|choo choo trolley||
For what it's worth, I really like the Moussaoui verdict. I think declining to kill for the sake of punishment and vengance can be an appropriate difference between Us and Them. Moussaoui would have claimed victory either way.
Ambiguous Quote of the Moment
"The ancient Egyptians crossbred horses, cattle, wheat, and grapes, to produce animals and food of higher quality."
--Alan Lightman, "The Discoveries"...man, if you read that incorrectly, it produces a very vivid image...I don't quite know what it is, but I don't think I'd want to drink wine made from it!
Philosophy of the Moment
Hypothetical Moral Dilemmas. I like the relationship between 2 and 3, how it points out the distinction we make about intent and inevitability, even if the end result is the same.
|old-lady rub needed||
Random Quote of the Moment
"excuse me, can you hand me that tub of old lady rub for me? cause im an old lady"
--sig of "trigun" on AtariAge. I have no idea if it has another meaning or if it's from somewhere or what but it gets stuck in my head, redundancy and bad puncuation and all.
Thought of the Moment
"We have a good model of a dozen or so regions of the auditory and visual cortex, how we strip images down to very low-resolution movies based on pattern recognition. Interestingly, we donít actually see things, we essentially hallucinate them in detail from what we see from these low resolution cues. Past the early phases of the visual cortex, detail doesnít reach the brain."
--Ray Kurzweil, from this great interview by author Cory Doctorow about his thoughts on the Singularity. That thought is interesting...it's probably what makes learning to draw well so hard, and what makes dreams so vivid.
Passage of the Moment
So I do get to laugh. Our situation, the human situation, is, in the final analysis, neither grim nor meaningful but funny. What else can you call it? The wisest people are the clowns, like Harpo Marx, who would not speak. If I could have anything I want I would like God to listen to what Harpo was not saying, and understand why Harpo would not talk. Remember, Harpo could talk. He just wouldn't. Maybe there was nothing to say; everything has been said. Or maybe, had he spoken, he would have pointed out something too terrible, something we should not be aware of. I don't know. Maybe you can tell me.
--Phillip K Dick, from the introduction to "The Golden Man"
Photos of the Moment
Ok, I admit this might fall in the "questionable signs of Kirk's mental health" department, but Mo has a revitalized interest in getting serious about photography (and a new nice digital camera to boot) and it has triggered something competitive in me. Part of it is a philisophical difference about cameras; portable (my favorite, since it's always there for the shot) vs. well, higher-end, and larger.
Anyway, Jane took the first one...we were slacking in the marshy and rocky area at the Salem shore during low tide. The second is a simba head I saw on the street. (I probably attracted some odd looks taking the picture. And The focus was, admittedly, a bit tough to get a hang of.)
I keep thinking I'd like to take a class in photography, but I'm mostly interested in composition, and want to keep it digital, but it seems like most places that get serious want you to pay your darkroom dues. I know there are reasons to go with film over digital, but still.
Link of the Moment
Retrogaming Times, an online classic gaming periodical, just published its last issue. Some interesting stuff there, especially the Many Faces Of... feature, where they did ratings to see which systems had the best versions of big arcade games.
Story of the Moment
One scene told thirteen times: Always Be Closing. It's a great read, and the gimmick works well I think. It reminds me a lot of this one piece of interactive fiction, Andrew Plotkin's The Space Under The Window.
|all too common wisdom||
Politics of the Moment
"In my judgment, in the judgment of a lot of economists - and the truth of the matter is, it's now become kind of the common wisdom in Washington, D.C. - the best way to create growth is to let people keep more of their own money."
--GWB. Man, that's not what I've heard from the economists, including the beloved Greenspan (who thinks tax breaks are kind of ok, but only if it doesn't lead to big deficit spending.) But this is the way this administration works, repeat something enough and then after a while you can start calling it "common wisdom". On a related note, Slate.com poses that musical question, George Walker Hoover? Even the promised 1.4 million jobs in 18 months that the plan should bring is below average job growth. Bush's might be the first presidency since Hoover where the American economy lost jobs...I know that's after a runup bubble (where taxes were raised on the highest earners and we added 5 million jobs in a year and a half...though maybe that was all the magic power of the Internet) but still, the fact is the adminstration doesn't know how to fix it.
