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Saturday, April 21, 2001

my grandma died on this day. born january 8, 1921. she married when she was 17 to a man twice her age. raised 7 kids during and after WWII in manila. she cooked pot stickers for me and taught me how to play solitaire. that's about it.

here's something my dad sent me.

I am forwarding to you the email from Dennis and Betty Allen. They were Christian missionaries that went to the Philippines and Hong Kong soon after WWII, and were old friends of the family. Dennis Allen was also my first and second year high school teacher when I attended the Manila Chinese Patriotric School where Grandpa served as principal for over 40 years. They served God faithfully with Victor Broaddus and his wife for many years in that part of the world (they speak fluent Cantonese), and many people's lives were touched by their love, dedication, and sacrifice. They were (and still are) a great influence in my life and I always think of them as "angels" sent by God to help our family recover through some very tumultuous times. They are now in their seventies. I plan to visit them in Indiana and Kentucky sometime later this year. My life has been most blessed because of their love.

April 27, 2001
Dear Godfrey, David, and brothers,
The group with whom we pray here in Salem read together the 71st Psalm in honor of Mrs. Lau Wo Fong, whose passing leaves us with a sense of great loss.  Verse 20 seems so appropriate:
"Thou, who has showed us many and sore troubles, wilt quicken us again,
and wilt bring us up again from the depths of the earth..."
Our paths first crossed in March 1956,  at my initial arrival in Manila in the wee hours of the morning.  Mrs. Lau was among the people waiting to greet me - with sampagita leis, as I remember. She must have been about 39 years old at that time, and already had a family of seven, a challenging  career, and a lot of responsibility in the church.
She had survived a war, and she told me that food was so scarce at times that people were glad to find a rat, and if rice was spilled, every grain would be picked up. She always spoke of these things very matter-of-factly, and never as if she thought of herself as a victim...She never seemed hurried nor distracted. She was a good listener, sensed the crux of a problem and had just the right word of counsel at just the right time.
 During that year and a half before we moved to Hong Kong, she forged a relationship with me that was above superficial differences - "on a higher plain", if you will.  She was always low-key, very discerning, wise, loving and humble.  She made me "one of" the sisters, including me in their activities.  I remember going with her on visitation in a calesa, or a taxi, and I can hear her quiet directions "Yat tsik hui"  or "Tsun yau".  She treated everyone with respect, and spoke with an authority that commanded their respect.  She was fluent in English, but often spoke Chinese to help me learn it. When I put my foot in my mouth! she graciously covered for me:  for example, every Sunday I practised my new sentence in Chinese with a Chinese brother.  One day I said to him, "Nei yau mo sai sun?" I wasn't asking him if he had taken a bath! I was simply practising my new sentence! But Mrs. Lau sensed the inappropriateness of my remark and quickly assured the brother that I had meant to say "Nei yau mo se suen?" (Have you written a letter?)  She saved the day! ...
We remember an excursion to Canlubang, to a sugar plantation  (her brother's, I believe?)....
Mrs. Lau's skill in building relationships was demonstrated not only with me: she had a good relationship with her husband and children; with her students, and with Mrs. Hoh and Annie Kwong, and Mrs. Wong, and Mrs. Seto; and with the Filipino community.
After we moved to Hong Kong in 1957, there was a terrible earthquake, and Ellen and her family were lost so suddenly. I admired the Laus for pursuing the legal implications and seeking accountability from the builders of that building. But nothing could replace the loss.
And then the move to the U. S.A. in mid-life - that, too, she survived triumphantly.  She truly showed broad understanding and flexibility.
Fairly recently when our daughter Carol was living at Travis Air Force Base hear Sacramento, she drove us down to SF to visit Mrs. Lau.  She was feeling the effects of Parkinson's Disease and  other problems, but, perhaps, most of all, the experience of being away from people she could minister to. She was always about helping other people.
And now she has gone from us. I picture her in happy fellowship with Bro.Lau,  and Ellen's family - and Mrs. Hoh, and Annie Kwong, and Mrs. Wong, the mother of the twins, and the matriarch Mrs. Lee, (Lily's mother).   And most of all with the Lord Jesus, whose life she manifested so fully while here.   I hope she will be bumping into  people who have gone on from the church in Hong Kong, and they will be saying, "The Allens?  Oh, yes!"  And that  great cloud of witnesses, leaning over the parapet of heaven, so to speak, will be able to trace the network of faith around the world, and praise the Lord Jesus for what He has done through the ages.
"Thou, who hast showed us many and sore troubles, wilt quicken us again,
And wilt bring us up again from the depths of the earth."
We love you all "for the father's (and mother's!) sake". We grieve the loss of a great woman.  Our hearts will be with you tomorrow - and always.                   Betty and Dennis 

also here's something my uncle wrote when my grandpa died.

