It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.

These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.

Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.



Friday, May 09, 2003
 
We normally aren't verbatim types, but this news story tickles me so...

Associated Press: Typing Monkeys Don't Write Shakespeare


Give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, the theory goes, and they will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare.

Researchers at Plymouth University in England reported this week that primates left alone with a computer attacked the machine and failed to produce a single word.

``They pressed a lot of S's,'' researcher Mike Phillips said Friday. ``Obviously, English isn't their first language.''

A group of faculty and students in the university's media program left a computer in the monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo in southwest England, home to six Sulawesi crested macaques. Then, they waited.
At first, said Phillips, ``the lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of it.

``Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard,'' added Phillips, who runs the university's Institute of Digital Arts and Technologies.
Eventually, monkeys Elmo, Gum, Heather, Holly, Mistletoe and Rowan produced five pages of text, composed primarily of the letter S. Later, the letters A, J, L and M crept in -- not quite literature.

Phillips said the experiment showed that monkeys ``are not random generators. They're more complex than that.

``They were quite interested in the screen, and they saw that when they typed a letter, something happened. There was a level of intention there.''


Posted by Matthew Cook at 10:36 AM# (permalink)



 
Mother Davis glances at the clock as she notes,

Some say that the sun is setting.

Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times.

It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.

These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared.

We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.

Welcome to the irregular times.

Listening to the alarm go off,
Mother Davis


Posted by Katherine Davis at 12:33 AM. # (permalink)



Thursday, May 08, 2003
 
Bush Says He'll Run on Cheney Ticket

George W. Bush has confirmed that he will be Dick Cheney's running mate in the 2004 presidential election. "Dick has been real swell about that whole naming the Administration thing," Bush explained. "I felt just awful when Karl told him that we'd be calling it the Bush Administration, but Dick just refused to get upset. Something about his heart, he said. Dick told me that as long as he held the real power, he didn't have any problem with it. You know, we have a saying down in Texas about a bird and bush. That's all I have to say about it. I'm standing by Dick in 2004."

Asked if he would someday like to become President himself, George W. Bush put doubts on the idea. "I asked Dick what he thought I should do," Bush explained, "but he said there might be some legal difficulties. Something about 'term limitationings'. He said he's looking into what he can do about that."

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:15 AM. # (permalink)



Tuesday, May 06, 2003
 
As she watches the anti-abortion protesters outside the clinic down the street, Mother Davis wonders,

Why don't these protesters ever carry pictures of embryos aborted during the first trimester? How about photographs of blastulas?

Thinking that the answer to this one is definitely not blowing in the wind,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 7:25 AM. # (permalink)



Monday, May 05, 2003
 

The Big Bad Dixie Chicks Boycott...


...manages to drum up one protester as the music group begins their latest tour with music from their bestselling album. Well, I'm sure that one protester really meant it. Oh, yes, outside the right-wing media pundits there is a veritable groundswell of anger that one of the Chicks disparaged George W. Bush. A groundswell, indeed: I'm a-shakin' in my boots!

Puhleeze. This is just one more piece of evidence that Bush's support is ready to deflate like an overinflated balloon in a cactus garden.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 9:39 PM# (permalink)



 
White House's New Plan to Spy on American's Private Lives

When will they ever learn?

The Bush Administration has been caught in a new effort to give the CIA power to spy on the most personal details of American citizens' lives. Under George W. Bush's plan, the CIA would have the power to read our emails, listen in on our telephone calls, and see all the details of our private financial transactions without ever having to get approval from a judge. If there's no judicial approval, no one knows about the spying, the electronic searches through your private records, and so there's no opportunity for oversight to make sure that the power is not abused for vindictive political purposes.

Folks, according to the New York Times, this new plan came straight from the White House. When will George W. Bush learn that Americans don't want his goons spying on their private lives?

I have a feeling that he might learn the lesson in 2004.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 8:46 AM. # (permalink)



Sunday, May 04, 2003
 
What do these colors do, anyway?

In Oak Park, Illinois, across the street from The Carleton Hotel, I walked past a store with a sign taped up on its front window from the inside. The biggest part of the sign was taken up by the letters USA, decorated with what looked like red, white and blue to resemble the flag of the United States. Below it, a line read, "These colors don't run".

That sign voiced a powerful sentiment, but all the red ink had faded to a kind of dull grey. Furthermore, the store that had put the sign up in its window was now empty. It had gone out of business due to hard economic times.

Apparently, these colors may not run, but they do fade and go bankrupt.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 5:02 PM. # (permalink)




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