September 18, 2007

Condensed Cream of Watcher

Hatched by Dafydd

This will be, as the title suggests, a very brief version of the post we usually make, owing to the fact that we were AWOL from our normal bloggistic duties, frittering away our time (and time well wasted it was) on some tomfool cruise ship in the Alaskan waters, where, alas, we were unable to strike it rich in the gold fields and had to make do with $3,214 worth of pyrite, plus of course this excellent run-on sentence, which was a steal at a scant $3,215.

Since we neither nominated nor voted, we can only report on the posts that won -- which we haven't read yet but will in the next few minutes, as we write.

So there you have it, whatever the referrant of "it" is.


And the winner was...

I'm guessing this has something to do with the attacks on that day, but let me read it and find out...

Yep, as I thought... but I thought it a beautiful touch that Okie wove the tapistry of memory not only from the threads of 9/11 but also those of the hopeful, exuberant movie 2001: a Space Odyssey -- the best or second best movie Kubrick ever made and possibly the best science-fiction movie ever made as well.

(Other possible contenders for the title: Rollerball, the original version, screenplay by William Harrison from his short story "Rollerball Murder;" Dr. Strangelove; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, the other greatest Stanley Kubrick movie; Gattica -- does anyone detect a thematic pattern here?; and possibly Zardoz, though it's a debit that the film doesn't begin to reveal its multifaceted brilliance until the third or fourth viewing.)

Again, since we didn't vote (or even read the other entries), that's about all we can say about the matter. Oh, except that it appears the vote was exceptionally close this time; in fact, as close as possible without it begin a tie: The winner took 1 2/3 votes, after which no fewer than four other posts tied for second place with 1 1/3 votes... certainly the closest Watcher's Council vote I've ever seen. Take it and be off with you!


In this section, looking at the Watcher's list, it appears that the winner was --

This victory was not quite as tight as the Council vote, but still only 2/3 separating 1 and 2.

Briefly, Denis Keohane's thesis is that the Left has lost interest in Iraqi civilians because they are no longer merely props in the Left's eternal morality play about the wickedness of the Right. They have begun to act on their own -- and they have had the effrontery of allying with the United States:

It has also become obvious in place after place, beginning perhaps with Tal Afar and repeating in Al Anbar and Diyala Provinces, that when the insurgents are forcefully engaged, the local populace, the Iraqi military and the Coalition forces all appear to be something like one team with shared goals. More and more Iraqis themselves seem to be behaving as allies of the Coalition.

And that's the problem for the left, and why they no longer care about them. They only ‘seemed' to care for the Iraqis when they could be made out to be our victims. As our allies, they have betrayed the left and forfeited the left's concern. [Boldface added; italics in original.]

To see what you can see

Here lies the complete results of the vote.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 18, 2007, at the time of 7:21 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Big D

Kubrick was a genius.

Rollerball? How about Planet of the Apes, the origional version, loosely based on a novel by Pierre Boulle?

Glad to see there is at least one other Gattaca fan out there.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2007 8:55 AM

The following hissed in response by: k2aggie07

Dafydd, if I may,

I was tragically disappointed that you chose to go on vacation the very same week as one of the better posts I've ever written was submitted.

For my own edification, I would appreciate if you read my submission for last week, Apples and Oranges.

Thanks so much for your kind comments in the past, and keep up your most excellent work (ie no more vacations)!

The above hissed in response by: k2aggie07 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2007 3:19 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Yes, very nice post. But honestly, I think the real problem is that Americans work too much, rather than not enough.

We need to automate far more of our workflow, so that we can accomplish even more than we do, while working less and less. Ideally, the workday should be no more than a couple of hours, tops... of human interaction time. Let the computers pull their weight, for once!



The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2007 4:26 PM

The following hissed in response by: k2aggie07

It's an interesting point, and I think we have been automating more and more over the years. A good example of this is secretaries -- Microsoft Outlook and Blackberries have pretty much put them out of business.

But I think as long as we live under capitalism, under the premise that more work yields more money you won't see people working less. If anything, we'll work more and more as technology facilitates our daily tasks.

Draftsmen can literally create hundreds of sketches in the time it used to take for a handful, but they're still around, and still working full time.

Thanks for the read.

The above hissed in response by: k2aggie07 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2007 9:34 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


While it's true that more work can yield a small amount more money, you get the big bucks from inspiration, not perspiration.

We need to produce less work and more creative thinking.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2007 9:46 PM

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