Monthly Archives: September 2004

presidential debate rules

there has been a great deal of discussion in the media about the impending presidential debates, specifically regarding the 32 pages of rules that govern the debates. i have found some media commentary on these rules to be highly biased (in one direction or another).

for your reference, the following link leads to a PDF containing the 2004 presidential debate rules (as posted on john kerry’s web site, but apparently scanned from the original document):

2004 Presidential debate rules

for further reference regarding the selection criteria for the debates, please refer to the following:
CPD Debate Selection Criteria

being the hydrant for technology’s dog

some days you’re the dog, some days you’re the hydrant.
this piece of wisdom was passed on to me some time ago, and i’ve found it a useful mantra. it helps remind me about life’s little ups and downs.

for the past few days, it’s been technology that’s the dog, and i’ve been the hydrant. so i’m just gonna vent the old spleen a bit, and move on to smaller and better things.

Continue reading

explain this

the advance of scientific knowledge is a process largely characterized by slow, incremental improvements punctuated with bursts of innovation and insight. in many cases, these spikes of activity are paradigm shifts catalyzed by the explanation of nagging exceptional phenomena that don’t fit within the extant framework of understanding, or with the abject failures of existing theories (e.g., the ultraviolet catastrophe).

explaining exceptional phenomena is an important part of scientific progress, and provides insight into the scientific method itself. this process can also lead to apophenia when it comes to resolving other open questions (i.e., people attempt to establish relationships between things when there are none).

john harris has written an illuminating analysis of these ‘unprecedented phenomena‘ and their relationship to scientific progress, using the Oklo fossil reactor as an example.

while i think he’s hit the nail pretty squarely on the head, there are a few things i’d like to add…

Continue reading

the king is still alive

i was at Safeway today and discovered, much to my surprise, that the King of Rock and Roll is still alive and well (what would we do without ‘The Star’). they used a double in his coffin when he was buried, apparently. imagine that.

50 years from now, i wonder if the king will still be alive, slightly grey around the temples, seemingly unaffected by the forces of time and space. i mean, if anyone was going to be immortal, i guess it would be Elvis, yeah?

desolation wilderness, one year later

last year, my friend trevor and i went to desolation wilderness and had a fantastic experience (despite some fairly ravenous and determined mosquitoes). so good, in fact, that we’re going back this year (friday, to be precise). in anticipation of the forthcoming adventure, i finally got off my butt and finished putting together the photos from our last trip.

so, without further ado, check out my desolation wilderness pictures from late july 2003.

NOTE: for any backpackers interested in where we stayed, our camp site was nestled right next to Alta Morris lake. we had it all to ourselves for 4 days in the middle of july…