I've been back and forth about sharing any of it broadly...but tonight I'm in the mood.
This is one of the first poems I wrote. The dedication is the same as it was when I wrote it: to my sweet Midwestern mother, who loves to get and give hugs.
Protocol for waking your neighbor on an airplane
I was asleep
Thirty-thousand feet above somewhere between Missoula and Billings Montana
Seat-back and tray table in the fully unlocked and un-upright position
Then it happened
Poke poke poke
I stirred violently
A man's round face and a blank stare greeted me from seat 'B'
I then became aware of the half-standing, anxious women in seat 'A'
I collected my music player
And lifted my tray table
And turned my legs to let her pass
And then a question formed in my head
For the round-faced, blank-staring man to my left
What were you thinking?
Was the violent poking of my shoulder an impulsive reaction
or did you have to think about it for a while?
Did you consider poking my leg? Or my ribs?
Help me understand
You're from the west coast, aren't you?
Now I say this with affection
But it's annoyed affection
You see, while I live on the west coast
I am not from the west coast
I am from the Midwest
Home of cows and pigs
Corn and soy beans
The sea of mostly red states
Stretching from Pittsburgh to Denver
Mock us for Nascar
And our backwards politics
And our Wal-Mart formal wear
But on the rare occasion we fly
We know how to wake up a stranger
We are not afraid to place our full palm on a stranger's shoulder
And shake and speak warmly, but firmly
"Sir? Excuse me. This lady has to go."
In coffee shops, grocery stores, and the narrow aisles at Nordstrom's
We will speak to you
And touch you
When we need to get by
And we will expect you to do the same
And when you don't
When you do your nervous
We will look at you weird
And wonder what is wrong with you
And we will tell ourselves "probably from the Seattle"
You see, in the Midwest
There's lots of space
Our roads are wide
And our yards are big
And our drive ways are long
So there's lots of room
For our Ford F-150s
And our Chevy Tahoes
And our above-ground pools
We will claim to enjoy our isolation
But our winters are cold, and lonely, and dark
When going to get milk involves scraping the windshield
For ten minutes
In twenty below wind-chill
And driving twenty miles
Sitting on frigid vinyl
And walking a football field from the parking lot to the front entrance
We will likely hug the first warm body we see
We know you city folk think you're packed-in tight
But don't you understand?
It's an illusion
We are all stuck here
On this little rock
Circling a little star
On a little arm
Of a little galaxy
Floating in a void that is cold, and lonely, and dark
Get over your passive-aggressive politeness
And your personal space
We were meant to talk to each other
To touch each other
Live for the random bumps with random strangers along life's random path
Because, in the end
That's all life is
If you like what I write or what I say
Don't give me a nod
Give me a hug
Because I like hugs
And all too soon we will have to pull on hats
And zip up jackets
And venture out
Into a night that is cold, and lonely, and dark
Copyright (c) 2007 Kevin Moore
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0
In a new video, Professor Lessig makes the case even more concisely and convincingly.
If we want an effective government, representatives must worry more about being our allies and worry less raising campaign money.
If we want a small government, we must eliminate incentives for our representatives to increase government power to benefit special interests.
If you haven't jumped on board at change-congress.org, get to it!
How does he do it?
Watch this video. If you like, skip to 5:50.
People do not think critically enough. They assume too many things to be true without sufficient basis in that belief...Analyze things from first principals.Way to promote rational thought.
People tend to overweigh risk on a personal level...Let's say you're young and you're coming out of college or high school...what do you risk?...What are you afraid of? People should be less risk averse when there's not much at risk.Brilliant.
But there also may have been something of a “Buffett effect” that countered the supposed “Bradley effect” — white voters telling pollsters they’d vote for Obama but then voting for the white guy. The Buffett effect was just the opposite. It was white conservatives telling the guys in the men’s grill at the country club that they were voting for John McCain, but then quietly going into the booth and voting for Obama, even though they knew it would mean higher taxes.
Why? Some did it because they sensed how inspired and hopeful their kids were about an Obama presidency, and they not only didn’t want to dash those hopes, they secretly wanted to share them. Others intuitively embraced Warren Buffett’s view that if you are rich and successful today, it is first and foremost because you were lucky enough to be born in America at this time — and never forget that. So, we need to get back to fixing our country — we need a president who can unify us for nation-building at home.
From the article:
This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.Preach it, brother.
