Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Snowden Attempt to Get Pardon From Obama


The Guardian has an article on Snowden which you can read here.

The point of the article is that his lawyer is mounting a full-court press to get a pardon before the end of the Obama administration, possibly in the very short interval between the election of the new president and their (her) inauguration. The other point of the article was to announce the “Snowbot”, a fabulously yet pathetic attempt to provide virtual presence. We will discuss only the first point here, the desire for a pardon and some of the questions brought up in the comments section.

1. Could Obama pardon Snowden even though he has not been convicted?

Yes. Ford pardoned Nixon who was also not convicted, nor formally charged so far as I know.

2. Does the fact that Bush and Cheney have not been formally accused of crimes by the DOJ mean that they did not commit any crimes?

No, not at all. It just means that the US Government in the person of President Obama has been covering up for them. So far as I know, there is no statute of limitations on murder and torture.

3. Would Obama plausibly partdon Snowden?

Not in a billion years. Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. Its time to wake up to the fact that absolutely no one who is cleared to know what happened (to the best of their knowledge) has anything good to say about Snowden beyond one comment by a senior military leader that it may be that Snowden was not consciously a tool of foreign intelligence to begin with.

No one, repeat no one, who knows anything about the case thinks that his motivations and actions have anything to do with illegal spying on US citizens.

Neither Obama, Clinton or even Trump is likely to pardon the acused in a billion years. What I find interesting is that they are not even willing to plea bargain with him (e.g. you come home, plead guilty to one thing, serve 10 years in jail, released).

Not even that.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


This is part of some biographic information that I need to make accessible on the web.

Biography of Michael Wahrman

Michael Wahrman is a pioneer of computer animation and digital visual effects. His work includes the prototype of the rendering system at Robert Abel & Associates, design of the animation system that became the Wavefront Advanced Visualizer, producer of the first behaviorally animated film, design of an early computer generated character animation system, the design of a real-time “performance animation system” for character animation and set design in real-time for use in both motion pictures and early virtual reality. In 1988 he co-founded deGraf/Wahrman, inc an important early computer animation research and production company which produced one of the first real-time computer generated character performances, a ride-film for Universal Studios Florida, two stereo ride-films for Landmark Entertainment, and visual effects on several motion pictures, all pioneering work as this was before computer animation was considered a mainstream technique. As a consultant he has worked for many well-known companies and projects including IBM Research, IBM Multimedia, Walt Disney Imagineering, Sony, New York University, the American Museum of Natural History, Viacom New Media, Pacific Title & Arts Studio, Viacom Interactive Television and dozens of others. He contributed to the IBM Digital Production Studio Project (which founded Digital Domain) and was Visual Effects Consultant on the NASA Digital Galaxy Project as part of the rebuild of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. On several occasions he has collaborated with Ken Perlin of NYU on various character animation and user interface research projects. He has received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and a research award from the Chicago Film Festival. He has served many years on the computer animation jury of Prix Ars Electronica. He has served two terms on the Board of NY SIGGRAPH and been a speaker at ACM SIGGRAPH, Imagina (Monte Carlo), Media Tech (Milano) and performed live computer animation at TED and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with Lee Breuer.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Influence of James Bond on the Fashion of the Cinematic Evil Genius


When Ian Fleming, formerly of British Naval Intelligence and a dropout of Sandhurst, wrote the James Bond novels, he thought he was making a living as a writer. He had no idea that his work was, eventually, to define the style and appearance of the world criminal and evil genius in the cinema of the West.

Although it is not clear exactly why it is that the idiosyncratic but elegant mad geniuses of the Bond movies prefer the Eastern style of men's suits, prefer it they do. From Dr. No to Elliot Carver to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, they all prefer their jackets to have a Nehru collar and their suits to be the one preferred by Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

But which one is it? The Mao suit or the Nehru jacket? And what are the implications of this choice? Lets examine the evidence and define our terms.

A truly elegant and imposing evil genius

A brief search on the Internet, that bold new paradigm, reveals an essay on this very topic by Sonya Glyn Nicholson entitled “The Mao Suit and the Nehru Jacket” which you can read here on the website.

