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.
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.
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.)
[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.
"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