Digital Valuables

Gift-giving is generally described as the exchange of material objects that embody particular meanings. It is also viewed as subject to the obligations to give, receive and reciprocate, and available as a means to demonstrate social ties and allegiances.

The New Scientist about emerging social behaviors around email forwarding and economies of exchange:

“Forwarding a quirky email or an amusing link or video attachment to colleagues may seem innocent enough, but it is the modern equivalent of ritual gift exchange and carries with it similar social implications, say US researchers.

Email forwarding is a familiar part of modern email communications, and has spawned many an internet phenomenon, the Star Wars kid, the Numa Numa dance, and Oolong the rabbit to name just a few.”

Similiar behaviors can be found with mobile phone users. “Gift of the Gab” An interesting paper by Taylor and Harper from 2003 reviews youth behaviors and touches the issues of the social meaning of exchanging text messages:

This paper reports on an ethnographically informed observation of the use of mobile phones and text messaging services amongst young people. It offers a sociological explanation for the popularity of text messaging and for the sharing of mobile phones between co-proximate persons. Specifically, it reveals that young people use mobile phone content and the phones themselves to participate in the practices of gift exchange. “

A Scientific Theory of Music

Philip Dorrell writes on his own website:

Some music scientists, music researchers and music philosophers suggest that maybe we should take Darwin’s theory of evolution into account when analysing music. My view is that we have to take Darwin’s theory of evolution into account, because music is an aspect of human behaviour, and human beings are living organisms, so everything about human nature must be explained in terms that are consistent with Darwin’s theory of evolution.

What I do manage to avoid is the necessity that music has some adaptive purpose, because I realise that the critical phenomenon to explain is that of music perception. I develop the hypothesis that music perception is really an adaptation for the perception of something else, where the most likely candidate for that something else is some component or aspect of speech.

More here.

awarding sustainable solutions in developing countries

Rwanda’s prison authority had to solve two big problems in their over populated facilities. The first was that the energy consumption was increasing, the second was that the amount of human waste that had to be disposed was increasing as well. Getting rid of the manure near water sources caused water pollution and threatened the public safety in some places.

The solution was found in a process which converts the feces into Methane, which can be used for cooking, and to odorless fertilizer for the prisons gardens:

Rwandabiogas_1 “Imagine eating food that was cooked using natural gas generated from your own human waste. Thousands of prisoners in Rwanda don’t have to imagine it — they live it.

Prisoners’ feces is converted into combustible “biogas,” or methane gas that can be used for cooking. It has reduced by 60 percent the annual wood-fuel costs which would Rwandaprisongarden_1 otherwise reach near $1 million, according to Silas Lwakabamba, rector of the Kigali Institute of Science, Technology and Management, where the technology was developed.

Last month, the Rwandan prison biogas facilities received an Ashden Award for sustainable energy. The award, which comes with a prize worth nearly $50,000, is given by the Ashden Trust, a British charity organization that promotes green technologies.

“It’s turning a negative social situation in terms of the Rwandan genocide into something that can benefit local people in the local area,” said Corrina Cordon, spokeswoman for the Ashden Awards. “

more here

other finalists for the Ashden awards were:

Biogas Sector Partnership, Nepal: replacing wood fuel for cooking with clean, efficient biogas from cattle and human waste.

KIST, Rwanda: transforming human sewage into biogas to replace wood as clean, safe cooking fuel in schools and prisons.

KXN, Nigeria: developing solar-powered refrigeration to store vital vaccines and medicines in remote communities.

NEST, India: bringing solar-powered lighting to replace smoky kerosene in some of rural India’s poorest homes.

Nishant Bioenergy, India: developing cooking stoves for schools that run on agricultural waste, instead of fossil fuels.

PSL, Bangladesh: supporting a women’s co-operative supplying solar lighting and electricity for isolated island communities.

SELCO, India: providing ‘solar home systems’ which bring poor villagers affordable light and power.

SITMO, Philippines: using micro-hydro power to help sustain traditional mountain farming communities.

Trees, Water and People / AHDESA, Honduras: introducing fuel-efficient cooking stoves to improve health and wellbeing.

