Here we go again; Google "Smart Tags"
Google today launched a new version of its toolbar that employs a new feature called Autolink that turns non-linked content on Web sites into hotlinks back to Google properties and other sites.... In addition to addresses, it will also add links for ISBNs, package tracking numbers, and vehicle identification numbers.

Here we go again, only this time, I have all my debate points all lined up. You want to know how I feel about this, read that.

It is often pointed out that the First Amendment does not let you force someone to listen. It is also worth pointing out that the First Amendment does not let you force someone else to speak.

Which reminds me, when and if I ever get to fully revising Communication Ethics, I ought to include something about this inability to compel others. (I have also finally figured out how to handle P2P issues in the context of that essay but have not had time to write it.)

JSON counterpoint
Feb 11, 2005

JSON is pretty
cool for what it is; in a mix of dynamic languages where Javascript
(most likely in a browser) is involved it may not be a bad
choice. It's even a great choice if you're firing structured data
back and forth from Javascript and something else.

Read the rest (708 words)

Clinton on Social Security
Feb 07, 2005

Someone found a link to statements Clinton made in 2002 about Social Security that, while not exactly the full totality of the Bush Plan, bears certain strong resemblances, most notably in a similar assessment of when the program runs out of steam.

Which reminds me of a conversation I once had with a rather contrary friend. I said that when you are 100% reliably contrary, you are ultimately ceding as much power over yourself to a smart person as being 100% compliant would be, it just changes how they act.

Being contrary, of course, they didn't choose to believe me.

This has a lot of relevance for the Democrats at the moment as they gear up for this year's fights. They really, really need to stop reflexively being the anti-Bush. As I said, Clinton's comments are not the full totality of the Bush plan, they are somewhat more conservative (in the "preserving the status quo" sense) and I think they strike a better, safer balance than what I've seen of the Bush plan.

Karl Rove is credited with being this manipulative mastermind, but the Democrats (speaking in generalities) must take some credit for being so reliably manipulable! Since their stance is almost completely predictable once you hear what Bush says, frankly almost anyone with a brain could be the "Karl Rove".

Bush says there's a Social Security problem, and the solution is this and that and the other thing, which is just a little bit stronger than an earlier Democratic plan. But now, since Bush is WrongTM (And Also A LiarTM), they are being "forced"... sort of... into a much stronger counter-position than they should be, and this will probably end up as yet another stake in the heart of the Democratic party, as they viciously fight for a position only a very small minority believe in, yet again alienating the majority.

There are a lot of things that the Democratic party could do to make themselves a more viable party, and this is one of them: Take back the control of the agenda that they have completely ceded to Bush by being so completely an "opposition party". They've granted the ability to define their platform directly to their enemy... no wonder they are losing so steadily!

This is, for the most part, something that has to come from the grassroots, and as such, I have to say, I'm not terribly optimistic about it happening. I'm still thinking there are good odds there won't be a "Democratic Party" by 2010. And whatever party or parties absorb those interests, they would be wise to not absorb this aspect of the Democratic Party.

Feb 06, 2005

I love Family Guy, though I'll concede it took me a bit to get into it, so I think that establishes a history of at least understanding Seth McFarlane's style, but holy cow was American Dad bad. It turns out Family Guy would really, really stink if it wasn't constantly jumping out to flashbacks.

Read the rest (907 words)

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