Thursday, November 12th, 2015
With the villain’s quasi-sibling bond to the hero, 2015’s 007 movie deflates to an incestuous Möbius Strip.
Monday, December 17th, 2012
I’ve tried to enjoy schlepping water, thinking that it serves to keep us to some human roots.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Annoyances and upsets with the iPhone 4S have been more than offset by its screen, the silkiness of its surfaces, the camera, and the third-party market for both software and hardware.
Thursday, March 25th, 2010
It’s amazing, given the adulation he enjoyed elsewhere, that the Israeli public knew from the start not to trust US President Obama.
Monday, March 8th, 2010
It’s 1983: Go for the Apple IIe with 64k that could be opened up as a hobbyist machine? Or the smaller, sleeker and newer IIc with double the memory but a closed case?
Thursday, July 30th, 2009
There’s nothing else around here except empty desolate pretty hills. The Israel Trail passes by a bit to the west. The shops are mostly franchises, almost all homegrown: Super-Pharm, Aroma, Tzomet Sfarim, Cup O’ Joe’s, LaMetayel, Mega, Fox, Castro, H&O.
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
So, finally, we stopped yesterday; the Israeli assault on Gaza of late 2008/early 2009 is over. With it, Israel lost moral purity and made vital strategic gains.
Friday, January 9th, 2009
Even if it did nothing, was just a prop in a futuristic movie, the MacBook Pro would be impressive; it’s like a sculpture of my previous computer, the MacBook, except it’s actually an improved computer!
Thursday, August 7th, 2008
Irit, the Jam and I walk from Brighton to Gatwick Airport.
Friday, December 7th, 2007
Ariel Sharon’s disengagement policy reflected an understanding that ownership of the Palestinian issue is shared with Egypt and Jordan. If Tony Blair were to acquire this view, perhaps he really could help facilitate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Thursday, October 25th, 2007
There she was, sitting outside the apartment block! How did she do it? Dogs—or at least Jam—must have some sort of navigational sense we don’t understand.
Monday, February 26th, 2007
I have had something very flattering: a request. Juan Carlos has asked me for comments on Casino Royale.
Thursday, February 8th, 2007
The Mrs is skeptical of David Allen’s Getting Things Done self-management system because it eschews the rigors of time management for what feels right. But GTD is about informed feeling.
Saturday, July 10th, 2004
I want to get people in my pics, but it’s tougher when you’re no longer a wide-eyed teenager, because people generally don’t like to think they are a spectacle.
Sunday, March 18th, 2018
Enjoying a nice independent bookstore, Wilfred M. McClay suddenly feels microbetrayed by their abuse of the term “curate”. A nice little one lamenting PC language.
Thursday, March 15th, 2018
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
Monday, March 12th, 2018
a confused jumble or medley of things
I go to zoos, and while I’m there, I’m thinking about what a zoo means — it is both defensible and indefensible — but I’m also absorbed by the gallimaufric variety and sheer strangeness of those ones on the other side of the barrier.
Teju Cole, “On the Blackness of the Panther”
Friday, March 9th, 2018
Tyler Cowen has a modest proposal: polarized shopping. “You get better deals from the companies you patronize regularly, most of all from airlines and hotels. It requires only some stretch of the imagination to think that more of those programs could be organized around ideology.”
Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
Monday, March 5th, 2018
Sunday, March 4th, 2018
Like latter-day cave painting, people are getting creative with their iPhone home screens. The main aesthetic beyond spacing seems to be color-coding, which may be admirable but also a bit precious. The tool to do it all is the very cool Makeovr.
Saturday, March 3rd, 2018
Wednesday, February 28th, 2018
Paglia on #meToo: “Treating women as more vulnerable, virtuous or credible than men is reactionary, regressive and ultimately counterproductive.”
Monday, February 26th, 2018
Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion of the 2008 US Supreme Court case discussing the Second Amendment, Distric of Columbia v. Hehher. Surely required reading for being informed on the topic.
Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
In “Syria – From a State to a Hybrid System: Implications for Israel” by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), authors Carmit Valensi, Udi Dekel and Anat Kurz write: “The problem can be managed but no solution can be expected … Syria will not revert to what it was … By means of coordinating with third parties, Israel will be able to influence trends…”
As a warplane is downed for the first time since 1982, Israel reevaluates its strategy vis-à-vis Syria.
Tyler Cowen’s work habits while traveling. “Go somewhere — perhaps somewhere dangerous or disgusting — and simply plan to spend your full, normal work/writing day there.” Because: “By the end of the trip it will feel like a full vacation anyway, that’s how silly your memory is.”
Monday, February 12th, 2018
The rather impressive gentleman Craig Mod chronicles a walk along a thousand-year old pilgrimage route in Wakayama prefecture, Japan.
Good gumption. Frank Chimero expresses many thoughts I’ve had on the depressing explosion of complexity in web development. I particularly agree about being able to View Source, which is one important reason I don’t use CSS pre-processors: I want people to be able to read the CSS as I coded it, whether to know what to copy or what not to copy.
Sunday, February 11th, 2018
Thursday, February 8th, 2018
Friday, January 26th, 2018
Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
Watching Mike Pence’s speech to the Knesset [transcript and video at Haaretz], Prime Minister Netanyahu can’t jump to his feet fast enough.
