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Beautiful Is NOT Equal to Good

Ok, here's the first riddle-question: Ten points if you can guess what popular song this is describing:

  • You must renounce your own values, and embrace mine.
  • You must give everything you own to a state authority of my choosing
  • You must renounce your personal opinions and religious beliefs and accept my personal opinions and religious beliefs as facts.

...If you do not do these things, there will be trouble. In fact, I promise you there will be war.

The second one is worth 50 points because it's a less popular song by a less popular group.

  • My friend and I are walking in the evening. It is a beautiful, star-lit night.
  • My friend is looking up at the sky and expressing his/her feelings of awe, and wonder at the universe and our place within it.

...I, on the other hand, am being a total wet blanket and a buzz-kill. Every time my friend makes a comment on how wonderful the universe is, I tell him/her that its all a big lie, and explain that what s/he's really looking at is a big disaster. That in fact, the whole thing is about to come crumbling down upon us all.

The point is, it's very easy to equate something that is "beautiful" with "good", because in the grand-scheme, things that are good are always (eventually) beautiful. We get into trouble because its easy, even natural, for us to reverse this relationship between "goodness" and "beauty", without giving it a second thought.

Shame Takes A Holiday

So many people cheat now. Often right out in the open, sometimes even openly in front of many. I can probably find dozens of discussion-threads with groups of people who say there's no shame in stealing other people's property. They will even advance the position that those who don't steal have earned our contempt.

My greatest hope is that shame has merely gone on holiday in our collective cultures and it will eventually return.

My greatest fear is that shame has died. That our ability to feel shame was only a temporary biological fluke — a minor structural defect in our individual and collective mammalian brains, which has started to fade farther away with each new generation.

Will we soon be as free from shame as all the other animals? Already, many will argue that this would be a good thing. Are they right?

Change is to a Lifetime as Sand is to a Day At The Beach

On the beach the sand is, by far, the biggest annoyance.

It gets all over you, your feet, your legs, your hair; especially when you come in wet from the ocean.
When you apply sunblock, the sand sticks to your skin.
It gets in your food. It gets in your mouth and between your teeth when you bite down.
It gets all over —and in— the stuff you brought with you.
Sometimes it even gets in your eyes.

All these things are true, but...

The sand is also the only thing that makes going to the beach worthwhile.

Evil always tries to convince people it isn't

...Historically speaking

True Beatles Fan

You can nail the: hand-clap
At the phrase: "She worked in 15 clubs a day"
In the song: She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
On the album: Abby Road

Thursday, August 2, 2007 (11:00pm Eastern Time)

The date (and approximate time) of the first time in
history that the record of a vote in the U.S. house of
representatives was completely erased.
  • The unemployment rate was: 4.6% (July)
  • The DOW closed over $14,000 for the first time in
    history about two weeks earlier (7/19/2007**)
  • The poverty rate was: 12.3%
  • Median cost of a home (sold) was: $258,000
  • Home ownership rate (households) was: 68.2%

(People present claim the actual vote
was 215 - 213, but the details are relatively
unimportant compared to the event itself)

** POST-SCRIPT: It closed at $14,000.41. Many of you probably heard the media reports in October of 2008, stating that October 9, 2007 was the first time the DOW closed over 14000. Sadly, this demonstrates just how far our once-trusted press (and journalism in general) has fallen as well (apparently they all used the anonymous contributions at wikipedia as their source?).

The New "Cool"

When did "being cool" become an exact synonym for: "being so desperate to look cool that you're willing to spend $600 for a phone that doesn't even have GPS capabilities"?

. . .

It just makes you want to grab "cool" by the shoulders and say: "What happened to you man? You used to be cool!"

This Thing In Here

It is a wild horse, kicking violently at its stall walls, trying to get out.

Between it and the easily-kicked-open stall door lies only a small bale of hay called "patent protection".

And I can't get this wild horse to jump that damn bale of hay to save my life.

Four added years now of kicking, and still counting...

Everything in moderation, including moderation.

Can you be an investor and a trader (an "invader"?)?

Can you be a top-down and a bottom-up software developer?

Can you be a rebel and embrace traditional values?

Can you be brave and cautious?

I hope so.

= = = = = = = = = = =

Be not righteous over much;
neither make thyself over wise;
why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish:
why shouldest thou die before thy time?

  Ecclesiastes 7:16-17

Highly produced, widely hyped, and cross-sold on all your favorite TV shows

This is not rock & roll.

The Human Condition

Imagine a machine that has been specifically designed to be completely useless without lots of help from other, identically designed, machines.

Big God

A god who's true nature can be fully comprehended, explained, or understood by me or any worldly, mortal person or group, is a small god who is not worthy of worship.


The more sure you are that you've got it all figured out, the less likely it is that you have.

Class vs. Style

You can have a lot of style and very little class.
You can have a lot of class and very little style.

Class and Style are two different things.

But an abundance of either one may make up for a lack of the other.

