Consider the responses I would have had if I’d asked about minimal health requirements for a tolerable life that would stop the necessity of suicide? The analogous responses would have demanded as minimal the ability to run a three minute mile, leap small buildings in a single bound, and the intellect of Einstein.
I’m hoping more moderate righties will respond to the question. If you look through the comments, you’ll see I’ve taken a respectful line to their stated needs, and tried to indicate accomodations that might satisfy their underlying psychologies.
Ask a member of "Teh Left" what would make a capitalist system tolerable, and you’ll get a list of things that would probably include phrases like "safety net".
What would members of "Teh Right" say would be the minimum necessary "tweaks" to make a communist system tolerable, i.e. a life that wouldn’t make them miserable directly or indirectly? Putting it another way, what are the things without which life wouldn’t be worth living, or you’d rather die?
I could make a few guesses, but the point of this post is to discover opinions of any readers.
In response to the stimulating post and discussion over at Skepticlawyer ("Roman or Celt" 2009-07-20 by LE), I’ll ask the question "Roman or Athenian?".
It’s hard to say "Greek" when so much of that civilization happened outside the bounds of what we call Greece – and even outside Europe. It’s doubly hard if you imagine yourself in Alexandria under Roman occupation. It’s triply hard if you want to decide whether "Greek" means Spartan or Athenian (although I’m sure some readers might prefer to have lived Sybaris at the height of it’s wealth!)
So… 5th/4th century BCE Athens (except for the rule of 500) or Rome (last century of the Republic)?
For relief from the continuing series of posts on use and rights of Public Service Information in Victoria, it’s time to ask readers about their favorite Uncyclopedia article, in the same vein as the question about your favorite xkcd, and a post that morphed into a thread on your favorite Tom Lehrer.
(For those who are unaware, Uncyclopedia is a spoof of wikipedia, with pages varying in quality, but the best are almost believable until you read carefully. Either that… or they are all too true, as you can see by comparing Bogan on wikipedia with Bogan on uncyclopedia).
Calling all students of chemistry or simply those who like the sillies: Which video of "The Elements" by Tom Lehrer appeals to you the most? It might be for education value, cuteness, or whatever. (Multi-choice, but no more than 3 please).
Embedded videos over the fold to help you in your choice. Feel free to add others in comments or give reasons
Can anyone suggest a current federal minister that has been doing a good job, without selling out to party or vested interests? I ask because good outcomes and efforts, particularly if they deal with long-term issues or efficiency improvements, are almost never newsworthy, and any such efforts deserve some public praise.
If you can include a link to a post or MSM report about the issue(s) the minister has addressed, that would be even better.
I’m serious… there must be some of our ministers deserving praise, even if it is simply by giving the good permanent public servants in their agencies a free hand to make the improvements they’ve been waiting to do for ages.
I’ll give mere mention to the great discussion of the lack of a environmentally responsible approach, the lack of a proper datacentre strategy, the overuse of contractors rather than public servants, and the recommendations to expand the role of AGIMO, where I’m going "hear! hear!" to Gershon’s views and recommendations, having only minor quibbles apart from the shocking absence of ValIT and ISO/IEC 20000(see the "Notes" section below), as well as no mention of the value open source in the body of the text apart from noting what Brazil and the US DoD are doing (see 2.12.7).
What is truly telling about the shocking state of things is the lack of governance outlined in chapter 1. Let’s hope Lindsay Tanner, the responsible minister, who is doing lots of good (but unheralded) work, uses this as justification for banging the table and heads together.
So, I’ll give a few gory quantitative details that show the extent of the problem, which I’ll blame half on wilful ignorance by CEOs and enterprise architects, and half on resistance to acknowledging their past and existing sins so things might improve. The figures come as no surprise to me – I fought the good fight against this when a public servant in EA (Technical policy and standards guru), got stomped on, got the scars and burns, and still haven’t recovered 5 years down the track.
I wonder which xkcd posts appeal to readers. (For those who are unaware of xkcd, which describes itself as "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language", take a browse.) Does anybody care to nominate between 0 and 5 that appeal? I say appeal, not send you ROTFLOL, as whimsy can be more appealing than hilarity.
Remember xkcd uses alt text quite well for aside comments, so if your browser/reader supports display of alt text when hovering over the image, I recommend it.
So, kicking off, and in no particular order, here are a few faves of mine (yep, more than 5, but who’s blog is this anyway?):