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Impeach Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause. He's obviously doing it. Nothing could be clearing grounds for impeachment than violating the Constitution. It's hardly a technicality. Simple to prove. An Congress doesn't need a court to approve its standing.

I was 14 years old in 1969, at summer camp, on a trip to the Newport Folk Festival, when the moon landing happened. I remember being part of a huge group of people huddled in front of a VW minibus with a small B&W TV on top, and somehow we all saw the landing. Goosebumps.

I like to buy domains even if I don't know what to do with them.

I can't believe I agree with Thomas Friedman. We ought to pick the most boring and coherent presidential candidate -- the most plain and uncontroversial person on the stage. Nominate him or her, and then get ready to fight. I agree with Friedman, the things they agreed to in the debate were insane. They handed the election to Trump. We need to grab it back. My two picks: Klobuchar or Inslee.

Amy Klobuchar gets it. Trump is funny. He's a caricature, a funny impersonation of a strong man. People who love him think he's hilarious. Entertaining. I've been saying this since 2016. If you want to counter-program the rallies, which the Democrats, if they had an ounce of ambition, would have done from the start, what you need are old-style standup comedians. Unfortunately the good ones are dead. Joan Rivers (who liked Trump, she was a real asshole, she didn't just play one on TV) or Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield, George Carlin. But there must be others. Get Bill Hader to do a Joan Rivers impersonation. Or Kate McKinnon. Then you can leave the Democratic nominee to talk about health care, securing the borders, the basic values of America. Let Trump compete with the comedians, which is appropriate because that's what he is.

I am having an allergic reaction to the idea that those monsters at Trump rallies are Americans. I desperately want to join with others to say that the America I was born in doesn't belong to any one race or religion. I think every few generations we have to renew this very basic idea, that the United States is a union, out of many, one.

Everything's okay, I'm busy with house projects this week, so am mostly posting my thoughts to Twitter. I know it's better to post them here. Hopefully I'll be near a computer more in the coming days. ??

I've had contractors and workers coming through my house this week, lots of them. Where I live there's no cell service, so the ones who had smart phones could hook through my wifi. But a few of them didn't have phones and many of the rest, esp ones over 40, couldn't set up a new wifi access point. (I set it up for them.) Can you imagine doing a job that requires you to be away from the office most of every day without the ability to communicate? A reminder that not everyone is on the net, even in the US, in 2019.

You want to understand how trolling works? John Dvorak, a famous tech columnist trolled Mac users in the 90s, with great success. In this video, he explains, enthusiastically, how he did it.

I want filters on Twitter that remove all messages from well-intentioned people expressing their outrage about trolls. After so much damage has been caused by trolls, at this point they are insane and suicidal. They have become second-order trolls.

When you let Trump control the conversation, you lose.

Manhattan blackouts

Speaking of NYC blackouts, there was a blackout in Manhattan, below 23rd St, in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy. I was living in the 50s at the time, so was unaffected. We never lost power. I walked downtown to see what it was like. It felt post-apocalyptic, like visiting New Orleans after Katrina. The weirdest thing was walking north on Broadway in the dark, and seeing Times Square in the distance, fully lit. How like New York, I thought. It's a place of business first. The show must go on. But how would it feel to be living in the blacked-out part realizing that a few blocks to the north, life was going on, as if nothing happened.

With all the progress being made in machine learning it's a wonder that the quality of phone calls is so bad. My brain can do the filtering to compensate for weak signals and even interpolate short outages. But it's a strain. Isn't this something software can help us with??

On June 28, I uploaded a copy of the RSS 2.0 spec source, from a local archive. Now I have a snapshot of the official published spec.

In 1995 I wrote "Software is a process, it's never finished, it's always evolving. That's its nature. We know our software sucks. But it's shipping! Next time we'll do better, but even then it will be shitty. The only software that's perfect is one you're dreaming about. Real software crashes, loses data, is hard to learn and hard to use. But it's a process. We'll make it less shitty. Just watch!" So it occurred to me that the Beatles song Getting Better would be a great song to teach computer science students. Sing it before every class. "Getting so much better all the time."

