Archive for April, 2007

Bill Hicks

23:55 07 Apr 2007

This eveing I started watching a Bill Hicks DVD that I’d forgotten I bought. It’s amazing to me how fanatstic a comedian he was.

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Moral Common Sense

23:52 06 Apr 2007. Updated: 02:13 07 Apr 2007

Perhaps many people don’t hold themselves to the strict standard of Kant’s categorical imperative, in that they don’t act as if their every action is to be held up as an example for all. But I still cling to the idea that most people aren’t simply utter hypocrites who will excuse themselves from moral judgment while lecturing others.

Those who may fall into the authoritarian camp appear to be an exception.

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Critical Mass Incident: A Study in Biased Reporting

15:26 05 Apr 2007

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Matier & Ross discussed an ugly incident that happened during the Critical Mass bike ride last month, in which some cyclists ended up attacking the minivan of a family visiting from Redwood City. Critical Mass is already controversial, and Matier & Ross do a great job of axe-grind reporting to add fuel to the fire. Bike/car politics aside, I think it’s a highly instructive example of how to slant a story.

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Canon SD900: First Impressions

23:58 04 Apr 2007

I started playing with my new Canon SD900 today. I was quite surprised by how small it is. I think it would fit inside a cigarette pack. I know that cameras this small aren’t exactly new, but I wasn’t expecting a 10 megapixel camera to be that tiny.

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Earthquake Probabilities

23:51 03 Apr 2007

It’s very easy for me to forget that I’m living in an area that is rather likely to be hit by earthquakes in the near future. The occasional small one hits, and I remember, and then that goes away and an irrational sense of safety follows. At times it’ll come up in discussion, as it did at lunch today, but the awareness usually slips into the background fairly quickly. This isn’t good, because there’s a 62% chance of a major earthquake in the next 30 years.

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Venue Search

23:18 02 Apr 2007

As I mentioned in February, the Canvas Café is closing. It’s open until the end of this month. Apart from all the other sad things about this, it means that the Wednesday night sfmagic draft group will have to find a new home.

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Erosion of Liberties

23:49 01 Apr 2007

Glenn Greenwald highlights the fact that neither Mitt Romney nor Rudy Giuliani oppose the idea that the executive can arbitrarily detain people without trial. Romney wanted to talk to “smart lawyers” before deciding the issue, while Giuliani says that he’d use the power “infrequently”.

Wow. Clearly this whole “presidency-as-absolute-dictatorship” thing has gotten out of hand. Because, as many people pointed out when the Military Commissions Act was passed, removing habeas corpus protections makes a mockery of the idea that we’re in a functional democracy.

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