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©2001 Andy J. W. Affleck
Saturday, September 29, 2001
Crypto doesn't kill--people do An excellent primer on why back-door access to encryption is a stupid idea.(1:34 PM)

Friday, September 28, 2001
Boycott- Wal-Mart We have chosen Walmart as the target of our primary call for a boycott because of the company?s unfair labor practices around the world. Not only does this chain mistreat many employees that work for them, it also sells goods made by suppliers that grossly violate the rights of their workers around the world. Despite protests and a law suit they have refused to correct these problems.

I am linking to the site above in answer, in part, to the link below from the Economist. I do not necessarily agree with the editorial I cite below. They argue that no one is going to force people to buy Nike or eat at McDonald's. But I think Walmart is a perfect example. In addition to the items cited above and at the linked site, and many more (see this old, but still relevant article by Jon Katz) it is clear that this is a company that has some serious issues and is quite worthy of being boycott. Neither Ann nor I ever go to Wal-Mart and are happy to pay more rather than give any money to them. But look at how popular they are. No one is forcing anyone to shop there but most people do. Why? Because they are not aware of the issues or they do not care. And ignorance and apathy are a constant in the Universe. And it is one reason why many people see globalization as a threat rather than a benefit.

I'm actually on the fence leaning towards liking the idea of globalization. And my wife is keen to point out that people's ignorance and apathy is their own problem and their own fault but I'm still not sure.

Any thoughts? Drop me an email.(10:00 PM)

Is Globalisation Doomed? (The Economist) John Gray, a professor at the London School of Economics and a much-quoted thinker on these matters, spoke for many last week when he declared that the era of globalisation is over. "The entire view of the world that supported the markets' faith in globalisation has melted down...Led by the United States, the world's richest states have acted on the assumption that people everywhere want to live as they do. As a result, they failed to recognise the deadly mixture of emotions - cultural resentment, the sense of injustice and a genuine rejection of western modernity - that lies behind the attacks on New York and Washington...The ideal of a universal civilisation is a recipe for unending conflict, and it is time it was given up."(9:37 PM)

Journalism 3.0 Online, I saw another kind of reporting during those awful hours and days. Via e-mails, mailing lists, chat groups, personal Web journals and non-standard news sources, I received valuable context that the major American media couldn't, or wouldn't, provide. --Dan Gillmor(9:34 PM)

Are You Smarter Than Miss America? "Sure, I'm smart," you ask yourself on a daily, even hourly basis. "But am I as smart as a beauty pageant contestant?" Well, it's time to start showing some appreciation around here, because at long last you have the chance to pit your wits against five of the most poised and shaven women in America. I feel special. I got all 8 right. Though I guessed on one of them...(2:38 PM)

Thursday, September 27, 2001
Dreamsmith's Forge - Terrorism and Religion ... Interesting...(2:31 PM)

The Onion managed to do a tasteful, yet hysterical, send-up of the past two weeks.(2:26 PM)

Make it green Let students take a corner of the field and plant a crop there. Perhaps corn, our native grain. Let the harvest be shared all over the world, with friends and enemies, because that is the teaching of our religions, and we must show that we practice them. Let the harvest show that life prevails over death, and let the gifts show that we love our neighbors. --Roger Ebert(2:23 PM)

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 Compile Farm Features Latest Version Of Apple's Mac OS X Woo hoo!(1:27 PM)

LEGO Studios Screening Room. This is truly marvelous!(10:49 AM)

Boycott Microsoft! More info about this and a call to action. As a Mac user, I am boycotting the Microsoft Windows business unit but I am a customer of their Macintosh Business unit. While it's still the same company, it's two distinct groups within it. So, am I doing the right thing by still buying Office 10? I think so because I am supporting the part that doesn't do this practice and I am one more body not buying Windows products from them and thus hurting that bottom line.(9:31 AM)

What's Wrong With Product Activation This is very scary stuff. I very much hope the Mac version of Office 10 due out in early November doesn't do this.(9:29 AM)

Tuesday, September 25, 2001
Census Links(10:44 PM)

Threat of US strikes passed to Taliban weeks before NY attack(1:42 PM)

Only connect The day the twin towers disappeared, ex-spouses, former crushes and old lovers reappeared in many lives. As if a voice from on high granted an across-the-board reprieve, people began dialing telephones with scarcely a thought for the consequences. ( AM)

