Saturday, June 30, 2007
But Mr. Easterly's critique is more subtle. An I hope it doesn't get lost as this article makes it's rounds. He's critiquing the structures which accrete around development. The international, technocratic, managerial need to "do good."
The opposite of ideology is freedom, the ability of societies to be unchained from foreign control. The only “answer” to poverty reduction is freedom from being told the answer. Free societies and individuals are not guaranteed to succeed. They will make bad choices. But at least they bear the cost of those mistakes, and learn from them. That stands in stark contrast to accountability-free Developmentalism. This process of learning from mistakes is what produced the repositories of common sense that make up mainstream economics. The opposite of Development ideology is not anything goes, but the pragmatic use of time-tested economic ideas—the benefits of specialization, comparative advantage, gains from trade, market-clearing prices, trade-offs, budget constraints—by individuals, firms, governments, and societies as they find their own success.
See, I can get behind the idea that government and institutions with multiyeardevelopmet plans(tm) do more to choke development and serve only to enhance their own coffers. The terminal organization in the regard, with "welfare" as caring, is the UNHCR. The best way to help someone is to get the hell out of their way and let them fail or succeed.
Time tested. Ask the Kurds.
I see the world dividing (by no means evenly) between those who would go forward, and those who would retread. The "eachs" of the particular movements are largely irrelevant over the long term.
That the Forwards still don't adequately explain their message (build) in contrast to the Retreads (loot) represent a tragic failure for our times. I sincerely hope that is reversed one day.
Ad astra or the mud. Period.
Og really like stuff.
I guess if I had spent more money, it would have worked better.
But that sounds too much like government.
I'm sticking with Incandescent.
With the events in London and Glasgow, it looks like jihad is committing to coordinated "terror campaigns," similar to the ones perfected in Irak. Franchising the business, as it were. The attempted bombings were flawed, but give those boys time. The have a large base of knowledge to draw on, and an absolute comittment to their assigned tasks.
They will achieve their "effects." And when they do, it will make the IRA campaigns look governed by Marquess of Queensberry Rule, by comparison.
There are two responses to the jihad, respond there or respond here. Here means, ultimately, a defensive posture, internal controls on movement, Real ID and such. A crouching tiger, hiding from the dragon, as it were.
I wonder which one we'll choose.
Friday, June 29, 2007
I Want, also.
But I can wait. Somewhere in our house is a sixty gb iPhoto serving as a back up hardrive. There's an iPod mini and several variants of nano's which may or may not be breeding. And of course the video.
But I've learned. The wife and I both want the iPhone, but we wait.
But another good snippet from BB on Venter's attempt at A-Life (tm).
" This is a major advance in the field of synthetic genomics. We now know we can create a synthetic organism. It's not a question of 'if', or 'how', but 'when', and in this regard, think weeks and months, not years."
A long time ago, when Phred was a Phrap, he studied the lifes. He sees they were a machine. A beautiful machine, a magnificent machine. But still a machine. Ultimately understandable.
Sometimes the "green" wins. I do love this latest Hobbit house (from BB). And for 6,000 dracma, it would make a nice getaway cabin.
Leave it to my wife to point out the obvious (where's the bathroom?).
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
- You read interesting posts by others.
- You get 95% of two projects done.
- You engage in a battle royale with your "puppy" over who is going to be the Alpha male.
- You talk to your wife, about 'stuff.'
- You pack for that long delayed sabbatical.
- Your readership plunges from double digits to single digits.
Friday, June 22, 2007
The 72 Dracma Computer
I've downloaded the damnsmalllinux, to play around with, but I think I'm just going to go ahead and add umbuntu to my machine (three hosts in one...Aliens would be proud)
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Today, I went shopping for a "big salad" dinner. Some oversized shrimps (grilled) avocados, apples, onions...the works. Nice summer deal. Well, wound up looking at these avocado's going for about three dollars per. Looked up, and saw I was in the "organic" section. Finally found a pair of (nonorganic?) avocados. Two for two fitty.
On the way home, I listened to NPR. Evidently, the Grand Senate of the Republic is debating an energy bill. The bill, evidently, will do stuff. As I understood the debate, Evil Big Oil is going to be replaced, by fiat, the Evil Big Corn or Evil Big Coal. The choice is going to be between putting food in the tank or looking like the Lil' Rascal Alfalfa behind an exhaust pipe.
I'm a fool, so it's easy to separate me from my money. But please don't separate me from my food.
I may forget, but Amazon doesn't.
Got my copy of Americanism: The World's Fourth Great Western Religion. Look forward to reading it, time permitting.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
That said, I managed to offset any "good" I might have done, by also picking up 4.5 pounds of New York Times.
I'm willing to try new things, but I'm going to keep my lethal habits (like smoking, drinking, the occassional hit on a crack pipe and calling Marine Corps Generals incompetent).
-- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon Extraordinary to
Queen Victoria, 1873
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
From Thomas P.M. Barnett’s site, I found Sean linking to a deliciously geeky sight on maps called Strange Maps. You know, some people are into S&M. Me, I’m into maps. One day, I dream of some leather clad babe playing Sykes to my Picot.
