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July 25, 2006

Comments

Macs rule! Or whatever.

Macs would rule, if Apple would just stop being stupid about it.

Let the flame wars begin! I predict 375 comments before comments is so screwed up that it must be closed.

Macs are for weenies. Weenies with trust funds.

Look, we can argue about politics and religion, but I think it's best if we don't touch the third rail of internet discussions: Macs and PCs.

Macs are almost the Beta of home computing.

Better open up a new thread for this one, Andrew. It could very well destroy this one.

I think I'm taking the offensive on my next thread. B5 rulz, Star Trek droolz or something to that effect.

"Hey, guess what? I could start another comment war, just by saying:"

Talk about war crimes.

(just kidding. I just *knew* hilzoy would be a right-thinking Mac user.)

"I doubt that "Dungeons and Dragons" is really the trademarked phrase. It is "Dungeons & Dragons". :)"

I bet a whole filing cabinet at the PTO is dedicated to trademarks of all possible permutations of Dungeons & Dragons.

d+u: Hah. I started using Macs in 1984. Back then the really salient difference was that Macs did not have a command line interface, and you could draw pictures on them, which I wanted to do. I had lots of fun doing Stupid Computer Art Tricks, like making my own version of Magritte's painting in which it's raining men in bowlers -- just draw one, and resize and paste a whole lot of times! It was fun.

Hah. I started using Macs in 1984.

Ah yes, I still have the carboard ad insert in Scientific American announcing its debut. A mouse with only one button so that you don't press the wrong one. I was wondering why they didn't have a one key keyboard as well.

I had an Apple ][+ at the time, but couldn't afford a Mac. So I entered the lucaritive PC world, and aside from a dreadful job experience where I had to write programs for both platforms, I haven't looked back since.

"So I entered the lucaritive PC world, and aside from a dreadful job experience where I had to write programs for both platforms, I haven't looked back since."

Of course, nowadays the Macs have Intel processors, are a form of Unix with the commandline and everythin', and can even be booted into Windows.

Not counting my old TRS-80 Color Computer™, I started on an Apple IIgs™ sometime around 1987. I quickly became allergic to DOS™ and Windows™ (and not from lack of exposure to them, either). From then on out it was Macintosh™ all the way. Mac OS X only cemented this preference.

Now my mom has a recent model iMac™ and my wife a MacBook Pro™, which lets my mom videoconference with her 4-month-old grandson from two states away with no additional equipment or software, and absolutely no configuration hassles. Add in iPhoto's™ photocasting and online printing capabilities (I had really lovely coffee-table-style books of baby photos printed up for the great-grandparents) and it's a perfect setup for keeping distant family in the loop.

Of course, I'm still working on a G5™ tower professionally, at least until Adobe™ gets on the ball about updating its products for Intel™ chips.

I have to admit, I still look back on MacDraw and CricketGraph with an inordinate amount of fondness.

I try to ignore those feelings, though, and move on. It's the incurious part of me working its will, dontcha know.

See also--the Beruit airport. If Iran resupplies Hezbollah through that airport--and it does--and Lebanon won't stop it--and it didn't--the airport is absolutely a legitmate target. Israel could have easily leveled the airport structures. They could have easily used runway specific munitions to make the runway very difficult to repair. They did neither. This suggests to me that they really just wanted to stop the re-supply and/or air transport of the POWs.

This is one of many remarks that seems to strive to find some rational anti-Hezbollah reason for the widespread bombing by Israel, and none of them make the mark. This one is particularly nonsensical (and there is no evidence that the airport is the shipping point for rockets -- it makes for more sense that they are smuggled in via Syria in commercial trucks, etc.).

Under this logic, you could bomb every road, bridge, airport, truck or other means of moving rockets since, hey, they are all potentially part of the Hezbollah war effort. No amount of bombing would be improper.

Just admit that you don't care that the bombing is wildly disproportionate, and don't care whether or not the bombing has a decent link to Hezbollah. Since it might be hurting Hezbollah, that's allegedly good enough.

I pretty much agree.

I got really, really upset when I saw a set of casualty figures yesterday. It wasn't the number of Lebanese civilian deaths (350+). It was the number of estimated Hezbollah fighter deaths (11)--specifically, the ratio of those deaths to all the others. About 1 Hezbollah fighter killed for every 30 civilians; 1 Hezbollah fighter killed for every 1.5 Israeli soldiers and 1.5 Israeli civilians; 1 Hezbollah fighter killed for ever 1.9 Lebanese soldiers (in a war whose stated goal is to have the Lebanese military replace Hezbollah in souther Lebanon!), 1 Hezbollah fighter killed for every .8 freaking Canadians....

They were the numbers from the Lebanese government, and it occurred to me that they were probably low-balling the estimates of Hezbollah fighters in cases where it was not clear, just as Israel would probably rank them higher. And indeed, today Israel estimates 100 Hezbollah fighters dead. I would guess the actual number is between, but where between, who knows.