Ashbery Still Truckin’


Stevens, Yeats, Hardy—only a handful of poets continued after a long career to write great poems until the day they died. Eliot petered out early. Wordsworth went soft. Keats didn’t have the chance. Ashbery published his first book of poems in 1953; the first essay in his Selected Prose was originally published in 1957, and its account of Gertrude Stein feels irrepressibly fresh. We may have to wait a long time for Ashbery’s collected prose, given that we are still waiting for Eliot’s. In the meantime, Where Shall I Wander affords us the rare opportunity to observe not only a poet writing at the peak of his powers—Ashbery has done that before—but a poet still discovering how to sound like himself.


more here.


I guess this type of thing was going to get written by somebody sooner or later. Better Ken Jacobsen than me or someone I know.

As a religious response to secularity, then, the Harry Potter books occupy a position in between the poles of accommodation – conforming religious faith to a secular mould – and rejection – the “Occlumency” of religious conservatives who would close their minds to all worldly influences. Without the transcendent vision and values of religion, the secular condition, like Voldemort, can easily degenerate into nihilism and murderous expediency. Conversely, a religious vision which does not embrace that which is great and intrinsically valuable in secularity predictably degenerates as well. At best, the anti-modernism of radical sectarians is inauthentic and illusory; at worst, as we sadly witness in our world, religion becomes irrational and destructive. To frame the issue more positively, like Harry’s relation to the Dark Lord, religious faith cannot know itself qua faith without secularity, without the painful but necessary rupture between church and state. As Peter Berger argues, modernity’s subversion of certainty and religious consensus actually opens up grand new possibilities for faith: “It allows an individual in quest of religious truth to make something of a fresh start” (Glory 127). The Harry Potter books, I would argue, are themselves a kind of “fresh start,” a re-articulation of the quest for religious truth in contemporary terms. Like Jesus’s parable of “The Wheat and the Tares” (Matt. 13.24-30, 36-43), they compel us to accept a world in which the religious and the secular must necessarily grow up side by side, often indistinguishably, separable only by the angelic reapers at the end of the age.

Too Many Grandpas


A “grandfather boom” is rippling through the world’s population as it heads for the nine billion mark by 2050, putting pressure on health care and pension systems, international population experts will hear this week.

“In most Western countries, 2005 marks a new demographic shock: the grandfather boom will introduce a delicate balance between the working and non-working,” said Catherine Rollet, president of the organising committee of the conference of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP).

more here.

for your listening pleasure

If you really wanted to own a copy of the Apollo 13’s famous “Houston we have a problem”, or maybe “I have a dream” speech of Martin Luther King, Audioville is the place for you.

The service, which positions itself as “iTunes for the spoken word” offers content that ranges from historic speeches to comedies and from fine poetry to science:

“The site currently boasts licensing deals with the Economist, offering the business magazine’s quarterly technology report in spoken form, and BBC Worldwide, which provides comedies such as Little Britain and Fawlty Towers.

Audio books from authors such as HG Wells and Beatrix Potter can also be downloaded alongside historic speeches, such as Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” address and Apollo 13’s “Houston, we have a problem” relay.

AudioVille also offers its own content, such as city guides, and plans to let users upload their own content, which, if popular, it will retail on the site.”

More here (registration needed)

Cosma Shalizi looks at looking at how science works

Keeping with the theme of Abbas’ Monday Musing on how science proceeds, here is an interesting post on the sociology of scientific knowledge by Cosma Shalizi.

“One of the best books I’ve read on how science actually works is Stephen Toulmin’s Human Understanding: The Collective Use and Evolution of Concepts. (It is, of course, long out of print.) The core of it is a set of ideas about how the social mechanisms of working scientific disciplines actually implement the intellectual goals of learning about the world, and rationally changing our minds, through a evolutionary process. (And Toulmin actually understands evolution in a sensible, blind variation plus selection, way, rather than some useless idea about progress or trends.) A lot of the argument is summed up in two of his aphorisms, which he admitted he exaggerated a bit for effect: ‘Every concept is an intellectual micro-institution’ (p. 166), consisting of the people who accept the concept, and the practices by which they use and transmit it; and conversely, ‘Institutions are macro-concepts’ (p. 353).

The natural question is whether one can say which institutions correspond to which concepts, and vice versa. This is a very tricky question, but an excellent beginning has been made by two papers on Camille Roth and Paul Bourgine, which I’ve been meaning to post about for quite a while.”

