Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wanderers 2009.2.17

This is one of those gothic meetups, like we're all Victorian ghosts, arguing Scopes Trial stuff. There's lots of wood, old fixtures, i.e. the Pauling House works as a set for this material. We're living in the past, way way in the past.

This is why I'm skeptical that the Lower 48 is holding many cards. Why would an investment banker park an office in this neighborhood, when people act like nothing significant has occurred since Williams Jennings Bryan went up against Clarence Darrow that time?

How about Ed Murrow versus Joe McCarthy? If you want great debates, why not come a little further forward towards the present? Any interest in recent history? Anyone? Gary Powers was fun. Let's do some First Person Physics around him, his clever dodges? Just trying to stay relevant, thinking of McMinnville, field trip possibilities.

I used to think Ronald Reagan giving a Medal of Freedom to some guy declaring "the USA we have known... bankrupt and extinct" a newsworthy event. That's back when I thought journalists were supposed to take "the long view" about stuff.

Later I learned it's historians who hammer together a story like that. So what's the story? Over twenty years to cover since then, so we'd best get on with it then. Narrative makes a difference. Geeks know that.

Anyway, Duane does a good job with the slides, packs in some good science (amino acids, tyrannosaurus). I've blogged about his rap before. He admits that Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians are pretty much off the hook, don't listen to Creation Station, an obscure network to begin with. These aren't real debates in my view, just re-enactments of what used to be real debates. There's a difference.

I just interrupted to ask why we care if North Americans are ignorant slobs (excluding Canadians of course) i.e. the whole world already knows we're living in a fictional media cloud, a Matrix. We could probably let them wallow in their Wall*e-like way, and still get through the day maybe? Misplaced priorities? Wasting pearls?

Duane defended his people, I thought somewhat valiantly.

I'm always taking this weirdo position that the Lower 48 is this irrelevant "dumbfuckistan" we don't care about ("toxic assets"). Just a position (offensive!), looking for feedback.

People know Kirby takes weird positions, defends them, find me entertaining in that way. Bring me to a meeting and it'll probably take a different direction, even if I just sit there blogging, sipping vino.

Given I actually live here (in the Lower 48), you can imagine I actually care deeply about the ignorance levels (duh), have fond hopes of reaching out through coffee shops, television, Internet, maybe addressing these shortcomings.

LCDs anyone? Cafe Philosophique to the rescue (or Philanthropique).

Anyone care about Zonohedra? MVP Koski does, and I salute him for advancing our cause.

Given where my head is at, I just get impatient with all this retro, dino, prehistoric thinking. Mad Magazine cheers me up sometimes, but that's just escapism.

Why do we continue arguing "calculators or no calculators?" like we're all broken records? Why no "live logic"? Why no "software robotics"? There's lots we could do around marketing. Do I have to think of everything myself?

OK, I'm ranting. My blog, might as well pound a desk somewhere eh? I'm allowed to vent, doctor says.

I just interrupted again (too much to drink? nah): what about devolution? Can't we slide back into the primordial ooze, at least mentally? I'm thinking the Lower 48 is proof positive.