31 August 2006

It's all about the Benjamins

It’s always amusing when someone who has strong, counter-factual views manages to get so tangled up that he posts evidence contradicting his own theses (although, to be fair, it’s not that hard to get in to a state where any facts are counter).

The case study today is this post which quotes a senior Hamas representative

“We’re always afraid to talk about our mistakes,” he [ Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority] added. “We’re used to blaming our mistakes on others. What is the relationship between the chaos, anarchy, lawlessness, indiscriminate murders, theft of land, family rivalries, transgression on public lands and unorganized traffic and the occupation? We are still trapped by the mentality of conspiracy theories - one that has limited our capability to think.”

Hamad admitted that the Palestinians have failed in developing the Gaza Strip following the Israeli withdrawal and in imposing law and order. He said about 500 Palestinians have been killed and 3,000 wounded since the Israeli pullout, in addition to the destruction of much of the infrastructure in the area.

Of course, this makes the claim that “Israel and the U.S. squandered the opportunity to help rebuild Palestine following Hamas’s election” laughable. Hamad is stating outright then any such help would have been squandered along with all the other international aid, like the archetypical green houses.

But let’s leave that behind because there is a deeper issue than just tweaking someone who is delusional about the realities of modern Arab culture. That issue is the sustenance of dysfunctional cultures and organizations by large cash streams.

Judd frequently claims that Hizb’allah is an organization that represents the local Shia. But in reality Hizb’allah is no different than the Saudi Entity, an effectively externally imposed government that is sustained by money not derived fom the governed. Not only should you not have taxation without representation, but you can’t have representation without taxation.

It is commonly understood that large oil reserves have been more of a curse than a benefit for those nations where they are a large fraction of the the national wealth. The citizenry gets used to something for nothing and the government gets used to doing as it wants without much reference to the local street. Judd has himself noted the corrosive effects of this. Yet how is the situations with Hizb’allah any different? There is just one more layer of indirection, where Iran sells the oil and then sends the money to Hizb’allah. This lack of economic connection between Hizb’allah and those it putatively represents is why Hizb’allah is a terrorist organization, a mercernary army for a foreign power rather than an indigenous collective.

Hizb’allah has no stake in the well being of those it alledgedly represents because its money comes from elsewhere. Total devastation in southern Lebanon wouldn’t decrease the Hizb’allah budget much, if not actually increase it. That kind of disconnect is precisely what enables a goverment to become completely alienated from its subjects without collapsing. If the Iranisn cash flow was shut off, Hizb’allah would disappear within months because it has no organic support that isn’t purchased with petro-dollars (or counterfeit dollars).

The PLO was the same way, sustained not by Iranian petro-dollars but by massive foreign aid. It ended up disconnected as well, unsurprisingly. Hamas thought it could get its hands on that same cash flow but for once the West managed to at least slow down the flow. It is that, not elections, that is causing Hamas to be held accountable. Massive aid, as Judd suggested, at the start would have done much to harden Hamas’ beligerence and achieve popular support for that intransigience. Hamas is expected to govern only because it can’t live off taxpayers in other countries. In the end, the USA and Israel didn’t miss the opportunity, they seized it, to make a Palestinian government finally face some local responsibility.

The problem is on this end

I have been meaning to comment on this editorial which has as its thesis

And yet these two [USA, Israel] militarily muscular powers find themselves strategically impotent in the face of age-old guerrilla tactics married to high-tech capabilities.

This is only the second paragraph and the editorial has already gone off the rails. If there is any strategic impotence to the USA, which has toppled regimes around the planet, I haven’t seen it. Beyond that, the difficulties facing the USA and Israel in dealing with guerilla tactics is purely internal constraints. Ironically, it is because these two nations, rather than being the cruel and bloodthirsty hegemons of Old Media portrayal, value the lives of foreigners more than the guerillas value the lives of their fellow country men / co-religionists.

ZOG even value foreign lives over efficacy. There are the standard claims that this would breed only more violence and enemies, but one need merely look at how the USSR was treated at the height of its power to see how ahistorical (even for recent history) this is. The USSR started having serious troubles with guerillas precisely when its military machine was shown to be ineffective. That’s not a problem ZOG would face any time soon. The enemy is skillful not in battle or logistics, but in leveraging this perplexing but dependable weakness.

The articles gets close to a good thought with this:

We need to focus not just on polishing our military strategy but on which fights are winnable at an acceptable cost.

but fails to address what metric to use to measure an “acceptable cost”. We now, for the first time in our history, define this partly in terms of enemy dead. That would have been quite the inexplicable point of view to previous generations. Yet this sea-change is left completely unaddressed.

The article then wanders off to more standard delusions, such as

To win with our conventional military, we would have to fight like beasts, slaughtering noncombatants.

Like we did in Iraq? It seems our military won without having to do that. And it wouldn’t even be necessary against guerillas. There is a fairly wide band between our current rules of engagement and slaughtering non-combatants. We could simply be indifferent. This would be bloodier to start with, but would in the longer term make the guerillas much less popular. The standard counter-examples cited involve government troops slaughtering wantonly, rather than fighting or responding to guerillas. A more focused, calm yet deadly approach, would be quite a different thing. It is also quite arguable that it would save more non-combatants by ending the violence sooner.

Finally, by not grasping that the limiting factor for the current conflict is internal restraint, not guerilla cleverness, such critics fail to consider what will happen if the American Street finally tires of the whole thing and demands a “kill ‘em all, God will know his own” policy. It is again ironic that many critics such as this author buy in to the theory of a vicious, brutal history in America yet fail to consider the implications of such a history in looking at modern policy. They not only ignore real history, but their own propaganda as well.


1 Here’s a classic example from Brothers Judd

Instead of hundreds of dead civilians, the Israelis were therefore losing one or two a day, and even after three weeks, the grand total was less than in some one-man suicide bombings.

That made it politically unacceptable to launch the planned offensive that would kill young soldiers and family men, while not eradicating Hizbullah anyway, because it is a political movement in arms, and not just an army or a bunch of gunmen.

The limiting factor here was Israel’s unwillingness to inflict casualties on the Lebanese, not its inability to conduct a successful military operation against Hizb’allah. Such an action might not destroy Hizb’allah, but it could certainly have suppressed them for another decade or so.

