Missed the last Tuesday Tube? Head over to the tag search for ‘tuesday tube’ and browse through the archives.
Since baseball season is now in swing, I’m officially in the mood for some sports! Here are some sports tubes.
You know how they say that comedians want to be rock stars and rock starts want to
be comedians? It’s true. Just listen to John Mayer call a baseball game…
This next video will….OMG IT’S A LION GET IN THE CAR!
In the words of Marv Albert…”rejected!”
I find soccer incredibly dull and silly. Here is a video with evidence supporting my views.
Do you know what killed the dinosaurs? Tennis.
Wii Boxing is so realistic and immersive, I can hardly believe it.
One time I had a dream that Tom Browning would gain 100 pounds and start asking
silly questions to baseball players.
And finally, Dick Dale on the Ed Sullivan show singing about surfing. You know, the song
from the opening of Pulp Fiction.
Enjoy the baseball season.
This post is one of a 4-part series on 4 ways to vote stupidly.
This series is based on this Reason Magazine article by Bryan Caplan, one of my favorite economists/writers.
4. Pessimistic Bias
Last, but certainly not least, is perhaps the most important and hard to overcome bias of all: the bias of pessimism.
This bias is founded in the idea that things are always getting worse, from the specific to the general. The economy is collapsing, the environment is being consumed and destroyed, the culture is decaying, corruption is becoming more rampant, and people are turning into amoral, brainless savages.
I’m here to tell you that things are not nearly as bad as you think. Recall, for instance, Hans Rosling’s presentation on the emergence of the third-world and the still-improving standard of life throughout the world. Good news isn’t nearly as interesting or as compelling as bad news, and thus “news” for the most part is synonymous with “bad news”.
Take for instance, the news that your favorite pet, Rover, was just hit by a truck and died a horrible death. It makes the front page and everyone is sad. However, the other 4000 days of your pet’s life, was the headline of the paper “Rover continues to live happy life, enjoys snausages.”? For every 1 tragic or gloomy headline, there are 1000 headlines of good news that are never printed. My point isn’t to marginalize the tragedy of Rover’s death, but simply to point out that people are more affected by bad news than good news. Thus, a pessimistic bias exists in the general populace, and thus the populace demands media with pessimistic bias as well. “If it bleeds, it leads,” so they say.
So, I’m really just talking in the general here, and I really haven’t demonstrated the harm in pessimistic bias yet. The harm is this:
If the general state of affairs is not nearly as bad as it might seem, but a pessimistic bias makes people think that it is, then by jingo, something must be done. There oughta be a law! So then a well-intentioned law is drafted and signed into law. But it doesn’t matter how well-intentioned the law is: the premise is faulty. People are unnecessarily burdened or inconvenienced and conditions are actually made worse.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to not do anything at all. Sometimes the unattainable goal of perfection is the enemy of the already obtained good. This is one thing that almost every politician is guilty of. The guy who runs on the “everything is pretty good, let’s just make a few tweaks and maybe reduce governmental interference for once” platform rarely gets elected.
A lot of this can be seen in populist philosophies of politicians who ‘fight for the little guy!’ with well-intentioned taxes, subsidies, and regulations that end up hurting all guys (including the little ones).
Finally, let me just say that I’m not a delusional Polyanna. Certainly there are times when things suck a great deal and something really must be done about them. Slavery. Terrorism. Abortion. Rape. We don’t live in a perfect world, and we never will. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” But he also said the first step is “collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist.” Don’t use pessimism to skip that first step.
In The Misanthrope, Moliere writes:
Why, no. These faults of which you so complain
Are part of human nature, I maintain,
And it’s no more a matter for disgust
That men are knavish, selfish and unjust,
Than that the vulture dines upon the dead,
And wolves are furious, and apes ill-bred.
While this excerpt seems to convey a very pessimistic viewpoint, I would submit that what Moliere is trying to say is that corruption is systemic. The goal, then, is not to elect heroes to public office, but rather to make sure the system functions equally well whether an office is occupied by a hero or a villain.
