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Saturday, July 29, 2006
1:35 PM
'I'm not sure I really get why the US and Israel haven't yet come to terms with the fact that this fourth generation war cannot be won with classic military action. I suspect it is the neocon influence which, throughout many decades, never gave a passing thought to terrorism or assymetrical warfare. They have been stuck in a cold war mindset (a mindset that was wrong about the cold war too) and have consistently seen the world through the prism of rogue totalitarian states. This is why, in spite of the fact that everything is going to hell in a handbasket in a hundred different ways, they persist in focusing on Iran (formerly Iraq) and ignoring all the moving parts that make their aggressive plans to "confront" these regimes simpleminded and doomed to failure.'


Myself, I keep going back to my no doubt sloppy and imperfect understanding of Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions. If the theory of "fourth generation war" is viewed as a new paradigm (and it seems to me to meet the criteria) then this is more than a failure of perception on the part of neoconservatives.

Consider the following, from the Wikipedia entry on SSR:

'According to Kuhn, the scientific paradigms before and after a paradigm shift are so different that their theories are incomparable. The paradigm shift does not just change a single theory, it changes the way that words are defined, the way that the scientists look at their subject and, perhaps most importantly, the questions that are considered valid and the rules used to determine the truth of a particular theory. Kuhn observes that they are incommensurable — literally, lacking comparison, untranslatable. New theories were not, as they had thought of before, simply extensions of old theories, but radically new worldviews. This incommensurability applies not just before and after a paradigm shift, but between conflicting paradigms. It is simply not possible, according to Kuhn, to construct an impartial language that can be used to perform a neutral comparison between conflicting paradigms, because the very terms used belong within the paradigm and are therefore different in different paradigms. Advocates of mutually exclusive paradigms are in an insidious position: "Though each may hope to convert the other to his way of seeing science and its problems, neither may hope to prove his case. The competition between paradigms is not the sort of battle that can be resolved by proof." (SSR, p. 148).'

This would explain, it seems to me, the apparently literal impossibility of explaining the fundamentally counterproductive nature of the United State's invasion of Iraq, or of what's currently going on in Lebanon, to those who disagree. Or, literally, vice versa. If you're behind the curve on the paradigm shift, if I'm reading Kuhn at all correctly, you're literally incapable of getting it. Or vice versa. "It is simply not possible, according to Kuhn, to construct an impartial language that can be used to perform a neutral comparison between conflicting paradigms, because the very terms used belong within the paradigm and are therefore different in different paradigms."

The bad news is that the policy-makers of the United States and Israel apparently (still) don't get the new paradigm, and the bad news is that Hezbollah (et al, and by their very nature) do. Though that's only bad (or double-plus-ungood) if you accept, as I do, that the new paradigm allows for a more effective understanding of reality. So if you still like to pause to appreciate the action of phlogiston when you strike a match, you may well be okay with current events. So many, God help us, evidently are.

I've heard that Kuhn fiercely lamented the application of SSR to anything other than the structure of scientific revolutions, but that's how it usually is, when the street finds its own uses for things.

Friday, July 28, 2006
1:56 PM
What was Tony Blair thinking as he listened to Greorge Bush at their joint press conference? Imagination fails me, utterly.

Q: Mr. President, both of you, I'd like to ask you about the big picture that you're discussing.

Mr. President, three years ago, you argued that an invasion of Iraq would create a new stage of Arab-Israeli peace. And yet today there is an Iraqi prime minister who has been sharply critical of Israel.

Arab governments, despite your arguments, who first criticized Hezbollah, have now changed their tune. Now they're sharply critical of Israel.

And despite from both of you warnings to Syria and Iran to back off support from Hezbollah, effectively, Mr. President, your words are being ignored.

So what has happened to America's clout in this region that you've committed yourself to transform?

BUSH: David, it's an interesting period because, instead of having foreign policies based upon trying to create a sense of stability, we have a foreign policy that addresses the root causes of violence and instability.

