Quick Roundup 285

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Land of Edison Bans the Light Bulb

Hardly a day passes any more that I don't regret my vote (HT: Paul Hsieh) in 2004.

A little-noticed provision of the energy bill, which is expected to become law [It already has. --ed], phases out the 125-year-old bulb in the next four to 12 years in favor of a new generation of energy-efficient lights that will cost consumers more but return their investment in a few months.
Or see that I was right about Bush in 2000.

So instead of electing a man who would stand up to global warming hysteria, we have gotten Al Gore's errand-boy. The above cartoon would have been prophetic had it shown George Bush taking away the light bulb, perhaps with Al Gore controlling him by strings.

[Update: Paul Hsieh has more over at Noodle Food.]

Blog Obscurity

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, vice president for marketing for Technorati, Derek Gordon, passes along lots of interesting facts about blogs, including the following note on blog obscurity:
Q Any idea how many of the 109.2 million blogs you track get no hits in the course of a year?

A Just over 99 percent. The vast majority of blogs exist in a state of total or near-total obscurity. [bold added]
Who knew that the bar for being in the top 1% of blog readership was so low? (HT: Adrian Hester)

Another Reason to Oppose the Reverend Mike Huckabee

His campaign recently called the War We Ought to Have Won Already but Haven't Started Fighting Yet a "Theological War". Spake campaign manager Bob Vander Plaats:
... I think Governor Huckabee has a lot of resources that he goes to on national security matters. Here's a guy, a former pastor, who understands a theological nature of this war as we're fighting a radical religion in Islam. I think he's most prepared to lead this country in that dynamic. But he has a definitely a seasoned tenure of people advising him on foreign relation matters.

... [T]he war on terror is obviously ... a theological war. We have a radical Islamic group, so we believe that a guy with the training of a pastor understands the theological nature of the war.
That also makes him very well-prepared in regards to this war on terror.
Insofar as this war is "theological", it is for the Moslem side, against a fundamentally secular civilization. This is something the Reverend Huckabee has repeatedly shown that he does not understand.

There are two ways to lose this war. Aside from capitulating to the Moslem side, we can reject the rational foundations of our own civilization. The only difference -- and it would not be an important one -- would be: Which brand of superstition will call itself the victor?

This is what Huckabee understands.

The enemy of one's enemy is not necessarily one's friend.

Landover Baptist on The Golden Compass

This is good for a chuckle or two. Commenting on how The Golden Compass "teaches children that bears can talk", a point-by-point dissection of the movie states that:
The Bible makes it factually clear to children that only snakes and donkeys can talk. "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Genesis 3:1 "And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?" Numbers 22:30
This would be a lot funnier if someone who would probably agree with much of this satirical review weren't a serious presidential candidate.

Good News for Isaac Schrodinger!

Those of you who helped him last year will be delighted to learn that he is now a permanent resident of Canada!

This won't be just a joke for long!

Taking on trends I have noted here, such as drinking heavily-sugared coffee made from over-roasted beans and wearing pajamas in public, Johnny Virgil of 15 Minute Lunch comes up with something that is going to be attempted sooner or later, if it isn't being done already:
[H]ere's an example: Say you're a drummer who just broke up with your girlfriend. If that's not the definition of homeless I don't know what is. The first thing you should do is buy a laptop like this one. Then hit the garbage can outside your local Starbucks and grab an empty cup. After that, you're on easy street. Walk in, sit down, open the laptop, put your feet up and bask in the coffee-scented goodness that is your new living room.
And I love the heading this guy uses for his comments: "X drops of water in an ocean of compromise". (HT: Adrian Hester)

-- CAV


: (1) Minor edits. (2) New link to Noodle Food.


Burgess Laughlin said...

If about 99% of weblogs are "obscure," that is, unviewed, then the world of weblogging is a synecdoche of society overall.

How many people are influential philosophizers, that is, either generators or transmitters of philosophical systems? Perhaps 1%?

If that number is even approximately correct, it adds weight to the view that trying to influence wide audiences is largely a waste of time. Influencing the 1% is where the payoff is. They are the causes of a society's nature.

Of course, to reach the 1%, one might need to broadcast to a very wide audience--as ARI does in its books-in-schools program. If decades of such an effort uncovers only a single Leonard Peikoff--or even an Ayn Rand--then all the effort will have been worth it.

Gus Van Horn said...

That's an interesting way of looking at that statistic. My first impulse was to object on the grounds that some may not deserve their obscurity. But for a Peikoff or a Rand, obscurity would not last long because they would persist in their efforts to be heard, changing deficiencies in their approach if need be and having something of value to say, they would gradually accumulate an audience.

And yes. If all ARI accomplishes in the next ten years is to unearth such a thinker, their efforts will have been worthwhile.

SN said...

On the electric bulb ban, a WSJ article today accuses bulb manufacturer, Philips, of campaigning for the ban.

Gus Van Horn said...

That is sickening!