March 14th, 2004


catching up

I have this (growing) list of things I want to post about. Some are timely, some aren't - but instead of throwing them into one long miscellany post I'm liable to pepper the universe with a bunch of little short shotgun bursts.

Why I think that is an issue that needs mentioning ahead of time may well be fodder for further speculation... /eye-rolling

NB to Nigerian scammers/spammers

You're not going to get anywhere by starting off addressing me as Personal Contact My Dear Ralph. The "Ralph" part is a dead giveaway.

[So is the "dear", for all of that. But for entirely different reasons.]

Assuming I'm male - or really, requiring that our interaction be gendered at all, unless you're trying to seduce me - is not the proper foot with me on which to start.

oh no, she's on again about a book

A new culprit for globalization: the metric system.

Or so I am led to conclude by reading The Measure of All Things: the Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World. [Probably doesn't help that I just finished Brunner's Shockwave Rider after the library finally got it to me, as well.]

Standardized measures mean goods and services can be sold more places more transparently. Factories elsewhere can make standardized parts that will work here, there and everywhere. I can buy a socket-wrench set Made In China (or where-ever) and it will be of use here.

It's a very odd feeling, to develop suspicions toward a measurement system I am fond of for its scientific cachet. It goes to prove that everything about human history and behavior is complex and nuanced, and that none of the records will ever capture the whole.

It's fractal, it's Godel's incompleteness theorem. It's why culturally, we'll never hit that dreaded 'singularity' of being unable to cope with whatever we throw at ourselves. It is, if you can imagine, the positive side of being the frogs in boiling water.

But it's no excuse not to heed the call of the third frog, and get the hell out of a bad situation - it just means we've got the coping skills if we simply remember to utilize them.

Yes, I know this sort of thing is going to get me kicked out of the Misanthropists Club. Blame the Wellbutrin.


I went and saw Hidalgo Friday night. I enjoyed it - but I won't recommend it to everyone equally.

It's very much a Disney film - and in purer form that I've seen in a very long time. I can't quite call Hidalgo a comedy, but in tone it reminds me a lot of the 1965 version of That Darn Cat! or the 1971 Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The villains are dastardly, the heroes are flawed but still have a certain purity, the heroines are plucky, and the odds are triumphed over.

Now, I have a huge soft spot for 1960s & 1970s Disney family movies - probably because those were about the only movies we were allowed to watch - so I don't mind. I don't care if the story of Frank T. Hopkins is true, false, or somewhere in between. But I can certainly understand why the film reviewers at the major US dailies wouldn't agree with me.

So I'd just say that if you see it, see it in the proper spirit and you'll probably enjoy it. Go in expecting Angstful High Art or another LOTR, and you'll probably be sad.