I went to the Darwin exhibit with the parents at the Natural History Museum in NY earlier today. I was struck by a panel in the last part of the exhibit, the inevitable "What about Intelligent Design" question. They had a quote from Pope John Paul, that I think is the rational middle-ground. He said he accepts the theory of evolution (obviously, its validation is all around us everywhere we look, on our faces, in our bones, in the drugs we use to cure disease), but that doesn't invalidate god, even the Christian god. He says Darwinian theory accounts for the physical world, but to understand man's soul we must look to god. Right on. I think the Pope got it right. To me, god is the box where I put the answer to mysteries I don't understand. That helps me get into harmony with most of the rest of the human race who don't pretend to understand everything in existence.
Where I part from the established faiths is that I don't claim to know if there actually is a being that is responsible for all that I don't understand, but I'm pretty sure that isn't a very big difference. Whatever gets you through the night -- that's my philosophy. If it helps you sleep to believe that there are answers to these questions, more power to you. Just don't legislate your beliefs, don't force them on others (ie don't force them on me!), don't make us wrong for believing differently from you, and I'm happy.
Scoble wants to use Bloglines and Newsgator with the OPML Editor, and in doing so baits the flamers who never seem to tire of railing at and about OPML. Oh if only they'd get busy inventing something new. It's not news that all formats that are deployed have things you can criticize them for. In that sense it's a lot like software. The only perfect formats are the ones in your imagination. And I wish Scoble would stop inciting the flamers. There are non-inflamatory ways of asking the questions he asks. I've discussed this with him many times, and have concluded that he wants to be embroiled, and that makes him as bad as the flamers (even though he's more fun to hang out with, by a wide margin). At this point I imagine that even some of the flamers are getting tired of this little back and forth. I hope so! Go see the Darwin exhibit for an idea of the challenges in front of us. It'll make the flaws and the flames in and about a humble little format seem more acceptable, I think. Perhaps. I hope.
Interesting item on Boing Boing about the Grateful Dead and online music, with comments via Memeorandum from Radio Free Blogistan and Library Stuff. Lots of spin on the story, not sure what the truth is. I've asked a friend who's a Deadhead to look into it.
John Roberts (of CNET) doesn't want all his feeds to be full text. Me, I prefer if they are, but I'm not a hard-ass about it. If they have good summaries, that's okay too. What I really dislike are the feeds that contain the first 128 characters of each post and then make you click a link to read the full post.
Mark Cuban explains why iPods don't come pre-loaded with lots of music. I had a similar question about the video iPod, which comes with absolutely no video on it, not even a Pixar animation, or even a classic commercial from the past. You'd think that sponsors would be willing to pay money to be one of the first things a user sees when they boot up their new video iPod. The subject came up in my lunch with Nick Denton and David Galbraith at the 2nd Ave Deli, yesterday. Nick says it's also about licensing. Every time a commercial is played, a royalty is due the musicians and actors. I still don't understand, but it sounds right anyway. :-(
Rex Hammock saw Walk the Line, a movie about Nashville (where he lives) and liked it. I saw it too, and felt the same way. Pretty good movie. Who would have thought Johnny Cash could be the subject of such a compelling story.
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