Monthly Archives: November 2012

DIY. Or Don’t. Either Way You’re Wrong

I once had a coworker who bought into the whole green locavore zero-impact reduce-reuse-recycle mentality. Don’t use the city sewer if you can recycle your gray water in a koi point. That kind of thing.

You might wonder if people should put up solar or wind generators. Apparently not. It’s a bad thing when people make their own electricity according to Nicholas Kristoff:

Half-a-century of tax cuts focused on the wealthiest Americans leave us with third-rate public services, leading the wealthy to develop inefficient private workarounds.

In the case of electricity, we’re all in this together. But in the case of the sewer or garbage or whatever, then why worry about economies of scale and everyone pitching in together? Whatever. These people are as incoherent as they are misguided.

Kudus: Instapundit, whose article is a sort of round-up of reaction around the web.


I quit using Linux (except as a file server) almost 10 years ago, so I completely missed the Desktop wars. Apparently KDE and Gnome won, with Gnome winning the part of the Linuxphere known as Ubuntu. Which leads to all kinds of out of date help pages telling you how you used to administer a Ubuntu system (“From System Administration choose Disk Utilities”). Along with a fair few pages complaining how Gnome 2 was better, or Gnome 3 was bad but 3.6 fixed most of the problems, or whatever.

As may be. I’m a crusty old bearded Unix user, from the era of Window Managers rather than Desktop Environments. (Well, CDE begat KDE, so I guess there were Desktop Environments even back in those days, but I never worried about them.) For me, it was a big deal (with no small amount of editing config files) to move from FVWM to WindowMaker.

So what do I do? I don’t know. But I’m thinking about Xubuntu and XFCE. How’s that for rebellion? You say you want a revolution!

How to Survive Thanksgiving at Your Liberal Relatives’

How to survive Thanksgiving at your liberal relatives’ house:

“Why don’t you come to our place next year. Seeing as how your taxes are going up in a few weeks, it’s only fair.”

“Sorry I parked you in. Oh, darn, I drove the Chevy Volt today. You wouldn’t have an extension cord, would you?”

Smirk. Love the picture of Sarah Palin speaking in front of the turkey processing plant.

Help! I’m bein’ REPRESSED!

Most of the faculty and staff at Princeton University who donated to a presidential candidate donated to Bronco Bama. By “most” I mean “all but two.” I know, ho-hum, so what? It is, after all, the school that employs Peter Singer as an ethicist. But the interesting thing is who those GOP big shots were. One was an engineer, or, rather, a visiting lecturer at the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education. Probably has a day job foreclosing loans on Wall Street. What about the other plutocrat-for-Romney?

The only other donation to the Romney campaign from a University employee was contributed by Mark Oresic, a custodian in the 1903 Hall.

Too bad. Except for his politics, Mr. Oresic probably could have expected a lot of lunch invitations to the faculty lounge.

Walter Olson via Ilya Shapiro.