Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Saturday, March 01, 2008

  Livin in the 00ze - Asteroid Appreciation Day, 2008

This is a long winded post. Download this new song of mine - Livin in the 00ze, while reading it...

I took some heat from my liberal friends regarding my take on Global Cooling. None of them got the "according to slashdot" reference, as if I (or they) should regard much of what they find there to be credible. It's not that I discount the evidence completely, it's just that I am capable of holding two conflicting ideas in my head at the same time.

It bugs me that Global Warming(tm) has achieved the status of religion with Liberals, and Conservatives have had to line up on the other side accordingly, just because the two sides have to fight. It's a scientific set of theories, damnit! There doesn't need to be "faith" involved. Some of the theories I buy into, the rest I remain skeptical about. I'm willing to make plans based on the idea that some or all of it is correct, even suggest cures for the problem, but I think that there are a lot of proven problems that we could be solving, like addressing fishery depletion or curing malaria, rather than laying awake at night worrying about sheep moving back into Greenland, or worrying about your bikini line in January.

I was really annoyed at Al Gore's thermal runaway scenario, where in "An inconvenient truth", he projects a non-linear explosion in global temperatures in the near future by jacking his platform up to the ceiling. I think the same people that made similar projections for the "New Economy" prior to the year 2000 are now all in the global warming business...

Still, all that aside, the thing that bugs me the most is, when I talk to most Global Warming converts, is when I take (my usual) pessimistic approach, and say - "ok, it's true, we're at fault and we're not going stop it in time - what do you do?

What's your backup plan? If we really do hit a global runaway scenario, what are you going to do? What is humanity to do?"

Usually I don't get an answer. (Sometimes I do get some great discussions, though)

I have a whole raft of plans for what I'd do in a global runaway, things like getting used to the heat in Nicaragua, etc - and most people haven't even got that far, their thinking stops at "government must stop global warming", and THAT drives me absolutely nutso.

My backup plan has always been to distrust those that would save the planet, and promote ways to get off it. The earth is one great big asteroid attractor - a target that has been wacked by big asteroids multiple times in history - a great big target. It would be best for our species to get its eggs into multiple baskets, as soon as possible - not only do we have to get out of the way of the next K-T event - but it would also be good to get off-planet to avoid all sorts of other planetary disasters that could befall us - nuclear war, the four horsemen, green goo, takeover by spambots... or google... and Global Warming.

It turns out that asteroids might well be a pretty cool place to live and work, but that's not what Asteroid Appreciation day is about - it's about appreciating what they've done for us. The K-T event killed off the dinosaurs, and gave us mammals a leg up on the planet. Sometimes I think that the various other hits (there was one in Australia 15,000 years ago) also gave humanity a kick in the pants towards civilization... and so, I look up at the sky every February 29th - and say "thanks", and I also shake my fist at the stars - "we'll get out there ourselves one day so we can be safe from you rotten rocks!".

My relationship to asteroids is pretty similar relationship that man has had with his gods throughout history.

There's a lot of other crap that goes through my head on this day, about having to change my retirement plans, etc, but that's the core of it.

I had kind of wanted to spend this year's celebration camping out under unfamiliar stars, in Wolfe Crater but I spent it instead working on my current software project, and also mixing down a song I started years ago, about what life would be left - and like - after an asteroid hit... when the planet would be reduced to supporting only primordial slime and bacteria swimming around grey smoking fumaroles, deep underwater.

The song's called "Living in the 00ze". I started it (and documented the dream that started it) two years ago. Here's a decent mix, though I'm sure I'll hate the vocal in the morning. The raw stuff was recorded over at Nick Mainsbridge's studio with his inhouse drummer and bassist. It was a great session - I'd gone over there to work on two far more troublesome songs, and this one came out in half an hour during a break...

Unlike my usual "mikey winston", neoclassical stuff, Livin in the 00ze is actually drivable and bikeable music. I mixed it on headphones, so I'm deathly afraid that the current (bitchin!) bass part will overdrive car speakers. Let me know.... It should really rock on house or dance speakers, though...

The first feedback I got on the song was: Your CONTENT is more ominous, but I was referring to the mood of the actual music......one of the reasons I think the song works so well is because you have juxtaposed a dark subject with a slightly brighter score and that makes it APPEAR less ominous; whereas PF has an overall ominous tone regardless. I like the slight dissonance, I think it works well with 'Ooze'. It's like you'll get people to sing it because the lyrics and music are catchy, but they will almost be caught off guard upon realizing the content of the song.