...maybe not anymore

Macro QM

(or: Logic Fallacy Fallacy II)

Assumption: You can be just like Woody Harrelson. You can precisely mimic his mannerisms, his voice, his attitude, his charisma, his look.

But, you wont be "just like Woody Harrelson".

Because Woody Harrelson himself is not being "just like" someone else. And you wont be able to simultaneously mimic/model that characteristic.

It's the Crop Yeilds Stupid

This seems important - We are in an economic bubble caused by oil. The least important contribution oil makes to this economic boom is allowing us each to tool around at 70 mph (113 kph) with a couple of empty couches strapped to our backs. - Other contributions oil makes to the bubble include abundant fertilizer and pesticides for huge crop yields, concentrated energy to turn iron into steel and sand into computer chips. It is the raw material for making plastics, which are used for everything from food storage to medical services, just for starters.

A question to the mathematically inclined


  • everyone in the U.S. has a hybrid vehicle

  • Each vehicle has two square meters (2.2 yds) of solar cells on its roof.

  • Some conservatively estimated percentage of vehicles will be out under the sun during peak solar hours.

  • Some conservative and currently doable efficiency numbers for cell conversion and storage conversion.

  • Cars are intelligent enough to manage their energy storage in such a way that they will have capacity in which to store the cell's peak-time output (or use it directly if the car is moving).

The question:

How many barrels of oil would be saved per day?...

Think about it.

  1. Millions of square meters of solar cells,

  2. all producing energy that will go directly to offsetting fossil fuel consumption (that includes oil we use to make plastics, fertilizer, pesticides, and so much more).

  3. Not one square inch of those solar cells will be covering any vegetation or marine life that would not have otherwise been covered.

What if we cover road-sides, or even roads with extra-durable solar cells?

This seems like a win-win for everyone don't you think?

. . . . . . . . . . .

Politics II

  • Use personal power to advance issues people care about.


  • Use issues people care about to attain personal power.

Hope & Faith

All other animals, even up to the higher levels (possibly excepting dolphins?) will walk into a clearing with animal tracks and --if they can't see, hear, or smell an animal-- not think anything more of it. It doesn't matter how hungry they are.

There have been many debunked theories about why people are so different than the other animals; tool use, opposing thumbs, language, and these days, consciousness or self awareness (at least it wont be debunked since it can't be defined). Though the debate rages, anyone who's ever owned a dog knows that animals can be conscious and self aware. That's not what makes us so different than the other animals.

It is becoming more and more clear to anthropologists though, that the parting branch when humans became so different from the other animals was when they started to believe that those tracks in the clearing might lead to an animal. Though they couldn't see an animal, and they couldn't smell it, they _chose_ to follow those tracks. All other animals will starve to death before wasting energy to follow animal tracks when there is no immediate evidence of an animal present.

But men followed those tracks. They CHOSE to ACT on a belief that the tracks would lead to prey. That required something that (IMO) no other animal has. That required hope and faith.

It is the same hope and faith that leads two brothers to spend thousands of hours and dollars developing a flying machine when many "experts" scoff and say it can't be done. It is the same hope and faith that makes an inventor run failed experiment after failed experiment to develop a dry cell that nobody else thinks possible or even sees any use for. This is the faith that leads a scientist to spend a lifetime chasing down a truth he 'believes' is there.

Even today, when we follow animal tracks and come upon the animal, we are filled with a rush of excitement. I imagine those first humans to follow those tracks were very hungry indeed, and that when they found that animal the experience was nothing short of a miracle.

Faith is a source of hope. Saint Paul defines hope as "the evidence of the existence of things unseen". I believe faith and hope are what differentiates humans from animals. Faith and hope are things you need to exercise, to develop.

We've come some way since that first tentative attempt to follow those tracks. I truly believe that being human --in the sense that we are something more than animals-- absolutely requires us to exercise hope, and an abiding faith in something unseen. For some it will be the reliability of the scientific methods and tenets, for others it will be some notion, such as "There is no God", or we are all part of one consciousness, and for others, it will be a religion, or military dogma. For me, the older faiths are the best. Other faiths may be shallow, either due to lack of time to adapt and grow strong in the face of trials, or because the signs they are founded upon (the "tracks") don't lead to any profitable ends (the "prey").

Faith needs to lead to something "rewarding" for all human kind. Our faith and hope must make us better people --though better is itself indefinable-- because that's the only way we're going to make it off this rock. Even here, only hope in that better future makes me understand that "off this rock" is what's in store for our people some day, if we just have hope and follow our faith.

Logic Fallacy Fallacy I

Which one is the logical opposite of a Prince
  • Pauper
  • Princess
  • Tyrant

Music I

  He created music
  A thing which is itself created
  What more beautiful affirmation
  that a purpose of creation is to create?

Politics I

  • Some people can't tell the difference between green and brown.

  • Others are unable to discern a difference between the words "ironic" and "irritating"

  • still others are incapable of grasping the subtle differences between "contradiction in terms" and "oxymoron".

