Category Archives: Technology


If Amazon /must/ exist (and no one can convince me that it should), then why can’t I buy weed on Amazon?

Weed has saturated the Best Coast. Why hasn’t Bozos, er, Bezos figure out a way to sell Cannabis legally on his beloved garbage garage website?

Really, Jeffrey — what the hell?

Where is the buzz of the drone delivering my buzz while I drone on and on?

Space? Bah! You’re an amateur. Quit while you’re (way) behind (Musk). Get me my drugs – STAT!


A better TODO list

(Sent to Atlassian – makers of Jira – an issue management software application.)

Missing layer — per user task list MyTODO:


  • Is it a todo? Checkbox.
  • Is it a thing to remember – informational? Star.
  • Or is it a discovery node? Something to have answered? Question mark.

I’m sure I could think of a dozen enhancements (as could you).
But basically, a simple personal task list linked to content found in the Atlassian cloud. I’d like it possible to use a Surface or IPad to write/recognize text, but plain keyboard entry is fine. And that’s it.

Sure, things like duration spent per task, maybe another task type (but things to do, things to remember, things to ask are really all you need). And priority? It’s either hot or not.

Links between tasks would be nice perhaps. And maybe arbitrary HTTP links. But simple is the key here. If one needs complex entry – add a Trello board or Confluence post or Jira Ticket — right?

I’ll stay on line while you guys create this…
Or do you need help?

Oh, and I checked out the Atlassian marketplace: — all the TODO or checklist or tasklist plugins? Yeah, they all suck.


I mocked this up in Paint, of all things.


Death to Amazon

October 8th, 2018
• Submitted The Gribble’s Eye to Draft2Digital publishing engine.

Days elapse…
• All of the publishing venues approve the submission — ACCEPT Amazon.

Why? No one can say. “BLOCKED” read the publishing segment in D2D. Well, fuck me sideways. Thanks you, you Bezosian troglodyte. No email from the Big ASS, sorry AZZ. No indication as to why. Just “BLOCKED.”

A D2D agent was kind enough to inform me (after my befuddled email) that the Big AZZ had blocked my submission because the story was “already available as a blog.” WHAT? You mean the promotion I tried, in vain, to do months ago — they thought “that” was the part-‘n-parcel of the novel I was publishing? You bloody-fuckin’-lame-ass-toads…

(The CME can NOT come soon enough — centered on northwestern Washington state.)

So… I’ve privatized all the Gribble’s content. “No, CrapAzon, I wasn’t trying to infringe upon some website blog with a year’s worth of work in the form of an illustrated novel. (You idiots!)”

– Oh, Amazon is mostly automated (by algos written by bonobos, (sex crazed chimpanzees)) so they can’t really respond, or realize their egregious mistakes regarding prior content on the web… (Bullshit)

– Oh, Amazon is so large that they can do whatever they please when it comes to content. (NoShit – time to die, Amazon!)

– Oh, Amazon YOU SUCK! (Yeah, we suck, every living dollar from the world’s pocketbooks.)



Reading in one’s own accent

Here’s a strange thought: do we read in our own accents?

If you’re from Boston, or Atlanta, or Winnipeg, or Edinburgh do you mentally verbalize — as you read — in your own accent? That is, does your own mind’s voice speak to itself in the particular accent of your locality?

Got you thinking, right?

Of course, we can (probably) never know the answer. And the question is a bit of a tautology or more so, an impossible question. What happens in our Vegas mind, stays in our Vegas mind.

But to examine the question anyway: when we hear our own voice in a recording we do not notice our own accent. Actors no doubt can detect intentional accents of their own making. But average humans? Everyone else has an accent — not us.

So, I suspect we don’t read to ourselves in our native accent, or none that we can identify. But, perhaps, if we could tap into the biological wires that connect our reading mind  / speaking mind to our listening mind I bet we would recognize individual accents. It’s rather intriguing to think that someone from Mumbai is reading to themselves in a Mumbai accent.

It’s concepts like this that, from time to time, drop into my brain and make me wonder.


MTBF: Life

* Fermi Paradox topic alert

MTBF is a manufacturing term meaning Mean Time Between Failure. On average, what is the amount of time a product operates without failure.

In our analysis of the paucity of life in the universe, this concept — as applied to life — is less frequently addressed. But it’s critical to understanding why humanity is “probably” alone in the universe.

If you were an abiogenesis researcher trying to create life in the lab and one day you astound yourself and world by creating replicating, mutating life in a petri dish. You run out of the lab, shouting to your peers and head to the bar to celebrate. Meanwhile, Billy-the-janitor, runs across your ugly-smear of creation you left on the counter and tosses it in the trash headed to the incinerator. Poof. MTBF of your abiogenetically created life? About 24 hours.

