Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sarcastro in "The Tick vs. Education"

The Tick vs. Education

The Tick | Myspace Video

sarcasm versus sardonicism verus irony

Dr. Goodword describes it thus:
Sardonic means “disdainful or playfully derisive, especially in facial or verbal expression.”
  • Sarcasm implies a derision explicitly intended to hurt or offend someone.
  • Sardonicism implies a cynical derision expressed either verbally or facially with no necessary intent to offend or cause emotional distress.
  • Irony comes from an amusingly provocative disparity between any two seemingly incompatible things, expressed to amuse rather than to offend.
I'm not certain his description satisfies me.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Green Lantern Theory and John Cole

This description of an idea is perfectly reasonable.
Green Lantern Theory – States that the main impediment preventing a goal from being achieved is a lack of willpower. Coined by Matt Yglesias to describe the thinking of Iraq hawks and neoconservative geopolitics, it has also been used to describe a similar mindset in other areas such as financial regulation. Conveniently, the theory cannot be disproved—since any setback, military or otherwise, can simply be blamed on a lack of will, necessitating a redoubled effort with greater resolve. The name comes from the DC Comics character Green Lantern, whose power ring can produce almost any effect imaginable so long as the wielder has sufficient power of will to call it into being.
The idea is not reasonable at all.

Mind you that when redoubling effort in terms of military conflict the increased resources generally results in a practically different strategy on the battlefield.

The application of greater resources when it comes to governments implementing solutions on the macroeconomic battlefield does not generally mean a different approach or allocation of resources so much as it means doing the same thing with more energy, emphasis, or effort.

Professor Paul Krugman, for example, is one of the Left-Democrats that insist the Stimulus of 2009 was a good idea for a policy, but a bad policy only because it was too small. If that Stimulus was greater in terms of resources moved by the federal government it would have been successful in restoring economic prosperity and growth in the country.

I took the Green Lantern Theory from Balloon-Juice, a weblog I used to read on a regular basis.  I stopped.  I remember not caring for the ideas being thrown around during the Schiavo case.  I read some of it today and I found the weblog is now a left-wing dogma bin.  Balloon-Juice has turned left in my absence (there is no correlation or causation).  I used to like the weblog; it is admirable that unlike most facets or manifestations of leftism I see this weblog appears to have a somewhat coherent or cohesive philosophy.  Balloon-Juice does not have a firm grip on principle or reality beyond mere alliances, allegiances, or club memberships.  Who is with whom means more to John Cole than the actual beliefs involved.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Riddick Trilogy DVD collection review

I am mostly comparing this to the Special Edition DVD of Pitch Black.  I especially wish to determine differences in features and special features.