My home heating system needs work, so I went to the website for the heating guy, and had a choice of contacting them by phone or through a web form. I went with the form. I was impressed with how well-designed it was, except it required an "evening phone" which is the same as my day phone, i.e. my iPhone. Probably shouldn't even ask for two phones these days, it's kind of an obsolete concept. Anyway, my gripe is this. After carefully composing the message, I spaced out on copying it to the clipboard, a time-honored defense against buggy software, it just cleared the form after I clicked the Send button, which was a WTF moment for me. Much better would be to confirm that the mail was sent, both on-screen and via an email. Now I'm in a place where I don't know if the email was sent, certainly don't want to re-write the message, and in case the other one was sent, it'll look like I'm crazy for sending the same message twice, but with different words. Show empathy for the user, and confirm so they can relax.

Where do you go to say Twitter is down?

A great summary of what remains of Carmelo Anthony's career.

1969 was incredible. The moon landing, Woodstock and the Mets win the World Series.

Someone asked where my GitHub repos are.

I should talk with Anton Zuiker more often. Today he showed me a project he's doing at Duke University to create podcasts for their community which is very expansive to include staff and the patients. It's called Voices of Duke Health. What an incredible project. They already have 16 episodes.

Pro tip: Before you send an email, read it, and ask yourself if the person you're sending it to will understand.

Taco Bell is doing innovative marketing, not selling -- trying to nudge its brand upscale, and for me, it works. It's surprising, I always thought of TB as cheap fast food. I liked their ads. Two tacos for 99 cents. But this new approach is more effective imho than just advertising.

A memorable episode of the original Star Trek where they encounter the last two survivors of a species, that were still at war with each other over racial hatred. It was set up so you could see how ridiculous their hatred was.

Kurt Vonnegut was right

I came up with a title for my book of memories on my bike ride. I found a simple idea that ties all my observations together. It goes like this.

Kurt Vonnegut was right.

That's it. If you read Sirens of Titan you'll know what I mean. The ending. And pretty much every other book he wrote, all were so funny because the truth is funny, that is if you believe what Vonnegut said which I do.

A media hack is different from a software hack. Podcasting is a media hack. Sure, there was a little software needed to get the bootstrap going. But the innovation was the combination of HTTP, MP3 and RSS. It's like a S'more, which is a "cookie hack."

As a paying user of Dropbox who uses the web interface rarely, when I need to restore a file that's damaged, I don't appreciate them trying to make Dropbox into a lot more than it is, and thus making it hard to quickly find what I need to get my server back online.

I finished The Power Broker, and there's absolutely no mention of Jane Jacobs in the story. He told the story of the East Tremont neighborhood in the Bronx that was wiped out by the Cross Bronx Expressway, I thought that was the prelude to the Lower Manhattan Expressway, but nothing, zip, as if it never happened.


If I ran Twitter, I'd create a developer toolkit for creating setups like screen2.io. You'd specify a YouTube video. The chat part of the interface would just be Twitter, so your Twitter followers would read what you're saying (or not, it would be a preference). Now I'd have a way to watch live video feeds from YouTube in Twitter. And of course the "developers" wouldn't be super techie devs. They would be people who are good discussion leaders, and people who are good at keeping spammers out. You could share revenue with them to make it really grow. You could call it twittertube.

Journalism and jury duty. I agreed strongly with what Emily Bell said here. Jury duty is a powerful idea, and it works. It's the basis for our justice system. I've written about jury duty many times, in 2017, 2013, 2008, and 1996. (The last piece is probably the best, I did it for Wired as well as my blog.)

