Archive for October, 2006
I went to see Fearless today. It’s nice, nothing too special. I can’t say I had a great time though. There’s just something about movie theaters that repeals me lately.
The video quality sucks. I keep seeing crackles, brown spots used to prevent ripping and black lines — early 90′s TV style. The sound quality isn’t that amazing as well. Not as rarely as I’d hope, it seems as if the non-existent computer playing the movie is passing its quota of CPU power. The surround speakers set also seems to go unused too many times. Should I even mention prices?
But I can live with all that for the big screen, the uninterrupted volume and the comfy seats. You pay for the experience just like with anything else. You pay, others pay, you get together and enjoy the goods. But some people reckon it’s not enough to keep the joy to themselves. They must share it with their friends. Loudly. Since when did it become a norm to talk in movie theaters?! Why do I have to find myself a new seat just so I can enjoy the movie quietly? Even after several undeserved polite requests, the noise just keeps on coming from every direction.
And they say piracy is the number one reason for diminishing profits…
On the way home today, I passed through several crosswalks. It was late, I was hungry, the bus was already waiting in the station and I missed every green light by a few seconds. Four good enough reasons for good old jaywalking, but I decided to be a good boy and wait. But it was worth it. When standing in the long line for the bus, with a recently acquired sandwich in my hand, I looked back and saw two cops come out of a rented car (illegally) parked right next to the last crosswalk I passed and start talking to two guys who failed the color test.
What’s the big deal with nuclear weapons? What’s with everybody wanting them lately? What’s wrong with plain old explosives? Far be it from me to understand the costs of either choice, but it does seem somewhat fair to assume that they are cheaper to produce and maintain. The warheads might be lighter due less mechanism requirements. So the rockets can go further or simpler rockets can be used. But even if the same rockets are needed, it’s still less research and development because more information is available, more professionals are in the neighborhood and it’s much easier to get around the airports in your handbag because everybody’s focus is on the nuclear weapons. Even more, “conventional” weapons (what’s with that distinction anyway?) are safer to keep around as there’s no radiation so there’s no need for as much shielding. If it’s cheaper and faster to produce, there’s an option to produce much more warheads. This allows spreading the attack wider and makes it harder on defense as it’ll need many more defensive missiles / rockets / guns / shelters / whatever. The fact is, I can never know which one is more efficient because I don’t have all the details.
That’s the problem with all of those “secret” stuff. You can never get the details you need to make your own calculations. You always have to trust the politicians that say they have the facts. But you can’t even be sure they have the facts. In fact, opposing politicians always claim to their thesis is correct according to the facts. Some even claim to the same facts but derive different conclusions, which they conveniently call facts.
I am not sure I want all the facts of nuclear weapons freely available, but sometimes, even with simpler stuff, the secrecy overextends. Sometimes it seems like freedom of information only concerns keeping information already freely available as it is. I remember trying to figure out how come a local tax-funded television channel keeps buying new big-shot series no other channel has, right as their season ends in the USA. I had to use connections to get a “don’t worry, the prices are suitable” accompanied with a reasonable explanation why a tax-funded channel should have such series. I was kindly reminded our country is semi-socialistic and that even people who can’t or won’t pay for cable should get quality television. But we’re also semi-democratic, so why can’t I can get a copy of the budget? Though I have to be honest – I probably didn’t try hard enough.