Image for post
Image for post
gargoyles in twilight

Late Night Notes to Student Drivers

As I’ve expressed here before on Medium, I’m grateful, as a scholar, for what the web gives me. And I mean “the web” in that deliberately vague sense most people mean it, and not specifically communications by hypertext protocol (HTTP), which so many don’t know about. And besides HTTPS is more common.

I get to watch opine about Greta and mass immigration, then hop to Australia to learn about Syria (some of you get that), then back to professors I had (Richard Rorty, Walter Kaufmann), other teachers, even my own stuff when I’m looking for places to branch off.

I’d make a comfortable cave-like den-studio, with plenty of bandwidth, the default safety net component. Or call it a personal workspace (PWS). That’s the plain vanilla “dorm-carrel” of the Global U (slang for “global university”, branching off “spaceship earth”), but “tricked out” (it’s Halloween today) or customized.

You need a place to get caught up and reoriented, as anytime you’re immersed in some kind of consuming work, you fall behind in so many other dimensions.

When do you get to update your thinking? When do you get to work up to a new role?

More concretely, some of us were traumatized, rather recently, and not unlike the good people of Hawaii, by the prospect of a major apocalypse, man made.

We had a Mediterranean full of battleships and submarines, all advancing on Damascus after a verdict had been rendered. Punishment was to be exacted.

To some of us, this was another Cuban Missile type crisis, with nuclear superpowers poised to assuredly mutually destroy one another. We stamped the event in our minds with words like Douma, and kept circling back.

As I write this, in the news these days, are stories of OPCW people eager to uphold the integrity of their life’s work and institution. We’ve seen people at NIST give similar signals, though on a different question.

The compelling footage from Douma, but also from other events, is no longer taken at face value, in the wake of the WMD hoax around Iraq.

That a government was now manifestly overrun with hoaxers at the federal level, made for slower response times on the part of the governed, in terms of expressing a willingness to get behind certain brands of military theater.

My opening remarks about what’s happening in Sweden, alluded to by Trump early on, as part of his not-so-secret code language, relates to events in Syria, so I hope you don’t find my narrative entirely disconnected.

Our family worked in Libya, Egypt, Bangladesh, but not in Syria or Lebanon. I’ve traveled extensively in my day, including to Russia and China.

I considered International Relations as a career at Princeton, and took courses at the Woodrow Wilson School. However philosophy seemed to give greater freedoms, in terms of what we could think about.

I ended up more of a World Game devotee, which relates to Disney’s EPCOT (in Orlando) in some ways.

My remark about NIST has to do with some of the people I know who still talk about September 11, 2001 quite a lot. I admit to going through a chapter wherein I consumed a large number of hours combing through records, thanks to the web. I don’t think I own any books about it. I’ve blogged about it quite a bit.

I really enjoyed the World Trade Center complex and would emerge from the PATH trains, as I lived off Journal Square (JSQ) in Jersey City (JCNJ). Those were mighty impressive buildings, with Building 7 off to the side, not yet at all famous.

Like OPCW, an institution with a reputation, NIST has to think about its legacy and future. A lot of that will be in cryptography, and not just in connection with Elliptic Curves.

Image for post
Image for post
PWS Magnolia, behind Loew’s

What I point out regarding the events of Nine Eleven is they’re both premised on certain individuals having nerves of steel in the face of all odds, meaning the respective plots seem far fetched in retrospect.

How could Lee Harvey Oswald have expected to coolly drink Coca-Cola and saunter off, having sprinted to his perch and made his fatal shots, with a crummy gun? Talk about a long shot, both literally and figuratively! Only a crazy man could imagine pulling that off, and that he got as far as he got… in retrospect, it all looks so implausible. What was he thinking?

Ditto the level of damage committed by those pilots. The chances of actually bringing down three buildings, in New York alone, seems so unlikely. Both events are linked by what they prove: that the impossible happens, and more often than we might reasonably imagine.

Why are we talking about 911 again?

Because we were remembering events in Syria, and how serious debates about what really happened have haunted the landscape for some decades by now, Douma another case in point. Refugees escaping from Syria relate to Sweden. A lot of my ancestors came from Sweden.

Does everyone remember what happened in Hawaii, just to tie off a loose end? Everyone got a text message saying the missiles were incoming and no, this was not a drill, take shelter.

People scrambled, watching their lives crumble before their eyes. One doesn’t forget such incidents easily. Tulsi Gabbard remembers it in her speeches, given Hawaii is where she’s from.

I’ve written quite a few other Medium stories about personal workspaces (PWSs), as being important within what some of us call General Systems Theory. I also talk about these concepts in my Youtube Channel.

I also yak a lot about Truckers Without Borders, and/or about Truckers for Peace (T4P). The cab of your truck is a PWS in many cases, sometimes with plenty of bandwidth.

Perhaps as a Global U student, you drive a rig.

Per my title, this story is especially for you then.

Image for post
Image for post

Written by

Lots online.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store