Never let it be said I don't give props to conservatives who nail it.
If you buy that communism is socialism plus totalitarianism, which is the scarier half?
Socialism is a model for economic matters and deals with income distribution and social programs. I would claim at the extreme it's pretty stupid.
Totalitarianism is a model for government and deals with who has political power and how it's exercised. I would claim at the extremes it's pretty scary.
This is where Pat's article comes in: The End of Democracy.
In a survey of 24 countries by Pew Research Center, the nation that emerged as far and away first on earth in the satisfaction of its people was China. No other nation even came close.Scary. His conclusion even more so.
"Eighty-six percent of Chinese people surveyed said they were content with the country's direction, up from 48 percent in 2002.... And 82 percent of Chinese were satisfied with their national economy, up from 52 percent," said the Times.
Democratic capitalism, it would appear, now has a great new rival-autocratic capitalism. In Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, nations are beginning to imitate the autocrats of China and Russia, as some in the 1930s sought to ape fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.Preach it, brother.
The game is not over yet. We are going into extra innings.
I was left wondering how many people cashed out their long-term investments on Friday scared of where the market is heading. They missed out on a whole year's worth of good appreciation in one day.
So like I said last week, I'm not touching my 401k.
Dan Savage, a brilliant writer, brings a sad, terrifying, and touching story to the debate about I-1000 in Washington and the issues of dying with dignity.
From the article:
I don't know what my mother would have done if she had had the choice to take a few pills and skip the last two hours of her life. She was a practicing Catholic. But she was also pro-choice, pro–gay marriage, pro–ordaining women. If she could've committed suicide, by her own hand, with a doctor "assisting" only by providing her with drugs and allowing her to administer them to herself, after saying her good-byes, I suspect she would have done so, so great was her fear of dying in pain.Well said.
I do know that she should have been allowed to make that choice for herself. It's not a choice that Joel Connelly—or the Catholic Church—had a right to make for her.
I also know that, if my mother needed my help, I would've held a glass of water to her lips, so that she could swallow the pills that would've spared her those two hours of agony.
And that shouldn't be a crime.
I was hanging out in Wales with my brother and his better half looking through the iTunes store for a movie to rent.
We came upon Helvetica. [IMDB] [Wikipedia]
A very interesting survey of font--far more pervasive and influential then I could have ever imagined.
Memorable quotes from the film:
The meaning is in the content of the text and not in the typeface, and that is why we loved Helvetica very much.Another:
And I think I'm right calling Helvetica the perfume of the city. It is just something we don't notice usually but we would miss very much if it wouldn't be there.You'll never walk around a city--especially NYC--in the same way again.
If you do anything that uses fonts--from graphic design to web sites and user interfaces--you'll get something from this film.
I'm leaving mine exactly where it is.
The number one rule of long-term investing (or #8, if you ask CNN Money): Don't time the market.
It would be so nice, wouldn't it, to sell before every market downdraft and then get back in just as the good times roll again. But it's too hard to pull off. Nobody knows when markets will turn. And when they do, they tend to move in quick bursts. By the time you realize an advance has begun, most of it's over. Miss that initial stretch and you'll miss out on most of the gains. The lesson: The surest way to investing success is to buy, then stick to your guns.A related article makes the point clearly:
The S&P 500 gained 11.8% a year between 1982 and 2001. But only investors who stayed the course managed to earn that big a return.If invested $10,000 in 1982 in the S&P 500, you'd have over $93k in 2001. If happened to miss the best 10 days in those 10 years, you'd only have $56k.
The horizon for my 401k is well beyond 20 years--more like 40 years. So I'm staying put.
If something happens in the market now that is so bad that a 40-year of 'normal' markets can't erase it, my last concern will be my 401k.
I'll go by a shotgun.
How time flies.
Tomorrow I head to Cardiff, Wales, UK to see my brother, John Michael Moore, sing Figaro in the Barber of Seville--or, as the stobs say, "Il barbiere di Siviglia".
I always say I'm proud of my brother when he's not in the room.
I guess I'd better share the reviews before I jump the English Channel.
From Cardiff What's On:
John Moore’s Figaro couldn’t have been more engaging.From Theatre Wales:
Figaro, one of opera’s great fixers with an iconic aria was presented to us, full of fun, with a vigorous dynamic by John Moore, an American baritone with a captivating presence who dexterously took us all with him on this amorous and successfully, climaxing adventure.I'll deny I wrote any of this in 24 hours.
