Friday, February 29, 2008

Hacker Legacy

There are premises under ongoing scrutiny among which I put the "Hacker Ethic" and the "Jazz Truth", which are as close to faith/belief/hunch and superstition in general.

I really find that along with the usually-cited examples of gender/ethnic/otherness becoming more subject to detached/objective analyses, there is a change of ethics in general towards more connected/interactive/interpersonal behaviors.

John Stephens summed it up well in the acronym COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) adopted by an organization around sex workers.

So shit changes, generally towards negative entropy! But it sure grinds exceeding slow.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The War on Sanity

The wit/clue- lessness exemplifies much of the underpinnings for "belief" in the "rule of law".

When the Supreme Jurists display a total unawareness as in the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" matter it gives us pause.

Of course this is a more recent version of the gang who gave us the "Air Pirates" decision.

Where's Jonathan Swift now that we need him?


Monday, February 25, 2008

More health care rant

"Better Living Through Software" is not just a blog, it's a promise whose fulfillment is ongoing and often effective.

The possibility of Universal Health Care without the overhead burden of Insurance is quite palpable. Skip "National" or "Private" Health Care and, because of Universal Connectedness, go directly to Wellness: do not pass "Go"; do not collect $200!

The entirety of delivering this service to all humans (and probably other entities, including the planet itself) is well within reach - it's all in the software that enables production/delivery so that there's no untreated AIDS in Iceland or Zambia.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Westphalian sovereignity - Please!

There is the concept of the "failed State" as a sort of disease caused by chaos/anarchy/revolution.

What has failed is the very idea of nation-states. They are already subservient to forces seeking their own Exclusivism. We are simply a bit inertial in accepting that fact.

As connections grow/interact/prevail the idea of borders, along with a bunch of other baggage, simply gets shown for what it is: vaporware.

We are all in this together.
We are all members of one another.
Connection is a human right.


rashomon and eyewitnesses

Long ago I noted the rarity of coincident accounts concerning events. It was that the news stories about baseball games that I personally attended were at such variance with my own recollections thereof.

The "debate" last night is a case in point because the comments I heard seemed to be being made by people who slept through the program.

It was very clear to me that Mrs. Clinton was practically smitten by Mr. Obama and even said so in the end with the greatest sincerity she has shown "I am honored to be on this stage with you". She had clearly recognized that her time as a candidate for the presidential nomination was over.


Epiphanous Documentary

I think Franny Armstrong's McLibel film is way beyond "inspirational".

The protagonists, without being lawyers, gave me one of those New Respect for the "Rule of Law" feelings. The libel action brought by McDonald's against two pamphleteers was made into the longest court case in centuries of British history. They were (are) like the Rachel Carson of socio/economic examinations of the modern version of raw power.

The propaganda power of Murrow's Harvest of Shame 1960 telecast is rivaled in this. 

Would that we had persevered as well in the Air Pirates case.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yipee! An old-fashioned scandal

The closing salvo by the McCainites in today's Times:

“It is a shame that The New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit-and-run smear campaign. John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election.

“Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter politics, and there is nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career.”

sounds as if they hadn't read either the article or McCain's book in which he clearly acknowledges, albeit sanctimoniously claiming to have reformed (more than once) since his Savings/Loan debacle as 20% of the Keating Five, that he regrets having done exactly what is alleged by the Times: doing favors for lobbyists representing "special interests".

Politics is indeed pigshit.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Socialized Medicine"

My updated rant on insurance is up.

It's my contribution to the current political campaign about health care.


Here Come De Judge

Graphic evidence of how clueless/impotent the Establishment's, particularly the  courts', efforts to stem the tsunami of the universal network: in the New York Times 
article concerning a judge ordering a Web presence closed, appears

"The feebleness of the action suggests that the bank, and the judge, did not understand how the domain system works, or how quickly Web communities will move to counter actions they see as hostile to free speech online.

"The site itself could still be accessed at its Internet Protocol address ( — the unique number that specifies a Web site’s location on the Internet. Wikileaks also maintained “mirror sites,” or copies usually produced to ensure against failures and this kind of legal action. Some sites were registered in Belgium (, Germany ( and the Christmas Islands ( through domain registrars other than Dynadot, and so were not affected by the injunction."

This gives some hope to our probable achievement of universal connection.

In a similar vein during the coming U.S. presidential election bruhaha the distinction between universal health care and "universal health care INSURANCE" will be manifest as it becomes
more evident that the latter is the economic crippler of the former.

Just as the stock market went from a profit center for those maintaining the trading mechanism by charging viggorish on buys and sells to a nearly free process and Boeing went from buildings full of draftsmen to a handful of AutoCAD users, so will insurance become just another online service without the incredible profits enjoyed by fat old white men.


Sunday, February 17, 2008


There is much to-do about RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification). My first project as a biomedical technician was to build a passive  implantable pressure sensor that used the principles of passive RFID to measure the pressure within eyeballs/brains. This was in 1963 and the absence of the kind of convenient access to the lore of previous generations via Wikipedia and the Web in general left me naive about what I was doing.

Part of the fallout from that project was the technology of RIAS (Remote Infrared Audible Signage) commercially known as Talking Signs.

The subject of this post refers to "electro-magnetic identification" of which both these technologies are a subset.

In general, RFID is non-directional and rather limited in range whereas IRID is highly directional and virtually unlimited (theoretically) in range. The system known as PointLink would make use of the principles of IRID which has been mainly used as a mere presence/absence of IR sources rather than specific identifiable markers that could be used to present URIs for expanding information about them via Web use.

The before-long ubiquity of such systems presages a navigation/information system that could be the universal equivalent of what in the blindness field is "orientation/mobility" thus automating many of the tasks of getting about and learning about the environment heretofore only available through visual cues, particularly signs. Because they are just serial-numbered lights with known locations, they don't depend on language, etc. to be useful.

It's quite likely that their implementation will happen by individual placement of numbered transmitters by "Johnny Appleseed" methods since there is no need for them to be pre-catalogued, and anyone will be able to devise uses for such networks.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Connection prospects

What will it be like when we find ourselves without the onus of day gigues? How does all this connectedness project into the fairly near future? Efforts like "Colors United" seem a very hopeful sign.


Thursday, February 14, 2008


Like some poor nigh-related guest,
That may not rudely be dismist ;
Yet hath outstay'd his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.

Telling a jest without smiling is one of the marks of an actor or an orator/story-teller. The performer may supply a sort of "laugh track" and even engage in the ritual of the repeated punch-line.


Monday, February 11, 2008

keeping on keeping on with the saga

Yet another morning's work.

I wonder if these are coherent?


Saturday, February 9, 2008


My broadside/rant in progress is now viewable

Enjoy and come back as it grows.


Friday, February 8, 2008


Because of fear of falling, I haven't left the house in almost two weeks.  The computer is sort of working again but I've ordered a big laptop to become the next phase of my "career".

I'm composing something on the difference 'twixt "health care" and "health care insurance" - a distinction that seems unclear to presidential candidates - and to many who are swayed by the idea that somehow a bunch of elites will be kinder to them than "public servants", who are equated with "big government". I guess I have trouble with the idea that the overhead of an absurd for-profit industry is less than that of a something as spare as the postal service.