Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Small Bits of Chaos

Much as I hate blogging anything from Slashdot, Why the Space Station Almost Ran Out of Food is great. (The previous crew had permission to borrow the current crews’ food, but didn’t record how much they’d eaten.) Maybe they could get jobs working for the Social Security administration.

John McWhorter has a new book out, entitled “Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like Care.
David Friedman says:

In any event, the overall thesis of the book is that modern society has become lazy in its speech, and that laziness threatens the oratorical power of the English language. Whether subscribe to this view is one thing, but it is an interesting thesis to test. I’m not sure I agree with his thesis. He argues mainly from the point that politicians are the arbiters of oratory (before you laugh, think Cicero and Lincoln and FDR). He argues that in recent decades, America has lost its appreciation for the art of rhetoric, and, with that, politicians have lost all interest in performing artful speeches (again, think of the Gettysburg address or FDR’s speech after Pearl Harbor).

Today’s Washington Post has an article on long-term holding of accused terrorists:

“The whole idea has become a corruption of renditions,” said one CIA officer who has been involved in the practice. “It’s not rendering to justice, it’s kidnapping.”

And finally, Dan Gillmor writes in his final San Jose Mercury News column:

And, as always, the people and institutions currently holding the clout don’t cede it willingly. Governments are clamping down on us in all kinds of ways. Incumbent business powerhouses are trying to hold back the tide as well, not just to keep their positions but also to thwart new innovation that might threaten them.