Star Wars Email #1

My favorite scene in the first Star Wars film is… the meeting chaired by Grand Moff Tarkin. Why? Well, it’s a classic example of an announcement that could have been handled better with an email because there is no action to be taken, and Tarkin surely had better things to do than watch his subordinates bicker.

To: Senior Officers, Death Star

From: Grand Moff Tarkin

Date: 3277 LY

Subject: Important Update

+cc Lord Vader

+bcc Emperor Palpatine

I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the Council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.

The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line – fear of this battle station.

If you have any questions about this new state of affairs beyond your usual pointless bickering, please forward your concerns to our interim Public Relations Officer, Lord Vader.

That said, I remind you, as you continue to faithfully express your absolute loyalty to the Emperor, that the Death Star is a diverse work environment composed of a multicultural work team of various religions and beliefs – particularly ancient ones.

Tarkin out.

I was wrong

I was really against impeachment.

Not because I thought it would risk the 2020 election, or that it would die in the Senate automatically, or even if it did stick, we’d end up with Pence.

I was thinking more about how the process had no teeth, and never had, and the ballot box was the only real rebuke.

But I’ve come to realize that even if you have no teeth, it’s still your duty to bite. Impeachment almost certainly won’t lead to removal from office, and it may hand him the election, sure. But two terms of Trump pale in relationship to the cost of not fighting him.

We need to think much farther than 2020, to 2024 and beyond. That means future Presidents and candidates for President need to know there are consequences for treason and incompetence.

So, mea culpa. Impeach now.

Goodbye Google, Part II

It took awhile. But now, my Google account is kaput. No more Gmail, YouTube, Scholar, Search, any of it. Took what I needed and erased the rest.

Now that the tutorial level 1 boss (Facebook) and the level 2 boss (Google) have hit the dust, the remaining three culprits (Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft) will be much harder.

Amazon: Possible, but it’s going to be very, very painful to give up the convenience.

Apple: I can give up my iPhone with some soul-searching; I will have to finish paying for it first, of course… but then what about the iPads? My iTunes songs? All of this requires an Apple account. I think scaling back is ultimately all I’ll be able to do.

Microsoft: I suppose this isn’t technically impossible, I could transition to Linux, but I’m too much of a PC gamer to walk away from Windows. And frankly, of the five listed here, I consider MS the least problematic. Scary, right?

Book drafted – finally.

After ten months, I’ve finally finished the first draft of my monograph. It clocks 100k words.

By “finished,” of course, I mean it is readable from front to back and has a coherent argument throughout. Proofreading, footnote editing, and the dozens of Word comments reminding me to add something here and there remain. “Ready to send out” is going to take a bit longer.

But it definitely feels like a milestone of some sort. Milestones are important to me when writing, as waiting until it’s “done” to declare I accomplished something is far too rough a wait.

A week-long push at the beginning of the fall and it will be ready enough for the publisher query process by Sept 1. Then I can forget about it temporarily and push the counters forward on everything else for awhile.

Jeez

An article by myself and Nick Scuillo came out this month in the Journal of Scholarly Publishing, on problems in peer review. It ends a long dry streak (the Rhetorica one wasn’t available, I think, until early 2016, even though it is in a Fall 2015 issue).

A whopping three are due to appear in 2020. Perhaps the Ramans are involved…

Two ways to block/distract a 2020 Trump

Both ideas are essentially duplication.

  1. Convince something like him, but less odious, to run for the Republican nomination. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, is remarkably similar – a celebrity that shifted into politics, but not completely, with a caddish reputation to boot. He is not a natural-born citizen and thus technically ineligible, but that could be turned to his advantage. If not, maybe Chuck Norris is available…
  2. Convince Alec Baldwin to register as a Republican, change his name to Donald Trump, and run for the nomination in the usual SNL regalia, insisting throughout that he is the “real” Donald Trump and the man in the White House is an imposter from SNL. If he maintains the facade save for some tactical fourth-wall breaking, he will take away much of Trump’s oxygen – the media. And if he is nominated? Well, another four years of Trump…

Goodbye Google

Last year – maybe two back – I purged Facebook.

Yesterday, I started purging Google. My decade-old Gmail account now is associated with nothing significant. Google Search, bye-bye. The next step is Youtube and then I’m done.

Unfortunately, the next two logical candidates for purging – Amazon and Microsoft – are currently impossible. Their benefits still far outweigh the negatives, though if they screw up as bad as Facebook and Google have, I’ll find a way.