20+ high speed trains in a train depot in Wuhan

High-speed trains in Wuhan

That (…) picture is so serious. Once upon a time, the Dow Jones industrial average was a composite metric designed to roughly characterize the rail industry, including steel production, machining and manufacture, real estate, and use. The health of that industry was found to be predictive of the health of the entire country, and although the DJIA shifted from rail, it is still predictive of nationwide economic health.

China, in my eyes, just proved how far ahead they are – and my jaw is on the floor. Those trains represent so much. It’s not merely that they exist – and all of the economic activity inherent in making them exist – but now that they exist, they are an engine of productivity.

(source 1, 2)

Why Are We Fighting the Crypto Wars Again?

The government kept encryption legal, but benignly neglected it, while our infrastructure, our business plans, and our personal secrets lay exposed to thieves, vandals and foreign powers. Security flaws were a pain to users, but a useful tool for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Now, post-Snowden, our tech companies are finally taking steps to implement strong-encryption-by-default, the best way to insure security and privacy. The FBI’s response? Clipper Chip redux.

And we’re back at square one.


The “Big Lie”

I read this quote today and it somehow reminded me about Fox News…

never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

But the thing is, it’s not about Fox News, but from a psychological profile prepared during WW2 by the United States Office of Strategic Services.

Mingling in the international community

A friend of mine wrote this:

In international environments, such as Geneva, you will encounter people from many different cultures and backgrounds. Without proper precautions, encounters with people so different from yourself might quickly go awry. Having observed interactions between many people for a while, I was able to compile the following list of tips to ensure smooth sailing in a sea of sensitivities. Note that this list only contains only genuine items – techniques tried in practice. All of them have been observed, not made up, it all really happened, and I was lucky enough to be present to bring you these gems of diplomacy.

Tips for people from …

Check your passport to see if any of these tips apply to you.


  • Cook and eat like in you’re in China, preferably while other people are trying to eat.
  • Explain that Falung Gong members are involved in politics and not just religion. Proceed to say that therefore it’s logical that they’re being persecuted.


  • Ask someone for his or her nationality. Remind them how many days it took the Nazi’s to conquer that country.


  • Make sure your presence is noted. Use your accent to alert a whole room or train at once.
  • Mix in “y’know”, and “like” when speaking a language other than English to make things clear.
  • Act surprised whenever somebody has never heard of something only found in the US.

Upon encountering people from…

Once you’ve figured out the nationality of whomever you’re talking to, use the following tips to get a conversation going.
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Make the pie higher!

A poem constructed with words uttered by former US president, George W. Bush.

by George W. Bush

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It’s a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope, where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!

And yes, he really did say all of these things 🙂

Cursing Obama

This is brilliant:

Ray, a fellow classmate of Obama’s, was also bi-racial, and also trying to define himself. But what set him apart was his colorful manner of self-expression. Ray cursed like a motherfucker.

This would all be snickerworthy enough, but it turns out that Obama actually read the audiobook version of Dreams For My Father.

And that means he read Ray’s quotes.

And that means you’re about to hear the President of United States using language that would finish Cheney off once and for all.


Edit: Or watch the YouTube clip:

Notice of Revocation of Independence

An oldie but goodie:


To the citizens of the United States of America,

In the light of your failure to elect a President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchial duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
Read More

Angry Americans debating revolution?

Wow, the 700 billion dollar Wall Street bail-out has Americans publicly debating revolution:

Know what FUCK IT

I am sick of this, every day, we get deeper into shit with no end in site. IM TIRED of being responsible. IM TIRED that this country rewards stupidity while shunning those that show SOME intelligence..


To my government. Im tired of giving you the benefit of the doubt. You have done nothing but to use fear and manipulation to get what you want, not for the good of the nation, but for the good of your “close” friends. Bush, Congress, All you fuckers, you work for US not corporations. Remember, you depend on the little people, stop fucking with us or we WILL eventually get mad. We’re too fat and happy right now, but it seems to be wearing off with the FANTASTIC news you keep giving us.

So FUCK YOU Wall Street. FUCK YOU ignorant citizen who bit off more than you could chew causing this whole fucking system to choke. Everyone knew that home prices were too high to be sustainable, but you guys kept buying. Rising the fucking price up. Can’t rent, NO thats for poor people. EAT SHIT AND DIE, I WANT A FUCKING REVOLUTION AND I WANT IT NOW.

Debate on reddit.

EDIT: Boing Boing: “US Congresspeople (were) told martial law would be imposed if bailout bill didn’t pass”. I don’t think this is going to happen – I sure hope not – but the fact that people are talking about it scares the shit out of me.

Time magazine’s archive: 1939-1945

I have always wondered how people in the years before, during and after WWII observed the events that were happening. Now I know, thanks to Time Magazine – who have put their complete archive online, for free. You can access it using Google News.

A small selection:

Thank you, Time Magazine, for putting this online.