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Transportation Twitter Discussion May. 16th, 2011 @ 07:02 pm
{this is a cleaned-up-and-expanded version of a twitter conversation. It's not a fully thought out essay, though it draws on things I think about a lot. Please excuse poor grammar, wordy style, lack of an actual conclusion, and numerous instances of appeal-to-authority.}

My friend tweeted from a talk: "Loving the idea of cars as mobile personal space (more important than transport function)." He said that people love the notion of ambient control of temperature and sound. And that cars are used for storage and staging functions.

I'm just posting this even though it's pretty babbling. Feel free to tldr.Collapse )

False Equivalences Jan. 11th, 2011 @ 12:37 pm
The false equivalences floating around in response to the shootings in Arizona are ridiculous defensiveness. There's one party here that engages in eliminationist rhetoric at the highest levels, that gets amplified by the media even if it's a bleat on twitter. On the other side, some bloggers said dumb things. (Though really, is "she's dead to me" the same thing as "don't retreat, reload"? I can see grandmothers using one of those phrases but not the other. But that's beside the point.)

Furthermore, in the wake of events, one side apologizes and starts talking about how rhetoric can influence crazy people, and the other says things like "Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence" or "It's genuinely revolting...I think it sinks to the level of evil [to suggest that the language of the tea party can encourage violence]." They double down and respond with more threatening language.

Jon Stewart last night said "I do think it's a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with enemies, if for no other reason than to draw a better distinction between the manifestos of paranoid madmen, and what passes for acceptable political and pundit-speak." Today, Townhall Magazine named him the 28th "most dangerous liberal in America."

Actually, I hope that Americans WOULD take up arms against tyranny, evil, and fascism. But I hope it's patently obvious to most people I know that we are not dealing with any of those things. The use of those kinds of words to deny one's political opponents' legitimacy is a threat to political discussion.

But use of those words is part of two really common right wing tactics. Accuse the other side of doing the things you're actively doing to distract from the fact you're doing it, and then accuse them of politicizing things before they do it to innoculate yourself. These false equivalences obscure the subject at hand.

When you call things like health care bills totalitarianism, it becomes harder to identify actual movements towards totalitarianism (like, say, claiming the power to hold people indefinitely without trial). If you respond to being called out for saying something hateful by saying both sides do it, you're making it harder to find the line between tasteless and inflammatory.

It's straight out of Orwell. What has really shocked me in the wake of these shootings is the tendency for people to play along with this stuff.

Anyway, I don't want to hear Sarah Palin or anyone defensively whining. I want to hear what they will do to show respect to their political opponents. To stop using fear and anger to motivate their supporters. I guess I'd just like to hear them take a little personal responsibility. Not responsibility for the shooting, but for their own actions. And I'd like to see them take a little personal responsibility for what's going to happen going forward.

I am a graduate! Dec. 15th, 2010 @ 10:13 pm
Assuming my grades are all passable, I am done with school! Maybe I can get back to posting on LJ! W00t!
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic

Pre-Olympics Vancouver Feb. 28th, 2010 @ 07:39 pm

Stanley Park totems
Originally uploaded by Bob
Just in time for the end of the Olympics, my photos from Vancouver when we visited in December 2009.

(On Flickr & Facebook)

Hello Livejournal Feb. 28th, 2010 @ 05:52 pm
How are you today?

Jan. 25th, 2010 @ 01:15 am
A moderately productive day. Also caught up with Kiefer! So far this season of 24 is reminding me of "Three's Company" but with dead people.

Jan. 14th, 2010 @ 05:16 pm
is missing Jason and is sad the last week before school starts is turning out to be such a pain.

Dec. 23rd, 2009 @ 03:51 pm
is having a coffee at Diesel so he can stay awake for karaoke at the Asgard tonight!

Nov. 16th, 2009 @ 05:47 pm
"The goodness of the true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability." ~Edgar Allan Poe

Oct. 28th, 2009 @ 03:38 pm
Just saw Ken Caldeira speak on climate change. He's incredibly Strangelovian. I have more sympathy for the Superfreakonomics guys now.

Dinner salad Sep. 13th, 2009 @ 08:46 pm

Dinner salad
Originally uploaded by Bob
Heirloom tomatoes, corn, feta, and mixed greens. Yum!

Aug. 12th, 2009 @ 12:37 am
"so many bad ideas coming at me all at once, it's hard to know which to reject first!"

Aug. 1st, 2009 @ 06:11 pm
Why are there two Santas playing football on the sidewalk in Diamond Heights?

The Rockies, 2008 Jul. 20th, 2009 @ 10:22 pm
Set of pics from the Denver area and I-70 west through the Rocky Mountains. Oh yeah, these are from last year's drive. I've almost reached California!

Jul. 12th, 2009 @ 11:57 am
Has landed in Denver, where the airport is as big as the whole of San Franciso.
Other entries
» (No Subject)
Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as...
» Pics from Last Summer... the Rockies

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park
Originally uploaded by Bob
Well, we are back from Texas! It was super hot but lots of fun. I have some pictures to post but I promised myself I would make it through my photos from last summer's cross-continent trip first. Yep, still not done! There's one or two sets after this... we'll see how I break it up.

Here we have a special for kev_bot: The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, which was the inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining." While not nearly as inaccessible as that hotel, this one is still quite haunting. Parts of the miniseries version were filmed on location here.

A few more pics behind the cutCollapse )

Or check out the whole set!

» (No Subject)
Birds are jerks
» Catamaran Cruise Part 2

We passed this yacht
Originally uploaded by Bob

one more here, rest on FlickrCollapse )
» Windsurfer & the Golden Gate Bridge

Windsurfer & the Golden Gate Bridge
Originally uploaded by Bob
Friday I went on a catamaran cruise of the San Francisco Bay! Click through to Flickr to see part 1 of my pictures.

» Hello Livejournal!
I am back from my 10 day trip to New England. The trip was a lot of hectic fun! I did get quality time with the dogs and with my family. I got to see many (though far from all) the people I wanted to see (*waves to all*). I hopefully convinced several people to come visit!

The trip ended with one major mishap when I fell in the pool, potentially killing my phone. It actually will still work when plugged in, but goes into infinite reboot loop when not. Also the sleep button doesn't seem to do much. The accident was pure karma though, as I was attempting to throw my not-so-little-anymore cousin in. I'm still trying to figure out what to do.

Also on the what-to-do front, I still have no internship or income for the summer. This is a problem, especially if I need to invest in a new phone (or a huge increase in monthly plan cost). I've been applying and still have a few irons in the fire, but I think I'm going to have to start advertising myself as free if I want to do anything.
» Sleepy dog day

Sleepy dog day
Originally uploaded by Bob

» Please Come to Boston for the Springtime (and San Francisco for the Summer)
I just booked a round trip Virgin America ticket to Boston for $219!

I'll be in town Wednesday 5/27 till Saturday 6/6. Note the strategic schedule that allows not one but TWO nights of karaoke and trivia. (You crazy kids still do these things, right?)

The corollary to this message is that flights appear to be on sale! Who wants to come visit us in San Francisco this summer? With no internships lined up... looks like my schedule is open!
» The Plains
The Iowa State House

The Archway Museum
» Chicago Skyway
So I never finished posting the set of photos from our cross-continent drive last July. So we'll take a bit of a journey back in time.

Incidentally, nothing like procrastinating to get you to finally do other things you'd been putting off. Hmm.

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