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small red square The foot is so much better - went out for an evening stroll last night, hardly limping at all. On El Camino, a running man passed me - he was futuristic, yet quite contemporary. His build said "Native American" to me, an impression augmented by his swinging ponytail. In the small of his back a ruby warning light pulsed - slowly, like his heartbeat (unlike the rapid strobing of my own red light I wear during night bike rides). It was visible for some distance, as he jogged away to the north. I think I'll be ready for the treadmill by Sunday.

small orange square Merged my code this morning, just under the wire, proving once again that old adage about software development, how the time it takes expands to fill the schedule allotted to it. Afterwards, checking it out, the Big Fear when my usual test file didn't work. Tried with the small files I'd made, which contained individual flights, they were okay. Then I connected up with our live data feed from DFW, actually the first valid test, and things seemed okay again, so I concluded that some new addition elsewhere in the applications isn't agreeing with my test file format. (Worked fine up until yesterday, though.) Our system focuses on arriving aircraft; but I fixed one of the few features involving departures: I've been changing flights' times, usually delaying them - but not really, only the actual controllers' workstations have the connections necessary to do that.

small yellow square Became acquainted with another voice of reason at lunch, in an interview in the radio - Richard Grossman ("The Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy") - he says we went wrong with that big decision made in 1886 about how corporations had individual rights, even before women or people of color were given the right to vote. This is a good introductory essay.

small cyan square From an article in the end-of-year "New Yorker," the "fiction" issue, where George W. S. Trow deconstructs "The New York Times," now and in comparison with the February 1, 1950 issue:

While I was learning to read the papers, television - an ignorant little snippet of a medium - was in the wings. It had no real standing in February, 1950, but of all our cultural avatars I encountered in New York as a boy it was what was going to be left standing. Looking back at the Times of 1950, I wonder if our current culture of irony and anger and freneticism - our TV culture - doesn't have its essential qualities because the culture as a whole in America in 1950 felt in its bones a contradiction. Having just climbed the pinnacle, stretching our cultural fabric to the limit along the way, we were condemned by the nature of the moment - technology interacting with our fundamental war-weariness and our need for distraction - to embrace a foolish child's reaction to a world situation that demanded a mind more remarkably adult than any of us had in fact achieved.

My view of the civilization as it was presented in the Times of February, 1950, is that in the Second World War the Germans lost and television won.

Personally, I've never taken to the "New York Times." I rarely select it if there's a choice. Although I disagree with a lot of its agenda, and find it tragically undignified the way the use puns in headlines now, I still retain some loyalty to my first employer, "The Washington Post" (and look forward to the day when "Herblock" retires).

DFW - Dallas Fort Worth international airport
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