Definitely overdue thanks to Life. Despite the tendency of the current media to do their jobs on druuuuuugs — especially, but not only, Reynard's descendants (and it's worthwhile to check that out, as "sly, amoral, cowardly, and self-seeking" is a pretty good description) — I try not to do that.
- Speaking of druuuuugs, have you ever stopped to consider the dubious factual assumptions behind drug dogs and warrantless search doctrine? They're almost as credible as those behind Palsgraf. Almost.
- <SARCASM> Last month's shutdown had at least one set of beneficiaries. Temporarily. But these new squatters on federal land are undocumented and probably illegal immigrants, so they have to go! Even their children, who are obviously just freeloaders and need to be separated from their parents for their own good (and ease of deportation). And I don't want to hear any nonsense about "refugees" from stupid things like climate change and ecological-niche collapse and habitat destruction — those aren't grounds for withholding deportation. </SARCASM>
- Someone who should have won a Nobel Prize for Literature (or at least gotten more acclaim than the white male upper-middle-class maroons who have dominated American literary awards) received some overdue recognition from the NEH recently. Of course, the literary/critical theory underlying the article is fundamentally wrong; Le Guin's work was the epitome of an intelligent observer purposefully designing distorted mirrors not to create the new, but to comment on particular aspects of the present. But then, the literary/critical theory underlying the article is precisely what led to overweening praise for Carver and Cheever and so on (and that's just the Cs).
- And then there's the fundamental contradiction between "We need more government money for dubious 'national security' measures" and "We need to give the very richest a biiiiiiig tax break." Rich (usually amoral) people and rich (totally amoral, almost by definition) companies. It leads to a nerdishly fascinating inquiry: Just WTF do they mean by "capitalism" anyway? Does that include the silent siphoners, who have the "right" to siphon off individual data because an individual's data only has economic value when it is merged with many other individuals' data? (Hint: No, that's mercantilism, not capitalism.) And speaking of mergers and silent siphoning, how 'bout them pricing algorithms? I'd ordinarily just say "do the math," but there are so many divide-by-zero and other boundary-condition violations there that doing the math won't get very far.