Wednesday, 20 December 2006

The perfect is the enemy of the good

I think it’s time for a new New Year’s Resolution. Instead of my annual resolution to lose weight—which feels like tilting at windmills these days—I hereby resolve to stop being as much of a perfectionist, particularly when it comes to my research. I will now make things good enough, send them out, and hope for the best, rather than trying to anticipate and address every last objection some anal reviewer might have to the piece.

The moral of this resolution, of course, is that I should have sent out the strategic voting paper months ago, rather than continuing to fiddle with every last detail. So I shall end my fiddling, stick the latest results in the current draft, and send the damn thing out before Christmas.

(This is easier said than done, I suspect, although I’m told committing to these things is an important step in ensuring they get done.)

Amazing disappearing comments

I upgraded my PostgreSQL installation yesterday, but my Mac seems to insist on launching the old version of PostgreSQL instead. I think I have it fixed... but we'll see soon.


My former boss and NC gubernatorial candidate Mike Munger saves me the trouble of having to write a lengthy post summarizing my feelings about the Duke lacrosse debacle at this point.

To me, there are two different dimensions to the situation that Mike correctly points out. On the one hand, the known and proven conduct of the team at the party—putting aside the unproven allegations of sexual assault—represents a complete lapse in judgment by the players and their ostensible leaders (both among the students and the coaching staff). Those actions, along with the subsequent embarrassment of the university, could justifiably be punished by sanctions up to and including the disbanding of the Duke intercollegiate men’s lacrosse team.

On the other hand, the blatant race-baiting of district attorney Mike Nifong and his supporters, particularly in light of the absence of any credible evidence that a sexual assault took place (despite Nifong’s early assertions to the contrary), is also worthy of condemnation. His demonstrated, repeated inability to engage with the logical inconsistencies and facts surrounding the case make our current president look like a card-carrying member of the “reality-based community” by comparison. The man is a menace and a demagogue, not to mention an embarrassment to each and every citizen of Durham County, and my faith in democracy is shaken by the number of Durhamites of all races who keep voting for the idiot.