Observation. If you're going to use a CDN that doesn't let you overlay your own domain name, and your code is coming from an S3 bucket, it's much easier to use s3.amazonaws.com and no less independent of another entity. I imagine this is okay with Amazon because it's lock-in. But this is a river that works over HTTPS, the URL Is uglier than shit, but it works. It's an important milestone because my users have legit reasons to want to make rivers accessible via HTTPS.

Ever notice that mostly what people post on Twitter is designed to get attention for the author. I think that's due to the award incentive of the system. Flow == more followers == power and prestige. I wonder if there's a way to reward people based on the depth and originality of ideas they post, or RT. Zero points for repeating a talking point from a random hack on Meet The Press. Huge points for an idea that makes people want to consume less.

It's funny how Microsoft's old slogan makes so much more sense today than when they were using it. Where do you want to go today? Back then the computer world didn't really have the concepts of places to go. But after the net, that's what we all do all the time, go places.

God bless William Barr. ??

Self-sovereign howto?

I wonder if anyone has written a *simple* developer flow for self sovereign identity.

Use-case: I have a web app. I currently use Twitter for identity.

Could self-sovereign be plugged in as a replacement for Twitter

Would it be more or less complicated for developer? User?

New header graphic, American pride.

What a great win. Let's keep that energy flowing.

I gave $100 to Marianne Williamson for president. She has a message that's totally worth listening to. We love America. We're not scared of the world, we lead the world. If we want a place in America for everyone, we need an expansive view of who we are and what our abilities.

I gave up on Designated Survivor, I even tried skipping ahead to the third (Netflix) season, where they say the f-word and there are naked butts, but it's just like House of Cards, idiotic. But the set for the Oval Office is much better. After looking through HBO, I landed on The Affair on Showtime. Finally something with an adult plot, and HBO style. One of the stars is McNulty from The WIre and his asshole father-in-law is the police chief who tormented McNulty. And the sex is not gratuitous, it's the plot. Montauk is very photogenic as is McNulty's lover. It got high ratings, I'm in episode 3 of season one and there are four seasons, so I'm hopeful.

Idea. They should only play the national anthem at the end of a match, and only the anthem of the winning country. That way they have something of honor to play for, and we only have to listen to one anthem.

The earth shook in the NBA last night and the pieces are now in motion. If you want to learn how the league works, there's no time like now, it's all out in the open and the columnists are writing excellent stuff. Here are some links.

Interesting piece says the current Democratic leadership is haunted by Reagan. Here's what I think happened. Nixon. Watergate. The country needed to cleanse itself so it elected a Mr Rogers type, Jimmy Carter, who we knew for sure wouldn't do the nasty stuff Nixon was doing. He came into DC thinking he could change things, instead DC ignored him, and everyone could see it/feel it, and then the hostage crisis, the failed rescue, America was mostly over Nixon and we wanted to kick ass and Reagan came along and said Let's Kick Ass and people looked at Carter, talking about a great national malaise, and there were gas lines, and the world was pushing us around so we said Fuck yeah. So the Repubs found something that worked, and the Dems never caught on. So maybe AOC et al are right, the Repubs are buffoons and criminals, and everyone knows it, including most voters, so what a Democrat has to do is say we kick ass, but we're a team and we have to work together. I don't know, it could work. I think the most convincing character running for president is Jay Inslee, believe or not. And if we could get Gavin Newsom to run, he's the closest we have to a Democratic Reagan.

My holiday weekend binge is turning out to be Designated Survivor. It's very network-TV, but Kiefer Sutherland keeps it kind of interesting. I hope it might break out and become excellent. Still in season 1.

Facebook not only added simple styles to their post editor, they also now have numbered items. If you enter a number followed by a period it infers that you're entering a numbered item list. Here's a screen shot of a post I just added there. Please just add links and then let's work on cross-posting and we're on the road to rebooting the open web.

The future is ours

I was born in 1955. I am 64 years old. When I go to the doctor now I ask about Medicare. Things change when you pass 60, really mind-bending things. For example, I'm legally unemployable starting next year. Most companies and governments require their employees to retire at 65. At a practical level I am already unemployable. They certainly aren't hiring many people at 64.

