|Current Topic: Miscellaneous|
|| 7:37 am EDT, May 17, 2010
Privacy is pretty black and white. It either is or it isn't. And trying to have it both ways won't work.
There are times when I would love to cease existing as a person in the eyes of others, and to swim through crowds unnoticed, the way women do in their steel-blue burqas in Herat. Far from being an experience that no one should have, it seems one that everyone should have the choice to have.
It is desire to be in the swim that makes political parties.
Groups aren't necessarily smart or powerful, but they could be. It isn't enough to get a bunch of people together in a room or on a website with a great vision of what they could accomplish. The group's potential hinges on its structure.
Architecture matters a lot, and in subtle ways.
Nothing will work, but everything might.
An exchange with Mark Fletcher:
I fear I spend too much time on the Internet as a crutch to avoid thinking about the crushing sameness of each and every day as well as the black hollowness of my soul. There, I said it. Are you happy now?
Plenty of people are onto the emptiness, but it takes real guts to see the hopelessness.
Often there has been an incredible tension between what people want to hear, and the stories that I have presented. I remain unapologetic.
Audiences are having mainstream cinema and television touch on only the surface of things, and they get irritated when confronted by a more exacting gaze into the depths of our existence.
The cyber threat has outpaced our ability to defend against it.
The scale of compromise, including the loss of sensitive and unclassified data, is ... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]
||There is no winning. There is only mattering.
|| 6:07 am EDT, Apr 27, 2010
I can tell you, after years of rejecting manuscripts submitted to university presses, most people's ideas aren't that brilliant.
As we all know, lax writing practices earlier this decade led to irresponsible writing and irresponsible reading.
I'd like to write something that comes from things the way wine comes from grapes.
1st Batallion, 5th Marines:
Have something short, but important to say. What you say here will be remembered.
That's right. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter's inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress.
Why do I want to invent more reasons to have haters?
Giving up being liked is the ultimate public sacrifice.
I like the feeling of knowing that nobody is trying to reach me.
There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.
It's just sort of like: 'Why does everything have to be on the screen?'
This thing. If numbers are your strategy to win at this thing, you've already lost. This thing is not a game. There is no winning. There is only mattering. If you don't understand that, you aren't making a difference.
Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
Let us look for the positive deviants.
Once you've seen The Wire, you're spoiled for life.
As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you'll know that you're pure within and will find happiness once more.
If you spent the money on an original iPod in 2001 on Apple stock ($499), you would have $14,513.78 today.
1st Batallion, 5th Marines:
$500 can build things that change how people live.
Without music, time has a very different quality.
||Give And Take (Mostly Take)
|| 7:55 am EST, Jan 25, 2010
In 2005 when the Songhua River itself was profoundly poisoned by an explosion (no surprise there) at a petrochemical plant, decanting vast quantities of benzene and nitrobenzene into the water, the Chinese government tried to hide the incident. It failed to; think how often it succeeds.
The storyline is just gruyere, made up of nothing but cheese and holes.
On Cameron's Pandora, the animals cavort with one another much like the peripherals on his desk, plugging and playing at will, and the afterlife is more or less equivalent to cloud computing. Once you upload yourself, you don't really have to worry about crashing your hard drive. Your soul is safe in Google Docs. In a climactic scene, rings of natives chant and sway, ecstatically connected, while the protagonists in the center plug into the glowing tree, and I muttered silently to myself, The church of Facebook. You too can be reborn there.
You have a choice in a situation like the one we're confronting. You can sit back in your chair and fondle your nihilism, or you can try to be original and work toward something creative.
Boredom isn't just good for your brain. It's good for your soul.
David Foster Wallace:
Bliss -- a second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious -- lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom.
Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you've never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it's like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.
People say to me, "Whatever it takes." I tell them, It's going to take everything.
Philip K. Dick:
Never oversee or criticize what they take. It's not worth it. Just see what you've got left afterward, and go with that.
Wouldn't you like to be the vampire of yourself? Wouldn't you like to live in an alternate reality, at the cost of consuming yourself?
Oyster farmers eat lots of oysters, don't they?
We are far more like somebody watching ourselves than somebody in charge of ourselves.
||The Triumph of the Hidebound | A Noteworthy Decade
|| 2:33 pm EST, Dec 25, 2009
The CIA and the FBI had been amassing increasingly ominous and detailed clues about potential threats in Kenya, but the State Department bureaucracy still dismissed [the ambassador]. She was even seen by some at the State Department as a nuisance who was overly obsessed with security ...
