Sunday, December 26, 2004


For the record, I just went around the channels twice, using my basic PDX Comcast account, and found nothing live and updating about the situation in Southeast Asia. That's the problem with our TV over here: it's a stupid tape loop.

They've got us walled in. At least we've got the Internet. And people with premium channels get a little more; but mostly more tape loops. Everything pre-programmed so you can have your TV Guide all cut and dried.

How about we have a TV studio called the Situation Room that just keeps a cool computer map updated, but then does periodic zoom-in cutaways to on location reporting? The map could be Fuller's, why not? See previous post. This'd be more geek channel fare.

One of my favorite underground hits: the music video for Electronic Behavior Control System by EBN (a music group). Part of what makes it funny is that it's just so true. There's a lot of delay in TV because slow-moving ideologues want time to preprocess and spin the news, so it's meaningful to its discerning audience and not just a raw data dump. I understand and appreciate that (I'm an ideologue too, I admit it -- like who isn't one?). As humans, we're somewhat slow. A goal is to not be too slow for our own good. Nature keeps us on our toes, always.

Questions that interest me about this earthquake and tsunami: how much advance warning did scientists feel they had? Was this completely out of the blue? How much advance notice could we have given the people in Sri Lanka and environs, given tidal waves have a finite top speed? What telecommunications setup will provide such warnings in future? Are we getting warning signs that more such disasters are immanent? What signs? What services are being provided to the victims?

I'm sure I'll find all that on the Internet, but it'd be nice to use high bandwidth television more effectively, since it's already sitting right there in most homes, just waiting to be used more intelligently.

Given the hand nature deals us, it's already a tough enough game without our making it so much worse with all the flame wars. We're trying to save lives here. All that logistics savvy and deployment capability the military has: yes, we need it. A lot of the weapons we don't have any planned need for. Is that really so bad?

Democracy Now! has some good reportage -- this crew consistently produces a quality product, thanks Amy et al.