so everyone's gonna fight about detroit filing bankruptcy. and it's gonna cost more. making it even less likely the city will get back on its feet. what they should do is turn detroit into an experimental economic zone. economists would love to test some of their pet theories. make an offer. or ten. let the people vote on em. it'd be a pretty good place to test a wealth tax. course the federal government would have to get buy in. ie make detroit residents exempt from current tax laws. actually, that shouldn't be too hard. given detroit is likely a net drain on federal resources. the experiment would run for a period of time. and if it fails, we've learned something. like maybe supply side economics really really doesn't work as expectations. we move on. and start the process all over again. until we find something that does work. my money's on a wealth tax.
if someone publicly called you a fraud with no evidence whatsoever of your fraudliness, you'd really want to be able to sue them for defamation to make them stop. right? i sure would. so does michael mann. he's the guy who originally published the climate hockey stick data. and has been taking shit from certain quarters ever since. a private nutjob calling him a fraud is one thing. but a major news outlet is a completely different story. especially when said outlet investigated him several times and found no evidence of fraud. yet the allegations continued. you must be a fraud cause you got a result i don't believe. sheehs. turns out he was in the right scientifically. in a just world, he'd be in the right legally too. we'll see.
we spent the week repainting g's bedroom. and by we i mean the beautiful and talented alisa and the boys. i didn't help much. other than to move a few of the heavier things. and by alisa and the boys i really mean alisa. cause the boys were a bit too excited about doing a big project to focus enough to take instruction and execute. sigh. so alisa ended up re-doing most of what wasn't done correctly the first time. we're currently in the scavenger hunt phase of the project. everything was moved out of the room to somewhere else in the house. so now g's running around the house looking for all of his things that should be in his room but aren't. oh. and did i mention we (see above) painted the room blue? it's not just an ordinary blue either. the room catches the morning sun. which apparently has an extra dose of this particular shade of blue. which makes it jump off the walls and into the air. it's like swimming in a pool. do you think that's air you're breathing? heh. even when the door is closed the blue oozes between the cracks and down the hallway.
i made artisan pizza last night. wtf is artisan pizza you ask? heh. it was pretty obvious very early that something had gone horribly wrong with the dough. most likely i added 560 grams of flour instead of 430. oops! i added proportionately more water. but the dough came out very dense and heavy. kinda like artisan bread instead of normal bread. so we decorated with beautifully cut tomato slices. and mushrooms. and bacon bits. and basil snips. it was pretty good. the wonderfulness of the toppings disguised the less than wonderfulness of the dough. it was actually a pretty good pizza. lord knows i've made way worse pizzas.
some people say we're running out of oil. and they're right. other people say there's lots of oil. and they're right too. wait, what? how can that be? i explain. oil is like sex. when you and your partner live in the same house you can have sex 8 9 10 11 12 times a day. everyone is happy. but when your partner lives across town, the number of booty calls you can make might be limited to what, 3? we're certainly not running out of possible trysts. they're just less convenient. okay. so how much sex do you get when your partner lives in the next state? less, right? or across the country? little. in france? very little. but it'd probably be awesome. anywho. how much sex do you think you'd get if your partner lived on the space station? none, right? yeah. they might as well be on the moon. but they're still there. like the oil in the ground. it's definitely there. but for all practical purposes, it might was well not be.
zimmerman isn't even a vigilante. he's maybe a wanna-be vigilante. i can empathize with vigilantes. spiderman is a vigilante. he goes around beating up bad guys (and here's the important part) who are in the process of committing crimes. he's a wanna be vigilante. which is the shittiest part of the verdict. what was the jury thinking? i haven't heard yet. i guess i'll have to wait for the books. which is fucked up. he's clearly guilty of something. just not what he was charged with. and now he can't be charged with a lesser crime. even if it's appropriate. sigh. the rumor is, he's afraid of real vigilantes. heh. if not, he should be.
