Congressional Waste of Time

About a month ago, congress had a hearing on preventing a recession. While I’m not personally believing all the media hype/frenzy about an impending recession, I do think this is a good topic for my elected officers to spend their time on. Listening to baseball players talk about steroids, on the other hand, is about as good a topic for them to spend as it is to debate whether or not McDonald’s or Burger King has better french fries.

Baseball is not a governed sport. It is not protected, specified, or mentioned anywhere in the constitution. Nor should it be, as it’s… a GAME. And it’s up to MLB to manage their own issues, not Congress.

With the amazing quantity of problems facing Americans today, from healthcare to pollution to homelessness to [long list of other issues goes here], I am appalled that our elected “leaders” have the time to think about baseball players.

Arrested Development: The Movie? Annyong!

This weekend was chock full o great news.

Beyond the Patriots losing the Superbowl…

Beyond me getting two awesome naps…

Beyond me finishing up some really annoying tax paperwork…

A friend sent me a link to a story announcing a potential Arrested Development movie! OMG!  Look at banner!

Seriously, I think AD is solidly on top of my list of favorite TV shows of all time.  I keep copies of every episode on my portable hard drive and watch at least one episode per flight.  I even (yes, this is sad) rate them all in a little list I keep (tops: Bringing Up BusterAmigosAfternoon Delight).  In fact (yes, sadder, I know), I’m also tracking all references to “her?” (so far the most occurrences are in this episode, you gotta lock that down!).  Yeah, it’s a little like having The OCD (don’t call it that!), but hey, a little obsession can’t hurt.

I really hope this movie comes out.  It’s like The Office doing the extra 2-hour episode a couple of years after finishing shooting.  Rounds out the stories, and gives us fans a little something extra for our vaults.  Well, I guess that’s enough for this post.  I know I can write a little long sometimes.  Oh Jeremy, you blowhard!

(out of context)

Incorrect uses of the word Nazi

Saw this comment on Engadget today:

… I’ve heard a lot of poor reviews of AppleTV, but I think it’s getting better. Still, I’m not a fan of their Nazi-esque ways …

If I may clarify, while Apple may have totalitarian-ish regime, they most certainly haven’t murdered millions of people.  The comparison is terrible.

I wasn’t a fan of the Soup Nazi term either, no matter how funny the show was.  Maybe if there was poison in the soup, then it’d be a little closer.  Or if his soup stand attempted to take over, say all of Europe and Asia, then that too would be more accurate.

I believe there are certain words whose usage should never diminish the importance of their utterance.  Another example is the word “rape” – when people feel comfortable to say that “they got raped by the high prices…” they are clearly devaluing the impact of the action.  My hunch is that said buyer of said expensive goods was unlikely traumatized by the event, and most definitely needed zero follow-up counseling.

There are plenty of “big” adjectives to go around, many of which carry quite a weight.  Let’s try to use them more appropriately, and save these extremely meaningful words for the proper times.

Duncan Riley pwns TechMeme

It’s Saturday, January 19th, 2008, 2:26pm, and Duncan Riley of TechCrunch is Mr Techmeme.  🙂

Techmeme screenshot

I love the smell of CES in the morning

15 hours of demos yesterday.  Videos, podcasts, and blog posts from virtually every major and minor publication.  Utterly exhausting.

Let’s get the ball rolling here on day 2, I love it!

TOP tech news is… Scoble booted off Facebook??

According to TechMeme (apparently the de facto tech news source for all of silicon valley), the BIG story of the day is Robert Scoble’s being kicked off Facebook. Now according to AP, Reuters, and a few other sources, there’s a lot of other stuff going on. But none of it seems to interest the tech newsmakers here in the Bay.

Let’s all get a grip here. FIRST, we all know Scoble will be back on Facebook somewhere in the next 24 hours. SECOND, why does everybody seem to need to write a post about it? Does it really merit that much attention? NO.

Echo, echo echo echo….


creating happiness in 75 hours

I had a great day today (other than a 4am barrage of crying from my baby) at the SF Food Bank. Gotta up the ante for next month! The real question is how far can it go? How infectious can doing good really be here in the real world? All I know is I’m believing more and more in the raw power of the individual.

Definitely a good day.

Jeremy and Gold Toeman

Is anyone else unclear on exactly what a tiger is?

Let me paraphrase from wikipedia:

A 400 pound cat with huge nasty teeth that likes to eat meaty things.

In case you missed it, a tiger recently killed a boy and mauled two others at the SF Zoo. As a new father, I cannot possiby imagine the horror the family must be going through, and my heart truly goes out to them. This is awful, and a terrible terrible tragedy.