(Hat tip: Dan Balis)

The Story Behind the New Battlestar Galactica

I’m a big fan of the new Battlestar Galactica, the SciFi Channel original series which re-imagines the old 1970s TV show.  It explores war, terrorism, and religion, while remaining subtle and thoughtful.  From The New York Times Magazine:


“As in the original show, the humans of the Galactica and its fleet are relentlessly pursued by evil robots called Cylons. But in the current version, conceived by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, most of the evil Cylons look like people and have found God. Ruthlessly principled and deeply religious, the Cylons have been compared by fans and critics both to Al Qaeda and to the evangelical right. And the humans they are relentlessly pursuing are fallible and complex. Their shirts are not clingy or color-coded; the men of space wear neckties. They are led by Edward James Olmos as the Galactica’s commander and Mary McDonnell as the president of the humans, and their stories revolve as much around the tensions within — between the military and civil leadership of the fleet — as they do around the Cylon threat. As Eick described the show to me last month with evident, subversive pleasure, ‘The bad guys are all beautiful and believe in God, and the good guys all [expletive] each other over.’ Moore, who is also the show’s head writer, put it more simply: ‘They are us.’

It is sometimes jarring to watch ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ for it is not like any science-fiction show on television today. Science fiction is a genre that, for all its imaginative expansiveness, tends also to be very conservative; its fans sometimes defend its cliches fiercely. ‘Battlestar Galactica’ upends sci-fi cliches.”

Lessons learned from monkeying with history

From MSNBC:Darrow

Over the weekend, the 6,000 or so residents of Dayton, Tenn., put on a play, the same play they have put on every year about this time. It retells the story that put Dayton on the map 80 years ago. Townsfolk prominent and not so prominent dressed up in the styles of the Roaring ’20s and assembled outside the Rhea County Courthouse to recite the proceedings of the real Trial of the Century: the prosecution in 1925 of John T. Scopes for teaching his students the theory of evolution.

The picture that emerged, especially in the hyperventilating prose of the iconoclastic Baltimore journalist H.L. Mencken and later in the play and movie “Inherit the Wind,” was of a town full of “Christian pro-creation” believers who were “uneducated, dimwitted people who came to town barefoot and married their cousin,” said historian John Perry, co-author of a new book, “Monkey Business: The True Story of the Scopes Trial.” He and co-author Marvin Olasky recount the trial and argue for teaching the hypothesis that an intelligent designer shaped the course of human development. 

More here.

If it’s male, attack it; if female, mate with it.

From The New York Times:Fly_2

Last month researchers reported on the role of genes in the sexual behavior of both voles and fruit flies. One gene was long known to promote faithful pair bonding and good parental behavior in the male prairie vole. Researchers discovered how the gene is naturally modulated in a population of voles so as to produce a spectrum of behaviors from monogamy to polygamy, each of which may be advantageous in different ecological circumstances. The second gene, much studied by fruit fly biologists, is known to be involved in the male’s elaborate suite of courtship behaviors. New research has established that a special feature of the gene, one that works differently in males and females, is all that is needed to induce the male’s complex behavior.

The male mouse’s rule for dealing with strangers is simple – if it’s male, attack it; if female, mate with it. But male mice that are genetically engineered to block the scent-detecting vomeronasal cells try to mate rather than attack invading males.

More here.


James Surowiecki in The New Yorker:

BobIn 1985, when Bob Geldof organized the rock spectacular Live Aid to fight poverty in Africa, he kept things simple. “Give us your fucking money” was his famous (if apocryphal) command to an affluent Western audience—words that embodied Geldof’s conviction that charity alone could save Africa. He had no patience for complexity: we were rich, they were poor, let’s fix it. As he once said to a luckless official in the Sudan, after seeing a starving person, “I’m not interested in the bloody system! Why has he no food?”

Whatever Live Aid accomplished, it did not save Africa. Twenty years later, most of the continent is still mired in poverty. So when, earlier this month, Geldof put together Live 8, another rock spectacular, the utopian rhetoric was ditched. In its place was talk about the sort of stuff that Geldof once despised—debt-cancellation schemes and the need for “accountability and transparency” on the part of African governments—and, instead of fund-raising, a call for the leaders of the G-8 economies to step up their commitment to Africa.