Everything's good looking to the blind

One of the things that has become difficult over time is to tell when a post at Brothers Judd is serious or trolling. I have come to the conclusion that any post involving “Darwinism” is in the latter category (especially since I have never been able to grasp the subtle distinction between “Darwinism” and evolutionary theory). A case in point tickled my fancy the other day. It starts out with this:

Evolutionists argue that the scientific law of entropy (the tendency of matter to go towards greater disorder) does not contradict evolutionary theory because they claim the law of entropy does not apply in open systems such as our Earth

Of course, everyone who studies entropy claims this. There isn’t anyone who claims differently. Every scientific definition of entropy includes the phrase “closed system” (e.g., as in the Second Law of Thermodynamics).

Beyond that, of course, increasing system entropy is hardly incompatible with locally decreasing entropy, just as overall increasing wealth in a nation doesn’t prevent people from becoming poorer. One would think someone with a regular trope of “nothing costs more” would be able to grasp this. But Judd doesn’t put up these articles to persuade or even make an argument, but simply to provoke. Still, it’s better than yet another article about baseball.

Always with the funny

Now I am getting junk comments with

This post isn’t a spam. Possible this is annoying error.

[many links to various phentermine and soma selling websites]

Excuse me, please.

I would set up a filter for “This post isn’t a spam” except that these guys are already tripping 6 or 7 other filters.

There does seem to be a strong uptick in junk trackbacks this last week or so. I am up to 12,343 unique junk source addresses on one weblog and 10-20 new addresses are showing up every hour. On the other hand, my junk filters are now sufficiently tuned that it doesn’t take much maintenance to keep them solid.

The sincerest form of flattery

Peter Burnet reports on some books for Turkish schools that are Islamicized versions of Western stories. Burnet asks,

C’mon, ‘fess up. This kind of stuff upsets you far more that you would like to admit, and you aren’t exactly sure why.

No, not actually. If the British can forgive us for the Sir Topham Hatt / Fat Controller thing, I think we should have a stiff upper lip about this in turn.

I am also not sure why this would be a cultural dig, it sounds more like an homage to me.

30 August 2006

Just too old for modern business, it seems

Via the Movable Type maiing list, I read “this post” about Google’s Apps for your Domain, which apparenty is Google Mail, a chat server, a calendar, and a simple web page creator. I have to say it sounds much less than impressive, but apparently many people (including, obviously, Google) think this is a big deal.

The review claims that this is aimed at the small and medium business market, but I can’t see it at all for a small business. Why one would want Google Mail for corporate use instead of just using the free e-mail service provided by every web hosting company I have ever dealt with is not made clear. I don’t know anyone who uses a remote interface for e-mail — it’s all via local mail programs that download the mail locally.

The biggest issue, though, is that I am a technophile who weblogs and tracks social computer trends. I am also starting a small business, and if I hadn’t read this one piece of e-mail on a weblog developers mailing list, I would have no idea that Google was doing this, much less that the product space even existed. Am I really that out of touch, or is Google suffering from some technophilia itself?

P.S. My former corporate home used instant messaging. My memory of that is setting the “away” timer to its absolute minimal value so I would look unavailable as much as possible, and using it to make snide comments about people during meetings with them. Occasionally it would be useful, but it was hardly mission critical.

where the culture isn’t based around an existing process of mailing Word memos as attachments, but instead on IMing links to relevant resources.

Oh, I hated it when people did that. It meant I had to switch over to my e-mail program to cut and paste it in to an e-mail message to myself so that I would have a record of it once the chat session window disappeared. It was just other people off-loading work on to me. Very annoying.

29 August 2006

Ten little senators

I have been tracking the bill to create a database of federal spending, which I think is a great idea. It has also lead to a wonderful mystery, of which Senator has put the hold on it. I checked, and both of the senators from my state (Senators Obama and Durbin) have issued denials of being the guilty party.

I think that the list of proclaimed innocent Senators is a great idea. As the list grows longer, the pressure on the guilty grows as it becomes harder to hide his identity. Presumably he doesn’t want this revealed, or it wouldn’t be a secret hold. The question is whether the field will narrow fast enough to force an abandonment of the hold before public interest drifts off to something else. It depends on how many supporters the hold out has who are willing to take the heat while providing camoflauge. I think it extremely unlikely that his identity will ever be known for certain, as I can’t imagine anything being worth holding out to the very end.

But this all leaves me wondering, though, about why this is possible. If a single Senator can put a hold like this on legislation, why are there filibusters? Why doesn’t one of filibustering gang simply put a hold on the legislation? Why wasn’t welfare reform back in the mid 1990s stopped this way? There must be something else I’m missing.

UPDATE: Wow, down to three already. It sounds like the Senators think there’s some real heat on this issue. It’s definitely a hard one to publically defend. But, with only three left, I think we can be reasonably confident it’s Senator Stevens from Alaska, Mr. Bridge to Nowhere. The question now is whether there is enough perceived voter unrest for Stevens’ fellow Republican Senators to throw him to the wolves over this.

UPDATE: Captain’s Quarters has Senator Bill Frist explain the hold vs. filibuster issue. Basically, a hold isn’t permanent, it’s just a matter of politeness. If the bill is forced anyway (as Frist claims he will do) then various votes have to occur, etc., which is where a real filibuster would start.

The trivial is always relative

Via Brothers Judd is this article about motorists’ relief at decreasing prices for gasoline. Of course, the prices are dropping to what a year ago would have been considered outrageous, but this is exactly in line with my previous prediciion. The high prices are trying but not serious and so people get used to them. If such prices were a true hardship you wouldn’t see this effect.

Playing with a twitchy trigger finger

In the manner of little kids playing with fire, Reuters seems to be setting up a situation in which their own staff becomes high value targets to the Caliphascists. For instance, consider the latest putative attack by Israel on a Reuters vehicle. It takes very little examination of Reuters’ own evidence to see when a fabrication the idea of a missile attack is.

And “one of the bulletproof windows was completely destroyed” — one?

The end result is that it becomes clear to the Caliphascist media mavens that any attack on the Western Press and Reuters in particular will be blamed on Israel and whatever “facts” are needed will be invented and reported to support that view. It would certainly be very tempting to those groups to do their own hits on Reuters, secure in the knowledge that Reuters will frame Israel for it.

26 August 2006

Luckily they're not clever enough to be dangerous

Oh, now, this is cute:

<div style="overflow: auto; height: 1px;">

I found it in some junk comments that showed up recently. It seem that the theory is people notice junk by looking that the displayed comments, not the management interface. In that case, this renders the links in the comment effectively invisible by putting them in a box that’s just 1 pixel high. The “overflow: auto” prevents the browser from expanding the DIV to accomodate its contents.