For a while, American foreign policy was just, Let's hope everything is calm - kind of, managed calm. But beneath the surface brewed a lot of resentment and anger that was manifested on September the 11th.

And so we have, we've taken a foreign policy that says: On the one hand, we will protect ourselves from further attack in the short run by being aggressive in chasing down the killers and bringing them to justice.

And make no mistake: They're still out there, and they would like to harm our respective peoples because of what we stand for.

In the long term, to defeat this ideology - and they're bound by an ideology - you defeat it with a more hopeful ideology called freedom.

And, look, I fully understand some people don't believe it's possible for freedom and democracy to overcome this ideology of hatred. I understand that. I just happen to believe it is possible.

And I believe it will happen.

And so what you're seeing is, you know, a clash of governing styles.

For example, you know, the notion of democracy beginning to emerge scares the ideologues, the totalitarians, those who want to impose their vision. It just frightens them.

And so they respond. They've always been violent.

You know, I hear this amazing kind of editorial thought that says, all of a sudden, Hezbollah's become violent because we're promoting democracy. They have been violent for a long period of time. Or Hamas?

One reason why the Palestinians still suffer is because there are militants who refuse to accept a Palestinian state based upon democratic principles.

And so what the world is seeing is a desire by this country and our allies to defeat the ideology of hate with an ideology that has worked and that brings hope.

And one of the challenges, of course, is to convince people that Muslims would like to be free, you know, that there's other people other than people in Britain and America that would like to be free in the world.

There's this kind of almost – you know, kind of a weird kind of elitism that says well maybe - maybe certain people in certain parts of the world shouldn't be free; maybe it's best just to let them sit in these tyrannical societies.

And our foreign policy rejects that concept. We don't accept it. And so we're working.

"Let me make an additional point about this answer. We know the president isn't very articulate in news conference settings. But national leaders don't have to be articulate to be good leaders. In fact there have been a number very good ones who could scarcely speak coherently for thirty seconds. But if you watch this passage [YouTube] I think you see something different. Namely, that pretty much everything that's happened over the last three years, and certainly over the last three months has just gone in one presidential ear and out the other. He is, in both the deepest and most superficial sense, out of it."

-- Josh Marshall

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
10:59 PM
The uncles who taught him systema had themselves been taught by a Vietnamese, a former soldier, one who had come from Paris to end his days in the village of Las Tunas. Tito as a child had sometimes seen this man at rural family functions, but never in Havana, and had never spoken with him. The Vietnamese had always worn a loose black cotton shirt with no collar, untucked at the waist, and brown plastic shower sandals scuffed the color of dust in a village street. Tito had seen him, as the older men had sat drinking beer and smoking cigars, ascend a two-story wall of whitewashed concrete blocks, no more purchase afforded than the very shallow grooves of mortar between the courses of blocks. It was a strange memory, since even as a child Tito had taken what he saw to be impossible, in the ordinary sense of the world. No applause from the watching uncles, no sound at all, the blue smoke rising as they puffed their cigars. And the Vietnamese rising like that smoke in the twilight, and as quickly, his limbs not so much moving as insinuating themselves into different and constantly changing relationships with the wall.

Tito himself, later, when it had come his time to learn from the uncles, had learned quickly, and well. When it was time for his family to leave Cuba, his systema had been very strong, and the uncles who taught him had been pleased.

And while he had learned the uncles’ ways, Juana had taught him the ways of the Guerreros: Eleggua, Ogún, Oshosi and Osun. As Eleggua opens every road, so Ogún clears each road with his machete. God of iron and wars, of labor; owner of every technology. The number seven, colors green and black, and Tito held these inwardly now, as he walked toward Prince Street, the Bulgarian’s technology tucked within its handkerchief into the inside pocket of his black nylon jacket, from APC. At the very edge of perception rode Oshosi, the orishas’ hunter and scout. These three, along with Osun, were received by an initiate of the Guerreros. Juana had taught him these things, she had said at first, as a means of more deeply embracing the systema of the Vietnamese from Paris, and he had seen in the eyes of his uncles the proof of this, but he had never told them. Juana had taught him that as well, how the holding of knowledge in dignified privacy helps insure desired results.

