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Jay Lake
Date: 2008-10-10 05:48
Subject: [links] Link salad, “Happy Double Ten” edition
Security: Public
Tags:cool, links, personal, politics, science

Paper airplanes from orbit — Now this is just flipping cool. Of course, I used to throw frisbees off a the rim of a mesa in central Nigeria, so what else would I think? (Hat tip to Gizmodo.)

Mail Goggles — A Google premail filter. I can’t figure out if this is real or not, because it’s so absurd it feels like a joke. (Thanks to lillypond.)

Rat brained robots — Wow. Just wow. (Thanks to lillypond.)

Don’t mess with scientists — McCain and the “overhead projector.” Republicans really do have no shame, apparently. Not that this is news. The GOP has made an anti-science agenda a cornerstone of their base-rallying for years. McCain’s now trying to extend it to the general voting population. (Thanks to ericreynolds.)

Palin’s Kind of Patriotism — An NYT op-ed on patriotism, taxes and Sarah Palin. I’ve never understood the conservative mantra that taxes are evil. I like having police, fire departments, schools, all the things which taxes fund. The article quotes Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.” All of which reminds me of an argument I got into with a Libertarian once, who told me he didn’t need the government because he loaded his own ammunition and hunted his own food. I asked if he had a lead mine on his property for the slugs, and where the gunpowder came from for his loads, or perhaps did he in fact need public roads so that a uniformed Federal employee could reach his front door to deliver his hand-load supplies? He was Not Amused.

Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 231.8
Currently reading: Back issues of Fortean Times

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

Post A Comment | 9 Comments | | Flag | Link

User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-10-10 13:57 (UTC)
Subject: RE: Those rat-brained robots.
At once fascinating and chilling. Lots of technorganic potential.

But when you put such a robot in a maze, instead of finding cheese at the end, is the reward a new nutrient/antibiotic bath?
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selfavowedgeek: Conan
User: selfavowedgeek
Date: 2008-10-10 13:59 (UTC)
Subject: Erm,
'twas my anonymous post there.
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Renee Babcock: pic#80266674
User: renegade500
Date: 2008-10-10 14:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
For years, students here at UT demanded more services from the University, at the same time that the lege was not allowing us to raise tuition (so they could proudly proclaim to their consitutents that they kept tuition at Texas' flagship insitution affordable for everyone). So, UT did the only thing it could: it created a bunch of new fees that made the actual tuition/fee bill jump up quite a bit. But you know what - those services don't pay for themselves! I'm a prime example, since my salary for years was paid out of student fee money. And I found that when that was actually explained to the students, the value they were getting for their dollar (esp me, I'm a great value, hehe), they were perfectly happy to pay those fees.

I just realized today's my brother's birthday. I suppose I ought to call him...
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Elizabeth Coleman
User: criada
Date: 2008-10-10 14:18 (UTC)
Subject: Holy Crap
That rat-brain robot story came literally fifteen minutes after I finished davidlevine's Tale of the Golden Eagle and all its brains in robots.
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User: anton_p_nym
Date: 2008-10-10 22:21 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Holy Crap
The first thing that popped into my mind upon seeing the link to that story was that someone was taking Cordwainer Smith's work a bit too seriously.

-- Steve'd re-read Norstrilia last week.
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User: mcjulie
Date: 2008-10-10 14:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I saw Grover "bathtub" Norquist on The Daily Show a while back -- John Stewart asked him to reconcile the fact that people are all for tax cuts when they think they're going to save money, but then when their favorite tax-funded item goes away, they're upset and they want the funding back.

Norquist's response was to wave the question away -- he even made a little hand-waving gesture.
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User: ext_119583
Date: 2008-10-10 15:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't think taxes are evil, just the people who inflict them on innocent citizens :)

Honestly, I think most rational thinking people understand there is a need for taxes to support government services. Now, obviously, people are going to disagree on how to best provide these services. I don't personally like taking tax-payer money and handing it over to private companies. This is touted as a free market solution, when really it's nothing but a kind of fascism. I wish the founders had looked at separation of business and state the same way they view church and state, but that's a whole other topic.

Lately, I've been looking at Estonia as an ideal government. I like their tax system. It's a flat tax. I know there's some unfairness in a flat tax to the poor, but I think it can be balanced with refunds.

So I don't think taxes are evil--just the way the US handles taxes.
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scarlettina: Science Geek
User: scarlettina
Date: 2008-10-10 15:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Science Geek
That story about rat-brained robots just gave me a chill. It also gave us a new word--animats--which I expect to start showing up in specfic any day now, that or its equivalent. There's something creepy about it, and wondrous at the same time. I felt that I was reading the future now. The implications are amazing and terrifying to me all at once, and I wonder what our great grandchildren's world will be like.
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Ruthanne Reid
User: ruthannereid
Date: 2008-10-10 16:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*laughs* I bet he was Not Amused.
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