Archive for September, 2005

A Following Korea

Korea really is only psuedo-buried. It rests under pixelated bricks like the small brown pathways that lead Mario’s feet over clouds and mushrooms in the 80s-i-fied past. These bricks manifest in real life as quickly assimilated concrete structures intended to emulate Korea’s past (which was burned by the Japanese in the last war about 50 years ago). Ocassionally something pops up. This would be one of those moments where the psuedo-L.A. stylings of it’s modern patrons and it’s growing abuse of german automobiles simply seems mute in face of it’s history. This is only an occasional stop-gap in what is a fairly normal work and consume culture that seems to signal freedom of some sort in American eyes. For a second your talking to your boss about leaving, and he’s agreeing, and you go home. When you get home one of those cries comes out of the distance. This is usually a call. Buddhists, like any group that pre-dates amplification, perfected the art of pitching calls in signals so they carry, hence regardless of where you are a reverbating note of sub-conversational murmor to high toned freak out and can be traversed over several blocks if not 1/2 a mile if you really try. Tonight this call came in the form of something like ha–yet-hooooooo. I have no idea what this means, and it sounded like something from Thundercats, but you have to follow it and find out where. Last time I did this I ended up at some Buddhist shrine on some hill where I stomped rocks before realizing I was about to interrupt something with out the language skills necessary to make it apparent I wasn’t a total asshole. In this case though, the cries seemed to be perpetuating from some other corner of the city. So I began to follow. This ended up with me walking down various side streets, water in hand, coufing up flu, and final zoming in on some dude crying out in the middle of street as he walked by. I don’t if he was just selling something or what the deal was, but he had a box on his back hanging from a strap made of packing tape. He walked down the street crying, fairly well dressed, and he didn’t have the feel or look of the Buddhists who migrate around Seosan in grey clothes and shaved heads. It was one of those mysteries were regardless of language or not, you wouldn’t be able to easily solve it with just words.

September 29, 2005 at 11:26 pm 2 comments

National Budget Simulation or exploring America through software


Nathan Newman has created a rather simple or really basically a really really complex series of forms that in the end show just little budget slashing seems to makes on the defeciet. If anything the National Budget Simulation is kinda like The Oregon Trail of the government: despite your best intentions, the situation always seems a little bit more complicated than originally envisioned. The NBS is a series of boxes intended to simulate the U.S. government’s budget. It isn’t exactly realistic after all committes and economists debate these issues, and what the simulation overlooks is the reality that some programs are effective. For instance the u.s. housing program and poverty programs have been terribly effective, and cutting them 10 – 20 % isn’t going to have a noticable effect on the economy (or so my logic goes after a week or so of looking at New Orleans), but all of that aside it does give you a perspective that you wouldn’t get outside of the computerized world. Simulation here, as in the Oregon Trail, is rather brutal. Most plans just won’t work even if you really want to restore G.I.’s benefits while protecting environmental concerns. But it also brings up e-government, why aren’t we just outrightly letting people fuck with simulations of U.S. economic policy and seeing which one wins? Why isn’t government more like a design contest and less like an autocracy? Hopefully programs like this can span the gap of experiences we feel in this life, I don’t know what it’s like to be an airline attendant or a senator, but on the whole we hate senators a lot more than airline attendents. Here is one piece of software that makes beaurcracy seem like a reasonable deluge of delays and back-guessing. Perhaps we can all one day share the burden of balancing this bitch instead of leaving it in autocrats hands.
http://www.nathannewman.org/nbs/

September 29, 2005 at 11:43 am 2 comments

Hugo Chavez making sense

the supposed thug of South American has rather kind things to say about the U.S. the Clinton administration and even tries to make sense of Bush. While his economic plans might be failing, at least his idealism is right on:

Who would you like to see as president of the United States?

I could deal with President Bush. I would like very much to be able to debate issues with him. I would like to transform this confrontation, this aggressive rhetoric, into a mature, serious debate on common issues. With President Clinton, we were able to sit and talk. But with this administration, it is impossible to talk because they want to impose things on you. If Mr. Bush changes his procedures and approaches, it would be excellent to talk and discuss current issues.

more here

hey folks read the comments seciton on this one.
I didn’t read the full article and some of Chavez’s later
points do seem a little weird.

September 28, 2005 at 9:25 pm 3 comments

(untrue) DeLay found guilty… system works… who knew?

someone apparently went to this post the other day, so anyway, this was a b.s. post I made awhile back when I saw Tom Delay was indicted I thought that meant guilty. 

somehow, despite what appeared to be in-surmountable amount of political corruption
and backstabbing… Tom DeLay actually has been found guilty of something.
Accountability in government? jesus… where did that come from.
anyway, article here Now will he actually get out office is the question.

peace,
a

hey folks read the comments seciton on this one.
I didn't read the full article and posted this with out
knowing what I was talking about.

September 28, 2005 at 7:19 pm 8 comments

the impeach bush thing

if you haven’t signed, go ahead.

http://www.votetoimpeach.org/

Peace,
A

September 28, 2005 at 6:56 pm Leave a comment

most challenged books

Meme from Majikthise I’m actually scoring worse than she did. Anyway, the point of the exercise is to list the books you’ve read from the 100 most challenged books in U.S. libraries. These are books people are trying to ban. Most are New York times bestsellers or kid’s classics, I think Ronald Dahl and Steven King might top out the list. i.e. no obscuro lesbian odes to satanism or avant-garde work-outs of possible moral rigitude, but that might be the problem. I mean trying to ban Harry Potter or Stephen King is silly, their just that: entertainment. The real story here is what is the most banned book in u.s. libraries?

Most Challenged Authors:
1. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, author of the Alice series
2. Robert Cormier, author of The Chocolate War and We All Fall Down
3. Judy Blume, author of Blubber, Forever, and Deenie
4. Toni Morrison, author of The Bluest Eye, Beloved and Song of Solomon
5. Chris Lynch, author of Extreme Elvin and Iceman
6. Barbara Park, author of the Junie P. Jones series
7. Gary Paulsen, author of Nightjohn and The Beet Fields: Memories of a Sixteenth Summer
8. Dav Pilkey, author of The Captain Underpants series
9. Maurice Sendak, author of In the Night Kitchen
10. Sonya Sones, author of What My Mother Doesn’t Know

Best reason a book was challenged:

# 842 to material with an “occult theme or promoting the occult or Satanism,?; (up 69 since 1999)
# 737 to material considered to be “violent?; (up 107 since 1999)
# 515 to material with a homosexual theme or “promoting homosexuality,? (up 18 since 1999)and
# 419 to material “promoting a religious viewpoint.? (up 22 since 1999)

Anyway, what I have read from the 2004 list:

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
and I think I might have read:
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Honestly, I have almost no memory of these books beyond reading
them for school or scheming through them at the library.

peace,
a

September 28, 2005 at 7:08 am 1 comment

Beckett And Taylor just in time for Soundslike release

The boys behind Hand on the Plow a favorite over at the olde no-future billboards
have released their original masterpiece gotta work with what-cha got onto the
inter-o-net. Track available here:
http://www.handontheplow.org/audio/Work_with_what_you_got.mp3
naturally such granduer for free only comes before the spectacle of a newer, better, more copyrighted release. In this case Beckett and Taylor’s new release for Soundslike

buy, buy, buy

September 28, 2005 at 6:34 am Leave a comment

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