The US Vice President draws parallels between America’s and Israel’s stories. He sets a 2019 deadline for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. And he recites Shehechianu in Hebrew.
This historic speech furthers the momentum of the new American way in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To paraphrase the Grateful Dead: More than this I will not ask.
Monday, January 22nd, 2018
For 42 minutes Walter Russell Mead [transcript] puts not a sentence, not a word out of place — let alone an idea — in discussing the first year of the Trump presidency.
WRM is interviewed by Susan Glasser at The Global Politico [podcast] mainly through the prism of his book Special Providence, which divides American foreign policy into four schools: Hamiltonian, Jeffersonian, Wilsonian and Jacksonian.
Amazon Go physical grocery store opens in Seattle, featuring no check-out.
Sunday, January 21st, 2018
“A gifted mimic, he nonetheless eschews regional accents for comic effect.” Dean Allen, RIP by his friend Om Malik. I used Allen’s work to type this very link; he invented Textile, a method for writing HTML (now superceded in mindshare by John Gruber’s Markdown). See also Gruber’s and Jason Kottke’s eulogies.
Thursday, January 18th, 2018
Next step in the Trump strategy for wrapping up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: US cuts payments to UNRWA by about half.
Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
If you read one brief op-ed piece this year, surely it must be Of Crudeness and Truth by Andrew Klavan in City Journal. “For Nurse Ratched, read Hillary Clinton, CNN, The New York Times, Yale University, Twitter, and Google/YouTube —— all the tender ministers of polite silence and enforced dishonesty. If Donald Trump’s boorishness crashes like a bull through the crystal madhouse of their leftism — well, good. It’s about time.” Like other forms of tyranny, at first we found political correctness amusing. One consequence of it: this risky presidency.
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
In what seems a common pattern, Jony Ive started early, eschewing the liberal education of say Oxbridge, instead selecting the most renowned college in the field in which he was already winning prizes: industrial design. And this great achiever of our times grew up under the happy and mighty influence of his father, an educator who rose to prominence due to character and a drive to bring design literacy to British education.
The bulk of this book about Ive constitutes one of the stronger, more detailed histories we have of Apple itself, told mainly from the perspective of the IDg, the internal design group he leads. We learn for instance that in order to meet Steve Jobs’ deadline for creating the iMac — the first product upon Jobs’ return and which revived the company — they needed to streamline the product process by making the files of the design software interoperable with those of the manufacturing software.
Someone says Ive is even less replaceable at Apple than Jobs. This isn’t quite fair because Jobs worked to make himself replaceable. Let’s hope Ive does as well.
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
The next step in the Trump shibboleth-marauding strategy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal appears to have just happened: The President has threatened the Palestinians with withholding aid if they continue to refuse to come to the negotiating table.
These were merely tweets, a new lower level of presidential statement, but nonetheless they’re another demonstration to the Palestinians that they do in fact have things to lose by maintaining the conflict indefinitely. It seems a softening up before negotiations begin so that this time they will finally actually end with a deal.
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
Sunday, December 31st, 2017
Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.
Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.
A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.
In Mosaic, Martin Kramer tells the tale, set over lunch in Ein Kerem, of the closest Jerusalem ever got to internationalization. (At one point I found the internationalization of Jerusalem a heady and exciting notion—providing of course that the UN move its HQ there.) A most vivid history op-ed piece.
Thursday, December 28th, 2017
Read “Antisemitism in contemporary
Great Britain: A study of attitudes towards Jews and Israel“ [PDF] by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, published September 2017. The study demonstrates a correlation between anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes.
Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
When Google analysed their hiring, they were surprised to find that “among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last.” Instead, “The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills.” One smart commenter points out that since everyone will have the STEM skills anyway, these other things are the only differentiators.
Value-Driven Business Process Management
Peter Franz & Mathias Kirchmer
Enlarging on their idea that 80–85% of process improvements come from just 15–20% of processes, the authors argue that organizations must institutionalize BPM like other now-standard departments such as accounting and human resources.
They explain the mission of such a department (effective organization-wide process improvement), the goals (to determine which processes to focus on and which techniques to use for each) and the method (a series of rubrics for evaluating).
Important though the book clearly is in the field, for me it was a slog; the prose is not crisp and the examples seem vapid — though it’s likely that for a reader more versed in the practice they would come more alive. The book does get more quotable and unabashedly enthusiastic towards the end.
Sunday, December 24th, 2017
Jonathan Haidt lists the centrifugal and centripetal forces acting on American society in his essay Age of Outrage. I learned a new word: “intersectionality”.
Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
Monday, December 18th, 2017
Real-Life BPMN: With introductions to CMMN and DMN
Jakob Freund, Bernd Rücker
With their years of experience as business process management consultants—and now vendors—the authors choose “real-life” as their approach, explicating their own methodology for delivering BPM projects. This book serves as invaluable guidance for newer practitioners.
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
Who showed up, who stayed home, and who broadcast a weather program while Erdoğan spoke at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit condemning America’s recognition of Israel’s capital. Jordan was there but Saudi, Egypt and the UAR weren’t.