I Support Your Regime

Apartheid can be defined as "an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups with the intention of maintaining that regime." I would like to talk briefly about one such regime.

Imagine that there is a place where members of one genetic background outnumber another by a factor of 20 to 1, yet are dominated by the smaller group. The regime identifies itself as being for the benefit of this minority, and rarely even publicly acknowledges the existence of the majority as residents. The majority residents do vital work for the benefit of the whole, but get no respect. Most of them live in a ghetto where raw sewage runs through the main throughway. Sometimes, in the name of putting down insurrections by invaders or rebels, chemical warfare is used, with collateral damage of slaughtering countless numbers of the subjugated majority. The ruling minority rationalizes that this is fine, the majority multiplies like mad anyway, soon their numbers will be restored anyway.

Where is this regime? Closer than you might think. This regime is: YOU!

You probably think of yourself as a single being, but of course in grade school you also learned you are made up of cells. As a adult, you have about 100 trillion cells, each with your DNA. So, we can also think of ourselves as a nation, population 100 trillion, of these cells. But it turns out they're in the minority. Your actual population is closer to 1 to 2 quadrillion -- you have 10 to 20 times as many bacteria as you do your own cells! By a census count, most of you isn't even you! The majority of these bacteria live in your large intestine (and can you imagine a worse ghetto?).

So of the regime that is you, only 5% is composed of... well, you. The privileged few with the "right" genetic makeup to be in the upper class, for whose benefit the regime is run. For that matter, the part of nation-you that I am communicating with is the brain cells. The elite of the elite. Of the 5% ruling minority, about 1% of those are brain cells. Of those 90% are glial cells -- sort of supporting functionaries. Only 10% are neurons, the upper .005% of your population. Of course, of those many are doing other things -- breathing, listening to the dog snore in the corner, remembering what you need to do tomorrow, whatever. The you that is receiving this is the true ruling class, a fraction of that one hundredth of a percent. If you were America, they'd be equivalent by percentage to perhaps a few hundred people. The part of you that is reading this is like the couple hundred most powerful people in the country.

So congratulations! You are the ruler of your own apartheid state. Untold quadrillions toil in your service. You are The Man!

You'd just better hope you can keep the masses down. I mean, if those low-class bacteria in your large intestine decided to revolt, the results would be... well, revolting.

So, camera solos are MacOS?

I put up some photo albums, including some fun with Apple's Photobooth application/toy.

Also, I decided to turn some of my odd camera phone photos into a game of Worst Ever. You don't know how to play Worst Ever? Here's how!

(Yes, I know they are blurry. Yes, I know I'm not playing the game exactly right because the photos are already interesting.)

Overheard On The Net

(names changed)

<A> I'm WFH today
<B> wtf wfh
<A> Working From Home
<B> so, google tells me it's World Federation of Hemophilia
<C> sounds like an especially bloody wrestling league.

Rise to Vote, Sir

Election Day was last week. I will let others comment on the results and the politics. I'm sure you've heard enough of that by now. But, I'd like to comment on the election itself. I wrote previously about my first experience with electronic voting machines. I don't recall what kind of machine was used last time, but this year it was an iVotronic. Googling suggests it was last time as well, but this year's machine seems different than what I remember. The user interface was fast and the touch screen was pretty accurate. What's not different is that I still have no idea if my vote was counted accurately, or at all. Read More...

Another thing duct tape is not good for

People from NASA engineers to photographers to campers know the power of Duct Tape. It's a miracle product. It helped save the lives of the Apollo 13 astronauts. People have used it for all kinds of crazy things... even clothing and wart removal (Really! A medical study found it was more effective than conventional treatments!). There are whole web sites devoted to enumerating the uses for the stuff. Read More...


(or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the Mac)

I mentioned earlier that there were some "life changes" underway. If you asked most people to list "major life events", they'd probably come up with things like births, deaths, marriage, divorce, moving, changing jobs, etc. Some good, some bad. All of mine were of the "good" kind fortunately. One of mine was changing jobs, and maybe I'll write more about that later. Another major change is one that is missing from that list, one that most people wouldn't think of, but that is pretty major for a guy like me: changing platforms.

AFS Interview

A while back I did an interview on AFS (the Andrew File System) with Emmanuel Dreyfus for Daemon News, which has now been published.

According to the Daemon News summary, "This rare glimpse, explains what you need to do to properly deploy AFS in most environments. You will discover the advantages of deploying AFS in lieu of NFS or CIFS (Samba) and it is actually an enjoyable read."

So read and enjoy!


No... not Haiti. I mean Hiatuses, but I like my spelling better.

I stopped writing for a while, because most of my thoughts were about some "life changes", and some of them, like changing jobs, I couldn't really talk about at the time. But, that's over, I start a new job in two weeks, and maybe it's time to start writing again. More about all of that later.

In the mean time, perhaps an end to another long hiatus:

From a CNN.com article:

TV rumors: 'ER' moving, 'Futurama' returning

[...]There also was speculation that Fox was looking to resurrect the animated series "Futurama," from "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening, on its Sunday lineup the same way that "Family Guy" was brought back last year. The network has an option for new episodes, which currently are being produced for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim late-night block.[...]

You can hardly imagine my joy of the though of new episodes of Futurama!

"I'm never gonna get used to the 31st century. Caffineated bacon? Baconated grapefruit? Admiral Crunch?" - Fry

Clearing out my notebook

While I'm working on another post, I thought I'd post this item, some random notes about my 2004 election experience in Broward County, Florida, and the controversial e-voting in particular. Timely, I know, but I didn't have a blog for them at a time, and I've been saving this file since then waiting for a forum. Besides which, this is still an issue. Read More...

Thought for today

If there was a drug that made your monitor larger, would it be called Diagra?

Nifty user interface devices

This guy seems to work on some really cool stuff!

The Multi-Touch Interaction Research video has been circulating a lot recently, but if you haven't seen it yet, do have a look.

Less widely circulating is the LED Touch Display movie, which demonstrates a neat mutli-touch-capable input device implemented solely using LEDs (as input devices, mind you!) Didn't know LEDs could be used as photodiodes? Well, neither did I...

Finally, Holodust is a fascinating true open-air 3D holographic display.

Step on no pets (especially pythons)

Pleased with the symmetry of the last Python Quine, I decided to try for a different kind of symmetry. Here is the first, as far as I know, bytewise palindromic python quine. Read More...

A Python Quine (at least there is symmetry)

Several years ago now, I think, I ran into a webpage with a collection of Quines in different languages. The Python entry was rather disappointing -- too long and unoriginal. I've seen a number of better ones since, but at the time I was inspired to create one that was shorter and used a unique feature of the language. Read More...

And so it begins...

So, the Web is coming up on 15 years old this August. I've been on "the net" since before that meant the Internet, back in the days of UUCP. I once had a BITNET address. But I still had no web presence. I was, er, virtually nonexistant.

But PJE and others have inspired me, and now I have a blog.

It doesn't have a name. It doesn't have a graphic theme I like. It doesn't have a coherent vision of what its topic might be. But now it has a post. And you are reading it, so now it has an audience.


So, having created an audience out of thin air for a blog with no name, no topic, and only one post... well, that's a lot for one day. Time to knock off.

I will leave you with this thought:

If the aliens are reading our email to learn more about humans, they must have come to the conclusion by now that earthlings are obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure. Further, they have learned about our three most popular forms of pleasure:
  • Sex
  • Drugs
  • Mortgages

PMI-me-harder-ly yours,

(Tomorrow: A Python Quine)