Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, October 23, 2004


Thursday, October 21, 2004

MetroPlus posted a picture of the same Adult Swim shed in SoHo that I posted earlier. Freaky.

I missed this gem when I first read this article by Ron Suskind in the New York Times:

''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''

Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''

The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.

Ouch. That hurts. Later he goes on to say,

"This is one key feature of the faith-based presidency: open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith."

Of the many disturbing things going on in the U.S., this undercurrent of anti-intellectualism really troubles me. There is a pride in idiocy, an elevation of morons in our popular culture. When does it stop?

I'm hoping for some kind of backlash.

ComputerWorld: Microsoft Corp. is recasting ambitions for its .Net Passport identification system, saying the service will now be limited to its own online offerings and those of close partners. Microsoft no longer sees Passport as a single-sign-on system for the Web at large, a spokeswoman said.

This week's AdAge has a story (print only, so far) about the weekly advertisement rates for a number of popular 'blogs: Kos at $13,250, Josh Marshall at $10k, Atrios at $6k, Sullivan at $5,600, Wonkette at $4k.

Grand total I've made from web ads this week: THREE FUCKING CENTS!

Google can suck it.

The American Conservative: The War Bin Laden Wanted

"Other reasons, however—different, more powerful, highly practical, and astonishingly overlooked—argue against conceiving of the struggle as a war and, more important still, waging it as such. The reasons and the logic behind them are somewhat complicated, but the overall conclusion is simple: by conceiving of the struggle against international terrorism as a war, loudly proclaiming it as such, and waging it as one, we have given our enemies the war they wanted and aimed to provoke but could not get unless the United States gave it to them."

Doc Searls tries to start an excellent discussion with Michael Powell, FCC Chairman.

"Michael, it's about language. The vocabularies we use to describe a subject are essentially metaphorical: borrowed from other subjects. This is unavoidable, and actually a Good Thing (as cognitive linguists will tell you). But, just as everything looks like a nail when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a transport system when all you use is a transport vocabulary: when you have "media" for the "transport" and "delivery" of "content" to "consumers" who need "access" to it; and when we're used to regulating systems with "carriers"; and "transmitters" and "receivers" and "coverage areas" and so on."

Good stuff.

Doris "Granny D" Haddock and Judd Gregg are debating on C-SPAN2 right now. Hee hee.

Barack Obama and Alan Keyes are up next.

I'm watching a debate on C-SPAN between two teams of American University law students. I'm shocked by how inarticulate these students are. God help this country.


Marginal Revolution: Effects of communism in North Korea, from space.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

PhotoPlus Expo is in New York this week. There are some interesting booths, including one from Camera Arts magazine.

Samsung today announced a five-megapixel camera phone. Five megapixel. Very interesting.

Dear Mr. Architect:

Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one.

Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls don't have nearly enough insulation in them).

As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)

Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.

To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year. Make sure that you weigh all of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make.

This is fantastic.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Hey -- freaky people who are Googling for my name. What's up? Stop fucking lurking, you losers.


Also from Memepool (they're on a roll today), George Bush and Gary Busey.

[warning: pottymouth]

Barney west-side representin' (WMV file + pottymouth)

[via memepool]

Of all the polls, I most enjoy the "how stupid are Americans" kind of polls. In a poll of the good citizens of Tennessee:

  • Over two-thirds (36%) of Tennesseans see Bush as having better morals than Kerry, while only 14% see Kerry as having better morals than Bush. 10% view neither one as moral. [I wonder how many of those polled could articulate a moral poistion?]
  • a plurality (49%) of Tennesseans describe Bush and Kerry as equally intelligent. Just over a quarter (28%) perceive Kerry as more intelligent than Bush, and 15% say Bush is more intelligent than Kerry.
  • Bush’s support is strongest among Tennesseans who are white and who describe themselves as Evangelical Christians. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of such Tennesseans say they plan to vote for the Bush/Cheney ticket. And among whites who do not identify themselves as Evangelicals, 45% support Kerry compared to the 41% who support Bush. [the pollsters apparently missed the obvious follow-up question: what does "evangelical" mean?]
  • Most Tennesseans perceive Bush as better able than Kerry to handle the situation in Iraq (54%) and terrorism (59%). Just over a third (35%) think Kerry would handle Iraq better than Bush, and 11% aren’t sure. On handling terrorism, just over a quarter (29%) say Kerry would do a better job than Bush, and about 12% aren’t sure. [again, the pollsters didn't ask "should we be in Iraq at all"]
  • Asked which issue – the economy, terrorism, Iraq, or health care – will be most important in their vote for president, 27% of Tennessee adults say Iraq, 25% say the economy, 23% say terrorism, and 18% say health care. [it is astounding that the Republican fear-machine has been so effective across the country; do do Tennesseans think that the terrorists hate both freedom and cotton farmers?]
  • Only about half of Tennessee adults can accurately name Kerry as the candidate who supports rescinding the recent federal income tax cuts for people earning over $200,000 a year.
  • Only about half (50%) rightly name Bush as the candidate who favors giving parents tax-funded vouchers to help pay private or religious school tuition.
  • Well under half (42%) are aware that Bush wants to let younger workers put some of their Social Security withholdings into their own personal retirement accounts.
  • Just over a quarter (28%) rightly name Bush as the candidate who supports giving needy people tax breaks that would help buy health insurance from private companies.
  • Just 39% know that Kerry advocates requiring plants and factories to add new pollution control equipment when they make upgrades.
  • Tennesseans averaged only two right answers when quizzed about which candidate held which view on the five issues. A fifth (20%) got no right answers, and 19% got one answer right. Another fifth (20%) got two right answers, and still another fifth (20%) got three right answers. Only 13% got four right answers, and a mere 8% got all of the answers right.
  • Even so, Tennesseans profess a high degree of interest in the campaign, with 71% describing themselves as "very interested," and 23% as "somewhat interested." Only 6% say they are "not at all interested."

Frankly, though, I don't expect that a poll of people in New York or California would be much different. It is a sad day when Americans regard a man as "moral" who invades a soverign nation for no reason, who awards wartime contracts to his friends, and who loots the treasury all the while.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Axis of Eve were doing their thing this weekend. This time, in Soho.