Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Saturday, November 22, 2003
A Genuine Insight
Holy shit. I just had a genuine insight. As you must be aware by now, there are a whole lot of things wrong with me. I won't bore you with the list. Again. But that's just it. Tonight I realized it's not a whole long list. It all boils down to one thing.

Take, let's call it, Condition A. You know how sometimes things seem so much worse than they actually are? Well, I realized that tonight looking at my kitchen. Sure, there are a bunch of dirty dishes stacked up in the sink, and I haven't emptied the trash for awhile, which, as a result, is now wending it's way out into the so-called "dining area." And true, the microwave looks like something died in there since I exploded those eggs in it a couple-three weeks ago. And OK, so there's something not quite right going on in the refrigerator. But I looked at my own personal entropy gradient with new eyes this evening. Hey, I thought, it's not all that bad. I can do the dishes, hell, maybe even mop the floor, take out the garbage. Suddenly, my whole outlook brightened!

But that wasn't the big insight. Although I thought it was for a minute there. Insight is tricky stuff if you're not used to it, like I am.

Because at first I thought, well, isn't that just like Life? Things often seem worse than they really are. I even pushed past the embarrassment of realizing how astoundingly trite this was, as insights go. I was having much better luck earlier this week with "pre-traumatic stress" and "reverse affirmations" (maybe another time).

But then I thought, well, wait a minute, hold the phone... Because actually my situation is quite dreadful at the moment, with no immediate prospect of salvation from homelessness, starvation and worse. Like running out of cigarettes and coffee. So see, to me, things often seem much better than they really are. Let's call this Condition B.

But that wasn't the big insight either. No, it was this: that I can't tell these two conditions apart. That was the big insight.

12:01 AM | link |

Friday, November 21, 2003
Sacred Reflections

"...but who can decide what they dream?
and dream I do..."
amy lee / evanescence

It's the new Mirror Cards! Yes, as The Artist says at the title link above, "you can actually see your face in them"! Isn't that wonderful? Of course it's wonderful! To see your own FACE, I mean, in ART? What could be better than that? Well, here's one thing: to have your primitive scrawls adopted by the One Spirit New-Age-Out-the-Ying-Yang Book Club® (a registered trademark of Book-of-the-Month Club, Inc.) and marketed to untold millions of emotionally usurious low-life narcissist scumbags who will no doubt enjoy reflecting on themselves in The Mirror Cards: A Powerful Tool to Enhance Your Relationship. But don't take my word for it. Here's the accompanying copy.

"When you don't know what to do, you may turn to friends or advisors -- but there�s wise counsel even closer at hand. This elegant kit lets you consult with a calm, objective aspect of yourself to get insight into your patterns and desires and find opportunities for growth.

Created by experts in psychology and healing, the Mirror Cards arise from the idea that the world reflects back to us what we need to learn. When you pose a question and draw one of the 32 silvery cards, you'll find an essential quality, from Acceptance to Sexuality to Change. In the accompanying guide, you'll learn how to work with that quality and guard against its inverse, the same energy in exaggerated form (for acceptance, it's defeat). This book and card set comes packaged in a stylish case with a magnetic closure, so your truth is always safe at hand."

Here are some examples of what you might see in The Mirror Cards.


Well did she make you cry?
Make you break down?
Shatter your illusions of love?
And is it over now?
Do you know how...
to pick up the pieces and go home?

9:22 AM | link |

Thursday, November 20, 2003
why I nuked commenting
for those who can't guess

2:04 AM | link |


On the phone, on TV, on the web, and now on better blog pages everywhere. The mind boggles. And not only at the deeply nested media recursion we see represented below. By day an appellate attorney in Reed Smith's Los Angeles intellectual property practice, by night a prolific blogger, Denise Howell still finds time to champion the cause of legal and corporate weblogging in an increasingly prestigious array of industry conferences, professional publications, and mainstream news outlets. Tonight it was the LA PBS affiliate, KCET.
As if that weren't enough, she also commutes to New South Wales Australia, where she maintains a modest real estate business. Modest, but lucrative enough to support some pretty spiffy wheels.


Denise Howell Real Estate
124 Cronulla Street
Cronulla NSW 2230
Tel: (02) 9527 0011
Fax: (02) 9527 0022

Denise Howell Real Estate is the first and only boutique Real Estate agency in the Sutherland Shire. Situated in the heart of cosmopolitan Cronulla our non-franchised agency allows us to provide "you" our client a service far superior to our competitors. We have built a reputation in the Sutherland Shire for high performance, enthusiasm, integrity and personalised service.

Although we are recognised as THE prestige property consultants we successfully market and sell a wide range of residential Real Estate. Denise Howell and her dedicated team offer a wealth of experience and welcome clients both old and new.

More than ever, you the client, need the team regarded as the dominant force in residential Real Estate. We look forward to another successful year when our collective achievements will speak for themselves.

Despite this busy schedule, Denise has continued to maintain her grueling training for Iditarod 2004. Oh yeah, and she's 8+ months pregnant. I hate to admit this, after remaining so long in denial, but there's no way around it. Guys are wimps.

12:18 AM | link |

Monday, November 17, 2003
Comments are back
at long last

I never took them away, honest. It's just that YACCS somehow self-destructed on me last year and started producing billions of javascript errors so I uninstalled it but when I went back and tried to reinstall it I'd forgotten my password and those YACCS fuckers said they weren't taking any "new" users and I never thought of myself as a user in the first place and the whole thing made me so angry I had a nervous breakdown which caused me to lose my girlfriend who was anyway a no good piece of shit so I guess it all worked out OK in the end.

