Monthly Archives: January 2004

Time to eat Uganda

Thank you to the person who sent me Crowds and Power. It's really incredible, and totally up my alley… to those who've read it, it goes a long way to explaining how and why I do the things I do (which is probably why I'm enjoying it so much). Even if you couldn't care less what makes me tick (I don't see why most people would), this is an incredible education for anyone interested in entrepreneurialism, a political career, or leadership as it relates to group behaviour.

A quick mix of quotes (mostly translated from German) from the author Elias Canetti (who won the 1981 Nobel prize to a large extent because of this 1960 book):

Adults find pleasure in deceiving a child. They consider it necessary, but they also enjoy it. The children very quickly figure it out and then practice deception themselves.

Today everyone takes part in public executions through the newspapers.

Justice requires that everyone should have enough to eat. But it also requires that everyone should contribute to the production of food.

As if one could know the good a person is capable of, when one doesn't know the bad he might do.

The self-explorer, whether he wants to or not, becomes the explorer of everything else. He learns to see himself, but suddenly, provided he was honest, all the rest appears, and it is as rich as he was, and, as a final crowning, richer.

That last quote predates one of my priniciple ideas about heavy ritual — that by travelling inside you're actually breaking through to a connected space where all are one. When self-knowledge is fully realized, omnipresence is the immediate result. (In reference to the discussions in the whatever forum lately, I'll add that I believe this is a wholly explainable physical phenomena, not magic or the supernatural).

Anyway, tomorrow (it would have been tonight were it not for the shaky harddrive problem) I'm adding a new bot to BME. Basically, if you email it, it emails you back a message continaing a link to everything you've ever submitted to BME (well, since 2000 anyway, since that's as far back as I was easily able to build the database). People ask me for that on a regular basis, and I have internal tools for it, so I figured it would be easiest for everyone if I just made it public (don't worry, it's impossible for anyone who doesn't have access to your email to have your submissions mailed to them).

If anyone has any concerns about that bot, drop me an IM or post it and I'll read it over before putting the final touches on the code.

UV glow stuff

It's weird… UV glow tattoos have been taking off lately. Personally I don't really go anywhere with lighting that would show it off, so I woudn't get one (I'd like glow-in-the-dark though if I could convince myself it was safe). But still, they're really neat (put your mouse over the picture if you want to see).

Since everyone always asks me where to get the ink whenever I post this stuff, plenty of tattoo suppliers (most of the big ones certainly) carry it. So just ask your favorite artist. Some won't work with it because of the potential reactions though (which are far from precisely defined).

Entry update: Click here for some good info on one approach to making these inks safer. Thanks to Kraz_Eric for that link.

Want this?

Update: this is taken now.

In cleaning/moving I found an old video capture and TV tuner card for notebook computers (more). As far as I know it's Windows 95/98 only and I don't know if there are newer drivers so you will have to find some online or by contacting one of the companies that still sells them. I do not have any drivers for it — just the hardware. Anyway, if anyone wants it I'd be happy to mail it to you.

Please don't ask for it though if you're not actually going to use it. If I just wanted to get rid of it I'd sell it on eBay, but I'd rather give it to someone here who will use it.


As soon as these drives are finished formatting I'm finally going to start this capture process. Good to know I'm already behind schedule, right?

It continues…

"Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day."

- George Bush, Jan 20 2004
2004 State of the Union Speech

Just three days later David Kay, the man assigned by the United States to search for WMDs in Iraq stepped down, saying that there are no Iraqi WMDs now, nor were there in the last ten years ever any WMDs (more, more). At what point does this come back to haunt Bush? Do the American people not care that they got lied into a war, and are currently being lied into another? Someone please explain why he's so untouchable.

Other than that, the Iraqis are continuing to shoot down more US helicopters (more) and killing more US troops (more). The military's continued abuse of the troops has pushed them to the largest exodus from military service in US history, with 22% of troops promising to quit ASAP (more) — and with 80% of troops saying they're being “stretched too thin”, more potentially are on the way out as well. Oh, and the CIA says that Iraq is teetering on the edge of civil war (more).

What's the US military response to all this? Let's see what General Peter Shoomaker, the army chief of staff, has to say about all this death (more):

There is a huge silver lining in [the September 11th attacks]. Now we have this focusing opportunity, and we have the fact that terrorists have actually attacked our homeland, which gives it some oomph! [It helps us instil] a warrior ethos — there's got to be a certain appetite for what the hell we exist for.

Fuckin-A! WAR! Other than that, a couple of Halliburton execs just got nailed for accepting as much as $6 million is kickbacks for their good work in Iraq (more)… So I guess it's business as usual in color-coded fearworld.