Sunday, February 01, 2009

from Rebecca Walker, hypercapitalism in the world...

I found something in an article I am reading for a class. This part is just one paragraph from the essay but it is brilliant. This is from "We Are Using This Power to Resist" by Rebecca Walker. It originally appeared in The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism, edited by Vivien Labaton and Dawn Lundy Martin.

What I don't know is that even though there is no Us and Them, and we need to move beyod binarism and labels and to have compassion for all, including the heads of neinous multinational corporations and the executives at the IMF, the truth is that there is a clear line in the sand. That line ois global hypercapitalism, that line is greed, that line is human exploitation, that line is the utter disregard for the delicate balance of the earth. Either you believe that the system that ensures 50 percent of the world's resources for 6 percent of its population by any and all means necessary is leading us to annihilation one cancer case at a time, or you do not. Whether or not you are able to act in opposition to this reality in every instance is beside the point. Do you see it?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Keeping Track of Student Information?

In taking classes at SJSU, I see a lot of inefficiencies in how they manage their information. Is it surprising that the schedule of classes comes out after the end of the spring semester, when they begin compiling it in the previous November? When you see the structure of their database, it is not a surprise.

Well. Is it even possible to maintain student information in a way that is helpful to students. Apparently, it is. I found this bit in a brochure for the LSAT exams. It makes me wonder why, if all the community colleges and CS and UC schools are supposed to encourage transfers between them, they do not have the same kind of service.

Law School Data Assembly Service

(LSDAS) For US Law Schools Only

The LSDAS centralizes and standardizes the undergraduate academic records of law school applicants to simplify the law school admission process (for US law schools only). Nearly all American Bar Association-approved law schools (and some non-ABA-approved schools) require that applicants use the Law School Data Assembly Service. Canadian law schools do not participate in the LSDAS and do not requirte its use.

The LSDAS prepares a report for each law school to which you apply. The law school report contains information that the schools use, along with your application, personal essay, letters of recommendation, and other criteria, to make their admission decisions. Information contained in the report includes an undergraduate academic summary; copies of all undergraduate, graduate, and law/professional school transcripts; LSAT scores and writing sample copies; and copies of letters of recommendation processed by LSAC. Canadian law schools receive an LSAT Law School Report containing scores and writing sample copies.

The registration fee for the LSDAS includes law school report preparation, letter of recommendation and transcript processing, and access to electonic applications for all ABA-approved law schools.

(For the most up-to-date LSAT and LSDAS registration information, go to

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Desperately Trying To Avoid Studying...

Arg! I am so desperate to avoid studying for the finals that I have this coming week that I am actually writing to my blog. Gadzooks!

I love this one. A new bug database. One can use it to complain about absolutely anything. At last. Now, of course, there is a question. Where does one start? Maybe I should complain about not being able to decide which complaint to file first.

In further news, what was I thinking? Apropos of nothing, here are domains that I own. What am I doing with them? In some cases, I have no idea. But there it is.

* communitytinderbox.[com/net/org]
* donortracker.[com/net]
* easywalkingdistanct.[com/net/org]
* globalidentifier.[com/org]
* openwebobjects.[com/net/org]
* ratedwebservices.[com/net]
* slashvote.[com/net/org]
* sorrynopony.[com/net/org]
* universalhealthcarenow.[com/org]
* wykiwyk.[com/org]

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Liana's Relay Race Results

excerpted from

Congratulations to the Fremont Track & Field Teams, they opened their season last week: The boys and girls competed at the El Camino league scrimmage in Santa Clara (Feb 26th), and at the Willow Glen Invitational (Mar 1st). At the league scrimmage, called the Andy Anderson Relays, the combined girls/boys squad came in 3rd over-all. Event winners were; boys 4x600 meter relay were: Cristhian Montenegro, Saul Pacheco, Jose Manuel Gurrola and Jose Luis Gurrola. Girls 4x100 meter relay were: Tina Liu, Brittany Van Schravendijk, Aly Rajah and Keyundra Roberts. Girls 4x300 meter relay consisted of Aly Rajah, Alexa Wallin, Regina de Cesare and Brittany Van Schavendijk. The Fremont girls set a meet record, decimating the previous meet record by over 4 seconds. The individual winner of the boys’ triple jump was Peter Cabana. Although they did not win, the girls 4x600 meter relay of Alexa Wallin, Yasmine Bensidi, Liana Kiddy-Gan and Stephanie Schneider broke the previous school record by 31 seconds!

