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My life has been pretty boring lately.

Well, it's...kinda nice.

Daily Condition:

in CD player: nine inch nails the downward spiral

my condition: stuffed -- Halloween potlucks are the greatest!

Daily Condition:

in CD player: Madonna, ray of light

my condition: today was a very wacky day -- everyone seemed to be in a strangely happy, sarcastic, easy-going mood. Was it something in the air, or did I just rub off on everyone I talked to?

This site was mentioned in the Fargo Forum Technology section this morning. I even went back and re-read the article, struggling to find some rhyme or reason to what Ms. B∴ wrote, but found none. The article didn't get any point across. It was a list of the various websites created by local users, but it never told me the point -- why was this article written? the first few paragraphs explain what lead up to it's creation, but nothing to explain the point of why it filled up 3/4 of the front page, in full color, of the Technology section.

This reaffirms that the Fargo Forum can't produce a coherent article if it's life depended on it. Several months ago, my complaint was that the Forum ripped articles off the Wire rather than promoting locally-related articles. For instance, one of the earliest Technology section articles was on computer-printed cake frosting, allowing customers to put photos on their cakes. Around a year before, the Forum had done a similar article on computerized frosting at local businesses. The one filling the front page of the Technology section was taken from some far-off large city, ignoring the local businesses (read: advertisers) who also do computerized cake decoration. The article even included a large full-color photo of some far-off entrepeneur. Were I running a computerized cake-decoration service in Fargo, I definitely would feel slighted by the lack of effort on the part of the Forum.

Nearly every other Technology section article has been taken from another publication. There has been the attempt to redeem the Forum, by composing a locally-written sidebar related to the wire article. I've often noticed, in other articles the information is credited to both a Forum writer, and also Wire news reports. How much is taken from each source? If it's not a national story, The Fargo Forum should not need to rely on national writers when there are stories right here. A quick search of the various news wires (including Itar-Tass) dredged up no reference to my website - the Forum takes from the wire services, but does not contribute? There is probably a reason that well-written stories are easier to get off the wires than from local talent.

Writers don't come cheap. Considering the price that the Forum charges daily, compared to national papers like the Wall Street Journal or USA Today and also considering the advertising revenue, a reader should be able to assume that articles have some coherency to them. Despite my dislike for the High Plains Reader, they at least recognize the talent of local writers. Articles are always well written and demonstrate the hand of a talented editor. The volunteer writers composing articles for HPR recognize the importance of the start, middle, and end of a written document, and the importance of a purpose. I learned these things in the 8th grade. Being paid to write with an 8th grade quality of workmanship should not be difficult; the ex gratis authors of the HPR do it well.

Stepping from the quality of a free weekly publication to a for-profit regional daily, there should a be a marked improvement between the genres. Unfortunately, I will remain subscribed to Infobeat for my news needs, and will flip through the Forum, for free, during my coffee break. I have nothing to gain from reading the Fargo Forum; they haven't given me any reason to. Maybe they're just having trouble getting their point across.

Derek Is Reading:

The Communist Manifesto, by Carl Marx and Frederik Engels

These days, there's a strange attitude that people frown upon lying around and doing nothing. I call it strange, because we all work hard to afford time-saving features in our lives, such as dishwashers, cars, VCRs, telephones, and calculators.

Is the saved time really squandered if you use it to relax, sit still, lie down, and let yourself be excluded from the rat-race for a few minutes?

Derek Recommends:

experience: just staying home

"Sunday October 15 11:16 PM ET
Microsoft Announces Windows in Cars
By JUSTIN HYDE, AP Auto Writer

Man, how I wish there was at least one window in my car, driving would be much easier! Several windows would be even better -- thanks, Microsoft!

Daily Condition:

in CD Player: Rob Zombie, hellbilly deluxe

my condition: very pleased with my new car stereo

Derek's desires:

-- to own an AM radio station

-- to walk on another planet, or asteroid, doesn't matter

-- to create something amazing

-- learn at the MIT Media Lab

-- to be an expert on a TV show

-- to do cartoon voices

-- to have lots of money

Daily Condition:

in CD player: Shakespear's Sister, hormonally yours

my condition: curiously satisfied.

Derek Is Reading:

The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli

Daily Condition:

On the radio: NPR's Weekend Edition

my condition: had been quite a while since I've gotten 10 hours of sleep in one night. Last night I went to bed around 9:30, got up around 7:30 this morning.

"The result will be the Confetti Generation, for the current Autonomy Generation does not possess the cultural tools to absorb such an explosion of information and entertainment, such an implosion of speed and remoteness. Having been nurtured in an Autonomy Generation, the Confetti citizen consumer will be inundated by experience and ungrounded in any cultural dicipline for arriving at any reality but the self. We will witness an aggravated version of today when all ideas are equal, when all religions, life-styles, and perceptions are equally valid, equally different, and equally undifferentiated in every way until given value by the choice of a specific individual. This will be the Confetti Era, when all events, ideas, and values are the same size and weight -- just pale pink and green, punched-out, die-cut wafers without distinction. The new electronics will create the opportunity for eclecticism to run rampant, and opportunity for such increases in speed and satisfaction, information, entertainment, and transactions that one will be almost forced to select randomly and remotely based on personal, fickle taste. All the while, the sheer weight of data accelleration will create the impression of similarity and equality of value. Social character is produced from choices, and when ideas and experiences float down like cheap confetti, the Autonomy Generation will choose in the only way they know. By their choices, they will become the Confetti Generation."

--William Donnelly, The Confetti Generation - How the New Communications Technology is Fragmenting America

This was written in 1986, at a time when very little occurred digitally. He based this statement above from viewing the impact of newly-introduced PCs, the explosion of cable TV, on-demand viewing created by VCRs, and the future of Videodiscs (which foresaw what we call CDROMs and DVDs).

It may be better not to look at the internet as the cause of today's society, but as the result of what society began 20 years ago. There would have to be a predisposition in society, a need to fulfill something, in order for the internet to be accepted so widely.

["Autonomy Generation" also refers to the "Me Generation", which I equate with baby boomers & the classic 80s attitude.]

10/8/00 Meditation

Music choice is the first step to meditation. It must have throbbing bass, preferably no lyrics. The speed of the music, and the instruments used, are decided by you, depending on your musical preference. Classical is fine, R&B is good, even country may fit, but some form of techno is the best -- the genre referred to as "trance" is called that for a reason. Trance techno is my preferred meditation background music. Get some good headphones, get a portable CD player with bass boost, and plenty of batteries. The around-the-neck headphones work well, as I'll explain later.

Put on the headphones, start the CD, close the door. Sit down on your bed, feet flat against the floor. The bed should either be made and unslept-in, or pull the sheets completely back so that there is a smooth surface underneath you. Leaving your feet on the carpet, lie back onto the bed.

Adjust yourself so that your shoulders are back, shoulderblades flat against the bed. Arms should be spread slightly, not uncomfortably, but relaxed. Head should be tipped back slightly (which is forced by the behind-the-neck headphones), chin toward the ceiling.

Close your eyes. Continue reading…

Derek Recommends:

comic: Dakota North Investigations

Yes, I'm the one who switched out all the CDs in my car's changer.

I switched My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult for Tori Amos, took our Crystal Method, put in Suzanne Vega, pulled Billy Idol in favor of Liz Phair.

Blame the change in the seasons, my cold, or spontaneous insanity, but for some reason the only music in my car is girlie music.

Daily Condition:

In CD Player: Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes

My condition: I have a cold.

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