Fasten, fit closely, bind together.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

i had a dream 

during an afternoon nap, talk in background TV of Gerald Ford's 5 days of official mourning, kidnapped twins, cigars banned in the Capitol.

the nap, the dream felt like, looked like this...

in the foreground my dream involved searching through 7th grade for a quote, a book, i may have read that year. possibly Uncle Tom's Cabin. possibly not this year and maybe it was high school I was looking for, or some other book about slavery. the slave owners gave the slaves 1 week, or 1 weekend, or maybe only 1 day at end of year to drink and celebrate. they gave the slaves grain alcohol, everclear, and lots of it. the goal was to have the slaves debauch themselves to such a degree that they swore such things off for the rest of the year and were more productive. so it was written.

i was looking for this in my dream, half awake, somewhere between 7th and 12th grade, for sure, and decided that Google will create a search feature by April 2007 that will allow you to search for text, photos, syllabi, people, lectures, quotes from classrooms - by year, grade, hour, minute. a Google Desktop Search for your Junior High.

and next on the docket - a CTRL + F search for objects, people - RFID technology. every_one_thing tagged with a keyword and searchable, find-able.

I have a dream.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Peeing in Your Shower 

First Lines...

Frank Costello:

I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.

Years ago we had the church. That was only a way of saying - we had each other. The Knights of Columbus were real head-breakers; true guineas. They took over their piece of the city. Twenty years after an Irishman couldn't get a fucking job, we had the presidency. May rest in peace. That's what the niggers don't realize. If I got one thing against the black chappies, it's this - no one gives it to you. You have to take it.

and quite aptly,

When you decide to be something, you can be it. That's what they don't tell you in the church. When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I'm saying to you is this: when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?


OR on the Bob Marley, Pharcyde, LA Riots, death by heroin - tip:

it's the freedom game
you can see it every day,
'cause your freedom ain't free

Paradigm shifts like Blogger has moved to WWW2.blogger.com. Whoa.

The matter at hand:

Carbon Emissions Trading

I had something to say about this a ways back but didn't and thought the moment had passed me by (what up freshman year NYU?).

But it is just a strange enough concept that every 3 months NPR talks about it on their morning radio programs like BBC World. Because we all have,

"Economic incentive to do so"

Those in best position to pay do so. This was the US's idea back in Kyoto. They wanted to green the environment with free-market driven decisions. The companies in the best financial position, i.e., the easiest industries to reduce carbon dioxide/monoxide emissions in would do so on their own and be given credits for being "extra clean", for surpassing the benchmarks set by UN or the Kyoto Oversight Committee or whoever is tasked with monitoring these things each year.

The industries that had significant pollution, emissions and no affordable way to clean their factories, i.e., coal companies, could buy emissions credits from the greener companies.

Adam Smith's wet dream, right? Economics, free trade driving decisions, governing policies, and as a vehicle for evironmental decisions.

I don't pretend to know economic theory, or the Wealth of Nations. But this is interesting because cleaning the environment, fighting against global warming, and creating trans-national policy to battle common 9th Grade Earth Science enemies like holes in the ozone, definitely has a bit of moral momentum behind it, something you don't typically find in free trade outside of the Ethiopian Kitamu Roast at Starbucks.

I could see the liberal raging against this type of machine. Multi-national conglomerates trading rights to melt glaciers and kill baby seals, scorch bamboo trees in Sri Lanka.

But I think it's fine. If governments agree on a sum total of acceptable carbons emitted then it doesn't matter if they are coming from one company or 1 million. If anything it seems to give economic incentive to some progressive companies to find ways to develop technologis that will allow them to surpass benchmarks and collect payment for credits.

But, enough of making sense and arguing a policy point in a straightforward (read boring) way. Carbon Emission Trading sounds like what Nick Cage in War Games and Milo Minderbinder in Catch 22 would get together and do while shooting rocket launchers at rhinoceroses in Cambodia.

Milo, unlike most characters in Catch-22, who are only the subject of one chapter, is the subject of three chapters ("Milo the Mayor," "Milo," and "Milo the Militant"). Like most characters in "Catch-22," he is mentioned much earlier in the book than his chapter. He is one of the main characters in the novel. His most interesting attributes are his complete, mercenary amorality and absurd logic in the operations of his enterprise.

Milo's enterprise becomes known as "M & M Enterprises", with the two M's standing for his initials and the "&" added to dispel any idea that the enterprise is a one-man operation. Milo travels across the world, mainly though the Mediterranean, trying to buy and sell goods at a profit through black market channels. Everyone in the camp has a "share", which Milo uses to defend his actions, stating what is good for the company is good for all.