The practice of netwar is well ahead of theory ...
"The gloves are off," one senior official said.
"After 9/11, the gloves come off."
Is more what we really need?
"You can't talk sense to them," Bush said, referring to terrorists. "Nooooo!" the audience roared.
This is the road to despotism. This is the fevered dream of theocracy. This is America.
That which keeps us safe also keeps us free ...
Virginians soon will be able to sport vehicle license plates bearing the words "Fight Terrorism" emblazoned in red letters ...
Empathize with your enemy.
He's going to stay in the can until we're through with al-Qaida.
From a cop on "The Wire": "You can't even call it a war. Wars end."
The most basic way to rob terrorism of its potency is to be unafraid of it.
Do you ever have that experience in life where you can see things coming but you don't know what to do about it? Foreign policy is like that, too.
You don't have to be a cynic to believe that the point of the warnings is not to save lives so much as political hides.
If you can force them to have a liberal democracy you can force them to do all kinds of things.
||The Life Span of Meat | A Noteworthy Decade
|| 2:33 pm EST, Dec 25, 2009
The process of tying two items together is the important thing.
The idea is to make the goat secrete spider silk into its milk.
"They're just goats. [Pause.] Mostly."
We're actually reaching a level where you find yourself imagining questions that a year ago you couldn't even formulate.
According to one who was present, Churchill suddenly blurted out: "Are we animals? Are we taking this too far?"
Science can be effectively regulated, if we possess the political will to do so.
They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?
A health director ... reported this week that a small mouse, which presumably had been watching television, attacked a little girl and her full-grown cat ... Both mouse and cat survived, and the incident is recorded here as a reminder that things seem to be changing.
Damn McDonalds for creating so many fast food nations!
It is tiring and unhealthy to lose your Saturday afternoons: but to have them free because you don't matter, that is much worse.
Fight the cult of process.
Money will keep talking, the public interest will keep walking. The great battles, in short, are still ahead.
||Power Tools, Power Lunches, And Power | A Noteworthy Decade
||12:14 pm EST, Dec 24, 2009
Stop looking over your shoulder and invent something!
Great, world-changing things always start small. The ideal project is one where people don't have meetings, they have lunch.
"The whole idea of bigger being better, I just don't think that's the case anymore."
The hardest part isn't inventing the solution but figuring out how to get people to adopt it.
I like to focus on banal, boring issues like standards, protocols, and IPR because I delight in showing how supposedly arcane technical problems actually turn out to be political.
People who have better tools win.
Never underestimate the value of a good tool properly employed. But don't expect it to solve everything, especially over the long term. Your enemy is watching you, he has read his Claude Shannon, and he has some good tools of his own.
People will do stuff today that they would not do even a year ago.
Everything seems to devolve into Friendster, sooner or later.
Technology has made it easier than ever to count your friends -- but that doesn't mean you should.
Teens need a sense of being able to get away. Really away.
I have two questions.
1) What's so wrong with the real world that makes everyone want to get away from it?
2) If everyone is so eager to "escape", who will ever fix the problems?
I try to work on things that won't happen unless I do them.
It's ironic that entrepreneurism preaches chaos, while staunch corporate management theory preaches control. The typical organization is constantly vacillating between those states. It's never one or the other, and the tension is constantly changing on a daily basis. It's that tension, muscle pushing against bone, that gets things done.
You can't change the fact that it is human nature for people to carve up a problem and try to own things, for the complexity to accrete in corners, and for the vocabulary of the project not to make it all the way across.
||Do You Hear What I Hear? | A Noteworthy Decade
||12:14 pm EST, Dec 24, 2009
I'm 41 now so I've decided I need to develop my grumpy side. So here's a rant about the sorry state of pop music.
Pablo Picasso: "Mediocre artists borrow; great artists steal."
Any time you skip a commercial ... you're actually stealing the programming.
"It is a case of bootleggers bootlegging bootlegs."
Maybe people aren't buying the latest crap because it sounds just like the crap they bought ten years ago.
Music is just background noise for whatever it is that you're really doing.
Music used to be an event, not a product. For the iPod generation, music as Art is being increasingly devalued, even as it becomes pervasive to the point of ubiquity.
... a deal for licensing of music online ...
Audiences scale, communities don't.
What am I going to use it for?
