Friday, May 11, 2007

Mind Bullets

I don't think I've ever had such an intense meditation session. This is what I get for incorporating sigils into my focus. I'm dizzy, sweating, and strangely empowered but relaxed. Like a lion lounging. I've never been able to stop seeing with my eyes but this time I was able to. The effort it took for me to see with my mind instead of my eyes was surprising. I think I can kill with my mind now.

Monday, May 07, 2007

First Position

Rethinking The War, Ctd - Andrew Sullivan

The reader here makes a good point relating to Sullivan's original premise of the war on terror. What I'm more concerned with is not an attack using any sort of mass destruction weapon but one that relies on relatively low-tech elements. There is enough potential among the chemical and industrial infrastructure in America to create a devastating attack. All it takes is the clever use of simple tools. It's what I call 'Oak Cliff engineering' in that you take simple parts and assemble them into a working whole through inventive use. This is what modern terrorism is amazingly good at. While we do need to maintain our efforts to keep WMDs out of the hands of terrorist groups, I think we would be remiss if we ignored the surprisingly simple ways in which an attack could occur. What this requires is getting into the minds of the terrorist, not necessarily outthinking them but looking at things the way they would. Beyond that all we can do is maintain a degree of vigilance.

No CD for You!

Used CDs? - Ars Technica

This is absolutely ridiculous. I frequently sell back old cds that I won't listen to anymore and are taking up space in my collection. It isn't that I necessarily want the cash, although that is a perk of the deal, but I want to put that music back into circulation for someone else to buy it. The used cd store is also a place to find cds that have long gone out of print and won't see another pressing for the foreseeable future. But what these states here have done is anathema to such pleasantries. Just makes me sick.

Slow Motion Sexual Relief

Please Stop Doing That to the Cat - Second Life Sketches, Warren Ellis

I had forgotten that Ellis was writing a column for Reuters but now I have found it and blissful happiness abounds. I do like the points he makes about how the sex in Second Life will eventually get the whole things in trouble (if you don't believe me then talk to the Belgian police). Ellis is no prude but he is looking out for the online community by noting the dangers of acting without any regard for propriety whatsoever.

Barak the Magic Negro

Classy Obama - Eve Fairbanks

While complete wrong in many many ways, I must admit that I'm happy something like this can go on in America. Still, how long before Sharpton finally gets someone like Limbaugh off the air for good? That would be a blessing.

Clitorial Lovin'

Sex Toy = Military Threat - The Danger Room

Wow, I'm amazed on many levels by this.

It's In the Array

DARPA Studies Launching Satellites in Pieces -

What I find interesting in a proposal like this is the potential for space terrorism. Say you have a satellite array in orbit and all someone needs is a booster that will deliver a small package into space. The package doesn't have to weigh that much since whatever you are launching is not intended to do a great deal of work. The launch occurs but what can anyone do about it at that point? The package logs itself into the satellite array and starts broadcasting video or attempts to hack into government systems (scary thought, hack into nuclear agencies). You, as the operator of the array, are left with few choices such as shutting down the array, reprogramming the whole damn thing or taking potshots with missiles or lasers at the array in hope of hitting the viral component. No matter what you do, it will take some time and any video broadcast will have aired. All a space terrorist would need is a few minutes to broadcast or gain access into whatever network it wanted. I see future movies about this.

Condoms for Everyone!

Marital Sex Biggest HIV Risk for Women Around the World - Science Blog

This actually strikes me as not all that surprising. The biggest problem with HIV in Africa isn't that women are sleeping with multiple partners but that husbands are. The issue is marital infidelity and how men in much more macho cultures are given tacit permission to seek sex outside of marriage. So in one report you have the conjoining of both women's rights and health issues. On top of that you have the renewal of the call for men to use condoms. It's an interesting issue where you can either have a culture that accepts infidelity but promotes the use of condoms or you promote women's rights and ditch the condoms. Personally, I prefer both as men need to learn some sexual responsibility while women should have greater rights to go out and divorce the cheating bastard if they see fit.

A Little Phobia for You

Chicken-eating Spider - Boing Boing

Okay, this just freak my shit right the fuck out. Do not like spiders.

The Alcoholic's War

Re-Thinking the War I - Andrew Sullivan

This is a good piece of re-evaluation, or at least the start of it. But in reading it I was reminded of something I concluded not long after all the pundit-speak about giving the surge a chance. I could only think of it as an alcoholic's promise. That one last chance the alcoholic begs for, even though we know the promise, while well intentioned, is false. To the alcoholic, there will always be that one more chance. Not to say that the alcoholic should simply give up, or that we should simply give up, but the chances of success are mighty slim and putting too much stock in such a promise is almost foolhardy. Until the alcoholic changes the way he looks at things, until we change the way we look at the war, we will not succeed. The problems we created will not be solved with the same mindset that created the problems in the first place. We are not superheroes, we cannot simply 'will' our way to victory. While having a strong will is important, will alone will not conjure up victory. It only gives us the strength to do the hard work necessary.

On the Bleeding Edge

New Ideas - Matt Yglesias

I don't necessarily support John Edwards as a president but, as Yglesias points out, he does have a decent grasp of what we need to do to tackle poverty. But the bigger issue for me here is not Edward's ideas on poverty but the point that Yglesias makes on the different between new ideas and good ideas. While the newest, freshest ideas make for great campaign promises, they rarely prove workable. What Edwards has done here is take some ideas that have shown promise in the past, or have actually worked in the past, and built an anti-poverty platform around them. This is good planning and thought on the part of the Edwards campaign. There's nothing wrong with picking up on old ideas so long as the ideas work. Just the same, there isn't anything wrong with new ideas either, so long as they work as well. Good governance doesn't have to rely on being first among ideas but being the best among ideas.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The New French Revolution

Sarkozy Takes French Presidency - BBC

This is just sad, really. Royal was my political girlfriend. I was going to have her babies. Lots and lots of little socialist babies.


Newsweek Poll, 5 May, 2007 - MSNBC

It's only one poll and Pollster's rating average has President Bush at 34% and rising, but this still is an amazing number to consider. What happens when a president loses all support from the general public beyond the hardline base? As Josh Marshall likes to point out constantly, the public is not behind the president despite the attempts by the media to play it the other way.

You're a Woman, I'm a Machine

Virtual Rape is Traumatic, but is it a Crime? - Wired

I'm coming from a male perspective so the issue of rape is more of an abstract thing that a potential reality for me (although I do know that rape can happen to men too). So for me the issue is more about civil liberties and personal dignity than anything else. What the idea of online rape represents for me is another example of the anonymity of the internet allowing people to act in ways they never would have in public. Yet, the psychological effects are very real and with the deep psychological scars that rape causes it is too much of a stretch to say that online rape is just as traumatic as physical rape? If so, then shouldn't the laws extend to criminalize online rape in the same way as physical rape?