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Saturday, June 06, 2009

On the Limits of Social Engineering

It's funny...okay, not funny - it's kind of sad - that some folks think that "smokeless" tobacco products are intended for kids and NOT nicotine-craving adults forced to live in a world of smoking bans and smoke-free environments.

Which leads me to something I've been thinking about after I got into a debate with a guy over the issue of drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

There's a certain authoritarian mindset that tricks people of all political persuasions into overestimating the effectiveness of various social engineering schemes.

This is why smoking bans result in "smokeless" tobacco products, why limiting drivers licenses to citizens results in masses of unlicensed illegal drivers, why drug control policies result in criminal drug cartels, why invading Iraq results in more terrorism, and on and on.

Ultimately, the only person any of us can control is ourselves. But don't tell that to the control freaks. They won't believe you anyway and if failure after failure never taught them the lesson, what do you think a couple words are going to do?

Friday, June 05, 2009

Go Directly to Jail


This dude always creeped me out. He just looks like a shyster. Too much time by the pool or on the golf course, not enough time in the boardroom.

(I stole the pic from BoingBoing.)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Copyright Snark

In a post about patents and copyrights, Megan McArdle writes:
How about some hope and change on copyright law? Shorter the term back to the author's life plus thirty years--enough to care for needy spouses, but not for greedy corporations.
It's well known that I'm somewhat of a copyright dissident.

I recognize it's usefulness, but I also recognize that copyrights are completely out of hand.

And part of it has to do with the "the author's life plus thirty years--enough to care for needy spouses."

Here's the deal: copyrights are granted to creators to provide incentive for creating more works. The idea is that without incentive, no one would create anything...which any true artist will tell you is bullshit.

(Fact: A very small percentage, I'd guess 10% or less, of all art has any value in the marketplace. The rest is literally worthless. Some incentive, huh?)

I have no problem granting copyrights for "the author's life" but why the thirty year extension for needy spouses? So they can enjoy the incentive to create more works?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Bruno Sexually Harrasses Eminem

This vid made me laugh hard and repeatedly. I love the thumbnail too. Look at that face! Look at that ass!

I don't care if this was staged, this is hilarious.
<a href="http://www.mtv.com/ontv/movieawards/2009/" target="_blank">Bruno Lands On Eminem</a>
It would be funnier if wasn't staged, but you know...lawsuits and everything.

Good Citizen James Checking In - Torrential Downpour Edition

I must have looked ridiculous in my rain gear today, but I don't care. It kept me dry in the downpour that started last night and kept going...is still going.

They said there might be snow even in the higher elevations. Which is why I'm rarely up there.

Last night, it came down hard. The sound rose up like a roar, almost like a hailstorm. Every window got blasted. I heard water plinking off the swamp cooler and some of the vents on the roof.

I looked out the front door to see if it was hail, but no, it was just rain, sheets of water coming down and pooling up in all the low spots. All along the street, front doors opened and curious on-lookers like me peaked out. Lightning flashed in the distance, followed a few seconds later by the ripples of thunder.

And it stayed like that.

When I woke up this morning at 4:30, I knew it was still raining because I could still hear the tapping on the windows. And that's when I grabbed the rain gear.

It wasn't until I was on the bus, after riding my bike with all this extra bulk on me, hair wet, face red, ears stinging, that I thought:

I should have just drove to work.

But I didn't.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wyatt, I am Rolling

I just got back from a good four hour bike ride in the city with my nephew. We took the bus downtown and rode down the Sixteenth Street Mall, stopping at the patio at Tokyo Joe's for some lunch.

Then we headed over to Civic Center Park for a roll around the sites there.

Like the Art Museum. You can't see the Liebskind wing from here, which is just fine with me. Not saying it's ugly...just saying that it's guaranteed to ruin a shot.

And the Capitol building. You can't really tell in this photo, but the Latinas in the foreground are in the midst of a fist fight. If you zoom into the scuffle, you might see some angry words being shouted but you'll definitely see a guy riding by on his bike with a WTF look.

And then you have the City and County Building.

And then the city itself.

Here's the Colorado History Museum. I don't think I've ever been there...so I might have to change that. I suggested it today, but Scott nixed the idea.

Instead we trudged up Capitol Hill to capture this shot of the backside of the Capitol building on our way to Capitol Hill Books.


Later on, we found this funny Wizard of Oz themed mural on the side of a tattoo parlor.



In need of refreshment, we pedaled up to Pete's Ice Cream.

Scott had a cone. I had a chocolate shake.

From there, we made our way to City Park. Here's Duck Lake, a poopy little pond that's just outside the zoo.

Where we saw a family of geese. Very cute.

Ferrill Lake, now with (kinda expensive) paddleboats.

From there we went down 17th street, with it's glorious canopy of old trees.

We stopped for a rest on the green belt, then made our way home.

Ah, life is good.

Now I have that full-body tired that means my muscles have been well-used and the day well-spent.

Here's Your Sign

These signs are at every train station, but people smoke anyway.

Just once, I'd like to see a sign that says, "Smoking is allowed here in consideration of your fellow passengers."

Courtesy is a two-way street.

A Portrait of the Commuter

As a young man.

The buffalo is a relief on the sound barrier at the train station. The silhouette is me.