Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 pm

I am posting this from my back yard. With the death of our hard drive, I decided we needed a laptop anyway. Our desk computer is now fixed and we will get it back this weekend, but in the meantime I have been using the laptop.

It’s an HP Pavilion. I forget the model number, and the paperwork is inside. And I am (did I mention?) in my backyard

It has a 17″ “widescreen” screen. I like that.

I don’t know if we’ll keep it. It was kind of a hasty purchase to meet immediate needs, so we didn’t do much research. What do you laptop experts think? Should I keep it? I need it mostly for Internet surfing, watching DVDs, and running CD-ROMs with sheet music (you prop the laptop on the piano stand and read music directly off the screen, obviating the need to print out the music).

But it’s cool to post from the back yard.

Actually a little too cool. We haven’t gotten a heat lamp yet. And it’s getting a little chilly.

P.S. I have noticed that I make more typos and other mistakes with this thing. I’m not sure why that is.

Going for It on Fourth Down

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:57 pm

Kevin Drum has an interesting post that analyzes the critical issue of when football coaches should go for it on fourth down. The conclusion: coaches are generally much too conservative. I think that’s right.

Someone Who Really Gets It

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 1:11 pm

I love this speech by journalist Jerry Ceppos, the winner of the Carr Van Anda Award for Enduring Contribution to Journalism. (Via Romenesko.) This guy really gets it. Here are some highlights:

Three hundred years after Addison and Steele began their daily newspaper, we’ve evolved so fabulously far in our definition of fairness that many newspapers actually run an occasional correction on Page 2 — if we’re lucky. On TV and radio, I don’t believe I’ve ever even heard a simple correction in my 59 years, and most TV and radio Web sites make it almost impossible to find out who’s in charge.

On the Internet itself, the ethos often is to repost a story, eliminating the error — but not to note that there had been one.

And we wonder why those survey numbers keep plummeting, almost as fast as newspaper circulation falls. Might there be a correlation between survey numbers, circulation and our definition of fairness?

Ceppos says important corrections should be more prominent — an idea I have pushed on this blog and in an op-ed in the L.A. Times.

He also cautions against making assumptions. This admonition leads into a Ceppos story of how he came to be someone who doesn’t always trust journalists. It’s the same way a lot of us get that way: we see a media report on something we actually know about, and the report screws up the most basic facts. It happened to Ceppos, just as it has happened to many of us.

In addition to making corrections more prominent, Ceppos pushes another idea I have supported on this blog: the need for newspapers to interact with readers using the Internet. He says this is an important part of being fair.

In many ways, reading this speech is like reading my own blog. Except that this guy is actually in journalism — yet he still gets it.

Read it all.

Allah: Dean Making Jews Uncomfortable

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:15 am

There’s a good post about Howard Dean making American Jews uncomfortable by (ironically?) Allah — here.

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