Saturday, November 04, 2006

RIP Rent-a-Bum

Rent-a-Bum has been assimilated into the corporate Borg.

"This ain't our first rodeo, it is our last."

Had I stayed and kowtowed to the great borg I would have had the pleasure to roadie for the "Killer" - Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis... but that is not what it was all about... kowtowing. Being a Rent-a-Bum was about being above all that. It was about hard work, professionalism, and a close association with the bands and performers. Rent-a-Bum was not about kowtowing to the corporate borg.

Rent-a-Bum was about being a shield. Being a barrier between the acts and the corporate world that wanted a piece of them. Venue owners want special privileges, back stage access, glad handing. Audience members, grrrms, want special privileges, back stage access, glad handing. Acts and talent just want to be normal people, treated with respect for their professional contributions. Acts and talent just want to get the job done and relax without being grabbed, picked at or fawned over. Rent-a-Bum was about providing that layer of professional space.

Friday, November 03, 2006

American Wealth

I have never really been hungry.

I don't know what gnawing perpetual hunger is. I don't know what going to bed hungry every night is all about. I have never really wondered where my next meal was coming from.

I have never really been thirsty.

I have never been so dehydrated that I had to drink contaminated water.

I have never really been cold.

Really cold as in continuously unable to generate enough body warmth to be comfortable.

I have never really been homeless.

I have always had an address. I have always had a house to live in.

I have never really had to work hard.

Work hard for days on end, exhausted at the end of the day and bone-tired at the beginning of the day.

I have never really been poor.

I do not know how 80% (at least) of the worlds population feels every minute of every day of their entire lives.

Who am I to say that I understand any part of the world situation?

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I posted the previous (Cyber Agricultural Engineers, Oh my!) rather as an off-hand remark. More like an exclamation. Then I began to internalize exactly what 'Gold Farming' represented in my world view. Then the warning klaxon began to sound in earnest.

Perhaps as much as two years ago I slack-jaw marveled at an NPR story about a fellow who had paid ~$12,500 USD for a virtual island in one of the on-line games. The reporter went on to suggest that this enterprising individual would do what any self respecting property developer would do... sub-divide, build, sell and make a fortune. A real fortune, selling digital dreams to other would be digital Barons.

So if this adheres so closely to the brick and mortal model of value enhancement then why am I so excited about it? Real world value is being assigned to virtual world entities. With this assignment we are leaving the reality of our terra firma for the vast uncharted space of our fantasies. The gap between values and Values is widening with no regard to the cost in human terms. Literally, while people on one side of our planet are starving to death, people on the 'other side' of reality are spending real time, real money and real energy achieving status in a pretend world. In the ether of the net.

It will always be easier/cheaper to offer a person the picture of a bowl of rice than it will to offer the bowl of rice. Pictures will not feed the outer person. Pictures will not sustain the inner person.

Neo, take the blue pill.

Cyber Agriculture Engineers, oh my!

I have in the past lovingly referred to Farmers as Agricultural Engineers. Then I read an GigaOM article that referenced Gold Farmers which lead me here...

Gold farming in China

According to estimates, around 100,000 people in China are employed as gold farmers, as of December 2005. [1] This represents about 0.4% of all online gamers in China. Chinese gold farmers typically work twelve hour shifts, and sometimes up to eighteen hour shifts. Wages depend heavily on location and the size of the gold farming company. One gold farming operation in Chongqing in central China with 23 gold farmers was reported to pay its employees the equivalent of about 75 U.S. dollars per month, while workers at a larger gold farm in Fuzhou earn the equivalent of about 250 U.S. dollars per month. The rising prevalence of gold farming has led to the creation of gold farm brokerages, such as UCdao. [2]

Pulp fiction fun

The great thing about pulp fiction is that it is just like TV ... without the commercials. Ahhhhhhh!

Stone Cold, Robert B. Parker

Tucker, Louis L'Amour
Spring Moon, Bette Bao Lord


Fairy Tales for Computers, The Eakins Press, Copyright @ 1969
The Machine Stops, E. M. Forster
The Nature Theater of Oaklahoma, Franz Kafka
Notes on a Dream, Theodor Herzl
The Book of the Machine, Samuel Butler
On Intelligence, Paul Valéry
The Nightingale, Hans Christian Andersen

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

But seriously...

(Read "I was taken..." then come back and read this - the only problem with blogging is the reverse time warp-thing that happens, FILO, etc. )

One of the other offers that I receive frequently always strikes a chord with me... "Earn your degree on-line in minutes..." In this day and age of 'padding' one's resume to secure that cherry position with that Web2.0 startup having an extra PhD laying around is handy... sure I could just "claim" my position in life and who would be the wiser? I would! Therein lies the problem...

So my resolve is to implement the opposite... I intend to receive my Letters from IU (Internet University) the old fashion way - I will write. Some will read.

Pa^2 - The Way...
began as an essay. As I started into it I realized that I will spend a very long time trying to do justice to the "simple" ideas that I have put forth.

I was taken... (winkwink)

Not a day goes by that some individual doesn't make it their business to worry about the length, volume, and functionality of my... "The pen is mightier than the sword." I am touched by their heartfelt expressions of concern. I am up-lifted by their offers of encouragement. I am buoyed by their offers of assistance in this most delicate matter.

Heckfire! I am just pleased beyond words to receive a daily onslaught of personal correspondence offering me just what I need to over-come my deficiencies. I feel better already knowing that the answer is just a click away...

Oh! The title of this post... sorry, I should have put up the entire thing.

In my view one of the greatest lines ever penned in popular culture... "I was taken by a photograph of you." Joni Mitchell's clear and soaring voice comes a ringing through...

. . .