Thursday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Scotland, the Buckfast scourge (?), and monks.
  2. Islam and Christian relations in the 19th century (one example).
  3. I’ve been in the Huxley “camp” for some time, how about you?
  4. Waiting for NSS, which one expects will be more fruitful than Godot (in that it will eventually come).
  5. Tax on tax.
  6. Ant-walking alligators … a ghastly notion.
  7. Weep.
  8. Standards for girls.
  9. Sueussian rhyme.
  10. Min wage and employment (and some remarks on UI too).
  11. On a need for statemen, I think right now however left and right have a very different idea of what an ideal statesmen might be, the left looking more for a super-policy-wonk and the right for a Lincoln or Washington (a person with integrity and vision).
  12. I’ve a question for anyone who thinks this is problematic … what would be your reaction to a secular (say FSM) “Easter egg” in a similar situation.

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11 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    I’ve a question for anyone who thinks this is problematic … what would be your reaction to a secular (say FSM) “Easter egg” in a similar situation.

    I would object to such ‘easter eggs’ being hidden on property the gov’t is buying for its use. As would I object to, say, a manufacturer putting ‘vote for Obama’ or ‘contribute to GOP.org’ on their products sold to the gov’t.

  2. Boonton says:

    Min wage and employment (and some remarks on UI too).

    Didn’t bother with the min wage link but the unemployment link is amazingly stupid.

    The only way unemployment insurance can decrease spending is, according to the author, if other people reduce spending to supposedly offset the future taxes that will have to pay for your neighbor’s unemployment.

    There is absolutely no emperical evidence that people behave this way.

  3. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Is this an objection to all Easter eggs or just those with “forbidden” (by Boonton) content.

    I think people need thicker skins and should not care about things that really don’t matter.

  4. Boonton says:

    An objection to forbidden content. Basically what the vendor is doing is hijacking a medium to put their own message out there.

    Let’s use a clearer example to see how this works. In my job I often create reports and distribute them to various people. Suppose I found a way to insert an ‘egg’ in the reports advertising my brother-in-law’s snow plowing business. Suppose I started selling this ‘ad space’ to other vendors. At some point my employer is going to have a talk with me about using company property and information to promote outside businesses. This is different from an ‘incidental’ message….say a personalized picture in my email signature or something that is also using my employer’s systems to send a message but one that’s neither communicating a message my employer doesn’t endorse (like “use George’s snow plowing Inc.!”) or is disruptive to the workplace (i.e. “Republicans are idiots!”).

    I don’t think government property should be used to hawk Christianity or non-Christianity for that matter. Apple shouldn’t sell the gov’t laptops with passages from Christopher Hitchens’ God is not Great & this company shouldn’t be putting Bible references in their sniper scopes.

    Of course there’s the image problem. Do we really want give Islamists this talking point?

  5. I’ve been in the Huxley “camp” for some time, how about you?

    Me too, except Orwell was dead-on about political speech.

    USA PATRIOT Act. Reaaaaally doesn’t get more Orwellian than that.
    Fair and Balanced. Minitrue’s motto.
    War on Terror. (The enemy keeps changing but the war is the same.)
    Family values.

    I’ve a question for anyone who thinks this is problematic … what would be your reaction to a secular (say FSM) “Easter egg” in a similar situation.

    More to the point: what would the right’s reaction be if they were references to the Quran instead of to the Bible?

    the left looking more for a super-policy-wonk and the right for a Lincoln or Washington (a person with integrity and vision).

    The left values understanding of policy, it’s true, but not to the exclusion of leadership skills. We did pick Obama over Hillary, and it’s not because he’s a bigger wonk.

    And if Lincoln were running now, the right would pillory him as an egghead trial lawyer tyrant who hates America. The intellectual ancestors of today’s Republicans frickin’ SECEDED during his presidency. Stop pretending that the R after Lincoln’s name has anything remotely to do with the R after Sarah Palin’s.

    Just compare today’s red states to those that seceded. Or take today’s civil rights issue, gay marriage, and see what side the “Republicans” are on.

    Min wage and employment

    I know, right? And also, emancipating the slaves would just mean nobody would feed and clothe those savages, so it’s in their best interest to keep slavery around. (Sorry, you got Lincoln into my head.)

    Any argument will work for the right, as long as the conclusion is that the rich get to keep more money.

  6. Mark says:

    JA,
    Uhm, the Lincoln reference was not about his “politics” but his personality and methods. He was not a wonk. Ideological alignment has little to do with style, one could be a progressive statesmen or a conservative wonk.

