Saturday, May 15, 2010

Worship Touring Halliburton in the Gulf

From friends who happened to drive through Galveston the other day:

. . . one of the brochures I’d collected had looked pretty interesting: a self-guided tour through an actual oil-drilling rig . . .

While the museum was in a real shallow-water drilling rig, it wasn’t, as I’d imagined, just as it had been when working; instead, it was a self-guided worship tour of the oil-drilling business itself: gadgets and intricate machines each displayed with enormous pride and explanations of how they worked. Among others, there was a display by Halliburton describing how cementing is done—one of the suspects in the recent spill. They claimed, and after this tour I believe it, that deep-water drilling is at the cutting edge of our scientific work—akin, in the complexity of its working, to our putting men on the moon! (Indeed, the divers wear suits very like the space suits our astronauts wore.)

Going through this, as we were, right in the aftermath of a gigantic new “spill” in the gulf, was a schizophrenic experience. I found myself taking pictures of each mention of the cementing process. Since my mechanical store of knowledge is…uh…slim, even the explanations offered on the first two floors of exhibits wasn’t sticking very well; but the third, top, floor was much more comprehensive and thus interesting to me. It was kind of a huge recruiting display, describing all the different kinds of personalities and skills that are needed to run the mammoth business. I was immediately drawn to a large display that reminded me of a horoscope chart. At the top of each column a personality type was described, followed by which of the many kinds of skills it takes to run the industry would be appropriate for such a personality. Bean counters, risk takers, bleeding heart people carers, P.R. types, chefs, etc., etc. In short, it seems that any reasonably intelligent, reasonably well-educated person in the country (the world?) could find employment in the deep-sea drilling industry. If you were working shifts on an actual platform in off hours you’d have access to fitness rooms, a library, a movie theater, and gourmet meals (it sounded like a stay at a resort). If you were an actual go-down-to-the-depths employee you could be making various thousands of dollars a day!!! And wear one of those groovy suits, to boot!

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Merdest proposal

For all Media, Bloggers, Tweeters, etc. When you wish to say "bank" in any financial context, say "bunk."

To wit:

Bunk of America.

Just do it.

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

1923 od 1924

Monday, May 03, 2010

Workhorse Moyers retires

Mr. MOYERS: The Carnegie Commission put together a recommendation for what became the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, and it - we attended a meeting at the Office of the Education, the commissioner of education, to talk about it and to see what we could do about it.

The mission of public broadcasting was to create an alternative channel that would be free not only of commercials, but free of commercial values, a broadcasting system that would serve the life of the mind, that would encourage the imagination, that would sponsor the performing arts, documentaries, travel. It was to be an alternative to the commercial broadcasting at that time.
Moyers talking on Fresh Air.

"The Life of the Mind" in USia is bogosity that leads to asshaterie like this.
The University system in the US, the educational system, and the "enlightened" media are equally devoid of genuine critical thinking, or any concept of materialism. Bill Moyers is one of the best critics of USian journalism we have had, but sadly this is not saying much. If there is a  difference between the effective critical power of Bill Moyers and that of Mr. Ed, I don't see it.

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Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)


Washington, DC – The provosts and presidents of 27 major private and public research institutions have voiced their support for the Federal Research Public Access Act in an “Open Letter to the Higher Education Community,” released Friday by the Harvard University Provost. The Act, first introduced in the Senate last year, was introduced in the House of Representatives on April 15. The letter signals expanded support for public access to publicly funded research among the largest research institutions in the U.S.
The letter reads, in part:
“As scholars and university administrators, we are acutely aware that the present system of scholarly communication does not always serve the best interests of our institutions or the general public.
No shit, Sherlock. Got any other bright ideas?

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