Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The "I am Legend" Pitch

It's like "Castaway", but there are zombies on the island, right? Tom Hanks all alone on this desert island, but with zombies that come out at night.

Yeah - it's like "Castaway" meets "28 Days Later", but instead of Wilson the ball we have Sam the dog, so it's like "Marley and Me" too.

Yeah, I'm afraid Sam doesn't make it, and Tom Hanks probably wouldn't last long too, so it's Will Smith. Really buff Will Smith, and the island is Manhattan - post apocalyptic Manhattan - "Mad Max" style!

No - no women, just Will and the zombies, except there are female zombies - scary hot female zombies, and several scenes with mannequins.

Sure - we could add some flash backs with women, but it's really a cautionary tail about man's hubris and science gone wrong in the near future. Like "Terminator" except Schwartzenegger is a virus that turns people into zombies, and Sarah Connors is Will Smith.

No, I didn't think about that, but it's a good idea - "terminator zombies". Could be a sequel.

That's right - "Castaway" meets "28 Days Later" with "Marley and Me" meets "Terminator" in a "Mad Max" world with Will Smith in every scene and mannequins. It's a guaranteed block buster!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Public Option

I was thinking about arguments for and against the “public option” in health care reform. The argument in favor of a public option is that a non-profit national health insurance option would set an upper bound on premiums and prevent collusion between private insurers. The private health insurance industry has a history of inefficient resource management that spends 30% of premiums on overhead (including high executive salaries). The industry also prioritizes profits over patient well being in its efforts to avoid paying claims and over-pricing coverage for anyone that develops an ongoing health condition.

The argument against the public option reasons that the private insurance industry will not be able to compete with the public option, so the insurance industry will evolve into a single payer system run by the government. From that point public option opponents go on to argue that a government run single payer system is bad.

Spelling out the arguments for and against the public option in this way shows that both sides of the debate actually agree that a public option would more efficiently finance health care than private insurers do currently. The argument then becomes whether or not private insurers will be able to evolve and compete with an opponent that will not collude on price, the costs and benefits if we evolve toward a centralized single payer system; and if the government does not provide a private option, then how can we trust private insurers to change their behavior and become more efficient and more focused on patient well being.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Social Networking

I've been playing around with Twitter and Facebook lately. I'm surprised how well these sites work as communication tools. A bunch of people tracked me down on facebook in the last month, and it's fun to keep in touch. Crazy.

I'm now trying to figure out how we can wire up the feeds off some of our blogs and wikis at the Auburn libraries to auto-update the library twitter/facebook accounts. I thought there would be some open source tools we could download, but twitterfeed is the most promising thing I've come across so far. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Comments on Bill Marre

I watched Bill Marre the other night, and he took his usual jabs at religion and religious for inspiring terrorism, oppressing women and others, and generally doing bad stuff in God's name. I only disagree with Bill to the extent that he believes that the world would be a better place without religion. I rather tend to believe that religion is just a convenient excuse for the bad things that people will find a reason to do anyway. Bad guys like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot did not need religion to justify their crimes - they just reasoned that their ends justified the means.

Anyway, that's the deep thought for the day.