In the middle of the news-cycle theater piece known as "the possible shutdown," and "budget-cutting," it's good to see some of the border militarization fantasies get checked by monetary obsessions, and the thinkers of rational big business are advocating even more such restraint. (this is really nothing new - smart people at the WSJ have known the stupidities of "closing/securing the border" for quite some time.) Read more>>>
An ancient Chinese curse goes as follows: "May you live in interesting times." In this way we definitely live in interesting times lately.
What do people do in interesting times? In this time of instant communication from all parts of the globe, the interesting and the unfortunate are all available for view by Read more>>>
I learned very early in life that the best way to begin figuring something out, fixing something or answering some question or solving something or just getting anything accomplished at all is to first DEFINE what the problem, question, or goal is. I've never forgotten that but many apparently never learned this in the first place.
Of course another key to life is communication. Always strive to be the very best you can be at communicating whatever it is to the other person or persons. Your level of communication will deterimine your level of sucess at whatever it is you're trying to do that involves other people besides yourself.
Put these 2 basic rules of thumb together and of course that means, when you're trying to get something done, or some problem fixed, or some trouble troubleshot, and you're asking someone else to help you with that, you have to accurately and clearly communicate to them what that problem IS, or if you don't know that yourelf, at least communicate with them clearly enough all the bits and piece so that you and they can help you figure out what the fundamental goal is. Until that other person or persons has a good idea of what your goal is, what problem you're trying to solve, they literally can't help you. They can maybe randomly get you closer to what you're going for, but this will be accidental, and probably frustrating for both parties even after eventual success.
The reason this is important is this: let's say you are asking someone to help you with something but you already have an idea of how to do it, you just need need them to help you execute it. you ask them because they know that area of expertise, they have experience doing this sort of thing, possibly more than you. But what if you're wrong about what it will take to solve the problem? So you ask them to solve it in your wrong way and they either try to do your wrong way, not realizing what you're up to, or they just get confused and they start asking questions in a wild goose chase attempt to figure out why you asked for such a a thing. If you're just started out describing what your problem was, instead of asking them to help you with your incorrect solution, then the other person would have been free to apply their expertise to help you come up with the right answer, quickly and without fuss and frustration. The other thing is that this gives the other person some sense that you respect his expertise and trust him to help you generate a solution, rather than that you look at him as just some unthinking pack animal that you expect some aditional brute force from.
Created for the Vimeo Weekend Project in which we were to remix a film from the 40s from the Prelinger Archives (archive.org/details/prelinger) called Supervising Women in the Workplace (archive.org/details/Supervis1944).
For this remix I did some simple selecting and colorization of some excerpts and then ran them through some software written in Ruby that uses a library called aviglitch.
more details on aviglitch are here:
Cast: steev hise
There were 2 things about Obama's speech here in Tucson the other night that I wanted to discuss. Before I start I should say that for the most part I was impressed and satisfied with his performance. Indeed it was one of the best speeches he's ever delivered, I think, and it was, realistically, about the best thing anyone could have wanted.
But one thing really struck me the moment he said it, and another thing he said got me thinking about it a day later. The first was also wisely noticed and commented on yesterday by Michael Chabon in The Atlantic:
as he moved from an invocation of the innocence and immanence of the dead little girl to a call, part admission, part admonishment, part fatherly exhortation, for Americans "to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations," the speech found its true importance, its profundity. To attempt to live up to your children's expectations—to hew to the ideals you espouse and the morals that you lay down for them—is to guarantee a life of constant failure....
When I heard Obama give that part of the speech I was almost outraged Read more>>>
cider experiment tonite: I wanted to solve the problem of how to get hard cider that's not too dry - it's too dry because the yeast eats up pretty much all the sugar and turns it to alcohol, right? My theory is, what if I stop the fermentation early by heating the stuff, hot enough to kill the yeast, but not hot enough to boil off the ethanol (boiling point 178 degrees F). So I tried it. I kept aside about a cup of yeasty cider. heated the rest to about 135 for 30 minutes. let it cool down, then before bottling i mixed it back in with the cup of yeasty stuff so that when i bottled, there'd still be a little fermenting to provide carbonation. but hopefully not *too* much, resulting in exploding bottles... i'll let you know what happens... Read more>>>
As Steinbeck wrote: “How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only
in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children?
You can’t scare him—he has known a fear beyond every other.”
From an article in a recent issue of The Economist about immigration. This is why undocumented migrants will keep coming, no matter how high the walls are. The author makes a skillful comparison between the Okies in "Grapes of Wrath" and the latin american immigrants who risk everything to make it the U.S.
Along the same lines, a newish documentary called The Other Side of Immigration that also looks at particular and personal close-ups of people immigrating and why seems to be something I want to watch and encourage. These kinds of explanations of individual experience and motivation are what need to be seen by as many gringos as possible. Read more>>>
detritus posted a photo:
this is on the approach down Toole toward the intersection with Congress/4th Ave. this area is already insanely unsafe for bicycles, and now with the ongoing construction of the new insane parking garage right there they've filled the bike lane with traffic cones and sand bags. thanks tucson. fuck you very much.
This afternoon i've expended (not wasted, but, used, when I should have been working) a bunch of time reading tweets and blog posts and news articles all about the case of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks and alleged rapist of 2 Swedish women, and the larger meta-issue of the people standing up to defend Assange and attack his accusers, like filmmaker Michael Moore and MSNBC personality Keith Olbermann. There have been so many great feminist blog posts about this, and tons of backlash on Twitter against Moore using the hashtag #MooreandMe. I won't go into the details myself but will just link to this excellent and concise little summary on the Feminist Frequency blog, which has links to a bunch of other blogs and stories that you can delve into. The last link there is to another blog that deftly explains at the end where we're at now, specifically for Olbermann and Moore (and I've sort of written the same on Facebook, though not as well), but also in general for anyone who screws up with these kinds of tricky issues that involve opression and power and social conditioning:
They have the opportunity to apologize. Because being a good progressive? Is all about fucking up.
If we’re ever to break the myth of the flawless progressive hero — a myth that is unproductive, a myth that breaks hearts — we need to start learning how to recover from mistakes. Because they happen; casual racism, sexism, rape apologism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, ageism, classism… Those things happen because we were taught to make them happen. Now we need to teach ourselves to stop them. Sure, we need to expect more. But expecting more doesn’t mean expecting perfection, the first time, every time. Expecting more is about making mistakes, being called out, engaging and learning from them. We learned that shit in pre-school.
So Moore and Olbermann should just fess up and say they're sorry. They didn't think it through quite enough. I don't think they went into it wanting to apologize for rapists. They were blinded a little bit by a focus on other issues, and on the fact that they're white men in a patriarchal rape culture society. They made a mistake. They should have said that yesterday. But they can still say it now. I hope they do. I hope when I make more stupid boneheaded white male mistakes, as i surely will at some point, I'll recognize it fast and apologise right away like they should have. Read more>>>