Why it should be that the fashion website “Parisian Gentleman” is located in the United Kingdom is a mystery but it probably is a result of Globalization which combines the strength and elegance of the British tailoring industry combined with the importance of Paris as a capital of culture and style.

What Ms. Nicholson explains is that the defining characteristic of the Nehru jacket, so named because the Jawaharal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India after its independence from England, famously used to wear this style of jacket when being photographed with other world leaders, is its Mandarin Collar. It is this collar, up to two inches high of unfolded material, combined with the lack of labels, that makes the Nehru Jacket distinctive. The jacket is also generally tailored to fit the form of the wearer. It is a jacket very suited to wear at an elegant dinner party.

Missiles are only the first step to show our power

Prime Minister Nehru and his Western sycophants

Ms. Nicholson goes on to explain that the Mao suit, so named for its use by the great revolutionary leader of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, is a complete suit, not merely a jacket. It has a boxy cut, four pockets with a practical button, no lapels, and most of all

The strongest characteristic of the Mao is the short and rigid fold-over collar, with rounded points extended no further than the base of the band.

I hope three examples will suffice. In the first, Dr. No explains to his dinner guest, James Bond, his plans for world domination. In the second Elliot Carver, as played by Jonathan Pryce announces his new global satellite network in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). In our third example, none other than Ernst Stavro Blofeld introduces himself to James Bond in You Only Live Twice (1967).

Dr. No at Dinner

Elliot Carver Announcing Satellite Network

Ernst Stavro Blofeld of SPECTRE Introduces Himself

But the most interesting question still remains. Yes, I think we have shown the obvious, never doubted fact that men's fashion has been affected by the design choices of the 007 films.  But what does it all mean? We still want to know why they feel compelled to wear this style of suits. What is going on in their master criminal minds?

I have the following theories. The first is that it is nothing more than these outsider geniuses, forced by society to prove their genius, have spent significant time in the mysterious and exotic East where this style of fashion is anything but exotic. Thus, they merely see themselves as well-dressed and they are, and would be quite conventional in Mumbai or Beijing.  The second theory is that this fashion style is a choice designed to appeal to the fears of the Westerner to the dangers and mystery of the East. In a sense it is a form of backhanded stereotyping, but not negative stereotyping. The East is dangerous and thus somewhat appealing and these geniuses of crime are therefore styled to evoke that Eastern feeling.

Even comic evil geniuses have affected this style

The patriarch of the clan



Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) on IMDB

Thunderball (1965) on IMDB

Dr. No (1962) on IMDB

Jawaharlal Nehru

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Meditation on a Corrupt Primary Season


[I am going to rewrite this to be less negative.  Maybe we have to have lower expectations about how our elections are conducted, but it seems to me that we can do a better job...]

The NY Times, that fine defender of equal rights and political justice, as long as you agree with them, has run another editorial telling me that a vote for Bernie is Bonkers, but a vote for Hillary is for Truth and Justice.

The editorial goes over and over how bad the Republicans are for Gay Rights, and how good Hillary will be for Gay Rights. I have no doubt that the editorial is correct. But, Horrors of Horrors, as much as I support Gay Rights, I think it is an issue blown all out of proportion by the Religious Right and that it is not the only issue on the table. Sure, Gay Rights, no problem. Absolutely, Gay Rights! How about Criminal Sentences for Top Executives who Violate the Law? How about Taxation of the Rich? How about a real Economic Strategy for this country that is more than “Make more money for the rich; destroy the middle class; destroy the labor movement”.

And of course they trot out the issue of Bush vs Gore. Now, as a Gore supporter, I feel that "electing" Bush was a disaster for this country and the world. But Al Gore is not Hillary Clinton. Gore is not a compromised "Tool of the Corporation". Where was the NY Times when the Supreme Court pissed on the Constitution in public in 2000? I was there, I was watching, and I can tell you that the NY Times bent over and fell into line.

Trump is a Red Herring. He is nothing more than an attempt to manufacture consent for the Rockefeller Republican candidate Hillary Clinton.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. And I can tell you flat out that I have no idea what she stands for beyond her strong support for Globalization and the status quo. Is she a bad person? Probably not. 

