October 4th, 2007


SFSFC Presents Gifts to Nippon 2007

During the Former Worldcon Chairs Party at Nippon 2007, ConFrancisco chairman David W. Clark and I (ConJose co-chairman), assisted by SFSFC director jbriggs, presented Nippon 2007's chairman, Hiroaki Inoue, with some modest gifts from our respective two Worldcons. Mind you, the way it worked out, David presented the ConJose gifts (mugs from the McEnery Convention Center) and I presented the ConFrancisco ones (cable car pins). This presentation and Inoue-san's reaction are now available online.

SFSFC presents gifts to Nippon 2007

Nippon 2007 chairman Hiroaki Inoue's reaction to SFSFC's gifts
Pensive Kevin

It's Official -- Negativity Wins

Passed on to me from Cheryl, here's an article about a study that confirms something I've generally suspected all along: Negative reviews are much more likely to be believed and remembered than positive ones. That is, you are much more likely to get a negative review of anything you do than a positive one, and anyone else reading the reviews is much more likely to believe the negative reviews than the positive ones.

This doesn't surprise me much. Heck, I remember the negative reviews of my own work more than the positive ones. It takes an effort of will to remind myself, after a round of reading criticism, that there are people who like what I'm doing, despite the complaints from others.
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Bullet Train

High Speed Rail Not a Zero Sum Game

I was prompted by this letter to the editor that seems IMO to think that if a high-speed rail system is built in California, all trains will stop at all stations, so it's important to make sure there are only a tiny number of stations. Given that I've just returned from a country that has a high-speed rail system and manages to run multiple levels of service on it, I felt moved to write a letter to the editor of the Fremont Argus in reply. I don't expect my reply to see print, so I'm putting it here as well:

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It amazes me that people can put forth so many silly ideas while completely ignoring something that's been working in practice for years. But I guess it shouldn't really surprise me, since anything not invented here doesn't really exist, I guess.