1905 - 1993

Chi-Tien Liu was a common, ordinary man who lived an uncommon extraordinary life, in an uncommon extraordinary times, in an uncommon extraordinary world. He was also my father.

Born on March 19, 1905, in the coastal village of Hoy Yin, Toishan County, Guangdong Province, China, Mr. Liu's unique life represents a poignant vignette of the Chinese Diaspora, the continuing dispersal of ethnic Chinese, now estimated at over 35 million, scattered in over 135 countries around the world.

His father, Lau Shing, an only child without siblings, left the village, as with many youths of his generation, for overseas pursuits. The Philippines, a colonial enclave of Spain, needed artisans and traders, and Lau Shing settled in Binondo, Manila, and started an enterprise building lifeboats for inter-island maritime vessels that ferry goods and Filipinos across the 7,100 islands of the Philippine archipelago.

According to Mr. Liu, in his own autobiographical sketch, life in the village was one of constant fear and escape from bandits and the government. At his birth in 1905, the Ching dynasty was at its waning days. Emperor Kuang Hsu, the second to the Last Ching Emperor, and his imperial government, had diminishing hold and control over Southern China, Guangdong province included. Banditry, lawlessness, and poverty were endemic.

Mr. Liu aptly described the first half of his life as being one of an "unsettled refugee". At birth and until his immigration to the Philippines at age 14 to join his father, Mr. Liu recalled a village life of constant escape from banditry and government officials, both of whom were feared. His father, like many overseas Chinese, returned to the Philippines after siring Mr. Liu. He grew up with his mother and grandmother. Like his father, Mr. Liu was an only child.

When he was 14, Mr. Liu left China for the Philippines to join his father. Because of the Chinese Exclusion Act enforced by the American colonial government, the successor regime from the Spanish one as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898, whereby the Philippines was ceded to the United States, Mr. Liu had to enter the Philippines as a paper son. His paper son's name was Chong Hin.

Mr. Liu enrolled in the overseas Chinese schools in Manila. For a brief two years interval, he returned to China and enrolled in the reputed high school for overseas Chinese children, the Ling Nam High School in Guanghzhou. Between 1923 and 1927, he enrolled at the Manila Overseas Chinese High School. Upon graduation, he returned to China and matriculated at Central University in Nanking, then transferred to Tung Wu University in Soochow. In both universities, where he spent one year each, he was lost and ended up being expelled. Finally, he settled on Chi Jiang University in Hangchow, where he majored in Chinese literature, completed his course work, but did not complete his graduation thesis in a timely fashion, thereby causing him to skip graduation ceremonies. In frustration, unable to obtain his diploma, he went back to Manila. In reminiscence, Mr. Liu recalled his school days in Nanking, Soochow and Hangchow as his "free spirit" years.

Formal schooling did not appeal to him. He skipped classes; hanged out at the temples and their serene surrounding, and wrote poetry. As a transplanted overseas Chinese from the Philippines, he did not adapt well to China's rigid and inflexible schooling. After returning to the Philippines, Mr. Liu undertook further schooling at the University of the Philippines, where he obtained a master of science degree in political science and public administration, and later took graduate courses in education at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

Being a learned man in a mercantile based overseas Chinese community in the Philippines, Mr. Liu, in no time upon his return, became a journalist and educator in the Chinese community. He was involved as an editorial writer for the China Daily, later also the Kong Li Po Daily. But his first and foremost commitment was towards education of the overseas Chinese community in Manila. For over forty years, he was the school principal of the Manila Chinese Patriotic School, the elementary educational institution which set the pace and standard of Cantonese Chinese education for thousands of students in Manila, many of whom have since resettled in North America, including Canada and California.

