May 2013 Archives

This page is PART FOUR, continued from » Part Three. It was split into FOUR pages in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization. Here's the final page. Buckle up, Dorthy. Kansas is about to go » bye-bye...

Russian Serfs Freed in 1861» Notes from Underground

While you are there in Russia .. here is a little tidbit that I just found, that I just learned ..

.. that you might find interesting ..

.. is that Dostoevsky's novel » Notes From Underground [.. called the "first existential novel," ..

.. and also the book that "separates 19th century literature from 20th century literature" ..

.. and the book that Nietzsche claimed » "cried truth from the blood" ]..

.. and also the book that has been called » "the prelude" .. to his great novels.

This book is (effectively) a response .. an artistic response .. to a dude named Chernyshevsky (Nikolai, 7 years younger than Dostoevsky, and born the same year as Tolstoy) .. and his followers.

This Chernyshevsky was the leader of the Young Radicals (.. utopian socialists).

[ I'm not sure, but I think his name is pronounced » share-nih-SHEV-skee ]

This is the same guy (Nikolai Chernyshevsky) who wrote a book while in prison for "revolutionary activities" in 1862. ( Notes from Underground was published in 2 parts in January and April 1864. )

JFK (1917-1963) at the beach This book, written in prison in 1862, then published in 1863 .. is the very same book that Lenin said (several decades later) ..

.. turned him into the "confirmed revolutionary" that he eventually became.

[ I connect to these years by seeing them as early Dylan (in America) minus one century. Shit was stirring. Kennedy was assassinated in '63 (on 11-22).

In real-time, this was American Civil War years.

Note that the Russian serfs got their freedom in 1861 .. several years before American blacks technically got theirs. ]

The title of Chernyshev's book is » What Is to Be Done?

So .. it appears that Dostoevsky was opposing [ most vigorously ] the very guy [ and the very book ] who/that turned Ulyanov (Lenin) into Lenin [.. according to Lenin's own testimony].

Small world, no?

In Chernyshevsky's book, he writes a passage where he talks about wanting to make everybody happy. And he says, "Can you hear that, you in your underground hole?"

Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1864) cover jacket for Everyman's LibraryAt first, Dostoevsky was merely going to write a review on the book. But that would not do.

So, at age 42, he took up the challenge (of the man in the "underground hole") ..

.. and that is where he got the title for his book. Very clever. Cojones grande.

So it would seem .. that even back in the Nineteenth century .. there were things that made people ..

.. that compelled them [.. much as they'd rather not ] ..

.. to say, "Something needs to be said about this shit. Because it is taking our country in a very bad direction."

Chernyshevsky's views eventually won out (.. in the person of Lenin, 54 years later).

Why? Why is that? Why did Chernyshevsky's views germinate?

» This page is PART THREE, continued from » Part Two. It was split into FOUR pages in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization. Here you go...

» Young Ed Snowden: Courageous NSA Truth Teller (Verax)

You shouldnt be surprised to learn that I feel a sense of kinship with Ed Snowden. Yes, there are the obvious reasons ..

The Whistle of Truth.. such as a distaste for the government snooping up my butt and peeking over my shoulder.

.. but my sense of brotherhood goes beyond the obvious.

First, I like that he is (only) 29. Aaron, who was martyred for the cause earlier this year, was 26. So was Bouazizi.

Jesus was only 33 when the government nailed him to a tree. Young, no? (Young and strong. Lots of hiking .. and deep knee bends.)

[ Bouazizi is the young man who torched himself in the streets of Tunisia ..

.. over frustration encountered there, dealing with a corrupt government bureaucracy.

That was (quite literally) the spark that ignited the Arab Spring Revolutions ..

.. fires which continue to burn in the Middle East today, and which continue to spread to other nations.

Here is a pattern that you will, I'm sure, see more of » poor young boys getting fucked by rich old men produces social unrest.

Speaking of social unrest .. if Bush sent us into Iraq .. in order to bring 'democracy' to the people of Iraq (.. one of his many-splendored reasons) ..

.. then why wouldnt we want to help the people in neighboring Syria .. to help them liberate themselves .. from an oppressive regime ..

.. lead by a dictator who uses chemical weapons on his own people? (another one of the infinitely varied reasons that we used to invade Iraq and depose Saddam)

Or maybe we didnt go into Iraq to bring anything to anybody.

