November 12, 2004

Random Bits from the Buffer Zone

  • The first casualty of war isn't truth, notes a soldier, but innocence. That's why the Ma-Deuce .50 caliber machine gun is a man's best friend: Heavy Weapons & The First Casualty

  • Faced with declining web revenues in the wake of the election, the execrable Kos is starting to back and fill in order to scuttle towards the center. Here he's actually used the word "thugs" to describe the people we're trying to eradicate in Fallujah. A much earlier Kos remarked when American bodies were strung up on the bridges of Fallujah, "Screw 'em," so there's little reason to think he's changed that much since then. But when called out by his loyal if demented readers on ascribing thuggishness to animals, his response is a hearty "F*** You!" Ah, the garbage does not fall far from the dumpster @ Kos Looks to Sustain His Cash-Flow

  • The big lie that refuses to die. In the waning days of the election, one big gun fired without stop over the heads of the voters was the "100,000" dead citizens of the Iraq meme. Besides the obvious fact that we have not seen the 186 funerals every day reported for even one day, the study on which the lie was based was also deeply flawed. For political purposes? Almost certainly. After all it is much easier to hide bias inside statistics than to hide it in editorial columns. Fred Kaplan, however, eviscerates the lie in terms of statistics @ 100,000 Deadé or 8,000 - How many Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war?

  • Afghans have casualties too. To underscore the continuing use of casualties for propaganda purposes (Who knew!?), the Winds of Change has some background @ Winds of Change.NET: Fraud #2: Herold's Afghan War Casualties

  • The Unbearable Sadness of Being [Blue]: The binge drinking of the bitter herbs continues without letup at "The New Yorker. Yes, The New Yorker." Once again it is not the Democratic Party that's at fault, but the country itself: "The system of checks and balances has broken down, but the country remains divided -- right down the nonexistent, powerless middle. " claims Hertzberg in his bring-out-the crying-towels memory/dream/reflection called, sigh, Blues.

  • But hope is renewed elsewhere in the New Yorker with a brief look at a group of students taking a course called "What If? The Art and Science of Imagining a Society That Never Was." Tracking their reactions to the election during the course of the actual voting it is an interesting example of what happens when What If? Becomes Is.

  • Jed Babbin at The American Spectator coins the term Legacy Media , which you will probably be hearing again. To Babbin, "The term "legacy media" is a precise one. In the computer biz, "legacy systems" are old, outdated, and must be replaced if their purpose is to be served. It's happening in the media, and the process is accelerating. "

  • Another concept you'll be hearing more about as the days and the Democratic Party's endless Irish Wake of recriminations roll on for, dare I say it?, can we stand it?, Four More Years is Intellectuals Without Intellect by George Neumayr, also in the Spectator. The core of his article is expressed by the sentence: "The reason why liberalism lacks any enduring appeal to ordinary Americans is not that it is too lofty but that it is too low. "

  • A higher and much more lofty vision is found in this extensive interview with the ubiquitous Jeff Jarvis in The Future of Digital Media @ Corante. Jarvis, the machine behind the buzz at Buzzmachine, has long been a tireless promoter of blogs from deep within the Legacy Media. "Jarvis' First Law of Media: Give the people control of media, they will use it. The corollary: Don't give the people control of media, and you will lose. "

  • Also at Corante is this slightly off-the-reservation report that asks the soul-searing question: What's Wrong With Bloggercon? "Bloggercon is more of a fan conference, where the followers of the conference insiders -- great minds all, admittedly -- can come and bask in the philosophical musings of these titans. Its Dave and the Friends of Dave having a love-in. " You know, he could have just written "Dave Winer" and been done with the whole article. Who's Dave Winer, you ask? If you don't know, I'll spare you.

  • Mother of Mercy, can this be the end of WinAmp? An interesting history of the birth, life, buy-out, and slow death of the once proud WinAmp at the hands of the never proud AOL. Death Knell Sounds for Nullsoft, Winamp Moral of the story? Never send a corporation to do an innovator's job.

  • 'Sweet smokin' Jesus,' is there no end to Playstation? [No, of course not, whatever makes you think there can be?] Reporting in from that "paradise in pixels," The Tokyo Game Show, Steve Levy takes his thumbs for a ride on the forthcoming Personal PlayStation from Sony. Is it a Gameboy killer? Who cares as long as every backpack in the world has one. Not Sony which continues to long for those days of yore when Walkman's dominated consumer electronics like tiny Titans.

  • Microsoft's launching a search engine? Gives new meaning to the phrase, "A decade late and an OS short."

  • If your paranoia reserves are running low, and you stay up all night worrying about the knock on the door and hear the jackboots chunking in the distance, this film of tanks showing up and parallel parking at a Los Angeles street demonstration will rev you up.

  • I really liked Marty Peretz's "Good Riddance" article in the Wall Street Journal, but so did everyone else in the world so I won't mention it HERE .

  • Music hath charms to soothe the savage brain, but how? Like every other mystery in the world, science is closing in on it. Take a listen to " The Music of the Brain."

  • Daniel Ben-Ami takes the economics of environmentalism to task and finds that they are not exactly sustainable in "The dismal quackery of eco-economics." Little wonder that this essay has wound up posted on

  • But that's far too much of the trivial concerns of the day. I'm off on some essential errands. While I'm gone, it's time for you to take on a small techno task -- Overclock Your Toothbrush! Mind the gums and there will be a quiz.

    Posted by Vanderleun at November 12, 2004 9:21 AM
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  • Comments:


    "It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

    The Tanks on LA strees video was amazingly lame. Those protestors are a farce of those in the '60s.

    Posted by: FH at November 12, 2004 9:31 AM

    Hmmm ... no tanks in that video, just a couple of LAVs. One expects that sort of mistake from the MSM, but I hope for better from the blogosphere. An amusing show none the less; thanks for the link.


    Posted by: Steve at November 12, 2004 11:17 AM