Mr. Liu's dedication towards his school and his students, all of whom he considered his children, was legendary. In his daily life, he set by example the principles of simplicity, spirituality and family values. He championed the causes of cultural, moral and educational training beyond the materialistic chase for commercial success, at any cost. IN my own day-to-day experience with him, I remember one distinct message he indelibly left me. "It does not matter, he said, how many zeros you have in your bank account; you can only sleep in one bed, eat a few meals a day, wear one set of clothing at the same time, and occupy the same limited space like everyone else. What matters is how you cultivate and fine-tune your spirits and your soul."

In 1938, Mr. Liu married Ellen Wo Fong, also known as Muck Wo Fong Peng, a beautiful Cantonese lass of a Chinese merchant in Manila. He converted to Christianity and became a devout Christian. Together, for over forty years, they dedicated their professional lives operating the Manila Chinese Patriotic School, educating thousands of students in the Chinese-Filipino Community. While a school principal, Mr. Liu also taught at the Chiang Kai Shek College, lecturing teachers in the subjects of Southeast Asian History, Philippines-China relations and Chinese government.

Mr. Liu's avocation includes anthropological studies of the head-hunting Igorot tribes of the Philippines and their linkages with the aboriginal minorities of China, History of Philippines-China relations, History of the Chinese of the Philippines.

In 1972, in the aftermath of martial law declared by Ferdinand Marcos, Mr. Liu and his wife uprooted themselves from the Philippines and immigrated to San Francisco. While in San Francisco, he was an editorial copy writer for the Chinese Times. For seven years, in his sunset years, he translated and edited copy for America's oldest Chinese language daily newspaper and wrote a weekly column devoted to commentaries about China and the Chinese American community.

On his retirement, he withdrew into his study room and wrote poetry, a passion in the last five years of his life. His poems have been published in an anthology. Up to the time of his untimely death, he was writing poetry and reminiscing about his life as a overseas Chinese wanderer and sojourner in America. He was also sustained by his belief and faith in God, through the fellowship of the Sharon Chinese Baptist Church of San Francisco.

Mr. Liu's life, as a twice-resettled Chinese immigrant, illustrates with poignancy and color of a little studied subject of human history, that of the Chinese Diaspora – the scattering of the ethnic Chinese all across the globe, including many of his students and all of his children.

Mr. Liu is survived by his devoted wife of fifty-five years, Ellen Wo Fong, six sons - Manuel, Godfrey, Roberto, John, Edward and David; five daughters-in-law – Jackie, Lily, Winnie, Audrey and Aileen; ten grandchildren – Ernest, Alexander, Elizabeth, Kenny, Rebecca, Nathan, Christopher, Nicole, Ryan and Cassandra.

His final words to me at bedside prior to undergoing surgery was: "make it simple."

_________by Edward, son.               3-27-93

Wednesday, April 18, 2001

The site was familiar – I could perceive the emblematic Hoover tower and the surrounding neo-Spanish buildings immersed in the atmosphere of excitement and hesitancy typical of large groups of first-day Freshman milling around.

I went into the Economics Department building. A sign in the hallway in front of the first classroom door stopped me dead in my tracks. It read:

Fall Semester 2020
Ecosophy 101

That is when I started to suspect that I had somehow ended up in the future…

In the room, a very attractive mature women was starting to lecture.[!]

'Once upon a time people actually graduated with degrees such as Economics, Business Administration, Monetary Theory, Psychology, or even Sociology and Political Science without having a firm foundation in Ecosophy. It seems that at that time there was no awareness that this would be as dangerous as having a "Doctoral Degree in Stomachs" for example without any understanding about food, blood circulation or the nervous system.

'The origin of the word "ecosophy" is similar to the etymology of the words "ecology" and "economy".' She started writing with what looked like a small laser-light pen and the text appeared simultaneously floating in the air a few feet in front of three walls. I thought 'some holographic laser technology: I am definitely in the future…' Three neat columns of words appeared as follows:

[in three columns :]

Greek Roots

oikos = household
Sophia = Wisdom
logos = knowledge
nomos = rule

Contemporary Words


Initial Meaning

Wisdom of the household
Knowledge of the household
Rules of the household

'Ecosophy is about how to live wisely on this planet. How our economic, monetary, business, political, sociological, psychological and ecological constructs and activities all interact and affect our collective presence on this planet. It constitutes the indispensable common foundation underlying any one of the fields of knowledge mentioned earlier. It looks at the human species within the context of the broader biosphere with which we are interdependent.

