Saturday, April 10, 2004

Walking to work was a pleasure today. The sky is a crisp blue. It's just cool enough to be pleasant if you have a good jacket. The streets and sidewalks in Manhattan are mostly quiet this early on a Saturday. Netflix is setting up an Easter egg hunt in the garden out back of my library, and another street fair is setting up. This is the second Saturday in a row that a street fair has set up outside my place of work.

Being at work on a Saturday? That's another issue.

I'm still mulling over the flavor of my blog. I am, by nature, a mean person. So I often wish to say mean things. I am also not rock stupid, and know how such things can interfere with the smooth functioning of life.

So I probably will not.

So, what will I allow myself to write about? I'll probably rotate amongst the following:

Game culture. I am a role playing gamer. I am interested in the various reasons why such a wide variety of people play such cerebral, niche-ey games. I am interested in what makes it a fulfilling hobby.

My life. My wife's excellent web-page, dealing with probably the most exciting event in my life up to date, is here. She hasn't been updating it regularly, and I may post some of her baby-stories. She has all the good ones, being home with her. And, of course, things just happen in New York.

Also, I am tempted to use this space as something of an auto-biography. I forget things, you see. Memory is sort of a pleasantly illuminated fog that I would like to excavate further.

Pop Culture. It's one of the few things I have definite opinions about. I think writing about pop culture is like dream interpretation. It has no direct bearing on how the world works, but seems to indicate a general spirit or mood. It is a barometer of what our culture is feeling.

Pop culture is a fount of creativity that people who believe in "quality entertainment" ignore until it spits something inarguably worthwhile in their face. But if you pay attention, you pretty much see all the precursors as they unfold. You know what's coming.

I hope mostly to say nice things, but: It is so easy, and safe, to take pot-shots at celebrities instead of the things going wrong in your own life, that I may make use of my mean-ness on them.

Books. I love to talk about books. I can do two kinds of writing spontaneously: off the wall fantasy, and reviewing. I never get tired of reviewing.

Maybe politics of some crap like that. Probably not, though. There are smarter people in the world who are more interested than me.

In order to get used to writing in this format, I am going to make myself write every day that I'm at work, at least.

I am Reading : Catapult, by Jim Paul, about him building a Catapult in San Francisco with truck parts and boat winches. It reads sort of like a Public Television version of Tool Time. I can see Charlie Kaufman writing a script with Tim Allen. There is interesting history in here.

And I plowed through the March 29th issue of Newsweek yesterday. No, I never read magazines on time. I picked it up for the article on Google. I stayed for the one page summaries on Why Social Security Isn't Doomed and Will's Perils of Protectionism.

I am not generally opposed to Globalism, but have to say I feel oddly at best about this remark by Will: "Higher standards are apt to raise the poorer nations' costs of production, crippling those nations competitiveness. If the standards are not implemented, those nations' exports are punished with sanctions. So for the unions in rich countries, the moralization of trade is win win."

I suspect that without our own unions, the working class wouldn't have been able to retain enough wealth to create a strong, educated middle class, and that without unions free trade is just another pyramid scheme to concentrate wealth.

This is more than I hope to write most days.

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