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Commentary and Reviews by DJ Cline

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  • D.J. Cline
    DJ Cline Commentary 11-30-05 Copyright 2005 All rights reserved. Commentary I, Podbot I’ve been using iPods since they came out. A music system that used to
    Message 1 of 28 , Nov 30, 2005
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      DJ Cline Commentary 11-30-05
      Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.

      Commentary

      I, Podbot

      I�ve been using iPods since they came out. A music system that used to
      take up the size of a refrigerator is now smaller than a deck of cards.
      The most useful application has been in the car. For years I wrestled
      with CD changers and flipping past commercials on the radio. In
      addition to the iPod, I bought the AC adapter and a car radio with an
      audio input jack on the dash. I set the iPod on shuffle and change
      songs with the rattail remote.

      The result is that I can focus on driving. I never look at the display.
      Since I like every song I put on the iPod, even if I�m not particularly
      fond of the song that�s playing at that particular moment, I can always
      move on to the next one.

      I found the iPod mini not big enough for long trips. It also was prone
      to skipping when exercising. Attractive as they are, if you won one in
      contest, you got what you paid for.

      The Nano whipped the skipping problem but was again too limited. Cheap,
      but not enough to keep.

      The video iPod is useful for commuters on public transportation. I
      can�t imagine using it for regular viewing at home. Somehow watching
      Lost on a smaller screen only adds to the frustration and confusion of
      the show. An ability to pick up broadcast local shows might be nice.

      My advice is to go big if you are the sort of person who is in constant
      motion.

      Last in Translation

      In the past month I�ve seen several new ways to handle translation. One
      was IBM�s MASTOR, a PDA where you typed what you wanted to say. No
      surprise here. Another was where you talked in a teleconference and the
      words were translated like at the UN. One application from HotMetal
      folks searches through XML files to see if similar text has already
      been translated, thus saving time and money. The best would be a cell
      phone. I call the person with their own cell phone standing in front of
      me and the translation occurs simultaneously between us. It�s not there
      yet.

      Other News in Silicon Valley

      Google�s Aaron Broodman is promoting Greasemokey the user script
      manager for Firefox. As near as I can tell, these bits of code allow
      you to control what you want (and don�t want on your browser), but is a
      little technical for the average user at this point.

      Shai Agassi, president of SAP�s Product and Technology Group talked
      about moving his company in the direction of services with his
      Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA). Asked whether he would wind up
      moving to corporate headquarters in Germany, he said he Silicon Valley
      is the only place that has the right combination of money, brains and
      infrastructure to innovate. Until that changes he�s staying put.

      Eric Zankman is a Customer Management Consultant that can tell you what
      customers want and what you can do about it. He is able to determine
      which customers are worth pursuing. His approach to using business
      intelligence has worked for financial institutions and telecoms, but
      will work anywhere there are customers.

      Luke Hohmann of Enthiosys held an innovation workshop where total
      strangers were assembled in teams to brainstorm new products with
      cardboard, markers and glue. Drawing on the table is mandatory. The
      process is certainly fun and will be described in a book coming out
      next year. I thought it would make a great reality show, providing the
      people are quirky enough.

      Michael Copeland of Business 2.0 moderated a panel on innovation with
      Matt Halloway of SAP, Tom Kippola of Chasm Group, and Brett Murray of
      Apple. They drove home the points made later by keynote speaker Bob
      Sutton of Stanford. Innovation does not travel in a straight line, and
      requires new ways of thinking to bring to market.

      Book Reviews

      The Difference Engine
      By Doron Swade
      I know there is a science fiction novel by William Gibson with same
      name and theme, but this is the true story of Charles Babbage. He tried
      to build a steam-powered computer in the early 1800s. There is a lesson
      here for people trying to build artificial intelligence out of silicon.
      Maybe we just don�t have the right tools or materials yet. The other
      lesson is that with enough money you can get very different people to
      collaborate on complex projects. Run out of money and everybody goes
      home. Personally, I�m happy to write this on a PC and not a punched
      tape locomotive engine. Shoveling coal into the printer would be a
      pain.

      Weird Ideas That Work
      By Robert Sutton
      For a generation, corporations have been trying to create cultures of
      conformity and stifling innovation in the process. They fall behind,
      but they go bankrupt in an orderly fashion. Sutton says companies need
      the very people their HR departments screen out. Apparently you want
      people who don�t follow corporate guidelines, make co-workers
      uncomfortable, want to do things that can�t be done, perform in ways
      that can�t be measured. If Tom Friedman is right about the world being
      flat, then we must find ways to be unique to survive. Otherwise,
      anything that can be turned into a process will be outsourced or
      automated. As Hunter Thompson said, when the going gets weird, the
      weird turn pro.

      TV Reviews

      Colbert Report
      After the Daily Show, this is almost too much of a good thing. It takes
      every element of the self-aggrandizing cable talk show host and hammers
      it with every sound bite or graphic.

      Drawn Together
      The second season continues to be outrageously vulgar and funny. The
      episode with fanatic fundamentalist vegetables that go on a killing
      spree stands out for its Tarentino-like chaotic choreography.

      Rome
      When in Rome, do as HBO does. This is not another Sword and Sandal,
      Steve Reeve movie. This gritty, gross and graphic tale of Julius Caesar
      would have made Latin classes more interesting. The Second story line
      about the two soldiers is If you liked I, Claudius, this is for you.

      Movie Reviews

      Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
      You may not want Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer as neighbors, but you
      will want them as actors. This is in the same mold as Get Shorty or
      Hollywood Confidential. It is reverent to the detective fiction of the
      fifties and sixties and irreverent in everything else. There are
      unlikely coincidences, funny lines and scatterbrained narration and yet
      it all works.

      Motorcycle Diaries
      This is a buddy picture about a bohemian asthmatic medical student who
      bums around South America working with lepers and becomes Che Gueverra,
      revolutionary. See where helping people can get you into trouble.

      Yours, Mine, And Ours
      It might be yours but it certainly isn�t mine. This is a movie that did
      not need to be made the first time around.

      DJ Cline Commentary 11-30-05
      Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • D.J. Cline
      DJ Cline Commentary 12-30-05 Copyright 2005 All rights reserved. Commentary The Bush Administration admitted to domestic spying. Since I don’t have servants,
      Message 2 of 28 , Dec 21, 2005
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        DJ Cline Commentary 12-30-05
        Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.

        Commentary

        The Bush Administration admitted to domestic spying. Since I don�t have
        servants, I wasn�t worried. Perhaps they thought it would be cheaper
        than the imported kind.

        HP has restored the garage in Palo Alto where the company started. They
        should have their remaining employees moved in by the end of next year.
        Rumors has it, they intend to flip the garage and sell it to Dell for
        three times what they paid. Dell said they were not interested in a
        research and development facility.

        The world moves forward in unexpected ways. Daily newspapers across the
        country are putting themselves up for sale and nobody is buying. I know
        why. I thought I�d pack a gift box with some newspaper until I realized
        I didn�t have any in the house. I get most of my news electronically
        and didn�t notice the change. You can�t wrap an iPod in a website.

        It is the time of year for what I call the Holiday Convergence. There
        has been a lot of hoopla about one people favoring one holiday over the
        other. For me, it is a month of parties, and it is hard to turn down an
        invitation to any of them. All sorts of people get together to find a
        way to celebrate in the growing darkness. H.L. Mencken said that a
        puritan is someone who is always worried that somebody somewhere is
        enjoying themselves. I would tell them that Willem Dafoe said. Life is
        a wedding and we�re all invited. In the spirit of something most of us
        can all agree on:

        Happy Fourth Quarter and above expected earnings for the Next Fiscal
        Year!

        Book Reviews

        Ballroom of the Skies
        By John D. MacDonald
        Written fifty years ago, this science fiction paperback describes an
        America exhausted after the Cold War dealing with a fast growing India
        and a resurgent nuclear Iran. The actual plot is pure hocus pocus, but
        the premise is interesting given current events.

        Explorer�s House: National Geographic And The World It Made
        By Robert Poole
        This is a pedestrian story of very wealthy people and a hobby that
        became an institution. A few years ago National Geographic came out
        with a set of CD-ROMs of every issue they ever made. It was a better
        look into how the magazine and the world had changed.
        Unfortunately, it was pulled because of digital copyright royalty
        issues. Something similar happened to the digital version of the New
        Yorker. This dilemma needs to be worked out. If people in the future
        can�t access this material, their legacy will be lost.


        TV Reviews

        The Comedians of Comedy
        Four comedians are on a tour with a camera crew. Each of them is a very
        different person dealing with living on the road. There are
        scatological and highbrow moments as they develop and push back
        boundaries.

        Ghost Whisperer
        Psychic soccer mom sees dead people. See another show.

        Medium
        Psychic soccer mom fights crime. Now we are getting somewhere. Seems to
        have a sense of humor about itself and uses lots of clever tricks to
        tell the stories. Both shows deal with the Chinese idea of the �hungry
        ghost�. They believe if someone has been wronged and dies, their spirit
        will haunt the wrongdoers until restitution is made. Actually, Dickens�
        dealt with it A Christmas Carol Jacob Marley said it best. �The chains
        we forge in life, we carry in death.� A bit of cross-cultural karma
        commentary.

        Movie Reviews

        Brokeback Mountain
        It�s one of those Sundance Festival movies with trees in it. A well
        made movie with lots of accurate detail. You get to see how camping
        gear and pickup trucks have improved over time, but attitudes have not.
        Controversy aside, it is a romantic tragedy set in a beautiful place
        but backward time. Everybody suffers in this movie, so be prepared. The
        scene in the parent�s house near the end is the most moving.

        King Kong
        This movie accurately portrays the desperation of the Great Depression
        and then takes off as it moves to Skull Island. This entire sequence
        would be enjoyed most by Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson. There is a
        disturbing scene of people being eaten by giant insects that could have
        been left out. It is still a great movie. Check out the restored
        pre-code 1933 original. Bonus question: Why did King Kong climb the
        outside of the Empire state building? Because he was too cheap to take
        the elevator.

        Narnia
        It was okay. Younger audiences may like it. This movie is targeted
        toward conservatives, but has more subtext than Brokeback Mountain. For
        one thing, the entire movie takes place in a closet. In another, a man
        wearing leather and tights rides a unicorn into battle with charging
        rhinos. Awkward moment? When the kids show up at a beaver�s house
        wearing fur coats. Maybe it wasn�t anybody they know.

        Syriana
        A film about corruption and the oil industry with interlocking plots
        and complex characters. It does a great job of showing people doing
        horrible things just to pay the bills. The scene between George Clooney
        and Christopher Plummer is the most authentic on screen. You really
        want friends like Bob.

        Syrinarnia
        Not a real film, but it would be about this fantasyland where the
        heroes are welcomed as liberators.

        DJ Cline Commentary 12-30-05
        Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.




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      • Troy Gardner
        ... no that s what shredded credit card offers and junk mail is for. If anything I get MORE paper that I ve never asked for. ... So your predicting another
        Message 3 of 28 , Dec 21, 2005
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          > and didn�t notice the change. You can�t wrap an iPod in a website.

          no that's what shredded credit card offers and junk mail is for. If anything I
          get MORE paper that I've never asked for.

          >
          > It is the time of year for what I call the Holiday Convergence.

          So your predicting another singularity..the holidarity?


          > Narnia
          > It was okay. Younger audiences may like it.

          Which is a great way of saying if you don't think about the details to much you
          might enjoy it.

          >For one thing, the entire movie takes place in a closet.

          San Fran will a completely different spin on this no doubt.

          > Awkward moment? When the kids show up at a beaver�s house
          > wearing fur coats. Maybe it wasn�t anybody they know.

          oh how about the scene at the end when they are chasing the deer, after talking
          to their horse..and Mr. Ed talks back.

          The world narnia is wierd, and only made wierder as special effects budgets
          enable it to be so. It's like a shopping list of Open Source mythos.

          Hobbits (nope IP problems)
          Fiery Phoenix (check! licensed from WarnerBrothers of Harry Potter)
          Borg Queen..er Ice Queen? check!
          giants -check!
          talking animals -check!
          fauns -check!
          unicorns -check!
          magic - check!
          furry jesus -check!
          4 adolescent Vice President kings under fuzzy king. OK whatever.
          santa claus -hunh? oh okay something for the kids.



          Troy Gardner -"How you live your seconds, is how you live your days, is how you live your life..."

          http://www.troygardner.com -my world
          http://www.troyworks.com - building Rich Internet Applications
          http://www.intrio.com -helping bridge the gap between the humans and machines. Home of the Flickey™
        • D.J. Cline
          DJ Cline Commentary 01-30-06 Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Commentary NASA’s New Horizons space probe is on its way to Pluto. The journey will take
          Message 4 of 28 , Jan 29, 2006
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            DJ Cline Commentary 01-30-06
            Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

            Commentary

            NASA�s New Horizons space probe is on its way to Pluto. The journey
            will take nine years because of a connecting flight through Atlanta.

            It�s been a busy month in motion for me. So here is just a sample of
            the events.

            Consumer Electronics Show
            Rename this the Consumer Electronics Stockyard. Every company wants to
            herd as many cattle as possible into their proprietary format corrals.
            Don�t fence me in.

            MacWorld Expo
            Good marketing sells razors. Great marketing sells razor blades. Steve
            Jobs will sell you the beard on your face. I have never seen so many
            things you can stick an iPod into, including a toilet paper dispenser.

            In anticipation of the Pixar Disney deal, I went to Disneyland and had
            a look for myself. I have the following recommendations:
            1. Update Old New Orleans. Twice a day have a dike break and flood it
            just like the real New Orleans. You must be this tall to enter the
            Superdome ride.
            2. It�s A Small World should reflect globalization. Show the puppets
            answering phones, writing software and building cars.
            3. As for Tomorrowland, get rid of the rotating video arcade and get
            something I can�t see at Best Buy. Lose the annoying robots. Bring back
            guys flying jet packs.
            4. Enough of rides that shake the fillings of your teeth loose. Maybe
            they are just trying collect more loose change.

            Sundance Film Festival
            A flea market for films with few bargains this year. Watching films in
            theaters seems increasingly awkward and time-consuming, with bad sound,
            blurred images and uncomfortable seats. Add the cost of admission and
            it is no surprise people are staying home. New technology and business
            models are most evident here. Hollywood is going the same kind of
            collapse as Detroit. It has to get rid of the century old structure of
            producing, distributing and exhibiting films. Soderburgh�s film Bubble
            is awful but has the right model for low costs and higher profit
            margins. Two very persistent but well dressed young men tried to give
            me a DVD of The Other Side Of Heaven. I tried to give them my copy of
            Jon Krakauer�s book Under The Banner Of Heaven.

            O�Reilly Emerging Technology Conference
            For three days, O�Reilly turns over their stage to all sorts of
            innovators for their fifteen minutes of fame. At most conventions, the
            last day of an event is where you bury boring brass-polishers telling
            you about how wonderful their company is. Not at this event. It never
            lets up. There are hackers everywhere. There are more Linux and fewer
            Symbian phones. Philip Zimmerman of PGP doesn�t think the government
            needs to know everybody�s communication content. He said you just need
            to know who is talking to whom. I particularly liked MIT student Phil
            Zakielarz�s Gestural Phone. You just flick your wrist to navigate. You
            have to like a prototype that is covered in duct tape.

            Book Reviews

            I Am Alive And You Are Dead: A Journey Into The Mind Of Philip K. Dick
            By Emmanuel Carrere
            If you must go into the mind of Philip K. Dick, bring a flashlight.
            Make sure you tell people where you are going and when you expect to be
            back. This is a good and mercifully brief look into Dick�s troubled
            life. His story ideas have been worth billions of dollars in the film
            industry alone. I still think The Man In The High Castle should be made
            into a film, just like Bladerunner, Screamers, Total Recall, Minority
            Report and Paycheck. He once said that being paranoid in a paranoid
            society was his attempt to fit in. He also did a great job of
            questioning reality and what it means to be human. You could never tell
            when he was joking, which made him even funnier. Recommended reading.

            The Island of Lost Maps
            By Miles Harvey
            A Vietnam veteran goes on an international crime spree, taking antique
            maps and selling them for profit. This is a good book if you love maps,
            libraries or a good yarn with some great analysis on collectors�
            motivations. I particularly liked his comment that most of what we know
            about classical culture was illegally copied from the Library of
            Alexandria. A case for fair use in the future.

            TV Reviews

            Veronica Mars
            It is not science fiction, unless you count rich kids going to a public
            high school in California. It�s a cross between Nancy Drew and Raymond
            Chandler, with some Gidget thrown in.

            Movie Reviews

            Capote
            The background story of Capote�s book In Cold Blood. Hoffman does a
            great Truman Capote, covering murders and subsequent hanging in Kansas.
            It is hard to feel sorry for a successful New York author who gets a
            career boost from the tragedy of others, but Hoffman does it. I think
            the case hit a little too close to home for Capote, but he obviously
            hit a chord for lots of his readers. Capote said it was like he and one
            of the killers grew up in the same house. Capote walked out the front
            door and the killer walked out the back. Which door did you walk out
            of?

            Casanova
            This is a farce about love in 1750s Venice with the usual cases of
            mistaken identity. Heath Ledger is a charming PG Casanova. Oliver Platt
            is hilarious as the lard merchant. Jeremy Irons is the droll Inquisitor
            who pretends to protect the daughters of Venice by stating that heresy
            is whatever he says it is. The city is used to great effect. A date
            movie in the same league as Dangerous Beauty.

            Goodnight and Good Luck
            George Clooney and a talented cast accurately capture the McCarthy era
            and today. People lost their jobs and sometimes their lives because of
            a few people�s hysterical fears. Imagine if your job depended on
            signing a piece of paper. Would you sign it? Would you betray a friend
            to advance your career? Would you have the courage to continue talking
            to someone your boss didn�t approve of? Imagine people being tried
            without facing their accusers or countering the evidence brought
            against them. How do you combat silence, rumors and innuendo? You never
            give up and find a way like Edward R. Murrow did. An added bonus is
            listening Diana Reeves singing jazz standards during the musical
            interludes.

            The Family Stone
            Uptight future daughter-in-law meets wigged out family of New England
            liberal professor. This movie is a cross between Ben Stiller�s Meet The
            Parents and Sandra Bullock�s While You Were Sleeping. Lots of awkward
            moments and breaking things. The funniest scene is when the paramedic
            arrives on Christmas morning.

            Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
            The franchise grinds on in a professional manner. If the authorities
            ever find out about all the dangerous things going on in this school,
            they would shut it down.

            Song For Martin
            Wife takes care of husband with Alzheimer�s in Scandinavian country.
            This is a date movie if you are dating Ingmar Bergmann.

            Tarnation
            Boy with schizophrenic mother grows up in Texas with abusive foster
            care and grandparents and moves to New York. Lots of visual tricks and
            tedious scenes are hard to watch. Enlightening but not recommended for
            entertainment.

            DJ Cline Commentary 01-30-06
            Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Wayne Radinsky
            ... It s the 80 s, so where s our rocket packs? http://www.waynerad.com/rocket_packs.mp3
            Message 5 of 28 , Jan 31, 2006
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              D. J. Cline wrote:
              >
              > 3. As for Tomorrowland, get rid of the rotating video arcade and get
              > something I can't see at Best Buy. Lose the annoying robots. Bring back
              > guys flying jet packs.

              It's the 80's, so where's our rocket packs?

              http://www.waynerad.com/rocket_packs.mp3
            • D.J. Cline
              DJ Cline Commentary 02-28-06 Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Commentary AOL Gets Its One Cent Worth If you can read this, then you know I haven’t paid
              Message 6 of 28 , Feb 28, 2006
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                DJ Cline Commentary 02-28-06
                Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

                Commentary

                AOL Gets Its One Cent Worth

                If you can read this, then you know I haven�t paid the AOL certified
                e-mail tax.
                This idea is worse than hunting with Dick Cheney.

                Veep Rides Shotgun

                Dick Cheney shot his hunting partner, a Mr. Whittington. From now on,
                campaign contributors will pay $5,000 to be shot in the leg and $10,000
                in the face.

                A Really Bad Code

                Dan Brown, the author of the Da Vinci Code, was accused of plagiarism.
                Next time make sure the code is open source.

                Ellison�s Fate Worse Than Debt

                Oracle�s Larry Ellison is a billion dollars in debt. As a cost cutting
                measure on his yacht, he will be replacing the gold bars he was using
                for ballast with silver ones.

                Time of Death? 9:00 PM Eastern / 8:00 PM Central

                Television�s Dennis Weaver (McCloud), Darren McGavin (Kolchak) and Don
                Knotts (Barney Fife) all died within days of each other. Their memories
                will live on without commercial interruption.

                Heresy Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard

                I did not expect that this far in the future, fundamentalists of any
                sort would fret over cartoons. Recently, forecasting expert Paul Saffo
                told the San Francisco Chronicle that such people would eventually lose
                to the forces of change, but it would be a violent struggle. I don�t
                think it needs to be. I think we can persuade with humor. Perhaps that
                is why they fear funny people. Free expression is a basic human right,
                and everything has to be fair game. I cannot imagine being told I
                cannot treat any subject in a joking manner. I cannot think of a better
                way to deal with a dark and dangerous situation than with humor. Most
                experts think that is a healthy reaction. Here�s to your health.

                Baby You Can Hack My Car

                The Emerging Technology SIG hosted a panel to talk about the silicon
                automobile. Dave Bricetti hosted a panel of experts at various
                automobile frontiers.

                John Nagle talked about the October 2005 Darpa Grand Challenge
                Competition in the Mojave Desert. He showed pictures and video of
                prototypes crashing into fences, inching past orange traffic cones, and
                some actually completing trials. GPS, range finding and hardened
                computers are the keys to driverless vehicles.

                Ajay Juneja, founder and CEO of Speak With Me dealt with speech
                recognition and decision trees. He demonstrated the differences between
                interacting with his system and various competitors. Later, he backed
                up his demonstration by showing his own car�s configuration.

                Mark Chambers an Intel Product Marketing Engineer, presented how his
                view of how infotainment would work in vehicles, focusing on safety,
                reliability and ease of use.

                Raffi Krikorian, founding partner of Synthesis Studios, left a Boston
                blizzard to demonstrate an intriguing navigation application similar to
                GoogleMaps with three-dimensional images. The application can show you
                precisely the correct lane to take an exit.

                The panel agreed the immediate advances would occur in entertainment,
                with displays, interfaces and audio. A car that will take you wherever
                you want without ever touching the controls will require more social
                than technological progress.

                All Your Ads Belong To Us

                Google hosted a Search SIG on classified advertisement. Hosted by Greg
                Sterling of the Kelsey Group, the panel consisted of Google�s Bindu
                Reddy, Oodle�s Craig Donato, Edgeio�s Keith Teare. Basically an ad
                posted anywhere on the web can be chopped sliced and diced to appear
                anywhere else on the web, making it easier to connect buyers with
                sellers.

                Independent Collaborators

                Pillsbury Winthrop hosted a Collaboration SIG organized by Charles
                Welsh, Patti Wilson, Scott McMullan and Eugene Eric Kim. It was
                remarkable because it showed how digital communities have developed
                over the several generations. Pioneers Lee Felsenstein of the Homebrew
                Computer Club and Jim Warren of the West Coast Computer Faire rubbed
                elbows with the new vanguard of David Weekly and Jim Lindsay of
                SuperHappyDevHouse. When people voluntarily come together in community,
                great things can happen.