I actually like things like this in the junk, as it is easy to check for and is never done by non-junk commentors. Thanks, junk-boy!

25 August 2006

Compute bound

Ah, it’s been an intense week for me, doing some hardcore code slinging, trying to get our product to alpha state. I am just too clever for my own good, I think. I spend too much time saying, “you know, if I just moved this over here and slapped an abstraction in over there, it would be so cool!”. I also like to touch compilers in inappropriate ways, which usually leads to trouble.

For instance, part of the work involves worknig with intervals. I have a template class that converts a class with certain numeric properties (the metric) into an interval class. The question was, can the interval template compute a maximal interval (one that contains all values of the base metric class)? One option was to use std::numeric_limits and the other to use static class members named MIN and MAX. Naturally, I tweaked up the template to detect this at compile time to avoid the issue (each metric can do as it likes, and the builtin integral types work without any additional effort).

I have to say, though, that the Dark Empire’s current development environment (DevStudio 2005) shows a lot of improvement in the compiler and intelligence of the debugger. I know people rave about Linux, gcc, and Eclipse but they’re just not in the same league. For instance, SWIPIAW doesn’t like me to use certain STL algorithms (like for_each) because they are impossible to debug on Linux. Even if I were building Linux only applications, I would still do the primary development on a Win32 platform and then port.

22 August 2006

People defend what's theirs

Juan Williams writes

Where is the civil rights groundswell on behalf of stronger marriages that will allow more children to grow up in two-parent families and have a better chance of staying out of poverty? Where are the marches demanding good schools for those children — and the strong cultural reinforcement for high academic achievement (instead of the charge that minority students who get good grades are “acting white”)? Where are the exhortations for children to reject the self-defeating stereotypes that reduce black people to violent, oversexed “gangstas,” minstrel show comedians and mindless athletes?

Same place the Arab spokemen calling for peace with Israel, so Israel’s neighbors can improve themselves instead of killing Jews. It is not to the advantage of the leaders to have a populace that can take care of themselves. Both sets of leaders, unable to deliver on any sort of real improvement for their subjects, need an enemy to fight and blame for any problems. For Arab leaders, it’s the Jews, for American Blacks it’s either “The Man” or again, Jews. The leaders get to lead, and the populace gets to have its irresponsibility justified. This leads to economic and social failure, re-enforcing the original blame. A closed little cycle of failure, both fueled by external money. I suspect that should the cash flow stop, we’d see some sand in the works. That may well be what has driven Williams to start to repudiate the conventional wisdom.

Orrin Judd makes a very insightful comment on this in answer the question “where are they?” —

Out bitching at Republicans for trying to transfer ownership of the welfare net from the government to the poor themselves.

Obviously, because the leadership de facto “owns” the current welfare system. If ownership is transferred to the rank and file, that is effectively taking it away from the leadership. That’s naturally not going to be a popular move with the poverty pimps and race parasites.

21 August 2006

Waiting for Shebaa

The UN Security Council is scheduled to revisit the thorny question of whom Shebaa Farms belongs to. A diplomatic solution, analysts say, could eventually bolster stability along the Israel-Lebanese border by weakening Hizbullah’s justification for holding onto its weapons.

Another triumph of obliviousness over experience. Why revisiting the issue would solve anything is not addressed, despite the complete failure of the previous time the UN did exactly this kind of review. Both Lebanon and Israel agreed with the UN. Hizb’allah simply ignored it and invented the Shebaa farms issue.

Moreover, this complete ignores the elephant in the living room which is Hizb’allah’s clearly and frequently stated goal of the complete destruction of the state of Israel and the ethnic cleansing (if not outright genocide) of all the Jews there. What do the Shebaa Farms have to do with that?

What I don’t understand is why anyone except UN diplomats on expense accounts think this is worth bothering with. I can only guess that it’s just another way of dithering and hoping some one else performs a miracle.

P.S. Judd has his standard facile comment of

Palestine has demonstrated how deathly it is for the radicalism of these groups to get what they claim to want.

Therefore we should go after Hizb’allah by giving them what they claim they want is the implication. Since Hizb’allah has clearly stated, over and over, that what it wants is the erasure of Israel and the Jews, it would follow that we, the USA, should help Hizb’allah do that in order to undermine them. Maybe it’s just me, but that seems a trifle over-indulgent.

No license needed

When one looks at the history of the resurging Taliban in Afghanistan, it leaves me with just one thought — where do they get these people?

One of the issues in graphic novels (or “comic books”, as the philistines call them) is the “Joker’s hench men problem”, which is — how do you recruit people to work for someone who slaughters them in horrible ways over trivial mistakes? Not only that, but someone who is world famous for doing exactly that. Yet, there they were, issue after issue, disposable hard boys who had to know they were disposable.

I used to put it down to artistic license, that asking the question was expecting a bit too much realism from what was obviously fantasy. Now that the mullahs who run the Taliban have provided a real world example of how it works, however, I will humbly ask the forgiveness of the writers for doubting.

20 August 2006

Product adoption

Instapunit writes

SOME MAP-READING ADVICE for the media: “Really with the ease and speed of web sources there is no excuse for reporters, or at least their editor when the reporter is in the field, to not check the web for correct locations, place names and other facts.”

As I work on my company’s product, one of the key issues is how to get customers to use it. Sales can get you initial sales, but if the product isn’t used, you’ll get no repeat sales and very little growth. On the other hand, if your product becomes a normal and expected part of the customer’s workflow, you’ve got yourself a success.

The best way to do this is to have your product perform a function that the customer already does, with your product making the task faster / easier / more reliable / etc. Then you don’t have to explain why the customer would want to do what the product does, only why they should use your product to do it.

I think about this when wondering why netsearches have penetrated the “civilian” market so thoroughly with apparently very little penetration in Old Media. I would suggest that the above product issue is why.

The key thing to consider here is that normal people use netsearches to verify information because verification was already something they did when they could. When not done, it was because it was too difficult. As a result, when netsearches became cheap, easy, and very accessible, people didn’t start verifying, they simply did it more often and more thoroughly.

Yet Old Media, by and large, doesn’t seem to use even the simplest netsearches to verify. I think netsearches haven’t been adopted because verification has never been a high priority, so it doesn’t fit in to the workflow. Verification is a new step in the workflow and that’s always a much hard sell then an improvement to an existing step. Moreover, Old Media apparently doesn’t (in general) see the utility of verifcation, either. A bit of a sobering thought, isn’t it?

