Monday, June 26, 2006

Saw this awesome post over at Samizdata.

Individualism isn't subtle. It says, "You're on your own. Whatever happens to you is most likely your own fault, for good or ill. Figure out how to live, what work to do that will support you and any family you might have, and be prepared to live with a constant uncertainty that, even with your best efforts, you might fail and have to start all over again."

Compare the attraction of that to the cooing of collectivism's lullaby---"There, there, it's not your fault. We'll take care of you. Just leave everything to us. It's ok of you didn't quite make it this time. We'll cover for you until you're able to try again. It's not your fault, it's those mean, greedy capitalists. They don't care about you and your family, but we do."

Given what I read of today's General Paper in my school, where the comprehension passages were opposing views on meritocracy, this comment stood out very strongly in my mind. In the attack against meritocracy, the author railed against the system which supposedly fails the 50% who can't succeed.

Needless to say, I was not impressed. The appeal to emotion is always the singular worst failing collectivism possess. Suffice to say, that isn't going away any time soon.

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup!!!

The world cup has just started, and I finally have the chance to really watch it from starting match to finals, since I missed the previous 2 world cups. In 1998, I was stuck in MP training. In 2002, I was stuck in the highlands of Slovakia for OBS.

2006, ah hah! From the looks of the first two matches, it looks like it's going to be a cracker of a tournament. Germany certainly looks different nowadays. I remember them several years back. Big, (almost)grotesquely muscular players, with lots of power and strength, but no finesse, and the way they played was mechanical and quite stupefying. Watching the english tear them apart 5 years ago was a pleasure.

I saw a changed Germany last night. Their players are still pretty big, but somewhat slimmer and more... honed. Their on-ball skills have also much improved, and I enjoyed Phillip Lahm's subtle feints to carve space out on the flanks. There's also a sense of adventure that I don't think I've seen the Germans ever play with before. And I know this quite well since I remember Italia 1990 when Germany won what was a dry and unexciting tournament on a penalty by Andreas Brehme.

Of course, all that adventure is useless if they can't hold the fort. I can't say I was impressed with their defensive line. It seemed as though they wanted to constantly pull Wanchope offside, but playing such a tactic demands excellent communication between the keeper and his defense, and typically one of the central defenders has to call the shots.

The most amusing part of the game was when Lehman conceded the second goal. There was a camera shot of Oliver Kahn sitting on the bench, and he was smiling.

Looks like the fight to be Germany's main man between the sticks is just heating up.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Been a busy few days. Organized and rode herd on a choir camp, which went pretty well, even if it was pretty tame by most standards. Oh well, Rome wasn't built in a day.

After the camp, I had my fitness proficiency test the next day. All the hard work I put in paid off; I got at least Bs for all five stations, as well as an excellent 10.43 min for my 2.4 km run. If I can somehow shave another 43 secs off, and maintain my broad jump distance, the gold I have never gotten since my JC days would finally be within reach.


Got several more things to worry about, like marking SPA. What a frikkin mess...