10 posts categorized "Signs"

Andreessen mission statement for bitcoin in NYTimes

A Broc Romanek tweet this morning gave me the link to this piece:


It's by Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist whose firm includes Chris Dixon, which is investing heavily in developing a bitcoin ecosystem.

I like this piece because it's the first overview I've heard or read that makes an intelligible case for why bitcoin makes a better means of facilitating the many small transactions which make up an economy.

After reading Andreessen's piece, I've decided I want to try participating. I don't think I want to trade in from another currency; I think I'd rather sell a product or service for bitcoin.

Now to go find the QR code app that Andreessen says makes checking out at Target fraud-free.

Andreessen mission statement for bitcoin in NYTimes

Stagecraft in the Obama Google hangout

In the tradition of this blog's attention to the visual language of power (e.g., Zuckerberg, Obama and the Changing Semiotics of the Press Conference), here is a collage of screenshots from the Valentine's Day Google hangout with President Obama.

Collage 4 Google Hangout POTUS

The President is very good at this. If the framing, lighting, and over-the-shoulder shots (not pictured; and my webcam doesn't have this feature) must be credited to the show's producer, Obama himself knows how to fill the frame with his physicality.

A call for reflection

A letter from MIT's president is getting a lot of attention this morning, as it should.

L. Rafael Reif's expression of sorrow was coupled with an announcement that the university would examine itself:

"I will not attempt to summarize here the complex events of the past two years. Now is a time for everyone involved to reflect on their actions, and that includes all of us at MIT. I have asked Professor Hal Abelson to lead a thorough analysis of MIT's involvement from the time that we first perceived unusual activity on our network in fall 2010 up to the present. I have asked that this analysis describe the options MIT had and the decisions MIT made, in order to understand and to learn from the actions MIT took. I will share the report with the MIT community when I receive it."

Here's the whole letter:

Proper Hamburger

Spent yesterday in London learning English usage.

Much of it prescriptive:

  • "Do not alight" (don't get off here)
  • "No fly-tipping" (no dumping)
  • "No fouling" (scoop up after your dog)

Note to self: do not confuse a "lie-by" with a "slip road."

Jun 16, 2012

The Accelerating Near-Future

Exchanging mail with a good friend yesterday, about the NY Times article revealing how development and deployment of the Stuxnet virus was overseen by President Obama, I made the remark that, from current novels of the near future, it had seemed like cyber warfare at that level might have been another decade or so away.

Stuxnet baloonHe replied, yes, but if the near future is going to accelerate on us like that, it might also bring Google's self-driving cars, SpaceX success.

And why not add plentiful, self-renewing energy sources!

I'm reminded again of the opening lines of a Mark Strand poem, "Nobody sees it happening, but the architecture of our time / Is becoming the architecture of the next time. . . ."

Photo: Eugene Kaspersky / Flickr.

Austin 6th St

I'm in Austin, Texas, for the Angel Capital Association 2012 Summit.

Here is a collage of some pics I took on a walk up 6th Street last night. Just taking things in, from the sidewalk.

Collage 6th St

Comments, clockwise from top left:

  1. There were probably a dozen bars like this on East 6th. A few were being reconfigured in one way or another, perhaps taking advantage of a Monday to prepare for SXSW crowds?
  2. I don't know why I am so drawn to Barcelona chairs. These in the lobby of an office building housing Austin Ventures and the Akin Gump law firm.
  3. This is an eatery called Hoffbrau that serves five cuts of steak and not much else. I may have to go back there for lunch.
  4. This last pic, the sign tells the story.

Two roads in a wood

A couple of my professors from college on the East Coast are in town for the MLA (Modern Language Association) conference this week. My girlfriend and I are getting together with them over the weekend and I'm looking forward to that.

They are world travelers. What's more, their travels incorporate original research on English, German and South African writers, and visits with intellectuals they've befriended far and wide. They live a rich life.

Their presence in Seattle prompted me to do something yesterday I wouldn't have otherwise (and that I haven't revealed to them). I checked out the conference schedule, found a short list of sessions open to the general public, and wandered over to the hosting hotel - just across the street from my law firm's downtown office - to attend one.

Before I find the right ballroom, permit me to remark that the milling academics in the lobby of this particular booking of the Sheraton differ from the attendees of the startup and tech networking events I frequent.

A gatekeeper waiting at the top of an escalator asked me if I had a badge. With the bravura of a fully tenured professor, or else an asshole lawyer, I said I was there for a public session and demanded he point out the way.


The session was about "literary" language. Four professors delivered prepared remarks, and then professors from the audience asked questions disguised as monologues of their own. If I had had my eyes closed, I might have thought the academics were talking past each other. But body language suggested they were regarding one another and that they all felt they belonged.

A road not taken!

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