We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, August 31. 2011
Bird Dog being unable to use his computer is getting irksome to his neighbors:
Now Obama's NLRB tells a church school it's not religious enough
Poll: Employees Don’t Want Changes In Their Health Insurance
What is the Next Hot Thing in Nanotechnology? Graphene!
Non-Extremist American Muslims Worried About Extremism Among American Muslims
Book Review: The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole Who Infiltrated the CIA
Babysitting bill in Calif. Legislature
Our last WWII POW Finally Returns Home: Read it all
Veterans not fooled by pretty words
Interview: Roger Kimball on 30 Years of the New CriterionGet ready for Friday afternoon. You can be sure that the Obama administration will release some bad news that can get lost or overlooked on the Labor Day weekend.
Posted by Bruce Kesler at 06:00 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
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That cartoon would explain much of the "People of Wal-Mart" phenomenon.
Bird Dog and his wife are wearing a lot of clothes for shop-at-home folks.
Local-Global flip - Now, who can argue with that? I think we're all indebted to Gabby Johnson, for clearly stating what needed to be said. I'm particularly glad that these lovely children are here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic late-modern gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.
Jaron Lanier: I find it interesting that high power intellects (and make no mistake, he is very smart) like Lanier seem to always dance around the problem they are trying to describe or work on. He sort of touches on the issue, but misses the mark because the real answer does not work within his world view.
What he's dancing around is the simple dynamic of complex systems. Lanier is looking at them as being discrete - meaning that these separate systems working within an over arching framework - think .dll in the Microsoft world.
What he fails to recognize is the simple premise that the more complex the system, the more prone it is to be manipulated at the component level thus producing random and completely unexpected results. He should recognize that aspect because that's exactly how computers and systems are "hacked" - they aren't attacking the overall system, but the component parts of the system.
With respect to the disappearing middle class he makes the same mistake that most left leaning futurist intellectuals make and that is the false (or negative) idea of empowerment. The concept that somehow the middle class can be saved by the trading of information as goods is as ridiculous as a talking fish. The whole point of having information is not to trade the information, but to hoard and use that information to manipulate the system such that you win (and those of your tribe you wish to win) and others lose - in short competition which those who lean left despise - or don't understand at the very human base level.
He does make one good point though and it describes the very core of the human being - the ability of the tribe to force conformity. His example of Burning Man is a perfect one - the very event that is supposedly about freedom of expession (art, language, material invention) is really more about conforming to the ideal of freedom of expression than the actual practice of it.
Lastely, and this is unusual for somebody like him, I don't think he places a lot of faith in the value of chaos or game/set theory. I've never met him, but I've always wanted to ask him that.
That was fun - thanks for posting.
Regarding the global local flip there is a work of fiction by Richard Powers, a MacArthur Fellow, Plowing the Dark.
It is gonna take some research.
I've been waiting since 2004 for so-called "moderate Muslims" to emerge. Here in the West, Christians of various stripes feel free to criticize their Christian brethren at various times for their interpretation of Christianity. It's one of the ways we regulate ourselves in our views of Christianity. By that definition, I haven't seen any "Moderate Muslims" so far. Of course, maybe the 'moderate Muslims' fear, justifiably, that if they do speak up, the next time an extremist Muslim has a bad hair day, he'll try to get back in good with the strict interpretationists by offing a few lapsed Muslims. Even including his own female relatives. That seems to happen with fair frequency, here in Texas for instance. The Koran, after all, recognizes only two kinds of people, the Faithful, and the infidels, and adjures the Faithful, to kill the infidels whenever necessary.
This leads to a certain uneasiness among those of us who profess other religions, particularly if we are female infidels, who are viewed as utterly of no use to anyone.
Tracked: Aug 31, 08:27
Tracked: Aug 31, 10:43