Except here's the thing young folk can't understand until they actually live this. There's this bewildering feeling of When The Fuck Did This Happen and Why? I know you intellectualize it, I did. You realize "Life is short" but really believe me, you have no idea until you look back on all those years and think -- really? That's it? It's a cliche, but it's deep. And if you think about these things, as I do, always have, you realize the incredible wisdom of the phrase Live In The Moment. You can hear the words, but until you get there on your own path, they really are just words.

Live In The Moment is true like Breathe the Air or Drink the Water. Living only happens in the moment. There is no life in the past or future, only the now. You can get lessons from the past, and lessons are important, for sure -- but no actual living happens there.

Okay so why is this important.

When we talk about the important stuff, the stuff of the future, the stuff we are sure is coming -- the Climate Crisis as the prime example, our discussion wanders into the past or future too quickly. As an old person, one who isn't actually ready for that, I think about the future, a lot. Yet at some level, the thought does occur to me that it is not my future. But that mainly comes up when I am silenced or put down because of age. In my heart the future is as much mine as it is some arrogant naive and clueless 30-something person. Yes I'm angry at being ignored or swept aside.

They are also wrong when they make sweeping statements about the bad stuff my generation did. It goes the other way too. My generation gave you an open networking system of immense power. The millennial generation took that wonder of human ingenuity, discipline, cooperation and idealism and turned it into Facebook. Zuck was born in 1984. Your generation owns him, not mine. As a hippie boomer I am proud of what we've done.

One more thing, there were all kinds of boomers. People who lived in the deep south dreamed of proms and went to frat parties (btw I went to college with them) and wanted comfortable suburban lives, very much unlike hippies. There were working class Republicans, part of Nixon's Silent Majority. People who voted for Nixon, were of course not hippies. There were the hard hats and the National Guards who killed the students at Kent State. There was an antiwar movment but there was also a Love It Or Leave It movement. There was a draft too. Sure there were a million people at Woodstock. But this is a big country. Hippies were then, as they are now, a small minority, they were certainly not a whole generation.

Anyway, here's a response to young people of 2019. Your life is finite and very short. In a few moments you'll be old. Imho the future isn't yours any more than it's mine, not at a species or evolution level. You are just a representative of the future, you are not an embodiment of it. We are contemporaries. You are, in this moment, no more a representative of the future than I am.

Strange sounds

There's this strange (to me) sound all through the night, and last night at around 3AM, I decided to record it.

A few notes first.

  1. When I went outside to record it I realized there were lots of animals making this sound. They were all over the place. In bed it seemed there was just one.
  2. You may have to turn up the volume. It was very quiet.
  3. You will also hear my breathing. Sorry. Should've held my breath.
  4. No crickets?

Anyway, here's the audio. What is it??

A simulation of America's future?

Speaking of Mariannes. Unbelievable. They are everywhere.

I have another idea for how to bootstrap the impeachment as mere citizens, now. If you're registered as a Democrat, change your registration to independent. That would surely get Nancy Pelosi to pay attention. I bet as soon as it became a thing, even just a few thousand switches, she'd tell Nadler to start the hearings and declare her intent to have a vote on impeachment. It's time to make the Dems feel the risks Trump is taking on behalf of all of us.

There was a time when every woman I met was named Kim. It's happening again, only this time they're all named Maryanne or Marianne or Maryann. There have been four so far. Just got an email from a person working on a project that I'm also working on. Of course, her name is Marianne. My dear departed uncle used to say he was a member of the Church of Non-functional Probabilities. Things would happen to him that could not be predicted by any legit probability distribution. This is an example of a message from god. I was doubting His or Her existence. I don't doubt it now. And further I think my dear uncle in heaven is having a good laugh at his still-living nephew. If you can read this, Ken, I miss you! ??

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