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Go to Unfogged.com home

 

If I'd Known It Was That Easy...

Posted by Ogged
on 10.23.04

Does this link work? And is there still something very wrong with the information? If not, I grabbed a screenshot here. Very strange, as we were just talking about Unfogged's traffic, but particularly because we've never used Sitemeter. I figure folks will figure it out soon enough, and though I could send an email to clear things up, I think I'll just let the confusion play itself out. Unwhat? Who?

YOU KNOW: I think I know what's going on. I linked to Kos's Sitemeter stats in this post, and I'll bet the rankings engine just assumes that if you link to the stats, you're linking for your own site. That's why we have numbers almost identical to Kos. Ok, now it's not so much fun to let the error continue, so I'm going to take out the link in the post and email N.Z. Bear. Fun while it lasted...


 

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The Honor Thing

Posted by Ogged
on 10.22.04

I know this is horribly offensive, but again, why be pseudonymous if you're not willing...so, begging for one's life on video, asking that troops be pulled out of Iraq so that one's life will be spared...is really ignominious. I have no idea what I'd do in a similar situation; it's quite likely that I'd grovel pathetically, but I do know what one is supposed to do, and that's refuse to make a propaganda video, and let oneself be killed if it comes to that. It's not unheard of.


 

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The Implications

Posted by Ogged
on 10.22.04

I'm regularly seeing stories on Drudge and Insty about Republican offices being shot up and robbed. I take it the implication is that Democrats are lawless hoodlums. Perhaps. Mainly, it makes me think, "If they can't even keep their local offices safe..."


 

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The Toolmaker

Posted by Ogged
on 10.22.04

Hey, great, three-thousand years of tool-making practice finally make your bodily wastes drinkable, and somebody is bottling and selling the stuff.

NEWater is the product of Singapore's new water-treatment system, and it is wastewater that has been purified through advanced synthetic membranes called ZeeWeed. That's right: The crystal-clear NEWater that gushes through the country's faucets isn't gurgling from a mountain spring. Most recently, it was flushed from a toilet.

Actually, the technology sounds pretty cool.


 

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Switch

Posted by Ogged
on 10.22.04

I'm not making any public predictions, but, in speaking to friends, I've noted this phenomenon, and thought it was significant.

Several people who voted for Bush, for a third party, or didn't vote in 2000 are now voting for Kerry. Several people who voted for Bush in 2000 are now voting for a third party. I don't believe anyone who didn't vote for Bush in 2000 is now coming down on his side.

Some commenters point out that Matt's statement isn't entirely accurate, but do you, personally, know anyone who voted for Gore who will be voting for Bush?

And as long as I'm calling this "Switch," I might as well link to Errol Morris's political ads. I don't know, they're fine, but I haven't seen any ads from either side that I've found compelling.


 

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They're Dumber Than You Think

Posted by Ogged
on 10.22.04

Haha, even more on Steven Landsburg, this time from DD at Crooked Timber. It's very much worth reading, particularly for his perspective-making comments about physicists. I had read the Landsburg post at Marginal Revolution, and my first thought was, "What's the point if you can communicate?" but, like the woman (or, in this case, ignoramus) that we've established that I am, I assumed that I wasn't understanding something subtle.

UPDATE: Landsburg defends himself in the comments at CT. DD responds, in typical fashion. It's already a smackdown; it could be a classic.


 

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Numbers

Posted by Ogged
on 10.22.04

This isn't news to anyone, but sometimes you take a step back and see how quickly and radically things can change. Check out Daily Kos's traffic numbers. [Link removed; see here for an explanation] (And keep in mind that a few weeks ago he said that they were getting so much traffic that Sitemeter can't keep up, and underreports.) Half a million people, every day. Daily Kos was just some dude's website. Those are major daily newspaper subscription numbers. And he has, to use a word I never thought I'd use, leveraged those numbers into money for the Democrats and influence for his community. Amazing.


 

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Video

Posted by Ogged
on 10.21.04

Oh, how did I miss this? To Karl Rove: "You're Bush's brains Karl. I was expecting a much smaller man."

It took me a bit to get into it, but by the end, I was embarrassing myself at work.


 

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Keep It Straight

Posted by Ogged
on 10.21.04

David Grann has an article in this week's New Yorker about ABC News's "Note." I caught a few minutes of him on Talk of the Nation yesterday, and he kept saying something that's almost exactly wrong.

Here's how he puts it in the article, writing about a memo to his newsfolks from ABC's Mark Halperin. The first part is a quote from the memo.

"We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides ‘equally' accountable when the facts don't warrant that." Though the memo was somewhat overstated and crudely expressed, it tried to do what The Note almost never does: make a moral distinction.

No. What Halperin is asking reporters to do is to make factual distinctions. That's the heart of the critique of hesaid/shesaid reductive reporting: even matters of fact are reduced to arguments from competing interests.