Extras are as follows:
Commentary with David Twohy, Vin Diesel, and Cole Hauser
A standard, convivial commentary in which the two male leads trade jokes about how cold it was and the director tries to fill in bits of technical detail. Their mutual wit justifies a listen, especially when Diesel discusses the many uncomfortable things his character had to do.
Commentary with David Twohy, Producer Tom Engelman and Visual Effects Supervisor Peter Chiang
This more technical commentary is somehow that much more joke-laden, though it does get into the nitty-gritty of how things were shot and why. Engleman and Chiang, perhaps surprisingly, are the ones doing most of the cutting-up.
The Johns Chase Log
An interactive feature that allows you to read and to listen to William Johns' notes on the chase for Riddick. It's pretty dull stuff but liberally dosed with profanity to keep you interested.
"The Making of Pitch Black" (5 mins.)
Standard EPK bull complete with micro-minuscule sound bites and blink-and-you'll-miss-'em clips from the film. No real information imparted.
"Dark Fury: Advancing the Arc" (2 mins.)
An even shorter and less edifying promo for the animated sidetrack, with Peter Chung talking guff about the challenge of using pre-existing characters. Skip it, life is too precious.
The Chronicles of Riddick Visual Encyclopedia
Another interactive glossary illuminating the terms "slam," "merc" and "orrery," none of which come as any surprise to those who have seen Pitch Black and possess an IQ above twelve.
A View into the Dark (4 mins.)
This looks forward to The Chronicles of Riddick (many of these supplements are recycled from Pitch Black's pre-The Chronicles of Riddick tie-in release) but pretty much repeats the formula of the making-of with the usual glad-handing about how everybody can identify with Riddick. Again, no real useful info.
"From Pitch Black to The Chronicles of Riddick: Bridging the Gap" (8 mins.)
Several parties (including Twohy and Diesel) explain that a bridge was needed to link the early film to the later one; nobody points out that Dark Fury doesn't really do this, but never mind. Writer Brett Matthews and director Peter Chung neverthless reveal a few choice tidbits, not that the finished product was worth chewing over.
"Peter Chung: The Mind of an Animator" (5 mins.)
This is a far more in-depth talk with the "Aeon Flux" creator, but while he's very articulate and smart, he talks in vague generalities like most other special-feature talking heads. That said, the piece is remarkably free of the cloying gush that usually marks these things.
"Into the Light" (5 mins.)
More cross-promotional hoo-ha about the impending release of The Chronicles of Riddick. Diesel and Twohy explain it was interest in the character--and not commercial expediency--that changed the would-be franchise's direction from sci-fi horror to sci-fi adventure. About what you'd expect.
Commentary with David Twohy, Alexa Davalos, and Karl Urban
Twohy comes off as bright as ever as he launches into exegesis for The Chronicles of Riddick, helpfully pointing out which scenes were cut from the theatrical version in addition to providing hugely convoluted rationales for artistic choices that barely register. While Davalos and Urban would appear to be flummoxed by the format, Twohy helps keep us engaged.
Deleted Scenes (8 mins.)
Three clips, including: a) a wisely-excised exposition scene with Elemental Judi Dench explaining why the Necromongers must be stopped; b) the original capture-of-Riddick sequence that was reshot for increased drama; and c) Toombs' untimely demise during the race to escape Crematoria. With optional Twohy commentary.
Virtual Guide to The Chronicles of Riddick
Another entirely superfluous interactive glossary, although this one will sometimes give you the choice of two characters to explain ten places and people in the Riddick universe.
"Toombs' Chase Diary" (10 mins.)
Merc Toombs talks big from a computer screen and annoys the hell out of you with his jabbering about how he's going to take down Riddick. A big waste of time.
Riddick Insider
A pop-up trivia option that can be used while watching the movie. Alas, much of this is totally needless background information ("The four faces on the Lord Marshall's mask represent his all-seeing astral eyes"). Though fanboys will swoon, mostly it just gets in the way of enjoying the sensual array offered by the film itself.
Riddick's Worlds
Interactive 360-degree views of eight of the film's sets, with appropriately ominous Graeme Revell music. I don't exactly see the point, but it's nice to see the sets with the studio ceilings visible and much empty space in front. Kicks off with Diesel offering hyperbolic accounts of their awesome might.-Travis Mackenzie Hoover
Obviously I ignored the following:
© Film Freak Central; This review may not be reprinted, in whole or in part, without the express consent of its author.
I love "fair use" and this helps fulfill my own mechanical and commercial needs.

the Spartans need to crush the Hawkeyes on their own turf

Day: Saturday
Date: Oct. 30, 2010
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

Last Event

at Northwestern
W, 35-27
Day: Saturday
Date: Oct. 23, 2010
Location: Evanston, Ill.
Time: ET
Spartans Rally Past Northwestern, 35-27

Related Links


Radio:   Spartan Sports Network

Monday, October 25, 2010

the bullied gay suicide non-trend

Kelly Bernero, daughter of Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, wrote the following on her Facebook (October 21 at 2:50pm) Wall.
Kind of depressed about the bullying of gay students here in Michigan and around the country. Praying for Corey Jackson's family, and that we all learn to be more loving and accepting.
While I appreciate the sentiment of her sympathy towards individuals in this whole perceived trend the participation in a growing trend is troubling. Recently some suicides committed by homosexuals have become prominent (as opposed to prevalent, as these actions are not) which have been linked to bullying of these unfortunate people. This has unfortunately caused a trend in the media and on the social networks of a meme linking bullying, suicide, and intolerance towards homosexuals, as one combined problem.

This is irritating, frustrating, stupid, and potentially destructive, not the least of which is that these respective individuals simply get their lives summed up as "gay". I would never want my life summed up in such a monosyllabic fashion.