                CD DB ID OK

                Steve Scherf, VP of Architecture/Service Development talked about
                Gracenote�s inner workings when it helps identify the tracks on every
                CD in the world. Basically there is a big Oracle database in back and
                tight bundle of C code in front that can identify your CD table of
                contents in a few seconds. As an added plus they don�t keep track of
                who you are.

                Bad Bosses Are Big Business

                Marilyn Manning spoke to the Software Engineering Management SIG about
                handling difficult workplace issues. Imagine. There are so many
                mismanaged companies that someone actually makes a living pointing it
                out. I was fascinated when she talked about mutinies, when entire
                departments go over their manager�s head to complain. In some cases
                they quit. You have to remember the founders of Fairchild Semiconductor
                who were called traitors when they formed their own company. I take
                this as a sign of rebirth in Silicon Valley.

                Vote With Your Resume

                At STC Silicon Valley Chapter last week, Andrew Davis of Synergistech
                told us the recession is over and we can all start looking for new
                jobs. His insight on the light and dark side of recruiting could help
                you map out your next move.

                Book Reviews

                The Great Influenza
                By John M. Barry
                To an influenza virus, we all taste like chicken. This book gives nice
                summary of medical history and how viruses behave, leading up to a
                frightening description of the 1918 Influenza outbreak. Apparently
                there was poor access to health care and a wartime government that
                tried suppressing dissent, disrupting the free flow of information to
                the public, costing millions of lives. They could not fight an enemy
                that followed the wind and not a flag.

                TV Reviews

                Survivorman
                A guy puts himself in all sorts of perilous wilderness situations.
                Learn how to make fires, find food and water. Learn that wilderness is
                not always bountiful and civilization is not optional. The production
                crew knows roughly where he is, and he can be retrieved in seven days,
                but it still looks risky. I suspect the last episode will show the
                camera being swallowed up by a polar bear or shark.

                Movie Reviews

                Breakfast on Pluto
                I thought it was going to be science fiction, but it is more like the
                Crying Game.

                Crash
                Influenced by director Robert Altman, this film is about people from
                various groups interacting in Los Angeles. The threaded plotlines may
                require at least two viewings to figure out. Every character has
                preconceptions or stereotypes about people that are inaccurate if not
                downright wrong and sometimes dangerous. Everybody has baggage and
                needs to lose their luggage in this one.

                Eight Below
                Replace marching penguins with sled dogs left behind on Antarctic
                expedition. This movie gets the full Disney animals in peril treatment.
                Warning to parents: two dogs die and another is injured. There is a
                scene with sea leopard that you should watch only if the whole family
                is wearing diapers.

                House of Flying Daggers
                Lovely 3 bedroom, 2-bath house with detached garage of hovering
                hatchets. Good schools (martial arts). Footprints on walls and ceiling
                require some paint. More pretty crouching tiger stuff.

                World�s Fastest Indian
                Anthony Hopkins as older eccentric New Zealand motorcycle racer trying
                to break land speed record at Bonneville Flats in Utah. The movie mixes
                gentle human interaction with pulse pounding racing footage.
                Recommended.

                DJ Cline Commentary 02-28-06
                Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • D.J. Cline
                DJ Cline Commentary 03-30-06 Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Commentary Driving Hydrogen I’ve now driven several hydrogen cars. They are a lot like
                Message 7 of 28 , Mar 30, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  DJ Cline Commentary 03-30-06
                  Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

                  Commentary

                  Driving Hydrogen
                  I�ve now driven several hydrogen cars. They are a lot like hybrids,
                  only quieter. My goal is to work my way up the periodic table, so let
                  me know if you hear of a helium car.

                  Apple Anniversary

                  Apple Computer is 30 years old this month. Aren�t you glad you hung on
                  to their stock? If you didn�t, get back to work on that Windows
                  machine.

                  Future Taxpayers

                  Congress is moving toward giving immigrants a harder time. As April
                  15th approaches, I cannot think of any reason to chase away future
                  taxpayers. As politicians, I can�t think of a better way to antagonize
                  future voters.

                  Poison Suburb

                  As a nod to Earth Day, NBC News Correspondent James Hattori did a story
                  last week on families struggling with the dramatic increase of autistic
                  children in Tigard, Oregon. Families move to this wonder bread suburb
                  of crime-ridden Portland to provide a safe place for their kids to grow
                  up, unaware of potential environmental hazards. Raising your kids in
                  plastic bubble, is not an option, cleaning up the mess you make isn�t
                  either.

                  A Doctor in the Family

                  Down in Contra Costa, California the twisted trial of Susan Polk drags
                  on. It�s similar to a case in Spokane about ten years back. Here�s the
                  short version. A psychiatrist named Dr. Polk married Susan, one of his
                  teen-age patients (!). They had two kids. One day she allegedly killed
                  the doctor. She has no lawyer and has to cross-examine her own son. How
                  messed up could you be, growing up in a family like that? You can�t
                  call anybody else weird, because you win hands down. Thanksgiving has
                  to be awkward.

                  Our Bodies, Our Augments

                  The O�Reilly Emerging Technology Conference is a great place to meet
                  people who are literally on the bleeding edge. I ran into a woman who
                  had a chip implanted into her finger so she could sense electromagnetic
                  radiation. She could tell if a data cable was hot or not. Younger
                  people had body piercings, older people had hip replacements and both
                  had advice about MRIs. As time goes on, more and more of us are going
                  to have devices in our bodies that might interfere with diagnostic
                  sensing equipment like MRIs. In some cases they might have to be
                  removed. Not only that, but some tattoos can cause problems with
                  imaging. Also, handshaking may become less fashionable. I met several
                  people who were recovering from cancer who couldn�t shake hands with
                  anyone because their immune systems were suppressed. Maybe cultures
                  that bow to each other have a point.

                  Privacy: Less is Morae?

                  At this month�s O�Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, I met with the
                  very nice people at TechSmith. They make a usability testing
                  application called Morae, which I thought was an eel or mining town in
                  Middle Earth. It tracks how users navigate your site. I applaud finding
                  ways to build better websites, but am a little concerned over the beta
                  testing of something called the Astoria Project. According to their
                  site it �works through home or office firewalls, requires no
                  installation or configuration and securely transmits data between
                  connected computers.� Is this a good idea? Is this spyware?

                  Should Have Node

                  This month�s Collaboration SIG by Don Steiny of ISNAE and Harald
                  Katzmair of FAS Research echoed the presentations by Charles Armstrong
                  of Trampoline and Liz Turner of Ephidrina. The moment you define a
                  network, you may limit your findings. The classic example was a
                  salesman who had few contacts inside his company. On a diagram he
                  appeared as an isolated node on the social network, so they let him go.
                  If they had checked, they would have found out he was part of an
                  extraordinary outside sales network. The company lost customers and
                  eventually went out of business. People who network with other networks
                  are very useful. It�s not what you node, but who you node.

                  CRT DOA, LCD AOK

                  My old tube TV gave up the ghost. It was surfing through a reality show
                  where people were eating bugs and finally blew a circuit. I think it
                  just couldn�t live without carefully scripted dramas, clever comedic
                  dialogue or nature documentaries sponsored by oil companies.

                  I said to myself, what I need is a television the size of a billboard
                  in my living room. I�ve seen a hundred years of movies in regular
                  theaters and wanted a superior viewing experience. Most of these films
                  arrive on DVD anyway. Theaters or film festivals are no guarantee of
                  quality. I am tired of stadium seating for mountain goats, teeth
                  rattling but fuzzy sound systems and seats suitable for Northwest
                  Airlines.

                  The question is, how big? If you need something really big, you are
                  overcompensating for something, and there are little blue pills that
                  will fix that. It had to be big enough to enjoy a wide-screen film. By
                  the way, television is falling into the same trap as movies in the
                  1950�s. To attract more viewers, the studios came up with exotic
                  formats like Panavision and Cinerama. A well-made mediocre movie was
                  still mediocre. Viewers came back when they focused on content and not
                  format. For instance, people are watching the TV show Lost on tiny
                  iPods because it tells a compelling story very well, but I digress.

                  It had to be flat screen, because I wanted something I could physically
                  move and still be able to walk around my living room. I also didn�t
                  want looters to break into my home and then sue me because they hurt
                  their backs moving the unit. I didn�t want plasma because I heard they
                  use more power and wear out after awhile. I decided on LCD because I
                  had good luck with smaller monitors up to now.

                  Connectivity is an issue. I eventually donated a perfectly good Sony
                  Trinitron because it had no coaxial (RF) or RCA connections (and
                  honestly, it had no remote control). I got a unit with those
                  connections as well as S-video and component ports. There are ports for
                  DVI and HDMI, part of the Digital Rights Management (DRM) proprietary
                  trap, so don�t encourage them. Most importantly, it has the standard
                  VGA port so I can surf the web and stream video, which I think is the
                  way most people will be watching in the future. Last of all, it had to
                  accommodate an old set of rabbit ears, in case all else failed.

                  Sound? The speakers in most units are fine for me. If I want to pop the
                  nails out of the floorboards, I could, but I am too cheap.

                  Remotes? I actually managed to get rid of one remote. Adjusting sound
                  still requires sorting for the right remote. The most used button so
                  far is the Aspect ration button, which you have to adjust as you switch
                  from regular TV format to HD to widescreen. I found it a great way to
                  squeeze out those annoying graphics promoting other shows at the bottom
                  of the screen.

                  As for brands, it doesn�t matter, the specs do. Get a copy of Consumer
                  Reports magazine and read the specs on each unit. Put it together on a
                  spreadsheet. You should be able to get a set that will last five years
                  for under a grand. I didn�t bother with extended warranties. If it
                  dies, it dies. I�ll catch up on my reading.

                  Book Reviews

                  A Beautiful Mind
                  By Sylvia Nasar
                  This book gives a better understanding of mathematics Nobel Prize
                  winner John Nash than director Ron Howard�s movie starring the
                  pugnacious Russell Crowe. We owe our winning the Cold War to a man you
                  would avoid on the street. We owe our wealth building market strategies
                  to a man that could not hold a job. After reading this book I have come
                  to the conclusion that standardized testing might be screening out the
                  very people we need most. A friend pointed out that Steve Jobs and Bill
                  Gates never quite got their bachelor degrees. I guess it was hard to
                  get a degree in a industry you had to create. I look at my sheepskins
                  and wonder if there isn�t something to the name.

                  Google Maps Hacks: Tips and Tools for Geographics Searching and Remixing
                  By Rich Gibson and Schuyler Erle
                  Learn how to make the most of Google Maps. For example, find out which
                  companies have parking spaces for the disabled. If those spots are
                  always empty, it might say something.

                  Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams
                  By M.J. Simpson
                  Simpson de-mythologizes and humanizes the creator of Hitchhikers Guide
                  to The Galaxy with recently revealed documents. His life was as
                  complicated as his fiction. Recommended.

                  Like Family
                  By Paula McClain
                  Fresno female finds foster family. Don�t grow up in Fresno. Don�t grow
                  old in Fresno. A well-written, lyrical memoir of surviving 1970�s
                  California.

                  Mapping Hacks: Tips and Tools for Electronic Cartography
                  By Schuyler Erle, Rich Gibson and Jo Walsh
                  This should be a required textbook for geography students, but is
                  required reading for anyone thinking about wandering into the world of
                  GPS.

                  The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Menken
                  By Terry Teachout
                  A biography of a very quotable but not very likeable Baltimore writer.
                  If Mencken is new to you, this is a good place to start.

                  TV Reviews

                  Big Love
                  If faith can survive cartoons, it can surely survive cable TV. After
                  HBO�s success with the Sopranos, the executives must have thought they
                  could create another series about a dysfunctional family with elements
                  of hanky panky and mayhem and just move it from New Jersey to Utah. The
                  result is a slow moving mix of Deliverance meets Desperate Housewives.
                  Tom Paxton acts as if he is taking tranquilizers with his little blue
                  pills. There are lots of actors like Bruce Dern and Harry Dean Stanton
                  doing good work here, but it takes so long that it seems like there
                  should be commercials just so we can take a break. Now people in Utah
                  know how I feel when I watch movies about Indians.

                  Eddie Izzard: Dressed To Kill and Circle
                  Izzard pretends to be three sheets to the wind as he spray paints
                  verbal graffiti in your ears. His bit about a confrontation in dinosaur
                  saloon is beyond surreal. He is fearless as a performer. Watch it with
                  close captioning so you can keep up with what he is saying.

                  Movie Reviews

                  Confederate States of America
                  This is a Spike Lee produced film about an alternate timeline where the
                  South wins the Civil War. Part Ken Burns, part Fox network, this
                  mockumentary shows how far we have come and need to go. If this film
                  makes you ill, it did its job.

                  Thank You For Smoking
                  Great satire. The DVD should have a picture of a dirty ashtray on it.
                  If you are still smoking after TV news anchor Peter Jennings died of
                  lung cancer, have your head examined. If you are still smoking after
                  seeing this movie, have your head removed. There really are people like
                  this who can rationalize evil. If you meet someone who smokes, ask if
                  they read books like The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. If
                  the answer is yes, hide your wallet. If they say �It�s all in the
                  spin�, run for the nearest exit.

                  DJ Cline Commentary 03-30-06
                  Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Joschka Fisher
                  from the how about this desk of joschka fischer: Is it possbile you could hook of with a domestic of foreign dealer to test drive, maintain etc. several
                  Message 8 of 28 , Mar 31, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    from the "how about this" desk of joschka fischer:

                    Is it possbile you could hook of with a domestic of
                    foreign dealer to test drive, maintain etc. several
                    hydrogen cars and "helium", "nitrogen" or whatever
                    they have in the works, as a form of advertisement
                    for their product that you'd report on in the
                    internet?


                    --- "D.J. Cline" <djcline01@...> a écrit :

                    > DJ Cline Commentary 03-30-06
                    > Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.
                    >
                    > Commentary
                    >
                    > Driving Hydrogen
                    > I’ve now driven several hydrogen cars. They are a
                    > lot like hybrids,
                    > only quieter. My goal is to work my way up the
                    > periodic table, so let
                    > me know if you hear of a helium car.
                    >
                    > Apple Anniversary
                    >
                    > Apple Computer is 30 years old this month. Aren’t
                    > you glad you hung on
                    > to their stock? If you didn’t, get back to work on
                    > that Windows
                    > machine.
                    >
                    > Future Taxpayers
                    >
                    > Congress is moving toward giving immigrants a harder
                    > time. As April
                    > 15th approaches, I cannot think of any reason to
                    > chase away future
                    > taxpayers. As politicians, I can’t think of a better
                    > way to antagonize
                    > future voters.
                    >
                    > Poison Suburb
                    >
                    > As a nod to Earth Day, NBC News Correspondent James
                    > Hattori did a story
                    > last week on families struggling with the dramatic
                    > increase of autistic
                    > children in Tigard, Oregon. Families move to this
                    > wonder bread suburb
                    > of crime-ridden Portland to provide a safe place for
                    > their kids to grow
                    > up, unaware of potential environmental hazards.
                    > Raising your kids in
                    > plastic bubble, is not an option, cleaning up the
                    > mess you make isn’t
                    > either.
                    >
                    > A Doctor in the Family
                    >
                    > Down in Contra Costa, California the twisted trial
                    > of Susan Polk drags
                    > on. It’s similar to a case in Spokane about ten
                    > years back. Here’s the
                    > short version. A psychiatrist named Dr. Polk married
                    > Susan, one of his
                    > teen-age patients (!). They had two kids. One day
                    > she allegedly killed
                    > the doctor. She has no lawyer and has to
                    > cross-examine her own son. How
                    > messed up could you be, growing up in a family like
                    > that? You can’t
                    > call anybody else weird, because you win hands down.
                    > Thanksgiving has
                    > to be awkward.
                    >
                    > Our Bodies, Our Augments
                    >
                    > The O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference is a
                    > great place to meet
                    > people who are literally on the bleeding edge. I ran
                    > into a woman who
                    > had a chip implanted into her finger so she could
                    > sense electromagnetic
                    > radiation. She could tell if a data cable was hot or
                    > not. Younger
                    > people had body piercings, older people had hip
                    > replacements and both
                    > had advice about MRIs. As time goes on, more and
                    > more of us are going
                    > to have devices in our bodies that might interfere
                    > with diagnostic
                    > sensing equipment like MRIs. In some cases they
                    > might have to be
                    > removed. Not only that, but some tattoos can cause
                    > problems with
                    > imaging. Also, handshaking may become less
                    > fashionable. I met several
                    > people who were recovering from cancer who couldn’t
                    > shake hands with
                    > anyone because their immune systems were suppressed.
                    > Maybe cultures
                    > that bow to each other have a point.
                    >
                    > Privacy: Less is Morae?
                    >
                    > At this month’s O’Reilly Emerging Technology
                    > Conference, I met with the
                    > very nice people at TechSmith. They make a usability
                    > testing
                    > application called Morae, which I thought was an eel
                    > or mining town in
                    > Middle Earth. It tracks how users navigate your
                    > site. I applaud finding
                    > ways to build better websites, but am a little
                    > concerned over the beta
                    > testing of something called the Astoria Project.
                    > According to their
                    > site it ‘works through home or office firewalls,
                    > requires no
                    > installation or configuration and securely transmits
                    > data between
                    > connected computers.’ Is this a good idea? Is this
                    > spyware?
                    >
                    > Should Have Node
                    >
                    > This month’s Collaboration SIG by Don Steiny of
                    > ISNAE and Harald
                    > Katzmair of FAS Research echoed the presentations by
                    > Charles Armstrong
                    > of Trampoline and Liz Turner of Ephidrina. The
                    > moment you define a
                    > network, you may limit your findings. The classic
                    > example was a
                    > salesman who had few contacts inside his company. On
                    > a diagram he
                    > appeared as an isolated node on the social network,
                    > so they let him go.
                    > If they had checked, they would have found out he
                    > was part of an
                    > extraordinary outside sales network. The company
                    > lost customers and
                    > eventually went out of business. People who network
                    > with other networks
                    > are very useful. It’s not what you node, but who you
                    > node.
                    >
                    > CRT DOA, LCD AOK
                    >
                    > My old tube TV gave up the ghost. It was surfing
                    > through a reality show
                    > where people were eating bugs and finally blew a
                    > circuit. I think it
                    > just couldn’t live without carefully scripted
                    > dramas, clever comedic
                    > dialogue or nature documentaries sponsored by oil
                    > companies.
                    >
                    > I said to myself, what I need is a television the
                    > size of a billboard
                    > in my living room. I’ve seen a hundred years of
                    > movies in regular
                    > theaters and wanted a superior viewing experience.
                    > Most of these films
                    > arrive on DVD anyway. Theaters or film festivals are
                    > no guarantee of
                    > quality. I am tired of stadium seating for mountain
                    > goats, teeth
                    > rattling but fuzzy sound systems and seats suitable
                    > for Northwest
                    > Airlines.
                    >
                    > The question is, how big? If you need something
                    > really big, you are
                    > overcompensating for something, and there are little
                    > blue pills that
                    > will fix that. It had to be big enough to enjoy a
                    > wide-screen film. By
                    > the way, television is falling into the same trap as
                    > movies in the
                    > 1950’s. To attract more viewers, the studios came up
                    > with exotic
                    > formats like Panavision and Cinerama. A well-made
                    > mediocre movie was
                    > still mediocre. Viewers came back when they focused
                    > on content and not
                    > format. For instance, people are watching the TV
                    > show Lost on tiny
                    > iPods because it tells a compelling story very well,
                    > but I digress.
                    >
                    > It had to be flat screen, because I wanted something
                    > I could physically
                    > move and still be able to walk around my living
                    > room. I also didn’t
                    > want looters to break into my home and then sue me
                    > because they hurt
                    > their backs moving the unit. I didn’t want plasma
                    > because I heard they
                    > use more power and wear out after awhile. I decided
                    > on LCD because I
                    > had good luck with smaller monitors up to now.
                    >
                    > Connectivity is an issue. I eventually donated a
                    > perfectly good Sony
                    > Trinitron because it had no coaxial (RF) or RCA
                    > connections (and
                    > honestly, it had no remote control). I got a unit
                    > with those
                    > connections as well as S-video and component ports.
                    > There are ports for
                    > DVI and HDMI, part of the Digital Rights Management
                    > (DRM)
                    === message truncated ===







                    ___________________________________________________________________________
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                  • D.J. Cline
                    Writing About Riding Hydrogen by DJ Cline Copyright 2006 I ve considered working out a deal with the developers of hydrogen cars. Mainly because I am paying
                    Message 9 of 28 , Mar 31, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Writing About Riding Hydrogen
                      by DJ Cline
                      Copyright 2006

                      I've considered working out a deal with the developers of hydrogen cars.
                      Mainly because I am paying close to three dollars a gallon for gasoline
                      now.
                      There would have to be full disclosure that people knew I would be
                      writing this in exchange for promotional consideration.

                      There are risks. Most of the prototypes are one of a kind and cost over
                      a million dollars a piece. With my luck, I would be the first person to
                      have a fender bender in a hydrogen car. I can imagine the conversation
                      with my insurance company.

                      DJ: Hi, I've just been in an accident.
                      COMPANY: Did it happen with your car?
                      DJ: Well, no. It's an experimental prototype, the Wakima HX3.
                      COMPANY: Is that like a rental car?
                      DJ: No, I'm kind of borrowing it. They are letting me drive it so I can
                      write about it.
                      COMPANY: Were you writing about it while you were driving?
                      DJ: Arrgh! No.
                      COMPANY: What is the value of the vehicle?
                      DJ: A million dollars, I went with the big rims.

