Lock n Loll

Posted in Cyberterrorism, Made in China, Phlogiston, Rock 'n' Roll at 11:00 am by George Smith

Guitar Player magazine has bowed to the inevitable. The issue now on newsstands features a cover story on affordable guitars for the rock n roller. With one exception, they are all made in China or Indonesia. The outlier is manufactured in Canada and is on the high end of the price range the story dictates, instruments under $500.

All the guitars are either licensed American designs, copies of US designs, or fundamentally based on old US models. Many of them are made under American brand names, companies which now manufacture more in China than they do domestically, where production is relegated to high end custom pieces for the artisan (read wealthy snob) economy.

The magazine is a bit tortured by the turn of events, as evidenced by loud assertions in the introductory ‘graphs on how every guitar was rigorously tested for quality in workmanship by its reviewers. But its editors now well know that the buying power of a great deal of its readership, being American, is either destroyed or seriously impaired. (No link — GP magazine does not put publish its features on the web.)

And the only instruments average readers can afford are those made in China.

Then there’s this article, today: Chinese Hack Into US Chamber of Commerce, Authorities Say

There is a bit of delicious irony here. The Chamber of Commerce being a trade lobbying group which represents so many of the large multi-national corporations which have mercilessly downsized American jobs, for the sake of cheap labor in China.

The hacking story is not novel. There is nothing new here, just the usual revelation that Chinese spying operations are aimed at everything.

Although true, most of the quotes — taken from the usual officials — take on a laughable quality, considering how much has already been either carted off to China, or ceded to that country, simply for a corporate shareholder’s grasping benefit.

For example, this from 1 percenter Richard Clarkenotorious for his love of 80 buck white wine, still made in America:

“I don’t think the Chamber of Commerce has anything worth stealing, but it’s part of a pattern of the Chinese stealing of everything they can, and that’s worrying,” Clarke said.

“You stack all of that up and I think there’s a case to be made that this may be the greatest transfer of wealth through theft and piracy in the history of the world and we are on the losing end of it,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

“This is a national, long-term strategic threat to the United States of America. This is an issue where a failure is not an option,” said Robert Bryant at the National Counterintelligence Executive.

National long-term strategic threat. The greatest transfer of wealth in history. The sound you can’t hear in cyberspace is DD’s loud horselaugh when reading the pompous piffle of miscellaneous hypocrites and shoeshine boys.

Nice drink, not made in China. I heard about it from the famous cyberwar plutocrat.

Cult of EMP Crazy: Beaten by science

Posted in Crazy Weapons at 9:11 am by George Smith

Two days ago, Secrecy blog published a report by the JASONs, a group of eminent scientists regularly tasked with providing analysis and conclusion on potential threats for the US government.

According to Secrecy blog:

The U.S. electric power grid is vulnerable to damage from severe electromagnetic solar storms and remedial measures should be taken to reduce that vulnerability, a new study (large pdf) from the JASON scientific advisory panel concluded.

On the other hand, the JASONs said, catastrophic worst-case scenarios advanced by some are not plausible, and they should not serve as a basis for policy making.

The JASON study put a stake through the heart of some nuisances in the Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy, although some readers might not have guessed it.

In 2010, the electromagnetic pulse doom lobby was able to get the Department of Energy to issue a report authored by one of the small businesses that comprise it.

At the time, posted here at DD blog, I explained it:

Common sense would seem to dictate that leaders of corporations ought not to be empowered by the US government to provide threat assessments which stand to directly enrich their interests.

But that’s how the US conducts business. From top to bottom, people read of agencies subverted by the businesses they are supposed to regulate.

And sometimes people then come to the conclusion that the US government is only a tool for the accelerated transfer of taxpayer dollars into the coffers of such mentioned businesses.

Which is a pity.

The latest example, a smaller one than the national Minerals Management Service, comes to you courtesty of the Department of Energy and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (or NERC).

