad things get out there, people are going to always want their Herald Examiner.  Always!'  The Herald Examiner shut its doors 15 years ago next month."  I delivered the Herald for three years, from when I was about 12 to about 14.  Gave me strong legs, a good arm, and about $50/month.  And some great memories...


Christopher Reeve, Super Man

Saturday,  10/16/04  11:22 PM

So Christopher Reeve has passed away.  What an amazing guy.  There have been many great eulogies for him, but this is my favorite, from wholesome goodness:

Christopher Reeve, Super Man
"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." -CR

Many people have reacted to his life, and his death, by calling for a renewed push for stem cell research.  That would be great - I'm all for science - but finding "a cure" wasn't what Christopher Reeve was about.  He was about mental toughness, optimism, and living each day to its fullest, regardless of your circumstances.  A terrific message for everyone.


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Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained