~e; EM observations #16

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sun, 24 Apr 2005 21:31:12 -0500

[keywords] nuclear, .US energy policy, purging PBS,
how to politically exploit daylight savings times,
Enron, e-waste, electromagnetic pope, em-.EU arms,
SmartCars, copymachine art, WMD film studies,
ghost piano channels composers, LOST: one H-Bomb

electromagnetic observations -- #16

* a bit confused by the .US energy bill in relation to
the .US energy task force and policy recommendations,
as the latter was focused on rejuvinating the nuclear
industry and large centralized fossil & nuclear power
plants, along with creating (new) rights-of-ways for
high-voltage transmission pylons/powerlines which is
an extension of the old industrial power model: highly
centralized super-plants & long-distance transmission,
when these very systems are the weakness of the current
system both economically and security-wise, by Federal
Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's own criteria for why
the .US needs an energy policy beyond the price of gas.
(e.g. take out one super plant and huge sectors go dark.
if reliant on one kind of fuel, unable to adapt. etc.)

these issues are not showing up in the .US House bill,
as reported, so it is curious where such agendas arise,
if they are hidden in the Senate versions or are going
to be a consequence of passing this energy legislation.
the reason it is worrying is because it is a regressive
approach to current energy issues, literally being pre-
9/11 policy that remains unchanged in its nature post-
9/11, when it is also the keystone to most every issue,
from economics to war to weather. in an open debate if
it still exists in public governance of the .US today,
it should be fairly basic to outline why a nuclear and
fossil fuel push minus an equally robust sustainability
moves would spell short term plug in the entropic dike,
and that issues surrouding nuclear in and of itself are
enough to reimagine safety beyond giving carte-blanche
to the nuclear industry should any terror actions occur,
them having no liability for radiation explosions, no-
thing. nor for storing more nuclear waste that today is
not yet capable of handling even present inventories.
the advantage of looking beyond the short term and the
fossil and nuclear lobbies, alone, is that these may be
balanced by a diversification of energy flows and could
supplement eachother should any faulter by itself- so
to speak, to not put all one's eggs in nuclear baskets.
maybe China will build hundreds of nuclear plants, and
new nuclear technology needs to be developed to keep in
pace, which seems to be VP Cheney's overriding rationale
(in addition to new nuclear weapons, arsenal, defenses).
but it does not need to be the basis for all .US power,
or its energy planning or its economy or its security.
centralization of electrical power plants is part of
the problem, as is long-distance transmission (think
Enron, or, maybe not) for loss of democratic control.

decentralization of energy supplies, sources, types of
plants, local power could supplement the current grid
and make it robust by diversifying it, so that if the
price of oil remains as it is- that efficiencies can
be found in multiple places of innovation rather than
a limited few of a rigid system. for instance instead
of focusing just on building new plants and powerlines,
if major funds went into new lighting technology, (if
memory serves, the statistic is something like) 20% of
oil imports could be reduced by changing basic consumer
energy usage patterns. so too for architecture, that
field of sometimes 90% enegy lost (from centralized
powerplants and long-distance tranmission lines). it
would be to focus on savings instead of just spending,
and investing in defensive not just offensive planning.
why neither Senators nor anyone in Congress can make a
case for balanced energy policy is beyond comprehension.

it would be great for a (.us) national energy debate
regarding the issues of economics and security, and
the current legislation versus a more inclusive view
and analysis which is reviewed by the public (unlike
the current policy, developed by Enron and VP Cheney).
if energy policy is really about economics and security
it should be possible to open up the policy to public
views of what these ideas entail, and to include more
ideas about what is most economical and secure as an
approach to not only short- but middle- and long-term
energy developments. to include initiatives for energy
savings, using less barrels of oil, as a strategy too.
unless, that is, .US energy policy is a one-trick pony
with neither basic economic nor security improvements
which transcend the limitations of the current system,
thus compounding the problem by not changing course...


"Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" // free day-pass
This movie about America's biggest corporate collapse is part
of a new breed of film, more agitprop than documentary.

	'What emerges is a tale as fatalistic as anything in Sophocles: The  
now-notorious Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling built a midsize  
gas-pipeline company called Enron into the poster child for a new  
economy of free markets and deregulation, but the sins they committed  
along the way guaranteed a stupendous collapse.' ... 'Gibney's point,  
in large part, is that the ideology Skilling believed in so fervently  
-- basically, that deregulated markets and intelligent corporate  
self-interest would lead to bigger profits and a more efficient energy  
system for all -- was dangerously misguided.'

	[and] 'Enron's California "experiment" was nothing short of a  
rape-and-pillage operation, and the Enron story in total suggests that  
greed makes businesspeople do evil and stupid things, and trumps any  
long-term rational view.'

// (daylight savings as energy savings? exhaust workers for 2 more
// months... example of social engineering as a state technology...)
// that is, make people's biological clocks change rather than have
// car makers raise fuel efficiency standards or change in any way.

[see:] .US House Approves Broad Energy Bill // **

	'The bill also would funnel more than $12 billion in tax breaks and  
subsidies to energy companies. Opponents of the legislation said it  
would do little to foster less energy use. A proposal to require higher  
fuel economy for cars was rejected.' ... 'To foster less energy use,  
the House bill calls for extending daylight-saving time by two  

// private weather businesses cannot handle competition? inane.
// probably argued in the name of homeland security, no less...
// could be a great ruse for hiding global warming data. (drudge)

Feds' weather information could go dark // *** 'weather is not free.'

	'NOAA has taken no position on the bill. But Ed Johnson, the weather  
service's director of strategic planning and policy, said his agency is  
expanding its online offerings to serve the public.'

[related] Dearth Day // energy, other environmental fiascos...
Earth Day goings-on don't measure up to dark drama on Capitol Hill

// it is curious why the power-tool industry is not a big target.
// each of cordless tool set will have huge batteries thrown away,
// when corded tools are a better value and are not obsolescent...

Jobs defends Apple against e-waste protest

[and] Earth Day Activists Chide Apple; Jobs Snaps Back

	'Jobs ended up lacing his criticisms with a bit of profanity, called  
the activists' claims that Apple was insensitive or irresponsible  
"bulls---," according to reports in the San Francisco Chronicle.' ..  
'In the meantime, rivals Dell and Hewlett-Packard on Thursday both  
lowered the price to consumers for recycling obsolete hardware.'

DIELECTRIC // (sleeping EM networks). thanks *

		'The buzzing of powerlines is a subtle yet omnipresent phenomenon in  
urban spaces. If perceived, one might interpret these acoustic  
manifestations of dynamic electricity as a symbolic expression of the  
city's enormous need for energy. The project "DIELECTRIC" is an  
interactive installation inspired by the buzzing sounds that powerlines  
produce... The installation's main components are two powerline  
crossarms and wires. Halfway between the crossarms the powerline's  
wires are interwoven to form a hammock.'

Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart // *

Pope Benedict XVI Gets E-Mail Address // pope@vatican.va

[and] 'No porn' promises BenedictXVI.com owner

	'"Whatever I decide, it's going to be guided by a desire not to anger  
1.1 billion Catholics," said Cadenhead, who says he has already  
rejected an offer from a gambling site. "Even though I'm a lapsed  
Catholic, I'm not lapsed that far."' .. 'He added he was considering  
his options for the site, but if the pope's people were to approach him  
to discuss taking over the site, he might make some requests.' .. '"I'd  
like one of those big papal hats, and maybe three days and two nights  
at the Vatican hotel they built for the conclave," he said.'

EU Satellite System To Aid Chinese Missiles // Galileo GPS

Laptop-controlled mine system headed for Iraq // (gizmodo)

	'Users of the system will be able to choose between blasting their  
enemies with Claymores, which spit out hundreds of steel balls  
propelled by plastic explosives, or with the M5 Modular Crowd Control  
Munition, a non-lethal take on the Claymore that sprays rubber balls  
instead of steel.'

chore // painting...

S. Korean Ties With China Spurred North's Nuke Drive // **

	'As for Huh's assessment, he told the Web site North Korea was making  
plans to develop a nuclear capability even as Pyongyang signed an  
agreement with Seoul in 1991 to keep the peninsula nuclear-free.' ..  
'He said the North's weapons program is not really a tool designed to  
negotiate with the U.S., but rather one to ensure the survival of the  
current regime.'

PBS Scrutiny Raises Political Antennas // *** via drudgereport.com

	'Typically one of the quietest bureaucracies in Washington, the  
quasi-governmental [Corporation for Public Broadcasting] has been  
unusually active in recent weeks. CPB  this month appointed a pair of  
veteran journalists to review public TV and radio programming for  
evidence of bias, the first time in CPB's 38-year history that it has  
established such positions. PBS officials were unaware that the  
corporation  intended to review its news and public affairs programs,  
such as "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" and "Frontline," until the  
appointments were publicly announced.' .. 'In negotiations with PBS  
earlier this year, the corporation  also insisted, for the first time,  
on tying new funding to an agreement that would commit the network to  
strict "objectivity and balance" in each of its programs  --  an idea  
that PBS's general counsel described in an internal memo as amounting  
to "government encroachment on and supervision of program content,  
potentially in violation of the First Amendment."' ... 'A senior FCC  
official, who would not speak for attribution because he must rule on  
issues affecting public broadcasting, went further, saying CPB "is  
engaged in a systematic effort not just to sanitize the truth, but to  
impose a right-wing agenda on PBS. It's almost like a right-wing coup.  
It appears to be orchestrated."'

