31 July 2008

candians prove public transit is bad for your health

up north:

"He calmly walked up to the front (of the bus) with (the victim's) head in his hand and the knife and then dropped the head in front of us," Caton said, adding he believes the suspect later returned to the back of the bus and was seen later "taunting police with the head in his hand out the window."

Caton said the suspect appeared calm.

"What struck me, it was like he was at the beach or something," he said.

(via blacknell)

29 July 2008

what up with the scrabble?

Hasbrö, et al, have finally killed my only proper use of facebook: scrabulous. an odd move, considering their own offering is also free. theirs is, however, quite inferior. so rather than even buy scrabulous, which comes with half a bagillion users, they're going to try for a napster II and decimate what market/user base their IP enjoyed.

26 July 2008

if you liked dr. horrible...

you might not like this. but i'm going to record it anyway.
This weekend, you are invited to watch Institute for Justice President Chip Mellor and IJ Board Member Bob Levy on C-SPAN2 Book TV. Chip and Bob will discuss their new book The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom. The segment, which was filmed at a Manhattan Institute event last week, will air Saturday, July 26 at 7:30 PM, Sunday, July 27 at 10:00 AM, and Monday, July 28 at 4:45 AM, Eastern Time.

Chip and Bob explain how The Dirty Dozen cases have had a profound effect on the rule of law and the lives of ordinary Americans. While some of the cases are well known, others are often unfamiliar even to lawyers. Yet each had the effect of amending numerous provisions of the Constitution. The authors argue that judicial activism created new constitutional rights out of whole cloth and erased rights that are constitutionally protected. Unlike some who call for the judiciary to defer to legislative and executive authority, Chip and Bob call for principled and consistent judicial engagement to restore proper respect for the Constitution as it was written.

19 July 2008

free hayek

facebook has served some small purpose: free downloads of F.A. Hayek! don't all of you break the intertubes with simultaneous downloads.

The Road to Serfdom
Denationalisation of Money
Choice in Currency: A Way to Stop Inflation

i also found a download in the same tube that assembles a couple of Friedman's works.

18 July 2008

munger spotting

i witnessed munger give a little presentation today that actually had a few people nodding their heads in agreement. part of his success, other than his dashing good looks and charismatic bluster, is his utter lack of craziness inherent in most big-L libertarians. he made sure to distance himself from big-L-ism by prefacing some responses with "the party line is." his position as professor and department chair, along with a public sector work history, only increased his presentability.

btw, i have one or two extra bumper stickers if anyone is interested.

17 July 2008

Dr Horrible's sing-along blog

an odd, but enjoyable, musical mini show on the webs about an incapable mad scientist wannabe, his nemesis, and his dream girl from the laundromat. mit singing!

14 July 2008

Chip Mellor, friend of freedom

Chip Mellor offers some insight on economic freedom over at the economist.

he has a book coming out (that anyone could get for me if they wanted) that looks like a fine read, and that offers a fresh look at how progressives rewrote the constitution. i regret not having attended the local dog and pony show when i had the chance.

12 July 2008

involuntary servitude is our path to national salvation

wow. a super-awesome post (via Cafe Hayek), that one really must read for oneself, deconstructing and filleting the notion of compulsory volunteer work set me wondering about our complete lack of forethought on yet another issue with wide-reaching implications. not only would some require servitude from our youth, but the beneficiaries of this free labor would be chosen by our elite social overlords, none of whom share my values or, for that matter, have a clue as to what needs a-fixin' to begin with. let the special interest orgy begin!

10 July 2008

munger vid

tools are dangerous when they support ceremony

i had a conversation with a smart guy at work today who has been reading about information theory and how repetition supports the transfer of meaning. he applied this concept to a discussion about ruby, claiming that ruby was too terse to be an effective way to write systems, though accepting the fact that rails has some good features (he hasn't seen that much of it and neither have i). he likes java in eclipse because code completion and navigation make it easy to discover how the system works.

the argument definitely makes sense to some degree; i've made it myself in the past. but i think it's taking the wrong message away from the exercise: it is a smell that we need to discover the meaning in the first place through our tools. all that navigation is a necessary evil for digging our way through the cruft that builds up in a system written in java that uses IoC. there is so much ceremony that my eyes cannot find the meaningful pieces easily.

i'd rather use google to understand features of the framework or language rather than have to type them out repeatedly just to make sure i remember.

09 July 2008

what is the point of facebook?

i've been wondering for some time now just what i should be doing with social networking sites. wife got me to join facebook--against my better judgment at the time. someone else got me to join linkedin. i won't touch myspace.

once in a while, i would accept a friend request or set my status to something inane, but recently i decided i would use facebook as something of an aggregator, similar to google reader. i figured i could follow the work or goings on of interesting people. however, i wonder if that is an appropriate use of the site. i sent a friend request to a celebrity of sorts, who promptly responded with a polite 'do i know you?' (an entirely appropriate response for someone who uses facebook for private friend and life tracking).

so what is the purpose of facebook? i don't find anything particularly redeeming about it other than a way to sell ad space. what are people's expectations about the meaning of 'friend' on these sites?

04 July 2008

eat it, limeys!

a happy 4th of july to all my fellow americans. we should pause amidst all the hotdoggery and blowy-uppy to recall the purpose of today's festivities.

it is also on this magical holiday that i tend to think of my friends to the north in canadia. i think we should offer our support in overturning the iron rule of the queen. we have some experience in both overthrowing monarchies and installing democracy in foreign lands--a stellar record in both, i might add. have your people call my people and i'll set something up, eh?