Archive for the 'General' Category

1968 was a nightmare – riots and assassinations, along with the war. I was in Chicago for part of the ’68 Democratic Convention. I saw police beat the crap out of American citizens, while, inside the building, the elite picked their next puppet candidate. The next year, National Guardsmen actually shot and killed demonstrating students at Kent State. For years I was ashamed to be an American.

I can’t afford the luxury of thinking my every thought is of interest to everybody. I can’t afford to waste time. I can’t afford being told by a machine how to communicate.

I can’t afford the Twitter.

Maybe freedom means having nothing to lose – and perhaps some the Bartlebys of the world aren’t simply lazy: they have looked hard at the world of work, assessed the trade-offs, and found the courage to say “I prefer not to” – and damn the consequences.

Why is football still legal? It’s a serious question. Why maintain, nay, lionize a pastime that wrecks bodies and minds?

I am utterly creeped out by the fact that this latest mass murderer is a PhD candidate. I will be an information junkie, until I find out what, if any, contribution was made to his murderous insanity by his PhD studies. Maybe none at all. I hope.

It’s bad enough that we still depend so much on cars, partly because of the requirement that so many of us put in “face-time” at the office (picture thousands of cars, idling bumper to bumper, air conditioners at full blast, day after summer day, as repairs are done on the numerous “expressways” in this great land of ours). But it is unconscionable to burn fossil fuel for amusement. No society that is serious about fuel conservation and energy independence can burn this much gasoline for amusement.

How many gallons of irreplaceable fossil fuel will be vaporized during this racing season? The Indy 500 (1-2 miles/gallon) must use thousands upon thousands of gallons. Daytona, NASCAR, I can’t even begin to name them all…there’s immense social approval for it, as well as lots of logos and money (and with Danica Patrick, sex), so gentlepeople, start your engines.

Phase 3 is happening now, even as more people shed fake friends or drop Facebook entirely. It’s the IPO: marketing and commercialization. Facebook is going to SELL all that information it got for free, and a few people will get obscenely rich.

Thanks for sharing.

With Facebook we come close to what Jaron Lanier describes (in You are Not a Gadget, highly recommended) as the “hive mind.” The highly aggregated billions of bits begin to have a slug-like intelligence of their own, collecting and distributing all manner of personal data according to its secret algorithms.

Years ago, a friend sent me Pieces of my Mind, a book of Rooney’s essays, generally consisting of “things I think about a certain topic.” They were truly “essays,” in the original, etymological sense of ‘a trying’ of one’s thought processes around a certain subject.

I like the idea of escape to other planets, except that the distances are unimaginably vast and humans way too frail for prolonged exposure to space travel. Until somebody perfects warp drive or hypersleep (sci-fi’s favorites devices for spanning interstellar distances), we’ve got to make it here on earth, and it’s not looking good. It’s looking more and more like we’re only temporary inhabitants who have begun to overstay their welcome.

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