Critical Section

Friday,  12/04/09  05:10 PM

I had a great birthday yesterday, and because I didn't get home until last night it has extended into today, with a nice dinner planned tonight.  What could be better.

Cyclelog: up and down Decker Canyon to Mulholland, survived a wild flat while descending.

John Stossel: Who creates jobs?  "Today, the White House holds its 'Jobs Summit' stunt.  It’s typical Washington-think: assemble interest groups and concoct special tax credits and handouts to the politically connected.  What conceit.  The political class think that economies revolve around them, that Washington makes things happen, that politicians are the most important players...  They and the political class can’t imagine a decentralized world where good things happen…without them.  But in the real world, that’s exactly how good things happen, and how jobs are created.  When government sets simple rules that everyone understands and then gets out of the way, free people create jobs."  Dead on, read the whole thing.

motley CRU: have humans really caused global warming?The American: The meaning of motley CRU.  "It’s time for climate science to clean house. Whatever investigations come of Climategate, they should not stop with the United Kingdom."  I sure wish I could get a clean bearing on all this; so far the discussions in the blogosphere have generated more heat than light. 

Tim Oren has a good layman's analysis.  "The Army of Davids is beginning to assemble; we're going to end up with transparency one way or another."  Indeed.

Meanwhile: Climate skeptics welcome U-turn.  It isn't so much that climate scientists were wrong, as that they were dishonest.  It will take a lot of openness to get people's confidence back.

conversation! are you being boring?This is important: How to tell if you are being boring:

  1. Repeated, perfunctory responses.
  2. Simple questions.  People who are bored ask simple questions.
  3. [Lack of] Interruption.  Interruption is actually a good sign.
  4. [Lack of] Requests for clarification.
  5. Imbalance of talking time.
  6. Abrupt changes in topic.
  7. Body position.  People with a good connection generally turn to face each other.
  8. Audience posture.  People slouch and lean when bored.

I am scared to death of being boring, I would rather be despised than ignored.

the eighteen strangest roads in the world: #1 is the Hana HighwayNot boring: the eighteen strangest roads in the world.  I've actually driven #1, the Hana Hiway on Maui.  Beautiful but not for those in a hurry :)

Gentlemen of BacongoAlso not boring: The Gentlemen of Bacongo, about an extreme fashion subculture in the Congo slums.  Wow.  Just when you think you've seen it all, you realize "it all" is so much more than you thought.

Interestingly and strangely, Google gets into the DNS business.  Huh.  Not sure whether to immediately switch over everything or wait.  The consensus seems to be that it is faster.  I think I'll let this soak, I don't need to be an early adopter.

Jeff Atwood: Version 1 sucks, but ship it anyway.  (I'm pretty sure he isn't referring to Google DNS :)  This is good advice for anyone with a web-based service, you can learn and iterate rapidly.  If you're shipping turnkey software into the field, you have to make sure version 1 doesn't completely suck before you ship it, because learning and iterating is going to be slower and costlier.  Overall this is one of the biggest benefits of online software delivery, for both customers and vendors, and it is often unappreciated.

What?  No foosball, today's startups are smaller, leaner, faster.  They're too busy shipping version 1 I guess.

Salon's Scott Rosenberg: Memories of a Paywall Pioneer.  I've subscribed to Salon for years; it is one of the few things I've ever paid to read online, and I did it mostly as an experiment.  It would appear that ads are the only viable business model for online content.  And as Scott notes, once a site erects a paywall, it is really hard to take it down later.

surprised kitteh :)Finally, today we have surprised kitteh.  Click through for the best 17s of your day, I promise :)

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