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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?

I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.

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"The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson

"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin

"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan

"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt

"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley

"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss

"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire, the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind; and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon

"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and they love to chatter instead of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers."
-- Socrates

"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook

"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr

"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion

"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson

"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices, intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation; a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition -- to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri

"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke

"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology; it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant

"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville

"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon, but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant

"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand

"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.

"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible, and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus

"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814

"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort, are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true, the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated. This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944

"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News

"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas

"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
-- Cicero

"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue." -- François, duc de La Rochefoucauld

"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." -- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson

"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example." -- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance." --
H. W. Fowler

"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place." -- Kate Wilhelm

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein

"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho

"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).

"Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it."
-- Lecture IX, John Henry Cardinal Newman

“Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.”
-- John Henry Cardinal Newman

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
-- James Madison

"Those who are free from common prejudices acquire others."
-- Napolean I of France -- Napoleon I of France

"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128

"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)

"American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism."
-- George Santayana, Character and Opinion in the United States, (1920)

"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs

"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden

"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
-- Batman


Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit. He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.

The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cute panda. Don't you love pandas?

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Contents © 2001-2013 All rights reserved. Gary Farber. (The contents of e-mails to this email address of Gary Farber are subject to the possibility of being posted.)

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world

[Blogroll now far below the sea line! Dive, dive, dive!]

You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Gary Farber! Jeez, the guy is practically a blogging legend, and I'm always surprised at the breadth of what he writes about.
-- PZ Meyers, Pharyngula

...Darn: I saw that Gary had commented on this thread, and thought: oh. my. god. Perfect storm. Unstoppable cannonball, immovable object. -- Hilzoy

...I think Gary Farber is a blogging god. -- P.Z. Myers, Pharyngula

...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow

‎"Gary Farber is a gentleman, a scholar and one of the gems of the blogosphere." -- Steve Hynd,

"Well argued, Gary. I hadn't seen anything that went into as much detail as I found in your blog." -- Gareth Porter

Gary Farber is your one-man internet as always, with posts on every article there is.
-- Fafnir

Guessing that Gary is ignorant of anything that has ever been written down is, in my experience, unwise.
Just saying.

-- Hilzoy

Gary Farber gets it right....
-- James Joyner, Outside The Beltway

Once again, an amazing and illuminating post.
-- Michael Bérubé, Crooked Timber

I read Amygdala...with regularity, as do all sensible websurfers.
-- Jim Henley, Unqualified Offerings

Okay, he is annoying, but he still posts a lot of good stuff.
-- Avedon Carol, The Sideshow

Amygdala - So much stuff it reminds Unqualified Offerings that UO sometimes thinks of Gary Farber as "the liberal Instapundit."
-- Jim Henley

...the thoughtful and highly intelligent Gary Farber... My first reaction was that I definitely need to appease Gary Farber of Amygdala, one of the geniuses of our age.
-- Brad deLong

Gary is a perceptive, intelligent, nice guy. Some of the stuff he comes up with is insightful, witty, and stimulating. And sometimes he manages to make me groan.
-- Charlie Stross

Gary Farber is a straight shooter.
-- John Cole, Balloon Juice

I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber

Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
-- Ogged

I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow

One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.

One of my favorites....
-- Matt Welch

-- Virginia Postrel

Amygdala continues to have smart commentary on an incredible diversity of interesting links....
-- Judith Weiss

Amygdala has more interesting obscure links to more fascinating stuff that any other blog I read.
-- Judith Weiss, Kesher Talk

Gary's stuff is always good.
-- Meryl Yourish

...the level-headed Amygdala blog....
-- Geitner Simmons

The only trouble with reading Amygdala is that it makes me feel like such a slacker. That Man Farber's a linking, posting, commenting machine, I tell you!
-- John Robinson, Sore Eyes

...the all-knowing Gary Farber....
-- Edward Winkleman, Obsidian Wings

Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged

We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog

Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog


Gary is certainly a non-idiotarian 'liberal'...
-- Perry deHaviland

Recommended for the discerning reader.
-- Tim Blair

Gary Farber's great Amygdala blog.
-- Dr. Frank

Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott

Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit

My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal

If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.

Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks

I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes

Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this?
-- Natalie Solent

You nailed it... nice job."
-- James Lileks

Gary Farber is a principled liberal....
-- Bill Quick, The Daily Pundit

December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 December 2011 January 2013

Blogroll is Always In Progress:

Roger Ailes
Alas, A Blog
The American Street
The Aristocrats
Avedon Carol
Between the Hammer and the Anvil
Lindsay Beyerstein
The Big Con
CantBlogTooBusy The Center for American Progress
Chase me Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry
Doghouse Riley
Kevin Drum
Fables of the Reconstruction
Gall and Gumption
Gin and Tacos
House of Substance
The Hunting of the Snark
If I Ran The Zoo
Lawyers, Guns & Money
Lotus: Surviving a Dark Time
Matters of Little Significance
Nancy Nall
Charlie Stross bastard.logic
Daniel Larison
American Conservative
American Footprints
Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
Balloon Juice
Beautiful Horizons
Bitch Ph.D.
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
Cunning Realist
Daily Kos
Debate Link
Democracy Arsenal
Edge of the American West
Ezra Klein
Glenn Greenwald 13th Floor
Hit & Run
Juan Cole
Kevin Drum
Lawyers, Guns and Money
List Project (Helping Iraqis who worked with us get out)
Marc Lynch
Mark Kleiman
Katha Pollit
Market Square
Matthew Yglesias
Megan McArdle
Metro Green
Pam's House Blend
Paul Krugman
Philosophy, et cetera
Radley Balko
Sadly, No!
Southern Appeal
Stephen Walt
Steve Clemons
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Taking It Outside
Talking Points Memo
The Poor Man
The Progressive Realist
The Sideshow
U.S. Intellectual History
Unqualified Offerings
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Monthly
William Easterly
Newsrack Blog
Ortho Bob
The Poor Man
Prog Gold
Prose Before Hos
Ted Rall
The Raw Story
Elayne Riggs
Sadly, No!
Texas Liberal
Think Progress
3 Weird Sisters
Tristram Shandy
Washington Monthly
Ian Welsh
James Wolcott
World o' Crap
Matthew Yglesias
Buzz Machine
Daniel Larison
Rightwing Film Geek About Last Night
can we all just agree
Comics Curmudgeon
Dum Luk's
Glenn Kenny
Hoarder Museum Juanita Jean
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!
Last Words of the Executed
The Phil Nugent Experience
Postcards from Hell's Kitchen
Vanishing New York
a lovely promise
a web undone
alt hippo
american street
city of brass
danger west
fierce urgency of now
get fisa right
great concavity
happening here
impeach them!
kathryn cramer
notes from the basement
talking dog
uncertain principles
unqualified offerings
what do i know
crooked timber emptywheel
ezra klein
The F-Word
glenn greenwald
schneier on security
ta-nehisi coates
talking points memo
tiny revolution
Roz Kaveney
Dave Ettlin
Henry Jenkins' Confessions of an Aca-Fan
Kathryn Cramer
Monkeys In My Pants
Pagan Prattle
As I Please
Ken MacLeod
Arthur Hlavaty
Kevin Maroney
MK Kare
Jack Heneghan
Dave Langford
Onyx Lynx Atrios
Rittenhouse Review
Public Nuisance
Scoobie Davis
Nathan Newman
Echidne Of The Snakes
First Draft
Rising Hegemon
Cab Drollery (Help Diane!
Southern Beale
The Kenosha Kid
Culture of Truth
Talk Left
Black Ag=Q< Report
Drug WarRant
Nieman Watchdog
Open Left
Meet the Bloggers
Dispatch from the Trenches
Crooks and Liars
Campaign for America's Future
Iraq Today
Daily Kos
Lefty Directory
News Hounds
The Brad Blog
Informed Comment
UN Dispatch
War and Piece
Glenn Greenwald
Schneier on Security
Jim Henley
Arthur Silber
Julian Sanchez
The Agitator
Balloon Juice
Wendy McElroy
Whoviating (LarryE)
Scott Horton
Tennessee Guerilla Women
Looking Glass
Charles Kuffner
Brad DeLong
Busy, Busy, Busy
Oliver Willis
The Carpetbagger Report Shakesville
Down With Tyranny
Professor B
Monkey Media Report
The Grumpy Forester
Ian Welsh
Pacific Views
Booman Tribune
Matthew Yglesias
The American Street
Media Bloodhound
Liz Henry's Composite
The Heretik
Arizona Eclectic
Sisyphus Shrugged
Interesting Times
Talking Dog
Liberal Desert
Under the Lobsterscope
Seeing The Forest
Sean Paul Kelley's The Agonist
King of Zembla
Mark Kleiman
Liquid List
Elayne Riggs
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Fanatical Apathy
Blue Gal
Mark Evanier
Roger Ailes
Suburban Guerrilla (Help Susie with money!)
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People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost, Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry, Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny. It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out. And She of whom I must write someday.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
It's sorta like Friendster, but in the real world: electronic name tags that can store personal information and wirelessly share it with other people around you. The nTag, as it's called, has 128K of memory, a two-line display, and built-in infrared. The idea is that besides just putting your name and where you're from you could also list your hobbies or favorite movies or whatever, and so that people with similar interests could automatically find each other:
When two attendees come within 3 to 5 feet and their nTags are facing each other, information is shared between the tags, using invisible infra-red beams of light. George Eberstadt, an nTag company co-founder, says the system uses advanced software to figure out what information to show on the tags' displays. And the algorithms aren't looking for just 'matching' information, but for topics that would hopefully 'break the ice' and generate social interaction."
Kinda like walking around with your .sig file showing. Read The Rest Scale: Go here for more if you want it.