Scrolling through the site, I came across (pinched from wiki) a map of George Orwell’s 1984:
Looking at it, I thought, “hey, that looks familiar.” So I launched my mindmap (Powerpoint, if you must know. For my money, better than all the COTS mindmapping software out there). I took the 1984 map and turned it into my 2070: The Do Nothing Version map of the future.
These maps are based two parts straight line analysis and conjecture of future trends and one part bullshit. I leave it to the gentle reader to figure out which. In addition, it’s not to represent, wholly, currently defined national borders. Rather, where trends will occur. Last I stuck with Non-Integrating Gap because I’m good with the implied hope. It’s a way of saying do A,B, and C and succeed. Don’t, and fail.
I don’t know if it’s right, but as one A.I. said to the other, “it feels logical.”
The first map is of the, I don't know, "market states," "areas of influence" or trend spotting. Second map is what's coming from those regions. I picked the year "2070" in much the same way Orwell picked "1984."
So, here they are:
Odd, I know. By the way, if you're good at genetic algorithms, Google is hiring.
Oh, and speaking of maps (it's just that kind of day) Sean links to an NPR map on migration. Seems focused on the large economic motives for migration. The flow is generally unidirectional, towards more permissive rule sets. Migration of Americans to Mexico? Cheap beach front property.
Look, I had some friends who lived and worked in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They lived pretty well. Generally, when Americans migrate it's because, to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, "They've gone and made it here, now want to take it anywhere....." Fair enough.
Me, I'm in favor of immigration. For people. Crappy rule sets can stay at home.
Monday, June 11, 2007
- Fred Thompson versus Al Gore
- A Super Star Destroyer versus a Galaxy Class Enterprise
- Mork versus Mindy (Mindy wins in OT)
- Hillary versus Rudy
Hamas versus Fatah
- Small versus Big
- Earth versus Mars
- The Future versus the Past
- Richard Branson versus Jeff Bezos
Sunday, June 10, 2007
The latest: "Perks of power stop at tiny D.C. digs."
Yonkura's $175 bed takes up most of the living room, and Jordan's tiny bedroom is barren except for the air mattress on which he sleeps.
For this, they pay a total of $995 a month in rent, more than the mortgage on Yonkura's house in Delaware, Ohio, but about as cheap as you are likely to find anywhere near their D Street location less than two blocks from the Capitol.
Look, I do not know the internals on their finances, but I'm assuming they were not catapulted from homelessness to the heights (all be it middling) of power. If REP Jordan is bringing in 165,000 dracma a year, his Chief of Staff's butter might be in the 130,000 dracma range. Just guessing. For that, each is on the hook for about 5,000 dracma a year in housing cost to live close to Delta Charlie. A bad two pack a day habit (if you smoke).
Plenty to spare. And the upside? An opportunity at a two trillion dollar pie.
This post is not to impugn the pure motives of REP Jordan and his CoS, but GMAFB.
Plenty of time to work on that ZIL dreamcar.
Plain language explanation:
Imagine a solid state CMOS device that emits nanoparticle's of propellant; sort of an ion thruster without the high voltage, electrode arcing and grids that can short out from a misplaced dust mote.
Now imagine millions or billions of them in a megawatt flat panel array used as a space craft propulsion module.
It's called NanoFET: Nanoparticle Field Emission Thruster
The eye bleeding version can be found here.
Sweet. The core a a future "Bad Physics Engine."
I think it's a personal responsibility for every citizen of the Republic to inform themselves of the issues. Any issues. My personal issue is the war. Not necessarily the battle in Irak, or even the larger global conflict against troglodyte collectivist simmering under the banner of jihad. My takeaway from reading Barnett, Robb et al, my own observations (Jethro would call them "cipherings") lead me to believe we need to look down the road a bit, at what's coming next. It's like being in the Balkans War before some random Archduke goes and gets himself shot.
Anti-globalization. Tribalism. Primitivism. Savagery. Id smothering ego.
So I like to see what prospective candidates have to say about, well, future conflicts. Unfortunately, Irak is the loadstone. "Solve" Irak, and bad things go bye-bye. Well, no. Next, I need three takeaways when I read each candidates plan. Situations are complex, but plans that try and account for too much complexity often miss the mark. Last, I need their proactive solutions. I've got to cut through the dross of "Bush lied, eggs fried." So, with that in mind, here are the top four candidates from each party* and my three takeaways:
1. De-authorize war NLT 11OCT2007.
2. Cap troop levels at JAN2007 levels.
3. Residual force in Irak is the endstate.
1. Phased withdrawal.
2. Money spent on Reconstruction in Irak,
3. Regional Conference.
1. Immediately withdraw up to 50,000 Soldiers.
2. All combat troops out in 12-18 months.
1. Deauthorize war.
2. Withdraw troops.
1. Widens target set to global jihad.
2. Supports use of DIME.
3. Coalition of the Able to promote "secular education, modern financial and economic policies, international trade, and human rights."