Monday, July 24, 2006
1:08 PM
"Ah, Mr. G's gleeful expression, which seems to be his natural state... like he's amazed all the time at the reality he's inhabiting." --Fuldog

Well, hell, yes: There you are in the world's most interesting, most utterly Japanese wristwatch department (as opposed to most expensive, or anything equally boring) and suddenly these two guys appear with full celebrity tulpa wattage, you're getting your picture taken with them, you haven't even started to check out the watches yet, then there's the luggage department, the world's most extensive selection of arcane shoe-care products -- you'd be gleeful too, surely?

I probably don't have this expression when I'm picking up the dry cleaning, but I definitely am amazed by the reality I'm inhabiting. Though not always (as when reading the news lately) in ways that make me feel smiley.

This current spate of blogging doesn't indicate that the wip (work in progress) is completed, but it does indicate that I have reached that tableland from which narratives descend to closure. It affords, without ceasing to write, a sort of breathing space, the pot being steadily aboil.

12:51 AM
A friend found this stuck in one of the tubes of the internets. I can't credit the photographer, as I don't know who she was. I assumed at the time that she was a REM functionary escorting Mr. Stipe. The fact that I literally bumped into Mr. Stipe and Mr. Coupland in Tokyu Hands is yet another example of the extreme wonderfulness of this most pleasing of multi-floored retail environments. (And the Shinjuku branch really is best, because when you go outside, hey, you're in Shinjuku.) I think that REM were not in town to perform professionally, rather to take a break from a tour in that hemisphere, but Mr. Stipe had been up late playing an impromptu club gig for some no doubt happily stunned audience. This shot documents the beginning of Cayce Pollard booking into the Shinjuku Hyatt. Had I not bumped into Doug and his pals just then, Cayce would've stayed at the Imperial.

Sunday, July 23, 2006
11:42 PM
Apparently most browsers can see the kanji in the quote in the previous post, so I'll leave it as is.

11:26 PM
My hypertext linkie thingie is broken, else I'd do a proper link to Neomarxisme, my current favorite English-language blog from Japan, but Marxy, there, just put a very interesting piece up. Sci-fic exercise: Extrapolate yourself a future Japan from this rad-right Japanese best-seller. What do you get? Try it:

Upon reading a Mutantfrog post last Friday, I went out and purchased a copy of Fujiwara Masahiko's massive best-seller ??????? (Diginity of a Nation) - a book that openly describes itself as "???????" (An epoch-making theory of Japan). According to [a] Time Asia article, this book has sold 2 million copies (now 2,000,001), which is a lot of copies for a book that openly calls for the end of democracy and the return of "warrior ethics." Instead of arguing against imaginary "Nationalist" straw men, we can read this book and critically consider whether there actually are strong arguments for Japan digging back in its history to find adequate social, economic, and political direction.

Topics include (from the back cover):

* The illusion of capitalism's triumph
* Pride in a civilization based on emotion
* The importance of Japanese and kanji over English
* Knowing the limits of logic
* The revival of bushido (samurai spirit)
* Why foreign aid is unneccesary
* Love of family, love of hometown, love of the fatherland, love of humanity
* Seeking out a "true elite"

So for the next week, let us consider the persuasive arguments of Japan's favorite upper-class, right-wing mathematician. 2 million Japanese readers can't be wrong!
Posted by marxy at 12:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 22, 2006
3:45 PM
Back in May there was brief discussion on one of the boards here of the mini-series Wild Palms, and of my evident inability to act (guilty!). Some posters seemed to regard Oliver Stone, incorrectly, as the show's creator, whereas it was created by novelist/screenwriter Bruce Wagner, taking off from his astonishingly fine graphic serial of the same title in the magazine Details. I was roped into "acting" (almost literally) by Wagner during an unsuspecting set-visit.

