My Thoughts Exactly

Only You Can Save Creation Science

Listen, I know that there’s a pretty good chance that you (yes, you!) are some kind of policy wonk who only reads Wetmachine for the insight & analysis of all things FCC/Net Neutrality/media hegemony/First Amendment provided by the inimitable Harold Feld.

And there’s also a pretty good chance that you don’t give a care about Harold Feld’s wonky analysis, because you read Wetmachine for Howard Stearns’s stunning and out-of-nowhere insights into software development in general and 3-d collaborative virtual-world software in particular.

Or maybe you’re a Gary Gray groupie. Stranger things have happened. Maybe you even come here to see what I might have to say.

Or maybe, like those men who were busted at the suburban New Jersey bordello a few years ago, you just happened to be here because you pulled your car into the driveway to make a U-turn & got trapped when the fuzz showed up. Maybe you were googling for “Ted Williams’ Frozen Head” and wound up reading this instead.

I don’t care.

Wetmachine readers come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, even non-policywonk walks of life. Whatever. All is cool here. One love.

But you all should click on the above video, dammit. And you should chip in at least a buck to support Creation Science, the nifty new novel by moi, the Ur-Wetmechanic. I’ve been bringing you this site for 8 years now. Ain’t that worth nothin? Show me your love! At least watch the flippin video! It’s short!

N.B. Even if this is your first visit to Wetmachine, you can still show me your love. Click on the video! Join the family!

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Inventing the Future

Vote for the Future

I’m proud that the Wetmachine site I’ve been part of is a finalist for
best Technology blog
of 2008. Well, sort of a finalist…

The 2008 Weblog Awards

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Posted in history: external milestones and context, Inventing the Future | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

McCain Campaign Wusses Out On NAF Tech Smackdown.

So my friends at New America Foundation went to all the trouble to arrange for a final Technology Smackdown between former FCC Chair and Obama Campaign surrogate Reed Hunt and McCain Campaign surrogate Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Holtz-Eakin, you may recall, was the man who traced the invention of the Blackberry back to McCain’s stalwart leadership on the Commerce Committee, ignoring the fact that the Blackberry is manufactured by a Canadian company and that only limited models are available in the U.S. thanks to McCain’s awesome tech policies, which can be summed up as “no taxes, no regulation, no clue.”

So needless to say, I and every other policy wonk in DC came ready to see the sparks fly. Reed Hunt, former FCC Chair, known for saying what he thinks and letting the chips fall where they may. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, looking for any kind of “game changer” and hoping to prove how his man has mastery of this key policy arena rather than the young and untested Obama. Who will take it? Whose tech cuisine will reign supreme?

But then this morning, Douglas Holtz-Eakin canceled and the McCain campaign informed NAF they could not send a surrogate. NAF scurried, but could find no one blessed by the McCain campaign to debate Reed Hunt. With Washington tech wonkdom descending on their doorstep, NAF decided to hold the event anyway. This allowed Reed to switch from technology policy and plug his new comedy CD – “Reed Hunt — Unplugged Because I’m Using Wireless Which Will Be Far More Competitive Under An Obama FCC Which I Will Now Illustrate With An Anecdote And Could You Please Remind Me What The Question Was Again.” (Trust me, in policy wonk circles, this is hysterical.)

There may be many reasons why Holtz-Eakin did not show up. But for the campaign to refuse to send a substitute surrogate is a totally punk move. What, no one on the Straight Talk Express can use a computer? And if you all whine about how unfair it was that Reed went on to trash talk you guys or that NAF was “in the tank for Obama” because they went ahead and held the highly publicized and well attended event anyway, all I can say is “shut up, punks! McCain’s tech policy is for wussy incumbents who want their market power protected. In keeping with geek tradition, I shall taunt you with my very very bad Monty Python impression. [outrageous French accent] I fart in your general direction! I wave my private parts at you — you silly de-regulatory free-market Libertarian persons. Now go away or I shall taunt you some more.”

OK, my trash talk is a bit weak. But Holtz-Eakin and the McCain tech team are still punks.

Stay tuned . . .

