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3 December 1999

Most problems have either many answers or no answer. Only a few problems have a single answer.
-- One of Berkeley's Laws

I almost never read Matt Drudge (his Fox TV show, the two times I stepped in it, made me sick) but this is worth reading:

  • DRUDGE REPORT -- Seattle [seen on RobotWisdom]
    There was no symphonic soundtrack, no spiffy 'Battle in Seattle' graphics to tell the story of tens of thousands of diverse protesters trying to scream above the satellites, trying to get the world to hear a story the media networks refuse to tell without a sneer on their faces.

    [Clinton at a recent summit]: "A way that requires governments to empower people with tools and conditions necessary for individuals, families, communities and nations."

    Sorry, Mr. Clinton. Here, people empower governments.

    We thought you knew.

Having graduated from a "top 20 business school" (as they like to say), my basic sympathy is for the unfettered free trade side of things; in its most basic form, parties who trade with each other all benefit (if not, why would they trade?).

That said, I do share some concerns with the protesters; mainly, that an unelected body that meets in secret gets a great deal of leverage to muck with the laws of member countries. Hello? What happened to nations' sovereignty?

There's a lot I still don't know about the whole Seattle situation, and I don't feel qualified to give any more of an opinion than that (except that the police are clearly way out of hand [Seattle PI]). Try indymedia seattle for non-corporate coverage (thanks to Jessamyn for the pointers).

I was looking for info on the Bobs, like if they'll ever have another new album (it's been over 2 years since the last one); no news there, but I did run across this assortment of streaming audio & video from a pair of December 1998 shows (with Amy Bob & Joe Bob) and an older special (with Janie Bob & Gunnar Bob). Not bad. (If you're unfamiliar with the Bobs, my condolences; check them out ASAP!)

Wow, a Cintra Wilson column that isn't abusive to its subjects. In fact, I like this one a lot:

  • The evil two books and one video do [Salon]
    It always makes me wonder when people with the power of creation, the artistic Prometheuses as it were, delve at length into the deadly, kinky and evil. It means that they have voluntarily stowed their heads in the Dark Compartment for a very long period of time -- long enough to create a whole project.

    What do you say when the artists you most cherish start exclusively embracing the dark and weirdly horrible? It is just as difficult as when you find out that an artist whose work you love is himself dark and weirdly horrible.

Can somebody out there give me a clue why Counting Crows' album This Desert Life has the same cover art as Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean's I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish (great book, btw)?

Is McKean a fan?

I did find in a newsgroup discussion that there's small print on the inside of the CD booklet that says, "Dave McKean cover illustration adapted from the book 'The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish'". So it's certainly been approved by McKean.

Still, it was pretty jarring. Imagine the Where the Wild Things Are cover being used on an unrelated rock album.

Or maybe it already has and I just haven't seen it.

I found this in passing; if you're interested in Dave McKean's distinctive art style, check this out (no alt tags on their images .. but it IS an art site, so you pretty much have to load images anyway .. but they could have provided alternative text links all the same).

Note: You have to click on a body part in their graphic, not on the label text (seems like a poor choice to me; why not make both work?):

Odd confluence: compare to the quilted image in Brad's DWW story.

Seen on MetaFilter, a fine new Carl Steadman column (he's been away for some time):
  • Engineering for a New Tomorrow [The Industry Standard]
    As any VP of sales will sadly admit, an unfortunate peculiarity of the technology sector is that it usually involves some technology. This necessitates engineers, an unseemly bunch who think they should have some say about the products they're asked to implement, make incomprehensible jokes about "clue sticks," and generally prove difficult in meetings.

    [The engineer's] job, at its most basic, is explaining to people that simple, everyday tasks are technically impossible.

The whole thing's quotable. Check it out. (Difficult in meetings? Me? Never.)

As they used to say in mumble mumble, their God is too small:

Note to self: When I finally decide to mess around in the investing world, revisit this page:

  • The Foolish Four and Other Dow Investing Strategies Explained [Motley Fool]
    The approach teaches you how to select a group of beaten-down DJIA stocks ... and buy and hold them for one year, playing the likely turnaround. The work to identify the particular stocks that are most likely to turn around can be executed by any novice, since it involves locating a few figures widely available in any major newspaper. Even better, though, we do the work for you, although we hope you will understand the process thoroughly before you use our numbers and selections.

    ...over the long term, the average performance of stocks identified by this [Foolish Four] formula has been spectacular: 24% per year annualized over the last 25 years.

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