Now it may be that under that $12,000 Armani jacket burns a heart filled with compassion for the poor and disenfranchised, for the unemployed and the abandoned. We won't know until she is elected and I am a firm believer in the principle that you can not know how someone will really be as President until he or she is there.

Furthermore, I wont even know if she was legally elected. In California, there is a law that keeps anyone who ran in a party primary from running in the main election as an independent. Its called the “Sore Loser” law. So that means that Bernie can not run as an independent in California, or that is my reading. Why does this matter? It matters because what with Nevada, Massachusetts, New York and many other irregularities, issues of whether independents can vote in a primary (I dont know what the right answer is, but I think it should be consistent across the country), we have a nomination process which is illegitimate in many Americans' eyes.

Maybe I need to lower my expectations about what constitutes a fair election.  But I would have thought that by 2016 we would have this more together.  I have the sneaking suspicion that the DNC doesn't really care about this as much as I do.

And thats a problem.  When you blow your credibility on things like this, how can you expect people to believe you when something even more important is on the table?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Google Mail Uses Esoteric Knowledge to Create Your Avatar


Things move ever swiftly on the Internet, that bold new paradigm, in order to maintain valuation and return maximum value to the shareholders. In the never ending efforts to achieve these worthwhile goals and with all the advanced and esoteric technology being used, it is reasonable to expect that mere users may be confused by what they see and foolishly and incorrectly believe that they are witnessing bugs and mistakes. It is incumbent on all of us to keep up and be aware of these misperceptions and help the future-challenged user to understand that the system is without flaw. 

For example, in the process of receiving and processing email with Google Mail, I was unaware that it helpfully creates a visual avatar of all the people who send me mail and does so flawlessly and automatically without needing to review its results with the mere sender of the email. It is not permitted for the user to be aware of the clever, neural network based, deeper learning informed, higher-level consciousness algorithms that Gmail uses to implement this miraculous new feature because we are uninitiated in the Mysteries.  Still some of us have speculated that Gmail might look out on social media, or perhaps remember attachments that the sender has used in the past.

I suspect it does nothing so simple. I think it is probable that Google is using the esoteric knowledge associated with the ancient Hermetian Mysteries themselves. Many have tried to use these Mysteries for practical purposes in the modern world, but I believe that only Google has had the resources and intellect to actually accomplish this difficult task.

Are Consecrated Masters using Esoteric Knowledge to create your Gmail avatar?

Alas, my sister in law did not realize the perfection of these esoteric algorithms and so when I made a comment about the nice picture of the dog that Google had used for her avatar, she tried to rip my head off.

I think it is important to remind the users that they are indeed "mere users" and that they should not attempt to understand the ways of the Illuminated Masters.  They should accept that their life is an open book, not just to the FBI but to the world at large and anything they use or say on the Internet may be repurposed for their own good.  Google Mail may choose all or none of these ephemera to represent you to your friends, to your family, to your clients, in fact, to anyone. You have no control over it, nor should you.

You should have faith that the Illuminated Masters working in secret shrines will use these Mysteries to create your new image and that the result will be as perfect as the spheres with which the celestial bodies orbit our planet.

Where did this come from?  No one knows but my sister-in-law was not amused.

Foolish mortal! Give up that illusion of control, abandon yourself to your fate and accept that the Adepts of the Mysteries have your best interests at heart.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Do A Good Job for Your Masters, Alan

You will be rewarded for your service.
Left in the gutter with the other poor, you serve the rich
Crunch their numbers
The rich build stupid houses for the other rich
And hide their money overseas
You are a good slave
In the Empire, slaves were often freed and given good businesses and
   made citizens,
But in our republic, the slave is worthless garbage and gets what they
Poverty and death
Winners win and losers get nothing.
That is the American Way.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Notes on Making Deadlines and Client Management


A few days ago, I wrote an essay about some of the issues involved in making deadlines. Since that time, I have been remembering more and more anecdotes, principles and parables about this worthy but misunderstood topic. In the following, I hope to discuss the interaction between schedule, deadlines, client management and trust.  None of these totally original observations are, well, totally original. But hopefully some of them will seem reasonable or even insightful now and then.

