Thursday evening notes

  • Watching Maine becoming #5 this week, it occurs to me that while the process may be terribly slow from the perspective of people who just want to be treated equally (and I know I can only say that off-handedly since I already have all the privileges–white, male, straight, etc.) the whole thing is pretty much inevitable at this point. Even in America, it’s only one more generation of die off before weird homophobic notions become the minority.
  • Speaking of majority opinions, isn’t it really about time we legalized some drugs? There’s no rational argument for making weed illegal that doesn’t apply just as much, if not much more, to booze and cigarettes. Prohibition repeal takes the money out of criminal hands, direct taxes means a windfall for government, and indirect tax savings (on law enforcement, etc) means another windfall and the ability to reprioritize resources on more serious crimes. And guess what? Even most Yanks know it. I haven’t seen our numbers lately, but given how close we were to seriously putting legalization on the table before that last big Liberal scandal threw us into the right-wing minority downspiral, I bet they’re even more radical–especially if you count B.C.
  • All those kids who did a mass protest to raise awareness of some typically ridiculous school board actions get props from me. I wouldn’t mind more signs that the whole Me generation thing has completely washed out and it’s OK for kids to be activists again.
  • I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the death of the newspaper lately. A lot of it focuses on technological change, a lot on social changes, and even some on bad business decisions by the papers. Not a lot of it talks about the death of standards for research. I’m just saying.
  • I’ve never studied macroeconomics1 and only have a layman’s understanding of it. But even I already know all the stuff Krugman lays out in his recent cranky-old-man-these-kids-today post. If real economists need to be reminded of this stuff, it’s no wonder the financial system is such a mess.
  • Of course there’s a whole other argument for why things might be so buggered up: Debt is not a good product. Or, to quote from the body of the piece: “this whole scheme was arranged by 14th Century monarchs as a way of making money by having money, rather than providing value”.
  • While I’m in that mood, I should mention that I’m really enjoying watching a very smart Trotskyist do a close critical read of Adam Smith’s The Wealth Of Nations. Starts here, and continues through each chapter–he’s up to Chapter 5 as I write this.
  • I am, generally speaking, not a fan of books I enjoy being adapted into other media. I have ranted about this at length. I am, however, a fan of Peter Dinklage getting work, especially work where he has good character writing to bring to life.
  • The last time I linked to The Groovy Age Of Horror, my comment was “Not Safe For Work. Will require brain scrub.” and it was in reference to some bits from Italian horror comics from the 60s. Well, that comment goes double for this recent post about a particular Italian horror comic from the 80s. Those dudes are messed up–this makes those haunted vagina fan twisted-man-boys almost look good.
  • And finally, if you’re looking to lose some productive time, check out ToneMatrix–very simple to play with, but weirdly compelling. You will be writing your name, playing Conway’s Life, and drawing hearts and smiley faces, just to see what they sound like.
  1. I did have to take one intro course in microeconomics as part of my degree, but that’s only barely relevant.(back)

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.