Darn it.

I wanted the to be menacing... sarcastic... and ironic... if at all possible. I got closer with this version. I guess I'm almost happy with 'catchy', though....

Now, in my head, there's three overdubs left to do on 00ze, two are of a British or Australian weather announcers, in the beginning of the song there's one coping with global warming, and in the end of the song, there's one describing the weather after an asteroid hit. I haven't done those bits yet. Maybe someone out there can contribute that, my email address is over there on the right.

Here's the lyrics -


Livin in the 00ze
Copyright 2008, Michael David Taht

Drums and Bass kick in

[repeat] Piano Kicks in

[overdub of weather announcer kicks in]

Out in the night
Just out of sight
There's a star overhead
And soon we'll be...

(Chorus)
Livin in the 00ze

Livin in the 00ze
Livin in the 00ze

Out on the beach
Just out of reach
planet bordered in black
It's a Meteor attack

And now we're living in the 00ze
Yes, we're living in the 00ze
Livin in the 00ze

[solos, more overdubs]
Out on the beach
Just out of reach
Mind melting heat
Girls voice: [I just LOVE my peanutbutter and Jellyfish]

[weather announcer]

Yea we're living in the 00ze
and we don't have any shoes
and we're turning corn to booze
Because we're livin in the 00ze.
00ze.



To the 800+ known PHA's - Happy Asteroid Appreciation Day - at least one guy loves you. If you have to hit the earth any time soon - aim for Washington.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

  google's CAPCHA broken, global cooling kicks in, and copyright gets taxed

Lots of good stuff from slashdot today. A few years back I mused aloud while rapping to cybernation, that we were trying to make the spambots more intelligent, intelligent enough to read CAPTCHA, for example... Apparently, they are now.

I didn't think CAPTCHA would work for as long as it did (and it will be a good while longer before it's routinely broken, I hope). I have spent a bit of time looking into openid, but I trust SSL certs farther, perhaps some progress there will be made soon.

A few weeks back Nick Mainsbridge and I were talking about how google had become the libc or the Linux kernel of the Internet, a monoculture just as bad as Windows, ripe for being exploited by malicious users. I've been getting off of google - partially for this reason - for nearly a year....

I worry, that if we were to adopt strong authentication like RSA certs for blog software, that the bots would start working on that problem too. The race for taking over the planet will be between skynet (google), and the botnets. My money would be on the botnets, if I thought money would have any value after the dust settles from that.

One of my biggest planetary worries, however, is greatly lessened today. It's only a single data point, but it's a big one. Global cooling seems to have kicked in! It is not too late to move to the tropics!

Also on slashdot, the latimes makes an extremely compelling argument for taking intellectual property to the next level, where it can be taxed.

Although treating IP as actual property is a logical extension of current trends, I'd vastly prefer we'd return to pre-1911 copyright law. But I can just see governments drooling over the idea....

Lastly, the planetary society announced the winner of the Apophis competition for an asteroid mission. The cost of the mission is looking to be very, very, cheap. The winning design gets 50 thousand dollars.

I wish google was offering a 30m dollar Xprize to do asteroid missions, not to protect the earth, but to get the hell off it. Call it a backup plan for when the bots win.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

  Push and Pull with IPv6

I have continued my experimentation with IPv6. (I'm working on something that is shaping
up to be pretty cool, actually, especially for sites far from google)

I've already seen IPv6 change my workflow in several minor, but significant ways.
The biggest noticeable one was to be working on a git project and be able to pull AND
push. What I mean by that is that I'll do most of my work offline, in git, on my laptop.
When I'm ready to test it, I push it out to the remote server, and login to that via ssh.

Now - I'm in front of a xterm window, ok? logged into that server. I build the project there, and
start testing it. I mess up something. So I fix it - iterating over several versions - until I
get it right. I commit the changes to that copy of the git project... AND push the changes back
to the copy living on my laptop, from the server.

Now, by flipping a window, I could have pulled the copy back from the server, rather than pushed
it, but I saved a mental context switch by pushing it... a subtle difference in workflow.

Similarly I can pull stuff from my laptop to the server (I forgot to scp a data file, for example) rather than push it....

In this case, the client becomes the server, and the server becomes the client. There's no longer a master/slave relationship between the server and me... I like that.

Now, there are some pretty massive security implications in doing the work this way, but
at the moment I mostly just care about my own productivity...

And, compared to seeing this darn message multiple times a day, I'd rather be responsible for my own problems....

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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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