On a crazy side note, a bunch of people from my home town will also be at the performance, including my 4th-grade teacher. (Mrs. Van for home-town readers.)
Are you voting for McCain?The answer I've given instinctively always gets across my intention.
I have a passport.I immediately get a 'but of course' nod.
According to a 2004 survey by Zogby, Democrats were almost twice as likely as Republicans to have a passport.
The corrupting influence of a global perspective, I guess.
[Link to clip at NBC.]
This is the 'real' interview in case you couldn't tell.
[Link to clip at YouTube.]
All I can say: thank God that Jesus wants McCain/Palin in the White House, or I'd be really scared.
And no, I'm mocking all Christians with my sarcasm--just those insane enough to think a conservative Christian social agenda makes up for a total lack of qualifications.
Either that, or I'm an evil liberal possessed by witches.
Well, let's start with experts.
From my perspective, Obama doesn't get it regarding the economy either.
First of all, no matter what you call it, he supports the principle of income redistribution. He will increase taxes on the wealthy, and distribute that money to lower/no income people. That principle does nothing but lower incentive to work, rather than getting people back into work that contributes to society. I believe private/individual assistance and charity, rather than government mandated charity, is the way to keep unemployment low, and to increase incentive and drive to work.
I also get a kick out of the "tax break" Obama has for the middle class. Sure, he might begin a new tax cut of $1,000, but the Bush tax cuts will be no more, which are bigger cuts than the $1,000. It's deceiving to get people excited about the tax break for the middle class, when the overall taxes will actually be higher.
I also don't like all of the big government Obama will initiate. Government, no matter who is in power, screws things up. Why put things like health insurance in their hands? And, if people who work but don't get health insurance through their employer are going to get it through the government, who is paying that bill? And what employer in its right mind is going to offer insurance to employers, when taxpayers can pick up the tab?
According to a recent survey, 66% of economists support Obama, while 28% support McCain. (There is a link to details about methodology, etc.)
Second--skipping around a bit--the non-partisan Tax Policy Center has stated that most Americans will have lower taxes under Obama (PDF).
If I'm missing other independent analysis, I'd love to know about it.
Regarding the classic "trickle-down economics: good", "big government: bad" argument, I'm not going to get into the technical--although superficially appealing--fallacies of the position.
My point: American embodies Reganomics more than any other country right? And it's supposed to be better than ineffective--dare I say evil?--systems in Europe and Japan, right?
Then why does the country with the second highest GDP/person rank 13th in quality of life?
If you look at life expectancy, poverty, insured-rate, work-vs-leisure time, we are a joke, especially given our collective wealth.
If you're rich, I can understand why you'd want to sell voodoo economics and the big government bogeyman--it's great for your off-shore accounts.
Otherwise, I think it's good to remember that most of Ayn Rand's books are in the fiction section of the library.
I, just like you Kevin, don't support McCain's family history. But Dems pounded home again and again, when it dealt with Clinton, that the private life is his business, and should be separate from the work he does. So it's hypocritical to say it's irrelevant with Clinton, but a big deal with McCain.You nailed it. Dems, in general don't care about personal matter. It's the Republican's that scream and yell about family values.
So why was Clinton such a big deal and McCain ignorable?
This issue is full of hypocrisy, but not on the side of the Democrats. My point about caring McCain's 'family values' was mostly sarcasm--although I do think it's quite telling about his character.
I, too, don't like the Bomb, Bomb Iran comment. But I also don't like the "Cling to their guns and religion" comment Obama made about rural life. All candidates say stupid things. Obama said there were 53 states one time when he was on the campaign trail. But I will vote on issues and policies, not on this stupid, media-overblown campaign drama.We'll take these in reverse order.
"53 states". A mis-statement. Does anyone anywhere honestly think Obama doesn't know how many states their are? Need I go through the long and growing list of McCain 'mis-statements'?
"Cling to their guns and religion". An honest and accurate assessment of how a disturbingly large percentage of American's approach public policy. Likely including the 13% of Americans who think Obama is a Muslim. When Europeans bang their heads against the wall in disbelief at American voting patterns it's because they don't understand this part of the population. Thankfully, Obama does.
"Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran". A mis-statement or disturbingly arrogant, ignorant, and reckless pandering?
I guess this is the guy who picked Sarah Palin.
