In a short 20 minutes, what’s wrong with the western diet.
Like Mark says, we all need to act on our knowledge of food to do what’s right.
Girl Learns to Dance in a Year TIME LAPSE – YouTube. This is a perfect example of something I’ve written about before – practice. Practice is what makes you good at something. A willingness to put in hours of practice is the key to doing anything well. Don’t want to work at it? Fine, you’ll …View full post
Scott Adams Blog: The Internet Fingerprint 06/10/2013. So, I like most Dilbert cartoons. I don’t much care for the guy who creates them. See, Dilbert is often funny (in a painful sort of way) because the situations it relates about working in the corporate world are so recognizably on the money. On the occasions that …View full post
Whats the future of Star Trek after “Into Darkness?”. For the record I really enjoyed STID, much more than ST09. ST09, while I eventually warmed up to it, did not feel like Star Trek to me (and I still really haven’t gotten over the whole business about them not bothering to actually build an engineering …View full post
Ray Manzarek: Xs Exene Cervenka, John Doe remember a friend – latimes.com. I unabashedly love the Doors. Always have. I never connected to most of the music that came out of the Summer of Love. But the first time I heard the Doors I heard something I connected with. I think, even at a young …View full post
This is a perfect example of something I’ve written about before – practice. Practice is what makes you good at something. A willingness to put in hours of practice is the key to doing anything well. Don’t want to work at it? Fine, you’ll never be great at it, period.
So, I like most Dilbert cartoons. I don’t much care for the guy who creates them. See, Dilbert is often funny (in a painful sort of way) because the situations it relates about working in the corporate world are so recognizably on the money. On the occasions that I read Dilbert and don’t find it funny it’s for the same reason I think the above-linked blog is full of shit – when Scott Adams decides to mock someone or something because he feels superior to them or it.
In the blog above Adams talks about his theory that it shouldn’t be all that difficult to come up with a system for sniffing out sociopaths and terrorists by monitoring their online behavior and comparing that behavior to the online behavior of “normal people.” He offers the example of a former colleague who designed software to sift through financial transactions to look for fraud. That software worked because of two things, once of which Adams mentions – that lots of people who commit bank fraud are not really smart enough to realize there is such a thing as typical financial behavior engaged in by people who aren’t committing fraud – and one that he doesn’t – that most banks are run by people who aren’t smart enough to realize there is such a thing as typical or normal financial behavior.
See, the guy who got rich writing this software was smarter than the average banker. That bankers are not particularly clever should be obvious to anyone who paid attention to the mess the financial sector made out of the global economy a few years back.
The problem with Adams’ theory as applied to terrorism is, to my mind, twofold. One the one hand he assumes that all terrorists are sociopaths. The problem with this assumption is that being a terrorist really isn’t the same thing as being an arborist. The label of terrorist and terrorism is a political term applied by the people at the receiving end of an act of terror. That is not to say that blowing up buildings or airplanes or school busses or mailing ricin to people isn’t a violent and socially unacceptable thing to do. Any society has a right, as well as an obligation, to define some behaviors as unacceptable and or criminal. That does not, however, make said society automatically in the right.
Bear with me here. From 1899 to 1902 the United States fought a war against a guerrilla army in the Philippines. From the US perspective, those Filippino fighters were terrorists, but hardly anyone who has studied the history of that war would argue that the US was in the right. Today there are many groups fighting the Syrian army for control of that country. To the Syrians they are terrorists, but apart from Hezbollah, Iran and the Russians who are fond of the Syrian government, most of the world agrees that the Syrian regime is in the wrong.
Who is and is not labeled a terrorist depends on their political perspective. So, it stands to reason that not all folks who’ve been labeled as terrorists are sociopaths. Scott Adams doesn’t seem to see this perspective at all. If you read his books and other blog posts you’ll see why – because it has rarely occurred to him that his view of the world might be wrong or that there are things worth protecting and valuing in the world apart from his lilly white position of wealth and privilege.
Again, I laugh at Dilbert often, so I don’t begrudge him his wealth. That he thinks being good at drawing funny pictures qualifies him to pontificate on anything else though is unfortunate.
Bruce Schneier has another take on what seems to be Adams’ support for government snooping programs here.
For the record I really enjoyed STID, much more than ST09. ST09, while I eventually warmed up to it, did not feel like Star Trek to me (and I still really haven’t gotten over the whole business about them not bothering to actually build an engineering set – I mean, come on, you go to the trouble to cast Simon Pegg as Scotty, which was a great casting move, and then all you can do about an engineering set is stick some decals on some tanks in a Budweiser brewery?). STID was much more Star Trekkie, as far as I’m concerned, but I do agree with the central point of criticism in the piece above – What’s up with a Star Trek story that mostly takes place on earth?
On a very cynical movie studio level I get it. The biggest money maker in the old Trek franchise was The Voyage Home, which was all about Kirk, Spock, etc. traveling back in time to save Earth from destruction by some impossibly powerful probe that had come to talk to some whales, who were extinct (Honestly, I get annoyed when I call someone and they don’t answer, but I’ve seriously never considered blowing up their house over it.). The thing is, while that movie is fun, it’s the least cinematic of all the Trek films. It’s an episode of a TV show that was blown up into a film. Search For Spock had the same problem.
Here’s the breakdown on the original cast ST films:
Here’s the interesting thing – what felt particularly Star Trekkie about STID wasn’t the story. That seemed like it was a generic Hollywood action flick that could have been a vehicle for ST or Iron Man or Jason Bourne. What felt Star Trekkie about STID was the way the actors handled their characters and their interactions with each other.
I think Paramount has made an error in judgement about the Star Trek franchise. The secret to success with it isn’t to make it not be a Star Trek movie, but to make it be a great Star Trek movie. Wrath of Khan was a very successful film that utterly and completely lived within the lore of Star Trek. Likewise of the TNG film, First Contact. And that doesn’t mean you bring back a well known character from the old TV series or get involved in stunt casting.
Star Trek, at its best, has always been about bigger ideas. Wrath of Khan was about growing old. The Undiscovered Country was about letting go of hate and prejudice and being able to embrace change. What was STID about? Bad guy blows stuff up, kills some people, gets caught, turns out he’s not the only bad guy. Really? Here’s the funny thing – we’ve already seen that movie, last year. It was called Skyfall, and it was much more interesting then because even the silly trope of how M made Mr. Silver into a villain had tremendous depth to it.
So, I do hope that Paramount makes another ST movie with this cast (and not a TV show – because I really don’t think another ST series can compete on a quality level with the likes of present day TV drama), but I’m equally glad JJ Abrams will be too busy with Star Wars (he really cannot make that franchise any worse) and can only hope a director and writers are engaged who respect the source material – and who don’t think their audience is as dumb as Paramount thinks we are.