Critical Section

Sunday,  10/24/04  11:29 PM

I want to recommend Tim Oren's Due Diligence.  Great blog.  Tim is a VC (managing director for Pacifica Fund), an SV veteran (Digital Research, Apple, Kaleida, CompuServe), and seems like a reasonable guy (we've never met).  I've been reading his blog for a while but somehow hadn't put him in my blogroll.  I see he's jumped off the fence for Bush; so be it.  I must say I've jumped the same way, for much the same reasons, and I share the same concerns.  (I, too, find myself to be a libertarian-leaning ticket splitter.)

In fact, what it really comes down to is deterrence.  There are bad people out there.  Between Bush and Kerry, whose policies are more likely to deter those bad people from doing bad things?  That's it, that's what it comes down to.  When you vote, you have to think, which guy makes the world safer for me and my family and friends, and my way of life?

{As usual, Bill Whittle says it better than I do: "About half the country thinks you deter this sort of thing by being nice, while the other half thinks you deter this by being mean."}

Another blogger I really like: Joshua Newman.  I love this post about turning 25.  "There's a sense amongst guy friends that, up to 25, everything is sort of a warm-up lap, doesn't actually count in the grand scheme of things.  But, at 25, we're suddenly playing for keeps.  Marriage starts seeming like a real possibility.  Jobs are swapped for 'careers'.  A general plan, a basic route through life, starts falling into place."  I must have been early, by 25 I was already married and a workaholic programmer.  Still am [both].

Joshua really hits the nail on the head with this one: execution.  "Ideas are a dime a dozen.  Give me five minutes, and I can come up with a laundry list of products that would sell millions (try: biodegradable tattoo ink, for tattoos that disappear after five years; or, disposable six-pack coolers made using the same chemical mix found in instant-cold break-and-shake medical ice packs).  Even ideas for whole businesses take only a bit longer - just enough time to sketch out the model on the back of a napkin.  But, actually making those products and businesses happen?  Now that's hard."  This is so true.

Joshua founded Cyan Pictures, an indie film production company.  His latest venture is Long Tail Releasing...  Great name :)

World on FireWorld on FireIf you have iTunes, check out this video of World on Fire, by Sarah McLachlan.  It could have cost $150,000, but it only cost $15.  And the video tells you why.  Excellent!  [ via Tim Bray ]  {If you don't have iTunes, click here to see it on the web.}

There's been talk in the past few years of a "housing bubble", including comparisons with the "stock market bubble".  Now Eric Janzen explains why Housing Bubbles are not like Stock Bubbles.  "Unlike stock market bubbles, real estate bubbles don't pop.  Collapsing stock market bubbles are characterized by a sudden collapse in prices because stock markets are highly liquid.  You see huge volumes of transactions at ever lower prices during a stock market collapse.  Collapsing housing bubbles, on the other hand, are characterized by illiquidity, a sudden collapse in transactions."  It does seem like something is going to happen; rates are going up, and people's incomes are not...

FuturePundit reports on evidence that natural selection is selecting for fatter people.  An interesting discussion, including the possibility that "obesity is negatively correlated with intelligence and that it is lower intelligence that is responsible for the higher fertility."  So is it natural selection, or unnatural selection?  Could be both...

PhysicsWeb wants to know, what's your favorite equation?  Would it be E=mc2?  Or maybe PV=nRT?  Or just 1+1=2?  Of course you know mine, W=UH :)

64 = 65?Marc Cantor found a weird equation, 64=65Check this out:

the Smart CarThe Smart Microcar.  "It's cute, tiny, and plastic.  The kids love it (especially in Europe).  It also gets 70 miles per gallon, and you can fit three side by side in a standard parking spot.  Move over, Mini: The Smart microcar could be the next big thing on America's roads."  Well it is cute.  But is it safe?  Apparently, it is.  And as the price of gas goes up, it gets smarter.

International CXTOn the other end of the spectrum, consider the International CXT.  "Possibly too much truck.  Like that's a problem."  Um, like that isn't a problem?  15,000 pounds!  Escalades and H2s are bad enough.

And oh by the way, many of these large SUVs are illegal on California residential streets.  Anything over 6,000 pounds.  That would include the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, the Range Rover, the GMC Yukon, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Sequoia, the Lincoln Navigator, the Mercedes M Class, the Porsche Cayenne S, and the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup.  And of course the Hummer and H2.

Meanwhile, the SUV safety gap grows.  Many SUVs are legally trucks, not cars, and hence only comply with lower safety standards.  An H2 might look safe, but it isn't.

jet-powered wheelchairOf course, there's always a jet powered wheelchair.  I am not making this up.  "Giuseppe Cannella had a big surprise for his mother-in-law when he put a jet engine on the back of her wheelchair.  Mr Cannella says the chair can now do top speeds of more than 60mph."

jet-powered shopping cartOr maybe you'd prefer a jet powered shopping cart?  "Its metal glows red hot at temperatures up to 600 degrees C, so [Andy Tyler] has to sit with his back to a heat shield."

I think Mr. Tyler should race Mr. Cannella.
Winner gets a Smart Car.

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