Monday, April 30, 2007

why does nobody see??

Just saw "Shooter" and it rocks.

Gosh I was surprised to find that the baddies were rich Americans after oil. These people will do anything (anything!) to build a nice pipeline. Mass slaughters don't raise an eyebrow.

One thing puzzles me though. Why does this director think he's a lonely voice howling in the wind? Why does he think he's the only person who knows this awful truth? And why does he think he's the only one with the courage to face up to these awful facts or the goodness to decry them? There are few things that are as much a part of the decent left-liberal consciousness than the belief that the war was "all about oil", but there are so many who think in the same way. Don't they watch each others movies?

this is the problem with these things (part2)

I have some pretty wild ideas. I'd abolish the second serve in tennis, and get rid of the offside rule in soccer.

The objection to these brilliant ideas goes like this:
Tennis has been around for a long time and its popularity is built on the current rules, it is very difficult to predict the effect of these changes. The fact that tennis made it big and so many others did not means that the rules are almost optimal the way they are thank you very much.
Note relevance to conservatism.

Thats all great n stuff but cricket is a huge anomally. They're changing the rules all the time, and it's not just small stuff like TV replays. They added a whole new form of the game, but the most amazingly, cricket awards matches based on projected performance, rather than actual performance (sometimes). I also find it weird that after waiting 4 years the final could be decided by as few as 20 overs each.

Crazy crazy crazy.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

important note

I've updated my blog roll.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

this is the problem with these things

Wait four years, sit through 5 weeks of mostly pointless games, get all hyped up and it's all over within half an hour.

All world cups suffer from a similar problem but cricket is especially bad because of the endless round robin stuff. Maybe Trevor can explain why it's only like this for cricket.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sen talk

It was difficult to hear what he was saying, but it was reasonably interesting. Greg fell asleep.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Rock is dead

Rock was hoping to meet Scissors, but was instead brutally wrapped up by Paper and was suffocated (presumably).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

umm... ok

I often think that most of us really do agree on a lot and it's a waste to spend so much time fighting over little things. But then I read something like Roger Scruton admitting his guilty pleasure:
Although I argue vehemently against modern pop music, on grounds of its musical incompetence, verbal impoverishment and general morbidity, narcissism and salaciousness; although I fiercely object to disco dancing as a sacrilege against the human form and a collective rejection of civilised courtship; although I defend reels, minuets, galliards, sarabands and (as limiting cases) waltzes and polkas as the only ways in which ordinary humanity should dare to put its sexual nature on festive display, and although I regard the 12-bar blues and the flattened subdominant seventh as the lowest forms of vulgarity in music, I find rock’n'roll in general, and Elvis in particular, irresistible, and would happily dance away the night to it. I cannot explain the thrill of delight with which I hear the first bars of Jailhouse Rock or the eagerness with which I at once search the vicinity for a partner: but there it is, appalling proof that, despite all my efforts, I am human.
It also shows that he's a prat. People like this need a slap, not a counter argument.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

good timing

Tyler Cowen has a post on Amartya Sen who's giving a talk at UCT on Monday. Greg, Tracy and I are going.

Friday, April 20, 2007

yes, but...

The mass murder in Virginia is hardly a great subject for comedy but Harry Hutton makes a funny observation in response to those people (conservatives and libertarians) who claim that allowing all students to carry guns would have limited the tradgedy becasue the crazed maniac would have been quickly gunned down himself:4
The idea is that if one of the Virginia Tech students had had a gun with him, he could have come to the rescue like Dick Dauntless, and shot the Korean.

Well that’s true. But what if 300 students had guns, and they were all on the look-out for a student with a gun? I’m failing to see the genius of this plan, though no doubt I’ve overlooked something obvious.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

lack of posts

Yes I know how disappointing it is to come here and find nothing new, I'm sorry. The news gets even worse though because I won't be posting much for the next couple of weeks. Fortunately, half of my readers will be on holiday with me and not checking the site every few minutes.


Roger Federer has been named world sportsman of the year for a record third straight year. Nobody else has ever won it three times, let alone three in a row. The award dates back to the start of the century. Each time he has had to beat out either Lance Armstrong, Michael Schumacher or Tiger Woods, who are all legends and who have each had a good year in past three years (nobody else has ever won the award). I notice that the poll is heavily biased towards individual sports.

Whatever the bias, or ultimate value of the award, it should help to dispel worries that Federer is only dominant because the other players suck. If the standard of tennis were low, tennis's prestige would suffer and players wouldn't be nominated. The only other tennis player to be nominated for the award is Andre Agassi. Would Borg or Laver have won the award three times in a row? Maybe, but I doubt it. I can't be bothered to check who the other sporting giants were at those times, so I could easily be wrong.

Has anybody heard of Mika? Or his song Grace Kelly? Do you think it's any good? I think it's fantastic, I wonder if this will seem embarrassing in a years time... Thought I should put it on the record so I can't squirm out of the position later. Clearly this is very important to me...

For more future embarrassment, I predict that South Africa will win the cricket world cup. I might agree with Trevor on this but I base this on nothing more than a feeling and think the Australian team is way better (and yes, I do know that we are ranked No. 1).

(This post has been changes since first posted)