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An illustrated book of bad arguments and logical fallacies [Mar. 21st, 2014|11:47 am]
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(no subject) [Feb. 16th, 2014|07:31 pm]

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kinda trite but [Jan. 4th, 2014|09:44 am]
[9:42:31 AM] chroma key: We are the denizens of virtual worlds
[9:42:39 AM] chroma key: inhabitants of imperfect physical ones
[9:42:52 AM] chroma key: we make this ours in ways others can't
[9:43:10 AM] chroma key: it's kind of got its own beauty, in a way
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electronic books in 2013 [Dec. 1st, 2013|12:54 pm]
[Tags|, , , , , ]
[mood |irateirate]

I recently purchased a Kobo Aura HD ereader. It has a sweet 1440x1080 e-ink display and more storage expansion potential than the new Amazon Kindles. More importantly, it isn't locked into a single vendor's book format. What's becoming apparent is that the booksellers have carved the market up in the US pretty aggressively, and have been allow to run roughshod with proprietary formats for their e-readers. I will not opt in or invest in their free-market hostile formats and DRM-restrictions impeding format-shifting. It's 100% bullshit and a travesty that our Federal regulators haven't made booksellers' heads roll in antitrust court over this.

But hopefully the booksellers will come to understand it is costing them profits in more fundamental ways, because Ican still often borrow e-books from the library or just shrug, say "well hell... I tried to buy it," and 30 seconds later download a DRM-free copy of whatever title from the Usenet. Thing is, at least when it comes to new titles, I want to support my favorite authors, and so it's pretty irritating that I can't buy an EPUB of Stephen Baxter's Proxima, released over two months ago, here in the US despite spending now perhaps an hour searching. (Once again, Usenet is happy to provide a DRM-free unauthorized copy of the EPUB in seconds).

I can buy the paperback for about six British pounds and have it shipped, but I can't buy the e-book. Ditto over at I guess somebody decided the English language wasn't restrictive enough a "region?" Based on the physical paperback price, the e-book ought to be around three British pounds, IMO.

How could they be getting this so wrong? Didn't they learn anything from Apple's iTunes DRM experiment? We dont wan't audio locked to a music seller nor with DRM, we don't want video locked to a vidoe store nor with DRM, and I certainly don't want books locked to a book store nor with DRM. I'd rather pirate and slip the author a few bucks on paypal, if it comes down to it.
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No longer unthinkable: The the US ready for 'limited' nuclear war? [Oct. 15th, 2013|11:46 am]

Even with the development of antiballistic missile defense technology, it's not realistic to think such technology can shield against a salvo of missiles.
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Inverted totalitarianism and the United States Empire [Oct. 10th, 2013|08:57 pm]
Political philosophical term of our epoch?

It's nice someone (Sheldon Wolin) has coalesced so rigorously many of the threads of thought I've held, particularly since the 2000 US presidential election. It seems to hit the nail on the head in terms of US political corruption since Buckley v Valeo, in terms of downplaying direct political participation by voters (in myriad ways), in terms of the message management by concentrated corporate 'news' media. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I haven't read his essays, only some synopsis and discussion. If to be considered valid, it's a new kind of governance, one made possible only my mass media, somewhat sociopathic (IMO) capitalism, and relatively unfettered influence of outside money in the halls of power. It also can only work with a disenfranchised, disconnected, and/or distracted electorate. (Where else can you find people who have been so completely convinced to attack their own very best interest in the name of defending the self-same thing?)

Historically, this decline would have started with WW II, incubated during the cold war in the dark of secrecy and expediency, and ratified in the 2000s under the Bush/Cheney administration with engineered political division and preemptive hard and soft power policy, but there were a lot of important small steps along the way; revisionist legal precedents with dangerous implications, the dismantling of state apparati that protect people (and the assembly of others), parallel corporate power and deregulation. All carefully stage managed so as not to roust real outrage or action from the masses.

It's an interesting prism through which to view our times. Can there be a more apt one? Is there some foreseeable way in which the citizens of the USA can be woken from their slumber to exorcise these demons from the body of state?
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first snow [Oct. 4th, 2013|09:28 pm]
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hungry? [Sep. 14th, 2013|11:45 am]
Whatever you may think about Chipotle (I couldn't care less if they exist), the studio (Moonbot) they hired for their latest PR campaign made a spot-on animated promo that I find pretty awesome (watch the first 3 minutes, ignore the last 20 seconds). The adaptation of "Pure Imagination" from the soundtrack of the Gene Wilder edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is just haunting and perfectly evocative for the message.

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muddy water and new stompin' boots [Sep. 14th, 2013|11:12 am]
It's been a pretty strange week of weather in Colorado. It's feast or famine with the water, going from wildfire risks earlier in the year to being inundated with inches and inches of rainfall. The sort of flash flooding that can result isn't much different than what could happen back in the Pennsylvania Appalachians where I once lived, but like the geography, things happen in Colorado on a grander scale.

I live basically atop a ridge, so the water has for the most part (except a little seeping through my basement wall) shed off the mountain into drainages that ultimately lead to Bear Creek. 5-6 miles away and 1000 ft elevation below me, the Bear Creek exceeded its banks and caused some minor flooding, but most of what you've probably seen in the national news hit the frontrange counties north of where I live, impacting Boulder, Longmont, Lyons, and most intensely the myriad small villages in the foothills west of those points.

But even where I am, the rain has been so intense this past week that it has made my 260-ft deep well's water turbid:

Looks tasty, no? Yeah, I think I'll be drinking bottled water until that settles back down, not sure I want to do a load of whites in the laundry just now....

In other news, I bought a new pair of Dr Martens Aztek shoe/boots. They've been making that style forever, and it's just about as perfect a set of footware one could hope for, balancing comfort, looks, utility, and durability. And I'm not just saying that, I think this is either the forth or fifth pair I've owned. Every time I buy a new pair, the old pair becomes my designate work/mud/sacrificial shoes. I currently own three generations of these:

The circle of life continues...
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Man With A Movie Camera (1929) Soundtrack by Cinematic Orchestra (2000) [Sep. 8th, 2013|12:56 am]
Soundtrack begins at 3m45s and was arranged specifically for this film by its composers. Well worth the hour. Disclaimer: This is art, but there are some scenes of nudity interspersed.

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