Hopes for 2009

In no particular order, I hope…

  • the release of IE8 will spur organizations currently standardized on IE6 to finally bite the bullet and either upgrade their users to IE8 or move them to other browsers. Killing off IE6 (and IE7 really) will significantly decrease web development costs and reinvigorate CSS by opening up a world of selectors and properties that have been unofficially “off the table” due to the prevalence of IE6. As bad as IE6 and 7 have been in comparison to its competitors, IE8 looks to be a major step forward for the default browser of Windows systems.
  • the popularity of IE8 will interest IE upgraders to try other browsers as well. While IE8 is great for the IE user, exactly what the web does not need is another browser market so dominated by one product that web developers move from web standards back to coding for the dominant browser. Although IE8 looks to be committed to standards support, there will be plenty of quirky rendering modes that ignorant developers will get accustomed to if they don’t test in other browsers.
  • Opera 10 will continue strides to increase compatibility with broken sites and stay so blazingly fast and handy out-of-the-box that I’m willing to do most of my browsing without the luxury of add-ons. As far as I know no other browser lets me put my addressbar and tabs on the bottom where I like em’; it’s the little things.
  • that the kids who vandalized a bunch of cars last night, including mine, will receive better parenting than they have in the past. God knows making them spend time with other messed up kids in juvenile detention or giving them permanent criminal records isn’t going to do anything positive for their lives.
  • that our family will have fewer health problems. For the past couple months illnesses just haven’t let up long enough for us to catch our breath. For several events we were looking forward to we were either out of town, sick, or just too exhausted to bother. A Roller Rebels bout, the Of Montreal show, Don & Sarah’s mixtape party…
  • that the new president will choose a drug czar with a background in harm reduction or, better yet, open a public dialogue to discuss if the current federal system (ONDCP, DEA, and CSA) is the right way to reduce the public harms associated with drug use.
  • that my friends and random readers (especially those, like me, who don’t use any drugs) will take some time to learn about what the War on Drugs is doing to the world. The top search engine results are as good a place to start as any, and, of those, the Drug Policy Alliance provides the best overview of the harms, while Rolling Stone describes the last 20 years and the battle of cocaine and meth. Since October I’ve found this topic fascinating, and every day I uncover more evidence that our current system based on blanket prohibition causes tremendous societal harm.
  • that the web will continue to be an exhaustive source of information about drugs, policies, and history and help people form educated opinions based on facts. I grew up knowing nothing about drugs but the old “this is your brain on drugs” ads, so when I started reading about the real science and history of illegal drugs it was quite eye-opening. First you realize how dangerous heroin and meth are, then you find to your shock that marijuana is hardly the drug the government makes it out to be, then that alcohol and tobacco are so much worse and you wonder why they’re exempt from the CSA, then you read about when alcohol was illegal and the havoc that caused, and finally you realize it’s not the drugs, but the prohibition causing the biggest problems.
  • that the media will continue its coverage on the harms of the War on Drugs in Mexico and continue to give voice to clear-headed intelligent criticism of drug policy as its done increasingly recently.
  • that online news sources continue to allow readers to openly discuss drug policy in their commenting systems. It’s obvious that more people are taking the time to do their research; the won’t please someone think of the children! arguments are thankfully falling from fashion, though I’m increasingly seeing the “sends the wrong message to kids” argument from drug warriors anytime anyone suggests reducing criminal penalties for marijuana possession.
  • I’ll play and record more music.
  • that Skate 2 will be as awesome as it looks.
  • state budget cuts will not cost me nor Kathleen a job. Did I mention the War on Drugs is damn expensive?
  • the recession will not cost Gainesville any of its awesome eateries. Yesterday at The Jones’ I had corn-flake-encrusted brioche french toast topped with almond whipped cream. It was possibly the most magical thing I’ve ever tasted.

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