Doc Rampage
Saturday, April 25, 2009
  how to argue on-line
Foxfire has a tremendous post about how to argue on-line.
 
Thursday, April 23, 2009
  yet another Carrie Prejean fan
OK, in case you've been living in a cave (or without TV and internet like me), Here is an interview with the famous Miss California (Carrie Prejean) who would rather say that she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman than be Miss USA. I have to say I'm impressed with her poise, intelligence, and strength of character. And I'm not even going to add a tasteless remark about how good she looks in a swimsuit because when everyone else is doing it, it isn't cool any more.

She is wonderfully positive about the whole thing and is forgiving of Perez Hilton, the man who cost her the crown with his spite and bitterness. Here is another interview where you can compare the two or them. Hilton is almost comical in his blatant hypocrisy. He comes to a non-religious, non-political forum and asks a directly political question with strong religious overtones, and he is upset that Prejean brought politics and religion into it (and actually, she didn't even bring religion into it at the pageant, only in her interviews afterward). Meanwhile, Hilton doesn't think that there should be political or religious tests for Miss USA, but does think that having political or religious beliefs that offend him should disqualify someone for Miss USA. Prejean shouldn't be allowed to be Miss USA because she offends him and a lot of other gay people not by intention, but just because of what she believes, but he sees nothing wrong with going around doing everything he can to intentionally offend Prejean and others who share her beliefs.

I wish in one of his interviews, someone would have the guts to ask him if he voted for Obama, who expressed exactly the same view on marriage as Carrie Prejean.
 
  web-site design
I just ran into yet another company who doesn't want my business if I don't want to let them run Javascript in my browser. I am frankly baffled by companies like this. What advantage do they get from Javascript that makes it worthwhile to aggravate some of their customers and even turn potential customers away? Do they really think the cool rotating buttons or scrolling text or sliding gui elements will so impress the majority of their customers, that the increased business from customers going "Wow, what a slick web site, I want to do business with these guys." is more significant than the business they lose from customers who say, "Well, I could turn on Javascript and trust that you don't do something annoying with it, but I think I'll just press the back button and go to the next company in the search window."

Well, maybe they're right. I don't have the statistic on that, and I guess it would be a mistake to assume that my reaction (number 2) is the common one. On the other hand, I strongly suspect that the people who do this don't have any statistics either and that they've never even considered the possibility that there are potential customers who aren't thrilled about turning over control of their browser to random web sites.

I'd like to find a search engine that lets you filter out all sites that use Javascript, Flash, or other annoyances.
 
Monday, April 20, 2009
  David Brin on movies and politics
If you are a non-religious conservative then David Brin, author of the Uplift Wars, has a plan for you. All of your wiser, more thoughtful, and of, course, more liberal friends are going to explain how stupid you are, but they are going to do it in a very nice and polite way, and wear you down until you agree to vote Democrat. Of course if you are a "raving fundy" given to "religious fanaticism" (by which I assume he means that you believe in a personal God who reveals himself to us through the Bible) then screw you. He just wants to pry the salvageable ones away from you total losers.

I may fisk the essay later, but right now I wanted to mention it in contrast with this essay by Brin --a very thoughtful, insightful piece on the message behind the Star Wars universe (link from the Volokh Conspiracy).

I remember watching some of the various Star Wars movies and thinking that we were being given a royalist message --a message that kings are good and democracies are stupid. However, Brin gives a much more subtle and complete analysis, and I highly encourage you to read it.

What amazes me is that Brin is obviously such a talented thinker on some topics, but on politics, he displays all of the subtlety and awareness of Markos Moulitsas.

OK, I wasn't going to fisk the political tirade here, but I can't help mentioning the irony of a man referring to the Bush administration as a "criminal conspiracy" when the Democrats have one person in congress who committed manslaughter while drunk driving, one who was caught on tape soliciting a future bribe, another who was convicted of accepting a bribe as a judge, a former president who came in an upper-middle-class governor from a poor state and left office a multi-millionaire, and a new president who seems to be having a hard time finding non-tax cheats for his administration.
 
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