Sunday, January 07, 2007

Invitation to a Hanging

Kids are taking theirs lives left and right in copycat hangings attributed to Saddam's execution. This brings the old debate about TV violence back into the sphere of debate. The essential argument that has plagued me for a long time is this: Whether or not television violence makes kids, on average, more violent is irrelevant. For every display of ingenious criminality on TV, there will be one or more copycat crimes, given a population as large as the TV audience is. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to hold the network heads liable for premeditated murder every time someone is killed in a copycat crime.

The counter-argument, a friend recently enlightened me, is that once you take things to the macro scale, you can't predict with great accuracy the global effects of any action. For example, a terrorism show that gives bin Laden an idea for his next bomb may also give the Dept. of Homeland Security a heads up and lead to countermeasures to close the vulnerability. Perhaps a child was martyred on the lap of Saddam this week, but the world will think differently about public hangings the next.

Incidentally, does anyone still remember the old Saddam, the ruler of Iraq, before they dressed him up in a beard and suit, stripped him of power, and put him in a courtroom. A man's legacy is only as good as his final hours. We have already rewritten all that histroy...

Relatedly, the killing of Hussein has also sparked dozens of new deaths in the Iraq insurgency.

Women like bags. Comments?

New study shows that having younger siblings can increase risk of brain cancer. Wtf? I'm going to have to look into this.

Did you notice the picture of that cute altar boy next to the report of child suicide? Is there any connection between the two things? No. Did the juxtapositioning implant in your mind the insinuation of a connection? Maybe. Did the picture of innocence and potential in children influence your perception of the horrors of child suicide? I don't know. I think these things make a difference.

When you throw around lots of dough, you make a difference. It's hard to know what will happen. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation tries hard to do good for the poor. Problem is, we are only human. (see article)

Seemed interesting, but I didn't have time to read it: dialogue at Slate

Did you know: Of course Google has pages in English, Spanish, Hebrew, etc. but did you know they have pages in Elmer Fudd?

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