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The Free Market

The free market philosophy relies assumes that people are capable of making good decisions. People are ignorant, impulsive, short sighted, knowingly self destructive morons (present company included). The idea that anyone really knows what is best for themselves is pretty dumb. It is even more ludicrous to think that a small number of people could make decisions for everyone better than they can make them themselves.

Perhaps one could argue that though people make bad decisions there tends to be an overall trend toward ok or even good decisions. I think that would be a fairly difficult argument to make, but maybe not impossible.

I kind of lost track of my point, but I think it was when people tell you that the free market will solve all problems just remember that People are ignorant, impulsive, short sighted, knowingly self destructive morons who either often wouldn’t or couldn’t tell a good decision if it hit them in the face.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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How do you prefer your coffee?

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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I got my hands on an iPad today

I finally got my hands on an iPad today I know I’m a bit behind. It was ok. It is pretty much a big ipod touch but it isn’t lame like you would think. The bigness just makes it easy to use. It seems like it would be really good for reading books on and maybe watching short videos. I think it would be a nice to keep near the couch or bed so you can grab it and get online without having to lug around a laptop.

I have to say the typing was better than I thought it was going to be. It is impossible to type on the ipod because you hit 6 keys at once but the size of the ipad means you don’t have that problem. I couldn’t hold the thing and type with my thumbs though. That would have been nice. I would be cool to see something like what Sony did on the vaio ux’s (or one of its predecessors I can’t remember) onscreen keyboard. (sorry I couldn’t find pictures, but the basic thing you need to know is that it put the keys in a radial arangement in the lower corners so you could type with your thumbs)

simply scaling up the ipod touch probably has other UI problem too. I’m also still not happy about the lack of a USB port but I can get over that. Apparently it can’t print even though Apple made appleworks for it… The only reason I would ever buy one is for content reasons. Unfortunately I don’t think Android is going to be as successful at getting content provides to work with them. I would probably still go with Android just because of the openness (and I don’t mean the platform but on the usability and developer level).

if the iPad were $100-$200 cheaper I would be much more willing to accept its faults.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2010 in apple

 

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Tell Apple you want iTunes For Linux.

A lot of linux users don’t like iTunes and that is fine. I’m not a huge fan of it myself, but I have an ipod and I need it. Of course a much better solution to the ipod problem would be to make ipods not need itunes, but that is never going to happen. Apple makes a version of itunes for windows so why doesn’t it make on for linux? The thing I hate about apple the most is that their devices require itunes and the thing I hate about itunes is that it doesn’t work on linux. I can’t see myself buying another Apple device in the future if I can’t run itunes. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way. I’m sure there are some of you who think that it is good that it isn’t on linux because it isn’t free (as in speech). Personally I’m ok with non-free software’s existence. If you don’t want to use it don’t, but don’t tell me I shouldn’t use it because it is evil or something (tell me why you don’t use it and then let me decide for myself if I want to use it).

Anyway I’m writting this because I would like everyone to go tell apple you want a version of iTunes for Linux . I hope you have better luck with it working that I am…

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2010 in apple

 

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An open letter to the Discovery channel about archaeological looting.

As some of you who have read this blog before will know I am an archaeology major and thus have very strong feelings about archaeology. Well to my horror my girlfriend informed me that the people on the show Ghost labs (a show where a couple of morons use fancy machines that go bing in inapplicable ways and call it science) decided to dig for something they saw under the ground using GPR (at night no less). There are so many problems with this that I’m not even going to try listing them. My girlfriend quickly composed a letter to Discovery urging them to stop this kind of activity. The letter can be found below and I would like to encourage you to send a copy to Discovery or to send a modified version. They have a word limit so there is only so much you can say unfortunately. Also be sure to let all of your friends know about this.
EDIT: Jan-2-2010
I suppose I probably should have explained rather than assume everyone who would read it would be an archaeologist…

The problem is that they were digging at a historical site where one would expect to find archaeological remains. They are most likely not properly trained how to use the GPR and certainly have no business attempting to excavate potential archaeological material. I’m interested in what they thought they were trying to do. Find bodies to explain non-existent ghosts? Depending on the state law what they did could actually be illegal.