4/30/2003 10:47:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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PURPLEBERRY? MAUVEBERRY?: Blackberry is coming out with a new, color screen, machine. I'm a big fan of colored screens, for readability, over b&w. Read The Rest Scale: 2 out of 5 if you're interested.

4/30/2003 10:28:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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SCRAP THE DMCA: Since that's not on the table, here's a smale scrape of a start.
Representative Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) has written the Digital Media Consumer Rights Act (HR 107), which would make it legal to, among other things, create an archival copy of a CD or DVD. Good fix for a bad law - but why not just blow up the DMCA instead?
Read The Rest Scale: 2.5 out of 5.

4/30/2003 09:33:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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The music industry began using a novel tactic yesterday in its fight against music piracy -- sending instant messages that pop up on the computer screens of people as they are swapping unauthorized copies of songs.

The Recording Industry Association of America, which represents the five major music companies and hundreds of record labels, is using the instant-messaging systems of the Grokster and Kazaa file-sharing services to notify users that they may be violating copyright laws by "uploading" songs to be copied free by other users.


The RIAA is calling the IM campaign "targeted education." The RIAA has software that enables it to find users swapping songs on the Internet. When users sign up for file-sharing services such as Kazaa and Grokster, they can opt to open their computer hard drives to outsiders.

Other RIAA software travels the Internet, identifies file sharers, and sends "notice and takedown" messages, telling file-sharers to cease or face lawsuits or prosecution.

Reports that the RIAA will soon be sending meatware known as "thugs" ("Vinny 1.1") to the dwellings of people they suspect of copyright infringement to deliver similar messages can not be verified at this time.

Read The Rest Scale: 2 out of 5.

4/30/2003 08:31:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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ROOSTING: You and I have both read endlessly about prescription drug benefits as a national American political issue.

Well, holy fricking Jeebus Christos (the guy who does the wraps, you know): those five prescriptions came out, getting generics, to be ~$140 for a few days supply.

Apparently I'll have to work on diet and exercise, because I can't possibly afford to lower my blood pressure at a cost of ~$120 a week.

Just thinking about it raises my blood pressure.

I can only imagine what the emergency room stay and tests will cost, and I'd rather not. I started a new job a bit over two months ago. In a bit over one month, I have health insurance! No prescription drug coverage, though.

