They rally round the family with a pocket full of shells

Finally finished Original Zinn yesterday, which I highly recommend. Wanted to save this quote before I throw it on the bookshelf and forget it:

What has been really one of the terrible consequences of the militarization of the country is the starving of the public sector, the starving of education, of libraries, of health, of housing, and instead, of course, the pouring of money into activities that are enormously profitable for corporations.

This is why people become socialists. People become socialists in the way that I became a socialist when I read Upton Sinclair, and when I read Karl Marx, just to make it a little more dangerous. And that is the understanding that when you have a society where the production of things is based on their profitability, then the things that are not profitable will not be produced.


It's not profitable to build housing for poor people. It is profitable to build nuclear weapons, profitable to build aircraft carriers and submarines. It is not profitable to build libraries or to build health care centers.


Satrapi follows up Iran picture book. Took me a while to figure out that there is no third book. The French "Persepolis tome 3" listed in Amazon is apparently the same as the second volume released in the US. In any case, I loved both Persepolis novels and highly recommend them.

But she added that there would be no Persepolis 3, as she was now permanently based in Paris.

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Pretty wired this morning so got up just after 2:00 and finished Howard Zinn's autobiography, You Can't Stay Neutral on a Moving Train. Very inspiring, highly recommended.

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Just finished the Chronicles of Narnia last night. Wow. The second reading filled me with a sense of joy and warmth that I cannot recall experiencing when I read the books as a child. "The Magician's Nephew" and "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" are easily my favorites, and "The Last Battle" is an amazing conclusion to the series.

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I was just recalling the Gibson book signing last week. The reading from Pattern Recognition was not particularly inspiring, but the Q&A session which followed was quite entertaining. At one point, a member of the audience asked the writer's opinion regarding the extent to which terrorism might affect the Internet. Gibson said he was not very knowledgeable about technology but quoted from a colleague that the SQL Slammer worm had reached global saturation in ten minutes. When asked if he knew what that meant, Gibson grinned and admitted he had no idea. The audience burst into laughter.

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William Gibson is scheduled to make an appearance at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square this Thursday. Sweet.

Converted my sports news pager from C to Perl today. My bizarre idea of fun... I came up with a better way of dealing with the parser, which makes me very happy.

The GnuCash conversion may have to wait as I tried an import from a Quicken QIF and somehow lost 25% of my net worth. :-p


Just finished Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation this morning. A fascinating and also disturbing read, it certainly changed the way I look at our fast food culture.

Hacking Las Vegas. A very entertaining card-counter article which I forgot to archive earlier and rediscovered recently. I'm looking forward to picking up the book.

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Homeland Insecurity. Incidentally, Schneier's Secrets and Lies is an excellent read.

Hady Hassan Omar's Detention. The legacy of John Ashcroft.


Just installed FreeBSD for the first time. Not as easy as I had hoped it would be, but I'm having fun with it... Once I get X running, I will be sitting pretty.

Count Zero (by William Gibson) is turning out to be a fantastic read. I am already looking forward to the last book in the Neuromancer series.