speaking of getting rich, here's my latest idea: an assassin guild which i simply call, the zimmermen. the cool thing is, it's perfectly legal. here's how it works. suppose you want someone offed, spouse boss neighbor whatever. we don't care. just give us a name address picture. one of our assassins randomly encounters the mark where people are around. but not really paying much attention. our boy picks a fight. and goads the mark into attacking. our boy goes down. cause he's really not a good fighter. and squeals like a girl. possibly pulling the mark on top of him if he has to. at which point our boy pulls a gun and shoots the mark deader than a door nail. our boy started with a gash on the back of his head. but nobody needs to know that. he got it "losing" the fight started by the mark. maybe a few of our boys go to trial. but hey, precedent is a powerful thing. i'm gonna be so rich.
we used to have disposable cameras. we have disposable diapers. lotta stuff in our lives is single use. then you throw it away. with me so far? okay, hold on. the rich/poor gap is growing by nigh every conceivable metric. with no end in sight. so here's the brilliant idea: disposable yachts. single use. then throw them away. like in a giant yacht crusher. the resulting bricks would be modern art. or in a whisper yacht chipper. the pieces can be recycled as playground protection on the next generation of yachts. they could be used as a fireworks platform. run by a company with a really poor safety record. or turned into housing for the poor. kinda like the stacks in the delightful book, ready player one. ernie missed the boat on that one (groan!). and now the cost of the yacht is tax deductible. i'm gonna be so rich.
man from earth
i kinda liked it. it fits with my imagination of what a 14,000 year old cave man living in modern times might be like. it's actually kinda rare that a movie writer's ideas match mine. especially when they have to get through the director and producer filters. anywho, the beautiful and talented alisa kinda hated it. cause the acting was b. at best. and yeah, some parts were kinda over the top. course if you were doing your own biography you'd have to compact a bunch of the highlights to fit into a 2 hour movie. press play with a low bar. you'll be pleased.
this is a public service announcement. the answer wasn't easy to find with simple google searches. so i'm posting it here. the problem: when using visual studio 2005 (vs2005), i added several directories to the includes, libraries, and executables paths. now we've switched to visual studio 2010 (vs2010). those paths are now part of the solution. which is a pretty good change. except... the paths added to vs2005 are now permanently inherited by all vs2010 projects. which is a bit of a problem. one solution is to run vs2005 and delete them. but that doesn't help if you've already uninstalled vs2005. fortunately, you can edit this file: c:\users\you\appdata\local\microsoft\msbuild\v4.0\microsoft.cpp.platform.user.props. it's an html-like file. you can delete the added directories using vs2010. you're welcome.
i'm kinda big on the idea you don't get to rag on an idea unless you've got a better idea. on this very blog i have verbally abused the patent system. and the revisions thereto. okay, so here's the better idea by means of examples. george lucas walks into the office of intellectual property and copyrights. he declares he owns everything star wars. which he values at $20b. he pays a 1% fee and writes a $200m check annually. he owns star wars and can license derivative works to whomever for eleventy bajillion dollars. everyone's happy. the warner chappell music are in line next. they register the happy birthday song. it's worth $2m. they pay $20k. the public says wtf? that song was written 100+ years ago. it should be in the public domain. so we raise $2m on kickstarter. cut a check to wcm. and now the song is in the public domain. and anyone can perform it free of cost. my buddy wrote a book on poker. last year he declared it was worth $1000. so he wrote a $10 check. and sold precisely zero copies. this year he decides to save the $10. and now the book is in the public domain. rapper-g writes what's surely going to be a hit song. but he declares it worth $10k and writes a check for $100 cause he's broke. a record label buys the literal song for a figurative song. probably around $10k. is he screwed? sorta. course now he's got enough fame he shouldn't have a problem raising money to register is next hit song for its actual value. and really, if you've ever looked at the deal unproven artists get from the recording labels, rapper-g is way better off my way. i could walk in and claim i own star wars. and pay a $1 fee. then demand folks pay me royalties. clearly i don't because lucas filed first. the same idea applies to patents. with patents i'd go with first to file if you also reduce to practice within a year. and conversely, if you reduce to practice first, you have one year to make the ip claim. otherwise, it's public domain. and no you can't move things from the public domain back to the private. the ip office is to facilitate searches of previously claimed properties. ideally for free. they don't make any judgement about whether or not your filing has merit. they just collect the fees that fund the ip courts. which sort out who has rights and who doesn't. they could invalidate the troll's patent because of prior art. trolls are still in business though. the trick would be to set your own price low enough that the public buyout option is cheaper than legal fees. even if they're paid by the loser. i've already patented this idea. i've also set up an ip office. patent #1 is the ip office itself. registered by me for $1t. since i am the ip office. i paid the fee to myself. i'm gonna be so rich.