    The intellectual ancestors of today’s Republicans … !!!??? Who! Who in the Confederacy is quoted and read by today’s conservatives. I challenge you to trace that “intellectual ancestry”. If you’re pretending to talk about me (I made that remark) I further challenge you to connect the political intellectual heritage I follow (de Jouvenel and Solzhenitsyn) to any thinker associated with the Confederacy). Your remark about intellectual ancestry of the confederacy is just as dumb as assuming Lincoln’s legacy can be claimed today (by either camp).

    Stop pretending that the R after Lincoln’s name has anything remotely to do with the R after Sarah Palin’s.

    This is Palin derangement syndrome.

    On wage/employment … actually it was a study that demonstrated in American Samoa min wage increases led directly to an increase in unemployment. I’m unclear how that connects with “the rich keeping more money.”

  7. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I’m not sure that “Easter eggs” are a way to get “your message” out, because you basically have to take a thing apart to find it (or in the case of software programs perform some unlikely entry sequence).

    If your customers are finding the egg, it’s not an Easter egg, it’s more like a Trojan or spam.

    Does that change things for you. Would it be wrong include advertising as such if the only way to view the snow plow advert was to view the binary file and locate a undocumented comment bloc chunk in the code and then decode that block as a JPG? I’m guessing you’re employer would never mention a thing.

  8. Mark says:

    JA,
    I’d add Hope/Change to your Orwellian slogans.

  9. Boonton says:

    Stop pretending that the R after Lincoln’s name has anything remotely to do with the R after Sarah Palin’s.

    This is Palin derangement syndrome.

    Actually I’d like to see you demonstrate how Lincoln can be said to be an intellectual ancestor of Sarah Palin.

    I’m not sure that “Easter eggs” are a way to get “your message” out, because you basically have to take a thing apart to find it (or in the case of software programs perform some unlikely entry sequence).

    True but isn’t this right inside the scope? As for whether they are a good method to get a message out, that’s irrelevant. I doubt my brother-in-law would get many calls if I started putting his ad inside Excel spreadsheets, it still is an abuse.

    If your customers are finding the egg, it’s not an Easter egg, it’s more like a Trojan or spam.

    OK, except a Trojan usually executes some program. Spam is usually not a single, short message….though I suppose it could be. I agree, though, suppliers shouldn’t be using their contracts with the taxpayers to send spam either.

    Does that change things for you. Would it be wrong include advertising as such if the only way to view the snow plow advert was to view the binary file and locate a undocumented comment bloc chunk in the code and then decode that block as a JPG?

    I suppose if it is effectively hidden away it is not a message and I’m willing to grant that its not a big deal if an ‘artist’ signs his work in a way that’s not too disruptive. If this ‘signature’ is as hidden as you say then I’ll ignore it. The impression I got, though, was that it was visible every time a soldier looked through the scope. But if it was hidden so well why are we hearing about it???

    Where do you really stand on this? Do you really think it would be fair for a Jewish soldier to have to done equipment that, say, says “Jesus is the Messiah, no salvation but through Jesus”? It wasn’t too long ago I recall some Christians trying to sue a university on the grounds that having a book on Islam as part of the required reading list was violating their freedom of religion (they lost). I think JA’s point is spot on here. Many Christians who address a case like this with ‘its no big deal’ would go to the opposite extreme if the shoe was on the other foot.

    I’d add Hope/Change to your Orwellian slogans

    I suppose it could be if it was taken too seriously…..just as Bush’s ‘Compassionate Conservatism” could be contrasted with the Soviet idea of “Pappa Stalin”.

  10. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Actually I’d like to see you demonstrate how Lincoln can be said to be an intellectual ancestor of Sarah Palin

    Why would I do that? I never claimed she was. I said conservatives prefer statesmen over wonks … and gave Lincoln as an example of a statesman (note: not as a conservative statesman, just statesman and I never claimed him as such). It’s unclear to me how you could interpret that sort of statement to mean “Sarah Palin is an intellectual heir of Mr Lincoln.” Tell you what, I’ll explain how she is if you explain (successfully) how my statement implies that she is. In the following remark, JA then blew up and talked about Lincoln not being a conservative and brought up Ms Palin. Now you do as well. You guys certainly have the PDS bad.

    “Right inside the scope.” Right. Have you looked inside a scope? Do you see anything on the barrel while peering down the scope? I think not. Likely you only see this as a stamp on the inside if you disassemble it. It also was a bit cryptic, a stamp “JN813” looks like a serial number. It doesn’t say “Jesus is the Messiah, no salvation but through Jesus”?

  11. Boonton says:

    OK like I said if this is really hidden and cryptic I’d be willing to excuse it like that. My impression was that this was somehow ghostscripted onto the eye piece itself.