Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This week's sign of the apocalypse

TLDR: There's no evidence that putting seat belts on buses would make kids safer, but because one kid died on a bus, some parents want them to be mandatory.

Why is this so bad?
* The "we have to do something, even if it isn't helpful" philosophy of governance, seen in almost every bill named after a person, is pretty obviously harmful.
* The complete lack of concern for the actual facts is generally bad.
* When it is pointed out that kids may not be the most fastidious users of seat-belts, the response is generally "oh, we'll have to punish them if they don't wear it".
* People assume "just because it's cheaper, it has to be worse", or rather "because it would be expensive to install seat belts, they must be helpful".

Friday, October 22, 2010

Being Opinionated

I can't help but think of things as a formal system. For example, when I think along the lines of "I don't have enough opinions about certain types of things", my reaction is "I should do a blog post with the pretense of '20 things I like'". In particular, stuff along the lines of "my life". Secondarily, "positive" things, rather than a list of annoyances (since really, I can list more than enough about dealing with the DSL connection for any 12 people). And thirdly, things that I am keen to admit to (as opposed to various random internet-based addictions).

[I just realized why I find it annoying when people say the word is "arbitrary" and not "random" for choices that are the result of a random walk. This digression brought to you by the fact that it is 5 characters longer than Twitter allows]

I don't like having to walk down two flights of stairs to do laundry.
I like being within 1 block of at least half a dozen restaurants.
I don't like that the bathroom in my apartment is half a size too small.
I love lamp. Actually, Mr. Burgundy, I rather prefer when it's dark enough to see the stars. Or 75-degree nights with no humidity.
I don't like folding clothes after doing laundry, even without the stairs element.
I like cooking ... when I actually have food and a clean kitchen. And when it is followed by eating.
I don't like buying large amounts of food that will go bad ... or cleaning the various papers on my kitchen table.
I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. - wait, see, that's what I'm saying about gratuitous references to anything under the sun to avoid talking about myself.
I don't like scheduling appointments at businesses I've never been to.
I like cute girls wearing orange.

... and now I read and am more interested in what the book The Internet Chronicles would contain.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This world has lost its glory, let's start a brand new story now

Once upon a time, sheet music was the canonical form of popular music. Then Elvis happened.

If you look at the Billboard Top 100 charts, you can clearly see the jump in 1956. We have songs like The Poor People of Paris, Lisbon Antigua, and The Wayward Wind atop the charts, any of which could have been from 1946 or 1926. And then there is Hound Dog. And it's impossible to separate the performance from the music; you can either do a cover of it or do a separate version of it. Nobody was ever a cover band of Mozart or Billie Holiday or Cole Porter.