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Staff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages

One member of the White House new-media team came to work on Tuesday, right after the swearing-in ceremony, only to discover that it was impossible to know which programs could be updated, or even which computers could be used for which purposes. The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software.

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2009 webness

After a fair amount of fiddling, I've finally got the new web site up and running on WordPress. If the last few months are a fair indication, I'll be spending less time here on LiveJournal and more time at:

undercrypt.com
Facebook
Twitter

I'll continue to check in occasionally, but it's unlikely I'll be very up to date on current events.

I expect I'll still use my LJ for the occasional rant, dream, or whatnot, but it's very likely that most everything going forward will be friends only.

Search-fu failure

A couple of years ago (give or take), I ran across a pair of online videos that projected the future of social media over the next several years. The interesting thing was that one video presented a very positive view (technology enabling networking and music) and the other took a very negative view (corporate lockdown and paranoia). Each video was maybe 7-10 minutes long.

I'm sure I wrote about them, bookmarked them, and told friends about them, but I can't find any reference to them after scraping through my archives and my links, and doing a search on "social media" is unhelpful. Can anyone point me to one or both of them? I want to think the title is something like "15 Years in the Future" but I could just be mixing it up with Max Headroom.

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Books in 2008

One of my goals for 2008 was to write more music and read fewer books. I ended up writing more music and reading more books. I'll call it a win/win.

Here's the list:Collapse )

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>poof<

Anyone know if playing_tragic is still virtual somewhere, or just went offline?

Arrogance

One of the problems I struggle with is the feeling that people who disagree with me are wrong. I do my best to keep that feeling in check, but sometimes it slips out regardless - more often than not in ways I don't notice at the time, like a tone of voice or a fleeting facial expression, but occasionally in flat-out disparagement. I don't mean for that to happen, and I'm sorry about that.

The problem no doubt came out of my childhood experience in the various schools I wound up attending. I was a relatively clever lad, and when it came to school learning, the people who disagreed with me usually were wrong. It was easy to fall into the habit of assuming that trend would continue.

By now, of course, I've had enough experience to realize that, while I'm still relatively clever, that only applies to a few things, and I'm fairly ignorant about most of the things that I'm likely to run across in the world. I also realize that real world issues can be far more complex than any theoretical exercise, that many problems have more than one possible solution, and that there are important questions which have no answers.

I know all that. I believe that. Nevertheless, there's a little voice inside that says, "They're still wrong." And you know, maybe they are. What I need to keep in mind, to really learn at a deeper level, is this: That's not important. What's important is that I do the best I can with what I've got, and keep learning as I go. It's that latter part that's tough if I write off the folks I don't agree with.

I hope I get that right someday. The alternative is silly.

Money

As I predicted generally in January and more specifically in September, the presidential candidate with the biggest campaign budget won.

The current total numbers from Open Secrets:

Obama: $639,174,281
McCain: $360,167,823

Obama/McCain ratio: 1.77

Total electoral votes (if MO and NC go to McCain):

Obama: 349
McCain: 189

Obama/McCain ratio: 1.84

I wonder why this simple and accurate predictive measure doesn't get much press.

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Future

Any thoughts on how an Obama administration changes (or not) the NGO scene?

(I'm looking at you, sarendipatree.)

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Optimism

Whatever happens today, remember that there's not one secret ultrapowerful group pulling strings behind the scenes and playing out American politics like some puppet show of the absurd for its own inscrutable purposes.

There are at least two.

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