romantic Piscean seeks angel in disguise

Two week blur and butterflies. Exciting and dizzying.

Filed under: Humanity 5 Comments

End of another experiment

Over a year has passed since its inception.  Is it too soon for the mid-life crisis to have passed?  My idealism seems to be fading.


Quit Your Job, Work Is a Sham

[Moved to a separate page to keep the page layout clean.]

Found this old article via Ted's blog. The punctuation and formatting in the originally transcribed version need work so I am cleaning this up as I read it. If you notice any errors, feel free to drop me a line.

Filed under: Humanity No Comments

What better place than here, what better time than now

The experiment is on. A conversation I had on Friday planted a seed in my head to write a book about this. I had toyed with the idea earlier, but now it sounds like a great idea. My backup alarm was meowing at the bedroom door around 7:00 this morning, which was pretty well-timed. The air is cool and crisp outside so I may finally grab that morning walk after breakfast.



Working your whole life wondering where the day went
The subway stays packed like a multi-cultural slave ship.
-Immortal Technique

It's interesting to reflect on how much things have changed over the last year. My taste for music alone has shifted dramatically from pop to hip-hop to punk. The NFL season has barely started, and my usual excitement for fantasy football is already waning. Most significantly, the so-called mid-life crisis is in full swing. It's time for another experiment, something radical. I've been talking about it forever, and it's time to get the ball rolling.

Speaking of experiments, I have overinflated the tires on the hyb this week to 37 psi to see what kind of fuel economy gains I can achieve. Current tank is running at 59-60 mpg for the first 100 miles under normal driving conditions.

Filed under: Auto, Humanity 2 Comments

Terrorism as failed tactic

The Evolutionary Brain Glitch That Makes Terrorism Fail. Picked up from Schneier's blog, excellent analysis as always.

Although Bin Laden has complained that Americans have completely misunderstood the reason behind the 9/11 attacks, correspondent inference theory postulates that he's not going to convince people. Terrorism, and 9/11 in particular, has such a high correspondence that people use the effects of the attacks to infer the terrorists' motives. In other words, since Bin Laden caused the death of a couple of thousand people in the 9/11 attacks, people assume that must have been his actual goal, and he's just giving lip service to what he claims are his goals. Even Bin Laden's actual objectives are ignored as people focus on the deaths, the destruction and the economic impact.

Perversely, Bush’s misinterpretation of terrorists' motives actually helps prevent them from achieving their goals.

None of this is meant to either excuse or justify terrorism. In fact, it does the exact opposite, by demonstrating why terrorism doesn't work as a tool of persuasion and policy change. But we’re more effective at fighting terrorism if we understand that it is a means to an end and not an end in itself; it requires us to understand the true motivations of the terrorists and not just their particular tactics. And the more our own cognitive biases cloud that understanding, the more we mischaracterize the threat and make bad security trade-offs.


Bowin’ down to the flag, ya got a bullet in ya head

Put away the flags.  [Zinn]

One of the effects of nationalist thinking is a loss of a sense of proportion. The killing of 2,300 people at Pearl Harbor becomes the justification for killing 240,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The killing of 3,000 people on Sept. 11 becomes the justification for killing tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail in 2004 that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.


In memoriam

Random obsession yesterday. I was trying to remember the name of a friend and work colleague who had died about seven years ago, but I could come up with only his first name. Thwarted, I tried to recall friends who had died much earlier in my youth and could do no better. This saddened me because a long time ago, I had vowed not to lose the memory of one of the first new friends I made after moving to New York. Joe Ponciano lived in White Plains and died of a heart attack while on vacation (scuba diving near Trinidad, if I am not mistaken). Sorry I forgot about you for a moment.

Filed under: Humanity 1 Comment

Attended my first block party tonight, which gave me a chance to finally meet a lot of my neighbors. Got a good feeling about this community.

Filed under: Houston, Humanity No Comments

I have lunch buddies again...

Filed under: Humanity No Comments