Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pizza and Porn


*Cinnamon straw
Originally uploaded by Darwin Bell.
No, this post is neither about pizza nor porn. It's just that I had a conversation this afternoon with a colleague and she told me that the pizza business and the porn business were both booming and a way to make quick money.

Pizza and porn?

No, this post is really about a new online tool into which you can fall: the Center for Public Integrity's database "of every public statement made by President Bush and his key advisers about Iraq, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction, from just after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, until after the fall of Baghdad."

John H. Cushman Jr. notes in The Lede,
For all the power of search engines and Boolean logic, and for all the foregone conclusion of the enterprise, there’s still an element of serendipity in this kind of approach to reliving the past. You never know what you’ll come up with. You might not even be all that sure what, precisely, you are looking for. Even knowing that every single document in this compilation has been published elsewhere already, it’s inevitable that you’ll find something to raise your eyebrows.

One striking feature of the material in the data base was the sheer opacity of some of what important people were saying, based on intelligence that most people now acknowledge was spurious.
Opacity? Spurious? Damn, it's time for me to break out the dictionary.

Nah, maybe I'll just order pizza from Chanello's and stop by the mom & pop video rental store.

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