Reporters have confused a good rule, "Don't let your personal bias cause you to misreport the facts" with a bastardized bad rule, "Reporting as fact something that someone can take issue with is evidence of bias." This gives us a perverse dynamic in the American press. Because most reporters are liberals, they hesitate to report as fact those facts that confirm their own views. (It's a bit more complicated than that. Because reporters are aware that their institution is perceived as liberal, they're particularly cautious about doing anything to confirm that perception.)

What Halperin wants is less hyper-self-conscious paralysis when it comes to making decisions regarding the facts. That's the moral thing to do, but it's a different kind of distinction.


 

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This All Seems So Familiar

Posted by Ogged
on 10.21.04

Jeanne has a typically fine post about the horrors of war, and our blindness to them--even now, after Vietnam.

We don't do bad things. The soldiers believe it too. Even as they witness bad things being done. Even as they see the results of horrible policies. If things fall apart, it cannot be our fault, so it must be the fault of the victims.

Meanwhile, Wild Frontiers is offering a tour package recreating Willard's trip up the Mekong in Apocalypse Now. via low culture


 

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Dungeons and Dragons at 30

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 10.21.04

Happy anniversary, guys. Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to overhear someone say "The building was collapsing around me, so I just threw everything into my bag of holding and took off!" Hilarious.

Fairness to the 20-sided die requires admitting that one of my all-time favorite people spends a lot of time making saving throws. You always hurt the ones you love.


 

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The Character Issue

Posted by Ogged
on 10.21.04

I'm really enjoying this picture and story about Bush's tailor. Michael Froomkin, with the relevant details.

Georges de Paris (!) looks like he moonlights at Hogwarts

 

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Haha, Those Silly Bloggers

Posted by Ogged
on 10.21.04

Of course, this doesn't describe a single moment in my life.


 

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A Very Good Map

Posted by Ogged
on 10.21.04

This one is pretty much just for Brad DeLong (though you can read it too): not quite a solution to link-rot, but a nifty way to take people where they want to go on the web, even when it's been moved.

But: Nothing for free. I'd like to hear what Brad makes of this article.

UPDATE: Thanks to Mitch in comments for the pointer. John Quiggen takes on Landsburg.


 

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Blanks

Posted by Ogged
on 10.21.04

That title is a joke. Thanks to everyone who had helpful advice about flowers and the play. I did take flowers, and the folks at the box office knew exactly what to do, and my friend was quite appreciative.

Best of all, the play was honest-to-god, even-if-she-weren't-a-friend brilliant.


 

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Not Today

Posted by Ogged
on 10.20.04

But lordy it takes a long time to resubscribe to all those damn blogs. No time for a real post (or a real response to baa in comments), but a couple of quick links:

Brett Marston reads the latest issue of Foreign Affairs and concludes,

I cannot believe that anyone still thinks that this President's security policies are a reason to reelect him. One could actually make an argument that this President's reelection bid has itself made the country less safer, to the extent that he has tried to argue that the war in Iraq will allow us to fight "the terrorists" abroad "so that we don't have to fight them at home." Talk about inducing a dangerous complacency.

Does that sound shrill? The whole post is worth a look.

And it's a good bet that something in this hodgepodge at makeoutcity will interest you.


 

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Rendering

Posted by Ogged
on 10.20.04

This is how posts are supposed to look on this site:


If that's not what you see (inability to see "posted by" seems common), can you please leave a comment noting your operating system and browser (with version numbers)? Thanks.


 

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Coverage

Posted by Ogged
on 10.20.04

I think over the past couple of weeks Gary Farber has blogged every story to cross the wires.


 

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Swift

Posted by Ogged
on 10.20.04

I seem to have wiped out all the subscriptions in my RSS reader, so I'm getting those back (and even doing some work work)...Unf will be posting any. second. now.


 

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A-Rod, the Bill Laimbeer of Baseball?

Posted by Ogged
on 10.19.04

About this Sox / Yankees A-Rod interference: what's the satisfaction in cheating to win? I don't get it (cheating can be fun, but only for its own sake, not to help you gain an advantage). And boy I didn't like Alex Rodriguez before, but now, yuck, villiany.

And, big ups to the umps--two critical calls, and they reversed, correctly, both times.

MORE: Oh, those cops are a strange site, eh? Yes, they're there because of a few idiot fans, but it's impossible not to think of terrorism and the ways in which our lives could be altered. Watching this inning is like peeking forward in time, to an event we should recognize that's been distorted by something horrible that we can't see. Chilling.


 

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Naming Names

Posted by Ogged
on 10.19.04

I imagine we'll be hearing a lot more about this.

The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.

via boing boing


 

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FYI

Posted by Ogged
on 10.19.04

My mom reports a conversation between six-year-olds.