'Ecosophy is only one of the signs that our civilization has moved from Modernism to what we now call the Age of Integration. The main seeds for this shift can be traced to changes in interpretations of the physical universe which started over a century ago. Exactly like what happened with previous mutations in world-views – as for instance the Copernican revolution five centuries ago – it is the interpretation of the physical universe which has provided the leading indicator of a shift in civilization.

'For many centuries people had seen Mother Nature as an orderly extrapolation of the human mind. Descartes saw her as spiritless matter which could be apprehended only by analysis of smaller and smaller parts. Newton saw her as a well-behaved inert machine set in motion by God and driven by eternal laws, the knowledge of which would deliver her to our control. All this started to change when the theories of relativity, quantum physics of the first half of the century, and the theories of non-duality and complexity of the second half, became accepted as valid interpretations of reality. They provided the mental framework for our era. The works of Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and later in the last century Bohm, Feynman, Prigogine and the dozens of names involved in Chaos and Complexity theories were all key milestones in that process.

'The old metaphors of the world as a soulless machine with humans as separate "objective" observers have been replaced by a living and learning world with which humans communicate and share part of the responsibility for its evolution. Some say that we have been forced into this new world-view to be able to deal with global issues such as pollution, deforestation, climate changes or the weakening of the ozone layer.

'One key integration catalyst was also a paradox. It arose when one of the most Yang technologies of the entire Industrial Age – the computer – spawned for the first time a perfectly Yin space where such an integration could flourish without constraints . I am referring to the "cybersphere" which succeeded the old Internet. The paradox is even stronger when taking into account that all this was developed initially for the US military at the end of the Cold War. New synergies between the virtual world and the physical world gave rise to the Integral Economy.'

[As a reminder, the cybersphere is the virtual space where all earlier communications technologies such as telephone, TV, computers and payment systems converged into a coherent whole (Chapters 3 and 4). The concepts of Yin and Yang, and the Integral Economy will be explained below.] {not my note}

The professor continued: 'To understand the full scope of that process, a framework initially coined by the mid-20th-century a[nthro]pologist Teilhard de Chardin will prove useful.'

Suddenly a crisp diagram appeared as if floating in vibrant primary colours a few feet in front of all four white walls of the room. The professor moved in between the front graph and the wall. I became aware at that point that she seemed to address a larger audience than the students sitting in the class. 'Some form of distance learning technology' flashed through my mind.

[insert points and figure here – entitled: The vision of Teilhard de Chardin (mid-twentieth century)]

  • Lithosphere (from lithos = stone)
    – inert mass of planet Earth
  • Biosphere (bios = life)
    – all life forms
    – from a few feet below the surface to a few hundred feet [sic] in the atmosphere
  • Noosphere (nous = consciousness)
    – field of consciousness generated by humanity
    – would evolve towards 'Point Omega'
  • Point Omega
    – Concsiousness of Unity of All that Is
    – unknown final(?) destination of human evolution

three concentric circles representing their respective spheres and a small triangle just outside the last sphere (noosphere) representing the omega point.

She moved close to the diagram and commented, 'Teilhard got inspired by a little-known work entitled The Bioshpere by V.I. Vernadsky, a Russian biologist of the 1920s. Teilhard generalized that concept by seeing the evolution of our planet in embedded "spheres". First the lithosphere which represents all the inert matter of this planet; then the biosphere which regroups all life-forms. It looks like a more or less dense "biomass-crust" around the inert matter, represented here in green. It is physically located in a thin layer including a few feet below and a few thousand feet above earth's surface, including the water and the lower reaches of the atmosphere for birds, airborne insects and micro-organisms. It is only during the 21st century that humans finally shed the illusion that they can disconnect from Nature. Only recently have they truly understood that there is only one life-form on earth – the biosphere – and that the entire human species plays a role similar to an organ in our own body.

'The next layer up, the noosphere, represented here in blue' – she pointed to an almost diaphanous zone in the graph – 'is more etheric. It is the space where all forms of consciousness interplay, including human consciousness. What Teilhard saw was that – as humanity became more conscious of its interdependence – it would also grow in the awareness of its Unity. He thought that the objective of human evolution would be what he called "Point Omega", a cosmic consciousness of Unity respectful of all diversity.

'However, what Teilhard did not see is how such a mysterious process could occur. Remember, he wrote his major works around the time of World War II and its aftermath. It is amazing that – under these circumstances – he could foresee even the direction of the next evolutionary step. Well, to us now the means by which this consciousness shift would accelerate has become obvious.'

