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Misplaced pedantry 

The funniest example of misplaced pedantry I’ve seen for a long time appears in a comment thread about what Google’s spiders are up to.

Photo Matt used the phrase, “Et tu, Googlebot.” François Briatte, thinking himself clever, responds, “Correct French words would be : ‘et toi, GoogleBot?'” I thought “Et tu, Brute” was one of two Latin phrases (“veni, vedi, vici” the other) everyone could recognise.

No policy 

I’ve almost stopped reading Tom Friedman, but today’s column did pull me in. There’s a lot of globollocks which I’ll leave to Daniel Davies to deconstruct. There’s also a lot of special pleading from Silicon Valley executives about how no one understands their problems.

But Tom’s penultimate paragraph does resonate, and it reminded me that he was once a must-read columnist.

“And what is the Bush strategy [for science and technology]? Let’s go to Mars. Hello? Right now we should have a Manhattan Project to develop a hydrogen-based energy economy – it’s within reach and would serve our economy, our environment and our foreign policy by diminishing our dependence on foreign oil. Instead, the Bush team says let’s go to Mars. Where is Congress? Out to lunch – or, worse, obsessed with trying to keep Susie Smith’s job at the local pillow factory that is moving to the Caribbean – without thinking about a national competitiveness strategy. And where is Wall Street? So many of the plutocrats there know that the Bush fiscal policy is a long-term disaster. They know it – but they won’t say a word because they are too greedy or too gutless.”

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