What's that smell? (Sniff, sniff.) Smells like .. the dung of hypocrisy. Must be a farm nearby.

Dr. J Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) | Father of the Atomic BombUpdate .. I have looked into the Syrian conflict a bit more and it seems very tricky.

Proceed with caution. Both Russia and China are standing up for the dictator ..

.. tho he seems far too soft-spoken to be a dictator. So I suspect others are running the show in Syria.

Dude, I looked up the Biblical term » Armageddon, and Google maps shows it being a mere 25- or 30-mile bike-ride away to Syria. For what it's worth.

But there has definitely been 'convergence' there. Rather global convergence. Coincidence?

In the context of Snowden, anyway, China and Russia appear to be on the SAME SIDE. No? I mean, regarding both Snowden and Syria.

Dear Goverments of the World (the 'nations'), we do not want to live in a post-apocalyptic world .. like the kind in that movie » Book of Eli with Denzel.

That would suk. Really suk.

The greatest mathematician of all time ran the numbers and said that we're good to an absolute maximum of 2060. In other words, 47 years.

He ran those numbers more than three centuries ago. </update>

Do you notice any patterns? All three men were/are in their twenties, all taking a stand in the name of their generation .. in the only way left them.

Since I have a second grader .. I am naturally concerned about the world we are leaving for our next generation.

My generation appears to be living high on the hog .. with its record level of debt (growing every minute .. of every day) and leaving the bill for our kids to pay.

» The Aloha Spirit on a Sportster in Paradise

Snowden lived in Hawaii. (He even pronounced the name of the state like a real Hawaiian.)

Diamond Head, Waikiki, HawaiiI lived in Hawaii (the Aloha State) for two years (.. tho half that time was spent underway).

So "the Aloha spirit" is something to which I can relate.

It was while I was in my twenties, also, when I was there. (I landed at Honolulu International one week after my 21st b-day.)

I had my Sportster there in Hawaii. [ The military shipped it from Hemingway's Idaho. ]

The Dog liked to ride it, too. (.. my roomie, who went on, a few years later to study at Columbia (.. Industrial Engineering).

Most impressive however, is what he got from reading the Core curriculum. The Dog can handle himself with ease in just about any discussion. With grace. Even when disagreeing, he shows how he can see your side, and makes you feel intelligent.

Some years later, the Dog earned a Masters degree from USC .. in Safety. Which cracks me up .. cuz, if you knew the Dog when *I* knew the Dog .. uh, safety is not something that readily comes to mind. Feel me? =)

[ Young Ed Snowden reminds me of the Dog, because they are both thoughtful and articulate. ]

I replaced the Sportster's stock wide-grip handle-bars with 'suicide' bars (handles closer together). Stick both your arms straight out and there are your grips. 1,000 cc's. Black.

Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarineLots of torque. Soo much torque. Not so much speed, as » power (torque).

When I reflect back on the glory days of my youth, when I was both bulletproof and invincible ..

.. I see myself on a black Sportster, cruising Kam Hwy in Oahu, on my way past Ala Moana ..

.. having just returned from operating a nuclear reactor on a military-grade ballistic missile submarine.

Not to mention running reactor water chemistry control there. Ego's ville.

"Who's your daddy?" I say to the Polynesian girl sitting in the convertible Ferrari next to me at the light.

"You are, of course," she says as I speed off down the road.

"Correct answer," I think to myself.

I won't even mention the sunglasses or the golden Waimea tan.

On the Sportster, my rice-burner friends would invariably leave my ass in the dust ..

.. but they always wanted to take the Sportster for a spin.

"What is this I keep hearing about Harley's legendary torgue? This putt .. that I keep hearing so much about?"

And I found their rice-burners dangerously-fast. You are at freakish speeds in 2 or 3 seconds .. not unlike you find with a Porshe 911/930 turbo. I call it "the slingshot effect".

[ Update 04 Dec - Certainly understandable how the death of Paul Walker occurred. He had a Porsche Carrera GT.

Dude, Porsche does not need to add any extra letters to the names of their cars. When they start adding extra letters, it's a warning.

It's like signing a waiver that you understand this thing is loaded .. and that you release the manufacturer from all liability.

When I returned the keys to my buddy's (George's) 930 Turbo .. I said, "Nice. Very nice. Too nice."

