The Date as Fiction

The next time you wake from a long nap in a strange place and are told it is thousands of years earlier or later than you’d expect, it will most likely, and most unfortunately, not be thanks to time travel.  That is, unless you’re flexible enough to qualify the use of a different calendar as such, in which case, go wild…

[Chart from the 2012 Wikipedia entry]

Ask the I Ching: Do Exercise Programs Help Children Stay Fit?

Ancient oracles have such an excellent sense of humor.  When asked about the New York Times article, Do Exercise Programs Help Children Stay Fit?, the I Ching simply replied…

The message here is for the adults of course.  And the adults understand too, though without quite getting it.

“Kids naturally love to run around and play,” Dr. Booth said. “But they’re just not doing it as much now. And we don’t know why. So what we really need to understand is, what’s happening to our kids that makes them quit wanting to play?”

Unfortunately the doc wants to do something about it, instead of keeping still, as the I Ching suggests.  If children naturally play, it’s something the adults are already doing that is draining the life from these youngsters. The process should be to stop doing stuff to these kids until they get their groove back.  Instead, things like this are being said…

But none of these suggestions will be easy to put in place, Dr. Booth said, or inexpensive, and all will require scientific validation. No one expected, after all, that well-designed exercise interventions for children would prove to be so ineffective.

… Wait…

No one expected, after all, that well-designed exercise interventions for children would prove to be so ineffective.

Really?

Well then here’s some exceptionally good advice for kids: Run!

[Reading via Psychic Science] [Previously on ACM – Ask the I Ching: Has ‘Europe’ Failed?]

An Equilateral Triangularity Employer

When it comes to art based research, it helps to have a conceptual focus to guide your exploration.  For Ape Con Myth, it’s the words Ape Con Myth themselves that encapsulate everything you need to know about Ape Con Myth.

Over at Triangulation Blog, however, the world revolves around our pointy friend, the triangle.  And while you should head on over to their site for the latest in new media art, we recommend stopping by Interactive Triangulation first to really get your head around through the triangle, so to speak…

[Interactive Triangulation]

Ask the I Ching: Has ‘Europe’ Failed?

To get another opinion on the question posed in the New York Times Op-Ed, Has ‘Europe’ Failed?, which discusses the ethnic conflicts undermining an already shaky European Union, we turned to the I Ching for comment and found general agreement…

The first hexagram, Possession in Great Measure (from the Wilhelm translation), is one of success and even with the changing lines there is a clear guide to maintaining good fortune.

…there are many difficulties to overcome. It is only by remaining conscious of these difficulties that one can keep inwardly free of possible arrogance and wastefulness, and thus in principle overcome all cause for blame.

…benevolence alone is not sufficient at the time of Possession in Great Measure. For insolence might begin to spread. Insolence must be kept in bounds by dignity, then good fortune is assured.

If ‘Europe’ hasn’t failed yet, the second hexagram, Seduction (or Coming to Meet), marks an “unfavorable and dangerous situation” in which failure is suddenly an option.  While the Daniels’ translation bids the EU to “recognise that primitive forces and desires are driving the situation”, the implication seems to be that if everyone would just be sensible for a moment, everything would be alright.

Might as well cross our fingers too…

[Reading via Psychic Science] [Previously on ACM – Ask the I Ching: Should We Break Up the Big Banks?]

This Waste of Time Brought to You by Connecticut

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The good news is Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) is not running for re-election this year.

The bad news is he is still a senator until then.

The worst news is that he is about to waste a couple minutes of your time and effort so that we avoid him hurting the country before he leaves.  After not getting support for his CSA2012 bill in February, Joe is back with the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and everyone concerned about your rights and privacy is concerned about this new bill.

That’s why Fight for the Future is back with a new site at DoYouHaveASecret.org to walk you through why you should and how you can take action…

(click image to launch the presentation)

Or perhaps EFF‘s video on the subject is more your speed…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o0lRyGK2bU]

They’ve made it so easy for you to get involved you can do so right here, right now…

And last but far from least, the ACLU has more info to share, including what you need to know about the Franken-Paul pro-privacy amendment.

Okay, get to it.  The more time we spend putting out fires, the less time we spend building.  And Connecticut, you owe us (more than) one.

Ask the I Ching: Should We Break Up the Big Banks?

Former Citigroup CEO Sanford “Sandy” Weill has ruffled some feathers by suggesting that we should break up the big banks, separating investment banking from commercial banking as was the law under the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act.  It’s definitely an interesting idea coming from “The Shatterer of Glass-Steagall,” particularly since he didn’t agree in 2010 when his former co-CEO at Citi, John Reed, apologized for his part in taking down the act.

Plenty of people are going to weigh in on the subject now, but how about we ask a source that hasn’t been a player in tanking the world economy?

Enter the I Ching…

The adornments must be stripped away.  Sounds a little bit like something you’d expect to hear from an ancient oracle, but that’s what it is.

The situation has been about appearances.  Bigger was thought to be better and so many banks became four.  But there is no too big to fail.  The bigger they come, the harder they fall.  That’s general policy.

Substance is more important than packaging.  If only the banks had consulted the I Ching before slicing and dicing all those mortgages.  And before they turned from stodgy suits into wild gamblers.  It took pushing us to the edge to do it, but trust in these institutions has faded.

Strip away the dead wood.  Perhaps it will be the Safe, Accountable, Fair and Efficient (SAFE) Banking Act that reigns in leverage and places a cap on how big these dead trees can be.

