Friday, January 27, 2006

TCS Daily - Stuck on 1968

TCS Daily:
"The Conventional Wisdom among well-educated liberals in 1968 included the following:

* Anti-Communism was a greater menace than Communism.
* The planet could not possibly support the population increases that would take place by the end of the twentieth century.
* Conservatives stood in the way of progress for minorities.
* Government programs were the best way to lift people out of poverty.
* What underdeveloped countries needed were large capital investments, financed by foreign aid from the rich countries.
* Inflation was a cost-push phenomenon, requiring government intervention in wage and price setting.

The degree of confidence in these beliefs was so strong that liberals in 1968 came to the overriding conclusion that:

* Anyone who is not a liberal must be incorrigibly stupid

Given the state of knowledge in 1968, I can understand why an intelligent person might have believed in the Conventional Wisdom at that time. However, since 1968, considerable evidence has accumulated that challenges the Conventional Wisdom. In some cases, the evidence turned out to be so overwhelming that beliefs were quietly discarded from the Conventional Wisdom.

A rational response to this record of powerful evidence against the Conventional Wisdom might be to reconsider one's views, as I have done. Instead, it seems to me that liberals have become more close-minded and more dogmatic."
Interesting article on liberalism and the experiences of the past 35 years.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Gizmodo, The Gadget Blog

"Want to record 1080i HD signals? Well, screw you! That’s the word from Hollywood, where the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) has negotiated a deal whereby hardware manufacturers are required to down-convert the analog output in HD DVD and Blu-ray players."
Typical from the **AA gang. Basically they're crippling the high definition output for everyone in order to hamper a small minority of people who *will* find a way to defeat the studios' copy-protection schemes in any case. Consumers lose again. thanks hollywood.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Freeze your hard drive to recover data: Myth or reality?

Link: "Before putting it in the freezer, the drive was making a weird clicking noise, and the computer was showing me this message: Primary hard drive 0 not found, strike F1 to retry boot, F2 to run the setup utility

I removed the hard disk from the computer and sealed it in a ziplock bag to prevent condensation.

After this, I shoved it in the freezer, and waited an hour.

I finally installed it back in the computer, closed the case, and pushed on the power button.

YES! it works, the computer is starting correctly! "

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Liberals Should Know Better

"Liberals see the market as an arena in which evil corporations inflict their greed on innocent victims. I wish you would see that motives matter less than consequences. I wish you could see that greed is at work when laws are passed that regulate markets, because regulations always produce winners and losers. I wish you could see that those winners and losers are often not who you think they are. I wish you could see that competitive behavior and free choice are forces that operate in the market as a check against greed. Finally, I wish you could see that greed is most difficult to restrain when it is exercised through the medium of government."
Interesting read on how the anti-walmart law is seen through a coservative lens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Volokh Conspiracy - -

The Volokh Conspiracy - -:
"Nowhere does the human capacity to form and hold beliefs become more stark than when clear scientific data challenge the assumptions of someone's personal beliefs. It would be easy to spin a story line about how a particular person with a set of religious values resisted the biological analysis of this or that finding in an effort to reaffirm his or her belief. There are many such stories, but they miss the point. Scientists themselves are just as resistant to change a view when confronted with new data that suggest their view is incorrect. All of us hold ot to our beliefs...
He adds (pp. 146-47), 'Interestingly, it turns out that scientists are slower to change their views in the face of new data than are preachers.'"
Something I've grown very tired of saying in numerous online and real-world debates with atheists. I'll post more on this later.

The Bureaucrat in Your Shower - Mises Institute

"You might say that water needs to be conserved. Yes, and so does every other scarce good. The peaceful way to do this is through the price system. But because municipal water systems have created artificial shortages, other means become necessary. One regulation piles on top of another, and the next thing you know, you have shower commissars telling you what you can or cannot do in the most private spaces."

Interesting read on how the feds make our showers less enjoyable (and ways to illegaly hack your shower-head to allow more flow).