I could see that the thing would be so easy to get away from you. It was like a missile. A freaking rocket-powered missile.

Paul Walker (1973-2013)And you know how much I like performance.

George said that the guy he bought the car from used the phrase, "It's like driving a backwards dart." .. to describe the experience.

Because the heavy engine is mounted in the rear, and the light front end feels like it comes up off the ground when the slingshot kicks in.

It genuinely feels as tho the front wheels are NOT ON THE GROUND.

I could see right away that the car was too fast for me .. just like those rice-burner motorcycles that friends let me take for a spin around the block.

Something seemed to say » "Dude, owning one of these is like asking to be a grease spot" (.. to borrow a phrase from Vincent Vega).

But the fact that Paul Walker himself was not the one driving when the GT crashed .. reminded me of » Julie Allen.

In other words, you have to give him credit for that.

Paul's car was a half-a-million dollar car. George's car was not nearly that expensive, but still rediculously fast.

George ended up putting a lot of money into that car. Maintenance & repairs.

</end_04dec_update> ]

Thought I had died and gone to heaven there. (Paradise, literally.) Watching the sun rise over Diamond Head. "Pinch me."

I have always appreciated performance technology. I mean, it is a very cool thing .. for a young man in his twenties .. to start-up a reactor plant on a nuclear submarine (military-grade) ..

.. with a crew of 10 other dudes in their early twenties, from all over the nation, operate it as necessary, and then shut it back down when the ship returns to port. Flawlessly.

The reactor plant felt like MY reactor plant .. like OUR reactor plant .. turning mass into energy .. in accordance with » E=mc2. You can FEEL the power. The humming. The vibration. The noise. The roar. Home sweet home (.. for 4 years, anyway).

Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski in The Terminal (by Steven Spielberg)» A Thoughtful & Articulate Young Man

But mostly .. I relate to Ed Snowden because he is thoughtful. Obviously thoughtful.

And articulate enough to convey that thoughtfulness.

Intelligent. Principled. And courageous enough to confront the enormity of another government bureaucracy run amok ..

.. even tho an execution [ "He slipped on a banana peel, honest. And he apparently landed on a bullet. Three times." ] would really surprise few honest souls.

[ How many of our government officials today do you think would be willing to die for our country? Precious few.

Heck, they won't even take responsibility for their oWn fuck-ups. "Blame it on the little guy. Find a private who we can pin this on." (Because we can, and because we don't take responsibility for our own fuck-ups.)

"And we do everything we can to avoid serving in the military when our own number comes up." ]

Nietzsche was thoughtful. Dostoevsky was thoughtful. Tolstoy waas thoughtful. Einstein was thoughtful. Aaron Swartz was thoughtful.

Snowden also seems to have been a migrant-worker of sorts. I myself was a Migrant Nuclear Worker for many years. Snowden appears to have been a Migrant Intelligence Worker. (Intelligence sounds much cooler than nuclear reactors.)

This page is PART TWO, continued from » Part One. It was split into FOUR pages in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization. Here you go...

» But you should hurry .. because they are coming.

[ On horses swifter than leopards. (I can feel them.) The Charge of the Geek Brigade.

They're all-up in your shit, arent they? (Wow, that was fast. Faster than even I expected. More. And even more. Make it stop! Fuhghettaboutit. )

And they are bad motherfuckers. Wizards. I TOLD you not to fuck with them. Didnt I?

{ You should have listened. Because that was not a difficult call to make. Rather obvious .. for anybody with eyes to see. }

» And they don't give a fuck about the $200K a year that you pay them, either. (Didnt I TELL you that Geeks "arent about the money".)

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Patron Saint of Rebellious Children EverywhereI know .. that completely blows your mind, doesnt it? =)

» Game the Fuck On

The shit is on, dawg. Game the fuck » ON!

"Howdaya like THEM apples?!" as Will Hunting would say. [ Will Hunting says a lot of funny shit. ]

Wow, Matt Damon was 16 years ahead of his time.

Sixteen years is (coincidentally) exactly how long it took the committee at Nobel to figure out that Einstein deserved the prize ..

.. for the revolutionary mind-blowing contributions he made to Physics .. in 1905 (the 'miracle year').