McCain’s recent conduct of his campaign – his willingness to lie repeatedly (including in his acceptance speech) and to play Russian roulette with the vice-presidency, in order to fulfill his long-held ambition – has reinforced my earlier, and growing, sense that John McCain is not a principled man.Via Digg.
In fact, it’s not clear who he is.
Former supporter of Barry Goldwater and editor of the National Review makes the case for why Obama better represents the genuine values of conservativism than John McCain does.From the article:
Obama will be a realist. I doubt he will taunt Russia, as McCain has, at the very moment when our national interest requires it as an ally. The crucial distinction in my mind is that, unlike John McCain, I am convinced he will not impulsively take us into another war unless American national interests are directly threatened.
“Every great cause,” Eric Hoffer wrote, “begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” As a cause, conservatism may be dead. But as a stance, as a way of making judgments in a complex and difficult world, I believe it is very much alive in the instincts and predispositions of a liberal named Barack Obama.
Take pictures of her picking black berries for a guest post she was writing for the New York Times Food Blog.
I said sure.
The result: Deliciously Invasive: Himalayan Blackberries in the Pacific Northwest.
Check out the credit on the photos.
Lesson for today: if you want to get ahead in life work hard--or ride in on the talent of someone else.
I occasionally get asked about the whole j832 thing.
Rewind to 1999. I was an intern at Microsoft and realized that I wasn't cool...because I didn't have my own domain.
Being the philosophical and relatively Catholic guy that I was, I went with (what I thought was) a profound a biblical reference.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Now that I'm very much not Catholic, I think the verse is even more profound.
Facebook has recently figured out that I'm not interested in "Local Men".
My zip code aside, I think the fact that I explicitly say I'm interested in "women" may have been an important hint for their ad placement algorithm.
It would seem that they are not keying off my religion, though.
I don't know about you, but I'm left wondering if woman pictured represents the vanguard of Christian virtue.
...although I'm sure she'd do wonders for attendance at Sunday services.
It's seems like only 8 month ago that I was leaving a job. It's just too much fun to switch around my insurance and investment plans, I guess.
I've had a great time at AMC. I proved to myself I can be happy being a developer full-time--something that worried me after five years as a program manager at Microsoft.
I'll miss working with Paul and David. Working day-to-day with David has been amazing. One of the hardest working and sweetest guys I know. He's made be a better developer and probably a better person.
On June 16 I enter the wonderful, terrifyingly independent world of software consulting and freelancing.
My first gig will be helping out some good friends and former MS co-workers at Jackson Fish Market.
I can't wait to hear the comments about either leaving or go to the dark side.
Yes, I've been spending time at the Apple Store. Scary.
No, I'm not giving up the MS stack. I'm hoping to have the chance to do consulting and freelance work in WPF and Silverlight, too.
While I'm likely booked for over a month, I'll be looking for gig+1, +2, etc. shortly.
If you would like to chat about my services, please drop me an line: edeya9902(at)sneakemail(dot)com.
In the mean time, happy hacking.
Three reasons why super delegates should support Mrs. Clinton, from Hillary herself:
- I am a sore loser.
- My supporters are racist.
- I have no ethical standards.
Brilliant, cutting satire.
This is just a heads-up. I'm going to be pretty quiet for the month of April. I'm getting on a plane in 4 hours for India.
If you're a regular reader and live in Mumbai, Delhi, or points in between, let me know. We might be able to meet for coffee.
Watch my personal blog for updates. If I find a computer, I'll try to make some posts.
Otherwise, see you in May!
Maybe it's not about abandoning God at all, and instead merely broadening your definition of the divine so as to encapsulate and swallow it all, every God, every dogma, every attempt to corner the market on belief and parse it and put it into cute little boxes and break us all up into angry tribes who stomp our feet and wave our little gilded books and launch screaming bloody wars over promised lands and chosen peoples and crucifixes and crusades and witches and pagans and gays.
In other words, maybe you abandon God by realizing it's all God, it's all divine, all hot, thrumming, vibrating connection in all places in all things at all times. And hence, to try and parse it and restrict it and beat it into submission and claim it for one people, one history, one country or church or authoritarian body, is actually the highest form of divine insult.
Or, you know, grand cosmic joke. Same thing, really.
An email arrives announcing a fete, but it's short on deets. You're forced to click to an ad-choked Web page, then another to RSVP, and then back to the first to see the info again. That faint sound you hear? It's coins tumbling into the pockets of media conglomerate IAC/InterActiveCorp, which acquired the site in 2003.
