Thursday, September 10, 2009

Odds and Ends

From around the Intarwebs:

Ed Driscoll has dug u
p an old review of Michael Moore's movie Roger and Me. I found it interesting because she exactly describes what took me years to figure out. Blatant lies notwithstanding, the key quote is:

It does something that is humanly very offensive: Roger & Me uses its leftism as a superior attitude. Members of the audience can laugh at ordinary working people and still feel that they’re taking a politically correct position [242-245].

Yeah. And doesn't that seem to be common these days from the left? Disagree and you're a rube, worthy of contemptuous mockery.

Freeman Hunt links to a thorough take-down of the Penn and Teller "Vatican" show that I found so appalling. Seems they were more than a little factually challenged. Confirmation bias is the enemy people: Take a chainsaw to them hobby horses.

This Doctor Zero guy at HotAir is pretty dang good. Here he's talking about confidence, and talks about the way the government bumbling through the private sector tends to undermine it. These talks of health care nationalization—well, not so much the talks as the fierce drive that always seems on the verge of achieving it—undermine the medical sector. I suspect we'll see some shortages even if it doesn't pass. (If it does, shortages are a certainty.)

My old pal Nick Hodges re-tweeted Jeff Atwood (of Coding Horror) about the apparent increasing effectiveness of placebos. I tend to be cynical about this stuff and just assume the pharmaceutical companies were lying about the effectiveness of anti-depressants.

Chuck B. (back40feet on Twitter) tweeted about this cool book, The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension. Total nerd moment here.

Finally, I've been sitting on this post from "Cloven, Not Crested," a blog I occasionally read, entitled "Are Women Unhappier?" I suspect that, on the whole, they are (as I suspect men are, on the whole), but a segment is probably far happier than they ever would have been. But I haven't had the time to do the topic justice.

Check 'em out!


  1. I suspect part of the reason why our jobless recovery remains jobless is because of the uncertaintity regarding long term costs for each hire.

    Obama's pitching his package as a boon to small businesses and self-employed, but seems those in position to do the hiring don't trust him.

  2. Oh, and I won't be at all hurt that you mentioned that Wired article on placebos without mentioning that I mentioned it a few weeks ago.

  3. I have this great book called Love & Hisses that is a compilation of reviews of controversial movies from the 1980s. Anyway, the Kael review of Roger & Me is in it. I remember when I read it for the first time going "Yes!" ... and being very surprised that someone actually admitted that it was kind of a vicious movie.

    Of course, we now know that "vicious" is Moore's specialty...

  4. I used to read all of Pauline Kael's compliations of reviews of movies. Then I would seek out the ones she hated because I knew they would be a lot of fun.

  5. John Simon too when he wrote for New York magizine. He was primarily a theatre critic but he reviewed movies and he always hated the stuff that was good.

  6. I always thought Rex Reed was the epitome of Hollywood.

    All of them are exactly like him.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that....but I don't want him controlling what I can see.

    That's why I prefer TV.

  7. For some good hard hitting drama, catch the Sons of Arnachy on FX. Get the repeat of the opening episode this Saturday.

    Make sure the kids are in bed though. Even the Boy. He is too young I think to see this.

    It is far superior in action and plot twists to anything that has been in the movies in the last year.

    Of course that is my not so humble opinion.

  8. Bonus point: crazed rocker Henry Rollins plays a villian on the show.

    But you have to see Married With Childresn Katy Segal play the tough motorcycle chick. She should get the Emmy for this episode. No kidding.

  9. That is what I call entertainment.

    Tough, violent, true to life and reality.


  10. Well, XWL, you'll be happy(ish?) to know that I front paged your placebo thingy.


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