Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

Thinking Right

Dear Reader,

Thank you for being here. For today, and for all days, this is my wish for you.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 12, 2017 12:18 AM |  Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Welcome to the 15th Year of the 21st Century

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 1, 2015 12:29 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Two for Today


I'm working on something rather extensive for, maybe, tomorrow. In the meantime, you'll want to read the two following essays by Sippican and The Doctor, two writers who are consistently excellent.

Sippican Cottage: Big Mistake

Long after all his help was mold, he'd still descend the stairs like some baron. You'd have to wait there like a peon, hat in hand. Hat in hand wasn't just an expression to him. If he came down and you had a hat on your head in his lobby, he'd turn right around without speaking. When he had a maid or something still left to smooth it over, you had a chance to get at him again. Now, forget it....

The Doctor: Truth & Consequences

We live in an age where the notion of truth, of absolutes which transcend the individual and society, is increasingly under assault. Ours is an age of radical individualism, wherein man alone becomes the sole arbiter of what is right or wrong, where moral relativism reigns, where postmodernism trades absolute truth for “narratives”, which vary from individual to individual, culture to culture, and age to age.

Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 27, 2009 11:35 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Human Achievement Hour to Light Up the Dark Earth Hour

lighttime.jpgWorried that you won't have anything to do during this coming Saturday's "Earth Hour" except turn on every light in your house, pee into the sea to raise the level of the oceans, hunt down and eat every endangered species within ten miles, slash bicycle tires, and burn a half-ton of coal on your front lawn? Take heart, because now there's a new holiday just for you. CEI Announces "€œHuman Achievement Hour"€ to Coincide with "€œEarth Hour"

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 23, 2009 6:11 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
BREAKING! Obama Names Bill Clinton to Presidential Post

BREAKING! Obama Names Bill Clinton to Presidential Post
WASHINGTON DC - Ending weeks of speculation and rumors, President-Elect Barack Obama today named Bill Clinton to join his incoming administration as President of the United States, where he will head the federal government's executive branch.
"I am pleased that Bill Clinton has agreed to come out of retirement to head up this crucial post in my administration," said Obama. "He brings a lifetime of previous executive experience as Governor of Arkansas and President of the United States, and has worked closely with most of the members of my Cabinet." - iowahawk: Obama Names Bill Clinton to Presidential Post

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 24, 2008 4:43 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The audacity of victory. You have to want it.

Obvious to those whose minds are not colonized:

There is no way to end a war but through victory or defeat. Defeat is embraced through various forms of nuanced language, such as "end it," "honorable withdrawal" and "redeploy." Victory requires no such trickery or vocabulary. Victory is victory.... There are many who deserve credit for the successful strategy that has brought victory in Iraq (one which must, naturally, be maintained and preserved), such as General David Petraeus, Fred Kagan, Jack Keane, Aussie David Kilcullen, Dr. Mary Habeck, and the list could go on to include every man and woman in and out of uniform who contributed and sacrificed. But the fact remains that only President George W. Bush made or would have made the command decision he made.  Only President George W. Bush, derided and vilified, had the conviction and determination to allow a path to victory when nearly everyone else had written Iraq -- and her people -- off to defeat.  Call it "The Audacity of Victory." - The Tank on National Review Online

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 18, 2008 2:09 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And You Can Take That to the Bank

wolfobank.jpg    bonobank.jpg
Onward and upward in DC vs. Back to the Streets with No Name

FILE UNDER: "How to make your enemies froth at the mouth, set their hair on fire, and run from the room screaming 'I got the fear!' "

President Bush said Wednesday that Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is his choice to be president of the World Bank.
-- Bush to pick Wolfowitz for World BanK

Note: Certainly seems to be working at the Democratic Underground Forums.     Screams and flames currently number 140 and are rising faster than you can refresh the screen.

Update: As of post time, Bono and the Los Angeles Times, were in rehab and unavailable for comment.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 16, 2005 10:15 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Blogging from Sun Not Dangerous

TIM BRAY, FROM SUN, HAS BEEN GIVING INTERVIEWS to journalists of late on the "dangers" of blogging from work. His question @ ongoing -- It's Not Dangerous is:

Why? Uh, why is the mainstream press so incredibly interested in this people-fired-for-blogging story? Is this happening to a lot of people? No. Are a lot of people blogging? Yes. Has it happened to anyone senior enough to impact the company involved? No. Are senior people blogging? Yes.

If I were cynical and paranoid, I'd suspect that the media running these stories were frightened of something.

Hummm, could be. Could just be.

Bray doesn't feel the crushing oppression of blogging from work at all. In reaction he supplies us with this handy list that bears thinking about on all levels.

