Archive for August, 2004
Notice: This entry contains spoilers for Michael Moore’s recent film. Additionally this entry is not for consumption by any government contractor or employee of the United States or other country. Any person described by the previous sentence that continues to read this entry is hereby notified that this entry is completely fictitious. Any person not described by the second sentence of this entry is notified to disregard the previous sentence. Any person that completely understands the previous two sentences is notified that medical help is suggested and/or you should immediately seek employment within a profession where excellent logical skills are a requirement.
There now that the legal gobbley-gook is out of the way on to the show! (Has anyone ever noticed that there is no gobbley-gook before a movie in the theatre but there is when you watch it on DVD/VHS? Why do you get screwed for taking it home, but not for spending the extra money to watch it in the theatre?)
The actual beginning:
I might be a bit of a nut job, but Strike that. I am quite a nut job, not of the planters or right wing variety. (or for that matter left wing variety.) I actually think I’m a nut job of the libertarian-open.source.communist-carefree20s-gay.pussylovin-anti.Bush variety. (no, the last two do not describe the same thing.) Okay, but does anyone else think anywhere near the same as I do or has the whole world just gone batty?
The actual beginning:
Okay. I’m so sick and tired of instructed by the government via the Homeland Security Advisory System to go into scared loon mode. Honestly does this system actually tell us any useful information? Perhaps it is intended to let us know how the chicken among us should act. Green for boneless, Blue for bone in without muscular control, Yellow for random walking about, Orange for running about frantically, Red for complete head cut off maniacism.
Now I’ve watched this thing go all the way from lifeless chicken nuggets to undercooked homemade chicken-salmonella puree, and as far as my unclassified sources tell me there isn’t a perceptible difference in terrorist attacks if that DHS pride scale is blazin red or cool blue. I think the Department of Homeland Security is just wanting something to wave about and be proud of, just like the gays of the 70s. Eventually though you have to get beyond that and produce some actual meat thats visible and verifiable.
Another piece to begin:
I find it quite telling that The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, besides having a name that any marketer would change in half a heartbeat, found that the only effective defense was a emergent, self organized defense by the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93. When they were able to piece together the proper information were able as a group to act. Note that all the top-down, command-and-control mechanisms failed us on that day. The only defense that worked was a bottom-up defense that depended on an abundance of information, not a controlled dearth of it.
What would the passengers of the other three flights have done if they’d read the presidential daily briefing, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S”? Don’t dismiss it outright. One of the unsung heros of information gathering is the news media. The US news media, not the government actually quickly determined the identities of the 9/11. Its anecdotal proof that the more eyes, ears, and brains you have on a problem the quicker it’ll get solved.
Come to think of it, that fellow loon, Admiral John Poindexter, supported a “Terrorism Market,” designed to utilize information in the market to predict the next terrorist attack. The key feature was utilizing information and analysis’s not in the government’s hands to determine where the next terrorist attack would be.
My final point is this. I want to be treated like an adult by the government, instead of the “I’m sorry this information is too complex and/or sensitive to let you see.” I think we’d be much safer if the intelligence agencies had to release a large majority of the raw information they gather to the public. Yes, this does mean that terrorists will know what we know, but that in and of itself can be a deterrent. Think of the extra effect that would come if you increased the number of analysis’s by an order of magnitude. I’m not saying that the CIA is dumb, but if given the choice between having three CIA analysts review the raw data and having 300 or 3,000 uninformed lay people reviewing the raw data, I’ll take the lay people any day. Just how I’ll choose an open source operating system over a closed source system.
Rome wasn’t built by one person, it was built by a community working together. To expect something great to come from a small handful of people is foolishly putting all your eggs in one basket. It takes a community to make sure at least enough eggs make it through so they can hatch.
Oh, I just realized that I forgot to put in here some of my ideas. (specifically the ones that triggered the disclaimer at the top.)
- in Fahrenheit 9/11, many officials are shown before September 11, 2001 stating that Iraq is not a threat. If we had a distributed intelligence analysis system it is more likely that the intelligence could not have been manipulated to fit a specific agenda.
- Our current set of terrorists are in reality pretty lame at achieving their goals. While admittedly they were successful at fostering terror during the end of 2001 and beginning of 2002 for the most part things are business as usual. If they wanted to create terror they’d have a distributed attack on 20+ sites distributed throughout the country on the same day and time. After this follow up with attacks every 7 to 10 days. Like any marketer would tell you, its not just the initial push, but a continued presence that makes any communication effort successful. (And yes, terrorism is a method of communication.)
- We’re buffoons for allowing ourselves to be manipulated how we have been. If we wanted actual change, someone would’ve forced the issue long ago.
I really should get to bed but I want to get this in first.
I saw The Bourne Supremacy tonight. It was a solid action flick. (for those lacking in movie reviews from me, solid means, it stood up on its own, but ultimately I won’t see it again. Its a C movie. (in the sense that C is average, I don’t do grade inflation.)