In the following I will often use the terminology of visual effects. This is because the specific case study that I am thinking about (but usually not mentioned) often involved a "visual effects" like project, if not actually visual effects. I refer to "shots" where a shot is distinct quantifiable unit of film which is to be cut into the movie. Visual effects is bid and scheduled around this concept but other projects are more all-inclusive. A game is likely to be considered "just one thing" and not a bunch of separate but related elements, but even then one will still have discrete deliverable elements, approvals, deadlines for art direction, and so forth.

In the following, “dWi” stands for deGraf/Wahrman, Inc, my old production company.

Perhaps the most important of these ideas, and the one that was the hardest to learn, is the first, what I comically number "zero".  It is as follows:

0 No R&D on a production project.

The early days of computer animation were rife with this sort of problem. The whole process was R&D so how could you not do R&D on a project.  Well, we learned that one the hard way.  It will be the subject of another essay. Some of the lessons learned are as follows.

Do your programming ahead of time. Do your tests. Work with your client to define a project based on those tests, not based on your belief of what it can be. People imagine different things even though the words are the same. Work with your clients to develop a look and then, using that look, bid and schedule a project. Nothing major in the realm of the unknown should be attempted on a production schedule. Ever. Period. No way. Not unless you are the client, and maybe not even then depending on how crazy a client you are.

1. Divide and conquer.

What Caesar said. Take a big project and turn it into bite sized pieces and either smash them one at a time, or subdivide them among a team if you have a team.

2. Do some of the easy ones first.

There is something to be said for being 10 percent done, which is much better than 0 percent done. When you have delivered 20 out of 100 shots successfully then they know that their project is getting attention and that you know what you are doing.

3. Do not leave the worst for last.

By the time you reach the end of the project, you and your people may be tired. Therefore do not leave the most ambitious to the end, but neither should you do the most ambitious first. Warm up, deliver some shots, and then lean into a complicated shot.

4. If possible, deliver an acceptable shot for every shot in the movie before going back and improving things.

This is debatable but I think it makes good sense. You want to be sure that there is not a “scene missing” in the movie. You do not want to keep your clients up all night with worry. Deliver something for everything that must be in the movie and then, if there is time, go back and make things better.

5. A schedule without slack is not a good schedule.

Every schedule needs slack and some of that slack may be visible to the client and some may be your private reserve. But every project of any note has had setbacks. People get sick, people quit, computers break, clients change their mind but dont have any more time or money to offer, whatever. You need some room to work with. Some of that slack can be visible to the client, and some may not be. But there must be slack.

6. No one should have to kill themselves to make your schedule.

A little extra work to make something better is never bad, but you dont want people working 80 hour weeks. It is not healthy and it should not be necessary. It is great when things are so much fun that people want to work extra hours to make things better but it should not be required of them just to get the project done. If it is, it is a sign of a project out of control or improperly conceived or scheduled.

7. Whenever people have to work nights or weekends, the producer should be there with them.

None of this, see you in the morning, bye, shit. You make people work all night, you work all night with us. And people should never have to work all night alone. Oh, arent there other people on this project? Cant they stay and help out? What the fuck?

8. Some people thrive on last minute deadlines. Some people don't.

I have a friend and client who loves to work all night and make a deadline. I work like the devil to avoid such situations. I prefer the “full court press”, basically to work obsessively and get things done early if possible. If I am early, then I am not late.

9. Some people seem to do some of their best work while procrastinating on making a deadline.

This is a variation of the “clean your apartment rather than study for your exam” meme but in this case they are not cleaning their apartment, they are working on an invention or a paper or anything but what they should be working on. All you can do is gently remind them of what they should be doing and let them figure out what they should do. For example, I am writing this post instead of finishing a biography and resume as part of a job application. Doctor, heal thyself.

10. Some people get special satisfaction out of causing chaos and then saving the day.

These people need to be executed as a lesson to the others.

11. Make a deal with your clients

Client cooperation requires client trust. Trust comes in part from their confidence that you are doing your best for them given the realities of schedule and the budget. One aspect of trust or lack thereof is when clients feel they are being unfairly pushed into a corner and not given an opportunity to request changes and give feedback.