Milo even begins contracting missions for the Germans, fighting on both sides at Orvieto, and bombing his own squadron at Pianosa. He finally gets court-martialed for treason. At one point, Milo orders his fleet of aircraft to attack the American base where he lives, killing many American officers and enlisted men. As M&M Enterprises proves to be incredibly profitable, he hires an expensive lawyer, who gets the court convinced that it was capitalism which made America great, and Milo is an example of an American entrepreneur. Ironically, his company's phrase, "What's good for M&M enterprises is good for the country" mirrors a phrase Mussolini often used; "What's good for Fiat is good for Italy", or the similar "What's good for General Motors is good for America". There are some historical parallels to Milo Minderbinder, most notably Ford, who like Minderbinder avoided getting their factories blown up due to business connections.

And it seems that before long you will witness carbon emission rights being traded on commodity exchanges in Chicago, on the open market in New York, London, Tokyo. And this is made up. Completely artificial distinctions. Humans getting in the way of themselves, their environment. Their ability to extract and burn more earth to support - well, more humans.

I've thought about this while bathing in dark waters, watching water boil, and while reclining and pondering the cosmos at Jones Beach.

My socialist explanation - in between Italian ices and Starbucks iced coffees - an easy, simple-minded utopian (my 13th grade zeitgeist, where I peaked in terms of idealist Beat generation energy - which winds its way into an imperative for capitalism).

There are enough resources to go around. Artificial borders and fear of scarcity developed into disparate languages, cultures, rivalries, wars - disproportionate distribution of wealth. Guns, Germs and Steel.

Erected, artificial obstacles and want. We end up with foreign languages, religions, cultures.

In the rush of youth and speed pills and never-ending scroll

this might seem to make sense.

But there would be no progress, inventions without capitalism. True enough computer chips are made of silicon, which is made of sand. But there has to be a common incentive, credit, currency to transmutate beach into internet

This rant was not satisfying. But the point was something along the lines of there is a science to money, so there is no surprise that Al Gore's science and morals end up intersecting with Wall St. Which is also why you get a Master of Science in Economics and a Master of Arts in English Literature.

And on NPR, RE: CARBON EMMISSIONS, they asked some guy from a Green Party, maybe in France or US or anywhere really, what he thought about proposed inclusion of European Airlines in the Carbon Limitation Game. Is the Green Party, by default, opposed to carbon emissions? Or is it not that kind of Green? At one point was it that kind Green?

Something like Southern Democrats who used to vote Republican before the Reconstruction or after and not sure.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

We're All Canaries in the Coal Mine 


Monday, December 18, 2006

My focus group, my blog 

Nas from Hip Hop is Dead:

I'm lookin' over my shoulder
It's about eighty n$@gaz from my hood that showed up
And they came to show love
Sold out concert and the doors are closed shut.

And I like that, and that's the way it it is!!@!@#!@!!!!%$@!$$!$!#@$!#!!!!

This verse from Nas is, in short, my definition of not selling out, and understanding. This is the high end, the max of a min/max for # of humans who can really share, knowingly, in clever turns of phrase, references to specific neighborhoods, landmarks, roots of hip hop or urban lore, bodies of knowledge in general, before the reference becomes diluted.

And for this type of precision calibration to reach a larger, broader group it needs footnotes, artistic champions, English literature classes taught for 50 years, or else, it becomes watered down in meaning via pop music or broadcast TV and reaches us instantly, e.g., U2, or e.g.(er) Coldplay or Snow Patrol. And you end up comfortably numb.

I could write 100,000 words about this but I would rather YOU did.

So for it to be REAL hip hop, or otherwise, it has to be a limited engagement. Nas doesn't elaborate, but I must, which already gives him a rhetorical advantage over me. He could sell more seats for this fictional concert, in closing (of his verse), but he is only housing 80 people with common backgrounds, not in terms of race (I'd like to think) but in terms experience and shared knowledge - real hip hop heads, fans who are old enough to know that hip hop has died because the music that captured my imagination when I was 12 years old and memorizing all the lyrics, the verbal gymnastic session outlined on LP tape cassettes, in Wu Tang's 36 Chambers or Nas' Illmatic is not the same music on Hot 97 today.

So once Nas' 80 true believers are loaded on his ark he is setting sail. Ironically though, this type of earnest reflection will attract a wider audience, and this record will sell.


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