1. When I first saw the specs on the new iPad, I was a bit skeptical but after viewing Mr. Jobs’ presentation, I then understood how this product fits very nicely into a niche that is still developing. Though many are dinging it for not having multitasking and flash, I believe you can listen to iTunes while using another app with it. As for flash, I think Apple will soon address this with a software update.
    I hope one day we will see these types of devices – ebook readers, light duty computers – become ubiquitous enough that kids in school will carry these instead of a pile of weighty textbooks. I think the iPad should be praised for what it is, not what it isn’t. Apple has pushed new boundaries once again.

  2. The classic prototype of the conservative is one enamored with mythical origin stories, paternalistic theocracies, outdated ethnic definitions of nationhood and thinks Jesus spoke king James English. I don’t think anyone with this view of the world can share visions, dreams and goals with those who consider themselves to be liberals. It’s a nice thought, but I suspect it is because conservatives lack the capacity to see beyond their narrow views, that they are conservatives in the first place,

    1. Isn’t that just a bit of an oversimplification and stereotype? Would not an opposing prototype of a liberal be a Woodstock-attending, pot-smoking, tree-hugging hippie?
      Does this really advance the goal of generating more power from nuclear plants or simply add more stones to be thrown at different members on the same team?
      BTW, Jesus spoke Aramaic – although he probably also knew Greek, Latin, Arabic and several other languages. He was rather talented, don’t you know.

      1. Of course it’s stereotyping, but just as the Far Left with its calls for dialing back energy use and returning to a simple and very reduced standard of living cannot be reached with commonsense reasoning, those who think the universe is ~6000 years old, and expect to be snatched up bodily in to Heaven any day now cannot be reasoned with ether. Nor can those who worship laissez faire and see any restrictions on their behavior as a violation of their rights, or those who can see past their need to make money. All of these others fall generally under the description of Right wing or conservative.
        They are not on ‘our team’ in that any positive opinions they may have for the nuclear option is likely to be for reasons other than its superiority as a energy source, and while we may be able to leverage their support in the short term, I would caution against getting too close, or thinking they are anything more than what they are: narrow-minded, and dangerous.
        Christ the man, if one assumes he existed at all, (and I have my doubts) might well have spoken several languages, the biblical account only suggests he spoke Aramaic, and at least had a passing knowledge of Hebrew. It it is silent on the matter of whether he knew any others. However I still think we can safely assume 16th century English would not be one of them if he did.

        1. I think someone just disqualified himself from the “How to Win Friends & Influence People” award for open-mindedness. 😉
          DV82XL, I suggest that you save the Christian-bashing for the atheist blogs — unless the evangelicals suddenly start protesting nuclear power plants instead of abortion clinics, in which case, your off-topic rant might be relevant here.
          Getting back to reality, however, if we take “Republican” in the US to represent conservatives and “Democrat” to represent liberals, then conservative support for nuclear power has been consistently higher than liberal support for decades. Recently, ABC conducted a poll that showed that “conservatives favor building more nuclear plants by a 23-point margin” whereas liberals “oppose it as broadly as conservatives are in support … with nearly six in 10 opposed.” A poll by Gallup last year showed a similar divide between liberals and conservatives, which has been going on for at least a decade.
          Those who style themselves as conservatives have been long-term support for nuclear and will very most likely continue to be long-term support.

          1. Brian: I hope – and believe – you are correct. This might very well be a technology development that both conservatives and liberals can learn to support. When viewed without preconceived notions, it fills a large number of needs on both sides. It reduces the need to depend on others for a vital portion of economic strength; it provides good jobs that require hard work and intense study; it produces cheap energy that is reliable and scalable; it does not produce pollution that damages our shared environment which enables us to be good stewards of creation; many of the employees will be members of unions, but not all. I will stop now and allow others to continue adding additional characteristics that can appeal to both conservatives and liberals and give us a common ground for optimism instead of another battleground.

            1. DV82XL – I am confused. What comment do you consider to be an off topic rant? Remember, the topic of the post in question is my musing about the intersection of technology and liberal arts and about how this made me think of finding an intersection where people who have a liberal view of the world can share visions, dreams and goals with those who consider themselves to be conservatives.
              As near as I can tell, most of the comments in this thread fit into that topic area.

              1. Rod – I’m just as confused as you are
                Brian Mays wrote – “DV82XL, I suggest that you save the Christian-bashing for the atheist blogs — unless the evangelicals suddenly start protesting nuclear power plants instead of abortion clinics, in which case, your off-topic rant might be relevant here.”
                My point in my previous remarks was that those on the deep fringes of the Far Right (and by extension the Far Left) are general not amiable to reason, simply because if they were, they would not be holding some of the bizarre opinions and beliefs that define them as members of those groups.
                Brian, it would seem, took exception to my comments, and accused me of ranting off-topic, and I couldn’t see why ether.

            2. I’m sorry, but I thought that a digression into how people who “fall generally under the description of Right wing or conservative” are “narrow-minded, and dangerous” to be something that has little relevance to either nuclear power (the topic of this blog) or the Apple iPad, the liberal arts, and technology (the topics of this particular post). That is simply my opinion, you are welcome to take it or leave it as you see fit.
              After all, when a certain notorious “Anon” posts his rants about the “awful liberals” here, they are generally considered to be off-topic and are frequently censored because of his unacceptable tone (a policy I agree with). Perhaps I was wrong in assuming that some sort of symmetry should exist?
              I guess that I agree with DocForesight that this is just a case of needlessly throwing stones at someone who is on your side in a challenging political situation. DV82XL’s comments strike me as having more to do with his own personal hangups than they do with public acceptance of nuclear technology.