Rely on our own simple efforts.  Like a few other industries, trust is flowing to local alternatives where profit and expansion aren’t the primary concerns.

Or at least that’s one interpretation.  You could read more about the two hexagrams above with the Wilhelm translation to dive further into this reading or check back with the I Ching to see what it thinks today.

[I Ching reading via Psychic Science, Trust charts from the Chicago Booth | Kellogg School’s Financial Trust Index]

Maiden, North Carolina: “a town with a future” (and a past)

“When two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object of inquiry, we must always pay strict attention.” – Special Agent Dale Cooper

Our object of inquiry in this case is Maiden, NC

The Question:  Why did “The Biggest Little Football Town in the World”, population 3,310, make the news two days in a row this week?

Item #1 came from the Huffington Post with the disturbing headline, Charles L. Worley, North Carolina Pastor: Put Gays And Lesbians In Electrified Pen To Kill Them Off, and this equally disturbing video…

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2n7vSPwhSU&w=560&h=315]

Then, as if beckoned from the other end of the universe, item #2 appeared in Wired under the title, IBM Outlaws Siri, Worried She Has Loose Lips.  The story relates how IBM has banned the iPhone’s voice-activated assistant from its offices for fear their employees’ queries might be collected and, presumably, betray the company in some way. Where might such a collection exist?  At the data center in Maiden, NC where Siri sends every question you whisper in her ear.

And there you have it.  As a Bokononist would say: busy, busy, busy.  If IBM were a person, it might get called paranoid.  But you know, there are some loose lips in Maiden.

Welcome Back to the Internet!

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Receiving 100% of your search results from Google is a little like getting all your information from the popular kids at school.  The top results might satisfy most needs, but there’s a whole lot of internet out there beyond that first page of links.  Not that anyone wants to go beyond the first page or even the first result.  Thanks to SEO, it can all start to look like the yellow page equivalent of AAA Web Content after a while anyway.

Luckily, a new search engine has come along that gives you a chance to dig deeper without having to bother with a second page.  Meet Million Short, where you can exclude the top 100 – 1,000 – 10,000 – 100,000 – and yes, 1,000,000 web sites from your search results.

There are so many angles to explore.  While leaving out the top million sites is interesting, knocking out the top 100 is… a revolution.  All that effort to get there and now you’ve got a simple tool to completely ignore them.  Take out the top 10,000 and it’s like driving through a city without seeing a single chain store.

Welcome back to the Great Unknown!

[via Hacker News]

Wasted URLs: Free the Animals

What makes for a wasted URL?  It depends on the person and the site, particularly what that person expects to see when they type the URL in and press return.

Consider, if you will, animal names. What do you think is on Dog or Cat.com? What would you want to see on Monkey.com?  Would you want pictures and information on the animal?  Would a company branding themselves or a product make the grade?

To explore these questions and more, Ape Con Myth surveyed 144 animal sites.  Here’s what was found…

The State of .Com Animal URLs in 2012

PARKED

Parked domains are a common sight online and it is no different for the animals. Roughly a fifth of the sites in the sample group proved to be nothing more than a bunch of paid advertising links. If you’re lucky, there’s a picture. If you’re really lucky, it’s a picture of the animal, but don’t expect much. In addition to our friends below, other animals in this sad group include the Boar, Hamster, Hippopotamus, Hornet, Jackal, Koala, Mouse, Otter, Squid, and Wildebeest.

Crow.com Moose.com Pig.com Snail.com

 

PARKED WITH PRETENSE

Next comes the parked ads and links that seem like they are almost trying. For Chicken, you’re promised oven baked chicken recipes. The beauty of the Swan is channeled for plastic surgery. Turkey is ready to book your hotel in Istanbul.  And Donkey.com wants you to know it is “Your Site For Buying A Donkey”. Good luck navigating towards those goals however, as search results often lead to more search results. If you get nervous about your privacy searching for things on Google, see what your gut thinks when you click a link on Chimpanzee, Elk, Mosquito, Porcupine, Shrew, Spider and the ever-loved Stinkbug.

Chicken.com Donkey.com Swan.com Turkey.com

 

“THE LEADING SITE”

Naturally someone was eventually going to smell a business plan in these animal droppings, which was the case with Name Administration Inc. of the Cayman Islands. They go big, touting themselves as “The Leading Cow/Hippo/Mink/Partridge/Snake Site on the Net”, despite not following through with the correct animal pictures nor making much sense of the searches. Nonetheless, they are there to help you find a saddle for your cow, video piano lessons for your partridge, car insurance for your hippo and all the beaver coats money can buy. Meanwhile, each page shows up completely blank with Ad Blocker Plus on.

Cow.com Hippo.com Mink.com Partridge.com

 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Leaving behind the parking lot, we enter the construction site. Websites don’t write themselves after all. It takes a lot of time and care to create a good site. To make Whale.com as large and majestic as its namesake, even more so. In the meantime? Blue. Blue since 2007! What’s the word on Wolf? The countdown says 272 days to go! Crab has only been waiting a year, but looks like it will be a conceptual improvement from its previous life as the home of Charm Net ISP out of Baltimore. You’ll also have to wait in anticipation for Anteater, Antelope, Llama and Reindeer as they too are coming soon…

Antelope.com Crab.com Whale.com Wolf.com

But something, even a background color, is better than nothing, which is exactly what you get with Aardvark, Baboon, Butterfly, Gerbil and Rat.

 

Read the rest…

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