Meanwhile, immense thanks to those who have sent best wishes. I'm astonished at the response of you all, including people I'd never thought had a clue I existed, such as Mickey Kaus [you never know who might read you -- ed], and people I've corresponded with many times, but not recently, and greatly admire, such as James Lileks, and friends I've just not been in touch with for too long a time, such as Kathryn Cramer.

Mucho thanks awfully and also to those who have suggesting tapping my tip jar, such as Thomas Nephew and Glenn Reynolds and others. My. I wasn't even, like, trying for sympathy, what with life going decently, if not splendidly, with an adequate (if not more) job, a stable living situation, and all that there. People can be good. I thank you all.

Incidentally, is there anyone else out there whose brain gets turned to mud/jello/cotton candy by taking antibiotics? Because I suddenly remembered that I've always had that happen. And.... ooh, pretty colors.

4/30/2003 12:33:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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OKAY, call that last one "Unasked-For Fever Answer I." It just popped out, for no specific reason. Weird, huh?

4/30/2003 10:02:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003
I VOW: This will never be a group blog site. This will never be a group blog. You will never read multiple voices posting to Amygdala. It won't happen here. (Yeah, I have a ton of fun playing at "our staff," "our board," "our employees," etc.; it's a game, dude.)

For all my playful use of voice, this will always remain the blog of, well, me, me, me, me. Gary Farber.

Not that, of cousrse, I don't love many group voice blogs I love a bunch of them.

They're just not me.

Not now, not ever.

It's a stubborn individualist thing.

And I may, therefore, as we've seen, because, alas -- and alas, and alas, and alas -- keep you waiting for some weeks or months. At times.

Oops. Sorry about that. I can't even promise to keep it worthwhile.

All I can promise is that you'll get me.

Me, me, me. And me.

4/29/2003 10:57:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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UNANSWERED FEVER QUESTIONS I: Whatever happened to Ariel Sharon's nefarious and well-known plan to engage in "transfer" of Arabs from the West Bank under cover of the US/Coalition invasion of Iraq?

4/29/2003 04:19:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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I'd really like to know, and particularly from British readers and leftish readers.

Honest. Because it reads very sensibly to me: so am I missing anything, in your view?

Read The Rest Scale: for those interested in someone growing up as a left-wing American in the Sixties who then moved to Britain and found flaws in Old Labour -- at least 4.5 out of 5.

4/29/2003 04:17:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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HI, KIDS! I'm just back from a lovely five hour stay at Boulder Community Hospital. Good news! I probably don't have SARS -- though there's no test, and they could consider me a "suspect" case, given my near-fit of the profile -- but they won't, unless I get worse!

It's only pneumonia I've had for (at least) four days now! Go, me!

Good news! I didn't have a heart attack last night! I only have a highly enlarged heart valve and incredibly high blood pressure! Yay!

Apparently 220/140 is a bad thing.

So then they kept sticking my ass with needles, and then giving me little pills, while the Magic Monitor kept automatically checking my blood pressure every ten minutes, and bleeping off alarms each time.

Hours would pass, I'd be given more little pills, and they'd come back, frowning and with brows furrowed, and my blood pressure Just Wasn't Dropping.

Finally it did come down to hovering vaguely near 160/115, and they decided to free up the room (woohoo: your own examining room; BCH not comparable to Bellevue Hell, I kid you not), though they did all give me the impression that they were rather expecting me to imitate a character from David Cronnenberg's Scanners at any moment.

What's that, you ask? Do I have a fever? Now, would I write like this if I didn't have a fever?

Well, yes, as you know, of course I would.

But since you've so kindly asked, yes, I do have a (mild) fever, and mostly have been coughing my lungs out and panting for breath. But, hey, they gave me five different prescriptions! Including for Vicodin for the chest muscle pain! Woo-hoo!

So please excuse me; I'm now going to spend some time looking at fractal images and exclaiming: "Wow... the colors, man! The colors!"

(Comments addressed to me best left in the comment box, if it's working; god knows when I'll feel up to cleaning out my e-mail inbox of several thousand spams to find the Real Mail.)

