Moby's Cop Out

re: Moby's post as quoted on Colene's site.

What a fuckin' cop out. Having an opinion on burning isn't really going to change anything? Please. With weather, it rains irrespective of your opinion of it. But burning CDs is done by humans, and opinions of important people (like Moby) matter. It's a little paradoxical, but if Moby came out against downloading music, the downloads would skyrocket, and if he was for it, his albums sales would see a jump.

I have another problem with the comparison of himself to Weezer (and of Weezer to Pink). Weezer's sales were high in the first week because of the fact they have loyal fans. All the loyal fans bought them during the first week, and the ones that aren't loyal fans (apparently a small minority of Weezer fans are not loyal) bought them later when they read about in the reviews section. (A similar effect happens to rap albums, which have huge opening weeks, and equally huge drop-offs in the next week.) And Pink has high sales not because her fans are likely to buy her CDs, but are more likely to buy CDs in general. The radio she gets played on, Top 40 Radio, is geared towards selling the most albums possible based on a single (or two). Weezer has a pretty much guaranteed haul because of their loyal fans.

And he claims to be not editorializing, but why mention the Pearl Jam effect in the first place? Like I said: it's a cop out. He compares himself to Weezer without stating that he is, and is stating opinions while denying the very fact that his opinions are pretty evident by his post.

New new deal for cities

Andrew Coyne: “And of the three levels of government, which do you think has enjoyed the fastest growth in revenues? That's right: the cities. According to figures compiled using Statistics Canada's Financial Management System, which puts the various governments' books on a standard accounting basis, local government revenues grew some 3-4% more than their provincial and federal counterparts over the last 12 years.”

Yep. I was right: city government is the fastest growing part of government in Canada.

Law School Advice

Dahlia Lithwick: “Get out. Go to movies. Volunteer someplace. Make friends with the people at Starbucks. Get drunk but kiss someone when you're actually sober. Do anything to remind yourself that there is a life out there, and that missing one night of reading will not turn you into someone who lives in a garment box under the freeway.”

Good advice, methinks. I actually volunteered for stuff earlier in the summer. Stuff that's happening in the fall (VIFF and my work's golf tournament). Could have used a volunteer gig this summer, but oh well.

As for the law school advice, yeah, doesn't apply. I thought about going to law school. But then I turned twelve and discovered girls.

War on Iraq is already under way

Jonathan Manthorpe: “Even so, sorting through reports from various places and sources around the region suggests that around 100,000 U.S. and British troops are on the ground around Iraq.”

This sounds about right. A rule of thumb is to double what the U.S. Army says is the number of troops in a region, to take leaks of plans for war to indicate that war is a fait accompli, and news that fighting has begun to indicate that fighting began some time ago.

I have two problems with Condoleezza Rice's statement quoted here:

“'History is littered with cases of inaction that led to very grave consequences for the world,' said Rice. She went on to refer to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, a piece of history that still resonates strongly with British people.”

History is also littered with cases of action that lead to very grave consequences (Britain's entry into World War I is a good example), and appeasement is not always necessarily an ineffective tool in foreign affairs (what about late 19th-early 20th century American appeasement of the British?).

Jonathan Manthorpe is one of the very few reasons to read the Vancouver Sun. Actually, I just admire his job, writing a column about the disparate places of Southeast Asia and the travel that accompanies it.

Cougar Night Out

Cougar Night Out by Jack Murnighan

Just going to bring this one to the fore. As a twenty-something Canadian male, I can't claim any experience with the older set. It's probably because "cougars" are in the age group of the vast majority of my co-workers: women in their late 30s or early 40s. So I guess I equate dating a woman of that age with dating a co-worker (in a small workplace, no less).

After having seen Lovely and Amazing, I understand the lust the 17-year old 1-HR photoshop had for his unquestionably-attractive-but twice-his-age co-worker. Even so, one friend, who went to Australia for a year, said that dating older women is not what it's cracked up to be. This, he says, comes from the experience from dating a 33-year-old while there. So while there are cougar bars here in Vancouver too (I've been to most of the suburban ones, apparently), my friends are disdainful of anyone who gets picked up by one.

I would probably draw the line at my sister's age (which I will not reveal, but rest assured she was in high school when I was in elementary school), and would probably go even lower than that. If pressed, I could probably tell people what the age range would be more years older than years younger.

Anyway, I just confused a guy in IM about trying to explain that last sentence, so maybe it's time to stop.

Mideast Specter

George F. Will: “Saudi Arabia's regime may be changed by reverberations from action against Iraq, particularly if that action is seen to be the prelude to democratization.”

Another article arguing that a side-effect of regime change in Iraq will be regime change in Saudi Arabia, without stating whether this 'side-effect' is indeed an intended effect.

Ecological Footprint Calculator

ecological footprint calculator

“The calculation presented here is obviously a gross simplification and does not take into account many details that will add or subtract from your footprint. This calculation will perform poorly for people outside North America, since it is calibrated to the average North American lifestyle. Also, those North Americans who live an atypical lifestyle, for example by avoiding owning cars and new products, by growing their own food, by living on a boat, or by buying fewer material goods, may not be represented accurately by this calculation.”

This we learn in a popup window, not part of the introductory text. Lesson learned? Always Read the Small Print.