One way that I found to generate trust is a system developed at dWi on a project that had a lot of work and some, but not much, time. The system, which I doubt is original, it was just original with us, goes like this: (a) every scene has a kickoff with the client, the internal art director, the producer and the technical directors, (b) half the time allocated for the scene is used to give our best guess / work in progress before too much client input, but at the half way mark, you have a review, the client gives feedback, then (c) 1/4 of the time allocated to the scene is used to implement these changes, and one has another meeting and a second set of feedback, and then (d) you go the final 1/4 time hopefully implementing those changes. However, the project itself has some slack and that slack is the clients to do with however they want, in good faith. So (e) if they want to spend more time making that scene or element better with their slack, we are happy to comply. Hopefully we are close enough by (d) that this is not such a big deal. I emphasize that all this is before we need to talk about overages or change of schedule. Of course one can radically change the scope of work with a schedule change and more money, but that is not what we are talking about here.

12. When you are screwing up, tell your clients as soon as possible.

Early on in my experience with production, I did not understand this principle, nor did any of my partners and colleagues. We hoped that we could fix things enough that there would be no problems, but it never quite worked out that way. So what I learned is that when you are convinced you are going to be late, or you think the technique chosen is going to not deliver what you thought it would, the best thing you can do is to go to the clients as soon as possible and explain this to them. They may hate you, they may pull the project, they may slander you forever, but for some reason it is better that way then waiting to the last minute when their money is spent and the time is gone.

13. Sometimes you have to give projects back.

Sometimes you are awarded a project and discover, to your discomfort, that there is something about the project that you really did not understand. Yes, I know we are all supposed to be professionals, but things dont always work out. In one case, a very traumatic one, it turned out that from our point of view a client who had promised to work with us to make an ambitious project meet their limited budget, had another meaning to “work with us” than we had expected. Their meaning was “we are going to fuck you as hard as we can and make you pay and try to put you out of business and lie as hard as we can. “ Under those circumstances, the best thing you can do, I believe, is to apologize, take all the blame on yourself, and regretfully return the project to them, any remaining money, and give them any objects or work to date that you believe will be useful to them. Its painful, but it is better than to suffer from their charade. They know you want the project, but dont let them take advantage of you. Apologize, and move on.

14. The first dinosaur may be 90 percent of the work.

This aphorism refers to the unfortunate situation whereby the work necessary to get the first dinosaur approved, its look, how it moves, and so forth, may be most of the work of getting many shots with that dinosaur done.  In other words, you have to put a tremendous effort into getting the first shot, but then the other shots will be routine.  This is very hard for a client to understand or accept and it requires special scheduling, effort and management.

That is enough for now.

My Dialogue on Facebook About Hillary's Concern for the Unemployed


The following has been edited for formatting purposes and to fix minor grammatical and spelling errors.  I have removed the identity of the person who set me off.  We have been friends for years and if anything are closer after this little exchange.  I will call her "Sandra Smartperson".

Sandra Smartperson.  She would never ever want to care about the unemployed? Really? Michael, you are full of baloney.

Michael Wahrman Dear Sandra, no, I dont think so. Do you just want to insult me, or do you want to know why I think what I do?

Michael Wahrman OK, lets party. 1st the unemployment metric that we are constantly told about is, if you care to spend 5 minutes researching it, guaranteed to not only under report the number of unemployed, but to ignore those who are most in trouble. All it reports is those who are known to have lost their jobs in the last 18 months, anyone who is not employed again in those 18 months is dropped off the metric. Furthermore even those who find a job in that 18 months, there is no way of telling whether they got a job again at their previous salary. Someone who was working at 80 K per year, could now be working for 30K and it would all be reported as great. The first thing anyone who was serious about helping the unemployed would do is to work to create a more honest index or series of indices so we could at least discuss the problem. That is point one.

Michael Wahrman Second, the H1B visa program is well known for being abused by corporations in Silicon Valley (in particular, I presume other industries use it as well in this way) to train people from India and China so that those services can be outsourced to India and China. Pick up pretty much any issue of Computerworld, or read about the (in) famous ongoing Disney IT situation. Hillary not only supports the H1B visa program, she wants to expand it.

