The Bitch Loves Me

YouTube – Bianca Loves Payam.

This is a video whose release to the general public has been delayed far too long. The object of my affections is Bianca, my friend’s exceptionally friendly and cuddly miniature pomeranian dog. She is a female dog and, hence, a bitch.

The object of her affections is me, and as this video plainly demonstrates, the abundance of love between us is truly immeasurable.

This video evidence seems to contradict Wikipedia’s claims about the pomeranian’s behavior:

Pomeranians are typically very friendly, playful and active. The breed is very protective of their owners and love to be around them. They are very intelligent and are easily trained. They rank 23rd in Stanley Coren‘s The Intelligence of Dogs, being of excellent working/obedience intelligence. Pomeranians socialize well with other dogs, animals, and people. Pomeranians are extroverted and can develop the habit of barking excessively only if the behavior is rewarded (i.e. allowed to beg for food).


The Spoils of Crime

Ruth Madoff forfeits asset claims, left with $2.5 million | Reuters

$2.5 million is not a bad take at all for suffering through decades of lavish living at the clients’ expense. One wonders why someone how has absolutely no bargaining power vis a vis the prosecution of a confessed criminal is granted such a healthy settlement when a huge number of the defrauded clients are left with absolutely nothing.

The soup thickens, indeed.


Pretending to Be a Pretend Musician

DJ Hero confirmed for Wii, 360, ‘PlayStation’ – News at GameSpot.

Hyperreality has had many proponents  in its short, illustrious and extremely controversial tenure as a philosophical concept, but Activision‘s DJ Hero may be the advent that may finally prove the validity, the truth contained in and the reality of hyperreality.

Hyperreality refers to the primacy of the simulation over the reality that it simulates. It is the acceptance and the perception of the simulation as the reality. The reality gave rise to the simulation is forgotten or is otherwise overwhelmed by the simulation that is based upon it. It is not just the original object that is forgotten, but the concept of originality.

What could possibly encapsulate this idea better than DJ Hero? Without a doubt, the modern disk jockey is a creative creature, but it is not a musician. She or he pretends to be a musician by assembling frequently digitized pieces produced by bona fide musicians into a pastiche that sounds somehow different, new and original. Yet the piece is neither different nor original. It differs only slightly in quantitative terms in sound (slightly faster rhythm, slightly different instrumentation), and it is in no way an original composition. DJ output is in every way an expression of the artist’s intent, but it only rarely constitutes an original composition that expands the musical lexicon. After all, the DJ doesn’t even play any real instruments or truly compose music by sitting down and writing notes (digitally or literally with ink and paper.

In fact, most modern DJs simply “play” a laptop computer. DJ software simulates turn tables on the computer, and the DJ uses the virtual controls of the DJ software to manipulate the digital sounds. In as much, DJs may arrange music, but one is hard pressed to call the process composition.

So, what is DJ Hero, in this light? It is a piece of software that allows one to be pretending to be manipulating a piece of software that allows one to be pretending to be making an original piece of music by mixing the original sound bites (and bytes) culled from highly digitized and stylized pieces of music recorded by a real musician under circumstances that were completely unrelated in context to the piece being assembled by the disk jockey.

The concept of musicianship is obliterated. It is so far removed from the concept of “music” in the context of the DJs labor that it is utterly invisible, imperceptible. Is this a case of hyperreality, or infinite regress? Certainly, it is a case that has nothing to do with music or musicianship as the concepts have been understood heretofore.


End of Education in California?

BBC NEWS | Americas | California ‘to scrap textbooks’

This doesn’t mean that California school children won’t be educated. The ones with computers and an internet connection will manage. The ones who cannot afford the technology required for electronic textbooks will make Arnold Schwarzenegger sound educated.

This economic slump has an infinite upside for Schwarzenegger.


Why Enron Could Never Exist in the European Union

BBC NEWS | Business | EU to investigate electric bills

Funny, nobody ever bothered doing this when Enron was destroying the California economy. It should come as no surprise why the European economy is on much more stable and fundamentally stronger foundation than the American economy, where the big corporations’ right to plunder is the only right that ever seems to get the protection of the law.


