Archive | May 1, 2011

Bin Laden Dead?

Initial reports say that bin Laden has been killed by a u.s. air strike.

I’d be interested to know what the rationale was for killing him rather than capturing him for trial, given that his death doesn’t make much sense as a war aim (i.e., it’s not going to have much appreciable effect on al-Qaeda’s effectiveness, given that terrorism is driven by political situations, not by individual evil masterminds). I’d also like to know who else was killed in the strike, and in particular how many noncombatants.

No tears for bin Laden here, but I predict we’ll be in for a ghoulish firestorm of vindictive celebration for the next few days. I wonder how many self-professed Christians will recall the injunction to “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”

Niall’s Saga

Turns out if Niall Ferguson had the Ring, he’d use it to abolish all Rings. (CHT Gary.)

I don’t think you can get rid of top-down hierarchical systems via a top-down hierarchical method. That’s why counter-economics makes better sense in terms of political strategy. Still, coming from the laudator imperii it’s a move in the right direction. (Though the notion that rulership was indispensable prior to recent developments in information technology is rather difficult to defend in the light of actual history.)

Silent Runs the Doc, Part 2

Okay, this isn’t exactly a Doctor Who spoiler, since technically it’s about last season. But if, after watching episodes 1 and 2 of this season, you go back to last season and watch for evidence of, um, potential Silence-related phenomena, it turns out to be possible to compile quite a list, and those scenes now make much creepier viewing. I’m not convinced by every item on the list, but I am by most of them – and listen in particular to the sound you hear right after the one for “The Beast Below.”

Silent Runs the Doc

“I can fix that. It’s easy, really.”

Silence in the doorway

Tonight’s part 2 of the Doctor Who premiere was terrific – though to avoid spoilage for those who haven’t seen it yet, I’ll refrain from further comment for now.

For those who have seen episode 2, here’s a prequel for episode 3:

Pirates! Makes one wish for Captain Jack H. to meet Captain Jack S. …

Heading into more spoileriffic territory: if the casting info in this chart is correct, we know which characters will be recurring this season, and in what episodes.

I’ll relegate the chief revelations to the comments section. If you’re spoiler-averse, stay away.


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