Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cool people don't look at explosions

This is what YouTube videos do best: point out a ridiculous cliche that you've seen a zillion times, but haven't recognized as a cliche until seeing the video:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Damn: Lieberman kills Public Option

Those progressives (like me) who warned the Democrats about Lieberman at least have the consolation of saying "I told you so". Small comfort for the loss of the public option from the Senate health care reform bill. And we're not even getting some kind of substitute. The scuttlebutt is that Rahm told Reid to cave to Lieberman (who will probably find something else to object to between now and when the final bill comes up for cloture.)

It could get put back in during the conference committee, but I assume Lieberman will raise the same stink he's raising now.

Fixing our political institutions is very important. And the Senate is one in most desperate need of reform. I understand that most of the country is more right-wing than me. That's fine. But it's not fine that the Senate gives disproportionate power to one side of the political spectrum.

We're already cyborgs!

I fully agree with Scott Adams:
Technically, you're already a cyborg. If you keep your cell phone with you most of the time, especially if the earpiece is in place, I think we can call that arrangement an exobrain. Don't protest that your cellphone isn't part of your body just because you can leave it in your other pants. If a cyborg can remove its digital eye and leave it on a shelf as a surveillance device, and I think we all agree that it can, then your cellphone qualifies as part of your body. In fact, one of the benefits of being a cyborg is that you can remove and upgrade parts easily. So don't give me that "It's not attached to me" argument. You're already a cyborg. Deal with it.
So, should I upgrade my current original iPhone component to an iPhone 3GS or a Motorola/Google Droid? I'm leaning towards a Droid right now, but could go either way.

By the way, why do the Droid advertisements evoke HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey? [spoiler warning] Yeah, he was smart and futuristic and cool, but HAL went paranoid and successfully killed four out of five Discovery crew members, and almost killed the fifth. Not the sort of associations I want for my smartphone/mobile computer.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Obama and Afghanistan

Someone somewhere said something like, "Afghanistan isn't so much the graveyard of empires, it's more like a place that empires eventually realize isn't very important." (Google reveals it was Matt Yglesias.) I am pessimistic about this 30,000 troop escalation. Can't say I didn't see it coming: Obama campaigned on increasing our presence in Afghanistan. Seems stupid (what interests do we have there? Couldn't terrorists just go somewhere else? Weren't the 9/11 folks radicalized in Europe?) and immoral (How many people have to die for this?) to me. Internal Monologue is going on record saying this proposed increase is a bad idea.

I should probably outline my argument more extensively and clearly. But I just wanted to put another anti-escalation message out there.