Monday, August 28, 2006

Jordan School District Money for the Sandy Soccer Stadium: In what universe does that make sense?

I had to study modal logic as part of my education--and I use it surprisingly often. Basically, modal logic is a kind of logic in which the truth value of a statement depends on the Universe in which the statement is evaluated. For example, you could say that in Universe A the statement "the sky is green" is true and in Universe B the statement "the sky is green" is false. Obviously, we are more likely to inhabit Universe B (depending on what else is true or false in Universe B).

So when my sister out in Daybreak forwarded this little gem about using school money to fund the new Sandy soccer stadium despite explosive growth in her part of the Universe: | Funds from Jordan District sought for soccer deal.

My first thought was: in what universe does that make sense? I am not convinced that such a universe is consistent with the one in which I currently live.

I'm all about soccer and my niece had a great time at the Real Madrid Real Salt Lake game, but school money on a soccer stadium? An Alpine School District Board Member (I think that's the right title) lives in my neighborhood, so I realize that school funding is often more complex than my brain is prepared to deal with, but I am having a hard time on this one. Fortunately, the Jordan School District Board Members also made cautious statements like: let's see the proposal, we are waiting on the numbers etc.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Way to go Pete!

Pete Ashdown's putting on a sort of reverse-fundraiser dinner to raise money for charities that deal with hunger. Very creative thinking by a political candidate. Now if Pete could switch his stand and become more like a tradiational Democrat and favor government involvement in the regulation of pornography on the internet, then I could actually vote for him in November.

I asked Sen. Hatch at a pre-state-convention lunch about regulation of the internet. His answer convinced me that he doesn't really understand how the internet works and what role government might play in regulating the internet. I think Pete gets it (I've been using the internet since 1994 so Pete's got 7 years on my) but I don't agree with his stand on Internet porn.

[Pete Ashdown%u2019s Campaign Journal � Feed the Hungry not Politicians]

Monday, August 21, 2006

Romney will never win

Because his great-grandfather was a polygamist. That settles that. I suppose then that Karl Rove will begin digging for dirt on Hillary's great-grandparents as well? There's 8 of them and at least 1 of them had to have done something, maybe one of them opposed abortin or gay marriage?, that should cost her the presidency.

Salt Lake Tribune - Could ancestors haunt Romney?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why Democrats can't get Elected in Utah

A Democratic politician inviting an acrid anti-Bush protestor to his anti-war rally that just happens to coincide with the President's visit to the American Legion convention is going to loose a lot of casual voters. And the democrats wonder why they can't lure in the lemming-like voter who hasn't read the platform of either party.

From a public perception angle, it's almost funny to protest the war and the president during an American Legion convention. Most of these guys are old men who fought in WWII or Vietnam era people who are sick of protestors anyway. - Utah's Online Source for Local News & Information Sheehan Invited by SLC Mayor to Participate in Protest

Friday, August 11, 2006 Tour of Utah Combativity Award goes to...

Todd Hageman of Team End!

So me and some colleagues grabed our roadies and headed up the Nebo Loop to get some riding in and watch the Tour of Utah go by (four CS professors on road bikes is not as pathetic a sight as one might normally imagine, but still inspires some pity).

After the race went by, we decided to keep riding up. After those of us in the slow group of professors had been dropped by the fast group of professors, rider #92 from the Tour of Utah, Todd Hageman, came cruising up the hill. It appeared that Todd had wiped out somewhere on the course and was gutting it out to the finish. I was impressed.

So Todd Hageman of Team End, you get the combativity award for your gusty finish of Stage 4. Nice work and I didn't realize how fast you all go until I'd been passed by one of you on the road during a race.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Herrin Twins Updates

Maybe it's because I have 3 year old twin girls (not conjoined and not even identical) of my own, but this Herrin twin story just grabs me every day. Fortunately, the Herrin's post updates in the most web-literate of fashions. This is, for me, the most interesting blog in Utah right now: Updates from

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I have now seen it all

An article at CNN today about 9/11 conspiracy theories in academia quotes a guy from the American Association of University Professors as saying, basically, "academic freedom doesn't include conspiracy theories" like those advanced by Dr. Steven Jones at BYU. (Dr. Jones was quoted earlier in the article).

Now I have seen it all. Back in the good old days, the AAUP censured BYU for limiting the the academic freedom of one Gail Houston. Now the AAUP is getting after people like Dr. Jones and BYU (my extrapolation) for excercising too much adamic freedom. Nice work.

I suppose we should just invite the AAUP to come and run the University for us to make sure we get it just right.

All kidding aside, if you read the AAUP carefully, they are advancing a very logical arguement dispasionately and I've got to admire them for that even if I don't think they understand BYU very well. Their deal is that academic freedom should include all and only the work that lies within the boundaries of a well-defined academic discipline. Dr. Jones' work on 9/11 probably lies outside those boundaries, so I agree with them on that, but I am still waiting for a good qualified peer review on Dr. Jones' work. - 9/11 conspiracy theorists energized - Aug 6, 2006: "Faculty can express any opinion outside the classroom, said Roger Bowen, general secretary of the American Association of University Professors. However, 'with academic freedom comes academic responsibility. And that requires them to teach the truth of their discipline, and the truth does not include conspiracy theories, or flat Earth theories, or Holocaust denial theories.'"

Monday, August 07, 2006

Snow in Provo? In August?

It's either hailing in a really strong wind or snowing outside my office right now. If it's hail, then the wind is really strong because it's flowing in the wind like snow would. If it's snow, then that would be a first for me in August, in Provo.

I'm back from the blogging-dead. July was, let's say, a very busy month. Things appear to becoming more reasonable. This was bad news for my cycling goals, but good news for my job security goals.