Archive for December, 2022

State of the Technate Address

Friday, December 30th, 2022

i happened upon a CBC broadcast from months back on the history of Technocracy, Inc. When last I saw them, they had headquarters in Ferndale WA, Portland OR, and San Francisco CA and were advertising early in the morning on the flailing “progressive am talk” station a presentation at the same cafe the station held a few public promotions events.

The CBC broadcast was interesting in locating the organization as headquartered in Tennessee, with the either unstated or suggested at reason equal parts sad and fascinating. They hired a woman to do their books, who came in very professionally and very much disinclined to favor their teachings, bit during the course becoming a believer. Meanwhile the other members keeping on in the move to Technocracy are now 80-something, as shown by the other guy the CBC presentation interviewed. Do the math. The Technocracy belongings go with the woman who has youth and vigor on her side, able to be housed in one spot and curated there for a long duration.

Fun fact: Elon Musk’s grandpa was a member. Not figures. And we all live in the technate, whether we want to admit or not…

Football blips

Wednesday, December 28th, 2022

Years ago I was laughing at the wistful deep dive rooting interest of pre – BCS football fandom, plucking through college football scores and saying hopefully “that team beat that other team! That’s good, because my team beat the team that beat them, and the one loss team we need to usurp to get to number one list to the team that lost to them!”. In reality, it is a bit of over I complexity — in a world where college football rankers kind of petered these out after ten or fifteen and the coaches just had subordinates shrug about to fill the rest up. No one was keeping that deep dive score but the fans marshalling their grudgeful arguments on why their team got screwed.

The NFL season proves fascinating for fans of the team from Southern Alaska / Football Siberia. They are relevant by tangent — no one nationally cares about the Seahawks except for their current relationship with the Denver Broncos. And because this year’s team is and always has been a marginal playoff team at best and possibly has shown that they are about where everyone expected them to be pre-season only a couple bits of luck to move them a game or two up — fans interest seem more primed on the fate of the woeful Denver Broncos and where they will give up their draft picks at than the middling Seattle Seahawks.

So. What. Denver. When recapping the season there will be two moments that symbolize their tragedy, both from gimmick encrusted alternate broadcasts. One is the reaction shot from Peyton Manning as the team lined up for a 64 yard field goal instead of trying to convert a fourth down and five. The analytics for the former play is something like … Two percent chance of success? … While the latter is at something like 46. Also they are paying the hot shot QB a quarter billion dollars to make plays. The other moment, forever to be dumped in any reel of the teams’ season, is a fictional starfish from Spongebob Squarepants on Nickelodeon’s alternate broadvast responding to a Russell Wilson throwing an interception with “That’s not what he wanted to cook.”

A curious thing, though. Seattle and the Pacific Northwest are not getting the Broncos – Chiefs game. Instead they have a game that has some theoretical bearing on the Seahawks’s playoff chances — if the Giants lose twice more, the Seahawks can get in. This, despite the fact that, Seahawks fans are lukewarm on that part of the equation and care more about the failings of the Broncos, hoping for that miracle top draft pick. CBS oughta be showing the Jaguar — Texans game, itself a gambit of comedy in that it has only the slightest chance of mattering for a backup playoff appearance for the Jaguars ahead of next week’s divisional title win and in game.

happy Christmas meal

Sunday, December 25th, 2022

Oh for the love of god, Safeway is closed. That is, I believe, a new one. Used to close at 4, maybe even 2, Christmas Day. But not this year. I guess it makes some sense in a year that I saw a brazen smash and grab (and hurry for speed off) a couple blocks off on a relatively crowded street, that probably mark off points of consideration.

But what this means is my Christmas dinner is just going to have to be four Big Macs from McDonalds. Why four? Well, it is like this. A month back, I realized that I had a stray gift card to use — at this fast food behometh I had not eaten at in four Yeats and then again four years before that. Having no clue on pricing but knowing it would come to less than twenty five, I ordered 3 Big Macs and 2 large Fries. And then looking at the receipt I saw that 2 Big Macs were $6.50. One Big Mac is $5.50. I could not decide if it was right to feel gypped from this exchange and relative value mismatch, in a situation I would not think a thing if each Big Mac was priced at at $4. Another Big Mac would indeed just be another buck, but that would just be a Big Mac I was not eating right then. It is also a situation where someone else already paid the money a while ago and it was in some danger of falling into an unused ether.