Discovery Staff –
I’m watching an episode of “Ghost Lab” that has left a foul taste in my mouth, to say the least. The episode features a location that Blackbeard supposedly visited during his lifetime. In it, the Ghost Lab team uses Ground Penetrating Radar to find an anomaly in the ground, and the team proceeds to dig in the location of this “anomaly.” I have witnessed the downfall of good programming on the Discovery Channel in recent years, but this is offensive, unnecessary, and downright irresponsible. The ruin of the archaeological record in this way goes against everything that the Discovery Channel SHOULD be about. Not only are you jeopardizing the work of future archaeologists in what is obviously a site of some historical significance, you are preventing archaeologists, historians, and the public from learning from the historical material in that earth – you are preventing the “discovery” that your channel is named after! This is travesty! I am so offended by this blatant irresponsible action, I’m not only going to send this email to you, I’m sending it to my cable provider and every person I know who cares about our nation’s history and heritage. I want everyone to know that the Discovery Channel clearly does not value the “discovery” it is named for!

Please, for the sake of the people you serve, don’t let irresponsible programming run so rampant on your airwaves. Use the power of your position to bring people out of the muck of ignorance, not engulf them further in it.

A Concerned Viewer

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2010 in Archaeology

 

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Signals from Outer Space!

I am proud to announce a new project that I will be working on in collaboration with my brother. We decided a while ago to write a collaborative sci-fi story. We also decided the best thing to use that would allow us to both write and allow access and comments from other people would be a blog. The Blog is Called Signals from Outer Space. As of right now there is nothing there but the first part of the story has already been written and should be uploaded soon.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2009 in news, writing

 

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Is it ok for Archaeologist to Blame their Tools?

I was listening to episode 206 of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe recently and guest Dr. Richard Prum who was interviewed in that episodes said this:

…I discovered a fantastic quote by Thomas Kuhn from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and kuhn was trying to define science in a modern and also cultural context; how does science progres, how are hypotheses tested by groups of real flesh and blood people arguing over ideas, and in that he has this fantastic quote where he says, “The man who rejects one hypothesis without simultaneously proposing an alternative is rejecting science itself.” The quote goes on, “He will be known to his colleagues as the carpenter who blames his tools”…

He was speaking about the evolution of birds and the scientists who claim that the evolution of birds can’t be determined (listen to the interview if you want to understand better). Dr. Prum was saying that these scientist rejected the evidence that birds evolved from theropods (dinosaurs) without any other alternative possibility for how they evolved and thus had no evidence that the hypothesis was wrong. This got me thinking about archaeology.

It seems that I have at least on occasion rejected hypotheses and not had a hypothesis of my own to propose. though I’m not sure if I can name any particular time. The thing that comes to mind is from a discussion I had on the last day of excavation at Angle Mounds this summer. A few of us were sitting around a table discussing the feature we had been excavating. I don’t remember the exact details of the conversation, but we were discussing some peculiarity of the feature and throwing around ideas for why it was this way. One person suggested that perhaps the occupants of the structure (though as far as I know there is no evidence that it was a house) were high class and that is why there is this oddity. My immediate response was “then why didn’t they live on a mound?” I almost instantly rejected her hypothesis because I did not believe that the evidence corroborated with it. But did I present an alternative? I suppose it is a given if I think they were not high class then they must have been low or middle class, but this did not explain the anomaly. So I am not sure that I did give an alternative hypothesis, but I do feel that I was correct in rejecting her hypothesis. I think this may be a bad example, but it is the one I have.

Can Archaeologist blame their tools? Can we there is no way for Archaeology to provide the answers to this question? I am quite interested in archaeological theory and I love to think about these kind of questions. What do you think of this?

UPDATE
I meant to include a bit more, but forgot about it half way threw so I’m going to write it here now. This kind of questions interests me because I feel that archaeology is a science and should be treated as one. Archaeologist should try to adhere to the scientific method as much as possible and any stray from it increases the odds of producing bad archaeology. Of course due to the nature of archaeology it is hard to follow it exactly If only disciplines which stricktly ahdered to the scientific method could be called science then only the ‘hard’ sciences of physics, and chemistry, (and some would suggest biology). I think it is ok to bend the rules to fit what you are studying as long as you do it with the knowledge that you are bending and you try to keep the same mind set. . But how much is too much? where can we draw the line? how do we decide what is an acceptable stray from the normal scientific method and what brings archaeology to be a pseudo-science?

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2009 in Archaeology

 

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