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Hello 2018

Happy Nooo Year!

Peace and Blessings to All!


last of 2017

Back from a vacation, and it’s a clear brisk day here at the moment. A couple of random news items, just to finish off the year:

The Year of Resistance, Inc. Jacobin — About how big business in the US denounces Trump while hugely benefitting from the control his administration and the Republican party now have of the federal government:

Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria. The Atlantic — About the legal failure of the google books project (distantly related to Google-vs-Amazon competition, copyrights, grand projects, etc):

Another strange year, eh?

Politically in the US, kindof a hangover / rage-read extravaganza to follow up 2016. We got to see the circus of the Trump Administration. It’s the kind of government fitting for a society whose political discourse centers around postcard-sized messages exchanged by postcard message addicts. (We can do better!). There was another article in the Atlantic about how the latest “generation” (the cohort of kids after millennials) are growing up hooked on social media for validation – in a process whose biochemistry is not unlike the compulsion to play slot machines, for example. There’s some of that going on with the adults driving the “narrative” too, I think. Nearly all talk of “issues” is deferred for the time being – and 2016 showed there are some pretty deep ones that need attention. Hopefully 2018, with its mid-term elections, will see some improvement.

Internationally, ominous signs in the middle east, but ironically, fear of the Trump Administration’s incompetence has thus far resulted in a holding pattern consisting of mostly trash talk, with Kim Jong-un providing the appropriate foil for the President, and supplying much needed distraction from more dangerous potential conflicts. Whether that can be sustained for 4 (or if necessary 8) years is unclear.

This blog is kindof on hiatus for the time being, since I got pretty burned out on politics and IR blogging early in the year, and still am.

So with that, goodbye 2017! Cheers!

UPDATE [from March, Trump and Obama autotune duet — Barbie Girl (Orig: Aqua) ]

UPDATE 2 – check out my new blog for the real musical interludes:

Rewiring the Democratic Brain [SF Magazine]

Another article about Berkeley cognitive linguist George Lakoff’s push to invest in the Democratic party’s mass-marketing game. The ideas presented may well improve electoral results. But it would elect a lobotomized version of the D party – completing the reduction of its policy platforms to back-of-a-postcard / soundbyte / twitter versions of what it could (should) be. Some relevant points nonetheless.


When a Nuclear War Planner, Daniel Ellsberg, Confesses [David Swanson / Dandelion Salad]

Turns out the man behind the Pentagon Papers had a whole other distinguished career. This is ultimately a promo for his book, which sounds very interesting.



new blog, just for tunes

All musical interludes, all the time:

4k intro medley

These are all the output of programs in the “4k” weight class. (including the typically primitive audio. 4kb is equivalent to ~2 pages of printed text w/o compression).


EU Parliament condemns Saudi war in Yemen [ME Eye]

The European parliament called for an arms embargo to prevent atrocities by Saudi Arabia vs Yemen. However it does not have the authority to actually do such a thing.


A similar resolution was passed (with similarly little effect) in 2016. Still it’s nice to have some token voices of conscience out there.