18 August 2006

People skip out on the bill, not the meal

Via Brothers Judd is this demonstration of the cluelessness of Old Media

In a significant move, Canadian and NATO officials in southern Afghanistan are involved in sensitive negotiations with Taliban fighters after discreet backroom signals from insurgents that they might be willing to lay down arms.

[…]

Disarmament talks are unfolding even as “hundreds” of fighters mass west of Kandahar in an ominous prelude to a potential battle.

“Even as”? Let’s see, what happened the last time a bunch of Taliban massed for a battle? Oh, yeah, they got shot to pieces. And now the writer here wonders why some of the fighters about to be sent out for a repeat performance might want to surrender first? Obviously, while they’re still in the back areas, bossing people around, looking cool with their AK-47s, and getting trained, they won’t surrender. Life is good. It is precisely when it’s time for them to eat some NATO munitions that they’ll want a change of lifestyle.

UPDATE: Well, look at that — the new Taliban offensive got shot to pieces just like the last one. Who except Old Media is surprised? (H/T to Mr. Herdegen)

Great minds think alike

I used to observe various cliques of weblogs, where a set of people all read each other’s weblogs and wrote as part of an “in” crowd. I found it a bit odd, as I have no personal acquaintances who read weblogs on a regular basis, except for family related ones (e.g., my mother in law reads my weblog about my children, not because it’s a weblog but because it’s about her grand children, and the only other ones she reads are about her neices, who in turn read the same set of family weblogs).

But with the recent falling out over at Brothers Judd, I am now a member of little clique of weblogs that feed off each other, formed from the refugees. Our thinking is so parallel that as I was falling asleep last night, planning to write this post, another member of the clique was actually writing it. Apparently the emphasis on conformity was more effective than I had thought.

P.S. Let me note, however, that only this one has the cool plugins and text formatting tools!

P.P.S. And at least I’m not silly enough to circle link, like these guys.

17 August 2006

Lunacy

The Daily Duck has a post about the current proposal by the International Astronomical Union to promote other solar orbiting objects to be planets. I managed to get emotionally involved in this issue, to the extent that I want to make some extended remarks that are too much work to be buried in the Daily Duck comments.

While I would personally prefer to up the requirements for being a planet and dump Pluto from those ranks (it having turned out to be a much smaller object than originally thought when it was made a planet), I must admit that the new standard is more objective and rational than the existing “whatever we felt like” definition. The key properties are:

  • The object must orbit a star and not itself have internal fusion reactions (i.e., not also be a star).
  • The object must be sufficiently massive that it is spherical

So perhaps I will, in time, come to accept the new definition, presuming it passes muster with the IAU.

On specific points, one of the issues brought up was Pluto’s moon Charon, which would become a planet, making the Pluto / Charon couplet a double planet. Why, then, wouldn’t Luna become a planet as well?

The answer is whether the presumed primary itself is orbiting. If not, then clearly you have a primary and a satellite.

The definition of orbiting is revolution about an external point. For the Earth / Luna system, the center of mass (the point about which both Earth and Luna revolve) is inside Earth, so the Earth wobbles (or rotates) but doesn’t revolve / orbit. Since physically you can’t have the center of mass inside both objects (or there would only be one object), this makes a very clean answer of whether you have a primary / satellite or a double. By this definition, then, Luna is a satellite and Charon is not because the center of mass for Pluto / Charon is roughly 1.8 times the radius of Pluto from Pluto’s center, i.e. outside Pluto.

Ah, but Brit says

If Jupiter were to disappear, its moons would go in all directions, so they are moons.

Whereas if the Earth disappeared, the Moon would continue orbiting the sun, so it is not really a moon, but the Earth and Moon are a ‘double planet’.

I wondered whether that was true. Clearly, the issue here is relative orbital velocities, that of the system about the Sun (“solar orbital velocity”) and that of the satellite about the primary. If the latter is close to or larger than the former, then you would have the scatter effect should the primary disappear. Conversely, if the satellite orbital velocity is small compared to the solar orbital velocity, removing the primary wouldn’t have much effect.

As it turns out, Brit’s base claim is true. Approximately, Lunar orbital velocity is 1 km/s, with a solar orbital velocity of 30 km /s. In contrast, Io has an orbital velocity of 17 km/s with a solar orbital velocity of 13 km /s. So Luna would orbit the Sun roughly the same without Earth, but Io could do just about anything from continuing unchanged to dropping straight in to the Sun.

However, I do not like that definition as it depends on factors that I don’t think should matter, such as the absolute (not relative) mass of the primary, and the distance of the primary from the sun. For instance, should Luna be labeled a planet or moon based solely on how far Earth is from the Sun? After all, if you moved Earth far enough out, its solar orbital velocity could be reduced to roughly 1 km / s, or equal to Luna’s orbital velocity, demoting Luna from planet to moon. I just don’t like that sort of property in my definitional rules.

UPDATE: Via a deep black blog, I have recieved word that Pluto is no longer a planet. I am fine with that, in fact I think demoting Pluto is probably the best choice. I simply willing to accept Pluto as a planet in exchange for having an objective categorization based on the physical properties of the objects. I think the “it owns its orbit” is interesting and probably a good way to judge whether a planet is serious or not. The “200 year” orbit idea struck me as quite silly in contrast. I do wonder, though, about how Pluto gets bonked for not clearing out Neptune without Neptune getting bonked for not clearing out Pluto.

I suspect one is supposed to look at the zone from perihelion and aphelion and ask “is there any other body with a solar orbit in that zone?”. If yes, it’s not a planet. By that criteria, Neptune wins (because Pluto’s orbit crosses in and out of Neptune’s zone) but Pluto loses (because Neptune’s orbit is entirely within Pluto’s zone). This seems reasonable both at that level and because otherwise you would’t have any planets, since various comets and planetoids cross the orbits of the “classic” planets.

It looks like a good decision to me.

16 August 2006

I'd recommend looking in to de-tassling

We were all out driving today, heading for a store to buy a farewell gift for our summer house girl, when I saw a bill board that read “40% of graduates students can’t afford child health care”. It was sponsored by some graduate student union. I found this interesting, unlike you, dear reader, because I live in the same town / area where I went to school. The message on the billboard struck me as bizarre and laughable, but admittedly a good technique given the political compostion of the area.

