Monday, July 24, 2017

i haven't been inside a mcdonald's for 20 odd years [except for a few times in sverige where you can order a veggie burger]

i'm a lifelong vegetarian

but certainly as a kid growing up in the 1970s and 80s mcdonald's was most certainly part of my daily life

now then there is a mcdonald's a couple blocks from my house that has been stripped to its studs and is now in the process of being rebuilt

i wonder if it is being rebuilt for automation so i go online and type in 'mcdonald's automation' and find on youtube videos of self-ordering kiosks as well as vids of the production line

i find a segment by a political journalist who says we are in a paradigm shift because of  automation

i agree that we are in a paradigm shift

i don't know what else to say

i suspect the retooled mcdonald's near my house will be kitted out with the newest technologies

i think in the short term in regards to automation we will get great stuff

but what automation will do to job creation, in the long term, we are probably in a world of shit

 we are at the very beginning of a paradigm shift and the troubles we see around the world will exacerbate

what then?

i haven't the foggiest idea

neither do you, or our leaders

the robots -- AI --  are here, brothers and sisters

i shit you not

what now?

Sunday, July 23, 2017


at the pool drying off with my towel i hear this guy

hey!  you irish?


yeah, man you look irish

what do you mean?

you have those features with a red nose

i say, that's my damn rosacea

well, man, you look irish

anna, sez, he's a lopez!

yep, that's me a mexican irish norwegian younameit kinda berzerker

Thursday, July 20, 2017

it's a good time to be punk

i am trying rather hard not to succumb to depression and ennui at the state of the world, the political, social and environmental instability for i wonder how can my art, any art, be equal to the troubles in the world

which sounds precious and a huge order that can't be consumated

i can't claim that art is equal to the task

i do proclaim that art, my art, our art, is utterly necessary for we are responsible for and to the state we live in

art might be the small gesture by one flawed mortal person but if it be an honest expression is more than enough for the tasks at hand

i call for an antipoetry a duchampian poetry that does not give a shit whether you call it high art or not

the world is coming apart, we are, in the language of that chinese curse, living in interesting times

however art recalls us to presence the luminous the eminent

i call for an art sans ego that works in the world shared by fellow creatures and ecosystems

i call for an art that says fuck you to authority and questions everything

i call for an art where the maker arrogates the responsibilities of creation while maintaining humility before for all living and non-living things

i call for an art in a world always dying

i call for an art that is principle to the beginning

i call for an art that knows it will fail in its tasks but fails them hopefully

i call upon art

Saturday, July 15, 2017

early internet/technology TV comercials

i watched a Q&A with elon musk today on CSPAN.  asked what future does he see for AI and transportation musk said AI is an existential threat to humankind, really, most people don't realize how profound the changes to our civilization AI poses.  AI must be regulated by governments, not to inhibit development, but to build in protections for human beings.

the transportation piece according to musk is two-fold.  first, all vehicles off the assembly will be electric.  second, they will be autonomous.  when?  in a decade or two. 

now, one could call bullshit on musk, but remember this is a man who is on the forefront of these technologies.  he sees those things that are down the pike that we mortals do not.  i recall an article -- i've told this story a thousand times, but bear with me -- i took to a professor of mine in about 1992 or '93.  the article said, in the near future we will read on a device that can stream audio and video.  i love books.  i still love books.  i was worried that books would become a redundant technology.  i asked my professor what he made of the author's prediction.  he said, sounds like science fiction to me.

guess what?  that phone you carry with you, always?  you can read on it, and stream audio and video.  has mobile technology made books redundant?  i would say no.  still, the smart phone, and broadband internet, mobile technology, has had deep, structural, and extremely profound changes to our civilization.  we have not even reckoned with these changes.

we are in a paradigm shift.  we don't know how these technologies will manifest our societies.  but stop and look around.  you will see a vastly changed world even 15 years ago.

i say, in my own humility, that the three threats to our species is AI, Automation, and Climate Change.  however, i am an optimist, by default.  below are two internet/technology TV adverts.  the first if from 1996 starring the actor/comedian denis leary about the email service lotus notes. 

i like this ad because we can see the growing importance of the internet for business.  however, this commercial was released at a time when the majority of people were not online and could give a crap about the internet.

the second is a batch of commercials from 1993 by AT&T, titled "YOU WILL".  these ads are a little crappy but i think are well worth watching because like my article i mentioned above these technologies, such as GPS navigation for your car, is downright prescient.  sure, some of the ads are a little clunky.  most public places no longer have pay phones.  the monitors are still the thick, clunky, heavy boxes.  and these ads are not touting broadband speeds.  however, these commercials are remarkable in their vision.  check them out.

