Right to be forgotten...
They're Coming For You Barbara!
Although I have to say, I'm glad I have a relatively stress-free, applied environmental sciences career. I keep thinking there's something we got that all those big shots and fancy pants will never have: enough.
What does it matter if they log everything we do? "And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." And it's the signal grounding problem, ad infintum. These NSA guys obviously didn't study Nietzsche...
Everyone should have known this was happening. The unbridled extent of it is somewhat appalling but the basic concept of the infiltration is not surprising given the history of other programs such as the FBI's legendary CARNIVORE project. No, the Snowden leaks are only interesting for the effect they caused but not for their content. Turn back to what old chappy Donald Rumsfield said,
"There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know.'"
The Snowden leaks and the fact that megacorporations like Verizon, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft are conspiring with world governments are "known unknowns". What we should be worried about are the "unknown unknowns". THAT'S what keeps me up at night....
why I plan to run Boston next year
For Boston, For Boston
This post by Squeak guru Andreas Raab had a profound impact on my thinking post-9/11. It also led towards the theme I used for this blog. The name of this blog is "Because we believe another world is possible".I have always felt through verisimilitude, we get better, and the good triumphs evil. My hope is that at the heart of political and technological decisions the betterment of society ultimately prevails. In this great modern world at the heart of the megalopolis of the Boston Massachusetts area, these words must be repeated especially amidst such tragedy:
The second issue, which is actually far more important, is that we are in fact working here for a better future - a future in which such horrible incidents don't happen - a future in which our children will live and learn in peace. Computers - and the Internet - can help to understand other cultures better, can help to understand problems of regions far away better, can help to raise our attention to both, tragedies and threats from parts of this world seemingly far away.Andreas Raab Wed Sep 12 06:09:23 UTC 2001
Thus can my love excuse the slow offence Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed: From where thou art why should I haste me thence? Till I return, of posting is no need. O! what excuse will my poor beast then find, When swift extremity can seem but slow? Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind, In winged speed no motion shall I know, Then can no horse with my desire keep pace. Therefore desire, (of perfect'st love being made) Shall neigh, no dull flesh, in his fiery race; But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade- Since from thee going, he went wilful-slow, Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go.
One thing you know about persistence runners; long distance runners. They are tenacious. They overcome sickness, injury, social barriers, and virtually any obstacle you can face in our civilization. On the other end of the tunnel they come out into the light and provide inspiration and set the example that mind truly can conquer matter. A great message to take from running is that success is shared by all the people, even those on the couch watching on television. It's the most raw, basic form of exercise of the will and we all participate in it. It's just a visceral feeling we all can relate to: working hard, crossing the finish, and then doing it all over again next year.
Still Running Against the Wind:
Survival of the Beasts
The next morning I followed their tracks around the snow. There was a path under our deck. Another led around from the BBQ grill behind the shed and all around the corner, then under the fence into another neighbor's yard. There was a complicated circuit of tracks all around the very back end of the yard by the fences where the possums first were spotted fighting. Also clear markings of urine were found in the snow drifts below the bushes, with little possum paw tracks surrounding them. I regret not videoing the evidence of their footprints, which has long since melted away.
The tracks looked exactly like this:
This video is a more extreme version of what happened, but lacking the grandeur of the snow
Winter in New England!
Recently I've also played pond hockey and took a snowboarding trip at Stowe, Vermont. Pond hockey required several man-hours of snow shoveling to clear the ice for a smooth surface to shuttle the puck around. By the time we started playing I was exhausted. I fell 3 or 4 times in a brief match against younger guys in the early 20s or high school age, then slammed my back on the ice which still hurts 9 days later. The beauty of skating on a frozen pond in the middle of winter is almost unparalleled. The brackish saltwater ice is the least homogenous solid entity in nature with varying layers, veins, cracks, and prismatic light altering effects. Then skating over the thin layer of snow on top of the ice feels like sliding across a cloud. The only comparable experience would perhaps be skiing on perfect powder snow with the absence of crowds of people, ski lifts, and other desiderata of civilization.
a good example
On the snowboarding trip we just cruised and avoided ice. Temperature was -4°F at the summit. Days like this make you enjoy your meal at the end of the day.
I can't believe we have to be goaded into wanting to work. We have to be incentivized to want to build and create. We have to be praised and lauded as geniuses in order to "get through the week" and make life worth living!?!? If only we knew what paradise we live in and what paradise exists outside of our routine lives. But we do know, we should know. The knowledge is right there. I can't reconcile it in my head just yet. How we can live in the "best of times, and the worst of times" when really it is the best of times!? And why we can't control ourselves from maiming ourselves, and grounding our best programs, retarding our best projects and ideas, and fighting each other to keep the status quo. My whole life I've felt an enormous struggle just to be able to "do the right thing" and IMPROVE SOCIETY. Why are there such huge barriers to innovation and creativity? Why is it so hard to just "get through the week"? I think we all need a dose of perspective and hopefully amidst the tragedy and the miracles of everyday life it will resonate through to our civilization that "A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE".
AND WE ARE MAKING IT
The Word Hurricane
Then we got wacked by Winter Storm Athena!!!
She's a real cold bitch here in coastal New England!!!
MAYAN END OF DAYS, WE APPROACH THEE!
It's getting better though. Nope. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. Potato chips will cost more than five dollars a bag. Cheap fuel is gone the way of the dodo.
Let's all be friends! Run like an antelope out of control. Whip that llama with a chain on stage.
One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.