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User Journal

Journal Journal: Interland ads need a reply

I wish slashdot ads allowed for comments.
I know it's wishful thinking. But it's wishful thinking I think every time I see an ad for Interland on Slashdot.
Interland absorbed my ISP, immediately broke my service (wierd bounce messages on inbound emails), and owes me three months of payment which they withdrew from my credit card after I cancelled my service, not to mention some sort of compensation for a dozen phone calls repeatedly asking them to stop billing and refund my money.
User Journal

Journal Journal: yer'd think 1

someone with a goodly fraction of a trillion dollars could find a human being to design their logo. This thing just seems deformed from the get-go to me, so I presume it was designed by an alien from an asymmetric species. Or maybe it's truth in advertising at last?
User Journal

Journal Journal: recent flix, all kid stuff

The Cat in the Hat I loved this movie. Don't take your kids, though. Even more disturbing than Babe, Pig in the City, which you should also see when your kids are away at summer camp or something.

Matrix Regurgitated Yawn.

Return of the King Vaguely disappointing, though beautiful and worth seeing anyway. I didn't hate it as much as the first nor love it as much as the second. Very disappointed at how the drama of the actual return of the king was completely obliterated, followed immediately by the cheesiest effects in the whole series. Minas Tirith was lovely, though.

That's about it for recent stuff. Too stressed out to see any grownup movies lately. I've been enjoying the first Rocky & Bullwinkle DVD, which almost compensates for the complete lack of new Power Puff Girls releases since their fiasco of a feature movie. It's almost enough to motivate a guy to get a television.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Is reality a simulation? (The Matrix question)

Remember the discussion of whether reality is a simulation? I'm not sure anyone noticed my response, which is basically that the answer to such a question is so thoroughly lacking in consequence that the the question is meaningless.

Anyway, I'm reading E.O.Wilsons Consilience, and it turns out that this Matrix fantasy wasn't even a new idea when Philip Dick came up with it in the 70s. (My favorite instance of this paranoid worldview is Dick's book Ubik.)

Quoth Wilson "Louis Agassiz, ... founding member of the Academy of Science... conceived the universe as a vision in the mind of God".

User Journal

Journal Journal: -1 ripoff

My first "unfair" mod. Eeek, there goes my perfect record.

Well, here it is. Why did I mod that "redundant"? Well, see the followup posting? There was no "ripoff" choice.

It at first appears that a perfectly reasonable article has been reposted by some toad looking for karma points and reposted in another thread. But, um, it was posted by an AC. So who knows why this thing got posted. Anyway, it's noise.

I propose that moderators be allowed to place a comment on their mods, for the benefit of metamoderators only.

User Journal

Journal Journal: More flix

About Schmidt This is a brilliant view of modern America, saying "a pox on both your houses". The emptiness of liberal life (Denver) conservative life (Omaha) and the open road between them all captured with great acting, a touching and realistic story, and amazingly perceptive photography. Definitely four quacks.

Down With Love Silly, but that is as it should be, and visually brilliant. Worth seeing on the big screen. Worth seeing twice. Four quacks. It is absolutely astonishing that this woman played Bridget Jones. Not just a chick flick. This is the most fun I've had at the movies in a while.

Anger Management Not Jack at his best, despite what the blurbs say. Diverting and funny but basically silly despite some pretension at wisdom. Saved by great work by Sandler, but badly damaged by a celebration of violence near the end. Three quacks with a demerit.

Bruce Almighty Nice to see a hint of the old schmaltzy Hollywood sincerity coming back, though it slows the thing down toward the end. The first half is every bit as funny as you hoped, though. Three quacks.

X2 Unlike Matrix Reloaded, not burdened by pretension. Loads of fun from start to finish. Three quacks.

Matrix Reloaded What's the point? You'll see it and convince yourself it's profound anyway. Nice explosions and outer limits kung fu scenes do not rescue this story from being a pompous muddle. Barely rates two quacks, at $80 million per quack.

Adaptation If you were Douglas Hofstadter you would think this movie was conscious. If you were a paid film critic you would think it was original and clever. If you were a novice and had two days to come up with a screenplay, you would think this was embarassing. Nicely executed, but sometimes recursion just isn't all that interesting. Two quacks.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Apple fandom

Just picked up an iBook with Airport. I followed the self-explanatory instructions. It works! I've got Slashdot in any room in the house!

Still (about three months and four tries later) haven't managed to get my Windows boxes talking to the wireless network.

I need Windows to support my customers' needs, but if Virtual PC works well enough I may abandon Intel hardware altogether. The lesson here may be that Apple had it right all along - hardware/software integration. If I get back into the climate business I thinking about advocating an FPGA approach for similar reasons.

I need to write code and test commercial software, not do mysterious try-and-try-again sysadmin stuff. What a waste of brain cells! Small shops, even highly technical ones, do not need this sort of time sink.

User Journal

Journal Journal: more answers to libertarianism 1

In response to comment 5671849 :

I've read Friedman's Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life, and found it to be an excellent exposition. It's been very valuable to me as I try to move form being an academic to being a businessman. I also think it's deeply, fundamentally wrong at the macro level, no matter how insightful it is at the micro level.

I appreciate your recommendation and will probably read the book you suggest, but I'm unlikely to be convinced by it.

The wrongness of radical capitalism as a complete organizing principle for society, as I see it, arises from several fundamental areas:

  • The presumption of linearity: Because every decision I make affects the environment in which all other decisions are made very slightly, this effect can be neglected in microeconomics. However, because the number of people making such decisions is very large, it cannot be neglected in macroeconomics. Therefore, the net result of individual free optimization is not obviously the global optimum. The tragedy of the commons and the prisoners' dilemma are the simplest counterexamples to this presumption. There may be many others.
  • The uniform discount rate: The time constant of environmental resources is very different than the time constant of economic goods that are artifacts. Reducing everything to a single exchange medium means that damage in the future is considered less constraining than damage in the present. Monetizing, by automatically discounting irreversible long-term damage in a future that is distant in economic terms but close in biogeochemical terms, fails to appropriately account for the public interest in a sustainable environment.
  • Future generations don't get to bid at all on our behavior, but they have an interest and a moral right to influence our behavior.
  • Monetizing everything yields a finite value. However, the value of the living planet Earth, possibly unique in the universe, cannot reasonably be treated as finite. Therefore, the dominant component of the value of the earth can never be monetized, and monetary considerations should, as a matter of moral principle, never dominate the decisions of society.

I would welcome commentary on these points, if only because that would mean someone besides myself was reading them.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Answer to libertarianism 1

See my posting here in answer to the simplistic libertarian position equating regulation to injustice. I'm quite proud of it.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Flix

You Can't Take it With You Very funny. It would be beatnik propaganda, except that beatniks hadn't been invented yet. Go immediately to your Netflix account and ask for this one.

Croupier I saw it. I sort of enjoyed it. Even crazy people in British films sometimes seem saner to me than normal Americans, somehow. Unfortunately, not only did I fail to follow all the plot twists, as far as I could tell from a web search for good spoilers, nobody else could either. So you're left feeling sort of unsatisfied by the whole thing. On the whole, one thumb up, one down.

The Core Saw this in the theater for some damfool reason. Go see the trailer, it had all the money shots in it. The story was every bit as stupid as you expected and then some. If you're over 10 you will be bored. If you're over 12 you'll probably see everything coming a mile off. The hotpockets joke wasn't that funny the fifth time. Avoid.

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