George Gilder loses…

…at The Confidence Game, sharing with us a dimwitted thesis as to “why I trust the most disgraced chief executive more than I do the most reputable public servant.

… I trust chief executives because they deal in projects that can go bankrupt. They cannot repeatedly or consistently lie about their companies because the truth will out in a relatively short time. Even at Enron, Lay and Skilling could deceive themselves and the public only for a matter of months.” He seems to think the difference between corporate executives and politicians is akin to that between physicists and sociologists, and then confuses metaphor and reality. George, the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. Forbes [thanks, Richard]


The World According to Google:

Blogdex says this paean by Steven Levy to the ‘online Oracle of Delphi’ is one of the most-blinked pieces in the weblog sphere, but IMHO it probably has nothing new to say to any of my readers. MSNBC

And here’s what the world is using the Oracle to look for — movies, pop stars, tv shows, gaming, and ikea — that about covers the top twenty queries. I had never heard of the subjects of a number of them and, even after checking out several of them, I still don’t know what they refer to. For example, here is Google’s translation of a page about something called Loft Story:

Veiled the martyrdom is finished, you finally will be able to look at again Correspondent Special Thursday evening. Thomas loupé the walk of prides LGBT but leaves victorious season 2 of the loft, accompanied on the road by universal glory by the Karine floorcloth , outside it rains of the shit.

Without surprised the survey of this site gave the 2 names of gaining, thus confirming that you were right and that you are a beautiful band of assholes.

This site is declared died by smothering scathodic officially, the burial having already taken place during the 12 previous weeks it will not have there additional ceremony. And so that you are not too much to trust to have been faithful to this allegedly different site, we will conclude on a deserved photographic epitaph. Toxic & zord.

What in the world?? But, then, the words of an oracle derive some of their power from their obscurity, don’t they?


National Review’s Editors on Trent Lott on National Review Online —

‘Lott Should Go’: ‘We have long considered Lott a clumsy and ineffective Republican leader, and his controversial Strom Thurmond birthday remarks are a spectacular confirmation of that judgment. Is Lott a racist? We don’t think so. Are many of the attacks on him dishonest and opportunistic? Yes. But he has been a poor leader of Senate Republicans, and the latest gaffe will only further erode his standing and his ability to lead.’


Sean Penn Arrives in Baghdad:

‘ “I would hope that all Americans will embrace information available to them outside conventional channels. As a father, an actor, a filmmaker, and a patriot, my visit to Iraq is for me a natural extension of my obligation (at least attempt) to find my own voice on matters of conscience.”

Penn’s visit to Iraq has been organized by the Institute for Public Accuracy, a national U.S. organization of policy analysts with offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.’


Was attack on Moby driven by intolerance?

The motive for the attack remains a mystery. Moby had just finished performing a two-hour-plus set that began with songs from his albums Play and 18, plus older, more dance-oriented material. It was a triumphant clubland homecoming that climaxed with a charming set of cover songs from artists as diverse as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Radiohead. Moby was attacked when signing autographs after the show.” This happens in the context of the legendary intolerance of Boston; the simmering feud between Moby and Eminem; and perhaps, by extension, between the dance and hip hop worlds in general. Was it veiled, or not-so-veiled, homophobia? ‘brawn against brains’?

”Perceived weakness in America prompts a strong reaction,” said Boston University social history professor Joseph Boskin. ”If someone is perceived as effeminate, it prompts an even stronger reaction. What goes over big in popular culture is a sense of authority, a sense of masculinity.”

And even Moby has confessed that his music is not particularly masculine.

”A lot of these kids, white and black, want music that reaffirms their masculinity,” he told Spin magazine. ”I’m straight, but I love going to house-music clubs and flirting with women and gay men. This is a leap most of America seems unprepared to make.”

At the Paradise show, Moby endured heckling from at least two men. One, clearly under the influence and perhaps mistaking the diminutive performer for Axl Rose, yelled ”I want to hear some rock ‘n’ roll!”

Referring to the World Wrestling Federation, Moby shot back, ”There’s something about the whole guttural voice thing that’s so WWF.” Boston Globe


City Ablaze: Edinburgh fire ‘could last for days’ BBC. Edinburgh is one of my favorite places in the world. Its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with many buildings dating back to medieval times. I’ve spent endless pleasurable moments wandering its streets through the years. Ruling out loss of life, the centers of many American cities could burn down with little of merit lost, but this is mournful.


R.I.P. Mary Hansen

Ten Reasons Why Mary Hansen Was Cool: “It is with great sadness that we report the death of Stereolab’s Mary Hansen. Ms. Hansen, who joined the band as a singer in its early years and, along with Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier, became a core member, was in a cycling accident on Monday, December 10.” chartattack