Monthly Archives: June 2011

“He’s like this cross between General Patton and Willy Wonka. He’s in command of a massive army, all in the effort to create the ultimate Everlasting Gobstopper.”

My sister brought me back this awesome poster from India.

A few weeks ago the value of the Bitcoin briefly plunged to negative eight cents to the dollar as hackers crashed exchanges and digitally ransacked electronic wallets to the tune of $9 million. A single victim claims that hackers absconded with some 25,000 of his bitcoins, worth, absurdly, approximately $375,000 at present dollar-to-bitcoin exchange rates.

That’s a crazy amount of money to have stolen by someone essentially copying a file from your hard drive. And that’s just the beginning of what’s happening in the world of Bitcoin, which combines enough hackers, monetary policy cranks, and mysterious Japanese corporations to populate a Neal Stephenson novel.

Talking that digital currency game at GOOD.

Everything about this movie is totally nuts. I recommend it.

Caribbean Festival is a pretty big deal in my neighborhood, so it was doubly sad to miss it this past weekend and return to learn that the event had attracted violence from local crews that resulted in a deadly shoot-out. The chief suspect, a nineteen year-old, had just returned to the city from an exile that began after a drive-by shooting targeting him resulted in the death of a teenage girl. From the police reports:

Investigators say Jimenez, a member of the Hobart Stars crew, was posturing against a member of the Clifton Terrace University crew along Georgia Avenue on Saturday afternoon. When the other man turned to leave the street with his two friends, Jimenez and his friends followed them. The men’s posturing turned to showing each other their weapons, then Jimenez walked toward the CTU men, ducked behind a car, and fired his .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol at them. Two of the men answered back with gunfire of their own in his direction.

Scary stuff.

So in the first ten years of this century, we’ve made nearly a quarter of everything ever made since the first century.

Here’s one of the better assessments of David Foster Wallace’s work, by William Deresiewicz. It’s insightful for two reasons: One, it gets past DFW’s post-modern literary techniques and structures to recognize that DFW was not a post-modernist in the ideological or thematic sense. Two, for all the hoopla surrounding the (deservedly) famous Kenyon address, Dersiewicz recognizes DFW’s ultimate failure to discern how to live* in a post-modern world without accepting or affirming the the unpleasant implications of that system of thought, which is a scary recognition indeed.

*Not in a “someone who commits suicide has obviously not figured out how to live,” but that the over-arching theme of his work was exploring the philosphical implications of a question he could never produce a satisfying answer to, which has some bum-out connotations for all the rest of us.**

** Yes, these footnotes are obnoxious, inevitable and obligatory.