Monthly Archives: September 2011

Where Have You Gone, FDR?

Fred Clark points to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Sept. 30, 1934, Fireside Chat:

To those who say that our expenditures for Public Works and other means for recovery are a waste that we cannot afford, I answer that no country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order. Some people try to tell me that we must make up our minds that for the future we shall permanently have millions of unemployed just as other countries have had them for over a decade. What may be necessary for those countries is not my responsibility to determine. But as for this country, I stand or fall by my refusal to accept as a necessary condition of our future a permanent army of unemployed. On the contrary, we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return. I do not want to think that it is the destiny of any American to remain permanently on relief rolls.

Is it unfair to expect President Obama to be FDR? On the one hand, obviously there’s an element of unfairness in holding him to the standard of one of the best (despite his flaws) Presidents in history. On the other hand, even in politics repeating a success should be easier than inventing it. Heck, the GOP finds repeating Hoover’s failures to be trivially easy.

More generally, is there not something odd and maybe interesting in that the Republican party finds it profitable to wrap itself in the mantle of Reagan while pushing policies opposite to those Reagan actually approved, yet the Democratic party cannot bring itself to call it Hooverism, nor to wrap itself in FDR’s mantle? Are these figures now erased from the popular consciousness? Given the state of our educational system, I suppose anything is possible.

Posted in Econ & Money, Politics: US | 3 Comments

xkcd Nails It Again

Rational Economic Man meets online review sites:

Marginally relevant update: Glowing review ruins a hotel’s business.

Posted in Econ & Money, Internet | Leave a comment

What I’m Doing Right Now

I’m at the Brian Ferry concert. Row B — right near the front.

(This is assuming all went as it should; I queued this post up before I left home.)

Creative Commons image by Galaxy fm. Some rights reserved.

Posted in Kultcha | 3 Comments

Conditioning Game-Players for Nofun and Profit

who killed videogames? (a ghost story) is getting a whole lot of bloggish attention, and justly so.

It tells the tale of how “social” game makers, especially for handheld devices, are scientifically manipulating the user to get them to spend real money in the games.

I personally don’t play any of those things, and have never spent any money in them, but even so it’s pretty creepy and convincing. The end of the article (don’t skip), suggests that the results can be generalized. Ouch.

Posted in Software, Virtual Worlds | 1 Comment

Somewhat Amazing Kitchen Trick

VIDEO: How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds.

I have to try this. As my first cookbook said, “If your friends don’t like garlic, get new friends.”

(Spotted via Lifehacker.)

Posted in Personal | 2 Comments

Bedfellows? Us?

The loonies over at NOM have come out against Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for co-sponsoring the ‘Respect for Marriage Act’, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Ros-Lehtinen’s one consistent deviation from far-right GOP orthodoxy has been on gay rights. FL-18, where I happen to live, also includes Key West and a chunk of South Beach, all very gay-friendly territory.

How odd to find myself opposing a candidate also opposed by the so-called National Organization for [some] Marriage. And how irrelevant we both are to the disposition of this very safe seat.

Posted in Politics: FL-18 | 2 Comments

Priv3 for Firefox — Block Social Networking Trackers

I think anyone who uses social software wants Priv3: Practical Third-Party Privacy, especially as tracking by these outfits seems on the rise:

How Priv3 Works

Blocking simple "web bugs" or "trackers" is fairly straightforward, because doing so does not harm your web surfing experience. By contrast, completely blocking social networking features is counterproductive, because doing prevents you from actually using these features—say to leave a comment, or to "like" something—when you would like to do so.

Therefore, Priv3 does not block third-party interactions completely. Instead, it selectively suppresses the inclusion of third-party web cookies when your browser pulls in content from the social networks, but does provide them if you decide to interact with the social networking features. You still see the number of "likes" the page has accumulated on Facebook or the comments other people left using Facebook’s discussion mechanism. Facebook however only learns the IP address of the computer you are using.

Should you decide to interact with the social feature, Priv3 detects any mouseclick or keystroke directed at the feature. It then reloads it with your session cookies and passes on the click or keystroke, thus revealing your identity to the social network and informing it of your desired action.

Priv3’s Currently Supported Social Networking Sites

Priv3 currently understands the interactive features of the following social networks:

Google +1

We will expand the list in the future, as needed.

Posted in Software | 7 Comments