Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
How come atheism waited until the twenty-first century to really bask in the limelight? Wouldn’t it be more fitting if it came to popularity half a century ago, when we were launching satellites and smashing atoms? This is the age of fifty gazillion wonderful new inventions, all of which are dedicated to finding new ways to play personal music collections and carry dogs around in purses.
And this is the era in which the atheist’s view of the cosmos, is most popularly thought to be the correct one. If I were an atheist, that would be sufficient to make me seriously question my atheism. I’m glad I’m not one.
No moonshots. We may land on Mars someday, but if we do it will be like a thief in the night. Nobody cares.
Our kids all want to be rap stars and basketball players when they grow up, which would be alright on some level if they had to overcome some approach-approach conflict to get there, but one gathers the impression they lit upon this dream just because nature abhors a vacuum. Rare is the child nowadays who has ever fiddled with a chemistry set or used a calculator just for fun.
Technology is useful when it gives us something we can leave under the Winter Solstice Tree for each other. Technology is wonderful when it’s about ME. When it plays MY music…when it displays MY photographs. By doing things that are, conceptually, not new. Years and years ago, we figured out how to pass a digital file through a solid-state device and get stereo music out of it — and if by noon tomorrow ten exciting inventions are unveiled, you know at least nine of them will have something to do with performing this old task in some fancy new way. It isn’t real innovation.
The tenth will have something to do with dogs and purses.
I thought I would provide a link to how the dog-in-the-purse became a metaphor around here for stale technology. It is a technology-related thing, after all, because for the most part a dog-in-a-purse is not a natural component. It is artificial. It is an expenditure of our anemic twenty-first century “atheism is cool” technological wherewithal. One of the very few.
Though the teacup toy poodle is easily less than 5 pounds, some breeders specifically select their smallest dogs for breeding to bring down the size and weight of further generations.
While a purse dog may look cute, there are some inherent problems with breeding a dog to be small, specifically as a fashion accessory. First, bladder control is a major issue for most of these dogs, as they have tiny bladders that won’t hold liquid for long. Dog owners, this writer among them, often wonder how many times purses have to be replaced if you’re carrying a tiny dog around for long parties or events and forget to give it ample opportunities to urinate.
Second, as breeds get smaller, reproduction gets more challenging. Tiny dogs usually have to have cesarean section deliveries of young, which is more risky for both the mother and her pups. Further, there are unfortunately many unscrupulous breeders who attempt to breed very small puppies and do so in unsafe or unhealthy ways. Puppy mills frequently produce purse dogs, and allow larger dogs that don’t fit size requirements to languish without proper care.
Did you catch that? The artificially bred dogs have problems with pissing and crapping. I’m sure if you’re like me, the first time you saw a purse dog the first thought in your head was “I wonder how the dog tells his mistress it’s time to be walked?” And the answer is — he doesn’t! The dogs are soiling expensive purses left-and-right. Not cheap purses, either. Designer purses. Suede purses. Purses selected specifically according to the criteria that they cost a lot.
The dog-in-the-purse is a wonderful concoction of disparate components, each one tossed into the stewpot that becomes a dog-in-a-purse because that component is impractical. The objective, therefore, is impracticality — and no small measure of what might be called animal cruelty.
It is, in a darkly upside-down way, an innovation. An exercise in seeing how many impractical things can be offered in a single new trend.
It is the very picture of what suits our fancy in the twenty-first century.
Because we’re BORED.
I believe one suspect might be Y2K. I remember, in about ’97 or ’98 or so, the trend started that if you worked in Information Technology you were probably engaged in a project or two that had something to do with Y2K upgrades. By the third quarter of ’98, everybody was neck-deep in it. To bring in something genuinely new, was an effort that would’ve run into a stiff headwind.
Well, my theory is that Y2K killed technology. One would presume after the crisis had passed, we’d go back to finding creative, innovative, powerful new ways to do things, previously undreamed-of. Like we did pre-1997.
Well, one would have presumed wrong. When one has been creating and there is suddenly a need to preserve, the urge to preserve is a powerful one. When one has been preserving and there arises a need to go back to creating, it turns out that urge is not quite so strong. We leaped out of the Age of Brahma into the Age of Vishnu…and in the Age of Vishnu, we remain. Technology, to the technology professional as well as to the man in the street, is something that works when it — simply works. It’s like a pencil. The damn thing writes or else it doesn’t. We really don’t care how to make a better one.
Another culprit I have in mind, is the 640k memory limit. We did an awfully sloppy job of getting past that one. It was an issue when the IBM PC first came out, and fifteen years later it was still an issue. It worked out well for Microsoft, which released a whole string of Windows versions that people had practical reasons to buy.
The guy who just wanted to buy a nice gadget for his sweetie to put under the Holiday Tree, would have to contend in some way with the 640k memory barrier because some programs would run on some operating systems, and others would not. Now, we don’t have to worry about this. Supposedly, that’s an improvement. But is it really?
In the 1990’s, we had Windows 95. What an amazing thing it was. I don’t mean to say you’d go back to it now, but think about when it first came out. Contrast it against what came before. Of course, everybody cared…we had to…and once we had it, the sky was the limit as far as what we could put on it.
Now, we have Vista…
Microsoft’s biggest competitor is itself. In a market where one product dominates, older versions compete with newer ones. The problem exacerbates as a product improves and more people use it. Windows XP reached the “good enough” threshold, in terms of features and usability and market saturation. To displace XP, Vista needed to be a whole lot better, not just the same or even a little better. But Vista isn’t the “WOW” operating system Microsoft advertised. Vista is a very good operating system and arguably better than XP. But Vista isn’t a great operating system and, therefore, a whole lot better than Windows XP.
Which is a pretty big problem, because the time window of dominance by Vista’s successor, XP, was already much longer than what would have been considered normal pre-Y2K. Windows XP is a Fourth Quarter ’01 product; presuming it can retain a dominant toehold because its successor has done a lackluster job making a name for itself, we’re now into the eighth year of essentially one operating system.
The dominant Windows operating system has been the trunk of the technology tree. If there’s rot in the core of this trunk, the branches aren’t going to do too well either.
And so, in 2008 we don’t look to scientists…engineers…programmers…for an awful lot. Nothing at all, really. If you have a home computer at all, you probably have a pretty good idea on what you want it to do and you’re not like some guy in the 1980’s running in to Egghead Software to find some new tricks you can teach it. If you do have a new program in mind and the computer won’t run it, you probably just need — more RAM. The day you finally need to trade up your PC, it’s probably a decision driven by hardware and not by software. The old unit wouldn’t support a SATA hard drive…or some such.
As everyday folks, we’re just not that connected on what goes on in the guts of technology. Not like we were. Technology cannot gratify us anymore…it cannot spark our imaginations…all it can do is disappoint us, by not doing exactly what we had in mind.
The Age of Brahma is over. It is the Age of Vishnu. We have no interest in creating, we only want to preserve.
That’s why your kids want to be rap stars instead of doctors.
Boom chicka boom.
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