Thursday, July 21, 2005

Post-deadline bookmarks cleaning

  • Nathan Newman's interesting (though, I think, much too hopeful) take on Supreme Court nominee Roberts.

  • Nathan Newman again, on the unsound economics of protesting against more housing in Brooklyn. The exorbitant housing prices (and manifold absurdities that follow from them --- apartment brokers, etc.) are, of course, the biggest drawback by far of living in early 21st-century NYC. It seems obvious that the right thing to do, from a public policy perspective, is get lots more housing built. Protesting against a reasonable plan to build more housing is just perverse.

  • Speaking of Brooklyn, here are some parrots.

  • Why bicoastal liberals look down on conservatives in Red America: Sorry, but this kind of shit simply does not happen in Seattle or New York.

  • How to generate "Pink Noise" (apparently, "pink noise" is a pleasant-sounding featureless noise useful for blocking out the sounds of the world).

  • Alina Stefanescu points to some notes on first responders to terrorist attacks.

  • Two Economist stories, on physical mobility and social mobility in America. Incidentally, this isn't entirely related, but I recall reading somewhere that some philosopher(s?) once theorized that meritocracy was a bad idea, because under a meritocracy all the smart/talented people would eventually gather in the centers of power and associate and interbreed only with themselves, producing a permanent ruling class; whereas under an aristocracy based on heredity or some other arbitrary notion, mediocrity and failure would be inevitable, thereby ensuring that the ruling class would fall periodically. My memory on this point's pretty vague, so I don't remember where or when I read it; possibly the idea dates back to antiquity.

  • A handy Greencine list from markhl: The "New" Korean Cinema. I particularly recommend Save the Green Planet! and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring, although the latter's only for the extremely patient.

  • Joi Ito on Korean bloggers. What's most disappointing to me, here, is that the bloggers in Korea (one of the most wired nations on Earth) are embracing the most closed, proprietary blogging systems. This isn't surprising, though: Asian-Americans tend to use Xanga rather than Blogger or LJ for their personal blogs, and Koreans overwhelmingly to use MSN Messenger for IM, and the Korean localization of KDE is a joke. But I should stop complaining; if I really want things to change, I should learn more Korean and translate KDE.

  • Speaking of closed systems, The Complete New Yorker will only run on Windows 2000/XP, and Mac OS 10.3+. Translation: "We think that you'll only want to read 80 years of New Yorker articles for the next 5 years, which is when WinXP will no longer be officially supported by Microsoft; also, nobody who uses Linux reads the New Yorker." Grrr.

    Q: Why can't they just give us PDFs? A: Piracy. Q2: Won't the protection on these things be cracked soon after release anyway? A2: Yes, but this way, you can ease the jitters of ignorant suits, give hackers something fun to do, and shaft legitimate users all at the same time --- what's not to love?

p.s. Regarding my previous post, it looks like Google has finally recomputed its indexes, so my reasons for moving no longer hold. I'll continue to use this blog, for now.

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