June 22nd, 2005

Another Day in the Ketchup Mine

Tuesday June 21, 2005. If you read political blogs, you've probably noticed US left-of-center ones with slogans like "Proud member of the reality-based community." Here is where that comes from:

"The [Presidential] aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"

Ron Suskind, "Without a Doubt," New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004.

Delusion rules on both sides, here.

It's not just members of the Bush Administration who believe that "when we act, we create our own reality." American history is full of "Once we get this law passed, the problem is solved" and "We'll send in American troops, and that country's problems will be solved forever."

And "judicious study of discernable reality" usually turns out to be "looking for evidence that we're right."
Writing: "The Girl With The Bloodred Mind" -- It begins with an adult male (human) and a girl (human) a bit under the age of consent meeting in public. The meeting is nonsexual, and it's the girl who initiated it.

I've asked on a couple of writing forums what the girl's parents would be likely to say.

What I found out: People interpret this as "The man is a pedophile, and is grooming the girl."

Self-help information:

Decluttering: Did laundry. Trash out.


Another Day in the Ketchup Mine

Wednesday June 22, 2005. I see the situation. I don't see the problem:

"When it only takes two years for your job to morph into something that would have been unimaginable twenty-four months before, it's not really practical to go in through the front door. Not really practical to get the degree, the certification, the appropriate experience. I mean, even if you went back to university, the major you'd need by the time you graduated would be in a subject that hadn't been invented when you enrolled."
Cory Doctorow, Eastern Standard Tribe

Office work changes faster than that, and has since at least 1980. My experience at building databases in FORTRAN is obsolete, for example. So is my knowledge of manual typewriters, electric typewriters, dedicated word processors, and mainframe terminals.

Auto mechanics had a bigger jump than any of those, when they had to start working with electronics. I suspect there are a number of other occupations which have had more rapid change already than Doctorow forsees for the "thinking classes".

Questions for anyone who's finished the book: 1) Is there an Eastern Daylight Saving Tribe? 2) Are there tribes organized on other principles than allegiance to time zones?
To Pillsbury House. Did data entry for the Community Barter Network and Pillsbury House's volunteer program.
Writing: At last, I've found an outlining program which works for me. Which instead of getting in my way, lets me outline better than with a text editor or word processor. I've started putting stories in it.

WikidPad is a personal Wiki, intended as a database. Freeware, open source.

A Choice of Ruins -- Started re-outlining it, in WikidPad.

Self-help information: Put information on the Community Data Network on the LiveJournal communities poorinmpls and loringexchange.

Decluttering: Trash out.

From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php:
Public Release: 22-Jun-2005
Deep sea algae connect ancient climate, carbon dioxide and vegetation
Mark Pagani in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale and his colleagues mapped the first detailed history of atmospheric carbon dioxide between 45-25 million years ago based on stable isotopes of carbon. Reported in Science Express, they show that a sharp drop in carbon dioxide, between 33-25 million years ago, may have prompted the origin of economically important land plants like corn and sugarcane.
National Science Foundation