                      Writing About Riding Hydrogen
                      by DJ Cline
                      Copyright 2006


                      On Mar 31, 2006, at 8:08 AM, Joschka Fisher wrote:

                      > from the "how about this" desk of joschka fischer:
                      >
                      > Is it possbile you could hook of with a domestic of
                      > foreign dealer to test drive, maintain etc. several
                      > hydrogen cars and "helium", "nitrogen" or whatever
                      > they have in the works, as a form of advertisement
                      > for their product that you'd report on in the
                      > internet?
                      >
                      >
                      > --- "D.J. Cline" <djcline01@...> a écrit :
                      >
                      >> DJ Cline Commentary 03-30-06
                      >> Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.
                      >>
                      >> Commentary
                      >>
                      >> Driving Hydrogen
                      >> I’ve now driven several hydrogen cars. They are a
                      >> lot like hybrids,
                      >> only quieter. My goal is to work my way up the
                      >> periodic table, so let
                      >> me know if you hear of a helium car.
                      >>
                      >> Apple Anniversary
                      >>
                      >> Apple Computer is 30 years old this month. Aren’t
                      >> you glad you hung on
                      >> to their stock? If you didn’t, get back to work on
                      >> that Windows
                      >> machine.
                      >>
                      >> Future Taxpayers
                      >>
                      >> Congress is moving toward giving immigrants a harder
                      >> time. As April
                      >> 15th approaches, I cannot think of any reason to
                      >> chase away future
                      >> taxpayers. As politicians, I can’t think of a better
                      >> way to antagonize
                      >> future voters.
                      >>
                      >> Poison Suburb
                      >>
                      >> As a nod to Earth Day, NBC News Correspondent James
                      >> Hattori did a story
                      >> last week on families struggling with the dramatic
                      >> increase of autistic
                      >> children in Tigard, Oregon. Families move to this
                      >> wonder bread suburb
                      >> of crime-ridden Portland to provide a safe place for
                      >> their kids to grow
                      >> up, unaware of potential environmental hazards.
                      >> Raising your kids in
                      >> plastic bubble, is not an option, cleaning up the
                      >> mess you make isn’t
                      >> either.
                      >>
                      >> A Doctor in the Family
                      >>
                      >> Down in Contra Costa, California the twisted trial
                      >> of Susan Polk drags
                      >> on. It’s similar to a case in Spokane about ten
                      >> years back. Here’s the
                      >> short version. A psychiatrist named Dr. Polk married
                      >> Susan, one of his
                      >> teen-age patients (!). They had two kids. One day
                      >> she allegedly killed
                      >> the doctor. She has no lawyer and has to
                      >> cross-examine her own son. How
                      >> messed up could you be, growing up in a family like
                      >> that? You can’t
                      >> call anybody else weird, because you win hands down.
                      >> Thanksgiving has
                      >> to be awkward.
                      >>
                      >> Our Bodies, Our Augments
                      >>
                      >> The O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference is a
                      >> great place to meet
                      >> people who are literally on the bleeding edge. I ran
                      >> into a woman who
                      >> had a chip implanted into her finger so she could
                      >> sense electromagnetic
                      >> radiation. She could tell if a data cable was hot or
                      >> not. Younger
                      >> people had body piercings, older people had hip
                      >> replacements and both
                      >> had advice about MRIs. As time goes on, more and
                      >> more of us are going
                      >> to have devices in our bodies that might interfere
                      >> with diagnostic
                      >> sensing equipment like MRIs. In some cases they
                      >> might have to be
                      >> removed. Not only that, but some tattoos can cause
                      >> problems with
                      >> imaging. Also, handshaking may become less
                      >> fashionable. I met several
                      >> people who were recovering from cancer who couldn’t
                      >> shake hands with
                      >> anyone because their immune systems were suppressed.
                      >> Maybe cultures
                      >> that bow to each other have a point.
                      >>
                      >> Privacy: Less is Morae?
                      >>
                      >> At this month’s O’Reilly Emerging Technology
                      >> Conference, I met with the
                      >> very nice people at TechSmith. They make a usability
                      >> testing
                      >> application called Morae, which I thought was an eel
                      >> or mining town in
                      >> Middle Earth. It tracks how users navigate your
                      >> site. I applaud finding
                      >> ways to build better websites, but am a little
                      >> concerned over the beta
                      >> testing of something called the Astoria Project.
                      >> According to their
                      >> site it ‘works through home or office firewalls,
                      >> requires no
                      >> installation or configuration and securely transmits
                      >> data between
                      >> connected computers.’ Is this a good idea? Is this
                      >> spyware?
                      >>
                      >> Should Have Node
                      >>
                      >> This month’s Collaboration SIG by Don Steiny of
                      >> ISNAE and Harald
                      >> Katzmair of FAS Research echoed the presentations by
                      >> Charles Armstrong
                      >> of Trampoline and Liz Turner of Ephidrina. The
                      >> moment you define a
                      >> network, you may limit your findings. The classic
                      >> example was a
                      >> salesman who had few contacts inside his company. On
                      >> a diagram he
                      >> appeared as an isolated node on the social network,
                      >> so they let him go.
                      >> If they had checked, they would have found out he
                      >> was part of an
                      >> extraordinary outside sales network. The company
                      >> lost customers and
                      >> eventually went out of business. People who network
                      >> with other networks
                      >> are very useful. It’s not what you node, but who you
                      >> node.
                      >>
                      >> CRT DOA, LCD AOK
                      >>
                      >> My old tube TV gave up the ghost. It was surfing
                      >> through a reality show
                      >> where people were eating bugs and finally blew a
                      >> circuit. I think it
                      >> just couldn’t live without carefully scripted
                      >> dramas, clever comedic
                      >> dialogue or nature documentaries sponsored by oil
                      >> companies.
                      >>
                      >> I said to myself, what I need is a television the
                      >> size of a billboard
                      >> in my living room. I’ve seen a hundred years of
                      >> movies in regular
                      >> theaters and wanted a superior viewing experience.
                      >> Most of these films
                      >> arrive on DVD anyway. Theaters or film festivals are
                      >> no guarantee of
                      >> quality. I am tired of stadium seating for mountain
                      >> goats, teeth
                      >> rattling but fuzzy sound systems and seats suitable
                      >> for Northwest
                      >> Airlines.
                      >>
                      >> The question is, how big? If you need something
                      >> really big, you are
                      >> overcompensating for something, and there are little
                      >> blue pills that
                      >> will fix that. It had to be big enough to enjoy a
                      >> wide-screen film. By
                      >> the way, television is falling into the same trap as
                      >> movies in the
                      >> 1950’s. To attract more viewers, the studios came up
                      >> with exotic
                      >> formats like Panavision and Cinerama. A well-made
                      >> mediocre movie was
                      >> still mediocre. Viewers came back when they focused
                      >> on content and not
                      >> format. For instance, people are watching the TV
                      >> show Lost on tiny
                      >> iPods because it tells a compelling story very well,
                      >> but I digress.
                      >>
                      >> It had to be flat screen, because I wanted something
                      >> I could physically
                      >> move and still be able to walk around my living
                      >> room. I also didn’t
                      >> want looters to break into my home and then sue me
                      >> because they hurt
                      >> their backs moving the unit. I didn’t want plasma
                      >> because I heard they
                      >> use more power and wear out after awhile. I decided
                      >> on LCD because I
                      >> had good luck with smaller monitors up to now.
                      >>
                      >> Connectivity is an issue. I eventually donated a
                      >> perfectly good Sony
                      >> Trinitron because it had no coaxial (RF) or RCA
                      >> connections (and
                      >> honestly, it had no remote control). I got a unit
                      >> with those
                      >> connections as well as S-video and component ports.
                      >> There are ports for
                      >> DVI and HDMI, part of the Digital Rights Management
                      >> (DRM)
                      > === message truncated ===
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > _______________________________________________________________________
                      > ____
                      > Nouveau : téléphonez moins cher avec Yahoo! Messenger ! Découvez les
                      > tarifs exceptionnels pour appeler la France et l'international.
                      > Téléchargez sur http://fr.messenger.yahoo.com
                      >
                    • D.J. Cline
                      DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-06 Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Commentary Gas Price Hikes Encourage Hiking If gas prices keep rising, it will be cheaper to
                      Message 10 of 28 , Apr 30, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-06
                        Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

                        Commentary

                        Gas Price Hikes Encourage Hiking

                        If gas prices keep rising, it will be cheaper to hire an oil company
                        executive to carry me on his back around town. You all have about four
                        months to register to vote. Expect to walk to the polls.

                        Bathroom So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

                        In my efforts to save energy, I replaced the six old-fashioned 60-watt
                        bulbs in my bathroom with new 23-watt fluorescents that give the
                        equivalent light of 100 watts. The new bulbs turned my bathroom into a
                        tanning booth. The light is so bright that I wear sunglasses when I
                        shave.

                        Forty Acres And A Mac

                        Steve Jobs is buying over forty acres in Cupertino, essentially
                        doubling the size of Apple Computer�s campus. They are planning a new
                        concept in architecture called the iBuilding. Each iBuilding will run
                        on just one USB connection and be networked for audio and video.
                        Existing employees will be dragged and dropped into their new cubicles.
                        New employees will be downloaded from the staffing service called
                        iPeople. All employees will cost the same. Newer iBuildings will get
                        progressively smaller until employees can�t fit inside them anymore.

                        BTW: I�m testing some new iPods and accessories and will have a report
                        on that later.

                        There Goes The Sun

                        Sun Microsystems Scott McNealy is stepping down as CEO. Say what you
                        want about Scott, because he�s probably already said it about you. Best
                        wishes Scott.

                        Racing Forms

                        The state of California will soon allow people to register as more than
                        one race. Apparently there are more than six different kinds of people
                        in the world. I always thought there were more than six billion.

                        It�s About Time For Overtime

                        A California court has decided in favor of former Electronics Arts
                        software engineers like Leander Hasty, who wanted to be paid overtime.
                        It turns out that recruiting people to Silicon Valley, forcing them to
                        repay their relocation fees, working them long hours with ridiculous
                        deadlines and then driving them to exhaustion is� abuse. Work rules
                        said that they were doing creative work and therefore were off the
                        clock. Obviously, someone who does not understand creative people wrote
                        this rule. It should be noted that game sales are flattening. Users
                        complain that the games aren�t as interesting as they used to be. Don�t
                        do the crime if you can�t pay the overtime.

                        Online Help: An Expensive Corporate Hobby

                        It�s the time of year where I review various software application
                        documentation schemes. They go by many names: GUI, user assistance, or
                        mostly online help. Originally it was a way of getting rid of printed
                        manuals. When applications were running on standalone computers, you
                        had to fit your documentation on a CD-ROM. If you lacked creative
                        skills you could cook up a bookshelf of PDFs. Five years ago you could
                        use JavaHelp, ForeHelp or RoboHelp. Later, you could just simply dump
                        some HTML on your company�s website and cook up some silly name like
                        doc-hub to justify the budget to upper management.

                        With the rise of Google and web search in general, I see such projects
                        as expensive hobbies. It is a waste of company resources to build what
                        search engines will supply for free. It�s like building an elaborate
                        model train set next to a real railroad. It looks very pretty but is
                        not practical for everyday use.

                        For example, I know lots of developers who work with different software
                        tools. If they want to know how to use a particular feature, they don�t
                        click on that question mark in the upper left hand corner. They don�t
                        go to the software company website. They don�t even go to user group
                        sponsored by the software company. They look for short tips posted by
                        independent developers or users. These independents are free of the
                        sales hype or bias associated with the application. They are able to
                        give the precise answer that large documentation departments cannot.

                        Invariably I find myself sitting in a hotel meeting room, enduring
                        slide presentations, and filling out questionnaires or being asked by
                        some poor tech writer to evaluate their online help. If I have to ask
                        how to use software, if it has to have lots of documentation, then
                        designing better online help is not the solution. Designing a better
                        application is. If you have to collect a wad of e-mails and sort
                        through overpriced databases to find out why users are having problems,
                        you still don�t get it. No matter what question the user may have, the
                        answer will be a better application, usually by a competitor.

                        Map On, Map Off, The Mapper!

                        A MapOFF! was held this month at Yahoo�s Sunnyvale headquarters.
                        O�Reilly Media�s Brady Forrest moderated a panel made of Yahoo�s Jeremy
                        Kreitler, Google�s Thai Tran, and Ask.com�s Andy Yang. They were asked
                        to compare their mapping and geosearch features in what amounted to a
                        shootout.

                        Since the inception of GoogleMaps API last year, there has been an
                        explosion in interest and development in geosearch. Maps are quickly
                        evolving from static to dynamic media showing surprising new
                        relationships from data, like housing prices or crime statistics.

                        By and large all three companies are working on delivering what users
                        want. They want more than the simple line drawings in color on a page
                        or screen. They want aerial photographs and ground level views that
                        tell them not just the address but also the name of the restaurant,
                        what�s on the menu and whether there are any health code violations.
                        They want instantaneous rerouting around traffic, construction and
                        accidents. Geosearch shows the greatest potential for wireless or
                        mobile platforms. People will eventually stop printing maps and simply
                        carry them on their cellphones.

                        Beyond the everyday moving from place to place, the most interesting
                        demonstration was by Google for National Geographic. A map of the world
                        was covered with the magazine�s trademark yellow rectangles. Clicking
                        on a particular spot revealed a photograph and text from the magazine�s
                        archive. Yahoo now offers one-meter photographic resolution throughout
                        the United States in a satellite hybrid mode. Ask.com allows for
                        reverse geocoding. This means you can click on a place on a map and get
                        the address. The competition for users and an active developer
                        community will continue to drive innovation in geosearch.

                        Books

                        The Meaning Of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
                        By Simon Winchester
                        I was once told that if English were a computer language no one would
                        develop in it. I thought the book�s title was a little optimistic if
                        not misleading. Imagine working on a book that may never be finished in
                        your lifetime. Imagine a book that weighs more than a car and requires
                        a magnifying glass to read. For years, British volunteers collected
                        words like butterflies, categorized them and then wrote cogent little
                        definitions. Imagine trying to create today�s wikipedia using bits of
                        paper and regular mail. This book makes you appreciate old and new
                        technology.

                        TV

                        South Park
                        If you aren�t offended, you are not paying attention. If you are
                        offended, you should get out more. Everyone is fair game on this
                        engrossing and gross cartoon.

                        Movies

                        Lord Of War
                        Nicholas Cage gives a deadpan performance as small arms dealer Yuri
                        Orlov. It is a grisly and depressing story of why the world is such a
                        violent place. His explanation at the end to Ethan Hawke is priceless.
                        Recommmended for fans of Syriana.

                        United 93

                        How does the old song go?

                        I�m on a flight from Newark
                        Please pick up the phone
                        Something�s happened on the plane
                        And I won�t be coming home.

                        This is a shaky camera, minute-by-minute account of United Flight 93 on
                        the morning of September 11th. There are very few captions identifying
                        people and such as the film becomes more chaotic. It makes you feel
                        like you are there, not knowing what is going on and having to act on
                        incomplete information. May be too intense for some viewers.

                        On the same subject but in more detail is A&E�s Channel�s Flight 93 or
                        HBO�s Hamburg Cell. They give the experiences of hijackers and family
                        members as well. There is also a book called Among The Heroes: United
                        Flight 93 & The Passengers & Crew Who Fought Back by Jere Longman. It
                        gives background on the hijacking and the people on the plane.

                        Terrorist experts like John Robb asked me if I was worried about the
                        current War On Terror and about who would win. I was not worried and
                        used Flight 93 as an example of how open systems beat closed systems.
                        The terrorists were unified by a fanatical cause, came from similar
                        upper class backgrounds, with doctors and lawyers in their families but
                        creating a closed society. I think it is interesting to note that the
                        terrorists spent lots of time and money planning the event in secret.
                        They keep threatening people and trying to keep them from talking to
                        each other or finding out what is going on. They were defeated by a
                        group of strangers with very diverse backgrounds who shared information
                        and came up with a plan almost immediately. One of the strategies they
                        teach in Game Theory is if you can�t win, you cooperate with others to
                        make sure your opponent doesn�t win either. In the end, Bay Area
                        business people with cell phones defeated the terrorists. In a conflict
                        with at least two parties, it is not over until all parties say it is
                        over.

                        It is not over.

                        DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-06
                        Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.




                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • D.J. Cline
                        DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-06 Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Commentary Gas Price Hikes Encourage Hiking If gas prices keep rising, it will be cheaper to
                        Message 11 of 28 , Apr 30, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-06
                          Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

                          Commentary

                          Gas Price Hikes Encourage Hiking

                          If gas prices keep rising, it will be cheaper to hire an oil company
                          executive to carry me on his back around town. You all have about four
                          months to register to vote. Expect to walk to the polls.

                          Bathroom So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

                          In my efforts to save energy, I replaced the six old-fashioned 60-watt
                          bulbs in my bathroom with new 23-watt fluorescents that give the
                          equivalent light of 100 watts. The new bulbs turned my bathroom into a
                          tanning booth. The light is so bright that I wear sunglasses when I
                          shave.

                          Forty Acres And A Mac

                          Steve Jobs is buying over forty acres in Cupertino, essentially
                          doubling the size of Apple Computer�s campus. They are planning a new
                          concept in architecture called the iBuilding. Each iBuilding will run
                          on just one USB connection and be networked for audio and video.
                          Existing employees will be dragged and dropped into their new cubicles.
                          New employees will be downloaded from the staffing service called
                          iPeople. All employees will cost the same. Newer iBuildings will get
                          progressively smaller until employees can�t fit inside them anymore.

                          BTW: I�m testing some new iPods and accessories and will have a report
                          on that later.

                          There Goes The Sun

                          Sun Microsystems Scott McNealy is stepping down as CEO. Say what you
                          want about Scott, because he�s probably already said it about you. Best
                          wishes Scott.

                          Racing Forms

                          The state of California will soon allow people to register as more than
                          one race. Apparently there are more than six different kinds of people
                          in the world. I always thought there were more than six billion.

                          It�s About Time For Overtime

                          A California court has decided in favor of former Electronics Arts
                          software engineers like Leander Hasty, who wanted to be paid overtime.
                          It turns out that recruiting people to Silicon Valley, forcing them to
                          repay their relocation fees, working them long hours with ridiculous
                          deadlines and then driving them to exhaustion is� abuse. Work rules
                          said that they were doing creative work and therefore were off the
                          clock. Obviously, someone who does not understand creative people wrote
                          this rule. It should be noted that game sales are flattening. Users
                          complain that the games aren�t as interesting as they used to be. Don�t
                          do the crime if you can�t pay the overtime.

                          Online Help: An Expensive Corporate Hobby

                          It�s the time of year where I review various software application
                          documentation schemes. They go by many names: GUI, user assistance, or
                          mostly online help. Originally it was a way of getting rid of printed
                          manuals. When applications were running on standalone computers, you
                          had to fit your documentation on a CD-ROM. If you lacked creative
                          skills you could cook up a bookshelf of PDFs. Five years ago you could
                          use JavaHelp, ForeHelp or RoboHelp. Later, you could just simply dump
                          some HTML on your company�s website and cook up some silly name like
                          doc-hub to justify the budget to upper management.

                          With the rise of Google and web search in general, I see such projects
                          as expensive hobbies. It is a waste of company resources to build what
                          search engines will supply for free. It�s like building an elaborate
                          model train set next to a real railroad. It looks very pretty but is
                          not practical for everyday use.

                          For example, I know lots of developers who work with different software
                          tools. If they want to know how to use a particular feature, they don�t
                          click on that question mark in the upper left hand corner. They don�t
                          go to the software company website. They don�t even go to user group
                          sponsored by the software company. They look for short tips posted by
                          independent developers or users. These independents are free of the
                          sales hype or bias associated with the application. They are able to
                          give the precise answer that large documentation departments cannot.

                          Invariably I find myself sitting in a hotel meeting room, enduring
                          slide presentations, and filling out questionnaires or being asked by
                          some poor tech writer to evaluate their online help. If I have to ask
                          how to use software, if it has to have lots of documentation, then
                          designing better online help is not the solution. Designing a better
                          application is. If you have to collect a wad of e-mails and sort
                          through overpriced databases to find out why users are having problems,
                          you still don�t get it. No matter what question the user may have, the
                          answer will be a better application, usually by a competitor.

                          Map On, Map Off, The Mapper!

                          A MapOFF! was held this month at Yahoo�s Sunnyvale headquarters.
                          O�Reilly Media�s Brady Forrest moderated a panel made of Yahoo�s Jeremy
                          Kreitler, Google�s Thai Tran, and Ask.com�s Andy Yang. They were asked
                          to compare their mapping and geosearch features in what amounted to a
                          shootout.

                          Since the inception of GoogleMaps API last year, there has been an
                          explosion in interest and development in geosearch. Maps are quickly
                          evolving from static to dynamic media showing surprising new
                          relationships from data, like housing prices or crime statistics.

                          By and large all three companies are working on delivering what users
                          want. They want more than the simple line drawings in color on a page
                          or screen. They want aerial photographs and ground level views that
                          tell them not just the address but also the name of the restaurant,
                          what�s on the menu and whether there are any health code violations.
                          They want instantaneous rerouting around traffic, construction and
                          accidents. Geosearch shows the greatest potential for wireless or
                          mobile platforms. People will eventually stop printing maps and simply
                          carry them on their cellphones.

                          Beyond the everyday moving from place to place, the most interesting
                          demonstration was by Google for National Geographic. A map of the world
                          was covered with the magazine�s trademark yellow rectangles. Clicking
                          on a particular spot revealed a photograph and text from the magazine�s
                          archive. Yahoo now offers one-meter photographic resolution throughout
                          the United States in a satellite hybrid mode. Ask.com allows for
                          reverse geocoding. This means you can click on a place on a map and get
                          the address. The competition for users and an active developer
                          community will continue to drive innovation in geosearch.

                          Books

                          The Meaning Of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
                          By Simon Winchester
                          I was once told that if English were a computer language no one would
                          develop in it. I thought the book�s title was a little optimistic if
                          not misleading. Imagine working on a book that may never be finished in
                          your lifetime. Imagine a book that weighs more than a car and requires
                          a magnifying glass to read. For years, British volunteers collected
                          words like butterflies, categorized them and then wrote cogent little
                          definitions. Imagine trying to create today�s wikipedia using bits of
                          paper and regular mail. This book makes you appreciate old and new
                          technology.

                          TV

                          South Park
                          If you aren�t offended, you are not paying attention. If you are
                          offended, you should get out more. Everyone is fair game on this
                          engrossing and gross cartoon.

                          Movies

                          Lord Of War
                          Nicholas Cage gives a deadpan performance as small arms dealer Yuri
                          Orlov. It is a grisly and depressing story of why the world is such a
                          violent place. His explanation at the end to Ethan Hawke is priceless.
                          Recommmended for fans of Syriana.

                          United 93

                          How does the old song go?

                          I�m on a flight from Newark
                          Please pick up the phone
                          Something�s happened on the plane
                          And I won�t be coming home.

                          This is a shaky camera, minute-by-minute account of United Flight 93 on
                          the morning of September 11th. There are very few captions identifying
                          people and such as the film becomes more chaotic. It makes you feel
                          like you are there, not knowing what is going on and having to act on
                          incomplete information. May be too intense for some viewers.

                          On the same subject but in more detail is A&E�s Channel�s Flight 93 or
                          HBO�s Hamburg Cell. They give the experiences of hijackers and family
                          members as well. There is also a book called Among The Heroes: United
                          Flight 93 & The Passengers & Crew Who Fought Back by Jere Longman. It
                          gives background on the hijacking and the people on the plane.

                          Terrorist experts like John Robb asked me if I was worried about the
                          current War On Terror and about who would win. I was not worried and
                          used Flight 93 as an example of how open systems beat closed systems.
                          The terrorists were unified by a fanatical cause, came from similar
                          upper class backgrounds, with doctors and lawyers in their families but
                          creating a closed society. I think it is interesting to note that the
                          terrorists spent lots of time and money planning the event in secret.
                          They keep threatening people and trying to keep them from talking to
                          each other or finding out what is going on. They were defeated by a
                          group of strangers with very diverse backgrounds who shared information
                          and came up with a plan almost immediately. One of the strategies they
                          teach in Game Theory is if you can�t win, you cooperate with others to
                          make sure your opponent doesn�t win either. In the end, Bay Area
                          business people with cell phones defeated the terrorists. In a conflict
                          with at least two parties, it is not over until all parties say it is
                          over.

                          It is not over.

                          DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-06
                          Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.




                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • D.J. Cline
                          DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-06 Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Commentary Gas Price Hikes Encourage Hiking If gas prices keep rising, it will be cheaper to
                          Message 12 of 28 , Apr 30, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-06
                            Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

                            Commentary

                            Gas Price Hikes Encourage Hiking

                            If gas prices keep rising, it will be cheaper to hire an oil company
                            executive to carry me on his back around town. You all have about four
                            months to register to vote. Expect to walk to the polls.