Thank you for reading this series of posts on 4 Ways to Vote Stupidly. My goal in these posts were not to sway your opinion for any one candidate or ideology, but rather to sharpen your existing opinions and help you examine and improve them, even as writing them has helped to sharpen and improve mine.
This is the Weekend Update for the weekend of March 28th to March 30th.
Missed the last Weekend Update? Check out the Weekend Update archives.
I got some practice for being up at all hours of the night this weekend as I paid another visit to the Augsburg Fortress warehouse sale (see also: Weekend Update from last time) where I procured mass quantities of shirts. I was so cold, bored, and exhausted, I think I shall welcome a screaming child in a warm house.
I managed to take a few pictures of the place and the line of people. As before, there were about 100-200 people in line, which formed slowly from about 4:30am until 8:00am open.
That’s the building I stared about for about 3 hours. I did get to overhear a lot of fascinating conversations amongst the various priests and ministers and seminary students in the line. Speaking of which:
People come from all over for this sale. Some guys near me in line were from Toledo, and some of the students were from New Jersey, I think. After standing in line for almost 3 hours, I spent 10 minutes inside grabbing items and paying for them. Seems so anticlimatic once it’s over.
I played some more Lost: Via Domus this weekend. I’ve been trying really, really hard to overlook the flaws and be positive about this game, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the game is absolute unplayable garbage. It tries to be a a point-n-click adventure game, an action game, a puzzle game, and a TV show all at once, and fails miserably at everything. After wandering through dark caves with limited light sources for over 20 minutes, I finally realized that I wasn’t enjoying myself in the least. The game is an abusive relationship, much like the show itself, but without the redeeming qualities.
And finally, tomorrow is the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day! It’s also entirely conceivable that it could be my son’s birthday, so keep an eye out at MatthewKGroves.com for the latest news. In any case, tomorrow is an important day that I am looking forward to. The Reds look good this season, and are projected to do very well.
I’ve just launched a mobile version of this blog. Here’s the low-down.
You can access the site via these subdomains:
If you can think of another subdomain that should be on there, leave a comment.
The mobile site contains the important functionality of the main site: the same exact content, the same exact comments. The mobile site does not have tags, searching, top commenters, or basically anything in the right-hand column. The mobile site is also not cached.
I did manage to put mobile Google Ads on the site, but those might take a couple days to fully kick in.
I also plan to write some code that will transform embedded YouTube content into links to YouTube Mobile, thus making even Tuesday Tube viable on a mobile device.
I’ve put no browser detection/redirection code into any part of the site. Therefore, you can view the mobile or full site on both desktop and phone browsers without fear of being automatically redirected anywhere. There are also links to the “full” site on the mobile site.
It’s still a work in progress, but it’s certainly functional at this point.
Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.
This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.
We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.
Here is the video that they removed.
Those who are ready to sacrifice freedom for security ultimately will lose both. -Abraham Lincoln
To stay consistent, I must boycott LiveLeak and ask you to do the same, but at the same time I’m having second thoughts about my approach. It’s easy for me to post the above video, because hardly anyone reads my site. When there is real danger and real threats, I’d like to say that I wouldn’t hesitate to leave the video up, but I don’t know if that’s the case. A media outlet choice between real death threats and boycotts is at least Sophie’s choice, and at most a decision of basic survival.
Is it fair for me to demand they stand up for free speech when I don’t bear the consequences (directly/immediately at least)?
On the other side of that coin, giving into violent intimidation will only lead to more violent intimidation. Surrender and appeasement has not worked and never will. So, is there a better way for me to fight against this violent assault on free speech that doesn’t compromise my principles.
I suppose I could join the military.
In any case, I hope that the LiveLeak situation serves to increase civilization’s resolve against terrorism, and I wish the best to the staff of LiveLeak and the creators of Fitna.
IGN has a rundown on Top 10 EA Classics That Deserve Updates.
