Thursday, January 31, 2008

Browsing through the links

I'm spending some time this week going through my links list, visiting sites I haven't been to in a long time. I've found a few places that have changed a name and/or a site, or gone out of business (I've removed those). And can Nathaniel be turning two already? Where does the time go? Wasn't it just a few months ago he was fighting for his newborn life?

At Cheat-Seeking Missiles, I found a couple of interesting posts right at the top. Fade-Out On The Campaign TV Spot looks at changes in how national political campaigns are run, now that television ads are so expensive, and now that there are more (and better) alternatives. Creationism Bragging Rights takes a mostly-humorous look at recent claims about machine-made life. He says what the scientists are really claiming (when you cut through the hype and spin) isn't that they're on the verge of creating life. As he puts it, they're talking about hijacking it. There's a difference.

When you get through laughing at Laer's punchline, though, please go read the article that prompted his post: Giant step toward artificial life, by Sabin Russell, Chronicle Medical writer, San Francisco Chronicle, January 25, 2008. Except for the rather unfortunate "there is the matter of bragging rights of mythological proportions. Mere mortals have yet to lay claim to creating life" segment, it's really an interesting, informative, and rather well-balanced article, I thought. And it does give space to concerns about what's going on.

Update: Sallie is leading a discussion on Jane Austen movies. She also has a long and thoughtful, very good post in which she revisits a post from May of 2005 on deciding what's important, and acting on it. I'm in a simplify-and-cut-back phase right now, and appreciated the inspiration.

Update: Patrick Deneen takes a look at "the breakdown of a covenant of respect and honor," and "the growing evidence of shamelessness among our middling debtor class."

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