                            Bathroom So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

                            In my efforts to save energy, I replaced the six old-fashioned 60-watt
                            bulbs in my bathroom with new 23-watt fluorescents that give the
                            equivalent light of 100 watts. The new bulbs turned my bathroom into a
                            tanning booth. The light is so bright that I wear sunglasses when I
                            shave.

                            Forty Acres And A Mac

                            Steve Jobs is buying over forty acres in Cupertino, essentially
                            doubling the size of Apple Computer�s campus. They are planning a new
                            concept in architecture called the iBuilding. Each iBuilding will run
                            on just one USB connection and be networked for audio and video.
                            Existing employees will be dragged and dropped into their new cubicles.
                            New employees will be downloaded from the staffing service called
                            iPeople. All employees will cost the same. Newer iBuildings will get
                            progressively smaller until employees can�t fit inside them anymore.

                            BTW: I�m testing some new iPods and accessories and will have a report
                            on that later.

                            There Goes The Sun

                            Sun Microsystems Scott McNealy is stepping down as CEO. Say what you
                            want about Scott, because he�s probably already said it about you. Best
                            wishes Scott.

                            Racing Forms

                            The state of California will soon allow people to register as more than
                            one race. Apparently there are more than six different kinds of people
                            in the world. I always thought there were more than six billion.

                            It�s About Time For Overtime

                            A California court has decided in favor of former Electronics Arts
                            software engineers like Leander Hasty, who wanted to be paid overtime.
                            It turns out that recruiting people to Silicon Valley, forcing them to
                            repay their relocation fees, working them long hours with ridiculous
                            deadlines and then driving them to exhaustion is� abuse. Work rules
                            said that they were doing creative work and therefore were off the
                            clock. Obviously, someone who does not understand creative people wrote
                            this rule. It should be noted that game sales are flattening. Users
                            complain that the games aren�t as interesting as they used to be. Don�t
                            do the crime if you can�t pay the overtime.

                            Online Help: An Expensive Corporate Hobby

                            It�s the time of year where I review various software application
                            documentation schemes. They go by many names: GUI, user assistance, or
                            mostly online help. Originally it was a way of getting rid of printed
                            manuals. When applications were running on standalone computers, you
                            had to fit your documentation on a CD-ROM. If you lacked creative
                            skills you could cook up a bookshelf of PDFs. Five years ago you could
                            use JavaHelp, ForeHelp or RoboHelp. Later, you could just simply dump
                            some HTML on your company�s website and cook up some silly name like
                            doc-hub to justify the budget to upper management.

                            With the rise of Google and web search in general, I see such projects
                            as expensive hobbies. It is a waste of company resources to build what
                            search engines will supply for free. It�s like building an elaborate
                            model train set next to a real railroad. It looks very pretty but is
                            not practical for everyday use.

                            For example, I know lots of developers who work with different software
                            tools. If they want to know how to use a particular feature, they don�t
                            click on that question mark in the upper left hand corner. They don�t
                            go to the software company website. They don�t even go to user group
                            sponsored by the software company. They look for short tips posted by
                            independent developers or users. These independents are free of the
                            sales hype or bias associated with the application. They are able to
                            give the precise answer that large documentation departments cannot.

                            Invariably I find myself sitting in a hotel meeting room, enduring
                            slide presentations, and filling out questionnaires or being asked by
                            some poor tech writer to evaluate their online help. If I have to ask
                            how to use software, if it has to have lots of documentation, then
                            designing better online help is not the solution. Designing a better
                            application is. If you have to collect a wad of e-mails and sort
                            through overpriced databases to find out why users are having problems,
                            you still don�t get it. No matter what question the user may have, the
                            answer will be a better application, usually by a competitor.

                            Map On, Map Off, The Mapper!

                            A MapOFF! was held this month at Yahoo�s Sunnyvale headquarters.
                            O�Reilly Media�s Brady Forrest moderated a panel made of Yahoo�s Jeremy
                            Kreitler, Google�s Thai Tran, and Ask.com�s Andy Yang. They were asked
                            to compare their mapping and geosearch features in what amounted to a
                            shootout.

                            Since the inception of GoogleMaps API last year, there has been an
                            explosion in interest and development in geosearch. Maps are quickly
                            evolving from static to dynamic media showing surprising new
                            relationships from data, like housing prices or crime statistics.

                            By and large all three companies are working on delivering what users
                            want. They want more than the simple line drawings in color on a page
                            or screen. They want aerial photographs and ground level views that
                            tell them not just the address but also the name of the restaurant,
                            what�s on the menu and whether there are any health code violations.
                            They want instantaneous rerouting around traffic, construction and
                            accidents. Geosearch shows the greatest potential for wireless or
                            mobile platforms. People will eventually stop printing maps and simply
                            carry them on their cellphones.

                            Beyond the everyday moving from place to place, the most interesting
                            demonstration was by Google for National Geographic. A map of the world
                            was covered with the magazine�s trademark yellow rectangles. Clicking
                            on a particular spot revealed a photograph and text from the magazine�s
                            archive. Yahoo now offers one-meter photographic resolution throughout
                            the United States in a satellite hybrid mode. Ask.com allows for
                            reverse geocoding. This means you can click on a place on a map and get
                            the address. The competition for users and an active developer
                            community will continue to drive innovation in geosearch.

                            Books

                            The Meaning Of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
                            By Simon Winchester
                            I was once told that if English were a computer language no one would
                            develop in it. I thought the book�s title was a little optimistic if
                            not misleading. Imagine working on a book that may never be finished in
                            your lifetime. Imagine a book that weighs more than a car and requires
                            a magnifying glass to read. For years, British volunteers collected
                            words like butterflies, categorized them and then wrote cogent little
                            definitions. Imagine trying to create today�s wikipedia using bits of
                            paper and regular mail. This book makes you appreciate old and new
                            technology.

                            TV

                            South Park
                            If you aren�t offended, you are not paying attention. If you are
                            offended, you should get out more. Everyone is fair game on this
                            engrossing and gross cartoon.

                            Movies

                            Lord Of War
                            Nicholas Cage gives a deadpan performance as small arms dealer Yuri
                            Orlov. It is a grisly and depressing story of why the world is such a
                            violent place. His explanation at the end to Ethan Hawke is priceless.
                            Recommmended for fans of Syriana.

                            United 93

                            How does the old song go?

                            I�m on a flight from Newark
                            Please pick up the phone
                            Something�s happened on the plane
                            And I won�t be coming home.

                            This is a shaky camera, minute-by-minute account of United Flight 93 on
                            the morning of September 11th. There are very few captions identifying
                            people and such as the film becomes more chaotic. It makes you feel
                            like you are there, not knowing what is going on and having to act on
                            incomplete information. May be too intense for some viewers.

                            On the same subject but in more detail is A&E�s Channel�s Flight 93 or
                            HBO�s Hamburg Cell. They give the experiences of hijackers and family
                            members as well. There is also a book called Among The Heroes: United
                            Flight 93 & The Passengers & Crew Who Fought Back by Jere Longman. It
                            gives background on the hijacking and the people on the plane.

                            Terrorist experts like John Robb asked me if I was worried about the
                            current War On Terror and about who would win. I was not worried and
                            used Flight 93 as an example of how open systems beat closed systems.
                            The terrorists were unified by a fanatical cause, came from similar
                            upper class backgrounds, with doctors and lawyers in their families but
                            creating a closed society. I think it is interesting to note that the
                            terrorists spent lots of time and money planning the event in secret.
                            They keep threatening people and trying to keep them from talking to
                            each other or finding out what is going on. They were defeated by a
                            group of strangers with very diverse backgrounds who shared information
                            and came up with a plan almost immediately. One of the strategies they
                            teach in Game Theory is if you can�t win, you cooperate with others to
                            make sure your opponent doesn�t win either. In the end, Bay Area
                            business people with cell phones defeated the terrorists. In a conflict
                            with at least two parties, it is not over until all parties say it is
                            over.

                            It is not over.

                            DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-06
                            Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.




                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Wayne Radinsky
                            ... Have you considered using fewer than 6 bulbs? ... You re just redefining race as individual . Race is an imprecise concept, unlike species .
                            Message 13 of 28 , May 2 11:05 PM
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                              On 4/30/06, D. J. Cline <djcline01@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Bathroom So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
                              >
                              > In my efforts to save energy, I replaced the six old-fashioned 60-watt
                              > bulbs in my bathroom with new 23-watt fluorescents that give the
                              > equivalent light of 100 watts. The new bulbs turned my bathroom into a
                              > tanning booth. The light is so bright that I wear sunglasses when I
                              > shave.

                              Have you considered using fewer than 6 bulbs?

                              > Racing Forms
                              >
                              > The state of California will soon allow people to register as more than
                              > one race. Apparently there are more than six different kinds of people
                              > in the world. I always thought there were more than six billion.

                              You're just redefining "race" as "individual".

                              "Race" is an imprecise concept, unlike "species". (Actually "species"
                              is an imprecise concept, too, but that's not important right now.)

                              The Genographic Project tracks hundreds of genetic markers in
                              the human species.

                              https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/atlas.html

                              > It's About Time For Overtime
                              >
                              > A California court has decided in favor of former Electronics Arts
                              > software engineers like Leander Hasty, who wanted to be paid overtime.
                              > It turns out that recruiting people to Silicon Valley, forcing them to
                              > repay their relocation fees, working them long hours with ridiculous
                              > deadlines and then driving them to exhaustion is… abuse. Work rules
                              > said that they were doing creative work and therefore were off the
                              > clock. Obviously, someone who does not understand creative people wrote
                              > this rule. It should be noted that game sales are flattening. Users
                              > complain that the games aren't as interesting as they used to be. Don't
                              > do the crime if you can't pay the overtime.

                              EA will appeal and get this overturned. This goes everything I've
                              ever learned about employment. What ever happened to the concept of
                              free-market capitalism? Whatever happened to the idea of at-will
                              employment? Whatever happened to the idea that if employees don't
                              like getting the shit beaten out of them they can quit and work
                              somewhere else? Whatever happened to the idea that managers are
                              supposed to maximize profit for the company, and if an employee is in
                              a weak negotiating position, managers are required by law to beat the
                              shit out of that employee to maximize profit for the company? Wasn't
                              EA was obeying the law and fulfilling their moral and legal obligations
                              to their shareholders and society?

                              > Online Help: An Expensive Corporate Hobby
                              >
                              > Invariably I find myself sitting in a hotel meeting room, enduring
                              > slide presentations, and filling out questionnaires or being asked by
                              > some poor tech writer to evaluate their online help. If I have to ask
                              > how to use software, if it has to have lots of documentation, then
                              > designing better online help is not the solution. Designing a better
                              > application is.

                              You make it sound like making easy-to-use applications
                              is trivial.

                              > South Park
                              >
                              > If you aren't offended, you are not paying attention. If you are
                              > offended, you should get out more. Everyone is fair game on this
                              > engrossing and gross cartoon.

                              Who was offended? Comedy Central pulled the "Muhammad"
                              episodes, didn't they?

                              > United 93
                              >
                              > How does the old song go?
                              >
                              > I'm on a flight from Newark
                              > Please pick up the phone
                              > Something's happened on the plane
                              > And I won't be coming home.
                              >
                              > This is a shaky camera, minute-by-minute account of United Flight 93 on
                              > the morning of September 11th. There are very few captions identifying
                              > people and such as the film becomes more chaotic. It makes you feel
                              > like you are there, not knowing what is going on and having to act on
                              > incomplete information. May be too intense for some viewers.
                              >
                              > On the same subject but in more detail is A&E's Channel's Flight 93 or
                              > HBO's Hamburg Cell. They give the experiences of hijackers and family
                              > members as well. There is also a book called Among The Heroes: United
                              > Flight 93 & The Passengers & Crew Who Fought Back by Jere Longman. It
                              > gives background on the hijacking and the people on the plane.
                              >
                              > Terrorist experts like John Robb asked me if I was worried about the
                              > current War On Terror and about who would win. I was not worried and
                              > used Flight 93 as an example of how open systems beat closed systems.
                              > The terrorists were unified by a fanatical cause, came from similar
                              > upper class backgrounds, with doctors and lawyers in their families but
                              > creating a closed society. I think it is interesting to note that the
                              > terrorists spent lots of time and money planning the event in secret.
                              > They keep threatening people and trying to keep them from talking to
                              > each other or finding out what is going on. They were defeated by a
                              > group of strangers with very diverse backgrounds who shared information
                              > and came up with a plan almost immediately. One of the strategies they
                              > teach in Game Theory is if you can't win, you cooperate with others to
                              > make sure your opponent doesn't win either. In the end, Bay Area
                              > business people with cell phones defeated the terrorists. In a conflict
                              > with at least two parties, it is not over until all parties say it is
                              > over.
                              >
                              > It is not over.

                              If you had just said United 93 was an entertaining movie, I'd say,
                              that's fine. But you're acting as if this movie, which is fiction, is
                              fact.

                              I don't mean to pick on you personally. It just seems like the whole
                              country believes the Bush Administration story. It's a form of mass
                              insanity or something. I didn't see any of the documentaries you
                              mention but I saw the Discovery Channel documentary on Flight 93. I
                              don't know whether the guys who made the documentary believed the
                              Bush story themselves or whether they were lying deliberately, but it
                              sure ruined my trust of the Discovery Channel. Not that you should
                              believe everything you see on TV anyway.

                              For your average person I can totally see how a documentary like that
                              would make the Bush story seem totally real. With all the little
                              details about the lives of all the passengers and so on.
                            • D.J. Cline
                              The Rare Response by DJ Cline Copyright 2006 Wayne, I am so happy to hear from you! How did the first Denver salon go? I wish I could have been there. Please
                              Message 14 of 28 , May 3 12:05 AM
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                                The Rare Response
                                by DJ Cline
                                Copyright 2006

                                Wayne,

                                I am so happy to hear from you!
                                How did the first Denver salon go?
                                I wish I could have been there.
                                Please extend my best wishes to Melanie Swan and Amanda Hargis.

                                As for the bathroom bulbs, I was trying to be funny.
                                Of course I used appropriate watt bulbs.

                                As for classifying and labeling people, I think we've seen the dark
                                side of that.
                                I tried to find some humor in it. How many times have you tried to
                                describe your entire family history into a check box? My DNA probably
                                looks like it was put together by Visual Basic programmers on a three
                                day bender. I'm lucky my left and right shoes are within a half size of
                                each other. I think it is wonderful that people can find out we are all
                                descended from the same milkman.

                                The case about overtime has certainly struck a chord. I have received
                                an extraordinary amount of feedback about it. Ultimately I agree that
                                market forces will prevail, providing all parties have the information
                                to make decisions right for them. Being nice to people is a good idea.

                                I have worked on many UI projects and understand the difficulty in
                                developing easy to use software. That is why I am asked to review their
                                work.

                                I am grateful to hear of your views on United Flight 93. I have seen
                                many films that are based on actual events, a few I have actually lived
                                through. Invariably there are differences. I have also read serious
                                news accounts to events I have witnessed and wondered why they were so
                                different. I think of it as the Karamazov or Rashomon effect, where
                                perspective affects the narrative. Good art can show one perspective.
                                Great art can be seen from many points of view. I have read the books,
                                seen the tv shows, documentaries and movie about this event and tried
                                to come up with my own unique perspective. I am reassured that you have
                                your own. Even if we had the same information, I would not expect the
                                same opinion.

                                I seriously doubt, I have fallen under the sway of the Bush
                                administration. Of course, I hear they've been hiring lately. :-)

                                Look forward to salons of the Front Range,

                                The Rare Response
                                by DJ Cline
                                Copyright 2006
                              • Wayne Radinsky
                                ... A Rare Response. What an honor... ... It went well, thanks :) ... I will, thank you. ... Suuuure you do... only after reading my reply! ... Oh really? What
                                Message 15 of 28 , May 6 1:04 AM
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                                  On 5/3/06, D. J. Cline <djcline01@...> wrote:
                                  > The Rare Response by DJ Cline Copyright 2006

                                  A Rare Response. What an honor...

                                  > Wayne,
                                  >
                                  > I am so happy to hear from you! How did the first Denver salon go?

                                  It went well, thanks :)

                                  > I wish I could have been there. Please extend my best wishes to
                                  > Melanie Swan and Amanda Hargis.

                                  I will, thank you.

                                  > As for the bathroom bulbs, I was trying to be funny. Of course I
                                  > used appropriate watt bulbs.

                                  Suuuure you do... only after reading my reply!

                                  > As for classifying and labeling people, I think we've seen the dark
                                  > side of that. I tried to find some humor in it. How many times have
                                  > you tried to describe your entire family history into a check box?
                                  > My DNA probably looks like it was put together by Visual Basic
                                  > programmers on a three day bender. I'm lucky my left and right shoes
                                  > are within a half size of each other. I think it is wonderful that
                                  > people can find out we are all descended from the same milkman.
                                  >
                                  > The case about overtime has certainly struck a chord. I have
                                  > received an extraordinary amount of feedback about it. Ultimately I
                                  > agree that market forces will prevail, providing all parties have
                                  > the information to make decisions right for them. Being nice to
                                  > people is a good idea.

                                  Oh really? What are people saying? I mean, don't quote anyone
                                  specifically, just in general? People agree/disagree/like it/hate it
                                  or what?

                                  I wish I could agree that being nice to people is a good idea. It
                                  usually is, but clearly there are situations where it isn't. On a
                                  personal level, I'm not nice to people who I have reason to believe
                                  will use anything I tell them to hurt me. But that's not relevant to
                                  this discussion.

                                  On a corporate level, it doesn't make economic sense to be nice to
                                  people who a) are powerless to fight back if you harm them, and b)
                                  you stand to profit from hurting them. Apparently those conditions
                                  were met in the EA case -- the employees were powerless against the
                                  demands of the corporation, and the corporation stood to profit from
                                  forcing them to work harder. This behavior is not only allowed by
                                  law, it is required by law.

                                  Not only that but in California specifically (where EA is based),
                                  there is a law that specifically states that there is no upper limit
                                  to the number of work hours an employer can require. I once saw a
                                  webpage where a guy added up all the hours required for all the
                                  different days and it came out to 96 hours for the week. So EA
                                  probably figured, if they force people to be at their desks for 96
                                  hours a week, maybe they will get 70 or 80 hours of actual work out
                                  of them. It's not possible to do 96 hours of actual work every week
                                  without medical problems (possibly serious and life-threatening).
                                  Also in California, there is a law that specifically exempts tech
                                  workers from overtime pay. If I were to guess exactly what this
                                  lawsuit is about, I would guess it's that overtime law -- maybe EA
                                  had 3D modellers or graphic artists that they considered "tech
                                  workers" but the language of the law says it applies to hardware and
                                  software engineers only, or something like that. Wait, no, you said
                                  Leander Hasty was a software engineer. Oh well, so much for guessing.
                                  I probably ought to just Google it.

                                  Speaking of Leander Hasty, he and his buddies in this lawsuit will
                                  never work again. He sued an employer. BIG no-no. Don't ever do that.
                                  Employers will NEVER hire a person that sued a previous employer.
                                  Suing an employer is the fastest possible route to the poor house --
                                  unless you win your case AND get millions of dollars from it AND the
                                  company loses on appeal -- then you get enough money that you don't
                                  need to work any more. Otherwise, even if you win your case, and it
                                  doesn't matter how justified you think you are in your lawsuit, you
                                  lose!

                                  Since this is a Futurist list, here's a prediction for you: 5 years
                                  from now, Mr. Hasty and all his buddies in this lawsuit will be
                                  homeless, in prison -- from trying to steal or trying to make a
                                  living some illegal way, like selling drugs -- or dead from
                                  starvation.

                                  And whatever happens to them, it's their own damn fault, they have
                                  no-one but themselves to blame. They sued an employer. They're not
                                  following the rules.

                                  Anyway, all my marketing books say you should always avoid negative
                                  emotions and sell on positive emotions. And I've realized, all this
                                  talk of corporate shitbeating (I just invented that word) is terribly
                                  negative. So, to put a positive spin on the whole thing: While it's
                                  true that corporate shitbeating can happen, you, Mr. Cline and all
                                  the lucky readers of this email list, get to benefit from the
                                  mistakes of others and learn how not to get shitbeaten!

                                  First, buy my training course and seminar, "Don't Get Shitbeaten! How
                                  To Become A Master At Office Politics!". How much, you ask? $5000?
                                  $1000? $59.95 plus shipping and handling? No! Put those checkbooks
                                  away! It's actually, well, I, er... I don't have a training course
                                  and seminar... but I can give some free unsolicited advice, just
                                  because I'm so brilliant and generous....

                                  In my experience, shitbeating doesn't happen all the time to
                                  everybody, it happens to certain people under a certain specific set
                                  of conditions. Which are (1) where the corporation doesn't consider
                                  your skills to be of "strategic" importance (i.e. the company will
                                  suffer tremendously or go out of business without your contribution),
                                  (2) you are easily replaceable (they can run an internet ad and have a
                                  replacement ready to go on Monday), and (3) you NEED the job because
                                  no one else will hire you (for whatever reason) -- this is very
                                  important! The difference between a slave and an employee is that an
                                  employee can quit the job. If you can't quit, you're a slave. If all
                                  these conditions are met, then the corporation has all the power.
                                  Anytime person A has absolute power over person B, person B is going
                                  to get the shit beaten out of them. This because it is human nature.
                                  It was proven by the Stanford Prison Experiment, see
                                  http://www.prisonexp.org/ . Take average people off the street, give
                                  one group of people absolute power over another, and the brutality
                                  happens automatically.

                                  If you find yourself in the situation where the above 3 conditions
                                  are met, that's when you have to become a master at office politics
                                  -- because you have to control other people's *perceptions* of the
                                  situation. If you're in situation #3, you need to hide it from the
                                  employer. You need to make sure they are totally unaware of any
                                  vulnerability you might have, any reason why another employer might
                                  *not* want to hire you. You have to use the magician's trick of
                                  misdirecting attention, always directing attention towards your good
                                  qualities and away from your vulnerabilities. If you can control
                                  perceptions of you, that's just as good as controlling reality. You
                                  might even invent more clever office politics tricks, like telling
                                  the office gossip that you are getting job offers from other
                                  companies and turning them down -- word will eventually reach
                                  management, preventing them from realizing you're actually in
                                  scenario #3 and stuck and totally at their mercy. And giving them the
                                  impression that you're exceptionally loyal as well. Or maybe it would
                                  backfire -- I haven't actually tried it. Deceptive tactics like this
                                  depend heavily on not being detected. I once mentioned office
                                  politics to an employer -- not a guy I ever worked for but he hires
                                  other people -- and he said bluntly "If you play politics I'd fire
                                  your ass." I don't think he interpreted "office politics" as meaning
                                  *all* the behavior changes that you make to fit into a workplace and
                                  not get fired (which is how I define it), he was thinking
                                  specifically of obviously deceptive tactics like this. I don't know
                                  how harsh that guy is prepared to be in his treatment of employees,
                                  but it makes logical sense, for employers in general, to want their
                                  employees to trust them completely and come to them directly and tell
                                  them exactly what their vulnerabilities are so they will know which
                                  employees to treat nicely for maximum profit and which employees to
                                  beat the shit out of for maximum profit. From the employee's point of
                                  view, why volunteer information that can be used to beat the shit out
                                  of you? If you're in a situation where it's in the employer's best
                                  interest to beat the shit out of you, you =have= to "play politics"
                                  to a certain extent -- maybe it means subtle misdirection to keep a
                                  vulnerability from being discovered, maybe it means outright lies and
                                  deception. But survival is survival and death is death, and if you're
                                  totally honest and sincere and end up dead what does that accomplish?

