Friday, June 29
+ Gingrich urges moving beyond party lines in Iowa City visit. My memory of Gingrich is pure, unadulterated partisanism. So, you know what? He doesn't get a hearing on this from me.
Thursday, June 28
(This is the Dan who proposed to Fei on his weblog.)
The timing was a matter of convenience, based on lots of visa/green card/immigration issues. The civil ceremony took place in the middle of the day, everyone in civvies, then bride and groom went back to work!
Wedding + 1
Nothing conventional for Dan!
Anyhow, congratulations Dan and Fei!
Tuesday, June 26
But, many times, the masses are asses, in both the real and virtual worlds. There's a lot of noise out there.
I, myself, don't have trouble finding the signal: find some good sites and keep an eye on who they read.
So, with that preamble, I give you this post from kottke:
The Dunning-Kruger Effect: "the phenomenon whereby people who have little knowledge systematically think that they know more than others who have much more knowledge". "Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Meanwhile, people with true knowledge tended to underestimate their competence." (via cyn-c)
The solution? Smart people should be less humble? I don't think so.
Maybe it's for smart people to remember that, absence evidence to the contrary, people we don't know, in real and virtual worlds, are 'innocent' of intelligence, wisdom, being well informed, and good intentions until proven 'guilty'.
Not that we assume everyone's stupid, foolish, ignorant, and evil. We should reserve judgment. Don't give people more credit than they've earned. Don't get fired up when someone we don't know does something dumb. In many ways, that's to be expected.
What do you think?
And you thought nothing good could come out of France ;-)
The Wikipedia entry starts:
(Le) Parkour (sometimes abbreviated to PK) or l'art du déplacement (English: the art of displacement) is a physical art of French origin, the aim of which is to move from point A to point B as efficiently and quickly as possible, using principally the abilities of the human body. It is meant to help one overcome obstacles, which can be anything in the surrounding environment — from branches and rocks to rails and concrete walls — so parkour can be practiced in both rural and urban areas.
That definition leaves out the coolness, so let me help you with that ;-)
First video to watch: David Belle, the leading light, in a chase scene from a movie.
One of the first things I thought: 'Parkour' resembles 'Parker' of Spider-Man fame. I'm sure this comparison has been made before.
In fact, upon watching these videos, Wil said 'That guy's like Spider-Man.' ;-)
More? this compilation
Finally (for this post), 10:43 from a French documentary .
Sunday, June 24
+ Get Grandpa's FBI File (automated FOIA submission)
+ Etruscans Were Immigrants From Anatolia In Ancient Turkey
+ vixy.net: convert YouTube videos, etc. to mp3, mp4 etc. (via tdaxp) (I've been telling him to use Audacity, but I admit this is better ;-)
Wednesday, June 20
+ Glowing article on Bloomberg's reign. Then he leaves the Repubs. Run coming up?
+ Finally, the latest from Lawrence Lessig. I'm a distant admirer. He's switching his career focus from intellectual property to combating the unfair influence that money has on our system.
Sounds great. Not sure you can build a culture on the creation of wealth and then de-emphasize it in politics. But maybe he'll find a way.
Of course, I'm oversimplifying. Read his post if you want to know more.
Tuesday, June 19
This TED video comes from 2004, back when Gladwell was still a genius. Portions of the ideas in this video are *thrilling* to the likes of me.
How a man discovered there is no perfect Pepsi, there are only perfect Pepsis, and changed the commercial food industry, with his first great success being Prego Extra Chunky.
+ Middle Earth overlaid on Europe (wish the contrast was easier to see, but there you have it)
The professor said:
+ Maybe I spoke too soon on Google. The latest: they're going to be carbon neutral, including electricity purchase, independently audited.
+ kottke raves about Ratatouille. We sure are looking forward to it in this house.
+ Who loves Google more than me? Nobody.
But their touting of their solar installation rings a little hollow to me. Great. What about their giant data centers that have to be built near power plants because of the huge amount of energy they use. Maybe I'm too cynical, but this comes off like more of a publicity stunt to me, knowing what I know. What do you think?
Saturday, June 16
I did see some mp3s of the show, so I grabbed 'em.