Reads the New York Times, courtesy of Matthew Wald:

A report just issued by the Energy Department and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, known as Nerc, an industry group that polices the power grid, lists three categories of threats to the grid: coordinated cyber- and physical attacks, pandemic disease and electromagnetic damage.

What Wald does not mention, or perhaps has failed to notice, is the “report” has essentially been written by the small interests which make up the Cult of EMP Crazy, with government workers as their staff.

Three of the report’s authors are part of the bomb Iran/ballistic missile defense lobby. (Follow the link.)

These include John Kappenman — billed as being part of something called Storm Analysis for the report, William Radasky of Metatech and Michael Frankel of Roscoe Bartlett’s old EMP Commission.

The JASON study dealt with the threat scenario posited by the electromagnetic pulse lobby, specifically one posited and fashioned by John Kappenman and Metatech, a small business that provides analysis on a variety of alleged electromagnetically pulsing menaces (allegedly used by criminals wielding electromagnetic pulse suitcases of doom — follow the links in the old DD post to see these).

While the JASON report does not deal in the slightest with the notional threats posed by alleged criminal misuse of electromagnetic pulses, it does dispassionately discuss the real hazards associated with the impact of severe space weather on the Earth’s magnetosphere.

In does this in an erudite manner, unadorned by conflicts of interest.

Summing it up, Steve Aftergood of Secrecy Bulletin writes:

“We agree that the U.S. electric grid remains vulnerable,” the JASONs concluded. “Mitigation should be undertaken as soon as possible to reduce the vulnerability of the U.S. grid. The cost appears modest compared to just the economic impact of a single storm,” they added.

But the panel declined to endorse a worst-case scenario proposed in 2010 by J. Kappenman (large pdf), who envisioned “the possibility of catastrophic damage to the U.S. electric grid, leaving millions without power for months to years.”

“We are not convinced that the worst case scenario… is plausible. Nor is the analysis it is based on, using proprietary algorithms, suitable for deciding national policy,” the JASON report said.

It appears the work of the JASON group became necessary when the electromagnetic pulse lobby was able to successfully get its apocalyptic report on solar weather passed through the Department of Energy in 2010.

Seemingly vetted by government agency, it was used to generate two stories in the New York Times, one in 2010 and one earlier this year, pieces suggesting the US government wasn’t paying attention to threats to the infrastructure described by its own people.

Except, in this case, it wasn’t done by independent scientists on the government payroll. The study was furnished by a business in the electromagnetic pulse lobby.

More on the issue, as it happened earlier this year, was discussed here on DD blog.

Briefly, it would seem the powers that be in the Department of Energy realized they’d done something that would be used to haunt them in distributing the Metatech report, a report that was merely part of a workshop the department had sponsored on electromagnetic pulse effects in 2009.

“And so it made a tactical error when it originally allowed the EMP lobby to author a report, one then given weight by publication on its website,” reads the original post here at DD blog..

“Now it legitimately wishes to correct the matter … Brushing the kooks off once again is eminently doable.”

And here, as 2011 draws to a close, the JASONs, a group of independent scientists commissioned by the US government through the MITRE Corporation, have politely but authoritatively done just that.

“The Cult of EMP Crazy must be so disappointed,” commented one government man to DD blog.


Ron Paul Music Machine

Posted in Fiat money fear and loathers, Rock 'n' Roll at 3:42 pm by George Smith

This video of Ron Paul, put together by TPM Think Progress, put a bopping electro-beat to strung together excerpts of the GOP Presidential candidates’ declarations that, well — everything in civil society, is unconstitutional.

The wee bit of music was subtle but effective, perfect for the imagery.

And it got me back onto a sampler I’d considered months ago, one dealing with the phenomenon in which Paul supporters write lots — and I do mean lots — of tunes recommending their man.

No other Republican nominee enjoys such a thing. And certainly no one on the other side of the line in the Democratic Party, not the President, nobody, comes close, either.

There is the big name, Aimee Allen, who recorded the official/unofficial “Ron Paul Anthem.” It’s the leader of the pack at about half a million hits on YouTube.

