I’ve known for about a year that I would need a new workhorse in one year and I think that day has arrived. What’s strange about it is thinking about whether the planned obsolescence is mine or Apple’s. They say that 3 years is the limit for most computers, and I’ve seen this in so many cases, but how much has my own input into this computer affected its output? Did I type just one too many times on that Return key thus making the processor weary? Or was it that time I restarted four times in one day just to try out some new piece of crazy pixellation software? The question essentially boils down to nature or nurture; or, rather, technology and usage.
While I didn’t incorporate my company in Delaware, I do wish I could get a car license plate from the Great State of Delaware, which produces plates that beat anything else out there in the US. Their plate designs are simple, truly elegant forms, matte printed and they just look very base. Perhaps more interestingly, there is a fantastic website called LICENSE PLATES OF THE WORLD (their bold, my bad) which shows beautiful license plates from such places as Bhutan and North Korea. This is a phenomenal reference site.
After dinner, we all went out to the large pond near us to look at ducks, and lo and behond we saw two large swans swimming towards us. What was interesting was that tucked between them and barely noticable at first, were six baby swans, probably less than 1 week old. It looked like a little like this times six. They were grey, small, and very cognizant little birds. The father, on the other hand, was white, large, and very belligerant. The mother led the way.
A good 12:12 am weblog post: Earth is beautiful and this can be easily proven by a photograph taken 86 million miles away.
I finally got the email that I had heard long and hard about, which says that PayPal is “undertaking a period review of our member accounts”. The folks behind this scan are truly evil bastards that are sending unwitting folks to submit their credit card and other personal information on a site called un-fraud.com that looks just like PayPal.com but IS NOT. The above link will take you not to their fake, cowardly sham site but to Register.com which was nice enough to register and maintain the registration for the the fraudulant un-fraud.commers.
I purchased Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey for my wife recently. Here’s one that she liked, and I understand why:
Anytime I see something screech across a room and latch onto someone’s neck, and the guy screams and tries to get it off, I have to laugh, because what is that thing?
A very well-read journalist today told me that Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind’s Future In This Century–On Earth and Beyond by Martin J. Rees, a superbly smart Cambridge professor, is making the rounds of political and economic circles. I read the review in this Sunday’s New York Times and the book seems so profoundly bleak and odd that I need to just quote from the Times reviewer, Dennis Overbye. Mr. Rees is certainly worried about global warming, WMD, and the threat of biological disaster, but it’s the scientitically mind-numbing ones that bother me most. Oy, my heart sinks as I write but this is important (all quotes are from NYT):
‘Engineering advances could lead to the creation of intelligent self-reproducing nanoparticles that could eat us and every other living thing on Earth, reducing the biosphere to what Eric Drexler, one of the pioneers of nanotechnology, calls ”gray goo” — the subject of a recent thriller, ”Prey,” by Michael Crichton.’
‘Certain physics experiments might be even more catastrophic, Rees reports. In principle they could disturb space-time itself, causing the laws of physics to twitch into a new form, like water suddenly freezing to ice, destroying our atoms and everything else. Since we lack a ”battle-tested” theory of what happens at very, very cold temperatures, he says, we would have been right to be worried when a metal bar — part of an apparatus to detect gravitational waves, ripples of space-time predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity — was recently cooled to near absolute zero, making it what Peter Michelson of Stanford University called ”the coldest large object in the universe.”’
‘MORE recently, physicists at Brookhaven National Laboratory calculated the odds that a planned experiment, in which atomic nuclei would be accelerated to collide at high speeds, might cause all the matter in the earth to collapse into exotic dense particles called ”strangelets,” extinguishing life, among other things. The risk came out to about one in 50 million. That sounds good, and the experiments commenced without tragedy, but Rees takes no comfort in that, pointing out that the results of the calculation can also be expressed as saying that 120 people might be expected to die from the experiments. Not even the most ambitious physicist would advocate accepting such a price for scientific knowledge.’
I thought I was so cool by subscribing to Salon and by reading more and more content on the Web. Then today, for the life of me, I couldn’t find a very well-written article about creating Favicons (those odd little customized icons you see in your browser’s address line next to its address, unless you use a Mac and IE 5.2 like me) in some Mac magazine, which I think is May 2003’s MacAddict, a hit or miss magazine that is British in is approach to using and thinking about Macs and which makes my skin slightly crawl for some reason that I do not know.
Today, I updated my operating system software (to 10.2.6) and I had to restart the computer. A few seconds later, up popped that fine gray Apple logo with the spinning clock beneath. My daughter looked up, pointed at the monitor, and said “app” and it was both a miraculous and scary moment. Miraculous because she can now associate real objects with their symbolic equivalents. Scary because early branding has just occurred and I realize that there are far worse companies out there seeking to influence her growing mind and emotional development.
Although there are conflicting reports as to the amount of artworks actually returned to Iraq’s art institutions (it appears that most has been found), I’m still fascinated by the so-called “looting” that happened there under U.S. eyes. In fact, I’m less interested in the fact that U.S. troops did absolutely nothing to prevent or apprehend folks from taking the art. I’m much more fascinated by the fact that Iraqi citizens, in their hour of delight or anger, went to the institution of art to recapture the works that they obviously felt were rightfully theirs.
In the 1980s and some of the 1990s, many art critics and curators attempted to make an argument that art must be “recaptured” or “re-purchased” or “re-claimed” by the community or those outside of the traditional governing infrastructures that hold art in its place. This movement, which I admittedly agreed with to some extent, believed that the commodification of art and its place in the hegemonic order needed to be subverted or relieved or perhaps overturned. I wonder (out loud now) if Iraqis didn’t do just that — they took the artwork that they believed is theirs, and used it for their own needs, goals, and symbolic purposes. Did the Iraqis beat us cowardly Americans to it? Or, rather, are art institutions really the governors of our cultural heritage and does all of this lend less credence to our museums and more to the critics aforementioned? Or, on the other hand, if the “looting” was an inside job, were those people who organized the stealing of artworks part of a new order of thief that we could see in the West at some point?
Moreover, where are the “radical” art critics and curators who argued for the literal and symbolic recapture of artwork now that we’ve this activity happen under U.S. watch? What do they have to say? I’m on the lookout but I’m open to the possibility that we’ve turned a corner in our relation to art, art history, and the ownership of aesthetics.