10.06.2011

Random tidbits

- The Portland Press Herald has doubts regarding the effectiveness of the Occupy Wall Street protests. While I sympathize with protesters, I'm inclined to agree with the more pragmatic view of the PPH.

- A Maine Heritage Policy Center study challenges same day registration by highlighting there are 1452 active registrants who are 211 years old. Because dead voters - who haven't voted in over a century - are a serious threat. Eliminating same day registration does nothing to correct any of MHPC's concerns.

Steve Jobs' death is a sad reminder for all of us that voodoo therapies don't work.

- The picture is my dog, Balloo, drying off after taking a cool dip in September ocean waters.

Profiteers are spying on you! At least that's the way it's being spun. I have to admit, the idea of Facebook or my cable company tracking my habits was initially jarring. But the more I think about, the less I care. I mean, most of the monitoring is entirely automated. No one at Time Warner Cable really cares about what I, Jeremy, am doing. Ultimately, the quid pro quo is fairly nice. The idea of a world - at least beginning with advertisments - that's customized for me is a bit exciting.

I think society in general has just been moving more and more towards interdependence (by extension increased trust). (See: Nonzero by Robert Wright) It must have taken a leap of trust for the humans making the first trades between tribes. Likewise, it took a leap for people to begin trusting banks with their money. I imagine this is just another step towards increased interdependence and cooperation. That initial discomfort isn't because I have anything to hide, or I'm embarrassed or anything. New founded trust is never comfortable.

Open Letter to Roxanne Quimby: Privatize

Dear Ms. Quimby,

Congratulations are in order for your admirable efforts in conserving land and forging a path for the creation of a new and massive national park in the state of Maine. In terms of vistas and outdoors recreational opportunities, we have a lot to offer Mainers and our friends "from away." I am confident that preserving land for public use will be a boon to Maine's economy. Capitalizing on our natural resources must be one of many strategies we employ to further progress our state.

However, political dialog has spiraled towards conversations about the very efficacy of government as a major actor in our world. Whether we agree with the message or not, that's the environment we live in. Consistently, government programs are at risk of being chopped. The National Park Service is not immune. We already face challenges from both our Senators, the Governor and the Maine State Legislature - a daunting political opposition. I have serious doubts about the sustainability of a new public park. Even if you are successful in passing ownership of your land over to the public - why run the risk of the park being closed and sold based on the whims of our finicky electorate?

I'd like to offer an alternative strategy in reaching you're ultimate goals of conservation, stewardship and invigorating our economy.

10.04.2011

E.U.

In 2007 I spent a semester in France. I sat in on an international economics class conducted in French even though I could barely understand the language when spoken. Despite my handicap, I distinctly recollect the professor hassling her other students about the fact that this American who couldn't yet speak a second language knew more about their European Union history than they did. I've always found all things Europe to be interesting. I even began reading books like the United States of Europe as early as seventh grade.

I love Europe and you should too.

Via Matt Yglesias I was reminded of the importance of happenings in Europe and just how much the economy across the pond affects ours. Meanwhile, our extraordinary (expensive) endeavors in the deserts of Iraq, Afghanistan and other unmentionable nations ultimately yield very little in terms of standards of living or security. In fact the impact is arguably negative.