Saturday, September 08, 2007

Friday Photography: Broken Windmill

click to enlarge
Daryl Samuel

Location: Parikia, Paros, Greece

Previous: Photos posted in 2006 / 2007: Pagoda / Ferry / Sand Tracks / General Store / Taverna Tables / Finger Piano / Bridge at Sunset / Snowfall in Cambridge / Boats / Grandma in Motion / Museum Silhouette / Brooklyn Bridge / Seascape / City Hall / Santa Fe Hotel / Lunch Break / Low Rider / Giant Crab Invades Boston! / East Meets West / Building Reflections / Flatiron Spring / Hands With Glasses / Fishing Net / Steps / Oil and Vinegar / Gas Station / Brooklyn Bridge in Sepia / Windmill on the Paralia / Santa Fe Art / Island Time / Battleship Rock / Copper Mine / Slide! / Playing Piano / Underground Cistern

Ed Fitzgerald | 9/08/2007 10:57:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

(3089/898) Freedom and decency

1135) [E]very American ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated. This is not the case.
John F. Kennedy
television address on civil rights (6/11/1963) [B16]

1136) America is great because she is good and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
posted by Joe Clark [IQM] (7/3/1995)
[Note: Frequently misattributed to Alexis de Tocqueville. [WQ]]
1137) The United States is a nation of laws, poorly written and randomly enforced.
Frank Zappa (widely attributed)
"sig" (signature) of Richard Jacobson, seen on sci.psychology.psychotherapy (7/3/1995)

1138) I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves, it should first be those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
Abraham Lincoln
"Address to an Indiana Regiment" (3/17/1865) [B16]
posted by Todd McMasters [IQM] (7/4/1995)

1139) There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry [...] There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. Our political life is also predicated on openness. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
quoted by L. Barnett in
"J. Robert Oppenheimer" in
Life (International Edition) (10/24/1949)
cited by Stephen E. Jones
posted by Todd McMasters [IQM] (7/4/95)
[Note: Sometimes misattributed to Marcel Proust.]
1140) The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
Eric Hoffer
The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955) [WQ]
posted by Todd McMasters [IQM] (7/4/1995)

1141) Many politicians lay it down as a self-evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.
Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay (widely attributed)
posted by Todd McMasters [IQM] (7/4/1995)


[B16] - Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th edition (1993)
[IQM] - Internet Quotations mailing list
[WQ] - Wikiquote

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 502 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 9/05/2007 01:39:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sometimes, the only thing to say is the obvious thing

AP:   Bush tells a biographer "I cry a lot."

Not as much as we do, asshole, not as much as us.

Ed Fitzgerald | 9/04/2007 11:01:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) Net Cassandra c.1995

1134) The mass media does not pry into the lives of non-public people. First it makes them widely known by opening their otherwise dull common lives to general scrutiny. Now that these fairly normal people have been turned into public persons it becomes open season and anything goes. Any citizen can be instantly transformed into a public enemy/friend number one and then tossed back onto the heap again.

The various organs of the mass media have the power to make a household name for the sole reason of breaking that same name once it has served their purposes. However - all this sounds a little too conspiratorial to fit the generally low intelligence displayed in print, on television and radio. And the old adage is ... don't attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by ignorance and economic self-interest.

A group of unsophisticated and/or greedy people independently pursue similar ends using the same technology, similar methods and goals. No-one huddles in secret conferences anymore plotting to get this or that shmuck like me.

Mass media simply does the Manson group think and group act within a common framework of equipment, ideas and profit making principles. That's what make it *look* like an orchestrated campaign. It isn't. The result of all this is mediavised infotainment. Fiction and fact and advertising all wrapped into one dubious package.

The only hope is direct, person to person modes of communication like this. But beware ... the same dumb economic vultures that control TV are circling over the Internet ... they are very powerful and it will be a struggle to preserve any lines of thought and information independent of their meddling.

