escape! where you dodge the blue dots with your fantastic flying red square!

January 30, 2004

Online Game of the Moment
On my Atari 2600 programming mailing list, someone sent out this fiendish little javascript game Escape!... click and drag the red square, not letting it touch the borders or any of the wandering blue squares. My longest run is around 15 seconds. (And it takes you a few tries to learn how to survive the first few seconds...)

I'd love to proper credit for this game, but I couldn't figure out who wrote it originally.

Ramble of the Moment
Odd random thought: in some ways it's easier to be "very neat" rather than just "not messy". Like my desk at both work and home...recently I cleaned both, and am trying to be very diligent about returning them to a completely uncluttered state every day, and at least for now it seemes easier to be very strict or very sloppy than to chart some middle course. It's kind of like Broken windows syndrome where llarger transgressions can sometimes be averted by taking care of the small ones. (Though I admit I am usually distrustful of "slippery slope" arguments in general.)

Quote and Links of the Moment
"And the reason I feel that is that we're not omniscient," he said. "And we've demonstrated that in Iraq, I think." He pointed to Washington's failure to appreciate the complexities of Iraqi culture, and therefore to anticipate the extended guerrilla war it is now engaged in -- a chief mistake of Vietnam. Without the full involvement of other major nations, he said, such mistakes will always be made.

"And if we can't persuade other nations with comparable values and comparable interests of the merit of our course, we should reconsider the course, and very likely change it. And if we'd followed that rule, we wouldn't have been in Vietnam, because there wasn't one single major ally, not France or Britain or Germany or Japan, that agreed with our course or stood beside us there. And we wouldn't be in Iraq."

--Robert McNamara in this Globe and Mail article (via Bill)

On the other hand, LAN3 sent me this interesting counterpoint A Friendly Drink in a Time of War which represents an argument that Iraq is a liberal, anti-fascist war. It makes some points, but what it comes down to for me is: I'm a moderate, and both the right wing reasons (fear of WMD, President Jr's revenge, "that's where the terrorists are coming from") and the left wing reasons (lets make the world better for these fine oppressed folk) are too extreme for me, that this article kind of suffers from the fallacy of the excluded middle. (And the namedropping at the begining was pretty disingenuous.) I guess one thing I don't know enough to argue about is this: how many other "grotesque dictatorships" do we ignore in the name of political expediency, or just because they don't interest us that much? How unique was Saddam? I suspect less unique than this article would imply, and by that arguments, we should "liberally" charge into all corners of the globe.