Random Tuesday Musings

Sorry for the sparse posting lately. I volunteered to work on a special project for my daughter’s school and it’s ended up sort of owning me and my business over the last few days. In the spirit of making restitution, the following are some things I should’ve/would’ve noted:

1. The Suite Life

Last Friday night the Dallas Cowboys officially launched their new $1.2 billion stadium as they hosted the Tennessee Titans for a pre-season game. A client of ours was gracious enough to invite us to join him for the game in his shiny new luxury suite. I have to tell you, this is not a bad way to watch a football game:

cowboys-suite

The whole facility is pretty impressive. But one of the most stunning things about the thing is what amounts to world’s largest high-definition television set hanging from the ceiling:

Cowboys Titans Football

This four-sided screen is essentially a 5-story building hanging from the ceiling. And the pictures this thing produced had even Jon Simpson, a A/V critic of the highest order, gobsmacked. But as anyone who watched the game will attest, there’s just one small problem with this wonder of technology . . .

Punts tend to hit it.

It’s difficult to imagine that the likely height of a punt wasn’t factored into the construction of a stadium purpose-built for football. In postgame interviews, Jerry Jones was in full “Nathan Thurm” mode about it. “Of course, I knew punts were going to hit the scoreboard. I can’t believe you think I didn’t know this. It’s part of our plan.”

2. Excellence in Podcasting

dah-podcaster

We launched a new website for our business¬† a couple of weeks ago and with it, Jon Simpson and I began a weekly series of audio podcasts. Each runs about 5 minutes and tries to combine a nugget of information about technology or media with a little levity. You can find it and subscribe here. Or you can subscribe through iTunes by searching “Cobalt Bridge.”

I hope to start creating some audio and video for this site as well. Stand by for . . . something.

3. What Would Chavez Do?

The Obama administration continues to be on exactly the wrong side of the governmental controversy in Honduras. Sweet flaming Uzziah, is there anything this president isn’t wrong-headed about? . . . spectacularly, petulantly, condescendingly wrong? God help our poor country . . .

4. Some Dare Call It Amusing

absolut-conspiracy

A few weeks ago, on the anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing, I posted some thoughts about conspiracies. (One Giant Leap for Conspiracy Theories). Since then, I received some good-natured chiding from a friend or two suggesting I’m being naive. So, I’ll take this opportunity to expand and clarify my remarks.

I did not mean to suggest that there are no conspiracies. History is filled with them–some criminal, some political, some financial. A few¬† succeed (e.g., the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln.) Most fail (as with Guy Fawkes and his Gunpowder Plot of 1605).

My argument is not that conspiricies aren’t hatched and attempted. Only that people are reliably bad at carrying them out and/or keeping them a secret if by dumb luck or providence, they succeed. Thus, here are three guidelines I follow when presented with a juicy conspiracy theory.

1. Never attribute to malice what can adaquately be explained by incompetence. (So, no, Roosevelt didn’t intentionally ignore warnings about a Japanese attack in order to justify America’s entry into the war. He and a lot of other people down the chain of command were hiney-covering nincompoops.)

2. Always apply lex parsimoniae (the law of economy), also known as Occam’s Razor. When evaulating competing hypotheses, the simplest explanation that adaquately explains the phenomena is likely to be the correct one. In other words, embrace the explanation with the fewest moving parts. (No conspiracy theory in the history of paranoia has more moving parts than the “9/11 was in Inside Job” narrative.)

3. “They,” whoever they may be, are no smarter, organized, dependable, disciplined or mistake-proof than your local chapter of the Kiwanis Club. People are fallen, frail, and finite.

Yes, as the second Psalm reminds us, the heathen rage and the peoples devise vain things. But it also points out that God finds it all very amusing.