Friday, July 22, 2005

light blogging, mindlessness guaranteed

Sunday, July 17, 2005

what's the frequency Karl?


According to a recent Zogby poll, 42 percent of Americans favor impeachment proceedings if the President lied about the reasons for war, and according to a recent ABC News / Washington Post poll, 52 percent think he did. ~ David Swanson of


What percent of Americans favor impeachment


it turns out that the single largest motivational factor in the massive increase of suicide bombers is not Al Quaeda, but the simple, errant hubris of Mr. Bush - staying in Iraq after realizing that we've no reason to be there?

...interrogations of nearly 300 Saudis captured while trying to sneak into Iraq and case studies of more than three dozen others who blew themselves up in suicide attacks show that most were heeding the calls from clerics and activists to drive infidels out of Arab land. Boston Globe.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

theory's imp-air

I don't have a theory about this, nor could I, not having read it. I suspect that Big-T Theory is to theory as Blogging (of the BloggerCon persuasion) is to blogging. If that's the case, then it's not so much institutions that are at issue (in the simultaneous Capitalization of an ongoing activity into a Phenomenon with imperial pretensions and reduction of what was an interesting ongoing manifold activity to a subset of recurrent discursive routines that wax large by nibbling each other into subatomic particles) as it is perhaps just a way members of groups have of using each other's words to make central that which only could be central if one were to eliminate nearly everything under the sun.

Interesting texts produce interesting readings, which produce interesting texts. Uninteresting Theories fail to read interesting texts in an interesting manner because that - i.e., reading - would distract Theorists from admiring the charms of their underlying axioms and the social capital of the inevitable coterie.

(My guess is, theory occurs, but not usually in the act of what passes for Theorizing. It lives in the practice of an attentive engagement with objects, and that engagement may as well be called reading, and it is often most productive when Hegelian seriousness is smitten with intoxicating and invigorating airs of matter, form, language.)

As it became clearer that graduate school seemed geared to credential me with the tools to produce uninteresting texts about interesting texts, I booked.

For the rest, cf. Ray Davis.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

and one time in band camp

See these images. This is pretty much the surreality I experience when reading glib historiography, or for that matter, newspapers. Or the surreality that stands above, or beside, the narratives that compose our "moment" in the history that is not even a nightmare from which awakening can occur.


Mr. Squarks meditates on the odds of producing a robust public wiki.


Is there nothing about Mr. Rove that isn't appalling? See this interesting account of the golden ass - or the gold bars up the arse - of his attorney.


"Globalism is yesterday's tomorrow." - Clusterfuck Kunstler's take on Friedman is essential. Friedman's trendline futurology is a symptom of the historiography that keeps anyone from actually living together in something like the present.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Three views of context in news

An interesting exchange of email with a friend led to a brief comparative look at how the contextual roots of the Valerie Plame/Karl Rove/Robert No(thingbadcanhappentome)Vak are organized by various media:

The New York Times: The newspaper of record offers zero contextualization, zero supporting data, zero links to prior articles (they're for sale at exorbitant rates if you can find them). Consider yourself fortunate if you don't get the mega-interstitial ad with the "skip ad" link that doesn't work.

The Wall St. Journal: Some context, no eye-gouging ad, but you need to subscribe.

Wikipedia. Free, no ads, rich context building on itself.

20th Century

Festival Express. Ah Canada. The train more than the tour it served. Faster than a speeding bullet, connecting musical intelligences. Something other than product and performance.

Besides, I'd swear I saw Canadian bloggers dancing there.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

way to go, fematically

Multitudinous thanks and praise to FEMA for this tip on hurricanes:

Fact Sheet: Hurricanes

Hurricanes can be dangerous killers. Learning the hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of injury or major property damage.


Plan an evacuation route.

Contact the local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan. This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters.

Splendid counsel, full of pith and sense, particularly in view of the thousands of Floridians still living in FEMA mobile homes after last year's stormy weather.

You have to gaze with wonder upon the testes on an agency that puts people, many of them poor, elderly or infirm, in flimsy buildings and leaves them there for nearly a year without developing an exit plan to help "victims" find and relocate to other, sturdier housing.

Wait! There is an exit plan:
People living in FEMA trailers must find housing within 18 months or face possible eviction. Charlotte Sun-Herald
And as always, lotsa good advice:

In a building explosion, get out of the building as quickly and calmly as possible.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Dial-up: retarded badge of honor

The same day the Supremes, considering Grokster, ignored P2P and looked instead at business models, they looked at the Internet in the BrandX case and decided that the manifold Net is not a telecom medium, but an "information service." (Someone fingered Judge Thomas as the analyst who dislocated this bit of reality.)

All the open access rules went out the window. And while this decision was specific to cable, folks like Mark Cooper at the Consumer Fed assure us it will shortly be used to give the Baby Bells the same privileged status. Restriction of open access was unprecedented until last week in the US, according to Cooper, and now, with regard to broadband, it will be the norm.

This is different from Media Concentration, though related. The owners of infrastructure will enjoy monopoly over access to their lines, and their customers have acquired the status of sitting ducks.

Of course bloggers could play a role here. We could renounce the monopolism of broadband. Tell the big cables and Bells that until open access is restored, we'll be fine with dial-up. (Easy for me to say, since I've been on dial up for three months - but that's because I basically refuse to consume cable in any way, shape, or form*). But you know, if nothing else, it could prove (as in, test) the mettle of the sphere.

(*and because I am choosy about my provider, it may be quite some time before I'm on anything faster than 44kbps. But you know what? It's not that bad. I read more, get more done, see more films -- I highly recommend Alex de la Iglesia's 800 Bullets, Commonwealth, Perdita Durango...)

So what does the Blogosphere say? Who'll declare independence from broadband for this worthy cause?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Actually existing hindrance: corporate law

Manny K busts one out, here:
A constitution allowing the greatest possible human freedom in accordance with laws by which the freedom of each is made to be consistent with that of all others -- I do not speak of the greatest happiness, for this will follow of itself -- is at any rate a necessary idea, which must be taken as fundamental not only in first projecting a constitution but in all its laws. For at the start we are required to abstract from the actually existing hindrances, which, it may be, do not arise unavoidably out of human nature, but rather are due to a quite remediable cause, the neglect of the pure ideas in the making of the laws.
Yeah. Ideas like not pretending that corporations are citizens and real people. Ideas like, the air, water, and open urban spaces belong to the public. Ideas like "the public." Ideas like loyalty to error compounds error.
For what the highest degree may be at which mankind may have to come to a stand, and how great a gulf may still have to be left between the idea and its realisation, are questions which no one can, or ought to, answer.
Which splendid trajectory is, mas o meno, the unquestionable distance between the world we want and the one we have.

Read the entire post on Dem Wahren, Schönen, Guten - with an able assist from van Worden.