She approached the diagram and touched the diaphanous edge between the biosphere and the noosphere circles, and it smoothly transformed into a vibrant violet edge so that the full diagram ended up as follows:

[reinsert points and figure here, but with added features – entitled: The vision of Teilhard de Chardin, Role of the Cybersphere]

Cybersphere = Virtual Space in which integration towards Point Omega is occurring

a thin cybersphere is located between the biosphere and noosphere. one vertex of "point omega" is still located outside of the noosphere, except the rest of it now extends into the noosphere with its base in the cybersphere.

'The cyberspace is simply the link between Teilhard's noosphere and its destination, it is the virtual space in which human consciousness towards integration has been able to manifest itself. It plays a role similar to the one the lithosphere has been playing for the biosphere. All life forms use inert chemical components of the lithosphere and reorganizes them to create their physical life support systems. When computer technicians in the 20th century thought they were just creating a computer network, they were in fact creating an additional dimension and a new type of space.

'In retrospect, the last decades of the 20th century play a role similar to what biologist have called the Cambrian explosion. Five hundred and fifty million years ago a sudden mutation occurred in the biomass: single-cell life saw a burst of biological diversity and complex multi-cellular organisms proliferated. Hundreds of million years later, the emergence of photosynthesis, and later still the joint appearance of sexual reproduction and individual death were similar milestones. Evolution apparently undergoes such quantum transformations. From this perspective, life has entered digital space using humanity as a surrogate. In the cybersphere life is freed from the confines of slow molecular recombination, can travel at the speed of light, even off this planet as needed…'

I moved to a classroom next door, overhearing what appeared to be an introductory course in Economic History.

'During the early stone age, humans used the same tool for many different purposes: a broken stone fragment would be used for everything from killing prey to cleaning one's nails afterwards. During the 19th and 20th centuries there seems to have been a similar fixation with trying to use the same monetary tool – national currencies – for everything from global trade to paying for someone's education or for elderly care. To use another metaphor, this would be similar to assuming that the nervous system is the only information carrier in the human body, ignoring the role of the circulation of the blood, the lymphatic system and a wealth of biochemical links.

'This idea of "one fits all" in monetary systems finally had to be abandoned when information and nano-production technologies ensured that the majority of the population had no production-related "jobs". Today, less than 30% of the world's population still has full-time jobs of that type. This has freed the vast majority of the people to dedicate themselves instead to whatever they feel most passionate about – their "work" – mostly in their local or virtual communities. The old scarce national currencies had never been designed to support such an explosion of random creativity.

'Of course, many of the Industrial Age economic concepts such as Gross National Product (GNP) had to be revised. It originated as a ways of measuring military potential in the earlier decades of the 20th century. Among other flaws, GNP measured only those activities which involved exchanges in national currencies. This led to increasingly strange anomalies. For instance, identical activities (e.g. someone taking care of a sick child) would be classified as "employed" and part of the GNP – or not – simply because in one case the carer was paid for the service in national currency and in the other she wasn't. This amounted to a straight denial of the reality of the actual service rendered free.

'The old measures of GNP were still confusing crude growth with smart and wise growth. The Information Age objective of "Full Potential" has now replaced the Industrial Age idea of "Full Employment". "Full Potential" refers to the use of someone's learning capacity and the opportunity fully to develop one's gifts. Just as was the case with Full Employment, one can never reach 100% of the Full Potential for a population.

'In retrospect, it was only by liberating the extraordinary potential of human creativity, of all humans, that there was any hope for Planet Earth. Human creativity was something which in past generations was the privilege of only a tiny minority: a few artists, scientists and some other members of the intelligentsia. Even on the basis of the old narrow definition of "employment" at least 700 million adults were routinely "jobless" on the planet in the 1990s. In terms of evaluating their "Full Potential" at the same time, estimates by our economic historians say that less than one per thousand of humanity reached it. They were considered rare "geniuses". Add to this the extraordinary fact that only two of the nine forms of intelligence were being recognized, and therefore developed and measured in the education system; i.e. the verbal/linguistic and the logical/mathematical, both with a Yang bias. The other seven forms of intelligence used to be simply ignored. So it was very rare that the development of a child took into account these other seven modes of learning: i.e. the musical, spatial, bodily/kinetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, pattern recognition and mystical.