But it doesn’t capture the grass roots feel of the virtually countless homespun like-minded efforts uploaded to the web by Paul supporters. And while the glassy-eyed enthusiasm can be a bit frightening, there is no denial of the sincere fervor on display.

If you ever thought that singer/songwriters might be a little wary of putting lyrics about “sound money” and ending “inflation” and the Fed into something that must be sung with conviction, think again.

There’s no shortage.

Here then, a brief selection of American folk tunes on Ron Paul. And everyone wants him to be President.

Sprightly hot stuff with a light sense of humor, DJ von Mises, has uploaded many pro-Ron Paul dance tracks to YouTube.

Von Mises takes his name from the dead Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, whose economic theories form the core of Paul-ian monetary policy. That they’ve all been proven disastrously wrong by the current mess is really beside the point here.

And while the tribute inherent in using the name von Mises may be lost on random listeners, to the true believers in Paul it is exquisitely resonant. (Update: Sadly, von Mises pulled this number from YouTube soon after DD linked to it. Who knew the sound money folks could be so touchy? The world’s pleasure awaits but if being a hermit is your thing, who am I to argue?)

Ron Paul will end inflation, she sings. There isn’t any inflation to speak of but it hardly matters. She is so cute, along with the soft-peddled off camera antics, even the slight lithp at the beginning works.

“This is a song I wrote this song [sic] for Ron Paul to give any help I could towards bringing our troops home and ending the federal reserve,” writes the artist on YouTube. I would never have suspected such a person to be against the printing of fiat money.

Lyrics: President Ron Paul, how the words sound good together.
Standing for liberty, sound money and peace. Healing
our nation from big government disease.

My favorite, next to the TP Paul video. (Everyone else is number 3, or lower.) The jaunty train rhythm is really hard to beat.

If you drill down through the related videos recommended as these end, you’ll begin to grasp the size of the Ron Paul Music Machine. You’ll be delighted by it. Or you could feel need for a bit of aspirin.

H/T to Pine View Farm for flagging the TPM vid.

Cult of EMP Crazy: Jesus saves!

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Extremism at 11:19 am by George Smith

From a local color/opinion writer at the Times and Democrat newspaper of Orangeburg, SC:

The experts say the damage would be millions of times worse than 9/11. Nobody would have power, and most modern cars wouldn’t start. The Internet has been completely destroyed, and the financial system is offline, perhaps forever. All phone communication is dead, and virtually all commerce across the entire country is brought to a complete stop. Our country (which doesn’t know how to live without technology) would be completely stripped of it in an instant …

What would you do if all the supermarkets in your area shut down because food could not be transported? What if you were suddenly unable to call your family and friends for help? What if you were suddenly unable to get the medicine that you need?

This certainly isn’t going to enhance anyone’s Christmas cheer one iota, but perhaps when we hang our stockings and say our prayers on Christmas Eve, we’ll humbly ask Jesus (the author of and reason for this joyful season) for the very special Christmas present of deliverance from the evil entities who are, even now, plotting our demise. Oh, yeah … and even if the fat elf doesn’t descend through the atmosphere to stuff our stockings, perhaps our merciful Creator will save us from far worse stuff coming down upon us from the sky … like electromagnetic pulse destruction.

Also in the day’s paper, this story on the criminal investigation into the abandonment of 150 cats.

The Empire’s Dog Feces: Droning on

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Decline and Fall at 9:17 am by George Smith

In the news, yay:

Despite reports that Iran hijacked a United States stealth military drone early this month and forced it to land in hostile territory, not everyone is buying the hype.

“Some kind of mechanical malfunction” is probably what caused the unmanned drone, a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel (nicknamed the “Beast of Kandahar” by Afghans who’d seen it), to go down 140 miles inside Iran on Dec. 4, according to John Pike, director of the Alexandria, Va.-based think tank GlobalSecurity.org.

