Thursday, 2 December 2010

On profiling and data dumps

A quick post to file a couple of recent articles that have caught my attention, all in the leftie New York Times, mind. And I'm doing this on my iPad as I wait for the ferry to Central, Hong Kong, so won't quite finish. Links to come, as it's rather too hard on the iPad.

The first was the ever-thoughtful Ross Douthat, writing about how one's ideology determines one's reaction to policies. He takes the recent brouhaha over the Rapi-scan machines that give the full body birthday-suit scan (or you can opt out of that instead go for the manual crotch feel -- but with gloves, mind so no harm, right?). He says that if this new policy had been brought in by the Bush Administration, the left would have been up in arms about it and the right saying that it was necessary for national security. Same issue, but a Democrat in the White House, and the right is screaming blue murder while the left is finding all sorts of ways to support it.

Yes, but not quite. The second article was by Roger Cohen, a guy that I can usually support max about 50% of any one article. He's often like Driver Brophy in High Anxiety, hefting his analytical Trunk, "he's got it, he's got it", then, wham, bump, on the ground it drops,oh dear "he ain't got it".

But this time, he nailed the objections to the TSA frisk and pat-downs to a T. And turned in a bravura justification of profiling.

Wikileaks data dump
And finally, proving yet again that my policy of following the way of the Tao -- "Wu Wei", or do nothing -- David Brooks on the egregious leaking and publishing by Wikileaks of 250,000 internal documents. I'd been thinking about this and just how much I dislike the slimy and self-righteous Julian Assange -- an Aussie, I'm sad to say -- and that I ought to wrier something as I'd spent time in the government writing the sorts of cables that were being leaked, no, vomited, onto the Internet, when Lo! I don't need to. David Brooks has done the job for me and much better too!

A writer On the rather leftie Atlantic Monthly said something along the lines of "a world in which one can have no secrets is not the sort of world I'd like to live in". Hear, hear.

Ferry arriving in Central, must away. We are heading off to see "The American" the new George Clooney movie, always a treat.