What the Dormouse Said

What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer-John Markoff.

Available at the library.

Read this book not long ago, not sure how I ever stumble upon interesting books.  What it is about is computers, personal computers and the foundations of the very internet that we use.  The founders of what is computing today were and are an interesting group of people.  The book goes back into the 50's where the foundations for what we use today were dreamt and nursed along.  It would seem that LSD, social protest,  communal living, and a variety of very radical thinking brought us the devices and communications we have today.  I always thought these old timers were pocket protector, slide rule wielding nerds, fooled me.

Anyway, a good read by a respected author in the field.  It will change the way you view how we got to where we are.

I guess what I got from the book in particular is that life is really just an experiment.  Some experiments fail, some produce fruit.  We keep experimenting because that is what drives us.  The minds we have are the results of the experiments we engage in.  The tools we have today are profound. 

I'd hasten to say that the computer is not the most important thing in life.  Getting out, being with the people.  Sharing and listening are vastly more profound tools.  The ability to touch one heart is far more important than bandwidth, gigahertz, or drive capacity.

I am often struck by the numbers of people at B&B with their headphones on and their faces glued to the screens of their lappys.  I am stuck by the general silence that I mostly find there.  Free wifi is great, but just log on to your email and get on with the rest of humanity.  Cyber anything is a poor substitute for just being there.  Another fine book and movie.  Being There.

Nazis seek opposition/speakers for their website

From a post I made earlier this week...

...There seems to really be only one local Nazi, if that. The rest of the little handful that showed up to their rally are outsiders. Apparently the NSM has identified Olympia as being an area lacking in Nazi activity, so they are coming here to organize posing as regular local citizens.
On their website, however, you will see a growing list of "NSM haters", and "Pro-Communist Hate Groups" which includes many authentic local names of people who live here, and have lived here for years. It also has groups that have actual members and live meetings. If you send them an e-mail, they will be more than happy to add you or your group to this list. You may or may not get a lot of hate e-mail and Nazi traffic to your website. Of course, you might also get harrassed in real life. I haven't really found out yet.
They also have a section of their site dedicated to organizing the upcoming July rally in Olympia. "We are creating a speakers list. We need all patriots who would like to speak email: Mindfelon@yahoo.com"
They said it, not me. If you feel you fit into this category, please e-mail them and let them know you would like to speak at the rally!

See complete entry at whatthistownneeds.

Local blogger analyzes disaster exercise

From Heartless Libertarian:

While all of the disaster talk over the last week or so has concentrated on the coming of hurricane season, earlier this week I was a (very minor) participant in PACIFIC PERIL, a disaster exercise centered on a potential earthquake and tsunami in the Pacific Northwest-northern California, Oregon, Washington, and parts of British Columbia, mainly Vancouver Island.

I must say that in a lot of ways the whole thing was a bit disappointing-the primary focus was on the tsunami and what it would do to the coast, not so much the effects of the quake on the major urban areas further inland. The other disappointing part was how little of the exercise I was able to actually see. I was part of the Defense Coordinating Element (DCE), responsible for coordinating responses to state requests for assistance from the DoD. Which means we had very little visibility on the big picture, especially infrastructure damage.

That being said, I did learn some interesting stuff. The effects of a major Cascadia Subduction Zone quake-the exercise was modeled on a 9.0 (smaller than the 9.4 quake in Chile in 1960, the 9.2 1964 Alaska quake, and the 9.3 Sumatra quake in 2004)-could be devastating, and depending on the timing of such a quake/tsunami combo, the death toll could outstrip Katrina by far. Looking at the tsunami evacuation area maps, some coastal communities, such as Ocean Shores, WA, and Seaside, OR, would pretty much be wiped off the map, and in many others only a few structures might be left standing. Warning time between the earthquake and the first tsunami wave would vary from as little as 10 minutes on some parts of the Oregon coast to a max of 30-35 minutes. The worst case scenario would be for the quake and tsunami to hit in the winter, in bad weather (temp low-mid 30s, wind and rain, quite common in the area), not too long after nightfall. Thousands of people forced from their homes to escape the tsunami, now cold, wet, and with little or no shelter from the elements. Large numbers would die from hypothermia. And that doesn't count those killed by the tsunami itself.

