Violence Isn’t Cost Effective Anymore

This TED talk by Steven Pinker is pretty interesting. I’ll let all of his side comments, such as crediting Bill Clinton with the decline of violent crime in the 1990s, go. The most interesting aspect of this talk is not that violence is decreasing over time, but why violence is decreasing.

It seems pretty simple to me–violence has a very low return on investment.

Because of mass media, no act of violence seems isolated anymore. Therefore, committing an act of violence is a PR nightmare. Maybe not for individuals, but for states most definitely (Iraq). And states themselves have decreased the profitability of violence by individuals. It is virtually impossible for an individual to successfully take any significant amount of property from someone else by force (without penalty).

That’s why people rob banks without weapons. The rewards of successfully robbing the bank without a gun are equal to those of robbing a bank with a gun, but the risk of being unsuccessful is much less because the penalty for using a weapon in such a crime is greater.

It is sort of interesting to consider cultures that believe violence will be rewarded in the afterlife. There seems to be a definite perceived benefit to violence there.

BlogRush — Marketing and Syndication Mixed

There is a pretty cool widget I just installed called BlogRush. I saw some stuff about it over on Digg, where it has taken off and is starting to look spammy. I did a little investigating–it’s not. On top of that, BlogRush already looks to be uber-viral, so you’re going to be seeing a lot more of it. If not on your blog, everywhere else.

BlogRush is basically a free widget that syndicates its feeds based on subject to blogs all over the web. The marketing side comes in with pageviews. Every impression you register gets your post included on the syndication somewhere else on the network. Basically tit for tat syndication.

I’m not really expecting to get a rush of traffic, like the name would imply, but picking up a reader here and there isn’t a bad thing. The cool part is that BlogRush isn’t click dependent, so all of your impressions count. This can’t be said for most other marketing/social networking stuff.

You can pick up extra credits by using their referral program, sorta like MLM, but no investment required.

Check it out. At $0, BlogRush is at least priced right!

Vanessa Hudgens, Nude Photos, and Total Jackasses

What are these people thinking? And I’m not necessarily talking only about the minor celebrities or local news people who have sex tapes or nude photos out there floating around. It shouldn’t be too much of a leap to think that we will only hear about a very small percentage of the ones that exist. Let’s face it, with digital cameras and digital video cameras easily accessible to everyone these days, it only follows that there are a countless compromising photos and videos in existence. Some of them are bound to be of celebrities people someone somewhere may have heard of.

And really, who cares?

Before Paris Hilton made this the “in thing”, I knew a guy (friend of a friend) who had some topless photos of a (super hot) high profile girl. He threatened to release them in the media, and it eventually let to her becoming much lower profile. To this day I don’t understand why he did it. Obviously, it was an attempt to embarrass her and get back in her in some way, but it made him look sort of pathetic in my eyes. I think if he’d thought it through he may have realized that would be the outcome–maybe not.

The funny thing is, I don’t think any less of her for her having the photos taken other than her poor judgment in who she let photograph her. He’s the one that came out looking like the lesser person, at least in my eyes.

I pretty much feel the same way about the Vanessa Hudgens photos. Of course, I was forced to look at them in order to properly research this post. If you haven’t seen them yet, I wouldn’t bother. They are not that big of a deal.

But the guy who released these is a complete jackass. I don’t know how much he got paid, but I doubt it was enough to buy back his word, which I’m sure he gave her that he would never let anyone else see them.

Then there is the other price he has to pay–I wish him luck in finding another girl who will let him take dirty pictures of her.

Nice move, moron.

Tommy Lee vs. Kid Rock

TMZ is reporting that these two will meet in a ring in Vegas to settle the score (and pocket $1M). Supposedly they will fight until one of them is knocked out.

Predictions:
1) Frequent smoke breaks
2) Most people in attendance won’t see the fight, they’ll be distracted by all the skanks lifting their shirts
3) It won’t be a win by knockout. Cardiac arrest is much more likely.
4) Brett Michaels will be in Vegas the next week fighting one of the “Rock of Love” reject girls, and he’ll lose.

The Untouchable Jimmy Duncan

This week’s Metropulse wonders how Jimmy Duncan remains invincible even though he has voted against his party on several issues such as Iraq, the Patriot Act, and No Child Left Behind.

“I told them that if I could get past the traditional conservative positions against massive foreign aid, deficit spending, and being the policeman to the world, I could maybe side with them.

So basically, conservative East Tennessee loves Jimmy Duncan because he votes like a conservative? Interesting.

That, or it could be the hair.

I Hope Southwest Rethinks Their Policies

If they insist on continuing to refuse service to attractive chicks I’ll have to adjust my travel strategies.

Not that I really care about their stupid policy–they should be free to turn away whatever business they wish. But I’ll definitely think twice about driving all the way to Nashville to jump on a Southwest flight. I’m safe with my ugly ass friends, but traveling with the missus is risky because of her high level of hottivity.

If Southwest sincerely wants to go after the hot not market, they need to find the right celebrity spokespeople. Maybe Bea Arthur or Rosie?

Ron Paul on Bill O’Reilly

Three things you can count on when being interviewed by O’Reilly

1) If you are against the war, your answers to questions regarding it will be the voice over for video of angry Muslims protesting and/or burning the American flag. They are very aware that their viewership values images over words, and a large portion of it can’t digest both at the same time.

2) You will only get a chance to answer about half the questions he asks. This especially happens when O’Reilly is being pulled into waters that are over his head. “We don’t have time for a history lesson” translates into “If I allow you to answer this way you will make a point that I can’t refute because I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

3) When O’Relly responds to you with, “that may or may not be true”, you can rest assured that you are dead on right.

Here’s the video…

[youtube OYxKOyWHaTw]

Gimme Less

I just saw Britney’s performance on the VMAs. Normally I wouldn’t care, but you never know what this train will be leaving the tracks, so you have to pay attention if you want to see it wreck.

The name of the song is “Gimme More”. I think she wrote it about cheesecake.

The Fox Infotainment Channel and Why Don’t We Bomb Korea?

I’m out of town for the next few days visiting the in-family, so I haven’t been online (as much), Fox News has been on all day. You’ll never believe this–I haven’t seen any news yet! Nothing on the Patriot Act ruling. The one piece of information that I would possibly consider news that they’ve shown so far is about President Bush’s meetings with the Koreans and his refusal to officially end the war with Korea until they’ve met his demands in regards to their nuclear program.

Does anyone else find it odd that we are killing people in at least one country with which we aren’t Constitutionally at war while we aren’t killing anyone in a country with which we are at war? Not that I think we should be killing people anywhere, I’m just saying…

***UPDATE***
Lesson learned. Don’t write blog entries while sitting in front of the TV watching Fox “News” Channel. Make sure you know what you were talking about, or at least listening to someone who does. War was never declared in Korea either.

The irony that I took a shot at Fox for not being news while in the same post using them as my source for mis-information is pretty funny though, no?