think about how much the world has changed since 1993.  imagine what the world will be in another 25 years.  because whether we like it or not i think elon musk is right.  AI, electrification of our transportation hubs, and automation will be here very shortly.  we don't have TV ads purporting the advantages of autonomous long-haul trucks on our highways, but i agree with musk, who said that the first industries that will adopt autonomous vehicles are transportation industries.  transportation industries is one of the largest employers in the u.s.  what will we do when the truckers, taxi drivers, and delivery drivers are not needed? 

i don't know.  you don't know.  our leaders don't know.  but we do know that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift.  we are only at the beginning of these changes.  this is an exciting time to live, as well being a terrifying time to live.  again, i'm an optimist by nature.  to paraphrase a poem by my beloved thom gunn, anyway, i'm not superstitious, the times may be rewarding.  let's reschedule!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

after a few days of mere 90 + F days the heat has returned

i've got in the habit of altering my routes walking home from work

i figure to change my life i have to change my habits

& create new neural networks & when i say change my life

i mean create the space in which change is possible

my new routes open my eyes i see my environment in a fresh way

my thoughts turn to writing & i hope that these disruptions

also disrupt my writing both negative & positive

for i am limited & can engage the world thru the limits of my mind

so i hope to chip away the edges of my habits

by subtle means & who knows if it works

but i'm telling you my default setting is joy awe & amazement

& changing my walking habits makes me see my beloved city

with newer eyes which teaches this old dog a few new tricks

that life is astonishing & our world is simultaneously ugly & beautful

which makes me wonder about the TV show on right now

about nostradamus & his predictions about how the world will end

well goddammit the world is always ending

nostradamus predictions of war is no prediction

if you want to impress me show me the quatrains

where the medieval frenchman predicts gay marriage

or civil rights for minority [an odious word for we are all on the same plain called human] u.s.americans

or the fall of neoliberal capitalism

where are those predictions?  predicting death famine disease & war is easy

making predictions about the worth of all human beings & living things & the care & nurture of the only home we will ever know earth

uh oh these might cause the revolution

but until i read/hear those predictions nostradamus & his so-called scholars can shut the fuck up

Sunday, July 09, 2017

the heat has returned triple digit temperatures kind of hot

we celebrated our friends' son, j., birthday yesterday at a local waterpark

you know the kind, with slides and a wave pool

it is a 'nite slide' and crowded, the place was crazy insane with people

it was a perfect night for a waterpark

the slide 'double dare' dared us to slide down

'double dare' is just that, a two-pronged water slide, one person on the left side, one person on the right side

you step in to a capsule, the door is closed, there is a count down to three before the trapdoor is opened and you drop at almost 90 degrees to a tube that flushes you thru a series of twists, turns and curves where you are stopped by a pool of water and you are left blinking in the air wondering, am i alive

because that fucking trapdoor is scary, there were plenty of people who chickened out, e.g. a twenty-something man in front of us in the line was loudly proclaiming his nervousness

i thought he was hamming it up for the girls behind me and nick, but no, i said, dude, look at me, i'm a middle-aged white guy and if i can do this slide, you most certainly can

nope, the dude gave me this look and made a b-line for the bottom of the stairs and to the ground

then it was our turn, yes my heart was pumping, almost in sync with the heart beat pulse pumped in the capsule, nick was in the green capsule, i was in the orange

i was proud of nick able to hold his fear and get inside, i don't know who was supporting who, at that point

the worst part is the waiting, three seconds can feel like forever

then the door opened, i dropped in to the tube, i assumed the same happened to nick

i opened my eyes, i was sailing thru a tube at warp speed, and having a great time

nick was at the pool at the bottom, he reached it at the same time i did

i couldn't take the slide wearing my glasses, i gave them for safekeeping to the lifeguards, i had to ascend the stairs again to get them

at the bottom of the stairs was the twenty-something young man, he looked at me and asked, you did this thing already

i didn't have an answer for him for this ride ain't some bucket list thing but i told him you have just this one life, how you live it is your matter, some like doing these goofy slides, some others would rather have our feet planted firmly on the ground

your choice, i said, is to decide when to slide, and when to stay on solid ground, there are no bad choices, only the choice necessary to you at this moment, but you have to make a decision right about now

Thursday, July 06, 2017

marxism + rock&roll = rage against the machine

fuck you!  I won't do what you tell me