Monday, February 25, 2008

What did you give up for Lent?

I was walking across campus at SJSU a couple of weeks ago and I heard a snippet of a conversation. It seems funny, but I am not sure. A woman was walking by and I heard her say:

"No, I had to call you. I gave up texting for Lent."

Gave up texting? For Lent? Where does one go with this? It seems so odd, that it is hard to identify the kind of oddness it represents. O well. Now the Internet can deal with it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Sound of the Voice of an Organization

I realized something about how I understand systems, but I am not sure what to do with this knowledge yet.

I think that I hear the "tone of voice" of an organization when I talk to people in that organization. When I ask the questions this leads me to ask, the people in the organization almost always have no idea what I mean.

This is a trivial example. When you enter the bookstore on the campus of San Jose State University, they have wide doors that automatically open for you. When you leave, the doors are at an odd angle from the rest of the room and they are not automatic. So, what does thing say?

Perhaps it does not say much. If the people who manage this shop changed this, would it make a huge difference? Probably not. Should I argue with them about it, try to rally other students to the cause? Definitely not. But it does mean something. It expresses an attitude of disdain. I can hear it as I walk out. It says that I have already been suckered into buying these over-priced books and they have no reason to be nice to me anymore. It says "Bought your books? Good, now go away...."

So, what is there to do? I am not sure. I do not want the book store to fix the doors. I want them to be the sort of organization that would know that they should not set it up this way, that would not have set it up this way in the first place. How does one ask for that?

Maybe I want to be the kind of person that can ignore the tone in their voice, to hear that whatever they are actually saying is probably reasonable.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Global Warming - In Pursuit of Ignorance

Here are two different situations. How are they linked?

Someone asked the Colorado state department that administers schools whether the schools of Colorado needed to be made safe for earthquakes. Quite a few of the schools were built when a lot less was known about earthquake safety. The answer was that they did not know. It turns out that the agency in question does not have a list of the schools and when they were built or what condition they are in. Or rather, they do not have a list of the schools in Colorado. To be more precise, they are forbidden by law from having a list of the schools in Colorado. Think about this for a minute. Why would an agency that is supposed to oversee the schools in Colorado be forbidden from having a list of the schools?

I think that part of the answer is that most elected officials in Colorado disagree about everything except that the government is evil. They do not want to be regulated or taxed and they would just rather the state government wither away and leave them alone. Sounds like Marx to me, but who knows.

Second situation. There is quite a bit of uncertainty about some of the details of the global climate destabilization that is going on and that humans are causing. There is no scientific uncertainly about whether the climate is being destabilized. We know it is. There is no scientific uncertainty about whether there changes are being caused by humans. We know that they are. Only politicians "know" otherwise, and they can close their eyes and hold the hands over the ears and yell "Nya, Nya, I don't hear you!" for as long as the voters let them. We have a satellite called "DSCOVR" that can sit at a certain point between the Earth and the Sun and tell us rather a lot about whether the amount of energy that the Earth absorbs or reflects is changing. But the satellite is sitting in a warehouse, waiting for ... what? Nothing. Except that if we have better information about the damage we are doing to the planet's climate, we may actually have to be serious about responding to the problem.

What do these situations have in common? They both show that ignorance is bliss. If a politician does not know something, then there is no way they could have made the right decision? And, if they can guarantee that nobody is able to give them that information, then they can escape responsibility for their ignorance for that much longer.

I know that in twenty or thirty years, when there are massive disruptions to our way of life from what we are doing now, I am going to feel a lot better when dottering old George W Bush explains that nobody could have known, that it is a tragedy, that "mistakes were made", and that it is a shame nothing could have been done to prevent the problems. Won't this make you feel better too?

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