October 14th, 2007

evolution-robot

three great quotes from Vonnegut

I'm thinking of adding a new feature to my blog: Daily Quote. Shall I?

On War and Bush
War is so reputable still, because of Hollywood, that George Bush can say "I am a war president." That’s like saying "I am a syphilis president." War is the most horrible disease that the planet could experience.
- from "Kurt Vonnegut's 'Stardust Memory,'" Harvey Wasserman, The Free Press

On "Home"
Where is home? I've wondered where home is, and I realized, it's not Mars or someplace like that, it's Indianapolis when I was nine years old. I had a brother and a sister, a cat and a dog, and a mother and a father and uncles and aunts. And there's no way I can get there again.
- from Simon Houpt's, "The World according to Kurt," [Toronto] Globe and Mail

On the Internet Culture
Vonnegut tells his wife he's going out to buy an envelope... Oh, she says well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don't know. The moral of the story is, is we're here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we're not supposed to dance at all anymore.
- from an interview by David Brancaccio, NOW (PBS)

... and on that note, I'm off to fart around on my scooter.

Best,
Chris
Bush dollar

three reasons for leaving Iraq post-haste

(Headings contain links to stories.)

1. Blackwater and the other mercenary units.
Hey, This sounds familiar... oh, yeah: Like Bush, Hitler did this, too: Under-pay, under-train, and over-work the regular military while pouring tons of resources into special military units who do not have any real rules or oversight. They called it the SS, a large security and paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. Hey, those are the same words the press uses to explain our private military contractors (except swap "Nazi Party" for "NeoCon Party")!

I don't think this association is doing us any favors in combating "the terrorists" or spreading freedom and democracy.

2. Our soldiers are being told to use "bait-and-murder" tactics.
Hey, this will help us win the Iraqi hearts and minds, thus creating a domino effect of democracy all across the region!

3. US costs for Bush's Iraq Adventure could top $3 trillion.
To help us all get a better grasp on this incomprehensible cost, let's try a few different angles.

First, let's see it all spelled out. Fully expressed, $3 trillion looks like this: $3,000,000,000,000.00. That's a lot of zeroes.

How about compared to other huge things? Well, the largest thing I can think of offhand is the universe, the totality of all there is. If those dollars were light-years, the cost of this war is a thousand times larger than the known universe.

More practically, it's more than the annual budget of the entire United States Federal government. That pays for everything the US does, including Social Security, highways, food stamps, and a few other things.

In a more personal sense, it comes out to a tidy bill of $10,000.00 per man, woman, and child in our country. Is the CNN adventure-footage worth $10,000.00 to you? I can think of other things on which I'd rather spend that money. Oh, but because we won't pay it off for decades if ever, you can assume that the miracle of compound interst will raise the total amount we pay by at least triple that figure. And, of course, not everyone pays taxes, particularly children, out-of-work people, and others, a significant percentage of those 300 million Americans. So we can safely triple that tripled figure. Let's round it off to a nice $90,000.00

I could pay off my home mortgage for my portion of the bill. Instead of doing my part to pay for the NeoCons' idiotic adventure in Iraq that is ruining our military and our national standing - not to mention destroying the lives of individual soldiers and Iraquis - I could pay off my mortgage. Now my heart is pounding, I'm so angry.

__________

Tell me again: Why are we still pursuing this mis-adventure in Iraq, even with anti-war Congress-critters in office? I just don't understand.

Chris
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Galaxy magazine cover

modern & women SF authors

Dear friends -

Jim and I are working on updating the SF Institute novel reading list for next summer. Specifically, we want to add more modern works - and I would like to see more female authors represented on the list.

Requirements:
1) The works must be seminal (hardee har har, I hear you thinking) - that is, they had a major influence on the SF that followed.
2) They represent movements in the genre that are not already represented in the current list.
3) They are by authors we don't already have on the list (preferably newer authors).

We're planning to cut about five novels, so we're looking to add five modern novels. Ideas, please!

Best,
Chris