No conspiracy. Ignorance and Greed.
Bob Allisat
posted on the nyc.general Usenet newsgroup (7/1/1995)
[ellipses in original]

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 503 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 9/04/2007 09:08:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) The Myth of Repressed Memory

1129) My work has helped to create a new paradigm of memory, shifting our view from the video-recorder model, in which memories are interpreted as the literal truth, to a reconstructionist model, in which memories are understood as creative blendings of fact and fiction.
Elizabeth Loftus
The Myth of Repressed Memory (1994)
written with Katherine Ketcham

1130) We want to believe - in fact we need to believe - [stories about recovered "repressed" memories] because the belief in [these memories] affirms that our own minds work in an orderly, efficient way, taking in information, sorting it, filing it, and calling it back later in full and vivid detail. In a chaotic world, where so much is out of control, we need to believe that our minds, at least, are under our command. We need to believe that our memories, inherently trustworthy and reliable, can reach back into the past and make sense of our lives.
Elizabeth Loftus
The Myth of Repressed Memory (1994)
written with Katherine Ketcham

1131) In the end we (as clinicians) cannot tell the difference between believed-in fantasy about the past and viable memory of the past. Indeed there may be no structural difference between the two.
Michael Nash
quoted by Elizabeth Loftus & Katherine Ketcham in
The Myth of Repressed Memory (1994)

1132) Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil (1885-1886) [B16]
quoted by Elizabeth Loftus & Katherine Ketcham in
The Myth of Repressed Memory (1994)

1133) The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.
John F. Kennedy
commencement address at Yale University (6/11/1962)
quoted by Elizabeth Loftus & Katherine Ketcham in
The Myth of Repressed Memory (1994)


[B16] - Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th edition (1993)

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 503 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 9/04/2007 03:24:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) The market

1128) In the new era [of Net-based economy], the ancillary market is the market.
Esther Dyson
"Intellectual Value" in
Wired (7/1995)

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 503 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 9/04/2007 03:17:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


Can't Tell the Felons, Phoneys and Freaks Without A Scorecard

Senate 2008 Guru has a run-down of GOP corruption in 2007 so far.

Barely a week goes by without a new scandal emerging. One can only hope that America will finally pick up on what the Republican Party really is, what it stands for, and the lack of quality and character of the people who run it.

Ed Fitzgerald | 9/04/2007 12:56:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Monday, September 03, 2007

(3089/898) More observations

Patrick Stewart as Oberon
1125) It seems to me that there are two perfect times to do Shakespeare. One is when you're very young and utterly inexperienced and massively arrogant and you know nothing. That's one great time to do Shakespeare. Because you don't have any questions at all. And the other time is when you've been around for a while and matured into some of the roles. [...] Aging is a blessing. One's just got to hope to live long enough to do all these things.
Patrick Stewart
interview in the "Sunday" column in
New York Times Magazine (6/25/1995)

1126) I always say that Democrats are thieves, but they mostly steal in small, manageable amounts from programs designed to help the poor. The Republicans are thieves, too, but they steal hundreds of millions by changing laws to remove the protection we all need. That's why I will NEVER vote for a Republican.
Michele W
personal e-mail (6/26/1995)

1127) Plenty of people didn't care for him much, but then there is a huge difference between disliking somebody - maybe even disliking them a lot - and actually shooting them, strangling them, dragging them through the fields and setting their house on fire. It was a difference which kept the vast majority of the population alive from day to day.
Douglas Adams
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987)
posted by Russ Allbery [UAQ] (6/26/1995)


[UAQ] - Usenet alt.quotations newsgroup

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 504 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 9/03/2007 09:32:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) Truth, questions, results

1119) One of the favorite maxims of my father was the distinction between the two sorts of truths, profound truths recognized by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth, in contrast to trivialities where opposites are obviously absurd.
Hans Henrik Bohr
writing about physicist Niels Bohr in
"My father" in
Niels Bohr - His Life and Work As Seen By
His Friends and Colleagues
S. Rozental, ed.
posted by bobjcumbia [UAQ] (6/21/1995)

1120) The truth is not in nature waiting to declare itself, and we cannot a priori know which observations are relevant and which are not. Every discovery, every enlargement of the understanding, begins as an imaginative preconception of what the truth might be.
Peter Medawar
Advice to a Young Scientist (1979)
posted by bobjcumbia [UAQ] (6/21/1995)

1121) As we look at the herring gull, moving westwards from Great Britain to North America, we see gulls that are recognizably herring gulls, although they are a little different from the British form. We can follow them, as their appearance gradually changes, as far as Siberia. At about this point in the continuum, the gull looks more like the form that in Great Britain is called the lesser black-backed gull. From Siberia, across Russia, to northern Europe, the gull gradually changes to look more and more like the British lesser-backed gull. Finally, in Europe, the ring is complete; the two geographically extreme forms meet, to form two perfectly good species: the herring and the lesser black-backed gull can be both distinguished by their appearance and do not naturally interbreed.
Mark Ridley
The Problems of Evolutions (1985)
quoted by Daniel C. Dennett in
Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995)

Richard Dawkins
t-shirt slogan
quoted by Michael Schrage in
"Revolutionary Evolutionist" in
Wired (7/1995)

