Category ArchiveWords

Words 08 Aug 2004 12:36 pm

Lichtenberg Biography Review

The Chronicle: 7/2/2004: A Hunched Back, a Searching Heart, and a Fiery Wit is a review of the latest biography of Georg Lichtenberg. It is quite an amusing read in itself, and makes me think I should read some of Lichtenberg’s writing. He was apparently great at producing little smart observations. For example,

“A book is a mirror. If an ass peers into it, you can’t expect an apostle to look out.”

This one is thought provoking as well,

“Those who never have time do least.”

There are more of these aphorisms in the review, so I won’t spoil them here.

Words 10 Oct 2003 01:31 am

Molly Ivins Again and Program on International Policy

Star Telegram | 10/09/2003 | Not much of a party occasion

She raises a lot of good questions. Why is it that the American popular opinion is so off-based?

Perhaps, the report, Misperceptions, The Media and the Iraq War, from the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes clarifies the problem: Fox News.

Bits from the 23 page report as summarized by SemiTruth*:

Fox News watchers were most likely to hold misperceptions — and were three times more likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions. In the audience for NPR/PBS, however, there was an overwhelming majority who did not have any of the three misperceptions, and hardly any had all three.

* Note: I have never seen Semi Truth before, but it was a nice succinct line, and wanted to give credit.

Words 28 Sep 2003 06:21 pm

Molly Ivins

Star Telegram | 09/25/2003 | No mystery here, folks by Molly Ivins is a pretty solid piece on how Bush is ruining our country.

I had read Molly Ivins a long time ago and remembered her being really funny while also good at pointing out the hypocrisy of politicians (on both sides). This article is not as funny as I remember, but the subject is hardly a laughing matter.

I am particularly interested in her comments that most on the left are wusses. This seems to be a fundamental problem with the advancement of causes on the left. The leadership in the right, or more so, the pundits in the media, on the right, seem to have no problem with promulgating nastiness. The American people don’t seem to be able to see through the nastiness or to do or request followup research to verify the claims made. If no one checks, then poeple can tell lies all they want. Reality and accountability go out the door.

It is good to see some journalists trying to track down the facts behind statements and bring the wrongs to light. That is what we need from journalism right now.
Hopefully, it will help motivate us to fix the problems in our country. Ivins has a good article about that too The U.S. Belongs to Us, Remember?

Words 20 Sep 2003 08:21 pm

Word Pirates

Word Pirates is a site started by San Jose Merc columnist
Dan Gillmor and blogger Dave Weinberger to take back the words that various groups have taken over and redefined.

What a great idea, a pissed off dictionary.

Words 15 Sep 2003 04:38 pm

Making History

From JavaNCSS – A Source Measurement Suite for Java comes the following gem of a quote regarding the Cyclomatic Complexity Number or McCabe metric for code complexity:

The first article about this trivial software metric is one of the most cited papers in computer science. Sometimes you just must be the first to point out some basic shit and you are history. It seems just like a wonder that nobody was able to package Lines of Code in a more scientific manner. Now it’s too late to label someone’s name on it :).

Words 09 Sep 2003 12:12 pm

Rhetoric – Litotes

Litotes is such a simple communication technique, but not unclever. I hardly ever use it or irony.

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