Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Via Scoble:

ComputerWorld reports: "When it comes to treating online customers with respect, Microsoft Corp. tops the list of the country's top 100 companies, according to The Customer Respect Group Inc. in Bellevue, Wash."

The Customer Respect Group Inc. in Bellevue, Washington.

In Bellevue, Washington.


This just in: Everyone just loves president Bush, according to The Heritage Foundation, in Washington, D.C.

I'm glad Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit 9/11, has been received as it has. Though dismissed by some, many seem to be weighing Moore's critical points. If you are sympathetic to Michael Moore's general premise, but put off by his tone and rather loose relationship with facts and context, I'd like to suggest a few books to read.

James Bamford's A Pretext for War details the lead-up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, the reaction of the government on that day, and operation of the government in the years following the attack. Bamford has written about the U.S. intelligence community for years; Pretext examines 9/11 and the war in Iraq from this perspective.

A Pretext for War

Some criticize Bamford's book as anti-Bush, anti-republican, or based on speculation. But a close reading of the book shows that Bamford's assertions are based on quite a bit more documented reportage than the "intelligence" the Bush administration used to justify war in Iraq.

A Pretext for War draws lines from neo-conservative lobbyists, to an absurd plan for war in the Middle East, to highly placed members of the Bush administration. It is an important book to read in a very dark, very critical time in American history. Bamford very carefully documents how the defense and intelligence community were gradually politicized, fabricating faulty intelligence to support Bush administration doctrine.

A Pretext for War

The second book to consider is Paul Krugman's The Great Unraveling. Krugman is an economist, writing for The New York Times. Where Bamford looks at The United States' current situation from the perspective of military and intelligence, Krugman looks at America's economic situation.

A collection of Times columns from the past three years, Krugman ties the book together with prefaces and introductions that put his writing on context. Though Krugman is writing about economic policy one year prior to Bamford, they both arrive at the same conclusion: the Bush administration has put politics above all else, to the point of fabricating evidence and outright lying, doing whatever it takes to put their policy in place.

Krugman takes the Bush administration's Economic policies apart, one by one, documenting the duplicitous explanations given by the administration and the disastrous path on which they place the country.

Krugman also makes an effort to understand the motivations, chilling as they are, of the Bush administration and the radical neo-conservative operative that control it.

We are a country that had come to expect that Clinton-era peace and prosperity would continue indefinitely. Confronted with the radical conservative policies of the Bush administration, moderates sought to appease Bush and Co, with disastrous results. The time for moderate opposition to the Bush administration is long past. The Bush administration places politics and policy above all else; the opposition must realize this.

Radical neo-conservatives are bent on destruction of the very structure of American government. Through unprecedented secrecy, no press access, and no tolerance of dissent or criticism, the Bush administration seeks to roll back civil liberties, separation of church and state, and social safety nets such as medicare and social security. This sounds alarmist, and it sounds wacky, but we are fighting for the very nature of the United States.

It is not too late to get involved.


This photo deserves a caption contest.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Nice. This is my next phone.

MobileWhack is running a story about Apple's just-released driver for Verizon's high-speed wireless network. Verizon's high-speed service looks pretty cool. There were only two things preventing me from using it:

  • I will never again willingly give any money to those arrogant, lazy, monopolist, shit-service providing assholes at Verizon.
  • There was no MacOS driver for the card.

Well, one down, I suppose.

Very cool. Video conferenced images superimposed on your desktop.

Oh good God. Vin Diesel breakdancing. Part one and part two.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


In a remarkable act of intuition, my TiVo knew to record Graham Norton's show on Comedy Central. Good stuff.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Apple Computer has released Rendezvous for Windows 2000 and XP. Cool.

Lately, I've been more and more convinced that a liberal arts degree is better career training than a Computer Science or Business degree.

I'm certain that I learned as much about debugging software from Plato as I did from various CS books. I see people packed full of unconnected technology facts and figures, but who can't distinguish between cause vs. correlation.

I'm so terribly frustrated by specialists.

If you ever interview with me (which, more than likely, you will not), don't try to impress me with obscure, geeky details of XSLT or EIBTDA. Please, for the love of God, be able to express why some bit of technology is important, how it will make solving real problems easier.

Very few of us get to write compilers for a living. I want to deal with people with good general knowledge.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


It is a remarkably beautiful day in New York. Cool and clear. I woke up early today, cleansed myself thoroughly, cut my nails, and made it to work early. It is 9:30, and I've already migrated a Weblogic installation to a new server.

I'm determined to make today suck less than yesterday.

Monday, June 28, 2004



Whew. What a day.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

It is a good thing the Republican party has its priorities straight. In these times, nothing is more important than protecting large corporations by extending copyright law and making gun companies immune from federal law suits.