The Centipede with the Mismatched Socks

Heck. Read this. My young friend wrote it and it’s real as can be.

[tags]jmo, centipedes in your belly, butterflies are bad enough[/tags]

One Laptop per Child

Ethan Zuckerman has been in touch with the One Laptop per Child program since its inception, and he reviewed it in January. Tonight I was privileged to meet Ethan and to hear Nicholas Negroponte speak about the current status and future plans for the program. Negroponte is a big thinker. He wants to equip each of the 1.2 billion primary and middle-school age children on the planet with a networked laptop at a price of around $100 each. To do this, he intends to limit orders to one million units. Today the price point on the laptop is about $176 and — as Ethan pointed out to me — there is a networking cost that kicks up the buy-in to about a quarter of a billion dollars if your country wants to be an early adopter.

There are no orders in the pipeline right now, but by the end of the year, the progam will be producing about 20% of ALL the world’s laptops, or 1 million per month. After Negroponte’s talk there was some discussion of gettin these for native peoples, here in the US and in Canada. It seems possible, but the million unit order minimum makes eliminates incrementalism and pilot programs, so it would take a national policy mandate to make it happen.

Just think what would be possible if we weren’t burning money in the bonfires of the Bush wars.


Professor Negroponte doesn’t have any million unit orders yet, but he has a list of national prospects including nations as diverse as Nigeria, Argentina, and Vietnam. I noticed Venezuela wasn’t on his list. It seems like the kind of natinal betterment project they are equipped to undertake. (Ethan pointed out to me that there can be great enthusiasm at the classroom level, and at the national policy making level, but the school administrators also must buy in).


I want to join the Well just to shout BOLINAS, BOLINAS, BOLINAS!  That whole “town that wants to remain anonymous” crap is so cloying and stupid.  There’s good dope in Bolinas, and dopes too I must say.  If you’re ever engaged in something meaningful in West Marin, like a trip to the Audubon Canyon Ranch, or a hike into the Point Reyes seashore from the south, do stop in at Bolinas, have a cup of coffee in some patchouli scented dive and marvel at another town that time forgot.  This is where the old Volkswagens go to die.

Yes, I would love to live there.

Google map so you don’t get lost on your way out from Stinson Beach.

[tags]bad roads, bizarre attitudes, razor clams, the well, EiM[/tags]

“Let us paint our faces and speak Helium to the dusk”

Enjoy poetry?   Then click on over to Ray Sweatman’s place and immerse yourself in what he has shared with us this month.

It’s the essay, ese

Yesterday’s mail brought an important message from David Isenberg posted here on his blog. This is some really meaty information and deserves a thorough read before comment. When you get there skim down the through the prefatory matter, pause to relish the anecdote about the sailing captain who “got” steam so well that he mounted a steam engine on deck to haul up the anchors, and then dive straight into the essay, ese: “CREATING SUSTAINABLE NETWORK NEUTRALITY.”

Executive Summary: Network Neutrality as currently conceived requires changes in carrier behavior that are contrary to their corporate culture and business model, so we can expect their active opposition even after Network Neutrality becomes law.
If carrier resistance prevails, the Internet stands to lose its key success factor. The Network Neutrality movement can learn from history; the demise of Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs) and the ensuing collapse of telephone and Internet competition provides an parallel. The solution is strategy that is more ambitious and more patient, that addresses industry structure rather than carrier

Let’s keep this one on the front burner for a while. There’s a lot to consider in it. The first question that popped into my mind was: Will this be managed like the unbundling of the electric power industry, with transmission companies driving for-profit construction projects that pump up their own profits to the detriment of the community and the market? There’s a lot to think about in this essay. I’d better read it a few times before offering any more offhanded comments.

In search of Veneta…

Last night the cat went missing. This is unusual. Veneta is a sociable kitty and usually can be found within a few hundred feet of the family. She generally comes when we call her. We know her habits and her ways, but last night she was nowhere to be found. We searched the house, and Veneta was well and truly missing. She was not on a dining room chair tucked beneath the table.  She was neither on my desk nor under it.  We could find her in none of the closets.  We took the search outside.

She was not in the barn. She hadn’t gotten locked in a car or the truck. She was not in the granary or the tobacco shed. We put Molly on a leash, grabbed a flashlight and hiked down the lane to the hoop house. Veneta was not there. On the way back we checked all the outbuildings again, and while we surprised a small squeaking critter in the tobacco shed, Veneta was not in there stalking it.

We checked the road. No pathetic corpse, no flat cat, no tell tale sign of a kitty dragging herself off into the weeds to die. Naturally then our thoughts turned to coyotes. And owls. When we passed the windbreak we had heard a peculiar wheezing and chittering that we chalked up to the noise of some unpleasant night bird. I took the flashlight and circled the windbreak until I could shine a light on a spot perhaps twenty feet up in the trees where the wheezing seemed to center. No Veneta up there, and the bird, whatever kind of bird it was, wheezed away, undeterred by the strong beam of light sweeping the tree.

