Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Horse Revolution

Paul Revere galloped from Charlestown to Lexington on that famous night in 1775. He couldn't have done it without his horse, so did that mean the American Revolution was really the "horse revolution"? That's silly, of course. But calling the Egyptian revolution the "Facebook (or Twitter) revolution" is just as misguided, and it's a symptom of our ethnocentric habit of viewing the world through the prism of the American experience or -- in the case of Egypt -- American technology.

Hat tip to comp.risks.

Seriously though, I was most puzzled by the media's description of the Egyptian revolution as "Revolution 2.0". Let me tell you, I've read a little history and they must be on Revolution 93.4 by now, at least.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

The Curt Jester on free will and Hell

Like almost all of the faith to deny one aspect is to undermine other aspects of the faith. For example to deny hell is to deny free will. If there is no hell than somebody who chooses to purposely separate themselves from God is forced to live with God in eternity. That no matter what they do in deliberate opposition to God really does not matter. All paths lead to the same place. Somebody with free will could choose to separate themselves from God.

As usual, some excellent reading.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

In this issue of Extremism Tonight

It used to be that only the most extreme Operation Rescue types would advocate forcing raped women to bear their attackers’ babies . . .

Yes, and the entire Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Now don't get me wrong, Glenn Beck is out of his mind. But this isn't the reason. While the position may seem absurd, it follows quite clearly from the principles at stake.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Buy it last year

And throw it away this year.

All this shows to me that Apple does not take a good care on users who still use older models, models that still work without a problem otherwise. Look, I'm not asking here to support them by releasing new app or firmware versions for them. If anything, I'm asking for NO updates for these models! I'm asking to not break existing functionality. The App Store update got forced on us, without its engineers testing with the 3.1.2 firmware, and without ourselves being able to go to a previous version! Apple should have had some sort of mechanism to not suggest/push/force updates of apps that either are not compatible, or were merely never tested with 3.1.x.

One good way to sell new product - break the old product! The lightbulb companies are perhaps the best at this, I guess Apple is still learning.


Monday, February 07, 2011

National security

A free press in a democracy can be messy. But the alternative is to give the government a veto over what its citizens are allowed to know. Anyone who has worked in countries where the news diet is controlled by the government can sympathize with Thomas Jefferson’s oft-quoted remark that he would rather have newspapers without government than government without newspapers.

The intentions of our founders have rarely been as well articulated as they were by Justice Hugo Black 40 years ago, concurring with the Supreme Court ruling that stopped the government from suppressing the secret Vietnam War history called the Pentagon Papers: "The government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people."

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

The life of a politician

Good cop:

In Mr. Bloomberg’s initial announcement, however, he said that all city nonemergency offices would be closed that day.

“New York City almost never takes a snow day, but today is one of those rare days,” Mr. Bloomberg said, warning of extensive subway delays, the suspension of bus service and dangerous driving conditions. “People should stay at home and off the roads.”

Bad cop:

“As you know,” the commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Edna Wells Handy, wrote in a memo to all city agency heads, “city employees were requested to make every effort to overcome transportation difficulties caused by the January 26-27, 2011 snowstorm and report to work.” The memo made no mention of the mayor’s earlier statement about the closing of nonemergency offices.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you look good to the voters while still cracking the whip on your underlings.

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