Critical Section

Saturday,  11/06/04  10:44 PM

A cold crisp dark silent night, perfect for reflections...

As I was sitting around tonight, drinking a nice glass of merlot, I reflected on the fact that it has now been two years since I've consumed any French wine.  In April 2003 I noted "Drinking French wine is like wearing real fur - politically unacceptable", and I still feel that way.  I'm not alone, either; back in June (when he was still blogging) Steven Den Beste reported: "Agence France-Press reports that French wine sales in the US are significantly down."  I don't think the red states are red because they're drinking Burgundy :)  I'm hoping for regime change in France; I have no quarrel with the French themselves, just with their leadership, who are grappling with the reality of four more years.

Of course as you know Chirac is presently taking care of Yasser Arafat, who apparently lies at death's door.  This speaks for itself; you didn't see Arafat flown to the Mayo Clinic, did you...

John Perry Barlow:  Magnanimous Defeat.  Among all the liberal hand-wringing about the election results, this excellent and constructive article stands out.  Read it now, especially if you're a Bush supporter.  There is clear coherent thought on "the other side".  [ via Joi Ito, who was less magnanimous himself ]

This is awesome: A Physics of Ideas, by Nova Spivack, subtitled "measuring the physical properties of memes".  Excellent.  [ via Marc Cantor ]  The kernel is that ideas, or memes, can be treated as units of information passing through the world, with size and velocity.  This contains some interesting thoughts about how each of us is bombarded with memes, how we filter and prioritize them, and how we pass them on.  For example by posting to our blogs :)

I find that I'm too much a conduit for existing memes, not enough an originator of new memes.  I spend too much time processing information, too little digesting it and adding to it.  And far too little time creating new information.  I need a self-imposed moratorium on new input.

So, Proposition 71 passed in California, and a new $3B institute for stem cell research will be established.  Whether this will be a boon to medical research or a boondoggle for the fiscally-challenged state remains to be seen.  Naturally a phalanx of researchers are writing grant applications in realtime to get a piece of the pie.  This could be, as Wired Magazine notes, The Stem Cell Gold Rush.

It could be good for Aperio, too; Pathology is central to cancer research, and Aperio's mission is Automating Pathology.  I bet there are a million other little biotech companies like Aperio, each thinking "how can we get involved, how can we contribute, how can we profit from this..."  Maybe the whole idea wasn't stupid, if it stimulates private enterprise.  Time will tell.

Kate Yandoh had a great experience consuming from CD Baby.  "Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.  A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing."  Does this stuff matter?  Yes.

New Year's Resolution update: 204.5 = no progress.  Sigh.

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