Saloth Sar or Monica

Jonah Goldberg was right to be impressed by Guess the Dictator: Well, I win this round. You are player number 3 to pick Pol Pot from Dictator of Cambodia, and what a clever choice it was! You almost had me for a while, but you let your guard down. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us sooner or later. Please play again, and next time I’ll be ready for you, Pol Pot from Dictator of Cambodia.

I was shocked when it came up with the final question of “are you responsible for the Killing Fields” as the one immediately previous had been “do you talk to your neighbors through a fence”, leading me to conclude that it was off on completely the wrong track altogether.

I daresay it won’t come up with Sargon or Muhammad bin Tughlak, though.

Dean.bomb

The Original Cyberpunk waxes, as is his wont, sardonic: It seems as if Dean really *did* run the first Internet political campaign. After months of intense media buzz, much hoopla and excitement, and uncounted gigabytes of self-congratulatory press releases, it turns out that there was only one rather unappealing product and no significant consumer base that wanted to buy it. In the end, all we’re left with is the smoky residue that comes from burning several million dollars of investor capital and a limp and soggy sockpuppet. Dean.com is now Dean.gone.

I don’t sell my own books here and I don’t discuss them. I will, however, INSIST that you buy a copy of Headcrash and read it this year. If you like Dilbert, Douglas Adams or Grant Naylor, you will laugh out loud at least four times while reading it.

The OC sent me a review copy back when my game column was running in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I didn’t know him and didn’t want to bother reading it, but since he was local I knew he’d keep calling me until I did. I finally dove into it during a 4th of July weekend at the lake cabin, read it straight through and was kicked out of the living room by Big Chilly and the Perfect Aryan Male in the process. “Take your damn mirthful snorting elsewhere!”

Strangely, Time Warner elected not to go with the quote I provided for the cover afterwards. “Too f——- funny. Too f——- brilliant.”

Nice guys finish last

Everyday Stranger shares her thoughts on the matter: Why do women go for bad boys? Best Friend is a good boy (er…man). He is nice, sympathetic, worries about the woman’s needs, etc. Yet somehow he never seems to get the girl. Which leads me to think about the 4 men in my life that consitute my closest friends and (in a tribute to the comments discussion yesterday), I will say this: they are all men, and not one of them am I sexually interested in. And they are not sexually interested in me, either. All 4 of them I met at work and quickly became friends with, all 4 of them have had turbulent or non-existent love relationships…and all 4 of them are good guys.

First, assuming that Everyday Stranger is in approximately the same league as the four men in her life, she’s almost surely wrong about their lack of interest in her. The ability of women to overlook the most obvious when it comes to recognizing the lovelorn anguish of their little posse of hangers-on is astounding. Nearly every woman I ever dated had a “just friend” who would look absolute daggers at me every time the object of their affection wasn’t paying attention; I’m not sure what purpose this denial serves, but it certainly exists. I’ve seen it in every attractive single woman that I know. Women, if you don’t believe me, have someone else, preferably another guy, interrogate your “friend”.

As for the appeal, there’s two facets. One, when a woman simply wants to get off without too many emotional consequences, she can hook up with an obvious bad boy and then walk away knowing perfectly well that there isn’t going to be any of that tedious lingering breakup stuff. Better yet, she can blame him for her doing something that she wouldn’t normally do, and there’s not a man or woman on the planet who will argue with her, especially not the user she’s using. I didn’t realize that I was being used this way until years after the fact, when I suddenly realized that the reason those relationships ended so easily was that the women never had any intention or expectation of a lasting one in the first place. The biggest fear of women in their twenties is that they’ll be trapped. Most don’t start thinking seriously about marriage, much less the possibility of spinsterhood, until they’re approaching thirty, and in some cases, thirty-five.

The other aspect is the one that Everyday Stranger hits on. Excitement and the maternal urge to fix. I don’t agree that bad boys are all broken, however, some are that way by choice, in cases like mine it was learned behavior, and some are just naturally self-centered monsters. I personally suspect that it’s the love of potential drama that turns women on; why else would a girl get all hot and bothered simply because you’re speeding through downtown at 100 MPH? Everyone likes to feel that they’re living in a movie now and then.

