Friday, October 24, 2008

E-book readers have no future

E-books have a glowing future, or so I hope, but the buzz about this e-book reader vs. that one vs. the one that's promised for next year is misguided, I think. Why? Because no matter how interestingly e-book readers evolve, they're just a stopgap.

Small(ish), portable(ish) computers - laptops, notebooks, PDAs, cell phones; let's call them SPCs - are also evolving. The need and market for SPCs is greater and more urgent than the need and market for e-book readers, so the evolutionary pressure is greater for SPCs. The current progress in e-book readers is just a byproduct of the technological progress in computers in general and SPCs in particular.

Not too long from now, everything the best e-book reader then available can do will be available in software form on SPCs. Instead of buying an e-book reader, you'll buy (or otherwise acquire) e-book reader software for your preferred SPC. By then, e-book readers will be quaint old electronic gadgets of interest only to collectors.

Monday, October 20, 2008

In which I am referenced in New Scientist

Okay, it's only this:

But that's as close as I'll ever get to having a publication of mine referenced in New Scientist!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sign thieves in the night

Once again, some cowardly Republican pile of shit stole our Obama sign last night. This time, the scum replaced the sign with a McCain sign.

Instead of pulling it up, Leonore went out with a scissors and sliced the McCain sign to ribbons. So it's there, advertising our feelings, next to the Udall sign, which the slimeball didn't steal.

If the mangled McCain sign gets replaced during the night with a whole one, I think I'll try putting a big circle with a line through it, using black marker, unless the marker won't work on that surface.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Jews control the Federal Reserve

It must be true because a loud-mouthed old man said so.

This was in the breakfast room at the motel we were staying in last week in Santa Fe. The place was crowded. The old man and his wife were sharing a table next to ours with a couple of other travelers. He spent the entire breakfast explaining the world to his tablemates - and the rest of the room. He told everyone that, although few realize it, the Federal Reserve is not a government agency. So far, so good. Then he listed the suspicious last names of the people who were behind setting it up.

"Here we go," I said to my wife. "It's the old 'The Jews control the Federal Reserve' story."

The old guy lectured everyone that the Jews control the Federal Reserve. "So when the government used our money for the bail out," he said, "we were bailing out a bunch of Jews."

Some shit never does go down the toilet.

Hawk in the yard

Or possibly a small eagle. I can't tell the difference, and it was harder anyway because it was a dark, drizzly afternoon.

Yesterday afternoon, I glanced out the kitchen window and saw a very large, raptor-shaped bird standing at the far end of the back yard. It was pecking at the ground, which seemed odd. I didn't think they ate worms. Then I realized that the white stuff surrounding it wasn't mushrooms but feathers. It was finishing off the remnants of some fellow bird.

Nature red in tooth and claw. I hate seeing it, and I hate having to clean up the results. I hate accidentally coming across film on TV of animals killing animals, and it disturbs me how popular such films are on TV.

I wish none of this happened. I wish the lion really did lie down with the lamb. But at the same time, when I go to a Middle Eastern restaurant, I very often order a lamb dish. It tastes so good!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A prediction come true

On political blogs, people sometimes like to point out that they predicted some political development. In that spirit, I would like to say that days ago I predicted to myself that I would post this very post at around this time.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I've been away in Santa Fe

Despite living in Denver for almost 40 years, we've never yet been to Santa Fe. So we decided that would be a good place to spend my birthday.

We drove down there on Sunday and returned today. I hope to have pictures later, unless there aren't any good ones.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I've been invited to address the Disproof Atheism Society* at Boston University on the topic "Why I Am No Longer a Jew," based on my essay Why I Am Not a Jew.

The previous speakers are a long and illustrious list, making me feel a tad out of place, since I'm neither illustrious nor long. Maybe I could compensate by doing some magic tricks? No, that would be inappropriate. And I don't know any magic tricks.

We were planning a longish trip to the East Coast in May, including a stop in Boston, so it would be nice if I could do the talk during that visit. We'll see if that works out.

* At first, I read the e-mail as coming from the Disproof of Atheism Society and wondered why they had contacted me.