Thursday, July 05, 2007

From Around the Web

  • Happy 100th birthday, Robert Heinlein. Excerpt: When one looks to the writings of an SF writer like H.G. Wells to see concepts of what constitutes the best society, one reads polemics against authoritarianism and stories championing the working class. One also reads narratives critical of bourgeois morality and against democracy as we understand it. His non-fiction book, a presentation actually, After Democracy being a prime example of this part of his thought. Wells was a complex thinker, of the Left to be sure, who wrote insightful critiques of the future. When one looks to Heinlein however, it is almost a mirror reflection of Wells. Almost. We still find polemics against authoritarianism, the Bugs in Starship Troopers comes directly to mind, but you also often find examples praising of other authoritative regimes, the Earth of Starship Troopers comes to mind. There are other examples, and to be fair the Earth society in Starship Troopers can be interpreted as a democratic society of a kind, but since Starship Troopers is one of Heinlein's most controversial stories it bears mentioning.
  • I totally remember the Ready Ranger pack from when I was in about fourth grade. I never had one, but that's OK, because I think you can do it all on the iPhone now.
  • Topics from the Unclutterer. Example: Hate matching up sock pairs while folding laundry? One way to save you time is to have all socks of the exact same color and style. Every six months, throw away all of your white sports socks and replace them with six pair of new, identical white sports socks. Be sure to alternate the style slightly between purges so if an old sock accidentally doesn’t get purged, you can identify it when it tries to sneak back in to your drawer. All of your socks will have the same amount of wear, they all will match, and they will save you time during folding. I'll have to think that one through. I have certain sock-matching procedures I go through that seem to work OK, plus I have my socks with Fred Flinstone on them that I save for special occasions.

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