Web Services

It feels like we’re finally starting to figure out what we want from this web thing. I know that’s fallacious for a number of reasons – the fallacies of history point out that the present always feels epiphanous with the past marked by a foolhardy primitivism; the fallacies of the future suggest that what we want today will not be what we want tomorrow, moreover what we wanted today may turn out to be nothing like what we’re getting today.



What we’re getting today though is a tagged web, a sharing web, microcosmic spheres of popularity within open environments, and lots of neat toys for us geeks. I’ve finally started using Delicious this month, and now I’ve used the Delish api to bring my bookmarks into my research blog. You can see what I’m talking about by clicking on my recent Edna Valley journal entry – on the right side of the page you have the homepages of several wineries which I’ve tagged with EdnaValley in Delicious. This openness removes my fear of having my data stuck in a proprietary system, allowing me to utilize it within my own project, meaning that I end up with a big, cohesive pyramid rather than a bunch of tiny disjointed temples. Big and cohesive are muy++ (to use my new Cpanglish linual structure, ah hell that’s another joke entirely) for the mythology of our minds.



And it looks as though Yahoo is jumping on board as well with My Web 2.0 . Jeremy
Zawodny is excited
, and with the caveat that he’s a Yahoo-er, I’m interested because he’s interested. Mostly though I’m interested because I’m allowed to be – because I can use the delish API to get at my data and will no-doubt be able to use the My Web 2.0 API to import that data, I’m not wedded to either one. And that, IMHO, is the essence of Web 2.0. (Or at least it is for the young and us geeks. What it means for the majority of the world, who are still figuring out how email works and haven’t a clue about RSS or social networking, is another subject altogether, one that I’m touching on in And On The
Sixth Day
– Nin and her troupe of Grocery Store Witches are very techno-unsavvy, but when they team up with a gaggle of geeks…)




Story Ideas

Had lunch at Samurai in Solana Beach this afternoon, the lunch special with a nice hunk of grilled teryaki salmon. One of the ideas that I had revolves around a mealtime situation – what would happen if you went into Region or Laurel and were served alternating courses, the finest of fine followed by the gluttonest of fast food gluttony? You can get 50 big macs for the cost of a meal at Region – there’s a tension there. It’s not a long piece but a short sit fic thing could be fun.

Shortages

We drank beer from tiny glasses in the sushi bar last night and I couldn’t have been happier. Drinking from tiny glasses forces you to concentrate on flavor, nuance, on your present shortage. Shortages are good. Once should always feel a shortage of at least a few nonessentials. Overabundance is a bore, the DNA never experienced overabundance, it’s a foreign thing and we are entirely incapable of dealing with it. It is overabundance, not shortage, that leads to violence and warfare. Shortages make brothers of us all.

Housing Market

I understand the housing boom now. The naughties thing to do is to resign yourself to never paying off the mortgage. Paying off the mortgage, burning the note, it’s all so passé. If your attitude is that the mortgage is something to reduce as quickly as possible, you’re going to shop dispassionately, with a severe eye towards every penny. If however the idea is to act as a bank, to play the borrow from Jim, lend to Paul game, then price still has importance but it’s not a penny-pinching point – you’re going to get the house of your dreams, for a lot more than you can ‘afford’ (per the traditional thinking), and you’re not going to quibble over a few thousand bucks. Multiply this thinking times a few thousand consumers and you’ve got a willingness to pay more – that phantom effect on the traditional supply/demand dichotomy.

Summer

It’s the first south seas day of the year in San Diego. Down in Mission bay dolphins are leaping into the air, all in celebration of me. The sun lingers on, refusing for so long to go down, then takes a bow when I’m not looking. Suddenly we’re in shadow. Driving home I stop at a liquor store and grab the first six-pack I don’t recognize. Driving down the alley I twist a cap off, spilling a little over, taking an enormous swill as I slow-ride in second down the alley. The car putters itself out, she knows that it’s twilight too. I park, swing my arms around, yell in the night, offer the neighbors a beer. She refuses and slinks away, thinking I’m a madman. If she only knew!

It is the day before the solstice and I am feeling evangelical, a cleric of Gilgamesh, chanting forgotten Babylonian syntax, phrases from dead languages, odes to Dionyses and Orpheus.

I’m drinking my beer straight from the bottle which I haven’t done in way too long. It’s a pale ale from nor cal, a bit mellower than Sierra, and it’s very good. I could have the whole sixer save of course the one Jen drank, and on the other hand I could stop at two. I’ve never been a man who needs to drink but I’ve always been a man who wants to drink. Life is too short to be a drug addict, sex addict, coke fiend, pot head, alchoholic. Funny how you get a label if you specialize. Personally I’d rather do a little of each, as mostly dance on the furniture and celebrate the top of the curve, slope equals almost zero, summer’s eminence.

Television

I am watching the Idiot Lantern. Indians and Pakistanis are yelling at each other from across the line, this white line that they’ve arbitrarily painted through a particular urban area to demark their border. It’s like a partisan soccer match in a neutral site. England v Germany in Amsterdam. Two World Wars and One World Cup. That kind of thing. It’s amazing to watch these tiny children get right into the rooting. It’s something that no American really knows, to be gonzo in love with your country. We have to do with allegiances to sports teams, colleges, high schools, reg league basketball teams.

The travel team is crossing into India from Pakistan where a man can’t drink a beer in public. I do not understand these inhumane places where imbibations are proscribed. I am a man and I expect to be able to hogswaddle myself or bathe myself in rose petals or lift weights until I drop or smoke a cigarette over a beer or have a couple puffs off of a joint if I’d like. There’s no logical reason for any drug to be illegal. It’s immoral, unmoral, submoral. For this reason, I denounce. A woman should show her face to the world and a man should be able to have a drink at the end of the most perfect pre-summer day.

Games

The Boss and I were talking about games yesterday, he was showing me Sim City 4 which he’s installed on his laptop in anticipation of a long plane ride and I remarked that while I used to love games like that, these days I can only play mindless shoot-em-ups. Why? Because those games basically require the same utter engrossment and mult-level desicion making that I get plenty of here at work, and if I’m in the mood for that sort of thing well hey, there’s my outlook task list full of oil wells which have to be dug and infrastructure that must be laid. Generally though in my time off I try to cultivate very analogue, disconnected behavior – If I’m not working and I’m not writing then I sure as hell don’t want to be micromanaging or catagorizing or optimizing, I want to be outside sniffing the flowers, surfing waves of sensory or mental stimuli.

Today I realized that even though I’ve abandoned them, games like Sim City and Civilization were probably excellent entrepenuerial training. They encourage and in the best games demand the sort of all-encompassing thinking which is required of anybody being put in an executive position.