Category Archives: big idea

the curmudgeon manifesto

A curmudgeon is one who does something for himself, and be damned the response of society. A curmudgeon mows his lawn naked. He makes a roost out of netting and twine in the backyard to view the stars more easily, … Continue reading

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the coming global cyber overlord

You either believe that consciousness can arise from silicon or it can’t. If you believe it, you must assume that it will happen at some point, maybe soon, given the exponential growth in connected processing power. If you believe it … Continue reading

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the anti-city

“police close curtain on nude performance” Weird; the cnn link is broken. What’s the use of being a news site if your stories evaporate into the ether after a month or two? Anyway, I found the story partially quoted elsewhere, … Continue reading

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“Recapture”

This is a fairly common experience that deserves a term all its own if it doesn’t already have one: a person is exercising moderately; jogging, for example. A few minutes into it, he’s breathing heavily. He’s jogging perhaps a bit … Continue reading

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the Associated Cabal (AC)

“Everybody started scattering, you know, there’s mayhem everywhere. And then a police officer came into the building, you know, came in professional with his gun raised, and then he proceeded to shoot the guy.” This is a recent phenomenon. A … Continue reading

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the last Santa Claus

Imagine that there is a final Santa Claus, one that’s real: that each of us gets one miracle to do in his life.The idea is that everyone, from childhood, is physically able to do a real miracle—but they don’t know … Continue reading

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the halfbakery

Nice Guys, Inc I think the Halfbakery is worth a look if you haven’t seen it. This one’s about paying people to be nice. It’s hard to tell whether it would be a good thing, or the last gasp of … Continue reading

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Anne Coulter

Consider Anne Coulter. She’s obviously riding a magic conservative carpet to money and fame. Does she believe what she says? Things like “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.” Does … Continue reading

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Spin, in conclusion

NYT, Oct 4 2004: Determined to win the post-debate spin war on Tuesday night, the Bush campaign called on its supporters to flood the news media with quick declarations that Vice President Dick Cheney had come out ahead. Ken Mehlman, … Continue reading

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Psychology, the retarded stepson of Science

Psychology, in some ways, is the retarded stepson in the Science family that’s let out of the downstairs closet only on birthdays. In other ways, it has matured to the point that it can be used in a profound and … Continue reading

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the Link, continued

Republicans think that it’s no longer about the truth; it’s about intelligence. More specifically, they think it’s about lack of intelligence. They assume voters can be moved to a point where there voting decisions aren’t based on an informed reading … Continue reading

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the metaphorical link between spin & politics on the one hand, and immunology on the other

Let me first just get this out of the way: metaphor is powerful. When I learned the list of literary contrivances in junior high–your metaphors, your similes, your synechdoches, your metonymies, your litotes–I didn’t expect that any of them would … Continue reading

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Kerry vs Bush

I almost didn’t watch last night’s debate. It wasn’t necessary; even if Kerry had flipped out on national television, if he’d sprouted tentacles from his eyeballs, I’d still be voting for him in November. In a contest between Bush and … Continue reading

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Sandwich Henge

Anthropologists recently discovered a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea that slices its sandwiches based on celestial calculations of the length of a day. Yesterday, for the first time in six months, the tribe cut its sandwiches exactly in half. … Continue reading

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A Good Name for a Hurricane

“Ivan” is a premium hurricane name. I’ll bet a billion, zillion dollars I’ll hear people call it “Ivan the Terrible” before the week’s out, if it lives up to the hype. There are other no-nonsense names for hurricanes that NOAA … Continue reading

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Ivan

I’ve been through two beefy hurricanes. In Elena, the eye passed over our house. We had power up until then. The eye was just like they say it is: very calm, no clouds, birds a-singin’; if the neighbor’s carport wasn’t … Continue reading

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the Olympics

There is an alternate reality— you’re just going to have to trust me on this— wherein it’s finally my turn to be Galactic President. In this alternate reality, as Galactic President, I have definite views on what should and what … Continue reading

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Clinton’s Dick

I suppose I’m frightened, for the first time in my adult life (and what am I? 41?) that things are spinning toward doom, or at least shittiness. The only reason W is our president now is that we, as Americans, … Continue reading

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the Sun and the Moon

The Sun and the Moon set astronomy back thousands of years. As the only two things in the heavens that the ancients could look at and see any detail whatsoever, the fact that the Sun is a brilliant, featureless disk, … Continue reading

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Perfect Information

On David and my latest field trip, in Pate Valley, during our day off, when we had nothing better to do, I broached the subject of “perfect information.” My example was that, if I did have perfect information, I would … Continue reading

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