McDonalds is open today, isn’t it? Fifth visit to McDonalds this decade — third this year. Maybe a pile of tacos from Taco Bell is a better bet?

Social media politics

Sunday, December 18th, 2022

Years ago, and I suppose still today, there was a website called “indymedia”. It began as a hub for information and organizing at the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999. So from the get-go the organizing principle is in organizing gatherings and aligning messaging in the fight against ” globalism”, back when you can say that word without it being presumed an anti-Semitic dog whistle or some kind of entryism from leftwing politics to actual fascist or noxiously overly broadly defined “fascist” politics.

So I was listening in the early to mid lights to an interview with a webmaster for indymedia. The host was attempting to get at and get an explanation on the editorial policy of the structured website and who decides, and then when the guest denied such a thing existed get him to admit that one did. Like, it doesn’t exist because anyone can post and it remains there. Which, of course, is a lie or half truth, as they raised the important items of their concern to a permanent spot on the front page for the duration of its importance, reserved for the location that f Dick Cheney’s fund raising or the phone numbers of the National Lawyers’ Guild after last night’s Starbucks window smash fest — and had a sliding off the page sidebar marked “compost pile” where people advocating for and sending the message of tedious political figures (whether that be Kerry, Kucinich, Ron Paul, or La Roach) was dumped. There was never that answer for “By whom and how do they decide?” — because anarchism is in action, no hierarchy what so ever.

In a future date is such decisions would come to get the terms “platforming” and “deplatforming”.

I think I may have come across as something of a pre 1995 crank insisting the Internet was a nothing when at the mid and end of oughts I thought Facebook was not all that much. I just didn’t see much structurally new with it, and frankly still don’t. Just a new item in a series which gets supplanted in some parts and reshift to fit new niches in other parts by the next thing that is the same in basic fundamentals but with moderately different interfaces. Might as well be on LiveJournal for all it changes, and I mean that most sincerely. But it was at that time placed in as a landmark evolution in computer — step five with steps that included the ENIAC and the launch of the personal computer, a set up that left me flustered. Today Facebook is said to be a ghost town and dead, though I suspect in its dilapidation of one has a fairly specific purpose in maintaining contact with a select and close circle it may just be the ideal tool because of its passe state.

Looking at the Wikipedia page for indymedia, I see no one cares enough to alter effectively press promotional copy. The governing body that pretends it is not a governing body, and is thus more opaque than both pre and post Musk Twitter’s bumbling rules, gets its final word in.

the fresh hell of Twitter positioning

Saturday, December 17th, 2022

There is a conservative podcast that I listen to each week which had been banned from Twitter that is now allowed back on twitter. I do not know if they are tweeting, but they can if they want.

There is a liberal podcast (or progressive) that I listen to that are so upset by Elon Musk’s Twitter ruling they have quit Twitter and are stumbling on the other social media outlet. I guess they can still tweet if they wish, but they choose not to because Musk does not censor enough of the right perceived jackals.

From what I can tell, some self important news media “exposed” Elon Musk’s stated “free speech absolutism” as falling short of that stays through essentially trolling actions in relaying his jet locations. It strikes me as a low and bizarre point in media coverage, and I do not quite know what I am supposed to make or do with it.

You have to squint a tad at the “Twitter files”. Not nothing, and valuable, but everyone interested skips its point of value to postulate more, so commentary on it has meaning less.

kitsch selling

Friday, December 16th, 2022

Sometime during the first two years of the Barack Obama presidency, A guy I was sitting next to offered some minor approval of the president. To which the other guy I was sitting next to let out a voice of disappointment and said, “I’m sorry, but” before marching into his firm worldview where anyone with support of the president was a dupe of manufactured hype from some oligarchical forces — “he was sold you you, and probably all presidents here on out are going to be such creations. Look. Do you remember anyone else who all these t-shirts and merchandise out there?”

There was John Kennedy, but that example probably just proves his point to him. Mostly we dissolve into a lucrative anti-president kitsch business.

