Critical Section

Friday,  11/28/03  11:07 PM

I survived my annual brush with death; yeah, our house has Christmas lights all over it.  Standing on top of a 25' extension ladder on a windy day is not my idea of fun.  But having a warm, welcoming-looking home is :)

Today's order-of-magnitude thought: What if everyone was bigger?  Not bigger as in "I ate a lot of turkey yesterday", but bigger as in most people are about 10' tall, and weigh 400lbs...  Would that make our lives qualitatively different?  Would this be better for you, or worse?  Or if you prefer, what if everyone was smaller?  Imagine most people are about 3' tall and weigh 75lbs...  Would that make our lives qualitatively different?  Just wondering.

I spent some time surfing the blogosphere yesterday, reading interesting reactions to Bush's trip to Iraq.  Most interesting was the reaction from Iraqi's themselves.  Personally I think it was a great thing to do.  A wimp would be distancing himself from something which he's being attacked over; Bush is no wimp.  I really think he just does what he believes is right.

An interesting note from Andrew Sullivan:  As Bush described his 'flight from Waco', he mentioned that he and Condoleezza Rice sat in an unmarked car, dressed casually with baseball caps, and that 'we looked a normal couple'.  Now that's cool.  It might be the coolest part of the whole thing.

Andras SimonyiRocking in the free world, dept.: Andras Simonyi is the Hungarian ambassador to the United States.  He is also a guitar player, and this Winds of Change post contains a transcript of his speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  Check it out, really cool.

Umberto Eco posted a wonderful article on The Future of Books.  At one time paper was "new technology", just as computers and the Internet are today.  Dr. Eco has a flowery writing style which takes a bit of digging, but he really has some interesting things to say.  (I really had to fight my way through The Name of the Rose, but ultimately ended up loving it.)  The key distinguishing feature of humans - the thing that really sets us apart from other animals - is our ability to retain and transmit cultural memory.  The consequent incremental accumulation of knowledge has led to all our power (exactly as incremental accumulation of improvements to a species enable it to evolve).

Speaking of new technology, I, Cringley thinks Apple is going to launch a tablet computer, and that the killer app will be high-speed wireless networking to home entertainment devices.  We'll see, analysts have been wrong about this before!

Say "hello" to Kathy!  Yep, right there on the homepage of, is a picture of Kathy, my admin when I was at Intuit (click through for a bigger pic on their "welcome" page).  She's obviously moving up in the world.

Oh, yeah, Wal-Mart had a great day today.  ("Out of the red, and into the black...")  Maybe the economic recovery is real?

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
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