Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts

Saturday, August 4, 2018


Saturday, February 21, 2015

New Phrase

A co-worker just talked about a "Darwinian Fate Accelerator." That's a new one to me, but I think I'll have to use that.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Let them protest, but there should be consequences for not following the rules.

Via @MatthewBracken

Monday, December 8, 2014

Modern Prison

And we do it to ourselves...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Some sites I read for amusement or information. I read Althouse, because I often feel smarter after reading a post. Do I agree all the time? No, but my beliefs are challenged or reinforced and I am better for it.

Here is a good example of why it is one of my favorite sites centering around a word - "the".

The Nones

"This week, Morning Edition explores the "nones" — Americans who say they don't identify with any religion. Demographers have given them this name because when asked to identify their religion, that's their answer: "none."

I wonder if the "nones" have replaced their need for connectedness and community with technology - Facebook or any other social site. You don't have to go down to the Wednesday night meal at church to learn what is happening to your friends. You just check your smartphone and you know what they are up to.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander

"Americans have historically modeled their choices of home protection and personal defense handguns on what the cops carried. When the police carried .38 revolvers as a rule, the .38 caliber revolver was the single most popular choice among armed citizens. In the 1980s and into the 1990s, cops switched en masse to semiautomatic pistols. So did the gun-buying public. Today, the most popular handgun among police seems to be the 16-shot, .40 caliber Glock semiautomatic. Not surprisingly, the general public has gone to pistols bracketing that caliber in power (9mm, .40, .45) with similar enthusiasm. The American police establishment has also largely switched from the 12 gauge shotgun which was also the traditional American home defense weapon, to the AR15 patrol rifle with 30-round magazine…and, not surprisingly, the law-abiding citizenry has followed suit there, too." 

Do People Know What They Say?

I know I make mistakes. Plenty of them. But, I wonder if people have any idea what they are saying. I also know there are conservative/tea party/libertarian/right-wing/etc. folks who say crazy things, so I don't mean to let them off the hook, but some of these quotes are unbelievable.

Ban Assault Hammers and Clubs

"Think about it: In 2005, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 445, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 605. In 2006, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 438, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 618.
And so the list goes, with the actual numbers changing somewhat from year to year, yet the fact that more people are killed with blunt objects each year remains constant. 
For example, in 2011, there was 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs."
Hammers and clubs don't really kill people - people kill people. A rifle is a tool no different from a hammer. A rifle is used for sport no different than a bat.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rare and Random

One review of the data suggests that 2012 was a really bad year and not (in statistical terms) a trend.

Mass shootings are rare and random. Does that make it better or worse? I don't know. It does suggest to me that focusing on the prevention of mass shootings might not be the best approach. As a society, we should look at using our resources to reduce overall violence.

Legos vs. AR-15 vs. Weed

Twitter has been hot with a) people tweeting about getting new AR-15 rifles for Christmas and b) those who are less than pleased with the gift of a gun.

In those posts, someone points out how horrible it is that more people got an AR than got Legos. But then again, more people got weed than rifles.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I have never felt the desire to become a hipster. And, almost by definition, would a true hipster allow the hipster label to be applied?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Euron a.k.a. Drunk Cows

The SCOTUS decision on Obamacare has everyone's attention, so we've forgotten for the moment what is going on in Europe.

It reminds me of Enron Cows.

Europe link via Uncle

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You Are Not Special

Or as I've seen in some signatures: You are special. Just like everyone else. Text here. If you've not already seen it a hundred other places, it is worth your time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Netflix Diversity

I wondered how they handled the different people in a household using the same Netflix account:
"Take as a first example the Top 10 row: this is our best guess at the ten titles you are most likely to enjoy. Of course, when we say “you”, we really mean everyone in your household. It is important to keep in mind that Netflix’ personalization is intended to handle a household that is likely to have different people with different tastes. That is why when you see your Top10, you are likely to discover items for dad, mom, the kids, or the whole family. Even for a single person household we want to appeal to your range of interests and moods. To achieve this, in many parts of our system we are not only optimizing for accuracy, but also for diversity."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Good Idea, Bad Idea

Bad Idea Edition...

We've had samurai sword umbrellas and ENDO worries that it won't be long until a swat team is called because someone sends their kid to school with the neato backpack for the Ruger 10/22 Takedown rifle.

In a world where toy guns, embroidered guns on purses, and plastic lightsabers get the TSA all torn up and
where a few hundred rounds of ammunition, is considered a cache or armory, Wired is showing off an ammo can lunch box. Cue the school lockdown now! (Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"So is sanitation!"

StudioXNYC Foursquare rep says, "Privacy is a modern invention," as if that ends the debate on ethics. Someone in audience yells, "So is sanitation!"Tue, Mar 27 19:55:48 from Twitter for iPhone
retweeted by asymco

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Changing World

For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage:
"One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children. That is turning family structure into a new class divide, with the economic and social rewards of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education."
The drivers for skipping marriage... Selfishness? Independence? I'm not a proponent of loveless marriages, but this is still disturbing to me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The War on Copyright AKA General Purpose Computers AKA Software Defined Radio

Scary stuff.

He makes the argument that SOPA and the like are merely the next wave of assaults on our freedom. Ignorance, greed, and fear will lead to more invasive technology and laws. He connects the dots between copyright and general purpose computing and even things like Software Defined Radios. The "Evil They" would  prevent you from doing things like modifying your UV-3R to expand the usable frequencies. Or manufacture your own AR-15 in your garage.
"Consider radio. Radio regulation until today was based on the idea that the properties of a radio are fixed at the time of manufacture, and can't be easily altered. You can't just flip a switch on your baby monitor and interfere with other signals. But powerful software-defined radios (SDRs) can change from baby monitor to emergency services dispatcher or air traffic controller, just by loading and executing different software. This is why the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considered what would happen when we put SDRs in the field, and asked for comment on whether it should mandate that all software-defined radios should be embedded in “trusted computing" machines. Ultimately, the question is whether every PC should be locked, so that their programs could be strictly regulated by central authorities."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Euphemisms: How about a smoke and a drink?

Nifty article on the differences in euphemisms between cultures. A Chinese example:
One feature of Chinese euphemisms comes from the tonal nature of the language. Yan is slang for cigarettes; jiu means alcohol. But, with different tones, the two syllables together can also mean “to research”. So a corrupt official being asked to do something might suggest, “Let’s research (yanjiu) this issue together”, by which he would probably mean, “Give me some cigarettes and some alcohol and I’ll make it happen.”
andrewchen Euphemisms: Making murder respectable | The Economist, Jan 18 11:19:04 from Timely by Demandforce