Stochastic Blogging

STOCHASTIC BLOGGING….I found myself uninspired by the news today and unable to find anything I felt like blogging about, so instead I played hooky for a couple of hours and went to see A Scanner Darkly. It turned out to be ? interesting. And remarkably faithful to the book, too, which might not have been such a great idea, actually, since the drug culture of the 70s doesn’t translate all that smoothly into the present day. What’s more, as a resident of The OC, I found it oddly disconcerting that during one of the automobile sequences the scenery in the forward direction was taken from one stretch of freeway while the scenery in the backward direction was taken from a different stretch of freeway. However, I assume this won’t bother the less anal-retentive of you, not to mention the 99.9% who don’t live in Orange County.

(So, should you go see it? Beats me. I have a feeling this is the kind of film that you either like a lot or else find completely pointless. Hard to say which.)

Back on the blogging beat, I’ve gotten several emails asking if I’m going to comment on (a) stem cells and (b) the recent Pew study about bloggers. Since I don’t have anything else bubbling up into my brain right now, I guess I will.

Stem cells: As you all know (or can guess from past posts about abortion), I find the idea that frozen embryos are “persons” to be a mechanistic view of human life so extreme as to be almost nihilistic. So naturally I think George Bush was wrong to veto the legislation allowing federal funding for new embryonic stem cell lines.

That’s a bit boring, though, so I’ll just add this: can we all please stop emphasizing that this was his first veto? I mean, he must be loving this. His first veto ever, and it’s over stem cells! The morality of human life is his highest priority! It’s exactly the message he wants to send to his base, and there’s no reason for us to help him deliver it.

The Pew blogger survey: The survey is here, and I didn’t find very much of interest in it. The age/gender/race distribution is about what you’d expect, the reasons for blogging are about what you’d expect, and everything else is about what you’d expect too. Yawn.

Except for one thing. According to the survey, 20% of bloggers say they either “often” or “sometimes” ask for permission to post copyrighted material. Really? I would have expected approximately 0%. Does anyone actually believe this statistic?