Economic medicine that was previously meted out by the cupful has recently been dispensed by the barrel. These once unthinkable dosages will almost certainly bring on unwelcome after-effects. Their precise nature is anyone’s guess, though one likely consequence is an onslaught of inflation.

Warren Buffet

Some Thoughts on the Atas Shrugged movie

In short, read the book.

As the first installment in a presumable trilogy, this movie was titled Atlas Shrugged: Part I. A more apt subtitle would have been Take 1. In a clearly rushed production, this adaptation overemphasized visual details such as clothing and decor, and lacked any of the buildup, character development and subtly of the original classic novel. Oh, and there is some really bad CG.

It was clumsily modernized in a way that leaves nothing to the imagination–unlike the book’s more timeless setting which allows the reader to draw the many and sometimes eerie parallels to today’s situation.

Without going into spoiler territory, the plot tipped its hand too soon, both in the lines spoken by the Fedora character and in the parting words at the close. Again, no subtly there. I doubt the movie would be compelling or even decipherable by anyone who hasn’t read the book or is not sympathetic to its philosophy.

When judged by how difficult the task was to adapt this complex book to a modern movie, it might earn a C-. When judged by how enlightening and influential the book was–and the movie should have been–it gets an F. It could have been so much better.

Unless Peter Jackson wants to sign on for Take 2 and spend a couple years on the rest of the story, they shouldn’t make a Part II and III. Like I said, read the book.

People take the longest possible paths, digress to numerous dead ends, and make all kinds of mistakes. Then historians come along and write summaries of this messy, nonlinear process and make it appear like a simple, straight line.

Dean Kamen

Reading: Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue

Written by a Las Vegas journalist, this fairly recent Hughes book is really a collection of essays or articles on various subjects mostly related to Hughes’ Las Vegas era. The pricing of the Kindle edition is more appropriate given degree of content. One nice gem, the author also reviews other lesser know Hughes books in the back.

Schumacher, Geoff. Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue.

Configuring a Static IP in Ubuntu Linux

Unless someone lets me in on an easier process, here are the command line steps to configure a static IP address in Ubuntu Linux (in my case specifically for the BitNami Alfresco appliance):

 sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces

For us GUI geeks, pull up a vi refresher if you’re a little rusty. Replace the default line:

iface eth0 inet dhcp

With the following lines (and the proper IP):

iface eth0 inet static

 Save and exit. Reboot.