I recently received the following message via e-mail:
I’m a time traveler stuck here in 2003.
Upon arriving here my dimensional warp generator stopped working. I trusted a company here by the name of LLC Lasers to repair my Generation 3 52 4350A watch unit, and they fled on me.
Since nobody in this timeline seems to be able to deliver what I need (safely here to me), I will have to build a simple time travel circuit to get where I need myself. While it might be hard to find parts in this time to build anything decent, I need easy to follow schematics from the future to build one which is safe and accurate that will not disrupt the time space continuum with both forward and backward capability accounting for temporal location settings (X, Y, Z, n), which can be built out of (readily available) parts here in 2003. Please email me any plans you have. I will pay good money for anything you send me I can use. Or if you have a dimensional warp generator available, and are 100% certain you have a (safe secure) means of delivering it to me please also reply with a secure way to contact you. Send a separate email to me at: email@example.com.
Do not reply back directly to this email as it will only be bounced back to you.
I recently re-read (or rather, re-listened to the book on CD) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. One of the great speeches in that book, which I actually hadn’t remembered, is the speech from Francisco d’Anconia debating the argument that money is the root of all evil. It’s reproduced here and here. Worth a read.
“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
A fairly interesting article here, talking about setting up a new government for Iraq. More interesting (and the reason I found it) is the discussion of why the US was intentionally created as a Constitutional Republic and not as a Democracy.
The American Constitution is a limitation on the power of government, not on private individuals. Our Founders feared the anarchy of mob rule as much as the tyranny of an oppressive king. They established a constitutional republic, not a pure democracy.
Without limits, democracy amounts to what Benjamin Franklin described as, “two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”
As if the California race wasn’t crazy enough, a former candidate for US President got hit with a pie in the face when endorsing Peter Camejo for Governor. Funnier still is that they suspect it was a Democrat activist (a party with somewhat similar political views) who dislikes the fact that the Greens end up stealing otherwise Democrat votes.
Another reason to take a look at instant runoff voting…
I don’t know if anyone else was watching Last Comic Standing, but what a total f’n rip off. Rich Vos and Dave Mordal, far and away the two funniest guys out there, didn’t even make the final two comics. In fact, Dave was eliminated early on because he was beaten head to head by the ultimate winner (and least funny comedian) Dat Phan.
I’m truly disheartened with the viewers’ sense of humor. I also wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a Hideki Matsui Asian Invasion-like voting situation. Seriously, all this guy did in his stand up was do Asian voice impressions of his mother and tell awful jokes. And during the show, he just acted weird and didn’t say anything funny. Nice choice, America.
Amidst all the Gray Davis controversy, Larry Flynt is considering running for governor. Not that he has a prayer in winning, but I do agree with several of his proposed policies, namely:
- Legalizing and privatizing gambling (and taxing it)
- Legalizing prostitution
- Securing the state’s borders
“California is the most progressive state in the union, quite unorthodox at times. I think its citizens would welcome having a smut peddler who cares as their governor.”
So I guess Friendster is taking off. It’s a little disheartening to see people making money (well, they’re not making money yet) with a service you know you could have built in yourself 2 weeks’ time. I distinctly remember a site called Sixdegrees that was similar back in college. After a while, it got boring and people stopped looking at it though. Sixdegrees also had more sophisticated relationship classifications so you could define “mother” or “boyfriend” instead of everyone as a friend. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out, but if you sign up feel free to invite me to be your friend so I can look incredibly popular (in cyberspace).