Micah in India: The FAQ

BK in the hizzayBangalore Map

In order to preemptively answer some of the questions you may have about this trip and why I’m on it, I’ve prepared a brief FAQ.

You’re in India, what?

Yeah, I’m about a week into a month long visit to India. Mostly, I’m spending my time in and around Bangalore, but my last week here I will be traveling a bit more broadly around the country, and then stopping in Hong Kong for a few days before returning to San Francisco.

What’s the deal with a month long trip, don’t you work for a living?

I do, and I am. I’m in Bangalore helping to bring my company’s new office up.

Where is Bangalore?

Bangalore is the capital of the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. That’s it on the map of India up there. If you don’t know where India is, I can’t help you.

Continue reading Micah in India: The FAQ

Mobs beats up NYC cab driver, then beats up fare

Look, Brooklyn is hard, and we protect our own first and ask questions later. Don’t forget it.

Mark Frauenfelder:
Yesterday a cab driver in NYC hit an 8-year-old kid on a bike. Then the cabbie crashed into a wall, and a mob pulled him out of the car and beat him up. When the cab driver explained that he lost control of the car after his fare hit him in the head with a metal bar to rob him, the mob beat up the passenger and tightened a belt around his neck. Link (Thanks, Rob!)

Originally from Boing Boing by noemail@noemail.org (Mark Frauenfelder) reBlogged by micah to nyc brooklyn on Jul 1, 2006, 2:17PM

Compare and Contrast: Eco versus Stephenson on Operating Systems

In 1994, Umberto Eco wrote an essay in which he compared the Macintosh to the Catholic Church and DOS to the Protestants. “Indeed,” he says “the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits.” DOS, he says, is Calvinistic, as it “allows free interpretation of scripture, demands difficult personal decisions, imposes a subtle hermeneutics upon the user, and takes for granted the idea that not all can achieve salvation.” Eco knows his religions, but his interpretation of DOS as lying on the extreme end of the spectrum of reprogramability is fairly laughable to anyone who’s spent time around real operating systems. Five years later, Neal Stephenson wrote his seminal essay, ‘In the Beginning was the Command Line,’ tracking the rise of the Operating System as a saleable commodity, and providing a set of metaphors for various OS’s structured around cars and munitions, rather than religious movements. Stephenson grants that his essay is “more review than research paper,” but justifies this by noting that “ever since the Mac came out, our operating systems have been based on metaphors, and anything with metaphors in it is fair game as far as I’m concerned.”

These two are some of the most interesting historical thinkers of our age (IMHO), and to see them both addressing the same issue of contemporary culture in historical context but each from their own unique background perspective is fascinating. I’m not sure if Stephenson was aware of the, much shorter, Eco essay when he set out on ‘In the Beginning.’ It is easy to imagine that he was not, as it was published in Italian and as far as I know only provided in translation recently. Still, it is nice to imagine Neal and Umberto sitting down in a cafe and hashing through the issues interface metaphors and reformation politics.