The decision by the US to continue imprisoning people who are too difficult to prosecute but too dangerous to release amounts to imprisoning them for a thought crime. The situation is exactly the one P.K. Dick’s (and Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation) Minority Report warns against, which is the situation of people being convicted for nothing more than the strong possibility they will commit a crime. Now in the US, some people are treated as guilty even though they are legally innocent.
February 2010 Archives
Monday, 1 February 2010
If you want worthwhile messages in your inbox, the value of being conversation-worthy, as opposed to merely sexy, cannot be overstated.
I told you not to play with spiders.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Waiting for iPad
Public and pundit opinion is divided on Apple’s iPad. The reaction to Steve Jobs’ portion of the iPad announcement was noticeably tepid. Some are saying the iPad is just a big iPhone, betraying the fact that they understand nothing about user experience. They also overlook the fact that the iPhone is a runaway hit whose adoption rates are increasing.
On the other side, some Mac faithful set their WABAC machines» to 8 years and 3 months ago and exhumed Rob Malda’s editorial comment regarding the iPod’s debut: No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. Nearly a decade later and they’re still mocking someone for failing to predict the success of a consumer device». Even though the iPod was monumentally successful, the phrase “get over it” comes to mind.
For my part, I do think the iPad will generate computing markets whose vitality will surprise everyone, including the cheerleaders. I think the price points are good to start and suspect they will improve in models to come. But mainly, I’m really looking forward to using Aji Reader PDF on an iPad come May.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Addiction is wondering when someone will please notice that I’m a fuckup and come take away my apartment, my dog, my high-paying job, my charmed life, but no one ever does.
A few days ago I had a conversation with an old friend. He hails from New Jersey and New York City and presently teaches at a small Midwestern liberal arts school. My friend was pretty angry about the current economic and political situation in the United States. His complaints seemed unrelieved, and their tone reminded me of the tone of my own complaints when I was teaching in Ohio.
I think I understood some of what my friend was feeling. I don’t think there are any easy solutions. It’s much easier to observe the fact of social dysfunction than it is to heal it. Mark Morford’s sprawling recitation of the bitterness of disappointment and the acridity of complaint exactly characterizes the U.S.’s ascendant maiaise. Morford finishes
Our disappointment begins to curdle, to turn back on itself, poison the heart, turn us nasty and low. It shifts from merely being a national mood or general temperament, into a way of being. A wiring, deep and harmful and permanent. It's all very disappointing, really.
The obvious question is where do such people go next.
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Here is a nice deep zoom into the Mandelbrot set. The words "nice" and "deep" fall a bit short actually.
"Mathematical Porn" is a better description.
After watching this video things in my room started to bend and breathe!! I hope you enjoy the trip!!
This video just blew me away. It gets especially sick right at 8:40. Worth every second.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
The highest group, with household incomes of $150,000 or more, had an unemployment rate during that quarter of 3.2 percent. The next highest, with incomes of $100,000 to 149,999, had an unemployment rate of 4 percent.
Contrast those figures with the unemployment rate of the lowest group, which had annual household incomes of $12,499 or less. The unemployment rate of that group during the fourth quarter of last year was a staggering 30.8 percent. That’s more than five points higher than the overall jobless rate at the height of the Depression
This is awful news for everyone, including those not obviously affected, namely families whose household incomes are north of $100,000 per year. The lack of jobs for the nation’s poorest not only strains overextended social programs. It also exacerbates the conditions which produce and sustain poverty. Low service, low education, low outlook.
How can this be made right? This is one of the defining questions of the second decade of the 21st century.
It's not that I'd been about to blurt it out myself, right then. We weren't running that late, yet. But I'd slipped up enough times before—missing a Metro train, yes, definitely—and he'd picked up the whole rhythm and logic of it, the moment when Daddy's haste and frustration would crest. He could hear and echo the bad words even if I kept them inside my skull.
"Fuck!" he repeated, with rising merriment, as I put the car in reverse and looked over my shoulder. "Fuck!"
This is parenting I can get behind.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
Asa Watten, the son of my friends Barrett Watten and Carla Harryman, is an advisor for GTECH, a non-profit that works to renew and reclaim blighted urban soil for new development.
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Sales peaked at 71,524 in 2006. But in December 2009, only 325 Hummers were sold, down 85 percent from the previous year, according to Autodata Corp.
The real question is who were those 325 assholes?
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Remember when earthquakes were rare»?
I’ve been avoiding news stories regarding the recent earthquake in Chile. I’ve been nervous about being shocked. I don’t like the idea of vulture blogging. I’m saddened more than 300 people died and feel guilty for feeling relief because the toll was not higher.
The pictures below speak for themselves». I’m curious about the buildings that remain standing in the first two pictures.