if you make the ice cream, you can eat it for breakfast.
passion is one of humanity's greatest assets. it's also one of our greatest liabilities. it allows us to run swim fly faster farther than ever before. it stiffens our spines in the face of danger. it makes us heroes. it can also make us villains. especially when we don't use humanity's other greatest asset: thought. it's awful easy for us to get riled up about something simply because someone said we should. and before you get all riled up about that statement, think. don't go off half-cocked. that phrase comes from somewhere, right? unfortunately, too many people do just that - anti-vaxxers, climate change denial, moon landing hoax, flat earth, red/blue divisionism, anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage, racism, etc. way way way too many topics. think people. god gave you that brain with the expectation that you're going to use it. and plenty of instruction to do exactly that: beware the false prophets.
the zimmerman/trayvon case is only interesting in one sense: the point of view the jury takes. i explain. i'm a minority who's been getting the short end of the stick from the man all my life. i'm just walking down the street. when some other minority asstard gets all up in my grill. the sumbitch just wouldn't just let me be. so i pop him one. he goes down. and i walk away. or would have. except he goes for a gun. so do i. cause i really don't want to get shot. except i'm too slow. shit. on the other hand. this is my neighborhood. and i patrol it to keep the shits out. who's that? hrm. he might be a shit. let's find out. i'm all polite. but this kid's got serious attitude. why won't he just answer my damn question. fine the cops are coming. let them deal with him. and i walk away. or would have. except the next thing i know i'm eating pavement. and the kid's still screamin at me like he's going to kill me. and i go for my gun. cause i don't want to get my head beat in. he attacks. i shoot. he's dead. and i'm alive. i did the right thing. you can say otherwise. but i'd be dead now if i hadn't. yeah okay. simple no? the problem is, the jury's never going to hear trayvon's side. cause he's dead. they're going to have to make something up. maybe not in the courtroom. but certainly in their minds. it'll be interesting to see what story they tell themselves. for me though, it's a bit simpler. it was a stupid situation that resulted in a death. culpability lies with the person who created the stupid situation. which appears to be zimmerman. but it could be a nearly impossible thing to prove. on the gripping hand, it might be as simple as what you should have learned on the playground at recess: you can't go crying to teacher cause johnny hit you back.
i just spent a week with a bunch of migratory nerds. it was fun. we did sciency stuff. in a really pretty place. it was coordinated by dr phil plait of bad astronomy fame. though his lovely wife did the real work. if you get a chance to go on one of the science getaways, you really should. i'm keeping my mind and ears open for a word for the opposite of scientist. anti-scientist is accurate. but icky. the best i've come up with so far is rigidites. with which i am not over pleased. but it'll do. any suggestions? anywho, the difference between a scientist and rigidite is their reaction to being wrong. rigidites get mad. in mild cases of rigiditis, they argue with you. even though deep down they know they're wrong. in more severe cases they want to kill you. in extreme cases, they do kill you. on the other hand, scientists celebrate when they're wrong. cause it's opportunity to learn something new. you take your best stab. and even if it isn't correct, it's generally close enough that someone can stand on the shoulders of your work to do greater things. you're a giant.