good and evil

"Of course, patriotism comes along and makes it seem fairly all right, but this country-right-or-wrong business is getting a little out-of-date. Today we are fighting Communism. Okay. If I'd been alive fifty years ago, the brand of Conservatism we have today would have been damn near called Communism and we should have been told to go and fight that. History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep changing parts. ...

Now in order to tell the difference between good and evil, we have manufatured two images representing the extremes - representing the deepeest black and the purest white - and we call them God and the Devil. But in doing so we have cheated a bit. God is a clear image, you can see every hair on His beard. But the Devil. What does he look like? ... I'm getting very sorry for the Devil and his disciples such as the good Le Chiffre. The Devil has a rotten time and I always like to be on the side of the underdog. We don't give the poor chap a chance. There's a Good Book about goodness and how to be good and so forth, but there's no Evil Book about evil and how to be bad. The Devil has no prophets to write his Ten Commandments and no team of authors to write his biography. His case has gone completely by default. We know nothing about him but a lot of fairy stories from our parents and schoolmasters. He has no book from which we can learn the nature of evil in all its forms, with parables about evil people, proverbs about evil people, folk-lore about evil people. All we have is the living example of the people who are least good, or own intuition."
-Ian Flemming's James Bond in "Casino Royale".


Citicorp Building

Citicorp Building


Holy *#*#*#*#*#*#

So, most of you know I have a penchant for urban transit, especially subways, right? Well, I just learned a new fact about my birthday. In 1863:

"The Metropolitan Railway opened the world's first underground railway on 10 January between Paddington (Bishop's Road) and Farringdon Street. "

Woooo! That's so cool! Okay, maybe I'm too excited, but I think it's cool.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes.



"Finally, Universal's conduct amounted to an abuse of judicial process, and in that sense caused a longer harm to the public as a whole. Depending on the commercial results, Universal alternatively argued to the courts, first, that King Kong was a part of the public domain, and then second, that King Kong was not part of the public domain, and that Universal possessed exclusive trademark rights in it. Universal's assertions in court were based not on any good faith belief in their truth, but on the mistaken belief that it could use the courts to turn a profit."

-Judge's Ruling from Universal v. Nintendo, 1986, 2nd Appeal


"Was the Randy Johnson trade a good one?"

-Written as an email to answer said question, it's long enough I figured I'd post it here. What can I say, I have a soft spot for baseball and like talking about it ;-)

He's gone, isn't he?

Actually, at first I wasn't sure. Randy may be highly inconsistent, but he does give 200IP per year, no matter what. Except his back is fluky; maybe the Yankees there know something we don't. The Yankees certainly think their rotation is full- they (obviously) believe in Igawa, and I don't think they're counting as much on Pavano as they are thinking that Karstens / Rasner / Hughes / Sanchez will be at least servicable this year. So, for this coming season, it really depends on Mussina/Wang/Pettitte : if we loose one more than say, a month, and moreso if we loose two at a time, the rotation will be thrust upon those guys I just mentioned. Cashman seems to really like them, and I like the chances of one of them panning out next year. If we need to rely on more than one to be more than adequate, things could get shaky.

For the future, I don't think this is a bad trade, organizationally. I'll quote the Transaction Oracle on the prospects involved:

"There are no top prospects here and all 3 of the prospects, while they would rank higher on the list of practically every other organization in baseball, were just barely in Sickels' top 20 Arizona prospect list. The Diamondbacks can deal these players without even sweating the prospect depth."

The prospect are 24, 24, and 23. Ohlendorf is the real key here; he is 24 and has just finished a full season at AA + one AAA start. He came out of college, so is not old for his level, and has put up respectable K numbers while walking a few too many, but really, really keeping the ball in the park. He has a decent shot at being a good player. Jackson is a good step below; his K-rate is not impressive- I'm not sure he's really better than a C prospect. Gonzalez, the shortstop, is 23 and hasn't done much but hit for decent average in his career. The kinda guy who probably has upside, but I'd need to see a good scouting report on.


So just how many days are left?

Here's a somewhat useful quick little script I wrote up. I think it's pretty self explanatory:

  • -3868 days until Pitchers & Catchers report.
  • -3823 days until Opening Day.

  • Pretty nifty, eh? Well, it's something! :-P. Practising my mad PHP skillz. Anyway, that's a real time count, and you can always access it at, or you can always access the counter on the menu to your left. At least until the season starts.




    "In outline, it was the same at the schools I went to. The most important thing was to stay on the premises. While there, the authorities fed you, prevented overt violence, and made some effort to teach you something. But beyond that they didn't want to have too much to do with the kids. Like prison wardens, the teachers mostly left us to ourselves. And, like prisoners, the culture we created was barbaric.".

    -Paul Graham



    "You're just an empty cage, girl, if you kill the bird"
    -Tori Amos



    "...[In New York] fuck isn't a word, it's a comma."
    -Lewis Black



    " The flaw in your argument, as I see it, is the implicit assumption that only the government can take away or grant rights. In reality, it's those with power that grant or take away rights. It just so happens that usually it's the state that has ultimate power, but if the state leaves things to their own devices (ie: free market fundamentalism), all they have done is given the crown of ultimate power over to the next in line, which in the case of America, is the corporations (in other countries, the next in line might be corporations, organized crime organizations, warlords, etc). "