The first thought that came to mind was this one about student loans — if you’re going broke by going to school, drop out and get a job! Clearly you’ve made a bad economic choice but you can recover. I did.

Then one notes the level of deprivation that constitutes this crisis — no child healthcare for a minority of students. We are far from the days of starving rabble, aren’t we?

My final thought relates to my own experience, since I had encountered this union back when I was a graduate student myself and they were trying to organize. I, of course, opposed their efforts. I tried to interest my fellow graduate students in such opposition, but they demonstrated a level of indifference that is still motivational to me today. The key fact here, is that not all graduate students are treated equally. Those in financially remunerative fields (such as engineering) got paid relatively well. Those in the, shall we say, more esoteric fields (such as gender studies) got paid slightly better than dirt. As noted above, this sent me the message “it was a smart move to be in a financially remunerative field” but it seems to have been interpreted differently by others.

The essence, then, is that the union is ultimately a scheme for those in the esoteric fields to leach off those in socially productive fields. Why, exactly, anyone in one of the latter would think this was a good idea escapes me, as it did my fellow engineering students. Yet here we are, reading billboards about the sad economic state of graduate students persuing financially ruinous degrees. Surely the union’s efforts would be better spent providing some kind of basic economic knowledge to its members, rather than devoting itself to erasing any hints of how the real world values those pursuits.

Don't connect that, you don't know where it's been!

Via Brothers Judd is this article

Google on Wednesday plans to offer free, high-speed Internet access to everyone in its Silicon Valley home town — a hospitable gesture that the online search leader hopes to see spread to other parts of the country.

The new wireless, or “Wi-Fi,” network, is believed to establish Mountain View, Calif., as the largest U.S. city with totally free Internet access available throughout the entire community, according to both Google and city officials.

Honestly, the first thought I had when I read this was “what a great incubation environment for computer viruses!”. We have security on our Wi-Fi not such much for security but to keep more … promiscuous surfers from passing on their ill-ware. Heck, I plan on putting a firewall on our local network to isolate my computers from the kids’ computers. I think fear of such ill-ware will do more to encourage the computing public to take security seriously than any threats of identity theft or hackery.

Stuck on stupid

Perhaps I was wrong when I thought Hizb’allah had come out ahead. I still that, at the current time, Hizb’allah is winning, but perhaps as others have claimed, Israel is playing a deeper game. I am utterly unconvinced that this was envisioned at the start of the war, but it’s not impossible that Israel’s leadership figured out how to make the best of the mess.

The basic theory is that the one thing you can bet on with Caliphascists is that they will overreach whenever they think they’re winning. In this case, one has to wonder if Hizb’allah will be able to hold back from attacking the IDF while it is in Lebanon and everyone is waiting for the UN to get its act together. Clearly, the latter is something for which one could spend a very long time waiting. Israel’s troop withdrawals may be designed to reduce the economic burden on Israel while leaving an almost irresistible target for Hizb’allah.

Unlike the previous occupation, this time it is Israel who is waiting on the UN. Given that all the parties have agreed to wait for the UN peacers, Israel can always point to that to excuse its occupation with the added bonus that if Hizb’allah does start up a guerilla campaign, Israel gets to cut loose with minimal naysaying from the global community.

While I still think Hizb’allah is ahead on points at this time, I admit that the situation is quite a bit more fluid than my original pessimistic view. One can only hope that Hizb’allah is true to form and manages to snaft defeat out the jaws of victory once again.

Junk wars

I have upgraded to Movable Type 3.31 and loaded up a new and improved AutoBan. What’s new?

  • Better formatting style on the settings
  • Control over the size of the database reads and addresses per line in the access file
  • You can set an error document URL for denied accesses which is specific to AutoBan.
  • You can redirect banned addresses directly to a specific URL instead of explicitly banning them.

It is the last feature that motivated me to do the update.

A while back, my webhost demanded (for no particular reason I could figure out) that I change the name of my trackback script. I did so, grumbling, but instead of just renaming it I left a sand trap in its place. Over the next couple of months, I got a total of roughly 6 junk trackbacks. I used to get more than twice that in an hour.

This suggested to me that the junkers were detecting access denied errors and handing off the target weblog to other zombie machines. It also explained another aspect of the junk wars that had puzzled me, which is why I would get a steady stream of new addresses for junk sources, rather than a big wave. According to that theory, then, redirecting to a sand trap that doesn’t generate errors will cause the junkers to keep using the same source addresses, so that my banned list doesn’t grow so very large.

What this new AutoBan feature is exactly that, effectively replacing the trackback (and commenting) script with the sand trap for the banned addresses. I have some performance concerns, as this is quite abusive of the Apache mod_rewrite engine, but so far it seems to be acceptable. Of course, this isn’t a high traffic website, so this may not work in all cases. There is another technique, however, which is much more efficient although it’s

  • not implemented yet
  • requires changes to the global Apache configuration file

I would be willing to implement it if any large traffic site wants to try it out.

I will see how this live experiment goes and if not too badly, release the updated AutoBan to the general public. I am sure that you are all just desperately eager to try it out.

15 August 2006

Trying to impress the cool kids

I have to count the current ceasefire in Lebanon as a win for Hizb’allah. Before the ceasefire, time favored Israel because every day lead to more attrition of Hizb’allah resources (men, money, equipment). The ceasefire stops the Hizb’allah bleeding but leaves Israel burning cash at an enormous rate due to uncertainty and call up of the reserves. This situation is so disadvantageous to Israel that Arab nations used to conduct their own callups and provocations simply to get Israel to respond internally, knowing how expensive that was. In addition, there were strong indications that Hizb’allah forces in south Lebanon were having supply problems, which can now be fixed without risk by Hizb’allah and its masters Syria and Iran. It seems like Israel still values its image in the kangaroo court fo world opinion, but perhaps Israel has a deeper plan that I can’t see.

14 August 2006

That's … interesting

From Brothers Judd

In the meantime, folks have expressed a legitimate concern that when I diddle some comments then all comments become unreliable.

Yes, it’s the photo-editing problem in miniature, where any consistent pattern of editing makes everything suspect.

However, in the interests of fairness I promise not to ever edit a comment again, though I will in turn just go ahead and delete those that are offensive, false, and non-responsive, even if they also contain valid points.

I have mixed fellings about this. It seems that pointing out moving goal posts is also consider non-responsive so I’m not sure how much good this will do. On the other hand, it’s a step forward and after all, his weblog, his rules.

