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Current Topic: Society

We are all nerds now
Topic: Society 9:42 am EST, Dec 16, 2003

] When the final part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy
] opens next week, it will ratchet the franchise's
] box-office receipts up to several billion dollars - and
] mark the final triumph of all things geeky over what we
] used to think of as cool. Xan Brooks investigates how it
] happened

We are all nerds now

Shortest/Best Personality Test
Topic: Society 5:02 pm EST, Nov 24, 2003

A very short (4 question) temperment [FYI: personality=current patterns of behavior, is subject to learning. temperment=innate trends in patterns of behavior set at birth, generally people are more comfortable when they act in accordance with their temperment] test based on Myers-Briggs/Keirsey temperment tests.

Definitely nothing new here, but it's only 4 questions, uses the same basis as the rest of them, and provides nifty links for more information at the end.

I am an ISFP. I am in-touch with my inner-artist (interesting, considering I am a scientist) - Nano

Shortest/Best Personality Test

the supernicety: veteran's day
Topic: Society 2:12 pm EST, Nov 11, 2003

] so today is veteran's day. a day that in the past has had
] little to no meaning for me (selfish twentysomething),
] despite the fact that both of my grandfathers were highly
] decorated servicemen. on a normal year, this is a day
] where i would drive up to a bank, post office, etc, and
] bitch and complain about this *unknown* federal holiday
] and wonder what was going on. today is a little
] different, however. more than likely due to hightened
] political involvement on my part due to howard dean's
] candidacy, this war (and it is still war, no matter what
] the president tells us) we have found ourselved in is
] beginning to shape and change our generation. i have a
] good friend, with whom I graduated at emory law, who is
] about to enter the army jag corp at the end of the year.
] never did i think that instead of practicing law, he will
] more than likely be handling a machine gun. but it took a
] posting on daily kos today, linking to an op-ed at the
] new york times, to really make me think about the
] significance of today. The article, found here, consists
] of a few short exerpts of final letters home from
] soldiers who have since been killed in the line of duty,
] in President Bush's war. please go and read those
] letters. and remember that people are getting killed--
] families destroyed. while these soldiers are pawns in
] Bush's plan (or lack thereof), we, as his challengers,
] should not simply hold up the statistics day in and day
] out as proof that we are right. we should remind everyone
] of the human cost of this terrible strategy, one that
] even Bush's father condemned.
] "And just a reminder-- Bush hasn't attended a single
] funeral. He doesn't have the balls to stand up to these
] grieving families and tell them his war was worth the
] sacrifice these families are paying." -- DailyKOS,
] November 11, 2003, writer is a veteran.

Go to for the links. Sorry, i didnt feel like reformatting it again.

the supernicety: veteran's day

The Daily Princetonian - Threat of lawsuit passes for student
Topic: Society 6:10 pm EDT, Oct 10, 2003

SunnComm drops its lawsuit.. That was quick.

] Jacobs said in an interview late last night that a
] successful lawsuit would do little to reverse the damage
] done by the paper Halderman published Monday about his
] research, and any suit would likely hurt the research
] community by making computer scientists think twice about
] researching copy-protection technology.
] "I don't want to be the guy that creates any kind of
] chilling effect on research," Jacobs said.

] I just thought about it and decided it was more important
] not to be one of those people. The harm's been done . . . if I
] can't accomplish anything [with a lawsuit] I don't want to
] leave a wake," he said.

The Daily Princetonian - Threat of lawsuit passes for student

Trust: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order
Topic: Society 2:56 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2003

Fukuyama examines the impact of culture on economic life, society, and success in the new global economy. He argues that the most pervasive cultural characteristic influencing a nation's prosperity and ability to compete is the level of trust or cooperative behavior based upon shared norms.

In comparison with low-trust societies (China, France, Italy, Korea), which need to negotiate and often litigate rules and regulations, high-trust societies like those in Germany and Japan are able to develop innovative organizations and hold down the cost of doing business.

Fukuyama argues that the United States, like Japan and Germany, has been a high-trust society historically but that this status has eroded in recent years. This well-researched book provides a fresh, new perspective on how economic prosperity is grounded in social life.

Trust: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order

[IP] yet another misuse of dmca? Black Box Voting files confiscated
Topic: Society 1:57 pm EDT, Sep 27, 2003

] Not only was pulled down, but ALL of
] the documents, databases and programming for approximately
] 500 pages of material, most of which did not relate to Diebold at
] all, was confiscated. Dozens of web pages were pulled down which
] had nothing whatever to do with the disputed information. AIT Inc.
] has indicated that it believes it has the right to pull down the entire
] web site including unrelated pages. AIT Inc. is now prohibiting Bev
] Harris or Black Box Voting from accessing any of her own files, even
] for the purpose of removing them.

If these allegations are correct, there could be another interesting DMCA court case in here...

[IP] yet another misuse of dmca? Black Box Voting files confiscated

Falling down
Topic: Society 12:59 pm EDT, Sep 26, 2003

] Several months ago, my husband and I received two rebate
] checks simply for having children, all part of the Jobs
] and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, an
] economy-stimulating incentive. Congress approved this
] quickie tax cut so we'd all go out and buy Pottery Barn
] lamps and Gap boot-cut trousers and then presumably the
] economy, and we, would be saved. Instead, I cashed the
] checks, paid off some bills, and then tucked my dignity
] under my arm and went to file for food stamps.

We've all ready plenty of stories about how the economy sucks, but this article strikes a chord because the author has such a great command of imagery. I suggest you read it simply because of the clear picture that she is able to paint.

[Its stories like this that make me so thankful every day that I have a paying "job" (graduate school). I have seen this economy affect eveyone around me, and I hope that something changes in the next few years for the better. There are too many intelligent minds going to waste - Nano]

Falling down

E-voting given go-ahead despite flaws
Topic: Society 10:41 pm EDT, Sep 25, 2003

Faulty software underpinning a touch-screen voting system used in past US elections has been revamped substantially and will be used by Maryland voters in the next US elections, says a report published by the Governor's Office of Maryland on Wednesday.

But the lead researcher on the original study showing that serious bugs in the software might allow one person to cast many votes, was sceptical.

Avi Rubin at Johns Hopkins University, maintains that by continuing to use the software - the Diebold AccuVote Touch Screen Voting System - American democracy remains jeopardized.

E-voting given go-ahead despite flaws

Patriot Act, Part II - Fucking Insane
Topic: Society 5:47 pm EDT, Sep 24, 2003

] Patriot Act II would give the government broad powers to
] seize documents and force testimony without a court
] order, expand use of the death penalty and make it harder
] to be released on bail. None of these tools are necessary
] to fight terrorism, and each threatens to infringe on the
] civil liberties of Americans.
] The most troubling part of the new plan is the call for
] expanding government access to private data, allowing
] federal agents to issue subpoenas for private medical,
] financial and other records, without a court order. The
] lack of judicial oversight removes an important check on
] government misconduct. Record holders would be required
] to comply, or face prison, and would be barred from
] telling anyone about the subpoena.

Patriot Act, Part II - Fucking Insane

Daily Kos: Diebold feels the heat. Sends out attack lawyers
Topic: Society 5:46 pm EDT, Sep 24, 2003

] Blackbox is Bev Harris' site exposing the
] security vulnerabilities of the Diebold voting machines.
] As of 8:46 p.m. PST, the site has been pulled, with the
] following message:

Alright. So the obvious question. Did anyone happen to get a mirro beforehand. I'd gladly do my part to make sure any appropriate info was still being made public.

[ always has a cache - Nano]

Daily Kos: Diebold feels the heat. Sends out attack lawyers

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