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.
Rocking 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 walmart.com, 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.