Time Marches Forward, but Does not Heal

5 found dead near the 405 in Long Beach | Los Angeles Times

The story is dated, but timeless. The acts described in it are unforgettable, yet frequently forgotten. As of this writing, the crime remains unsolved, and the motive remains the subject of speculation. In as much, one is left with the impression that these unforgivable acts are somehow condoned or tolerated.


The Merits of Excellence

SGI, Once Mighty Graphics Giant, Gobbled Up For Pittance – Wolfe’s Den Blog – InformationWeek

Considering the number of innovative, pioneering corporations that have fallen by the way side or disappeared in the rapidly evolving technology sector–names like Digital Equipment Company, Netscape Communications, and Sun Microsystems–one comes face to face with the fundamental question regarding the means by which the marketplace values innovation; or, perhaps, how the marketplace often fails to value innovation.

Silicon Graphics was a multibillion dollar corporation at its peak. It revolutionized the rendering of graphics by computers. It pioneered the application of massive parallel processing in server farms to establish computer animation as a means of “shooting” motion picture. Yet, like DEC, it has been bought for a pittance. The mighty Goliath of graphical processing was gobbled up for a measly $20 million. Just as DEC was carved up piece by piece before being purchased outright by Compaq in 1998, SGI has met its final demise in Rackable Systems.

Will SGI meet a better fate than DEC? Many of DEC’s technologies are still alive in many other products, even though Compaq itself ceased to exist after failing to capitalize on any of DEC’s remarkable technological expertise.

So, does the marketplace reward innovation? Pioneering companies like Netscape, Sun, SGI, DEC and many others are all dead after succumbing primarily to the Wintel (Windows + Intel) monopoly and secondarily to the Linux and the free software revolution. Even Apple’s recent success has come on the heels of its total abandonment of proprietary hardware in favor of the Wintel monopoly. (I run Windows on my Mac via Parallels.) Although conformity to standards is crucial to delivering value to the consumer, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that the standards arise or evolve from innovation. The companies that innovate seem to be getting slammed in the marketplace by the bullies with the marketshare and the advertising dollars.

What incentive is there, then, to innovate? If the ultimate outcome is either selling out to a (hopefully) high bidder as an alternative to getting absolutely clobbered by the same bidder, what incentive is there for the someone to start the next SGI or the next Netscape or the next Sun Microsystems? If the only hope for survival is to become huge as Google did in a matter of a few years, then we can be assured of a marketplace devoid of innovation for some time to come because no specter of such a colossus is visible anywhere on the horizon.

The only certainty is that the creative atmosphere that allowed so many giants like SGI, Apple, DEC, 3Com, Netscape, Commodore, and countless others to arise out of pure inspiration is gone. The evaporation of the environment that nurtured creativity and innovation has far reaching consequences for the economy, of course. Its short term manifestation is the death of Venture Capital.

Let’s Fuse

Fusion tests set at new Livermore facility.

This will be awesome. Finally, big science returns to the US.

Whether this leads to fusion as source of energy or not, cool data is guaranteed.


Republican Core Values

Senate GOP leader: Party must explain core values

Yes, Mr. McConnell is right. The GOP must explain its core values to everyone because after 12 years of exercising nearly absolute power in the United States government, not a soul among America’s nearly 300 million people can discern anything that may conform to the denotation or any connotation of the word “value” in the Republican Party’s platform, its legislative achievements or its military ambitions.

Considering the fact that Republican rule has resulted in a mangled global economy, unbridled corruption in corporate and government affairs, two failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and thousands of deaths, an apology might be more appropriate, for it is difficult to imagine any rational explanation for it all.

A fishing expedition for “values” is not likely to generate any love for the GOP. The GOP may never understand the limitations that sophistry and political correctness impose upon the wielding of power.


When Politics Gets Personal

BBC NEWS | Africa | Kenyan sues over sex ban ‘stress’

Perhaps if pro-life women were thus to protest abortion rights, the problem would go away.