While the mini-series fell drastically short of the serial, it did produce one admirably peculiar literary artifact, The Wild Palms Reader, edited by Roger Trilling and Stuart Sweezey (St. Martin’s 0-312-09083-8, May ’93 [Apr ’93], $14.95, 125pp, tp). had but a single copy available, two minutes ago, but claimed that more could be obtained .

This Reader managed to pre-figure some of the most eldritch vibes of Bush-era neoconservatism, and indeed the series can be imagined as making a very different kind of sense, at the time, if only Clinton hadn't been elected.

The following list of contents was Googled up from Locus, the magazine about fantasy and science fiction, to whom thanks; if they didn't keep track of things like this, nobody would:

* 8 • Letter from Manzanar • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 10 • Tremendum of Dead Stars: Fragments from a Dead City • Bruce Wagner • vi *
* 12 • The Apotheosis of Richard Philo • Thomas Disch • vi *
* 14 • Turning Japanese • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 18 • The Birth of Mimecon • Spain Rodriguez • cs *
* 19 • The End of History • Brenda Laurel • vi *
* 21 • An Invasive Approach • Hans Moravec • vi *
* 22 • Funding the Future • Ned Jackson • vi *
* 24 • The Body Electric • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 25 • Letter to the Fathers • Jamie Malinowski • vi *
* 26 • Midnight Oath of the Fathers • NEUE SLOWENISCHE KUNST • vi *
* 27 • The World’s Smallest Violin • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 28 • A Meditation • Mary Gaitskill • vi *
* 30 • The Face of Power • John Homans • vi *
* 31 • They Call Me Mad • Norman Spinrad • vi *
* 32 • Notes from the Underground • Peter Wollen • vi *
* 34 • The More Monkeys the Better • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 35 • What I Did on My Summer vacation • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 36 • The Sins of the Fathers • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 37 • AIEEEEEE!!!! • Suehiro Maruo • ct *
* 38 • Paris Loves Me • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 39 • He’s Not a Genius, But At Least He Knows It • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 41 • Royal Wedding • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 42 • Can We Afford Channel 3? • Howard Rodman • vi *
* 44 • Running to Paradise • Jamie Malinowski • vi *
* 46 • New Cathedrals • Norman Spinrad • vi *
* 49 • Lite Sublime • Ralph Rugoff • vi *
* 50 • Max Secret • E. Howard Hunt • vi *
* 52 • Tear Away • Lemmy Kilmister • pm *
* 53 • A Small Circle of Friends • Jamie Malinowski • vi *
* 54 • A Small Case of Mood Poisoning; Must Be Something I Hate • Thomas Disch • vi *
* 56 • Floating World - Los Angeles: 1993-2008 • Ralph Rugoff & Fred Dewey • vi *
* 60 • Diary of a Mad Housewife • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 64 • Sister Soldier • Jamie Malinowski • vi *
* 65 • Song to Daddy • Malcolm McLaren • pm *
* 66 • You Can Change Channels to thee New Realities • J. G. Eccarius • vi *
* 68 • Report from the PHARM • Pat Cadigan • vi *
* 71 • The Pharmacology of Mimezine • Gary Henderson • vi *
* 72 • In “Touch” With Life • Melissa Hoffs • ms *
* 74 • E-Mail • Hans Moravec • vi *
* 76 • Milestones in Mental Augmentation • Hans Moravec • vi *
* 80 • Changing the World with Personal Reality Recording • Brenda Laurel • ms *
* 82 • Everything That Was Lost • Ned Jackson • vi *
* 86 • Win a Dream Date with Coty! • Jane Pratt • vi *
* 87 • TV Guide 2008 • Adam Dubov • vi *
* 90 • Hungry Ghosts • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 92 • Amazon Grace • Stuart Swezey • vi *
* 105 • Excuse Me While I Slip Into a Warm Coma • Hillary Johnson • vi *
* 108 • Alchemical Letter • R. B. Donner • vi *
* 110 • Memo from the Perceptory • Pat Cadigan • vi *
* 114 • Memo from Turner • Bruce Sterling • vi *
* 120 • All Dressed Up to Go Away • Bruce Wagner • vi *
* 122 • Where the Holograms Go • William Gibson • vi *
* 124 • Chronology • Misc. Material • ms *
* 126 • Contributors • Misc. Material • bg