                                  (As as sidenote, on this topic of lying, I have to say, there's
                                  different motivations for lying. You can lie to exploit people, or
                                  you can lie to protect yourself. One of the hard things I've had to
                                  accept from my experiences on this planet is that sometimes I have to
                                  lie to survive. If I don't lie, I don't survive. I always hate it and
                                  wish I didn't have to do it, but sometimes it is necessary. I imagine
                                  this is probably true for most people in one way or another. What can
                                  I say? The world simply does not work the way *I* wish it worked.
                                  Alas, that is not the way it is.)

                                  There's an office politics book that everyone is raving about,
                                  Corporate Confidential, and since I haven't had the time and money to
                                  read it, and since you seem to enjoy reading books and writing
                                  reviews, I thought I'd suggest you read it and write a review of it
                                  for me and everyone else. Will you read it and write a review? Here's
                                  the link:

                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312337361/qid=1146808724/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/102-4707624-3307349?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

                                  ( http://tinyurl.com/pffro for Kennita ).

                                  My other recommendation is to watch The Apprentice. The show requires
                                  people to compete as part of a team, but their teammates are also
                                  their competitors and enemies -- just like how, in a corporate
                                  environment, you have to work as a team to compete against other
                                  corporations, yet at the same time your co-workers are your
                                  competitors for the limited money that your corporation has. The show
                                  requires people to impress the boss, just like how in a corporate
                                  work environment you have a boss to impress. The show even uses real
                                  business tasks for all the competitions, so there are great lessons
                                  in sales and marketing and other business aspects in there, too. It
                                  is amazing how, for a totally contrived show with a totally contrived
                                  competition, the psychology of The Apprentice exactly parallels the
                                  psychology of a real corporate work environment. They show you all
                                  the backroom conversations where people get together and strategize
                                  about what they are going to say when they get in the boardroom --
                                  it's an incredibly enlightening and instructive show. The only bummer
                                  is that Martha's version got cancelled. Martha Stewart has a
                                  different management style than Donald Trump, and it's instructive to
                                  be able to see multiple management styles.

                                  Now you're probably wondering, what about the future? how will
                                  Moore's Law affect all this?

                                  The answer is that Moore's Law, the doubling of computer processing
                                  power every few years, will *amplify* rather than diminish the
                                  consequences of office politics mistakes. But I don't have time right
                                  now to explain why -- if I do I won't have time to talk about the
                                  9-11 stuff. So I will have to explain why this is the case some other
                                  time.

                                  Moore's Law also creates disruptive opportunities to work in ways
                                  outside the traditional corporate employer/employee system.
                                  But I don't have time to explain any of that either.

                                  > I have worked on many UI projects and understand the difficulty in
                                  > developing easy to use software. That is why I am asked to review
                                  > their work.

                                  Generally speaking, the simpler the UI, the more *complex* the
                                  application behind it. Not always true but usually.

                                  Example: Google. One text box, user types 2.3 words on average,
                                  clicks "Search", gets back a page with 10 links (plus a few ads).
                                  Simple, no? How many millions of lines of code do you think
                                  Google has on the other side of that super-simple user interface?

                                  > I am grateful to hear of your views on United Flight 93. I have seen
                                  > many films that are based on actual events, a few I have actually
                                  > lived through. Invariably there are differences. I have also read
                                  > serious news accounts to events I have witnessed and wondered why
                                  > they were so different. I think of it as the Karamazov or Rashomon
                                  > effect, where perspective affects the narrative. Good art can show
                                  > one perspective. Great art can be seen from many points of view. I
                                  > have read the books, seen the tv shows, documentaries and movie
                                  > about this event and tried to come up with my own unique
                                  > perspective. I am reassured that you have your own. Even if we had
                                  > the same information, I would not expect the same opinion.
                                  >
                                  > I seriously doubt, I have fallen under the sway of the Bush
                                  > administration. Of course, I hear they've been hiring lately. :-)

                                  Oh, you mean for the press secretary job? Tony Snow got it. Stephen
                                  Colbert was turned down, but his audition tape is on the internet:

                                  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4973617448770513925

                                  1 hr 35 min 17 sec video, Colbert's part starts around min 51

                                  ( http://tinyurl.com/oceyn for Kennita).

                                  I haven't seen the Karamazov or Rashomon movies, but I'll reply
                                  anyway.

                                  In your original post, you said, "In the end, Bay Area business
                                  people with cell phones defeated the terrorists."

                                  I posted a message saying, essentially, "No they didn't." And I went
                                  on to say, "It just seems like the whole country believes the Bush
                                  Administration story."

                                  You posted a "rare response" reiterating your position that the film
                                  was "based on actual events" and that you "seriously doubt, you have
                                  fallen under the sway of the Bush administration."

                                  So that's basically the situation. So I'm thinking, the reason you
                                  posted the "rare response" was because you felt my message was an
                                  attack and you wanted to defend yourself. Even though I specifically
                                  said I wasn't trying to pick on you personally. Which I wasn't, I was
                                  just griping that I hear the same 9-11 story from everyone, from the
                                  people I know, from the news media -- and I don't believe that story.
                                  So for me it is very annoying that nobody ever questions the story,
                                  or nobody ever seems to anyway. It's as if you believed the earth was
                                  round, but people talked about the flat earth every day.

                                  But after your post, I got to thinking: I shouldn't get annoyed. I
                                  should instead pay attention. I should try to understand the basis
                                  for this marketing success. After all, It has nothing to do with you
                                  personally. In fact I enjoy your posts, Mr. Cline, you are a very
                                  entertaining writer, and you usually have one or two relevant points
                                  in there. So the goal now is to learn more about marketing, and to
                                  understand the Bush marketing success more thoroughly.

                                  What makes the Bush story stick? Let's think for a minute what you
                                  would need to do, what psychological process you'd need to go
                                  through, to change your belief system, let's call it the "9-11"
                                  belief system, your set of beliefs about what happened on 9-11.

                                  1) You'd have to abandon self-consistency.

                                  All my marketing books talk about this in one form or another. You
                                  said "Bay Area business people with cell phones defeated the
                                  terrorists." So you've publicly staked out a position. Once people
                                  publicly take a stand on something, they will always try to stick
                                  with it. The more public it is, the stronger they try to stick with
                                  it. When I questioned your position, you posted a "rare response"
                                  reiterating your position that the film was "based on actual events"
                                  and that you "seriously doubt, you have fallen under the sway of the
                                  Bush administration." So you defended your position, and you've
                                  invested even more in it. That means you're even less likely to give
                                  it up.

                                  Marketers use this tendency in a variety of ways. The classic example
                                  is when the telemarketer calls you up and says, "Hello Mr. Cline, how
                                  are you today?" You say, "I'm doing great!" He says, "Glad to hear
                                  it, Mr. Cline, because not everyone in the world is doing so great.
                                  Won't you help feed the starving children?" And now you're trapped,
                                  because if you're doing great, why wouldn't you give money?

                                  Experiments have been done with and without the "How are you" line,
                                  and it more than doubles the money donated to the charity. Believe it
                                  or not. People just don't want to go back and contradict themselves.

                                  Once you know this, you can foil this trick by breaking the
                                  consistency principle on purpose. When the telemarketer says "Not
                                  everyone in the world is doing so great. Won't you help feed the
                                  starving children?" you just say, "Actually, when I said I was doing
                                  great, I was just being polite. I'm actually 5 months behind on my
                                  mortgage and have $60,000 in medical bills."

                                  Why is consistency so important? Because over our evolutionary past
                                  the human brain evolved heuristics for detecting liars. People who
                                  frequently get cornered with facts, and have to keep changing their
                                  story are usually people of low integrity.

                                  For example, Bush said he is invading Iraq because Saddam has
                                  weapons of mass destruction and might attack the United States -- no!
                                  it's because Saddam is a threat to his neighbors -- no! it's because
                                  he's a threat to his own people and we need to "liberate" them -- no!
                                  it's because members of Al Qaeda were in Iraq -- no! it's because
                                  Congress authorized the invasion in 1991 (for the first Gulf War) --
                                  no! it's to bring "freedom" and "democracy" to Iraq...

                                  See what I mean? Someone who keeps changing their story might be
                                  lying. So the "low integrity" heuristic in your brain gets triggered
                                  whenever you see somebody backtrack on something they said earlier.

                                  Consequently people learn if they change their beliefs it will earn
                                  them the disrespect of others. So once people stake out a position on
                                  any issue, in public, they will try very hard to defend it. The
                                  problem is that this heuristic doesn't distinguish between a person
                                  changing their story because they were lying before vs changing their
                                  story because they've seen new evidence and realized their previous
                                  beliefs were wrong. A truly intelligent person will change their
                                  beliefs when they encounter new evidence that disproves what they
                                  believed earlier. This is not a sign of lack of integrity, if
                                  anything it is a sign *of* integrity.

                                  So, now I don't know about you personally, but I know from my
                                  marketing books that a *typical* person in your position would not
                                  even consider the possibility that the official Flight 93 story could
                                  be untrue. A typical person would instinctively stick to the position
                                  he already staked out. One thing I've never figured out is how to
                                  create a system that allows people to change their beliefs without
                                  humiliation. Like, ok, I've had this experience, I post something on
                                  the bafuture list, I say ABC, and someone post a reply, "ABC is
                                  wrong, it's actually XYZ." And I look up XYZ and realize, yup, they
                                  were right, it's actually XYZ. And so I change my beliefs from ABC to
                                  XYZ. But I never enjoy the experience, it always feels humiliating.
                                  It would be nice if, we, as a society, could develop ways of
                                  respecting people who change their beliefs *because* they are willing
                                  to change them. I personally have a lot of respect for people that
                                  are willing to admit they were wrong and change their beliefs, but
                                  I'm just one guy, in a society with 290 million people, and my
                                  perspective doesn't count for much.

                                  And that's just 1 of 6 psychological reasons why you can't seriously
                                  consider conspiracy theories. You *have* to believe the Bush story.
                                  Yes, I made a list. I was going to write explanations for all 6 of
                                  them, but I decided I just don't have the time. If the explanations
                                  for all the others are as long as that one, well, you can imagine how
                                  long the resulting email would be. But I'll give you a teaser. The
                                  other 5 are: 2) You'd have to change your sense of identity, 3) You'd
                                  have to accept getting labeled a PaRaNoiD KoNSPiRaCy KRaCKPoT
                                  loony-tune ( http://www.waynerad.com/looney.mid ). 4) You'd have to
                                  drink from a deeply poisoned well, 5) You'd have to deal with new
                                  beliefs that are scary and shameful (instead of comforting), and 6)
                                  You'd have to go against established authority (both national and
                                  personal).

                                  So, the bottom line is, there is a high price to pay for paying any
                                  attention to conspiracy theories, and zero benefit. Maybe I should
                                  say, there is *potentially* a high price to pay, since it depends on
                                  your particular social network. In any case, it would be a huge
                                  disservice for me to suggest that you or anybody else on this list
                                  seriously consider the possibility that any conspiracy might be true.

                                  For me, well, I've been trying for 8 years to learn marketing. I know
                                  I haven't mastered it because I'm not making any money (Hello! The
                                  proof is in the pudding!). So I will simply look at 9-11 as a
                                  marketing campaign -- one of the most successful -- and most deadly
                                  -- marketing campaigns in history. One where the Bush team pulled off
                                  an amazing political "magic trick" and successfully engaged the same
                                  brain circuitry that makes religion work -- and gets people to shut
                                  off their brains and reject evidence that contradicts the marketing
                                  message -- automatically. But I haven't explained that part. And
                                  maybe I never will -- like I just said, it would be a disservice for
                                  me to suggest that you or anybody else on this list seriously
                                  consider the possibility that any conspiracy might be true. So maybe
                                  the best thing for me to do is just shut up. So I guess my responses
                                  might become rare just like yours. At any rate, I'm glad I realized I
                                  shouldn't get annoyed when I hear people parroting the Bush story,
                                  but just look at it as a psychological phenomena, and treat it as a
                                  marketing case study. There is probably a lot to learn from 9-11 for
                                  marketing people. So that is my super-short (compared to what I was
                                  planning on writing) reply (not rare, but not well done either, let's
                                  just say juicy and tender).

                                  > Look forward to salons of the Front Range,

                                  Thanks :)

                                  > The Rare Response
                                  > by DJ Cline
                                  > Copyright 2006

                                  p.s. Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone. Hope you all remembered
                                  to flush a jar of mayonaise down your sink. I know I did.
                                • Wayne Radinsky
                                  So about 3 weeks ago, I said I didn t have time to explain how Moore s Law affects office politics and I d post the explanation later. I admit I m not winning
                                  Message 16 of 28 , May 29 2:41 PM
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    So about 3 weeks ago, I said I didn't have time to explain how
                                    Moore's Law affects office politics and I'd post the explanation
                                    later. I admit I'm not winning any awards for timeliness, but for
                                    what it's worth here it is.

                                    But first, I wanted to apologise to DJ Cline for the "hostile" tone
                                    of my last message. I wasn't intended to come across as hostile. It's
                                    probably true that I feel hostility -- but the hostility I feel is
                                    towards employers that beat me up (and the legal/social system that
                                    backs them up) not DJ Cline. But I've got nothing against DJ Cline.
                                    You've always been a nice guy and you had nothing to do with any bad
                                    stuff that's happened to me. And yes, I fully understand that any
                                    ill-will on my part towards employers is unjustified.

                                    And second, I have to replace the word "shitbeating". From the
                                    standpoint of clear and straightforward communication, it's the
                                    perfect word -- if your employer is requiring 90+ hours of work from
                                    you per week, you're getting the shit beaten out of you. But you
                                    can't *say* that, it's bad office politics. So from now on I'm going
                                    to use the phrase "changing workplace policies to increase employee
                                    productivity in ways that might be viewed as unkind by employees."
                                    That works much better -- it's professional, polite, and
                                    business-like. And it avoids any connotation that the employer might
                                    be doing something morally wrong -- they are required to maximize
                                    profit, so what would be morally wrong would be if they didn't do it.

                                    Ok, now that I've got those issues out of the way, I'm going to
                                    explain the "Moore's Law" connection.

                                    Moore's Law is the doubling of computer processing power every 2
                                    years (approximately). There's 3 aspects of this that you need to
                                    consider: communication, storage, and processing.

                                    Communication -- Actually, this is Gilder's Law, except Gilder got
                                    the exponent wrong -- Gilder's Law says that communications power
                                    also grows exponentially. This means that computers can communicate
                                    more information more quickly more cheaply for greater and greater
                                    distances. This in turn means that if there's a computer database
                                    somewhere with a bad record on you, you can't escape it any more by
                                    putting distance between you and it. You can't screw up in California
                                    and then move to New York, because people in New York can just click
                                    click click on the internet and there it is -- all the bad stuff
                                    about you you were trying to escape from.

                                    Storage -- Kryder's Law is the equivalent for storage. Storage
                                    devices can store more data for longer for cheaper. Here what's
                                    important is the "longer" part -- and to achieve longer storage,
                                    what's involved is not just hardware but also software for backup and
                                    restore, and better ability to read and convert older file formats
                                    and so on. But the end result is more reliable storage -- so the data
                                    lives longer. The end result here is, just as in the above example,
                                    where you can't escape bad data about you my moving in space, from
                                    say California to New York, you won't be able to get away by adding
                                    distance in time either. In other words, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years
                                    later, that bad data will still be there.

                                    Processing -- this is Moore's Law itself. What's relevant here is
                                    that processing power means that the data can be found. Google for
                                    example couldn't exist before computers were powerful enough to do
                                    the information processing. Now we have massive databases where the
                                    records are indexed and queries can be done in seconds, finding
                                    exactly the data searched for. So the odds that you'll be able to
                                    escape bad data about you because people won't be able to find it
                                    will decrease over time.

                                    See the wired article

                                    + When Old Convictions Won't Die +
                                    http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,63364,00.html

                                    Some people wrote to me and pointed out that, for the EA employees we
                                    were talking about, that they would probably have no trouble getting
                                    jobs because employers generally only confirm dates of hire and don't
                                    say anything bad about past employees. Note that it doesn't matter --
                                    we're looking at records kept outside that system. They sued an
                                    employer and that is public record that anyone can see, including all
                                    future employers, which is why those guys in the lawsuit will never
                                    work again (unless they find an employer who just plain screws up).

                                    I know one company that actively threatens to put people out of work
                                    for life as part of their new employee orientation. They basically
                                    say "If you commit sexual harassment, we will go out of our way to
                                    make sure it goes on the record and you will never work again." I
                                    don't know how they do that -- whether they go through law
                                    enforcement or whether they have some kind of direct access to the
                                    background check databases. Other companies won't hire someone with a
                                    sexual harassment record because they are afraid of getting hit by
                                    sexual harassment lawsuits. This company, by the way, is not a
                                    high-tech company with programmers working 80 or 90 hours per week,
                                    it's a company in Silicon Valley that hires thousands of people for
                                    labor-intensive services. Announcing that you can nail people in this
                                    way seems to me like it could backfire -- people so nailed might feel
                                    like they have nothing to lose and sue in retaliation. Anyway I
                                    mention this because the workplace is an intensively competitive
                                    environment and there will always be people looking to nail their
                                    enemies at the office, so there will be people trying to to screw up
                                    other people's electronic records on purpose. It got me wondering,
                                    what if you had an unscrupulous manager, who was willing to lie and
                                    make up stuff from whole cloth to put on the records? I have to
                                    admit, I've never thought of any solution. You could try to sue to
                                    get the bad record removed -- but that would just add more records,
                                    and records indicating that you've sued an employer at that. So truly
                                    unscrupulous managers have the ability to screw you, period, if they
                                    know how.

                                    I have this concept I call the "electronic reputation". Because this
                                    phenomena applies outside the realm of employment, into any other
                                    aspect of life -- anything computers can keep track of. In normal
                                    life you "reputation" is what other people say about you. Your
                                    "electronic reputation" is what computers say about you. This
                                    encompasses all records about you -- your credit records, your
                                    financial transaction records, you tax records, your legal records,
                                    your health records -- whatever. The "electronic reputation" is
                                    significantly different from your normal reputation in two respects:
                                    (1) it contains primarily negative information, and (2) it lives
                                    forever and in the future will be accessible everywhere to everyone
                                    (unless there are security measures to prevent that).

                                    On point (1), it contains primarily negative information, remember
                                    that the entire point of creating these databases in the first place
                                    is for avoiding risk. The purpose of the credit reporting databases
                                    is to tell financial institutions who *not* to lend money to. The
                                    purpose of pre-employment background check databases is to tell
                                    employers who *not* to hire. The purpose of the MIB is to tell health
                                    insurance companies who *not* to insure. By the way, no, the MIB
                                    isn't the Men In Black, it's the Medical Information Bureau (
                                    http://www.mib.com ), a massive database of health records maintained
                                    by insurance companies. Every time you go to the doctor or do
                                    anything that results in an insurance claim, a record of it is made
                                    in the MIB. The MIB is used by over 600 insurance companies, so the
                                    odds that you will ever find an insurance company that doesn't check
                                    your MIB records is slim to none. Also the MIB records don't go away
                                    after 7 years like credit records are supposed to.

                                    Point (2) of course I already explained -- Moore's Law/Gilder's
                                    Law/Kryder's Law ensures the information will be instantly available
                                    everywhere forever (more or less).

                                    So the "electronic reputation" is different from a normal, human
                                    reputation -- it is unforgiving to the extreme. So as time goes by
                                    and computation power increases, the odds that you'll make a simple
                                    mistake that has devastating consequences goes up.

                                    I'm sure government politicians are putting together political
                                    databases as we speak for the purpose of preventing risks to
                                    political power from materializing. There was news recently about an
                                    extensive NSA traffic analysis project at the phone companies, for
                                    example. Oh, I know, they say they are just spying on people so they
                                    can catch terrorists. Traffic analysis -- knowing who calls who and
                                    how often and how long they talk -- even if you don't know anything
                                    about what was said, is still an incredibly effective way of figuring
                                    out people's political affiliations, who's involved in groups posing
                                    real challenge to government power, etc.

                                    My expectation is that over the next 30+ years, as we march towards
                                    Singularity, that the number of databases will go up, that things
                                    will get tracked that I haven't thought of, and things that are
                                    tracked now will be cross-correlated in ways I haven't though of,
                                    with consequences I haven't foreseen in any way.

                                    It's as if, as evolution proceeds, it gets better at "remembering"
                                    negative information. If you think about it, evolution, of the DNA
                                    variety, started 3.5 billion years ago with DNA as the information
                                    medium. Organisms that were successful continued to exist. When you
                                    think about it, the entire process of evolution is about persistence
                                    or non-persistence of information -- if a species is successful, the
                                    information that led to that success (the genetic blueprint on DNA)
                                    is allowed by the laws of physics to persist through time. Even
                                    within the gene pool for a population, certain segments of DNA show
                                    extraordinary stability, while others show change (mutation) at
                                    various rates.

                                    DNA is not the universe's only information medium however.
                                    Information is represented in the data in neurons in the human brain,
                                    in the language (spoken and written) that is used to communicate
                                    between human brains, and in all the data stored in computers.
                                    Evolution, in the more general sense, acts on this information
                                    according to the same laws of physics.

                                    When you think about the DNA evolution process, it mainly records
                                    positive information -- it records what works, but when a species
                                    goes extinct, for example, no reason for the failure is recorded
                                    anywhere. Most of technological evolution appears similar --
                                    thousands of products are created, their designs created by mutation
                                    and recombination of ideas in human brains, and when failure occurs,
                                    the failure disappears from the market, and that's it. There's not
                                    much memory of why the failure happened.

                                    The type of negative information that does seem to have evolutionary
                                    persistence is information associated with deadly (or consequential)
                                    risks. Most people have an innate fear of snakes, for example, which
                                    somehow evolved in response to the threat to survival posed by
                                    snakes. Similarly, at a neural, rather than genetic level, highly
                                    traumatic experiences tend to be permanent and indelible. This is
                                    why, for example, combat veterans can have PTSD, and can have
                                    nightmares lasting the rest of their lives, reliving a traumatic
                                    experience over and over -- the reliving of the traumatic experience
                                    refreshes the memory and prevents it from fading. The brain has this
                                    mechanism whereby it tries to prevent a life-threatening situation
                                    from happening again by remembering vividly the last time. Of course,
                                    this can have unintended consequences. Sometimes veterans have
                                    trouble with daily life because they can't function in ways "normal"
                                    (non-traumatized) people can. Like for example being able to trust
                                    authority (if they were sent into battle for dishonest reasons, or
                                    sent on missions their commanders already knew was suicidal, etc), or
                                    being able to sleep without waking up at every noise, and so on. This
                                    sort of thing is all due to survival instinct in the brain.

                                    So now we have computers used to create these databases of people,
                                    and for avoiding economic risk. It's an evolutionarily stable memory
                                    system. The process of evolution itself is making personal
                                    information -- about people that might pose risk -- persist through
                                    time.

