6.01.2011

5.31.2011

"The telos of techne"

"To speak more generally, the ultimate goal of technology, the telos of techne, is to replace a natural world that’s indifferent to our wishes — a world of hurricanes and hardships and breakable hearts, a world of resistance — with a world so responsive to our wishes as to be, effectively, a mere extension of the self."

Tomorrow, we return more fully, in a way, to that harsher natural world as the blog concludes.

But I will say that Letters in Bottles, while it's been an extension of the self, has not been about replacing a natural world through the technological medium of a blog.  It's been more about capturing, analyzing, and wondering at the lives that we and others lead in that world.  And in turn, a community of sorts has emerged in the chattering, though the bottles have long since floated far out to sea.

5.27.2011

“This is the land of dreams,” he said. “Oshkosh is the best in the world!”

Fernando Perez-Canto, sitting next to the single-engine Maule he flew here from Venezuela for the second year in a row, termed the event "the Woodstock for our hobby,' and Sergey Ryabtsev of Russia, an aviation enthusiast who overcame an intense fear of flying to travel aboard an airliner to the event, proclaimed Oshkosh “the spirit of aviation itself.” One evening, as he prepared time-lapse photography of Elvis, the Eriksen Air-Crane heli-tanker, he said, "I’m ready to spend money, spend time, spend everything to be in Oshkosh."
Will you be in Oshkosh this summer?

5.25.2011

"Democrats were clinging to the developments like koalas to eucalyptus trees"

Our debilitating national aversion to reducing the burden of federal entitlements needs to stop.

Fantastic

Jurassic Park sort of turned me off to technology in archaeology -- being a bit anachronistically inclined born in the early '80s, I preferred to think of my bone-hunters as latter-day Indiana Joneses (of course!). But I have to say, this is just all kinds of awesome:
"Indiana Jones is old school, we've moved on from Indy, sorry Harrison Ford."

5.24.2011

The Walk to School

















A young girl walks to meet the bus in St. Roch, New Orleans this morning as a SWAT team bursts into a home in the background.

5.18.2011

Further proof of how lucky we are that Joanne Kloppenburg will NOT be a Supreme Court Justice

I read her op-ed piece in the Journal Sentinel and was pretty shocked at how divorced from reality her arguments are. Many of the "irregularities" found in Waukesha County are no different than ballot bags found in Dane County or other counties throughout the state. Plus, with the GAB's press release the other day, it seems as though any court challenge would be doomed to failure.

I think Althouse has a pretty good takedown of how desperate Kloppenburg is beginning to look:
Oh, so the disembodied process proceeds as it was prescribed. No, it proceeds because you chose to put it in motion, and another choice looms in the future. Why are you pretending that you don't know what you are going to do?

"Wisconsin law specifically anticipates that there may be court challenges..." See what I mean by mind-crushingly dull? Or... if you think about it long enough, maybe it will cease to be dull and become infuriating.

5.16.2011

That Senate race may not be as exciting as we think

When a four term Senator retires, it naturally sets the political world ablaze with thoughts on who will step to the plate. Herb Kohl's announcement on Friday is certainly no different. We've heard several names tossed around on both sides, but unfortunately I'm not even certain that we'll get a competitive primary at all.

The problem is that for big races, the Democrats and Republicans in Wisconsin act far too much like machines. The retirement of Dave Obey last year should have been an opportunity for many ambitious state legislators, but the party feared a "waste" of resources and anointed Sen. Lassa as the nominee behind closed doors. The same holds true for the gubernatorial primary. Lt. Gov. Lawton suddenly dropped out of a race she'd wanted to run for eight years and Mayor Barrett was basically told that he would run and he would be the nominee.

On the Republican side, many in leadership acted disgracefully in the way they treated Mark Neumann and seemed to do just about everything possible to make the "undesirable" Senate candidates go away. While not as successful in limiting the field as the Dems, it was still bad.

So, while I would love to see a knock-down-drag-out fight between Ron Kind, Tammy Baldwin, and any number of state legislators, I simply don't believe it will happen. The DNC is still run by the White House and they will not allow that many open seats to defend in one of the most important states to the President's reelection. To borrow a phrase that's popular among the left right now, that would be shameful.

And honestly, the same goes for the GOP. There should be a lively and vigorous debate about the future of our nation and how best to combat the problems of entitlement reform and perpetual deficits from a conservative perspective. But I fear we won't get that because it's just far too costly in a presidential election year.

I'd love to see a big free-for-all next year and it would make Wisconsin one of the most watched states in the country, but it's more likely that the Dems will have picked their nominee by the end of the year and the GOP won't be far behind them.