Friday, March 28, 2008

Someone explain this political cartoon for me

Because I just don't get it.

The artist is Michael Ramirez, a famous conservative cartoonist, so I assume he's saying what the donkey is planning on doing is stupid. But I'm getting mixed metaphors here. Is the donkey saying that they should raise the amount of coal in the back end? Because that would anchor the train back to the tracks and be a good thing, right? Or would it be a bad thing because having the wheels touch would make the train go again and send it off the cliff? Or is the donkey saing that they should just raise the back end itself? If that's the case, why go with the train metaphor to begin with? Or is the donkey supposed to be doing a good thing in this one particular instance? And why-oh-why are taxes fueling the economy? Or is just the back end of the train taxes, not the contents? Read more.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Will Wilkinson on happiness and travel

Here. In short, he says that a vacation is a better gift than an HD TV because of the psychological effect of adaptation: the novelty of the TV wears off, but the trip, as a one-time thing, will be exciting and stay exciting in memories.

I disagree. Personality type and individual tastes are much more important in this decision than adaptation. Personally, I don't like traveling; I'm not observant enough of my surroundings to feel more "alive" every time I go a new place, I tend to get sick when I move around too much, and the recovery period is a drag. Moreover, I have plenty of fond memories of entertainment I've consumed, and I'm much more likely to talk about movies I've just seen than places I've just gone. So please, if you're ever wondering whether to get me a gadget or an experience, for the love of all that's holy, pick the gadget. Read more.