Patently Ridiculous.

Can we stop for a moment and talk about patents? I’m a creative guy. Over the years I’ve come up with any number of creative ideas. Some of them could/should be protected, intellectual property. Some were just great ideas. As a creative guy, I’m generally in favor of some kind of protection for those who come up with some useful new invention. On the other hand, I’m for the immediate dissolution of the U. S. Patent Office, and the creation of a new agency that understands what in the HELL they are doing.

Here’s the deal. Let’s say you invent something. Nobody ever thought of it before. It’s useful. It’s cool. You don’t want somebody to steal your idea, so you apply for a patent. Your product takes off. You make millions. At some point, your patent runs out, and everybody and their cat decides to market a me-too product, turning your product from a unique gadget into a commodity. You resign yourself to make less money.

This is how patents are supposed to work. Continue reading Patently Ridiculous.

Discrimination.

Discrimination. To hear tell, it’s an ugly word. The kind of word that spurs secular humanists, liberals, and special-interest groups to cry foul, and to loudly proclaim in 200 point gothic headlines, "We’re Morally Superior Than You Are."

The truth is far removed from what they would have you believe.

You see, the word "discriminate" is perfectly innocent, and, I might add, essential. To discriminate, at it’s most fundamental level, is to examine a subject and determine the differences and similarities between it and something else, and subsequently express a preference between the two. You discriminate every time you tell the disinterested counter person at your fast food emporium if you want a burger or a salad. You discriminate when you choose between paper and plastic bags at your supermarket. And you discriminate when you deny someone an opportunity based on a personal bias.

Which one of these is morally wrong?

Fundamentally…it depends.

Continue reading Discrimination.

The Politics of Mediocrity.

“He has delusions of mediocrity.”

It was just an offhand, sarcastic remark my son made the other day. In context, he was talking about someone he knew, who was busy screwing up his life – someone that was under the impression that he is a lot smarter/better/more successful than he, in fact, really is. It was said in a tone dripping with irony. And it got me to thinking about the entire concept of mediocrity, and how it applies to life (in general) and our society.

At one time, the world admired, appreciated, and strove for greatness. In particular, America idealized winners; those that strove to be the best; those that did achieved more, created more, and built more than anyone.

Sadly, I don’t think that’s true any more, especially in America.

Mediocrity rules. And I know why. Continue reading The Politics of Mediocrity.

Playground Logic.

You know that book? The one titled “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”? I’m thinking of writing one on geo-political logic, called “The World is One Big School Playground.”

In WWII, the playground was Europe. Germany was the big bully kid – not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but big enough and mean enough to throw his weight around to get what he wanted. What he wanted was the lunch money – and everything else – from Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, et cetera. In his gang were Italy (not quite as smart or strong as Germany, but exhibiting the same tendencies towards bullying) and Russia (kid with a chip on his shoulder, with no parents to teach him right from wrong, who fell in with the bad crowd.) Let’s not forget Japan (brainy kid – a nerd – who’s too small to be a bully, but dreams of lording his intellect over the other kids – willing to go with the bullies so he can then become their leader after they’ve beaten the good guys). On the other side of the schoolyard, you had England (brainy kid who fights back when he gets cornered – a good guy to have on your side, as he’ll fight on the basis of principal), France (weak kid who surrenders quickly, but would LIKE to see the good guys win) and America (the school quarterback who believes in protecting the weak). The rest of the countries were like the little kids – serving as collateral damage for the fight (although you can make the argument that Switzerland was like the kid who tries to play both sides against the middle to make a buck off betting on the outcome of the fight).

Continue reading Playground Logic.

Valentines® Day™ (New! Improved!)

Another Valentines Day is upon us. Pardon me whilst I reflect on Valentines Day, commercialism, holidays, and The Meaning Of It All.

I’m not a big “holiday” guy. I like Christmas. Thanksgiving’s okay. I’m partial to Independence Day, since it bookends my birthday. The rest of them seem to be somehow second-tier. Also-rans. Valentines Day was big when I was a kid, as it was an excuse to get hyped up on limitless amounts of candy. Big sugar rush. As I grew older, I realized that Valentines Day (like New Years) was society’s excuse to force you to keep score, relationship-wise. As an adult male, if you were in a serious relationship, Valentines Day is the time you are forced to Be Romantic™ and Do Something Special™ for your significant other. The evil cabal of retailers/media/peer pressure combines to force you to treat this day as sacrosanct. Continue reading Valentines® Day™ (New! Improved!)

Tag. You’re it.

Okay, kids, lets talk about hardening of the institutional arteries for a moment, shall we? In business, it seems much of what any industry does is due to inertia – or in plain English “because that’s the way it’s always been done.” Let us turn our attention to the lowly clothing tag, for an example of inertia in action.
<p>Garment tags are generally made of nylon. Why? They weren’t ALWAYS made that way, because clothing tags date back to well before the invention of nylon. Prior to that, I suppose tags were made of silk, and nylon is a much cheaper substitute. From about the 1940s on, however, nylon garment tags have been the standard. </p> Continue reading Tag. You’re it.

Connecting the Dots.

No, this isn’t a post about the Global War on Terror. It’s a post about logic, reasoning, belief systems, and how they affect us all.
<p>Did you ever have the experience where you can almost put disperate data together in some semblence of order, but can’t quite make all the pieces fit? It’s as if you have one or two missing pieces of the puzzle, and just can’t see the entire picture. It’s like when you know there’s a word you want to use, but you can’t get it in your head – it’s on the “tip of your tongue,” but you just can’t think of it.</p> Continue reading Connecting the Dots.

the Advertising Bowl.

Color me dissapointed. Years removed from the glory days of the dot-com ads, the Super Bowl AdverFest did NOT deliver. What we got were a bunch of derrivative (a nice word for stealing from yourself) ads from Bud, CareerBuilder.com, Pizza Hut, and Pepsi. What we didn’t get were fresh, interesting ideas that would give us all something to talk about around the water cooler today. This year, the game was really more interesting than the ads. Sad.

NBC & the Christians’ Den

I’m trying to figure it out. Why does every move NBC makes seem coldly calculated to anger, inflame, and insult Christians? I mean, in general, I think Christians have a pretty good sense of humor about ourselves. Unlike Muslims, Christians don’t go staging riots when a political cartoonist depicts Jesus Christ or God in a drawing. We don’t call for fatwa against those who write books that we deem blasphemous. So why does NBC seem (forgive me) Hell-bent on trying to poke a sharp stick in Christianity’s eye? Allow me to explain… Continue reading NBC & the Christians’ Den

Junk Science and the MSM.

Yesterday was one of the most historic days in recent memory. A new Supreme Court Justice took the bench and the court swung decidedly to the right. The President gave a forceful and well-reasoned State of the Union address. Civil Rights figurehead Coretta Scott King died in her sleep. Oh, and the mainstream media overlooked all that to promote their own far-left, environmentalist-wacko, junk science agenda. Don’t believe me? How about this headline from ABC News reporter Bill Blakemore: President Bush Forgets About Global Warming. The subhead’s even better: Bush Raised Eyebrows With His Reference to Oil Addiction, but He Failed to Break New Ground.

Pause with me for a nanosecond.

Continue reading Junk Science and the MSM.