The steady stream of celebrity death should ensure plenty of free promotion -- elaborate outside advertising isn't necessary when the passing of even culturally marginal figures receives extensive what-does-it-all-mean metareporting in the nation's newsweeklies.
The Internet may be a mould-breaking new medium but, like all the media that came before it, someone has to pay for it, and that usually means, one way or another, users.
Needless to say, blogs are addictive. They are not, however, the most economical use of your time.
The live audience cheers for Krusty as the show comes to an end and Krusty exits the stage.
Off stage, the Fox producer approaches Krusty, smiling and holding a piece of paper. In a soft, serious voice, he says, "Krusty, the ratings were good -- Raymond re-run good."
There will be some things that people will see.
There will be some things that people won't see.
And life goes on.
||Our Long Boom of Nerd Hubris Is Over | A Noteworthy Decade
|| 7:14 am EST, Dec 23, 2009
A brave man would see catharsis in all this misery; a wise man would not be so hasty.
"You Westerners have your watches," the leader observed. "But we Taliban have time."
For many Californians, the looming demise of the "time lady," as she's come to be known, marks the end of a more genteel era, when we all had time to share.
Now, after three billion years, the Darwinian interlude is over.
Oh! I feel it. I feel the cosmos!
The dot-com crash of the early 2000s should have been followed by decades of soul-searching; instead, even before the old bubble had fully deflated, a new mania began to take hold on the foundation of our long-standing American faith that the wide expansion of home ownership can produce social harmony and national economic well-being.
Ideas are like fish. Originality is just the ideas you caught.
A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be a utopia. It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris and hysterically inflated market opportunities.
It is unclear whether many of these interlocking relationships served any economic purpose.
It was bold, it was risky, it was expensive. And it was wrong.
How did such a triumph of engineering leave so much corporate wreckage?
What actually drove the company and others like it into the ground was an epic miscalculation ...
52% of Americans think dinosaurs and humans lived together.
What kind of D&D character are you?
||A Vulnerability We Cannot Mitigate | A Noteworthy Decade
||10:33 am EST, Dec 22, 2009
It's good to have a plan, but if something extraordinary comes your way, you should go for it.
You often learn who you are by realizing who you are not.
Cynicism will lead you to the truth. Or vice versa.
"We wanted the best, but it turned out as always."
-- Viktor Chernomyrdin, Russian prime minister, 1992-1998; now, a billionaire oligarch
A good idea that doesn't happen is no idea at all.
-- Louis Kahn
"It has become clear that Internet access in itself is a vulnerability that we cannot mitigate. We have tried incremental steps and they have proven insufficient."
Al Qaeda is not an organization. It is a scene.
Ideas should never become ideologies.
Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
I could have done that. I could have done that while doing all the other things that I do. Why didn't I?
MORAL: Many a plan has just one flaw: No one has the courage to try it.
People say to me, "Whatever it takes." I tell them, It's going to take everything.
||The Comfort And Privacy Of Your Own Garage | A Noteworthy Decade
||11:18 am EST, Dec 21, 2009
One passionate person is worth a thousand people who are just plodding along ...
Damn I need funding for this ...
Now I have a reputation. I can be selective about what I go do.
He did what an increasing number of senior managers uncertain of their job prospects are doing: He set himself up at his own company.
There are 260 million people in America, and you are one of them.
No matter who you are, you have the potential to be so very much less.
Tomorrow is closer than you think.
"If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don't think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; if you just think of, detail by detail, what you have to do next, it is a wonderful dream even though the end is a long way off, for there are about five thousand steps to be taken before we realize it; and start taking the first ten, and stay making twenty after, it is amazing how quickly you get through those five thousand steps. Rather, I should say, through the four thousand nine hundred and ninety. The last ten steps you never seem to work out. But you keep on coming nearer to giving the world something well worth having."
If you do not work on an important problem, it's unlikely you'll do important work.
WashPost editor: "It's a useful service, but it's not going to drive me to the unemployment office tomorrow."
This region has grown accustomed to high-technology highs and lows over four decades, but the current dot-com collapse has lasted longer and cut deeper. And the recently affluent technology workers who had come to believe in the "long boom," the idea that prosperity would be permanent, are quietly giving up their flashy signs of success to make ends meet.
Architectures and institutions are often shaped to fit one another, but they are still different sorts of things.
"You could buy your own used DNA synthesizer and make whatever you ... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ]