Saturday, August 23, 2008

common misconceptions about common misconceptions

If you have read more than two or three things about Javascript, you have probably noticed that they almost all, without fail take pains to inform you that there is a common misconception that it Javascript is somehow related to Java, but that this is false. There is no relationship other than some syntax and the fact that they are both intended to run in web browsers. I have encountered that warning at least two dozen times in books, manuals, magazine articles, blog entries, and on-line articles. What I have never encountered is anyone who seems to suffer under this misconception.

I suspect that the existence of this common misconception is an urban myth fostered by all of the sources that warn about the misconception. Someone writing about Javascript first reads about Javascript and sees that everyone else who writes about Javascript seems to have encountered this wide-spread misconception. So even though he has never encountered the misconception himself, he assumes that it is, in fact, widespread and so he warns about it, thereby perpetuating this common misconception about the existence of a common misconception.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

poor John Edwards

Seriously, I feel sorry for the guy. As someone who has had plenty of my own moral failings, I can't help but wince in sympathetic pain for the terrible consequences that have fallen on him for his moral lapses. And partly I feel sorry for him because I think that he really does love his wife and that the primary pain that this episode is causing him is that his wife has found out that he continued cheating on her after she caught him and he promised to stop.

I caused pain once to a woman that I cared for very much and I still remember how her pain stabbed at my heart and how it continued to afflict me for years afterward, even after we were no longer together. I imagine that John Edwards went through this the first time his wife caught him cheating and that he is going through it all over now, ten times worse after he swore over and over to her that he would never do it again. But a dog returns to its vomit and John Edwards returned to his mistress. Not that I don't also feel sorry for his wife, but everyone feels sorry for his wife --that's not blog-worthy. On the other hand, I don't feel sorry for his mistress.

Why do I feel sympathy for the dog and not the vomit mistress? Maybe it's just that, being a man, I identify with the man. Maybe it's that I've never been on the mistress side of the equation so I don't know what she's going through. Or maybe it's because her actions seem to be cold, calculating, and uncaring of the feelings of others and that she is enjoying this whole episode. I guess I don't really know, but I believe that she is the one who seduced John Edwards in the first place, who seduced him back after he broke up with her, and who tricked him into giving her a baby. Why do I think so? Because apparently Edwards hasn't had a pile of mistresses like, say Bill Clinton, which suggests that he doesn't go out looking to cheat on his wife. Anyone with his power and wealth has far more opportunities than he could ever take advantage of. The fact that he has (apparently) resisted temptation in the other cases suggests that Rielle Hunter took very active steps to ensnare him.

But I could be wrong.