George Smith, a senior fellow at GlobalSecurity, echoed his colleague’s assertion.

“Stuff goes wrong,” Smith told SecurityNewsDaily. “It’s certainly an embarrassment to the United States, as advertised. The bragging on the part of the Iranian government is unsurprising.”

It’s all about us-US-US!

Competing for this year’s long list of produced news stories and factoids of unintentional bleak hilarity: Overstretched U.S. drone pilots face stress risk.

From Reuters:

Flying drone aircraft over Afghanistan from the comfort of a military base in the United States is much more stressful than it might seem, even for pilots spared the sacrifice of overseas deployment and separation from family and friends.

America’s insatiable demand for drone technology is taking a heavy toll on Air Force crews, according to a six-month Air Force study, with just under a third of active duty pilots of drones like the Predator reporting symptoms of burnout and 17 percent showing signs of “clinical distress.”

That’s when stress starts undermining their performance at work and their family lives …

[The] biggest factor wearing down drone crews were things like long hours and inadequate staffing.

Inadequate staffing. One associates stress due to inadequate staffing to jobs where corporations have mercilessly downsized the labor force to increase short term profit.

In other words, drone crews suffer stress of the same nature as that of cubicle workers in corporate America. Letting Hellfire missiles off the hook on small groups of people, always poorer and smaller, on the other side of the world, is a smaller component of the job.

This is described as “bothersome.”

Really. Not joking, here. It’s what the man said.

“We try to select people who are well-adjusted … We select family people … People of good moral standing, background, integrity,” [Air Force] Lieutenant Colonel Kent McDonald, a man who worked on the study, told Reuters.

“And when they have to kill someone, and when they’re involved with missions when they’re observing people over long periods of time, and then they either kill them or see them killed, it does cause them to re-think aspects of their life and it can be bothersome.”

Stressful in Somalia

“The U.S. has used drones to hunt down al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia and Yemen, among other countries,” reported the AP last week. “Their humming is a constant feature in the sky in many of the major towns in southern Somalia, especially the capital city and the militant-controlled southern port of Kismayo.”

Notable quote after recent news story after Iowa locals get all atwitter about Northrop Grumman shipping a shrink-wrapped naval aviation drone on a flatbed. (They thought it might be a UFO, seriously.)

“It’s difficult to fly an unmanned drone through commercial airspace,” a company man told the local news agency.

Easier to fly them in airspace over countries where we don’t give a s—
about the natives, except as targets, and whatever they do or don’t have flying around.

Stephen King donates money for heating oil assistance to poor

“Horror author Stephen King’s efforts to raise money to help low-income Maine residents pay their heating oil bills this winter have exceeded goals,” reported a Boston newspaper.

This was after it was widely reported the US government would reduce home heating oil assistance by over 50 percent this year, from $55.6 million down to $23 million.

Cost of stealth drone, the Beast of Kandahar, lost over Iran, based on estimation from price of prototype: over $24 million.

Cost of Predator drone, lost over the Seychelles: $4.5 million

Cost of misallocation of national resources and immorality in decision making: Priceless.

Nominated as best new electric folk song to sing, ever. “Predator loans, iPhones, and drones … Plus we got lotsa really crazy people!”


Cult of EMP Crazy: End Times-ism

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism at 11:17 am by George Smith

Because of Newt Gingrich’s momentary popularity — I noticed he’s the cover of Newsweek which must surely mean the bubble’s about to burst — many more people have been familiarized with the mythology of electromagnetic pulse doom.

Right now, it’s not just for the far right GOP missile defense/bomb Iran lobby anymore.

And although Gingrich has tried to make it seem an entirely pseudo-intellectual thing, there’s no escaping its attachment to extreme Christian religiosity and the belief that catastrophic end times are upon the country, trials which will only be survivable through Godliness and the quick adoption of the skills of the deep woodsman and farmer.

