Neal Stephenson has an interesting op-ed on Star Wars and the cultural signifigance of geeks in NYTimes.
_The American Conservative_ has a terrific article by former Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully. Scully argues that conservatives should be opposed to factory farming and animal cruelty in general. While there is much in this article that I don’t agree with, it provides an excellent framework for arguing about animal rights with conservatives on their terms. Here are some choice quotes:
If one is using the word â€œobligationâ€ seriously, moreover, then there is no practical difference between an obligation on our end not to mistreat animals and an entitlement on their end not to be mistreated by us. Either way, we are required to do and not do the same things. And either way, somewhere down the logical line, the entitlement would have to arise from a recognition of the inherent dignity of a living creature. The moral standing of our fellow creatures may be humble, but it is absolute and not something within our power to confer or withhold. All creatures sing their Creatorâ€™s praises, as this truth is variously expressed in the Bible, and are dear to Him for their own sakes.
Having conceded the crucial point that some animals rate our moral concern and legal protection, informed conscience turns naturally to other animalsâ€”creatures entirely comparable in their awareness, feeling, and capacity for suffering. A dog is not the moral equal of a human being, but a dog is definitely the moral equal of a pig, and itâ€™s only human caprice and economic convenience that say otherwise. We have the problem that these essentially similar creatures are treated in dramatically different ways, unjustified even by the very different purposes we have assigned to them. Our pets are accorded certain protections from cruelty, while the nameless creatures in our factory farms are hardly treated like animals at all. The challenge is one of consistency, of treating moral equals equally, and living according to fair and rational standards of conduct.
Scully also comes up with my favorite one-line response to my least favorite comment about vegetarianism:
When people say that they like their pork chops, veal, or _foie gras_ just too much ever to give them up, reason hears in that the voice of gluttony, willfulness, or at best moral complaisance. **What makes a human being human is precisely the ability to understand that the suffering of an animal is more important than the taste of a treat.**
Crunk Kingpins (Explicit):
Coming out of the Dirty South, the “Crunk Revolution” changed the game and dominated charts in the new millennium.
1. Still Tippin’ – Mike Jones feat. Slim Thug and Paul Wall
2. Some Cut – Trillville
3. Get Back – Ludacris
4. Salt Shaker – Ying Yang Twins (featuring Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz)
5. Girlfight – Brooke Valentine (featuring Big Boi/Lil Jon)
6. GAME OVER (FLIP) – Lil’ Flip
7. Freek-A-Leek – Petey Pablo
8. Sugar (Gimme Some) – Trick Daddy feat. Ludacris, Lil Kim, and Cee-Lo
9. U Don’t Know Me – T.I.
10. Stand Up – (featuring Shawnna) – Ludacris
11. Goodies – Ciara
12. Back Then – Mike Jones
13. Let’s Go (Amended) – Trick Daddy
14. Slow Motion – Juvenile (featuring Soulja Slim)
15. Get Low (Feat. Ying Yang Twins) – Lil’ Jon & The East Side Boyz
16. Bring It Back – Lil Wayne
17. 24’s – T.I.
18. Get Crunk – Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz
19. Neck Of The Woods – Baby (featuring Lil’ Wayne)
20. Never Scared – Bone Crusher (featuring Killer Mike/T.I.)
21. Damn! – (featuring Lil John) – Youngbloodz
22. Heart of Tha Streetz – B.G.
23. One, Two Step – Ciara
24. Chickenhead – Project Pat
25. How We Ride – Mannie Fresh
1. Ain’t Life Grand – Widespread Panic
2. Gravedigger – Dave Matthews Band
3. Alive Again – Trey Anastasio
4. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson
5. She Talks To Angels – The Black Crowes
6. The Lucky One – Alison Krauss
7. Golden Age Of Radio – Josh Ritter
8. Paper Thin Walls – Modest Mouse
9. John The Revelator – Gov’t Mule
10. Scratch & Sniff – Bela Fleck
11. Quit Hollerin’ At Me – John Prine
12. Carolina – M. Ward
13. The Bear – My Morning Jacket
14. Star Star – The Frames
15. Mental Breakdown – Yonder Mountain String Band
16. Ya Viene El Sol – (live) – Ozomatli
17. Bongo Joe – Galactic
18. Becky – The Benevento Russo Duo
19. Freedom – Jurassic 5
20. Reggae Got Soul – Toots & The Maytals
Edd Dumbill points to a [great article](http://recycledknowledge.blogspot.com/2005/06/flow-stuckness-and-interruptions.html) on programmer productivity. These are issues that any manager of programmers should familiarize themselves with if they really want to understand how programmers work. Experiencing Stuckness first-hand changed the way I think about multitasking and priorities. I used to think that switching back and forth between tasks was pointless because it would just mean that *all* tasks, except for the lowest priority one, would be done later than if I worked on them serially. For this reason I always wanted my managers to assign absolute priorities to the tasks they wanted me to do, so I would know what order in which to work on them. Then I realized that I was wasting lots of time banging my head against tasks on which I was stuck. These days I set a time limit, if I’ve been struggling with a problem for more than half an hour with no progress I switch to something else and come back to it later with a fresh perspective and, hopefully, new insight. So now I prefer it when managers give me multiple tasks with vague priorities, there’s nothing more frustrating than *having* to work on a stuck problem.
The album of the week is Teenage Fanclub’s *Man-Made*.
Wow, Nat’s right, superheroes are the world’s biggest source of [*Stop Energy*](http://www.userland.com/whatIsStopEnergy)
Don Marti brilliantly explains in LinuxJournal why making and using DRM software is bad business.
Kelly Osbourne Selects:
Though she was a wee lass in the ’80s, Ozzy’s little girl proves to have a fondness for the sounds of that era.
1. Autobahn – Kraftwerk
2. Super Freak – Rick James
3. Suicide Solution – Ozzy Osbourne
4. Mary – Scissor Sisters
5. Planet Earth – Duran Duran
6. The Metro – Berlin
7. Pretty In Pink – The Psychedelic Furs
8. Holiday – Green Day
9. Banquet – Bloc Party
10. I Should Be So Lucky – Kylie Minogue
11. Connection – Elastica
12. The Sign – Ace Of Base
13. Never Ending Story – Kajagoogoo And Limahl
14. One Word (Album Version) – Kelly Osbourne
15. Strangelove – Depeche Mode
16. Tainted Love – Soft Cell
17. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
18. Girls & Boys – Blur
19. Rapture – Blondie
20. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) – Dead Or Alive
21. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club
22. Walking In L.A. – Missing Persons
23. Apart – Elkland
24. Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz
25. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
26. Photograph – Def Leppard
27. I Touch Myself – Divinyls
28. Walking On Broken Glass – Annie Lennox
29. Deceptacon – Le Tigre
30. Mega Colon – Fischerspooner
31. Tiny Dancer – Elton John
32. Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler
33. Satellite Of Love – Lou Reed
34. What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes
35. The Sound Of The Crowd – Human League
Steve Garfield has a video interview with Holmes Wilson of [Downhill Battle](http://www.downhillbattle.org/) and [Participatory Culture Foundation](http://www.participatoryculture.org/). They talk about Broadcast Machine and DTV, which make up PCF’s Internet TV system.