Monday, March 31, 2008

Quote of the day

Harriet Tubman said: "I got free to free others. and I would have freed more if they knew that they were slaves."

So cool.


IQ U not.

Whenever I see someone in the media claiming that our president is "intelligent" I gag.

Many Zanuck malapropisms  are often funny and have a certain wisdom to them but the "Bushisms" cited in are rather frightening.

We discovered years ago that we don't actually need a president and this one makes it eminently clear - because we sort of don't have one.


Sunday, March 30, 2008


In today's NY Times story about microprojectors (laser/led devices that put pictures on any blank surface) there is a quote illustrative of our near-instinctive penchant for exclusivity: “I hate it even when I am on the subway and the guy next to me is reading my paper”.

Poor baby! The "get over it" rejoinder is appropriate here and we will get to the point where that particular domain of privacy is seen as ludicrous - but it will probably only start to fade when the pantechnicon includes retinal projection.


Saturday, March 29, 2008


A recent study of fraud/embezzlement, as reported in today's New York Times had:

“I gave a talk to a group of nonprofit executives a few weeks ago, and every single one of them had a fraud story to tell,” said one of the report’s authors, Janet S. Greenlee, an associate professor of accounting at the University of Dayton. “This has been going on for years, but there’s a feeling that it shouldn’t be discussed,” because of the effect it might have on donations.

Estimates of the impact of fraud on "charities" range from 6% to 13% which turns out to be more than corporate gifts to non-profits.

The most telling thing about this sort of white collar crime is its reflection of society's bias against those who don't get away with things, even things like dope use that shouldn't be a part of the government's activities.

As the misperceptions of the nature of the China/Tibet realities increase due to the usual media bull-headed belief in people like Mother (or is it Saint?) Teresa and the Dalai Lama, we are further impelled to get more connected so that we can evaluate all this according to our own experiences/prejudices.

Just as most Americans believed that Sadam Hussein was somehow responsible for a bunch of Saudi/Egyptian terrorists destroying the Twin Towers, so it goes with much of what is "reported" by the hierarchic media.

As we become universally connected with ALL other humans we will begin to use our mentation to better effect, which is imperative if we are to deal with our real problems.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Valhalla or Vaudeville?

I'm immersed in reading the curriculum of WWW2008 and it's hard to believe that I will go all that way to hear people talking about all the stuff I've become immersed in.

There used to be an institution called "stage shows" that bridged the culture river's flood from vaudeville to the movies - trying to have the best of both worlds and that's where I first heard jazz.

Usually there were vaudevillians near the end of their careers but I remember in particular an act that had a herd of poodles who built a wall of cardboard boxes, without any human on the stage. I can't find out about them from google but I probably just don't have the query chops to find it - or the two guys with amputated leg/arm (one had left, the other right) who came in looking like a two-headed man wearing an overcoat. Then they doffed the coat and did acrobatics sort of like some of the cirque soleil folks.

So what I'm wondering is if the "Information Age" is more like vaudeville than it is like the Valhalla some of us enthuse over.

Oh, well.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring is here?

Although it has snowed feebly the last two nights, Spring is in the air.

I'm feeling so good that I'm going to Beijing next month for a Web conference.

This will be my first trip to Asia and I expect it to be memorable.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sunday, March 9, 2008

“Kids can do a lot of things in front of their parents without them knowing” says psychologist Anita Gurian in today's New York Times.

They always have been able to and that's why humanity endures: because the young ones take over with their cabals and imaginations.

Dad is in fact clueless. But that will be true for most of them when they get to the stage of having gone back on their promises to themselves not to grow old and to be there for their get.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Creeping Senility?

I did it again - last time I lost a day and missed a teleconference, this time I went on a weird 2 AM odyssey concerning Daylight Savings Time and I put it in manually, berating Microsoft for not automating an adjustment to their system clock update mechanism due to Congress' changing of the sacred date of inception for this absurd practice of changing what number we call the time by.


Thursday, March 6, 2008


NYT's "on this day" entry: "On March 6, 1857, in its Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court held that Scott, a slave, could not sue for his freedom in a federal court. "

Cuban witness's blog highlights how much hope we can feel for universal connectedness - she jumps through a lot of hoops to publish it.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


The long-term prospects for the subject enterprises aren't particularly encouraging since both institutions are essentially made obsolete by software programs that perform virtually all their former functions.

This happened with such things as slide rules, T-squares, and "the market" which is being radically transformed by various leaner versions, leaving NYSE, etc. in the dust.

The latency between when it is evident that some segment of the economy is no longer viable (e.g. old-fashioned telephone companies) shows signs of shortening and that will be true for certain functions best performed by the Commons acting through cooperative connectedness and an emerging "Web of Trust", whose humble beginnings with "folk evaluations" at places like eBay and Amazon will ultimately lead to FOAF (Friend of a Friend) confidence.

Of course we still have to hone up our leisure skills!