21 May 2004

Does this mean I'm a geek now?

[source, source]

In a speech to an audience of chief executives, Mr Gates said the regularly updated journals, or blogs, could be a good way for firms to tell customers, staff and partners what they are doing. […]

Mr Gates made a point of dwelling on blogs and said that although they started in the technical community and have come to be a broader social phenomenon, businesses can use them too.

Bummer. Now people will think that having a weblog is geeky.

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Finally, a design for a real war game

[source, source]

I want a War Sim

  1. where I spend two hours pushing across a map to destroy a “nuclear missile silo,” only to find out after the fact that it was just a missile-themed orphanage. I want little celebrities to show up on the scene and do interviews over video of charred teddy bears, decrying my unilateral attack. I want congressional hearings demanding answers to these atrocities.
  2. On the very next level I want to lose half of my units because another “orphanage” turned out to be a NOD ambush site. I want another round of hearings asking why I didn’t level that orphanage as soon as I saw it, including tearful testimony from a slain soldier’s daughter who is now, ironically, an orphan.

A very thorough design.

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Graphic is in the eye of the journalist

[source, source]

Abortion protesters have commonly publicized photographs of aborted fetuses, and one famous short film (The Silent Scream) even shows ultrasound images of an actual abortion. Yet these tactics typically result in criticism aimed not at the abortion providers, but at the protesters themselves.

Typically, these protesters are accused of sensationalism and exploitation. And it’s not always just criticism: Two political candidates were even arrested in Britain last year simply for peacefully displaying a picture of an aborted fetus.

In a sense, this is understandable. Pictures of abortion are gory and upsetting. No one finds them pleasant. As a result, the reality shown in the pictures is ignored, while displaying the pictures is treated as an offense against good taste.

But how does this square with the reaction to the pictures of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib? Recall that a few American soldiers forced prisoners to pose for sexually explicit pictures, images that were graphic and distressing.

Yet, disturbing as the photos were, opponents were adamant that they should be made public. Democratic Sen. Carl Levin said the photos “absolutely” should be released, and that “any effort to hide this kind of material will not work.”

What’s sad is that these people aren’t even embarrased by these flagrant lack of principles.

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As long as I'm hurting myself, I'll get you too


The Israeli Court found the leader of the most recent Palestinian intifada, Marwan Barghouti, guilty of the murder of five Israelis.


Following the conviction, Barghouti issued a statement. He said that the Palestinians would keep fighting as long as Israel maintains its occupation of Palestine. “As long as Palestinian mothers cry,” declared Barghouti, “so too will Israeli mothers cry.”

Since Palestinian mothers are crying over their children killed as suicide bombers, this translates to “As long as we kill Palestinians, we’ll kill Israelis as well”. Seems like there’s a simple escape from that cycle…

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