More on the election

electoral-vote.com is particularly worthwhile reading today.

Washington Heights is Red Sox country

There is something very special about celebrating a World Series win by the Red Sox on the corner of 181st and St. Nicholas, surrounded by screaming, chanting Sox fans — a few Jews in a crowd of Dominicans alternating "Who's your pappy?", "Yankees suck!", and a few things in spanish I don't know the meaning of, with high 5s and hugs all around. A special shout out to the guy who ran by with the black coffin emblazoned with the Yankees logo and "R.I.P."! Judging by the bewildered looks on their faces, I think the firemen who rolled through in their truck to be greeted by a substantial crowd yelling "Yankees suck!" at them must have wondered where they were: "I don't think we're in New York anymore!" — You're not exactly: the Heights is Red Sox country.

The only question: When does Manny come home for his parade?

Congrats and thanks to the Sox and their fans. As far as I'm concerned, I'm proud to join such great fans in supporting a team that exemplifies so well what a baseball team ought to be and how a World Series win ought to be won. It's a privilege not to be happy your team won, but to be happy that particular group of guys won in the way they did.

After this, I'm wondering if the Messiah is going to show up? . . . or maybe the Blackhawks will win the Stanley Cup?? I suppose we'd need to play hockey before that can happen. . .


"Drama of errors"

Dan Wetzel explains some of the reasons why I believe the Red Sox are going to win the Series.

2 down, 2 to go!


The Economist discovers Photoshop



Game 7

I believe. GO SOX!!!

I think Fenway deserves to have a world series win, don't you?


Bad news for Sox fans

Schilling's ankle will require surgery. Nobody said supporting the forces of good was supposed to be easy (for Schilling or us).

UPDATE: Maybe things are looking up? Schilling gets good grade on workout. Now if the Sox can just make it far enough for it to matter!


factcheck.org on the VP debate

Cheney cited factcheck.com [sic] during the debate as a source that backs his version of events as CEO of Halliburton. Looks like he shouldn't have: they've now posted their analysis of the debate. On balance, Cheney seems to have come out the bigger liar. Surprise, surprise...


"The Long Tail"

Years ago, when Amazon was just starting up, I remember getting into arguments over whether Amazon was killing off local book shops, and thereby doing long-term damage to bookselling and publishing. I argued that while Amazon would certainly take business away from local book shops, overall it would have a positive impact on the bookselling and publishing industries, by increasing access to hard to find titles that local booksellers weren't in a position to stock due to limited demand. Local books shops would be able to compete with Amazon by offering better service, browsing physical books, and a pleasant atmosphere. (These are all achieved by the local book shop in my hometown, The Seminary Co-op and its sister store, 57th Street Books.) Contrastingly, the chain mega-bookstores like Barnes & Noble, through their dominance of retail bookselling, have a pernicious effect on book publishing by "making a market" for many books. In other words, if BN isn't willing to carry a title — "making a market" for it — then a publisher will often choose not to publish it at all. Prior to the rise of the mega-bookstore chains, individual booksellers weren't able to exert this sort of insidious influence on which books get published. Amazon, on the other hand, would counteract this effect and expand the market for many titles, ultimately resulting in more books published, reaching more readers.

The gist of this argument has now appeared in an article, "The Long Tail", in Wired Magazine, where it is applied not only to books, but also to music and movies. It's well worth reading.


...is gorgeous! (And the gorges are too.)

I spent the Sukkot holiday in Ithaca, staying at the Cornell Center for Jewish Living, where my friend Josh is Rabbi. It was a wonderful and refreshing change of pace, although spending nearly six days with (mostly) undergraduates made for a slightly frightful journey back to my memories of those days: The older you get, freshman still stay the same age.

By the way, did you know they have autumn up there to go with the trees? Such a lovely surprise!