Friday, July 21, 2006
9:06 PM
Released on DVD last month by Discotek Media, here's director Sogo Ishii's fragmented, hyperkinetic proto-cyberpunk Burst City, a film I used to have parts of on the astonishing director's reel he gave me when I first visited Japan. Sogo Ishii and I talked about shooting a film in the Walled City of Kowloon. It was Ishii-san who first introduced me to the place. An extraordinary director and almost clinically perfect art-outsider, he inspired Takashi Miike, Shinya Tsukamoto, and (profoundly) the backdrop of my novel Idoru. I last saw him about eight years ago, among a swarm of ridiculously cute teenage Vancouver cosplay enthusiasts who'd turned out for a midnight showing of his films, for which he live-DJ'd a brutal one-off soundtrack. Unforgettable. I think he literally deafened some of them. I wish some achingly hip DVD operation would bring out a Sogo Ishii compilation. Nobody, but nobody, ever put the punk in cyberpunk the way he did.

3:26 PM
Somewhere down in the almost impenetrably apophenic underbrush of the comments thread on that DKos diary, someone suggests that what Newt is actually doing with his WWIII talk is opening an Overton window. Hubertus Bigend recently had Overton windows installed in his new Maybach limo. Nothing but the best.

(Rumors of Blue Ant opening a branch in Second Life persist, but cannot be confirmed.)

1:14 PM
One of the worst episodes of apophenia I've had myself, lately, was triggered this morning by the opening paras of a diary on Daily Kos (see below, sorry I'm too lazy to link, and my apologies to its author for forgetting his/her handle). My apophenia filled in the dots *real* good, on this material, catapulting me into a landscape resembling The Handmaid's Tale crossed with Thomas M. Disch's On Wings Of Song, with the bass tonalities lifted from Jack Womack's Ambient sequence. Not what you want, before coffee, or indeed ever. I must note, though, that Newt Gingrich, whatever else he may be, is a known writer of (ahem) science fiction, so that what we are projecting on, here, is really a sort of quantum apopheniac feedback loop, or, as we say in the trade "XXL bad mojo":

'I'm sure you all heard that last week, Newt Gingrich argued the U.S. was facing World War III as a result of developments in the Middle East. I'm sure that most of you reacted as I did to this - with a bit of annoyance and disdain; "there goes Newt again," content to believe he is simply making a lame effort to rally flagging support for Republican policies.

'But today, I have been reconsidering this. I think that what Newt has been saying is incredibly significant, and we ought to be paying it a great deal more attention than we have been.

'What Newt is proposing is nothing short of the radical mobilization of the entire American nation behind a war effort led by the far right - that "calls for restraint would fall away" if Americans adopted his framing. It could become the pivot around which the GOP shifts into a very new, and extremely ugly, mode of governance - turning the nation into an all-out war state with repressive World War I-esque laws meant to silence dissent and force the population to work even harder to support neo-con policies without any option to do otherwise.'

Cue the theremin, please, and pass me down my Rapture bag.

12:46 PM
To the small but perfectly formed crew who read and comment on each post, I should explain that that strange tiny cryptic entry that vanished was my using Blogger to prove to a correspondant that I am actually me. "Here," I said, "watch as I make this sequence of letters appear on the WG blog." It worked, but if he'd been as snakey as some of my readers, he might have suspected that I was some Johnny hacking in, some technical boy impersonating the author's tulpa. Or something. At any rate, it was absolutely content-free. But I won't make a habit of it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006
9:37 PM
Brown, in a cloak and tight-fitting cowl fashioned from one of the New Yorker’s foam-core blankets, gestured across the beige plain with a sturdy wood-look stave, its length decorated in a traditional pattern of cigarette burns. “There,” he said.