What disappointed me is that director Paul Greengrass jettisoned most of what Doug Liman, the director of the first Borne flick, brought to the table that made it special. Liman spent a great deal of time rounding out Borne, making sure that in several ways he’s a plausible real character. Liman had scenes scattered thorough the movie that enforced, this not the standard bookends that action movies do. (I.e. Scenes establishing full roundedness…LOTS OF ACTION…closing scenes reinforcing full roundedness.)
Another thing, Jason Borne does not once disappear before the audience’s eyes during this movie. Liman felt that this was an important little trait to add in, Greengrass on the other hand would’ve been well served by watching the first DVD with the commentary to pick up on this technique.
Finally, the camera work was just too action movieish. Bourne One had an un-action movie feel because it wasn’t as fast cut happy as your average movie. Greengrass has once again missed this stylistic technique that separated Bourne from other action heros.
Doug, next time please direct the sequel or at least get someone who can crib some of your work so the movies feel like they’re one coherent family, instead of a schizophrenic set of twins.
I posted this to TidBits Talk, but it fits here too…
I got my Airport Express two days ago. I used it to replace my used Airport Graphite, which I’m giving to my sister for use with her new laptop. (Plus it gave me an excuse to buy an Express for myself.)
I had a bit of a rough time with it. Starting out the telephone outlet in my bedroom was non-functional and needed a new outlet attached to it. (The Graphite was in a different room, but I wanted the Express close to my printer/stereo.)
After getting that straightened out and resetting the Express a few times. (It wasn’t playing well with the Graphite which was on but connected to nothing, additionally they were both on different channels.) I had horrible reception; My iBook 700mhz would have a full strength connection, and then without moving anything no connection at all. The fix was disabling WPA (Instead I configured it to only allow access only from my laptop), restricting it to 802.11b only, enabling interface robustness, and dropping the multicast rate down to one. I know this is a bit of overkill but it took a finicky mostly non-functional Airport Express and made it into a very stable setup. (I’ve since moved the multicast rate back to the default, two, with no loss in performance.)
I’ve really enjoyed AirTunes, but I was a bit frustrated with the lack of a volume control at first, but I looked up that command up/down arrow controls the volume. I’d been used to using the volume controls on my keyboard. (Oh, I don’t need no stinkin remote, thats my laptop…)
Printing works like a charm.
All in all its a great little box, well worth the money!
I’ve just been watching my boys. (for the Nick-uninitiated, “my boys” are the two felines who cohabitate with me in my apartment.)
I’ve just been watching them play/fight. Its mesmerizing. There are days (like today) I wish I were a cat and life was simple.
A blank text box staring back at you on a monitor that is older than half of the blogging population. (okay, well maybe most of the blogging population is over twenty years old, but I bet their monitors aren’t twenty years old.) The reason behind decades spanning Apple computer hardware setup? One dead backlighting system on my laptop. So I’ve attached the S-Video Composite dongle to the iBook and wired the composite out into the Apple IIc Color Monitor input. Standards are great things!
For better or worse recent events have induced me into examining my own feelings and actions during January 2002. There is someone, soon to be related to me, who reminds me a whole lot of myself during that time. I was utterly infatuated and enamored with Shawn at that time, to my detriment. I’d pay anything to repeat that time again. I’d pay anything to have that time erased from my memory a la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I’m still conflicted and confused about the whole thing. I’ve more or less packaged the whole thing up and pitched it firmly into the unmutable, confusing past. I’ve purposefully tried not to integrate it, not to understand it, not to belabor over it, not to utilize it.
I’ve also since then learned to trust my gut. I’ve made a recent decision, one which I know will not be forgotten by anyone in my family for a long, long, long time. In my mind I’ve tried to justify it, and I’m about 75% there, but given the situation 75% isn’t good enough.
Life isn’t a philosophy class. I’d never attempt to make anything in a philosophy class fly with only 75% of it supported.
There is nothing like the lack of a great start.
I start school tomorrow. (Well actually today, but Nick’s logical day naming system states that for non-legal purposes it is the day I woke up on until I fall asleep. Just to finish the theory a day is determined by the actual day you wake up on. This can introduce some strange quarks.)
But enough procrastinating. I’m uneasy about this whole school thing. I’ve been out of school for almost two years, and although I will meet my goal of being back in school, it just feels like a great unknown again, and I’m a freshman again.
But to add onto it, my car is dead, so instead of sleeping in my bed I’m crashing at Eric’s so he can get to school tomorrow as well as I. Timesharing a car is fun!
Hmm… What else? Work. Bleh, work. I now know why the portfolio I’m working on got sold from its original owner to my current employer. The people who are running it don’t really know what they’re doing IMHO. Eh, I’m just a peon, I’m just a peon, I’m just a peon. Enjoy being a peon with little responsibility!