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Wednesday, December 25th, 2002
1:56a - 2400AD Notes: 3
One important feature of the 2300AD setting is the relative underpopulation of human space.

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Thoughts?

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2:43p - More Economics ...
i honestly think a big reason why some places are poor is because their cultures don't have a the protestant work ethic. i don't think siestas are good for a country's success. also, how can they succeed when they don't believe in the primacy of the individual, rule of law, free market etc.?

That probably is a factor. I do also think that it's important to notice how, in many cases, imperialism by industrializing powers in the 19th century aborted modernization. Egypt under Mehmet Ali is the best example I can think of; one of the major provisions of the British peace treaty was Egyptian withdrawal from Syria (an area that had been linked to Egypt for the past several centuries) and dropping protectionist barriers to allow for British imports (although Britain was rather protectionist itself). Thailand later in the 19th century came perilously close to outright colonization itself. If liberal economics and pluralistic (if not outright democratic) politics are best accepted if they are a natural outgrowth of a society's developments, than in many cases foreign imperialisms halted these developments.

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6:40p - Those conspiratorial rodents
"Bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes
They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses
And what's with all the carrots
What do they need such good eyesight for anyway
Bunnies, bunnies
It must be bunnies
"

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6:47p - Gack, Nixon
Nixon's 'madman strategy' included secret nuclear alert

Associated Press

Washington -- Former U.S. president Richard Nixon ordered a worldwide secret nuclear alert in late 1969, calling his wartime tactic a "madman strategy" aimed at scaring the Soviets into forcing concessions from North Vietnam, declassified documents show.

It didn't work, as Moscow displayed no concern. The reason is unclear. The Soviets may not have cared, may not have been as influential as Nixon believed -- or, like the rest of the world, might not have noticed the alert.


And people think he was a good President?

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6:54p - Selected Gifts

  • A Discman.

  • Once More With Feeling, the soundtrack to Buffy's Season 6 musical episode. Ah, fun.

  • Michael Crummey's River Thieves

  • More and excellent clothes--shirts and pants mainly, some socks.

  • The regular candy.

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10:37p - Selected Events over the Past Three Days

  • The Monday evening meeting with nire, Brad Deighan, and Sobia Ali--at the very end Tony Reddin joined in--at Beanz re: the concert sounded interesting. I've never gotten involved in a benefit concert before, but I think I'd like to.

  • I got home Monday night to find that, yes, I did have an extra key, but unfortunately it wasn't the house key but rather the key to the car--and not the car in the driveway, either. I stayed outside for half an hour, reading the reading materials I'd bought in town--the latest issues of The New Yorker and Harper's, but especially a GURPS Traveller: Alien Races supplement. (The Hivers, the Droyne, the Ancient, the Inheritors, and Lithkind, actually, all species located to trailing of Earth, and rimward of the Imperium's heart.) I really didn't mind it, in fact I found the cold air quite bracing--I guess I'm more of a Scout than I'd thought.

  • I drove into town and spent more time downtown. I ate Lebanese at Cedar's Eatery; I found I wasn't fond of it. I went through the mall again, and incidentally ran into George on the corner of University and Kent by the mall, him holding a Sanskrit grammar; we talked for a bit, about Sanskrit's numerous peculiarities, about movies, and the like.

  • I did absolutely nothing on Tuesday. Quite literally nothing of any value, apart from LJ posts (and perhaps even that is considered valueless).

  • All day today, I've been opening gifts. I find that I've not been particularly excited, and that the holiday hasn't brought me and my parents together. Eh bien, I'm having fun anyways.



current mood: stuffed

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