As I noted in that earlier post, it’s the invisibility that’s the problem, not the control. For instance, with this kind of issue, how do I know that others aren’t pointing out the counter-factuals and having their comments deleted? It is for this reason that the standard convention is to not delete, but to replace the content with a note that it was removed. This provides a much more accurate view, without sacrificing control. I don’t think it would take much more effort, either.

I know it’s obsessive, but I spent a lot of time at Brothers Judd and I still read it as much as any other weblog.

ON the other hand, I suppose I should have a policy as well, even though I don’t get enough comments to need one.

  • I reserve the right to edit for style. For instance, I tweaked up this comment by changing a URL to an embedded image, blockquoting and providing the link to the source of the quote. In particular, I will never hesitate to convert raw URLs in to actual links because long URLs mess up the page layout.
  • Correcting “your”/”you’re” and “its”/”it’s” is always permitted.
  • Editing for content will always be marked, and deleted comments marked as well (not that I have ever had to do either).
Cargo-cult terminology

My target in this post finally responded about what was meant by “carbon free”, which is “a carbon free energy supply and delivery system” and that I should netsearch for it. So I did. The first thing that popped up was this article with this lead —

Energy giants BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell announced Thursday they had formed a joint venture to build a plant in Scotland that would be the first in the world to generate “carbon free? electricity from hydrogen.

The project would convert natural gas into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, then use the hydrogen to fuel a power station and ship the CO2 to a North Sea oil field to increase oil recovery and for storage ultimately.

So, a process that creates carbon dioxide is “carbon free”? One might argue that it is “no net carbon” or “carbon neutral”, but hardly “carbon free”.

One is also left wondering about the “delivery system” being carbon free (that being the other half of the definition). Yeah, I’d like to see an example of a vehicle that doesn’t have any carbon in it.

I suppose it’s all a bit pedantic, but it stills reminds me far too much of what you get when from people who don’t have any real understanding of a subject but love the terminology, such as the way social scientists use jargon from physics. That kind of thing quite annoys me, and where would my personal charm be if I were not true to myself?

Do as you will, accept the consequences

I can’t believe that I (almost) agree with Howard Dean

“I know how hard this is for Joe, and he is a good person, but the truth is, I lost one of these races, and I got behind my party’s nominee, and I think that is what you have to do […]”

This contrasts sharply with Jonathan Chait (via Brothers Judd)

The longer Senator Joe Lieberman’s reelection campaign in Connecticut goes on, the harder it gets to detect any rationale for his candidacy that’s persuasive to anybody who isn’t Joe Lieberman.

Chait is just silly — if it were in fact true that no one can figure out why Lieberman is running, then no one will vote for him and his campaign is completely irrelevant, so why waste time writing about it? What Chait describes is a problem that will solve itself and those are best left to do so.

On the other hand, it is reasonable for the Democratic Party to be upset. Dean gets it basically correct, that part of being in the party is accepting its rules, like “if you lose the primary, you don’t run in the real campaign”. Of course, such rules aren’t legally binding, but it is certainly not being a good member of the party and I agree with Dean on that.

It may not be the best political choice to go after Leiberman on that point, but it’s certainly reasonable.

It's what he did after the war

Via Tim Blair, I learn the news that Günter Grass was a member of the SS. […] Grass’ transgression is easier to forgive than, say, George Bernard Shaw’s or Heidegger’s (assuming he’s telling the truth about not committing atrocities). Grass was just a teenager when he joined Hitler’s killing machine. Shaw, Heidegger and a shocking number of the Western left’s intellectual heroes were grown ups when they became enamored with Hitler.

Jonah Goldberg

It’s not Grass being in the SS, which I agree at this point and based on the claimed story, a relatively minor stain. It’s the decades of posing on a moral high horse and attacking others for similar transgressions. I can’t believe Goldberg misses this key point.

Instant Age

As I read various discussions on immigration, I begin to think that part of the problem is that we live in a mixed age, of both Internet speed phenomenon and the slow grinding of social changes.

One aspect of this is the idea (common among the chatterati) that if a war isn’t won in a few weeks (or sometimes a few days), it’s a “quagmire”. While it would be nice if wars could be wrapped up on a weekly news cycle, not everything has been accelerated to the same extent as Internet startup product releases.

I think much of the anguish over immigrants not adopting our culture stems from the same root, as cultural adaptation still seems to take a generation or two, which might as well be “never” in the modern zeitgeist.

This poses another problem for modern rationalism, which is that we must, at this time, put in place policies that we cannot know the success of or even evaluate at all for a decade or more. Open border supporters presume that assimilation will occur as in the past, but it’s not clear that the same social forces will operate now as then because of the rise of the welfare state. What indirect evidence we have indicates not (such as the European experience), but that’s hardly conclusive. Yet, decide we must, which provides a certain advantage to belief-based conservatism.

For me, I think it would be very likely that we could achieve better than historical rates of assimilation with a more limited government and a rolled back welfare state, or even the Ownership Society. That’s where I put my political efforts.

13 August 2006

Still different

As I was reading this commentary from the Israel / Lebanon war zone I realized that there’s a clear indication of how governance is not creating any sense of responsibility among the Islamic terror gangs in the Middle East. Israeli PM Olmert is in deep political trouble for this basically pointless war. On the other side, however, does anyone seriously think any leader of Hizb’allah will suffer any political price for provoking the wide spread destruction in Lebanon in order to attack a neighboring state that wasn’t attacking or invading Lebanon? Unlikely, since the real lynchpin of Hizb’allah is foreign funding, all of their domestic support basically being purchased with that money.

That thought leads directly to Iran, in which another gang of thugs has not only not moderated their support for terrorism through having to govern, but has seriously mismanaged the economy of Iran so that it is far worse off than it could have been. One must deduce that either the Iranians would prefer to be terrorist sponsoring than wealthy, or the mullahocracy isn’t really accountable to the citizenry. There doesn’t seem to be much hope that statehood for Hamas or Hizb’allah will make much difference for peace in the Middle East.