                                    One time a guy said to me, he thought the next Holocaust would be the
                                    ravers, the people with pink hair and nose piercings, or something
                                    like that. And I said no, you're thinking too much the future will be
                                    like the past -- in the past, holocausts were based on outward
                                    physical appearance type stuff. In the future, if there is going to
                                    be another holocaust, it won't be based on outward appearance --
                                    computers will determine who lives and who dies. The pink-haired
                                    people will be fine if the computers say they are good people, and
                                    ordinary people will die if the computer says they are subversives or
                                    terrorists or whatever. But there probably won't be another
                                    holocaust, not like that.

                                    Corporations are life-forms central to future course of evolution.
                                    Thinking of corporations as living organisms may seem like a stretch
                                    but hear me out. Normally we think of an organism as having a
                                    definite boundary, like the surface of your skin separates "you" from
                                    the "outside" world. But when you look more closely, you can see that
                                    the boundary is not so definite -- you are constantly exchanging
                                    atoms with the "outside" world by your breathing. You take in new
                                    atoms as you eat, and expel atoms when you use the bathroom. Over the
                                    course of years, pretty much every atom in your body gets replaced.
                                    So you are really an information pattern, the boundary is artificial,
                                    you're an information pattern and the energy that you take in from
                                    your food feeds is used to maintain the information pattern. The
                                    information pattern is not static, as the ideas in your head
                                    constantly change with time. Even "your" genetic information pattern
                                    is not static, because it changes as you reproduce and your genetic
                                    pattern gets mutated and recombined in the process of creating new
                                    people. So it is an evolving information pattern. So the important
                                    thing is, you have an information pattern that is maintained with
                                    energy and evolves with time.

                                    So now let's look at a corporation. The corporation doesn't have a
                                    physical boundary at all -- it's made of people, and the people are
                                    not physically glommed together into an organism. The corporation
                                    does have a political boundary -- some people are "part" of the
                                    corporation, and some are not. The corporation's political boundary
                                    is porous. But the corporation does have an information pattern,
                                    which is the business processes that define what the corporation does
                                    -- the products and services it produces and the processes used to
                                    accomplish this. The corporation maintains this information pattern
                                    with energy extracted from the environment -- this energy comes in in
                                    the form of revenue and is dissipated in the form of costs --
                                    payments to suppliers, payments to employees -- and profits to
                                    shareholders. The information pattern evolves over time, as the
                                    company improves and expands its business processes. If the energy
                                    should run out (no more revenue coming in) the information pattern
                                    can no longer be maintained, and the corporation dies.

                                    The point here isn't that a corporation isn't "like" a life-form, it
                                    *is* a life-form -- but only if you loosen your definition of "life"
                                    so that the information pattern that evolution is acting upon does
                                    not have to be in the form of DNA. If your definition of life
                                    requires that the information blueprint be in the form of DNA, then
                                    of course you can't say corporations are life-forms. But to me this
                                    is an arbitrary distinction. To the laws of physics, information is
                                    information, that's all.

                                    So what I believe is the future path of corporate evolution as we
                                    approach Singularity is computerization. Right now as we speak, in
                                    every corporation on this planet, there are programmers busy
                                    translating the company's business processes into software code. If
                                    not the corporation's own programmers, then programmers at some other
                                    company who is a software supplier.

                                    Now technological Singularity is the point where computers are
                                    capable of human intelligence. We're not at that point, in fact
                                    decades away from it. So right now, the business processes that are
                                    getting encoded into software are still dependent on humans for their
                                    interaction with the environment. So the company still needs, for
                                    example, the customer support rep to answer the phone and tell the
                                    computer what customer records to look up and what to do with them.

                                    At Singularity, computers equal human intelligence, so human brains
                                    are no longer needed. Corporations can already survive beyond the
                                    life of their founders, by having their roles replaced by other
                                    humans. At Singularity, all of the roles in the corporation that
                                    today require a human can be replaced by computer software. This
                                    includes by the way the CEO and other executives that make executive
                                    decisions regarding business strategy. So a corporation will become a
                                    fully non-human living organism. The post-Singularity world will be
                                    evolution by natural selection driven by competition between
                                    corporations.

                                    So the question, from a 2006 perspective, isn't what will happen at
                                    or after Singularity, but what will happen in the decades running up
                                    to the Singularity. One thing that will happen is that fewer people
                                    will be needed for jobs. This will be a small trend at first, but
                                    because it is an exponential, it will become more powerful with time,
                                    reaching 100% only at the point of Singularity. That is, the percent
                                    of people excluded from employment will be small and increase slowly
                                    in the near term, but accelerate rapidly in the years preceding
                                    Singularity, and reach 100% at Singularity.

                                    So the question is, will exclusion be driven primarily by negative
                                    information, or lack of positive information? To understand what I
                                    mean by this, think about a person applying for a job, and why they
                                    might be rejected. There's basically 2 reasons: something bad, e.g.
                                    the computers say they sued a previous employer, or lack of positive
                                    information, e.g. they were not hired because another person was
                                    hired who had more impressive credentials, or was perceived to have
                                    more impressive credentials because they did a better job of
                                    self-marketing.

                                    If the answer is that negative information predominates, then it
                                    would make sense for people to be excluded from employment for
                                    smaller and smaller office politics mistakes. If the answer is that
                                    lack of positive information predominates, then it would make sense
                                    for people to be excluded because they don't have enough college
                                    degrees or the job skill requirements are too high for normal people.

                                    Right now it looks like the "lack of positive information" side will
                                    predominate. If you look at the list of skills required for jobs
                                    today, compared with 10 or 20 years ago, it seems like the "required
                                    skills" lists just get longer and longer. Also, the educational
                                    requirements for some professions, such as CPA's and MD's, look to me
                                    like they exceed the capacity of the human brain -- there's simply no
                                    way anybody could master all the knowledge that is supposed to be
                                    covered in all the courses required. And the trend is for the
                                    educational requirements to increase. So what is happening -- at
                                    least this is what I believe -- is that people are learning
                                    everything for their courses one year, then forgetting most of it to
                                    make room in their brains for everything they have to learn the next
                                    year, and so on and so on. So they complete their required years of
                                    school, but they haven't actually learned everything. Similarly you
                                    look at people's resumes, they list so many skills, even though they
                                    are not experts at all those skills -- they *can't* be experts at all
                                    the skills they list because that much knowledge doesn't fit in the
                                    human brain.

                                    It's possible that the "negative information" side will grow
                                    exponentially and amp up, though. In that case people just get
                                    disenfranchised in one strike. This would have no impact at all on
                                    the larger society because there will still be plenty of people with
                                    clean records.

                                    Anyway, if the "lack of positive information" side predominates, then
                                    there isn't any "holocaust", this is why I said earlier there won't
                                    be any "next holocaust". For that to happen you'd need a system where
                                    "negative information" not only predominates but is used for overt
                                    killing. I wouldn't say it's impossible to happen but right now it
                                    doesn't look like it's going to.

                                    Anyway, before I leave the whole employment topic, I should probably
                                    address the objection that always comes up, that automation doesn't
                                    reduce jobs.

                                    First of all, the word "robot" originally came from a Czech word for
                                    slave labor. So the idea that robots and AI would wipe out jobs is
                                    the world's oldest and least original idea, going back all the way to
                                    the very origin of the word "robot" itself.

                                    What I'd like you to consider, however, is that just because it's an
                                    old, unoriginal idea, which has been wrong so far, doesn't mean it
                                    must always be wrong. Consider this counterexample. Suppose the year
                                    was 1500. You make a declaration that building an airplane is
                                    impossible. You say "Throughout history, people have always tried to
                                    build airplanes, and always failed, therefore they will always fail."
                                    Throughout your life, people try, and fail. You live, say you live
                                    another 50 years. So you live to 1550, and as far as you know, you
                                    were proven right -- nobody could invent an airplane. It was
                                    impossible. Ok, let's do this again, except let's say you're alive in
                                    the year 1600, and you make the same declaration. Again you say
                                    "Throughout history, people have always tried to build airplanes, and
                                    always failed, therefore they will always fail." Again you live your
                                    whole life, and you are proven completely correct. Let's do it again
                                    in the year 1700. Again, completely correct. See where this is going?
                                    Kitty Hawk didn't happen until 1903. But Kitty Hawk did happen. So
                                    the argument "It can't happen because it never happened" is
                                    fundamentally false.

                                    So if automation fails to decrease jobs, there must be a reason. If
                                    you look at economics textbooks, you'll see the reason that is
                                    generally given is that when you buy a coat, your dollars go either
                                    to the people who sewed the buttons on the coat, or to the people who
                                    made the machine that sewed the buttons on the coat. But it goes to
                                    people either way. And if the coat cost you less because the machine
                                    was more efficient, then you spend your extra dollars on some other
                                    product -- but for that product, like the coat, the money either goes
                                    to the people who do the work or the people who make the machines
                                    that do the work, so again those dollars always go to people,
                                    directly or indirectly.

                                    Singularity breaks this assumption. In a post-Singularity world, when
                                    machines exceed human intelligence, When you go to buy a coat, there
                                    don't have to be any humans on the other end of that transaction --
                                    at any level of indirection.

                                    Now you may be thinking, those dollars have to find their way back
                                    into human hands for the consumer role -- someone has to buy stuff
                                    for the whole economic process to work. However, there's no reason
                                    why machines can't buy stuff if they have human intelligence. Buying
                                    is a simple exchange of dollars for something else. It's simple and
                                    doesn't require much intelligence, which is why pretty much any human
                                    can do it. If people can't get money because there is no job market,
                                    there's nothing that will automatically force money to flow back into
                                    human hands. In the post-Singularity world, the only way people will
                                    get money will be as business owners -- either as direct owners or as
                                    shareholders in another corporation. So everybody will have to learn
                                    to make money as entrepreneurs or as investors.

                                    Or by becoming machines ourselves. This is what guys like Ray
                                    Kurzweil argue. Kurzweil is perfectly aware of this situation, but he
                                    believes that we humans will incorporate computer circuitry in our
                                    brains and thereby remain competitive in the job market. So with this
                                    possibility as a caveat, the situation I've described above only
                                    applies to non-cyborgenic humans -- cyborgs are still economically
                                    viable on the job market. However, negative information applies
                                    regardless of whether cyborgenic or not.

                                    Can everybody make money as entrepreneurs or as investors? Current
                                    evidence would suggest not. According to a BusinessWeek article I saw
                                    several years ago, over a million new businesses are started every
                                    year in the United States. 4% of these survive the first few years.
                                    Acquisitions are counted as successes. The other 96% fail. That means
                                    the average person should expect to try and fail at starting a
                                    business 25 times before succeeding. For a long time I thought the
                                    reason for the high failure rate was because marketing is hard. Most
                                    of the businesses I've tried to start failed on the marketing stage.
                                    But now I think there is a more fundamental reason. What made me
                                    realize was when I heard Will Wright talking about how, in his
                                    multiplayer video games, people often reached a point where an
                                    individual could not compete against groups of other people -- the
                                    only possible way to succeed was to become part of a group. (You can
                                    hear his talk yourself at
                                    http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail195.html ). On the job
                                    market, you are an individual competing against other individuals --
                                    so you have a chance. When starting a business, you are an individual
                                    competing against organized *groups* of people -- other businesses.
                                    So you are competing against a non-human life form. In most types of
                                    business, your only chance of success is to organize a group of
                                    people yourself (which takes a lot of money). Other businesses, even
                                    though they are groups of people, are capable of doing things that
                                    individuals can't.

                                    J. Andrew Rogers once elegantly described the mathematical reason
                                    behind this: "The larger system is capable of expressing algorithms
                                    that are not expressible in any subsystem. There is no reason to
                                    expect a system composed of multiple humans to express the
                                    characteristics of a human, and a lot of reasons not to. Or to put it
                                    another way, any system that behaved like a human would be
                                    functionally indistinguishable from a human, and the point of
                                    multi-human aggregate structures of all types is to get results that
                                    you would not expect from a single human anyway."

                                    So if individuals generally can't compete with greater-than-human
                                    intelligence, in the form of corporations, why would they be able to
                                    compete with greater-than-human intelligence when it invades the job
                                    market directly in the form of AI? That's why the cyborgenic question
                                    is so important.

                                    It's also worth pointing out that employment can decrease for reasons
                                    that have nothing to do with automation. The Great Depression, for
                                    example, happened because of the stock market crash (herd mentality
                                    over investment in certain areas of the economy), bank runs, bad
                                    monetary policy on the part of the Fed, etc etc. So any decrease in
                                    employment you see at any particular point in time in the future
                                    doesn't have to be related to automation in any way. I expect Bush's
                                    economic policies will cause a lot of problems in the future in this
                                    country.

                                    The effect of automation on employment is only visible over very long
                                    spans of history. The skill level required to meet cost of living is
                                    higher today than it was 50 years ago. People spend more of their
                                    lives in school and less on the job market. College is essentially
                                    the new high school -- a high school diploma is pretty meaningless on
                                    the job market today. When the job market goes sour, people typically
                                    respond by going back to school, to get a more advanced degree or
                                    train for some other field.

                                    Here's what I call "The Futurist Zeno Paradox". In the original Zeno
                                    paradox, Zeno wants to run a certain distance, let us say 100 meters.
                                    To reach the 100-meter mark, Zeno must first reach the 50-meter mark,
                                    and to reach that, he must first run 25 meters. But to do that, he
                                    must first run 12.5 meters. Since space is infinitely divisible, we
                                    can repeat these "requirements" forever. Assuming Zeno can run a
                                    certain speed, say 10 meters/second, you are infinitely dividing
                                    units of space and infinitely dividing units of time. Can Zeno ever
                                    reach the finish line?

                                    The solution to the paradox is to look at the problem from a
                                    completely different, but still valid point of view. In this case,
                                    you write Zeno's position as x = 10t. The "infinite divisibility"
                                    requirement is still met because every time you divide t, you divide
                                    x, which you can continue ad infinitum. But you can see that as you
                                    increase t, x will cross the 100 meter mark, thus Zeno can reach the
                                    finish line.

                                    The "Futurist" version of the paradox concerns costs and income. The
                                    theory is that Moore's Law makes everything cheaper. But, at the same
                                    time, people's incomes go down as competition from machines
                                    increases. So the question is, do people come out ahead or not? If
                                    you simply extrapolate to infinity, you get a cost/income ratio of
                                    0/0, which doesn't tell you anything. You you have to look at the
                                    "limits" of cost and income as time "approaches" infinity (actually
                                    singularity in this case). Or put another way, do costs decrease
                                    faster than incomes, or do incomes decrease faster than costs? The
                                    only way to answer the question is, like with Zeno's Paradox, to
                                    switch to a completely different way to view the problem. I don't
                                    have time to explain my method of doing that at the moment.

                                    However, suffice for now, to state that the original statement of the
                                    paradox is flawed. Incomes don't go down progressively because as
                                    industries become more information-centric, they necessarily and
                                    automatically develop a "winner-take-all" effect that concentrates
                                    wealth in the winners and leaves the losers with nothing. The more
                                    info-centric a type of business is, the more strongly income follows
                                    a Pareto curve. As a consequence, income tends to drop to 0 (or near
                                    0) for some people while remaining high for others. Because of the
                                    the stakes are getting higher and higher, and it is becoming more and
                                    more critical to survival to be a "winner" and not a "loser", I
                                    expect harsh legal and office politics tactics to be used more and
                                    more. If your office enemy's life is destroyed by having to spend all
                                    their time and money in court defending themselves, or in jail, or
                                    homeless and starving, you've wiped out your competition as
                                    effectively as a bullet in the head.

                                    The other flaw is that not all costs decrease according to Moore's
                                    Law. Electronics certainly do. But real estate doesn't. Your rent
                                    doesn't get cut in half every 2 years. Health care doesn't (subject
                                    of the other series of emails). Lawyers don't cut their fees in half
                                    every 2 years.

                                    As long as I've brought up the subject of lawyers, I've noticed
                                    something curious. My background is in software development. The more
                                    I read legal codes and contracts, the more the seem to me like
                                    software source code. In software, when you write a function, you'll
                                    have dozens of "if" blocks (and other control flow statements, but
                                    let's keep the discussion to "if" blocks to keep it simple). So you
                                    have all these "if" blocks that specify what to do in every
                                    conceivable possibility, so that the function will be robust. Any
                                    given time the function is actually executed, only a tiny percentage,
                                    maybe 5%, of the code in the function is actually executed. 10% of
                                    the code probably handles all the common cases. But you still need
                                    that other 90% because otherwise the program will occasionally blow
                                    up in the user's face. Legal code, like software code, tries to be
                                    mathematically precise (but "legalese", being based on English, is
                                    far less precise than software), and specify what happens in every
                                    conceivable situation.

                                    So I've started thinking about the legal code as software, but
                                    software that doesn't run on computers, but rather on human brains.
                                    Not ordinary human brains, either, but specially licensed human
                                    brains that have made sure the legal code guarantees them a lot of
                                    money. And the legal code, like software, has lots of bugs in it,
                                    i.e. innocent people going to jail, stuff like that, in fact the
                                    legal code must have a million times more bugs than most software,
                                    since legislatures make no serious attempt to debug it as far as I
                                    can tell.

                                    So the idea is that the legal code is the "source code" for the
                                    software that runs society. And that software, because it's written
                                    in "legalese", a variant of English, requires human brains to run.
                                    But someday, machines will have more intelligence than humans. That
                                    means that someday, the legal code will be actual software that runs
                                    on machines.

                                    I'll leave you to ponder the implications.

                                    Wayne Radinsky wrote:
                                    > What makes the Bush story stick? Let's think for a minute what you
                                    > would need to do, what psychological process you'd need to go
                                    > through, to change your belief system, let's call it the "9-11"
                                    > belief system, your set of beliefs about what happened on 9-11.
                                    >
                                    > 1) You'd have to abandon self-consistency.

                                    Ok, so now I'm going to completely shift gears.

                                    I've been thinking a lot lately about why people believe what they
                                    do. On May 18th, Mark Finnern posted

                                    http://www.futuresalon.org/2006/05/hierarchical_te.html

                                    a white paper on Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM) so let's use that
                                    as a starting point. What the paper describes, without going into the
                                    math, is this idea of the brain being modeled as "nodes" that
                                    propagate "beliefs" up a hierarchy. Beliefs originate in sensory data
                                    that changes over time, and the strict hierarchy helps prevent cycles
                                    allowing false beliefs to be reinforced within the system. The
                                    authors believe the human brain works something like this.

                                    I'm capable of having wrong beliefs about the world because
                                    ultimately, my beliefs are limited to what information has passed
                                    through my senses -- either something I see or hear directly, or
                                    something that is described to be using language from someone else,
                                    which enters my brain through the same senses. This process has been
                                    going on since I was born.

                                    The language part is important because it's impossible for me to
                                    verify everything about the world by direct experiment. So I think it
                                    is a built-in part of the human brain, to try to learn from other
                                    people. If everybody around me believes a certain thing to be true,
                                    the odds that it is true go up dramatically. So if Alice believes
                                    there are crocodiles in the river, and I talk to Bob and he believes
                                    there are crocodiles in the river, and I talk to Charlie and he
                                    believes there are crocodiles in the river, and I talk to Dan and he
                                    believes there are crocodiles in the river, and I talk to Emily and
                                    she also believes there are crocodiles in the river, then, when I
                                    reach the shores of the river, am I going to swim across? What if I
                                    don't see anything?

                                    There is a curious problem with this system, however. If I'm looking
                                    to everyone else to figure out what I believe, and everyone else is
                                    doing the same thing, then, do you see the problem? There is the
                                    potential for a false belief to become self-reinforcing. And while
                                    humans may organize in hierarchies, beliefs don't necessarily
                                    propagate along hierarchies. Beliefs therefore can create closed,
                                    cyclical loops where a false belief gets self-reinforced.

                                    Furthermore, nobody is consciously aware that their beliefs are
                                    coming from "social reinforcement" rather than reality, because our
                                    brains are hard-wired to look to others for beliefs. So you can get a
                                    situation where "everybody" believes something false.

                                    In my own efforts to understand reality, I've become enormously
                                    dependent on science. Since after I abandoned Christianity I was
                                    determined to base my beliefs on reality and not get fooled again, I
                                    started to study science intensely. The reason is because, with
                                    science, there is a "reality check". They call it the "Scientific
                                    Method", talk about how you formulate a hypothesis, do an experiment,
                                    and so on -- basically what it boils down to is: do you do a reality
                                    check on your beliefs on not? In Church, you go in, and the preacher
                                    says, open your Bible to page such-and-such, and read a passage, and
                                    he tells you his interpretation of the passage. But is his
                                    interpretation right? He just made it up, and there's no reality
                                    check. He finishes the sermon, everybody claps, sings a few hymns,
                                    goes over to the chapel to eat donuts and drink punch and socialize.
                                    That's basically it.

                                    I couldn't do every experiment myself. I could do some. I could swing
                                    some pendulums and shine light through some lenses and put some
                                    chemicals together and stuff. But I couldn't build a particle
                                    accelerator or measure the mass of the electron. So I was kind of
                                    stuck: I had to rely on other people for beliefs I had about how the
                                    world works. I didn't record detailed records of the positions of the
                                    planets as they moved through the night sky. I basically accepted
                                    Newton's equations, and accepted that other scientists had rigorously
                                    tested them to make sure they meet reality. I've accepted relativity
                                    and quantum physics without repeating all the experiments. I've
                                    accepted chemistry and biochemistry without redoing all the
                                    experiments. In short, my beliefs about the world are based very
                                    heavily on stuff certain people (called "scientists") say, even
                                    though I can't verify what they say.

                                    Unfortunately, even scientists are not immune to political pressures.
                                    Scientists have to write funding proposals, and their funding and
                                    whether the results get published and/or read is totally dependent on
                                    other people's opinions, not whether what they say is actually true
                                    or not. There are major scandals in science from time to time, like
                                    the recent stem cell scandal. But I worry more about the routine, day
                                    to day office politicking interfering with the truth of the results
                                    of the research.

                                    + How to Write a Scientific Paper +
                                    http://members.verizon.net/~vze3fs8i/air/airpaper.html

                                    Pakistan is 97% Muslim. Afghanistan is 99% Muslim. Thailand is 96%
                                    Buddhist. The United States is 78% Christian. These figures are
                                    fairly stable from generation to generation. The point is, people do
                                    not decide their religion based on independent thought and analysis,
                                    they decide based on what the people around them believe. Otherwise,
                                    a nation could go from majority Muslim to majority Buddhist (or
                                    Christian) in one generation, right?

                                    So in my last message I suggested the heretical idea that 9-11 was a
                                    marketing event, and a magic trick, but now i wonder if I should be
                                    characterized as a religion as well. Because, ok, to me, it looks
                                    like we have 3 buildings blow up in New York, but there were only 2
                                    planes. So somebody goofed there, maybe Flight 93 was supposed to be
                                    that plane (one of the reasons I'm skeptical of the "Bay Area
                                    business people with cell phones defeated the terrorists" version of
                                    the story), or maybe there was supposed to be another hijacking.
                                    There's misdirection on both a visual and cognitive level -- the
                                    buildings blow up and you get visual misdirection from the airplanes,
                                    and cognitive misdirection from the immediate "Osama did it"
                                    directing your attention towards him. But here's the thing: we have
                                    all these top scientists everywhere providing explanations. We have,
                                    you know, the 400-page report from NIST explaining how the buildings
                                    collapsed. We have the MIT professor, going on PBS, explaining to
                                    everybody why the buildings collapsed. So I must be wrong, right? All
                                    these top scientists say the airplanes made the buildings collapse.
                                    All these top scientists say Building 7, which wasn't hit by an
                                    airplane, collapsed because of an explosion of a fuel tank on one of
                                    the lower floors. We have all this scientific data and formulas and
                                    details. We have the temperature it takes to melt steel, and what
                                    temperature you'd have to reach for the steel not to melt but still
                                    become soft enough for the building to collapse, and so on.