More here.

Dirty knees and frocks

Elizabeth Cooney in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette:

BildeThe personal and professional merge in Dr. Azra Raza’s life, sometimes painfully so.

Both a cancer researcher and a cancer doctor, she learned firsthand how vast a gulf there is between the laboratory and the patient when she felt “the infinite helplessness of being on the other side of the bed” when her husband, Dr. Harvey D. Preisler, died of the disease he had dedicated his life to curing.

He inspired her in life and in death to narrow that chasm between the promise of basic research and the reality of current cancer treatments. Chief of hematology/oncology at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Dr. Raza believes the current convergence of basic research, scientific technology and clinical practice will lead to unparalleled progress in preventing, detecting and treating cancer.

Aps“This is the time when things are coming together for us,” she said. “Some of what we have been striving for for 20 years is finally materializing in terms of improved outcomes for patients. I never dreamt I would be able to see this day, when I would have patients sitting in my clinic saying, ‘Dr. Raza, I didn’t even know how badly I felt until I feel better.’ ”

How she arrived at that point began with her early curiosity about nature while growing up in Pakistan.

She remembers being 4 years old and crawling after ants, following them to their holes and getting bitten, upsetting her mother with her dirty knees and frocks…

“I grew up in a family in which the definition of a bum was anyone over 18 not going to medical school,” she joked.

Sughra2Her sister Dr. Sughra Raza, director of the women’s imaging program at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, said that wasn’t quite true. Engineers were accepted, too, she said, but more important was the absolute equality between the sons and daughters.

More here (subscription required*).  [As most of you know, Azra Raza is a 3QD editor. I am extremely proud to say that she is also my sister, as is Sughra Raza, my equally accomplished youngest sister who is also mentioned above. Sughra is also normally a 3QD editor, but is on sabbatical at the moment.]

*If you don’t happen to have a subscription to the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, click here, then click “open”.

Update: I just realized there’s more. In another story in the same paper:

Radhey Khanna felt he was almost out of time when he first met Dr. Azra Raza.

She gave him hope for the future; now he has pledged to do the same for her.

An electrical engineer turned real estate investor who lives in New Hampshire, Mr. Khanna has pledged $1 million to support Dr. Raza’s research on myelodysplastic syndrome, a disorder in which patients’ blood cell counts fall dangerously low. Many of them go on to develop leukemia.

Two and a half years ago, doctors told Mr. Khanna he had MDS but there was no treatment or cure. They thought he might be helped by a new drug once it was approved by federal drug regulators.

At the time he just felt fatigued, but his condition grew worse. Eventually he needed frequent blood transfusions and was unable to walk. Then he felt he could no longer wait.

“I was willing to spend any amount of money, I was willing to travel anywhere,” he said recently. “It’s a pretty sad situation when nobody can do anything at all.”

A friend who was a researcher at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute mentioned that Dr. Raza had moved her MDS Center to UMass Memorial Medical Center from Chicago. Maybe she could help him get the drug, he suggested.

After their first meeting nine months ago, Dr. Raza was encouraging. While not able to get him the Revlimid he was waiting for, she did enroll him in an experimental trial using thalidomide, the drug that caused birth defects 50 years ago but has been revived to treat leprosy and multiple myeloma. Revlimid, still not approved, is an improved version of thalidomide, lacking its side effects but targeting a similar cellular process that goes awry in MDS.

The thalidomide treatment worked right away for Mr. Khanna, who turned 60 last month.

For more, click here, then click “open”.

‘The Framing Wars’ and ‘Iranian Lessons’

There are two good articles in the New York Times Magazine this week. First, Matt Bai writes:

Do Republicans win elections because they know how to turn issues into stories? Can Democrats learn the same trick? And can they find the magic words to win the coming battle over the Supreme Court?

More about that here. Then, there is an article by Michael Ignatieff:

Invited to Tehran during the recent presidential election to lecture on human rights, the author learned that those who don’t yet have liberty have a lot to teach to those who do.

More of that here.  [Thanks to Syed Tasnim Raza.]