  • In similar fashion, it is possible many are incapable of discerning any differences between "control" and "governance".

  • In fact, it seems woefully apparent that most of the otherwise able people in both major U.S. political parties are suffering from at least one of these maladies.

Observer As Art

Art has always embraced uncertainty. But art has been observers passively observing that which the artist has made. The new art will embrace the uncertainty, the form, the motion, the chaos and unpredictability that is the sentient admirer. No longer a passive receiver, now to become an integral part of the same to such an extent, that the framework without the observer, could not stand on its own as art. Those observing must now be part of that which they have loved. Their physical forms, quirky behaviors, reactions, responses, habits, fears, loves, imperfections, spirits, expressions (to name some), all adding to the beauty and essence, the ability of the piece to move and inspire. They shall become the art, perhaps unwittingly, perhaps knowingly. This idea is rooted within the most basic known structures of the universe. To make such art will require many in the arts, sciences, and humanities communities to rise to a seemingly insurmountable challenge, and that is precisely why they should, and what will make it art.

Like sand on the beach that is at once the biggest blessing and the greatest irritation for the sunbathers who lay there, art must be at once free and under great burdens. It must strive, and move forward, against the resistance of difficulty and hopelessness. Exuding hope and light.

This is why, in a larger sense we all must strive to BE art. It is no longer enough to admire art, or support it, we must become works of art. In the tedious details of our daily lives, and the intense moments carried out in the times of great blessings and strife.


Well, it is beautiful. It is clever, and reassuring, and ingenious. It is creative and imaginative. It soars, invoking great joy, a feeling of well-being, and a sense of yearning within the observer. It is masterful; a clever and wonderful performance for the mind; an inspiring, and awesome work that moves the observer to almost mystical senses...

...Just like most of the other glass boxes that went before it.

Religion I
  • Atheist: A colorblind man who has convinced himself that all who claim to perceive a difference between green and brown are delusional and living in a fantasy world.

  • Agnostic: A colorblind man who gives those claiming to see colors the benefit of the doubt.

  • Zealot: A man who believes his way of seeing or not seeing colors is right, and all those who see colors differently are wrong and must be silenced.   ...By force if "necessary".

I don't know if they should rebuild in the pit.

We must not let our enemies choose where we erect memorials to honor our fallen. I know that. But I don't know if we should rebuild the towers in that spot.

We will rebuild, of that I'm sure. It could be anywhere, even a few hundred yards out in the water, but it will be built.

I'm not an architect, and I don't know what it should look like, but I know it should be green. Not green paint, green vegetation. Not just on the ground around it, or on the roof, or every 30 floors, but all up and down it. Whatever floor I'm on I should be able to walk out into a garden with green around me and open sky overhead. I should not have to travel more than a few floors to be able to lay on my back on the ground in a meadow and look up, and smell the grasses around me and experience the air and breeze interacting with my person. Preferably the walk is through a garden, preferably the walk is out in the open air, preferably the walk is on an incline, not in a box or on stairs. There should be water falling?

This is not that accurate. It is just a mass-less, shapeless cloud with a few possible features beginning to form. I don't know why this is in here, but if the past is any guide, I know I'm not the only one who's getting this. I know there are other people being bothered by it, and that many of them are much farther along on the discovery process than I. But it had to get out.

Styles: Some colored button experiments.

  The Beach
  TV Ads


Let's try a little row hiding experiment here
My Rows to Show
Row number one
Row number two
Row number three
My Rows to Hide

IFrames and Netscape

IFRAMES are standard HTML constructs that allow you to display entire HTML documents within other HTML documents. This is a very good way to care for your content. The problem is, Netscape right up to 4.7x does not do IFRAMES.

So, if I want to use IFRAME tags, I have to tell people with Netscape why this standard HTML tag doesn't work for them. So here's what I'll say between the <IFRAME> and </IFRAME> tags:

  Apparently, after paying off Janet Reno and their lawyers your browser maker didn't have enough money left over to implement this standard HTML feature. We suggest you download a real browser so you can see the IFRAME content that is displayed here  

Here's an example of an IFRAME (if your browser doesn't display IFRAMES you'll see the above message repeated):

Ok, Ok, here's a test...

You're a large software development company who's embarased by multiple weekly published reports in the trade journals about your software's security vulnerabilities. As a large software producer with many millions of dollars worth of resources at your disposal, what is easier and more effective for you to do:
  1. Put together a team of design experts in your organization and give them power to quickly respond to immediate reports of security problems, and for the long run identify and fix the problems in your development processes, or
  2. Lobby congress to make laws that will allow you to force the trade journals to refrain from publishing reports about your software's security vulnerabilities?
I know what you're thinking, "dude, this is just too easy. It must be a trick question right?", well, no, it isn't a trick question, it really is as easy as it looks. But, you ready for this? The big software producer still got it wrong. "Dude...".

more junk? ...

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