A political blog, Maryland Juice, points out Roscoe Bartlett, the ancient Republican Congressman who has been warning of electromagnetic pulse attack for as long as I can remember, is running for re-election.

Bartlett has never been successful in getting any electromagnetic pulse defense legislation passed. He has forever been a minor Congressional nuisance, one who always gets re-elected despite serving his Maryland constituents poorly.

However, at Maryland Juice, Bartlett’s participation in a wacky survivalist documentary called Urban Danger is noted.

There are a number of teasers for Urban Danger, peddled on DVD, posted to YouTube.

Here is the best, if that’s the word to use:

Bartlett is on first.

The script: The US will collapse soon, through an unspecified series of disasters which include (but are not limited to) total electrical grid failure, rampant bioterrorist-spread disease, and the death of money. Only those in the country, on farms with their own fruit trees, vegetable crops, chainsaws for cutting firewood, elevated water supply, and Bible-reading skills will survive. You will have to defend yourself from the hordes fleeing the cities, just like in AMC’s The Walking Dead.

You must view all three Urban Danger teasers to get the full bit. (I jumped on the grenades so you don’t have to.) But watching the one posted, if you can endure it, delivers the general idea. There ain’t no progressives in this bunch. Or children and other young people, it would appear.

This old white Christian paranoid End Times mania is inseparable from the electromagnetic pulse attack story. And the political professional EMP lobby has always nourished it.

These days it’s virtually mainstream due to adoption by significant segments of the country’s dysfunctional and increasingly irrational political class.

Moving along, SA mails in a link to one of the Wall Street Journal’s banner op-eds here.

Excerpted, it reads:

Newt Gingrich’s rise in the polls has brought attention to his various “big ideas,” and plenty of derision from other GOP Presidential hopefuls and the media. Among the most undeserved targets is the former Speaker’s concern about an electromagnetic pulse (or EMP) attack …

The usual media suspects have recently run skeptical stories on his “doomsday vision” and “silly science” … A single nuclear weapon detonated above the U.S. might not kill anyone immediately. But in the worst case millions could subsequently die from a lack of modern medical care or possibly food, since farmers couldn’t harvest crops nor distributors get food to market. Access to drinking water could be cut if many of America’s dams, reservoirs and water-treatment facilities were shut down …

Mr. Gingrich deserves credit for bringing EMP to public attention.

Here’s a real dose of cheer, emblematic of the legion of crazy far right white f—s delivering public service announcements for what to watch out for when the electrical grid goes down.

“Who is going to die first?” asks a nurse named Rosa Klebb.

“This is straight from the heart, here,” she concludes.

If you don’t laugh, you’ll surely have to cry. Particularly if you go out to YouTube and see the audience it garners.


Ted — fit for a rewrite of Dickens

Posted in Extremism, Ted Nugent at 9:04 am by George Smith

Many have surely noticed that a lot of the current US doesn’t really support the way A Christmas Carol or It’s a Wonderful Life turned out. Sure, everyone pays lip service to these stories. But if people were honest with themselves, surely a lot would admit a sneaking desire to see a Xmas movie where Scrooge laughed off the grim reaping spirit of Christmas future and Tiny Tim was dead of consumption by Xmas day.

In 2011 you could pitch a comedy TV series on the two really talented and fun guys in Robin Hood, Sir Guy of Gisbourne and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Ted Nugent is Dickensian. His inability to rally any significant fan base among the young, in direct proportion to his success as a shoeshiner for old white man radical right and extreme wealth makes him perfect material for any modern approach to the material.

One of the things associated with Dickens’ Victorian London is the burning of coal and soot of it everywhere.

There is a small vignette from Nugent’s life that fits this, too. In 2009, Nugent was an emcee for Don Blankenship of Massey Energy’s “Coalstock,” a sparsely attended anti-labor Labor Day weekend bash in West Virginia. It’s painful to watch on YouTube.

(A year later an explosion at one of Blankenship’s mines killed 27, an incident which most probably will eventually see criminal charges levied against former Massey Energy executives.)