12 August 2006

One of these things is not like the other

Orrin Judd is off on a another bait and switch effort where he once again declares that anyone who objects to Islam is effectively a Nazi. This is amusing on several levels:

  • Judd has no problem declaring his disdain and desire to wipe out various other religions, such as paganism.
  • The history of Islam, which is a history of conquering and suppressing other faiths also gets an exemption.
  • Three of the four of Judd’s counter examples are racial, not ideological. The analogy doesn’t pass even the simplest test.
  • To pile contradiction on contradiction, the one exception to the above is “communist”, which is actually a good analogy. Of course, just a bit further on Judd calls for killing communists. I guess that makes him morally equivalent to the exterminationist Nazis by his own claim.

All of this seems to stem from a fundamental category error on Judd’s part, in which he starts with the belief that Islam is a good religion and from there “deduces” that anything done by its believers is good. Oddly, Judd is willing to admit the errors of the Christian Church in the past, but Islam is apparently so much better a religion that it has made no comparable type of error. This leaves him with no explanation of why people would dislike Islam except his blanket accusation for anyone who dislikes his social policies, “racist”. It makes as much sense as any of his other arguments.

We can see other examples of this in these two posts. The basic view seems to be that since the Shi’a are natural liberal democrats, any Shi’a organization must also be naturally liberal democratic. This is not to mention Judd’s standard bait&switch of equating Hizb’allah and the Lebanese Shi’a. And, of course, this requires some creative re-writing of history.

First is the claim that “The Shi’a obviously have an existential stake in liberating the lands they live in.” This completely ignores the fact that Hizb’allah wasn’t liberating anything, but was gearing up to start an exterminationist war against another state. There is a good essay on this from an actual Muslim which lays it out much better than I can.

Or this claim “No one has killed more innocents than the United States”. Despite rather prodigous reading, someone needs to read The Black Book Of Communism to realize just how ahistorical this claim is.

And more recently, there this repeated canard about how running a state moderates terrorism and violence, with regard to Iran — “after early its flirtation with terrorism after the Revolution, Iran has settled into rather dowdy ways” — and Hamas — “Hezbollah’s violence will wind down once they have a constituency to answer to, as Hamas’s has”. I guess that’s why Iran is still listed as a major sponsor of international terrorism and Hamas spent all those months digging that tunnel that let them start a war with Israel, while permitting a constant stream of terror attacks in to Israel.

A lot of denial effort, but when one takes a counter-factual as an axiom and refuses to ever correct, one must be prepared to go to some lengths. It is a disappointment, as Judd used to be much more willing to consider facts on he ground rather than pure theory, but I suppose this is at least more consistent with using faith and not reason as the basis of one’s world view. It’s also a small stretch for someone who believes that fundamental physical constants are subject to the beliefs of sentients. One day I will have to ask what happens when different groups of sentients believe different things about the speed of light — couldn’t Hizb’allah break GPS by believing in a different value then?

11 August 2006

That would be too much like work

I have been wondering lately, with all of the relevations of distorted imagery from the Middle East, on why Old Media seems so willing to act as de facto propanda organs for enemies of the USA and Western Civilization in general.

I am sure that to some extent it is simply ideological bias on the part of people forced to make a living at journalism due to lack of any actual talent, but I would not be a bit surprised to find out that it was far more about lazy and non-introspective. It’s just so much easier to let the fanatics do as they like, even with one’s own journalism organization.

Even without bias, such a lack of concern will translate in to a tragedy of the commons where the most ruthless and dishonest will have the advantage precisely because they are ruthless and dishonest. It’s the living achetype of the phrase “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.

I suspect that the shift of journalism from an upgrade of blue collar work to prestigious white collar work is no small contributor. People used to doing (or hanging out with those who do) manual labor would tend to find leg-work far more acceptable to those who have spent their lives sitting while others do the work of supplying information.

P.S. Read this for some more information in this vein.

This doesn't look like winning to me

Via Natalie Solent I found this article about new restrictions on air travel in the UK. Basically, there is no longer a list of forbidden items, instead there is a list of permitted items, all of which must be carried in transparent containers for inspection.

I can’t help but connect this with the extreme reluctance of the British government to crack down on people in the UK who are promoting the Caliphascist ideology. Clearly, the UK government would rather crack down on airplane passengers than the actual fomentors. Politically, though, I suspect that the government will in fact pay less of a price for these new restrictions on air travel than a crack down on UK residents promoting terrorism against the UK. It seems that the UK public has already surrendered.

10 August 2006

Too much faith in first generation software

The recent Fermi Paradox discussion lead me to want to rant about a science fiction trope that’s always bugged me, which is the instant transcendence of artificial intelligences. For some reason, such AIs are presumed to be not just smarter but near omniscient and, best of all, nearly instaneously so.

A classic example of this is Destination: Void, which frankly I tried reading several times but just couldn’t finish. The problem is that just because an AI might think faster (and certainly that’s not a given for initial instances), that doesn’t help with doing experiments to discover additional facts (this is a problem for the Singularity as well).

A another well known variant of this are the Borg from Star Trek, who are really magical creatures. I always found their ability to deduce counter-measures to anything from mere observation to be unrealistic even for Star Trek. But the root is the same as for Destination: Void.

I don’t want to list every book I have seen this in, but it’s common enough to be a pet peeve of mine.

On the other hand, I have seen this dealt with in intelligent ways in at at least two books.

The first was Absolution Gap, in which the Wolves have a Borg-like ability to develop counter measures. The difference here is the explanation. The Wolves have been around for a few billion years and seen just about everything. It’s not a matter of deducing the counter-measure, but looking it up. The Wolves seem to have a distributed information set, so that each Wolf has a slightly different set of known technologies and if you keep attacking them with a particular weapon, you’ll eventually hit the Wolf that knows about it and it will pass the data on to the other Wolves, at which point your weapon is countered. Very similar to immune systems in that regard.

The other was Singularity Sky. The AI there, the Eschaton, becomes godlike instaneously but in a cool way. The heart of the technology for that Ai was the “acausal circut”, a computational technology that used time travel to create acausal computation results. Once you have that, you’re set. The AI works on improvements for a while, then sends the improvements back to its past self, which implements them while wiping out the history of the time spent learning them. This can obviously be repeated an arbitrary number of times, so that from the point of view of everyone except the AI, it becomes instaneously godlike even though it might have spent subjectively thousands or tens of thousands of years working on it.

Of course, the primary commandment the AI imposes on everyone in its light cone is “no causality violations”. The Eschaton can do this because it gets do-overs, not having been dumb enough to give up its own acausal technology. The Eschaton is also a plausible to me AI, because this is the only intervening it does in human affairs. I.e., other than to preserve its own existence, it doesn’t care at all what humans do.

