Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bad day

Today was not a good day, watch here for details (post isn't up yet but he said he'd probably post info). I'm really sad and recently I've been going here when things get too heavy.

Free CAD program

So I'm going to add google sketchup to my tools. It seems really neat (for a free CAD program) considering that industry standard programs like Solidworks costs $5000+

What games should have been called

Nice collegehumor article about more descriptive names for famous games (most of which you need to have played to get the joke unfortunatly)

I'm linking to the boingboing post because I love the comment "Monopoly, when played properly, should end in tears." hehe

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So it goes...

Today I'm declaring a day of blog silence to commemorate both a sad and a happy event.

The Pope (in the most Discordian sense of the word), Bruce Sterling, of the Viridian Design Movement has declared the movement a (qualified) success and as such has ended it.

Why should this matter to you? If you look around you, you may realize that Viridians have attained some important wins in their drive to create a sustainable culture. A certain brand of environmental aesthetic has become chic, the victory of Obama (and the people he brings with him) has brought Viridian allies to power in the US, and the massive increase of immaterial consumables was one of the most important goals and profound insights of the movement.

I do think this matters more to me (and a small number of philosophical technologists) more than the vast majority of people to might read this blog. However when I read the introductory manifesto (written in 1998, and yes it is meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, that's his style) and the final note (written today) I find it a moving mental bookend of the last 10 years.

The goals of the movement are nowhere near complete, but as Joseph Campbell might have said, we've managed to change the metaphor (btw I only include myself as a believer, I didn't actually do much of with anybody outside the people I've met personally) .

Monday, November 17, 2008


"For causes are ashes where children lie slain"
-Stan Rogers

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Interesting Documentary

I just watched some of this documentary on the extremely odd way money is created and used in our society (be warned, it's long and sometimes dry but be patient, I think it's worth it). The creator/narrator is obviously biased and somewhat kooky so anyone who sees this should take it with a huge grain of salt...

...However he does make some good points about how our current monetary system is pretty odd when you take a step back and think about it. Take a look and tell me what you think. Is this guy crazy or prescient?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Advice From New Gingrich

Here's a thought-provoking article he writes in businessweek. Basically he's arguing that that the concept of adolescence needs to be retired. I agree that there needs to be a rethinking but I'm not sure if the entire concept needs to be ditched. What bothers me about the concept is that you have (young) people acting like adults (working, taking drugs, having sex, committing crimes) but not required to pay the consequences like adults. I believe that biology makes treating adolescents as fully adult inadvisable but it does seem like there's a grey area that needs to be rethought.

Friday, November 14, 2008

David Brooks is back

I haven't been a fan of recent David Brooks columns. Often they seem like warnings to me and sometimes those warnings sound either too striding or too backward looking. This weeks warning however, is of the kind I like; well reasoned, forward looking (but understanding history), and with some empathy toward the people he is warning about.


No idea how useful "Luminescent Fiber Optic Wallpaper" will be but it sure looks cool

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obama Administration

Pundits and analysts are digging for clues about what an Obama administration will actually look like. Here's a post from Marc Ambinder trying to tea leaf read using Biden's new chief of staff appointment as his starting point, and here's a long article from the New Yorker using a variety of sources to try and figure out how Obama might change things.

Scary Map

This new map of underground aquifers around the world seemed really cool until I read the sentence "So far, the organisation has identified 273 trans-boundary aquifers...". Think of how much tension and how many wars that could lead to if the world water situation doesn't get better. I've said before that the only reason you don't here more about the Great Water Panic of the 21st Century is that the Great Energy Panic of the 20th-21st Centuries gets more press. I'll be keeping an eye on water developments as time goes on...

New tech tools

I don't have quite enough information inputs to need this yet but I can see the day when I might. Pretty creepy that to live in "modern" world we need this kind of thing huh?

This open-source curriculum center sounds really cool. I don't have a current use for it now but I might in the future.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Really silly

This game is scarily like Super Mario Brothers, it's even a little fun

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I really admire KK, I like the way he thinks about the future (no coincidence that he's super involved with the Long Now Foundation, another favorite of mine).

Here are two neat things from him

1. An essay on the connection between technological progress and population.

2. A review of one of my favorite maps: a graphical representation of the ENTIRE American budget.

New discoveries

Coupla things...

I love reading Cleantechnica, they have all sorts of posts that make me happy and give me hope that well used technology can really help people live better lives. So reading this, and this made for a good day.

Dean Kamen seems to be working on an electric car based on his stirling engine, we'll see how that works out.

A new tool for evaluating the embodied water in objects (Dune much?)


/Internal monologue on
Must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see must see
/Internal monologue off

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ok... this is getting silly

Ok, a little background first.
1. According to Slate the idea for Congressman Santos's character on the West Wing came from a series of conversations that West Wing had with David Axelrod about Barak Obama. Barak Obama has gone on to win the election in a very Santos-like fashion
2. Some sources say that the character of Josh Lyman was modeled on the very real life Rahm Emanuel

We now learn that Rahm Emanuel has been picked to be Obama's chief of staff (for those television trivia nuts Rahm's brother Ari was the model for the Entourage character of the same name), WTF?????? This is life imitates art going nuts (if Maggie Williams becomes Michelle Obama's chief of staff and marries Mr Emanuel I will hide under a desk)!

I'm actually not very glad about this, for why start with this NYT article. Here's what I think.

1. After looking at the profiles around I think you could safely characterize Emanuel as a partisan hack.
2. He is fairly high drama, just look at the press around this announcement as an example compared to "No-drama Obama".
3. The chief of staff is an incredibly important position in the White House, s/he determines who gets access to the President and often gets in the last word in any debate (Cheney being somewhat of an exception in recent years). Maybe Emanuel has changed, maybe Obama will choose other moderate advisers who will counterbalance him. However, having disclaimed myself, I don't think is the pick of someone who genuinely wants to reform. Think of Josh, when he talked about reform and how Washington needs change, he often simply meant Washington needs more democrats. I knew that Obama would have to pick people I don't like, but as someone who supported him for his post-partisan rhetoric, this bothers me.

On the bright side Emanuel is intelligent, experienced, talented, and relentless. With him in the White House, things will get done. Whatever Obama sets as the agenda, it will be a lot more likely to become reality with Rahm as the chief of staff.

Why iTunes sucks

/Rant on
Webmonkey has a summery of iTunes issues and suckage.
/Rant off

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Really pretty

Just look at these beautiful photographs of a perroquet. The colors are almost shockingly bright.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dept of Precient Articles

I've loved the Onion for years but I had no idea they would be so on the money about Bush's performance in office. Nor that they could predict 2008 campaign personalities.