Archive | November 23, 2008

Core Curriculum

As Firefly/Serenity fans will recall, sometimes it sounded as though the show was all taking place within a single solar system, while at other times there was loose talk about “the galaxy.” Yet the number of colonised planets always seemed too high for a merely solar-system-spanning Alliance – and of course absurdly too low for a galaxy-spanning Alliance.

the 'verse Well, we now have an official map of the Firefly/Serenity ’verse (conical hat tip to AICN) that answers the puzzle once and for all. (Be sure to click on all three pics, as well as reading the text toward the bottom of the page.) It looks like there are five inhabited systems in the ’verse – and the “Core” is neither the center of the solar system nor the galactic core, but a “core” system around which the other four systems orbit. (Is that scientifically possible? Don’t ask me, I’m not Mister Science Guy.)

Yo Ho Ho

pirate flag Now that actual pirates are once again making the news, can we please stop using the term “piracy” for the peaceful dissemination of information? Thanks awfully.

Plato Was Right

The readers of Empire magazine have chosen the ten best movies of all time. Here they are:

1. The Godfather
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. The Empire Strikes Back
4. The Shawshank Redemption
5. Jaws
scene from a movie that didn't make it onto the list 6. Goodfellas
7. Apocalypse Now
8. Singin’ in the Rain
9. Pulp Fiction
10. Fight Club

Now I will grant that all the movies on the list are good movies. But the top ten of all time?? Clearly this list was compiled by people who only watch American movies, indeed big-budget American blockbuster movies, and (with one exception) only post-1970 movies. (And even subject to those constraints the choices are not exactly unproblematic.) In other words, they sat down in a five-star restaurant, ate the free rolls, and then left to write their review of the restaurant.

I also remember that back in 2000, hosted a poll on the top ten books of the past millennium, and one popular contender was the first Harry Potter novel.

Rothbard famously wrote:

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a “dismal science.” But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.

The moral generalizes.

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