4/29/2003 02:57:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Monday, April 28, 2003
HE ALSO LOVED DOGS. One thing about Hitler: he loved his books. Especially Karl May.

Read The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5 for perverse insight and details.

4/28/2003 10:18:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WIT IN THE RARIFIED AIR OF WASHINGTON: At Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner:
Take the exchange we heard about between comedian/smartass Al Franken and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz:

Franken: "Clinton's military did pretty well in Iraq, huh?"

Wolfowitz: "Fuck you."

Remember, these folks are experts, sages and pundits. Don't try this kind of exchange at home.

Read The Rest Scale: 0 out of 5.

4/28/2003 09:47:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Helpful suggestions for how the Tories can return to power in Britain. Once:

The Conservatives were invincible.

Now? It's hard not to feel a twinge of pity. And an even stronger sense that we at the Guardian could, if we wanted, do it better. So, unencumbered by party internal loyalties and enmities, we would, we thought, brain-storm our way to a new, revitalised Conservative party.

And then we would share. With you the reader, of course, and with the Tories themselves. Not because of any of that old, pious "we want an effective opposition" nonsense, but out of pure, vainglorious hubris.


As Ben said of his New Labour: "Blair's main message was to say 'We used to be mental and now we aren't', and that was basically it."

Read The Rest Scale: or you'll be wet, and hard to light; 5 out of 5 for hilariosity that's spot on.

4/28/2003 09:16:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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HAS HE EVER BEEN SEEN AT AN SF CONVENTION ART SHOW?: More on Saddam Hussein's fascination with knock-off Boris Vallejo imagery.

Read The Rest Scale: if you also wonder if any of Hussein's women wore small dragons on their shoulders.

4/28/2003 08:31:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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CHILDREN ESCAPING FROM FROM TOTALITARIAN HELL: Harrowing, detailed, account of one young North Korean, and what happens to others like him.
Next to Heo was the Evergreen School's only girl, and its voluble alpha, Se-ok, a 19-year-old with pretty, almost fragile features and a gift for languages. There was also a boy named Yum, an erratic rebel with dyed orange hair who owned a motorcycle and came and went from the house much like a stray cat. Meanwhile, a boy named Han, who rarely talked and had a dark stoicism suggesting some hidden pain, sat quietly before another computer terminal, a flowering scar on his face. And then there were the others: Kum, in love with his trumpet; Kang, in love with his soccer ball; Yong, perhaps the most handsome and well dressed; and Seoung, who was always smiling at the constant banter among housemates.


These other refugees were the only ones who could understand the digital speed at which their lives were changing -- and what it meant, too, to feel like aliens on a different planet.

Read The Rest Scale: 5 out of 5.

4/28/2003 07:20:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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As Gandhi famously said about Western civilization: it would be a good idea.

Read The Rest Scale: 5 out of 5.

4/28/2003 07:02:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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LITTLE DID I KNOW that someone opened an RSS LiveJournal feed of this blog. Thanks, I guess.

I wonder if there's an e-mail about this in the thousands of e-mails I've let pile up due to getting an increasingly larger number of hundreds of spams per day?

4/28/2003 06:08:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WHAT DO WE WANT?: You know.
Yet it was in Najaf on April 2, well before the rituals of the devout got underway, that a throng of Iraqis gathered around an American reporter to plead for water and to list their hopes. One man, a civil engineer, succinctly laid out the benefits that he thought Americans could help bring to Iraq.

"We want very nice," the engineer, Quesay Mohammed, said.

What else, he was asked.

"Democracy!" he said. A few people around him muttered their approval.

"Whiskey!" he said, raising his voice. This time, more people laughed, and some applauded.

"And sexy!" he shouted, to big cheers.

And now we have it. Listen To The Rest Scale: 5 out of 5.

4/28/2003 05:40:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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ONE PROBLEM WITH AN AMERICAN EMPIRE is that Americans don't want to go there.

Read The Rest Scale: 4 out of 5.

4/28/2003 05:30:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO SUE TODAY?: The Supreme Court refuses to say where you should go to sue someone for a web-based matter.

