ISN’T THAT NICE. Disruption Monitor promised to be a responsible blog owner and then reality went and made a fool out of us again. Shortly before Saturnalia an alien invaded my life and routine. She infected me with her space dog mind control and nothing’s been the same since. DM
DISRUPTION MONITOR HAS reverted to the Twenty Twelve theme to correct the mobile width issue that was plaguing the Minipress layout. We want to publish, not self-flagellate over child CSS gobbledygook. DM
Disruption Monitor is constructed using the Minipress theme for WordPress blogging software. Until the publisher figures out how to optimize the display for mobile phones, rendering may appear squished. For best results use a desktop screen. We’ll provide an update when mobile optimization is improved.
I’VE JUST RE-IMAGED my blog Disruption Monitor. Since July I have been an absentee landlord. But thanks to the wonderful Cystic Fibrosis clinicians and 6 Bond ward staff at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, yours truly has been revived once again for maybe the twelfth time. This time around I’m going to commit to publishing a couple of times a week, which appears to be the bare minimum to keep some sort of readership. I want to boost publication beyond this but can’t promise just yet. And there’s more.
I’m coming out and adding a new subject at the same time. No, I’m not gay. So passé. This doesn’t raise an eyebrow in most civilized countries anymore. Of more interest, I’m proudly coming out as a UFO nut. This is a quarter century closeted secret for me. But no more.
You need to know, they’re here. The question was never “Are we alone?” although there is a book by that name on Hillary Clinton’s reading list. Big bang or no, you must be unable to count in order to believe there isn’t intelligent life out there. Somewhere.
There are three more relevant questions to consider:
- Are there intelligent non-human beings operating on and around earth beyond cetaceans, apes and elephants?
Undoubtedly Yes. It’s possible to be confident in this answer, like you’re confident of the earth’s orbit around the sun.
- Should we describe them as E.T., extra-dimensional, or supernatural?
Less clear. These labels themselves are not dissimilar.
- Why don’t “we the people” know more about this subject given its importance?
The answer is troublesome.
Thank you for reading. And thanks to journalist Billy Cox for his encouragement. I’ll explain more soon. DM
It ain’t Raymond Cho!
INTRODUCING A NEW book by Jeremy Tompkins. No School For Suckers tells the story of how successive Conservative governments in Ontario used their control over textbook evaluation to psychologically manipulate schoolchildren. The book focuses on the Big Blue Machine era of Ontario politics, from 1943 to 1985, when Conservatives ruled the province for an unprecedented 42 years. Hundreds of submitted textbooks, approved by the province’s own evaluation process, were nonetheless rejected for political gain. Because of the province’s large population, home to almost 50 percent of Canada’s English speakers, and its dominance in educational publishing, the rest of Canada was pulled into Ontario’s fog of censorship.
The censorship program in Ontario was uncovered at the Archives of Ontario. After signing a Freedom of Information agreement with the Archives, Jeremy gathered, organized and narrated the details on how teachers were recruited and paid to review textbooks and then ignored. No School For Suckers describes how the Ministry of Education obfuscated its actions by suggesting to publishers their books were rejected when in fact they were often majority or unanimously approved. The book tells the story of how the politicians got to the children.
Some of Canada’s best known authors and historians had their work censored, including Margaret Atwood, June Callwood, Ian Adams, Heather Robertson, Daniel Drache and many others. No sex, no drugs and no criticism of establishment. No fun. Those were the rules. The censorship program ripped out the heart of Canada’s independent publishing industry and treated kids like suckers.
Advance reading copies of No School For Suckers will be made available to reviewers in the second quarter of 2014 from Regoczei Associates. DM
The Disruption Monitor will be undergoing some light spring cleaning over the next couple of days. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We are going to move some things around and try out some new approaches. Please stay tuned. DM
How we organize our intellectual property has to change. So far, since our our ongoing business association began last summer, we have been working with an information storage and retrieval system best described as paper and box. We interact and produce ideas. In my mind this activity has already demonstrated its value. But we (especially me) can do better.
Once we produce these ideas, I find, they often disappear into the stack, down the memory hole, never to be seen again. You keep everything.
Your little black and red books and annotated margins lead me to believe you own an indexing system unknown to the outside world. But unless RAi has the key, RAi cannot benefit from this treasure trove.
Although I’m a librarian by trade, I’m not an archivist. I don’t do paper, those little one-off sheets of pulp. Bond paper, full scapes, etc, etc. They have importance for the purposes of authority and provenance but there are people to do that. I do electronic, at light speed. Paper may stay put, but unless you can use paper’s content, paper’s value is sentimental; just like those little lickable denominations that used to front our paper tranfsers. I think you called them stamps and their world ephemeral. Yes there is collector value there too, in the millions of dollars apparently, for the truly bored and insane. But to me, paper’s best friend is a locked shredder box in transit to the shredding station.
Often you ask for copies of my paper notes but going forth I no longer want yours. In fact I no longer want mine either. Please take them away. Notebooks are a little different and still useful because they offer the ultimate in portability. Ever try making good use of a laptop computer on site at a battlefield or dance club? Me neither but I bet its difficult. In the future I want my notes and your notes to live in the electronic world as well. I propose to send all our notes to the blog, like this note, to our email accounts (Yes, SR uses email!), or through a word processor and then on to a searchable and bot-indexed drive. JT
Good people are people of goodwill. People of ill will very seldom get talked about.
I arrive in France. I carry my own world with me (see: Hypersea). My world only includes kind people. In France to recreate my own world I only want to deal with kind people, nice people and people of goodwill. I asked my French friends to find me people who are gentil. (the gentil is one half of the English word gentleman. French gentil equals English gentle). My French friends laughed. They said “there are no gentil people in France.” They were obviously wrong but they wanted to protect me from engaging in any starry-eyed fantasy.
People of goodwill also need to be very much like a Mensch. Mensch is a Yiddish word. Literally it means a human being! The tight-assed bureaucrat, the official who pulls a power trip and uses the machinery of the bureaucratic faith to harass and debilitate is the exact opposite of a Mensch. Scott (who works here) is a Mensch. He is also a person of goodwill. The world may be brutal but we humans should not be brutal to each other.
Apple was always a very bureaucratic company. Steve Jobs, whatever his merits, was not what we would describe as a nice guy. Apple stuff is beautiful but it somehow never looks like something built by a bunch of Menschen.
The hammer thrower was about as disciplined as you can imagine any human being to be. To be a female and to be a star athlete requires almost superhuman discipline. Parents of daughters in competitive sports know the absolute superhuman determination that their daughters must possess (in addition to all other wonderful characteristics). The corporate brutality of the IBM big brother is being replaced by the achievements of a group of individuals who went through a regime of self-discipline that would drain practically all the Mensch-like qualities from a living breathing human.
The Macintosh was not a standout product but the Macintosh with HyperCard was. That was the cultural revolution. The struggle is between corporate and personal. The nice guys are still going to finish last. SR