Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Rob returned from a recent trip to China with an interesting observation about the language.
[M]any concepts in Chinese are made up by combining antonyms. For example, the concept "business", is represented by combining the two characters for "buy" and "sell" ('How is your buy/sell going?'). The concept "whole" is represented by combining the two characters for "over" and "under" ('You don't know the over and under of the situation'). (For more, see the following website and scroll down to the section "Opposing Words in Chinese")
Zach Oakes asks whether a cheap computer and an operating system might be an incredible bargain when combined.

Today a computer packed with three 3.2Ghz processors and 512MB RAM will start selling at $300. That's not a typo. It is, for all intents and purposes, both the fastest and cheapest computer on the market.

The computer I'm talking about is the Xbox 360.


My mind is still spinning over this - until now I never gave it a single bit of thought. Now I'm mad … somebody find a way to put an OS on that damn thing!

I didn't have the answer, either, but I have a hunch that somebody out there will, and fairly soon.

The General notes that others have less-constructive "uses" for the Xbox in mind.
[T]heir glee is not a product of the physical destruction as such (which is bad enough), but instead the effect this destruction would have upon the other people in line who value the XBox 360 and are eager to get theirs. This is not harmless fun, it is pure poison. Their enjoyment comes not from the achievement of values, but from the destruction of the values of others. Their response to the phenomenon a happy man, is to take his happiness and mangle it. This is what Ayn Rand so eloquently identified as, "hatred of the good for being good"
Via Noodle Food, this entry was quoted by CNN.

Cox and Forkum have a good roundup on Iran to go with this fantastic cartoon on same.

The Resident Egoist discusses power structures in socialist, fascist, and capitalist states.
But what is the true nature of the power structure in a capitalist society? It's decentralization, or separation. Here, not only is there a separation of powers within the institution of government itself [e.g.: 3 branches of government], there is also strict separation between the state and other social institutions [e.g.: Separation of Church and State and Separation of State and Economics].
Andy Clarkson discusses the importance of reading Playboy.
Maintaining a large, whatever "large" may mean, number of troops in the Mid-East is part of the long-term plan. Is 150,000 the number? I don't know. But, I would bet it is far more than the previous level of 20,000. Closer to 150K rather than 20K is likely. Why? Iran. And that may explain the current hesitant, slow-go approach in Iraq -- keeping Iran surrounded.
The Gaijin Biker has an amusing photo of an anti-Bush protest in Japan that may have been better attended by the police than by the protestors!
Of course, that was due as much to Tokyo's dispatching a ridiculously excessive number of cops as it was to the low protester turnout, but still...
Bubblehead fisks a "Captain".
Let's look at the "fact" he presents to demonstrate the superiority of Iraqi culture over Western: "While our European ancestors were hanging from trees, these ancient people were writing algebra and solving quadratic equations." Could be a good point, except that algebra was invented in 820 A.D., several hundred years after the height of Greek and Roman culture -- a little bit past the "hanging from trees" period. Quadratic equations? Sorry, discovered by an Italian (Lodovico Ferrari) about 1545 A.D. Not too good on the research there, "Captain".
Another target sunk!

Lubber's Line ponders an interesting equipment purchase by Israel.
[According to reports, the] Germans are going ahead with plans to sell Israel two new AIP-equipped [Air Independent Propulsion --ed] Dolphin class SSK submarines. Israel already owns three Dolphin submarines acquired from Germany in a deal made after the first gulf war. These Dolphin subs replaced Israel's German built Gal Class submarines, which entered service in 1977.

The Dolphin class is designed for interdiction, surveillance and special-forces operations with torpedo and cruise missile weapons capabilities.


If the news reports are correct and Israel does have nuclear weapons, it looks as though a sea based nuclear deterrent force is in the making.

-- CAV


Corrected author and link for first entry on list. HT: The General and apologies to the guys at Thrutch.