Sixteen years also happens to be the period-of-time between the first and last parts of Dostoevsky's (2-part) » Notes from Underground ..

.. where we learn how "the Underground Man" got that way. [ More stories about the 'wicked' Underground Man coming later. ]

So it would seem .. that 16 years is how-long it takes most people to figure shit out.

Speaking of figuring shit out .. oh, dude, dont look now, but it looks like you're bleeding.

"Ouch." Makes me think of Wipeout. It can only get worseIncoming!

Dude, why did you that? Why did you fuck with the Geeks? (The disillusioned youth, who can see that they have nothing to lose.) The rulers of the online data-centric universe. Especially after I told you NOT to? What is that gnawing sound?

I went to a lot of effort .. I explained things in great detail and even went into reasons why (.. why you shouldnt piss off the Geeks) .. and now, for what?

» NSA = Boner City (for the Geek)

Okay, to be honest (disclosure) .. there is a part of me that would totally *love* to work for (with) the NSA.

I mean, I can feel myself starting to get a woody .. at the very thought of it.

So I have the utmost respect for anybody who can stand up call bullshit on the unrighteous shit they see .. because their conscience demands it.

And that is only PART of .. what makes them bad motherfuckers. (Tho obviously a significant part.)

I am merely doing my job and laying metaphorical pipe. But wait 'til you see what comes down the pipe. (Might wanna look around for something sturdy to grab hold of.)

Trust me, you do NOT wanna be on the receiving end of this. ]

You cannot stop them. Not now. [ It would seemNo? ]

But this you already know .. if, that is, your advisors are worth a fuck.

[ Update: seems you have made a change. That would suggest you are getting the message. (Good.)

Bro, you need to get with the program. As the Borg likes to say, resistance is futile.

Oh, I see you are getting the message even more clearly. Good for you! (and Harvard.) </update> ]

tried to warn you. It was worth a try.

My prayer for you comes from » Isaiah 30:15 » "In quietness & trust is your strength." Cuz things might get a little bumpy .. my spidey senses tell me.

I have heard from folks who have been in car accidents that .. if you relax and go with it, roll with it, you have less chance of getting seriously injured. (Perhaps that data-point will prove helpful.)

Dilawar | BT 421» Let My People Go

While I have your attention, I would like to say » "Let my people go."

I say that not as a Christian or a Muslim .. but rather, as a citizen and parent ..

.. who desires that his government treat peope with respect and dignity ..

.. and not cram two-feet of rusty garden hose up their sinuses every day"Here comes brecky. Hold still. Wasnt that yummy?"

Comes a time when enough is enoughNow is that time.

If this is all the dignity that you can afford them, then give them that much. And let them die in peace.

I don't know if you can understand this, but the reason they want to die ..

.. is because death is BETTER THAN LIFE in the environment / world / situation /future .. in which you have placed them.

And who can blame them? So let them die in peace.

This is the least you can do for them. (You normally seem to have a knack for the whole death thing.) Tho I would imagine they will have a bone to pick with you in the after-life.

My point is » if they want to kill themselves, then uh, they probably arent feeling a whole lot of dignity. (Feel me?)

If you can't handle this, then you should resign and let someone more capable get the job done.

It has been *how* many years, now? Our hopeful sense of patience is morphing into one of disappointment in your incompetence.

YOU are the ones who put them IN there, right? We-the-People did not do that for you and nobody asked us.

<end body section>

» The electronics revolution [.. a vital precursor to our own digital revolution of non-physical, non-atomic bits-n-bytes ] .. began with the invention of the triode vacuum tube in 1906 .. about the same time that Einstein discovered E=mc2 .. and some three years after George Orwell was born.

First transistor (1947)The solid-state transistor [ widely recognized as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century ..

.. and an even more vital precursor to our digital revolution ] was invented in 1947 ..

.. same year that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Brooklyn .. and three years before Orwell died.

So George was there .. when it began. In other words, he was in position to see it coming. (Certainly he could feel it coming.)

Another, really-big, pre-digital-revolution invention came a decade later in 1959, with the microchip .. the integrated circuit. Unfortunately, George didnt live long enough to see that.

Another big invention came in 1971 with the Intel 4004, world's first (commercially available) microprocessor, which led directly to the CPUs you and I use today.

Speaking of CPUs .. you may be interested, by the way, to learn that today's processors from Intel contain 2.5 billion transistors ..

