24 July 2004

A few other amusing tidbits:
  • Microsoft may be selling Slate to a "traditional-media" owner. Given the stellar track record of online publications under the ownership of traditional-media conglomerates, I give Slate fifteen months of survival in its present form at the outside after such a sale.
  • Maybe imperialism is good. Damn. There goes the monolithic evil empire from popular fiction.
  • Michael Ignatieff has spewed forth another tiresome tract in favor of the "lesser" evil of subverting democracy's goals in a dubious effort to keep outsiders from blowing it up. As Ronald Steel says in his review,

    Everyone agrees terrorism is evil — at least when committed by the other side. But it did not pop up yesterday. As a method of warfare it goes back to the dawn of civilization. It is new to Americans because nothing is truly real until it happens to us. To be sure, acts of terrorism against us must be dealt with and, if possible, prevented. But first we have to agree on what it is and what inspires it. That means recognizing that terrorism is not an enemy in itself, as we thought of the Soviet Union during the cold war. Rather it is a method for achieving a goal. That goal is usually some kind of political change that is thwarted by other means. Terrorism is what the weak use to increase their bargaining power against the strong.

    I say we shouldn't settle for the lesser evil. Cthulhu '04.

  • Today is the anniversary of the most egregious monkey business of the twentieth century—or, at least, the most egregious example from a jury. Baboons and orangutans need not apply.
  • Over at Blawg702, Peter Nordberg has some thought-provoking comments on reopening final judgments to consider advances in science. [Disclosure: I provide analysis of current developments in Illinois expert-witness law on a related site.] Of course, "science" per se is not the only source of expert opinion evidence. Why should "science" have privileged treatment in this respect when compared to, say, a musicologist's opinion on the similarity between a published song and a purported infringement? Is there a legally cognizable distinction? And, if so… what does that say for Inscrutable Design theory (I doubt it's complimentary), particularly in light of the previous item?