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This is the archive for October 2005

Monday, October 24, 2005

No, it hasn't happened... yet. But that's just a matter of luck. And when it does happen, my reaction will be uncontrollable laughter. I don't wish this on any of them, but the inevitable reactions of shock and surprise will be too much for me to watch without busting a gut, and I will have exactly ZERO sympathy for whichever one of these morons it eventually happens to.

All I've seen on the three major cable news channels is idiot reporters standing out in the middle of a hurricane wringing their hands over the fact that so many people decide, based on their own individual assesment of risk vs cost, NOT to heed the "mandatory" evacuation orders.

"I don't understand how people can choose to remain here." Note the word "here". It refers to the very place the reporter is standing at that moment. No, actually, it doesn't, most of the people who don't evacuate are hunkered down in their houses - the reporter is standing out in the middle of the street.

"People should not be in the place I am standing right now."

"It's too dangerous for anyone to be in the place where I am standing right now."

"Authorities have ordered everyone out of the place where I am standing right now."

"You're an idiot if you're standing around in the place where I am standing around right now."

The flip side of this is that those "authorities" are now ordering evacuations at the first sign of a spring drizzle that might bring the risk of getting your shoes wet from stepping in a puddle. Yes, it is generally wise to get out of Dodge if a hurricane is headed right for you. But the warnings given now are nothing more than the nanny state run amok. "We" have to keep "our" people safe and dry and fed. Forget individual judgement, individual risk assessment, we have to tend our flock and get them all to shelter for their own good. And don't worry if you lose everything, you're under our protection and we'll make you whole again. This attitude provides NO information as to the actual risk, and NO incentive to judge for yourself how to respond.

And the reporters eat it up. It provides great drama and great ratings if they treat every storm and every city that might get overcast and rainy from it as the scene of impending armageddon.

But increasingly, even they are oblivious to the actual risk. They blow it up everywhere, with the result that one of their team is standing around in a city a hundered miles from landfall calling every downed power line "devastating damage", while another of them is standing right in the bullseye complaining that people aren't leaving, apparently not noticing that that includes them.

These guys think they walk on water. They seem to think that their press pass will be honored by those 115 mph winds and 12 ft storm surges. I wish them luck, but they're setting themselves up to be the subject of some very entertaining video one of these days.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me...

See it. Just go see it.

If you liked the series (Firefly) you've probably already seen it. See it again (you know you want to).

If you never saw the series, go see it, then go buy the series on DVD.

If you hated the series, go see it. Then buy the series on DVD. Unless you're just a die-hard SF hater, you'll change your mind.

This is not only one of the best SF movies in its own right that I've seen, it's probably the most profoundly moral movie I've ever seen - as was the TV series. You might miss the message, its that much not in your face, but you'll leave the theater thinking you might just rather be on that crew than anywhere else in the 'verse.

You might have heard of Orson Scott Card. He's done a little writing before, and he does a great job of providing some of the whys and hows that I left out above:

If Ender's Game can't be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made.

Read it here.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I've had to disable comments for now. I haven't been very actively posting, and I haven't had a legitimate comment for weeks, so it's no loss for the moment. When it was two or three comment spams a day, I could just delete them, but now it's two pages per day, and I can't keep up.

I don't have time right now, but there are several options available. The most likely is a CAPTCHA system, which is a mild inconvenience to people leaving legitimate comments, but nearly impossible for a bot (so far).

I don't have to tell you how frustrating this is. This blog is my property, and spam is trespassing. In a sane society that honors property rights, spammers of all kinds would be shut down and shut down hard. But we don't live in such a society.

When I have time to implement a system that keeps them out, I will open up comments again. If I can find a "nuclear option" to hurt them bad, I will use it.