Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Excerpt (Recent Writings)

The people who call themselves "American" should meet more criteria than just having a passport I think.

I think we should flip it:  all those hard working "undocumented" people just trying to make a better living are now "the citizens" whereas anyone who has paid serious taxes to the mutinous war machine should be considered an illegal alien.  The so-called "citizens" have failed to protect their democracy or restrain their leaders from committing atrocities.  They are not entitled to keep her.  The undocumented will likely do a better job (even as many are getting documents, plus storing their genomes in SQL/noSQL).

Yes, the American people (newly defined) are mostly undocumented and innocent of war crimes.

The illegals (mostly of Anglo-Euro heritage) have been complicit in these dirty wars and are only citizens because they've bullied the rest of us into thinking of them that way (I'm Anglo-Euro-Asian perhaps).

Perhaps a coalition of the undocumented and those who still have values and principles will continue to push back.

Who knows, brave democracies might grow here in fertile Columbia once again (no, not named for Columbus, who was already named for something).


For another gestalt switch, see Swap Meet

brought to you by:  Operation DuckRabbit

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reading the WSJ

I started an NFL style debate on Facebook regarding the moral fiber of granola eating geezers and so on (neoliberals an easy target, as were neocons, which few admit to being since their undermining of the presidency).

One of the nuke plants in Iran is getting more focus while the others (same grid for all intents) are whirring away under the radar, replenishing illegal weapons stocks and/or just doing their civilian jobs.  No I'm not talking about North Korea.  The IAEA clearly needs help though, especially in India where nationalism remains a leading mental disease (a complex).

I'm not sure how much of Iran's 20% pure is slated for space program uses.  Civilian nuke plants on the Moon, tiny ones that might be removed, are less likely than in the orbiting accommodations for space tourists and researchers.  The dangers are similar to those with submarines, as tainting the oceans with nuclear waste would be equally irresponsible and BP-like.

I expect there's some serious mole power in the IAEA, given the training and heritage, even though the leadership appears bought and paid for (perhaps The Guardian has a story -- on my list).  The made-for-TV version might start in Colorado, some kind of NORAD place, where the anti-human stockpiles are tracked, as are their ant-like minions.

Scott Ritter and/or Muhammad Ali could serve as personas to draw from, if you're in screen writing.  The weapons inspector plays a more heroic role these days, thanks to nuke weapons having lost all PR value.  Only stinkers cherish them.

The "nuclear club" is for the wretched of the Earth -- so it's somewhat surprising that India is pounding at the door, its pride wounded for not being among the morally reprobate.  The stuff of comedy and spoof.  At least Iran has a sense of decorum, reminding the world of a possible future, one of zero tolerance for weapons of mass suicide.  Religions that preach the opposite, like Christianity by the looks of things, is too Jonestown-like for my taste.  Humans weren't meant to be so aberrational in that way -- seems unnaturally violent and perverse.

Enslaved humans, trapped in a criminal underground, serving Dr. Evil types as they develop their "systems" for monied sociopaths, is the stuff of melodrama for sure.  Cigars and whiskey, 007, hookahs... the movies could be boringly formula in no time, all adopting a predictably retro look as we move more assets to Havana and/or to Portland with its retro theaters.

We get the WSJ at Blue House, a physical paper wrapped in plastic.  I took it to breakfast this morning.

The headline was about an aggressive nuclear (bankrupt) state trying to play overlord on the backs of preyed-upon civilians.  The military had seized control of the intelligence apparatus and had pre-emptively attacked a neighboring state on false pretenses.  Here, WDC was going down to defeat yet again, a Loserville for pro losers by this time, in part because perceived as a Wall Street pawn, a Saruman sell-out to Mordor.

The USG might still bounce back in some way shape or form.  I'd suggest in competition with the faux capitalists, so afraid of competition and so protective of their antediluvian "economics", a step child of the social sciences and statistics.

GST uses a stronger science and recruits stronger players.  The more trusted banks are almost by definition distancing themselves from the sleazier wheeler dealers who want to reap a killing selling basement fallout shelters or the modern equivalent.  Preying on people's fears:  you can smell those businesses a mile away.  They traffic in terror.  Why lend them your reputation then?

In the history books and comic books (e.g. Captain America), the USG (or some avatar thereof) still had some juice when countering the most craven.  Has that influence been spent?  Have the neocons and neoliberals destroyed America's reputation?  I think we still have pockets with integrity.

OK, that's probably too much optimism for one blog post.  The reality on the ground is far more sobering.

The fashion section of the WSJ was more interesting than the shrill headlines.  I notice more women than men in the creative / imaginative sectors.  The dullards stream into safe commands and park there, apparently, supposing their investments are safe because their bankers read the same papers they do (and maybe get more out of them?).

Mostly, when mom isn't here, we just recycle them.  Lindsey is somewhat horrified by the waste, but then that's her chosen role.  The dog walks have been helping, and we recycle the plastic.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Neighbor Talk (Global Village)

I'm pleased with the ODEC crew.  The trainer said she was a little too hesitant, thinking of possibilities, but then ultimately you've just gotta do the deed.  I know what he meant.  He's been a stunt driver on Leverage and teaches police how to high speed chase.

We were doing a make up driving, focus on lane changing, having missed a session thanks to permit placement error.  My role was to drop and pick up.  Fortunately, I have VPN from any wifi spot, so had productive time at a Starbucks.

I know I sound like I'm getting paid for brand placement, but it's more that I voluntarily register some of the crews (yar!).  I'm not saying I don't do paid work for spin doctoring.  I participate in the exchange of values and valuables, mindful of a responsibility to preserve and protect heritage.  That would include work by Crumb, celebrated at Laughing Planet on Belmont.

