Monday, March 31, 2008

Nats Safe at Home

I walked to the new National's Stadium in DC from the National Mall, and it was a nice 25 minute walk to a dream site for DC. It was a perfect way to start a new season, when hope for a great season in a renovated neighborhood is at its peak. Oh yes, I miss RFK with its history and its claim to be the first home that ended DC's baseball draught. But what is passed is past.

The new stadium is a cross between the new Phillies Stadium and the recent-retro Orioles Park, with more of the Phillies modern look. Announcer Jon Miller apparently called the Nats Stadium the "La Scala of ballparks," while the Washington Post architecture critic called it a "missed opportunity" and an utilitarian means of sucking money from fan's wallets. It is somewhere in the middle of those comments.

The bright new park with the huge TV hi-def screen/scoreboard was a perfect setting for the perfect ending to a game. A passed ball allowed the Braves to tie the game in the visitors' half of the ninth, and a walk-off home run for Ryan Zimmerman with two outs in the bottom half of the ninth won the game for the Nats. It was a magical scriptwriter's ending to the beginning of what hopes to be a magical season (but I know that all seasons open with that potential for magic).

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Last year, we discussed rock, royalties, and Radiohead's decision to give its new CD away for whatever people wanted to pay. The discussion was at the following address:

Paste Magazine also offered the pricing choice for a subscription to the magazine last year.

Now there's a thought-provoking cover article in Wired Magazine, by its editor Chris Anderson who covers the FREE Market. Anderson is also the author of The Long Tail, and will be producing a new book, FREE, next year. The article is, of course, free at the following address:

The magazine can also be read for free online.
But this is not an endorsement. Although we like the idea of free- (and not fee) bies, we would never endorse either free or non-free items.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


In a newspaper article about a new book, The Age of American Unreason, by cultural critic Susan Jacoby, the author tells of a dinner conversation with a student who was about to graduate with honors from Michigan State University in 2006. After the author mentioned President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "fireside chats," the author watched as the student "looked absolutely blank" in response.
Is this par for the course?

The article goes to reach the following conclusion:

"A slew of new books, studies and films all tell a similar tale: Americans — especially young Americans — don't know much about much. Overfed on self-esteem, pop culture and digital entertainment, students are starved for genuine literary, historical, scientific and mathematical knowledge, critics say."

This complaint is nothing new. Down through the ages, adults have complained about the lack of knowledge of the youth of their times. But the charges seem more serious if not paradoxical now.

On the one hand, with the advent of the Internet, students of all ages, have every bit of knowledge known to "man/womankind" readily available, and know more. On the other hand, the bombardment of media of all types, including the Internet seems to lead to short attention spans, and less depth of knowledge. In certain respects students are given more challenging assignments, and courses are more advanced than ever before, on the other hand, many aspects of our modern life are being dumbed down. It will be interesting to see whether this knowledge gap winds up over the next few years.