Milgrim squinted in the direction indicated, the direction in which they seemed to have been traveling for some time now, but saw only the gibbet-like timber constructions interrupting the otherwise featureless expanse. “I can’t see anything,” Milgrim said, preparing to be struck for disagreement, but Brown only turned, still pointing forward with his stave, and put his other hand on Milgrim’s shoulder. “That’s because it’s below the horizon,” said Brown, reassuringly.

“What is?” asked Milgrim. The plain was virtually featureless, but the sky had a Turner-on-crack intensity, something volcanic aglow behind clouds that looked set to birth tornados. “The keep of great Baldwin,” Brown declared, leaning closer to Milgrim’s eyes, “Count of Flanders, Emperor of Constantinople, suzerain of every Crusader princeling aslope this day through the Eastern Empire.”

“Baldwin is dead,” Milgrim protested, startling himself.

“Untrue,” said Brown, but still gently, and still gesturing with the stave. “For yonder rises his keep. Can you not see?”

“Baldwin is dead,” Milgrim protested, “but among the poor this myth of the Sleeping Emperor goes all about, and a Pseudo-Baldwin, one so claiming, walks among them now.”

“Here,” said Brown, lowering his stave and gripping Milgrim’s shoulder more firmly, “he is here, the one and true.”

Milgrim saw that not only were Brown’s hood and cloak made from the beige foam-core material, but so was the plain. Or rather covered with it, as it felt beneath his bare soles like a thin carpet spread over a dune.

“Here,” Brown was saying, shaking him awake, “here it is.” The PDA thrust into his face.

Friday, July 14, 2006
7:35 AM
The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious, and the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.

~~Winston Churchill

Thursday, July 13, 2006
7:31 PM
The car nearest hers was an ivory-hued vehicle that aspired to mildly Maybachian proportions. The two young men who belonged to it, in capacious hoodies and jeweled sunglasses, weren’t eating. Instead, they were soberly fiddling with their digital hubcaps. One sat behind the wheel, tapping patiently on a laptop, while the other stood staring at the left front hubcap, bisected by a sullenly pulsing line of colored LEDs. Were they, she wondered, the car’s owners, or someone’s technical support staff?


She studied the pattern of potato-grease on her empty paper plate. If you knew enough Greek, she thought, you could assemble a word that meant divination via the pattern of grease left on a paper plate by broasted potatoes. She looked over at the LED-wheeled ivory car. “Is their display broken?”

He shrugged. “You couldn’t see an image unless the wheels were turning. The system senses the position and fires the LEDs it needs to invoke an image in persistence of vision.”

“I wonder if they make them for a Maybach?”

4:09 PM
The car nearest hers was an ivory-hued vehicle that aspired to mildly Maybachian proportions. The two young men who belonged to it, in capacious hoodies and jeweled sunglasses, weren’t eating. Instead, they were soberly testing their digital hubcaps. Embedded with a matrix of LEDs, each of these was capable of displaying whatever the car’s driver desired, in the way of messages, simple graphics or simpler animations. But that would be when the system was up, and currently that didn’t seem to be the case. One young man sat behind the wheel, tapping patiently on a dash-mounted laptop, while the other stood staring at the left front hubcap, which only pulsed sullenly, refusing to form images. Were they, she wondered, the car’s owners, or someone’s technical support staff? Meals at Mr. Sippee could involve these questions of unfamiliar roles, of foreign economies of scale. Particularly when dining here in the small hours, as the Curfew had often done after an evening in the studio. Inchmale had loved the place.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
12:07 AM
Senator Ted Stevens: The Remix

Sunday, July 09, 2006
1:53 PM
Congratulations to Marshdrifter and Pauline!

