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How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Matrix

[copied in from a comment for further discussion re: the NSA]

We can skip the word "evil" and just take examples of what citizens might want to know.

While apparently the post office has been scanning envelopes a long time, the use of OCR means they have a huge searchable database of From, To and Date. The recent improvements in data analytics & Big Data means it's trivial to compile that into categories - especially if you link it to Facebook and collected phone metadata - who your friends are, where you work, where you bank, who you call, what organizations you're involved with. Depending on who's sending you mail, they can figure out if you're having credit problems, health issues, seeing a psychiatrist, getting a divorce.

Overstock's Patrick Byrne gets his revenge

There's been considerable schadenfreude over Patrick Byrne's claims about naked short selling crashing his company Overstock, amongst which includes circular arguments that his company did poorly so he must be a hack, and the gleeful contention by Goldman Sachs et al that naked short selling didn't actually exist (despite massive fails to deliver exceeding outstanding shares). Claims that were echoed by some (one) here.

Sadly for them, Goldman's lawyer accidentally released a ton of info showing not only did it exist, but that Goldman Sachs had excelled at it.

Electric car gets good review

Okay, this isn't a big post, but after some electric car company called an NY Times reporter a liar last month for the road test review, it was nice to see a very positive review of a practical shipping car, the Renault Zoe (no, I don't own stock or work for the company).

Epic Epigenetics

[touched off by article on epi-markers & homosexuality]

I'm excited about progress in science on a number of levels, and figure our understanding of matters will be vastly different in 20-30 years based on evolving tools & theories.

Priming the Black Vision Thing

[response to other threads got too long]

 

You obliquely point out a big issue - people don't have any real ideas for creating mass jobs in the black community, aside from back to government.

In the 50's I believe (via Buckminster Fuller), Brazil was intent on modernizing, with some wanting to emulate the US with its railroads, despite the existence then of airplanes more suitable for Brazil's vast distances and thick jungles.

Twofer - insurance & Wall Street theft

 

Who woulda guessed - holes in Obamacare permitting double digit health care increases?

Say Goodbye to Hillary 2

Sitting here contemplating the future as I was told I can't predict, and that those premonitions of 2016 are ageist and sexist.

Will Hugo Chavez die before his inauguration 6 days away? Well, he's had an amazing journey, and he's only 58, so it would be wrong of me to predict. Just because he had cancer & 4 major operations in the last 2 years and is now clinging on in a respirator after severe lung infection - well, who knows?

Say Goodbye to Hillary

It's a thought that occurred to me numerous times, and would seem to be obvious, but Hillary would be 69 by election day 2016.

While Reagan was elected at 69, he was an outlier, and had spent much of his life in casual living, including an age when running from President wasn't so grueling. William Henry Harrison was 2nd at 68, and the rest go from 65 on down. Oh, did I mention Reagan's Alzheimers was covered up at the time? The press isn't so obliging these days (especially not to Democrats)

Defending Teachers

Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler, as he does frequently, voices the teachers' angle on things - in this case of the massacre - that we've been attacking them for decades, trashing teachers' unions, pretending that public teachers are just lazy and that school vouchers will cure all our ills. Even liberals blasting away at the poor state of education even as minorities make leaps and bounds progress over 2 decades that everyone ignores. Democrats like Rahm Emmanuel and Republicans like Scott Walker blast away at the teachers' unions, one point of sharing in our our rare bipartisan consensus.

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Superpowers
Defies gravity Can spit really far Almost touch my toes Can cut a fly's legs off with a beer cap from 20 paces Know how to say useless stuff and prattle on in a dozen languages Don't know when to shut up
Favorite Quotes
To be for or against the Plague, it's much the same thing. Fiddledee, how a body shure do get around - just 2 weeks ago I was in Mississippi and now I'm all the way to Tennessee... Eat or Be Eaten Better to be pissed off than pissed on.
Biography
Born in swaddling clothes (designer, of course) at the confluence of big waters, my first recorded words were "Dad, can I have the keys to the car?" Raised a Southern Pedestrian, my musical talents were recognized at an early age, leading to my being exiled to the shed out back with a stack of books that became my eddykayshun - advanced readin', writin' & ritmytick, creating a major quandary of "what will I do, oh what will I do?" (Gunslinger) As an old black man advised in song, "You Gotta Move", so move I did, traveling the byways sideways even a lot of driveways, picking up sticks and psychological tics, even movin' to Beverlee through a quaint misunderstanding of the seriousness of TV series, until finally I blew up so big the carry nation incarnation tarnation couldn't hold me no more, so I fixed my sights on yonder sitar, and like Queequeg and Paul Bowles and one of those abducted kids by the Pied Piper of Hamelin, I ventured forth to the larger world, pickin' and grinnin', doin' me some reckonin' and naughts from naughts, occasionally rightin', building me some buildings and wiring and just trying to understand the babble comin' out of people's mouths and heads, I finally ended up in what Rummy quaintly calls "New Europe", which ain't so new from what I sees, but that pit in my stomach from lack-of-moving-sickness finally disappeared, and instead I sit behind a whopping big desk stacked with missives from all the chiefs with big whampum around the world telling me "what's going on". Which seems like a load of boolshit to me, but I guess that's what keeps me busy and entertained now, separatin' the weeds from the chapstick. So my name is Perry Keys, or Peracles to you, and since my mammy always said, "say please and thank you", I added the please, but I'm holdin' back on that thankee until I feel you've earned it. But do welcome, and I hope we's a gonna have a real good time. It all starts with, "I wuz born a poor young white chile livin' in the South..." and we cycle through again, like Nietzsche and his infernal regurgence. So enjoy, and let's spin a spell...

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