Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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The Former Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse:
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Yet another weird SF fan

Thursday, April 29, 2004

The Effects of the BCRA, Part II

I recently predicted that the BCRA would cause politically-interested organizations to buy or start their own media. This would be followed by attempts to regulate it. The second stage is starting.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Was Windows XP from P.D.Q. Bach?

The latest debugging technique is musical debugging, in which programs are turned into tunes and bugs into sour notes. Unlike some other debugging techniques, the basis of this one is sound.

Give These People Honorary American Citizenship!

The New York Times reports:

TOKYO, April 22 — The young Japanese civilians taken hostage in Iraq returned home this week, not to the warmth of a yellow-ribbon embrace but to a disapproving nation's cold stare.

Three of them, including a woman who helped street children on the streets of Baghdad, appeared on television two weeks ago as their knife-brandishing kidnappers threatened to slit their throats. A few days after their release, they landed here on Sunday, in the eye of a peculiarly Japanese storm.

"You got what you deserve!" read one hand-written sign at the airport where they landed. "You are Japan's shame," another wrote on the Web site of one of the former hostages. They had "caused trouble" for everybody. The government, not to be outdone, announced it would bill the former hostages $6,000 for air fare.

Beneath the surface of Japan's ultra-sophisticated cities lie the hierarchical ties that have governed this island nation for centuries and that, at moments of crises, invariably reassert themselves. The former hostages' transgression was to ignore a government advisory against traveling to Iraq. But their sin, in a vertical society that likes to think of itself as classless, was to defy what people call here "okami," or, literally, "what is higher."


Pursuing individual goals by defying the government and causing trouble for Japan was simply unforgivable. But the freed hostages did get official praise from one government: the United States.

"Well, everybody should understand the risk they are taking by going into dangerous areas," said Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. "But if nobody was willing to take a risk, then we would never move forward. We would never move our world forward.

"And so I'm pleased that these Japanese citizens were willing to put themselves at risk for a greater good, for a better purpose. And the Japanese people should be very proud that they have citizens like this willing to do that."

In contrast, Yasuo Fukuda, the Japanese government's spokesman offered this about the captives' ordeal: "They may have gone on their own but they must consider how many people they caused trouble to because of their action."

Saturday, April 24, 2004

If This Happened in the United States …

A man in the promised land of socialized medicine died after being sent home for having no insurance card (seen via Fark).

Friday, April 23, 2004

What Happened to The Angry Clam?

Did Senator Kerry say “Zoop!” and make him disappear?

UPDATE: The Clam said he retired from blogging because he “was spending too much time blogging and not enough working.”

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Sentence 5 on Page 23

A meme that's been going around the blogosphere calls for finding the fifth sentence on page 23 of the nearest book. The results are:

Our immune systems keep it in cheack easily.
It's from The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

UPDATE: Robert Prather provides evidence this project will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare.

Happy Earth Day!!!


Sunday, April 18, 2004

An Explanation for Short Americans

There is an obvious explanation for the fact that Europeans are becoming taller than Americans. America is a nation of immigrants. Apparently, lots of short people have been coming over here.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

A Potential Danger in Eurabia

There's a discussion on the assimilation of European Muslims on Gene Expression and Randy McDonald's Live Journal blog. To summarize: There is a very strong case that Muslims will eventually be assimilated into the mainstream just like early immigrants. There is a danger if that happens. Some of the Muslims may regard such assimilation as a betrayal.

The current bout of terrorism was set off by Osama bin Laden's reaction to Gulf War I. He regarded it as a heist of Middle-Eastern oil. He expected oil prices to rise to $144 per barrel (similar rises were predicted by Malthusians) and when they didn't, he looked for somebody to blame.

At the moment, there are predictions of the imminent takeover of Europe by unassimilated Muslims. I'm sure many Islamofascists are looking forward to that. If it doesn't happen, a future equivalent of Osama bin Laden might start looking for somebody to blame. He might blame the media (either in Europe or Hollywood), the schools, the internet, or possibly the Freemasons. We'll have to keep an eye out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

MSNBC Is Turning into the Evil Empire

I tried reading Glenn Reynolds's latest MSNBC column on my Linux computer but was unable to do so. Netscape/Mozilla just produced a document consisting of “<html><body></body></html>” and Lynx first gave the error message “Accept invalid cookie for ''? (n)” and then returned gibberish.

Update: Upon repeating the experiment, Lynx actually returned a page. Maybe it produces results every other time …

Sunday, April 11, 2004

If the United States Were Invaded …

Leftists often ask the question: “Well, wouldn't you do the same thing if someone invaded the U.S.?” (Example given by Clayton Cramer.) Parts of the United States have been invaded (i.e., the Confederacy was invaded by the Union), and we do not currently admire the resistance. It's also common for semiprofessional paranoid loons (mostly on the idiotarian Right) to treat peaceful immigrants as invaders.

That question looks like an attempt by leftists to appeal to a caricature of conservatives.

Friday, April 09, 2004

If Moqtada al-Sadr Has the Support of the Iraqi People …

… why wasn't he willing to wait for us to turn the government over to them?

He doesn't have the support of the majority and knows it. At most he hopes to have the support of a “majority of will and determination” (a slogan used by neo-nazis in an effort to look less pathetic).

Sunday, April 04, 2004

This Looks Suspicious

Microsoft and Sun have signed a pact. ‹overheated_rhetoric›Is the next step to divide Poland?‹/overheated_rhetoric›

Thursday, April 01, 2004

It's about Time This happened

Acording to the dead-tree edition of the March 29, 2004 issue of The Weekly World News, a Million Nerd March is planned for June 5. Will you be there?

UPDATE: There are a few shocking inaccuracies in the article. They call nerds “98-pound weaklings.” This is utter nonsense. Most nerds are much fatter than that.

ANOTHER UPDATE: There's another Million Nerd March planned … this one is a bit more plausible.

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