Archive for May 20th, 2008

I still prefer Obama over McCain, but some of his views are depressing.

For those interested, my position on anti-trust laws is here. This issue, however, is more worrying than the old-fashioned Microsoft harassment that was the motivator for my old post. The media, for all its faults, is a vital expression of free expression and any attempt to regulate it will be an enourmous step in the wrong direction.

Update: I think this comment by one reader that appeared below the linked Reason article is worth reproducing in full:

Dear Senator Obama

Let me tell you about something called the Internet.

It is a medium where every sort of opinion – from far left to far right and way beyond either – gets aired. And thrashed.

It is a wide open, no holds barred, forum where anyone can speak his piece and find those who agree with him. Those who don’t agree are equally free to rebut, make counter-assertions, abuse or insult the first one. They, in turn, are subject to the same give-and-take. (Try googling “flame war”.)

The internet is almost unregulated (aside from a few asinine attempts by your fellow senators and their counterparts in other countries), yet still manages to achieve this remarkable fairness.

I humbly suggest that this example should persuade you that fairness will be best achieved if the regulation of media is decreased, not increased.

Yours truly,

Your neighbor, Aresen.

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I am in New York City for the week for a math conference. Blogging will be light. Coffee intake on the other hand, is likely to be heavy.

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What is it about coffee shops that make them so awesome?

Anyway, what I want to say is, if you ever happen to visit Greenwich village in southern Manhattan and feel like going to a coffee shop, try out Think Coffee. And I am not saying that because I am anti-Starbucks or anti-corporation — I am not — or in support of their fair-trade/pro-organic position; but simply because they make the best Spanish latte ever, have free wireless, make good sandwiches, contain a fine book library, play eclectic music and provide an ambience that is hipper than any coffee-shop I have visited in the last year. And oh yeah, they also serve alcohol!

On the other hand, it is the perfect example of something SWPL might make fun of. It is expensive, upper-class, sophisticated, a tad pretentious and full of Mac users. Yes, sometimes I like to have my cake and eat it too :)

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We look before and after,
   And pine for what is not;
 Our sincerest laughter
   With some pain is fraught;
 Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought

Percy Bysshe Shelley.


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