The poor get extra helpings of hardship and pain and Ted Nugent can be reliably counted on to tell us it’s all their own fault, a consequence of the alleged shit choices they make. Like being born into poverty. The time to have made your first good choice toward a life of plenty was when swimming down Pap’s penis at the moment of climax. Go back!

As we near Christmas, his new column at the WaTimes is in character.

It perfectly recites one of the favorite scripts of the legion of poor men’s Ayn Rands of the Republican Party:

The majority of people who are poor in America are poor because they knowingly have made poor decisions … Being poor is largely a choice, a daily, if not hourly, decision. If you decide to drop out of school, fail to learn a skill, have no work ethic or get divorced, a life of poverty is often the consequence.

At one point Nugent recommends the churches get more involved in helping the poor. Of course, they do. But it was only a year ago Nugent was doing the Dickens trip, too, hating on the church after Thanksgiving and suggesting the Vatican give up some of its swag.

Every time one imagines how bad people like Nugent can be they always surprise you with new standards for bad and worse:

Roughly 50 percent of all Medicare costs are spent in a person’s last six months of life. When a person is terminally ill or without hope of getting better, forcing taxpayers to keep them alive isn’t fair. If the terminally ill individual or his family wants to keep him alive for as long as possible, then they should pay for it, not taxpayers … Last time I checked, churches have a few billion dollars worth of gold, silver, jewelry, art, real estate and other assets. Maybe they could use some of it for such compassionate causes. Maybe not.

In this bit from November, a year back, Nugent not only went after the Catholics but also called for hospice care for the dieing to be ended. Medicare pays for the six months of such support, as those who have loved ones or close friend fall into the clutches of an incurable disease, like cancer, painfully know.

Nugent is one of the lousiest writers one could hope for, perfect for our times. Not only a wretched stylist, more importantly, he is devoid of any human warmth or empathy. Paradoxically, he papers over this failing with a regular clumsy implication that he’s a person who actually cares.

The Washington Times is the ideal venue for him, a Dickensian publication for DC. These days it attaches promotions to buy precious metals, or the consulting services of those who advocate for the hoarding of gold and silver to the end of Nugent’s columns.

And it does not surprise at all that a winning political idea for the current GOP is the torn from Oliver Twist suggestion that poor children be janitors of their schools so as to cultivate good work habits and the avoidance of crappy life choices that will make them forever poor. Of course they should.

A lucky winner of a raffle at TedNugent.com gets an all-expense paid weekend hunting with Ted on his ranch in Crawford, Texas. The second place prize is two weekends hunting with Ted on his ranch in Crawford. No, not really — I just made it all up.


Cult of EMP Crazy! Zany!

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism at 11:33 am by George Smith

A picture worth a couple thousand words. Zany? You bet.


Note: One of Gingrich’s favorite lobbying groups can’t spell his name right — Gingrinch (Freudian slip?) — on the title of their uploaded video.

Keywords: Newt Gingrich, zany, electromagnetic pulse attack

This is how it happened.

Howard — shoeshiner for the 1 percent

Posted in Extremism, Ted Nugent at 10:36 am by George Smith

When not hoping for the role of “Howard” in a remake of the Treasure of Sierra Madre, Ted curses the stinky young hippies to keep himself in the good graces of the 1 percent.

From Ted Nugent’s WaTimes column, denounces young people as “cockroaches” and rejoices in the pepper-spraying of them:

You don’t need to search the Internet far to read story after story of the Occupy stooges committing crimes, fighting the cops, destroying personal property, stinking the place up and engaging in other noble expressions of First Amendment rights. I find that beautiful – priceless, actually. Only human cockroaches spotlight themselves.

While I don’t condone violence, watching the cops pounce on and pepper-spray a few Occupy stooges and then drag the dirtballs off to jail in shackles is good for my conservative soul and gold for my sense of humor. Everyone needs at least one hearty laugh every day.

