Archive for October 2004

Bloodshed Predicted

Another note for future reference on the Iraq situation. Today’s big ABC news story is Commit troops or delay Iraq election, Govt warned: The Federal Government is being warned against promoting a January election in Iraq unless it is willing to commit more troops. Australian National University Professor William Maley, who has just returned from […]

The Wisdom of Crowds

Hrmph. Since my laptop keeps dying on the other post I’m trying to make, I might blog about James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds instead. Here’s a section from p187 about small group dynamics: Talkativeness may seem like a curious thing to worry about, but in fact talkativeness has a major impact on the kinds […]

Promoting Free Markets

Perhaps the most beautiful facet of capitalism is the way even its nominal opponents are forced into enhancing its effectiveness. Following in the footsteps of Mike Moore’s schlocumentary producing corporate empire, it’s my pleasure to introduce the first issue of Blender’s Consumer Reports: Centrecom sucks. (And don’t forget to read issue two, Centrecom sucks: I […]


Unsurprisingly, Ubuntu’s release has generated some discussion in Debian. Odds on it won’t create much else. Anyway, Scott (a Canonical employee and dpkg hacker, among other things) writes: Release, release, my kingdom for a release! […] I think he’s missed something major there, and that something major is the reason I think Debian finds releasing […]

Darcs and Repositories

I think it’s reasonable to consider two sorts of “repository” when dealing with darcs — public repositories that are used to reflect a particular line of development, and private working directories that are used to actually do development. Unfortunately there’s some overlap here, pretty much taking the form of “copying your working directory around”. The […]

Carnival of the Capitalists

It’s a cracker Carnival this week, with a Catallarchy post on the link between competing replicators and gay amateur gang rape porn, a Truck and Barter post on how government makes us sick, and a Layman’s Logic post on home made speed cameras, for sale online.

That Liberal Media

You know, that double-entendre just keeps getting better. Anyway, a couple of days before the election, lefty blogger Robert Corr noted a Crikey mailout claiming the Age was forced to take a pro-Howard line in its editorial by their Editor-in-chief, supposedly on the basis that “backing Latham wasnt in the commercial interests of the company.” […]

Afghanistan Elections Marred By Peace

From Indian news site, NDTV: Boycott call dropped in Afghanistan So it wasn’t bomb threats by the Taliban, but allegations of mass irregularities that threatened to derail the three-year march towards democracy. Uh, moving your worries from “bomb threats” to “mass irregularities” is marching towards democracy. Is it really that unreasonable to expect the first […]

Bioweapons Labs, redux

Not long after I linked to the Yahoo story about confirmed bioweapons labs in Iraq last year, it disappeared. Let’s see if the same thing happens to this World Net Daily story that even includes pictures. These are almost certainly the trucks that the Duelfer report is talking about when it says: [The Iraq Survey […]

Bikini Babes for Bush

David writes, under the heading Supermodels for Kerry: Sure, I’m superficial and shallow — but you know you’re tempted too. Don’t get me wrong, I’d accept a bumper sticker from Rebecca Romijn too, but it’s not like being superficial and shallow is an either/or choice compared with being a right-wing death beast. As Australian-American Gabrielle […]

Election Results

First, the scores: Betting markets: +1; Pundits: 0; Polls: -1. While geeking out on partial tallies, Michael noticed the extremely high informal count in his electorate, and noted that “we’re none too bright here in Rankin”. If you consider informal voting a measure of dumbness, it turns out Rankin’s the dumbest electorate in Queensland (at […]

October 9th Excitement

As the election day dawns, you can just feel the excitement in the air: They seem genuinely excited. Almost everyone does. In the markets, people are actually talking about the vote. Some are driving around with pictures of candidates in their car windows. Posters of every hue cover the walls of central Kabul. Meanwhile in […]

Oil Prices

When I reinvented this segment of my blog, I said it was meant to cover economics as well as politics, but I haven’t really been following through on that too well. Since someone thinks I may perhaps have a spec in my eye labelled “not blogging enough”, I figured I’d mix two metaphors with one […]

A Foreign Correspondent in Baghdad

I’ve got no idea what’s going on in Iraq; but my impression is that things will suddenly appear orders of magnitude better than they do now once the US and Iraqi elections are out of the way — the former’s a problem because people are inclined to emphasise the bad news to defeat Bush, and […]


The Oz and American elections are getting pretty boring. At least Iran seems to be keeping things interesting (via Jonah Goldberg, via Instapundit).