The outdoors was dark and huge. Indoors was more contained and re-searchable. We went back inside. Perhaps, we thought, she had climbed into Kristen’s van and been taken for a ride. We thought we’d call Kristen but then we discovered an open closet door. And there, cozy in a pile of sweaters on the closet shelf, we found Veneta snoozing. She had of course been far too comfortable to come when we’d called.  We were so glad to find her that there was then no thought of reproach or remonstrance regarding the incomplete nature of the earlier part of the search, the part before we went outdoors, the part where we had assured each other that we had checked all the closets.

That came later, with this post.

[tags]did you check all the closets[/tags]

Infinite number of monkeys on this bus

as the poems go into the thousands you
realize that you’ve created very
it comes down to the rain, the sunlight,
the traffic, the nights and the days of the
years, the faces.
leaving this will be easier than living
it, typing one more line now as
a man plays a piano through the radio,
the best writers have said very
and the worst,
far too much.

[tags]yes, from the bees[/tags]

Tabs from my browser…

I do, however, load up on 48 AA batteries at a time which everything I own except the cat seems to require.

A Fair(y) Use Tale

my personal favorite, Gerald McBoing Boing, or their highly stylized version of The Tell Tale Heart or their adaptation of James Thurber’s The Unicorn in the Garden or the oft-neglected Christopher Crumpet and Family Circus or…

The Star Wars franchise and the American Empire are all about “more.” More product for you and me, and exported to others whether they like it or not. Free-Dumb for all. Consumerism, baby. Have you consumed Star Wars yet? Bought the video game, the toys, the fast food meal?

The pursuit of “dominance” in foreign policy led the Bush administration to ignore the UN, to do serious damage to our most important alliances, to violate international law, and to cultivate the hatred and contempt of many in the rest of the world. The seductive appeal of exercising unconstrained unilateral power led this president to interpret his powers under the constitution in a way that brought to life the worst nightmare of the founders. Any policy based on domination of the rest of the world not only creates enemies for the US and recruits for al-Qaida, but also undermines the international cooperation that is essential to defeating terrorists who wish to harm and intimidate America. Instead of “dominance”, we should be seeking pre-eminence in a world where nations respect us and seek to follow our leadership and adopt our values.

In 1950, the psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson, in a famous treatise on the phases of life development, identified wisdom as a likely, but not inevitable, byproduct of growing older. Wisdom arose, he suggested, during the eighth and final stage of psychosocial development, which he described as “ego integrity versus despair.” If an individual had achieved enough “ego integrity” over the course of a lifetime, then the imminent approach of infirmity and death would be accompanied by the virtue of wisdom.

In the May, 2024 Harper’s is an article by Gideon Lewis-Kraus entitled “A World in Three Aisles: Browsing the Post-Digital Library” on a couple of rogue librarians, Rick Prelinger and Megan Shaw Prelinger. They believe that “the conflict between a so-called digital culture and a so-called print culture is fake; they think we should stop celebrating or lamenting the discontinuous story of how the circuits will displace the shelves, and start telling a continuous story about how the two might fit together” (47).

“The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree… As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications.”

Plan your web sites like you plan your parties.

When Alex was born,
we decided that we would not allow toy weapons in our house. Despite our best efforts, he made all kinds of things into weapons, from chewing his toast into an L shape to taking a puzzle piece shaped like Florida from a map of the US and turning it sideways. The irony there does not escape me. We kept away from TV shows and games with gunplay in them, but there was something so attractive to him about mortal combat that it seemed to be hard-wired into his brain. We relented and allowed him to have a wooden sword that we purchased on a trip to Scotland. Then there was a Star Wars lightsaber; then a knight’s helmet and plastic shield. We entered the slippery slope of war toys and battle play, and kept right on sliding.

Google has deep expertise in designing and assembling energy-efficient PCs – it reportedly has hundreds of thousands or even millions of them running in data centers around the world. The company has also been pushing the computer industry to reengineer personal computers to dramatically reduce their energy consumption.

The moment the writers of the Gospels set down the words of Jesus they began to kill the message. There is no room for prophets within religious institutions—indeed within any institutions—for as Paul Tillich knew, all human institutions, including the church, are inherently demonic. Tribal societies persecute and silence prophets. Open societies tolerate them at their fringes, and our prophets today come not from the church but from our artists, poets and writers who follow their inner authority. Samuel Beckett’s voice is one of modernity’s most authentically religious. Beckett, like the author of Ecclesiastes, was a realist. He saw the pathetic, empty monuments we spend a lifetime building to ourselves. He knew, as we read in Ecclesiastes, that nothing is certain or permanent, real or unreal, and that the secret of wisdom is detachment without withdrawal, that, since death awaits us all, all is vanity, that we must give up on the childish notion that one is rewarded for virtue or wisdom.

when he was in his late 80s he developed a fear of falling. This fear arose from the fact that two of his friends had fallen and both ended up in hospital, and one of them had died. So this fear was in a sense justified, but he solved it by spending most of his time in a chair. Within a short time he developed leg ulcers and had no choice but to move into a nursing home. There he spent all of his time in a chair and the bed within two feet of it. He died within six months of a heart attack and with no quality of life whatsoever.

Skink Lizard Brooch

as the poems go into the thousands you
realize that you’ve created very
little bukowski.

[tags]Everything is Miscellaneous, Everything is Mucilaginous[/tags]