Monday, September 24, 2001
Suds in Space Bubbly, frothing and ticklish -- soft drinks and beer promise a welcome taste of home to faraway space travelers.
(9:48 AM)

Sunday, September 23, 2001
Weblog Access A small discussion has started on as a result of the article I wrote on Weblog Accessibility. I'm glad people are talking about these ideas. Adam Curry has an interesting idea (see discussion).(11:49 PM)

The New York Review of Books: Saving Us from Darwin

Intelligent design awkwardly embraces two clashing deities: one a glutton for praise and a dispenser of wrath, absolution, and grace, the other a curiously inept cobbler of species that need to be periodically revised and that keep getting snuffed out by the very conditions he provided for them. Why, we must wonder, would the shaper of the universe have frittered away thirteen billion years, turning out quadrillions of useless stars, before getting around to the one thing he really cared about, seeing to it that a minuscule minority of earthling vertebrates are washed clean of sin and guaranteed an eternal place in his company? And should the God of love and mercy be given credit for the anopheles mosquito, the schistosomiasis parasite, anthrax, smallpox, bubonic plague...? By purporting to detect the divine signature on every molecule while nevertheless conceding that natural selection does account for variations, the champions of intelligent design have made a conceptual mess that leaves the ancient dilemmas of theodicy harder than ever to resolve.
(11:26 PM)

Random observations from today

  • When your team is just playing out the schedule and is losing to a team even worse than yours by an embarassing score and star players have left the game and only rookies doing early spring training are in, rather than "PEANUTS!" and "CRACKERJACKS!" being shouted by the vendors you want to hear "PROZAC!" and "ZOLOFT!"
  • In front of the store Selletto on Newbury Street in Boston are these animals. They are made from that same stuff that is used in place of soil at plant stores and have leaves growing out of them. Are they chia? Are they topiary? Ann says they are faux-topiary, or fauxpiary.
  • I bought a book all about Gelato. God help me.
  • Once while walking down Newbury street with Mike we saw a lone woman standing on a corner shouting up to some unknown window above "Fernanda!" over and over. Mike and I observed that there's a little Fernanda in all of us.
  • At an outdoor cafe, gorgeous women walk by and one of the wait staff drops some plates onto the cement with a giant clatter as motorcycles rumble by and a duck tour boat ("Quack! Quack!") follows. The fauxpiary animals do not react. They do not care.
  • Even People magazine is doing a collectable issue about the tragedy. I'm just glad the cover story wasn't "Best and Worst Dressed of the World Trade Center Disaster" or "How the stars are styling their hair as war looms."
  • Ann is convinced Joan Rivers and her daughter will soon have a tv special about this.
(8:51 PM)

A Summer Project Completed. We finally manage to collect all six Red Sox pins celebrating the 100th birthday of the Sox.(8:43 PM)

Today is Sunday and we're going to a baseball game. We'll drop Jack off at a friend's house and then go and enjoy the simple pleasure of baseball. It is our last game of the season and the final commemorative pin of the six pins we've been collecting all season long. Today will also be our last hot dogs and cheap beer and, since we're moving away from here in a month, our last walk down Newbury Street and our last Emack & Bolio's ice cream. It will be a happy day even with all of the finality.(8:28 AM)

The Quiet Consolation of the Material World Sometime around the weekend after the tragedy we just stopped surfing, stopped watching TV, turned off the radio, and just tried to return to life. We drove out past the Arena Farmstand to their ice cream shop and got some fresh ice cream (the lines were incredibly long so we weren't the only ones thinking this!) and then we drove around the countryside for awhile. (8:27 AM)

The Sunday Times (London): Why Do They Hate America?

The USA saved Europe from the Nazis, defeated communism and keeps the West rich. Bryan Appleyard analyses why it has become the land of the loathed
(8:05 AM)

The Search for Intelligent Life on the Internet

Still, the incessant blending of fact and fantasy on the Web looks a lot like a venerable response to tragedy in a slightly new form, according to people who have studied the origin of rumors and urban legends. The need to arrive at a common understanding of a disaster and to forge a united front to deal with it often leads to an outpouring of theories that may or may not be true.
(7:59 AM)

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