Sunday, February 22, 2009

Making shit angels as therapy




Studies into clinical depression have yielded similar findings, leading to the development of an intriguing, but still controversial, concept known as depressive realism. This theory puts forward the notion that depressed individuals actually have more realistic perceptions of their own image, importance, and abilities than the average person. While it’s still generally accepted that depressed people can be negatively biased in their interpretation of events and information, depressive realism suggests that they are often merely responding rationally to realities that the average person cheerfully denies.”

I think that seeing things too clearly is making me a bit blind to the beauty that’s all around me -- a beauty that needs a healthy dose of that good old gooey bullshit to really shine in the abstract of distraction that makes the lubricant of hopeful wishing attractive -- allowing for a different, and more cuddly, reality a become a possibility -- much like the other classics of spiritual death, morphine, and religion.

I need to throw some muslin over my eyes before making observations, like a faded old starlet, or a puppy in a mill. Life is nasty brutish and short, with death to all that is built and worthy -- but never mind, to be happy is to leave your glasses in the car and your mind buttered, pickled and unused in a random trunk parked, forlornly, at a major, unnamed airport..

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sweden's Pirates




I have a goal of someday writing a novel, selling it to a publisher, then making a living writing.

Pirate Bay is a file sharing aggregate who takes copyrighted material and allows anyone to download it for free.

I support them with all my heart and wish them the best.

Talk about in congruent behavior -- this is something like cutting off my nose to spite my face.

But there is more to the story.

Copy write protection was seen in the past as a protection for the individual in his lifetime. Information was thought to be a good thing for society, but it was also felt that the person who provided new information should be allowed to live off it as a sort of reward for his hard work. After asutable amount of time it was expected to become free to all. It was felt very strongly that information should be both free and in the public domain as quick as possible.

Copy write law is no longer protection for an individual -- it's a machine to stomp out innovation.

I am still pissed that I can't make doodles out of Micky Mouse because Sonny Bono ran into a tree and died skiing. What purpose or protection is given to Walt Disney for his creation of 80 years ago, and his death one score and ten or so.

A lot of this Pirate Bay crap is being done by dead companies that don't know how to die. When you no longer need to promote, produce or distribute music -- no factories producing Cd's, no trucks deliveringCD's to stores -- no stores, no need for promotion -- what the hell are music companies doing for their money these days? -- Putting lawsuits into dikes and complaining?

And movie companies are just as afraid -- no more expensive film that has to be delivered to thousands of theaters every week.

The model, whether or not you like it, is free. If the Wall Street Journal asks for payment for their intellectual property, people will go somewhere else and, if it's something proprietary to theWST, will find it, in full, with a couple of extra clicks.

The model is free -- the trick is to figure out how to make a living. Hint -- google Craigslist to see how they do it.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Formal announcement of the opening of my campaign for the MacArthur Fellowship

“If not me, who? If not now when?”
Mike Brady 2009


Q. What is the MacArthur Fellowship?
A. The MacArthur Fellowship is a five-year grant to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future. The fellowship is designed to provide recipients with the flexibility to pursue their creative activities in the absence of specific obligations or reporting requirements. There are no limits on age or area of activity. Individuals cannot apply for this award; they must be nominated.

Q. What are the selection criteria?
A. The selection decisions focus primarily on exceptional creativity, as demonstrated through a track record of significant achievement, and manifest promise for important future advances. Emphasis is placed on nominees for whom our support would relieve limitations that inhibit them from pursuing their most innovative ideas.
Recipients must also be citizens or residents of the United States and must not hold elective office or advanced positions in government as defined by statute.

Q. What do the recipients receive?
A. The stipend for the MacArthur Fellowship is currently set at $500,000, paid in quarterly installments over five years.

Q. Why are no strings attached?
A. The MacArthur Fellowship is designed to provide seed money for intellectual, social, and artistic endeavors. We believe that highly motivated, self-directed, and talented people are in the best position to decide how to allocate their time and resources. By adopting a "no strings attached" policy, we provide the maximum freedom for the recipients to follow their creative vision, whether it is moving forward with their current activities, expanding the scope of their work, or embarking in entirely new directions. There are no restrictions on how the money can be spent, and we impose no reporting obligations.

I am starting a letter campaign soon.




Friday, February 13, 2009

Science Crap on a Stick



Science Crap on a Stick

"Phantom OS doesn't have files. Well, there are no files in the sense that a developer opens a file handle, writes to it, and closes the file handle. From the user's perspective, things still look familiar — a desktop, directories, and file icons. But a file in Phantom is simply an object whose state is persisted. You don't have to explicitly open it. As long as your program has some kind of reference to that object, all you need to do is call methods on it, and the data is there as you would expect."

I have read the long version of the above explanation of the future of operating systems. It was inspiring in a crazy person detailing the laws of Deuteronomy sort of way – both fluid, yet organized as if some reality was being described from a megaphone aimed at you carefully from the moon. Not our moon – another, different, moon in a far off bizzaro universe of candy colored logic pretzels where you could chew things without teeth and dance without toes.

‘Whose state is persisted’ – what the fuck does that mean? It’s always there, just waiting for the observer to notice it? It doesn’t exist until you collapse the probability of it like a balloon – and then it swims up to consciousness and you realize it had been there from the start, waiting for you like a lost Christmas present?
‘You don’t have to explicitly open it,” –you implicitly open it? Science and technology should not be allowed to make words into math problems – to explain something is to use agreed upon words that match the reader’s perceptions in at least a ball park kind of way.

‘All you need is to call methods on it, and the data is there as you would expect it,” So it’s analogous? It’s a relational data base reference of one thing to another? One known thing that you bounce off an unknown via a call method (cattle? Phone? Thought burst?) that illuminates the unknown object by the shear force of its brilliance?

All a kind of crap thrown sticking, then sliding down walls of reason spackled and painted by too smart people left alone in a small room with a Bulgarian dictionary.

Lincoln's Generals

Lincoln’s Generals

Very much in Lincoln’s pattern, it’s clear that Obama will be fighting an economic war with less than the best. Many a McClellan will be tasked to fight, but will only waste time doing techno with the deck chairs – shaping them into pretty patterns that, of course, should work. Our Grant will come, if we are lucky, after we grind meat off bones and litter the landscape with ruined, but strangely stoic, children of the sort of well to do.

Grant won by sending hundreds of thousands of men directly to their death, and that’s what it took. The generals before him tried everything they could to avoid what had to be done, but half measures availed them nothing – it only delayed and made worse the inevitable choices. To save the nation, it had to be destroyed with the hope that from the ashes something better could be built.

The stimulus is not enough.

Compromise is not possible with slave traders or republicans – there is no middle ground to meet them at. Both have shown that they will take compromise as a weakness and use it like a stick to beat you with later.

I see bad things for the republic coming – I can only hope that Obama can raise himself above the disappointments that are sure to follow what’s been done today, to find his Grant when the time comes, when all hope seems lost to the rest of us.