Chad Perrin: SOB

31 January 2008

Huckabee won

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 01:00

You can see my notes on the 30 January Republican debate as I took them while watching the debate, if you like. They’re organized so that a quick note about the question asked heads each small section, followed by an indented list of the names of the candidate asked to respond in the order they responded, and for each candidates there is sometimes a note about how the response went.

Here’s the quick run-down on my impressions, though:

Mitt Romney and John McCain made asses of themselves bickering over who did or didn’t say what. They spent more than half the two hour debate alternating between sniping at each other like passive-aggressive faddish Britney Spears fans and bickering like rabid chickens. Any time Ron Paul spoke, they appeared to compete with one another over who could adopt the most derisive, smug expression, as if they just wanted to demonstrate that they knew it didn’t matter that Dr. Paul was right — because he wouldn’t get enough face time to actually get the point out.

Ron Paul probably got about six minutes’ talking time, total. He was ignored and marginalized. He also managed to make more statements that elicited applause than anyone else, and actually got voluble cheers twice in one short segment. He was the only candidate who actually got cut off entirely in mid-sentence and had the focus forcefully dragged away from him, and it happened more than once. In one case, that happened after about fifteen seconds when other candidates had been to ramble on about the same question effectively until they ran out of breath if they wanted to.

Huckabee got ignored quite a lot, too — but probably got three times as much face time as Ron Paul. He was obviously and unabashedly frustrated with this, and chastised Anderson Cooper and the other moderators for ignoring him and Paul, and for effectively lying about the face time they would give him.

In terms of making good, eloquent points, coming off well, and politely poking other candidates (McCain and Romney, specifically) where it hurts, Huckabee was the clear winner of this debate. Ron Paul might have given him a run for his money if the moderators had allowed him to have more than (literally) one or two opportunities to actually say something substantive.

The more I see of Huckabee in debates, the more I respect the man. He’s obviously intelligent, appears to be a straight shooter, and carries himself well on-screen. I think he’s probably about 60-70% right about the issues. I found myself feeling almost like cheering him a couple of times. Unfortunately, the 30-40% of his bad policy positions are shooting offenses — so Ron Paul’s in no danger of losing my support.

On the subject of the attitude other candidates take toward Ron Paul, you should check an audio clip from a radio show wherein Mitt Romney chuckles derisively at mention of Dr. Paul and the radio host loses his shit. This radio show host is my new hero. Man, he was pissed.

25 January 2008

excellent quote about math and computer science

Filed under: Metalog — apotheon @ 05:03

The problem with math is that there’s an infinite supply of it. It is always possible to create new problems to solve and new formalisms to apply. Math is always interesting and cool, at least to mathematicians, and after your field has been parasitized by mathematicians for a decade or two, everyone in it will be a mathematician. There’s enough work for everyone.

It’s possible to describe anything in mathematical notation. I recall seeing some paper once in which someone had created a mathematical description of C. (I forget whether or not this included the preprocessor.) As an achievement, this is somewhat like building a full-size model of the Eiffel Tower out of tongue depressors. It’s clearly not the act of a talentless man, but you have to wonder what he said when he applied for his grant.

No . . . this isn’t from a rant about how bad math is. Quite the contrary — it’s about how bureaucrats in the academic world abuse math as a means of turning computer science into a scam for funding. The next line, after all, is:

Whatever their tactics, what CS bureaucrats always sacrifice is relevance.

Go read What’s wrong with CS research.

24 January 2008

NPR is not immune

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 05:55

I’m sure, by now, you’ve heard about how Ron Paul is getting shut out of mainstream media mentions. One of the most egregious examples was when Ron Paul took second place in the Nevada primaries — and none of the mainstream media outlets said anything about it. They’ll talk about who came in fourth in most primaries — but not who came in second, if it’s Ron Paul.

My SigO has been listening to NPR for about a month now on her way to and from work every day. She has a commute that takes more than half an hour each way. Conservatively, she must have listened to about 20 hours of NPR lately.

Of course, there’s more Democrat material on NPR than Republican material, for obvious reasons (NPR’s well-known left-leaning bias), but they talk about the Republican side of things often enough that disturbing trends are unavoidably obvious. In this case, the trend she has noticed is primarily that Ron Paul is almost never mentioned. In fact, Ron Paul has been mentioned exactly twice.

The first time, it was when the host of All Things Considered (Michele Norris) read some of the letters they get from listeners. Someone wrote a letter to them commenting on the fact that they utterly fail to mention Ron Paul, ever, at all. It was pretty critical and, from what the SigO can tell, accurate.

The second time, it was when . . . drumroll please . . . the host of All Things Considered read some of the letters they got from listeners today. She read one that commented on how Ron Paul is getting blacked out in the media in general, and on NPR in particular. Ms. Norris commented that they had received many letters to this effect. Then, having said that, she considered the matter closed and moved on to other matters.

The impression the SigO got is that they seem to be intentionally rubbing in the fact that they’re ignoring Ron Paul. Somehow, I’m not surprised.

Add NPR to the list, along with Fox, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and everyone else in the “short tail” of the mainstream media news sources.

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