Thursday, January 11, 2007

Solving Puzzles in Algebra City

What I like about the president's proposal is it focuses on a singular Gotham, quasi-destroyed by gangs, and aims to concentrate attention on whatever it would take to heal it: civilian infrastructure, mostly, like flatscreens and download on demand Netflix subscriptions for everybody, courtesy of Uncle Sam.

I do think Baghdad should plan on leap frogging the West, in at least a few industries. EVs for example.

Or if Netflix is too infidelic, create some Imam-approved source of religious DVDs, mixed with eye opening pedagogy ala our PKL/ToonTown offerings, making use of that optical fiber. The point is: to the extent quality of life is on the uptick, people will be focussed on family, over rushing to crush some potentially crushing enemy (a two way street).

What I don't think will work is the exclusive focus on Baghdad. New Orleans is a mess, other cities around the world, plus rural places like Darfur need attention. What no serious-minded religion can afford at this point, is to hog the limelight too exclusively for its own troubles, because the suffering is quasi-global, including in North America.

The only way to sustain a positive push on so many fronts, is to feel we're gradually winning on most if not all of them, not sustaining some vital and/or fatal loss that keeps us oblivious to everything perilous yet "peripheral" to some nightmare center stage. We can't afford to be blindsided, at least not too often, as we were on 911, and later by Hurricane Katrina.

Algebra City is a template for Everytown, with grids and services. Using high tech plasma TV type diagrams, per our Spaceship Earth™ motif, NASA, Google Earth etc., is not out of place. This beginning is also promising because Baghdad already has a track record of sourcing high culture. The television coming out of there should be excellent.

I went back to 12 Monkeys last night, which Tara'd not seen. A wonderfully tight little timeloop and very dark comedy, with the cast pumping up some amazingly wild characters, Brad Pitt chief among them. I was sort of a bad dad pushing twisted scifi so late on a school night, and Tara wisely scheduled an intermission for a healthy sleep cycle, only to find it wasn't a school night, on account of snow (a bright sunny day actually, so far, with clear streets).

I was just kidding about Spaceship Earth™ being trademarked by the way -- you don't need my permission (or anyone's) to call it that.