Flaws and all, I'm glad he's in the White House.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pathetic, Shameful, and Embarrassing

Pathetic, shameful, and embarrassing--what else could you call House Minority Whip Eric Cantor's claim that bringing high speed rail to his district is great, great thing? It'd be one thing if, for some reason, Cantor didn't support the stimulus for some overarching reason. It'd be acceptable, too, if he had a history of support public transportation but still voted against the stimulus, while supporting some other type of bill that would enhance such public goods.

None of that applies to you, Mr. Cantor. You and others like you actively worked against the stimulus and the objectives it sought to accomplish. You and your allies in congress and the media did everything possible to sabotage the president's effort to bring about economy recovery, not sparing yourselves the dishonor of using personal attacks. And then you have balls to take credit for what is happening?

As Brad DeLong says, burn the Republican party to the ground and then salt the earth so that it can never, ever grow back.

Via Steve Benen.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Wish I Had Studied Computer Science

I think I know a lot more about many things than most people, particularly most people my age. That may not be saying much, but I still think it's true. Of course, there's still quite a bit that I don't know. I'm trying to learn more about a lot.

One area that's peaked my interest lately is computer science. (Perhaps that is the wrong term, but it seems appropriate, since it would hopefully encompass everything.) I find this stuff incredibly interesting, even if I have no use for some of it and barely understand even more of it.

Take something like Apple's MobileMe service, a cloud computing option that will sync information on different machines at the same time. I'd have no reason to use such a service right now: I don't take many pictures, I don't use e-mail that much, and I have no business that needs my constant attention. But still, should I ever need it or something like it, it's pretty cool to know it's there.

Or take open source software. I have only the most basic knowledge of this, but it's fascinating. How does it really stack up to the software that costs a lot of money and presumably adds quite a bit to the cost of a computer? How can the people who work on this make money?

As far as making money goes, I think it's amazing that people with the required skills can sell relatively simple applications through the iPhone's application store and make tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. It's naturally becoming harder to do, as the store becomes more crowded, but it's a good opportunity for people whose skills might not be fully utilized in a down economy. Besides that, a lot of cool things can emerge from this process, or so I imagine.

I recently downloaded Apple's software development kit and tried to use it, even through an online tutorial, but haven't had time to follow up. I'd like to learn more, and once my test prep class is over, perhaps I can devote more time to learning it from square one, which seems like a problem I can't get around.

In short, I wish I had the skills to do something like this. I wish I had studied computer science in college.