Read The Rest Scale: 2 out of 5.

4/28/2003 12:43:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Sunday, April 27, 2003
MATRIX, MATRIX, MATRIX: Interviews with Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne Moss, and Laurence Fishburne (come a long way from when he was fifteen, spending that year in the Phillipines, acting in Apocolypse Now). Lots more stuff, interviews with other members of the production.

Interestingly, the director of photography, who has done all four Wachowski Brothers films,

...GOT HIS START serving on "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi's early cult classics "Darkman" (1990) and "Army of Darkness" (1993)....
(He's now working on The Amazing Spiderman.)

Read The Rest Scale: will you choose the red pill, or the blue pill, Neo?

4/27/2003 06:10:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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An hour south of Guangzhou, the Dongyuan animal market presents endless opportunities for an emerging germ. In hundreds of cramped stalls that stink of blood and guts, wholesale food vendors tend to veritable zoos that will grace Guangdong Province's tables: snakes, chickens, cats, turtles, badgers, frogs. And, in summer, sometimes rats, too.

They are all stacked in cages one on top of another -- which in turn serve as seats, card tables and dining quarters for the poor migrants who work there. On a recent morning, near stall 17, there were beheaded snakes, disemboweled frogs and feathers flying as a half-alive headless bird was plunked into a basket.

If you were a corona virus, like the one that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, known as SARS, it would be easy to move from animals to humans in the kitchens and food stalls of Guangdong, a province notorious for exotic cuisine prepared with freshly killed beasts.

Indeed, preliminary studies of early SARS victims here in Guangdong have found that an unusually high percentage were in the catering profession -- a tantalizing clue, perhaps, to how a germ that genetically most resembles chicken and rodent viruses has gained the ability to infect thousands of humans.

I'd like my SARS with curry, please. Extra, extra, extra, extra, extra hot.

Fun in ever-laid-back Singapore:

"Welcome to Singapore! Are you feeling well today?" chimes a chorus of nurses, their faces covered by masks, their eyes by goggles, their bodies by yellow hospital gowns. Passengers coming from other countries with SARS are guided to pass through a high-tech thermal scanner that picks up temperatures over 100. Masked soldiers are there to escort away those with fever.

Those who pass muster are given a card warning that they might have been exposed to a deadly disease. Those who are feverish are whisked, without apology, into a 10-day quarantine, and Singapore means business. Video cameras will be installed in the home by a security firm, to make sure patients do not stray. Those few who do are tagged with an electronic wristband that records their movements.

But even in a small country, placing thousands on quarantine has been a strain. Last Monday, after a case of SARS was discovered in a vendor at Singapore's largest vegetable market, the Ministry of Health ordered all 2,400 food sellers to report for quarantine, up from a total of 467 quarantined before. Since 80 percent of the country's vegetables pass through the Pasir Panjang Market, restaurants were bracing for a shortage of greens.

Read The Rest Scale: 4 out of 5 for lots more colorful detail on the origins and story of the hunt for the origins of this lovely new disease (which I'm sure has nothing to do with my uncontrollable coughing illness of the past two days; no siree!).

4/27/2003 05:57:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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SURVIVAL RESEARCH LABS, as published by Newsweek, an excerpt from GEARHEADS: The Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports by Brad Stone.
About 500 Bay Area dwellers showed up. They were artists and hackers, students and computer scientists. Many echoed the same excited sentiment: Finally, after a wait of several years, the robots of SRL -- Survival Research Labs -- were about to walk the earth once more.

The show was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. In typical SRL manner (and despite the urgency of the e-mail), the guerilla arts group kept the crowd waiting outside for an hour. While the spectators lingered, two uniformed Berkeley police officers walked by, poked their heads into the makeshift doorway, and started asking questions. "What the heck is going on here? What are those . . . things . . . inside?"