                                    So this leads to the dilemma. Do I believe my own eyes and ears and
                                    brain? Or do I believe the NIST report?

                                    In 1955, Solomon Asch performed a psychological experiment where
                                    people were asked to compare the length of lines. The real purpose of
                                    the experiment was to find out how much people respond when their
                                    perceptions differ from the majority. People would first be shown 1
                                    line, then 3 lines and asked which of the 3 lines was the same length
                                    as the first line. People would answer the question of which line was
                                    the same length in groups, but the experiment was rigged so that only
                                    the last guy was really the subject of the experiment. The other
                                    people, at predefined points in the experiment, would unanimously
                                    pick the wrong line. The idea was to see if the subject would
                                    conform.

                                    In the first version of the experiment, subjects conformed 36.8% of
                                    the time. By comparison, subjects alone would pick the wrong line
                                    about 1% of the time. When asked afterward why they conformed, the
                                    most common response was they felt their difference from the majority
                                    was a sign of deficiency in themselves, which they had to hide.
                                    Subsequent variations were done testing various things like how
                                    consistent and unanimous do the majority have to be, how much of an
                                    error in the length of lines will the subject tolerate, and so on.
                                    (There was no point where the error of the majority would be so
                                    glaring that every subject would repudiate it).

                                    By the way, Asch did this experiment to prove that people would stand
                                    up against group pressure. The experiment proved him wrong.

                                    Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the "Fooled By Randomness" guy, talks about
                                    how random stuff happens, but then we invent narratives after the
                                    fact to explain what happened, that make it seem inevitable. But the
                                    narratives are wrong because what happened was essentially random. He
                                    calls these "post-hoc narratives". He wrote a whole book about it
                                    (Fooled By Randomness). Normally it'd be pretty hard to write a whole
                                    but about such a small topic, but he's a little obsessed with it. He
                                    has lots of interesting stories that illustrate various aspects. For
                                    example he recounts when he was young, the start of the civil war in
                                    Beirut. After the war happened, everyone could explain why it
                                    happened. This guy did this, that guy did that, the other guy did the
                                    other thing, and so the war happened. But the thing is, that was
                                    post-hoc. Nobody saw it coming. It came completely out of nowhere. If
                                    anybody really understood why the war happened, they could have
                                    predicted it. Nobody predicted it. The narratives were all
                                    after-the-fact.

                                    So the point is, the human brain has this enormous capacity for
                                    inventing stories to explain what happened after the fact.

                                    So some people got the impression I was picking on DJ Cline when I
                                    talked about how people don't want to reverse a position they've
                                    previously taken publicly -- but actually I was just illustrating a
                                    general psychological principle. And it was the first on a list of 6,
                                    and so to demonstrate that the remaining 5 have nothing to do with
                                    him, I thought I'd just run through them, briefly, so you all get
                                    some idea what was getting at.

                                    2) You'd have to change your sense of identity.

                                    Identity is the holy grail of marketing. They say, when your
                                    customers tattoo your name on their arms, you know you have a loyal
                                    customer. Don't think people would ever tattoo a corporate name on
                                    their arms? What if I told you the name of the corporation was
                                    Harley-Davidson?

                                    The Coke-Pepsi taste tests have been repeated in fMRI machines, and
                                    revealed a surprising result. If you do the test without telling
                                    people whether they're drinking Coke or Pepsi, then areas of the
                                    brain for processing taste and smell information light up. But if you
                                    tell people they're drinking Coke, areas of the brain associated with
                                    identity light up. The Coca-cola company has managed to convince
                                    millions of people, through advertising, that drinking Coke means
                                    you're a lively, outgoing, fun-spirited person.

                                    So, who would like a Welch's Grape?

                                    3) You'd have to accept getting labeled a PaRaNoiD KoNSPiRaCy
                                    KRaCKPoT

                                    Guilt-by-association is a genuine psychological phenomena. Since
                                    conspiracy theorists are loony-tunes (
                                    http://www.waynerad.com/looney.mid ), if you talk about conspiracy
                                    theories, you'll be regarded as a loony be association.

                                    Marketing people generally try to use this principle in reverse -- by
                                    creating positive associations. Celebrity endorsements, for example.
                                    You see that guy from Law & Order doing TV ads for TD Waterhouse. Now
                                    if you think logically, why would an actor, who play a prosecutor on
                                    a legal drama know anything about stock market investing? He wouldn't
                                    and doesn't, but the positive association makes the ad work.

                                    The ultimate proof of this is the ads for Jessica Simpson perfume.
                                    Does Jessica Simpson have a degree in chemistry? What would make
                                    anyone think she'd know how to design a perfume? If you've seen any
                                    of Jessica Simpson's "reality TV" shows, you'll know how (cough
                                    cough) brilliant she is. But hey, she's good looking and people like
                                    her, so people buy the perfume.

                                    Marketers always try to prove the worth of their product by
                                    convincing you that other people believe in it. You have books that
                                    scream "50 million copies sold!" you have ads that say "Toyota Camry
                                    is the #1 selling car 5 years in a row!" All those millions of Toyota
                                    Camry buyers can't be wrong, can they? You have those TV infomercials
                                    with Russ Dalby's "Making Money in the Cash Flow Industry" with all
                                    those "man-on-the-street" interviews with people who bought the
                                    course and made $5323.44 last month, or $10,433.98 last month, or
                                    $18,923.87 last month, or whatever, and the course makes it SO easy,
                                    you just follow the steps, 1, 2, 3...!"

                                    You guys ever see those ads? I bought the course, and let me tell
                                    you, ok I'm sure there are some people who can make money that way,
                                    but it's a hell of a lot harder than they make it sound on the
                                    commercials. It's basically a system for flipping promissory notes
                                    for real estate. Step 1 is find a note, step 2 is post it on the
                                    website, step 3 is cash your check. Easy, right? The catch is step 1,
                                    "find a note". This is a decidedly non-trivial step. How are you
                                    going to find someone with a promissory note, who wants to sell it?
                                    You have to do marketing. You have to run ads, or get a list and mail
                                    ads, or find someone who might know people with promissory notes, and
                                    advertise to them. And like all marketing, it's hard. In my first
                                    attempts, I got 2 responses to my ads, none of them sold their notes,
                                    and because no one sold, I had no more money to send more ads. So I
                                    was dead right there, as far as that business plan went. But I
                                    digress, the point is, the advertisers at America's Note Network who
                                    sell this course are taking advantage of the fact that we base our
                                    beliefs on other people's beliefs. They do it deliberately in the way
                                    they design their infomercials.

                                    4) You'd have to live with drinking from a deeply poisoned well

                                    There's so much conspiracy nonsense out there that it's impossible to
                                    distinguish a true conspiracy theory from hundreds of false ones.

                                    In this situation, the easiest thing to do, to fulfill the desire to
                                    have something that one can believe _with_certainty_ is to believe
                                    the "official" sources of information, which in our society is
                                    television.

                                    People desire certainty. Lack of certainty is unsettling. You feel
                                    lost. http://static.flickr.com/29/41115917_eaa61496d0.jpg

                                    5) You'd have to deal with new beliefs that are scary and shameful.

                                    When you know you're being fooled you don't get the shame emotion.
                                    When you go to Las Vegas, and you go see all the magicians, you go to
                                    the Penn & Teller show, and you go and see Lance Burton, and David
                                    Copperfield and all those guys. You know they didn't really pull
                                    pigeons out of thin air -- you know it was a trick, because you knew
                                    ahead of time, before you went into the show, that they were going to
                                    trick you -- but you still can't figure out how they did it! And it's
                                    fun to sit and think and try to figure out how the trick was done,
                                    and you think and think and you just can't figure it out! It seems
                                    impossible! Yet you know it was possible. That can be very
                                    entertaining.

                                    But on the other hand... When the psychic who bent the spoons told
                                    you it was a real psychic power and you believed them! And then years
                                    later you learn it was a trick and you fell for it. Ouch.

                                    6) You'd have to go against established authority.

                                    Stanley Milgram was a psychological researcher who was wondering why
                                    the Nazi holocaust happened. Basically, you know how people say,
                                    "Hitler killed 6 million Jews" and stuff like that? Actually, Hitler
                                    didn't kill anybody. It was other people following Hitler's orders,
                                    who did the actual killing. So Milgram was pondering the question,
                                    "how willing are people to obey authority?"

                                    In his experiment, he got one subject, recruited off the street by a
                                    newspaper ad, to give electric shocks to another subject. The shocks
                                    started off low and increased until the other subject was screaming
                                    in pain. The idea was to see how far the first subject would go --
                                    how obedient would people be to the experimenter when he gave them
                                    orders to inflict pain on the other person? The subjects were told
                                    that the real purpose of the experiment was to test the effect of
                                    pain on memory, and the person was to get shocks when he answered
                                    memory questions wrong. And the guy getting the shocks was actually
                                    an actor, who was only acting like he was getting shocked.

                                    Before the experiment, a poll was taken among psychology professors,
                                    graduate and undergraduate students at the school (Yale University).
                                    They were asked to estimate how many subjects would go all the way to
                                    the highest shock level (450 volts). The answers were in the 1% to 2%
                                    range. A separate group of 39 psychiatrists predicted that about 1
                                    person per thousand would go all the way up to the highest level. The
                                    actual result was about 2/3rds. In one version of the experiment, the
                                    person screamed that they had a heart condition and demanded to be
                                    released. 65% of subjects still went to the maximum shock level.

                                    What this shows is that people are extremely obedient to authority --
                                    even though people *think* they aren't.

                                    I've had these experiences, where for example, I'm sitting with my
                                    manager and he says I should do such-and-such. And I say "No! I'm not
                                    doing that." I say no because it seems stupid or a waste of time or
                                    not in the project or company's best interest or whatever. And he
                                    comes back and says, "DO SUCH-AND-SUCH!" and walks off. And it's
                                    like, a direct order. And every time that's happened, I felt this
                                    internal conflict -- oh, I *really* don't want to do it -- and then I
                                    do it, because I can't disobey a direct order. That's exactly the way
                                    the people in the Milgram experiments are described -- actually it
                                    was worse, they got all sweaty and shaky and extremely agitated. But
                                    they obeyed. I say this because you probably think you're different
                                    from the people in the Milgram experiment. But you're probably not.
                                    I'm not, I've had that exact experience, being unable to disobey, and
                                    you can probably remember a similar experience or two in your own
                                    life.

                                    Since Milgram did this, there's been a long series of experiments
                                    that show the effect really is due to authority. For example they
                                    switched the experiment around so that the person getting shocked
                                    would insist the subject continue and the experimenter would tell the
                                    subject to stop. If the subject was giving the shocks just because
                                    they were sadistic, they'd continue. But in 100% of cases, the
                                    subject stopped. In other variations they would have two
                                    experimenters, one saying to continue and the other saying to stop.
                                    The subjects would frantically try to figure out who's the bigger
                                    boss, and when that failed, they'd follow their own instincts and
                                    stop. So you can see, the effect is due entirely to the orders of the
                                    authority. The subjects were paid $4.50/hr (in 1974 dollars) for
                                    delivering the potentially life-threatening shocks. That's amazing.

                                    Why are people so obedient? Lots of people say, it's because of
                                    upbringing. It's because people are taught as children to obey
                                    parents, and taught in school to obey teachers. I disagree. I think
                                    it's built-in. It's genetic.

                                    Humans are primates and primates form status hierarchies. That's just
                                    the way the human brain is designed.

                                    Lots of experiments have been done studying status hierarchies in
                                    monkeys. For example there is a series of experiments where they
                                    introduce a new food (caramels) to a monkey colony. First they
                                    introduced the new food to a low-status monkey. After a year and a
                                    half, 51% of the colony had adapted the new food -- and none of the
                                    leaders. In the next experiment, they introduced the new food to a
                                    leader. Within 4 hours, the entire colony had adapted the new food.

                                    There are lots of other examples of appeals to authority in
                                    marketing. One famous example from the marketing books is how in the
                                    1970's, Sanka ran ads with the actor Robert Young telling people that
                                    Sanka decaffeinated coffee was good for their health. The ad was
                                    insanely successful. Why? Because Robert Young was dressed as a
                                    doctor, and was well-known for his role as a doctor on a TV show
                                    (Marcus Welby, MD). Doctors have the highest authority in the medical
                                    profession, and that authority carried over to the Sanka product --
                                    even though people knew he wasn't a real doctor, amazingly enough.
                                    It's a psychological trick, but it worked.

                                    Anyway, what to say in conclusion? I've rambled on way to much again
                                    and probably stuck my foot in my mouth in ways I never thought of
                                    again, but I probably ought to make some concluding remarks. I guess
                                    the main point of all this is that the information revolution doesn't
                                    make reality any easier to figure out. First, yeah, there's the
                                    problem that we're all drowning in information, we have, what's the
                                    term? Information Overload. But that's not even the worst of it. The
                                    bigger problem is that there's people who know how to exploit our
                                    brain's cognitive heuristics. It's like, there's optical illusions
                                    that show the limitations in the way our visual systems work (
                                    http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/index-e.html ). There's magicians
                                    who exploit other limits in our perceptual systems to make
                                    entertaining illusions. Likewise, there's politicians and
                                    propagandists and marketers exploiting our brain's cognitive
                                    limitations. The TV news is bullshit, corporate PR is bullshit,
                                    advertising is bullshit, the latest miracle cure is bullshit, Bush is
                                    bullshit, religion is bullshit, office politics is bullshit. We're
                                    drowning in bullshit.

                                    The internet was supposed to make this better. It was supposed to
                                    enable a quantum leap in communication, making reality and truth
                                    easier to discern.

                                    Has it done that? It doesn't seem like it. If anything, it seems like
                                    technological advance will just make reality more obscure, the fog
                                    thicker, the truthful voice more lost in the chorus. We can create
                                    photos that never existed with photoshop, we can stick images into
                                    live TV that aren't really there. Who knows what we'll be able to do
                                    in the future. The level of sophistication of the marketers and
                                    propagandists and politicians is only going get better and more
                                    effective. With neuroscience, we're learning more and more about how
                                    the brain tries to discern truth and reality. We're test marketing
                                    ads on people in brain scanners. With technological advancement, the
                                    extent to which our beliefs will be intentionally controlled and
                                    manipulated by others will surpass anything you can imagine today.

                                    The difference between today's bullshit and tomorrow's bullshit is
                                    that tomorrow's bullshit will be more deliberate and more invisible.

                                    One question I seem to ask myself every day, how much of what I
                                    genuinely believe is bullshit? For all I know, my belief that we're
                                    drowning in bullshit is bullshit. Feel free to disregard everything
                                    I've said in this message -- it could all be bullshit.

                                    But I forgot, you can't call bullshit bullshit. That's not good
                                    politics. From now on, I'll simply refer to it as "information of
                                    questionable correctness."

                                    In our society we are exposed to more information of questionable
                                    correctness on a daily basis.

                                    In the future (this is my prediction for the day) Moore's Law and the
                                    exponential increase in information technology will result in an
                                    exponential increase in exposure to information of questionable
                                    correctness.
                                  • Kevin D. Keck
                                    Your responses might not take so much time to post, Wayne, if you kept them shorter. ; ) Anyway, I want (for now) to just critique this one part of your ...
                                    Message 17 of 28 , May 29 9:07 PM
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                                      Your responses might not take so much time to post, Wayne, if you kept
                                      them shorter. ; )

                                      Anyway, I want (for now) to just critique this one part of your
                                      message:

                                      --- Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:
                                      [...]
                                      > Can everybody make money as entrepreneurs or as investors? Current
                                      > evidence would suggest not. According to a BusinessWeek article I saw
                                      > several years ago, over a million new businesses are started every
                                      > year in the United States. 4% of these survive the first few years.
                                      > Acquisitions are counted as successes. The other 96% fail. That means
                                      > the average person should expect to try and fail at starting a
                                      > business 25 times before succeeding. For a long time I thought the
                                      > reason for the high failure rate was because marketing is hard. Most
                                      > of the businesses I've tried to start failed on the marketing stage.
                                      > But now I think there is a more fundamental reason. What made me
                                      > realize was when I heard Will Wright talking about how, in his
                                      > multiplayer video games, people often reached a point where an
                                      > individual could not compete against groups of other people -- the
                                      > only possible way to succeed was to become part of a group. (You can
                                      > hear his talk yourself at
                                      > http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail195.html ). On the job
                                      > market, you are an individual competing against other individuals --
                                      > so you have a chance. When starting a business, you are an individual
                                      > competing against organized *groups* of people -- other businesses.
                                      > So you are competing against a non-human life form. In most types of
                                      > business, your only chance of success is to organize a group of
                                      > people yourself (which takes a lot of money). Other businesses, even
                                      > though they are groups of people, are capable of doing things that
                                      > individuals can't.

                                      You're making two implicit assumptions here that I'd like to challenge:

                                      1) Organizing a group of people takes a lot of money.

                                      2) If it takes a lot of money to build a business, then not many people
                                      will be able to do it.

                                      I think you can probably recognize the weaknesses in the first
                                      yourself, now that I've drawn attention to it. First of all,
                                      obviously, if wages are falling for most people, then it won't really
                                      take very much money to hire a bunch of them. But secondly, why can't
                                      you just make them partners rather than employees, and forego hiring
                                      completely? One of the main reasons to hire people rather than make
                                      them partners is just so that the principals can keep most of the
                                      profit and equity gains to themselves. But if cash is scarce, and
                                      stock is basically the only other thing you've got to offer, then
                                      obviously you'll offer stock. And in fact we say a whole lot of that
                                      during the dot-com boom, with some entrepreneurs (allegedly, at least)
                                      even using stock to settle debts with their gardeners and dry cleaners.
                                      Often that stock turned out to be worthless, but the same it true of
                                      lottery tickets and there's nonetheless still a pretty robust demand
                                      for them.

                                      The second assumption becomes questionable when you take into account
                                      one of your other predictions: that those who are not entrepreneurs
                                      will have to make their living as investors. One of the clear
                                      contributors to the dot-com bubble was the vast quantities of
                                      investment capital coming from pensions and retirement accounts, that
                                      all had to be put somewhere. If investment continues to become an ever
                                      larger part of the economy, then that effect will be seen again,
                                      "irrational exuberance" or not. Even if the trend of more and more of
                                      the available capital being located in pension and retirement accounts
                                      were to be reversed as some corporations began to do a better job of
                                      picking investments than most of those fund managers and claim a
                                      growing share of the pie, in order to sustain their success they would
                                      still need to continue to find new investments to make. Now it could
                                      be that they would come to simply invest all of that capital in
                                      financial derivatives and other vehicles, but it's much more plausible
                                      to expect VC to remain a very lucrative area of investment. Of course
                                      aspiring entrepreneurs would still need to compete with AI
                                      entrepreneurs to win that funding, the point is just that lack of
                                      available capital is not likely to be a genuine structural
                                      impediment--if people are competitive as entrepreneurs, then they will
                                      be able to obtain funding, and probably on increasingly lucrative terms
                                      as the pool of available capital would continue to grow.

                                      But in the end, I will add, I think the more illuminating question is
                                      whether "the economy"--which as Alvin Toffler explains in his latest
                                      book (for those who haven't already encountered the idea in feminist
                                      and environmentalist academia) is really just the part of global
                                      consumption and wealth creation that economists pay attention to, based
                                      on its link to money (and which Toffler therefore refers to as the
                                      "money economy")--will continue to grow (indefinitely) or will at some
                                      point begin to shrink as non-monetary activity begins to eclipse it.
                                      (I haven't finished Toffler's book yet, but I so far he stops short of
                                      actually predicting such and simply points out that the economists are
                                      completely ignoring a very important part of the overall wealth system,
                                      and that they really need to get their act together.) I mean, if you
                                      could easily grow all the food you needed in a little fish pond in your
                                      basement, powered by community-owned renewable energy sources, and you
                                      could manufacture clothing (the latest fashions, even), shelter, drugs,
                                      and state-of-the-art electronics on your desktop (out of, essentially,
                                      garbage, sewage, dirt and air) and your government didn't demand taxes
                                      on your parcel of land (as is the case in many places today), then what
                                      would you need money for?
                                    • D.J. Cline
                                      DJ Cline Commentary 06-01-06 Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Commentary Womb Raider If Angelina Jolie has a baby in a third world country, who will adopt
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Jun 2, 2006
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                                        DJ Cline Commentary 06-01-06
                                        Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

                                        Commentary

                                        Womb Raider

                                        If Angelina Jolie has a baby in a third world country, who will adopt
                                        it? If the papparazi can�t photograph it, does the baby exist? True to
                                        form, as soon as the child was brought into the hospital nursery, it
                                        adopted two other babies.

                                        Deficit Ending

                                        Economist John Kenneth Galbraith is dead. Paraphrasing John Maynard
                                        Keynes, in the long run, all economists are dead.

                                        Carefully Thought Versus Carefully Taught

                                        Do you want to be in a country everybody is trying to get into� or out
                                        of?
                                        The test of any human society is its ability to accept and make use of
                                        new members. Treating different people as problems, outlaws or
                                        criminals shows a failure of courage and imagination. It hints at the
                                        long-term viability of any enterprise.

                                        You�d think the future of basic human rights, would be so� basic. What
                                        I thought was the kernel of a free society�s operating system appears
                                        at best a mere screen saver which disappears the moment you try to use
                                        it. Instead of a new world of entrepreneurs breaking down barriers, it
                                        looks like a world run by hall monitors raising new ones. I am reminded
                                        of the musical South Pacific, where Lt. Cable sings about being
                                        carefully taught to hate. I will not be told whom I can talk to, be
                                        friends with or be afraid of, or where I can go. I�ll go where I like,
                                        do as I please, and make up my own mind.

                                        Weird Scenes Inside the Data Mine

                                        The NSA is accused of data mining. In creating a world where no sparrow
                                        can fall, will we create one where no sparrow can fly?

                                        The Electronic Frontier Foundation with information from Mark Klein is
                                        taking AT&T to court for cooperating with the NSA�s domestic spying
                                        program. Apparently they were collecting records of every phone call
                                        and e-mail made after 2001. I feel like I�m paying for the same
                                        services twice. If they are going to keep spending our tax dollars on
                                        this, I want free high-speed Internet access and a super spam blocker.
                                        I mean, they must already know what I�m not interested in, right? I
                                        also want free cell phone service or at least more rollover minutes.
                                        Oh, and my choice of ring tones.

                                        The term data mining conjures up images of a Welsh coalmining town. A
                                        factory whistle blows and word spreads around the town that there has
                                        been a collapse at the data mine. Families congregate outside the
                                        office park. A wife pleads for information about her husband. �He was
                                        trying correlate video rentals with anti-war activity in registered
                                        voters. He was on the second floor.� Soon the rescue workers carry out
                                        the caffeinated bodies to an undisclosed location. The next day the
                                        mine opens and the queries start again.