Who knows more about the problem than the ones who caused it?

I am constantly amazed at comments like this where people say “Hizb’allah isn’t so bad, who else will defend Lebanon from invaders?”. Of course, Hizb’allah is the only reason Lebanon is being invaded by Israel. No Hizb’allah, no Israeli invasion. If the Lebanese really wanted to get the IDF out of Lebanon, they’d agree to help dispose of Hizb’allah. But that doesn’t happen, so clearly there’s something else in play. I don’t think we have to ponder very long to realize what that might be.

Code slinging

I am working on upgrading to Movable Type 3.31, which is a bit of a pain since I use a number of home brew plugins which I must upgrade as well. I also patch the MT source here and there to get it to work correctly. I admi that I have to patch it less than I did back in the 2.X days. I also have a new idea for improving AutoBan to make it even more effective.

And my source control is a mess, so I am trying to clean that up as I go (for at least one plugin, the latest version existed only on one of my weblogs because I had been in a hurry and edited it in place).

So, if there are no posts, or the website goes down, it’s most likely because of my fiddling with the upgrade.

09 August 2006

Superiority

I was reading these two posts over at Winds of Change when I realized what the base for Old Media being so supportive of Caliphascist organziations. At heart, it is that such people have unlimited credibility with Old Media. Why that is isn’t clear to me. But observationally, it’s not so much that Old Media promotes the Caliphascist viewpoint but that Old Media is willing to extend credibiity to any pronouncements from that side. Repeated episodes of fraud and misrepresentation (such as the recent altered photograph debacle) have no effect on the overall credibility of such organizations and their fellow travelers.

This is to me the money quote from the post:

So on one hand, we’re getting rolled in the media by the oter side, and on the other, we seem to be precluded from managing newsflow because when we’re caught, it will be so embarassing that we’ll lose all credibility.

The essense is that from the point of view of Old Media and the chatterati, only the USA can lose credibility. I suspect that this is yet another example of the agency problem in which Old Media refuses to believe in foreigners as real people who have moral agency, i.e. the ability to make decisions and be responsible for the consequences. Credibility is a property of humans and therefore isn’t an issue for non-Americans who are not thought of as really human by Old Media.

In the final analysis, I don’t think Old Media supports the Caliphascists so much because of being fellow travelers, but because they are simply too parochial and bigoted to treat them with the same level of expectation as they do their fellow Westerners.

08 August 2006

When the physician is scarier than the disease

A ‘carbon free economy’ — yeah, that’ll take just a tiny bit of clever innovation. It’s doubly funny because the post also suggest ethanol as a means of moving towards such a goal. My response is C2H6O.

The scary part of potential global warming isn’t the warming, or the costs of remediation (if needed), but the likely actions by people who don’t seem to have ever understood the phrase “cost / benefit ratio”. The strawman that is thrown out is that critics of anthropogenic global warming are scared of the costs, but what it’s the actions of the putative ecologists that are what truly frighten us. The hostility of the organizations to carbon credits and nuclear power while proclaiming the evils of AGW indicates what the real agenda is, and it’s not preventing AGW. When the greens are willing to discuss actual, feasible solutions, I will listen. Until then, I will treat them for what they are, anti-human luddites.

Denial strategy

I have been following the modified pictures from Reuters issue. I won’t re-hash the standard arguments about it, there’s plenty of that around.

What I want to comment on is the conspiracy theoriest nature of the Socialists. One can see examples inthe comments here and here. The theory is that the fakery is so blatant that the photographer must be a Rove / CIA / Mossad agent. One problem with that theory is the other editing which has been discovered which wasn’t quite so obvious. The biggest problem, though, is that even if the photographer was a Mossad agent, the operation would still prove the critics point, which is that Reuters lets obvious propaganda and fake news pass through its editorial process. In a variant of the maxim “you can’t cheat an honest man”, you couldn’t run this type of operation against an honest news organization.

That leaves two mysteries. The first is why the photographer did the editing he did. One mght ask “how did he think he could get away with it?” but having asked that question so many times in the past, my view now is that many people simply don’t visuaize the future to such an extent that the question arises for them. Given that the photographer seems to have gotten away with in the past, why not this time as well?

The other mystery is why there are so many people who eagerly grasp at conspiracy theories that are not only implausible but that wouldn’t prove anything useful even if true. In this case, I suspect that it’s because it provides a psychological basis to cover up how out of tune with reality their world view is. My reading is that such people have a very simplistic view of the world and when that fails to account for the fallen nature of reality, psychological defenses such as denial are brought in to play and a proper conspiracy theory is an excellent support for such denial.

In the end, this episode doesn’t say much to me about Old Media — I assumed this kind of thing was going on all along. But it does provide an interesting window in to the psychology of those suffering from reality dysfunction.

07 August 2006

Pidgin talk

Over at Instapundit is a post on the spread of English as a universal language. Old news, but it does contain this bit:

Jean-Paul Nerrière, a retired vice president of I.B.M., calls his proposal Globish. It uses a limited vocabulary of 1,500 words, taken from the Voice of America, among other sources, which can be put together clumsily to express more complicated thoughts. Little concern is given to the complexities of grammar, and he proposes that speakers of Globish say the same thing in different ways to make up for difficulties in pronunciation…

“Globish is not a language, it will never have a literature, it does not aim at conveying a culture, values,? Mr. Nerrière wrote in an e-mail message. “Globish is just a tool, practical, efficient, limited on purpose.?

This is, of course, what is known as a pidgin language. This is not unique to English nor to our time, but is a common historical occurence where and when ever you have people speaking different languages who need to talk. In general, one language will be used as the primary basis but be greatly simplified (for example, by using only present tense), just as this “globish” would. It would take someone from France to think that one could do this by design, rather than natural linguistic evolution. I was just struck by the arrogance of the whole thing, as if Nerrière were doing something original here, rather than simply relabeling a millenia old phenomenon.

What Nerrière is also missing is that historically, pidgins either die out or become full fledged languages (called “creoles”). The view that one could pick the vocabularly and have it remain fixed is laughable (and typically French, with their French Language Academy). Languages change all the time, it is only recently (last few centuries) that the pace of change has slowed, because of widespread literacy and mass media. Any “globish” will either fold back in to English or become a full fledged language and no official authority will be able to stop it.

For those interested in an well written and interesting book that deals with this kind of thing in much more depth, I highly recommend The Power of Babel by John McWhorter.

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