Sunday, November 12, 2006

Doesn't Taste Like Chicken

Early results are in from the front lines of the robot revolution...

Humans taste like bacon.

The Body Beautiful

"I just don't understand why anyone would want to get a tattoo."

So said the woman next to me in the bar.

"How about art? Self-expression?" I suggested. (Full disclosure: I have a couple tattoos).

"Pish. That's not art. Art isn't permanently disfiguring yourself," she said, seeming surprised that I wasn't in immediate agreement with her.

I examined her more closely. "Do you have your ears pierced?"

"Yes, but that's different."

"I couldn't help but notice you have really pretty teeth." She grinned. "Thanks."

"Any orthodontia? Or whitening maybe?"

"Yes, but that's the same thing - its just enhancing what's already there."

I glanced down. "Any other enhancements?" (Ok, perhaps I leered instead of glanced, I am a old perv...but I think the fact that she was wearing a tight top cut down to her navel and proudly displaying her obviously augmented DDs opens up the topic a bit, don't you?)

She lifted her chest, gave a sly look and said "Maaaybe...why, what are you suggesting?"

A few suggestions came to mind, but I stuck with the main topic. "I guess my point is that I think it's funny that I know so many people that don't like tattoos - most over the age of 40 - and yet these same friends have no trouble justifying a gazillion dollars of plastic surgery, which I think is just as permanent. Maybe more so."

She pointed her augmentations elsewhere, and with a slight frown said. "You think I look over 40?"

"No, of course not. Not even close." (This is one of those questions - like "Do these pants make my butt look big?" - that you never, ever, ever answer honestly.) "But do you see my point? Tattoos are just another kind of body enhancement, another kind of self expression."

"Whatever." She shrugged, clearly starting to get bored with the conversation. I started to notice some other telltale signs of plastic surgery - botox in the forehead, the shiny skin of photofacials, the slightly upturned eyes that come with a face lift.

"Yeah...I guess I agree with you," I said at last. "It's just crazy what some people will do to their bodies."

"I know, right?" she brightened up. "So...what do you like to do to your body..."

I love sitting at bars...

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Friday, November 10, 2006

The Wisdom of the Market Majority

Although disappointed by minority tyranny, I have to say that the recent elections again bolstered my faith in one of the tenets of democracy, the one that says that a bunch of average citizens can moderate extreme swings in government behavior.

Everybody and their mother has an opinion about the recent national elections. Here's mine.

People didn't really appear to vote for the democrats. The majority voted against (insert here Republicans, Iraq War, Incumbent Corruption). Most exit polls gave these as the primary vote drivers - not "I want the X plan that the democrats are offering".

The good news here? Even when there is nothing (and no one) you really want to vote for, you can still make your vote count. You can vote against government behavior you disagree with. Although the two parties are driven by their extreme wings, the country still appears to have a large "middle" willing to push and pull to keep that pendulum from swinging too far for too long.

(Interesting side blurb. The wisdom of the markets was put to use in the recent election, and predicted a Democrat controlled House and a close decision on the Senate - as much as a month ago. What's interesting is that according to the "historical market prices", events between 9/14 and 10/2 created a huge swing in momentum away from Republican support. I'll have to go back to the headlines of that period and see what the actual big drivers were.)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Tyranny of the Minority

I'm struck by how absurd some aspects of representative democracy can be.

Texas just "elected" a governor whom 61% of voters chose not to vote for.

That's right. With 39% of the electorate, Gov. Rick Perry (incumbent) was elected for yet another term.

How can it be called representative democracy, when the winner represents a minority of the voters?

Asked by the Houston Chronicle if it concerned him that he'll be a minority governor, Perry snapped, "I don't think that matters one twit [sic]. We'll still have 100% of the authority."

Humble. Intelligent. A real bridge builder.

I'd say it's time to move, except for the fact that I love living in Austin. I suppose my best hope is for the Delay Factor (or Foley Factor)...arrogance eventually begets gross abuse of power that finally gets noticed.