Bullying is a serious problem in our schools that has not been originally or adequately addressed. Intolerance towards homosexuals, who are children of God (as am I, and their sins are equal to mine), is a facet and manifestation of man's sinful nature. Expressing hostility towards individuals or groups because of differences is hard-coded into humanity, if one discounts the spiritual component. Suicide is a selfish immoral individual choice. People should stop killing themselves as that individual commission of selfish impulses hurts others. Those are different problems in our society to be addressed with respective solutions.

One problem with the memetic trend is that what is either (depending on the case) typical bullying or someone being a jerk to someone else is being wrapped into "bullying towards gays" which is meant to be a subset of "persecution of homosexuals" which is a subset of "intolerance towards homosexuals or gays".  From that point we have a real problem (bullying in our children's schools) being ignored or untreated or maltreated so we can teach people to be "tolerant".  Bullies are bullies because they desire power and see the mistreatment of weaker or more vulnerable individuals as a way to get power.  Generally that is true; inducing fear into a person is a way of gaining power.  Beyond gaining power through fear or intimidation (among other methods) bullies do not operate in an ideological manner, at least in the role as a bully.

Various theories on how to eliminate or mitigate the bully problem will be addressed in the coming months.

I noticed two or three instances on Facebook of Facebook Groups or Facebook Events where participants were wearing pink- or purple-colored garb to spread "awareness" of this trend, in a impotent attempt to mitigate the perceived trend.  "Awareness" does not stop bullies in the same way it will not stop violent criminals' violent acts.

"Awareness" movements by themselves are worse than useless because it provides the illusion of actions and the feeling of solutions when in fact nothing is happening except the continuance of the problem.  But what this really does is gloss over the broad dilemma of bullying, preventing us from disciplining the bullies and shoring up the psyches of the suicidal, by chalking it all up to identity politics and victim morality.  Instead of orienting ourselves towards right or wrong, or even just correct direct action our collective sociopolitical axis revolves around the victims.  When someone mistreats anybody the failure is where we fail to protect people from villains and the villains were not provided disincentive from doing harm to others.  Instead we look for motives linking the bad guy to the target as if he was a generic target with a specific link that triggered the horror.  In point of fact a victimizer needs a victim but we should not confuse an agenda with an excuse.  It is easy to enter into my Matthew Shepherd spiel.
People and the media focus on the victim and cry that a gay man was tortured, murdered, and hung on a fence.  Too few people insist that murder is wrong regardless of the victim.
That was an extreme case but lessons of tolerance towards others was drawn from it, easily ignoring that we should work harder to prevent murder.  Matthew Shepherd was murdered but he did not die because he was a homosexual; he was murdered because two villains believed they could and still prosper.

ABC worked very hard to promote the idea that bullying and homosexuality are linked, but they worked harder to link bullying and suicide with their October 14, 2010 episode of 20/20; the feature was entitled "Bullied to Death"

This was promoted through e-mail and television advertisements and all through it the action of self-termination was unmistakeably linked to bullies, ignored that what bullies do is not a direct cause of suicide, despite being a likely contributor in the motivation. One of the top media organizations in the country pushes the meme and creates a notion of a trend where none exists.

I wonder if so many people would commit suicide if others' respective suicides were not so widely publicized.

The simple summary of why people kill themselves is because they consider their respective lives to be their own and do not wish to continue. Each persons' reasons and motivations are their own. Obviously a teacher or moral role model should have taught them otherwise.

The fact is we should not work to stop bullies to prevent suicides; we should protect people because that is the right thing to do.

The simple summary of why bullies bully homosexuals, as an example, is that people will not usually defend homosexuals. Bullies do not hate gay people; bullies choose their victims based on power. If someone cannot fight back the reasons for the weakness are circumstantial but as long as someone is a socially acceptable target a reliable bully will take advantage.

Obviously we need to address the age-old schoolyard condition.

People wanting to end the suffering are commendable in their sentiments but their words and potentially their actions are misplaced.

