Scientific American story: "The Best Technology for Fighting Climate Change Isn't A Technology"

Speaking of which . . .

I'm still unclear on the idea of a business chopping down a perfectly good pine tree, putting it on a truck with a whole lot of other cut trees, transporting them over long distances to some parking lot or roadside area, selling them to people, each of whom then puts one on the top of their car, drives it home, props it up inside the home, then puts decorations and lights all over it for a few weeks, then takes the decorations off, then puts the dead tree back on top of the car, drives it to a parking lot or somewhere, and dumps it in a pile often illegally (hey everybody else does it, etc), and drives off . . . I'm still unclear why that qualifies as some kind of worthy yearly tradition to be celebrated by hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of people at the expense of killing many millions of trees, especially in an era when trees are the best simple natural things that could really help combat the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere and are the very things that essentially act as the earth's lungs. So it always strikes me as kind of counterproductive to the planet's, and all animal life's, not to mention plant life's, continued survival. Instead, maybe we ought to celebrate trees, not kill them. I wish the annual tradition among the current crowd that cuts down the trees was instead to go outside once a year, designate a tree in a neighborhood or on the street or in one's yard if one has a yard as This Year's Tree, and decorate it and care for it and teach children about it. That would be a cool annual tradition. Even better, every time someone has a birthday, plant another tree. Every birthday. Every person. A new tree. We'd have billions of new trees everywhere every year.

I have never understood the allure of the band that calls itself Pearl Jam. I didn't get it in the 90s, I didn't get it in the 00s, and I still don't get it. Nothing they have ever done or performed has ever "reached" me.

Besides the pose, the look, the stance, the sound, what exactly is Pearl Jam? I've never heard any *music* there, just guys doing the Pearl Jam act. I have tried numerous times to listen to their allegedly best albums, and I come away thinking, after 40 minutes of listening (if I can last with it playing that long), when does the music start, as in a kid in a car asking, "are we there yet?" Because I don't ever get "there" with Pearl Jam. I mean, never.

And then they occasionally will do a Who cover song and I'm like, no, you are Pearl Jam, you made a conscious choice years ago to be Pearl Jam and because of that decision, one you have to live with forever and ever, you can't pull off a Who song, you are nowhere near The Who's caliber nor do you sound like The Who nor play like The Who nor bring any new meaning, perspective, or insight to Who music, nor possess any of the visceral raw power of The Who. For Pearl Jam to cover The Who feels pointless and offensive.

Pearl Jam is like a big con: here, America, come fill this stadium and listen to sound that appears to be Rock but has no authenticity or soul what-so-ever. Pearl Jam is no different than most product that passes for country music these days, in that regard. It's just an act, and the public is fooled by it, but money is being made, and it will continue as long as money is being made.

In 2011, Rolling Stone did a poll, asking readers to rate "the best songs ever" by Pearl Jam. I've listened to these songs, all the way to number one, and I'm like, yeah that is Pearl Jam, but, like, these are the best? I still don't hear any music there, nothing that moves me in the slightest. The thing that strikes me listening to Pearl Jam is its resemblance to what passes for Top 40 country today. Same soul-less emptiness, nothing there to relate to. Imagine if U2 had no good songs, but still went out and did its stadium act, and everyone was ooh ahh and cheering. That's Pearl Jam. A band without a single good song, and yet everyone pretends they're great.

Ever had a dream that skirts the boundaries of nightmare, wants to become a nightmare, but teases at skirting the boundary, just going on and on, with one of those really unpleasant antagonists who’s right out of some suspense thriller movie, the kind of antagonist who’s a menace in the dream, keeping you on edge, making you think you may wind up in self-defense hand-to-hand-combat in the very next moment?

I had that kind of dream two nights ago and I’m still thinking about it. The antagonist in the dream? Get this: Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, I know. Weird. Zuckerberg has broken into our home in a home invasion situation. And he’s bothering me and my wife. And he’s poking around looking at all our stuff, asking questions, like a snake, slithering into each room, picking stuff up, examining it with disgust, moving on to something else, always making you feel he’s going to break something, or hurt you.

Like I said, weird. Never had a dream like this before. Never had a Mark Zuckerberg dream before. Hopefully this was the last one.

The dream ended like these dreams often end: at some point my sleeping mind said, WTF, BASTA, enough of this nonsense. Out with you, Mark Zuckerberg! For dreams like this, there are only two ways out. You either command it to effing end, the way Captain Picard would suddenly command the Holodeck to shut down, or you wind up in some kind of scary situation where you suddenly wake up and go, geez, what was all that about. For this one, I pulled a Picard.

Imagine a media organization that only reports what the President of the United States and his administration does, and ignores what he and his administration says.

The news would be completely different.

Let's extend this to Congress as well. Only cover what actions they've taken, not what they have said, especially to reporters or in front of cameras.We would learn far more things about what the government is doing. Minus all the talk, we would get such a different view, it would be eye-opening.

For example:
Today the President go on Air Force One and flew to Florida. Then he went straight to his golf course and played a round of golf with ________, _______, ________, and ________. After that he met and spoke to a social club at Mar-a-Lago. He held no other public meetings or events. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency changed their ruling on _______. The Food and Drug Administration began ______________. The Centers for Disease Control has started _______________. The Department of Defense began issuing _____________. The State Department fired ______________. The FBI opened a new investigation into ____________. Meanwhile, the House introduced four new bills ____, _____, ____, and ____, and voted on these bills ____ and ____. The Senate introduced no bills but voted on ______.

And so on. Just what happened, not what was said.

What goes unsaid in this excellent Jaron Lanier interview about the pernicious state of the Internet is the role the curation of angels, VCs, limited partners, and boards have had in setting the direction of--guiding the evolution of--the Net and personal computing. Their choices of what technologies, and more importantly, what business models, to fund, and what not to fund, have had profound consequences that maybe we're finally waking up to. But maybe it's too late.

Hard to believe this track has only 113 listens on YouTube. Let's fix that. This is a great Flamenco guitar duo taking on Led Zeppelin's "Achilles Last Stand."

Have a listen.

Whenever I see a movie, and I typically see about 100 per year in cinemas, I make a note of it and jot down a "score" from 0 to 100 based on what I thought of the movie.

Based on that list, here are the top 15 movies of 2017 for me personally. I love how most of them will not be recognizable, and they don't include any big Hollywood films. These top fifteen, in no particular order, just were the most interesting/moving/profound/worthwhile/fun/deep/whatever:


Only in Seattle: Downtown railroad crossing stops traffic as wingless brand new Boeing jet airplane fuselages roll by…

Yesterday the book tour began. The Friendly Orange Glow releases on November 14th, but the tour starts sooner. The full national schedule is online and will be updated as needed.

The radio and media interviews have already begun and will continue throughout the month. Each time I talk to a media person about the book, the explanation gets better and easier. It reminds me of the movie Groundhog Day. You keep getting a renewed chance to explain the book more concisely, interestingly, briefly. You get to experience the evolution of a long blathering explanation into a crisp soundbite. I'm still a long way from crisp soundbites but I can see them on the horizon.

It would be nice if a few people enjoy it.

Here is the Amazon order page if you'd like to purchase a copy.



What I'm Up To (Now)

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My Book (learn more)

The Friendly Orange Glow: The Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture, by Brian Dear
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