Ten Reasons Why Blogging is Good For Your Career

  1. You have to get noticed to get promoted.

  2. You have to get noticed to get hired.

  3. It really impresses people when you say "Oh, I've written about that, just google for XXX and I'm on the top page" or "Oh, just google my name."

  4. No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating. The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing. Blogging is good practice.

  5. Bloggers are better-informed than non-bloggers. Knowing more is a career advantage.

  6. Knowing more also means you're more likely to hear about interesting jobs coming open.

  7. Networking is good for your career. Blogging is a good way to meet people.

  8. If you're an engineer, blogging puts you in intimate contact with a worse-is-better 80/20 success story. Understanding this mode of technology adoption can only help you.

  9. If you're in marketing, you'll need to understand how its rules are changing as a result of the current whirlwind, which nobody does, but bloggers are at least somewhat less baffled.

  10. It's a lot harder to fire someone who has a public voice, because it will be noticed.

Print out that tenth reason and post it on your refrigerator. Then post more on your blog.
Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 13, 2005 12:54 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Lateral Un-Thinking: New Brain Drain Discovered

Michael Totten observes in They Ain’t Studying War No More: "The fewer intellectuals there are on the left who study military history and strategy, the less likely any otherwise left-minded person who is interested in such things will want or be able to work with or for liberals and Democrats. What has been happening is a nation-wide brain-drain from the left to the right – at least in certain areas. "

(Via IP .)

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 14, 2004 8:18 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Lateral Un-Thinking: New Brain Drain Discovered

Michael Totten observes in They Ain’t Studying War No More: "The fewer intellectuals there are on the left who study military history and strategy, the less likely any otherwise left-minded person who is interested in such things will want or be able to work with or for liberals and Democrats. What has been happening is a nation-wide brain-drain from the left to the right – at least in certain areas. "

(Via IP .)

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 14, 2004 8:18 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Technoblatherism Redux

On the Recurring Plague of the Technocrits, the Global Swarming of the Internet, and the Flaming Ozone Holes of the Blogsphere

NOTE: When I initially wrote this response to one of the endless Technology-As-Messiah manifestos that polluted the Net in the boom-boom days of the dot.bomb bubble, I had assumed that the then looming blow-out would put paid to the mouthbreathers who then spewed their gospel on the rubber-tofu circuit of conferences and seminars. Of course, I was wrong.

I failed to take into account that these perverted purveyors of pap had no second careers lined up and were indeed members of the hard-core unemployable. (Which is probably why so many have failed to see any improvement in their personal economies of late.) I did not foresee that their bodies would no be exposed to the elements and recycled by roaches, but that they would simply enter a state of stasis until reanimated by foreclosures on their jumbo mortgages, or the need to put their spawn into useless colleges.

With the advent of the GoogleSpasm, they have all returned to life and are again selling the same old spew in the same old bottles but with a few new fonts on the label.

Watching their tsunami of crapola again infest the Net, it seems appropriate to return to this essay and update it just a tad to acknowledge that the undead spawn of Neuromancer lurch among us again. The Technocrits are back. Time to get out the sledgehammer and sharpen several dozen wooden stakes.

In this besotted age of unremitting technological spasms, we all struggle to maintain our consciousness, social position, phony-baloney jobs and inadequate incomes through rigidly researched and needlessly reiterated blather. The Ponzi schemes that unfold each day in communications and computing can be numbing, yet still personally enriching -- which is why we need to pay attention to who's got the honey pot.

One understandable reaction is to blather: "Are these changes good, bad, or profitable? Should we sell out or buy in?"

The answer is "Both, frequently, and 'SHOW ME THE MONEY!'"

"But how, Uncle Gerard," you ask, "can we buy in?"

My children, nothing could be simpler. Just look around and whip out the cash. You are The Consuming Class, do what you do best. When in doubt, buy the bullshit.

Hypnotic technologies, such as voice mail, Gmail, feature-glutted and overpriced software, fertility drugs, boner pills, Spam, genetic engineering, instant messaging, Gameboy, cruise missiles, online conferencing, Black Tar Heroin and Roofies are making business, dating and life itself more convenient and enjoyable, and many (white) people in San Jose, New York, Boston, Washington, Seattle, Bern and the Grand Cayman Islands healthier, wealthier, and wiser.

So get yours now while the getting is good. With Google on the Big Board, Technocrit is back in play.

Technology is again working hard at trivializing work, atomizing families, and puffing up the economy in utterly predictable ways. Our cool new technologies -- now wireless! with snapshots! -- are also reintroducing every single day age-old forms of muscular tension, wrist damage, sight impairment, mental distraction, goofing off, and spiritual and physical masturbation. You also get useless gadgets you just gotta have to organize a life that has no purpose beyond the next

Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 1, 2004 12:37 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
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