Scalia says too many of the best minds are lawyers

Law Blog quotes Supreme Court Justice Atonin Scalia from a series of C-SPAN interviews
In response to a question from host Susan Swain about the “quality of counsel” who appear before the court, Scalia responds with this gem:
Well, you know, two chiefs ago, Chief Justice Burger, used to complain about the low quality of counsel. I used to have just the opposite reaction. I used to be disappointed that so many of the best minds in the country were being devoted to this enterprise.
I mean there’d be a, you know, a defense or public defender from Podunk, you know, and this woman is really brilliant, you know. Why isn’t she out inventing the automobile or, you know, doing something productive for this society?
I mean lawyers, after all, don’t produce anything. They enable other people to produce and to go on with their lives efficiently and in an atmosphere of freedom. That’s important, but it doesn’t put food on the table and there have to be other people who are doing that. And I worry that we are devoting too many of our very best minds to this enterprise.
And they appear here in the Court, I mean, even the ones who will only argue here once and will never come again. I’m usually impressed with how good they are. Sometimes you get one who’s not so good. But, no, by and large I don’t have any complaint about the quality of counsel, except maybe we’re wasting some of our best minds.
I agree completely and this is astounding wisdom. As vital as advocacy within the law is to our society perhaps so many minds which are brilliant or even merely very intelligent should be committed, or have been committed to a different, more productive field.

Some lawyers should just be committed, period.

Although the incidental counterpoint is that many brilliant minds just are not sufficient in skill or ability at another trade.

Some people are not good at anything contribute or functional, regardless of intelligence or intellect.

It's a shame, no?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Michigan State at Northwestern

Day: Saturday
Date: Oct. 23, 2010
Location: Evanston, Ill.
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Last Event

vs. Illinois (Homecoming)
W, 26-6
Day: Saturday
Date: Oct. 16, 2010
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Time: ET
No. 13 Michigan State Defeats Illinois, 26-6

Related Links

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Keynes verus Hayek

Then go to Daily Kos, scroll down, and take the poll telling their readers that you like Friedrich Hayek and his Austrian economic beliefs better than the other guy.

everything-squared on DC One Million and Superman versus the Amazing Spider-Man

Grant Morrison wrote and coordinated the DC One Million event. It was a company-wide crossover, a particular story encompassing the entire setting of stories taking place throughout an issue of each respective comic book magazine published by the company in the DC Comics line. It was the DC Universe crossover for 1998. Two things the otherwise-comprehensive everything2 entry does not mention is 1) how unusual it was for the time in that it actually centered around Superman and the Justice League of America.  Most of the crossovers at the time told us stories where the entire world was endangered and the universe on the brink destruction as the Devil was about to rule hell and earth and other odd stuff but the premiere super-hero team was not on the case.  It's hard to explain in a non-comic-book sort of way.  2) The concept of Hypertime was introduced.  Reading through the entire crossover I noticed that some parts mentioned to have happened are not included in the story.
A whole lot of the story takes place off-camera: that is, in other comics. You have to read, as a bare minimum, three or four additional comics before many of the events referred to in comics after DC1M #1 begin to make sense. And those extra comics are patchy at best. While, in the core five, Morrison seems to be venting raw inspiration at full burn to make the DC Universe of 85,271 shiny and colourful as possible, the rest of the gaggle seem to be picking at his half-mentioned ideas (off-the-shelf superpowers, information as currency) and turning them into half-inspiring comics (Action Comics #1,000,000, Power Of Shazam #1,000,000 respectively). Maybe the secondary writers didn't have the creative freedom they needed to keep the whole thing interesting, but the extra comics diluted the DC1M universe for me, rather than expanding on it... "JLA One Million" is the name of the trade paperback which collects this crossover. It contains nothing like the complete range of comics listed here: which is a good thing, as I said. Instead it limits itself to DC1M #1-4, JLA #1M, Starman #1M, Resurrection Man #1M and Man of Tomorrow #1M, with a few pages selected from each of Green Lantern #1M and Detective Comics #1M too. Overall I would say you do have a very good impression of the whole storyline in this TPB: all the salient details are present. It FEELS like there is a lot going on in the sidelines which you're missing, but you'll have to trust me when I say that this is just a product of Morrison's high-paced writing, and what you're missing is either inconsequential or missing from the crossover entirely (future Wonder Woman rescuing Supergirl, for example, doesn't actually appear anywhere in the crossover).
I wish the Supergirl tie-in was a chapter of the story and not one of the theme issues. I don't know if the writer, Peter David, was phoning it in or not. Overall the e2 guide is comprehensive enough and provides a better reading order than DC Comics did, if one is enterprising enough to get every comic book in the promotion.