                                        I don�t think this is what those remarkable technicians at the NSA had
                                        in mind when they signed up after college. Imagine dialing the wrong
                                        number while ordering a pizza and being marked for life.

                                        Fear And Labeling In Las Vegas

                                        A woman slapped a label on me, and walked away. I learned something
                                        that night.

                                        It was a Saturday night in Vegas and the party was in full swing. I was
                                        staying in a suite that was bigger than most houses. Out the window, a
                                        Stalin-sized picture of Wayne Newton stared in. Inside, people from all
                                        over were eating, drinking and laughing. They moved freely from one
                                        group to another making connections and deals. The more people showed
                                        up, the more fun we had. Just another night in the life as I bounced
                                        around the globe.

                                        They tried issuing nametags as people arrived, so that people could
                                        identify each other. You know, those �Hello, My Name is�� labels. As
                                        the party got going, people started trading labels, or even wearing
                                        more than one. It was at that point that the woman slapped a label on
                                        me. It wasn�t my name or where I was from. It was completely
                                        inaccurate, and that was what made it so funny. I could take it off
                                        anytime.

                                        Unfortunately, that is getting harder to do. In the Sunday May, 7, 2006
                                        Las Vegas Sun, Karin Anderson wrote an article about how hard it was
                                        for her to change back to her maiden name after an divorce. She said
                                        the Patriot Act and the current obsession with bureaucratic paperwork
                                        make it nearly impossible. There is a certain irony that the Patriot
                                        Act supporters cherish their ability to be born again deny others that
                                        same right.

                                        Back on May 1st people tried to overcome the labels assigned them by
                                        the same bunch. Congress wants to turn immigrants into criminals. Full
                                        Disclosure: My life is has been measurably improved by people from
                                        other countries. I got a call from a friend in San Francisco�s
                                        financial district. He was on the 25th floor of a building and could
                                        hear the roar of demonstrators for immigration in the streets. I told
                                        him I could hardly hear his voice over my cell phone. Why? Because I
                                        with my friends� in that crowd.

                                        Over the years I covered a lot of events at hotels or convention
                                        centers. You get to know the staff as friends not outlaws. They
                                        recognize me; we help each other, and get through the day. Criminals
                                        menace and attack me, they don�t help me find the elevator or the
                                        restroom. The people I know are immigrants trying to improve
                                        themselves. The right to choose your own identity, to reinvent
                                        yourself, and make a living was a great incentive to come here. Often
                                        they are escaping places where labels don�t come off.

                                        I thought about that Sunday morning in Vegas, as there was a knock on
                                        the door. The housekeeper came into clean the room. I tried to pick up
                                        all the labels scattered about the room. I asked her if she wanted one.
                                        She laughed and said no, she didn�t need another one.

                                        Later, downstairs to the convention, I met some activists trying to get
                                        rid of another set of labels. They won an award for making it easier
                                        for the handicapped, disabled or augmented to attend public events. The
                                        days of the disabled being invisible are over. They want to fully
                                        participate and contribute to society. Disabled people don�t like being
                                        labeled as people who are �problems�. They are people solving problems.
                                        Like most human rights activists, when they encounter prejudice or
                                        resistance, it just drives them to redouble their efforts.

                                        According to people I talked to, denying access to an event because
                                        someone is disabled is illegal. It doesn�t matter if it is what the
                                        event is. If it is in a convention center funded by tax dollars or a
                                        private hotel, you have to give them access. They quoted the Civil
                                        Rights Act of 1964, the American With Disabilities Act of 1990 and the
                                        Fourteenth Amendment. Not only that, denying a disabled person�s right
                                        to assemble or report on events is clearly a violation of the First
                                        Amendment.

                                        I asked them if they had heard of anyone being denied access recently.
                                        They wanted to know who would do that? Did they base their views on
                                        James Bond villains, who are always disabled in some way? Do they have
                                        some sort of pathological fear of people who are different? At which
                                        time, a friend of mine from hotel security looked up from his lunch. He
                                        said that where he comes from, mistreating or menacing the disabled is
                                        very bad luck.

                                        So then I asked him, what if the company handling the event is worried
                                        about revealing company secrets? He laughed and said they should not
                                        have an event in public if they wanted something to be kept secret.

                                        He�s right. As I cover these events, I am reminded that sunshine is the
                                        best disinfectant. If a company is in trouble, losing money or has
                                        something else to hide, customers and investors need to know about it.
                                        I also believe that sunshine can help things grow. Sometimes I find out
                                        something great that people should know about. It is hypocritical for a
                                        high-tech company to brag about how they can improve the flow of
                                        information between people and then try to restrict it. When someone
                                        denies you an opportunity, they deny opportunities to themselves.

                                        The consummate professionals who organize and run these events
                                        understand these issues and try to ensure access. On May 22nd, Career
                                        Company�s Patti Wilson moderated a Collaboration SIG panel discussion
                                        with Where To Start�s Gwen Helbush, McKenzie Event and Entertainment�s
                                        Kaycee McKenzie Mallery, Cadence�s Kay Finocchiaro and Fountainblue�s
                                        Linda Holroyd. The press is welcome. They see problems as challenges
                                        that can be met. Excluding people sends the wrong message to a diverse
                                        community.

                                        All this talk about labeling people and telling them where to go
                                        brought to mind a recent virtual reality event that will give the some
                                        people nightmares. Imagine, everyone being who they want, going
                                        anywhere and doing whatever they want. Horrors!

                                        Virtual Worlds �The Rules of Engagement

                                        On Thursday May 4, 2006 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain
                                        View, SDForum sponsored an all day event on Virtual Reality. While
                                        there was a fair size crowd of about a hundred in person, there were
                                        more than twice that number attending online through the day. This only
                                        drives home the advantages of virtuality.

                                        The Rules of Engagement

                                        Philip Rosedale of CEO Second Life talked about the implications of
                                        that extraordinary virtual reality community. Attempts to directly by
                                        businesses to make money in this space do not work as well as people
                                        playing and learning how to interact with each other. In Second Life
                                        people live, work and make money selling goods and services to one
                                        another. They can create spaces that are complete fantasies or mirror
                                        the real world. This real world simulation allows you to experiment
                                        with doing things that are difficult to do. You could test a fire
                                        drill of a hospital without disrupting patients or staff. You could
                                        work out the logistics of delivering drugs to an epidemic. The only
                                        limits in the real world are money, and server space to support the
                                        community.

                                        In-World Culture

                                        The first panel discussion was on In-World Culture moderated by Daniel
                                        Terdiman a reporter from CNET News.com. The panelists included Wagner
                                        James Au an In-World Journalists for Second Life, Danah Boyd from
                                        Social Media Research at Yahoo, Susan Choe CEO of Strayfish, and Nicole
                                        Lazzaro, President of XEODesign.

                                        Increase in bandwidth and social interaction allows more people to
                                        participate virtual realities like In-World and MySpace. Nicole Lazzaro
                                        talked about how the more control players have in an environment; the
                                        more they will interact or co-create. Creating identities, landscapes,
                                        art and music has a snowball effect. One side effect is virtual reality
                                        seems to leading to interacting with members in the real world. For
                                        instance, Wagner Au talked about a virtual Camp Darfour to bring
                                        attention to refugees. This led to the creation of the Green Lanterns
                                        who patrol and protect virtual worlds. Of course real world
                                        corporations like Coca Cola, MTV and Disney are trying to move into the
                                        space as well. Danah Boyd says that users are encouraged to challenge
                                        their environment and how they want to be perceived versus being
                                        controlled from without. Stopping innovative, emergent or viral
                                        behavior only creates more emergent behavior, as anyone who has a
                                        teenager knows. Susan Choe says that events that happened in Asia are
                                        now happening in the United States. Strayfish imports games from Asia
                                        that can have at least 50,000 users interacting with each other. Most
                                        intriguing are users that bet on how other users will perform in an
                                        online game.

                                        The Virtual World Value Chain

                                        The second panel discussion was on the Virtual World Chain moderated by
                                        Sharon Wienbar, Managing Director of BA Venture Partners. The panel
                                        consisted of Will Harvey, CEO of IMVU, Daniel James, CEO of Three
                                        Rings, Shital Mehta, Founding Partner of Shanth Interactive, Alex St.
                                        John, CEO of WildTangent, and Sibley Verbeck, CEO of Electric Sheep.

                                        Daniels said users initially funded Three Rings, so you may not have to
                                        start with venture capital or advertising from Madison Avenue. Alex St.
                                        John said that value chains in the real world are created in the
                                        virtual. His company sells the tools that help add value to users.
                                        Virtual goods have no real cost of production and branding becomes more
                                        important than physical factors like geographical distance or
                                        transportation costs. Shital Mehta talked about the current debate on
                                        marketing in virtual reality. How should MTV or Wells Fargo operate in
                                        virtual worlds? What is appropriate in what setting? Will users rebel?
                                        Will Harvey said there would be more islands but more bridges between
                                        those islands.

                                        Navigating The Road Ahead

                                        Kevin Efrusy, General Partner Accel moderated a third panel talking
                                        about Navigating the road ahead. The Panel consisted of Jerry
                                        Paffendorf, Futurist in Residence for Electric Sheep, Reuben Steiger,
                                        CEO of Millions Of Us, Jeff Sandquist, GM Developer Platform Evangelism
                                        for Microsoft.

                                        MySpace qualifies as a virtual world not so much in the special effects
                                        as in its interoperability for users. To expand the features of the
                                        MySpace experience one has to develop that are easy to use as seen in
                                        GoogleMap. The results have to tangible and useful immediately. The
                                        challenges of a user managing multiple identities online or moving
                                        their data from one virtual reality to another will be opportunities
                                        for developers. Reuben talked about the Las Vegas monorail system where
                                        successful casinos don�t want their customers to leave easily so they
                                        did not want a station at their casino. The top players in the virtual
                                        environment may not want to make it easier to move out of their space.
                                        Still, they thought the most open standards should be receiving the
                                        broadest support. The more your space can accept standardized data
                                        outside, the more traffic you might expect.

                                        The virtual world will not be free of problems. Polluting elements in
                                        the virtual world could be things like identity theft, self-replicating
                                        objects, viruses, spam, restrictive IP and social predators. Any real
                                        problem can be mirrored in virtual.

                                        Business Models and Monetization

                                        Michael Kim, Partner at Rustic Canyon, hosted the fourth panel on
                                        business models. The panel consisted of Corey Bridges, Co-Founder of
                                        Multiverse, John Welch, CEO Playlist, Shawn Carolan, Managing Director
                                        of Menlo Ventures, Sean Ryan, CEO Donnerwood Media. Corey Bridges�
                                        Multiverse software and network is free to encourage content
                                        development. If the game starts to make money, then Multiverse starts
                                        charging. John Welch�s presented his company Playlist, which makes
                                        casual video games like Diner Dash. Shawn Carolan�s Menlo Ventures
                                        looks for good business models that can take advantage of broadband
                                        access. Sean Ryan�s Donnerwood Media licensed Tringo in Second Life and
                                        then ported it to game consoles like the Sony PlayStation. They are
                                        interested in developing avatars that can be transported to other
                                        environments like cell phones or game consoles.

                                        As a business model, the game industry is an example of a fragmented
                                        market, with ultimately limited financial returns. Attempts to create
                                        large markets are met with user resistance. We are headed not for one
                                        unified virtual reality but a fractured world moving from one state to
                                        the next. Multitasking behavior like listening to your iPod, watching
                                        TV, surfing the web and playing a game, while working on your homework
                                        will be more common. People want to control how they exist and function
                                        in virtuality and not be hassled.

                                        IMVU Keynote

                                        IMVU CEO Will Harvey gave a keynote address about his company�s 3-D
                                        instant messaging service targeted toward teenagers. They have
                                        successfully found a happy medium between lots of users (MySpace) and
                                        lots of money per user (downloaded video games). IM is extremely
                                        efficient communication compared to avatars but it is not as full an
                                        experience. Avatar with IM is a business model that people will pay
                                        real money for virtual items. One interesting lesson Harvey learned is
                                        that each employee you hire makes you less nimble; creating a
                                        bureaucratic inertia that resists changes in direction. Another lesson
                                        is that developers will tolerate bad tools if they were powerful.
                                        Credit reselling works in their business model. Ultimately, Harvey
                                        thinks the Internet is evolving into the metaverse.

                                        Future of the Metaverse

                                        Joy Ito, VP of International and Mobility, Technorati and Chairman of
                                        Six Apart Japan talked about his view of the future of the metaverse.
                                        He thinks the American concept of cyberspace as sitting in front of
                                        computer does not work. In Asia, children can text message without
                                        looking at the cell phone keys. The divisions are becoming more vague.
                                        Spending the day in multitasking polychronic time is more useful versus
                                        monochronic time. Traditional conversations between two people with a
                                        beginning, middle and end cannot compete with Second Life�s Teamspeex
                                        where the group conversation threads lasts all day. He uses Warcraft
                                        like instant messaging, which was not its original intent. Overtime he
                                        suspects that most of the activity will occur off the desktop and onto
                                        other devices. The most fascinating point was that there is no
                                        correlation between ones social status and real world status. Virtual
                                        work environments require leadership from the bottom up rather than top
                                        down. People only follow leaders only if they want to. He talked about
                                        to create this kind of 3-D wiki-style consensus workspace. Creating a
                                        sense of place adds value. He expects a convergence of technologies,
                                        users and environments. Most people will expect heads-up display game
                                        style interfaces as the easiest virtual reality experience.

                                        In the end the divisions between reality and virtuality will blur and
                                        complement each other, creating new experiences and opportunities for
                                        all.

                                        Books

                                        Live From The Battlefield: From Vietnam to Baghdad
                                        By Peter Arnett

                                        I learned a couple of lessons from foreign correspondents like Arnett.
                                        This is what people in countries try to do when they are in losing
                                        support or money. It could apply to companies too. None of them work,
                                        but they do them anyway.
                                        1. If you can�t manage your country/company, manage the news. Say the
                                        issue is over and walk away. Say �Mission Accomplished� and pray.
                                        2. Terrorize citizens so they are afraid to talk to outsiders.
                                        3. Deny human rights violations ever happened.
                                        4. Intimidate, detain, blackball or deport reporters. As veteran
                                        reporters say �If you haven�t been thrown out of a place, you haven�t
                                        been doing your job.�
                                        5. Quietly move your assets out of the area, because you are going to
                                        lose.
                                        6. Whitewash, rinse, repeat.

                                        TV

                                        Boston Legal
                                        A legal fantasy where everything that should happen does. Veteran cast
                                        works hard to keep from giggling through silliness. Two words: Denny
                                        Crane.

                                        Charmed
                                        The Aaron Spelling series about three witches is ending after many
                                        years. They used magic to pay their mortgage in San Francisco. If you
                                        didn�t see it, you�ve lived a charmed life.

                                        That 70s Show
                                        It had its moments. The problem with shows about teens is that if the
                                        series lasts too long, the actors wind up playing characters half their
                                        age. The show made you nostalgic about gas for a dollar a gallon.

                                        Movies

                                        The Da Vinci Code
                                        Or
                                        Vatican III: This Time, It�s Personal
                                        Or
                                        On The Grail Again
                                        Or
                                        Mary, Mary, Where�re You Ascending To?
                                        Or
                                        A Ron Howard film I�m tempted to call Opie�s Dei. If I had to sit
                                        through Mel Gibson�s movie, I guess I had to sit through this one.
                                        There are so many lectures between the explosions that I thought a nun
                                        would rap my knuckles with a ruler as I reached for the popcorn. After
                                        seeing it, I�m still not sure if I should still eat fish on Fridays.

                                        Infinity
                                        Matthew Broderick plays physicist Richard Feynman. Patricia Arquette
                                        plays his first wife. He works at Los Alamos. She is dying from a
                                        terminal illness. In spite of everything, they were a happy couple. A
                                        chick flick with atomic weapons.

                                        Sky High
                                        Superheroes in high school. The X-Men by Disney. Lots of funny bits and
                                        cute special effects. What other movie has the day saved by a purple
                                        hamster?

                                        X-Men III: The Final Stand
                                        The subtext of this movie is in bold type. There�s even a big sequence
                                        in San Francisco. They�re mutants, they�re here, get used to it. Do
                                        people who are different have a right to exist? If you could change who
                                        you are, would you do it? Does anybody have the right to change you
                                        against your will? If you liked the first two films, this will do it
                                        for you.

                                        DJ Cline Commentary 06-01-06
                                        Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • D.J. Cline
                                        DJ Cline Commentary 07-01-06 Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Once a month, I usually send out a large collection of commentary and reviews to the Future
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Jul 1, 2006
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                                          DJ Cline Commentary 07-01-06
                                          Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

                                          Once a month, I usually send out a large collection of commentary and
                                          reviews to the Future Salon.
                                          Because of the amount of material and response, I've finally set up a
                                          website.
                                          If you want to see everything I written for the past month check out
                                          www.djcline.com

                                          Below is an excerpt of my take on discussions this month by Wayne and
                                          all.
                                          Denice Denton worked toward a future that she will never see.
                                          However she fell, she did not fall from grace.

                                          Pride and Prejudice

                                          The Gay Pride Parade was held in San Francisco today, but a prominent
                                          leader was found dead Saturday morning.

                                          More at www.djcline.com

                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Wayne Radinsky
                                          ... Sorry to take so long to look up the details on this, everybody. The lawsuits were initiated by the whining (anonymously) of ea_spouse on livejournal,
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Sep 16, 2006
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                                            On 4/30/06, D. J. Cline <djcline01@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > It's About Time For Overtime
                                            >
                                            > A California court has decided in favor of former Electronics Arts
                                            > software engineers like Leander Hasty, who wanted to be paid overtime.
                                            > It turns out that recruiting people to Silicon Valley, forcing them to
                                            > repay their relocation fees, working them long hours with ridiculous
                                            > deadlines and then driving them to exhaustion is… abuse. Work rules
                                            > said that they were doing creative work and therefore were off the
                                            > clock. Obviously, someone who does not understand creative people wrote
                                            > this rule. It should be noted that game sales are flattening. Users
                                            > complain that the games aren't as interesting as they used to be. Don't
                                            > do the crime if you can't pay the overtime.

                                            Sorry to take so long to look up the details on this, everybody.

                                            The lawsuits were initiated by the whining (anonymously) of ea_spouse
                                            on livejournal, http://ea-spouse.livejournal.com/

                                            ea_spouse was later revealed to be Erin Hoffman, fiance (at the time,
                                            now wife) of Leander Hasty.

                                            Various webpages claim the ea_spouse whining led to 6 lawsuits, but I
                                            could only identify 5 of them:

                                            - Jamie Kirschenbaum vs Electronic Arts
                                            - Leander Hasty vs Electronic Arts
                                            - Tam Su vs Electronic Arts
                                            - Aaron Emirez vs Activision
                                            - Andrew Wilson vs Sony

                                            The Jamie Kirschenbaum case was the first case, and apparently the
                                            legal theory behind it was that engineers are exempt to overtime pay,
                                            but since graphic artists are not engineers, they are not exempt to
                                            overtime pay in California, and EA broke the law (allegedly) by
                                            classifying graphic artists as engineers and denying them overtime
                                            pay.

                                            The legal theory in the Leander Hasty case was that even engineers
                                            are (allegedly) exempt from overtime pay in California unless their
                                            income is above a certain threshold ($80,000 was cited in web
                                            articles but $41/hr is mentioned in the legal complaint), and the
                                            more vague legal theory that "the expectation for salaried work is
                                            flex time averaging 40 hours per week."

                                            EA's response was to relocate jobs to other states and countries,
                                            including Florida where they got sued again by Tam Su. I have no
                                            comment here as I have no knowledge of Florida laws regarding
                                            overtime exemption for engineers or what legal theory is the basis
                                            for the Tam Su lawsuit.

                                            Electronic Arts did not lose any of the cases. DJ Cline's paragraph
                                            above implies that EA lost the case with Leander Hasty. In fact EA
                                            settled all 3 cases out of court. The Kirschenbaum case was settled
                                            for $14.9 million, the Leander Hasty case was settled for $15.6
                                            million, and the Tam Su case was settled for $785,000.

                                            EA did nothing wrong.

                                            + Jamie Kurschenbaum complaint +
                                            PDF, 16 pages
                                            http://www.daledietrich.com/gaming/pleadings/Kirschenbaum_EA_Complaint_(30_Nov_2004).pdf

                                            + Leander Hasty complaint +
                                            PDF, 13 pages
                                            http://www.daledietrich.com/gaming/pleadings/Leander_Hasty_EA_(Programmers_Complaint_Feb_14_2005).pdf

                                            + Tam Su complaint +
                                            PDF, 9 pages
                                            http://www.daledietrich.com/gaming/pleadings/Tam_Su_v_EA_(Complaint_Feb_2005).pdf

                                            The most amazing part of the story is that, apparently, Leander Hasty
                                            found another job at 1st Playable Productions in New York,
                                            http://www.1stplayable.com/ . I'm suprised any other company was
                                            willing to take the risk. If you ask me he is lucky to be alive.
                                          • D.J. Cline
                                            Dear Wayne, I believe treating employees well is a good idea. My employees appreciate my attitude. Do yours? Spent the last five months being productive, DJ
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Sep 16, 2006
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                                              Dear Wayne,

                                              I believe treating employees well is a good idea.
                                              My employees appreciate my attitude.
                                              Do yours?

                                              Spent the last five months being productive,

                                              DJ
                                            • Wayne Radinsky
                                              ... Why are you asking?
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Sep 17, 2006
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                                                D. J. Cline wrote:
                                                > Dear Wayne,
                                                >
                                                > I believe treating employees well is a good idea.
                                                > My employees appreciate my attitude.
                                                > Do yours?
                                                >
                                                > Spent the last five months being productive,

                                                Why are you asking?
                                              • Wayne Radinsky
                                                ... If you re wondering why it s taken me so long to reply to this, aside from the fact that I m generally not fast responding, it s because I wrote a long and
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Feb 28, 2007
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                                                  On 9/16/06, D. J. Cline <djcline01@...> wrote:
                                                  > Dear Wayne,
                                                  >
                                                  > I believe treating employees well is a good idea.
                                                  > My employees appreciate my attitude.
                                                  > Do yours?
                                                  >
                                                  > Spent the last five months being productive,

                                                  If you're wondering why it's taken me so long to reply to this, aside
                                                  from the fact that I'm generally not fast responding, it's because I
                                                  wrote a long and detailed reply, found I'd said too many things you
                                                  can't say, threw it away, started over, again found I said too many
                                                  things you can't say, again threw it away, again started over, did
                                                  that 3 times and then on the 4th time realized, I just wasn't going
                                                  to be able to answer this. In fact, I've already posted a too much on
                                                  this list that can get me into trouble, so I'd better shut up.

                                                  What sucks is that your message implies that I'm a mean-spirited
                                                  person advocating employee abuse. Since I can't answer, I'm just
                                                  going to have to live with that.

                                                  Anyway, since I can't say anything, I figured instead I'd give you
                                                  this essay I found on what you can't say:

                                                  + What You Can't Say +
                                                  http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html

                                                  Since in the modern world, money is the fundamental organizing
                                                  principle of society, most of what you can't say centers around money
                                                  and business.
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