Friday, February 02, 2007

Death and Taxes

Excellent visual graphic for the US budget, 2007.

Awesome, except that it's real money.

An Ad from the '80s

What's going on in this picture? Cyndi Lauper video? Bangels re-union? Soft-core episode of Family Ties?
Yes, I'm using wawa-wa-windows ... 386!
It's long, and normal until about 7:10. Then crack addicited monkeys take the directors chair and it goes right through the window. The attractive young man from accounting gets more than the Lotus 1-2-3 he was expecting.
And what's up with the freakin' space shuttle???

A Sentence I Heard Today

"unbaptized baby is *not* the secret ingredient in McRib"

Cat on Fire

From Slate:

Hon. Loretta Sanchez has quit the House Hispanic Caucus, claiming its chairman called her a "whore." A shocking affront to Congressional dignity! ... Wait. ... Loretta Sanchez ... Loretta Sanchez ... wasn't she the distinguished lawmaker who sent out a Christmas card showing her ... er, cat on fire? I think she was! ... P.S.: Wonkette is on the case, sort of. But instead of the scandalous flaming "cat" card they chose one with a modest surfing theme!


Also above that is a gem of bad "if you can't prove it isn't false, it must be true " logic.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Baby Chloroform

Julie Aigner-Clark responds to Timothy Noah's piece which basically points out that Baby Einstien is a bunch of crap and, well.. opens herself to even more of a trouncing.

She got to spend time on the stage with the president, being hailed as "hero" in the same class as a marine or a guy who threw himself under a subway train to save someone. If I were her, I'd have quit while I was ahead.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Does Math actually Exist?

This is kind of an interesting question, especially when you think the answer might be "no".
Let me be more specific about the question I am asking since, obviously, a lot of folks fail math and if you can fail at it, it must exist. What I mean is, does mathematics have an existence independent of the existence of humans or is it like the economy and merely a construct of the human mind for dealing with something else we cannot currently comprehend? Or is it like music? Music doesn't exist outside of humans, yet there is a lot of sound in nature.

Another way to think about is, “Is mathematics invented or discovered?”

If cats became sentient, tool using, technology using creatures, would they have the same mathematics as humans, or some completely different metaphor for dealing with that aspect of nature? (likely it would involving burying things).

Mathematics is certainly descriptive of nature, but is it actually part of it?

An interesting view here on the “no” possibility. Also, this is interesting.

"The only mathematics that we know is the mathematics that our brain allows us to know," Dr. Lakoff said in San Francisco last month at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Consequently, he says, any question of math's being inherent in physical reality is moot, since there is no way to know whether or not it is. "Mathematics may or may not be out there in the world, but there's no way that we scientifically could possibly tell," Dr. Lakoff claims. Math succeeds in science, Drs. Lakoff and Nunez argue in their book, only because scientists force it to. "All the 'fitting' between mathematics and the regularities of the physical world is done within the minds of physicists who comprehend both," they write. "The mathematics is in the mind of the mathematically trained observer, not in the regularities of the physical universe."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Conservative Principles

I have wondered in recent times what the term "conservative principles" means. I hear it used by politicians all the time, but the ones who use it are also the ones expanding the government, engaging in nation building and rolling back civil liberties. Not thing which are encompassed by my understanding the tern conservative. I've been having a Montoya Moment where someone says to me, "I dont think that word means what you think it means".

Glenn Greenwald though, in his usual way, defines it for me in a way I now understand when I hear it:

One of the principal flaws of Sullivan's book is that it speaks of "political conservatism" in a way that exists only in the abstract but never in reality. The fabled Goldwater/Reagan small-government "conservatism of doubt" which Sullivan hails -- like the purified, magnanimous form of Communism -- exists, for better or worse, only in myth.While it is true that Bush has presided over extraordinary growth in federal spending, so did Reagan. Though Bush's deficit spending exceeds that of Reagan's, it does so only by degree, not level. The pornography-obsessed Ed Meese and the utter lawlessness of the Iran-contra scandal were merely the Reagan precursors to the Bush excesses which Sullivan finds so "anti-conservative." The Bush presidency is an extension, an outgrowth, of the roots of political conservatism in this country, not a betrayal of them.All of the attributes which have made the Bush presidency so disastrous are not in conflict with political conservatism as it exists in reality. Those attributes -- vast expansions of federal power to implement moralistic agendas and to perpetuate political power, along with authoritarian faith in the Leader -- are not violations of "conservative principles." Those have become the defining attributes of the Conservative Movement in this country.

Well done.

We now return you to our usual, amusing program.

Romantic Drama Equation

It's a Laffer Curve!

We Used to Call it Republican Government

Remember the War on Drugs where the government could sell your house for being accused of dealing narcotics? Or Rudy Gulliani's unconstitutional seizure of cares in NYC?
Well,according to these guys, they were just getting warmed up for the real hiest!