Whatever, they're back. And so you'll have something of substance to comment on, I include here a personality disorder test I just now took. I was a little surprised at the results. I thought I knew enough about psychology to get a perfect score, but I see now that I need to work on my schizoid, antisocial and obsessive-compulsive skills. Well hey, nobody's perfect. Except for that good-for-nothing POS artist chick I may have mentioned here from time to time. But I'm better now, really.

Paranoid:Very high
Schizotypal:Very high
Borderline:Very high
Histrionic:Very high
Narcissistic:Very high
Avoidant:Very high
Dependent:Very high

take the plunge.
take the Personality Disorder Test yourself!

3:15 AM | link |

Sunday, November 16, 2003

I should know. I used to work for it. Sending out press releases for artificial intelligence components of the "Star Wars" pie-in-the-sky global defense system that many supposed at the time was one of Ronnie's bedtime-for-bonzo Alzheimer dreams. They said he just hatched the Strategic Defense Initiative out of his own aphasic fantasies one day, sprang it on an unsuspecting world, that there had never been any previous discussion of such a program, even with his closest advisors. If you believe this, then you, like the media pundits of those heady days, are either superbly naive or plain stupid. Not all presidential advisors are attached to the government. Except as the fatted calf of the military-industrial complex is attached to the tit of various federal black budgets. Do you remember which left-wing radical first expressed dire warnings about the dangers of said "military-industrial complex"? It was Dwight D. Eisenhower in his parting speech as President of the United States of America and Commander in Chief of its armed forces. Historian of science David F. Noble rightfully broadened the concept to academic-military-industrial complex. For this and similar views on the often covert complicity of higher education with many highly successful aerospace and related industry interests, he was summarily cut from MIT faculty.

By 1990, after seven years in government AI projects in Japan and commercial AI software startups in the US, I was working at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, which was constantly crawling with NASA, DARPA and DOD brass. But we weren't calling it AI anymore. By then it was C3I, for Command, Control and Communications Intelligence. Tactical battlefield shit, theater of operations stuff. The military wanted SkyNet. Bad. Because in that world (as in so many others, some metaphorically real, some realistically metaphorical) the more budget you control, the more budget you get allocated. There's a direct reference to this universal heuristic later on in Terminator 3, when the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff calls John Connor's intended's daddy, a mere general or some such in the guts of a hardened facility where he has overseen the development and evolution of SkyNet from the start. A SkyNet that has just gone viral -- but which is seen, in a supreme irony that seems fully congruent with the oxymoronic essence of military intelligence, as the magic-bullet cure for the chaos it is, at that very moment ramping up to unleash. The head of the Joint Chiefs says, paraphrasing pretty closely: "get this thing taken care of and you'll get all the funding you ever wanted."

But earlier, nine minutes in from the opening title credit, "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," there's a quick scene -- gone in 45 seconds -- that alerts us to that fact that this movie isn't all science fiction. The truly scary part, if we're not so mesmerized by the tits and ass, thrills and spills that we miss it, is the part that's true. Wise-cracking Terminators and wannabe nanobabes traversing time are total bullshit. SkyNet is not. SkyNet is closer than you think. Unless you're one of those already working on it. Are you? (Are you sure?)

So here's the lynch-pin scene in its entirety.

general: OK whatta we got?

tech: This new computer virus is a tricky bastard. It's infected half of the civilian internet as well as secondary military apps. Payroll, inventory...

general: The primary defense nets are still clean?

tech: So far, the firewalls are holding up. Sir, the Pentagon has proposed that we use our AI to scan the entire infrastructure. Search and destroy for any hint of the virus.

general: I know, Tony, but that's like going after a fly with a bazooka.

tech: Well, once the connection's made, it should only be a matter of minutes.

general: Yeah, in which we put everything from satellites to missile silos under the control of a single computer system.

tech: The most intelligent system ever conceived.

general: I still prefer to keep humans in the loop. I'm not sure SkyNet's ready.

tech: Yes, Sir.

When I left CMU a dozen years ago, the man-in-the-loop debate was red hot. The computer scientists wanted him out. Otherwise, their systems would never be able to demonstate how intelligent they were, how fast. Where the ultimate speed of response was, as we used to say back then -- I even said it, may some appropriately angry god strike me dumb -- "mission critical" -- in such cases, human beings could only slow these hypersmart systems down. In an interesting reversal of roles, the military wanted the man left in the loop. Because for the kinds of systems that were being conceived back then, failure would not be graceful. Failure would mean the extinction of life in the only place we know life to exist.

I don't know where "the thinking" is at today. It's highly unlikely that anyone knows, except The Thinkers themselves. And this elite cadre almost surely does not include fools like George W. Bush or anyone even remotely in his confidence.

Let me end this with a little known secret about AI, especially military AI. It can never be tested in real-time, so it doesn't really need to work. If it does, it does. If it doesn't... well, hey. No drawing board to go back to anyway, so what the hell. The funding on the other hand is for today, this week, Q3, let's get it done. Gung ho! But that's not the secret. The secret is this. We don't need intelligent systems to destroy the world. Stupid systems will do the job without complaint. Without, you could say, a second thought. Or a first. And of stupid systems we've got plenty, still multiplying at a geometric pace.

People say to me, "Chris, you seem to seem to have a lot of anger." I say, "No, you think?"

 whole divisions of these universities, and many more like them, are working full time for the department of defense. why? well, why is it always this way?

"anger is more useful than despair"
T-101 / Terminator 3

"yeah, so fuck you!"
Chris Locke / Entropy Gradient Reversals

11:41 PM | link |

"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

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Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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