SMARTs in America -- Big Deal? // 60mpg SmartCar (engadget)
A Newly Electric Green – Sustainable Energy, Resources and Design

[and] Honda Offers Retail Natural Gas Vehicle // .US

What Is Copy Art? Photocopy as an Art Medium // excerpt...

Lost: One H-Bomb. Call Owner
After 47 Years, a WMD Remains AWOL // via cursor.org

	'Just after midnight on Feb. 5, 1958, two U.S. Air Force jets, each  
traveling 500 mph, collided 35,000 feet over the Georgia countryside.  
Improbably, all four crew members survived and the accident might have  
passed into dim memory if not for the thermonuclear weapon jettisoned  
off Tybee Island, Ga.' .. 'The bomb is still there.' ... 'After 47  
years, the Mk 15, a thermonuclear weapon with a design power at least  
60 times the Hiroshima bomb, remains underwater within perhaps 16 miles  
of downtown Savannah.'

[and] Nuclear Options: Do we need new nukes? // via cursor.org
	'A new nuclear debate is getting ready to rage. In many ways, it's a  
resumption of a debate that took center stage in national security  
politics for a 30-year run, from the outset of the U.S.-Soviet arms  
race in the early 1960s through the end of the Cold War in the early  
'90s. The setting is brand new, but the questions are the same: What  
roles do nuclear weapons play in war and peace? How many do we need?  
What kinds of targets should they be aimed at in order to fulfill those  
roles? One side of this debate—the side for "many roles," "more  
weapons," and "lots of targets"—has already begun to make its case. The  
other side will get steamrollered unless it gets started, too.'

Ivory encore for dead piano greats // ghost Disklavier concert...

	'Zenph Studios, a software company based in Raleigh, has found a way  
to take a music recording and convert it into a live concert played on  
real instruments. The concert will be a completely faithful rendition  
of the original pianists' work.' ... 'The breakthrough that Zenph has  
achieved is to extract the sounds from audio recordings and convert  
them into a high-resolution version of MIDI, the standard way of coding  
music for computers. To do so they had to tackle the problem of  
polyphonic transcription - distinguishing several notes played  

// imagine today's computer OS' and all the exta clicking and
// saving and things needing to be remembered, ... and how much
// this may impact actual thought about the content of files,
// how they relate as knowledge, and new ideas that may result.

'Info-mania' dents IQ more than marijuana // info-overload...

	'Far from boosting productivity, the constant flow of messages and  
information can seriously reduce a person's ability to focus on tasks,  
the study of office workers found.'

Lights, camera, Armageddon // *** WMD film studies. via cursor.org
When Hollywood speaks, the public listens. But what happens when  
filmmakers fudge the facts in favor of special effects and cheap  

	'Today, we've entered the era of the friendly, functional cinematic  
nukes. These nuclear weapons aren't the proverbial "destroyer of  
worlds," but saviors of humanity. They possess utility and a higher  
purpose. Twice they've thwarted a giant asteroid from slamming into the  
Earth ( Deep Impact and Armageddon ); and once they helped reset the  
rotation of its core ( The Core ).' .. 'Amazingly, these films reflect  
the zeitgeist. Polls indicate that nuclear weapons are no longer the  
number one public fear. (U.S. mayors listed traditional crime and fires  
as a greater concern to their cities and constituents than a nuclear  
threat in a survey eight months after 9/11.) "Nuclear weapons have been  
recuperated during the 1990s," Broderick says. "These weapons were  
redundant in the post-Cold War period, but now they have capital  
because they help us liberate society from asteroids, comets, alien  
invasion, what have you. Previously, they were only there to destroy  

// on the state of telecommunications in the .US, it is
// getting worse, dial-up even phone service. my phone has
// a full-echo and i get calls switched from out of state
// to a local travel agent, they dial the right number and
// get my line, and none speak english so i had to babelfish
// at altavista.com to communicate with them. phone company,
// of course, says everything is in perfect working order...
// how there could be an administration without a telecom &
// broadband policy during these years is hard to fathom...
// so much relies upon having non-traffic jammed networks...
// (article compares to funding Interstate Highway System...)

Free Wi-Fi doesn't go far enough // reg.req  bugmenot.com

	'Last week, the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronic  
Engineers (IEEE) issued a timely white paper stating that the United  
States should deploy widespread wired and wireless gigabit networks as  
a national priority.' ... '"Failure to act," the report continued, will  
"relegate the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure to an inferior  
competitive position."' .. 'To achieve this goal, leadership at the  
national level is required. The United States  ranks 19th worldwide in  
terms of network speed. This is unacceptable for the world's most  
powerful and innovative economy and, as the IEEE report makes clear, it  
is hindering economic activity, slowing online education and making  
telemedicine -- specifically, remote health care diagnosis and  
consultation -- less efficient than it otherwise should be.'

* please forward to your friends and colleagues *
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