'In short, human potential used to be dramatically underestimated, not to speak of developed and used to address our challenges. It is amazing that humanity made it as far as it did back in the 20th-century. From today's perspective it really looks as if our species was asked to engage in a race blindfolded with feet and hands bound. A 20th-century pioneer, Duane Elgin, claimed that humanity has always been at its best when its capacities are challenged to the maximum. We either radically and consciously changed toward sustainability in all domains, or we just would have to disappear like the great lizards did before us.

'The secret of the shift has been a succession of three waves which overlapped in time around the turn of the century. These three waves were:
– a Value-Shift Wave in which the old Modernist values were gradually commuted into the values of the Age of Integration;
– the Information Wave in which enabled unprecedented access to knowledge for vast numbers of people;
– and the Money Wave whereby new money systems complemented the old national currency system.

'In the 1990s most people only were aware of the Information Wave. It was the one that the media focused on at that time. But in reality, all three mutations were in fact already well on their way if one was willing to peek beyond the reports from officialdom.

'Together, these three waves have given rise to accelerated change in our economic system, where they cyber economy has become what it is today; the largest and still the fastest-growing economy in the world. That is why the cybersphere is the best place to observe the current status of our monetary system. As you know, our continuously evolving money system operates simultaneously on different levels, ranging from the global to local. The main advantage of such a multiple-level money system is that each type of activity is supported to be the kind of currency best adapted to the circumstance. Convertibility among the different currencies is ensured on the Net whenever that is needed. These different systems interact as an organic whole, where each component continually evolves to adapt to the demands and opportunities of the environment in which it operates.

'Now let us see some of the main milestones which get us from the last century's quandaries to what is being hailed as the Age of Sustainable Abundance for humanity…'

Suddenly I saw the scene fading away in front of my eyes, and found myself in a daze back in our own time. Much to my great frustration, I may never know for sure how we got there…

Oh well, I should remain open to life's many surprises, I suppose…

chapter 9 from the future of money
a time travel report, pp. 261-267
by bernard lietaer

Tuesday, April 17, 2001
ftrain on working in israel and babemonster on work in general. also, 10 min. date :) there be fungee among ye.

Monday, April 16, 2001
review of stanislaw lem's okamgnienie (via slashdot)

an exerpt

Spiders (Araneida), for example, thanks to a group of specific genes, produce silk many times more elastic and tear-resistant than that of the silkworm—or than steel and all known synthetic polymers including nylon. Spider silk was already being used in telescopes a very long time ago. Certain genes are responsible for the synthesis of spidroins. An individual strand of that remarkable silk is comprised of a large number of these interlocking spidroin molecules produced by the spider's glands. Compared to spider silk, the material made from synthetic polymers turns out to have an unusually simple and primitive structure. Although it is extremely difficult for our technology to reproduce silk similar to that of spiders, a rich scientific literature on the subject has described the microfibrillar structure of the silk, thus enabling production of materials similar to the spider. The synthetic production of spider silk has at least one practical use. Any line released from an orbiting spacecraft to Earth would tear under its own weight. Learning from spiders, however, we would be able to create lines so light and strong that the spacecraft could use them to raise loads while in orbit, like an elevator.

fusion anomaly! (via dotcult)

created with anfy—sp(l)iffify your website. also in polish :)

Sunday, April 15, 2001

The final element that will make micropower a killer app is scale. Gas-fired power plants have been shrinking since the early 1980s, when smaller factory-produced turbines began to replace the giant ones built on site; micropower could push that trend to the extreme. Capstone's 30-kilowatt unit now sells for about $27,000, but the company figures that if it can gear up for a manufacturing volume of 100,000 units per year, price could drop to $12,000. That works out to $400 per kilowatt of generating capacity, which is about what you would expect from gas-fired power plants 10,000 times larger.

Fuel cells are a newer technology and have a longer way to go to reach economic parity: the first fuel cells will cost $2,500 to $5,000 per kilowatt. But the fuel cell industry has an ace up its sleeve: carmakers are expected to begin cranking out fuel-cell cars by the thousands in 2003 or 2004. With the efficiencies that should accompany this mass-production, the cost of electricity from fuel cells should ultimately plummet to $100 to $300 per kilowatt.

