this week i

flew across the country.. visit dr. curtis before he leaves for belgium.


revved up the '85 mustang.

hit the road.

finished 700 miles of rough terrain in a vehicle close to our ages.  (full route)


how plants in other solar systems would need to be black to absorb every morsel of wavelength for photosynthesis.

whether we'll ever live in a world where politicians argue over the first derivative of the unemployment rate instead of the rate itself.  maybe finland.

the social and cultural implications of a human-like species with a different average lifespan.  if we die at twenty, do we retire at eighteen?

black hole frequency in the universe: more common in the center of galaxies, which contain more mass, are more likely home to a dead star, possibly multiple merged together.

the next breakthrough in internet searching: voice-recognition software crawling through and transcribing all posted videos.

the most unrealistic hollywood pre-death phrase, "clever girl" - jurassic park.

appropedia - where engineers improve developing country-appropriate designs - wikidemiology.

entered sequoia national park.

saw the largest living thing..


proof of visit

beware of guillotine

got lost.

lodged in indie motels.

saw cars pretending to be older than ours.  should have followed them around.

spotted a bear.  mid-right.

have a little rule about lingering when there's a bear sighting: if you're the slowest-moving human present, don't.



mapped out the centuries.

explored kings canyon.

drove down the mountainside.

landed at lake isabella.

peaced out.

feel patriotic once in a while.


(1) marx, britain, now

(2) the technological inevitability of privacy's death:  live as transparently as you can, soften your judgment of the vices and deviations of people in your life, demand government do the same.  also, the indian woman in the picture above will probably maul me once her friends find this picture with frt.

frt has one enormous advantage - it doesn't require consent, co-operation or even the subject's knowledge

frt doesn't have to be perfect to be useful

(3) the last islands of humanity

there are still 'wild' human beings living in some of the remotest corners of the tropics

since the collapse of the rubber boom

a native amazonian does not know how to function in contemporary society.  he or she speaks an unwritten language and is possessed of jungle skills that are of little value in the money economy.  add to these handicaps the almost universal tendency of frontier societies to exploit and discriminate against the members of less acculturated ethnic groups, and the barriers are almost insurmountable.  social ostracism, demoralization, and alcoholism comprise the barren netherworld between cultural states

(4) conflict in east central africa

relief workers know what displacement can do, but historians have been slower to learn

mobutu consoled his unpaid soldiers with the immortal words: "you have guns; you don't need a salary"

(5) developing countries and the global economy

the technology-enabled rise of much of the developing world would pose problems for america and other similarly situated western countries even if china and india consisted of five hundred independent singapores.  none of them would be threatening politically, and certainly not militarily.  but the implications for the western economies' competitiveness, and for their citizens' incomes and jobs and profits, would be the same

(6) incredible people walk this earth

less like a breakthrough for the democratic movement than a sign of its impotence: the generals didn't even need to lock up its leader anymore

unlike nelson mandela, she has always rejected armed struggle.  unlike the dalai lama, she didn't flee from persecution.

no country is going to invade burma for the sake of democracy, and the generals know it

(7) for-its-own-sake adventurism

greatest velocity ever attained by a falling human: 614 mph