What a Windows User Sees in iTunes

Over at his long-established blog (I’m such a second mover), Jason Lefkowitz, friend, colleague, and raconteur extraordinaire, has downloaded, tried, and reviewed the much-ballyhooed iTunes for Windows that swirled out of the mists of the RDF (not that RDF) today from a very cold Cupertino (well, actually the Moscone Center). Continuing our he-said, he-said blogminton, I’m going to riff on his vamp.

He has a couple of gripes, which have been similar to ones I’ve had. However, I’m not ready to write it off just yet. Let’s review, shall we?

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The Libertarian Dilemma

This article on Reason’s blog is interesting, not merely for the article they tout by Julian Sanchez on the appeal of Howard Dean for libertarians. Count me as one libertarian (small L, I tend to vote for the Libertarian party when an election is either not close or when I don’t care about the outcome, hoping that the LP vote will be big enough to cause the two large parties to pander to me to get my vote) who reluctantly, tenatively, and not without reservation, supports Dean.

If you’re curious just who the heck these “libertarians” are and what makes them tick, there’s a good representative sample in the comments.

Libertarians run the gamut from conservatives who believe the libertarians are closest to the spirit of the old Republican party of their dreams (something of a Founder’s Intent ideal that never really existed) to former liberals who don’t like the power of the state being wielded against hippies and other cultural refuseniks. It is a fractious bunch, but core to it are a group who are not, as Julian puts it, “Republicans who smoke pot,” or even “Democrats who took an econ class”. Libertarians are different–our overriding concern is the individual, and our overriding concern for the individual is freedom.

But we have a big problem. Well, two.

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I Wash My Hands…

Attention UK, or for that matter, any interested party anywhere in the world, or perhaps some superintelligent alien who is watching this and doubting we are above amoeboid intellect based on this spectacle, let me just say that any right-thinking American, and even many who are clearly wrong-thinking disavow any affection or even care about David Blaine.

I am not a fan of protest, but someone on a hunger strike generally at least has some cause they are trying to draw attention to. The only cause Mr. Blaine has is the fact that his “magic” act has made Doug Henning’s Vedic butt flights look really really clever by comparison. The only thing he has going for him is the nice new non-white ethnic look without being too non-white to get air time, taking the next logical step beyond Keanu Reeves, but with no more talent.

UKians, Earthlings, Ant-creature Overlords, do as you will with him.

Net Present Value Considered EXTREMELY Harmful

This article in the Financial Times uses distinctions in economic theory to talk a man out of suicide.

Presumably you are contemplating suicide for the usual reason: a net-present-value calculation suggests that the future benefits of living are outweighed by the future costs.
Real option theory extends the idea beyond financial investments and into the real world. Apparently rational irreversible decisions to buy houses, build factories, or, indeed, to take one’s own life, should often be postponed to gather more information.

The sad thing is, what I got out of it was that it was OK for me not to buy a house last year from an economic theory perspective.

But really, if NPV calculations are causing you to consider suicide, you are overlooking opportunities for growth, especially that of screwing that hag out of her new lover’s money with your improper termination lawsuit. Then take the dog as part of the settlement.

Thanks to Jason Lefkowitz for the link.

Watch a Spleen Explode in Near-Real Time

That loud report you heard at 1:11AM Monday morning was the spleen of my colleague Jason exploding over poorly-implemented e-voting technology and the officials who buy anything a Lyle Lanley-like character sells. A little bit ago, a relative of mine commented on a solution to just such an issue, and got modded up by Slashdot moderators. Which means it’s right. So accept it. Or else you will be called a “luser”.

Hey, this is a blog. If I had something insightful to add, I’d be asleep by now.