Sunday, December 14, 2008


It can be so hard to work with this damn pyramid thingy.  Lower levels....can be so time consuming.  And more dangerously, can pose as higher ones.

And in the context of relationships - romantic, platonic, familial - it takes either an agreement (unspoken, probably) to accept a position and stay there, or a constant negotiation of interests and needs to build upwards.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Art, Object, Sale, Meaning

A conversation I had earlier with a friend resulted in this little napkin sketch... reproduced here.  Hmm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

re Auto Industry

When did union-bashing become so popular??  Even CNN is in on it.  (would include image but blogger is not working).  What ever happened to showing some love to "the people that brought you the weekend"??

First of all, this $73 per hour figure is misleading.  More importantly, it's pure nonsense to suggest that labor is the cause of Ford, GM, and Chrysler's problems.  It's because they made cars people don't want.  Case in point - compare unsold inventory levels.  Sales across the board are down, of course, but it is telling that Toyota has unsold inventory of 80 to 90 days compared with the Detroit average (Ford, GM, Chrysler) of 115 days.

Also - shout OUT to the workers at Republic Windows and Doors!

Monday, December 8, 2008


I grew up shooting trap* with my grandfather. I own a Beretta 682 combo.

Guns kill people.


## Well, cars kill people.

@@ But cars have other uses.

## So do guns. My gun is expressly for trapshooting (or hunting) - it's designed for birdshot. You could use it to kill someone but it's not a very good choice for that. This is why Dick Cheney's friend is still alive. Now, handguns. Handguns really have only one purpose.

So it's ok because my gun is less useful as a weapon against a person? I've made it a matter of degree. Compare to A, who would prefer all guns illegal.

She completely has a point. Simple googling brings up some useful numbers:
  • In 2005, there were 30,694 gun deaths in the US
  • 55% were suicide (17,0002)
  • 40% were homicide (12,352)
  • 5% accidents (789)
What about those homicides? What about protection - protecting oneself, family, or property in the case of home invasion?

And.....No. The numbers are a little older from the Brady Campaign, but they point out that in 1999, there were 8,259 firearm homicides in the US. Of those, only 154 were "justifiable homicides committed by private citizens with a firearm" (per the FBI). That's 1.8%. (And sadly, note the 50% increase from 1999-2005)

On the other hand, the Campaign states that a gun kept in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill someone you know than an invading criminal. "More kids, teenagers and adult family members are dying from firearms in their own home than criminal intruders." Christ.

At thanksgiving, this topic came up. There have been a rash of home invasions back home. My grandfather made it clear he keeps his arms ready just in case..... not sure how to feel about that. He also told us how he used to have a pistol for self-defense in the house - when the grandchildren came, he got rid of it (and locked up the other guns).

I don't want guns to be outlawed. I'll never keep a gun in my house for safety reasons, but I wouldn't stop someone else from doing it. Sensible restrictions, for sure. Like - automatic weapons. No. Simply, no, that's retarded and no one has a need or use for a freaking machine gun. And if handguns were illegal - wouldn't mind that either.

And of course, if I have children.... I'd want to know if their friends' parents kept guns.

*Yes this photo is our gun club (apparently from the time of the pharaoh), down on the banks of the tippecanoe

On connecting to Action

Oh my aching body! So maybe it wasn't food poisoning. Mayhaps I am simply sick. Again.

I was thinking about connecting good ideas and visions to concrete action. Implementation.

How do you write? You get an idea, you put in on paper, and...
... to me, it's become a series of Whats and Hows. Like html v. content. Like, What's the idea? Ok, now How do I explain that, write it, argue it? The Hows are necessarily simple, and they in turn become the What for the next level down.

One I really liked, came up earlier. Working with A on this paper, not even that long, just a beast anyways - on humanitarianism, old and new, in the context of Kosovo. Supposed to be 10 pages (10 or more? well, that's what I thought)... we currently stand at 17. Shoot. A: "We need to trim this down to 10." Me: What's wrong with a few extra pages? We've got a lot to say. Not quite what I said. But, I didn't take it particularly well. Thinking... because I saw us hacking off like 40% of a paper. What, how. What - we have to trim this down. How - go paragraph by paragraph, improving, consisifyin', and rationalizing. Once I made that connection, it worked.

On Reading. I feel like my personal reading has not had the rigor, nor provided the intellectual stimulation, that I am looking for. Comparing this to some of the classes I've had (the good ones!), I realized I was missing the purpose of the reads. Like, if I'm simply curious about Aristotle, diving directly into Poetics may or may not lead me anywhere. Wikipedia might be a good starting place, though. Because, without the purpose of the read - its context, its import - I risk reading it in a vaccuum and that is certainly not how it was written.

This last leads me to my search for a geneaology of ideas. I discovered the Archeology of Knowledge, plan to look that up. Perhaps it will help... Also found the History of Knowledge. I feel like with the aid of such a tool, I will be able to 'design' mini-courses of reading for myself and actually build something up.

reading to learn, improve