Drew for Port Commissioner free gift offer

To get your free gift: Please send me your snail mail address and I will send you a custom-made, hand-drawn "Drew for Port Commissioner" button. Great for wearing around town, to actions, and to Drew's trial!

The New Manium

The Manium is going under a very expensive remodel. It will have a 500 person capacity. If I understand correctly, its going to be an all-ages venue with a bar. (Cool.)

My predictions:
  • Is its going to be the next Bar Code/Thekla/Transit Center/Mario's. The Olympian and the city and everyone is going to be majorly up in arms about allowing teenagers into a place that has drinking. They will try to shut it down.
  • It will still be black.
The other news about it is that the management will do all the booking. This is the part that kind of sucks in my opinion.
I actually like the idea of having a bigger venue in Olympia. I think a lot of bigger bands would be happy to play here, but don't because there aren't many places to play. And I don't think it would compete with the local, smaller bands. In fact, it could create opportunities for them to play for more people. Not all change is bad. But I don't like that they do all the booking! I don't like it when people try to be professional concert promoters in Olympia. I think its dumb, and it takes away from the great collaborative, artsy, DIY spirit that Olympia has. If you want to be slick and make money booking shows, move to Los Angeles or something.
Does anyone remember Sunnyside Productions? Ten bucks per show. Exclusively mediocre bands from Seattle. The only people who showed up were middle class high school kids. Lame.
So, anyway. I think the new Manium is a mixed bag, but I am looking forward to watching the saga unfold.

9 out of 10 dentists agree!

Well, maybe 7 of 10. And not dentists -- Olybloggers! Agree about what? That the Procession of the Species should receive direct financial support from the City of Olympia. (I'm interpreting the "don't care" crowd as willing to go along with the idea of the City supporting the PoTS.) It sounds like a plurality to me!

Go check out the new poll!
(Inspired by Crenshaw Sepulveda.)

The Olympian web comments

Rick spoke of this in Why does the Olympian allow it?

I know we were given an answer but I believe more needs to be done. On the story Neighbors band against drug dealers there is a comment that was written at 9:42 am this morning that advocates lynching dealers.

I just now saw this, hours and hours later, and yes, I reported it. But I gotta say, I am appalled.

Why not tables?

[Bumped to the top by Rick -- overlooked during Port action]

I am thinking it would be great to have some permenent tables in Sylvester Park.  In many parks in New York you will find the ubiquitous chess tables.  They bring various gamers to the park and are quite popular.  Depending on the neighborhood they are populated with chess players, checker players, or in Latino neighborhoods, domino players.  I'm sure Olympia would give its own particular spin to this.  Lappy users come to mind, not to mention coffee drinkers.

I guess what I'm saying is that the park needs a variety of seating opportunities and uses.  To be sure, it is great to have the grass and benches, but the tables would increase the park's attractiveness and utility.  The greater the seating opportunites the greater the use of the space.  Sylvester park is far from being the kind of public space it should be.

I am certain there are other features that could be installed in Sylvester Park that would increase its utility.  I personally would like to see some food vendor carts and opportunities for street musicians.  There should be dancing in the streets, if not in the park.

A Short History of FBI repression 1917-2001

Things the FBI would rather you did not know.

"We take people’s freedoms away. We put your son, we put your daughter in jail. We take away your freedom. We take away your house. We take away your assets. We compile files of your information-FBI dossiers- on you. If that doesn’t give you pause for thought, nothing in this life will."
Paul Mark Moskal, Special Agent, Buffalo, NY

Another Protest

Not to far away from the Port protest, Olympia has another type of protest going on.  On Thursday, about 200 dancers from the United States, Canada and countries descended upon Olympia in their continuing work to experience liberation from within.  These dancers came to work with Gabrielle Roth, the creator of the 5Rhythms movement meditation practice, and her son Jonathan Horan. 

These dancers will continue their hard work through tomorrow, exploring through movement how we make a difference in a world so full of chaos, and our personal responsbility within the chaos.  If you've been in the downtown core, surely you've seen many of these dancers enjoying food at our great restaurants.  Though they represent everything opposite of the caimen, like the caimen, they have a distinct personality.  You might notice lots of flowing, bright garments and the spirit of strength, confidence, and power exuded through their presence.  They are floating, and gliding, and full of big smiles. 
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