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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-10-07 04:20
Subject: [links] Link salad for a sleepy Tuesday
Security: Public
Tags:books, links, mainspring, personal, politics, reviews, science

A reader reacts to Mainspring Powell's | Amazon thb | Audible ]

A possible genetic relationship between autism and highly desirable traits — Interesting stuff. (Thanks to lt260.)

High-tech sponge could take hydrogen cars further — Materials science at work. (Thanks to lt260.)

The subprime primer — In plain English, how it all happened. (Thanks to lillypond.)

Paul Krugman on McCain’s health insurance ‘plan’In short, the McCain plan makes no sense at all, unless you have faith that the magic of the marketplace can solve all problems. And Mr. McCain does: a much-quoted article published under his name declares that “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.” Yep, banking really has shaped up nicely without being burdened by the worst excesses of regulation. Conservative faith in the magic of free markets would be Santa Claus-cute if it wasn’t so fucking destructive. Disclaimer: as a cancer survivor, I am one of those Americans who lose tremendous ground under McCain’s plan, which is strongly biased toward those without pre-existing conditions. Plus I’m a liberal, so I’m one of those full-of-shit people who thinks everyone ought to have reasonable access to healthcare. (Thanks to lt260.)

Make-Believe Maverick Rolling Stone with a very detailed look at Mr. Straight Talk’s personal history. Interesting reading.

An editorial in the Boston Globe about the Bush legacyIt is hard to believe how far this republic has fallen since President George W. Bush took office. Eight years ago, the United States had a budget surplus, peace and prosperity reigned, and America was universally respected. Definitely time to support four more years of GOP rule. What could possibly go wrong?


10/07/08
Body movement: airport walking
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Currently reading: n/a

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2008-10-07 11:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Schadenfreude time -- the likely electoral college make-up based on the per-state polling currently shows Obama winning 344:194, the probability of an Obama presidency is currently hovering around 88%, and the real exciting question is whether the Dems can scrape together the four extra Senate seats they need for an absolute super-majority. Okay, call it five seats (then they can sack Joe Lieberman). I know it's gerrymandered to fuck, but I can hope. Right?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-10-07 11:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Believe me, I'm hoping too. The Democrats have a long history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and the GOP have cooked more than one October surprise in modern electoral history. On the other hand, the press seems to be waking up from its post-Watergate slumber and noticing what actually goes on in Republicanland instead of simply reporting the talking points as national news.

Eventually this election may provide fodder for a number of books and dissertations on the self-destruction of a powerful political brand. I cannot wait to see the day.
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Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2008-10-07 11:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have a sneaky suspicion that the current banking crisis was meant to be this election's October Surprise ... but it burst too soon.

McCain was never popular with the Bushies; I suspect they may keep their powder dry for 2012 or 2016 and Palin's inevitable run on the White House, rather than pull the kind of stunt you're thinking of -- from their point of view it might not be enough at this point to rescue his campaign, and has potential for blowback, so why bother?

Edited at 2008-10-07 01:25 pm (UTC)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-10-08 01:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I never have quite bought the "let's lose this time so we can come back stronger at a later time" theory of politics. That is often expressed, but it always strikes me as making a virtue of a necessity. Other than that caveat, agreed.
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User: ext_119583
Date: 2008-10-07 13:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Additionally, there are quite a few conservatives who are sitting this one out simply to punish the party for not sticking to its principles. There's no possible way I could vote for McCain. I'm an independent, but I tend to go with who is friendliest to capitalism and individual rights. McCain has no clue how markets work. He has no respect for business (large or small) and has no respect for individual rights. He's an absolute disaster and just about every republican knows it. He's the bitter pill they must swallow in an attempt to hold onto what little power they have.` Personally, I'm ready to see the ball handed to the other team. In this country you get your chance, and if you blow it, tough luck. They've blown it.

BTW - sorry I missed seeing you at FenCon. I only had a few hours open to me on Saturday. Next time you're in the area for a con I'd love to buy you a beer.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-10-08 01:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I was there, I swear!

As for conservatives sitting it out, with the exception of tax cuts, the Republican party has abandoned conservatism in everything but rhetoric. At this point the Democrats are more responsive to conservative concerns on foreign policy, military policy, fiscal responsibility etc. The power of a brand is a mighty thing.
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fledgist
User: fledgist
Date: 2008-10-07 15:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There is an odour of desperation wafting from the Republican camp right now, which may be a hopeful sign. Alternatively, it may be a sign that they're about to let loose a full-bore take-no-prisoners attack, at the end of which the Constitution will not be standing.
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sheelangig
User: sheelangig
Date: 2008-10-07 18:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Autism might occasionally equal genius?

Sure. Neuro-typical, or "normal" is by most definitions not genius. We need those Abby Normals. But you know how biased I am on this topic.


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Elf M. Sternberg
User: elfs
Date: 2008-10-07 18:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I once did, for a book called The Counter-Creationism Handbook, a meta-analysis indicating that there's a strong correlation between specific aspects of homosexual identity and highly desirable traits in our environment of evolutionary origin. The article was mostly to demonstrate the falsity of the creationist claim that if homosexuality were genetic it would have disappeared from the gene pool by now.

It would not surprise me in the least to learn that autism has a similar etiology: traits in low intensities or expressed individually that contribute to tribal success, but in concert or with greater intensity may lead to outlying cases of reproductive failure at rates too low to result in negative selection pressures on the (probably large and varied) collection of genes that result in those traits.
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torreybird
User: torreybird
Date: 2008-10-07 21:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for the autism link. One of my favorite characters is a severely autistic "twin" - kinda - which means he has the strongest superpowers. Autistic = superpower? You betcha. At least, that's what I've found among my friends. :-)
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Christopher Kastensmidt
User: ckastens
Date: 2008-10-08 00:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not only will a low-income family not be able to afford the insurance, they won't even benefit from the tax credit, because their tax is so low to begin with.

As I commented elsewhere, this health plan seems like an attempt to kill off lower income families (who largely vote Democrat, of course).
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