On one side the stationary contraptions were lined up in an orderly row that belied the mayhem they were about to produce. Most conspicuous were the two racing tires of the Pitching Machine. Powered by a 200-horsepower V-8 engine, the wheels would spin in opposite directions, taking two-by-four wooden planks from a conveyor belt and spitting them out at 120 miles per hour, like rounds of machine-gun fire. Next to the Pitching Machine was the long, phallic shaft of the Shockwave Cannon. This fiendish contraption would harness explosions of acetylene and oxygen, directing an eardrum-splitting blast of air and noise that could break windows 700 feet away. Next to that was the mechanism simply dubbed "Boeing." It was an actual jet engine with fuel injectors and an ignition system, designed to produce a long spear of fire -- a flamethrower on anabolic steroids. Finally, closest to the audience, was the Pulsejet, calculated to generate a constant thunderous roar of 140 brain-crunching, permit-flouting decibels.

The monster lives!

Read The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5 for technobuffs.

4/27/2003 05:46:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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D. D. HARRIMAN, WATCH OUT: More private space ventures, including Jeff Bezos In Space! Paul Allen In Space! Mysterious warehouses! Neal Stephenson a paid employee!

And probably... Jews In Space! (Echo reverb effect dies down.)

Read The Rest Scale: 4 out of 5.

4/27/2003 05:29:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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YOU WANT SCALE? I'LL GIVE YOU SCALE. Nifty site charting length and height at one pixel per meter real life Earth buildings and structures along with all the starships of Star Trek, Babylon 5, and other visual sf. Realize just how big that Star Wars Space Slug is! (See also the MegaPenny Project; you'll thank me one novemtrigintillion times.)

Read The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5 for visual amusement. (Via BoingBoing.)

4/27/2003 04:59:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Saturday, April 26, 2003
FAREED ZAKARIA: Touted as future SecState. Here.
Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria has the perfect intellectual pedigree (Indian-born, educated at Harvard, conservative) for a fast-changing world, and the kinds of friends in high places who can push a career into overdrive. The first Muslim secretary of State? Don't bet against it.

By Marion Maneker

My friends all say i'm going to be Secretary of State," Fareed Zakaria muses from a banquette in the Grill Room at The Four Seasons. "But I don’t see how that would be much different from the job I have now."

The 39-year-old Newsweek foreign-affairs columnist is about to expand on this thought. But then Donald Marron, the former CEO of PaineWebber, walks over with Ken Duberstein, the former Reagan lieutenant, in tow. Cordial and courtly, Zakaria charms the two elder lions before picking up the thread of conversation. He's not boasting. He's comparing the core requirements of his job as a columnist -- boning up on policy positions, balancing competing points of view, then making a clear, stick-out-your-neck decision -- to the job of running the State Department.

Would he want the job? Before he can answer, Mort Zuckerman, who's been having lunch with Ed Kosner, the editor of Zuckerman's Daily News, heaves into view. Zuckerman praises the young man genuinely, then moves on. But a few feet away, at the top of the restaurant's stairs, the real-estate developer and media dabbler stops to examine a blowup of the cover of Cosmopolitan, directing guests to an advertiser's lunch in the Pool Room next door. Zuckerman considers the voluptuous model who seems to be staring at Zakaria with a smoldering look, then delivers his punch line: "This guy's so hot even the cover girl wants to meet him."

There's more on this hot fella.

4/26/2003 11:26:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Friday, April 25, 2003
M'LUD: The Old Baily is online.
Time travel to 18th-century England is now possible.

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, are going digital at About 22,000 trials from 1714 to 1759 are already online; a total of more than 100,000 trials stretching from 1674 to 1834 are to be available next year. The proceedings are said to be the largest body of texts detailing the lives of ordinary people before the 19th century.

Start with the Notable Trials page (found under About the Proceedings) for an overview of the judicial system of the time. A robust search feature allows queries by such variables as name, crime and type of punishment. Not even Dickens could top these plots, not to mention the dialogue ("I desire you would ask him if I owe him any Thing for Milk?" was the question that Thomas Nash, an accused wife-murderer, asked the trial court to pose to the deliveryman who found the body). Visitors can even create their own interactive tables of statistics to satisfy their curiosity about which crimes were most common, say, or how many led to the pillory.

Read The Rest Scale: 3.5 out of 5 for history and culture buffs.

