I’m sitting here writing while watching the Wall Street Journal Editorial Report on Prairie Public Television. Paul Gigot and three similarly aged white men have now articulated, a few times, that it could have been a lot worse for the White House today because Mr. Rove was not indicated (though Mr. Libby was).
“On the other big story of the week, the news was not good, but not disastrous. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald decided not to seek an indictment of the President’s top aide, Karl Rove, in connection with the leak of a CIA officer’s identity. True, an indictment did come down against Vice-President Cheney’s aide, Scooter Libby. But that was not the political blow an indictment of Rove would have been.” “I’m guessing that Rove is in the clear.” “It could have been a lot worse for President Bush.” “This is not, what it comes down to it, an accusation of a major cover-up.” “There are obvious weaknesses in the White House operation, and I think they need to be addressed.”
These men, to a one, look like a league of rats on a ship that sprung a leak at sea that is without life buoys and without a connection to a media which smells blood and wants some meat.
I’ve been looking for a babysitter here in Winnipeg for a few days. I’ve asked neighbors, friends, colleagues, strangers, and even casual bystanders how thye would go about finding a regular babysitter in these here parts. I got the following answers: post a piece of paper in the community center, ask “XYZ” because they know about these things, see if you can find a nice grandmom in the neighborhood, and take a classified ad out in the community newspaper. Others thought I should use the Yellow Pages, which I actually did, and the babysitting service that I called said they probably wouldn’t have anyone available for those days but that they would get back to me in a few days or weeks. The woman owner said she was about take out an advert in the city newspaper herself to start attracting more babysitters for her business.
I went online. Used Google. And then found Babysitter.ca.
I’m not sure it’s going to work but the model is pretty excellent. Essentially, a parent signs up for the service, pays a fee for a few months and then can search the qualifications of various sitters who have also signed up on the site. Sitters do not have to pay a fee to join the site which is wholesome and fair. What I think is brilliant about the system is its ease of use as it allows you to post an ad within the secure confines of the site and you can read reviews of the babysitters posted by other parents. But it’s not one way. Parents, too, can get reviewed by babysitters so that they, too, will know if they or their children are holy terrors.
This is not to say that the backyardigan nature of gossip and personal connections is over and done. But it does make me think that the Web has become, even in smaller cities (Winnipeg is 700,000 strong), a crucial component of social infrastructure that is more or less unexploited. No one in my initial conversations with residents here noted this website. One person mentioned Craigslist but the user base here is not large, yet. I know I don’t need to be a booster for the Web’s business-to-business foundation; but, this is a small-scale case for the power and efficicacy of the Web’s ability to solve real problems in real time via human endeavor.
I’m a big fan of Seth Godin, though I don’t always or can’t always, follow his superbly written and presented e-book advice. He has a new venture called Squidoo. The goal is to create little pockets of expertly written information (like Wikipedia) but with a metaphor of lenses to allow better information to rise to the top. It’s informationally slick – and there’s a lot being written about it. You can sign up for a maybe limited beta account.
In the natural world, nature culls itself. Fires spread through thick forests so that old trees can lie and new tries can grow anew. Bacteria, the oldest living thing in the world, perish in high heat, including the kind of heat generated by human fevers. And snakes feed on birds which feed on worms which feed on earthly organisms which feed on us and others.
It’s all so obvious, but somehow, in the recent last 100 years of human history, we’ve forgotten that mother nature is inescapably persuasive in making sure equilibrium is maintained. The earth’s living organisms have survived despite numerous extinctions and disasters. Evolution, despite the current hysteria about it in the States, is a cruel and stringent process; living things pass on when living things live on. It’s odd that we’ve forgotten this despite our aggregate longevity, we all assume we’ll live to the average age of 76 in the West. But nature or “nature” is so supremely larger and smarter than us.
Though nature is no closer to us than it was previously, it feels near and getting nearer. Avian bird flu is now in Europe and could easily reach North America in a matter of weeks. A pandemic is not without possibility and, when it reaches probability, the human and economic devestation will have to be immense. Earthquakes and floods have taken thousands of lives just in the past few months. It’s all of biblical proportions because, I think, we’ve forgotten that the Bible is rooted in the fear of G-d and the natural world. The writers and notetakers of the Torah were young scholars. They perhaps didn’t even have beards and surely they didn’t have very grey hair. But they did have a real sense that the world is unjustly beautiful and compels us to understand the probability of our near mortality.
I haven’t written in a while because I’m trying to redo everything:
I’m redoing this website and moving it to a more robust and capable server.
I’m redoing TAB, slowy and surely.
I’ve canceled my cell phone service. I’m redoing mobility.
I’m redoing exercise or at least rethinking about redoing it.
I’m redoing my office, re-organizing files both on the computer and in the meatworld (I hate that term).
I’m going to start trying to cook dinner every night and redo pings of culinary laziness.
I’m rethinking my own personal geography and place in the world and how I relate to others here, there and elsewhere.
I want to redo my business model slightly in order to focus on application design.
Therefore was a single human being created: to teach you that to destroy a single human soul is equivalent to destroying an entire world; and that to sustain a single human soul is equivalent to sustaining an entire world. And a single human being was created to keep peace among human beings, that no one might say to another: My lineage is greater than yours!
Happy New Year to my Jewish Friends.
The other day, I purchased the Omni Group’s OmniOutliner. I’ve been looking for a user-friendly, simple and powerful little toolbox that can sit on my computer and take the abuse of a hundred to-do notes. After looking at a lot of other Mac-based applications, this one easily fits the bill. You’d think that, because I have so many items to take care of, that I don’t have time to do the research into what application will act as a container and database for my to-do items. You might even think that, by researching ad nauseum the many applications that exist out there, that I’m also procrastinating and not making the most of my time. You may even presume to think that I just want a new toy to play with and explore, finding new ways of organizing information and learning how others might associate different kinds of important information. You’d be somewhat correct.
I am now using OmniOutliner and, after 3 days of loving it, entering all of my list items (including “put up wire holders in kitchen,” and “move files out of Entourage,” and “organize office file system”), I hate the f*cking thing. It’s really no fault of the application. It’s me. I hate having all of these open check boxes sitting around, mocking me, telling me how inferior I am and that I’m an incompetent, time-wasting, and inefficient SOB. I hate the fact that, when I check one little item off its pretty little face, the others scream out laughing and tell me to get my sh*t together because I only have so many more days in this world and people are waiting for this stuff to get done. Then, I close the application and the crappy little icon sits on my computer and I know I need to open it again, because there, in all of its fricking glory, are the things I need to do, unreviewed, unchecked, undone.
Postscript: I must not be the only one thinking about the need for good To Do lists. I just received an email for beta testing a new online application that sounds good but looks only average from the goog folks at Good Experience. Sign up for a trial.