Fairly Symmetrical

July 2002 Archives

03:42 PM by Eric: Something Jenny and I have been saying for years… Culture

We put little value on learning languages and the British consequently are guilty of terrible cultural and linguistic arrogance.

From a tourism survey reported on the BBC, which I saw on Ted Barlow's site via Instapundit. The rest of the survey is quite interesting.

10:00 PM by Eric: Road to Perdition Culture

Jen and I just got back from seeing Road to Perdition. Both of us thought it was quite a good movie; we particularly liked the very cinematic gun battle in the rain.

06:53 PM by Eric: Hail the conquering heroes… Personal

Yes, we have returned from our jaunt into the vast wilderness that is Orlando, Florida. :) 5 days of Disney parks is enough to exhaust anyone; we're all pretty pooped. Though we are also tanned, fairly relaxed, and we captured the elusive stuffed Stitch (we started hunting him shortly after seeing him at MGM on Monday morning, and finally succeeded early Friday morning at Epcot, after scouring every shop in every park between -- we snatched the last two. Apparently the little guy is popular. If I had a digital camera I'd post pics, but alas). Fun vacation, though I recommend flying over driving if at all possible.

Friday night -- our last in Orlando -- Jenny, Lauren, Lindsay and I went to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant at Downtown Disney, and I had the best pizza in my entire life. If you live near a WP, run, do not walk. The mushroom-mushroom pizza is fantastic. I also had a very decent Canadian microbrew called La Fin Du Monde; not really a pizza beer, but quite good on its own.

And to top off an already fun week, Jenny's grandmother gave us an original Atari 2600 machine with three games. Jen and I have decided to start a computer museum. :)

06:48 PM by Eric: What are you going to do now… Personal

We're going to Disneyworld!

Don't expect any posts till the 22nd or so… Jenny and her family and I will be partying down in Florida.

05:10 PM by Eric: Chicken Little… with power Culture

From this article about the music industry preparing to sue individual fileswappers:

…many music executives, watching revenue sag as home compact-disc copying has soared, feel that they have little choice if they are to save their business. World-wide music sales dropped 5% last year…

:blink: Since when does a 5% drop in sales imply that the entire business is in danger? The music industry had record profits in 1999 and 2000, but when 2001 sales "slumped" 5% (a.k.a. returned to relatively normal levels) the whole business is suddenly in desperate danger? Excuse me? And here I thought that cycles of higher sales/profits and lower sales/profits were normal. It couldn't have anything to do with changing demand for the actual product, oh no.

Not that that's any surprise; the music industry has been crying that the sky is falling for years -- decades -- now. The wonder is that anyone still listens. And for the record, suing individual fileswappers is the worst idea I've ever heard.

04:33 PM by Eric: Democracy in the Arab World Politics

I've been reading a number of articles that discuss Bush's speech demanding that Palestinians vote for their own government. Most of these articles seem to assume (or argue) that this is based on a simplistic view of democracy, one that believes that any democratic nation will automatically choose a peace-loving, Western-friendly regime. Writers point to that speech in order to mock the simple-minded buffoon who believes that votes solve everything. I think that's a straw man, and a shallow perception of the possible consequences of such an action.

05:46 PM by Eric: Yet another reason to like the Counting Crows… Culture

Adam Duritz has a weblog. And it's actually an interesting read.

09:13 AM by Eric: Why I like Moby Culture
09:06 AM by Eric: Well, duh. Politics

I've seen this survey claiming 1 in 3 Europeans harbors anti-Semitic feeling pretty widely linked; but there's one point I haven't seen anyone make yet.

The story claims that 1 in 3 Europeans thinks Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own country. I have to say that believing this is true is not really anti-Semitic so much as it's just plain logical. I mean, which country would you be more loyal to? The country which allows (even encourages, even at official levels) vicious hate speech against your kind, in which your places of worship are burned, in which a people who want your complete extermination are allowed to profess -- and even practice -- their views, or the country which exists to serve as sanctuary from all of that? I know which one I'd pick. Frankly, given certain events here (*cough*SFSU*cough*) I'm not even sure I'd blame an American Jew for being more loyal to Israel.

Oh, and along the lines of people I greatly respect, add these guys to the list. Geez, all the (Pakistani) guy wants to do is play tennis, make some money, and if he happens to change some attitudes along the way, great. So of course Pakistan is considering action against him.

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