1. No timetable for withdrawal.
2. Irak is only one front in wider war.
3. Endstate for Irak is a willing partner.
1. Supports the surge, with a bottom up approach to security.
2. Add SryIran to the target set.
3. Let the American people know this is a long war, not a twenty-four second news cycle.
1. Nothing on his official website.
2. His approach to information is more diffuse.
3. And yes, my wife and I will be getting "lifelock."
So that's how I read it.
* Phred added Fred because you know he's going to run. Dug up the War Powers Resolution (umm, it's not an "Act", it's a "Resolution") and couldn't find any language about "deauthorization." Make me smarte, here, KAI?
My opponents in the first negative constructive would argue that either a) there'd be no actual war, b) my plan would actually lead to the collapse of the sun into a black hole or c) I did not propose a plan because my interpretation of the word "to" was wrong.
So as I watch the debate on the morning talk shows over Son of Immigration Reform, I keep wondering what "X" is. What's the harm of doing nothing? Other than Secretary Chertoff's comments below, no one can simply come out and say, if we do not pass this law then _____ will happen. And ______ will be worse than the status quo.
Instead, I get a string of adjectives describing the urgency, the necessity, the need, to do something, unintended consequences be damned.
I'm out here, way on the sidelines, wondering what the hell is "x"?
As a side note, if I could propose a constitutional amendment, I'd require every member elected to Congress to work a farm, winery, mine, fishery or timberland in their home district. They're salaries would be tied to their productivity. They could vote by VTC, and talk by telephone.
That would go a long way towards ending the tendency of Delta Charlie to "bubble up."
Look, I can't get over my suspicion that Delta Charlie is a small, petty place where the most mundane vendettas have an outsized impact. That is the current ecology of D.C. today.
I think the letter Four Banger Pace wrote in support of Scooter Libby was the loading of the bullet and cocking of the hammer.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
When I was a phrap, I remembered the excitement the proceeded each Shuttle launch. I was in front of the T.V. watching live, the day the Crew of the Challenger "... ‘slipped the surly bounds of earth’ to touch the face of God." Tragic.
But I haven't lost my joy for space. I'm just here:
And I want to go there:
I even get to learn about Sir Thomas Crapper, Knight Commander of the Order of Porcelain.
Look, I made a deal with my wife. When we build our dream house, all I want control of is designing the bathroom and the kitchen. The rest is extraneous.
We all need our own little hideaways.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Today, the Homeland Bureaucracy rescinded a rule requiring Americans to display a passport when returning from the near abroad, CANMEXICARRIBEAN and the like. Seems they got overwhelmed processing applications from 1.5 to 1.7 million Americans per month. Wow. Look, personally I'd like to see every American with a passport, if only to piss Michael Moore off. But, even that task seems beyond the doable.
But when it comes to Z-Visas for Euphemistic Americans, they're good to hook. Knock those babies out in twenty-four hours or less.
The Computronium that runs the Universe must be having a good laugh.
At the end of the day, for me, the debate isn't about immigration, legal, illegal or para-legal. It's about the innate incompetence of entrenched bureaucracies. Parties are irrelevant.
Once you join the bureaucracy, you automatically can not shoot straight.
Alas. Let them in or "Crops will not be harvested; food will rot in the ground!!!!"
Thursday, June 7, 2007
No, not the Undocumented American Regularization and Love Act. No, that went down in flames as a bunch of slack jawed, homophobic, natavist, ecologically unaware, Islam fearing rubes (did I get my narrative right?) defeated an attempt to enfranchise whoever the hell showed up and asked in the next twenty four hours or so.
But all should rejoice that James Lileks' paymasters have given him a blog. I love the Bleat (and Mommy Knows Worst still has me laughing out loud), but to get Lileks in rss is a joy to behold.
Choices. Love them.
The hardcover is a lot better.
I am a fan of private space ventures. They represent, in my mind, the best in human ingenuity, advancement and potential. They also make killer background material for a story. Any story.
Conestoga's for the Remnant?
Western Civilization is going to the stars. Count on it.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Paid about sixty dracma for close to fifteen hundred smacks of software.
Pretty good deal.
(Note that this would only be spam if I emailed it to you)
Sunday, June 3, 2007
The Insurgents' Increasingly Complex Tactics in Ambushes
Interesting enemy TTPs.
Tonight, at nine eastern, they're doing what looks to be a good story on the seem between the "Rule of law, and the Rule of Terror."
"A Look Inside the Green Berets"
As I wrote yesterday, it doesn’t matter if AGW is real or not now because the world is going green, the dogs may bark but the caravan moves on. Get with the program and help advance your country! ... I want to live in a creative, brave, generous, warm and intelligent society and nation. I don’t want to be surrounded by greedy, snivelling wretched cowards ...
While some masks don't:
Breaking omelette's, making some eggs, as they say.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Big cars have always been her thing. She has her eye set on an H3.
Me, I've always been partial to small and fast.
And with a promised 74mpg, I think they've finally hit my sweet spot.
(I'm green, because I'm cheap)
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