Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   fitted for my new crown
Thursday, April 24 2003
Gretchen alerted me to her dad doing a Google search on her full name, so I did the same to see if there was anything incriminating, and I found something unexpected. Dina had written a story about our Nyalaland safari, and here it was already live on ABCNEWS.COM.

I was back at the dentist today getting fitted for my new crown, which will be made of a platinum-gold alloy and covered with tinted white porcelain. It was amazing how easily the dentist popped off my temporary crown so he could do these things.
After years of coffee, tea, and vodkatea, the color of my teeth was unique enough for the dentist to send me to the actual crown manufacturer for a precise tinting analysis. Luckily this manufacturer had its laboratory nearby in Uptown Kingston. The facilities at the manufacturer were far less comfortable than those at the dentist. I sat on a stiff little chair and held my lips apart with my fingers while some dude with a Mavica digital camera snapped pictures.
Later in the day I was over in Woodstock giving Mary Purdy a crash course in HTML. I don't think there's a field of study with a shallower learning curve. She was delighted with the sudden empowerment, but her interest in the <MARQUEE> tag gave me concerns.

I visualized whole blocks of her resumé sweeping across the screen and it made the gums around my temporary crown throb from the tortures they'd endured while numb.

Now that Americans have had their easy victory in Iraq and can run around beating their chests and flying plastic car flags for having won, their meager attentions spans are beginning to lead them elsewhere. I, meanwhile, continue to pay close attention. I'm very interested to see how this administration, burdened by gut-based policy analysis and faith-based diplomatic ineptitude, will deal with the rise of Shia fundamentalism in a country they ostensibly want to "democratize." Having waged and won war on the cheap, we've managed to replace a harsh but effective police state with a dangerous power vacuum, and it seems many Iraqis are pining for the good old days under Saddam's boot. Those who aren't are looking forward to a more deliciously primitive solution, the reign of Sharia law. They'd like to see people paying for their crimes with public amputations, lashings, and beheadings. They have little interest in such American ideas as freedom of religion, freedom of the press, or (for that matter) the repeal of taxes on dividends.
After the brief honeymoon period for American troops fades from memory, there will be a growing consensus among the people that the Americans are an occupying force from a distant, infidel land. Anti-American protests will gradually grow larger and more violent, inevitably leading to increasingly vicious suppression. A feedback loop will develop, until Americans find themselves in a quagmire every bit as awful as the one they faced in Vietnam. The lesson there (and in Afghanistan) is that no military, no matter how high-tech and well-funded, can prevail against an occupied people. I anticipate that in the early stages of this conflict our media will do its best to make the case that this uprising is sponsored in some way by Iran, which may indeed be true. The administration may even stage a few bombing runs over Tehran in hopes of strengthening this belief and winning a few more testosterone-based points in opinion polls. But this will only have the effect of strengthening the resistance, both in Iraq and globally. It's difficult to predict at what point this unfolding disaster begins to become a political liability for the administration, particularly given the assistance of a sleepwalking media. At some point, though, history will have to write that the Bush administration's meddling in the Middle East left its libraries and museums in ruins and its government in the hands of religious lunatics.

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