At that point, micropower would begin to seize its most revolutionary opportunity: delivering electricity to the 1.8 billion people in the world who now have no access to centrally generated electricity. Ironically, many of the electrically deprived live in countries blessed with vast energy resources but lacking the capital needed to build a grid and distribute energy to their people. South African archbishop Desmond Tutu once noted that "one of the obscenities of Southern Africa is to see electric power lines strung across a rural landscape overshadowing communities where women spend most of their days walking kilometers to find firewood just to survive."

Saturday, April 14, 2001
nice gallery of literary figures (via linkmachinego!) hey,

i'd like to see a moby/bjork/radiohead comic book crossover, you know cuz musicians are like superheroes. they'd be rock stars from another planet. gwen stefani could be their earth friend. and they could maybe do battle with kiss.


Corporations exists so that individuals don't have to take responsibility for the consequences of their business actions. If a company goes bankrupt, the CEO doesn't; if a company commits gross human rights violations, destroys the environment, or produces a product which kills people, the investors don't go to prison or pay the damages (outside of their investment). On the other hand, if I design something and build it in my own basement... I'm likely to face both jail and civil damages if my product kills people or results in environmental destruction.

Friday, April 13, 2001

TR: You started by mentioning you weren't very good at predicting the future. What's your closing advice on how start-ups, or any company, can achieve success without the ability to perceive how things will shake out?
MOORE: First, surround yourself with the best people you can possibly find. And try to anticipate general directions things are going in. When Intel was set up, we really wanted to get a guy with a lot more knowledge of digital systems than we had: we were all components people. So we hired Ted Hoff, a postdoc at Stanford. Ted had done quite a bit with computer architecture and the like.
      After we did our first memory chips we were looking for other large-volume applications of complex circuits. That was when electronic calculators were just coming in. So we started looking for a calculator company to work with. But established semiconductor companies had already made deals with the existing calculator companies, and the only one we could find was a Japanese startup by the name of Busicom that wanted to make a family of business and scientific calculators. They had designed some 13 complex custom chips—and wanted us to make those for them.
      Well, we could no more take on 13 complex chips than fly with our little engineering group. And Ted Hoff looked at them and said, "Gee, we could do all of these calculators with a general-purpose computer architecture—and I don't think the processor would be more complex than the memory chips we're making." He saw it as an embedded controller very generally. And we said, "Ah, that's the kind of thing we're looking for, a general-purpose complex chip." And so we convinced the Japanese company to throw away all its designs and start over with our approach—and that was the origin of the microprocessor. Having looked ahead and hired Ted Hoff, who had knowledge in areas that we really didn't, was absolutely key to doing the microprocessors.
      And that's the kind of thing one has to do in order to be ready for what comes along.


I was on the move—at least I thought so. But my father worried I was in a giant stall. And in a parental panic he overcame his fear of flying and dropped in for a visit. At the end of his stay, during the drive to the airport, sensing some action was called for, he dragged me into a blown-out strip on Sunset Boulevard and found a Circuit City store. "Come on," he said desperately, "I'm getting you a computer." "Oh, yeah, and what am I doing to do with that?" I laughed.


MD: I'd like to end with a suitably facetious question: What do you consider yourself? Are you a psychotropic philosopher, a cartographer of altered states, a stand-up comedian for those whose neurons have been permanently rewired by psychoactive alkaloids, or---?
TM: I'm a cunning linguist (laughs).


In his lifetime Bayes published only two known works, one entitled ``Divine Benevolence, or an Attempt to Prove that the Principal End of the Divine Providence and Government is the Happiness of His Creatures'' (1731).

The other defended Isaac Newton from religious attack.

Thursday, April 12, 2001
willis o'brien

ray harryhausen

imdb thread on when dinosaurs ruled the earth (1970)

The dialog is in "caveman" with no subtitles, which means that the story is told almost entirely in visual terms. But, hey, that's how movies got started in the first place! Worth noting is the Canary Island scenery which is fresh and evocative. Warning: male viewers may be made uncomfortable by the scene in which leading-man Robin Hawdon -- dressed only in a skimpy loincloth -- is tied spreadeagle-style between two wooden posts. A fire is then built between his legs and the flames leap higher and higher toward that loincloth. Lots of suspense here!

whoa cinefex

Wednesday, April 11, 2001
the convergence club development studies

facing the abyss macedonia

cultural weavings feed in guatemala

a r c h i v e

w r i t t e n
get out
on violence
horror story
disney land
from earth
human matrix
crazy guy
US engagement

f r i e n d s

a b o u t m e