Do you know that Osama Bin Laden is a killer?
Who's Osama Bin Laden?
He's the one who killed Abraham Lincoln!

 

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Don't Call It a Bleg

Posted by Ogged
on 10.19.04

Here's an entirely different kind of question, and maybe someone will know the proper etiquette: a friend's play is opening tomorrow, so do I take something (flowers?), even though I don't know if I'll see her before or after the show? Aside from taking something, are there other expectations?


 

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Questions

Posted by Ogged
on 10.19.04

A serious question for anyone considering voting for Bush (or for people who know/read such people): just what is it that you think Bush will do better than Kerry with regard to the "war on terror." I emphasize "do" because hearing that Bush "gets it," or "understands the stakes" doesn't tell me anything.

Also, an unorginal aside: isn't it quite strange that the people most likely to be affected by a terrorist attack, the urban coastal folks, are much more likely to vote for Kerry than the security-obsessed landlocked?

Which is to ask, dropping the subtlety for a moment, do Bush supporters realize that Kerry voters think Bush is heedlessly losing the "war" on terror, and wish Bush would take it seriously enough to try to win it, rather than use it to act tough?


 

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We Sell Dirt

Posted by Ogged
on 10.19.04

I couldn't help but smile at this juxtaposition.

it's not really the American people's fault that they chose, more or less, to let George W. Bush be President, despite his obvious inadequacy to the task. After all, Bush exemplifies the values of their social and economic betters, and it is only natural for people to admire him for it ... the public doesn't admire this set of aristocratic values because George W. Bush has them - they admire George W. Bush because he has these values, which are associated with wealth and privilege in a way beyond the ability of any individual to change.

And...

I think Americans feel more comfortable voting for a world leader that licks their fingers after eating chicken wings and tosses some balls at a sports bar. Sure, they know that he might not be the sharpest tack in the box, but ultimately people want to vote for a peer. Clinton understood that as he chowed down on Big Macs and fries.
Does this bother me? In many ways, of course. Shouldn't we want the smartest guy in charge?
But I also think that voting for one's peer is a testament to our democratic culture. Americans don't want to worship their leaders or put them on a pedestal. Americans don't want IQ tests or breeding to determine who rises to the top.

Boy, I really don't know what I think about this. Gdub seems like an odd mix of upper and regular class, but no one other than an American aristocrat could spend his entire life so happily insulated from reality--so I'm with the Poor Man on W's manner, but I'm not quite convinced that the people unconsciously gravitate toward the insouciant aristocrat. But maybe...


 

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Letter

Posted by Ogged
on 10.19.04

The man is just funny.


 

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The Reader

Posted by Ogged
on 10.19.04

John's right, this is a very good post on Derrida. And it's been a while, so I'll mention it again: the Derrida documentary is quite good (and fun! really!). Netflix and Greencine both have it.


 

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My Hair. My Self.

Posted by Ogged
on 10.19.04

Argh. I know everyone does it, but do they do it this carefully?

And how have we come to a place where a gaffe really is when a politician tells the truth, and embarrassment follows revelations of commonplaces? Voter stupidity can't explain it all, can it? Other countries are full of stupid people too. Does the hyper-adversarial method of politicking banish common sense? But that's been around forever too. My own guess is that politics now works in a way similar to advertisting: everyone thinks of himself as a knowing, rational decision-maker, watching from outside the system, as the system tries to influence him--but, all the while, being influenced.


 

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I often dream of trains planes

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 10.18.04

My streak of sitting next to ugly people on planes: ended! On the short leg of my flight back from a conference, I was placed next to a beautiful young woman (of the girl-next-door Brady sort)-- a chemical engineer, in fact-- who actually wanted to talk to me. Unfathomable, I know, but, dear readers, don't despair: my conversational grace is inversely proportional to the attractiveness/availability of my interlocutor. I kept from drooling over myself, at least, but only with the help of those complimentary mini-pretzels.

Karmic payback: on the next leg of the trip-- you know, the longer one, the one delayed four hours-- I was seated between Mr Hugh Jass and some enormous dude (in a velour track suit, I'm afraid) who works as a youth minister getting high school football players excited about Jesus. I spent about 90 minutes sandwiched between two large chunks of terrifying human flesh. I knew that would make you feel better.


 

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Tajik Air

Posted by Ogged
on 10.18.04

What to do if your Tajik Air plane is hijacked. All the humor of a Chinese menu, with the frisson of international terrorism. And I think it might even be real.

Found at Snark Attack, typed text added as a labor of love by yours truly.


 

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P-value

Posted by Ogged
on 10.18.04

He's still far too generous to Bush, but Dan Drezner thinks aloud about his vote for president, and it makes for a very good post.

MORE: And Kevin Drum has an excellent response to Drezner.


 

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