Baisé Trois Façons

The current political climate in the United States can be summed up with this contrived example.

Republican candidate: Our platform is one of job creation and innovation through support of the SexBot industry. Our tactic is two-pronged. By reducing taxes and providing incentives to sex robot manufacturers, we can create jobs and stabilize the economy. And by supporting our homegrown sex robot companies, we keep ourselves free from the moral and economic complications of prostitution. Since robots are not blessed with the same breath of life endowed to us by our Creator, the Christian principles our great country were founded on will stand firm and strong. Vote for me, and let’s take our country back.

Democratic candidate: What our opponent proposes is to undermine small businesses nationwide, starting at the bottom. Every sex worker, whether working alone or as a member of a small business team, will be put out of work. That money paid by American consumers will instead go to multinational sex robot corporations who, though may have offices in the US, have offshore accounts and factories located outside our country’s borders, where the money will filter to the top with little left over for the outsourced factory workers at the bottom. This is unfair to honest American workers who deserve fair pay for fair work. Our platform proposes full recognition of all forms of sex work, and full medical testing and care for all people, no matter their choice of career. Vote for me, and let’s sponsor true job growth and move forward.

Libertarian candidate: It is ultimately up to the consumer to decide with whom they will have sexual relations. It is not the Federal government’s position to interfere with the invisible hands in the jobs sector. What our party proposes is to eliminate all restrictions and provide full legalization of sex work, and allow sex workers and sex robot manufacturers to compete on a fair playing field. I also propose to eliminate funding for the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health whose standards are infringing on the rights of private businesses. By lifting the Federal burden, private sex businesses can cut costs and deliver services at more profitable and competitive levels. Vote for me, and let’s get to work.

Rails, Ride

Found a DVD copy of Linklater’s “Before Sunrise”. Watched it the other night and fell in love again.

Takes me back to the summer of ’95. College. My friend Pam called me up one night (along with my girlfriend-at-the-time Donna) to come over to hang out, have snacks, and watch this movie. It was always good to hang out with Pam; among my friends, she was one of the few who had the light on inside, which was endearing and fascinating.

As we watched the movie unfold, I fell in love. I — along with every 20-something boy who watched that film — wanted to go to Europe, ride the Eurail, and unexpectedly find someone special. I was certain of it (yeah, I was 23, full of bright ideas and misguided dreams, so spare me the headshaking).

What the movie did was put me into a space outside myself, looking in, and it beamed a bright light on just where I was at that moment: sitting in a house with a friend that I adored, with my actual girlfriend sitting in front of me leaning back against my legs, and me on the couch, transfixed by a gorgeous French actress and an all-American everyman actor having a fictional romance in a foreign land. The conversation they had on screen was the end product of months of dreaming, thinking, discussing, planning, writing, and distilling every idea down into 100 minutes of finely-crafted dialogue. Actual conversations, especially among the newly-met, will never, ever reach that level of sophistication or interest because we don’t have the luxury of a creative team doing all the planning beforehand; we must talk in real-time by the power of our own mettle. Real conversations pale in comparison.

But there I was, feeling uncomfortable in the sudden recognition of the little hungers pulling inside of me. I felt that no matter which direction won the tug-of-war, there would be new experiences and new possibilities, yes, and that I would be in the middle of wherever I happened to move into (what I eventually went with was none of those directions, which is how I got to where I am now). But I felt a bit disingenuous and shameful, like I had a dirty little secret, that I should be so bold to consider anything other than staying with the one I was with. The struggle between going steady and being ready is one I am typically not willing to fight.

This serves to highlight a maleficent part of my modus operandi, which is to lay low, not be too hasty in making a decision, not being quick to move, because some day, by god, I just might miss out on whatever great thing/person/event I will be missing out on if I made the move too soon. The untold futures! The doors closed once entered! The lost chances!

To that end, I’m glad Linklater went on to make “Before Sunset”, which kind of discusses the ugly back end of missed opportunities. Life has to go on; if you don’t make the moves, it will move for you (and will likely do it without you) in ways you may not find profitable. I’m old enough to look back, and it’s sobering to count the unused years.

So much squandered potential; is there enough left?

1984 Versus 2001

Needed something to explain the odd juxtaposition of possible futures and actual outcomes. Came up with this.

Because in 1984, we were worried about George Orwell’s warnings of the impending arrival of Big Brother and endless war (“Ingsoc is at war with Oceania. Ingsoc has always been at war with Oceania.”), yet our space program was running strong and, with Arthur C. Clarke’s vision, we were able to dream beyond our world toward living in space. In 2001, endless war arrived in the form of the War on Terror, and by now our space-fairing capability is all but scrapped while we wait on the private sector to catch up.

Interesting swapparoo, don’t you think?

For the Schwinn

Hacking a computer is a lot like riding a bicycle.

Let’s say, for instance, that you give a kid a 10-speed bike. If the kid’s stupid, he’ll hop on and try pedaling like they do on TV. He might fall off because he doesn’t know how to ride it. Eventually, he gets the hang of it, but notices it’s really, really hard to go up hills. If he’s really stupid, he’ll keep pushing harder on the pedals, maybe wear himself out, maybe give up saying “well, they just don’t want me to use this stupid thing! They should just make it work!” But if he’s smart, he’ll overcome his fear of possibly damaging the bike from making changes from the default settings and will start moving the gear levers to see what happens. And it’s through that defiant act of making a small change to notice any big benefits that he eventually learns his bicycle and finds it his most useful tool for getting where he wants to go.

That is hacking.