As we investigate the probabilities of life in the universe, we must not only imagine the conditions that we believe are required for life to spawn spontaneously in the strange seas or tide pools of exotic planets, but we must include the MTBF of that life. If a comet smacks such a life-foundational planet every few months, wiping out Darwin’s crucible — over and over — that must be a part of our calculations.

If life gets started but the periods of prosperity are so short lived, despite the initial conditions that engendered such life, it doesn’t matter that such a place is ‘perfect’ to harbor life. A short MTBF will exclude it from our tally.

And it’s not just microbial life that we’re considering. MTBF of a society killing asteroid: 50 million years? MTBF of a super volcanoes: every 100,000 years? And my favorite the MTBF of a technologically advanced society, reliant on electricity coursing through wires, due to coronal mass ejection (CME): About 200 years.

There are dozens of other types of life erasers, each with its MTBF. Pockets of life must not only navigate such continuous disasters, but it must grow large enough so that as these calamities occur, the likelihood that any one catastrophe kills the entire genome of the planet (or the species) is reduced.

We look for the exo-conditions that we think are favorable to life. But we must remember to include the windows of opportunity life has, interstitially inserted between extinction events. What is humanity’s real MTBF?

Complex entertainment

Consider the entertainment industry 100 years ago. Or 200. Or 2000.

Could you ever believe you might be satisfied with shadow puppets, Punch n’ Judy, traveling minstrels, oral stories in an amphitheater or around a campfire and maybe, if you’re lucky, a play or a view of the art of a city, the wealthy or a religious edifice?

Throw your 21st Century self back into antiquity and imagine how bored your mind would be after about a month of getting used to life then. Sure, your time would be taken up with ten times the survival activity you practice today. But if you were one of the leisure crowd, try and picture the limited mental stimulation you’d be exposed to.

Today that would be worth a few hours of “Oh, this looks interesting…” (Now, what’s next? Because — I’m bored to tears.)

In our era, we’ve got so much entertainment, arts, media, sociality that we have a hard time turning it off. The common mantra “unplug, disconnect, go outside and live a little” is to return to a time when humans had little to fill their intellectual minds. “Ah, no jingles, beeps and buzzes, aside from the insects. Tranquility.”

I wonder at this progression.

From the simplistic, 300 baud data input stream of the natural world to the flood of terabytes saturating our brain cells  — we adapt; humanity’s every growing capacity to embrace the complex.

In 100 years we’ve gone from, what today’s media moguls would call pathetic information and entertainment input streams to what can only be called total-sensory-overload. Yet we condition ourselves, brace for the onslaught and beg for more.

In 100 years from now, imagine the exabytes that will blanket our minds and drive our desire for more, faster, now — even higher.

Fossil fuel volcano

I’m reading Light of the Stars “Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth” — Adam Frank.

I’m about halfway through and so far Frank has supplied mostly background in his attempt, I’m assuming, to present various models — based on our solar system’s mechanics and planetary variations — to determine the probability of exo-civilizations, in the galaxy and the cosmos in general.

Humanity’s existence and technological capability is dependent on a host of serendipitous “coin-flips” all landing up heads. Two of the biggest and most impactful are plate tectonics and the availability of a billion years worth of stored solar energy in the form of fossil fuel.

Plate tectonics ensures that CO2 is recycled. (CO2 is fixed from the atmosphere as sediment and rock, calcium carbonate — limestone, taken below the crust, disassociated and then re-released by volcanoes around the planet.) Without this cycle, CO2 would stay fixed, the planet would cool (as it has done in the past) (Nitrogen and Oxygen, 78% and 21%, are not efficient greenhouse gases) and that would be it for Earth.

And we all know what fossil fuels have done for humanity; taken an energy starved species and give it unlimited access to millions of years of nearly-free solar power. Without fossil fuels, humanity would have killed off all the whales (for fuel), burned down all the forests (for fuel), and never seen the explosive population growth that produced copious ideas resulting in constant technological advancement.


Part of his premise (I’m guessing) is to determine the impact and potential mitigation of global warming during the Anthropocene. This unusual release of extra CO2 that is warming the planet is, as far as he’s concerned, a potential solution to the Fermi Paradox: exo-civilizations might kill themselves off by their shear size and impact on their planet.

As I read Adam Frank’s setup I thought about a strange “ready for fiction” story line:

What would happen if a volcano suddenly spawned beneath one (or more) vast crude oil fields? Imagine if a Kilauea sized volcano burst up from the sands of Saudi Arabia. The heat and fire would start the oil burning. Thirty mile-high plumes of smoke would spread out for decades. Nuclear winter would descend. This is much like what a super-volcano would do, but a smaller volcano would suffice to trigger the calamity.

This is typical, don’t you think, this reading of anything and the extrapolation of a fiction story from the material? The “what if”s. I thrive on them.