              1. Brian – Thanks for your comments. I am of the mind that honey works better than vinegar in attracting or persuading, in this case, people to embrace what provides the best source of electricity.

    2. Sometimes I get into those sorts of moods, but you can never forget that even your political foes are still your fellow countrymen, and that though their views might be misguided at times – and myopic – at times – they still want to do the right thing, too, in a broad sense, even if you might not think that what they’re doing is right. They are the opposition – not the enemy. Whether you like it or not, you have to live with them, and it’s a lot easier to be friends – or at least – gentlemen to one another – than it is to be at each other’s throats all the time, even if you don’t think alike. Being friends or gentlemen doesn’t mean failing to vigorously and zealously represent one’s positions and beliefs. Besides, there’s common ground for my somewhat libertarian lean in certain areas with certain conservatives who share something of a libertarian lean in certain areas.
      It’s educating people on what their options are that allows them to make the right choice, and that there is a common good that transcends the petty politics of the moment that we all strive to serve and further. This is true about nuclear power: our job is one of patient education, of telling the story, of teaching the benefits, of teaching the context, of getting them to understand the choices we as a society face in terms of energy, what unique value nuclear power brings, and why we feel that nuclear power is the best choice of the variety of choices that they have.
      Other reasonable people may have other reasonable conclusions. Sometimes these are self-serving. Sometimes they’re based on theology, whether that is classical religious theology, or dogmas of a different sort. Sometimes it’s based on myth, legend, nationalism, or other things. Still, most worldviews aren’t so alien that nuclear is incompatible with them. Most people want to live a decent life, whatever that life is, whatever they do, whatever gods they worship, if any at all, whatever way they choose to live or whatever partner they choose to love. Nuclear can help most people achieve the world they want to live in – they only need to be educated that nuclear can help them get them the world they want.
      For those few whose worldviews are completely incompatible with nuclear, we can respect their worldviews without agreeing with them.
      But most people we can reach agreement with.

      1. “Sometimes I get into those sorts of moods, but you can never forget that even your political foes are still your fellow countrymen[…]”
        Your fellow countrymen are just random strangers very vaguely connected to you. A country is nothing more than a bounded geographical region of no particular significance other than sharing the same political administration.
        Nationalism is the root of so much evil and produces nothing useful that I can discern; it’s best to just throw the whole concept into the refuse bin of history.

  3. Rod, very well said. The old walls between science, art, and technology are breaking down. Technology is allowing us to experience life differently–and artists have always striven to do that. At a talk I gave the other day to the Health Physics Society convention about my journey from myth to fact regarding nuclear power, a man stood up and rather poetically said that maybe I should not use the word “myth”, which Joseph Campbell had defined as a lens, a story that helps us experience and interpret our world. Rather, the man continued, we should come up with a myth, a story framework, that does that for nuclear power. He has a good point. A really good myth, in the Campbell sense of the word, is always true.

    1. I think that the story of nuclear power is pretty powerful, and the story of Admiral Rickover is a peculiarly powerful part of that powerful story. It’s a uniquely American story, of a little boy whose name in Hebrew means “life” – born in the Russian Pale of Settlement – whose family fled the religious hatred of the Tzarist secret police, the Okhrana, came to America, became a telegraph boy, became a Navy cadet, became an officer, married, became a captain of a minesweeper, all the while demonstrating a peculiarly immense talent in the area of “getting things done right”, fought and won many battles of logistics in the area of naval electrical engineering during the Second World War – very important, that – who went to Oak Ridge during the early days of the Atomic Age when the war was over, and everything was opening up, heard some scientists talking about how their “piles” were generating all sorts of heat while they were reacting, made some connections and realized that this heat generation property would be useful, went back to Washington and convinced a bunch of admirals that it was, indeed, very useful; managed to finagle permission to run his own program – ran it – developed the pressurized water reactor – put it in the Nautilus, who went underway on nuclear power in 1954, broke through the polar ice cap from below – came back to land, took that pressurized water reactor, installed it in a plant in Pennsylvania, and showed that it worked not only to power submarines but to generate electricity, and started something new and quite unique – and before it was 60 years from when his family fled that little village in Tzarist Russia with the secret police on their tail, he was walking down 5th Avenue in a ticker tape parade.
      Such things are only possible in America.
      It would make a good movie.

      1. Dave – You are right. It would make a good movie. It has made several fine books, including Ted Rockwell’s The Rickover Effect: How One Man Made a Difference. I have also enjoyed several of the history books written by Francis Duncan like Rickover and the Nuclear Navy and Rickover. Fascinating story of a man with many accomplishments and strengths who stayed in his job too long and started believing that he was the ONLY person who could do it.

  4. Well, it would be hard to argue anything is ‘off tread’ on this post. Rod, I also took notice of the signposts that Jobs used in his slide show. What I digress from his perspective is taht this is at all new. In fact, in my historical hat I actually take offense.
    Why? Because if you look at the history of physics, all the hard and soft sciences, they represent *in fact* the synthesis of both technology and philosophy or, shall we say, a dialectical interrelationship between the scientific cultrual accumulation of human history AND it’s ‘meaning’, expressed in the Academy as ‘liberal arts’.
    This is why people from Decartes through Einstein were *as much philosophers* as hey were math geeks. Perhaps what Apple does is to *articulate* this long term historical relationship in a kind of updated HWY 128/Silicon Valley culture that is so represented by Apple (and likely Yahoo, Google and Pixar).
    People like Oppenheimer, Einstein (who write the seminal essay “Why Socialism?” in the first issue of Monthly Review), and numerous other Engineers were active politically as they were active in physics.
    Rickover IS interesting because as one Christian acivists told me at work in one of our numerous free wheeling discussions noted “He did amazing work for someone how rejected Christ as his lord”. So…it’s all connected, isn’t it?

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