10.22.2002

Six Degrees of Bacon

From Salon: Pigs Created That Carry Human Genes

   By manipulating swine sperm, Italian researchers have made a strain of pigs that carry
   human genes in their hearts, livers and kidneys, an advance that could lead to creating
   herds of pigs that could provide organs for transplanting into humans.


Now we can genetically re-manufacture Congress.

10.15.2002

The Law of Artificial Selection

From "Artificial Selection" in Cleopatra's Nose by Daniel Boorstin:

     Inventions are increasingly intrusive. The advance of technology in our time attests
     our increasing inability to exclude novelties or their consequences from our lives...

     What the GNP does not measure is the expanding output of wants. The United States,
     imperfectly identified as a land of unprecedented wealth, could equally be called the land of
     unprecedented wants. Our nation has grown by its need for the unnecessary -- another
     name for human progress. Perhaps we might better measure our advance not by some quantitative
     index of "productivity," -- of gross national product -- but by some qualitative index of
     proliferating "needs."

     The viability of a machine depends on its capacity to create its own need and to bring forth
     the environment that makes it necessary: the law of artificial selection.


Chia life.

Is it any wonder that a large part of the rest of the world hates us for expending our (and their)
resources in making and selling unnecessary things to each other (and expecting them to rise up
and want them, too)?

It is silly to look forward to buying the same intellectual property three or four times in a lifetime on smaller
and more techologically advanced media...that is guaranteed to become obsolete each more rapidly than
the last. Would lemmings do this?

10.09.2002

What's Wrong With Libertarianism

Libertarians are people who drive on roads libertarians wouldn't build...

     Apparently someone's curse worked: we live in interesting times, and among
     other consequences, for no good reason we have a surplus of libertarians.

Found via Virulent Memes.

10.03.2002

Arundhati Roy reading and
Ms. Roy and Howard Zinn


Reading and Interview
What the Free Market undermines is not national sovereignty, but democracy. As the disparity between the rich and poor grows, the hidden fist has its work cut out for it. Multinational corporations on the prowl for "sweetheart deals" that yield enormous profits cannot push through those deals and administer those projects in developing countries without the active connivance of State machinery - the police, the courts, sometimes even the army. Today Corporate Globalization needs an international confederation of loyal, corrupt, preferably authoritarian governments in poorer countries to push through unpopular reforms and quell the mutinies. It needs a press that pretends to be free. It needs courts that pretend to dispense justice. It needs nuclear bombs, standing armies, sterner immigration laws, and watchful coastal patrols to make sure that it's only money, goods, patents, and services that are being globalized - not the free movement of people, not a respect for human rights, not international treaties on racial discrimination or chemical and nuclear weapons, or greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, or god forbid, justice. It's as though even a gesture towards international accountability would wreck the whole enterprise.
Link via wood_s_lot.