Driving in Israel
Across from Gaza
Tanglefoot stretched across the Negev scrub
And you think
People live this way

Every day they see this thin wire
Leading lines for a photograph of a dual captivity
And that’s just how it is

On the beach in Tel Aviv,
A topless woman with a rifle
(Really cuts down on the sexual harassment)
And a few miles away women
Who can’t leave their own house
Without a male minder

I’ve seen these things
And wondered
How we made it this far

Just dumb luck
Intelligence is a parasite
Piggybacking for a time
And soon will abandon its host

I saw the world and it saw me
But wires pulled taut across
The desert of my own mind
Have so far kept me from the answers


One thing I do really like about Timeless is that the main character, Lucy, is in the humanities. She’s a historian. Rare to see in a show like this and welcome.

She doesn’t fight (much). She doesn’t shoot people. She figures out things with an unbelievable treasure trove of facts and historical context.

That I can get behind.

Another thing: both episodes I’ve watched have explicitly dealt with the racist history of the country and not just swept it under the rug. Damn admirable.

Show won’t be renewed, I’d guess.


I really like all the new electronica/dubstep/trap that sounds like an Atari 2600 having sex with a lawnmower in a microwave.

I would not have liked this music at all when I was 16, but now I fucking love it.


I wouldn’t say Timeless is a great show.

Relies too much on tropes and other narrative shortcuts; doesn’t focus on characters in the first episode. Lot of lazy writing.

But that’s not why people hate it, of those who do. No, that’s because the main character is a woman, many of the other castmembers are women or black, and they are truly foregrounded in the narrative. And it’s a “mainstream” show, not one that is targeted at another demographic.

Here’s a capture of all the main cast:


Wonderful diversity. The white guy is the token.

As movies worsen, TV gets better. My partner and I were just talking about that yesterday. These days, mediocre TV shows usually have higher quality than all but the best movies. True of Timeless, too.

For all its faults, the first episode of the show had a nice twist at the end that I did not anticipate. The show it turns out wasn’t quite as spineless as I thought at first.


I see both and sympathize with both sides of this.

The problem is that you just cannot sterilize the interactions of humans as much as some people (mostly on the left) wish they could be. It is just not possible, period.

I understand that it is tiring for women to get approached constantly. I understand that 100%. At the same time, there is this.

The most “thrilling” thing about him was not, of course, his ideas, but his “seniority” and “accomplishments”, i.e., the power he ostensibly wields. It was the false hope that she had impressed a senior member of her field intellectually that constitutes the violation here, not his incapacity to be impressed by a beautiful woman’s mind.

Mostly these discussions seem to promote (as the piece points out) the infantilization and removal of agency from women, and the solving of problems using methods by which they simply cannot be solved.

They should not assume, not at any time, that they can treat them as equal, autonomous adults, capable of managing and challenging boundaries. They should see them as extremely vulnerable. They should box them in.

No one — as I’ve pointed out before — gives a fuck about equality in most cases. It’s mostly just a contest for who should be able to wield the power unaccountably in each situation. Historically, it has been white males. It is worth fighting that. It is not however worth replacing it with its opposite IMO, or even with pretending everyone is a sexless, agamous automaton.

However, the end result of no one ever being attracted to anyone in any situation that vaguely has to do with work — well, we just aren’t robots and won’t be anytime soon.

I want to treat women as equals, not as wilting flowers who have no outside life and no capacity to handle the vagaries of the world. That’s all.


Strange to see the Democrats beating the drums of war about Russia.

Much has changed in my life; used to be mainly a Republican prerogative.

Wouldn’t be surprised if Hillary Clinton makes some huge missteps there (as is her wont) and leads us into a real shooting war followed by a nice little nuclear exchange.

Duck and cover.

West mind

The new Westworld explicitly references Julian Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

It’s my favorite book and theory that is almost certainly wrong but is so interesting and fascinating that it leads in all sorts of still-fruitful directions.

I say Jaynes’ theory is almost certainly erroneous, but there has to be I think some explanation for the huge transformation of humanity that occurred about when he delineates it. If it was cognitive in nature, something big happened then and we’ll probably never know what.

True of IT too

I’ve noticed this among scientists and people in IT, too.

It’s not just lack of time, most often. It’s extreme incuriousity and even disdain for anything that can’t be neatly defined in an equation or some other “empirical” systematization.

But when I get that big promotion at work even though I am not technically as good as you, here’s why: I spent a whole lot of time studying sociology, psychology, writing, politics and anthropology (and many other fields) so that I can find out what my boss needs and do it before she even knows she needs it, and I can write a damn nice business case that people ask me to use as a template for all other company business cases. I can also outmaneuver the galoot in the other department who is attempting to sabotage my work using my knowledge of psychology and sociology, and in addition I can gauge the tone of a meeting better than most of my peers using those same tools and get my way far more often than I would otherwise. Furthermore, I can in my own field and quite a few others ascertain the rough directions they are going to determine how to position myself better for the future.

None of this I would be able to do if I hadn’t intensely studied other fields other than my own on my own time. Absolutely none.

And these are just the ones that help me at work — others such as ecology, literature, critical theory, genetics, biochemistry, philosophy, linguistics, philology, paleontology, geophysics, neurology, aircraft design and so many more just made me a better and more capable person in general.

A silo is fine, if you want to be constantly confused, bamboozled and befuddled by the world.

Otherwise, step out. Step the hell out.

Inevitable demise

This sort of practice was inevitable.

In the first stages of general purpose computing, it was about empowering the users — about making their lives better and due to the embedded values of the hippies and weirdos who pioneered personal computing, this stuck for a while.

It means that mobile and desktop searchers will end up seeing different results.

Google is not just launching the mobile search index to run alongside its desktop index, it will become the primary index.

This has nothing to do directly with profit, even. It has to do with control and the primacy of the wish to assert that control to disallow unwelcome freedom and initiative.

Soon the world will be well beyond Orwell — unpermitted thoughts will be impossible to think because any method of discovering those ideas will be controlled by a few companies that are the seigneurs presiding over all culture, deciding what one is allowed to think and what one is not.

Welcome to the future.