There are some good titles on this list that I think would definitely make for some good updates/sequels.
First, Skate or Die. This was a really fun NES game that definitely doesn’t hold up today. However, I think the “Skate or Die” brand has some life in it and could compete with Tony Hawk. EA already has Skate, but I’m wondering if they could use Skate or Die to make a less realistic Tony Hawk type of game with maybe more of an “X Games” feel to it.
Second, Pinball Construction Set. This is an olllld game that I remember having hours of fun with. With EA’s love of downloadable content, an XBLA version of this game could make them piles of money from pinball fans.
I saw someone with a “Normal people worry me” bumper sticker tonight.
In the land of bumper stickers, let’s be clear: there are many, many offenses. I would wager that close to 90% of bumper stickers might as well say “LOOK AT ME I’M STUPID”. Crap, I’ve even got some hideous Cincinnati Reds stickers on my rear window that I’m just too lazy to remove. The “normal” bumper sticker is not an exception to the hideous wasteland of bumper signage.
Let’s look at one, shall we?
The implication here is that the driver is not normal, and, in a deliciously hilarious twist, finds that normal is weird (and/or worrisome).
Fine. Except that I would wager that 95% of people with “Normal People Worry Me” stickers are the very definition of normal. They drive a car (obviously), shop at Kroger, probably have average intelligence, hang out with their zany friends at Applebees after work, watch reality TV shows, and use the phrase “beg the question” incorrectly.
So, what, then, makes this person think that they are so unnormal as to consider purchasing this sticker? Sheer ignorance. Therefore, I present to you, dear reader, this handy guide that can help you to tell if you qualify to own this sticker or not.
|You sometimes drink too much to “cut loose”||You drink through an orifice that was surgically created on your knee|
|You are really busy and have a “crazy” schedule||You are able to bend the laws of time and space|
|You and your friends have lots of inside jokes||You and your friends have lots of live leopards that you keep inside your apartment|
|You have unique taste in music: The Beatles, Soulja Boy, Daughtry, Linkin Park||You have unique taste in music: Tiny Tim, Dropkick Murphys, Cannibal Corpse, all played at the same time|
|You act like a clown when the camera comes on and put little “ears” on people with your fingers.||You dress up like a clown for funerals and put little “ears” on the the corpse with a sharpie.|
(Feel free to come up with your own examples and leave a comment below).
In summary, you aren’t special, especially if you have a sticker that says you are. For this reason, anyone who buys this sticker and displays it non-ironically is someone that I hate with the fire of 1000 suns, and they will burn in the lake of fire.
WiiWare is coming to the US.
WiiWare is similar to Virtual Console and XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) for Wii. It will allow a Wii owner to purchase and download new games.
It looks like one of the launch titles will be an updated version of Dr. Mario, one my favorite puzzle games of all time.
This version will contain updated graphics and music (although the music sounds similar to the old NES music, thankfully), as well as Mii integration and multiplayer. It will also include “Virus Buster”, which is a similar DS mini-game from Brain Age, I guess.
I don’t know how many hours I’ve whiled away playing Dr. Mario over the years, but I know that when it comes to puzzle games, it’s the one I usually go to first. I even created my own “updated” version of the game a while ago using the Allegro library.
What is a good policy on broken links in blogs?
That is: should they be fixed, and how should they be fixed?
Note that when I say broken links, I mean every broken link here at mgroves.com, including:
- Invalid affiliate links
- Broken links left in comment field or URL field in a comment
- Broken links from old news (i.e. Reuters doesn’t have the story up anymore or something)
- Any links in “Random Destinations” or “Bookmark This Page” in the footer
For instance, I know that Sithlet used to leave his URL as 50pixelsofevil.com, but that site no longer exists. Should I remove/change all his comments for the sake of removing broken links?
If I don’t, aren’t I going to have an ungodly amount of broken links eventually? If I do, am I violating some sort of unwritten trust that comments generally shouldn’t be tampered with?