A cold crisp dark silent night, perfect for reflections...
As I was sitting around tonight, drinking a nice glass of merlot, I reflected on the fact that it has now been two years since I've consumed any French wine. In April 2003 I noted "Drinking French wine is like wearing real fur - politically unacceptable", and I still feel that way. I'm not alone, either; back in June (when he was still blogging) Steven Den Beste reported: "Agence France-Press reports that French wine sales in the US are significantly down." I don't think the red states are red because they're drinking Burgundy :) I'm hoping for regime change in France; I have no quarrel with the French themselves, just with their leadership, who are grappling with the reality of four more years.
Of course as you know Chirac is presently taking care of Yasser Arafat, who apparently lies at death's door. This speaks for itself; you didn't see Arafat flown to the Mayo Clinic, did you...
John Perry Barlow: Magnanimous Defeat. Among all the liberal hand-wringing about the election results, this excellent and constructive article stands out. Read it now, especially if you're a Bush supporter. There is clear coherent thought on "the other side". [ via Joi Ito, who was less magnanimous himself ]
This is awesome: A Physics of Ideas, by Nova Spivack, subtitled "measuring the physical properties of memes". Excellent. [ via Marc Cantor ] The kernel is that ideas, or memes, can be treated as units of information passing through the world, with size and velocity. This contains some interesting thoughts about how each of us is bombarded with memes, how we filter and prioritize them, and how we pass them on. For example by posting to our blogs :)
I find that I'm too much a conduit for existing memes, not enough an originator of new memes. I spend too much time processing information, too little digesting it and adding to it. And far too little time creating new information. I need a self-imposed moratorium on new input.
So, Proposition 71 passed in California, and a new $3B institute for stem cell research will be established. Whether this will be a boon to medical research or a boondoggle for the fiscally-challenged state remains to be seen. Naturally a phalanx of researchers are writing grant applications in realtime to get a piece of the pie. This could be, as Wired Magazine notes, The Stem Cell Gold Rush.
It could be good for Aperio, too; Pathology is central to cancer research, and Aperio's mission is Automating Pathology. I bet there are a million other little biotech companies like Aperio, each thinking "how can we get involved, how can we contribute, how can we profit from this..." Maybe the whole idea wasn't stupid, if it stimulates private enterprise. Time will tell.
Kate Yandoh had a great experience consuming from CD Baby. "Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing." Does this stuff matter? Yes.
New Year's Resolution update: 204.5 = no progress. Sigh.