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Big Ideas for 2013

Okay so I never write here anymore, but here they are my 1st annual Big Ideas for 2013:

Social Media Sing-alongs

You read it here first!

flattering or creepy

Is it flattering or just plain creepy?

On this bodybuilding forum:


This individual:

Posted this picture:
Gilos in the North

and claimed to be me.

Let me repeat: someone on a bobybuilding forum actually claimed to me who was not.  I could understand maybe using me in the "before" picture but this is just plain odd.

When I should be writing

Some things I do when I should be writing:
  • Take care of sick kids
  • Teach online (to try and make ends meet)
  • Work email during off hours
  • Clean the house

It just doesn't seem like this should eat up all my free time but damm if it doesn't.

that is all

5 words I plan to use in 2011

My top two:

  • Apocalypse-Fatigue – a loss of interest in the end of the world brought on by years of obsessive media and social concern for the end of times, environmental collapse, successive pandemic scares, terrorist exploding underwear and printer cartridges, and zombie movies.
  • Naff – 1: unstylish, clichéd, or outmoded. 2: to fool around or go about.  As in: My clothing has always had a sadly naff-ish quality but not in a charming steampunky sort of way.


Words from Foreign languages which we should make our own.

Because there are just so darn many of them:

  • Backpfeifengesicht – (from the fun-loving Germans) A face in need of slapping.

More of this would be good in 2011:

  • Mbuki-mvuki  (Bantu)– To rapidly remove one’s clothes in order to dance.


Plus a bonus word, which, as you all know, is a requirement to be my facebook (or LJ) friend:

  • Callipygian – having shapely buttocks.
Things that I predict will matter a whole lot in 2011:

Heritage seeds

Dystopian fantasies

Ambient Continuous Imaging

Sparing the last Potato

You read it here first!

Gesture Motion (finger swipe or finger slide or finger motion) – Whatever it is that you call the motion you do to use your iphone, droid or ipad. It has become the most ubiquitous finger related cultural item since “giving people the finger” was popularized by Aristophanes and Boston cab drivers. Even a year ago only a tiny portion of the population would have recognized it, now it’s a universally recognized gesture.

Human Intelligence Tasks – You know those back office tasks that you think are done by computer, the things that make google translate work or allow spammers to spam sites or let Amazon to track your preferences, turns out they aren’t done by computers. They are HITs , and are the result of activities farmed out to individuals solving problems one by one in developing countries around the world. For example, an English speaker in India rates hundreds and hundreds of translations on degree of accuracy for translation programs which become iteratively better with each correction. For this they are paid fractions of a penny per task. In case you thought the Matrix was fiction.

Slacktivism plus Slackivation – Slacktivism, or easily completed online activism that has virtually no political or social impact, has been around for awhile. This year though something interesting started happening, first slacktivism went wide with that whole bra color thing back in January but more importantly people are learning to “Slacktivate” the masses to actually do some things from time to time. These things confuse and frighten the media, can create large-scale disruption, but despite making a huge splash are of questionable impact (Examples: the Stewart/Colbert rally, The Wikileaks revenge attacks, even the Tea Partiers). This is just the beginning of a broader trend because someone, somewhere is trying to figure out how to make this electronically linked mob work for them.

East Coast Muppets Behaving Badly – Who saw this coming, I mean we all knew that the Muppet show crowd could get wild, but 2010 was the year east coast Muppets put the Street back in Sesame Street. Cookie monster basically went into politics, Grover’s Sex appeal, Elmo had a breakdown on camera, and poor Katy Perry apparently once you go plush you never go back (but come on Katy, Moe , Really?) and this is just dirty. Next year it’s the teletubbies go to Ibiza with Robbie Williams.