Michael Wahrman Third, HRC is on record for not supporting the minimum wage initiative and she gets very little support from the Unions at all. Why is this, Sandra? If Globalization is so good for the economy then it would be just hunky fine to have laws that said that a corporation that off shored labor would be held criminally responsible if that labor was forced labor or abused. I mean the top executives would go to jail. But even though we know that in fact many of these famous off shore companies use indentured labor, nothing is done. Or when high tech companies use raw materials that come from violence torn regions of Africa and the revenues thus generated are used to support the wars that murder tens of thousands of civilians, our government just laughs and pats those corporations on the back for making more profits through globalization. I mean, god forbid our corporations would have to use Americans and pay them benefits! What about the profits to the shareholders?

Michael Wahrman Globalization as we have implemented it in this country is guaranteed to enrich the corporation at the expense of the worker. And it has. And yet no effort has been made by either government or industry (to the best of my knowledge) to either measure the number of Americans put out of work by Globalization nor to make any provision for retraining them for another field. This is not just manufacturing, although I do not understand why manufacturing is held in such low esteem, but is many fields including the glamourous and rewarding fields of visual effects. To the best of my knowledge, HRC has not indicated anything in her platform that would gather these numbers or provide real funding for retraining these disenfranchised workers.

Michael Wahrman Furthermore, if Globalization is so good for the economy, then why should the corporations who have increased profits not be responsible for paying for this retraining? Oh and by the way, it wont be cheap. We are talking about at least 2 years probably 3 to get a Masters degree in a new area, and then find a job, and these are not teenagers but adults with families who need to be supported. If HRC cared about these people, she would have something in her platform somewhere to address it, but to the best of my knowledge she does not. I admit, I have found it hard to figure out what it is HRC does propose, but that may be my fault or how I use the Internet. I might be wrong about this, I hope so.

Michael Wahrman No one knows how many chronically unemployed and impoverished Americans there are today. Although I think the number of 100 M that I have heard is hopefully over the top. The point is, no one knows, and I see nothing in the HRC platform that makes me think that she has anything more in mind than more of the same. You know, 10 percent more of this, 15 percent off of that. By the way, if Obama were running today I might (probably) say the same thing about him.

Michael Wahrman Furthermore, this has been going on for a long time now, this studied neglect while the 1 percent (or 10 percent you tell me), does so well. So do I think that HRC gives a rats ass about the unemployed? No, not really. But all you have to do to prove me wrong (and make me happy, I want to be proven wrong) is to point to a program that she is advocating that is not just more of the same, because more of the same is unlikely to make much of a difference.

Michael Wahrman Now its true, could such a program get through Congress? I guess it depends on what it its, but I am inclined to believe that it would be over Congress's dead body. Nor do I think HRC is in any way to blame for this situation (well maybe a little, but no big deal). But on the other hand, she *is* running for president, pretty much the only serious candidate (I love Bernie but I do not think he is actually running for president exactly, I think he is trying to give a voice to the impoverished and disenfranchised and I love him for it, but its another topic), so it makes sense to me to look at her proposed platform and see what she says. And that gets to the big mystery ....

Michael Wahrman The big mystery is how it is possible for this to be going on so long without Washington realizing that there is a problem here. It is not fair nor am I laying all this at Hillary's door, by which I mean she has only had a small part to play in creating this problem. But I am absolutely blaming our Government, that is the federal government: Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme and other Courts, etc. How it is that Washington was able to believe that this could just go on without blowback (I love that word) is what amazes me. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe people are doing just great. If that is so, where does all the anger come from? Why are so many people saying, hey, its all very well to give the better part of a trillion dollars to help your friends on Wall Street (and give speeches to them but not tell us what you said) but maybe you might have some of this vast wealth left over for us. You remember us, right? Remember? You want us to vote for you every four years or so, right? So when I say that Hillary does not care less, that is only because that is what I seem to see when I look at her positions. Now maybe she has in mind some very interesting and dramatic solutions (and has some idea about how to get them through Congress) but if so I am unaware of them. Maybe you are more aware of them than I am and can help me understand. Is it fair to put all this at Hillary's feet and say fix it? Well, no, not really. Doesn't seem fair to me. But we do give the President a lot of power and it is a good place to start.

