"In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy."
--David Korten



"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

-Theodore Roosevelt



"Novelists are sneaky philosophers."

-morrow on reddit.


On War and Nations (but that is far too strong a title for what's below)

The following is my response on reddit to the following comment:

"Interestingly, while on its face the comic argues for greater empathy with foreigners, it's also arguing for the end of non-interventionism, the very policy which would have kept us out of the Iraq & Vietnam messes."

During the Second World War, we were fighting against a country that, amongst other things, had invaded (and was in the process of invading) others. The same was true in Korea, and in the first Gulf War. The current Iraq war and (I would argue) the Vietnam war were fought against soverign nations in their own right whom had done nothing to other soverign nations.

I admit I am not a strong supporter of war in any form, but protecting the sovereignty of other nations is important; in effect, it is the first assurance for self-determination. But more, it is an act to stop an agressor. (It very much bothers me how this point is lost in discussion of these wars, especially the current one, at least in America).

Now, are there other reasons to go to war without direct provocation; that is to invade another soverign nation that has not directly harmed another? That is a far more difficult question, and one that I think goes unexamined far too much. For example, stopping a genocide is undoubtedly a good cause (if it can be done), but who has the authority to do so, and why? If it is only might makes right, or even if you just try to leave it in the hands of a "benevolent" superpower, all you have done is create a tyrant. See how the US has abused its position of power in many other nations defending its own interests, all under the banner of ensuring peace or "spreading democracy." And even in an ideal case, say a powerful but benevolent United Nations, there is still no protection against a tyranny of the majority against any opinion it does not hold (for example, the economic tennants of Mr. Marx).

It's one thing to stop an agressor nation; indeed it is hard to defend not stopping them. But the question becomes far, far more difficult when one nation invades another whom had not directly done harm to it. Indeed, the question is so convoluted that for sixty years the US has been able to gloss the question with platitudes and proceed to act only according to its percieved interests.

That's no way to run any system, even from an American perspective.


Keep Off!

Keep Off!


Feelings in Graphic Form

Anyone else ever feel that way?

By the way, in case you were wondering, sometimes this little graphic kick I seem to be on isn't all it's cracked up to be.



Government in Graphic Form?

You know, the shape and functioning of governments has always interested me. Perhaps it's a bit of my engineering bent, it's certainly also touches some of my philosophial beliefs, but I love to see how they work, and see how they can be improved. So, here's a quick, unfleshed out idea for local government:

Still some details missing, but hey, it's a quick first draft in a quick sketch. I think it's kinda cool.


Arthur Dent would be Proud,-1.952112&spn=0.003218,0.007274&t=h&om=1

Apparently, they couldn't be convinced to sell their house for the motorway project, and successfully argued that the historical value of the house was enough to not justify its via eminent domain.

Pyhrric victory comes to mind. But you don't have to worry about neighbors. At least of the stationary kind.

Update: BBC article with more details.


Strong-Bad School of Logo Design?

Strong-Bad School of Logo Design?

So, I was playing around with logos and stuff, and a silly one for this site just happened to come up. But I couldn't leave it at that, oh no. By the time I was finishing up, I realized I was following the Strong Bad School of Logo Design. Without the fangs, of course. Fangs are silly.

Oh, sure it has some problems, and it isn't going to take over this site's logo any time soon, but its gotta be worth something. Anyone? Anyone?

That is to say, anyone need a molten-plexiglass logo? I might be able to hook you up. Even with not so silly designs.