Sunday, February 28, 2010

Open Tabs 2

Another quick sampling of the tabs I've got open, stuff I thought you all might find interesting:

The Power Elite -- an op-ed from last week by David Brooks about the effect of egalitarianism on the effectiveness of government. I haven't entirely let this one digest, but I've been thinking it over. However, it's difficult not to associate this in my mind with the success of idiots like Jenny McCarthy in convincing parents not to vaccinate their kids, or those "tooth whiteners invented by a mom!" ads I see all over the place.

A Cyclical Argument with Literal Strawman -- Penny Arcade about a subject I personally find obnoxious. As much as I detest DRM, software pirates annoy me (marginally) more. The level of entitlement floating around out there is just staggering. (I also find it funny how so many Ayn Rand-reading college students think nothing of pirating, say, BioShock...)

Orphan works -- Speaking of copyright, one of the big questions in Google's book deal is the number of orphan works out there: works that are out of print and for which the copyright holder cannot be found. They're kind of a limbo state in copyright law, a direct result of eliminating the registration requirement, exacerbated by the sheer length of the current copyright term. Speaking as someone who writes, this category is somewhat chilling: the idea that my work could effectively be lost forever simply by slipping through the cracks. The link above is a great analysis of the means of finding out just how many of these orphan works there really are.

A videogame that caught my eye. I'm a fan of the Ace Attorney games. They're fun, and you get to shout "Objection!" and have everyone in the bus terminal stare at you. This one has the player act as investigator and prosecutor.

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