In 1976 Marvel and DC Comics published their first inter-company crossover and the second co-publication between the two companies: Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man. Unlike DC One Million it was not wedged into the continuity of the respective comic book series and was likely set in a third universe, a third setting entirely.
The industry giants had collaborated once before, on an adaptation of MGM's adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, but that comic had not involved their characters. Wizard was the trial run; for the American bicentennial, their best-selling heroes would meet.
Some comic-book crossovers present their characters as inhabitants of alternate universes; most DC/Marvel team-ups since have taken that approach. But for their first such comic (and a sizable number since), the characters simply share the same world, but have never met before... The comic features no advertisements, but boasts an assortment of extra features, including comments from head honchos Stan Lee and Carmine Infantino, one-page origins of Superman, Spider-man, Lex Luthor, and Doc Ock, and alternate cover concepts... A second treasury-size team-up appeared in 1981; it references this one. Later Marvel/DC team-ups would incline towards pairing Spider-man and Superman with characters more within their respective weight classes, and generally disregard this historic adventure.
The first meeting was published by DC and the second was published by Marvel Comics. The noted distinction between story-styles of the two is more or less correct:
What makes this approach interesting is the vast difference between Marvel and DC Comics at the time. In 1976, Marvel still retained most of its angsty, quasi-realistic 1960s tone (indeed, its characters were just starting to prolong their ages unrealistically), while DC's ethos remained stubbornly in comicdom's Silver Age.
What sticks out to me is an insight I have made before, mentioned before, but have rarely, well, never, seen elsewhere on the internet:
Superman uses his dual identity to protect those close to him; what good is that, when everyone knows the name of Superman's girlfriend?
The idea that super-heroes have secret identities to protect the people closest to them is so old I cannot say where it originated. It would be fairly ironic if it came from a Superman comic book. For many characters it makes sense. The hero does not publicly associate with the same people in costume as he does when he lives his own life. But Clark Kent hangs out at the Daily Planet with Superman's girlfriend and "Superman's pal". All his friends are publicly known to be friends or associates with Superman and in fact part of the backstory was that Clark Kent was the best friend of Superman. Elliot Maggin (among other writers) did explain in other stories that the main reason Superman kept the Clark Kent identity was not to protect his friends but simply to have a private life where people did not bug him as a celebrity.

 Between 1976 and 1998 Superman has changed a lot. Perhaps he has gotten to be a but more like Spider-Man, although the two still do not share the same weight class.

taxonomic organization

I love this list but the simple divisions and hierarchy in taxonomy is difficult to remember, I found it, along with a definition.
From highest (most inclusive) to lowest (most specific), the major formal taxonomic units, or “ranks” are:
  • Domain (= Superkingdom)
  • Kingdom
  • Phylum (often called a “Division” in botany)
  • Class
  • Order
  • Family
  • Genus
  • Species
Intermediate divisions are often used, “subspecies” and “variety” being very commonly employed at the lower end.
There is a lot more to it.

I still don't believe in a cross-species evolution, however one phrases the terminology these days.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Homecoming welcomes the Fighing Illini to Spartan Stadium as the Spartans sharpen the swords

Illinois (Homecoming)
Day: Saturday
Date: Oct. 16, 2010
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Last Event

at Michigan
W, 34-17
Day: Saturday
Date: Oct. 9, 2010
Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Time: ET
Spartans Down Rival Michigan, 34-17

what Rush says the Tea Party is


“The Tea Party is not a party. It’s not even an ideology. It’s a force.” - Rush Limbaugh 2010-10-14

President Obama puts his comfort over the country's needs

Debra J. Saunders writes at Rasmussen Reports
Even though America is fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, members of President Obama's Cabinet are three times more likely to have attended law school than boot camp... maybe this is a class issue. Maybe Obama surrounds himself with like-minded alumni of faculty lounges and law review journals -- seven Cabinet members and one Cabinet-rank official are law school grads -- when he ought to be looking harder among America's heroes and old warhorses for advice. Maybe, since America is at war, Obama should look a little harder outside his rarefied comfort zone.
Recognizing my own strengths and weaknesses I would rather surround myself professionally with a majority of people with different experiences and fields of knowledge to compensate for what I know are my weaknesses.

