Archives for September 2006

The Harder They Come

But I’ll keep on fighting for the things I want Though I know that when you’re dead you can’t But I’d rather be a free man in my grave Then living as a puppet or a slave Garcia has a great version from 1978 in commercial release.

It Will Become Impossible Not to Speak the Truth

Scheherazade on blogging (reposted in full): I got an email from someone today who started blogging because of stumbling across this blog. I wrote back to her, and said this: I do think that if you blog, honestly, for six months, it will change your life. I’m not sure why, exactly, but it will. I […]

In 2006 Congress Passed a Tyrannical Law

I’ve had a really busy week at work, and now I find that since I took a blogging break the government has gone berserk. Rafe Colburn: Prisoner of conscience While some Republicans made a halfhearted show of conscience and Democrats hid in the most craven fashion imaginable, the Bush Administration managed to pass a bill […]


Yesterday I stood on the deck and watched the wind blow the leaves off the weak trees. Some of the remaining leaves are turning color, and the nights are crisp and cool. In two weekends my nephew will visit for annual apple picking. The driveway is covered with pine needles. My neighbor mowed the field […]

En Route

Email banter plus blogging, a deadly blow to productivity. Let’s go to lunch.

Welcome to the “Soft Landing”

NY Times (September 25, 2006): The median price of a previously owned home fell for the first time in 11 years last month, and inventories of unsold homes swelled to levels not seen in more than a decade. Jason Calacanis (September 24, 2006): Real estate is a horribly inefficient market and many of the brokers […]

The Power of Mental Models

My friend Peter Pruyn sent this recently: The best advice I ever got was from an elephant trainer in the jungle outside Bangalore. I was doing a hike through the jungle as a tourist. I saw these large elephants tethered to a small stake. I asked him, ‘How can you keep such a large elephant […]

Best Seminar Chair, 2006

I sat in these chairs 32 hours last week. I would not want to work full-time in this chair, but it is, by far, the best seminar or workshop chair I have ever experienced. Very comfortable. They deserve an award for designing a chair that fits the body, and Ford deserves an award for purchasing […]

Just The Facts

There is a weapons system development effort in every congressional district. [Which weapons system to you want to kill, Senator??] Of the 350 annual megatons of carbon output that Ford is responsible for, only eight of it comes from car emissions; the rest is from factories. The NSA joke used to be, “No Such Agency;” […]


I had lengthy conversations today with two interesting people. One is very senior in the National Security Agency, the other is very senior at the Naval Postgraduate School. In both cases I had increased hope that there are people in government who are thinking deeply about long-term issues that I care about, and are trying […]

Social Capital

I’m at a SoL meeting with about 60 people. About 20 of them are in my consulting convergence group, and we’re meeting as a sub-group frequently throughout the four days. The schedule is fairly grueling for white-collar types, mostly 8 AM to 8 or 9 PM every day. Tonight was the ‘open’ night, where we […]

Detroit, Motor City

Arrived at Detroit airport yesterday and called the hotel. “How do I get to you?” “Okay, you take the south exit of the airport, get onto route blah, go 8.8 miles and take exit blahblah,….” I interrupted: “I’m not renting a car. Is there any public transportation?” “Oh. Well, I think there are cabs somewhere […]

Help On The Way

Tell me the cost, I can pay, Let me go, Tell me love is not lost, Sell everything, Without love, day to day, insanity is king


Two links from opposite sides of the human condition. Chris Corrigan and friends have a new website for their Art of Hosting initiative. Flagrant Disregard offers their Motivator custom poster generator. Example.

Steal an Election with a Diebold Voting Machine

Princeton University scientists produce a video and post it on YouTube, demonstrating how you can hack a Diebold voting machine in less than one minute. They also provide to detailed technical paper. There are exactly zero computer scientists who think a voting machine can be made unhackable. It’s time to vote absentee, in all elections, […]

Be All You Can Be

Billmon has an excellent quote comparison post today. Who knew that in 1776 Edward Gibbon would write a book that so clearly described the state of our military in 2006?

The iPod Suit

From Eleksen, the iPod suit: The Bagir suit jacket integrates Eleksen’s ElekTex® smart fabric touchpad technology, which transforms a lapel into a five-button electronic control panel. The ElekTex-enabled iPod Suit is both fashionable and functional. The suit is machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant, making it the ideal choice for today’s music-savvy and style conscious business professionals. My […]

Quote of the Day

John Gruber, on Steve Jobs: Remember his on-stage demo last year [of the Motorola Rokr] iTunes-compatible phone? His contempt for the device was palpable; when he failed to successfully switch from song playback to accept a call, he seemed poised to just toss the thing off-stage and cry out that it was a piece of […]

Life of Matt

My friend Matt Bucy leads an interesting life (cf Tip Top Building). He has two blogs—here’s a recent excerpt from each: lukoil faggot at aloofdork if i had been with a group of gay men i’m sure there’d have been a lot of cat calling and name calling right back at him. but it was […]

Users GOOD, Groupware BAD

I read this Jamie Zawinski essay last year, but it’s worth another look. The trick you want to accomplish is that when one person is using your software, it suddenly provides value to that person and their entire circle of friends, without the friends having had to do anything at all. Then, later, you pull […]