UPDATE: Apparently, Holtz-Eakin ditched out to try to convince MSNBC viewers that it is Obama who will be four more years of Bush. You can find more details on how the McCain Campaign vetoed Carly Fiorina and generally punked out here on ThinkProgress.

Posted in Life In The Sausage Factory, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

One man is but a pale imitation of the worst president in US history

Google pays me about four cents a month to run adverts on this-a-here policy-wonk & general bullshit blog, and lately they’ve been running an awful lot of the John McBush “one man” animated gif, which may be running to the right of this image even now. On account of which, my friends and family give me a fair amount of grief. I tell them that I’m not crazy about Google’s running McBush ads here, but I need the money.

In any event it reminds me to run the above picture, which I plan to do at least once a week, until I no longer need to.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , , | 5 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Development Rights in a Carbon-Constrained World

The good folks at environmental/social justice/global policy think tank EcoEquity have just published an intriguing policy paper about a “Greenhouse Development Rights”, which they call a

Climate protection framework designed to support an emergency climate stabilization program while, at the same time, preserving the right of all people to reach a dignified level of sustainable human development free of the privations of poverty.

More specifically, the GDRs framework quantifies national responsibility and capacity with the goal of providing a coherent, principle-based way to think about national obligations to pay for both mitigation and adaptation.

I plan to write a more in-depth synopsis of the paper soon, but in the meantime, all you people who are threatened by the climate crisis (basically all of you who live on earth), and especially you economic policy-wonk types, should check it out.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Greg Rose and the evolution of a wet machine

Sometime right soon, Dr. Gregory Rose, he of the brilliant fisking of the spectrum auction scam, will be making his inaugural post at his new Wetmachine blog Econoklastic. So may I be the first to welcome him: Welcome, Greg! Welcome to Wetmachine! I have no idea what he’ll write about, but his background leads me to expect good things. Greg describes himself thusly:

I’ve been an academic economist for more than 20 years. My
dissertation was on developing mathematical techniques for aggregating
affective variables in utility functions. I left OSU Tulsa to come to
DC in 2004 to set up a consulting company. I’ve been doing consulting
for the public interest community on telecoms ever since. And I’m a
very unconventional economist: I’m probably the only socialist member
of the Public Choice Society.

Adding another name to the Wetmachine masthead seems as good an occasion as any to launch into some meditative malarky I’ve been cogitating on for some while about where Wetmachine came from, has been, and is tending. Especially since the one-two combination punch of Harold Feld and Greg Rose should pretty much establish Wetmachine as a premiere telecommunication/first amendment/innaleckshul property policy wonk “destination shopping” blog. Which is kind of cool, especially since it’s nothing like what I set out to create when I launched Wetmachine seven years ago. At that time I was mostly trying to pimp my books (still am), and I also was pretty irritated by the technological utopianism of blogs like Slashdot and Boing Boing & I wanted to do something in the same basic zip code as those blogs but much more curmudgeonly and technoskeptical. Sort of a blend of Slashdot and Boing Boing on a bad acid trip by way of the Unabomber Manifesto was what I had in mind. I also imagined that that the now-atrophied Bonehead Computer Museum would evolve into the central attraction of the site. Guess I missed that guess. I had no idea when I invited Harold Feld to blog with me that I was snagging a world-class policy expert with a major talent for snark, nor did I know that Howard Stearns would emerge up to his eyeballs in Croquet at the head of the Web 3.0 movement. Much to my astonishment, and with little help from me, Wetmachine has become of blog of substance (by some definition of “substance”.) Who woulda thunk it? Any of y’all as may be interested in some more of my navel-gazing, feel free to follow me below the fold.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

My Day With the Reps, or Today I Am A Wonk.

Every profession has its little milestones. As a confirmed Washington policy wonk, I’ve always wanted to testify before Congress (in a situation where I did not have to take the Fifth). Well, TODAY I AM A WONK. (Actually, it was Thursday, September 21.) I testified at the House hearing on ICANN. You can read some of the (very light) news coverage here, and my official testimony here (executive summary here), and you can listen to an audio of the hearing by going here and clicking on the relevant link.

For my personal observations and comments, see below….

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Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)
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