President Obama perhaps believes he has no weaknesses or he does not desire genuine Men of War indicating what his shortcomings are.

Family Guy Evolution

Katherine Heigl In A Bikini versus the police

I guess.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mike Huckabee versus Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter was on Mike Huckabee's Fox News late night talk show on the evening of October 9, 2010

Miss Coulter declared that she was not insulting Mike Huckabee but that she had made an
an insult to all of Obama’s so-called Christian advisers (“they are such fake, phony frauds”) whom Coulter thinks do not spend enough time protesting abortion in the President’s presence.

“So I started thinking, what if you were a genuine Christian but you had some crazy liberal views on things that are not directly Christian, what would that look like? And I thought of you Governor.”
I won't say that there is anything to Miss Coulter's claim that "all liberals are atheists" but her assertion that Mike Huckabee is both a Christian and a "liberal" has a sort of ring of truth to it.

Since Mike Huckabee is employed by Fox News and every so often is implied to run for President in 2012 he "appeared more upset at the idea of being called a liberal" than at anything else Miss Coulter said "though... amidst all his protestations he held his ground and refused to 'judge' anyone else’s Christianity." I don't doubt that he possesses principles but there is ample evidence that Mike Huckabee is not quite a Conservative. This whole exchange reminds me of what Jonah Goldberg wrote of Governor Huckabee and his populism.
What's troubling about The Man From Hope 2.0 is what he represents. Huckabee represents compassionate conservatism on steroids. A devout social conservative on issues such as abortion, school prayer, homosexuality and evolution, Huckabee's a populist on economics, a fad-follower on the environment and an all-around do-gooder who believes that the biblical obligation to do "good works" extends to using government — and your tax dollars — to bring us closer to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth... And therein lies the chief difference between Paul and Huckabee. One is a culturally conservative libertarian. The other is a right-wing progressive... As for Huckabee — as with most politicians, alas — his personal preferences matter enormously because, ultimately, they're the only things that can be relied on to constrain him.

In this respect, Huckabee's philosophy is conventionally liberal, or progressive. What he wants government to do certainly differs in important respects from what Hillary Clinton wants, but the limits he would place on governmental do-goodery are primarily tactical or practical, not philosophical or constitutional. This isn't to say he — or Hillary — is a would-be tyrant, but simply to note that the progressive notion of the state as a loving, caring parent is becoming a bipartisan affair.
When Ann Coulter calls Mike Huckabee a "Christian liberal" she is accurate in saying it; I just hope she means it and is not just trying to get attention.

an old David Brin update

I found a David Brin newsletter issue in my old e-mails. It's hard to believe I found only one. It is dated February 2009.
Hello fellow fans of the future!  David Brin here.  I know it has been
a very long time since I have come out with one of my update-
newsletters.  As an experiment, I moved this list over to Google
Groups.  I hope it is convenient for all of you.

(The member list is re-filling so slowly, I will go ahead and post
this to the first 35o people and re-post a week or two later.  Sorry.)

Remember, I only send these out a few times a year!  And you can opt-
out any time.


Alert: My TV show "Life After People" re-appears on the History
Channel 2/28 5pm!  They plan to turn it into a series.  I'll be on
most episodes.

My most recent book falls into the category of a science fiction
"related work." It is "Through Stranger Eyes" -- a collection of of my
liveliest essays and book reviews, Including some provocative essays
about Star Wars, Tolkien and Trek! Also ruminations on great minds
from Feynman to Muybridge, along with literature and science far
afield from SF. Published by Nimble Press. 

My recent novella - "Shoresteading" - set in a near future of rising
seas and tensions, offers a stand-alone glimpse into my next novel.
This fast paced tale of mystery and alien artifacts is posted online
for free on Jim Baen's Universe Magazine.

