From my mailbag
•Marcus wrote to make a suggestion:
I don't think this serves as an explanation of many of the people who choose not to have computers, but if you haven't read it, Cliff Stoll's Silicon Snake Oil is worth a look. Here's a geek who has taken fairly sharp step back from computers and computer advocacy.
I read Silicon Snake Oil years ago. Like Marcus, I recommend it to anyone thinking about why he, she or we are online.
•Jim provided a very reasonable answer to the question about why people have so often worshipped idols that has been nagging me.
I'm not an idol-worshipping guy, but it shouldn't be quite so mystifying as you find it. We find people essentially worship the flag for instance -- they invest the thing itself with special value even over and above the viewing of it as a symbol. One could argue that Christianity has idols as well, in the forms of altars, crosses, and fish symbols. The idols are symbolic, and they are constructed, but once constructed, the thing itself is given the power of that which is symbolised. So idol-worship such as the golden calf is not necessarily different from that seen in flags or religous symbols nowadays.
•Angry Bear is going to try to leave his blog archives alone, considering rebuilding them could be a disaster.
•Larry emphatically disagrees with my assertion that the U.S. is being imperialistic toward Iraq and France is not.
France took exactly the same imperialistic stance. To protect its TotalFinaElf oil futures contracts already signed with Saddam, it was necessary to oppose U.S. conquest. It's just that France's imperialistic interests conflicted directly with the U.S. imperialistic interests.
It's notable that France is the first to propose to the UN to support the U.S. demand for lifting sanctions. Their oil contracts are vaporized and they need to make up with the U.S. so that a few million barrels might flow their way some day.
•Someone wants to sell me Viagra.