Watching Sherlock Holmes, this latest one, and Tintin back-to-back has likely had a searing effect on remaining neurons.  They say those get replaced more than they used to lead us on.  Anyway, whatever.  On steroids, these guys (Tintin and Sherly).  Smarter than Rambo though, more 007 flavored, yet not gun happy really.  I liked their getting more girls into it, like in those funny spy movies awhile back (the one with TinkerPuff or whomever).

I was exulting about that funny Vin Diesel movie set in Brazil, as I was reminiscing with Steve tonight, about things Brazilian.

We ended with Tara piloting the Maxi Taxi through Ladd's up Harrison onto Lincoln, back to Harrison and into our driveway -- a little fast but because I gave the wrong instruction.  Walker the friend-in-residence still co-owns the car per DMV and was duly consulted to get clearance for these maneuvers.  The learner permit was on our presence at all times.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wandering in PSU

PSU has a truly handsome campus, newly outfitting with a Rogue Hall we noticed (and partook, somewhat hurriedly between gigs).  I spent some hours away from my desk haunting the halls of academia, bouncing around in buildings I do not normally frequent.  Other Wanderers were doing the same thing.

Roger Paget was holding forth in a rather well packed large room.  Glenn, Don and I were a little behind schedule, coming in on the 14, then walking to this far corner of Portland State.  Roger has divided his time between North America and the Indonesian archipelago over the span of some 40 years, and has come to accumulate some wisdom.  We'd come to pick up on some of it, having met with him at Wanderers a few times.

Then, next gig, Jeff Goebel, recently moved to Albequerque, is living the dream as a top management consultant.  This was one of those workshoppy environments where people stand and represent things, verging on theater.  We're involved in the process, are part of the cast.  The study was about meeting in circles and facing our fears.  I'd say this counts as a significant town hall meeting, a true cross-section, as I was anticipating having in Endgame.  Well done, then.  I was admiring the cynic about all these "active listeners" trying to make it all better in the Middle East, out of some sense of mission maybe (she'd just come back from there).

Regarding Roger's talk, I saw his Jakarta as a mirror for WDC and think he saw it that way too at some level.  He has internalized the geological long-now aspects of government, embodies the "unto seven generations" type thinking.  I hear he's revered in Bali, and no wonder.  He's a bit of a Bucky-like character in that way, also appreciated on that circuit.

Last night I dipped into the Telluride Mountain Film Festival, a touring collection of cinematic wonders giving us the state of the art in "life at the limits" films.  Guys freezing their butts off in Pakistan, kayaking the Congo (Kadoma), exploring the length of the Colorado to its new and recent death zone, where the delta used to be (talk about big deltas!).  The last one, of a cyclist showing off, is already out there, a Red Bull offering, and is marvelously well put together, and so deeply appreciative of the scenery (while really living in it). Way Back Home.

I'm on duty again around midnight, MVP to PDX.  In the meantime, I have desk duties to attend to, raising a Python army.  Blue House personnel are hard at work -- working on beats (rhythms, prophecies).

Milt has the same mission I thought I had, back in those Voodoo House meetups, to "save Systems" at PSU.  I think he'll do a good job and hand over the reins.  I've got the GST thing to keep plying.  Milt was another one of us present at the workshop.

I noticed Steve Johnson is an upcoming speaker in that same colloquium.  His name came up in the Portland Tribune again recently, in connection with p:ear.  He and I go back, to the mid-1980s, when I first moved to Portland and ended up with CUE.  I'd definitely be at his presentation except that I'm expecting to be in California that day.

Buzz and Brian seem to be getting along on the Wanderers list, a list that's frequently contentious.

These athlete geeks have recognizable geek traits, such as an interest in equipment, brand loyalty in some ways. I could see Red Bull as an overlap memeplex maybe.

A Beer I Enjoy

Monday, February 13, 2012

Work Habits

I've described my job as akin to that of a train conductor, but with some unusual wrinkles.  I start at the top if a new person sits towards the front.

Although I always work towards the back, I have a more immediate response to newcomers (better than same day service).  So it's not a queue, and not a stack.  Not exactly.

Restaurant waiting has similar queuing theories.  You can wait for a bill, talk, enjoy family (the owner knows you'll not regret it), whereas if you're a party of three, waiting for a table, there's a lot of priority, perhaps even a radio frequency controlled device, such as Spaghetti Factory has, along the Willamette River (lots of new construction).

I enjoyed this analysis of Starbucks which I found at the Strata site, this being a major data conference, lots of overlap with OSCON in terms of theme, speakers and management.

One perk of the job is we have musicians and artists in the building (and cooks!) -- like an art colony.  I also have enough bandwidth to get SomaFM, for example.  Mission Control is a way of enjoying Apollo Project successes, listening to audio from missions against the backdrop of spacey music.

Tonight I'm keeping company with the chairman as he preps for a class in Minnesota (he's the trainer). I was invited but have my train conducting.

This is a good time to be looking at OSCON talks (I'm on the selection committee, my second year).  As I was mentioning, there's overlap with Strata, which latter, like the upcoming Pycon, is in Santa Clara (California), near San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Speaking of Silicon Valley, my Mac Air shipped with Cupertino the default time zone.  I thought that was cute.  We also talk about Redmond as a HQS, in geekdom.  You'll notice how cities play against one another as capitals, cities that don't get to play on the Elephant & Donkey board (pay yes, but play not so much).

I've been watching David's screencasts on Youtube, in between keeping up with the other syllabi.  DVDs have the same status as books sometimes, in the sense of "required".  Keeping up with coursework is another aspect of my job.  Lots of acronyms to memorize, always.  Namespaces abound.

I used some of the time to seed edu-sig with a spate of postings, bam bam bam.  Cherlin batting the shuttlecock right back to me, extolling the virtues of LISP and APL, ever the geek preacher (amen, brother).