Thursday, November 29, 2007

ID revisited

The Texas Education Agency’s director of science curriculum was suspended for (and has since resigned over) circulating an "anti-Intelligent Design" email. (here)

The real issue seems to be over the director's displayed lack of 'neutrality' in front of non-TEA folks. My cynical nature is reading more into it than that, of course. But anyway.

Personally, I think that comparative religion SHOULD be taught in schools so that people better understand each the value systems of others, rather than the rumors and hearsay they get from their friends of the same faith. But if you're going to include that as 'science', well, may as well try combining 'reading&composition' with 'driver ed', and see how well that works out.

But no, no one can say anything about religion in public school. Must protect the ignorant minds from possible contamination. God forbid, they might get some wild ideas and actually decide to find out about cultures other than their own.

I can just imagine all the new email spam targeting worried preachers: "Are you insecure about your faith? Is your blessing not up to impressing your followers? Take Faitha1is! Guaranteed to have your flock singing Amen!"

You'd think, I dunno, maybe FAITH could help with all that insecurity.

Seriously, Science is not anti-faith. To me, the purpose of Faith is to answer the questions that science is incapable of asking, of which there are many.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The San Diego Reader!

The Second Lives of San Diegans

The issue is finally in circulation! Woot! (And no, that's not me on the cover!)

A few comments about the article:

I haven't made any videos... those were created/submitted by other people, using things I've made. :)

I started in Second Life in Jan 2004, it actually started several months prior.

The "history of virtual reality" is "from my perspective". A historian I am not.

Officially, it is "Linden Lab" not "Linden Labs", I made that error myself ages ago.

The exchange rate was really around L$268 to the US dollar, not L$168, which makes my lamps "a buck or less", not a few dollars each. :) (some are *MUCH* cheaper)

I wish I were "one of the richest" residents in SL, but no. I do have a fair bit of land that I could sell for a decent price, but I'm still far from getting my initial investment back.

And, a very nit-picky pedantic clarification, Linden Lab didn't actually "disable" Starax's scripts, they reduced how many and how quickly any object can create new objects... The scripts in Starax's wand still tried to operate, but acted like a sports car racing down a freeway suddenly paved with speed bumps. Ouch! (Some of those limits were backed out later, I'm not sure whether his wand is still affected or not.)

Clearly, it is impossible to 'sum up' Second Life into anything less than a full book , but I think, but Geoff's article definitely captures some great perspectives on the crazy world we Second Lifers like to play in! =)

(Thanks to Caern, Khamon, Whystler, and others that I spoke of indirectly in the interview. :))

Coolest website ever...

Definitely one of the niftiest ideas for a web site I've seen yet:

My only complaint is it should say "is most like" not "means",
but whatever. I've played enough to feed a large family for
a day or two at this point.

How high can you raise your "VOCAB LEVEL"? (it tops out at 50!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

FISA and such

It used to be I couldn't care less about what was going on in politics. I find that is changing as I see this country sliding off into what I feel is a despotic direction. And though my little tiny electronic voice will be lost in a sea of manymany, I still feel the need to speak up:

    Dear Senator Feinstein-

    Please reconsider your stance on FISA.

    The threat of terrorists pales in comparison to the threat of a government with the power to invade our private lives without the necessary checks and balances that have made this country great.

    PLEASE, do NOT support amnesty for telco's that release private information without court ordered warrants and subpoena.

    Thank you.

    John P. Crane,
    in San Diego.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tick tock tick tock...

Nothing like being in a really bad mood one day to give the moodswing pendulum a good push. I'm in *much* better spirits today. (not that it'll last long. ;)

Perhaps it's my giddy mood... but I had to share this... which gave me a fit of the giggles. (a bit slow at first... wait for it).

Friday, November 9, 2007

Then what?

So, the sun finally broke through this afternoon. And so did my "end of daylight savings time" fatalistic and anti-social depression. I look around at the delicate harmony of so many humans living bumper to bumper... and the dawning "Season of Excess" and I wonder if the impending inevitable doom that I feel is felt by others as well. Each year the madness grows... how much further can we, as a species, indulge ourselves before we're slapped with a big fat reality check?

The way I see it:

The price of fuel and water is certain to go up and will certainly will force businesses to raise prices or fail. Inflation is following, with it the purchasing power of the dollar is shrinking. (and it will continue until it catches up with it's value outside the U.S. too)

As buying power weakens, the jobs that depend on shoppers will suffer. Anyone employed for
Developing, Producing, Distributing, Promoting, Financing and Selling STUFF is going to have a hard time. And when they lose their jobs, their ability to shop goes away too... plunging us into a recession.

And then the banks start foreclosing on mortgages. Families thrown out to live on the streets. Crime will increase due to desperation. There won't be enough to tax to hire enough police and the great capitalistic experiment will grind to a great big chaotic bloody quagmire of poverty and starvation.

The government is already fiscally bankrupt and will be no help. Big business will continue to do well, they'll have the leverage to pick and choose among the masses for the indentured servants that will help them carry on. But the rest of the country is going to start looking a lot more like New Orleans after Katrina.

Yes, yes... I'm just being cynical, and everything will likely be just peachy. But right now all I can see in my mind's eye are great tracts of big suburban homes without power or water, and people standing in soup lines.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sunless Diego

Well, 'November' has the distinction of being San Diego's "Sunny-est Month". Other months are known for their overcast nature, like "May Gray" or "June Gloom", but November is typically bright, clear and, often, pleasantly cool.

The temps seem about the same, but it's been entirely overcast for days. Still looks like smoke y haze blowing in from the ocean. I get the impression that it's just getting shoved back and forth over us instead of blowing by. Damp, wet and likely, toxic. Great stuff.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I've been noticing a growing number of loudly disappointed American males that seem to feel as if they've been deprived of their God Given Right to be "A Real Man".

They blame everything from Ritalin to soy products... from women voters to political correctness... from equal opportunity employment to Hillary.

I certainly won't deny that there is something utterly lacking in machismo and testosterone to their whining and bleating. I wouldn't call it "girlish" though. Girls are tougher than that! ;)

To these disenfranchised, emasculated, effete, wasp-ish self-declared victims of reverse discrimination, all I can say is: "Come on guys... if you can't grow a pair for yourself, there ain't no one else who's gonna do it for you! =)"