Real Complication

One of the strange long held ideas of the conservatives is that if you take money away from the federal government it will help restore old ways and simpler times.

The supposed connection is that “tax tax spend spend liberals” were inventing needless government activity to meddle with business and private lives. The solution? Give away the money and budget pressure will force reducing the needless expenditure. Giving away money is always popular anyway.

I’m an architect and loose money every day providing mandated services I can’t sell, so you’d think I’d be jumping up and down in support. What I think kills the design business these days is redesign. The requirements are so complex that the solutions are less and less flexible and small changes force rethinking complex issues. We can’t sell that. Continue reading Real Complication

Myth v. Myth

Two years ago President Bush said “Bring them on”, but we still haven’t asked where the terrorists are coming from.

That’s a real insult to the 1500 American dead and many more Iraqis who have been sacrificed to the cause since then. President Bush’s heroic myth of Iraqi liberation ignores the question, speaking as if the terrorists are just some band of criminals and losers. Our great free press mentions almost nothing about it except maybe that some of them are Suni and some come from abroad. Continue reading Myth v. Myth

Trading up

Thomas Friedman made a very good point in his op-ed column on CAFTA in the Times today (6/24/05).

The hazard of protectionism in a rapidly growing global economy is shutting yourself out, proverbialy cutting off your nose to spite your face. With China on the make, particularly, it is almost certain that trade barriers between the US and Central America would undermine joint ventures between US designers and Central American producers. Competiton with China is going to be nip and tuck and we shouldn’t let protectionist urges do that.

First, though, let’s take a moment and celebrate the problem. It’s been a hundred years or so that the developed economies, the US and old Europe mainly, have been doling out a few fish and unsuccessfully trying to teach the rest of the world how to catch their own. It was a largely disappointing enterprise, save for easing our guilt for being rich and not knowing how to share it. Continue reading Trading up

Why I’ve been so quiet

Call this a draft, maybe I’ll come back to smooth it out.

I try to be daring, pure in heart and completely honest. It’s not easy, but it sure does feel good when I am able. Some people seem to have chosen to simplify the problem, to have either their faith or their reason shut out the other half. I find each needs the other, without reason, faith has no relevance and without faith reason has no purpose.

My dad was a physicist, the ultimate staid rationalist and a very regular old fashioned Protestant. Life was rather dull, and then I smelled a rat, actually lots of them, conventional thinking that simply didn’t have the ring of truth. That was a long time ago.

Trying to be considerate, of course, there’s now no idea I wouldn’t still gladly smash to bits if it does not have it.  It’s not, for example, quite truthful to harden individual sites to protect them against terrorism. Continue reading Why I’ve been so quiet

Just making up the losses on volume!

It’s curious that the Republican’s new twist on the Social Security reform ignores both the long run solvency of the system and the long run solvency of the people who rely on it.

Yes, the new idea makes a tiny bit more sense than for the federal government to borrow the life savings of its citizens (that was the last great idea)! Now the idea is to give away the trust fund surplus that future generations will need. Fortunately people are really stupid and it endears them to you to abuse their trust.

Once upon a time if you wanted to be taken seriously you’d try to actually address the problem. Continue reading Just making up the losses on volume!

When they’re right theyre right!

Joe Frank, the late night NPR weirdo, renders his imaginary average American characters and situations with a wandering laser beam, creating fascinating strangers. Last night he started talking philosophy, gave me the opposite reaction and I just had to shut it off.  We’re all not good at something it seems.

For a while I’ve been wondering how I can give credit where credit is due to the neo-cons. I’m generally loath to give them and inch, considering their tendency to ridiculously abuse any opening. It would be SO helpful if they would just say what they mean, for example. Continue reading When they’re right theyre right!

a passer bye

I’d really like to apologize to him for arguing with what he thought Senator Durbin meant about torture at Guantánamo recalling Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.

He was in such anguish, a passer bye on the sidewalk who challenged me with his feeling of insult while I collected signatures to put a slate of local candidates on the upcoming primary ballot in NYC.

Even if I think being inhumane to prisoners harms our cause, not acknowledging his life changing experience with real torture was a mistake. I have a lot of radical ideas, easily misunderstood, and I’m in awe of how the worlds we create within our minds bounce off reality and each other, sometimes shaking us to the core.

New object oriented natural science for working with natural systems.