The Last Porn Revolution

I have been thinking about technology a lot lately, that and the Reformation, and sex, of course(but that surprises no one). I have basically settled on the theory that the Reformation starting in 1519 with Luther’s 95 theses was really not that unusual an event except that it came at a moment of an explosion of information technology. This is hardly a new thought; plenty of people have thought that its Luther plus movable type printing that really made the reformation work. I think you can actually go quite a bit further and say that really Luther wasn’t all that important, the same information technology a hundred years earlier and it would have been the Hussite Reformation. A hundred years before that it would have been some nuttiness that developed out of aftermath of the Black Death. The point being that there was always some heretic with a good argument, until Luther they just lack the information technology megaphone to spread it internationally.

Which brings me to sex, which appears to be what information technology was created to make more available. I think this point needs little defense in our own time, VCR’s take off when porn becomes available and most current estimates put between 40%-80% of all traffic on the internet as being pornographic (see Net.seXXX: readings on sex, pornography, and the Internet By Dennis D. Waskul). It is not for nothing that the cliché “The internet is for porn” was born. Of course it’s not just about the seamy side of things, dating and matchmaking websites are huge business and its certainly the case that they will be a larger and larger part of overt matchmaking. Finally, the not so explicit purpose of facebook and other social networking sites seems to be to enable people to cheat on spouses and partners. Apparently, this is the growth area for adultery. But I guess a reader would reasonably ask how does Reformation figure into this ramble?

Well, it turns out that the same thing happened when the Reformation took off. People started wildly printing their new thoughts on religion leading to mass renunciations of vows of chastity and immediate and widespread marriage of priests and nuns. It hadn’t been uncommon for the top ranks of the ecclesiastic structure to be keeping a wife on the side, but suddenly everyone in the rank and file decided that they could do it too. Whole communities were founded on principles of free and communal loving (don’t get me started on those crazy Hutterites). The whole Order of Teutonic Knights, effectively a major kingdom ruled by “celibate” warrior monks, decided they would like to maybe settle down and get a wife. The city of Munster in Germany was sacked and its inhabitants massacred to demonstrate Christian charity and disapproval of this sort of behavior. I had been going on at length about this subject for some weeks (my poor wife) when I got this in my email from the Writer’s Almanac (September 29, 2010)

"It was on this day in 1650 — that's 360 years ago — that the first documented dating service began. It was announced in a pamphlet by a man named Henry Robinson who advertised what he called his "Office of Addresses" over on Threadneedle Street in London. The pamphlet was essentially a directory of contact information — a sort of precursor to a Yellow Pages or People Pages, back before there were phones, or before houses or businesses were regularly given numbered street addresses. With this valuable resource he compiled, Robinson could answer clients' questions on things like what jobs or real estate or trade opportunities might be available.

One of the services he provided was "marriage brokerage." Using his directory of addresses to determine who was single and marriageable and where he or she lived and worked, he would set people up to go on dates. His service cost sixpence — but if you were poor, then it was free."

Okay it took a while but again, information technology is about more effectively getting people to knock boots. One might argue that that isn’t what marriage was about back in the day, but I think it would be hard to dispute that in a period of only a couple of decades lots and lots more people were having sex with one another across big swathes of Europe. Movable type is for Porn.

There is deeper meaning here about the nature of information technology and human beings, but I haven’t fully worked it out yet.

Evilest facial hair?

Any thoughts on what facial hair style most clearly denotes evil?

I am thinking its a tie between the Van Dyke and the Burt Reynold's Smokey And the Bandit Mustache. Your opinions are welcome.
What kind of craft would you design to travel through time and space? How would it work? What would it look like?
I would design a bipedal hominid descended from great ape stock. It would have two legs, a couple of arms, a one head, plus some other parts which we won't discuss on a family friendly LJ (but which are fabulous). It would be male (although I think it would work equally effectively as a female). It would move omnidirectionally through space but only uni-directionally through time (I am working on that bug). Excellent for exploring and gathering knowledge of time-space or just laying on the couch.

Plus it would have a car.

Too hot for facebook

I decided that making my status

"is thinking it might be time to throw out the Darth Maul boxer-briefs"

might not be conducive to future career advancement.