Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bradbury on Life

Ray Bradbury turned eighty-eight last Sunday. The Internet Archive has a great mid-century television biography on him. Though the production seems somewhat schlocky, Bradbury comes across as earnest and inventive. (Link.)

Strange Attractors

Making shapes like this is fun and easy with Chaoscope! (Link.)
Pictured above, a sculpture by Zaha Hadid at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, via Design Boom.
Note: Chaoscope is a Windows program, but is rated as Platinum by the Wine AppDB. The view-window gets garbled on my laptop, but I think it is my graphics card's relationship to XGL/AIGLX.

Superior Floor System

I blog from Portland airport. I should have posted this last week when Austin (of Tyler Paint/ Exclamation Gallery) got the flash-site of his art-pot-luck-show up. I was pleased when I saw everyone's work together, as I am a fan of controlled chaos. I saw the project as a metaphor for urbanism. The site is slightly buggy (it won't let you re-select a previously zoomed item on the picture-wall) and is missing the photo and time-lapse video section on my Ubuntu laptop.

Link to a write-up on the August 8th opening on the Fallon-Rosof Artblog.
Link to the flash site.
Link to Austin's Flickr set of the show.

Also, the Chicago art-world podcast, Bad at Sports, took a tour of Philadelphia's artist collectives this summer. I found the tour fascinating, but I am peripherally familiar with the people and locales. Their conclusion was that "Philadelphia is a magical land but don’t leave anything valuable in your car." (Link.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Selections From H.P Lovecraft’s Brief Tenure As A Whitman’s Sampler Copywriter…

Caramel Chew

There is a dimension ruled by a blind caramel God-King who sits on a vast, cyclopean milk-chocolate throne while his mindless, gooey followers dance to the piping of crazed flutes. It is said that there are gateways in our world that lead to this caramel hell-planet. The delectable Caramel Chew may be one such portal.

More here...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Built with MPOP™ Technology®

Have no fear: Raven’s Hold, the Neverwinter Nights module I started working on at the end of last month, is still in development. I’ve just been sidetracked a bit of late with wedding preparations, etc. Expect a project update/play-testing schedule some time in early September.

Magic Pudding

"The US has spent between $120bn and $150bn on the programme since Ronald Reagan relaunched it in 1983. Under George Bush, the costs have accelerated. The Pentagon has requested $62bn for the next five-year tranche, which means that the total cost between 2003 and 2013 will be $110bn. Yet there are no clear criteria for success. As a recent paper in the journal Defense and Security Analysis shows, the Pentagon invented a new funding system in order to allow the missile defence programme to evade the government's usual accounting standards. It's called spiral development, which is quite appropriate, because it ensures that the costs spiral out of control.

Spiral development means, in the words of a Pentagon directive, that "the end-state requirements are not known at programme initiation". Instead, the system is allowed to develop in whatever way officials think fit. The result is that no one has the faintest idea what the programme is supposed to achieve, or whether it has achieved it. There are no fixed dates, no fixed costs for any component of the programme, no penalties for slippage or failure, no standards of any kind against which the system can be judged. And this monstrous scheme is still incapable of achieving what a few hundred dollars' worth of diplomacy could do in an afternoon."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Interview with former Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich

"I am expressing in the book, in a sense, what many of us sense, even if many of us don't really want to confront the implications. The Congress, especially with regard to matters related to national security policy, has thrust power and authority to the executive branch. We have created an imperial presidency. The congress no longer is able to articulate a vision of what is the common good. The Congress exists primarily to ensure the reelection of members of Congress.

As the imperial presidency has accrued power, surrounding the imperial presidency has come to be this group of institutions called the National Security State. The CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the other intelligence agencies. Now, these have grown since the end of World War Two into this mammoth enterprise.

But the National Security State doesn't work. The National Security State was not able to identify the 9/11 conspiracy. Was not able to deflect the attackers on 9/11. The National Security State was not able to plan intelligently for the Iraq War. Even if you think that the Iraq War was necessary. They were not able to put together an intelligent workable plan for that war.

The National Security State has not been able to provide the resources necessary to fight this so called global war on terror. So, as the Congress has moved to the margins, as the President has moved to the center of our politics, the presidency itself has come to be, I think, less effective. The system is broken."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Saturday, August 02, 2008


I re-post a Bill Hicks rant that Bob pointed out in the past to round out the discussion regarding all future references to marketing on the Astromen! weblog.

Stuff White People Like

#82 Hating Corporations

"If you plan to engage in lengthy conversations or get high with white people it is recommended that you read No Logo or one issue of AdBusters. Failing that, it is acceptable to buy a copy to leave on your coffee table. When white people see it, they will recognize you as someone who can see through the advertising and has a proper perspective on life."

This apparently started as some sort of West Coast banal and ironic office humor and has now become the full time job of the creator.

PS - This post is also an addendum to my comments in the "Sterilized Counterculture" conversation below. I get the impression "hipster" is becoming something of a loaded word that is related indirectly to the stuff that white people like.