September 12th, 2010

Kafkaesque

Specifically, the stuff about Adrian Schoolcraft.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/414/right-to-remain-silent

Wow. Really creepy. In some ways, I want to blame cop culture, but I have to also admit that a huge chunk of this story has to be about what happens when you reward and punish based on metrics, especially metrics involving a computer. People do some bad crazy shit when a computer has some numbers that say thumbs up thumbs down -- especially when a little fudging can change those numbers and thus, those thumbs.

I used to say it was important to make sure you were measuring the right thing, that measuring the wrong thing was worse than useless. More and more, however, I am questioning whether measurement is ever a good idea. That desirable certainty is a little too desirable, and all too often, also fraudulent.

the randomness of recommendations

Months ago (possibly over a year, now) someone recommended Fringe and The Mentalist to me. When I had caught up on watching Eureka (fun!) and Warehouse 13 (not so great 1st season but improved in the second season, altho still not as good as Eureka), I figured I might as well try those other recommendations. After all, I hadn't expected much out of the two SyFy series, and I'd enjoyed both to one degree or another.

Turns out I _love_ at least the first few episodes (disc 1) of The Mentalist. Funny, tricky, the psychology doesn't make me nuts. Wow, am I ever hating the pilot of Fringe, however. I am not optimistic: the only thing I've liked that Abrams had anything to do with was the Star Trek movie. OTOH, kudos to whoever had the bright idea of putting naked mole rats in the storage unit with the weird experiments -- good visual. Ahem.

But it really does not make up for the rest of the pilot. Especially the really pretentious location titles scattered throughout. The looking up at the sky of Baghdad through the B of Baghdad was especially obnoxious.

bike lust

A. has outgrown the Bobike Mini leaving me with a problem: I no longer have a way to transport both children on the bike with me. What to do.

Here are my options (that I know of):

http://www.tangaroo.de/

Add the Burley Moose Rack and Kazoo on the back, or the recumbent trailer bike or, I suppose, slap a Bobike Maxi back there and all is well.

http://www.roland-werk.de/engl/addbike/

Nothing else required; this is a complete solution.

Obviously, there's some sort of Xtracycle solution, but if you want to tell the cult to go, you know, there's always this option:

http://www.cyclorama.net/viewProduct.php?id=231

http://www.circecycles.com/Models/Brut.php

I haven't found a US distributor for any of these here. I've sent email to Roland directly and to Harris Cyclery re: the Roland, on the off chance someone wants to bite and help me out. Otherwise, I'm going to be spending some time on the phone to Belmont seeing if I can wave enough money at them to import one of these. If Belmont fails me, it's going to be some across-the-pond discussion about how to import something myself. It can be done; I've done it before. Just not with anything this large and complex.