You have to admit that watching a stinky, dirty hippie being dragged off to jail is as funny watching James Brown drive across railroad tracks on the rims of his pickup truck …

Two months ago Nugent was lamenting that young people weren’t rioting against the president.

“Where are the protests by today’s unemployed and underemployed young people?” he asked. “Why aren’t they demanding answers to fundamental questions about their future?”

Now that they’re here, he hates them and wants them pepper-sprayed.
He’s also offended on the grounds of cleanliness. Yes, the homeless and those who camp out often do not smell rosy.

As long as Jann Wenner and old rock critics have any say in the matter, Ted Nugent will never be in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Even though it’s not that big a deal, it eats at him.

And now he’s a bitter old man — Nugent turned 63 this week — cursing “stinky hippies” and “human cockroaches” because he thinks they’ll fill a bag with excrement, put it on his porch and set it on fire.

Where didth all the innovathion go?

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall at 9:13 am by George Smith

More of the magazine writer’s fascination with asking wealthy people who used to be big deals for wisdom on solving the world’s problems. It’s the presentation of symptoms of a spectacularly America-centric disease — hubris: The witchdoctor-like related beliefs that great money means wisdom and that if you were once great in one thing, you’re stupendous in all endeavors thereafter.

In this case, it’s Jacob Weisberg speaking with Nathan Myhrvold, who many years ago was a big name at Microsoft.

I’m not sure what it is with the lithping speakers this week(odd coincidence, mainly) but if you go onto the videotaped interview at this link, you’ll notice Weisberg has one. If you can endure the entire segment, you’ll hear him actually say “yeth” at one point.

As an aside, I have no idea why anyone would think someone with a lisp is a good choice as an interlocutor for video interviews.

Myrhvold is not particularly interesting. He’s focused only on innovation in computer science. The first thing out of his mouth is Apple, all fine and good. But it’s no unusual observation and there’s a case to be made that iKit, illustratively, has had little power in getting the country out of the morass.

We will not be iTuning and iPhoning ourselves to national prosperity. And the Egyptians are not free of dictatorship yet, despite the existence of Facebook.

Surprisingly, Myrhvold doesn’t get anywhere near discussion of the hard
sciences, excellence in which has been dominating for most of my life. And which underlying achievement and discovery in provides the bedrock upon which all technology is built. Funding big science post WWII has been a government job. It is not about venture capitalists and wealthy benefactors rewarding big thinkers.

So this Myrhvold segment, you may guess, is nothing about that. Instead it is all talk about venture capital and bankrolling start-up entrepreneurs. It’s banal. And it’s also a threadbare cliche. This is all anyone ever talks about in these types of things — how to harness or gather means in bringing wealth to the funding of small businessmen with big ideas.

F—— wow!

Perhaps promised later segments will improve. However, I’d be willing to bet most readers won’t hang around for them, since this one’s so crap.

Plus, there’s the … lithp. (Can you see me rolling the eyes?)

Jesus H. Christ on a stick, one really can’t be supercilious enough!

It’s one thing to be sensitive to an obvious handicap, quite another when the handicap is passed off in this manner. It’s like asking people to entertain the notion that someone with an artificial hand could be a hot passer in the National Football League.

Anyway, here’s another excerpt from the Slate interview, taken only as a demonstration that if you let the wealthy computer geek talk enough, sooner or later he’ll spout the fatuous, believing it to be gnomic:

When he isn’t patent-hunting or contemplating how to slow global warming, Myhrvold loves to cook. Perhaps not surprisingly, he applies scientific principles in the kitchen, which are at the heart of his six-volume, 2,400-page cookbook, Modernist Cuisine: The Art of Science and Cooking, published this year. According to Myhrvold, food is at the center of a lot of our social issues. “If you can make food that’s good for you and delicious, that solves some pretty major societal problems.”

Forty five million people on foodstamps in this country, now, Nathan.
And not one of them served or much interested in a six volume 2,400-page cookbook from an ex-Microsoft guy, I bet.

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