quicquid status quo

I saw a sentence on a leftish site today, Mother Jones iirc, to the effect that “Power is concentrated in the hands of defenders of the status quo”

This seems almost a tautology. Moments in history where this is not true are rare – they are the true tipping points.

The question is the nature of the status quo and of the power. [more]

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSzK-6wimbc&w=420&h=315]

This blog is moving to http://init.planet3.org Please reset your bookmarks and feeds (http://init.planet3.org/feed/). That site and feed are now live. Updates about the shutdown of this site will appear on this article.

Approximately a million page views (at least 979,918 as I write, not counting feed subscribers) have been served by this Blogger site. [more]

Dennis Ritchie has Died

A less publicly renowned figure in the history of computing than Steve Jobs, but at least equally central in its development, Dennis Ritchie also passed away recently.

Dennis was coauthor of the original UNIX operating system and author of the first implementation of the C language. This is to say, the majority of modern computing builds directly on his work, and most of the rest was directly influenced by it. [more]

A better Way

This blog will be moving soon, to be a sub-blog under Planet3.0 .

Recall that the original purpose here was to examine how scientific communication had failed and what to do about it. Planet3.0 is the result of that thinking. It’s my attempt not only to do something about it, but to encourage others to do something about it as well. [more]

Good News from Texas

It’s still unseasonably warm in Austin, but at least the season has changed. While it remains very dry here, major storms have been quite visible to our north and south of late. So, it seems that October is bringing us a normal summer pattern, and it’s raining a more or less normal amount in Texas. [more]

The Forces of Occupation

Obviously I’ve been wrapped up in Planet3.0 these last couple of weeks. But amazing developments have been afoot.

I am ALMOST as far as this:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI_P3pxze5w]

But it is tempered by something clever somebody said at SXSWEco last week. Something like:

We don’t need a movement chasing down the White House to make them do the right thing. [more]

Planet 3.0

Please check out our new Planet3.0 sustainability news site.

I hope the quality of conversation that has emerged on this site, of which I am very proud, can be transferred and scaled up on Planet3.0. We have in mind a number of experiments to facilitate intelligent and informed conversation, but they need a nucleus of participants. [more]

Why They Are Called Numbers

Those of us who have learned the ability of numbers, properly deployed, to explain and illuminate have always had difficulty understanding where the name “numbers” came from.

All you need to do is attend a typical talk by a concerned, active, engaged but not especially informed person on almost any subject of collective importance. [more]

Is Debt Conserved?

Arthur Smith makes an interesting argument.

I don’t understand what a global overall “borrowing from the future” could mean in any physical sense. Maybe you have something specific in mind?

With monetary debt every loan has two sides: the borrower and the lender. There is a promise that the borrower will pay back the loan – with interest, so that’s a promise of future exchange, a commitment by the borrower to redirect some of his future income to the lender. [more]

Shoulda Toljaso

I don’t know if I’m on record at all about this, but I always thought the Euro was a crummy lousy stupid idea for the Europeans.

My reasoning is that of Jane Jacobs, in Cities and the Wealth of Nations: “Jacobs makes a forceful argument that it is not the nation-state, rather it is the city which is the true player in this worldwide game.” as Wikipedia has it. [more]

The US Government Cannot Help the Climate

Jeff Sachs recommends an informal international mostly academic collaboration to come up with actual options and get around the noise-making. He points out that expectations of leadership from the US government are unrealistic in the near future.

Long (over an hour). Intro lasts about four minutes.

h/t Rust Never Sleeps

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/22237651 w=400&h=225]

JEFF SACHS from HUCE on Vimeo.