May 20, 2004


Posted by shonk at 04:12 AM in Blogging, Economics, Politics | TrackBack

A few things of note:

  • The Jesus Landing Pad — Apparently, the Bush administration is consulting with apocalyptic, evangelical groups with a self-decribed “theocratical perspective” on issues relating to Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, etc. Ironically, the most radical Zionists are apparently no longer Jews, but rather evangelical Christians who are convinced that the rapture cannot occur without a unified Israel. Apparently, the most outspoken of these groups is a Pentecostal group called the Apostolic Congress which, aside from appropriating the Great Seal iconography, is apparently represented in Israel by a missionary who fears witchcraft emanations from Harry Potter books. Needless to say, somewhat disturbing.

  • Michael Moore Hates America — A new documentary being directed by Mike Wilson, who apparently intends to turn the tables on Moore a bit. Be sure to check out Wilson’s journal page, currently detailing a couple of offers made to Moore to live up to his own professed principles. For more, check out the Telegraph article, which also references one of the most tasteless jokes I’ve ever heard, wherein Moore apparently suggested in jest at a recent live show that if the doomed 9/11 flights had been populated by blacks instead of “pampered whites”, the passengers would have fought off the hijackers. (Links via Catallarchy)

  • Atkins News and the Technical Interpreter — Also from Catallarchy, Jonathan Wilde uses recent Atkins-related reporting as a jumping-off point for a more general critique of the presentation of science and scientific results in the media. Along the same lines, check out John Allen Paulos’ Innumeracy, which I’ve mentioned before.

  • AIM viruses — Lucky for all of us, we can now get viruses over AIM. The worst offender so far seems to be BuddyLinks, which is using a viral dissemination approach for its games.

  • “Half the world has never made a phone call” — Ever heard this claim? Well, it may have been true back in 1994, but certainly not anymore, as Clay Shirky demonstrates pretty clearly in this article (which itself is from 2002 and is, therefore, almost certainly out-of-date in its own right). Of course, he’s also quite correct to point out that the sort of thinking that lies behind this phrase is exactly the wrong sort of thinking:

    Something incredibly good is happening in parts of the world with dynamic economies, and that is what people concerned with the digital divide should be thinking about. If the world’s poor are to be served by better telecommunications infrastructure, there are obvious things to be done. Make sure individuals have access to a market for telephone service. Privatize state telecom companies, introduce competition, and reduce corruption. And perhaps most importantly, help stamp out static thinking about telecommunications wherever it appears. Economic dynamism is a far better tool for improving telephone use than any amount of erroneous and incomplete assertions on behalf of half the world’s population, because while The Phrase has remained static for the last decade or so, the world hasn’t.

  • And, last but not least, Tim is back in the blogging game, even though he promised not so long ago never to blog again. Be sure to check out his post on the preposterousness of “owning” a word, a follow-up to the notorious EULA.