Here we are with another synecdoche of human tragedy packaged as an easily digested public concept called ‘gun violence’. In what way is the word violence, an amoral fact of occurrence, made more culpable and avoidable by its traveling companion the gun? Is the fact of the gun’s existence the very thing that makes this elision meaningful? I tear meat with my teeth many times a week committing dental violence, and the ground dwelling insects that I inadvertently crush in my walking to and fro are subject to heel violence. When I was born, the skull that I am discoursing from now contended in violence with my mother’s body as she gave me birth, and the idol wasting of moments violently draws me from the self that came before into the devouring self that will follow and on unto the ultimate violent disassociation of all my selves from the presence of this violent cosmos. My desire to resist, really my inability to stop resisting, paired with my powerless movements countering inertial change and malleability are both constantly striking a match from the surface of grinding mill wheels, wheels that grind me. Can you blame a man who wants a gun in his hand? You can if you are Clytemnestra. And now we enter the temple of paradox.
after a long hiatus, I am back – called to the bureaucalypse by the warlike clangor of trumpeting bureaucrats as they advance the flag of empire…
A classic Wendy’s commercial from the 80s featured the famous line “Where’s the beef”? That phrase comes to mind when looking at the recent winners of the “Gig Tank” competition recently held in Chattanooga, TN.
The prize was designed to incent the production of applications that could use “the world’s fastest Internet”. Recent advertising by EPB, the Government owned utility that built the network have had us here at Bureaucalypse.org in awe of the new technology that was hinted at in their billboard advertising proclaiming “Fiji Faster, EPB Fiber”. With that kind of buildup – actual teleportation to Fiji made possible by the mind-numbing gigabit per second speed we were sorely disappointed at the actual “inventions” that the “gig tank” came up with.
This is not to take away from the bright young minds that were enticed to live in Chattanooga for the summer and come up with new business ideas in the scheme to promote the collective. While technically smart, these young folks can’t be blamed for not seeing the irony that Chattanooga’s socialist dream was claiming to promote so-called “entrepreneurship”. George Orwell probably would have called Chattanooga’s scheme the “ministry of technology” or “the ministry of free enterprise”. Nonetheless, the prospect of winning $100,000 is an incentive to produce something of value; and indeed I was impressed with some of the ideas; although not a single one of them actually uses a “gig” at the client level.
The winner, “Banyan Group”, won first place with its “collaborative research system”. I can’t help but think of the open source projects such as www.sourceforge.net that have been doing this for decades. There is also the open source project, Seti that has been doing something useless with collaborative research for decades in their tireless search for extra-terrestrials. If you want, you can join the effort, even without a “gig”. See www.seti.org for more information.
I’m still wondering why Chattanooga needs a gig system if it has no clients whose needs press against its limits. Do clients exist who need a gig of speed? Few potential users, if any, require gig. Since Internet speed is controlled by its slowest chokepoint — whether routers or bandwidth or a users Mac or PC — a gig system in the city limits is useless if a client is dealing with a party in Berkeley or Hong Kong. It’s useless if the end user doesn’t have a gig speed system. Even within Chattanooga, a high-end EPB subscriber can’t take advantage of gig speeds within the city unless the other client is also a subscriber at the highest speed level within the city.
The winning student track was much more interesting in my opinion. Their company, “Babel Sushi” does near real-time translation of languages with an audible device. That seems very useful to me and I wish this team much commercial success. Such success depends on their ability to conserve resources and make the system use as little bandwidth as possible; thus being useable in the third world countries as well as urban areas where a translator is needed. This technology reminded me of old Star Trek episodes that would allow Kirk to communicate with all manner of aliens who always were heard in English. Who knows, if the SETI research project actually does find aliens, perhaps “Babel Sushi” will be there to instantly translate the intergalactic language barrier.
Seriously, the young people competing really do have some good ideas. I think if there wasn’t the requirement to promote “the gig” to win the money they would all readily agree that their applications have much better chance of commercial success by using less, not more bandwidth.
In conclusion, I’m disappointed but not surprised that a true gigabit consuming and useful application was not developed. I was looking forward to instantly showing up in Fiji via EPB fiber.
Soon the Gig Tank in Chattanooga will reveal to a select audience the fruits of the prize hunt that has engaged several companies in a race to utilize the apparent potential of leading edge internet speeds. The project has all the appeal of a TV reality show, right down to the room and board offered to those who have relocated to ‘The Gig City’ where their arcane talents once brought into contact with Chattanooga’s blazing intramural internet speeds will change the world in ‘disruptive’ ways, according to Lamp Post. Oddly there is little coming from the twitter feed or web site. Seats at the Read House in Chattanooga for the grand unveiling are by invitation only, which may be a precaution taken in order to forestall the volatility in the stock market once the wonders of the Gig Tank are poured out upon the sleeping world. Even facebook has been mute of late, and so the endearing TV reality show that isn’t one has left us questing for great innovators and disruptors of the past.