Jean-Paul Sartre

Kevin Jackson in Prospect:

Portrait_jacksonConfessions of a teenage existentialist: back in the early 1970s, when my mates and I were all revving up for A-levels, Jean-Paul Sartre was, simply, the most famous of all living philosophers, and just about the most famous of all proper, serious writers. He was inevitable, compulsory, ubiquitous. You didn’t even have to be a swot to have a fairly good idea of who he was, since BBC2 had just devoted 13 solid hours of prime-time viewing to its dramatisation of the Roads to Freedom trilogy. (Thinkable nowadays?) The Monty Python gang performed a Sartre sketch and for weeks afterwards, schoolyards echoed to imitations of Mrs Premise’s high-pitched telephone query to Sartre’s (fictitious) wife: “Quand sera-t’il libre?” Pay-off: “She says he’s spent the last 60 years trying to work that one out!” Oh, we did laugh.

More here.

Storied Theory

Roald Hoffman (Nobel, Chemistry) in American Scientist:

HoffmanwebOne might think that experiments are more sympathetic than theories to storytelling, because an experiment has a natural chronology and an overcoming of obstacles (see my article, “Narrative,” in the July-August 2000 American Scientist). However, I think that narrative is indivisibly fused with the theoretical enterprise, for several reasons.

One, scientific theories are inherently explanatory. In mathematics it’s fine to trace the consequences of changing assumptions just for the fun of it. In physics or chemistry, by contrast, one often constructs a theoretical framework to explain a strange experimental finding. In the act of explaining something, we shape a story. So C exists because A leads to B leads to C—and not D.

Two, theory is inventive. This statement is certainly true for chemistry, which today is more about synthesis than analysis and more about creation than discovery. As Anne Poduska, a graduate student in my group, pointed out to me, “theory has a greater opportunity to be fanciful, because you can make up molecules that don’t (yet) exist.”

Three, theory often provides a single account of how the world works—which is what a story is. In general, theoretical papers do not lay out several hypotheses. They take one and, using a set of mathematical mappings and proof techniques, trace out the consequences. Theories are world-making.

Finally, comparing theory with experiment provides a natural ending. There is a beginning to any theory—some facts, some hypotheses. After setting the stage, developing the readers’ interest, engaging them in the fundamental conflict, there is the moment of (often experimental) truth: Will it work? And if that test of truth is not at hand, perhaps the future holds it.

The theorist who restates a problem without touching on an experimental result of some consequence, or who throws out too many unverifiable predictions, will lose credibility and, like a long-winded raconteur, the attention of his or her audience. Coming back to real ground after soaring on mathematical wings gives theory a narrative flow.

Let me analyze a theoretical paper to show how this storytelling imperative works. Not just any paper, but a classic appropriate to the centennial of Albert Einstein’s great 1905 papers…

More here.

Critical Drigressions: Literary Fashion

Ladies and gentlemen,

On an overcast Sunday afternoon in Karachi, we donned a kurta pajama and kola puris and headed towards Chundrigar Road. Every week the streets outside the Arts Council and the Hindu Gymkhana are cordoned off for a book bazaar (which till a year ago was held in the gardens of the Frere Hall). There we surveyed the stalls for books that we might include in our summer reading and picked up Ellison’s American Psycho, Pierre’s Vernon God Little, and Martel’s The Life of Pi – admittedly, a random selection, determined by the amount of rupees in our pocket and also by the contrarian in us who does not have faith in the proverb, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Whether or not book covers betray the substance of a book might be a matter of drunken debate but you might judge a book otherwise: by the quality of the author’s prose – whether its ornate, dense, muscular, Spartan – by character development, by the narrative voice, narrative structure, storytelling, the pathos the narrative generates, or perhaps, by the way a book ends (and so on). Since the inception of the novel not only has it evolved but the critical infrastructure that determines the “value” of a novel has also evolved. Over time, different writers and critics have assigned different values to different components of the novel.

As in art, the ambition of fiction has changed from the time of the horrid eighteenth century novel (Richardson’s Pamela and Aphra Behn’s Love Letters Between a Nobleman and his Sister immediately come to mind). Joyce and Nabokov had different ambitions, agendas. They conceived of their novels as constructions, not representations. Moreover, the respective oeuvres of Pynchon, Rushdie and Kundera exemplify that prose has became increasingly self conscious over the span of the last century.

