Friday, July 29, 2011

Krugman, media bias and extremism

Paul Krugman's column today perfectly describes my worries about politics in the US today. The media always describe a debate between two sides as though both sides are reasonable, even if one is not. So there's no penalty for extremism, unreasonableness, or even lying.

I worry there's no way to correct the problem. Over the last 30 years, Republicans have steadily moved the bar, demanding more and more cuts to government. Unless it's the military, or funding for other industries they like.

I don't see how the pendulum will ever swing the other way. I fear President Obama will lose reelection in 2012. And I consider moving to Canada.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Debt Limit

I'm trying to not get depressed about the whole debt limit thing. But occasionally I get angry with the hypocrisy of the Republican't position.

Yes, our level of debt is unsustainable. But it got that way thanks to Reagan and W. Bush. The deficits were huge under them. Clinton eliminated deficits, creating surpluses, and started paying off our debt. Bush wasted that progress, spending money on tax cuts, wars and prescription drugs (for seniors, not himself). Where the hell were all these whiners when Republican presidents were raising the debt limit, 17 times under Reagan and 7 times under Bush?

I start to wonder if all this crap is because President Obama is black. It's probably just because he's a Democrat, but sometimes I think it's racist, too. We'll see if they fix something or just crash the economy. I'm glad I have a fixed rate mortgage.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stupid funny

I saw the ad on the Google home page today. So I clicked on it and typed in "your mom" as a joke.

I was amused for way too long by what appeared. tee hee.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Someone spent a year making a Lego version of Wall*E that can transform from a cube into a moving robot.

Friday, July 15, 2011

We may be biologically programmed to like what we buy

You surely know that people who buy a product become fans of that product. (Usually, unless that product really stinks.) We end up with the Mac vs. PC argument, Coke vs. Pepsi, even our political polarization.

It turns out that not only do normal people do this, but even people with amnesia who can't remember choosing. Psychologists had students and amnesia patients choose between two different posters, and both groups had stronger preferences later after making a choice. Even if they couldn't remember the first choice at all.

Not only that, but they see the same behaviour in monkeys. After choosing between different colored M&Ms, monkeys start to prefer the color they chose and dislike the color they previously rejected.

I'm not sure what this all means, but clearly my increased excitement about science will persist even after I don't remember this particular study.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ronald Reagan was hooked on heroin

This is an example of what you can do with good editing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Copyright Irony

As all the fanatic copyright nerds out there already know, a company called Righthaven sued several bloggers for linking to articles while quoting from them briefly. They lost their trial, because it turns out they didn't own the rights to the articles they were suing about.

But now the head of the company has posted to a blog, quoting from several other articles. Committing the exact offense he was suing other people for. Really.

This is why I'm a supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They fight back against jerks like these, and they explain the details of these issues, so I can understand how ironic that blog post is.