They hope some of you will give it a Hugo nomination. I won't
complain! See the novella at:

Universe is the best online SF magazine ever, packed with exciting
stories! Including several stand-alone David Brin novellas, plus my
new serial-comedy
"The Ancient Ones"... it's funniest thing you'll read this
year! Subscribe using a special discount coupon code, just for my
fans! EE329517B2

I'm also hard at work on a sprawling near future novel called
Existence. Stay tuned!

Yes, folks want more Uplift! I do hope to get back to Tom, Creideiki
and other Uplift adventures.  Till then, see the uplift story
"Temptation" downloadable at  Also
a new uplift comedy on Universe, in the next few months.

PS here's a hint... some will argue that my next novel, Existence, is


Sky Horizon, a short but exciting novel in the Heinlein tradition won
the Hal Clement Award for best SF novel for young adult readers.   The
limited run, from Subterranean, is sold out. I'll announce when a mass
market edition is available... as well as the sequel, written with the
great young author Jeff Carlson!

Kiln People is a fast-moving noir detective novel, set in a vivid
future when people can literally be in two places at once. 

The graphic novel "The Life Eaters" explores how mystically-obsessed
Nazis might have hoped to use a bizarre kind of magic. With stirring
art by Scott Hampton. (The French were keen on this one.) 

For a fun, nonfiction romp that stirred lots of controversy, see: Star
Wars on Trial : Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most
Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time from Benbella Books. 


I was a cast member on the History Channel show "The ArchiTechs" as
well as History's most popular show ever:  "Life After People." I'm
now appearing frequently on the science shows "The Universe" and
"Alien Worlds."  (ArchiTechs was great!  See:


Can individual citizens matter, in an era when the professionals seem
to think only they can protect civilization?

Is the Web helping us evolve? Is the Internet turning us into gods?

A little allegory from my nonfiction book The Transparent Society.

About the yin/yang of a coming “technological singularity”:


Interested in joining a vivid online discussion group? Drop by: 

Meanwhile do keep an eye open at  for news,
plus essays and interesting stuff about the future!

Let's all keep pushing and working and exploring -- for a civilization
that is bold and open and worthy of the name.


David Brin

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "David Brin fan updates" group.
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I think "Life After People" is stupid, overly cynical and placing it on the History Channel is heresy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'll back autism reform. So should you

As near as I can tell it certainly won't force you to pay more money to help strangers but it will help my niece.
The Ann Arbor Center for Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
From Autism Insurance in Michigan (AIM)

The effort to pass autism insurance reform legislation this year has reached a critical juncture. 

As you are already aware, autism insurance reform legislation passed the Michigan House of Representatives last year. Stakeholders have been working diligently for several months to move the legislation through the Michigan senate. Many of you have attended the public workgroup hearings held throughout the state.  Compelling testimony has been provided, indicating the incredible burden families are placed under attempting to provide life-changing autism treatment for their loved ones.  In addition, a strong fiscal argument has been provided, proving that the state of Michigan's economic health is dependent on this much-needed reform.   

As part of Michigan's much needed economic reform, this could save $14 billion of lifetime costs.

With the legislative clock ticking down, now more than ever we need senate leadership to provide principled leadership and move autism insurance legislation forward this year.  We simply cannot afford to wait.
How to Help...

1.    Call Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and ask him to move autism insurance reform legislation forward now.  Please be polite when you call.  Ask for his principled leadership on this issue.  Let him know that autism insurance coverage means a great deal to your family and will also be the fiscally responsible thing to do for the state of Michigan.

Senate Majority Leader Michael D. Bishop : (517) 373-2417
If you happen to be sent to voice mail, please leave a message.

2.    Ask at least ten of your friends to call Senator Bishop as well.  Please note that they do not have to be personally affected by autism to make this call.  We need to flood Senator Bishop's phone  with polite calls from concerned citizens, asking for his principled leadership on autism insurance reform.  There is strength in numbers.  The more polite calls Senator Bishop receives from concerned citizens, the more likely it becomes he will move autism insurance reform legislation forward this session.


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The Ann Arbor Center for Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
Rick Solomon, M.D.       Mark Bowers, Ph.D.