At the same time, critical consensus has marginalized writers who once populated the Pantheon of literary greats. Hemingway’s Spartan style was novel and immensely influential but now seems somewhat dated (especially because a whole generation of writers has interpreted and reinterpreted his variety of minimalism). Once hailed by Sartre as “the greatest living writer of our time,” John Dos Passos – Hemingway’s contemporary and brother in arms in the Spanish civil war – has fallen off the map. His cinematic prose and didacticism no longer fashionable, Passos’ books are neither bought nor taught. There are many others: John O’ Hara, Theoder Dreiser, Robert Musil, that third leg of the modernist enterprise (or something like that.)

Sensibilities are changing again. Contemporary criticism abhors stylistic pyrotechnics and self-consciousness. The thoroughly entertaining but famously venomous critic, Dale Peck, declaims, “I will say it once and for all, straight out: it all went wrong with James Joyce…Ulysses is nothing more than a hoax upon literature…” In one sentence, Peck excises “most of Joyce, half of Faulkner and Nabokov, nearly all of Gaddis, Pynchon, and DeLillo” from the canon. Another critic – B.R. Meyers – unknown before the publication of “A Reader’s Manifesto” in the Atlantic Monthly – attacks others: Cormac McCarthy, Annie Proulx and Don Delilo. He finds their prose “repetitive…elementary in its syntax, and…numbing in its overuse of wordplay.” And James Wood – probably the finest contemporary literary critic (along with Michiko Kakutani – harkens back to Henry James. He likes Monica Ali and Naipaul but doesn’t care of Zadie Smith and John Updike. These critics may have influenced the PEN/Faulkner committee who has awarded Ha Jin prizes for War Trash and Waiting – two brilliant novels in the tradition of Russian realism, featuring Spartan prose, rich pathos and pathology.

Ultimately, however, critics – no matter how comprehensive their analysis – are the sums of their likes and dislikes, like everybody else. And ultimately, we enjoy critics whose sensibilities cohere with ours.

So which book is worth our while? Considering that high style comes in and out of fashion, like art, like clothes, maybe only good story-telling endures (Gogol’s “The Overcoat Coat” and Manto’s “Toba Tek Singh” immediately come to mind). In that case, we may adorn our shelf with our new acquisitions, return to the book fair next week to find some Coetzee, who ranks high on our List of Literature’s Latest and Greatest. This evening we may just watch Bale as Bateman.

What explains the appeal of radical Islam to some of Europe’s Muslims?

The Economist looks at some psychological and sociological explanations of the appeal of Islamism to some of Europe’s Muslims.

“[A]lthough paths to extremism vary widely, they tend to follow certain social and psychological patterns. Frequently, a young Muslim man falls out of mainstream society, becoming alienated both from his parents and from the ‘stuffy’ Islamic culture in which he was brought up. He may become more devout, but the reverse is more likely. He turns to drink, drugs and petty crime before seeing a ‘solution’ to his problems—and the world’s—in radical Islam. . .

Another French ‘Islamologue’, Antoine Sfeir, has identified relations between the sexes as a big factor in the re-Islamisation of second-generation Muslims in Europe. Because young Muslim women often do better than men at adapting to the host society (they tend to do better at school, for example), old patriarchal structures are upset and young men acquire a strong incentive to reassert the old order.”

Reporter Guy

David Remnick on Stephen Colbert’s upcoming fake news show, in The New Yorker:

021212_stephencolbertSince Bill Murray’s departure for the movies, no one has done fatuous like Colbert does fatuous: the serious-reporter-guy ability to cock a brow with bogus knowing, his way of tilting his head to indicate sincerity worthy of an Airedale. The key is not listening, missing the point. During the 2004 Presidential campaign, “The Daily Show” interviewed the Democratic candidates, none more vividly than the Reverend Al Sharpton:

Colbert: In street lingo, are you running to stick it to the Man?
Sharpton: I don’t know on what street you got that language.
Colbert: The urban street. The mean streets.
Sharpton: I’m sticking up for a lot of people that have felt that no one has stuck up for them. But I’m not trying to stick it to anyone.
Colbert: Not even . . . the Man?
Sharpton: Who’s the Man?
Colbert: Let’s pretend for a moment that I’m the Man. Now stick it to me.
Sharpton: I’m not sticking it to anyone.
Colbert: Not even the Man? He’s very stickable.

More here.