4/25/2003 10:12:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Thursday, April 24, 2003
THE VELVET HAMMER: Terrific essay by Matt Welch on one of the greatest people of my lifetime, Vaclav Havel.
Havel went on to discuss the futility of those who would pin an ideological tag to his lapel. "All my adult life, I was branded by officials as 'an exponent of the right' who wanted to bring capitalism back to our country," he wrote. "Today -- at a ripe old age -- I am suspected by some of being left-wing, if not of harboring out-and-out socialist tendencies. What, then, is my real position? First and foremost, I have never espoused any ideology, dogma, or doctrine -- left-wing, right-wing, or any other closed, ready-made system of presuppositions about the world. On the contrary, I have tried to think independently, using my own powers of reason, and I have always vigorously resisted attempts to pigeonhole me."
Words Amygdala lives by.

Read The Rest Scale: 5 out of 5.

4/24/2003 11:09:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Sunday, April 20, 2003

In the minds of many people, the conquest/liberation of Iraq was a terrible thing; a failure, a bout of imperialism, a victory that will come bite us on our ass. In the minds of many others, it's a great liberation of people from dictatorship and terror, a sound strategic move, a victory of liberalism and freedom.

I view it as the latter. But the argument continues. We'll know more inarguably in a few years.

4/20/2003 01:55:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Thursday, April 17, 2003
Sci-Fi Shrine for Seattle, Complete With Aliens

In the nearly two centuries between Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and "The Matrix," science fiction has captivated countless millions of readers, listeners and viewers. Now one of them is taking his obsession to a higher level, investing $10 million to $20 million to build a temple to the genre.

Paul G. Allen, a billionaire businessman and co-founder of Microsoft, is planning to build a "cultural project" in Seattle that will seek to draw visitors into the science-fiction experience.

Details of the project are to be announced today. Preliminary plans suggest that if it comes to fruition, it would be part museum, part amusement park and part little boy's fantasy.


His new venture, tentatively called SFX -- The Science Fiction Experience, is to fill 13,000 square feet of exhibit space that has been part of the Experience Music Project, a multimedia museum devoted to American popular music, especially rock 'n' roll. (The museum was also conceived by Mr. Allen, along with his sister, Jody Patton.) Mr. Allen owns the building, which was designed by Frank Gehry and is a Seattle landmark. The science-fiction project is scheduled to open in the summer of 2004.

According to promotional material, SFX "will explore our culture through the broad, historic and compelling lens of science fiction." The material promises models of "bug-eyed monsters" and exhibits that illustrate "science fiction's alternate realities."

In an interview, Mr. Allen said the enterprise would be incorporated as a nonprofit enterprise but might eventually become a business. He called it "a hybrid project" that would have "a multimedia component" but would "not be a theme park or a ride."

The announcement of this project comes as museums in several cities are postponing or scaling down new building projects. Some arts organizations are reeling from large cuts in public and corporate giving. But Mr. Allen said he would bear all the costs of SFX himself.

"I see it as a jumping-off project for examining the future."

Plans call for a hall of fame for science-fiction heroes, another hall shaped like the interior of a spaceship and a third that would commemorate terrifying aliens and other evil creatures. SFX's advisory board includes the science-fiction writers Greg Bear, Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler and Arthur C. Clarke.

Writers like those transfixed Mr. Allen when he was young. He said he was a small child when he stumbled on a book called "Spaceship Galileo" and has been "a huge fan" of science fiction ever since.

Sheesh. All I have to do is move out of Seattle, and a mere seventeen years later, a project like this, where I've got great qualifications for an interesting job, is announced. Why wasn't I patient?

Read The Rest Scale: 1 out of 5.

4/17/2003 12:24:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Sunday, April 13, 2003
TERROR AND LIBERALISM: A good review of Paul Berman's new book.

In case you can't tell: I'm a big fan of Paul Berman. Read The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5.

4/13/2003 06:14:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Thursday, April 10, 2003
PAUL BERMAN HAS A USEFUL interview here.

Read The Rest Scale: 4 out of 5.

4/10/2003 08:56:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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