I liked Eddie Vedder before, but his induction speech was amazing. He really did a nice job of hitting some real REM high points.
Best quote: 'If REM had a secret weapon, I would say that it was Mr Mike Mills ... The secret weapon is his voice. It's like a second lead vocal. I think it is what makes so many of their songs absolutely haunting.'
Truer words have never been spoken.
Second best idea: Bill quit because he couldn't do any more photo shoots ;-)
Check out the video or the mp3s.
First time watching the video. Peter's drinking a glass of wine. Ok.
Addendum: Also enjoy their great version of Gardening at Night, one of my top 3 REM songs (with Shaking Through and Fall on Me), on video or in the mp3s above.
Anyway, he named me a Thinking Blogger, though we often disagree. I really appreciate it. Thanks, Jaq.
Now, I need to link to the thinking blog that started it all. Check.
Next, I need to name five weblogs that make me think. That will be easy:
Stokes Kith and Kin
The last three have all been nominated before. Maybe the first two have, too.
That's why they're on the blogroll, folks. We have a high value on thinking over here at 'interact'.
Friday, June 15
For some reason, I haven't really felt like posting this week.
+ Christine put up pix of her trip to Washington DC with Elizabeth and the Girl Scouts . Happy for my girls.
+ Funny Father's Day gift on defective yeti that I don't want (hint: Luke and Vader together).
+ I was looking for something for Tom on the Huffington Post and found this headline: Joint Chiefs Chair: I Was Forced Out. Ok, I'll check it out. Problem is, he didn't say that, not that way. So,
1. That's playing too fast and loose with the headline.
2. I think it's a bummer that Pace can't continue. He seems like a good guy. But he has to leave, politically, because the of the Bush Administration's incompetency in handling Post-war Iraq. Sure, Pace bears some responsibility. I'm not sure he deserves to be fired, though. Or, if he does, so does President Bush. I'm sure many of us can agree on that.
But when Harry Reid says General Petraeus 'isn't in touch' with what's going on in Baghdad, that's just crazy.
I'll take Petraeus' view over Senator Reid's every time.
Wednesday, June 6
+ Did you know the most viewed video on YouTube has been watched 49,936,818 times? I actually like that one, and number five (off color) and number seven. For that matter, I've linked number 14 on here before...
+ Speaking of the most viewed videos, a friend sent me the Free Hugs Campaign video, and I watched it ( number 11). Website. Interesting. My openness to more hugs is in conflict with my resistance to saccharine...
+ Brad linked the AP rundown of how the presidential candidates self-report on religion. Even with their busy schedules, it sounds like they attend church more than me! ;-)
Tuesday, June 5
It just occurred to me, while checking some feeds and sites, that the app I really want is something like Facebook for the whole web: that kind of integrated news, all in one place, running conversation threads.
I'm sure we'll get this soon. And, actually, it could be from Facebook.
You see, Facebook is getting a lot of (geek) press for the open API (standards) they just rolled out. They already allow me to automatically post from my weblog feed to Facebook...
I say, bring it on.
Camera Phones: Ten Ways to Use Them
Sunday, June 3
+ China's economy depends on ours and Taiwan's. they go to war with us, their economy goes in the tank
+ they've got the biggest urbanization in the history of the world going and still hundreds of millions of rural, dissatisfied poor
+ the 'trade deficit' is mostly old accounting, stuff we ship there for assembly and then get back to sell
+ on the contrary, China is funding our military deficit operations by owning roughly a third of our sovereign debt (which they own because it's a rock solid investment. in fact, some argue it's too conservative a place to keep their money)
+ very little oil flows from the Persian Gulf to the West. most goes east to India, China, and Japan
+ China's 'aggressive' military spending is still only about a fifth of ours. if we can't build a better military than theirs forever with those kinds of numbers...
+ they want to be more capable. they want to be seen as a player. they want strong defense. they don't want Taiwan to declare independence for the time being (they're fine with the status quo)
they have said they want to rise peacefully. we can hedge against an alternative path, trust and verify, and benefit from their economic explosion or we can try to set them up as a 'near peer' that we need a new Cold War with. i sure hope we choose the former path.
Saturday, June 2
+ Eric Mangini (Jets) helicoptered to his mother's graduation. Nice story.