Author Archives: thematizer

Short and Sweet

I can be wrong about things. I’ve expressed these words on this blog before.

But let me say something else. I’m not always wrong. And if I make a mistake, I try to clarify or to provide further context.

One serious mistake that I made in the past was underestimating the importance of cybersecurity. Nothing is more important if you work in any part of the IT industry than being sure that your transmissions are secure. This means your codebase. It also means the presentation layer. And **everything** in between.

By the way, I define my industry quite broadly. IT encompasses not just programming but also design and creative professions including art, writing, film, and even theater. That’s all I have to say for the moment.

Now get away from your screens and enjoy this lovely Saturday in June.  : )


This Is Art

I’ve been posting a lot about code in the last few months, so here for a change is a post about the “Art” part of “Art Meets Code.” And since Pi Day is not quite over here in the Pacific Time Zone, it seems like the perfect occasion…


If you have not seen the movie “Pi,” you really should. What else can I say?

Darren Aronofsky is a genius. Pure and simple.

The Black Swan and The Whale won Oscars. But it was nominees The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream that for me will always be his most memorable works. Requiem is brilliant but so depressing I might caution you against it. It’s about drug dealers whose lives and families fall apart. The Wrestler is arguably just as tragic, but also hilarious at times. I love the scene where the protagonist briefly hooks up with this woman who owns ferrets and has a firefighter fetish!

If ferret and firefighter fetishes sound too weird to you, then you haven’t yet seen Pi.

A tale of one man’s obsession with geometry, it is almost indescribable. Just know in advance that it is not preachy pablum about “mental health” issues. Nothing even remotely similar to Silver Linings Playbook or the laughably bad Touched with Fire. The mathematician at the center of this story is never given a diagnosis. Instead, we see the world through his point of view. And thus, the movie becomes more than formulaic or tidy. It becomes art.

This Is Front Page News

It’s been five years since this article came out. I asked a geologist friend to evaluate its conclusions, because they were so striking as to seem almost unbelievable. The geologist agreed: climate change isn’t just about the world getting a little bit hotter, or a bad drought or hurricane here and there. It could actually render the planet uninhabitable by humans.

The Uninhabitable Earth

In the jungles of Costa Rica, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.

Read the full article online…

How can we make things better? Hint, hint: politicians aren’t that interested in radical systemic change. They are trained to think in the short term (poll to poll, election cycle to election cycle) just like corporations. While ESG investing provides a lifeline for investors and even consumers to align their ideals with their pocketbooks, it’s not enough. Extinction Rebellion has some good ideas, but street theater is not enough. Constitutional challenges on behalf of future generations in the United States have gone exactly nowhere.

Let’s not leave Greta Thunberg on her own here.

What is needed? A radically new mindset. Solutions that allow individuals to pool their collective knowledge and resources and effect change quickly. We need to stay positive and respect human rights as well as economic justice. This is a fight that will be won or lost in the Global South.

Why We Need Blockchain and Open Source Technology to Guarantee Fair Elections

Let’s face it.

The American people have lost faith in the electoral process. Whether you’re on the right wing and a die-hard Trumper who truly believed that evil liberals conspired to steal the 2020 presidential election, or whether you’re a mainstream progressive and concerned about the fact that in the United States, candidates who win a majority of votes (like Hillary Clinton in 2016) actually cannot become President due to the weirdness of the Electoral College, you know that something is wrong in this country. There is also the huge problem that ballots can get lost in the mail, and that not everybody has time to get to the voting booths or wants to come out and vote in the age of COVID.

What if we just had an app, or a website, for voting? Wouldn’t that make things easier?

It absolutely would. Turnout would go through the roof. Open source election technology is already mainstream, as this PDF from the respected Open Invention Network (OIN) clearly shows. Existing voting machine technologies could certainly be adapted for remote use.

But then the risk of fraud becomes higher.

How could we keep our elections secure, yet enable everyone with a cell phone or a computer to participate?

The answer is another open source technology: blockchain.

The basic premise resides in the reason why blockchain (the technology behind Bitcoin) works: it is analogous to BCC. You encrypt or do not store the identity of a person making transactions on a blockchain network, but you make many copies of the record of this transaction, so that it can be verified by independent third parties (and 4th parties, 5th parties, etc.)

My proposal is that we use the same blockchain technology to prevent fraud in US elections, and of course also elections anywhere else in the world.

#opensource could lead the way.



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About Deism

Hey, I found my old spirituality blog. Looks like the entire site was archived by the Wayback Machine. I should probably write a crawler and try to make my own archive, but… too many other projects I’m procrastinating on.

I’m going to add the links here for the free PDF download of Southern Cross, the book I researched and wrote while a bored housewife seeking truth and meaning in the Bible Belt. You can also buy a copy on Amazon (Kindle or print). The free version is older and less edited — I’m sure it has a lot of typos. It also has the original line drawings that accompanied the project. I need to emphasize that this book was written for Christians seeking to find common ground with other Christians. If you are not Christian, please know that my intent is not to convert anyone. I left organized religion about a decade ago. I sort of know what the right faith community would look like for me and it would be a group without walls, paid staff, or dogma. Built on friendship, good intention, and mutual support.

Anyway, the post below summarizes where I’m at right now. Only downside of being a Deist is that there isn’t a built-in community. Perhaps I’ll find one or build one in time.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2021 [Edited]

About Deism

Religion is a practice. Belief is a frame of mind.

I believe that there is a conscious and compassionate force beyond the scope of human rational inquiry at work in our daily lives. This belief is based mostly on personal experience, and on the firsthand accounts of others. I choose not to further define this Higher Power because whatever attributes I assign would almost certainly be wrong. My definition of deism is less passive than that of the 18th Century Enlightenment. It seems most likely to me that God is a meta layer of reality, both nervous system and DNA, a manifestation of conscious information. Not a watchmaker, but rather the gears, the numbers, the hands, the wearer, the manufacturer, and the construct of 4D spacetime itself.

Photo taken 12.28.2021.

Of course, our reality could also be a simulation. In theory, the odds that we are inhabiting a simulation are fifty-fifty.

But this isn’t a “just so” story. I’m not claiming any authority or special revelation.

And no, I don’t know what happens after we die.

In 2015 I did have something happen to me that cannot be explained by science. It wasn’t a coincidence. It wasn’t an answered prayer. It’s not the face of Jesus on a pancake, or anything like that. It was just something that happened outside of continuity. Something we had no rational explanation for. It had both symbolic and personal relevance. There was another witness. We took a picture with my camera phone.

The picture wouldn’t convince you if I showed you, though. You could just say that we made the whole thing up. Anyway, I’m not trying to convert anyone.

I don’t have any particular agenda, not at this point in my life.

Be a good person. Live according to your conscience. Know that fear is largely imaginary, a pernicious delusion. Love is real but not easy to find. Distrust simple answers and the wisdom of crowds.

That is my practice. That is how I try to live my life.