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March 2009 Archives

March 3, 2009

Wanna buy a car? Please?

Here's a compilation of aerial pictures of unsold cars piling up around the world.

I'd imagine that a lot of similar pics could be made to illustrate robust commerce. But the telling ones for me are the cars parked around test tracks -- because that means development work has stopped, too. The sudden pileup of inventory plus extended layoffs plus no development activity equals a pretty grim picture....

Is the flexible touch screen here?

The folks at E-Ink -- who make the clear high-contrast screen for the Amazon Kindle -- appear to be prototyping the first flexible computer touch-screen. You know: the digital paper that's been hyped since forever.

This article from Technology Review gives a neat overview of portable flat-screen technology, and why it's so hard to combine both flex and touch. First applications will be, unsurprisingly, military. God only knows how much it'll cost.

Why musicians do what we do

I'd never heard of the guy, but Karl Paulnack is apparently director of the music division at the Boston Conservatory. This talk is his welcome address to parents of new students. Bulls-eye.

Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind... I expect it will come from the artists, because that’s what we do..."

March 5, 2009

GOP is Rushing toward disaster

Excellent analysis -- by the NYTimes Timothy Egan-- of the damage Rush Limbaugh is doing to the Republican Party. (Kudos, too, to the home page editors at the Times for putting a link to it at the top of the page for so long today.)

Polling has found Limbaugh, a self-described prescription-drug addict who sees America from a private jet, to be nearly as unpopular as Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who damned America in the way that Limbaugh has now damned the nation’s newly elected leader. But Republicans just can’t quit him. So even poor Michael Steele, the nominal head of the Republican Party who dared to criticize him, had to grovel and crawl back to the feet of Limbaugh.

Where Democrats have gotten smarter is in their ability to push the whacko fringe off-stage when they start getting too much attention. That's going to be a problem with Limbaugh, whose livelihood and lifeblood is tied into getting as big an audience is possible. Rev. Wright will be able to feed his family if he doesn't have a mass audience; not so Limbaugh. That will make Rush exceptionally difficult to shut up, even if he were willing to in the name of party unity. Which he isn't.

Which is a pity. What this country needs is principled dialog and problem-solving, not demagoguery. The more Limbaugh drives the Republican agenda and dialog, the less likely bipartisanship becomes, which weakens the nation at a time when it requires the best effort from all available smart people.

About March 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Over the Edge in March 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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