An interesting blog post on problems of in-house design people. Um. Yeah. I know a few of those.
Jim Hines is talking about e-publishing again. While his post is (IMHO) reasonable (just the facts, ma'am) I believe he's kicked over the bee's hive again. His post (actually, all his posts on e-publishing and self-publish) I find very interesting, and part of why one of my panels this weekend will be discussing the printed book as memory artifact.
On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a visual reminder of the not-so-distant past. Was also thinking about things this morning. I'm a panelists this weekend discussing the topic of Political Correctness. So I've been making mental notes of witty things to say. So here's one. One of the benefits of having had the PC movement (if there is such a thing) is that you can always tell the racists. They begin their statements with, "I don't know if this makes me a racists or not…" What follows is pretty assuredly a racist statement. You could win big money betting on that trend in Vegas.
Paul Krugman takes apart the argument against the HCR Act. Or, you can always make an argument to do something when you include spurious bullshit. (Grokked from Steven Gould)
Another nail in the coffin of American Exceptionalism. While all the conservatives were shouting, "America, hell yeah!" all while cutting education funding, deriding educators, dismissing scientific data and analysis, and creating tax loopholes for corporations to export both jobs (really gone) and their headquarters (not so much gone), the rest of the world has been quietly hitting singles and getting better and better. I disagree with the "Sputnik Moment" that occurred this past fall (in regards to the testing data that showed the US to be far behind). It's been that way now for over a decade. This was just the first time an "emerging economy" (ie. China) took top honors. We can dissect the data all we want (like how the US includes many different levels of students and the China data is supposedly form their top 1% schools), it doesn't change the trend. (Also see earlier linked chart on how China is speeding 4 times the amount the US is on renewable energy and green technology.)
And given that the conservatives came into power after shouting for two years about "we should stop the political bickering and theater and create jobs, damnit!" only to spend a week passing a repeal of the HCR Act (while ignoring the costs to the deficit, you know, the other thing they've been yelling about) which has absolutely no chance of making it into law, I doubt their stance toward reality (aka science) will change much. Which, did I mention, that in the face of an $8 billion shortfall in the state budget, our newly elected governor raised the pay for top level (read, politically appointed) officials, while cutting the pay of their staffs?
On the weather front it's going to get warm, and then freeze again. Yippie! And on Friday it'll be the coldest (not supposed to break above 20 degrees). Friday, as you may remember, is when I'll be leaving for Detroit. And my car gets worse mileage the colder it gets. Yeah for it being the coldest day on when I have to drive the farthest. Oh, and it's supposed to snow. Yippie for ice buildup on the front! I can't wait.