From his stated perspective, he should love the current president, as Biden supporters barely care about him. He has affected an ice cream eating tic, and the one Biden fan internet meme — “Dark Biden” — is practically self aware in its metas. No Biden t-shirts in the offing.

His stated favorite was Mitt Romney, a man I never much disliked and where my lack of dislike would be taken as a slight by the supporters of the next president. His statement of support harkened to how Romney “saved the mess that was Utah’s Olympics corruption scandal”– a thing that I always thought was just the shuffling around of papers and declaration that the thing was solved — it succeeded by decree and because profits demanded it succeed. In that way it is like Trump’s celebrated comebacks from Bankruptcy — Trump had made his name brand an aura of success and his creditors needed to go with the line to maximize profits from that brand.

I was thinking on this with Trump’s introduction of… Trump Superhero trading cards virtual or coin or I honestly don’t know what it is. The thing about the Obama kitsch merchandise drive was it was removed from the presidential candidate — Shephard Fairey designed his famous poster not directed by the Obama campaign. Trump, meanwhile, after his white house term and at least ostensibly seeking a new term drops this atcha. I have no idea what that Romney supporter thought of President Trump, but I do hope, from his stated premise, he deemed the same problems with Trump and Trump supporters as he did with Obama — except on steroids and to an nth degree.

the coming plague

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

Begin to understand an appeal of spectator sports, which is that this is the political fumbling on the alternative — with this activist group working and succeeding at some level to turn and churn mass entertainment and art to preach atcha — their simplified message which blunts out an opposing opinion. (Buzzwords abound here. “White Supremacy”. This group aches to see the epic struggle of a poor black woman’s cross country hitchhiking journey to get to a state where she can plop in and get the deed done. Which, to be sure, actually has more potential as a story telling arc than what she seems to be demanding — the “friends you meet along the way” and all that.)

like, what if we had time-traveling abortion providers: sci-fi but with abortion?

Hey! At long last, an advocate for the grand thought experiment — somebody greenlight and do that “Let’s abort Hitler” story! It can be an entire series. Abort a historical monstrosity each week. Save the “Abort Charles Manson” one for sweeps month, though. For the sake of representation — can’t just be white men — we do need the Ida Iman and then the Marjorie Taylor Greene episodes.

sports trades

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

By definition, I never heard of the WNBA star. And she is now more famous as a former Russian held prisoner than anything, forever connected with someone known as “The Merchant of Death” in what is perceived as a lopsided prisoner exchange.

Taking a step back it is not quite as bad as all that. The proma fade complaints run to — “imagine if the US government had traded for Osama Bin Laden!”. It is not exactly the same. Everyone knew Osama Bin Laden in the year 1999. I mean, I knew the name — if not as many particulars as a couple years’ hence. This ” Merchant of Death” has the wrong article in front of him. He is not “the” merchant of death. He is “a” merchant of death. Merchants of Death are a dime a dozen. He gets ascribed the “the” to fit the grand narrative of horrors.

I see in the commentary that I am officially a sexist or racist or part of a racist or sexist society and culture for thinking on some level, the woman had it coming. And for not really knowing who the heck she is. On my first question — “what the hell is she doing Russia? She knows there was wartime histilities percolating, right?” — I get an obnoxious answer. She is the victim of circumstances, they say (or, one jackass on CNN or The View), in having to play in Russia because the US market is not paying her enough — not caring to watch women’s athletic competition. The good news here is beyond a handful of big name players, I have no idea of current NBA stars either — and the only reason I know one of the names is because he is entertained Flat Earth conspiracy theories.

On the big “what about that other guy — still rotting in Russian prison!” — circumstantially I can almost go ahead with this defense: he, trained in the military, is more up to the challenge of surviving than she, trained in hoop playing. Triage — free the person less capable of psychological survival. He should be able to hold up — I guess.

There is an interesting irony. You may be better to be captured and forced into a North Korean sham trial and prison, in terms of the government freeing you without this hub ub. With North Korea we sent Clinton to stand and stare blankly in a photograph with their leader — it is all he wanted — to feel important. We got no leverage with Russia’s government. I mean, did you not hear there is a war going on?