"i love the idea of you two as ninety year olds telling your great grandkids about how you met. it'll probably sound so old fashioned." --Misty

Saturday, July 08, 2006
7:42 PM
The thought of seeing him again woke an old ambivalence. While it had never been true, as the magazines had often had it, that she and Inchmale had been a couple, in any carnal or otherwise ordinary sense, they had nonetheless been married in some profound if sexless way; co-creatives, the live wires of the Curfew, held down and variously together by Jimmy and Heidi. She was grateful, ordinarily, to whatever fates might be, for Inchmale having found the excellent Angelina and Argentina, thereby to be translated, for the most part, out of her world. It was better that way for everyone, though she’d have had a hard time explaining that to anyone other than Inchmale. And Inchmale, never blind to the background radiation of his own singularity, would have been all too ready to agree.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006
4:17 PM
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

-- Katherine Lee Bates

Monday, July 03, 2006
9:10 AM
Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), after voting against the Net Neutrality amendment, struggles toward a crucial conceptualization:

There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service isn't going to go through the interenet and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

So you want to talk about the consumer? Let's talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren't using it for commercial purposes.

We aren't earning anything by going on that internet. Now I'm not saying you have to or you want to discrimnate against those people [...]

The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says "No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet". No, I'm not finished. I want people to understand my position, I'm not going to take a lot of time. [?]

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?

Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people.

Sunday, July 02, 2006
10:43 PM
There was something about Rize, Milgrim decided, reclining fully dressed across his New Yorker bedspread, that reminded him of one of the more esoteric effects of eating exceptionally hot Szechwan.

Not just hot, but correctly, expertly seasoned. Hot like when they brought you a plate of lemon slices, to suck on as needed, to partially neutralize the burn. It had been a long time since Milgrim had had food like that. It had been a long time since he’d eaten a meal that had provided any memorable pleasure at all. The Chinese he was most familiar with these days was along the lines of the stepped-on Cantonese they brought him at the laundry on Lafayette, but just now he was recalling that sensation, strangely delightful, of drinking cold water on top of serious pepper-burn – how the water filled your mouth entirely, but somehow without touching it, like a molecule-thick silver membrane of Chinese anti-matter, like a spell, some kind of magic insulation.

The Rize was like that, the cold water being the business of being Milgrim, or rather those aspects of being Milgrim, or simply of being, that he found most problematic. Where some less subtle formulation would seek to make the cold water go away, the Rize encouraged him to take it up, into his mouth, in order to savor that silver membrane.

Though his eyes were closed, he knew that Brown had just now come to the connecting door, which stood open.

“A nation,” he heard himself say, “consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual’s morals are situational, that individual is without morals. If a nation’s laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn’t a nation.” He opened his eyes and confirmed Brown there, his partially disassembled pistol in his hand. The cleaning, lubrication, and examination of the gun’s inner workings was ritual, conducted every few nights, though as far as Milgrim knew, Brown hadn’t fired the gun since they’d been together.

“What did you say?”

“Are you really so scared of terrorists that you'll dismantle the structures that made America what it is?” Milgrim heard himself say this with a sense of deep wonder. He was saying these things without consciously having thought them, or at least not in such succinct terms, and they seemed inarguable.

“The fuck—“

“If you are, you let the terrorist win. Because that is exactly, specifically his goal, his only goal: to frighten you into surrendering the rule of law. That's why they call him ‘terrorist’ He uses terrifying threats to induce you to degrade your own society.”

Brown opened his mouth. Closed it.

“It's actually based on the same glitch in human psychology that allows people to believe they can win the lottery. Statistically, almost nobody ever wins the lottery. Statistically, terrorist attacks almost never happen.”

There was a look on Brown’s face that Milgrim hadn’t seen there before. Now Brown tossed a fresh bubble-pack down on the bedspread.

“Goodnight,” Milgrim heard himself say, still insulated by the silver membrane.

Brown turned, walking silently back into his own room in his stocking feet, the partial pistol in his hand.

Milgrim raised his right arm toward the ceiling, straight up, index finger extended and thumb cocked. He brought the thumb down, firing an imaginary shot, then lowered his arm, having no idea at all what to make of whatever it was that had just happened.