Bloggy blogging

I have just spent 10 years working for the same firm. Wow.

For each of those years I expected to find other work within a year.

Now, after starting a family, I am suddenly realizing that it would be just fine if I spent 10 more years working for them.

That's a polar shift in my internal thinking. But--to be certain--it probably won't have any effect whatsoever on the outcome of my life.

Location:Waters Park Rd,Austin,United States


News from Texas

It's snowing in Austin. Y'all Northerners are used to snow, but for us, this is a rare, non-accumulating treat.


News from Texas

Did you know that a man by the name of Farouk Shami (pictured right) is running for Governor of Texas? Seem unlikely? You bet!

He is a Palestinian, and he has what I can only describe as a Texas-Palestenian accent. I've never heard it's like.

The sad thing is that neither he nor his opponent in the primary, Bill White, stand a chance of defeating Rick Perry's hair. It's just that kind of state.


"Meat stylus" is not a phrase I ever want to hear

Apple's fancy tech videos for the iPhone/iPad makes it look like the iPhone response to the very life force flowing through your fingers. But as I found out when a stray squirt of contact-lens solution caused my phone to send a half-finished email, all the matters is conductivity. Meaning that any old sausage will likely work.
Sales of CJ Corporation’s snack sausages are on the increase in South Korea because of the cold weather; they are useful as a meat stylus for those who don’t want to take off their gloves to use their iPhones. | Kottke |


How to make time-travel boring

Ah, time travel: It's truly interesting topic that can lead to unique and emotionally devastating stories, but is far more often a mask for lazy writing. An example of the latter:
While the game [the new Star Trek MMO] incorporates elements of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie as they affect the "prime" Trek timeline, there is no reference to "nu-Kirk" and the other rebooted characters. As soon as Spock went back in time, he created a divergent timeline. The actions of the reboot characters don't affect events in the long-established Trek canon. Still, the Federation is left to deal with the aftermath of Romulus' destruction, which did happen in the prime timeline.

Multiple timelines. Boo! Boring.

To be fair to everyone involved, the game was in development long before Abrams got ahold of the franchise and decided to use time travel to reboot the franchise. So there wasn't a lot they could do.

But it would be a lot more interesting, in the long run, if all the events in the Trek universe that were revealed before the new Star Trek movie were actually wiped out by Nero and Spock's actions. All of the events of the original show, the Next Generation show, and so on, would only live on in old Spock's memory. That would be somewhat tragic, and evocative of the best Star Trek episode ever.

Instead, it's just another timeline (of perhaps infinite variations), which, to my mind, kind of takes the weight out of any story. And now fans have to keep track of terms like "the prime timeline" or "nu-Kirk." Blech.


It's time to raise taxes

Yes, raising progressive taxes will mean a little less money sloshing around in the economy to drive consumer spending. But if that money turns around and funds health services, I think it's a wash. Also, health services are provided by U.S. taxpayers. Flat-screen TVs are built in China.

Check out this graph (via EK):

Without two unnecessary wars, military spending is on a decline. But health services is right there to pick up the slack.

We can be a low-tax, low-services nation or we can be a high-tax, high-services nation. We cannot be a low-tax, high-services nation. And let's be clear, Americans expect their services.

Increased (progressive) taxation is the only way to keep our republic (and its citizens) healthy.
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