Michael Wahrman Finally, Sandra, I may very well be full of shit, but probably not baloney. Aside from a degree in Economics and my time at the RAND Corporation (for what that is worth, probably not much, but it is true so why not) I have been a vegetarian since 1978 and so I am unlikely to be full of baloney. I hope you are doing very well, and that you are recovering from surgery, and that I am all wrong about either Hillary's plans or the state of the nation, because if there is one thing I am quite sure of, I am not in a position to do much of anything at all except to complain. Feel better ! Nice to hear from you!

Michael Wahrman By the way, I write a blog and here is a post I wrote about how the homeless are helped down here in N San Diego county.... I wish that everyone who has read this far would read it, because I believe I have done a good job at expressing my outrage and disgust.  See Law Enforcement Provides Moral Instruction To The Poor

Michael Wahrman Ok, I lied one more thing. If the three founders of Google can share 7 widebody jets and rent Moffet field as a place to store them, then I can see a program in a leading candidate's platform about how we are going to help that homeless person I wrote about above, and help her right now. I am tired of waiting. I have waited long enough. I can stare in disbelief at what the Bureau of Labor Statistics says how they measure unemployment only so often. I can be disgusted at how the former chief of police of Los Angeles will spend 4 months in jail after abusing the civil rights of tens of thousands of prisoners in Los Angeles over two decades and see no outrage anywhere only so long. So does Hillary care about the unemployed? Really? Hey, I am hungry, anybody have some baloney?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Working Notes in One Place


This is a collection of a variety different employment/consulting notes in one place to make them easier to find.

Three Interview Issues Worthy of Discussion

Working With Other People

Notes on Consulting (Consultant to the Captain of the Titanic)


Test of Receding Media Technology

Farewell Facebook For Now

In the last few weeks I have blocked three people on Facebook, unfriended a few, and probably have been unfriended myself without my knowing it.

Its all about one or more of the following issues and I doubt you will be surprised by any of it. I am a little surprised by the intensity and insanity of it all though.

My friends are very happy because their candidate, Hillary Clinton, has probably clinched the nomination for President from the Democratic Party. Between you and me, I never really had much doubt that Hillary would do this. She has always been the frontrunner and seemed likely to me to win the nomination without the use of Superdelegates. And of course if it came to the position of the Superdelegates, I did not think there was much doubt about which way that would go either.

I am happy for my friends. It is a good thing when your candidate wins, generally speaking. I presume my friends are ethical Americans who are voting their beliefs and so forth and so on.

But for a variety of reasons, most of which have very little to do with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton is not my candidate. Again dont get me wrong, I love Bernie Sanders. I never thought he had much of a chance of winning the nomination, but I am stunned and delighted that he did as well as he did. Its just that I think I also know something about Hillary Clinton and the kind of president she will be.

But now that Hillary has won the nomination (or all but won it, its not really much in doubt) my friends are angry that I do not fall into line and support Hillary.

And boy are they angry. I have received two death threats and lots and lots of insults. Its OK, its helpful to know who actually respects you enough to let you have your beliefs without throwing insults at you. And clearly I do not have many such friends on Facebook, or for that matter anywhere, probably.

I hope that when Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency that she becomes as good a President as my friends believe that she will be. For my part, however, I doubt it. I think she is a competent, process oriented, mainstream Democrat.  I doubt she will be any better nor any worse than any other power mad, middle of the road, Washington insider Democrat.

If you do not understand by now that the status quo is not working for millions and millions of Americans, then I am very happy for you. It means that the system is working for you, and that is great, and I am very jealous. You have my congratulations.

If you want to understand why it is not working for others you are going to have to look beyond the surface. You are going to have to ask why there are so many Bernie and Donald supporters, each in their own way. You are going to have to try and figure out how many people are actually unemployed, underemployed, and / or impoverished.

As for me, I find that Facebook is not worth the aggravation.  So instead of blocking and unfriending even more people, and the aggravation that involves, I am going to absent myself from Facebook for a few months, possibly until after the election.  I am not really sure.  If you want to know how I am doing, you will just have to email me or read this blog.

Good luck to all of you and I hope you will keep in touch.