1123) Perhaps we were asking the wrong question when we set out to find whether there is a gene for sexual orientation. We know that genes are responsible for the development of our lungs, larynx, mouth, and the speech areas of our brains. And we understand that this complexity cannot be collapsed into the notion of a gene for "talking." Similarly, what possible basis can there be for concluding that there is a single gene for sexuality, even though we accept that there are genes that direct the development our penises, vaginas, and brains? This analogy is not to deny the importance of genes, but merely to recast their role in a different conceptual setting, one devoid of dualist prejudice.
Richard Horton
"Is Homosexuality Inherited?" in
New York Review of Books (7/13/1995)
[review of The Sexual Brain
by Simon LeVay and
The Science of Desire
by Deam Hamer and Peter Copeland]

1124) All experiments in psychology are not of this [cargo cult] type, however. For example there have been many experiments running rats through all kinds of mazes, and so on--with little clear result. But in 1937 a man named Young did a very interesting one. He had a long corridor with doors all along one side where the rats came in, and doors along the other side where the food was. He wanted to see if he could train rats to go to the third door down from wherever he started them off. No. The rats went immediately to the door where the food had been the time before.

The question was, how did the rats know, because the corridor was so beautifully built and so uniform, that this was the same door as before? Obviously there was something about the door that was different from the other doors. So he painted the doors very carefully, arranging the textures on the faces of the doors exactly the same. Still the rats could tell. Then he thought maybe they were smelling the food, so he used chemicals to change the smell after each run. Still the rats could tell. Then he realized the rats might be able to tell by seeing the lights and the arrangement in the laboratory like any commonsense person. So he covered the corridor, and still the rats could tell

He finally found that they could tell by the way the floor sounded when they ran over it. And he could only fix that by putting his corridor in sand. So he covered one after another of all possible clues and finally was able to fool the rats so that they had to learn to go to the third door. If he relaxed any of his conditions, the rats could tell.

Now, from a scientific standpoint, that is an A-number-one experiment. That is the experiment that makes rat-running experiments sensible, because it uncovers the clues that the rat is really using--not what you think it's using. And that is the experiment that tells exactly what conditions you have to use in order to be careful and control everything in an experiment with rat-running.

I looked into the subsequent history of this research. The next experiment, and the one after that, never referred to Mr. Young. They never used any of his criteria of putting the corridor on sand, or of being very careful. They just went right on running rats in the same old way, and paid no attention to the great discoveries of Mr. Young, and his papers are not referred to, because he didn't discover anything about rats. In fact, he discovered all the things you have to do to discover something about rats. But not paying attention to experiments like that is a characteristic of cargo cult science.
Richard Feynman
"Cargo Cult Science"
adapted from an commencement address
given at CalTech (1974)
posted by Carsten Kalles-Agger on sci.psychology.misc (6/27/1995)


[UAQ] - Usenet alt.quotations newsgroup

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 504 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 9/03/2007 02:29:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


Ed Fitzgerald

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right,
Here I am...
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what I've been reading
Martin van Creveld - The Transformation of War

Jay Feldman - When the Mississippi Ran Backwards

Martin van Creveld - The Rise and Decline of the State

Alfred W. Crosby - America's Forgotten Pandemic (1989)
bush & company are...
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con artists
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Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
recently seen
Island in the Sky (1952)

Robot Chicken

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House M.D. (2004-7)
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All the fine sites I've
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03/23/2008 - 03/30/2008
03/30/2008 - 04/06/2008
06/01/2008 - 06/08/2008
09/21/2008 - 09/28/2008

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Bullshit, trolling, unthinking knee-jerk dogmatism and the drivel of idiots will be ruthlessly deleted and the posters banned.

Entertaining, interesting, intelligent, informed and informative comments will always be welcome, even when I disagree with them.

I am the sole judge of which of these qualities pertains.

All e-mail received is subject to being published on unfutz without identifying names or addresses.

I correct typos and other simple errors of grammar, syntax, style and presentation in my posts after the fact without necessarily posting notification of the change.

Substantive textual changes, especially reversals or major corrections, will be noted in an "Update" or a footnote.

Also, illustrations may be added to entries after their initial publication.
the story so far
unfutz: toiling in almost complete obscurity for almost 1500 days
2005 koufax awards


Carpetbagger Report
*Crooks and Liars*
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2004 koufax winners
2003 koufax award
"best blog" nominees
the proud unfutz guarantee
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.

If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.

(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)

Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.

original content
© 2003-2008
Ed Fitzgerald


take all you want
but credit all you take.

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