But what is wrong with the media? From the coverage I’ve seen and read it seems like the shock is about the fact that a tiger attacked a person. This really isn’t up for debate. Take a WILD PREDATOR and coop him up his whole life, then give him just a single shot at breaking free, guess what he’s going to do? Run for it, and use every one of his natural instincts, whether it’s attack, run, duck, or attack running ducks.

Please, can we let this family go grieve in peace? They don’t need to be paraded around television, and they don’t need to be scrutinized by national press.

As for the zoo? Well, I don’t think there’s any real good argument for zoos other than showing children what depressed animals look like. I’ve never really been a fan, and I don’t support them as it is. Yes, there is some good being done for animals that are near-extinct and being bred in captivity, but for the most part, it’s a bunch of unhappy animals. Putting a bunch of ligers in a “lifelike environment” is a notch better than living in a cage, but it’s probably at the same level as putting a Manhattanite in Pierre, South Dakota. I’m sure he/she’ll survive, but it ain’t quite the same.

Bah humbug – why I don’t lifecast

I read a decent amount of tech blogs, and the topic of lifecasting comes up from time to time. Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, and Jeremiah Owyang are all fans of Twitter. Bijan Sabet is a Tumblr user (and investor), and my friend Brian Solis likes, well… everything. There are a few other services out there too, some as simple as the Facebook status update, and others like Pownce enable file sharing as well (although not everybody seems to like them).

I don’t like any of them. At all.  I’m actually antilifecasting.

Reason #1: life is mundane. Yours, mine, his, everybody’s. We live mundane lives with occasional fleeting moments of interestingness. I for one am simply uninterested in following people around to discover what kind of sandwich they prefer.

Reason #2: I don’t feel a need to be “followed”. If I feel like sharing something with the world, I have a blog, and it’s easy as pie. I tried using delicious to do some link-sharing, but I got bored with that too. Bottom line is I believe so much in #1 above that if I have my exciting moment du jour, I have this blog, this other blog, Facebook, and so many other ways to share it with those who care. Which are few.

Reason #3: privacy matters. Sooner or later people are going to find they’ve exposed TMI a few too many times. Whether this will cost them personally or professionally, it’s simply fraught for errors. For example.

Reason #4:  sooner or later, evil will happen. And I don’t want it to happen to one of my friends or colleagues (or anyone for that matter, but our President is apparently working hard on that one). When Scoble or Bijan or others talk about being on the road, at a Starbucks, or in another country, they are basically telling the world that they aren’t at home.  And there are plenty of smart criminals out there.  The last thing I want to see, though I most certainly won’t be surprised when (not if) I do, is a tweet entitled “My house just got burglarized.”

So to my legions of fans and devotees, I’m sorry, but this blog is about as close as I’m going to get to talking about my personal affairs in a public, permanently recorded environment.  Okay, I’ll make one exception with the next 160 characters:

Writing this after eating a bite of havarti melted on whole grain bread. No HFCS or unbleached enriched flour. Baby sleeping now which means its RockBand time.

Ranking people is stupid

Forbes put up its list of “Web Celebs” yesterday.  This list is utterly pointless and shows nothing but ignorance of the diversity of the Internet and the power of individualized content.  Sorry, it’s not completely pointless, as I’m sure 25 people feel pretty cool today, and I’m genuinely happy for them (especially for the ones who I’m friends with!). As Robert Scoble observed, tons of prominent Internet voices are missing from the list.

Further, the list is missing other “celebrities” such as Tila Tequila who has (at the time of writing) just short of 2.5 MILLION friends on MySpace.  Again, not to take anything away from the listmakers, but only Engadget and Boing Boing have traffic above that number.  I think the criteria Forbes used is also fairly… inane:

To generate the ranking, we first defined “Web Celeb” as a person famous primarily for creating or appearing in Internet-based content, and for being highly recognizable to a Web-based audience. That definition excludes people who were significantly famous before they hit the Web–like author Arianna Huffington, billionaire Mark Cuban or journalist Michelle Malkin–and leaves us with a pool of people whose fame depends on the Internet.

But beyond all that, really, what’s the point?  Who benefits (again, other than the 25) from this list?  Is the world a better place?  Do the other billion people on the Internet feel a bit worse about themselves?  Do the ones who got cut from last year’s list care?  And more to the point, should they?

Lists like these do nothing to make people feel good about anything.  They make people envious.  They make people strive for things beyond their means.  They make people mock the lists themselves.  They serve virtually no public good.

And dammit, I’m not on there.  And I probably wasn’t #26 either. Jerks…