ARRRR!!

by Henry on July 13, 2003

I went to see _Pirates of the Caribbean_ last night, and really can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s as much fun as movies can get. Johnny Depp is a revelation as Captain Jack Sparrow, moving like a fey, drunken “Keith Richards”:http://romanticmovies.about.com/library/weekly/aa062903a.htm who hasn’t gotten his land-legs; Geoffrey Rush is nearly as good. The plot is hokum of course, something about cursed Aztec treasure and blood sacrifice, but you don’t notice while you’re watching; you just go along for the ride.

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Lean, Handsome, Deliberate

by Henry on July 13, 2003

“Kevin Drum”:http://www.calpundit.com/archives/001630.html complains about the writing style in an _Esquire_ piece on Wesley Clark. The offending quote:

bq. Look into his eyes. They’re not eyes so much as scanning devices—not quite predatory, no, but sort of an odd combination of jittery and calm, of patient and imploring, alert and exhausted, set back there in the hollows and shadows of his lean, handsome, deliberate face.

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Selection bias

by Henry on July 13, 2003

“The Economist”:http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=1907893 has a long article asking whether or not companies are too risk averse to take proper advantage of new opportunities and a changing marketplace. Explaining the roots of corporate advantage is tricky stuff; conventional economic theory isn’t very good at telling us when efforts to innovate are going to be successful, and when they’re not. Economic sociologists do a slightly better job, but they still have difficulty in providing useful lessons for business people. Which opens the way for all sorts of cranks and quacks, who offer dubious nostrums for business success, with all the fervid enthusiasm of a 19th century medicine show charlatan. I’m referring of course to management “theorists.”

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Bright is as Bright Does

by Kieran Healy on July 13, 2003

Via Kevin Drum and an Op-Ed piece by Daniel Dennett comes word of The Brights. A “Bright” is someone with a “naturalistic worldview … free of supernatural and mystical elements.” (E.g., consciousness.) You can meet them, learn about what it’s like to be them and even sign up. They have helpful tips on how to engage your Inner Bright (sorry, that sounds a little mystical). For instance:

bq. The most valuable contribution current Brights can make to the BrightS’ Movement is simply to “be the Brights they are” in their everyday interactions with others, keeping the most positive (Bright) shine they can on the endeavor.

This sounds like it’s being spoken by the bastard child of Buckminster Fuller and Norman Vincent Peale. It gets worse.

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