Polonius

To thine own self be true

Archive for May, 2007

Cellar floor television (2)

Posted by Polonius on 29 May, 2007

I’ve written before about what I call “cellar floor television“, but the digging continues. William Harrison wrote Roller Ball Murder, then came Stephen King’s The Running Man. More recently, we had the Doctor Who episode Bad Wolf. But these were parody and “reality television” is beyond parody. Extreme Makeover set a new standard, but it comes as no surprise that Endemol have stooped to lower the competition to new depths.

Update

So it was a hoax, and in a worthy cause. Still, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. This one, I think, was acceptable, on balance. I’m not sure whether the fact that I was taken in says more about Endemol or about my prejudices.

Of course, the publicity will have done Endemol no harm, and the media often use worthy material to peddle drivel. In some cases, it’s simply using the drivel to pad out an inadequate amount of material. Crimewatch UK, last time I saw it, still maintained a reasonable ratio of worthy material;  the same can’t be said for Watchdog. But on other occasions, worthy causes are used as a form of advertising.

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Baffled

Posted by Polonius on 23 May, 2007

This is news? Not only that, it’s currently ranked number 4 on the BBC’s “most read” list. Can somebody please explain?

Posted in News | 2 Comments »

Feeling the heat?

Posted by Polonius on 23 May, 2007

I haven’t yet finished reading the RES report on global warming, but it seems a pretty decent summary of the issues. For further reading on the subject, RealClimate is a good starting point.

Update

New Scientist recently published refutations of some of the more persistent denialist FUD.

Posted in Science, Society | Leave a Comment »

Good writing

Posted by Polonius on 19 May, 2007

Here’s a couple of essays I’ve been reading. They have little in common except that they’re fairly well-written and seemed interesting to me.

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/05/rare_risk_and_o.html (including link to http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/nyt2.htm)

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/05/back-to-dark-ages.html (via http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2007/05/if_the_description_of_the_begi.php)

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Wrong.html (via http://www.perlmonks.org/?node_id=592616)

Posted in Programming, Religion, Society, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a Comment »