It’s a sick, messed-up culture. Nice guys find it hard to get dates unless they act indifferently, even cruelly towards women, and if they begin acting nice once within the relationship, they’ll often get dumped for being boring. If you suspect your girlfriend is getting bored with you and you really want to keep her interested, I suggest breaking up with her out of the blue. Don’t give any reason, just say that you think perhaps you need a little space, but you hope the two of you will stay very close friends. After about a week, on the 50th time she calls you trying to figure out what on Earth happened, you can allow yourself to be convinced by her that you get back together. She won’t be bored, you’ll still be together, everybody’s happy. And if it doesn’t work, well, you just moved up the timetable on the inevitable breakup by a few weeks anyhow. Bored men entertain themselves with their interests and hobbies. Bored women go in search of someone else to entertain them.

The strange thing is that every arrogant jerk I know who wanted to be married has been married for years, meanwhile, the nicest guy of my acquaintance is not only still single but essentially dateless despite being tall, rich, good-looking and Christian. It’s no great mystery why – every time he’s interested in someone, he tries to befriend them first and takes months before getting around to asking them out, by which time they’re in a relationship with someone. Which leaves one to wonder what the point of dating is, if it’s not getting to know someone.

I guess I have to conclude that the fact that nice guys finish last with women can’t be fairly blamed on the female taste for bad boys; they can’t say yes if you never ask. And if you don’t ask quickly, it’s guaranteed that someone else will.

Undoing history

Thomas Sowell writes on the dangers: One such dangerous notion is the idea of being able to undo the wrongs of history. History is so full of wrongs that there are almost unlimited ways to go wrong trying to correct them.

The mind boggles

Another major security hole in Windows. Good thing they don’t use that shoddy Open Source method of designing software. The amazing thing is that it’s these jokers who are sowing Fear Uncertainty and Doubt about Linux, and people are buying it. Meanwhile, their cryptography is actually based on the flawed code. If you wrote this into a novel, no one would believe you for the irony.

Linux is perhaps the ultimate demonstration that people are really, honestly and truly stupid, viewed in the collective. To paraphrase Neal Stephenson: why would you want to pay a lot of money to drive a leaky station wagon that breaks down all the time when you can drive this here tank for free? Because you don’t know how to fix a tank? You don’t know how to fix the station wagon either!

I’m not saying Linux is perfect. I’m not saying OpenOffice is perfect. Both have a long ways to go before they become the obvious choice for the quasi computer illiterate. But considering the huge number of problems with Windows and the enormous price-differential between it and Linux, I find it simply staggering that many people won’t even consider making the migration.

PayPal

Something about PayPal always bothered me… I started to sign up for it once but I let my account lapse without ever using it. I was planning to take out a blogad for one of my books and decided to do a little due diligence before signing up for a PayPal account. This detailed account from an ex-employee has convinced me to pass on it. I won’t sign up for anything that gives the contract writer this abusive power in the fine print.

Adios psycho

From My Way News: Wesley Clark, the novice politician with four-star military credentials, abandoned his presidential bid Tuesday after two third-place finishes in the South. The retired Army general will return to Little Rock, Ark., on Wednesday to announce his departure from the race, said campaign spokesman Matt Bennett. Clark will pledge to work closely with the Democratic Party to support the presidential nominee and other candidates across the country. “He made this decision after discussing it with his family and his staff,” Bennett said. “It was a very difficult decision to make obviously. He did it after the final results were in for Tennessee and the decision is final.” He is the fifth Democrat to drop out of the race.

General Clark was the only candidate who seriously made me nervous. Everyone else would have governed the nation in basically the same Republicrat manner that we’ve known since Reagan ‘s second term – you’re kidding yourself if you think there will be a great deal of difference between how John Francois or George Delano will govern – but I had no difficulty imagining Clark declaring martial law at the first opportunity and turning the country over to the United Nations.

The amazing campaign has gone down in flames. Thank goodness.