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More Kozinski

In the Silveira v. Lockyer dissent, the following quote follows the very passage Scott quoted below, and it's too good not to quote directly. Read more »

The Meaning Of \"Rational\"

Like many commenters, I contend that neither my anti-free trade friend and the goecentric ancient Greeks were "irrational". Both made conclusions about how things work based on their available knowledge. Upon seeing people lose jobs as a result of trade, my friend believes it's only a matter of time before America becomes a wasteland of the unemployed. Read more »

Just Say No

Democracy And Happiness

R. J. Rummel summarizes the results of the World Values Survey and talks about the relationship between democracy and happiness.

Yet More On \"Rational\"

The ancient Greeks saw the stars move across the sky every night around a fixed point without changing their positions relative to each other. They concluded that the stars must be located on a Celestial Sphere with the Earth located at its center.

Were they irrational?

(Yes, I am going somewhere with this.)

Previous posts:
More On "Rational"
As if reading my mind

Belle(s?) Ringing

Baylen enquires, Anastasia delivers.

Hey other Belles - Clara, Lea, Maria - join in the fun!

More On \"Rational\"

One of my friends is very typical of a lot of people I know. Though generally ambitious and smart, he thinks free trade is a Bad Thing. He sees the loss of jobs domestically from foreign workers while companies keep making money. He believes free trade hurts Americans.

For those of you who believe that free trade is a Good Thing -

Is he being irrational?

Related post: As if reading my mind

This Week\'s Carnivals

Carnival of the Capitalists at Business Pundit

Carnival of Liberty at Combs Spouts Off

Grand Rounds at doulicia

Serenity Shindig

Like a flash of light in the darkness, Firefly glowed brilliantly for a brief moment in late 2002 showing the world what television could achieve at its finest. Little respected by its network, it never had a chance to survive for long. Yet, so loved was it by its small core group of followers that simple word of mouth helped surge the ranks of its fans after its inevitable cancellation. The result of this groundswell was the recent release of the movie Serenity.

Shedding the rigid environs of traditional science fiction television, Firefly explores the orders in the process of formation at the edge of civilization. Gone is the shiny sleek chrome of spaceships. The boats sailing this sea of black are covered with grit and rust. The doors don't woosh when they open and close. Mechanical dialogue between ranking officers is replaced with the folksy twang of smugglers and cowboys. Laser guns are expensive and rare, horses are the preferred mode of transportation when in the world, and a cargo of cattle can yield a hefty booty. Assuming, of course, the exchange goes without a hitch, which it never does.

For anyone hoping to escape the reach of the Alliance, the open land between civilization and barren shores is the preferred destination. But freedom on the frontier comes at the price of hardship, and the specter of death hovers permanently over the shoulder. It usually pays to take the road less traveled, if only to ward off the malicious designs of brigands and lawmen. Men shoot straight, women shoot straighter, and a simple failure of a compression coil can mean a cold, oxygen-deprived death at the corner of no and where.

Into the void travel settlers hoping for a better life and gangsters wanting to skirt the law. New worlds tempt businessmen hoping to strike it rich and tickle the egos of petty thieves with delusions of standing. The terra forma provides sanctuary to discontents like Malcolm Reynolds who cannot abide by the prevalent order imposed upon them. The frontier gives hope to the jaded, breaks the hearts and wills of romantics and the rugged, and tames the bluster of hotshots. And that's just before sunset.

Like other Joss Whedon creations, Firefly is a mix of genres blending science fiction, western, horror, and myth. The quiet blackness of space often quickly transitions to a horse chase and dusty shootout. Spaceships that appear functional from afar turn out to be catacombs of the massacred at closer inspection. Damsels in distress leave their deliverers knocking on heaven's door after robbing them blind. At times Firefly plays like a drama, at others, a comedy as scenes elicit laughter one moment, sadness the next. It evokes the gamut of emotions as it examines the themes of love, belonging, redemption, and finding a station in life in a chaotic, often absurd, universe.

Through it all, the characters are what carry the show. They each have their reasons, not always revealed, for winding up on Serenity. Together, they have to learn to live with each other at the edge of society, nine people trying to get by in the unforgiving trappings. In their time together, they laugh, cry, fight, love, and ultimately survive. Like real people with all their quirks and neuroses, they grow and change with the events of their lives. They are people to cheer for, share in their joy, commiserate in their sorrow, and find common bond with their humanity.

Serenity review

Serenity: Death and Rebirth

Firefly episode reviews and analysis

An Awfully Crowded Sky

Reputations And Mysteries

Captain Tightpants And The Companion

Big Damn Heroes

The Man They Call Jayne

The Hustler Seductionist

Mal's Beloved

Time To Wake Up

No Power In The 'Verse Can Stop Me

The Real World

The Hooker With The Heart Of Gold

Just An Object


You Can't Take The Sky From Me

Serenity As Serenity

Lost In Translation

An Awfully Crowded Sky

Leave it to the geniuses at Fox to ditch the pilot episode in favor of The Train Job as the first aired episode of Firefly. Likely no other single decision led more to the cancellation of the series than did ignoring simply the best introduction to the 'verse possible. Read more »

Reputations And Mysteries

The Train Job begins with more background about the Unification War as Mal, Zoe, and Jayne end up in a bar surrounded by Alliance sympathizers on Unification Day. A fight eventually ensues - started by Zoe - which ends with our heroes ending up outside the bar backed up against the edge of a cliff. Read more »

Captain Tightpants And The Companion

Another bar. Another brawl. Mal again reveals that he has some standards for what he does, stealing the wallet of a patron, and justifying it by noting that it belonged to a slaver. Thus begins Shindig, the episode where the series begins to come into its own, focusing on the dynamic between various members of the Serenity crew. Read more »

Big Damn Heroes

Hoping to sell the cattle cargo acquired in Shindig, the crew lands on Jiangyin, and as usual, the exchange doesn't go smooth. In the meantime, River wanders off to a country dance where she quickly picks up the steps and joins in. In a brilliant sequence typical of Safe, the scene alternates back and forth between the hostilities and the River's dancing. Flutes and piccoloes play in the background as shots ring out in the dirt, and the gunfight itself becomes a dance. Read more »

The Man They Call Jayne

As the crew prepares to land on a moon to pick up the goods for their next smuggling operation, Jayne is seen taping a gun to his body for concealment, mentioning that he made some enemies in Canton the last time he was there years ago. Rather than encountering enemies, Jayne finds widespread adulation among the "mudders" - the underclass that works the stench-filled factories where clay is made. Read more »

The Hustler Seductionist

Some episodes of Firefly engender wonder and awe. Others tug at heartstrings. Still others are a straight ahead full throttle romp into hilarity. Our Mrs. Reynolds falls into this latter category. After making corpses of a few highwaymen, the crew enjoys a night of wine and dance among grateful locals. As they depart the planet the following morning, Mal discovers a stowaway on board Serenity in the form of an innocent lamb betrothed to him without his understanding. Read more »