Archive | February 22, 2012

Programmable Reality

Progress is a matter of the real world becoming more and more like the internet.

I glued my severed hand to my computer screen.  Because I am just that cool.

That has the virtue of sloganesque pithiness and the vice of being subject to obvious counterexamples. But I think it captures an important truth. Anarchism, for example, in effect calls for the open-source abundance, multiplicity of choice, and non-hierachical flatness that characterise the internet to be extended to the realms of politics, economics, and law. (And 3-D printing does the same thing for production.)

At a less substantial level, this story about how customers may soon be able to determine which movies are playing at their local meatspace theatres is another example of the same phenomenon.

Border Solipsism

A carjacking incident in Mexico near the u.s. border results in 50 rounds being fired; one of these rounds crosses the border and hits a woman in El Paso. So everyone on tv is talking about how terrible it is that an American was shot; and they’re quite right, it is terrible that an American was shot.

But given that 50 rounds were fired, I assume that someone else got hit too too. Isn’t it also terrible that Mexicans were shot? Why are only American victims worthy of comment?

I’m reminded of the time a few years back when some jerk on the Weather Channel said that in a “worst-case scenario” the edge of an approaching hurricane might graze Florida or Texas, but luckily the worst part of the storm was merely headed toward Mexico.

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