Funny of the Moment
I mistyped Ranjit's site moonmilk as "moonmilik" and in trying to get back on track via IE's MSN post-404 search engine (Stupidly, I should remember to just retype it in the URL field at the top) I noticed that the first moonmilk hit is Dear Postal Customer, a kind of funny note from the post office explaining some letter damage...but if you look at what it's trying to explain, it's kind of like damning with faint apology.
Randomness of the Moment
So Brooke came over, and rode shotgun as I finished this month's Blender of Love, and actually wrote the front page blurb. (Along with laughing at the horrible grammar of some of the posts.) And with that blurb's "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" reference, Mo mentioned a weird snort in the middle of the song. Brooke and I didn't believe her, but we managed to track down this Wav file (found on this webpage) and sure enough, there is a random sound in the middle of it. Brooke and I thought it was more of a grunt or a "rooof!" (ala "Who Let The Dogs Out") than a snort, but still, I really had no memory of it being there.
By the way, everyone should buy and read the graphic novel Clumsy that I reviewed for this month's Blender. It's great and bittersweetly romantic.
|high finance and low||
Guestbook Update of the Moment
Justin, my friend Maxim Weinstein says check out practicallynetworked.com, there are some of those LAN/WAN routers that deal with dialup, possibly the Netgear.
Mark T! Damn, that's a bit cold! But of course, what is a 'blog but a cry for attention. Ah well. Wouldn't mind hearing more about what your perceptions of me are. I mean, even my blog and loveblender publicity efforts are pretty muted, and it's not like that quote is dismissing the value of doing something that other people might admire or find interesting or useful...
News, Graph, and Link of the Moment
So, yesterday was a bummer, in that the unemployment numbers for April were higher than expected, and that took a toll on the markets. I did a little bit of googling, and found the following interesting chart:
That's the unemployment rate since 1970. (You can see some other views where I made this chart, at this economagic page) So in a larger view, we're not doing all that poorly at the moment, though obviously it's not as good as during the Clinton years (ok, ok, possibly a coincidence...though Republican first terms seem to be a bit of a bummer!) I wouldn't mind seeing some longer term data, like for the 50s and 60s as well.
It's weird how worried people get about the day to day flux of the stockmarkets. Sure more of us stand to lose money when the markets are failing, and in general they're a bellwether of the economy (or is it the other way around?) but still, it can't be that healthy for so many people to be paying such attention, such odd despair and elation. Anyway, if you have that particular monkey on your back, I'd recommend feeding it at finance.yahoo.com, which if you think about it basically gives you a very blog-like view of the days happenings, updated multiple times over a single session.
Quote of the Moment
"When a pharaoh died, I bet the servants tried all sorts of tricks to make people think he was just sleeping, because of the tradition of burying the servants alive with the pharaoh to serve him in the afterlife. Kind of a whole 'Weekend at Tut's' thing."
--George MacMillan via Kim on a.f.c-a.
Republican Madness of the Moment
"He claims to be a god-king, a leader of the Buddha religion, which historically has been considered a cult because of its anti-Biblical teachings concerning the one true Holy God, Creator of Heaven and earth and His Son, Jesus Christ."
--Rep. Arlon Lindner on his opposition to the Dalai Lama's planned speech to the legislature
Links of the Moment
Wired.com article on Japanese robofish. Neat stuff! (Had a link to a neat store RoboToys.) For a long time I was fascinated by the idea of electronic pets. Now that they're more or less here, I dunno.
In an odd bit synchronicity, I also just stubled upon this year old news about scientists at the University of Chicago sticking parts of an eel brain in a robotic body. It's still really primitive, but the thing could react to light and control the body accordingly. (Reminds me of The Locust Car, a 3-wheeled cart steered by the electrical muscle impulses of a Locust.