hive mind

I find this absolutely fascinating. It’s probably what evolution really looks like — conceptually speaking — rather than a slow accretion of fit details. A messy, scattered series of missed connections and quasi-random tangents that very slowly over time takes on the appropriate shape. Addictive.

cell phone etiquette

Sprint did a survey on cell phone etiquette recently — you can read about the results here. Turns out almost everybody thinks that other people are rude when using cell phones — talking loudly in public, etc. — but nobody thinks that they are rude using their cell. Here’s the relevant bit:

Nearly three out of four (73 percent) U.S. adults surveyed said people are less courteous in general today than five years ago, and a full eight out of 10 (80 percent) reported they felt people were less courteous when using a wireless phone today than five years ago. However, 97 percent of those surveyed classified themselves as “very courteous” or “somewhat courteous” in their use of a wireless phone.

My hatred of cell phones is irrational in its intensity. I hate using them, and I hate people who use them — on the bus, in their car, on a sidewalk… basically anywhere but a hermetically sealed box. If I were emporer of the universe… and really, why aren’t I?… I would ban cell phones entirely. OK, maybe I’d allow cell phones that were only capable of dialing 911. But that’s it.

foreign policy

It is very much a vital and open question at the moment: what will a John Kerry foreign policy look like? More broadly: what _should_ it look like?

I waver on these questions, and don’t find much to agree with in either the far right or the “anti-imperialist” etc. far left. Today I stumbled on this post at, by a commenter named praktike, and while I don’t agree with everything in it, I find it extraordinarily though-provoking. I wish discussions at this level took place more often.


Admittedly I’m not exactly tapped into mainline right wing thinking, but just from reading around it sounds to me like lots of folks on the right are jumping off the Bush bandwagon. I’m thinking of libertarians, who are disappointed with his disastrous fiscal policy, and hawks, who are disappointed with his disastrous handling of the Iraq war. Pretty soon all he’s going to have left are the hardcore zealots, and (thank christ) they are not numerous enough to win him the election.

This post by Jacob Levy summarizes the trend well. It’s short — you should read it.

*UPDATE*: Here’s a follow-up Levy post, moving his endorsement of Kerry from provisional to positive (thanks to the Edwards pick), and explaining some more about his reasons. Interesting.

10 months old

Mom sent this out with the Daily Grip yesterday, and I thought it was sweet so I’m posting it here (she doesn’t, despite occasional nagging from me, post to the Grip Diaries much… meaning at all).

Grip is 10 months old today and I have no idea where the time has gone. He seems at times to be mere moments away from walking — for which I don’t know whether to be excited or very nervous. As he becomes more and more physically capable, it’s really interesting to see how “boy” he is. He simply must affect things. Yesterday he spent quite a while shaking our entertainment center — those of you who have seen our entertainment center understand that this is no small feat. He also likes to operate the spigot on our bottled water (I’m less a fan of this hobby), roll his high chair back and forth, pull down everything within reach (which is getting higher and higher by the day), roll balls across the floor, yank the cat’s fur, and turn the pages in his books. As a result of his avid interest in motion, it’s really hard for him to go to sleep. He just can’t stop. Our nightly bedtime ritual resembles a wrestling match more than a tender mother/son cuddle. Tonight, I’ve given up and handed him off to his dad so I can get some work done and this email sent.

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