Monday, November 01, 2004

A STRONG CANDIDATE. On Friday, Michael Bérubé had some interesting things to say about the Kerry-Haters for Kerry crowd - a group that seems to encompass just about every liberal pundit who's backing Kerry. Including, Bérubé notes, the editors of Slate.

Bérubé's lament is that while conservatives love Republican candidates, liberals only hesitatingly embrace the Democratic standard-bearer, and even then with plenty of disdain. If Kerry wins - and it increasingly seems as though he might - it's going to be hell for him to govern, since there will be no one reliably in his corner. Bush, on the other hand, has had Fox News, Rush, and other conservative media from day one.

Kerry can drive me nuts sometimes. But can we on the near left please admit the obvious? Kerry is a good candidate. His only real shortcoming is his inadequacy as a communicator. He's a solid liberal, somewhat to the left of Bill Clinton while close enough to the center so as not to alienate moderates, except those who choose to believe Republican distortions. He's smart, serious, and experienced.

How strong a candidate is he? Ask yourself where Howard Dean would be right now. The country is too evenly divided for Dean to be putting up McGovern-type numbers, but I'd be shocked if he were running more than 43 or 44 percent. Kerry, on the other hand, is in a position to win despite the Republican Attack Machine's unparalleled sliming.

BETTER LINKS. iFilm has the uncensored versions of both Public Enemy's "Son of a Bush" and Eminem's "Mosh." "Son of a Bush" is here, and "Mosh" is linked from the home page.

SPLIT PERSONALITY. Pat Purcell's Boston Herald endorsed George W. Bush a few weeks ago. Yesterday, Purcell's MetroWest Daily News endorsed John Kerry.

SELDOM SCENE. A magazine called Scene Missing interviewed me by e-mail over the weekend. It was a bit weird. There had been some talk that I might be paired with one of the other Dan Kennedys - the guy who wrote Loser Goes First - but it didn't work out. At least not yet. Anyway, you can see the results here.

As best as I can tell, the magazine is much hipper than I am. (Of course, it's generally safe for me to start with that premise.) I hope I didn't make too big a fool of myself.


Anonymous said...

The VoteMaster at un-cloaked today.

It turns out the uber-geek behind is one of the all-time greats of computer science education, Prof. Andrew S. Tanenbaum, an American academic expatriate. Which may explain inflexibly letting the data oscilate instead of using damping techniques or data qualification, as a statistician might have. And does explain preferring tenured professors as mirror sites.

Andy's "Minix" pedagogic operating system kernel was Linus Torvald's inspiration & launching pad for Linux. (Cambridge's own R.M.S. was of course progenitor of the other input, Gnu.)

Andy's textbooks were early classics, and he's kept them current over 20+ years.

The WikiPedia entry is already updated with the EV.C story.

He's also credited as author of the aphorism:

The nice thing about standards
is that there are so many of them
to choose from.
-- Andrew S. Tanenbaum

Cheers, Bill R.

Anonymous said...

Re: the interview

Hey Dan -- If you were a real elitist schmuck, you wouldn't be listening to that goddawful fusion; you'd be listening to the classic quintet or sextet (as an alto player, I'm partial to Cannonball Adderley).

My wife and I read your book - just teriffic. It's been on constant loan to our cheapo relatives/friends since we bought it (sorry about the lost royalties).

Your friend Bob from Peabody