One of Jon Stewart’s best short summaries @TheDailyShow

“These safety nets didn’t arise out of a power grab by progressives; they arose out of a need that was not being met by free-market capitalism.”

Jim DeMint Extended Interview Pt. 2

Josh Lerner on Venture Capitalism and Technology, MIT Tech Review

…But claims that venture capital is a driver of true innovation, or even of positive financial returns to investors, face some hard questions. With the industry facing a hangover from its recent flurry of social-media investing and the disappointing stock market performance of firms such as Groupon, Zynga, and Facebook, the skeptics have rarely been  as loud as they are today.

I believe several essential constraints limit venture capitalists’ ability to promote true innovation. The first is that venture investors have financed a progressively narrower range of technologies. Recently, a few hot areas—most notably Web and social media—have dominated an increasingly large share of the venture landscape. While another smartphone app to identify the drinking establishment where your buddies are currently carousing may benefit fraternity and sorority members, it is hard to feel that such ventures address fundamental challenges facing mankind today.

Investor Peter Thiel has aptly expressed the core anxiety: “We wanted flying cars. Instead we got 140 characters.”

— Josh Lerner, “The Narrowing Ambitions of Venture Capitalism”, MIT Technology Review, Nov/Dec 2012

Jesus + Wife = News

This has gotten completely out of control: I would imagine that Karen King is not at all happy with the ridiculous interpretations that have spread far and wide regarding the fragment with which she will now be forever connected.

This unprovenanced piece of papyrus is NOT evidence that the historical Jesus was married. Rather, if the fragment is not a forgery, and if the Jesus-character who is described as speaking in the document is not using imagery (e.g., “my wife, [Israel...]), then this small text is simply, apparently, evidence that a (likely) 3rd/4th-century group (if even a group) of Coptic-writing/reading/hearing/speaking Christians (they would have likely been diverse in their abilities), who may have been Gnostic, were aware of (or made up) a tradition that Jesus had a wife.

Particularly if they were Gnostic, they may have been anti-Pauline, perhaps including matters related to Paul’s apparent preference for “singledom” (see 1 Cor 7; N.B. “singledom,” for Paul, may have had everything to do with the perceived notion of a coming Eschaton and nothing to do with the intrinsic nature of not being married).

The most reliable sources for the historical Jesus, the Gospel of Mark and Q, themselves fraught with imagined scenarios and dialogue, don’t mention anything about Jesus having a wife. Thus, in all likelihood, he didn’t. Regardless, this tiny fragment contributes absolutely nothing to a historical investigation into the matter. It simply lets you know that there may have been a “Jesus, the Husband” tradition bouncing around before Dan Brown.

The fundamental proposition of the Communist Manifesto

In the words of Frederick Engels:

The Manifesto being our joint production, I consider myself bound to state that the fundamental proposition which forms its nucleus, belongs to Marx. That proposition is: That in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can be explained, the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; that the history of these class struggles form a series of evolutions in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and oppressed class—the proletariat—cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class—the bourgeoisie—without at the same time, and once and for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinctions, and class struggles.

From the 1888 Preface of The Manifesto


“Glad we’re on the same page. Now, let’s turn that page.”

I just saw a Samsung thin laptop commercial…

You know what one of your problems is non-Apple brands?

All it ever seems that you’re doing is playing a pathetic game of copycat-catch-up, and you’re already too late. Apple’s moved on to their next better version.

When watching your commercial, I literally felt like I was watching an Apple advertisement, because the odds that what you made is a superior product or that you’ll come even close in the market are so low. Why would you try to contrast your product with Apple’s? I mean, you actually placed their machine next to yours. It’s not even the same OS. Maybe you’ll win some weanie who’s on the fence? Maybe. Seems like a lot of money, time, and other resources invested for a weanie.

Seriously, Samsung, and everyone else: just make your own shit. Let Apple do its thing while you do yours. Perhaps you’ll push tech boundaries in other areas. People will love you for that. I’ve heard your TVs are badass…

Ancient Jewish apocalyptic “resurrection,” at least as an initial idea, is what you come up with when…

…you want people to be punished/rewarded for their behavior in this life (since you know that typically doesn’t happen) and when you simultaneously don’t have any solid concept of an “afterlife” state of being in which such a ceremony/event could conceivably take place.

Quite simply, then, you come up with the idea of resurrection when you need to get dead folks back alive again.


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