January 3, 2008

Roundup 1/3/08

  • I think there is some kind of internet rule that if you write about science ever at any time, and perhaps even if you don't, you have to link to the Edge World Question of 2008. Which seeks out 'those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are' to ask: "What have you changed your mind about? Why?" Well they didn't ask me, despite the fact that I obviously fit that description, so I'm not going to. Suck it, Edge World Question Center.
  • There is some kind of popularity contest happening today. What state better than Iowa to represent the mainstream of popular opinion? Actually, I tend to think that mainstream popular opinion is not always a great way of picking standard-bearers, but Iowans may have discovered an even worse method. I usually have predictions about how stuff like that is going to turn out, but this time, I seriously have no idea who either party is going to nominate. I think I could pick who would beat who in a general election, but these primaries are difficult to figure out. The Democrats because they seem to like all the candidates, except for the half that doesn't like H-bomb Clinton, and the other half who does but doesn't quite know why. The Republicans are even worse, since they seem to dislike all of their candidates equally, but for different reasons. Hopefully, neither party will get someone with a majority, and we can get candidates chosen in smoky back rooms at open conventions.
  • This is a from a few weeks ago, but Slate has a nice roundup of time-wasting web-based games. There's one where you're a poor family in Haiti that has to survive and not die of cholera. I think they made it completely impossible to emulate relate grim reality. If there is something that flash gaming was missing, it was guilt over 3rd world poverty.