for 9 March 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.
More Things Change
firstly brahma is not the main god. and the whole idea of people being like schizophrenic from adopting american culture is kind of fucked up since in your article you're kind of assuming that they're all sort of trying to catch up with it anyhow without even remotely beginning to pay attention to how the people there think about stuff in the first place.
i mean, you're sort of missing the point which is that they aren't like thinking in the same terms to begin with and it can't be summed up with "brahma has four faces" either. i mean, for one thing, to have any idea, how different the whole SCENE is when you have that brain, you'd have to admit to yourself how much of what you think is influenced by being a christian, the denial of which is sort of the lynch pin of your whole secular house of cards.
I take it you've been to India?
I really enjoyed your piece on India's High tech boom. It is unfortunately all too common a theme to us in the 3rd world. Massive gaps in US and 3rd world online evolution are not closed through vicarious learning but rather through going through the same painful experiences in a more desperate way (Africans like us feel losses perhaps more acutely especially given the buffeting we routinely take from currency speculation, disease and any number of macro-economic ills).
Anyway, you should come and check things out here some time, if you have a taste for the surreal.
I would love to come to SA and see what's going on I imagine surreal only begins to describe, from what little I've read, though most of what's appeared in the US media of late has focused on the epidemic. Not much to laugh about there.
I have been here seven years, and I say that you caught it very well. It is rare to find foreigners writing on the India scene with any insight representing reality. Of course that is relative, but from my point of view, your article was spot on.
Gregory in Bangalore
Thanks for the good word, Gregory. It's great to have confirmation from someone who has spent more than 2 weeks in country.
Yeah Israel is just like India only a few steps ahead- all the same issues, just larger "we" want to be american, we build hi-tech parks where our hitech people can work quietly outside of the dirst and bustle of regular analog life, while sipping cappuccino...while ignoring the major problems that exist around us...I think you will find a lot of parallels, only a lot more get-quick-rich people.
I definitely think that Suck should send you here and also to Europe Eastern Europe is also starting to emerge. Some companies are even thinking of setting up dev teams there. Another interesting angle here is the massive amounts of Russian immigrant developers in the market some doing interesting work.
Something that non-americans will be sensitive to when an american smiles at other cultures trying to become americanized it can seem like the big uncle smiling at the native when the natives laugh at themselves for trying to be like the uncle then it is OK.
IN any case I enjoyed the article it was a good read.
America as big smiling uncle? A big stupid uncle, maybe, smiling because he's got bad gas.
Get quick rich,
Hit & Run 03.1.01
Subject: I spy
It's buried in the last few graphs of the original, VERY long article in the New York Times, but there really isn't all that much of a mystery to Mr Hannsen's spying. It seems that the guy was a geek. Nice guy, really good with technology, fine father and husband, but with limited social skills, poorly dressed, slouched, lack of "presence." As I said, a geek.
The FIBBIES think of themselves as a paramilitary organization, and you get promoted by looking like a FIBBIE: strong command presence, clear voice, in charge, tally ho, all that. Dudley Do-Right. You know. Like everywhere else, only worse.
So we've got a guy who's demonstrably smarter than the folk around him (the FBI traditionally required a legal or accounting degree, which used to mean they took the lowest third of the law school grads), spending most of his time showing people how to do stuff that's obvious to him but nobody else can figure out...and he's being made fun of. He's got all these unpleasant nicknames. His career is stalled, permanently.
You, or I, or most sucksters would just bail out at this point. But he's got a family, he's got his pride, being FBI means something to him, it seems. He'd rather just SHOW THOSE ASSHOLES. So he does. He demonstrates to them how much smarter he is than they are. He laughs up his sleeve every time he gets passed over for promotion or slighted. It would be funny. Hell, it is funny. In times of peace, neither espionage nor counterespionage really changes much. Except, of course, for those Russians he got killed. So maybe it isn't all that funny at all.
I think you're selling old Hanssen short, Alan. We don't want to keep kissing our own asses, the way Ron Rosenbaum does, just because we read through the entire affidavit, but that document contains enough hints of his rare style to indicate he was no mere disgruntled employee. The fascination with procedure, the love of closed-loop systems, the pedantic convert's urge to lecture on protocol, the unique symbolic shorthand he worked out with the Russians (in which he would indicate a drop with a vertical piece of masking tape, which his handlers would then cross with a vertical tape to acknowledge receipt) these are not the habits of a man who's just pissed off at work. Add to that the mysteries of a shadow organization given to mortification of the flesh and you have a man who could not have been content with shooting up the office or peeing in the coffee, or any of the other normal outlets for bitter employees.
The Suck ad gracing the back of the new HATE ANNUAL is a great thing to behold.
But not as great as the art of Ramon Garcia Jr. If you're smart you'll somehow get in touch with that classy, rugged, financially strapped artist and pick one of those babies up while the gettin's good.
I'm serious. Although I harbor the suspicion that this UFO experience he had occurred while he was nodding off during a late-night showing of IT CONQUERED THE WORLD back when independent TV stations still broadcast movies like that at 2 a.m.
And I know you thought of and rejected! working pixyland.org/peterpan/ into the "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" HAR. I guess Rev. Randy just isn't felt up enough for Suck yet, eh?
Thanks, Stanley. You'll note that Rev. Randy is featured in today's Hit & Run. It wasn't a matter of being felt up enough, but of our conviction that Randy deserved better than a quick one-off. Sadly, Randy did not feel the same. Maybe we'll do better with Ramon Garcia.
Subject: better meta?
All your "All your base are belong to us" are belong to us.
J. Michael Hammond
Truly Borgesian, J. Michael. It's almost like we're watching TV, but what's on the TV is an image of us watching TV! Or something like that.