On The Internet Highway Metaphor Is Dated But Let's Stick With It Anyway

And the commissioners who voted for this corporate fast lane aren't less intelligent, just less honest.

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm 0

On "Blogs": What Were They?

The most egregious misuse of the word blog is when people use it to mean "post," and then call comments posts.

A blog is a website with posts, and the posts may or may not have comments. To further clarify these terms, I have just made a comment on your post which appears at The Awl, which is a blog.

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm 1

On The Great, Forgotten Sci-Fi Novel About The End Of The World

@Mark Gisleson@twitter Thanks for this recommendation. Interesting read that held up remarkably well.

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm 0

On The Great, Forgotten Sci-Fi Novel About The End Of The World

It took me less than a minute to find and download a copy of this book (although, oddly, none of the torrent sites I frequent had heard of it). The pity here is that copyright laws make it so difficult for people to legally obtain digital copies of out-of-print books. But copyright lovers should feel free to pay a couple hundred bucks for a tattered paperback copy.

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm 0

On Cristina De Middel, "The Afronauts"

Back in the '90s I assisted an African scientist with an application to become a NASA astronaut. He told me that no black African had ever been in space. I don't know if that's still true, but I strongly suspect it is still the case.

My client, despite having done PhD level work in four different disciplines, being on the U.S. Army's payroll and maintaining excellent fitness ratings, was not selected for a shuttle mission.

Posted on December 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm 0

On Correlation Is Not As Disimplicative Of Causation As You Keep Saying

Telegrams! I never saw a movie in which a telegram brought good news. On a scale of 1 to eMail, telegrams should get a 12.

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm 0

On The Internet Makes You Fat, Mean And Poor

Gotta love these studies for consistently blaming the messenger.

All of these symptoms describe people who are more aware of the economic abattoir we live in than the average sheeple. Binge eating? Substance abuse? All rational responses to finding out that your long-term chances of economic survival are nil, and that you as an average American have zero opportunity of addressing those issues short of strapping dynamite to yourself but even then, really, whose death would make a difference?

The internet does not cause obesity, sexual depravity, violence, good fashion sense or morality. Granted, the internet is one hell of an enabler, but isn't it time to stop blaming the channel for content provided by others?

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 11:29 am 1

On Drink Tea And Pee Your Diabetes Away

1. I'm sure this study did not include the fake sugar water tea sold in American convenience stores.
2. Heavy tea drinkers are less likely to be drinking lots of soda pop -- but wait, isn't that correlation and not causation?
3. Doesn't living in Europe automatically make you 20% less likely to get diabetes (compared to sugar-swilling Americans)?

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm 0

On The Day They Got Jesus

So, since they've already established that Jesus was born in 3 BCE, this means he was 36 when he died, not 33.

No big deal, just another chronological discrepancy....

Posted on May 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm 0

On Man Dislikes Word Processing Program

Ironically, Microsoft Word 5.1.a for Macintosh was one of the best word processing programs ever. I used to write resumes and did over 20,000 documents using that version of Word. Those files take up less space than 5,000 documents created in any subsequent version of Word.

What happened? Money happened. Microsoft's business model didn't allow for perfection, and each new edition of Office had to have "upgraded" software, whether the apps needed to be upgraded or not. So, instead of surveying secretaries, Microsoft surveyed business managers who loved the idea of Word being the 800-lb gorilla of publishing.

As a result, each version of Word grew larger, clunkier, and could do more things (but did those things in a second-rate, messed up way).

Word 5.1.a won't, of course, run on any operating system created in this century, and if you tried to re-release an updated version, Microsoft would sue you to death. Tom Socca knows what he's talking about.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm 1