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:
   not a renewable resource
Wednesday, September 10 2008

setting: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, New York

Hurricane Hanna had come up the east coast while we'd been on the west, and there had been a lot of rain. It was enough to overflow one of my 55 gallon rain barrels for the first time. Any water that had pooled in the pit where the greenhouse will be had drained away, though the rain had rinsed the surfaces, making them appear to be much stonier than they'd been.
When I'm writing code, my mind tends to focus exclusively on the moving parts of the algorithms (although I can usually listen to news or other talk-heavy media when I do this). But when I'm down at my greenhouse hole digging, my mind easily gets stuck in obsessive ruts even deeper than the ongoing foundation drainage ditch. I'm not the only person whose stray thoughts turn to the infuriating cadences of Sarah Palin reading a teleprompter.
Today, though, one of my mental ruts concerned the recent meme that John McCain is a liar, a meme that has bubbled to the surface of the media from an unlikely source: The View, an informal chit-chat show populated by a handful of celebrity women. As I was swinging my pick, removing rocks and soil trying to make my drainage ditch slope away from the greenhouse, it occurred to me that McCain had taken a gamble that might not pay off. He'd built a reputation as a maverick who will tell the truth no matter the political price. Now he was running ads and giving speeches consisting of lies connected by platitudes, evidently hoping the inertia of his reputation would carry him through this period. There's nothing more Republican than squandering some accumulated resource as quickly as possible, hoping that by the time the consequences of the squandering are widely realized, you'll be retired on a Caribbean island sipping adult beverages through a tiny straw from a coconut. The problem, though, is that the meme of McCain the liar has now gone mainstream, devaluing all future attacks (even truthful ones). Reputation as a straight talker is not a renewable resource.

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