It's been 2 days since I read the article and I've received 4 evites. It's time to put a stop to this.
The article recommends Socializer as an alternative, but it's way too heavy for my taste. The sign-up experience is overly complex and account management is a pain.
What I want:
- Painless sign-up
- Time and location details in the email
- +1 if it includes a link to a map
- +1 if the map link is to Google Maps
- +1 if a calendar file is attached for us Gmail/Outlook users.
- Super-clean user experience.
They even include the host's email address as the sender of the the invitation. You can reply directly to a human being. Brilliant!
Goovite also looks promising. It includes the ability to offer a set of possible meeting times and allow a discussion about when to have the party. Cool.
You should also check out this list of alternatives from another annoyed user.
Let's encourage Evite to evolve--or go the way of Altavista.
Check out the "official" web site. (No clue who decides what's official--probably the first guy to buy the domain.)
Mr. Dawkins has posted some e-cards for the occasion here.
Now we carry our message to farms and factories across this state, and to the cities and small towns of Ohio, to the open plains deep in the heart of Texas, and all the way to Democratic National Convention in Denver; it’s the same message we had when we were up, and when were down; that out of many, we are one; that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; and that we can cast off our doubts and fears and cynicism because our dream will not be deferred; our future will not be denied; and our time for change has come.
...I am hopeful that we can bridge the gaps that exist and overcome the prejudices each of us bring to this debate. And I have faith that millions of believing Americans want that to happen. No matter how religious they may or may not be, people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool of attack. They don't want faith used to belittle or to divide. They're tired of hearing folks deliver more screed than sermon. Because in the end, that's not how they think about faith in their own lives.
Read the full text of the speech here. Read it a few times. Amazing.
Watch the videos (a bit messed up in a few spots, but okay):
Here's a description of the market.
This is when I love democracy...or at least where hope dares tilt towards optimism.
Email from my mother to her sons on Saturday morning:
Hello and Good Morning Brian, Kevin and John...
I have survived the week and it's Saturday ...the temperatures are and the is almost shining in Milford...
The ground hog saw his shadow ...so hunker down for 6 more weeks of winter...
Have a great weekend...Looking forward to each of you
Sending my Mom
Reply from Brian:
Since I am closest, do I get to administer the beating?
No, we don't beat our mother. We just threaten her with beatings.
I can't say I've seen many hippie stop sign stickers, so I'm not too interested in that angle.
But "Hammer Time!" and "Collaborate and Listen"--brilliant!
The only other one I can think of is "In the Name of Love".
When thinking changes your mind, that’s philosophy.
When God changes your mind, that’s faith.
When facts change your mind, that’s science.
Rewind four years. I wanted to buy some athletic shorts for the gym. Simple right?
I happened to be shopping on Amazon for other stuff so I figured, "Why not look?"
Amazon did happen to have some nice, modest athletic shorts. They weren't being sold directly by Amazon, but by through a company I had never heard of: Under Gear.
I put in my order and waited patiently.
The shipment was a bit of a surprise. The shorts were fine, but the Under Gear catalog they included--hmm--how to say this.
It's like a Victoria Secrets for guys.
Guys with no body hair.
Guys who like fishnet.
I mean, if you're into that sort of thing, fine.
Not really my cup-o-tea.
Anyway, they've followed me since. I figured moving would eliminate this "surprise" in the mail every three months.
So recently, someone in my condo mentioned CatalogChoice.org in our little discussion group.
From their about page:
Catalog Choice is a free service that allows you to decide what gets in your mailbox. Use it to reduce your mailbox clutter, while helping save natural resources.
I've kept the page open in Firefox, but didn't jump on it.
My mail today gave me an excuse.
I also happened to get a 1-800-Flowers catalog, too. No doubt the result of remembering my mother's birthday.
Well as of five minutes ago, both of these fine companies have been politely asked to save a tree or two.
Crazy what inspires one to be environmentally conscious.
Oh, and if you want to buy a "collarless gauze shirt" or an "enhancement bikini", let me know.
I got the store for you.
From the review in the New York Times:
Jennifer Check (Berta) and John Michael Moore (Fiorello) were both first rate.
Not too bad for a first roll, huh? Next month I get to see him on stage--can't wait.
As an aside, I coded some cool features in the NY Times Reader.
They never wrote about me though.