But before you weigh whether the ends justify the means, you have to ask whether the means will actually accomplish the ends. This war isn't going to destroy Hezbollah, and the short term military damage it inflicts seems likely to be outweighed by the long term support for Hezbollah by the Lebanese population unless a force other than either Hezbollah or Israel moves into that southern region.

This war would seem to increase the likelihood of an intl force, but not enough to make it likely to actually happen if the newspaper articles I'm seeing are right--and that was before the UN workers were killed. It would seem to decrease the likelihood of the Lebanese gov't being able to do this.

If it's not going to lead to those results, what's the purpose? To show that Israel's still got it, that they're still tough? I really don't like war as self-expression. I really really don't.

The other thing is that--we just would not accept this amount of killing of civilians if it were not Arabs & if a majority of them were not Muslims. We wouldn't. The President, the Secretary of State, Congress--they would not dream of saying the things they are saying. And this is Lebanon, our purported ally, a country with a large Christian majority and a much more secular population than most of the mideast, whose "Cedar Revolution" we were cheering on last year.

It's not surprising. Everyone values their own lives and their families' over strangers, and their fellow-citizens' lives over foreigners', etc. I'm not claiming to be immune--I get more upset about terrorist attacks in London than terrorist attacks in Bali or Baghdad; I get more upset over an Israeli soldier's kidnapping than a report that X # of anonymous Palestinian civilians were killed along with the Hamas leader. God knows that much of Arab world doesn't seem to give a damn about Jewish deaths except to cheer them on.

But we have the power to make our emotional response to a death into concrete reality in the world today: an American life, an Israeli life, a European life is worth much, much, much more than an Arab or Muslim life, and that's just the way it is and the way it's going to be.

Israel is acting in response to a direct attack on its territory, and its existence is seriously endangered in a way that America has not been, and they have known nothing but that for their whole history. So this is understandable, by geopolitical standards, but I don't think it's right. I know they don't want to kill Lebanese civilians, but the attitude seems to be a sort of listless "oh, that's a shame" rather than a sense of a disaster to be avoided whenever possible. Which is how countries behave, in Israel's situation, but I am not converting to Judaism to belong to a group of people that acts like that.

And all of this gets me to thinking about Iraq, and my usual hobby horses, actions which I find a lot less explicable and excusable than Israel. There's a line in a Bob Dylan song--"you play with my world like it's your little toy".

oh, and these cheap stunts are driving me insane, and are a perfect example of why I identify less and less with the Democratic party.

"and there is no evidence that the airport is the shipping point for rockets -- it makes for more sense that they are smuggled in via Syria in commercial trucks, etc."

That isn't true at all. I've previously linked to the well known fact that Iran supplies Hezbollah through the Beruit airport via a cargo 747. The Beruit airport is the ONLY place in Lebanon where a supply plane that large can land.

Let me briefly point out that it now appears that this was an attack long in the planning; the Hezbollah assault was an excuse.

I remind everyone that, lacking globally-recognized international law, nations neither have nor lack a "right to exist"; the only "right" is the goodwill of their neighbors and the great powers, and the ability to hold their territory.

There are now as many Lebanese refugees as there are citizens of Portland, Oregon where I live. This will make for enmity for generations. Israel can probably win this assault, but I cannot imagine how it will lead to a long-term advantage for Israel.

The Chinese, it appears, are supplying Hezbollah via Iran. Bleah. (The Chinese make the missiles. Why not? They make bloody everything else.)

Also there are the Alt Key codes....
http://www.frontpagewizard.com/use_alt_keys.asp

There is a fairly depressing familiarity about this. I was brought up in Northern Ireland, which was seen as just as intractable as this situation, and lost members of my family to terrorist violence. The lesson we were forced to learn is compromise - I was not keen for the Irish or UK governments to deal with terrorists, but at some stage the violence has to stop. Hizbollah has no reason to EXIST if the Shebaa farms were given back; Palestinian violence would be cut off at the knees if Israel adhered to UN resolutions and withdrew to the 1967 borders. Anyone - Jew, Arab, Christian, atheist - who has lost loved ones should make an effort to heal rather than infame the situation. I find the current vitriol - mainly, it seems to a European, anti-Arab - utterly disgusting, and any supposed Christians saying such things should stop hiding behind Jesus.

Token Eurpoean,

"Hizbollah has no reason to EXIST if the Shebaa farms were given back; Palestinian violence would be cut off at the knees if Israel adhered to UN resolutions and withdrew to the 1967 borders."

Umm, no. Do you need references to statements by Hezbollah, Hamas, Iranian governmental figures, et al, saying that the existence of Israel is the problem, whether under the 1967 or current borders? While there would likely be some Palestinians who would stop fighting, expecting the violence to stop is naive.

All I know is that I didn't think well of Hezbollah before and whether or not they started it is questionable but now I think of them as the victims and Israel as the aggresor.

After all wasn't there a similar situation in Nazi Germany, where the Nazi's destoroyed several Jewish towns as punishment for the death of two of their Nazi soldiers? Guess the Israeli's have learned from the Nazi's

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