Wednesday, June 30, 2004

This pretty much sums up what I think of John Kerry running against GWB. As much as I don't like bush Kerry hasn't really said anything that I can get excited about. Health care, blah. If he wants to win he has to get some kind of vision. If I were him I would at least start making some statements about things I would do. Like raise the minimum wage. Increase EPA gas mileage. Whatever. Say something. Unless he's talking and I'm just not hearing anything about it. Which may actually mean he's worse off then I thought.

Dope or Wack? Test your urban slang knowledge Far be it from me to even comment on this site. Booyah! .... I must mention so so so Not Safe For Work. Unless you work at home.

Jesus kicks ass.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Another of my semi-reviews of political blogs. This time it's Daily Kos. Very popular with the left. Reasonably well written posts in contrast with Instapundit who's posts usually consist of a link with pretty much no commentary. My biggest beef is that there is hardly any discussion of policy. Politically speaking, it is very partisan. If a Democrat says it, it must be true. As far as I can tell so John Kerry hasn't really said too much about what he's going to do as President, but that doesn't stop Kos from lavishing love on him. I'm not a Bush fan, but I really haven't seen too much from Kerry that makes me think he's a better alternative.

Via Metafilter, Scoop: America's Black Budget & Manipulation Of Markets a long and occasionally dry piece about how the US Government is part of an enormous system of fraud. Tinfoil hat stuff? The guy who gives the interview looks pretty reputable.

Via Boing Boing, an article about abortion. Mark Frauenfelder calls it bizarre, but it makes some sense if you think about it. It brings to mind something that I was thinking about the other week. I have been a bit concerned that the human species has pretty much eliminated evolution as a force that is operating on us. Medical science has made it possible for many people to live to child bearing age who in the past may not have made it. In consequence human beings are not being selected for physical fitness to survive at nearly the rate that they were in the past. I started thinking about the ways that we are being selected.

The book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins makes a good case that evolution has selected for altruism. His case hinges on the idea that natural selection occurs at the level of the gene, and not at the level of the organism. So a person who is willing to sacrifice some of his own resources to help his children survive may be making his own survival less likely, but his genes are more likely to be passed on. As I was thinking about this it occurred to me that when a woman has an abortion she is selecting for her own interest and against her own genes. So, over the course of time abortion is a selecting for altruism.

Which also raises the point that over the long term the tendency to have an abortion is also being selected against. If abortion were freely available and had low social and economic costs this would maximize the effect on the population. People who felt that there was nothing wrong with abortion wouldn't have as many children. Assuming there is a genetic component to someone being willing to have an abortion that trait would be selected against.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Is George Bush being ousted from the Whitehouse by the CIA in a Coup D'etat?

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I'm posting this because .... well because I think it's pretty neat. Once again I got it on Metafilter. May Day Mystery:Historical Madness

Thursday, June 17, 2004

A plethora of useful information for those who might need to run away from various hazards.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I really just take too much from Metafilter. Like this. Just go read Metafilter.

Defunct Amusement Parks Home Page. This is pretty neat, I'm sure some of the people I work with will appreciate the ones in PA.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Monkey Lander is pretty sweet.

If only they could figure out some way to get it into a bottle. Hmmmm.... I don't think that's it.

Some interesting insights into the way the press views itself. Among the highlights "... the poll finds that many journalists ­ especially those in the national media ­ believe that the press has not been critical enough of President Bush.", and " ... majorities of national (54%) and local journalists (61%) continue to describe themselves as moderates." Although the proportion who describe themselves as liberal has increased to 34% nationally.

I use Gmail. But there are those who think "Gmail is too creepy" I think that part of the answer to any overly intrusive database is to spoof it. That's why all my shopper's club cards are under fake names. I'm still trying to get a store to give me I.P. Freely. Most of them are more realistic. What happens when they try to match the fake names and addresses up with other databases? All kinds of statistical anomalies. The more complex a system becomes the more vulnerable it is to manipulation that is outside of it's realm of consideration.

When it only takes a few keystrokes to create an entire alternate persona, it's hard not to create a bunch of fake identities. Even share them with others to create composite fake identities. Profiling becomes a lot more complicated when the people being profiled don't even exist.

Relax you soccer hooligans!

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Here it is June 2004...The Beginning Of The End? | Metafilter Apparently the world is going to end. As my friend Dave says "The world can't end in June, I have vacation in July!"

Ah yes, the internet fad. Quite the humorous.

Friday, June 04, 2004

This is the webcomic of a friend of mine. It's pretty funny sometimes, so you should READ IT. I'm editing this post because the archive at Jimi's comic isn't working, so you can go there and read the latest one if you want to, but that's about it for now.

Another one for the people I work with. The Unofficial Who's Who in the DC Universe: Full Character Biographies

An occasionally interesting discussion about a movie I'd be interested in seeing. The movie is The Corporation and it's about the creation of the legal fiction that a corporation is a person. My personal argument is that a corporation shouldn't be granted equal rights with people given that a corporation is essentially a legal device for avoiding the personal responsibilityof ownership. Giving any entity rights without also having equal responsibility is a recipe for eventual disaster.

A link to a weblog that I look at regularly. They have all kinds of weird stuff on here, news, cultural oddities, and things that don't really fit in any category. Metafilter | Community Weblog

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Is The End Of The World As We Know It Right Around The Corner?