Some Days

Some rare Korean summer days like today you stop and you look up and there’s nothing but blue, and you think about that thin envelope of air and how close to your upturned face the edge of space lies, that the sun is a continuous celestial self-sustaining nuclear explosion, how glorious the heat and light that fury of power produces feels as it presses down on you like the soft weight of love, and it is as if your body is being drawn skyward by some gentle tidal surge, and you remember how good it is to be alive.

That feeling is one I remember from my younger days, and I love to feel it again before I have to go back into the office, where I type these words.

Facebuck

NYTimes: Winklevoss Twins Plan First Fund for Bitcoins.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins best known for their part in the history of Facebook, filed a proposal with securities regulators on Monday that would allow any investor to trade bitcoins, just as if they were stocks. The plan involves an exchange-traded fund, which usually tracks a basket of stocks or a commodity, but in this case would hold only bitcoins.

If they don’t call the fund ‘Facebuck’ they’re out of their minds.

Lockdown

That world formed the web’s foundations — without that world to build on, Google, Facebook, and Twitter couldn’t exist. But they’ve now grown so large that everything from that web-native world is now a threat to them, and they want to shut it down. “Sunset” it. “Clean it up.” “Retire” it. Get it out of the way so they can get even bigger and build even bigger proprietary barriers to anyone trying to claim their territory.

Well, fuck them, and fuck that.

Marco.org

Fuck The USA

It’s amusing that the stupid punk rock protest songs I remember from 30 years ago are the songs that are circling back for me lately. I love lots of Americans, but you know: I’m leaning forward into the old old familiar fuck-the-USA stance tonight. Outgrown hobbyhorse saddle smells like sunscorched leather and my own ballsweat. A familiar smell of my youth.

Jacket

It’s not like I’m any happier with my own left-behind home, friends. Part of getting old seems to be, at least for me, loving individual people but loathing them and their dimwit convictions in aggregate. So it goes.

Anger? Anger is an energy.

Tosh’s Garage

Waist-high grass, on the hill behind Tosh’s Garage, beside the lake. Still, and utterly quiet. Full moon low in a black starry cloudless summer night sky, shattered stretched reflection arrowing out across the water. Me, teenaged, on my back on the gentle slope in a hidden nest of tramped down grass stalks, quivering, with my shorts around my knees, and two young women sitting beside me. It’s my first real sexual experience.
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Bernard Fanning – Tell Me How It Ends

Second solo album from an Aussie rock singing fellow I love who also does the singing and things for Powderfinger which I also enjoy quite a bit, single and album and stuff just released all fresh and digital this very day. His first solo album was one of my Top 10 of the last 5 years, by god, but it’s Friday night and I’m gloriously inebriated and I haven’t listened to this new one yet, so: I point you that way, and hope you get some joy.

iCloud

Last night I dreamed that some time in the future, humans had figured out how to build distributed computing platforms complex enough to upload consciousness. As part of the bootstrap uplift into digital immortality, some members of our species began to migrate to self-assembling clouds of smart matter — tiny, networked, neuron-equivalent autonomous computing devices that in aggregrate provided enough googol-flop grunt to serve as personality substrate. iCloud, for reals.

The next logical step, of course, was for some of these cloud-personalities to migrate into the solar system, and by downshifting their time-sense to compensate for light-speed limitations when the distance between ‘neurons’ became thousands, then millions, of kilometers, then astronomical units, become brains that encompassed the entire solar system, but whose thoughts were occurring on much longer time-scales, as neuron-equivalents fired at intervals of hours and days rather than milliseconds.

Our solar system became a cloud of billions of overlapping brains, their tiny components wheeling around the sun like starlings, thinking slow thoughts.

And then, because why not, a migration to galactic scale. Slow down the subjective timescale even further, with computational neurons circling far-flung suns, brains spanning tens of thousands of lightyears, thoughts forming on geological timescales, our galaxy a circling glorious hive of trillions of overlapping slow intelligences who might experience the epochs until the heat death of the universe as comparable in length to a human lifespan, totally invisible to organic life.

Then I woke up, because I hurt my back washing the car yesterday, and that was a disappointment.

I woke up to pounding on my door

Increasing numbers of ‘terror suspects’ are being arrested on the basis of online and CCTV surveillance data. Authorities claim they act in the public interest, but does this intense surveillance keep us safer?

Update: I posted this yesterday. This morning I woke up still waist-deep in a dream. I’ve been dreaming more vividly in the last year or so than I think I ever have before in my life, and loving every second of it — actively looking forward to dreaming when I go to bed — in no small part because of the uncharacteristically (for me) frequent and rousing sexy dreamtimes.

But this dream this morning wasn’t just very sexy, at least in the third act. Though it early-on involved a lot of semirandom JamesBonding, with action sequences and exotic locales and ladies aplenty, the final segment of went like so: it had Been Revealed To Me By Those In The Know that Facebook and other social media sites that encourage you to frame and tag faces in photos with people’s names were feeding that data into government databases. You know, For Nefarious Purposes.

To the rescue! Sadly, swinging into action to right this wrong didn’t end up being all that exciting, though. Sitting in front of a computer is something I do too much of when I’m awake. In the dream, I heroically reopened my long-dormant Facebook account and started tagging faces with random, amusing-to-me names. The high point, just before I woke up, was tagging a picture of Stephen Harper with the name Whoopi Goldberg.

Small victories, I guess.

Bullshit and Counterbullshit

Step 1: Saccharine art-directed wall of text ad copy (which, honestly, is just a little too twee, even if its heart is in the right place) gets auto-elevated to pretentious ‘manifesto’ by virality hopefuls pitching their product at Facebook likers and overwrought teenagers.

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Step 2
: Random loveable cynic Livejournaller rewrites manifesto, hilariously.

YOU EXIST. BE AS SELF INDULGENT AS YOU CAN. DON’T THINK TOO MUCH. BAD SITUATIONS ARE EASY TO CHANGE AND IF THIS ISN’T TRUE FOR YOU, DON’T GET LOSER GERMS ON THIS SIGN. MY EVERY THOUGHT IS SO DEEP. IF YOU ARE YOUNG, ATTRACTIVE AND PRIVILEGED, LOVE IS EASY. NO FATTIES, NO OLDSTERS, NO HOBOS. NOTHING IS COMPLICATED WHEN YOU CAN BUY WHAT YOU WANT. DIFFERENT TYPE SIZES CAN MAKE APHORISMS PROFOUND. EAT RAINBOWS, SHIT STARS. ASK THE NEXT PERSON YOU SEE HOW DESPERATE THEY ARE, AND SHARE YOUR DESIRE TO HUNT THEM FOR SPORT. TRAVEL OFTEN; TOURISM IS AN ADEQUATE SUBSTITUTE FOR DEPTH. IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY, IT’S PROBABLY BECAUSE YOU MISSED YOUR CHANCE AT AWESOME. LIFE IS BEING BORN ON THIRD BASE AND ACTING LIKE HITTING A TRIPLE IS SIMPLE. HANG ON TO THOSE DREAMS, IT MAKES IT EASIER TO SELL YOU. LIFE IS SHORT AND BRUTAL IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LIVE A WINSOME CLICHE. WELCOME TO HELL.

Step 3: Clumsy Photochop remix.

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Step 4
: Profit.