.. while graphics chips from nVidia contain 7 billion transistors. And you can be certain that tomorrow's processors will contain even more.

How big is 7 billion? Answer » if you start counting right now [ "One, two, three..." ], one number per second, it would take 222 years to reach 7 billion (.. counting 24 hours a day, with no sleep).

» Tubes Superseded by Transistors

Speaking of vacuum tubes and the solid-state transistor .. I had a friend growing up who purchased an old, used tube-based McIntosh receiver.

Vacuum tube[ His real name was Bob, but his Italian skin was such a dark shade of olive that everybody called him 'Julio' { 'WHOO-lee-oh } .. a popular Puerto Rican name. "Hey, Julio!"

Some audio enthusiasts feel that digital music loses 'warmth' that is present in analog recording. ]

McIntosh receivers [ not to be confused with the Macintosh computer, which we will touch upon later ] were never very stylish, but they still manufacturer some of the world's finest consumer audio electronics gear.

Julio cut off the metal top of his retro receiver and replaced it with a plexiglass cover .. so you could look down into the electronic guts and see the TUBES glowing.

It took a minute to warm up but produced marvelous audio fidelity. Very cool, specially for the vintage audiophile.

» Flexing Orwell's Muscles

George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (pub 1949) and his novella Animal Farm (1945) together "have sold more copies than any two books by any other 20th-century author."

Nineteen Eighty-Four is ranked #13 on Modern Library's list of the Hundred Greatest English Language Novels of the Twentieth Century. (Yes, of the entire century.) Animal Farm is ranked #31.

On the Reader's List, Nineteen Eighty-Four is ranked even higher at #6 and Animal Farm moves up eleven notches to #20.

Le Monde, which includes languages other than English, ranks Nineteen Eighty-Four at #22.

Big Brother looking over your shoulderNineteen Eighty-Four is even found on the list of the 100 Greatest Novels of All Tme. (In any language.) Ever.

Tho these titles are not listed numerically.

But who really cares about seating arrangements .. when you get to be in the same room with the likes of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Hemingway, Kafka.

Even today, more than 60 years after its publication, Nineteen Eighty-Four is still selling like crazy .. bouncing around Amazon's Top-100 Best Sellers list. Remarkable, no?

» The CIA, the FBI, the NSA & Establishing Secure Communications

Moving on to more current issues .. do you remember six months ago, when David Petraeus, then director of the CIA .. was discovered by the FBI to be engaged in an extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell?

Now, you might think that the head of the CIA would know a thing or two about how to establish secure communications.

Paula and her baby pythonsMy understanding is that they opened a web-based email account together .. but never actually sent any mail to or from this account.

They merely saved their composed messages as drafts ..

.. and each secret lover read what the other had written by logging into the account and opening the drafts saved there.

"Meet me at the love shack at sunset. Bring snorkel gear and pretzels. We shouldnt need much more."

[ If you have more details, such as which email service they used, let me know. ]

It wasnt until Paula sent a nastigram to that socialite-lady in Florida [ .. "Find your OWN general, b**ch. This one is mine. Don't make me unleash these baby pythons on your froufrou ass. Don't make me bust-open a can of military-grade whup-ass." ] ..

.. who knew somebody in/at the FBI .. who was able to trace the email. That's how they got caught. [ My sources tell me. =) ]

Whatever the gory details .. my point is » the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency was NOT ABLE to keep his most intimate and damning communications secure (private, confidential, secret, on the down-low).

[ I do not judge these people. No, sir. Who among us has not done scandalous things to our regret?

Honestly now .. what 60-year-old man (general or otherwise) would not be absolutely thrilled (tickled pink) to discover he is desired by a 39-year-old hard-body? ..

.. that he is found physically attractive .. by a former homecoming queen and valedictorian, no less? (Not just another pretty face.)

So we need to cut the General some slack. Have mercy, child. He's only human.

Paula was so attracted that she was willing to risk and put up her marriage .. as earnest of her flaring passions. (Guess we could say the same about him.) ]

Now, we also know that it was Paula who sent off the email(s) that led to the former general getting caught (.. with his 4-star fingers in Paula's impressively muscular cookie jar). A mitigating circumstance?

<ignore this intentional body-text marker>>

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