Monday, October 11, 2010

National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day, in which we straight people can celebrate as National Mind My Own Business Day, in which we treat our fellow humans with dignity and respect. The Bible never says "love the sinner, hate the sin." It says "love your neighbor." If something is a sin, that's God's problem, not mine. My problem is to love my neighbor. Unconditionally and without exceptions, exclusions or footnotes.
                                                                              -- Jim MacQuarrie

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Jillian Michaels skimpy top dress code

I was watching television on Science Channel (about rocketry) and there was a Nordic Track commercial starring Jillian Michaels which made me wonder: does she have a dress code specifically commanding her to show off her abs? (She was wearing the orange top, by the way).

I really hope this comes up under the search "Jillian Michaels bikini"

Rocky mixes the political with the football

What is important is the Spartan victory.

New Header
MSU vs. UofM Weekend Update
Dear Friends,
As families and friends all across Oakland County gather for the big game, we can put aside our political differences for a few hours to focus on a different battle — for supremacy on the gridiron.  But when you think about it, political campaigns and football games have similarities.  For example, there are fans who believe a great ground game is the key to winning, while others believe it's the passing game that's more important.  Still other fans think defense is what matters most.
In a campaign, volunteers like you make our ground game unbeatable.  By making phone calls, going door to door and working the polls, your hard work is the key to making sure every supporter of our cause votes on November 2nd.
At the same time, you provide the best defense against the vicious assault of deceptive, false, negative ads our opponent is putting on the air.  By telling the truth about me to your friends and neighbors, you neutralize the millions spent on negative ads that lie about me and my record.
So the bottom line in the campaign is this:  A great ground game and an impregnable defense of truth will win this election over the the lies and mud filling the airwaves.
Make sure to read on to learn more about how you can help us win on Election Day and get America back on the right track to a more prosperous and secure future.
P.S.  Our campaign is excited to announce the grand opening of our satellite headquarters in Rochester Hills.  Volunteers in the northern part of the 9th District can pick up yard signs and door-to-door materials, as well as make phone calls to voters from this new office.  The new office is at 945 S. Rochester Rd., Suite 101, in Rochester Hills.  PLEASE CALL THE MAIN HQ @ 248-556-4400 FOR HOURS OF OPERATION BEFORE STOPPING BY.

some history for Spartans-Wolverines football

David Harns notes:
Of the 102 MSU-Michigan games, 70 of them have been played in Ann Arbor.
Jason H. Valente follows:
Of the 7 games where both went in undefeated State has won 5, tied 1, lost 1. I like those odds!!!!

the Spartans will defeat the Wolverines today

 says so and he explains why.

In the end I think a good deal of Wolverine fans should let go of the notion of "Little brother" or that every game in the continuum of the respective football programs is relevant today. The Wolverines have won more games in the course of the rivalry yet the Spartans have a winning streak 3-0 between the two. These days it is generally more of a toss-up between the two and while today will go to the Spartans because the Wolverines' quarterback and chief scorer is nearly shattered physically (before the game) as time goes I expect that neither program will be able to cleanly and confidently just know who will win. Our program is improving in its consistency and the Wolverines' have just righted their own ship, I think.

Who know? Maybe in the long run of decades of football MSU will catch up. I doubt it though. Far more likely is that those early wins will be forever unmatched and we have a new era of competitiveness.

And Jeff Lauster is an idiot for saying that MSU victories don't count until we catch up in the long-list.

politicians rarely know science or ethics or economics

They should say so, shouldn't they?

a definition of scientism



Unlike the use of the scientific method as only one mode of reaching knowledge, scientism claims that science alone can render truth about the world and reality. Scientism's single-minded adherence to only the empirical, or testable, makes it a strictly scientifc worldview, in much the same way that a Protestant fundamentalism that rejects science can be seen as a strictly religious worldview. Scientism sees it necessary to do away with most, if not all, metaphysical, philosophical, and religious claims, as the truths they proclaim cannot be apprehended by the scientific method. In essence, scientism sees science as the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth.
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This sounds like a dead-end belief system unless the believers and followers of this train of thought have a liberal wide-path definition/idea of the Scientific Method.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

MSU at U of M


Day: Saturday
Date: Oct. 9, 2010
Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET