In American football, the victor usually proclaims that he is "going to Disneyland" -- a wry euphemism for getting laid after having one's sexual stock bounce after a stellar performance at the Super Bowl. This is how the Brazilians do it.
I shit you not. "The World Database of Happiness is an ongoing register of scientific research on subjective appreciation of life. It brings together findings that are scattered throughout many studies and provides a basis for meta-analytical studies. The Database consists of the following catalogs:
* Bibliography of Happiness
* Catalog of Happiness Queries (testbank)
* Catalog of Happiness in Nations
* Catalog of Happiness Correlates
* Directory of Happiness Investigators"
The world is in an uproar about the Baby Bomber. But shouldn't we be as worred about Lil Bow Wow? And when Bart started bartending for Fat Tony.
New technology replicates schizophrenics' hallucinations "to help show that they're not real."
Can anybody say "Brainstorm"?
Lordy. Apparently there are unexplained "Reality Shifts"" happening all around us. Scroll down to "Your Reality Shift Stories." Including: Vanishing Man. Missing Earring Reappears. Reappearing Watch & Cat. Mysterious Town Appears.
for example: "Well yes, I lost my watch, and I did exactly as you instruct in your web site. I found it below my computer keyboard several days later. I use my computer around 10 hours a day. I never do put my watch at that place, and I live alone!"
Delve deep, my friends.
It seems to be like a map generator, but for real life. Hermes Trismegistus's Reality Creator system promises some real control over your life. Finally, and it looks so easy: "Release the energy-ball, with its newly endowed directive, and give it a gentle push outward. If done correctly you should feel a slight power drain, as the energy-ball leaves. Continue to monitor the energy-ball in your imagination. Follow the ball as it enters an energy vortex. You can imagine the vortex as a swirling mass of energy surrounding a tiny hole in the center. This hole is where the ball of energy gets sucked into and disappears. After the energy-ball gets sucked into the vortex, you are done!""
In way it fails 'cause I can't really make hide nor hare of it, but this map is a great leap forward in charting the course of spam. Explanations appreciated.
Lots of great quotes in this story.
"Fan mail, meanwhile, is also rare because of the lack of a functioning postal service. "Once we get P.O. boxes and mailmen, I think the fan mail will grow substantially," suggests screenwriter and producer Victor Okhai. "
This is a proposed new development for the WTC site. It loads slow even on a superconductor. Boy is it strange. And did I mention ugly?
Also: sound warning (that's for you, David).
Can you tell a pre-criminal from a pre-celeb? Take our quiz and find out. I was on a roll -- 6 right answers -- but then David Schwimmer screwed me up. I hate that show anyway.
Tour news! Or at least a press release. "George, Pavel and Eki will be the motors of the team ... Benoit will be the most motivated rider of the whole peloton at the start in Luxembourg. And Victor is back, as he was very strong in the Dauphine."
"Imagine a library containing all possible books, ordered alphabetically on a single shelf. Books in which the first letter is "a" are at the left hand side. Books in which the first letter is "z" are at the right. In picture (i) below, the shelf is shown vertically with "left" (a) at the top and "right" (z) at the bottom. The first book in the "a" section reads "aaaaaaaaaaaa..."; somewhere to its right are books that start "all good things must come to an end..."; a tiny bit further to the right are books that start "all good things must come to an enema...". "
If this bill goes through, we might see studios hacking P2P networks, and I for one want front row seats. I think it would be a good thing, actually. We might actually learn something from it, though I do fear the little guys will get outgunned in the end, but I think something good could come out of it.
Then again, I could be wrong. What do y'all think?
The only interesting take on Bush-Palestine I've seen so far, from Josh Marshall's blog.
"Like cheap donuts the low quality of President Bush's new Middle East proposal only becomes completely clear after the first couple bites.
The highlight, the shot in the arm, of this exercise is supposed to be the US endorsement of a Palestinian state, or rather a provisional state. But isn't that what the Palestinians already have? Or thought they had? What is the Palestinian Authority after all but a provisional state? What they get is a change in vocabulary.
The rub to the proposal is that the Palestinians can have their state - or rather their provisional state - only if they get rid of their current leadership. So they can rule themselves if they choose leaders acceptable to the United States and/or the Israelis. Not to be knee-jerk about this, but isn't that almost the definition of colonialism, the antithesis of what it means to have your own state? The essence of sovereignty or statehood is that you pick your own leaders."
I don't know about anyone else, but I often find myself wondering in passing about the origins of some of the idiomatic phrases we use.
So I was happy as a clam to find this here site on the Origin of Phrases.
Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey
Meaning: Very cold.
Example: I am not going outside. It is cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey and mine are considerable more sensitive.
Origin: In the 1700s cannon balls and black powder were carried by boys referred to as "powder monkeys".
One explanation has it that the balls were stacked in the familiar pyramid configuration with a wooden triangle holding the bottom layer together. These wooden triangles (perhaps as an extension of powder monkey) were also referred to as "monkeys". The trouble with wooden monkeys was that they couldn't take much abuse before shattering under the impact of dropped cannon balls.
The next material used to make monkeys was brass. These worked perfectly in warmer weather. The trouble with brass monkeys was that they tended to shrink a little when the weather turned cold enough. This shrinkage squeezed the bottom layer up, sending balls rolling all over the deck.
Thanks to Darryl
Interesting tale, but not likely. The boys were definitely called powder monkeys, and the triangles may indeed have been called monkeys. But the idea that cold weather would cause enough shrinkage to squeeze out the cannon balls is fanciful. Brass is an alloy made of copper and nickel and is quite stable.
Considering the size of even a small cannon ball is perhaps 2 to 3 inches in diameter, the amount of shrinkage of the monkey would have to be a couple of inches to push out the balls. Impossible.
With Video Game sales topping $31 Billion in 2002, it is high time we looked at the 70.4 million new owners of consoles and what they look like and how they think. This old Ernest Adams piece starts to do this, to rather humorous effect, and is expanded on in this
more recent follow-up.
My hope is Adams is right and that developers start making games for the burgeoning middle category, ie, the transitional/moderate gamer.
orienteering...a competitive sport for world-class athletes.
apparently i didn't go to the college that was right for me. and all this time i thought my high school counselour knew what he was doing.
"They drop these boys in and they construct a town," relates retired Special Forces operative Stan Goff. "In no time at all they'll have barracks and latrines. Then they'll put in a club that serves alcohol, soccer fields, and baseball fields."
Sample item for sale under the Superpowers category:
"ROBOTIC AYN RAND
Need advice about your latest megalomaniacal scheme? If only you could ask history's greatest megalomaniac, "novelist" and "philosopher" Ayn Rand. Too bad she's dead. But wait! In 1963, a secret cabal of Objectivists intent on taking over the Student Union at MIT built the first robotic Ayn Rand, and now you can own a Randroid® based on their original design. Comes with stock phrases such as "Morality ends where the gun begins," "Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent," and "Nathaniel! Bring me another gin and tonic!"
Price: US$50,000 includes software*
*software tends to be rather buggy. For instance, your Randroid may oppose immigration, yet be an immigrant herself. She may oppose infidelity, yet cheat on her husband. She may espouse individuality, yet believe that only those who follow her are individuals. She may oppose the control of individuals by organizations, yet laud corporate power. These bugs can not be repaired."
Now, how can Israel have only 6 to 8 terrorist incidents in all of 2001?
This one's for Christie Todd. Over the weekend the Times noted that the sky is falling, or at leastgetting a lot warmer. "North of Fairbanks, roads have buckled, telephone poles have started to tilt, and homeowners have learned to live in houses that are more than a few bubbles off plumb. Everyone, it seems, has a story. "We've had so many strange events, things are so different than they used to be, that I think most Alaskans now believe something profound is going on.""
Sometime's it's scifi that defines the future, and sometimes it's sitcom. Take episode #46, "Hi-Fi Gilligan," seriously, as some researchers have, and life looks a lot like TV. Except you don't have to get hit in the mouth to start it up.
Could this REALLY
be a photo of Jesus Christ,
blessing the U.S. of A.??
[WARNING: This site plays music. God, I hate web music. There should be a CD of web music.]
It's no Jerusalem, but the tragedy that unfolded at Bar Veloce on Sunday is being met head on by nothing less than the superpowers of the Catholic church. From the NY Scooters listserv, this just in:
From: Gregory H-----
Sent: 19 June, 2002 1:37 PM
Subject: [-------scooters] Bar Veloce & Blessings
Frederick is Having Bar Veloce blessed this afternoon at around 5pm and has invited everyone down at that time to have scooters blessed. So for those of you who can make it to Bar Veloce on 2nd avenue around 5PM today [...] you can get your scooter blessed as we prepare for summer!
Are gov't agencies required to have "for kids" sections on their sites? OPIC breaks down the financial realities of globalism for the 6-12 set. "In Brazil, OPIC worked with other companies that provide political risk insurance to insure the privatization of an electricity distribution system that provides electricity to the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. This way, the U.S. investors don’t have to worry about problems like inconvertibility and expropriation."
Got a great spam for a how-to-make-money-on-ebay book package today (it's easy! sell postcards and cave pennants), which after some research led to this strategy I hadn't thought of before. "Would you like to hypnotize your potential bidders into purchasing your items? I am sure you do, we all do and now you can with NLP! NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, its a form of hypnosis based on hidden, subliminally persuasive language patters either spoken or written." My birthday (and my unemployment) are coming up! (Aside: you get some great Google Adwords when you search on NLP hypnosis.
ap article on what assets rummy sold to avoid any conflicts of interest when he took office...somewhat interesting, but the gem is:
Rumsfeld also made about $759,000 in deferred compensation from five companies on whose boards of directors he used to serve. Most of that -- $538,000 -- was from Sears, where he also retains a lifetime merchandise discount.
Get spooked. Go deep and see what you find here.
Oh, Saatchi, you're so naughty! Naughty enough to win cannes, this deserves a second look, and then at least five more, by my count. Not what you think it is on first glance, or maybe much more so.
Or: close inspection shows that it is far more clever, or far more stupid, than first glance suggests.
I love how the "installation" of the Enigmah chip requires that "29 wires be precisely soldered to the chip and specific spots on the Xbox's main circuitry board."
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Plutonium Memorial Contest
"We asked the question: Instead of burying and forgetting the world's excess plutonium, why not build a monument to the folly of its creation? More than 150 artists responded. See the best here.
Besides, it's all fake anyways. Right?
Admittedly, I would have loved to have seen the footage of this event nonetheless...
"British/Welsh/Australian Readers Wanted," the classified ad read. "Earn $50 to read simple English text for 1.5 hours. Call Ping."
Variations on that appeal have been popping up in newspapers and on lampposts throughout the city. Earlier this year, the sought-after languages were Hindi, Polish and French.
Ping Tang, the man who answers the phone call, works in a voice-over studio on West 57th Street, where he is gathering raw material for a "Star Trek"-inspired gadget: a voice-recognition device that translates spoken English for foreigners. With the device, a Japanese business executive could, theoretically, decipher the mutterings of a New York cabbie.
The whole weird story. Free lunch to anyone who gets his/her voice recorded.
From a NYPD police captain, apparently the trend among teenagers in Boro Park is not collecting baseball cards, but instead collecting cops' business cards. It is apparently the law that if requested, NYPD must produce the cards, which have no clear use beyond collectibility.
Free lunch to the first scanned card.
From: Lev Manovich (email@example.com)
Subject: Learning From Prada (PART 4)
excerpt -- it's all interesting, but this is the great part:
I think that Spuybroek's building is a successful symbol for information
age. Its surfaces which apear to be constantly changing illustrate the
key effect of a computer revolution: substitution of every constant by a
Dear Valued etopps Customer:
Earlier today, we encountered technical difficulties with our mail server and inadvertently sent IPO alerts for a War Emblem Triple Crown event card and for next week's (June 17-23) IPO's including the introduction of etopps classics. As you all are aware, War Emblem did not win the Triple Crown and an event card was never created. Also, next week's IPO's (including classics) will be available for sale on Monday, June 17, 2002. We will re-send the IPO alert on Monday as regularly scheduled.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. If you have any additional questions feel free to contact our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again for your continued support of etopps.
The etopps Team
Where your love for sports can pay dividends
They don't have bathrooms, but they're made by Amish people! My new vacation home, just about the same size as the third street apartment. Anyone know if Ulster County still lets people use outhouses?
It gets funnier and funnier as you read along...
From the "no image is innocent" files, ladies and gentlement, the first JPEG virus.
May 20, 2002 - The New Economy and all things tech are the guiding lights of Dig-IT, a new consumer title set to debut in September.
Founded by Wired and Upside veterans Fred Davis and David Bunnell, the magazine aims to be a "how-to manual you can use to achieve the cultural impact of technology."
Dig-iT is targeted to the avid tech consumer and will include market research, lab results of various products and how-to guides to gadget shopping.
Dig-iT's stories will center around digital culture and its implications.
My new favorite site. Stayed up til 3am reading this shit, the blog of Eric Raymond, yes, that's right, of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" fame. His scientific analysis of net pron is, if not unsuitable for worktime browsing, then highly amusing.
It's nice to see a nerd who seems to get some play, is not a wimp, and who can write reasonably well, and has a sense of humor.
My favorite story of the day -- is
Jose Padilla the same as McVeigh's John Doe #2? Kind of Oswald-conspiracy-ish. But still. And the thing is, I've always worried that I look a little like John Doe #2 -- or at least I did about 15 years ago, when my hair was a bit bushy and I had the remnant of a freshman moustache.
1. MS builds an OK console box to make inroads into living room/gaming industry.
2. OK is not good enough in the world of consoles, not enough good games to make it worthwhile, poorly marketed and designed to MS standards, ie, middling.
3. Hackers decide to improve on the thing (does the XBox feel like a Dreamcast to anybody else? Not that I own one or anything..it just has that powerful/clunky way about it...) by extending its capabilities to places it should have gone or where its creators never imagined it could go.
I am asking this out of ignorance, but why doesn't this happen to Sony products? You just don't hear that many stories about somebody hacking a PS2 and making it more useful. Does good design have anything to do with this? Could it be, perhaps, that the beauty of the object itself or even the internal beauty of the construction of the machine, reflected in its case as well, somehow protects it from excessive tampering? An object slapped together begs to be torn apart...
Peppercorns used to be worth their weight in gold. I wonder what they'll say about us a thousand years from now? That we paid so much for bandwidth? Computer chips? Breast implants?
"Martha Stewart, the domestic lifestyle businesswoman" acting inappropriately?
The New York Observer features a short history of eBay via a review of Adam Cohen's book, The Perfect Store.
Condolences to dbrown?
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sam Waksal, the former chief executive of biotech firm ImClone Systems Inc. , has been arrested on insider trading charges, according to his spokesman.
"Sam Waksal was arrested at 6:30 a.m. this morning at his home. He was visited by four FBI ( news - web sites) agents," said Scott Tagliarino, Sam Waksal's spokesman.
The center had publicly requested aid from security experts on the Web last week after its employees were unable to open the digital catalog, obtained from the family of Reidar Djupedal after his death in 1989. Djupedal was a professor and an expert on Ivar Aasen, an itinerant Norwegian researcher who, in 1850, established a new language for Norway that bridged all the country's dialects. The New Norwegian, or Nynorsk, is spoken regularly by about 20 percent of the country and is the main language in Western Norway, where nearly 25 percent of newspapers use it. The widely used Dano-Norwegian language, or Bokm%uFF8Cl, a written language based on Danish, makes up the other 80 percent, according to the center. Nine years ago, an archivist transferred bibliographic information on 11,000 of Djupedal's 14,000 titles to a database created with DBase III and IV, but the archivist died before the collection and the catalog reached the center, taking the password with him and leaving the catalog inaccessible. Djupedal himself had died earlier.
Stolen straight from andrewsullivan.com
THE SIMPSONS ON SOCCER: A reader kindly sent me the following Simpsons transcript on soccer. More eloquent than I:
TV Announcer: The Continental Soccer Association is coming to Springfield! It's all here--fast-kicking, low scoring, and ties? You bet!
Bart: Hey, Homer, how come you've never taken us to see a soccer game?
Homer: I...don't know.
TV Announcer: You'll see all your favorite soccer stars. Like Ariaga! Ariaga II! Bariaga! Aruglia! And Pizzoza!
Homer: Oh, I never heard of those people.
TV Announcer: And they'll all be signing autographs!
TV Announcer: This match will determine once and for all which nation is the greatest on earth: Mexico or Portugal!
Which countries are leaning linux, which msft. It would be great if someone would make a map out of this!
A Pennsylvania councilwoman has accused her borough's lone police dog of racial profiling, leading to calls that the canine be killed. From Fox News, so it's Fair and Balance. You decide: "Experts differ on whether dogs can discern race."
In scott mcnealy's words, you have zero privacy, get over it. The ap reports: Internet Used to Find Man Who Is Charged in 2 of 10 Killings: "On June 3, the Microsoft Corporation, which tracks access to that Web site, showed the F.B.I. that only someone with the Internet Provider address 18.104.22.168 visited the Expedia.com site and searched the West Alton area within days of the map's mailing to the Post-Dispatch. The user name of that IP address was "MSN/maurytravis.""
Remember poring over your college facebook for the cuties? Well, kids today have it even better. Now you can see when s/he's taking a potty or if s/he's cheating on you in some lucky bastard's dorm room...
I thought this was probably the motivation for most colleges to switch to a card key (electronic) access system. The same could probably done with metrocards if they really wanted. Fuck, 9/11 has made pretty much any surveillance tech justifiable.
When does Minority Report come out again? Philip Dick man..
...or not. Seems pretty elementary.
If only Americans would respond the same way to all the advertising and journalism we -- actually, never mind.
I don't know what ambassadorial duties they're referring to, but sign me up, sign me up too.
Just so you know, the NRA displaced the AARP for the 1 spot. A nice little picture of the kinds and volume of concerns out there...
The post office across from 180 Varick -- saturation hq -- is more than a post office. The floors above have "hearing rooms" for INS detainees. (Can't call them court rooms -- the INS has no judicial power.) Super secret stuff; there are other such facilities -- and detention facilities, too --around the country. Jenny Polak and Lauren Gill render these spaces, through reports from within. The grey lady has fuller coverage.
Luke Helder wasn't as bad as they say, it turns out. "Helder didn't poison anyone's dog, nor did he try to injure cats with lit firecrackers, nor did he keep mannequins in his garage with knives sticking out of the faces and swastikas on the chests, as the story quoted this individual who said he knew Helder."
Conspiracy is much more fun now that we have a common enemy. "Shallow Throat" plots a course of action: "Focus on Cheney. He's in charge of so much and his ethical/financial vulnerabilities are massive. Ashcroft is a neofascist thug; even many of his GOP friends know he's gone way over the line in wrecking the Constitution and giving the federal government far too much power, which invariably will get abused. Get the fearful, anti-big-government conservatives on your side, at least as silent partners, and go get Ashcroft. He's ripe for the picking. Those are two good starters. If you do your job right, you might just rope in Karl Rove, too."
Fury over Omaha Beach seafood plan
PARIS, France -- American World War II veterans and Normandy villagers have joined forces against two seafood traders planning to market "Omaha Beach" mussels.
"Hundreds of sacked staff of KPNQwest, the Dutch telecoms company that has filed for bankruptcy protection, are occupying a key operations centre in an attempt to stop a European internet crash," reports the Telegraph (which I steal blatantly from metafilter). Is this the moment when class war and tech war finally come together? (Or did that happen long ago, with the Luddites, though roles were inverted back then.) ""The administrators have just driven off in their BMW M5s and they are threatening to send in the police to force us to leave."
Wizards of the Coast (rulers of the post-Gary Gygax D&D realm) need help building a new campaign world.
"If the average person goes out there and they have a bad entertainment experience, why are they going to continue to pay $9.95 to experience this crappy world?"
I know, I know, I found it through metafilter, but, well, you're all here, right?
wired news reports on Comet Systems's defense of their alleged spyware and in the process opens the pandora's box of new economy pointlessness. Not just lack of money, but lack of purpose. (Choose one. Come on, right now, choose one.)
"It proved nearly impossible to make money from it with any real scale," Rosen wrote, noting that Comet has burned its way through $20 million since launching in 1997, while generating total revenues of less than $200,000.... "The information we were logging was completely useless, except for charging sites for cursor impressions."
TiVo can help you with the Sopranos, bathroom breaks, and those pesky ads, especially with the help of all the TiVo fans out there.
But it's more powerful than that, even. Ex-boyfriend hassling your beloved? Hey, ask TiVo!
I can't believe how thorough the information is, in terms of how to turn a TiVo into everything short of a PlayStation 2. They show you, among other things, how to hook up additional hard drives to the unit. (Also, how to reprogram the thing to skip ads. Why, that will do to TV what the VCR did to the cinema! No, wait.)
Since I record a lot of movies and then, uh, "save" them to videotape, I'm wondering if I could hook up a drive with removable media, and just keep all my favorite movies on, like, zip disks.
Little movies. But still.
The next step towards fascism has already happened, and in addition, this example of the tyranny of political correctness was reported in the Times a few days ago, though the Education Department today said they would no longer delete words and phrases from literary passages on the Regents exam (thank god for the Fourth Estate and literate concerned parents! -- though I think "concerned parents" were the cause of the inane self-censorship in the first place -- so make that "literate, liberal and open-minded concerned parents"). My god, what is this country coming to?
I bring this up because I have been dealing with the tyranny of political correctness in the work I'm doing for Yale, whose administration is guilty of the same ridiculous censorship in the name of "tolerance". It's sociological overprotectiveness.
Sorry for the rant.
The BBC decides to re-run the Stanford Prison Experiment, only to find that in 2002, "it is the prisoners, rather than the guards, who quickly establish the upper hand, working as a team to undermine and eventually overthrow the divided guards, some of whom are repelled by the power they have been given." What fucking wussies. [Live! from rotterdam]
Interesting piece about US research into truth serums...
"After testing several compounds, the OSS scientists selected a potent extract of marijuana as the best available "truth serum." The cannabis concoction was given the code name TD, meaning Truth Drug. When injected into food or tobacco cigarettes, TD helped loosen the reserve of recalcitrant interrogation subjects.
The effects of the drug were described in a once-classified OSS report: “TD appears to relax all inhibitions and to deaden the areas of the brain which govern an individual’s discretion and caution. . . . [G]enerally speaking, the reaction will be one of great loquacity and hilarity.”"
Yowza. Who knew that bestiality could go both ways?
If, unlike real life, you find sin impossible to resist when online, you better pray to St. Isidore. Presumably, his experience with driving the Goths out of Spain has prepared him to take on the Worldlier, Wider, enemy that is the web.
Try Road Runner and get HBO for free! Not an actual offer from Time Warner, but rather a clever little modification to the cable broadband line that snakes into your home. Your choice: $40 buys you broadband, or -- with a splitter -- broadband, cable tv, and with a little luck, the Playboy channel.
MIT Grad Student Hacks Into Xbox Security System
From what I can tell, this hack was predicated on the Xbox architecture being very similar to Windows, ie, common and predictable. It really shows what happens when a (American) software company tries to insinuate itself into the (essentially Japanese) console/hardware market.
I guess this is not really "news" since Microsoft "security" is like swiss cheese, but it makes me think about Linux. Ie, to what extent can we view Linux as a virus whose MO is to pry open every available piece of hardware and enable itself to be installed, thereby propogating itself to every existing platform with a capacity to host it?
Seth Lloyd, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, has estimated how much information the Universe can contain, and how many calculations it has performed since the Big Bang.
What, then, is the Universe computing? "Its own dynamical evolution", says Lloyd. As the computation proceeds, reality unfolds.
I downloaded this to my PalmPilot last week and though I can't report any improvement in my batting average, it sure helps to have this handy-dandy reference at the tap of a stylus! Knowledge is power, I always say.
"To show interest while your target is speaking, you need to look at his/her face about three-quarters of the time, in glances lasting between one and seven seconds. The person speaking will normally look at you for less than half this time, and direct eye contact will be intermittent, rarely lasting more than one second. When your target has finished speaking, and expects a response, he or she will look at you and make brief eye contact again to indicate that it is your turn. "
Jack Valenti waxes poetic in some 20-year-old testimony on the threat of the VCR. "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." Search down to "strangler" for the meaty stuff.
1. Hand bound to betray you eventually. Preemptive strike. Get it before it gets you
1. Sets an example for other horses. (that might be watching)
And more, and who would say such a thing? Actually, don't answer that.
The American Prospect takes a whack at explaining the fascination of Civilization III. Maybe not super-deep, and maybe a little like dancing about architecture, but by the time he confesses his "naive faith -- central to both Marxism and much of Christianity -- that humanity is meant to get history right" unbelievers may get the point.