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Is this irony or just terrible? the EMP threat.

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There are dangers present in the 21st century that must be  planned for. Things can happen, in the US and throughout the world at large, that pose serious threats to millions of lives. And if you want to be President of the United States, you should be aware of these threats, take them seriously, and understand what is a real threat, and what is, for lack of a better word, stupid.

I wasn’t going to talk about Newt Gingrich’s apparent determination that the US is under direct threat of the detonation of an electro-magnetic pulse (see Matrix, Ocean’s 11, other not-real sources)  above the North American Continent. Though I suppose, maybe, there is some threat that this might happen someday, it is a totally absurb fantasy to think this is a real issue to discuss with American voters on the campaign trail. It is fascinating, but not real. Readers know TRC loves this kind of science. And one of the interesting things about Newt Gingrich is that he takes sci-tech issues seriously. But why does he come out on the silly end of very interesting things (i.e.: Newt’s reason to put a base on the moon is to mine the moon’s resources? really?).

I recognize there’s no need to bring this up. Gingrich is getting roundly criticized, fairly, for this obsession. I wanted to avoid it and leave this one to the satirists. But as I was riding the bus yesterday, thinking about how according to Gingrich, “millions” of Americans would die in the first week alone following an EMP attack, I was struck by just how ludicrous this country can be.

To Wit: During his campaign as a candidate for President of the United States, and for years prior, Newt Gingrich has been peddling fear with a science-fiction, cold-war era worry, based on pulp sci-fi and developed only towards uselessness, that will not happen. Of all the dangers posed to our nation, Gingrich appeals to the EMP.

And yet, the actual, science-based, potentially catastrophic outcome of the very real effects of climate change are cast aside without a care. What. The. Fuck.

Written by Christopher ZF

December 14, 2011 at 11:06

On Steve Jobs, Apple, and changing the world

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I have only ever owned one Apple product. It is my sleek, black 30G iPod Video. I love it. But I’ve never been a Mac person, in the sense of those Mac people who obsess about Apple products and criticize us fools who use PC laptops (you obviously don’t edit video or use photoshop, I’m told, to which I respond, no, I don’t). Five years later my iPod’s headphone jack is now loose, and doesn’t work very well. But it’s a wonderful consumer product, and I’ll buy another one.

Last night, talking Mrs. TRC, I probably over-stated the life of Jobs when I said something along the lines of: “Seriously, Steve Jobs is like Guttenberg. He made things that changed life for everyone on the planet.” Though this is clearly the hyperbole of several pints of Summit and a bit of surprise at the news, I do think there is almost an incomparable reach achieved by Steve Jobs, who achieved such status as an innovator and a CEO, not a politician or an athlete or actor.  I’m not a techie, and I don’t love Apple products. But it is not hard to see how Steve Jobs changed the world.

Written by Christopher ZF

October 6, 2011 at 09:47

Posted in RIP, tech