Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:45 pm

MONKEY TYPING EXPERIMENT: A bunch of monkeys are put in a room with a computer and keyboard. What is the result? If you guessed literature resembling Shakespeare, then you may be a fan of 19th-century scientist Thomas Huxley — but maybe you haven’t been hanging out with real monkeys lately.

Some researchers tried it. They actually left a computer in a monkey enclosure in an English zoo. The results are described here. In terms of the literary output, basically, the monkeys pressed the “S” key a lot. “Later, the letters A, J, L and M crept in.”

It didn’t start out that auspiciously, though. Actually, according to one researcher, the first thing that happened was that “the lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of [the computer] . . . Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard.”

Heh heh. Monkeys.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

MORE STRANGE BENNETT LOGIC: As I have said, I don’t like Bill Bennett. But it turns out I don’t like a lot of his critics, either. It’s telling (though not surprising) that a Dog Trainer staff writer expresses such open delight in this gambling issue. (I admit to having been amused myself, but I don’t pretend to be impartial.) No doubt echoing the sentiments of her fellow reporters, she says (in a comment typical of the tone of the whole piece): “It is just too delicious.”

But I was confused by a passage further down, where the gleeful writer interviews a columnist for New York Magazine named Randy Cohen:

“Gambling is not a vice,” he [Cohen] said. “Bennett’s moral problem is not his gambling, his moral problem is hypocrisy.”

Gotcha. It’s the hypocrisy, not the gambling. I’ll keep reading . . .

“In answering this, the obvious charge, Bennett and his supporters have been quick to point out that he has never addressed the morality of gambling in any of his books or many speaking engagements. But according to Cohen, the fact that Bennett never publicly denied gambling or included it in his long list of moral shortcomings is a laughable defense. ‘I’d like to see a mass murderer try that one in court — “I never said I wasn’t killing a lot of people, your honor.”‘”

Gotcha. Because it wouldn’t be hypocritical, but mass murder is bad. So it’s the gambling, not the hypocrisy.

I will repeat that the moral is not to moralize in such a way that annoys liberals, because if you have a skeleton in your closet — or even a doggie bone — they will not hide their glee in your downfall.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:03 am

DOG TRAINER EDITORIAL WRITERS TAKE NOTE: I know you consider yourselves very knowledgeable about everything under the sun, including the qualifications of President Bush’s judicial nominees. But you lose a little credibility when you can’t even get their names right. It’s “Priscilla Owen,” not “Patricia Owen.”

(P.S. Everything else in your editorial is wrong too.)

Thanks to How Appealing for noticing.

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