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Why does all contemporary fiction read like…

<![CDATA[opera? It's like Verdi as a teenager, full of asexual angst or Wagner after his neutering by Nietzsche. Philip Glass writing sitcoms.

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Passions are not limited by justice

<![CDATA["Passions are not limited by justice, they are enlarged and extended." — Gilles Deleuze, Empiricism and Subjectivity: An Essay on Hume’s Theory of Human Nature

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Testing TechNet Edge Embedding

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Will the creepy orphan conquer the world?

<![CDATA[caption id="attachment_1891" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="In nightmares everywhere"]In nightmares everywhere[/caption]]>

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A-Rod's Excuse

<![CDATA[I found Alex Rodriguez's statement to the press today regarding his use of performance-enhancing drugs disingenuous and self-excusing, rather than the admission, apology and a recommitment to playing clean that he should have delivered.
Granted, he was just 25 and had been pampered and kow-towed to for his baseball skills for a decade at the time he decided to use “bole,” a steroid-laden injection from the Dominican Republic. But, coming from a guy who has earned more than a half billion dollars playing a game, the words he spoke only prove he’s still living in his pampered bubble.

We are not to talk of this after today, he said. Well, fuck you, Alex. It’s really hard to point to you on the field without having to offer my kids a warning that, dumb as a post and rich as you are, you are not a kind of example to follow. You have claimed a high ground and failed to defend it with the kind of courageous honesty to be expected from a “hero.”
It might have hurt more to simply admit he was trying to improve his game at any cost, including his health and the integrity of the game, but it also would have been the right thing to do.
In this age when kids are going to have to explain their youthful mistakes that were captured by friends and posted to MySpace and Facebook, A-Rod set the example of blaming youth rather than acknowledging he had to grow up. If kids come away from this thinking that anything can be justified by youth and the lack of a higher degree of education, we’re looking at a future where few people will even need to feel they have to exercise self-control and behave responsibly.
A-Rod: Lou Gehrig you ain’t. The Iron Horse made the most of his life and death, setting an example of integrity and dedication to hard work for his team. You, A-Rod, don’t deserve to sit at the grown-up table.]]>

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The runaway candidate

<![CDATA[Now he’s out of the race. McCain should continue the debates, regardless of what he wants to spend his days doing. It is essential to our democracy that we hear from the candidates about all the issues.
If Senator McCain wants to suspend his campaign, he should drop out of the race and let someone who wants to answer to the American people run in his place. That would rule out Sarah Palin as a presidential candidate, as well.]]>

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Life Uncategorized

Introducing a spinal medicine community

<![CDATA[I've started a new blog about spine medicine and research, since I'e had a crash course in this area over the last year. Please check out SpineScienceBlog.
Patient empowerment is a growing trend in medicine. As technology and medical therapies evolve rapidly, information about the options available to patients becomes increasingly important and essential to successful treatment. In my case, I’ve been through a crash-course in spinal science and medical options after suffering from degenerative disc disease. The result, my participation in the feasibility study of the Spinal Kinetics M6 Artificial Disc, has changed my life, relieving severe pain and returning feeling in my left arm.
I told the story on my ZD Net blog in How this blog saved my life and $100,000. Everyone should have the information they need to contribute to decisions about their medical care. Just as the options in consumer technology have exploded, bringing a flood of information and analysis that consumers can use to help decide what and when to buy, medical knowledge and options are becoming more accessible to everyone. What we need is good interpretation of the science and technologies involved. Unlike the PC-and-Internet revolution, which was covered by magazines and expensive newsletters, this transformation in the medical market can be covered by everyone involved, from the doctors doing breakthrough research to the patients who are exploring the frontiers of care. This is the site for all of them, and you.

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So comforting to think McCain likes the income gap this way….

<![CDATA[The Congressional Budget Office reports that since 1979, the average income for the bottom half of American households has grown by 6 percent. In contrast, the top 1 percent of earners have seen their incomes shoot up by a 229 percent during that same period. Under the Bush administration, the average income of most Americans has fallen, but the average income of top wage earners (those above the 95 percentile range) has increased from $324,427 in 2001 to $385,805 in 2006. Only one other year has seen a comparable income gap: 1928.
Source: Center for American Progress Action Fund.]]>

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Let's get the presidential candidates to pledge they will keep open records

<![CDATA[Whomever you support for president, I hope you'll consider joining me in asking the candidates for a pledge that they will enforce data integrity policies at least as rigorous as expected of publicly traded companies, and that they'll open their administration to public scrutiny of most public policy.
After eight years of an presidency that considers itself immune to the simplest email storage requirements, the United States could use some insight into how decisions are made at the White House. More than 1,000 days worth of email are missing from the Bush years, in some cases entire weeks’ worth of mail relating to the leaking of CIA operative Virgina Plame’s identity and the application of torture have disappeared. With Bush Administration officials continuing to drag their feet on implementation of email archiving systems, we are threatened with another four or eight years of government operating in the shadows, because an incoming president could blame the faulty storage systems they found for future omissions.
Granted, the Clinton administration hasn’t thrown open the doors to its archives, but, at least, they maintained a record of intra-administration communication, even at a time when email was barely mature and archival requirements were uncertain. It’s a standard we should expect of every administration, more so now that there are well-known best practices for records-retention available for public companies, investment banks and government agencies.
“I don’t want you reading my personal stuff,” President Bush has told the press when asked about why his administration has failed to comply with records-retention laws during his time in office. Unfortunately, Mr. President, nothing you do at your desk, or in the airplanes, cars and buildings we give you to use as president, is “your personal stuff.” It is the property of the people. As voters, we must demand greater accountability of the next president.
Just as a company needs to be able to review its internal communications to find out why it made mistakes, the U.S. government should be able to benefit from the experience of previous administrations, as well as the scholarly study of records, so that we constantly improve the handling of day-to-day and crisis situations. Democracy demands that we have the ability to review what our leaders have discussed as they decide on our behalf how money will be spent, what policies will be enforced and why and when we go to war.
So, let’s pull together as Americans and demand more of our political leaders. Join me in urging the candidates to commit to store all email and documents created or used by their staffs during their tenure in the White House. Regardless of the winner in the upcoming election, the infrastructure for the people’s participation in, and review of, executive decisions is ready for a president that will honor the people’s right to know what has been done in their name.
Logon to your candidate’s site to urge them to take the data integrity and transparency pledge:
John McCain. Mike Huckabee. Ron Paul. Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton.]]>

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Apparently, lifespans are radically shorter than when I was a kid

<![CDATA[195284main_holmes-200

Comet surprise makes it visible to naked eye – CNN.com:

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event to witness, along the lines of when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter back in 1994,” said [Paul] Lewis, [director of astronomy outreach at the University of Tennessee, who reached a bit too far with his hyperbole].

In other words, it would be really cool to look up and to the Northeast tonight if the sky is clear.

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