My Views

I wanted to have a page containing information about me (which I have since written), but really the only interesting thing to put on such a page is what I think about various issues. Thus I won't even pretend that this page is about my house or friends, because it isn't. The topics covered on this page span the range of topics in which I am interested. However, there is a bias towards topics in which there is more debate. This page is, of course, a work in progress. I expect to add more to it as time progresses.

To start, I will introduce you to some of my favorite quotes. I also have lists of some of my favorite movies and a few of my favorite poems.

Politics and Economics

I have compiled some of my favorite quotes, and these tend to show my political views quite well. I consider myself moderate to liberal, although my views on some issues would not be considered to fit that description. I have put online some arguments I wrote about the theoretical issues of redistribution of income and religion's place in modern society. I also have some thoughts on the living wage campaign at Harvard.

I am a believer in government, and I think that we should have a stronger national government. I have many strong opinions about what this government should do. These include my views on environmental issues relating to automobiles and my views on healthcare in the United States.


Computers & Technology

I am a believer in UNIX. I think that it remains the best set of operating systems for servers and for many other Net-related tasks, as well as many programming and data handling tasks. Hovever, I also used to be a big fan of the PC, as I explained in a letter about the superiority of the PC over the Macintosh. However, recently (2001), as more and more of what one can do with a computer is done over the Internet, I think Macintosh computers are better than PCs because of their better user interface (which is better not only because it is clearer how to do things but also because it more clearly shows how files on the computer are arranged “behind the scenes.”

I also think the WWW is a great invention. Standards are a good thing, and I think browsers should work to implement them and page authors should comply with them to make information more accessible to everyone.

(Valid HTML 4.0!)

My pages comply with the the HTML and CSS standards. Many of my pages use the W3C Core Styles. They have been validated by the W3C's HTML Validator or by the Web Design Group's HTML Validator.

(Best Viewed With Any Browser)

(Made with Cascading Style Sheets)

(standards NOW!)

I support the Best Viewed With Any Browser campaign because the purpose of the web was to allow more people to have access to information, not to be able to see that there is information that they can't access. I use Cascading Style Sheets because they allow the author to describe design preferences. These preferences can be overridden by the user, but they do not make the page harder to use on systems that the author couldn't imagine when he wrote the page. Device independence and more user control are badly needed on the web. I support the Web Standards Project because it is very important for browsers to support the standards as written, so those making web pages don't have to worry about which tags will display correctly and which tags will crash which browsers, etc. For example, when I added ACRONYM and ABBR elements to this page to indicate acronyms and abbreviations (helpful to users with disabilities or those who don't know what the acronyms are), the page crashed Netscape Navigator, so I had to remove those elements.

P.S. Is your software 2038 January 18 compliant? This may be more serious than 2000 January 1, since C stores times as seconds since 1970 January 1. This number will reach 2 to the 31st on Monday, 2038 January 18, after which it will roll back to 1901 December (12th?).

Recent developments have made me somewhat concerned about Microsoft's attempts to destroy some very good programs and get them replaced with stuff that isn't as good. It's clear that they wouldn't need such advanced strategy if their products were better.

Statistical Errors

I am interested in many fields of science, and the main issue about which I argue is errors in probability and statistics. I wrote an article on the errors in the National Hurricane Center probability forecasts, and also a letter about errors in probability calulations relating to the crash of TWA flight 800.


I also have, because I want it published somewhere, an article criticizing the school that I wrote in eighth grade, but was censored from the school paper.

Political trivia

(doesn't really belong in this page, but couldn't think of a better place to link to these)

Valid HTML 4.0!