Do you suppose they make big money at Comcast? Probably, only you don’t have to pay for it if you don’t want it. EPB is illustrating what happens once you slip on the golden handcuffs of statism. It is bizarre to pay a municipality for the ‘best darned cable TV anywhere’ under the guise of attracting all sorts of innovation. More on that later as we watch the Gig Tank…Read the shocking revelations here…
In grade school we were taught that the ‘New Deal’ and the public works programs of FDR saved the country from ‘The Great Depression’ brought on by the thumb twiddling Calvin Coolidge, who in retrospect looks like a model of true American small government advocacy. As time goes on and we are able to separate the triumphalism surrounding the success of our country in the second part of the ‘Great War’ or what is known as World War 2 from the concurrent end of the depression, we see that perhaps there were more chefs in the kitchen than just FDR. The initial economic success from 1933-37 of the New Deal began to slide and then reverse in 1938 as the country entered a recession once the stimulative effect of government jobs receded. Fortunately, in a strange use of the word ‘fortunate’, the world was plunged again into total war as the corpse of German Hyper Nationalism stirred from its shallow grave to run amok once again, bringing along some gruesome friends in fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. Once most of industrial Europe and the struggling Pacific Rim was devastated, the only manufacturing giant left intact and actually functioning at war induced overdrive was America’s.
Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom —Soren Kierkegaard
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time — Thomas Jefferson
An Anthem for a Time Past
According to our national anthem, we are inhabitants of the ‘Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave’. In the past, all who stood and covered their heart during recitation of this anthem understood at that point that we were a free people because of the exercise of courage, or bravery. In other words, we were the land of the free because we were brave.
In Tennessee’s 3rd congressional district there is a challenge being made against the incumbent, Chuck Fleischmann .
Weston Wamp, son of former congressman Zach Wamp has a very nice introductory video describing his enthusiastic support of “entrepreneurship”. His claims that young entrepreneurs are the answer for a lagging economy is great campaign rhetoric, but a close examination of young Weston’s enthusiastic embrace of Chattanooga’s Government owned network (“GON”) makes this “middle aged” conservative scratch my head and wonder.
Does Weston understand that the Government of Chattanooga has entered into direct competition with Risk Capital? Let me rephrase; does Weston Wamp realize the difference between a government ‘competitor’ and one that uses their own money or investment money?
I’m hoping that Weston truly will grow into a real conservative and that he will abandon the Centralized Planning economic model he seems to so admire in Chattanooga. Take for example this quote from his website about “the issues”.
“…In many ways, Weston represents the entrepreneurial community in Chattanooga and, through his work with Lamp Post, he has seen firsthand the opportunities that start-ups are finding by leveraging the area’s unique technology infrastructure — most notably that the area has access to the world’s fastest internet speeds through “the Gig.”
My big problem with this is that the “most notably” accomplishment is nothing more than the largesse and waste of the public’s money on a Government program. It is NOT the responsibility of Government to provide Cable TV and Internet – even if it is “the fastest in the world”. I remind Mr. Wamp that it is only a Government that would waste public resources on a technology that is not yet in demand. The Government of Chattanooga is not visionary – they are very poor stewards of the public’s money. If there is no risk attached to the spending of money it will result in a bureaucratic spend orgy that will put drunken sailors to shame. Who ultimately pays? Taxpayers and ratepayers. Claiming that this is “entrepreneurship” must have Ronald Reagan, Ayn Rand and Adam Smith rolling over in their graves.
I don’t want young “conservatives” being churned out of a local socialist experiment to expand this recklessness in Washington. I urge Weston to consider joining the Democrat party where his ideas will be more at home with the young leadership there. Hopefully the younger Wamp will eventually mature into a real conservative. Until that time, I urge conservatives to not move him from Chattanooga to Washington.
There is a difference between a leader and a farmer. It has long been the case that the populace of California has been farmed and their votes harvested along with what little remains of their money, while they have been resistant to actual leadership. The style of political farmer that the Californians send to Washington in full view of the rest of the nation presents the dichotomy. A not so long ago parade of the then speaker of the house with a cartoon gavel through her prospective dairy herd accents the perception. She emerged from the farmhouse as if she was out to the back forty to mend some fences and spread the feed. It doesn’t matter that the prize Herefords back on the California ranch have not been studding for years, it is time to breed more tractable stock in the midwest and the east.
A man is in bed with his best friend’s wife when they hear a car in the driveway. The man leaps up in hides in the closet. The husband walks in, goes to hang up his coat and sees his best friend naked in the closet. He says “John, what are you doing here?” John says “Everybody’s got to be somewhere”
Tacoma Click! is the municipal broadband provider in Tacoma Washington that is suing its own municipality over a law outlawing billboards. Click! has been touted as a successful model of municipal broadband in the Pacific Northwest even as projects in Seattle have flamed out in standard fashion. The secret to its longstanding success have been the open access model, that provides bandwidth to local independent ISPs in order to foster a more competitive market among private providers. Apparently there are rumblings of a new plan, that would see Click! expand into service provision as well, offering television and phone. Could it be that once again the municipal model just can’t get enough money to satisfy its bureaucratic thirst?
Now, the citizens of Tacoma, who have enacted a ban on the ‘blight’ of billboards are furious with Click! over their deal with —Clear Channel! — to rent billboard space which is apparently already leased from the city. It is a mind spinning adulterous affair committed by seemingly faithful partner of the people, which chooses to cavort in an illegally acquired deal with a private company, suing the aggrieved ‘spouse’ (the city) when the calumny is noticed. How can you not notice the flagrant violation when it is literally painted on a panel the size of a barn door? Again, the murky world of public/private partnerships is full of moral peril.